John & Elizabeth Lenihan

Photo by ASHLEY ANDERSON | The Voice-Tribune

Elizabeth (Ferguson) Lenihan wasn’t in any hurry to find love. Neither was John Lenihan. But when the two finally met on Jan. 1, 1997, they were suddenly swept into a whirlwind romance.

The couple first became acquainted after John’s ex-girlfriend set him up with Elizabeth for New Year’s Day lunch. “On New Year’s Eve, I got a call from a friend and she says she has a friend coming in town and wants to know if I’m free to go to lunch tomorrow,” Elizabeth said. “I was like, sure whatever. I was John’s New Year’s Day lunch date because he had come to Nashville to –”

“–meet girls,” John finished the sentence with a grin.

During lunch, John attempted to impress Elizabeth with his recent claim to fame, an article written about him in The Voice-Tribune by former columnist Lucie Blodgett.

“(The article was about how) I was so small when I was born, I was really sick and they could (fit) me in a shoebox,” John said.

“And I’m like, ‘Are you trying to impress me with this sickly child thing because it’s not cool!’” Elizabeth joked. “But I love how I could just call him on that.”

Though unmoved by his story, Elizabeth did find John to have an incredible sense of humor. “I had never met anyone like him before and he just makes me laugh,” Elizabeth said.

From their first meeting, it didn’t take long for John to know Elizabeth was the woman he would marry. He was so sure, in fact, on their first official date, the first question he asked her was how many children they would have.

“Normally that would catch a girl off track,” Elizabeth laughed. But, she responded without hesitation, telling John they would have three children.

“I said, ‘They’re going to have red hair, I’m going to have to put sunscreen on them, put sunscreen on you,’” Elizabeth continued, alluding to John’s fair skin. “And we do have three children, and I do have to put sunscreen on all of them.”

It was Elizabeth’s “realness” and sharp attitude that John especially grew fond of, and just six months after their New Year’s Day lunch, John proposed to Elizabeth on the Fourth of July.

“At 40 years old, I knew what I was looking for and it did not take me long to figure out that Elizabeth would be my wife,” John said. “I was very well assured from a couple of weeks into it, then I freaked out, broke up with her and we got back together.”

To ask her hand in marriage, John decided on a somewhat unconventional proposal. While sitting around the house, he took off his cross necklace and placed it around Elizabeth’s neck, asking her to marry him.

Later, John took Elizabeth, her mother and the friend who introduced the pair to New York to pick out an engagement ring. After Elizabeth stopped by Vera Wang to find her wedding dress, she was then forced to face the most difficult part: planning a wedding in less than three months.

“(On) Oct. 4, (1997), we got married at Calvary Episcopal and had a big reception at our house,” Elizabeth said. “It was perfect. We had a sit-down dinner. The last guest left at five in the morning. It was a fun wedding. We had an orchestra for the first part and at midnight we had a jazz band and omelets at two in the morning.”

Following the wedding, the couple took a five-week honeymoon on a cruise through the Fiji islands and later visited Australia. Traveling has become a favorite pastime for the couple, who often take a vacation to Telluride, Colo. each summer with their three children: Lillian, 12, Adelaide, 9, and Elle, 6.

“We travel a lot and take the kids a lot but also make sure to do things ourselves,” Elizabeth said.

“And, we travel with (Elizabeth’s) family,” John said. “A lot of people freak out about in-laws, but I couldn’t do without our in-laws.”

Last year was both a busy and big one for the Lenihan’s. John opened Sotheby’s International Realty, 3803 Brownsboro Road, and the fashionable duo walked away a Best Dressed Couple at The Voice-Tribune’s Best Dressed of Louisville Presented by Churchill Downs in August.

Though 12 years apart in age, the two seem to form a perfect balance with each other, and always keep God and family, or “Team Lenihan,” at the center.

“We  know we are meant to be together and centered our family around our belief in God and our belief in each other,” Elizabeth said. “I truly look at John and he is a gift to me. There’s a reason he’s in my life. I’m his cheerleader, he’s my comedian. As long as John makes me laugh and as long as I’m his cheerleader, then it’s all good.”

Do’s

“Know what you stand for, wait for it and commit completely to it,” John advised. “And do offer unconditional support.”
“Figure out what it is about that person that you love and keep encouraging it,” Elizabeth said.

Don’ts

“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” John said. “I was once told, you enter a marriage with your eyes wide open; you stay in a marriage with your eyes half-closed.”

“When contemplating who you are going to marry, don’t just settle for less than you think you deserve,” Elizabeth continued. “You should not compromise on your values.”

Photos Courtesy of Adele Reding Studio

Twist of Fate for the Tide

Alabama vs. LSU in the BCS championship game.

Alabama vs. LSU in the BCS championship game.

