BBB with the Michigan Crew

It’s been a while since we’ve had the whole Michigan crew together so we invited everyone over for a potluck turned Bi-Bim-Bop fest. By everyone, I mean honorary Wolverines, Emily (proud Buckeye) and O’Brien, too. Due to weekend sports, May snow on I-80, etc., we were missing some folks. However, Jin-Hong happened to be in town and joined us as our surprise guest. Charles also texted out-of-the-blue and he joined us as well.

The kids made full use of the house, yard and now sidewalk. A few of the younger ones posed flight risks, which kept some parents busy until we smartened up and closed the gate to the zoo.

It’s only a few weeks until everyone launches into Summer, so I’m glad we could see everyone before they scatter to Switzerland, Tahoe, Aspen and other amazing places I heard on the agendas. We’ll be in CA holding down the fort.

Michigan vs. Utah Game

The team converged on Salt Lake City for a surgical strike to see the inaugural Harbaugh-era Michigan game. Were my expectations too high? Probably. Was I hopeful for a win? Definitely. Was I disappointed in the outcome? Indeed.

However, being with old friends and new took the sting out of the final score. It was a beautiful day and evening in SLC. I went with my college friends, but ran into friends from elementary school and graduate school.

I’m sure we’ll be cheering again very soon. Until then, Go Blue!!!

End of Summer BBQ at Amy and Grady’s

Amy and Grady invited everyone over for an end-of-summer BBQ on August 30th. We met new friends and enjoyed some delicious BBQ beef. The kids are all getting bigger and faster.

What a great way to spend the last day of summer before the start of school for our kids. Thanks for having us, Burnetts!

Memorial Day with the Michigan Gang

Jen and Michael invited the Michigan crew over to their house for Memorial Day. Unfortunately, Michael got stuck in Australia, so Samantha and Jen were our fabulous hosts. If the scene looks familiar, it’s because they took over the Idema’s old pad, which is a pretty spectacular spot to spend a holiday (or any day). Jen was also gracious enough to include Grace parents, who had just arrived for the week.

The kids had an awesome time. Don’t be surprised if you see Morgan post some Dubsmash videos. Greg did his best Bailey impersonation for old times’ sake.

Thanks to Jen, Michael and Samantha for having us. Happy Memorial Day!

Staycation and Superbowl with Michigan Dads

The Michigan dads decided to have a staycation with the kids last weekend. The moms went to Napa to do who knows what. We met at Delfina on Friday for dinner. On Saturday, Posse invited us over for some steaks and hot dogs.

On Superbowl Sunday, everyone came over to our place for pizza night. The ladies arrived home in the late afternoon to join the festivities already in progress. I was more vigilant with the fire in the BGE this time and pulled off 5 of 5 pizzas.

Great game with great friends. I’m pretty sure the moms had a good one, too.

Michigan Holiday Party at the Burnetts

Last Friday, Amy and Grady hosted our annual holiday dinner and white elephant gift exchange. Two years ago, it was a smaller gathering and was quite civilized. The rules were clear. The ladies exchanged “nice” gifts and the guys exchanged “fun” gifts. Last year, we had dinner out in the city.

Somehow, the Thornes moved back to the Bay Area and the gloves came off. It’s unclear if everyone got the memo about the rules, but once Morgan stole a guys gift, all hell broke loose. It made for a spirited exchange and there were some gifts that were just not going to find a new owner. I actually re-gifted my Michigan gnome from two years ago, but after being stored and moved all this time, it had self destructed. A replacement was promptly delivered.

Thanks to the Burnetts for hosting another amazing event. Something tells me these gifts are going to keep on giving. Happy Holidays and GO BLUE!

Christine & Jin’s Wedding Weekend

On Friday, November 14th, Grace and I took a morning flight to Washington DC to attend Christine and Jin’s wedding. I used to fly to Washington National (Reagan) weekly during my consulting days, but it has been almost 20 years since then. Upon our arrival, we went straight to Jea and Eddie’s house. Ana, Bobby, Caden and Colin had just pulled in from NJ.

All of the adults and Colin headed over to the rehearsal dinner, where the celebration was getting under way. It was there that we not only finally met Christine, but also where our reunion was beginning. There were so many old friends (and family) who were brought together by this couple. Jin and I grew up going to church, camp and college together. We were also in the same fraternity to seal our brotherhood.

After 40 courses of meat (Brazilian steak house), Christine and Jin held their Paebaek. I think Jin enjoyed his traditional hanbok a little too much. They both looked great!

On Saturday, the wedding was held at Trump National CC, where Christine’s dad (and coincidentally, Eddie) are members. It is a beautiful place with sweeping views of the Potomac beyond the golf course. The first people I saw were Chip and Dean, who were ushers. I saw Chip last month, but it has been almost a decade since I’ve seen Dean.

The wedding was officiated by my childhood friend, Shawn. Over 10 years ago we saw him preside over one of his first weddings. This was his 36th and it did not disappoint. Not only was his message honest and heartfelt, but it was hilarious as well. I’m still stinging a bit from Taylor Swift leaving Spotify, but Shawn invoked her lyrics in his sermon, reminding me of her young wisdom.

As we walked into dinner, each guest (including Bobby) was given Maize and Blue pom poms. Christine had arranged a surprise for Jin where the wedding party would enter with Hail to the Victors being played by the band. It was a first for me and also a sign of true love.

The reception continued our reunion of friends from so many different phases of life, most recently Jin’s bachelor party. The first toast was given by Anish and I’m pretty sure everyone was terrified. The last time I saw him was 3 AM in Las Vegas and I know what he’s capable of. He was given many guidelines (restrictions) and still most of his speech was redacted by his wife. Still, he managed to work in “fecal matter,” “green energy,” and “natural gas” into his speech. It was awesome and unsurprising. Younger siblings, Jin-(Sir) and Irene did such a great job, too. However, Matron of Honor, Jenny came armed with some amazing visual aids. She had texts with Christine before she even met Jin. They were so prescient about their wedding that Jenny saved them just so she could use them in her toast! What a payoff!

I should note that the wedding band came all the way from NY and was amazing. They killed everything they played. I should also note that my camera is great at a lot of things, but evening wedding photos is not one of them. I did my best, and by best, I mean a few face melting snap shots on the dance floor.

On Sunday, we went over to Christine’s parents’ beautiful home in McLean. It was our last chance to see everyone before we went our separate ways again. I don’t know when we’ll all be together again, but hopefully it will be the next time Christine and Jin visit California.

We’re so happy for Christine, Jin and Tommy. They’re already a beautiful and loving family and we wish them the best. Congratulations!