Hold on people. I'll try to make it quick, but since I failed to post anything all summer, I'm going to do it all now. Don't worry. I'll go fast.
Purchased for Father's Day and enjoyed by all...
SWIMMING LESSONS AT THE FARM
Claire and the rest of her West Side Ladies (girl scouts) took swim lessons out at Bridget's family farm in Wheaton. Bridget is Annabel's mom. Come on...keep up.
We hired Ms. Kate, a Wheaton College graduate, to give them their first formal introduction to swim strokes. Sam learned to dive like a champ and Claire has a great back stroke!
BROOKE AND NATE'S WEDDING
I introduced you to Brooke in my first "Summer" post. She was my college roommate and Matt and I got to go to her wedding alone! Only date of the summer so we tried to soak it up.
Brooke used to teach drama at Willowcreek Church and she is a very artistic lady, so her wedding was as well. See the fake mustaches on the grooms? Love it.
One of her bridesmaids was Esther, who I also went to school with. Very fun Wheaton reunion.
And Matt's sister, Rebecca, came too since she became friends with Brooke through church drama team. This wedding was a meeting of many small worlds!
CARL AND ABBY'S WEDDING
Just a week or two after Brooke and Nate's wedding was my cousin Carl's wedding. Carl was my closest-in-age cousin growing up and we were always confidants at family reunions. I love this guy!
Abby is from South Bend, Indiana so the wedding was in a beautiful Catholic church there. My parents came from Wichita, KS to see it. Love these guys.
The rest of my family came, too! Laura's family came from Columbus, Ohio, and Katie came from Wichita (after driving ALL night) with her then-fiance, Chance Haddon. Didn't get a picture of those guys. Poo.
This is the only picture I have of myself. Very flattering. I read a verse in the wedding and I was so nervous that my hands were shaking and I took deep breaths in weird places during the reading, but I made it. Public speaking (of any kind) is not my thing.
These are professional pictures I stole off of Abby's facebook page. If you blow this picture up you can see Claire and her cousins, Ellie and Jane, peeking out their hotel window. They were watching the bridal party walk through the hotel on their way to the wedding!
And look at Sam-Sam trying to get a closer look at the wedding!
It was a beautiful wedding and very fun to see my whole extended Daeschner/Nickoley/Leng family!
PARTY FOR BROOKE AND NATE
Back at home the next weekend we threw a little after-wedding party for Brooke and Nate. They had a few friends that they didn't get to invite to their wedding and they wanted to be able to share the video and memories with those people as well so we had them over for fajitas and mojitos!
The wedding was red and yellow so we tried to have the same colors.
The cake had a little "Brooke & Nate" topper.
KATIE AND CHANCE'S WEDDING!!!!
So the real build-up of OUR family's summer was my baby sister, Katie's wedding to Chance Haddon!!! My big sister, Laura, and I were co-matron's of honor and our girl's were the flower girls! Sammy, of course, was the bearer of the rings. We were so excited when this weekend finally came.
Chance's family through the awesomest (is that a word?) rehearsal dinner in my parent's backyard. Katie decorated for it.
Chance's family are farmers from Ellinwood, Kansas, and his dad also has a restaurant and a catering company.
This is his "Lone Wolf" trailer that he takes to barbecue competitions. The food was awesome.
The tables were sweet.
Matt with all the cousins.
This is Katie's good friend, Amanda, with Wella.
The bride and groom with friends.
Grandad's zip-line was in use during the party.
Uncle Bruce with my cousin Jesse and my dad.
The rehearsal dinner crowd.
Chance's dad with one of his nephews.
Katie meeting her photographer who she FLEW IN from out of state! Very fancy.
Chance...now "Uncle Chance."
This is Randy, Chance's dad, getting popsicles out of the trailer for Sam and the other kids. Huge hit!
Sharing with baby sister.
Girl cousins with Aunt Katie!
My mom and her best friend, Cheryl Cordry, who helped us ALL weekend as we got ready for the wedding and the morning-after brunch that we had at my mom's house. Cheryl actually helped deliver Katie when she was born (long story). We call her Aunt Cheryl.
Katie at the bridal store where they laced her into her dress.
It was quite the process getting into that dress!
The groom's cake.
The cupcake table.
The venue all decorated for the reception.
Wella before we made her put her dress on.
In the dressing room with Aunt Laura getting ready before the wedding. I have only terrible pictures of Katie's wedding since I was in it and didn't get to take many during the important moments. But here's a little behind-the-scenes before the big event got started.
Mom's mother-of-the-bride shoes.
Erin, Katie's friend and wedding-coordinator-of-sorts wearing her bridesmaid dress and telling mom which usher is going to seat her.
Our girls ready for their walk down the aisle.
Sammy ready for his walk. He actually hung out with the groomsmen all day and got VERY attached to one guy in particular who taught him secret handshakes and dance moves.
The kids' garb. Luella was only there for the wedding (we had a babysitter for the reception) and she was so noisy that Matt had to take her out for the whole thing. Poor Matt.
Katie's new family, the Haddons.
Peeking out to see how much longer.
This is Troy, Sam's new best friend/Chance's groomsmen.
And then the whole thing happened and I didn't get ANY pictures because I was so busy being a bridesmaid, but when Katie's professional photos get posted I'll link up to them! This was the VERY end of the night when they had danced until they dropped and shed/exchanged clothes.
But after it was all over we gained a brother-in-law and an awesome uncle. We love you guys! Have fun in Jamaica!
TANGANYIKA WILDLIFE PARK
Before leaving Wichita and heading back to Chicago we went to this great hands-on zoo called Tanganyika.
We fed tortoises.
And hung out with lemurs on lemur island.
There were penguins that must have been hot. It was 100 degrees out!
We fed giraffes, (my favorite part). They are so TALL when you see them up close!
And we fed birds.
We even got to feed a 5,000 lb rhino named Henry!
It was a great summer that we'll remember for always. But it was so busy that I'm actually ready to get back to boring ol' regular days. I mean how can you keep up with rhino feeding and throwing parties every weekend?! Hope everyone else had equally busy/happy/crazy summers!