The Trolley

May 2, 2009

After our pictures in the church, we boarded a trolley and headed down to the Third Ward for more pictures!!

We handed out comfy shoes to our bridesmaids and groomsmen!

Josh got out his groomsman’s gift, a leatherman, to open his shoebox.

Phil models his new cons.  I *think* they were a big hit with everyone except my mom.

We celebrated with a few cocktails – Elizabeth was an excellent bartender!


Pictures in the church

March 12, 2009

Once we returned from our little trolley excursion, we quickly chatted with some friends and family and then headed back into church to snap a few group shots.  Needless to say, with several large group pictures to be taken, it was kind of a circus…

Our stunning bridal party

my dad’s family.  is this a perfect picture of chaos or what?

I don’t have a full picture of Jason’s entire family (the photographer must have one…), but here are the adorable, show-stealing kids from his family!

Jason’s immediate family

Us and the 4 people who love us more than anything (or at least they should – parents, check your priorities if this isn’t true).

I don’t know what happened here, but I kind of love it.

The church shot.  Lovely.

Our paparazzi (cousins Catherine and Haley)

Me with my new mother-in-law!

Kevin makes it official.*

Ashley signs it, too.

Then, it’s our turn.

*Okay, we found out a few days later that this didn’t really make it official, because we had purchased the wrong marriage license from the wrong state!  Oops!  Tricked you!  We ended up going to the Waukesha County Courthouse and making the marriage legal on October 10th (after we returned from our honeymoon).  So now, if Jason forgets our first anniversary on 10/4, he’s got a “get out of jail free card” – he just has to remember our second anniversary on 10/10!  And, I get to refer to Jason as my “husband from my second marriage” – ha ha!

Post-Ceremony Pictures

March 11, 2009

Immediately after the ceremony, Jason and I ran out of the church and hopped in a trolley!  The photographer followed us and we had a mini-photo shoot in the trolley and in front of a barn before heading back to the church.  It was a little rushed, but nice to have 15 minutes just to talk and say “can you believe we just got married?”

While we were gone, though, it looks like our family and friends had a great time chatting amongst themselves…

The Ceremony

February 24, 2009

Eeek!  I was so nervous and excited for the ceremony to begin!  Before I knew it, the ladies and I met my dad and headed towards the chapel.  Meanwhile, the Bjorklunds were playing a lovely prelude of various classical and baroque selections.

Trevor escorted Grandma Bruskewitz to her seat, while Grandma and Grandpa Perry got ready to make their big entrance!

The Bjorklunds began playing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (JS Bach), and it was time for our moms to make their grand entrance.

Kevin and Peter escorted Debbie (and Jim) down the isle.

Robby escorted my mom to her seat.

The moms lit the unity candle.  And hug!  Because they like each other!  Isn’t that awesome?

Jason and his groomsmen/woman entered.

Then, Canon in D (J Pachelbel) began, and it was time for Junior Bridesmaid Emily to lead the rest of the bridesmaids and the ringbearers and flower girl in.

Meanwhile, my dad and I were hiding out behind the big wooden doors.  I was trying my hardest not to cry all of the makeup off my face.  My dad was trying his hardest to keep up his stoic image.  I’m not sure either of us were very successful.

But!  Then, the Trumpet Voluntary began, and it was time for our big entrance!  Oh!  The nerves!  I plastered a smile on my face that our friend, Josh, accurately described as “I’m really happy, but I’m really nervous, and I’ve been crying, but this is still exciting.”  Thanks, Josh.

My dad told me to just focus on Jason and ignore everyone else as I was walking down the isle, so that’s what I tried to do.  Jason looked happy, really happy, but nervous, too.

Pastor John welcomed everyone, and then asked us to turn around to look at all of the people who will be there to support us and our marriage.  Jason gave them the thumbs up.

My uncle Jim did the first reading:

“To Be One With Each Other” by George Eliot
What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen
each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the
silent unspoken memories?

Then, Jason’s uncle Martin did the second reading:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.
For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.
But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Pastor John then gave a wonderful and very personal sermon.  It was especially wonderful that he shared pictures of the black eye that I gave him during my high school youth group days.  (We were playing ultimate frisbee.  I am very competitive.)  Unfortunately, the message of that sermon was not “Do whatever she says, or this is what will happen.”  Instead, the take home message was that we’re now a cord of three strands.

Then, it was time for our vows.  I went first (I lost the coin toss.  Seriously.).  We wrote our own vows:

I promise to love, honor, and cherish you.  I promise to trust and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you.  I promise to be patient and loving towards you, comfort you in times of distress, and grow with you in mind and spirit.  I promise to work by your side to achieve the things we dream of, and to treasure our time together. With these promises, I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward.