Last night the No.2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide topped the No.1 ranked LSU Tigers in the BCS national championship game that was almost as boring as the original matchup, touted as “The Game of the Century,” between the two powerhouses back on Nov. 5.

Though the feat by Alabama came as no surprise - considering they were favored despite losing to LSU 9-6 in overtime two months ago - I was certain since the day I watched the two play on the evening of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships that Alabama would redeem themselves on Monday, Jan. 9.

For a second, just forget about all the bickering over the BCS system and who should have squared off in the championship game.

This was Alabama’s year.

Not because of their defense, which shut out LSU in the 21-0 victory. And, certainly not because of Alabama’s field goal kicking, which was abysmal during the original SEC matchup, with Cade Foster missing three field goals for the Crimson Tide on Nov. 5 and Jeremy Shelley (who set a bowl record with five field goals last night) having a field goal attempt blocked that same game.

This year was Alabama’s year because of what happened to Tuscaloosa almost one year ago.

Some people, including a stubborn friend of mine, find what happened behind the scenes last April in Alabama unrelated to the big game last night. But, as a writer and avid sports fan, I believe it is one of the most important factors.

The world of sports has this uncanny ability of producing truly great and inspiring stories if you look beyond the surface, and in the case of Alabama, there is certainly no exception.

In May of 2011, Lars Anderson published an incredibly moving article in  Sports Illustrated on the devastation of Tuscaloosa after the most destructive tornado in Alabama history tore through the University of Alabama’s college town, killing 41 people, and around 350 total in the South. Several athletes at the university were affected by the destruction, including junior starting longsnapper, Carson Tinker, whose girlfriend died in the disaster.

Because of this, before the football season ever began, Alabama had set themselves up not for the “Game of the Century,” but perhaps the “Story of the Century.”

A story of redemption and perseverance.

But as the football season progressed, it became not only about the devastation of the twister, but also redemption from Alabama’s loss to LSU during the regular season; redemption from the terrible field goal kicking that game; and redemption from Alabama neither winning nor making the SEC championship in 2011.

After knocking off the No.1 Tigers last night, Alabama completed the storybook finish. The final AP poll showed the Crimson Tide the indisputable new No.1 in football, with an astounding 55 first-place votes to LSU’s one.

I’m not an Alabama fan, nor an LSU fan, nor an SEC fan for that matter. But deep down I wanted Alabama to win. I was rooting for the story, one that will likely capture the heart of America (minus the heart of some LSU and Auburn fans) through an overplayed segment on ESPN narrated by none other than Tom Rinaldi.

The devastation from the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa.

The devastation from the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa.

As a sports fan, how can I not cheer for the underdog? The broken down, beaten down team who was physically very strong this year, but emotionally distraught after all they had gone through.

You may think sports are irrelevant to the big picture, but I believe, and insist, sports are a great teacher to the world.

Whether you played little league, high school or college athletics, I guarantee you have been taught many a great lesson from sports because you were forced to triumph over adversity, taught teamwork, persistence, to build strength and endurance, and maybe even had the chance to accomplish the unthinkable comeback.

Sure, after the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box, as they say. Some would argue why should the outcome of a sporting match make any difference? Why should the winner of the BCS championship hold any significance?

Sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes Goliath prevails in the end. That’s why there’s always another game, another season, another championship the following year.

There’s always that second chance to redeem yourself. That chance to show that the hard work, focus and blood, sweat and tears paid off in the end.

I stand by my opinion that some of the greatest stories ever written were written about sports. But, it isn’t the story with the box score or the play-by-play of the game. It’s the story that digs deeper past the actual event and into the very principles sports teach about the incredible obstacles we can overcome.

Last night, Alabama took back the reign of college football by conquering its difficult past to build a better future.

And,  in doing so, the team wrote the ending to a story that began with sadness and defeat, and concluded with an undeniable lesson on perseverance and redemption.

Tucker and Dale vs Evil

If you’ve seen one horror movie set in the woods then you’ve seen them all. Part of the reason I’m not a big fan of the horror genre unless it has a comedic flair to it. (See Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness if you need examples) What this film excels at is not being a horror spoof film but instead being a horror film that’s flipped upside down and turned around while not taking itself too serious.

Tucker, played by notable comedic and sci-fi actor Alan Tudyk and his brother Dale, played by TV star Tyler Labine, are two good ole country boys that have decided to go fix up Tucker’s new purchase, a creepy broken down cabin in the woods. At the same time a group of college kids are on a camping trip a short ways away from the cabin.

The two groups first interact when they have an awkward meeting at a gas station after Dale decides to talk to one of the college students while holding a scythe. As you can imagine it doesn’t go over too well.

The first act heats up when the students are swimming that night when Allison, played by “30 Rock” actress Katrina Bowden, slips and hits her head on a rock, almost drowning until Dale jumps out of his fishing boat and in the lake to rescue her. Not knowing where her friends have gone, the brothers take her back to their cabin and take care of her until the morning.

