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21 December, 2010

Six Friends, One Priest - Our Tribute to Monsignor Reynolds


Enter Rosemary's dad, Tim. 

"Father Reynolds was our Parish Priest when St. Thomas the Apostle got started back in the early 60's, in Smyrna, GA. We had Mass in the Belmont Hills Movie Theater. On Holy days we had to bring brooms to sweep up after the movie goers. My mother was his secretary and housekeeper when the church moved to it's present location. My brothers and I did the yard work at the church and my father bought the wine and others spirits for the Rectory. Father Reynolds said the Wedding Mass for one of my brothers and the Funeral Masses for my Mom and Dad." ~ Tim, Facebook,  Dec 18
Rosemary remembers family stories about Monsignor, and went on to attend Saint Mary's College.

Enter Eric and Sam.

They grew up in Saint John Neumann parish, another parish founded by the then Father Reynolds.  He was such an integral part of their childhood faith formation.  In fact, we thought Eric might have been baptized by him.  He wasn't, but his sister might have been.  Both boys went on to attend Notre Dame.

Enter Caitlin and Elizabeth.

Attended Sunday Mass and both had involved families at Saint Andrew.  Caitlin's mom even worked for Monsignor Reynolds for some time at Saint Andrew.  

Caitlin writes, 

This picture is from this was from the notre dame/georgia tech game in 1997...the new notre dame stadium dedication game!  ~ Caitlin, Facebook Dec 18, 2010

The Corsetti family also spent time at Saint Andrew at this time.  I sponsored by brother when Monsignor Confirmed him. I remember sitting in his office for Advent confession and just being in awe of his simple faith and ability to love even strange little teenage kids!

While Caitlin and I didn't know each other at the time, it is evident that Monsignors time at Saint Andrew was a blessing and life changing for both of our families.

Enter Sarah.

Sarah's family met Monsignor when they first moved to Saint Brigid / Roswell.  Sarah parents were involved in the early planning and fundraising stages of the parish rectory, the last parish Monsignor called home.  Sarah's mom worked in the wedding ministry for some time  And Sarah was involved as a volunteer with the Life Teen program.  Sarah's family also bonded with Monsignor over his love of Notre Dame, as Sarah attended Saint Mary's College with Caitlin and Rosemary.

Enter Eric and Elizabeth.

Eric bonded with him regularly over football, and I had the honor and blessing of working for Monsignor during his entire stay at Saint Brigid.  On October 10, 2009, Monsignor Reynolds married us.

Over nearly three decades, the six of us have met and re-met a dozen times in countless ways and for numerous reasons.  We're all friends through the years on our own and in groups.  We've crossed paths and didn't even know it.  Yet, on December 18, 2010 through Facebook posts and Twitter feeds we discovered how truly intimiate the Catholic family in Atlanta is, and how one man could have changed the faith lives of six friends in six unique ways at six points in time.  Our meeting Monsignor Reynolds might have seemed random at the time, but today it is so clear how much God had His hand in our lives and how Monsignor's life was and is a witness to so many people.

Rosemary writes,

[Our friendship is...] such a great testment to his life and the people who were around and his ministry. It's just amazing. Like cait said when her mom died, if i can touch even half the people's lives that my mom did. Same with him. ~ Google Talk, Dec 21, 2010

Monsignor Reynolds,  we will all miss you so much.  Thank you for your laugher, smile, kind heart, compliments on a job well done, and  daily reminders not to worry but to stop and enjoy the simple things in life.  And above all, thank you for your witness by LIVING everything you ever spoke or taught us.

Christmas Love

The way our Groupon fine print was worded we had to make two versions of our Christmas card.  In the end it worked out because after I made the Notre Dame ones, we took that super cute picture at the Falcons Game.  And there we have it, two Christmas cards for 2010.

Not going to lie - I was pretty excited when design guru Ashley text me (not even twitter DM!) to say how much she loved the cards.  Yep, she's the one who did our wedding invitations!

Anyway, here is a copy of our lovely Christmas poem written by Eric and editing by his Father, the master of all cheesy Christmas poems.