Pastor John had asked us to memorize them at the rehearsal.  I was so nervous, though, that I forgot a few lines and had to be prompted.  I completely blanked on the patience part of the vows, and when prompted, I said, “Oh yeah, I struggle with that one.”  Which is true.  Everyone got a pretty good laugh out of it!

Then, we exchanged rings.

My Aunt Tami gave a wonderful (and emotional) blessing of the hands after we had exchanged our rings.

Blessing of the Hands

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

We lit the unity candle.

Jason’s sister-in-law, Amy, did a wonderful reading of the prayers on behalf of the couple.  Especially the part where she prayed that the Phillies would SMITE the Brewers.  (Jason snuck in a secret baseball prayer.  Sigh.)

We said the Lord’s Prayer, and then everyone read the Apache Blessing:

Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness for you.
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one Life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth

And then, Pastor John announced that we were married and we high-fived!  And followed it up with an awkward kiss, for those who do not approve of the high-five as a sanctioned marriage sealer.


And, there you have it!  We were married!

Trevor looks pretty happy about it.

Or maybe he was just happy about getting to walk down the isle with Emily?

(jason promises to add text to this post later.  but i wanted everything to be published in the order that it occurred.  so, for now, pictures are all you get!)

I woke up a bit before the alarm went off on Saturday, and I was way way way too excited to go back to sleep. But I laid in bed and tried anyways.

Soon enough it was time to get up, shower, gather the girls, and head to the salon where we met Debbie and Emily. Andrea was sweet enough to bring me a coffee, although I probably didn’t need it. I was so giddy and excited – like a kid on Christmas – but also a little nervous. I was just trying to soak everything in – everyone always says how fast the day goes (they are right!).

The before shot. Check out how huge my hair gets when it’s not styled!

Looking better!







My momma

I practiced my vows a few times, drank my coffee, and before I knew it, my hair was all done!

The finished product! I love it!

Adding the veil

We headed back to the house, where Andrea, Colleen, and I attempted to put on my makeup. Colleen is amazing with makeup. I was so happy with how it turned out! I am a lucky girl to have such talented friends!

Then, the photographer showed up and it was time to get dressed. Yikes! The day was going so fast! My mom and sister helped put me together, but my mom got the tricky job of buttoning all of the buttons down my back! One of them fell off in the process, so my mom had to sew it back on while the dress was on me! (She actually sewed me in it, and I had to break the dress to get out of it at the end of the night. She is so funny!).

We took some pictures in the backyard, and really, I was having trouble not tearing up! I suspect my parents were, too, but we did a good job of covering it up by giggling hysterically while Jessica captured a few photos.

Jessica sets me up for some backyard photos.

Matt assists and Trevor approves the shot.

My paparazzi.

Mom and I

Mom, Dad, and I

Andrea and Emily – aren’t they beautiful!?

Trevor and Lexi are so adorable!

What a handsome guy!

My beautiful bridesmaids! Aren’t they all gorgeous!?!

Finally, it was time to head to the church. We all loaded up in the car (this is more tricky than it sounds when you are in a big poofy dress with layers of tulle underneath it), and by the time we got to the church, there was only 15 minutes before the ceremony. I hung out with the ladies, reapplied my lipstick, and Jason’s mom even came up to say hi and give me a hug! I was still getting all teary and mushy, so someone suggested that I push up on the wall to get some tension out. It worked!

Check out our equally-unattractive faces here. Like mother, like daughter.

This one is much better!

(some of) My new family!

I love this picture of Bridget and I.

Honestly, I don’t think flower girls get any cuter than this! She’s too adorable!

Another good one! Yay!

Reapplying lipstick

Pushing up against the wall. Don’t you love the attractive face I’m making? No wonder Jason wanted to marry me!

Then, it was time to head downstairs for the ceremony…

Night Out with The Groom!

November 12, 2008

While Jen and her ladies were getting all glammed up, me and my entourage were tearing up the MKE.

I’m that awesome that I have an entourage.

First, I came up with the genius idea that there weren’t that many people drinking my homebrew, so there had to be a significant amount left in the kegs. I mean, the party was from 5-8, so there’s only so much beer that can be drank in that time….and honestly, most people are afraid of something you’ve made in your bathtub*. This is especially true of a crew that has been brought up on a steady serving of commercialized macro swill, like Miller Lite, that has convinced the country that a beer should be tasteless and not very filling. My beers, though, have not been made in the tasteless and less filling category, even the beer I made specifically for that crowd had no corn or rice adjuncts in it, it was an all malt ale, so it had more flavor than you could ever expect from Miller. My other beer was an over-the-top IPA, so I expected very few to drink that. In addition, half the crowd had gone on the Lakefront Brewery tour so they were already slightly in the tank.

