This One Goes Out to the One I Love

Today, one of my favorite people in the whole world, who also happens to be my sister-in-law, is having a birthday...

Happy 21 Kate!!!

Here are 21 reasons why I love Kate: 

1) She's not afraid to look awesome.

2) She was, is, and always will be a huge troublemaker. The proof is in the pudding ... this one started young (and also started months of investigation and visits to her home by DCFS).

3) She can make me laugh harder than almost anyone. Once, Becca {Scott's other sister} ripped on Kate's nose and said she {Becca} had the best nose in the family. Surprisingly, Sharon {the mom} sort of agreed with Becca saying, "Yes, you do have a great nose." Kate got all up in arms about Sharon not defending her schnoz and then turned to Becca, "Well?!? What about me?" Becca sarcastically replied that at least she had good lobes. I about died! That was all she could come up with? Good earlobes? But Kate looked at me, shrugged her shoulders, smiled and said, "I DO have good lobes. They're meaty!"

4) She is a HUGE part of my kids' lives. I think she might almost love them as much as I do. With newborn Henry...

5) She was brave enough to be in the delivery room when I had Ruby ...
6) ... and took beautiful pictures with her mad photography skillz.
7) She doesn't care what other people think. In high school she'd wear a full sweat suit, moccasins, and pull her hair back in a wet bun (as many days in a row as she could get away with). She has since solemnly declared Monday as "Sweat Pants Monday." Please join her in her religious observance of this holy day.

8) She can bring the freak out in me like nobody's business. Like the time in the car I just bust out singing along with Eminem, "the moment, you own it, you better never let it go, do NOT miss this chance you've got 'cuz opportunity knocks once in a lifetime..." or however that goes. Kate, apparently, thought it was hilarious. She cracked up laughing so hard that I suddenly realized she was NOT laughing with me, she was laughing at me -- here I was, her prehistoric sister-in-law, who has borne children into the world, singing -- or shall I say rapping? -- along with Eminem.

She knows how to make time out FUN! {Only a fun aunt would go behind mom's back and sneak over to time out boy and start messin' around. Kate, that's not what time out is for! All my hard work just went down the drain!}

10) She is the biggest Christmas fanatic I have ever met. Last year Sharon said she was too tired to put up and take down Christmas decorations (mind you, Kate lives away at college). She might as well have just told Kate that she herself killed Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Bambi in one fell swoop. Kate was shocked, horrified, outraged, and deeply, deeply hurt. Which leads me to my next point...

11) Kate is the master of all major manipulators. She can convince almost anyone to do almost anything. So ... guess who ended up putting up all the Christmas decorations last year?

12) Speaking of Christmas ... she is shameless about her excitement for opening presents. Birthdays, Hanukkah, Memorial Day -- you name it -- she wants presents! Every year she rigs the siblings exchange in Christensen family so things work out just right {she and Becca refuse to "draw" each other's name because they still want to get presents from each other and us! Shameless I tell ya! LOL!}. I think in this picture she was sad that she hadn't gotten enough presents.

13) She eats, breaths, and sleeps Dr. Pepper, which she has been quoted as saying is "the only good thing I have going in my life." She would give up the following things in exchange for Dr. Pepper: legos, water, food, air, ninja turtles, and men {okay, maybe not men but definitely the rest of those useless things}.

14) She is one of the sweetest, most caring people I know.{and also has a pretty bangin' bod!}

15) She and her BFF, Seth, were serious filmmakers while in their youths. They took their Disney music videos VERY seriously, at least until the age of ... 16!!!

16) She is picky when it comes to men! She always complains that she doesn't have a boyfriend and I say, "Look around! Everyone else with a significant other has already lowered their standards! What are you waiting for? Chad Michael Murray?" {Or are you of the James Lafferty sort? I can never remember. And hey! Are you proud of me for googling OTH to find out their names? Oh the things I do for you!}

17) She's not afraid to look hot and let people know how she feels about herself. She was studying the following picture shortly after it was developed, finally turned to Sharon and said, "Man, I look HOT!"

