Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How it all began......

*Last night Mike and I celebrated the 20 year anniversary of our first date together. We decided to reenact some the past and it was so fun! We were able to find people to get the kids to and from their evening activities so we could head to Seattle where are relationship started. We first decided to hit the sorority house where we met. In the fall of 1988 Mike had recently come back to Washington (from New Jersey) to re-enroll at the UW and connected up with his high school friend, Matt, who had also enrolled at the UW that fall.
*Matt had come from New Jersey earlier and found a job which happened to be a house boy at my sorority, Pi Beta Phi. When Matt picked Mike up from the airport he told Mike about a job available at the sorority for a weekend cook. With suitcases still in the car, Matt introduced Mike to Don, the head cook, and Mike was offered the job on the spot. Mike having just arrived told Don that he would think about it and Don said "OK, but let me introduce you to the ladies." As we were in the middle of Rush at the time, everyone in the house was looking their best, so when Don said to all of us at lunch, "Girls, I want to introduce you to your new weekend cook.", we all said "yah!!!!!"....Mike knew he wanted the job;) (Weekends spent with over 100 young ladies....he wasn't crazy).
*A couple of days later while Mike and Matt were working I asked them both if they would like a tour of the "winter wonderland" that our sorority had created for one of our rush events. That was when our friendship began. Mike and I started hanging out at the coffee shop often while I was sketching for my art class. We would talk for hours and we instantly became the best of friends. We both were very cautious about making it anything more than friends but as the weeks progressed, I knew there was something very special about him (and he was thinking the same about me). Finally, on October 28th of that fall our relationship changed. We both attended a Halloween party together and hung out all night. When he took me back to the sorority, after we had a few minutes of that awkward gazing, he reached in for that first kiss:) At that moment we had moved from friendship to a romantic relationship and we both were happy for the change and have always been glad that we connected as friends first.
*A couple of weeks later we had our official first date as a couple at "The Deluxe" on Capital Hill in Seattle. At dinner it took us almost an hour to finally order because we were so entranced in talking that we kept forgetting to look at our menus. Our frustrated waitress kept coming back to our table asking if we were ready and we kept having to apologize for constantly being distracted.
*It was obvious to both of us that night that our connection was a strong one. We both proceeded very cautiously in the relationship over the next few months because we both had wounded hearts that needed healing from past relationships. As time went on we began to trust one another more and more and by the following summer we both knew that we would be together forever. We were both so young but our love was so strong!
So last night we decided to take a trip down memory lane. We first hit the sorority house where we had one of the current Pi Phi's take our picture outside the annex where we had our first kiss. She was so sweet and loved hearing our story too. The house looked just the same from the outside but unfortunately she said the annex next door was not being used anymore. Since it was still standing we were able to get the photos anyways.

The Pi Beta Phi house...still looking as beautiful as ever!!!

Right where we had our first kiss....20 years earlier.

*After we left Greek row we headed up to Capital Hill to eat dinner at the Deluxe, which was still there and hadn't really changed much at all. We were seated in almost the identical location as 20 years earlier and the waitress loved hearing all about our history as a couple and snapped another couple of photos for us. It didn't take quite as long this time to look at the menus and order our food;) For some reason we know each other a lot better now:)*I had so much fun writing about the past I have decided this will be a regular feature on the blog. I would love to have this history down for the kids to have someday and since my scrapbooking was non-exsistant during those early days....this is the perfect way to get the facts down. Hope you enjoyed some of "Mike and Elise" history;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

20 years ago today.....

Mike and I went to a friends Halloween party together....that evening our friendship, which started a month and a half earlier, tranformed into something more. When he kissed me goodnight at the doorway of the annex of my sorority I knew this man (almost a boy at 20) was different. So much more mature, kind and connected with my values than anyone I had ever met or dated. I didn't know at the time but he was the "one". The one that God had picked just for me to spend my life with. I can't even imagine what life would have looked like if that night never happened. I am so thankful that we both listened to the voice inside us telling us to move forward in our relationship. It took almost a year before we truly opened up and revealed who each of us were to one another. We had both been wounded from past relationships but God knew he had a better plan for our future. We both never looked back and I am so happy we didn't. I couldn't have married the most perfect man for me! He is so special. Not only is he an amazing father, provider, protector and spiritual leader but his sense of humor always can cheer me up on the gloomiest of days. Thank you Lord for this amazing man in my life.....he is such a blessing to me!