Basically, I was expecting to have a couple kegs that were relatively full of delicious beer to be drunk. I gather my friends together and we grab the kegs to be brought to the hotel. I figured we could party in the hotel room for a little while. We start drinking the beers in the hotel room, more people show up, more people drinking, but then the IPA keg gets kicked. No problem, but it was odd we only got about 6 beers out of the keg, but the other beer was relatively tastely, so we start drinking that. Six beers into that keg and it, too, is kicked.

Man, we had some drinkers at Barley’s party.

Time to grab a couple beers and head out to the bar. Luckily, I had some java stouts in the fridge to help us stay up.

The group jumps on the elevator and we head down. As we’re getting off the elevator, there’s my future brother-in-law and seeing as he’s my future brother-in-law, he has no choice but to be forced out to the bar with this crew. It took us a long time of twisting his arm to convince him to come with us. Of course, when you’ve got several friends along, it’s easy to sweep someone out with you and that’s exactly what we did to Robby.

We hit the easiest most accessible bar, Mo’s Irish Pub, right on the corner across the street from the hotel. It wasn’t your typical Irish bar, but it was typical in that it had beer and alcohol, which was really all we cared about. We get our drink on and take very few pictures.

Josh, Tinen and I enjoyed ourselves at the bar.

Also, Ryan Madson was at the bar preparing to lead the Phillies all the way to the World Series Championship!

Yeah, I know, you may be amazed, but even major league baseball players came out for my night out.

As with all good nights drinking, it ended up with me and my friends eating hot pockets in the hotel room.

Girls Slumber Party!

November 11, 2008

After the skating party Friday night, the bridesmaids, my mom, and I went for manicures and pedicures and then had a super-girly sleepover. It was such an awesome way to spend my last night as a single lady!

Loving the pedicures – this was my first pedicure EVER!

Here’s Andrea drilling me on my vows!

Robby showed up with a bottle of champagne! What a good brother!

Raaaarrrr! Check out my nails! Scary!

The girls drying their nails.

The whole gang!

The finished product… not bad, huh?

When we got to the house, I gave my girls presents!  I filled these cute black and white totes with sleepover goodies – pjs, nailpolish, lotion, nail files, and lip smackers (candy flavored, of course)!

Just look at those smiles…

I think they liked their presents!

Elizabeth and Sarah model their new pjs.

Earlier in the day, my mom’s friend (and our neighbor), Mrs. Ehlers dropped these off for us!  She made them just for our girly sleepover!  What a sweet neighbor!  They look amazing and they tasted even better… my mouth is watering just looking at pictures!

Then, I had my photo taken with each of my gorgeous ladies.  Aren’t they beautiful?

This is how excited Bridget and I are to be sisters.

Just kidding!  Here’s how we really feel!

Of course, no sleepover would be complete without grooming – here’s Andrea plucking my eyebrows.  Why?  Because I am absolutely horrible at it.  I usually end up with lopsided brows.

And then, we ended the night with crazy hairdos.  Whale tail anyone?

We went to bed shortly after the whale-tailing… or at least we tried to go to bed.  I ended up chatting with the ladies for a bit, reading through my vows a few times, and texting my future husband.  I finally collapsed around 2 am…  I was so excited (and a little nervous!) for Saturday – it was hard to sleep!

Man, I can really throw an awesome party. It’s taken me 4 posts to go over how good it was. Really, I think I might start my own party planning business that I can run out of my kennel using my iPhone. Just don’t tell my mom and dad because they’re always saying that I need start earning my keep around the house.

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me about the best way to serve a small child.

A little garlic, some onions and a dash of salt, slow cooked for 8 hours. Delicious.

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me what America is suppose to do in this current climate of economic instability.

Should we bail out the folks that got us into this trouble? Have a more socialist view of the world? Or just borrow a whole bunch of money from China? I have a PhD in econ from THE Ohio State University.

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me what I think of Jack Burton.

Nice guy, really. He’ll help you out of big trouble when you’re in little China.

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me about the weather.

I love small talk. It’s been really cold lately. We’ve had snow flurries recently. Dad was brewing out in the cold. I tried to help, but my little paws don’t like the cold pavement. I need mom and dad to get me some socks. I am, though, looking forward to the first snow fall because I like running through the mounds of snow. It’s so much fun. Now, I’ve got this awesome fence up and it’ll allow me to play out in the snow without having my parents to freeze their butts off. You’re being very quiet….anything you want to talk about or should I just keep going?