The college students thinking their friend has just been kidnapped, decide to do a recon mission at the cabin, where they overhear an out of context conversation between Tucker and Dale that sounds like the two have been torturing and have plans to murder her.

One misunderstanding turns into a much more serious offense when one of the students gets killed after impaling himself on an overturned branch after thinking he’s being chased by Tucker, who is himself being chased by a swarm of angry bees while carrying a chainsaw. You can see where I’m going with this.

Things escalate more and more as each student accidentally offs themselves in a number of ways, while the backwoods brothers are none the wiser and assume the kids are all part of a murder/suicide pact.

“Tucker and Dale vs Evil” comes in at a whopping 89 minutes. That’s not even your standard hour and a half, people. So do yourself a favor and go buy this or watch it streaming on Netflix. I can say that it’s unlike any other movie you’ve seen this year.

New Year’s Day at Seviche

Chef Anthony Lamas and his staff prepared New Year’s brunch for several guests of Seviche, including a few of The Voice-Tribune staff.

photos by BILL WINE | contributing photographer

Click here to purchase photos.

Click here to purchase photos.

Louisville Boat Club Christmas with Santa

The Louisville Boat Club held a Christmas buffet and visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

photos by John Harralson

Click here to purchase photos.

Click here to purchase photos.

HGTV Viewing Party

Realtor Paul Kiger hosted a viewing party in his New Albany home to celebrate being featured in an episode of House Hunters, titled, “Looking For Charm in Indiana.”

In the episode, Paul assisted a 20-something teacher with finding a place of her own on a $125,000 budget.

photos by Tony Bennett | Contributing Photographer

Click here to purchase photos.

Click here to purchase photos.

Lynn’s New Year’s Day Pajama Party

Lynn’s Paradise Cafe hosted their annual New Year’s Day Pajama Party on Jan. 1, 2012.

photos by JACOB ZIMMER | contributing photographer

Click here to purchase photos.

Click here to purchase photos.

NYE 2012 at The Gillespie

Constructed in 1929, The Gillespie was designed in the Art Deco style of architecture common to the era.

Originally known as the Lincoln Bank and Trust Company, The Gillespie property later became part of National City Bank until 2005.

Last weekend, it was one of the city’s hottest spots to welcome in the new year.

photos by BILL WINE | contributing photographer

Click here to purchase photos.

Click here to purchase photos.

New Year’s Eve Downtown

Last weekend, Fourth Street Live! hosted “Louisville’s Biggest New Year’s Eve Party.”

The celebration included live music from 100% Poly and a “Times Square” ball drop at midnight.

photos by JACOB ZIMMER | contributing photographer

Click here to purchase photos.

Click here to purchase photos.

@ Fiat of Louisville

In case the Chinese calendar had you fooled, 2012 is not the year of the dragon; it’s the year of the Fiat.

The Italian-made car can be seen just about anywhere these days, including on TV commercials, reality show “Jersey Shore,” and beginning January 3, it can be found at the first-ever Fiat dealership in Kentucky.

Fiat of Louisville, 4311 Shelbyville Road, of the Sam Swope Auto Group, opened to the public on Tuesday with an array of 2012 Fiat 500s available for purchase.

“We just feel like the trend in our business is headed in this direction and Fiat is out ahead of the trend,” said Richard S. “Dick” Swope, president and CEO of Sam Swope Auto Group. “Even though the Fiat 500 has been around since the 50s, it’s been updated, and it’s a car for the times.”

Earlier this week, I stopped by the dealership to find out what the “2012 Fiat Experience” is all about by taking a test drive of the Fiat 500 down Shelbyville and Westport Road.

Before hopping inside the “rame” (Italian for copper) colored Fiat, I couldn’t resist sitting behind the wheel of the large black Fiat by Gucci on display inside the show room.

I instantly fell in love with the lustrous exterior complete with the Gucci logo on various spots of the car, including the hubcap of each wheel and the body of the vehicle.

The interior, too, was elegant, with a leather steering wheel, black and ivory fabric, as well as a green and red stripe on the seat that matched the graphic located on the exterior.

Ashley Anderson sat inside the 2012 Fiat by Gucci.

Ashley Anderson sat inside the 2012 Fiat by Gucci.

After admiring the Fiat by Gucci’s beauty, I took the keys to the Fiat 500 parked outside and began a leisurely cruise down Shelbyville Road. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous I’d wreck the car somehow, but turns out the Fiat is a completely smooth ride and a ton of fun to drive.

Best of all, it’s fuel efficient and eco-friendly, which is a quality that has become increasingly important to many car-buyers, like me.

Though the car was originally designed 50 years ago, the 2012 version is definitely top-of-the-line and builds on the Fiat’s tradition of sleek, simple, functional and user-friendly.