Look at those babies....Mike was not even 21 years old yet in this picture. This was the night of the party....and to this day I don't know how I even got a picture from that night. Those were the days before I became snap happy....I don't even know if I had a camera. We are planning a date to reinact that time of early dating. We will have dinner at the restauruant, The Deluxe, where we actually had our official first date and then we are going to go the sorority house and kiss at the doorway once again for old time sake.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Homecoming Part 2...and lots more!

(Warning....long post)

This has been once again a most busy week indeed! I think it will finally slow down a bit around here....of course I always think that and it never does;)

The week started off as usual but it quickly ramped up when on Monday after hours and hours of calling the radio station Kyla won tickets to go see a private showing with only 50 fans of a band she likes (Panic at the Disco) at the top of the Space Needle. The concert was to take place on Tuesday at 3pm so I arranged to get Kyla and her friend Taylor out of school early so they could make it downtown in time. The girls got all gussied up and off we went.
While waiting at the base of the Space Needle for a couple of hours I spoke with some of the radio station staff and was able to snag 4 tickets to the bigger concert that the band and four other bands (The Cab, Dashboard Confessional and Plain White T's) were performing at that evening at the Everett Events Center. When Kyla and Taylor emerged from the show they squealed with delight that the fun wasn't over. As Hailey was still at cheer practice I arranged without her knowing that I would pick a friend of hers so she and her friend could go also (and I was just praying that they didn't have too much homework since it was a school night). This also made me feel much better since there would be four of them together at the concert since this was the first time they would be going alone to concert.

We battled with the rush hour traffic but made it home right about 6:30pm to pick up the other two girls and we raced to get to Everett by the 7pm start time. I decided to stay in Everett just in case so I did a little shopping and watched a couple episodes of Hero's which I had downloaded onto my Zune. The girls emerged from the Arena at around 11pm after having an amazing time and we headed home for some sleep.

Meanwhile while we were at the concert Mike was at home getting ready for his annual trip to Boston to race at the Head of Charles. He was leaving very early in the morning and was trying to wrap up work stuff while trying to pack. He took off and the week continued to be busy!!! Wednesday afternoon Hailey and I were in charge of the face painting booth at the Homecoming Rally and powder puff football game. Plus she was starting her first Driver's Ed Class that evening. We were able to juggle it all but during the rally the heavens opened up and there was a huge downpour and the face painting booth got a little soggy.

Thursday I was getting decorations ready for the homecoming dinner (hence the glittered pumpkins). Hailey and her youth group friends were all going to homecoming as a group and the boys were looking for an affordable way to do dinner so the parents put heads together and created a "restaurant" for them. Our friends just bought the most beautiful Tudor house on Main Street in our town they wanted to it fix up and rent it out for events. In two weeks they were able to redo the whole downstairs (painting, refinishing the floors, install all new appliances, and replace all the plumbing) so that we could get it ready for the kids to use.

The parents did the decorating and the cooking while younger siblings did the serving so the kids didn't have to have the parents around spying. We stayed in the kitchen and only peeked once in awhile;) One of the moms even made menus and the kids were able to choose from two different entrees. It was just perfect....the kids were blown away at how perfect it was and they didn't feel at all like they missed out of the restaurant experience. The yard was the perfect place for all the photos with the gazebo and the fall foliage and the weather was amazing!!!

The Friday night homecoming game was so much fun and Nana, Papa and Connor were able to come and see Hailey cheer. The team didn't do so hot this week but it was still fun anyways since it was Homecoming. One of Hailey's friends was one of the senior princess' in the homecoming court and she looked just beautiful! Kyla missed this game since she was at a birthday party for friend Taylor (who she had taken to the concert) but thankfully she was able to spend the night so I didn't have to juggle getting her to and from the party. After the game Hailey and I came home and went right to bed so that we were rested for another busy day.