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me about the behavioral pharmacology of alcohol.

You see, low doses of alcohol have a stimulatory effect, while high doses have a sedative effect. It’s basically butter on the brain with the mutliple receptor systems that it works on, by increases the influx of chloride ions through GABA-mediated channels, blocking NMDA receptors, and it’s actions at serotonin-ergic receptors. Together and with it’s downstream effects on the dopaminergic system as well as others, these effects can alter your behavior in many ways. I am a very smart dog.

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me about Sarah Palin.

She was a nice lady….always talking about hockey, pitbulls, and lipstick. I can dig the first and second part, but not the lipstick part. Then again, I wasn’t running for vice president, so I don’t really care that much about my appearance. I did spend $10 on a leash and collar once, but that was a while ago.  I do have a nice Phillies World Series bandanna that I sport on my collar now, but that was a gift from G’mom Ross.

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me about how dreamy you really are.

Soooooooooo, dreamy.

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me about the fine deals they have at Gerber Jewelers.

Rafiq is a good friend of mine and he’ll hook you up.

Hi, my name is Barley, ask about me Comet.


(they always say you shouldn’t say anything, if you can’t say anything nice.)

Hi, my name is Barley, ask me about who the real boss is.


Hi, my name is Barley, ask me about anything you want.

I probably do know. In addition to the PhD in econ from OSU, I’ve got an MBA for Vassar, a BS in philosophy from New College of South Florida, and a couple honorary degrees for my doggy rights work in Wisconsin and New Jersey for letting people know that pitbulls aren’t the nasty menaces they are made out to be. We just want to be loved!

And now, the party favors:

I told you I knew how to party. I talked dad into making a pumpkin ale and a coffee stout for people to take on home with them. We all know people grade a party by the kind of favors you get. We also know that people love alcohol (especially this group), so giving people alcohol as a party favor gets you a double thumbs up (though I have no thumbs).

Well, I hope you enjoyed my recollections of how awesome my party was. I’m not biased at all and if you have any desire to have a Barley-planned bash drop me a line at barley (dot) dogg (at) gmail (dot) com. That’s “dogg” with 2 g’s because I’m that gangsta. You can also tell me what you thought of Dad’s beer as I’ll relay the information to him and help him refine his beers since I am his brew assistant (in addition, let me know if you’d like to become part owner in a brewery with him).

Skating Party: On the Ice

November 10, 2008

Part 3 of my party….yeah, it was THAT good!

As I’m sure everybody knows, no ice skating party is fun without broomball. I even played because back in the day I used to be a pro-broomball player. I was in the NBBA, National BroomBall Association. I was MVP 3 years in a row when my patented studder step broom push fooled everyone and made me the top goal scorer in the history of the NBBA–that was, though, before the steroid era and now my record has been obliterated.

Anyway, despite all the fears of my East Coast family, we managed to get everyone on the ice…..and off the ice, with not a single broken bone.

My Great Uncle Martin even showed his slick moves on the ice. We had Matt trying to talk trash, but I reminded him that the Phillies were in the playoffs, not the Mets, once again. And yes, we even got the ethnics out on the ice…..and the ice didn’t even melt.

We even brought out the duck for some on the ice bowling…after all, my parents were in a bowling league last year and they are pretty good. Of course, I don’t think Chris fits too well in it, but hey it looks like he’s having fun and I’m the kind of dog to not stop people from having fun. Peter, the tastiest of children, even got carted around the ice like a triumphant king returning from victory.

Here’s some more people showing off their moves. Lauren and Connor showed us how to cruise around the ice and look cool. Trevor and Dayton showed some skill with a few more toys on the ice.

Peter describes to Charlotte how you get your parents to carry you around everywhere. He also describes his cracky addiction. As his cousin, I hope he’s not talking through windows a lot, but cracky typically leads to hard and rougher addictions and we all know what happens to addicts today in the US…..either they go to jail or end up on Intervention.

Lexy looks pretty tasty. Yummy.

Some of the bridesmaids had some trouble on the ice. Not everyone can be as skillful as me, but amazingly enough none of them ended up black and blue at the wedding.

Here’s my mom looking like she’s making a bad decision….luckily, it turned out OK and she didn’t break anything. Hopefully, her marriage will turn out the same way.*

Some more pictures:

Lucy is missing from this picture because I was consuming her at the time.

Aren’t the future bride and groom adorable. They really just look so perfect together…..

…..but not nearly as dreamy as Matt.

* I have nothing but faith and confidence it will….or I will eat the offending party.