18) She is a die hard Cubs fan and gave Henry his first pieces of Cubs paraphernalia.
19) She is the most coordinated, die-hard "tuber-ist" I have ever met. She only complained for like nine months when Scott drove the snowmobile maybe a little too fast and she went whipping off the tube and sort of broke her collar bone or something super minor like that.

20) She is definitely one of my best friends!

21) And last but not least, I think she has proven herself through trials of the refiner's fire this past year -- trials more difficult than I have ever experienced. Somehow, she is coming through it and has become a stronger person, even though she may feel differently about the "stronger" part. She teaches me every day with her humor, her absolute passion and loyalty for friends and family, her love for life, and most of all, her belief in something greater than this life.
Happy Birthday Kate!
We Love You!


I Bet My 5th Anniversary Was Crazier Than Yours

Last weekend was our 5th anniversary. I like to think the climbing and hippie gods smiled down on Scott because he could NOT have had a better 5th anniversary celebration even if he had planned it from day one.

One of Scott's best friends from high school, Jason (aka "Bones") and his girlfriend Sarra threw together their wedding in the last few weeks. They're both biologists and headed to Panama for two years to do field research so in order to get the deal done while still in the country, they decided there was no better place than the City of Rocks in Idaho, a mecca for rock climbers around the world. So their wedding date (May 17th) was also our five year anniversary. And the best part was ... they asked Scott to perform the ceremony, which meant he had to become an ordained minister. Awesome. I was just thinking we were missing one of those in our family. This 5th anniversary story just keeps getting better and better (as far as Scott is concerned anyway).

Knowing we had a weekend of climbing and partying (ours being the Mountain Dew/Diet Coke partying sort) with the hippies ahead of us, we opted to leave the kiddies at home with friends (THANK YOU GUYS!).

Friday, climbing in The City. It had been quite a few years for this old gal. I sort of freaked out on the rock ... don't tell anybody. In my defense, the route was pretty freakin' exposed and the mother in me just took hold of my thought process. While on the rock I kept thinking, "Why does Scott's mom let him do this? This is DANGEROUS!"

The City

Action shot of Scott . DON'T WORRY! I didn't just walk away from my belaying duties. He's RAPPELLING down from the chains, therefore my skills were no longer needed. (I'll have you know, I'm one of the best belayers around! I protect you like nobody's business while positioning myself in such a way as to soak up as many harmful UV rays possible. It's a win/win.)
Jason, the groom, morning of the wedding. I think he should fire his pillow as his hairdresser.

Best buds. Awww... (is it appropriate for the Reverend to be more dressed up than the groom?)
The bride, Sarra, making a beautiful entrance. She is such a smiley person -- I love her!

Tau, keeping the riffraff away from the ceremony site. He's such a thoughtful dog.

So Scott, one of the newest reverends with the Universal Life Church, performed a beautiful ceremony. He was funny and even the tiniest bit emotional. He and Jason have been friends since Scott was about 16 and Jason and Sarra are such COOL, GENUINE people that I think Scott felt honored to be performing their wedding ceremony.

Here's the ultra-casual, but beautiful ceremony location (you can see Tau down on the right side -- it was a little bit wacky that there were dogs practically running through the bride and grooms' legs but Jason and Sarra were all for peoples' dogs being there as they own two canine creatures).

You may kiss the bride!
30 seconds later ... (hey Scott, how's the view?)

A few more seconds later ... can you say "PASSION"?!?! I don't know about you all but our "kiss the bride" kiss was DEFINITELY NOT like this!
The happy -passionate- couple
Although it wasn't MY first choice in how to spend my 5th anniversary, we love these two and are so happy to share our anniversary with them that it was all worth it!
Happy Five Years of Bliss, Babe! May the next five be filled with just as much fun and laughter! Love you!