The Wedding

I have tried writing this post a dozen times in my head because I was feeling pressure to produce a piece of material that was reflective, inspirational, and I don’t know, all sorts of things that just aren’t me.  It was so beautiful I felt I had to write an equally beautiful post to do it justice.  But then the post never got done because I was trying too hard.  So instead, I’m just going to go with the flow and let the words come to me.  And share a whole bunch of pictures that capture the last minute preparations all the way up to the beginning of the ceremony, because after that, I sat back and enjoyed every second of the night and didn’t give my camera another thought.

First, my overall reflections on the day:  PERFECT – even though not every little detail was perfect, the day as a whole was absolutely perfect.  BEAUTIFUL – the setting, the decorations, the ceremony, the wedding party, the friendships, the family, all of it.  FUN – I mean, it was just so dang much fun!  The sheep, the socializing, the dancing, everything!  So grab a refreshing beverage and sit back because there are A LOT of pictures.

Friday, September 23, 2016.

Prologue: I was up early and out the door at 7:45 to make it to Jordan by 9:00.  I had meant to leave by 7:30 because I needed to stop and get gas, and I also wanted to get a coffee.  So I was feeling a tiny bit anxious to be starting out late.  But then something happened.  I turned on KTIS (the Christian station I listen to) and it was pledge week.  Now I am a little bit ashamed to say that I have never pledged to a radio or television station during their pledge week, but I felt the strongest calling to do so this morning.  I can’t say that I have ever really heard God speak to me, and this is something that I’ve struggled with, but on this morning, I felt a presence and urging unlike anything I have ever experienced.  So I pulled into the gas station, picked up my phone, and called.  I gave my information and my pledge amount, and then they told me they had a prayer wall and asked if I had a prayer request.  So I told them about the wedding and they put it on their wall.  So there you have it, true to the general theme of the rest of my life, God spoke to me at a gas pump at the Super America.

I met Theresa and Rachael at Amanda’s and we walked over to the florist.  I was nervous about making the bouquets (this was the one thing I had been most nervous about all along), and when we got there the florist told us that she had decided to just make them for us because they were pretty complicated.  We could still make the boutonnieres, but she would do the rest.20160923_09330120160923_092746 20160923_092816 20160923_094721 20160923_094901

After the flowers, we drove to Eden Prairie for lunch, and then made a couple of last minute stops.  We went back to Amanda’s and wrapped the mums in burlap, put ribbons on the pumpkins, and packed our vehicles.  We also enjoyed a little champagne (you may recognize this from our wedding dress shopping in Chicago!).  I should mention that it was pouring rain at this point.20160923_12501220160923_10371320150729_140417

I headed to the hotel in Waconia so I could get ready for the rehearsal dinner.  Gary and the girls had already checked in.  This is where I FINALLY got to see Zach too.  We drove to Baylor Regional Park and the rain stopped just as we were parking.

It was really windy and cool, but we walked through the processional a couple of times and then had tacos by the fire in the pavilion.  Gary, Megan and I turned in early, but Amy went and hung out with the others on the patio. 20160923_181058 20160923_183139

Saturday, October 24, 2016.

20160924_072152We were up and out the door by 7:30 for our hair and makeup appointments at Sanctuary Salon Spa in Eden Prairie.  They did an amazing job on everyone!

We swung by the venue to get a picture of Amanda’s dress and check up on the set up.20160924_103046 20160924_103056 20160924_103221 20160924_103242 20160924_103247 20160924_103257 20160924_103431 20160924_103458 20160924_103514 20160924_103551 20160924_103622 20160924_105021 20160924_105031

Then it was back to the hotel for pictures of Amanda getting her dress on.  This is where we experienced our first minor issue.  There weren’t any clean rooms for her to get dressed in. She didn’t want to go to her room because Ryan was in that area of the hotel.  We went to my room next, but the girls had somehow managed to completely destroy it, and the haze of body spray was impenetrable.  I knocked on Dick and Theresa’s door (which was right next to ours) to see if they could accommodate us.  They did a quick pick up and we squeezed a photographer, a bride, five bridesmaids, and two moms into that Standard Two Queen room.  I have no pictures because at this point I was afraid that my slightest movement would set Amanda into a tail spin.  She came through it like the trooper that she is, and they were off to the venue for their pictures.

