Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sparkle & Shine: the Girls on the Run 2013 gala

Welcome to the Drake Hotel, and the red-carpet entrance to the 14th-annual fundraising gala for Girls on the Run's Chicago council!

 At age 93, the Drake Hotel still puts on a show
that its much younger rivals struggle to keep up with.

The auction included a huge variety of items,
including a Bears versus Packers gift.

Competition for auction items.

The five members of Spoken Four kept the dance floor revolving
(see below).

The complete gallery

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jakob and Lily

Play-time in the park with Jakob and Lily!

Kostya launched Jakob a bunch of times...

Lily mostly watched, waiting for her brother to fall on his face.

More flying...

...Until the little guy was tired enough for a still moment with the big guy.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Gloria's sweet 16th

 This is Gloria, and just a few of her friends (they like to have fun)...

 ...and this is the Cook County Forest Preserve's Matthew Bieszczat Volunteer Resource Center, which Gloria filled to capacity...

 ...and this is everybody going crazy in celebration of Gloria's 16th birthday!

 Gloria and her father, Greg, share a dance

 Doing the creeper-photobomb thing


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vinesh and Simi: Brilliance

 I remember when I first sat down with Vinesh and Simi. I asked Vinesh to explain why he knew Simi was the one for him, and the resident of London used one of those British phrases that I've always found interesting:

"She's brilliant," Vinesh told me.

 It took me a second to catch what he was saying. In the Americanized version, "brilliant" means highly intelligent, which is a fair description of a woman who works in the challenging field of physical therapy for disabled youths.

But in the traditional (British) sense, something that is brilliant has light radiating, even exploding, out of it. Once I figured out what Vinesh was saying, I thought his word choice was excellent.

On their wedding day, both of them were brilliant.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Doug and Kimmie: kiss her now

In any arena, success depends heavily on timing. And, allegedly, Doug needed a few cues to know when was the right time to kiss Kimmie.

Doug and Kimmie hired me last summer for their engagement photos, so I was excited when they brought me back for their wedding. My excitement grew when I saw the inside of The Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry — a beautiful, round sanctuary that offered me a lot of gorgeous and uncommon angles.

Jonah, the ring-bearer, had a good time in the bridal party's ready room.

But I was especially intrigued when I learned about what had happened before I got there — allegedly.

The couple set a unique order for their ceremony, and put their first kiss in the middle. Depending on who you ask, the story is that during the rehearsal, Doug wasn't sure when he was supposed to kiss Kimmie.

So, the night before the wedding, his family made him some cue cards.

At 31 North Banquets for the reception, with the toasts from matron of honor Cath...

...and best man Matt.

As you can see here, though, by the end of the night, Doug was having no trouble deciding when to kiss his bride.

Complete gallery

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mike and Jen: every 11th, forever

Mike, Jen and their families toasted their wedding with champagne at Telegraph,
but it was wine (just a little) that brought them together

One of the more reliable signs that a couple is in love: Happenstance turns into tradition, because it happened to them.

Mike and Jen are in love, and as such, they will probably be found in some type of wine bar on the 11th of every month, for the rest of their lives. Because they found themselves there on the 11th of the first two months of their lives together.

When Mike asked Jen on their first date, they went to Rootstock on May 11, 2011.

"We pretty much knew we were right for each other, right away," Jen would say later.

Exactly one month later, while checking out the Old Town Art Fair, the new couple dropped in at Bluebird for a bite to eat.

They realized it was June 11. One month after their first date, they were in another wine bar.

It became Mike and Jen's thing. Every 11th, for almost two years now, the couple has gone to a new wine bar. A few times, work has taken one or the other to a different city on the 11th; they still go out, to different bars, sharing the experience from afar.

"It's a lot of fun, exploring the various wine bars in the city," Jen said.

Mike proposed on Aug. 24, 2012, and their full-sized wedding ceremony and reception is scheduled for Aug. 3, 2013.

But Mike is Canadian (and sometimes tries to pass himself off as an Iowa Hawkeye fan...which is an issue in a family full of Iowa State Cyclones), and to expedite the paperwork, he married Jen in March in a small ceremony with their families at St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square, a remarkable building that I'm glad the couple introduced me to.

There are a lot of 11ths to come in these newlyweds' future.

The complete gallery