Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Fabulous 70s!

We had our holiday open house, and it was a smashing success. Lots of fun. We watched some Christmas movies, laughed and talked. Some who couldn't make the wedding were able to come to the open house. Holy Family parish was well represented. It was wonderful.

It was the first time we had hosted a party, (the wedding reception doesn't count, we didn't do the actual work of the day). Neither of us had ever been so stress-free when hosting. How wonderful it is to make a list of things to do at home, and another list of things to get at the store, and have both lists done by different people at the same time. During the party, one of us could sit and enjoy, while the other would greet guests and pour drinks. We switched all day. Being married rocks!

I'm posting recipes that were requested. They are all from the 1970s, the pinnacle of entertaining food. A time when full-fat cream cheese was king, and yummy chocolate, queen. I respectfully ask the Gradys to post their buffalo chicken dip recipe in the comments. There were multiple requests for the recipe.

The Big Dipper (a cheesy, meaty, taste explosion)

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound lean ground beef
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon each: oregano, basil, fennel, and rosemary
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup cooking wine
1 package cream cheese

Brown beef in butter, add garlic and fry garlic until brownish. Deglaze with wine and tomato paste. Add rest of stuff and stir until melted. Serve hot with crackers.

Mable Hoffman's Hot Cranberry/Wine Punch (from a cookbook published in 1975)

1 pint cranberry juice
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
6 whole cloves
1 bottle burgundy wine
1 lemon, thinly sliced (unpeeled)

Stick the lemon or an orange with the cloves. Put in crock pot with everything else. Simmer for 1-2 hours and stir so sugar is dissolved. Recipe doubles well. I used boxed wine and orange. It was delicious!

The Best Hot Fudge (you can always eat it straight)

4 tablespoons butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup espresso or strong coffee (or boiling water)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter on very very low heat. Add coffee, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil. BOIL WITHOUT STIRRING FOR 8 MINUTES. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Store in a tight container in the fridge. If you are silly enough not to eat it quickly, you can stir in some hot water if it gets grainy. I don't understand such people, but it takes all kinds to make a world.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Open House

We're having a holiday open house on December 13 from noon-into the night. We're going to have lots of nice munchies. Hope to see you there. Give us a call if you have questions.

An interesting thought for today. The Heat Miser bears a striking resemblance to the late Richard Nixon. What do you think? Check out the link in the sidebar.

Movie Review: Bolt
We've been waiting with baited breath to see "Bolt" because of the trailer. I must say, it was a lovely, heartwarming tale of a dog, his person, and his sycophantic hamster fan. If you want to just laugh, GO. The pigeons are fantastic. You'll have a great time. 4 1/2 stars!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photographer slashes prices!

Rich Morgan has slashed his prices for prints. They are now competitive with regular prints. The new rates are

4 wallets $6.95

8 wallets $13.95

3.5x5 $4.95

4x6 $5.49

5x7 $6.95

8x10 $ 10.95

11x14 $29.95

16x20 $67.95

20x24 $98.95

We were pleased to hear about these new rates. He cut them a couple weeks ago. There are also albums and proof books that are available. Please ask us if you are interested. I know the market for them is very limited.

So, if your shots all came out with Zombie eyes, fear not, you can still get some photos if you like. Follow the link to the site and print in the password "bliss" to select your prints.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Wedding

We are crowned as King and Queen of our new household. The crowns were made for us by a lady named Anne. She hand engraved the design and the inscription (which you can read at the top of the blog)

Our maid of honor and best man hold candles in support of our life together. They lead us in our first steps as husband and wife.

After sipping from a common cup, a kiss seals the deal!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Betrothal and entrance

In an Orthodox wedding, the betrothal (formal engagement) happens first. In our wedding, we honored the Russian tradition of the bride's family going to the groom's home. The priests kept Tyrone behind the iconostasis (icon screen), in the alter for an hour before the ceremony. Suzanne's parents and her attendants walked outside and in through the front door to meet the priests and Tyrone at the entrance of the church. At that point the rings were officially exchanged. The maid of honor (Lisa) took the rings from the bible and put Ty's on Suzanne's hand and Suzanne's on Ty's hand. Then she exchanged them three times and put them on the proper person's right hand. Many prayers were said, answered with "lord have mercy" by the choir.

Once the rings were exchanged, Tyrone and Suzanne, carrying candles, entered the church behind the priests and followed by their attendants. Since women don't go into the alter, a portable alter is used for weddings. After the betrothal, Ty and Suzanne marched in to the portable alter.

Many friends have asked me, "How do you reconcile the fact that women aren't allowed in the alter and can't be priests with your feminism?" My answer is "love". In His wisdom, God made us different. There are many places where I can go and Ty cannot follow. Ty can't have girls night out, a pregnancy, friendships as a female with a female mind, a connection to the cycles of the earth that is natural for women, etc. Likewise, there are places Ty goes that I cannot follow.

