Monday, November 26, 2012

Katie's wedding

To be honest, I don't think it could have gone any better.  I had one of the most enjoyable weekends of my life - spending time with my family and celebrating its growth as Katie and Paul exchanged their wedding vows.

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday at my grandparent's house with four generations of Caniglias, Callahans, Sanders, and McGoverns spread throughout the house.  Like millions of families across the country, we reunited and caught up with each other's lives.  Much of our extended family still lives in Omaha, so they see each other regularly, but I get to catch up only every other year or so.  I see my cousin's little children grow by leaps and bounds in between reunions.

Friday morning, we skipped the shopping to watch the Nebraska-Iowa game together.  Nothing like going to a bar at 930 on a Friday morning!  Despite the game being close, Nebraska pulled through to advance to the B1G Ten Championship Game this coming Saturday (I am going!)  Friday night, we had the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.  Neither Katie's nor Paul's extended family live in Arizona, so most of the out-of-town family came to the rehearsal dinner.  The meal was fantastic, the company superb, and my speech for Katie and Paul well-received.

Saturday was the big day and you couldn't ask for better weather.  Highs in the low '80s and sunny.  Gotta love Arizona in November.  My older sister's boyfriend (met him for the first time - nice guy) took me and my Dad for an old-fashioned trim and shave at the barbershop.  Although the barber scraped my neck raw, it was pretty nice to be pampered.  The one minor hiccup of the day was that the bridal party arrived at the church about 20 minutes late.  Not a case of cold feet, just traffic.  (The wedding party had to get ready at the reception hall because the church was being renovated and didn't have changing facilities there).

Admittedly, I was more emotional at the wedding than I expected.  Watching my father help my little sister out of the limo in front of the church, I started to tear up a bit.  I hadn't yet seen her in her dress and she looked so beautiful.  Memories of her growing up flashed through my mind.  Once we were in the church, I first walked my Mom up to the front (she looked great from her surgery 6 weeks ago.  She moved around great and never had to use her oxygen the whole weekend).  Then I went back to walk back down as a groomsman.  I teared up again when my Dad starting walking Katie down the aisle, but then the entire church stood up and blocked my view, so I didn't get to really see them walking up.

The reception was absolutely fantastic.  The DJ was phenomenal.  The drinks were flowing.  The food was delicious.  They had a photo booth where people could go in and take pictures.  We somehow fit all the cousins into the booth for a photo.  We had everyone doing Turkey Baster Shots.  At the end of the night, they had a party bus to take people back to the hotels and to Mill Ave.  Really, just a fantastic night.

I wish Katie and Paul all the best.

Thanksgiving at Nana and Nanus

Go Big Red!

The last photo of the five Caniglias - looking sharp before the rehearsal dinner.

Dad helping Katie out of the limo.

I sneaked this photo during the wedding.

The bride and her parents

In the limo on the way to the reception.

Paul is a huge pro wrestling fan and Katie surprised
him with a groom's cake shaped like a wrestling ring.

Everyone dancing 'Gangham Style.'  When Katie and Paul watch the wedding view in
20 years with their kids, this will be what they are embarrassed about.

On the other hand, turkey baster shots will always be awesome!

My parents dancing

When you show up at a bar in your wedding dress, you get invited on stage.

Friday, November 9, 2012


One of my favorite categories on Jeopardy is "Potpourri", where they have five questions on random topics with no commonality.  So, here are five things that have been going on with me.

  • I took my first German progress test yesterday and I got a 1+/1+.  For comparison's sake, I lived in Italy three different times for a total of 18 months and got a 1+/1+ when I took the test a few years ago.  So, apparently 10 weeks of intensive German = 18 months of living in Italy.
  • Frankenstorm Sandy didn't do much damage here in the DC area.  The apartment building across the street lost power for about 30 hours and I lost internet/cable for a day, but otherwise we got lucky.  The best part was that FSI lost power, so we got a third day off due to the storm.  A couple of friends and I went down to Mt. Vernon for the afternoon.  The estate is just amazing.  Gorgeous view of the Potomac.  A pretty cool place to visit and we practically had the place to ourselves, which made for a great day.
  • The following day, my German area studies class took a field trip to the Holocaust Museum.  I remember going to this museum 15 years ago when I came to DC with my family.  I remembered the museum as being very powerful.  I didn't get the same vibe this time, but I think that is only because I am now much more familiar and knowledgeable about the Holocaust.  I've visited Auschwitz and the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.  I've read books and watched documentaries.  This familiarity, sadly, makes the museum less shocking and less powerful for today than when I was 15.  
  • Last Sunday, I went to see Wicked with a girl I've gone out with a few times.  I'd read the book a few years ago and I've wanted to see the musical for a while.  The show was fantastic - good music, great sets, and fantastic acting.  I especially love all of the nods to The Wizard of Oz story that we all know and love.  (Plus, as someone who believes that most people are generally 'good', I love stories that tell the POV of well-known antagonist.  I can't wait for the eventual book from Voldemort's POV).
  • Broke the 260 barrier and I am down to around 258.  Not sure if I will meet my goal of 250 by Katie's wedding, but I will get close.  Can't believe that she gets married in TWO weeks!