Monday, November 30, 2009

Ruffled Scarf Giveaway

Just look at this beautiful scarf. Trina is hosting a giveaway for it. It ends in just a few hours. If I were you, I would run over to her blog and enter the giveaway! This is such a beautiful blog. I seen it on one of her YouTube videos. And I would just love to be the proud owner of this beautiful scarf. While you are entering the giveaway, you should also look around Trina's blog. It is so fun! She has a great sense of style. And everything she talks about is so affordable. Her favorite store is Forever 21! Go look!!!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Custom Necklace Giveaway

Lauren is probably already at her dance class. Selena came for her at 8:15 this morning. The girls are excited to be back in their dance classes. And Billy is out in the yard working on a project. I can hear him. Hammering away.

I decided to catch up on my blog reading. And I found a new blog, via my friends. It's called Mama Manifesto. And they are hosting a giveaway. For this necklace. Don't you like it. I have similar ones in magazines for a few months now. I keep telling Billy that I want to find one somewhere. I'm glad I found this blog. I am going to enter the contest. Maybe I will win. If not, at least I know where I can buy one now!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lawn Frock Giveaway!!!!

This dress is so beautiful. One of the cutest dresses I have seen in a while. And not too show-y. I'm not really a "show all you got" kind of a woman. But I really do enjoy this dress. Grosgain is hosting a giveaway for this dress. Run over to the blog to enter the giveaway. You won't be sorry! And take a look at her other giveaways. She has a few of them going all the time.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lil Ladies Bow Giveaway

Do you have a little girl? Does she like to wear bows in her hair? I know Lauren just adores her hair bows. We are very lucky that T-Lo makes Lauren quite a few. But look at this cute little set. Boutique Stitches is hosting a giveaway for a hair bow and a matching headband. If you would like a chance to win, head over to Boutique Stitches. You just have until tonight. When the contest ends! Good luck!


Happybee's Giveaway

Do you like this? I do! Boutique Stitches is hosting a giveaway for this scarf! Yes, you have a chance to win this cute, handmade scarf! Yes, you do! If you are like me, you like little whimsical accessories. I think this would be adorable to add to a simple outfit. Especially now that I am pregnant, I am wanting more accessories. I'm kind of been staying away from shopping for regular clothes. Because I am growing so quickly, accessories just work better!

If you want a chance to win this beautiful scarf, go to Boutique Stitches. And enter. Tonight is the last time to win it! Good luck everyone!


Sportie Sweetie Giveaway

Isn't this the cutest little tutu? Do you have a little girl? I do! And she would just adore this! Billy, my husband, is always watching some game on TV. I can just see Lauren wearing one of these little outfits while watching with her daddy. You can order all different sorts of these tutu outfits. They have sports teams, military related, and even breast cancer awareness.

But I am doing this blog to tell you about a giveaway. Go over to Boutique Stitches and enter this contest. You will win a tutu outfit! Very cute! Hurry and run over there. The contest ends tonight!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Halloween Decisions

We have been thinking really hard about Halloween. Billy and I want Lauren to pick out her own costume. But she seems a little overwhelmed with all the choices. Lauren and I sat down to write a list of possible costumes. A tough task for a 2 1/2 year old.

But we narrowed it down. To a few choices. The Disney princesses, Dorthy (from the Wizard of Oz), and a puppy. She saw a puppy costume that she really likes. I think it was because it had a tail. We just don't know what we are going to do. With Billy still being gone, Lauren and I had some girl talk over breakfast this morning.

It looks like we are leaning towards Belle. Something to do with T-Lo. She saw a picture of when Lola was Belle for Halloween. I think Lola was 10 years old or something! But her costume was so cute. And Lauren just adores her T-Lo.

But then I am a little torn. I like these tutus. And I want to get her one. I thought maybe she could be a fairy. But Lauren wears tutus and stuff like that for her dancing. She wasn't convinced to be a fairy. But I think I am still going to order her one. Because we are going to be in Las Vegas for Halloween. The guys are working a gig. We were there last year too! And "Daddy Warbucks," our boss, planned a trick-or-treat thing for the small kids. It is very cool. Everyone in the Casino gets involved!

So Lauren will still dress up. But that will just be for the little trick-or-treat thing. I think I could order her a black and orange tutu for her to wear during the day. With this cute shirt I bought her. Or I might let her pick the color. We'll have to wait and see.