While we are both icons of Christ (made in His image), the corporate Jesus was a man and therefore men have a special role in the church. Christ wasn't a man because he thought little of women, He just is. Men are priests. They have that special role in the church. Father Adam (the Greek one with the glasses), said to me, "when Jesus went into Jerusalem he was on the back of an ass. The ass carried our Lord to the people, a sign of peace. As a priest, I'm the ass carrying Christ to the people. If I thought they were waving palms for me, I'd be a fool." Priests are messengers and stand-ins for Jesus. Some clergy don't have humility in the presence of Christ. None of them officiated at our wedding. Such priests generally find another, better paying, line of work before completing seminary.

Back to the pictures. Many of our pictures have "white eye", and we cannot use them. Please send us pictures of the attendants, the guests, and the betrothal if you've got them. Thanks.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

First Pictures!

Our photographer went on a 3-week vacation on October 13, so our pictures and even our names are not on the photography site yet. I am in touch with the studio and trying to rectify the situation. I'd like our names to be up there so you can get email notice when the pictures go up.

In the meantime, friends have given us photos of the wedding and we are sharing them with you in installments. Enjoy!

This batch is photos taken just before the wedding. The men just dressed, the flowers being pinned, the bride waiting at the Narthex with mom and dad.

Please take note of Darren's brilliant smile. How adorable is Tyrone in his tux?!!! Paul is sweet as he helps Ben get his tux and flowers just so. We don't have any pictures of the ladies primping, but will get them to you as soon as we have them.

A thank you note has been given to the choir. We have passed along your good reviews of their performance. I must admit, the singing made the wedding glisten.

Father Paul, of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Melekite Catholic Church, was instrumental in helping the photographer get into the best places for wedding. He also gave a beautiful reading of the epistle for the wedding. At the reception, Tyrone and I were touched by Father Paul's comments. "You were so into it," he said. "So many couples are under such stress, that they don't appreciate the ceremony as it happens, but you two were right there the whole time." Thank you, Father Paul.

In the next post we'll share pictures of the betrothal ceremony and the entrance into the Nave of the wedding party and Ty and Suzanne.

Please email us more photos.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We did it!

Thank you all for coming! The day was joyful and beautiful in every way.

We are going through cards and gifts. Everything you gave us is thoughtful and beautiful. Your thank you notes will be arriving soon.

Photos of our wedding will be on the Rich Morgan Photography website asap. So far, there is nothing there. It should be up presently.

The honeymoon was very sweet and wonderful. No, we won't tell you details of that experience. Suffice to say, he's a great guy.

I'll write more later his week.

We love you all.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Tyrone and I are frazzled. There are so many loose ends to tie up. We are being pulled in all directions. We had a talk after the rehearsal. OUR PHONES ARE TURNED OFF. If you need to communicate with us, do so via the best man or attendants. If you don't know who they are, ask someone who is not us. Please do not ask us any questions that require memory. We cannot think. We cannot recall. We cannot remember anything you say for future events. Please do not take this personally. We are suffering temporary lobotomies. It's a result of lack of sleep, stress, errands, lists, bills, logistics, etc.

Here's how to help.

  • please be on time
  • please enjoy yourself
  • please remind us to take a deep breath
  • please bring us a glass of water
  • please pray for us

Wedding Day Schedule

8:00 Women meet at the Marriott Residence Inn in Worcester to go to breakfast
9:00 Women go to the salon for their appointments
Men wake up
10:00? Men have breakfast at the IHOP in Shrewsbury
12:00 Women are done at the salon and make their way to the church
12:00-2:00 A couple attendants check the reception hall to make sure everything is going well
1:00 All members of the wedding party (female) will be at the Cathedral
1:30 The choir begins to sing
2:00 Children and adults to the bathroom LAST CALL
2:10 Here comes the bride!
3:00 ish Ceremony ends NO RECEIVING LINE
3:15- guests to the reception
4:15ish Bride and Groom to the reception
5:00 dinner
8:30 reception ends, bride and groom to their honeymoon, attendants take any gifts, etc.
10:00 Bride and Groom arrive at their honeymoon suite

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Salon Appointments

The next post will be the schedule for the wedding day.

Here are the salon appointments for the wedding day.

9:00 Audrey: manicure
9:00 Cidalia: hair
9:00 Dorinda: hair
9:00 Suzanne: pedicure
9:00 Lisa: hair
9:30 Margaret: pedicure
10:00 Audrey: hair
10:00 Anne: hair
11:00 Maria: hair
11:15 Anne: pedicure
11:30 Maleah: hair
11:00 Suzanne: hair

Rehearsal dinner FAQ
When is the rehearsal?
Friday, October 10, 6:30pm
When is the dinner? Immediately following the rehearsal.
Where? Saint George for both the rehearsal and the dinner.
What do I do? Whatever the priests tell you to do.
Do I need to go to confession? If you are an Orthodox Christian or Roman Catholic and are in the wedding party, you should receive confession sometime in the week prior to the wedding.
What do I need to wear? Wear clothing appropriate for a church. Work clothes are fine.
What are we having? We are getting food from Vinny T's.

