Tag Archives: wedding

11 Years

Naoto and Kimberly wedding dance, 06/02/06, 11th anniversaryToday is our 11th anniversary. I was looking through our wedding album to find another picture to share with you (I feel like I have shared so many over the years!) and this one made me smile. Our first dance was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole. Naoto made me laugh the whole time. Eleven years later, he’s still making me laugh.


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Happy Birthday, Mom!

mom & naoto at our wedding…and many more!

P.S. The fact that I had to dig out an old wedding photo just shows that I don’t have enough pictures of you!

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From the Attic: Vintage Game Birds Shot Glasses

Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses When my parents visited, they brought me an attic treasure–these vintage Anchor Hocking shot glasses. The glasses were wedding gifts from 1972! Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses They still have their original box, and aside from being a little dusty from the attic, they are in tip top shape. Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses Even their gilded rims are perfect! (Seriously, Dad. Did you even use these?)

Naoto and I aren’t big shot drinkers (well, not since the crazy days of our youth anyway.) And I use this Anchor Hocking measuring glass for my cocktail mixing. (It’s practically the perfect size for measuring the ingredients for one or a batch of cocktails.) But I’m thinking we could use these for after-dinner limoncellos or sips of other liqueurs. I’m excited to have them as part of the bar collection.

Thanks Mom & Dad!

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wedding picturesHappy 8th Anniversary, Naoto!


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San San Kudo

san san kudo ceremonyWhen Naoto and I got married we wanted to incorporate a Japanese tradition into our ceremony. We were married at Unity Temple, so we had a lot of freedom to create a ceremony that suited our beliefs and desires. Naoto suggested the san san kudo ceremony as an option.

093San san kudo (translated: three, three, nine times) dates back to the 1600s and is a binding ritual of sharing sake. During the ceremony, the sake is served from a special set of three cups symbolizing heaven, earth and humankind. The bride and the groom each take three sips from each of the three cups, making nine sips total. Nine is an especially lucky number in Japan. For our ceremony, Naoto’s sister Hisae poured and served the sake. Our set was a gift from Naoto’s mother, who also included a jar of sake for us. This sake was horrible!!! My three sips were not sips, instead I briefly touched the sake to my lips, hoping I wouldn’t taste anything. Naoto polished off the rest of the cup for me during his turn. (Thanks to our marriage vows, I can always count on Naoto to finish any sort of food or beverage!) Little did I know at the time, but the sake isn’t supposed to be delicious–just like all moments of marriage are not perfect, the terrible sake is supposed to remind us that we are bonded in marriage through the good times and bad (or the good cocktails and bad?) But the taste of the sake didn’t matter–we loved taking part in this small ceremony and having Hisae play a part in our wedding!

san san kudo set

Now we keep our san san kudo set on the sideboard in the dining room as a little reminder of our wedding day.

This was the last (& slightly delayed) post in my series celebrating Loving Day

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Cocktail Perfected: The Blue Hawaii


Naoto & I had a signature cocktail at our wedding–the Blue Hawaii. We chose it because of its pool blue color (pool was our wedding color) and because of Naoto grew up in Hawaii and we shared a wonderful vacation there with his host family a few years before we were married. And, it might be sweeter than my cocktail tastes today, but the Blue Hawaii was right up my alley seven years ago. When I whipped up a batch for Naoto and I on our anniversary, it took us back to the beaches of Hawaii and the party that celebrated our marriage.

The Blue Hawaii has been around since 1957 and has several variations, but for our wedding, we chose this traditional recipe.


Blue Hawaii

3/4 oz light rum

3/4 oz vodka

1/2 oz blue curaçao

3 oz pineapple juice

1 oz sweet & sour (I made my own: 1 part lemon juice, 1 part simple syrup)

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass (or serve on the rocks, but for goodness sake, please don’t put it in a blender!) and garnish with fresh pineapple and an offensively red maraschino cherry. It would be better if you could include a little paper umbrella, too. Enjoy on your anniversary or on a sandy beach.

DSC_0025P.S. Thanks for the cocktail swords, Donovan!