I got dressed, packed up the food I had brought for lunch, met up with Michelle and a couple of bridesmaids, and also drove back to the venue.  Gary and I quickly set out the food and then went back to the hotel to get dressed.  We thought we had lots of time, but shortly after arriving I received a phone call from Rachael informing me that the food was all gone, and Ryan and Amanda hadn’t even eaten yet.  Well.  Gary and I hustled out of the hotel (I made my best bow tie ever!) and went to the grocery store across from the hotel to get more meat and cheese.  In our formal wear.  On a Saturday afternoon.  We may have attracted a little attention.

We restocked the food and then it was our turn for family photos.  Dick took pictures of us on my phone and I took pictures of them on his phone.20160924_140814 20160924_141051 20160924_141115 20160924_141239 20160924_141248 20160924_141327 20160924_141340 20160924_142008 20160924_144636 20160924_144704 20160924_144754 20160924_144902 20160924_144945 20160924_144950  And it’s here that I will talk about the weather again.

It was overcast with a little breeze all morning.  All of the weather channels we were following showed clouds but no rain until later in the evening.  Not one single forecast from one single weather station, at any point during the entire preceding week or even during that day showed sun.  At all.  But at approximately 2:30, the clouds parted and the sun came out.  And by the time the ceremony started at 4:00, we had beautiful clear skies and full sun.  We had a little time before pictures and greeting the guests, so I grabbed a few last shots.20160924_145625 20160924_145639 20160924_145701 20160924_145857 20160924_150059 20160924_150201 20160924_150214And then it was time.  And I was ready.  I remember exactly how I felt in the moments before I walked down the aisle at my own wedding.  And I felt a little of that again.  But all of the nerves I had felt throughout the day (I have no idea why I was nervous), fell away and left pure excitement.  After successfully walking down that very long stone path without tripping or getting a heel stuck in a crack, I snuck a couple of pictures in from my spot in the front row. 20160924_161720 20160924_161724

Can we all guess which groomsman was in the military?  His commander would be so proud!  And just look at that clear sky and the gentle breeze playing with her dress.

As I said, this is where I put my camera away and soaked in every second of the rest of the evening.  Well, except for these last few…20160924_180405 20160924_180424  It was magical.  Seeing both dads walk her down the aisle was breathtaking (even though Gary didn’t know he was supposed to hug her and shake Ryan’s hand – it was pretty cute).  The words that Jeff (the officiant) spoke were beautiful and moving, the readings were beautiful and just so perfect.  The vows, which they wrote themselves, were so absolutely them.  And so beautifully recited.  The flower girl and ring bearer stood completely attentive during the whole ceremony.  And the celebration that followed was just the best time.  People played games, ate snacks, drank beer, and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.  The food was excellent. And the toasts.  I can’t even.  Dick, Rachael, and Jesse played off of each other as though they had written their speeches together.  They were sweet, and funny, and so heartfelt.

And then they cleared the dance floor and I captured one final picture.20160924_192337

After that, Gary felt it was our duty to make sure people were dancing, so we were on that dance floor most of the night.  We did manage to work our way around to all of our friends and family, but we also danced and danced and danced.

I missed the bonfire, but heard reports that the s’mores were great.  It sprinkled a little bit, but not enough to keep anyone inside.  At the end of the night we packed everything back into the cars, and headed back to Waconia.  It was magical.

I am so proud of and amazed by all of the work Amanda put into this wedding.  Her goal was a casual but elegant party for her friends and family, and that is exactly what it was.  It was really hard saying goodbye to everyone Sunday morning, and it has taken me this long to recover.  And remember that run in I had at the Super America way back at the beginning of this post?  Yeah, He was there in every moment of that day too.  I had no idea how much this would impact me.  None of the previous childhood events – first day of Kindergarten, Confirmation, high school graduation, college graduation, etc. – prepared me for my daughter’s wedding.  It’s just that big.  It’s the end of an era and the beginning of an era.  And it will easily go down as one of the best days of my life.

Show and Tell Tuesday: Quirks, Nicknames, and Phobias

show and tellI wasn’t planning on posting today, but then I saw the topic and had to link up with Andrea.  These are the things that make me uniquely me.

Quirks:  I probably have more than I realize, but here are some I readily admit to.