Buergler Christmas Poem 2010

In true Buergler tradition
Here is our year in rhyme
This is the first rendition
So bear with me this time

We began this great year
A couple of newlyweds
Upgrading our small home
To one with rooms for two beds

Together we made trips to see family in
Milwaukee, Beaufort, and Savannah
Then good friends made their wedding vows
So we traveled to Indiana

To a Nicaraguan orphanage
With twenty fine teens we went
Painting, planting and moving dirt
That’s how some of our time was spent

Nashville was the destination
To see more friends and run races
Eric tried his first marathon
A half is now under E’s laces

Elizabeth had two solo trips
Both were to the city of Dayton
Class reunion and cousins Bday
Were her reasons for celebratin’

Eric began home brewing
Some pretty drinkable beers
Attempts to unicycle
Have also earned him some cheers

Our year was filled with sports events
Saw games for all Atlanta teams
And even a monster truck rally
Where everyone could hear our screams

We wish you all the very best
Though this great year is not done yet
For in Vieques we will be
To witness the years’ last sun set

18 December, 2010

Anticipating Christmas

For as overwhelming as last Christmas seemed - mall decor, radio ads, inflatable santa lawn decor, a million parties, terrible traffic - this Christmas seems underwhelming.

It seems as though everyone is having a apathetic Christmas. I've only heard one radio station playing Christmas music, I've maybe heard a few Christmas commercials (granted we don't have cable TV), and we've only received two Christmas cards.  Even the parties seem fewer in number, and the treats in our office break room are certainly lacking.

I started asking around.  Is it just me? Is it because Thanksgiving was so late this year?  Is it that everyone is on tighter actual budgets?  Is it a more dramatic battle of sacred vs secular?  

Or maybe, as my good husband pointed out, maybe it's that we're in the in between stage so our perception is one of apathy, even though the rest of the world is still bustling.  He said that we are past the stage of the Christmas magic, and on to the stage of gift wrapping, card mailing, dishes washing - but without the joy of having a family of our own.  I think that is pretty spot on.

So I've tried to find joy in some of the mundane things like fighting with the computer printer when it eats my return address labels, washing dozens of spatulas and casseroles dishes, and wrapping the ever growing pile of gifts.  But also to renew our prayer life as well, as I so desperately, and clearly need!

 So here are a few things we've been excited about and are happy to share this Christmas:

  •  Little People Nativity we bought Connor.  Truth be told: I want to play with it.

  • Eric and I's advent prayer time.  Granted it's not been super regular, but I do love snuggling up on the couch, watching our advent wreath glisten, and spending a few moments in prayer together.
  • Our Christmas card, and that Eric took the initiative to write a poem (just like his father's) instead of a 3 page Christmas letter. We bought a two Groupons to  so we have two variations of the same Christmas card for a third of retail. Making them actually affordable, and luxury!

  • Spending time with David & Paige.  This year they are here a weekend early to celebrate Christmas.  Be on the look out for pictures next week.  Incase I haven't mentioned it yet, they're due in June!

  • Christmas Mass with my family.  The Saint Brigid organ and choir. The giggles.  and Jesus!

  • My first ever Buergler family Christmas in the Carribean.  We leave Dec 26 for a week in Vieques.  A tropic island for 5 days in the middle of winter.  I'll take it!
  • Two weeks off from work :)

I hope you are as blessed as we are this Christmas, even if it took me a while to see it and to break through the apathy!  Enjoy this time with friends, family, and celebrating the birth of our Savior. 

If you haven't yes, watch The Nativity Story.  It's really help my mood change  this Advent and helped me get in the true spirit of things.

13 December, 2010

All in a days work.

This weekend was one for the books.  In all honesty, each event deserves it's own post but to give you a clue of the intensity of our 24 hours, they are all combined.

I took Friday as my day off from work, so I could cook a prepare myself for the weekend.  I offered to make most of the food for a baby shower on Saturday.  The shower was moved from noon to 10 am, so everything needed to be ready to either be reheated or already plated for the guests.  I made:

  • 30 mini oreo cheesecakes
  • 8 taco bell copy cat quesadillas
  • buffalo chicken dip
  • sausage dip
  • 16 sliders w/sauteed onions
  • 2 dozen chocolate dipped sugar cookies with sprinkles
  • and a homemade pizza for my lunch :)

Friday night was my office Christmas party at a lovely home in Country Club of the South.  We agreed that their garages are bigger than our apartment.  Impeccably decorated with incredible religious art and a fantastic vintage China collection.  Anyway, the party was nice, as it usually is.  It's always a pleasure to spend time with my co-workers and theirs spouses outside of cubicle land.