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7th Anniversary Gifts: Copper & Desk Sets


When Naoto & I exchange anniversary gifts, we use the traditional and modern gift ideas as guidelines. I buy or make something for Naoto from the traditional list, and he buys me something from the modern list. (I wish I could tell you what we’ve gotten for each other in year’s past, but I don’t remember all of the gifts…we should have written them down.)

So since it was our 7th anniversary I got to work with wool or copper (ah, if I only knew how to knit!) and Naoto had desk sets for me…seriously…could he have HAD an easier gift for me?! (I even have a Pinterest Board dedicated to desk stuff!)

I really like to make things for Naoto. He never has a wishlist (I married the least materialistic person on the planet.) and I like to try out new things. My first embroidery project was an anniversary gift (year two is cotton). I’ve been wanting some more art for our home and have been looking online for different mobile type ideas. Through my search, I found this tutorial from Smile and Wave for a copper pipe himmeli. I was a little bit intimidated by the project at first. I don’t make a habit of poking around the plumbing section and I’ve never cut a pipe before. And parts of the tutorial didn’t make sense to me until I actually started working with the materials. But I have to say, Rachel’s tutorial ended up being perfect. Locating the materials was the hardest part (mostly because they didn’t have the right pipe size at Menards and then Lowes put my paid order back on the shelves) but once I got started, I really enjoyed this project–so much so that I plan to make a few more. I’d love to have a little cluster of them with a plant or two in the corner of the bedroom. I’m going to make that happen. (Because one looks lonely and ridiculous.)


I used a slightly different pipe than Rachel used. Because Lowe’s put my original order back on the shelves (I guess that was a happy accident), I had a chance to poke around the copper pipe section and I found a skinnier pipe–1/4″ Type OD. I have no idea what that means, but it’s skinnier than the 1/4″ Type L (even though they are both 1/4″…don’t ask me, I’m not a plumber). It worked like a charm. Also, it was very satisfying to cut the pipes with the little pipe cutter. It took some practice and some patience. (First I smooshed the end of the pipe because I was too impatient and tightened things too quickly. Then, I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere as I turned the pipe cutter round and round, but then one last little twist and the pipe was cut–like magic.) I think the whole project took around an hour and the hardest part was threading the twine through and then getting it all lined up at the end. Mine is quite imperfect, but I hope to get better as I make a couple more. I think Naoto liked it. (Or is that his what-the-heck-is-this-well-she-made-it-so-I’d-better-smile face?)

IMG_2288And I know Presley finds it quite intriguing…

DSC_0051(Maybe hanging it at the side of the bed was a bad idea??)

DSC_0005For my gift, Naoto got this sweet wooden cat pencil holder and this planner from Paper & Type. I think I’m going to use the planner for scheduling blog posts because I don’t want to wait until 2014 to put it to use! My Letter Ledger is from Paper & Type and I just think her products are so unique and useful. Thanks for the lovely choices, Naoto!

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Our 7th Anniversary Weekend


Naoto & I spent the whole weekend together celebrating the every day of seven years of marriage. We did nothing exceptional, we just enjoyed each other’s company and lots of good food. Naoto popped out on Saturday afternoon and brought back this huge bouquet of flowers “from Presley”. It was such a sweet surprise and I’m enjoying having them at my desk (for maximum enjoyment and minimum Presley “enjoyment”.)


After relaxing on the balcony with breakfast and coffee, we headed to the community garden to check on the plants. We did a fair amount of weeding and watered our plot. (I will talk more about the garden later this week…we are both amazed and thankful to see it’s growing!)


After relaxing out on the balcony and watching it rain, we headed to the Golden Steer for our traditional (since moving to Forest Park) anniversary dinner.



It was our fourth year going there and it never disappoints. I always fill up too much on the cracker basket, the French Onion Soup, the salad and the baked potato to eat much of my steak! And the lone button mushroom floating around on the steak plate makes me giggle every time…

IMG_2278 IMG_2279

After the Steer, we went to the Marion Street Cheese Market for dessert. Naoto had a chocolate dessert with a homemade chocolate marshmallow and some snicker doodles and I had a strawberry rhubarb dessert (sweet pastry layered with strawberry rhubarb and topped with meringue).

