Thursday, December 31, 2009

Amanda and Zach Get Married!

Because I am certifiably insane and because I love Amanda and I love love, I drove ten hours round trip to Wallingford, VT on Tuesday to attend the union of Amanda and Zach Waite. It was absolutely worth it. The wedding was held at a bed and breakfast and the small atmosphere was absolutely perfect to accomodate the 14 guests. I will post in detail about the White Rocks Inn tomorrow because it is so cool!

Amanda looked absolutely stunning and beautiful in her dress. I love the neckline and the shoulder straps.

Zach was so happy to be marrying Amanda and I am just so happy for both of them. Amanda has been one of my best friends since freshman year of college and through her I've really gotten to know and love Zach. They are perfect for each other and I'm so excited for them to start their lives together!

They wrote their own vows. Both were absolutely incredible. Zach led off and had the entire place in tears. He spoke about how Amanda is so motivated and how he hopes that they can always foster each other's dreams and how their relationship has led them from Far Above Cayuga's Waters to the Land of the Lakes in Minnesota and now to their wedding day in the Green Hills of Vermont. Amanda's vows were slightly shorter, but beautifully written. They sounded like a poem or a song. I was crying uncontrollably.

The entire ceremony was absolutely beautiful and other than one small incident where Zach's sister caught her hair on fire on the candle's after the ceremony, it all went off without a glitch. And I mean, really, what is a wedding without a glitch anyway. Something had to happen.

We then drove to have dinner in The Barn where we enjoyed delicious meals and appetizers and Amanda and Zach started their marriage together.

It was all so lovely and I am so happy for both Amanda and Zach!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

On Saturday night, we went to the Second Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Adam Dresser's home. I love themed parties. Of basically any kind. Anyway, on Saturday morning, Martin and I went to Salvation Army to get said sweaters for the party. Being the day after Christmas, there wasn't much selection of specifically Christmas sweaters left. I got one of the last ones. Martin didn't really care if he didn't have a christmas sweater. He just really wanted to stand out in a sweater. So he settled for an extremely ugly pastel women's sleeveless sweater. He almost was going to wear it with no shirt underneath, lucky for everyone, I convinced him otherwise.

While at the Salvation Army, we also picked up a few other things. I got a cute sweater dress and Martin got a pair of shorts, coveralls, AND a t-shirt that says "I survived Hurricane Andrew, Florida, 1992".  Martin and I are going to Key West in February with my family and according to Martin, "I'm gonna get so much street cred. for wearing this shirt".

Martin, really excited because his outfit is better than Caton's. Caton, really  disappointed her outfit is not as ugly as Martin's

An ugly sweater AND ugly pants. Oh, Betsey.


This is a typical face for me. Especially when I'm feeling drunk even though I'm stone sober. I am convinced that just being in a good mood in the presence of alcohol holds the same effects on people.

Corey did not let anyone down with his fantastic christmas apparel.

Gabe's robin egg leisure suit wasn't Christmas, but still a definite YES!

Oh, I love christmas parties!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In Search of the Perfect Family Picture: Take Two

At our wedding, we attempted to take a family picture with my then new family. After 17 takes, we didn't really have any success. This picture above, is one from the series and illustrates well the chaos that ensued during the photo shoot. On Christmas Eve at the Brucker's, there was another photo shoot attempted. This time with just the brothers and sisters (minus Ingrid). Maybe we should have taken our wedding as an example of why this is a bad idea....

Megan started the shoot with interpretive dance

And continued it for the next few shots

I think she's supposed to be Buddha here or something and I have no idea what Gabe is reaching in for here.

Eventually everyone decided to stop dancing, but it still wasn't working...

This one almost made the cut. But....Gabe seems to be distracted and confused by something across the room.

Once again, Megan hamming it up, Gabe completely oblivious to the task at hand.

This is probably a good time to check out the floor and scratch your face. Jen is the only one paying attention here.

Scratch. Yawn. Whatever. It's a party after all, do as you feel.

Yes. This would be a perfect time to see how everyone is posing.

Someone shouted out, "everyone turn around!" That worked out well.

This is just getting ridiculous.

Maybe we shouldn't pose together as a family. Ever.

Ok. We're done with this. Let's just talk.

Now here's one that is actually cute. 14 pictures later. Way to work together guys.

Oh the Brunings. I'm so glad I married into this family. Hours of entertainment. Always.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Brucker Christmas Bash

Every year, Martin's side of the family has a big party for Christmas Eve. It's a much anticipated celebration and never fails to bring a good time. While this year was a little more low key than years past, it still did not disappoint.

There were lots of babies. By lots, I mean two. That's a lot for me. Two adorable twins, Jason and Alex. Above is Martin with Jason - the strange expression on Martin's face I cannot explain.

Mandy with her baby Jason. I can't believe she had twins!

Martin's only deer for the season.

Martin and Gabe made the reindeer do dirty things. The entire look was complete by the moving head and shaking performed by the reindeer on top.

My niece, Kendyll, is possibly the most adorable child ever! I absolutely loved the pigtail buns Megan made with her curly red locks.

My amazing sister-in-law, Jen with me. Can I just take a minute to talk about how incredible Jen is? She just had brain surgery and you can not even tell. She is absolutely upbeat and chipper.

Martin and I had fun coloring in the giant coloring book that someone gave Kendyll for Christmas. You can kind of see Kendyll in the corner attempting to help us color. However, Martin did not want Kendyll to ruin our drawing so he convinced her to color on the back of the previous page!