After the party we went to Wild Wing Cafe for a cover band, drinks and dancing.  It was so much fun to let loose with my hubs and friends - even more entertaining to be surrounded by two dozen middle aged, plastic surgery constructed, SAHMs taking "selfies" with their $1200 soccer-mom cameras. Oh, did I mention one or two of the couples *might* have been swingers.  Let's just say there were a lot of good laughs between Sean, Katie, Sam, Eric and I.

The next morning was the baby shower.  Some girls from church and I had a Georgia theme party with tailgate food (see above) for our friend, Natalie.  (Fun fact: Natalie and my brother dated back in high school!)  It was a great turn out and lots of fun!  Always a blessing sharing in the new life :)

Unfortunately the next part of the weekend came with great sadness.  One of our teen alums passed away in a car accident last Sunday and the funeral was Saturday afternoon. Steven was 20 years old.  He was one of those kids whose faith, joy, and piety was contagious.  Steven's whole family was very involved at the parish - Life Teen, choir, ushers, altar servers, Men's Club, you name it.  Steven and his brother were still altar servers at 20 years old! Such a witness to their faith.  We will miss you so much, buddy.  Mandi, her husband, and I put together this collage and memory collage for the family.  It included pictures of Steven with the teens and little stories about Steven from the teens. 

After the funeral I drove up to Cumming to celebrate my cousin Ashley's 7th birthday.  She had a rockstar/princess make-over party.  My sister did the girls hair, and other ladies did make up and nails.  It was quite the riot.  I was glad to share in the vision of the girls final look, cupcakes and presents.  After the party I visited with family over pizza and wine.  

aaannnnddd, because I hadn't done enough in the past 24 hours:  a group of us went down to The Fred to celebrate Sam's 27th birthday.  We had a few drinks, crab dip, and a chocolate brownie that tasted an awful lot like a burrito.  Hey, they share a kitchen with Taco Mac - what do you expect?

As I looked back on the weekend, I can't help but be blessed by the friends and family I have been given to celebrate with.  Regardless of the circumstances of some of the events over the weekend I know that God is will us every step of the way.  It was a true celebration of LIFE in every stage this weekend.

And because I never say it enough - I love you all!

12 December, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Last Sunday we left Atlanta at 7am to drive to North Carolina to pick out our own Christmas Tree.  We have a certain tree farm near my grandparents' cabin that my family likes to go, and now the Buerglers have joined in on the tree cutting adventures.

When we'd planned the trip, we had NO idea that it would be 20 degrees, snowing and wind gusts of 25 mph.  In fact, it was 40 when we left Alpharetta - the temperature dropped as we drove.  I was literally digging more socks, shirts, scarves etc in the back of my CRV (let's be honest, there's a lot to choose from in there) to keep warm as we walked the tree farm.

Eric found the perfect tree.  Just about about six and a half feet!

And of course, Eric brought his OWN saw, because last year we waited almost an hour for them to come cut it for us.

Dan was quite the man and carried their tree part way down the mountain.
However, we opted for the tractor trailer to do all the heavy lifting.

 And before we left - we had them wrap the tree and put in on our car for safe driving down the mountain.

Before we returned to Atlanta, we stopped for lunch at the Dillard House - a southern food dining experience - the Buergler's favorite.  We took the Christmas card photo while we were there.  And of course shared a delicious meal.

Irene shared a little bad news in regards to her health, but as this week went on she learned it should be fairly routine as far as these things go.  Please keep her and the family in your prayers.

09 December, 2010

The Fourth Annual Decorate A Ginger Person in Your Likeness party

I don't know how the First Annual Decorate A Ginger Person in Your Likeness party came about, but I do know that we give Sam a hard time for hosting such a girlie party.

