Vasil Castle- gets ya back home, pal

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 about us
 the engagement
 the big day
 the wedding party

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maid of honor/sister of the bride

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Cathy the Beatle fan at Strawberry Fields in Central Park.

Cathy is my little sister. She lives in Creston, Iowa and teaches at the Orient-Macksburg School. (I still can't belive my little baby sister is a teacher!) Cathy recently graduated from Iowa State University.

Cathy was the first person Tim and I told about our engagement (see the engagement story web page) and she's been supportive of the wedding ever since then. She is always on the lookout for new and interesting things for us to incorporate into the wedding. She's already come up with a number of really great ideas. I love when we get on the phone and she shares ideas with me. I also love telling her wedding news because she's so happy for Tim and me and always has good input. She is just the sweetest thing.

Cathy and I are about 8 years apart in age, but we're very close. I think we're a lot closer than most other sisters, especially considering the age difference, but most of the time I forget how much younger than me she is. I love spending time with Cathy, she's so silly and fun. We always have a great time together. I can totally be myself when I'm with her.

I'm so happy that Cathy is going to be my Maid of Honor. She may not be the most organized person in the world, but I know she'll help me have a very fun and memorable day. I already sense that Cathy plans to take good care of me on my wedding day, which is a bit of a twist since she's the younger sister and I'm the older sister, but I don't mind a bit. I think she'll also help me stay grounded during my wedding day. I am emotional and I even cry when watching sappy commercials, she laughs at me when I do this. But I'm thinking I might see a few tears well up in her eyes during the wedding ceremony.
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It's funny because it's true.
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Definitely time to do laundry- look at what's growing in that basket!

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brother of the bride

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Brian and Cathy on their way to Alcatraz- this time as visitors.

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Three Heyderkids having fun.

Brian is my big brother. He lives in Davenport Iowa and is a Manager of the Papa John's pizza restaurant in Bettendorf Iowa. Brian owns a house in Davenport. He's fully aware of how jealous I am that he has a house and I don't, but he handles it very well.

One of the things I love the most about Brian is how great he is to tell good news to. He's probably my favorite person to tell good news to because he is just so selflessly happy for me when good things happen. So, of course I was really looking forward to telling him, and the rest of the family, about our engagement. Tim and I got engaged on a Friday night (actually, it was very early Saturday morning, see the engagement story web page) and we went home on Saturday. Tim and I gathered everyone in the family room, then we stood up in front of everyone and before we could say anything Brian said, "So, you're engaged." Wouldn't you know it!

I think Brian is really looking forward to the wedding, which is very cool because he's not the kind of guy who loves to dress up. It really means a lot to me that he will be standing up in the wedding. The fact that he's willing to wear a tuxedo for the wedding demonstrates how supportive he is of this wedding. It's always fun to tell Brian about the plans we make, he always is very enthusiastic and happy for us. I also love that my big brother will be walking down the aisle with Tim's big sister.

Brian and Cathy get along great with Tim, which makes me so happy. Both Brian and Cathy have welcomed Tim into the fold with open arms. This is a bigger deal than it seems. Most of the time we spend at home is holed up in the family room playing games. I wasn't so sure Tim would feel comfortable entering the lion's den, but Brian and Cathy accepted him from day one. It just shows what a wonderful brother and sister I have.

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Hot Dogs! Nathan's Hot Dogs! What kind of kids like Nathan's Hot Dogs?

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friend of the bride

Gladys and I are friends from college, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lives in Lake Bluff with her husband Stan and their sweet Persian cats Cocoa and Brandy and is working on her Law Degree at the University of Chicago (she is SMART!)

What can I say about Gladys? She's my girl! I've never connected with a friend better than Gladys. We started out in college as acquaintances in the dorms. She was friends with my roommate Nicole. Now some 13 years later Gladys and I are still best friends, I'm not sure whatever happened to Nicole.

During our Freshman year Gladys and I became buddies. We went out a lot but also studied hard. Gladys taught me that I can work hard but also have a great deal of fun, one of life's great lessons. When I thought about transfering to Rutgers (to be back in New Jersey where I grew up) she convinced me to stay at the U of I. When I finally made the decision to remain at the U of I she told me how happy she was that I'd be staying. Recently when she decided to stay in Chicago rather than move to Virginia I knew exactly how she felt. I'm so glad she's sticking around!!!