  1. I eat M&M’s, Skittles, Sixlets, and all other colored candy in color order.  And I don’t mean I just eat all of one color before I move on to the next.  That’s for amateurs.  I mean I eat the colors in a specific order, but first I eat in order until I get down to an equal number of each color, and then finish off in order.  Brown, orange, red, yellow, purple, blue, green.
  2. I love when the paper towel dispenser in a public restroom spits out a double layer of paper towels.  Seriously, I actually get excited about it.
  3. I eat most of my food with a knife and fork.  Chicken, ribs, pizza, and even rice crispy bars.  It’s not that I don’t like to touch my food, it’s more that I don’t like to have food on my face.  Or be in that awkward situation where you are trying to take a small bite but can’t quite cut through so you end up with either a string of food or a huge bite that you can’t chew.  No ma’am.
  4. I wear my work clothes in order.  I put together outfits, and then I take from the front and hang it up in the back.  I try to have six bottoms, and then two tops for each so that I don’t wear the exact same outfit every Monday!  But seriously, I never go out of order.  If I really can’t stand the thought of wearing the next outfit, I just move it to the back and go on to the next one.  So technically, still in order.
  5. I hate raisins.  If I accidentally bite into one, I have to spit it out.  I cannot swallow them.  I avoid cookies that could be either chocolate chip or raisin, just in case.


  1. Technically, Lisa is a nickname.  But since that’s the only name anyone ever calls me, it doesn’t really feel like a nickname.
  2. The only real nickname I have ever had is Hoppe.  Which again, was my actual name.  When I lived in Atlanta, I worked for a public accounting firm.  Out of a staff of about 10, there were two Lisas.  They started calling us Little Lisa (me) and Big Lisa (she was probably 6 inches taller than me), but I thought that was offensive.  So my supervisor asked me what my maiden name was and went with that.  The funny thing is, only my supervisor knew that was my maiden name.  Everyone else thought they were calling me Hoppe because I moved so fast.  And actually, most of the time they called me Hop.
  3. Currently, there are a few people at work who call me LG.


  1. I will start with the typical phobia – spiders.  Yep, I hate them as much as everyone else.
  2. And then lets move on to snakes.  But with snakes, I have recurring nightmares of being stuck in a mass of them.  Think Indiana Jones pit of snakes.  Eew.
  3. Being stopped on bridges.  I don’t know if I have always had this fear, but since the 35W collapse, I hate being stopped on bridges.  Especially when I can feel them bouncing.  To try to avoid this situation, I will monitor the movement ahead of me, and leave enough room that I don’t have to come to a complete stop.  I’m sure the people in traffic behind me appreciate this approach.
  4. I have a fear of getting stuck in a hole.  This one kind of baffles me, but it’s another recurring nightmare of mine, where I am crawling through a tunnel and get stuck.
  5. Ok, this is a weird Mom phobia.  I have always been afraid of Zach falling over the edge of things.  For example, when we would go to the mall and he would walk to the edge of the second floor to look through the glass railing to the first floor, my legs would go weak and I would panic.  It wasn’t like he was climbing on the railing or anything, just standing there.  Seeing him stand near the edge of anything made me physically ill.  And it was just him, none of the other kids.  I have no idea why, and honestly, I don’t know if I would still feel that way if I saw him do it today.

I’m sure there are more, and maybe I should ask my kids what they think my quirks are.  Could be an interesting conversation.  Hope you are having a great week!

Weekend Edition: Dogs and Drives

We had a visitor this weekend.20161014_202643

It was so nice to have a dog in the house again!  We played in the yard, we took walks, we cuddled.  But then he went home.20161014_170716 20161014_170840 20161014_202604 20161014_204240

Gary worked Saturday morning and then we ran some errands in the afternoon.  His brother invited him to the Wild game so Megan and I went out to dinner at Punch Pizza in Woodbury.20161015_174618

There is a Patina in the same strip mall, so of course we had to stop in there.  And buy a few things.  We are slowly but surely redoing her room, so she found a couple of really cute wall hangings and I picked up some fun things for Gary for his birthday.

I started laundry when we got home and then settled in and watched tv while I worked on the recipe book.

We finished the laundry Sunday morning, cleaned the floors, did a little yard work, and then when Megan got home from work we drove down to Winona to celebrate Gary’s birthday with Amy.