Really it's quite simple:  bring a food item or drink, and sit around decorating gingerbread people. No prizes, though Sam's step-mom was CONVINCED that was the whole purpose..and that she won.  We simply hang out, eat, drink and be merry!  It's always amazing to me how creative and detailed everyone gets with their gingerbread person.  The art work has definitely improved over the years as well.  I really wish I had photos from a few years ago - those were a bit messy!

The spread

The Beers

The other photog

The first few

Really, Linda?  A PRIZE?  What is that?

Two of my favorites - look at those details!

A few more dudes

Handing around the decorating table

My parents and Sam's parents have become pretty good friends and have started to hang out on their own - so my parents were included in this years party.  I'm sad my parents didn't try to steal Tony & Linda's "prize", though it wouldn't have been too hard.

I must say the best story of the night goes out to my poor sister.  Just as Linda turned the corner into the room where my sister was, Katie answered my mother's phone call, "Hey, MOM!"  And Linda, who is desperate for a daughter-in-law (and LOVES Katie) nearly started crying tears of joy because she though Katie called her mom!  <3

06 December, 2010

Sunday Funday

I know I'm a week behind on this post, but it took that long to get my pictures uploaded.

So some of you know that my brother Alex won some money in the lottery a few months ago.  Crazy, I know! Of course he did the responsible thing and paid back his student loans and paid off his car.  But, he also set aside a little money for a family surprise.  All he told us was to keep Sunday after Thanksgiving open.  We had NO clue what he had up his sleeve.

So Thanksgiving day he passed out an envelope to each of us.

So we opened them, having NO idea what to expect.   Alex has always been the quiet but thoughtful type, so anything was possible.

And here we are - full blown excitement!

Hugs all around to our generous brother!

Alex bought everyone in our family tickets to the Falcons / Packers game (very hard to come by), a Falcons t-shirt, and gave us some spending cash to help us through the holidays or to blow on whatever we wanted!

Alex also picked us up, paid for parking and provided two awesome tailgates.  We were SO excited!  It was much needed family time - just to go chill out and share in an experience as an adult family.

Check out our day:

We had an incredible day sharing in family fun, laughter, and a great football game!  To sweeten the deal, the Falcons played an awesome game, and WE WON!  Unfortunately we didn't catch any of those little parachuting Chick-fil-a cows during one of the time outs.  Sad. even better deal came our way - we got almost $100 free dollars for stadium food just because my family banks and SunTrust and happened to run in to the SunTrust tail gate girls giving away "stadium bucks" to all Sun Trust members.  How awesome is that?

Thanks again Alex (and the Georgia Lottery)!   Love you, brother!

02 December, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy belated Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone enjoyed a fantastic day sharing a meal and afternoon with family and friends.  There is nothing more that Eric and I are thankful for than our families.

A traditional Corsetti family Thanksgiving was celebrated at the cabin with all 30 of the Sander family members.  While this was an incredible tradition, and one that we all looked forward to year after year, with little Connor and baby Carlos/Carlosita on the way, it's just a bit much for the 11.5 of us to go the cabin.  Beside, my parents have been married almost 30 years and have never once made a Thanksgiving meal of their own.

Mom and Dad pulled out all the stops!  We all chipped in a little with the food preparations, but Mom did a beautiful job decorating the table and coordinating the meal.  Dad cooked the organic, farm raised turkey, that Eric and I had purchase (and watch grow via email pictures) back in March.  mmm.

After the appetizers were consumed, and the turkey was in the oven, we went outside to play some corn hole and bocce.

And finally, it was turkey time!

16.5 pound farm raised, baby!

Poor Katie.

Dad carving the bird

Katie won the fight to light the candles
(yes, we still fight over this, the front seat, and who puts the check in the basket at Mass)

David's only contribution was Brown 'N Serve rolls. Guess who did the dishes?

My sweet potato fries with melty marshmallow goo

And then the after dinner fun began:

Connor played "Dog"

And we tried to take some nice photos

But do we take anything seriously?
 Before the night was over, some attempted Christmas card photos...but you'll have to wait for the mail for the real deal!

Alex and Connor


Before the night was over, Eric and I rolled out fat selves over to the Buerglers for a second round of desserts and a little time with his family and their regular Thanksgiving crew.