In addition to the Fiat 500 and Fiat by Gucci, a performance version of the car, the Fiat 500 Abarth, will arrive at the dealership in mid-January.

For those seeking a one-of-a-kind Fiat, you can also custom-design it. There are 14 paint colors available in metallic, non-metallic and premium tri-coat pearl finishes; two different available interior environments, Nero (Black) or Avorio (Ivory); 14 unique seat color and ambient interior combinations and a full line of authentic accessories. The possibilities are practically endless. In fact, there are well over 500,000 different combinations.

The car, said Swope, is for just about any age group, too. “The demographic is anybody who thinks young. People who are early adopters and interested in being eco-minded but want to have fun.”

I certainly had fun driving the Fiat the other day and think I’d have even more if that Fiat by Gucci were parked in my driveway. If you’re reading this Mom, I’d like to remind you I have a birthday coming up.

Location:

Fiat of Louisville
4311 Shelbyville Road

Price Range:

$15,500 (Fiat 500 Pop) – $24,700 (Fiat by Gucci).

About the Car

1.4 Liter Engine
7 Air Bags
BLUE&ME Hands-Free Communication
Speed Control
Electronic Stability Control
5 speed Manual Transmission
30 MPG in town; 38 MPG on the highway.

For more information, visit www.fiatusaoflouisville.com or call 888.377.5566. Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com, 502.498.2051.

photos by ASHLEY ANDERSON | Voice-Tribune

Drive Into 2012

The last of the eggnog has been dutifully sipped.

The menorahs have been stored until next year, the cookie sheets tucked away.

The gift-shopping frenzy is over.

Now, it’s the time to focus on our goals for the upcoming year.

And, if you’re like so many others, you have put together a list of your New Year’s resolutions. You may even be one step further in the game and have started planning how you’re going to achieve them.

But, if you’re like most, don’t be fooled into thinking that sustaining your goal can be as tough as winning the lottery.

This is not to say we shouldn’t challenge ourselves – we should!

What is the allure to most of us about making a New Year’s resolution?

Is it the appeal of starting from scratch? Is it the appeal of throwing away all our bad habits and starting a clean slate?

Is it that we somehow magically believe big changes begin when the calendar switches from one year to another?

Without a doubt, there is something pleasing about the beginning of a new year and leaving our bad habits behind.

January is typically like the Super Bowl for gyms. New Year’s resolutions tend to get us moving off the couch and lacing up our sneakers.

It’s the time when finding a little elbow room at the gym or yoga studio can test our patience.

Yet, we know that by the time March rolls around, more often than not our workout space is back to normal.

I’m not saying you can’t dream big, but choosing a New Year’s resolution that is somewhat challenging – yet realistic – will more than likely keep you from becoming discouraged.

For some of us, we don’t succeed at keeping our resolutions because we’re too quick to accept failure.

If you fall off the path for a day or the weekend, don’t let it ruin your drive.

Get back in the driver’s seat and try to figure out how to avoid taking the wrong turn.

Contact Lori Kommor at lkommor@voice-tribune.com .

New Year’s Brunch

Food, friends and fun: Celebrating 2012 at Seviche with friends.

Food, friends and fun: Celebrating 2012 at Seviche with friends.

Several years ago, I started celebrating New Year’s Day by booking a large table at a local establishment – usually Lynn’s Paradise Cafe – and then filling it with all manner of friends.

Hap Cohan, Madeline Doolittle and Chef Anthony Lamas.

Hap Cohan, Madeline Doolittle and Chef Anthony Lamas.

This year was no different except instead of dressing in our jammies for Lynn’s annual PJ party, 16 of my favorite people met at Seviche for what was one of the best brunches I’ve ever had – and that’s in addition to being in the midst of an incredible, eclectic group of friends.

Chef Anthony Lamas and his staff outdid themselves with a brunch that included roast pork, fresh seviches, chorizo manchego grits and numerous other dishes, not to mention a divine Bloody Mary bar (the Chino Latino – wasabi ginger – was absolutely delicious) that was the perfect accoutrement to a brunch filled with food and friendship.

Happy New Year? So far, yes indeed.

Lynn's New Year Pajama Brunch at Lynn's Paradise Cafe.

Lynn's New Year Pajama Brunch at Lynn's Paradise Cafe.

Third Thursday

The Voice-Tribune recently moved into new digs, so we’re going to refrain from hosting our January Third Thursday event and resume our monthly parties in February. You can follow us on Twitter – @TheVoiceTribune – or LIKE us on Facebook to find out our next location. We’ll also run an announcement in print in an upcoming issue.

Contact Angie Fenton, The Voice-Tribune’s Managing Editor, at angie@voice-tribune.com, 502.551.2698, www.facebook.com/angiefenton2 or @angiefenton on Twitter.