I will admit, it is a damn good color job. If I had a kid I would frame that thing and hang it on the wall. Notice the bedazzled toes and the sweet background colors. Apparently, the bottom is black because it is the dangerous area that the turtle can't step in and he is just a little bit, walking on the dangerous side.

Apples to Apples. Fun Game. So Easy. Sometimes I am really on my game when playing this (i.e. Christmas Eve 2008) Other times, I really can not get myself to think like other people (i.e. Christmas Eve 2009). O well, you win some, you lose some. I just usually like to win, but I'm competitive like that.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Above is the first ornament ever to hang on a Bruning Christmas Tree. Martin made this ornament last year and hung it on our beautiful tree. Sadly, this year we did not get a tree. I feel very embarrassed even writing that, but it just didn't work out. I know I shouldn't make excuses, but I'm going to anyway. We had high hopes of getting it the first weekend in the December, on our way back to Trumansburg after spending the weekend home, but we left late and forgot our tree stand. The next weekend we stayed in Trumansburg and it rained all day Sunday when neither of us were working, PLUS we still didn't have our tree stand. And last weekend we basically just gave up on the idea. We weren't going to be in Trumansburg for Christmas anyway. I know, we suck. Maybe next year.

I hope you all Have Yourselves A Merry Little Christmas Now!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Party Till The Cows Come Home

On Sunday morning, Martin and I drove out to Jamestown, NY to visit my college roommate Ginny and her husband, Eric. We got up super early for a Sunday morning to make the two and a half hour drive from Lyndonville. We stopped at a reststop on the thruway to grab a quick breakfast and ended up spending $9.22 at McDonald's on a parfait, a breakfast sandwich, and a medium orange juice. I am still angry about that. Then, we had a little miscommunication with Ginny when we arrived in the Jamestown area and ended up driving in the opposite direction of their house. Finally, we arrived!!!

I was excited to see Ginny for multiple reasons including that she's super sweet, a great friend and pregnant! I find that very exciting (glad it's not me yet) but very exciting nonetheless. Ginny is having a baby in June and she looks so freakin cute. You really can't even tell she is pregnant.

Martin was excited to visit because Ginny and Eric just built a freestall barn for their cows and were able to move them from a farm they were renting down the road to the home farm. It is so exciting to see them starting this new business as a young couple. Martin has barn fever now and really wants us to start milking cows. I say maybe, but only if we put it in a prime location and I can make and sell cheese.

We will see.....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Caton and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember and I have always been proud of everything she's done. She's won speech contests, shows, held leadership roles and still managed to be a great friend through it all.
But now... I am really proud of Caton
Because she is absolutely amazing!

Caton works for Teach for America. It is an organization designed to help children in underprivileged areas by providing them with good teachers.
Caton is an excellent teacher. She shows such a huge amount of dedication to her students. Even though they aren't always "model children" you can tell that Caton loves each and every one of them as individuals. I had the pleasure of reading letters that "Caton's kids" wrote to her this weekend and I was overwhelmed with emotion and pride. Each letter spoke the true feelings of the children. You can tell that every student felt that Caton had really touched him or her and helped to make life just a little bit better. Caton took the time to let every single student know that success is possible for anyone. She shows real belief in everyone and uses unique teaching methods to cater to different learning styles. I am so proud of Caton for touching such a nerve in each child's heart, but at the same time reading those letters broke my heart - It sounded like Caton was the first person to believe in these kids and they are in high school!
Great Job Caton! I'm so proud of you!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Daily Dose of Laughter

Everytime I spend a day with the McKenna family I get more than my daily dose of laughter. They are completely halarious. Spending a day with them keeps you on your toes. Even simple tasks like signing and stuffing christmas cards is a rib-cracking experience. Each family member plays their own unique role that contributes to the ultimate halarity of the situation.

Kerri: The organizer. Knows exactly what needs to be done and desperately tries to keep everyone focused.
Caton: The oldest "youngest" child. Caton is biologically the oldest, but plays the part of letting Kerri do all the organizing and begrudgingly follows her orders.
Betsey: Just crazy. She is mainly busy trying to tell stories about her friends but she's really not a very good storyteller (shhh. don't tell her I said that)!
Jenny: Mostly silenced by Betsey, but when possible has a lot to talk about of her own. She also has a very creative signature (a heart connected to the end of Jenny)
Mrs. McKenna: the ultimate prankster. Always trying to make everyone laugh and get a rise out of the crowd.
Mr. McKenna: quietly sits in the corner. It's hard to tell if he's amused or if he's just wishing he wasn't there.

The whole scene is side-splitting. The McKenna's alway participate in a comical play at their church each year and I think next year, it should be based on a segment of their life. I spent the day with them on Saturday and it was amazing! I haven't had my daily McKenna dose of laughter in a long time and this day more than made up for it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Up (Single Disc Widescreen)
On Thursday night, I watched Up. I realize this is a cartoon and possibly made for children. But it was a recommendation to me by my dearest friend Caton and I couldn't pass it up. It was absolutely incredible! I would highly recommend it to anyone.

A few favorites without giving anything away:

The first ten minutes of the movie. I watched the whole movie through and then went back and watched the beginning again, just because it was soo good. It didn't even need any words and it was fantastic.

"I know it sounds kind of boring, but sometimes I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most" - for some reason I really like this quote

The credits. They were unbelievable cute and creative. I literally watched them all the way to the end. Now I really want to make a scrapbook of some sort.

The old man in the movie reminds me of Martin a little bit. In the sense that he holds on to things and tries to keep them alive even when they are gone. I can picture Martin refusing to move as they are building a city all around his house!