Sunday was our actual anniversary. We slept in, had coffee and exchanged gifts (more on that later). Then we reluctantly went to the gym together. So romantic, I know.

After the gym, we headed to the Little Goat Diner. This was Naoto’s choice, not that I needed any arm twisting. I did a little research and realized that it’s an easy trip on the el (too easy…I think we might have to get pie and coffee at least once a week now!)

IMG_2295Little Goat was busy, but they could seat us right away at the counter, so we decided to try it out. We’ve sat in all of their seating options now (communal table, booth and counter) and while the booth is nice and quiet and private, we both really enjoyed the frenetic people watching at the counter. It was neat to see the orchestration of the orders and to hear the cooks interacting with each other.


We ordered the Smoke Fries…and I don’t think I will ever NOT order the Smoke Fries in all future visits. They were skinny and perfectly crisp and savory…my idea of the perfect fry. (My passion for these fries will now rival my love for the pie.)


IMG_2298Naoto got the Tonkatsu sandwich, which came with this tasty-creative pickled daikon radish, zucchini and rhubarb salad. I decided, since I always feel too full for pie, to get a CUP of the Tomato Apple Soup, which now comes with a tiny Monte Cristo sandwich on the side (instead of the original, reeeeallllly good cheesy toast from our visit in February). I was super disappointed…until I took a bite of the Monte Cristo…it was like eating a tiny ham and cheese sandwich in between two savory donuts…

IMG_2300And for dessert, of course I got the pie (Blood Orange Meringue) and Naoto got the Miso Hungry Banana Split…ice cream covered in a miso sauce with miso chips on top. Weird? Not at all…it was amazing!

(I just realized that I spent most of my anniversary post talking about Little Goat Diner…no regrets!)

IMG_0771When we got home, I made us two Blue Hawaii cocktails (more on these later) and we lit our unity candle and toasted seven years.

It was the perfect ending to the weekend.

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080Happy 7th Anniversary to my Naoto! Thanks for a most wonderful seven years! Here’s to many more…and NO seven year itch!

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On April 26, 2005…


…Naoto proposed. (Finally.)

It was a random Tuesday night, and I worked late…as I always did. Naoto was waiting for me at our friends’ bakery, the Prairie Bread Kitchen. We decided to go to Chipotle for dinner and I asked Bonnie to join us. She declined, saying that she had things to do. But I begged and I begged, so she agreed to join us. As the three of us walked down the block, Bonnie suddenly remembered she had forgotten something at the bakery, so she ran back, telling us that she’d catch up with us.

So we kept walking and made it to the Rocking Horse, a children’s clothing store down the block that had previously been the coffee shop where Naoto and I met (recently seen here). Naoto pulled me over to the Rocking Horse’s big windows. There were baby swimsuits on display. I thought it was a little weird, but I also thought we were just waiting for Bonnie. Then Naoto sentimentally mentioned that we had met there, on the other side of the glass (we had, at a small table for two), that we had started our first chapter there at that table. Then, as I’m half listening, he started talking about our next chapter and I stopped listening. Everything is a little fuzzy from this point, but all I remember is him dropping down to one knee and me crying out “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” over and over again. Loudly. So loud that other shop owners on the block came out to see if I was getting mugged.

Needless to say, Bonnie was in on the plan–the ring had been stored in her store’s safe. We ran back and told her the good news (I said yes, after a lot of shouting.) and we went out to dinner at our favorite place and toasted the moment with champagne. It was a good night, followed by a surprise day off the next day. I couldn’t believe he surprised me (because Naoto has the worst poker face in the world). I couldn’t believe it had (finally) happened.

The picture above is from our wedding (more than a year later). We took a moment to enjoy our meeting place, our engagement place during our walk from the ceremony to the reception.

I wish we had a picture of ourselves in the actual moment, but that’s okay…I still feel the butterflies and sheer (relief?) excitement of the moment as if it were yesterday.

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