We did it! Lots of crafting by my mother and I with help from Dad and Derek. I’ll post some photos of those later. Important stuff first! Photos of the beautiful weekend. They hosted a welcome picnic Friday night with 175 guests and then 200 at the wedding. The ceremony was performed by Brian’s Aunt T. She did an amazing job and made the ceremony very personal and perfect. Brian was a mess during the ceremony, I know he is in love with Katie. Their vows were perfect and we were all so happy for them. The ceremony was at 2pm and we partied at the farm until 10:30 when we moved over to the bar across the street until after midnight!
Nine * Ten * Eleven Wedding Day!
I am Katie’s sister Sara. Even though I am the older sister, her legacy precedes mine, and I have always been known as “Katie’s sister.” Every time a stranger asks me about her, I warn them in advance that I tend to go on and on when given the opportunity to talk about Katie. She is the most interesting subject I know. Now I have an audience of over 200 people and a microphone, so consider this fair warning.
You see, since Katie was very young, she carried this trait of magnetism. All her life, everyone, even strangers, have been drawn to this girl, and it’s not just the hair. Each of you has probably felt the pull of Katie’s magnet. Of course, to our family Katie has always been spectacular, our star. But my mom tells the story of the moment when she realized Katie’s effect on others. Mom was picking Katie up from Mrs. McCormick’s kindergarten classroom. She watched as all the kids were calling Katie’s name, “Katie look at this”, pulling her around, “Katie come over here”, and trying every way to gain her attention, “Katie play with us”. My mom said to herself, wow, now I know why she is so exhausted when she comes home from school.
Kofi, at table 22, was drawn to Katie at Belcher Elementary School, and has remained a loyal friend ever since, including Pride award co-winner in 5th grade, high school swim teammate, Katie’s prom date and now has flown from California to be at her wedding. Growing up, she won academic awards, was named her school’s Dreamer and Doer, was appointed Mother Nature on the elementary school news, voted by peers as Safety Patrol Captain, middle school cheerleader, gymnast for 6 years which lead to 7 years as a springboard diver, voted president of civic club Keyettes, and yes, a member of Homecoming Court.
After high school, her journey continued through Washington University in St. Louis, where she drew in those fun and funky folks at table 20. Undergrad was also when she studied abroad in Santiago, Chile. Her host family was drawn to “Katia” and loved her as their own. Her Chilean family is represented today by Poly at table 15. Katie also studied abroad in Kenya, where she pulled in Sarah Hines who later would invite Katie’s magnetism into her Michigan house and share it with 3 other girls, all at table 22.
In between undergrad at Wash U and grad school at Michigan, Katie spent time doing field work and chasing birds in Minnesota, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii.
My parents and I visited Katie while she was working on the Big Island of Hawaii. At one point we were at a restaurant, and Katie had tied Maile the Wonder Dog to a parking meter while we ate. Katie excused herself after we ordered to check that Maile wasn’t mauling anyone. Many minutes later, the food came and I was sent out to tell Katie to come eat her vegetables. I stood at the doorway of the restaurant and saw 5 people encircling Katie as she told stories and answered questions (not all the questions were about her hair). I smiled and yelled to her, “Kate, the food’s here.” She thought nothing of the crowd she had drawn, since it happens to her all the time. I asked, “Who were they?” She said, “I don’t know; one by one they just stopped to talk.” “Oh,” I said, “They weren’t together?” “No” she said, “none of them knew each other.”
Katie tells the best stories, writes the best notes, she is mind-bogglingly creative (I mean, did you see the wedding invitations?) and she is the most giving person I know.
Most of you know me as “Katie’s sister,” but I am her older sister and she has always followed my every command obediently. As she’s grown up, she has added a slight roll of the eye, but she still knows I’m always right. Even after all the torture she has endured from me, somehow she has remained my biggest fan. When she was 2, she came with my parents to drop my grandma and me at the airport for a trip to Pittsburgh. As the story goes, she cried all the way home, “I want My Sara,” which today we still use as a term of endearment: “My Brian,” “My Derek” and “My Amy.”
I still can’t believe Katie looks up to me. She thinks my jokes are funny. I mean, she really thinks I’m funny. If I tell a joke, people might laugh a little, but Katie will be falling over with her hand on my shoulder saying, “She’s so funny.”
Most of you know me as Katie’s sister. Katie and I are very different in many ways, but are very much alike in how we feel about our relationship as sisters. It’s one of the strongest magnets in our lives, but these past few years we have been learning to make room on it for the loves of our lives.
Brian, you also were caught back in Ann Arbor by Katie’s magnet and now you know her better than all of us. This past year you lost a very magnetic person in your life whose heart had also been captured by Katie’s magnet. I watched in wonder at how together you and Katie have somehow used that tragedy to strengthen the foundation of your marriage. She is one of the most precious people on this earth and deserves everything you have to give her. You comfort her, you calm her, you love her, and you hang your bath towel up for her.
Brian, you will love being known as “Katie’s husband.”