Apple and Gorgonzola Salad
Chopped Salad

Cheese Ravioli

Chicken Marsala
Chicken Parmesagne
Eggplant Parmesagne

Chocolate cake

Will there be booze? We are providing non-alcoholic punches and drinks. Due to a severe allergy in the wedding party, NONE of these drinks will be sugar-free. If you want wine with dinner, it's BYOB.

Odds and Ends

Andover Montessori School Faculty: Gave Tyrone and me a wonderful surprise cake and gift. It was very touching. Thank you so much!

Margaret Boisvert: is arriving today! Hurray! She was a cyberhead at the shower. Now she'll be incarnate! I can't wait to see her.

Kevin the Florist: is in Boston today, picking up the flowers for the wedding. I'm so excited.

The apples are shined and ready for transport. The place cards are loaded into a box and with the apples. There are a few people whose names we never got. They will have a place at a table, but no card to show them the way.

I'm moving out: and to the hotel in Worcester. Hurray! It's getting so close.

Pre-Schoolers' Wedding Ideas: The following are conversations which I had with real pre-schoolers this week. Enjoy!

Keeping Guest List managable
(little girls on the playground)

"Can we come to the wedding? Yeah, can we, can we?"

"I wish I could have you there, but the guest lists were in a few months ago. It would be cool to have 50 flower girls though."

"Yeah, we wanna come. We'll only eat cake, don't worry."

"It's in Worcester."

"That's too far, never mind."

Adult Playdates
(little girls at lunch)

"Miss George, Miss GG, Misses GG, we want a playdate with you."

"I can't, I need to get married first."

"Can we have a playdate after?"

"I need to have a long playdate with my new husband. When you get married, you get to take a really long and fun playdate with your husband. It's called a honeymoon."

"Oh yeah, I heard of that." "Me too" "Me three"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Forecast for Love

The 10 day forecast looks good for our wedding day.

What should I wear for a coat?
  • a jacket
  • a mink stole
  • a rabbit cape
  • wool suit jacket
  • medium to heavy poncho
Foliage forecast?

According to Yankee magazine's website, our foliage is near peak. Our original plan to have autumn leaves on the tables could not come to pass because the leaves are still on the trees. We weren't able to collect and press them. The reds are just beginning to come out. They should peak the weekend after our wedding. Our honeymoon in Southern Maine, however, will be at peak. Hurray!

Monday, October 6, 2008

700 Hits, Yeah!

Can we get to 1000 by the wedding? Tell all your friends!

Seating Plans

We did the seating last night. Our goal was to make you comfortable, while introducing you to new people we think you'll enjoy.

You will each have an apple with your name and table number. The apples are all different, not like the uniform ones shown here.

We have a "Doctor Table" for those with PhD's and other educators. There is a "Men in Black" table, where the clergy will be seated, it's a mix of Antioch, Rome, Constantinople, and a little bit of USA. There's an "I love to talk about Religion" table, here we seated friends who are Orthodox and Catholic who are respectful of others' beliefs, but lovingly passionate about their own. Most tables are simply "Family" tables.

There are two head tables, one on the dais and one on the dance floor. The lower table will be struck after dinner for the dancing. Those people will join other tables after they eat.

I was fretting about my wedding slippers. I spoke with Isotoner, and they will get them to me by Wednesday.

I spoke with Kevin. He's done with the pew decorations and doesn't want me to fret or work too hard. If you are helping with him, your jobs will be lite.

The Jordan Almonds are a pain. We cannot get the pretty ones in fall colors that I had hoped. Darn! We'll settle for white.

Examine the girls!!!!! I saw Olivia Newton John on TV today, she's spreading awareness about breast cancer and self-exams. Ladies, examine yourselves! You're about to display your gorgeousness in pretty dresses at the wedding. Please insure that you'll be healthy and alive for the next wedding. Click on a link in this paragraph or stop by a Curves to pick up a kit on breast self-exam.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Apple Picking

John and Lisa joined Tyrone and me for a morning of apple picking on Saturday. You will see the apples at the wedding. You'll even get to taste them! We picked many different varieties, shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors; over 100 pounds of apples will grace our reception. Although the idea for using the apples came from Martha Stewart, the lack of uniformity is not. That's pure us.

This video is excellent for children under 8. Enjoy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Updo Anyone?

I went to the hairdresser today for a trial run of my bridal updo. It was a bit shocking. The updo had structure. It was shiny and cool and not too much but definitely more than I have ever done for myself. Here are some cool ones I found online.

If you are getting an updo for the wedding, search the web and bring an idea for the stylist. Their ideas will be much more complex and grand than anything you think up. It's pretty cool.

COME WITH DIRTY HAIR! If the hair is not freshly shampooed, it is much easier to make an updo, it is shinier, and generally prettier.

Your hair should be dry and, if you need to flat-iron it, please do so the night before. If you want to add pieces for volume, please bring them.