The drive down was beautiful with the leaves coloring the bluffs.  Gary was driving about 80 mph, but I managed to get a few pictures.20161016_134117 20161016_134129 20161016_134141 20161016_134252 20161016_134532 20161016_134549 20161016_134645 20161016_134652

Gary and Megan got a quick tour of Amy’s dorm, and then we went to Olive Garden for lunch.  Of course, we had to have a birthday desert.


Amy made the most of our visit with a trip to the grocery store.20161016_171757

We went back to campus so the girls could get a few Insta-worthy pictures, and I snuck a couple myself.20161016_174115 20161016_174203

It was such a fun day and so great to spend some time together.  We even played the “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing a …” alphabet game on the way home, and saw a hint of the orange full moon rising over the fields between Red Wing and Hastings.

I have a crazy busy week ahead, and will be in Chicago, Fargo, and Duluth in three consecutive days.  I will really be ready for next weekend!  Have a great week!

Friday Favorites: Purple Thursday

Friday Favorites 01

I decided Monday morning that I am so over working five days a week.  And now I am dragging myself across the Friday finish line and so looking forward to a quiet weekend.  I’m linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea to share a few favorites from the week…

Fall Favorites 1

It’s United Way time at work, and we have several new fundraisers this year.  One of my favorites is Taco Tuesday!


We also have Egg Bake Wednesday, and a dart tournament which I am participating in.  Throwing darts.  Which is something I have never done before, but they gave me the nick-name Gunner Glaus so there’s that.

Fall Favorites 2

I have finished my fall decorating, and thanks to some items from the wedding, I even have a welcoming front porch!20161009_17283420161009_170703

And here are a few indoor shots…20161013_20275720161013_20283320161001_192959

I love the colors of fall, and I’m so excited about how they look with my new white walls.

Fall Favorites 3

Thursday was Prince Day in St Paul.  Everyone who works or lives downtown was encouraged to wear purple, and we were even able to wear jeans if we participated.  The Prince Tribute concert was Thursday night, and several of the building we lit in purple lights.


Gary and I drove downtown just after sunset to check it out.

Fall Favorites 4

Thursday was also this guy’s birthday.IMG_1937

I got up early and made him French toast and hashbrowns for breakfast.  We are going to drive down to Winona on Sunday and have dinner with Amy to celebrate.  I am so grateful for each day I get to spend with him.  Some days he drives me crazy, but I wouldn’t want to be sharing my life with anybody else.

Fall Favorites 5

I’m still thinking about our wonderful Ladies Weekend last weekend.  These women (and those that couldn’t join us this year) are my favorite, and we always have such a great time.  I’m already looking forward to next year!

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Well that’s all I’ve got for this week.  I’m so excited to dog-sit my grand puppy tonight!  It’s his first time staying overnight with out Mom and Dad, so I hope he does alright.  He’s a tiny bit spoiled so I picked up some special treats for him.  And other than our lunch with Amy on Sunday, our weekend is wide open.  Hope you have a great one too!

Stranded: With Halloween Candy

Stranded With

This month’s three things… Halloween Candy!

It only took a minute for me to think back over the years of “helping” my kids sort their Halloween haul to remember which candy I snuck out for myself.  If I could only have three kinds of candy on my island, this is what it would be:


Sixlets are my favorite candy.  And does everyone else eat them by biting down on the outside of the pack and sliding them out the open end one at a time with your teeth?  Because you should.  And let’s be clear, that is not chocolate inside.  It’s chocolate-flavored candy.  And I should also confess that when I buy these in bulk, I eat them in color order, just like I eat M & M’s.


Vanilla Tootsie Rolls.  And only the vanilla.  I mean, I do like the “chocolate” ones too, but when it comes to prioritizing my Halloween candy, it’s all about the vanilla.


I never had to sneak these because I don’t think any of my kids like coconut.  And as my candy palette has matured, I find that I actually prefer the dark chocolate over milk.   If I was desperate (or had eaten all of the Mounds), I would take an Almond Joy, but you can rest assured that I pulled the almond off first, sucked all of the chocolate off of it, threw that nasty nut in the trash, and then enjoyed the rest as if it really were a Mounds.

Honorable mention has to go to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  If anyone else is bring those to the island, I would be willing to make a trade for one.

If you are looking for ideas, or want to take a trip down Halloween Memory Lane, be sure to link up with Shay or Erika!