For now, I need to start looking for a Belle costume. Or ask Lola and Cole to help me out. They are both so creative. And can sew! Some very useful skills at a time like this!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Daddy's Hunting Bambi?

Lauren always has something very thoughtful to say. She makes me laugh at some of things she comes up with. But it was earlier today, that she left me speechless.

You see, she knows that her daddy and her uncles (the guys in the band) went on a short hunting trip. In fact, Billy and her talked about it last weekend before he left. She was excited and told Billy to bring her back some antlers for her house (the pink playhouse.) He laughed and told her that he would try. I don't think he realized what this would mean.

Today we were talking. Reading Bambi and getting ready for nap time. Lauren looked up at me, with those big eyes of hers, and asked me, "Is daddy hunting Bambi?" I didn't know how to explain that one. I told her that he wasn't hunting Bambi. Because Bambi is safe, in his own forest. No one gets to hunt in Bambi's forest. But I really didn't know what to tell her. How do you explain that?

I didn't know what to say. I figure Billy can cover that when he gets home. By the way, they have already gotten 2 elk. Lots of guys, 2 elk, not a bad trip. We are just going to have to explain that to Lauren. For now, I promised her ice cream when she wakes up!


Congratulations to Familia Mexicana!!!

I just have to smile. My friends had a doctor's appointment yesterday. I was watching their 2 younger daughters. Selena is due about the same time I am. Lauren and Maribel are just 2 days apart. And it looks as though our due dates are again, within a few days of on another!

We see each other everyday, Monday-Friday. The girls are in dance together. Either I take them, or Selena does. It is a little ways from where we live. Carpooling is ideal of us. And it gives us each a little break.

Selena is always joking with me because I am definitely showing. And started showing pretty early. I am slim. But I was pretty quick to show. Then we found out we were expecting twins. That explained a lot.

David, Selena's husband wants a boy. They have 3 beautiful little girls. Selena was very happy with the 3 girls. But David really wanted a boy. He continued to talk to Selena, and they agreed to try once more. David is praying for a little boy. Not that he doesn't love his girls. Because he is such a great dad. But he really wants a boy. We laughed when we heard Selena tell him she would name the baby if it was a boy. After David. But he has to come up with a girl's name. Because she can't think of another girl's name that starts off Mar...

On Monday, I noticed Selena had a sizable bump. We joked about it. But she said she just woke up on Sunday with a bump. That really does happen. One day, you aren't showing. The next, well you know you are pregnant! She was a little nervous though. I could tell.

Lola, our good friend (aka T-Lo) was scheduled to do their ultrasound on Friday. She happened to run into Selena earlier this week. And made a joke that they were having twins. Selena just laughed it off. But she asked me about it. I really didn't know what to say. I am not an expert. That's Lola's job.

Yesterday, they had their ultrasound. And baby, oh baby, they are expecting twins! Lola happened to hear or see something. And the doctor confirmed it. David was so excited when they came to pick up the girls. He said his chances of having a boy have doubled now! What an excited daddy he is!

I'm very happy for them. I think Selena is slightly in shock. But I know I was when I found out our happy news. Maybe there is something in the water. Either way, our twins are due in March. And we are all over the moon for these special additions!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy 4th Anniversay Billy!

Today is Billy and I's 4th Wedding Anniversary. It seems like just yesterday that we got married! We met May 4, 2005. I was working and trying to finish up my cosmetology class and license. Billy and the BBs were performing. And I got to do Lola's makeup and hair before they performed. To make a long story short, Lola introduced us. And we went on our first date 2 days later.

On September 10, 2005 we got married. It was a fun wedding. Intimate and with our close friends and family. The BBs even performed! Lola was my Maid of Honor, J was Billy's Best Man. As happy, magical, and loving as that day was, it was just the beginning to Our Love Story.

In our 4 years together, Billy and I have shared in many milestones together. We bought our first home together. We purchased property in the community that I grew up in. We survived the flood last year at the cabin. We had a home built in Texas. And moved to Texas for almost a year. While I was pregnant! We had Lauren, our little angel. Billy and I decided that I would not pursue a career. Instead do work here and there, when I wanted. Mostly, just traveling with the band and being Lola's MUA. We also decided that Billy would continue to work in his family business. Just from here instead of Texas.