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Gladys and Debbie in college, ready for a night of "studying".

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Despite the obvious handicap of dress clothes, Debbie and Gladys finish first in the three-legged race.

Over the years, what started as a very superficial drinking-buddy relationship has grown into my best friendship. I connect with Gladys like no other person, she's such a beautiful wonderful person. I can't even begin to say all the things I've learned from her. She's truly been instrumental in making me the person I am today. It was truly my pleasure to stand up at her wedding and I'm very happy she'll now be standing up in mine.

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Gladys and husband Stan at Debbie's 30th birthday party.

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friend of the bride

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Travis and Debbie at their 10 year high school reunion.

Travis is my buddy from high school. He lives in Bloomington, IL with his partner Mike Duggan and their Dalmatian Jackson. Travis works as a Hairdresser. He and Mike have also recently finished remodeling the main floor of their house, which turned out really beautiful. I believe his next project is the upstairs. I can't wait to see how it comes out! He is a man of many talents.

Travis is the only person with whom I was friends in high school that I still talk to. We're still very good friends and I'm so glad he's standing up in the wedding. I'm even trusting him to escort my mom down the aisle.

Travis is always fun and always entertaining, especially when people watching. He's also one of the most creative and artistic people I know. While searching for old pictures to put on the wedding website, I ran across some old letters that Travis sent with elaborate drawings on the envelopes. I remember how cool it was to get those letters while I was in college.

Since high school we haven't ever lived in the same city (not that I haven't tried to get him to move to Chicago), and yet we stay friends. I think this is mainly because Travis is great about keeping in touch, and he's able to come up to Chicago and visit every so often. I'm so glad we've stayed good friends. I also love how he can remember things from a long time ago and bring it up again for us to laugh about. Usually it's something funny that one of us said or did. I just love that he can remember things like this.

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Travis and Debbie strike the angry supermodel pose, to varying degrees of success.

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Despite what seemed to be a strong audition, Travis and Debbie did not land the Chap Stick endorsement deal.

So far I've described some really wonderful but esoteric qualities that Travis has. He's funny and creative, but really he's so much more than that. He's a very caring person and a very good person. He sticks to his word and I trust him totally. As I get older I realize how rare it is to find a person with whom you can have fun and also connect on a deeper level. He's one of those people to me.

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flower girl

Cara is the first daughter of Eileen and Mike Paliakas (Tim's sister and brother-in-law).  She was born on my 30th birthday.  Cara is such a good, sweet girl.  She doesn't talk much yet, but I'm constantly amazed at how much she understands.

I'm very excited Cara will be in the wedding, I think it's so sweet to have a flower girl.  She'll only be a little over 2 years old at the wedding, so we're not sure how long it'll take her to get up the aisle, but I'm sure it will be fun to watch.

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Sweet little girl!

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Cara trying to get in good with her Uncle Tim...

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...and her Aunt Debbie!

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maternal grandfather/honored guest

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Grandpa witnesses a miracle- Cathy's college graduation!

I'm very excited my grandfather will be at the wedding. He loves his family, and although he lives in Arizona he never missed a graduation for one of his grandkids. Now that nearly all the grandchildren have graduated I bet he thought he would get a break for a while, but no, now the weddings have started. I'm sure this will be the first of many wedding trips my grandfather will be making in the years to come.

My grandpa is not walking around so good now, but I understand he is going in for surgery soon to help him out. I'm hoping everything goes perfectly with the surgery. I want to dance with him at the wedding!

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parents of the bride

My parents are wonderful. They have always been very supportive of me, and from the time they met Tim they welcomed into our family with open arms. Tim feels like so much part of the family that after the first time I took him to visit my parents I never visited just by myself again. My parents are really thrilled for us and the reaction my mom gave when we announced our engagement was just priceless. She ran around the house saying how happy she was for us. I'll never forget it. Just today Dad called me at work, he was thrilled to tell me he received our honeymoon flight itinerary (it went to him because he let us use his frequent flier miles, very sweet!) I could just hear in his voice how happy and excited he was for us. I can't wait for the wedding, Dad will be beaming, and Mom will be crying (she'll probably be making me cry too). But it will be great. I love my parents, they're the best. heydermanfamilysfsm.jpg (27154 bytes)
The gang in San Francisco.
(Brian, not pictured, got held up in Alcatraz.)

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The whole fam damnily.

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Two youngsters in love.