Saturday we ran around getting nails, toes, hair and makeup done (three of Hailey's youth leaders did hair and makeup (two of them are beauticians and one of them was her 6th grade teacher) and we finally made it to the meeting place with all the families at 4pm and Kyla to another birthday party at 5:30pm (thanks mom). It was like a red carpet event going on there was so many cameras clicking. All the guys looked so handsome and the girls were breathtakingly gorgeous!!!! Everyone looked so great but most importantly they were all so polite and the guys were being so chivalrous. The guys surprised the girls by taking them to the Carillon Point water front on Lake Washington for dessert so they could still go "out" somewhere. I wasn't there (and Hailey was thankful for that) but I heard from the other parent drivers that the boys gave up their coats to keep the girls warm, offered their arms, opened doors and were all around perfect gentlemen. The parents said there were other groups there from other school's homecoming events and there was a real difference in the way our group and others carried themselves. Hopefully it wasn't just because our group had parents around but it really represented their true character.

The kids made it to the dance back in Monroe at about 9pm and danced the night away. They ended the evening with an after party at our friends home and I was able to bring them all a group picture that I printed on my computer while they were at the dance. At 2pm the boys and girls separated into two different houses. In the morning our church was having our final building campaign Sunday with an all church service and breakfast at the fairgrounds in town. The boys were in charge of parking and they were so cute because the were still wearing their tuxedos and were directing traffic. The girls all slept very carefully so their hair would remain in place and they came to the service all decked out in their was so cute!

After church we came home and crashed! We are still recovering and missing Mike terribly. He missed his daughter's first formal dance but he was there in spirit and he even called her when we all had gathered for the pictures. I snapped a few pictures of them talking to each other on the phone. Mike had raced that Saturday morning and once again his boat placed 12th and were ranked high enough to be asked back again for next year's race. Next year they will be finally in the master's category (40+) and they will be hoping to medal. 12th place against mostly college crew boats and national team members is nothing to be upset about. They were by far the oldest racers in their division and they still were 12th out of 43 boats and like I said most of those boats consist of guys in their twenties. For example the boat that came in 11th was from North Carolina State University. I am so proud of them! They were 15 seconds faster than last year and they also had a head wind. Way to go guys!!!! Check out the result here

and for information about the race check here

Shots from last year's race in Boston....

Now here is a slideshow of the homecoming festivities so daddy can see everything he missed...Mike, enjoy your time visiting the Liptack's in New Jersey! We miss you and can't wait to see you in a couple of days!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Homecoming Part 1

Tonight was Hailey's first homecoming dance (well actually yesterday since it is now almost 2am) and it was the most fun day...I wanted to share a few photos for now but I will post more after I get some shut eye.....Enjoy!!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

When the boy's away the girl will play.....

...with glitter that is:)

Getting ready for homecoming...

The fairygodmother is getting the pumpkins all ready for the ball!!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

October already!!!

Well I don't know about you but September went by like a flash! Here I thought I would have a slow beginning to the school year and BAM I was slammed with too much to do! Then this week when things were light again.....I GET SICK! For the last two days I have been layed up in bed unable to move because of a fun flu bug that has been going around. Poor Mike slept on the couch last night just so I wouldn't contaminate him. I am just thankful that this little illness came this week and not last week when I was busy coordinating our church dinner, going to football games and all the other craziness of life. That would have really been a disaster!


We went to meet the Webb's at the airport on Saturday morning only to miss them since their flight came in an hour earlier and we didn't know......sorry we miss you guys and we can't wait to meet Abigail when we are all healthy again!!!!
In the middle of all the madness Mike's department took all the families up to the Suncadia Lodge for a day and night of pampering and fun for shipping their recent products and we were able to squeeze it in. I was able to enjoy the spa with a much needed facial and massage. We took some pictures from our room before we headed out to dinner.

And finally the biggest news of the week is that someone in our house who has had her braces on since 3rd grade (6 1/2 years), finally gets to show off her pearly whites again! The tops came off this week and the bottoms come off over the next two weeks as they prepare for her retainers.

Look at that beautiful smile:


This shot was taken about a month before she got her braces put on....isn't she little!


Worth the wait!!!!!