We have also hit a few bumps in the road. Trying to decide where to live. How many times to visit our parents. And while we are both calm souls, I tend to be the one that stresses over things that I can't control. Sometimes breaking down. Especially when I would sit and think about Robert. But Billy has been so supportive. Comforting me. Allowing me to cry and feel my emotions. He holds me and let's me know that it will be OK. Even after Lauren was born, I wasn't quit sure I could do it, be a good mommy. But Billy believed in me. And gave me the confidence to be a good mommy to Lauren.

Billy doesn't judge me. He doesn't try to change the woman that I am. Instead, he encourages me. When I need the support he is always there, without me having to ask. He appreciates everything that I do. And sometimes I am taken aback by his little notes he leaves me. Just to say Thank You for loving Lauren. Or for being the one he wakes up next to. Billy is always right here by my side to protect and love me. That is what I always wanted in a husband. And I am very lucky to have found Billy.

Not every single day is easy or like a Fairy Tale, but it is life. Our life together. We have been married for 4 years! I still couldn't believe it this morning. When I woke up, I was just so excited that I found My Prince Charming. In the last week, we have gotten exciting news. We are expecting twins in March! I never would have expected it. To tell you the truth, I was in shock. But having Billy at my side, I know we can make it!

Billy is not just the Love of My Life. But he is my best friend. No matter what it is, I can always talk to him. He is there to hold my hand when I needed. Or to hold me when I need that. He is also the daddy to my wonderful daughter, and our twins. I could not ask for a better man. He is the best daddy that I could ever dream up for our kids! Billy is the love of my life, he is my best friend, my lover, the father of my children, but most of all, he is my heart. Together we are writing our Love Story.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chanel No. 22

Chanel No. 22 is one of those gorgeous fragrances that Lola introduced to me way back when we first met. It is a light scent. Softer than No. 5. More like a little sister to No. 5. But the scent is elegant, immediately reminding me of an elegant lady. It reminds me of a time passed. Of pure perfection.

This perfume was first introduced in 1922. It is made of white flowers. The notes include: orange blossom, peach, citrus, orchid, rose, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, vetiver, and vanilla. Lilac, jasmine, and rose can also be smelled. You can only purchase No. 22 at Chanel boutiques. It is a little on the pricey side at $175.00 for 200ml.

Honestly, this is an investment piece to any perfume collection. A bit difficult to find. But one of those fragrances that just has you thinking of elegant ladies. One that is always on my Wish List. Chanel No. 22 is one of those fragrances for special occasions.


*FTC: All items have been purchased by me. All my opinions are honest, and I'm not being paid to review these products.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Want to Shop at MAC

I have been dreaming of the MAC store for a few days now. I want to go shop at the MAC store. The closest one to me is 3 hours away! And I probably won't get to it for another 2 weeks. If not longer! The MAC website leaves a lot to be desired. Since they changed it, I am not happy with it. I try to avoid it as much as possible. There is a MAC counter a little over an hour away. But it is not the same. And the MUA are not very pleasant to deal with. If I'm in a pinch, I go there. But right now, I would like to go to the MAC store. I can't wait until October, when I get to go to the MAC Pro-Store!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Our Exciting News!

Now that our families know our news, it is time to tell our friends. On Friday, we found out we are having twins! Yes, TWINS! OK, so the picture maybe a little deceiving, we don't know yet if they are boys, girls, or a boy and a girl. We will find out next week whether they are fraternal or identical. Sometime between 18-20 weeks, we will find out the babies gender.

We are so excited! All of our families are excited too! Lola was just too happy on Friday. I know that she has been bursting at the seams to tell everyone. So have we! Lauren is happy to know she is getting 2 babies now. This also answers my question, "Why am I already so big?" My belly popped a couple of weeks ago. Yes, I have been showing. I know I am slim, but this explains a lot! I guess I also have to change my label from Baby to Twin Babies. We are excited to meet out twins. Just 28 weeks to go!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

What a Wonderful Day to Shop!

Today we are going shopping in the heart of my hometown. A small resort town in the mountains. My in-laws came in from Texas late yesterday afternoon. I have to say, I am very excited! Lauren was just so excited to see all of her grandparents!

We had made these plans a while ago. But we weren't completely sure if it was all going to workout the way we had planned. Luckily it did. Tonight, we are having a nice dinner at our cabin. The good news will finally be shared! Billy and I are so excited. Lauren has been really good about keeping our secret. She understands it, but she understands we have to keep a secret until tonight.

The guys will be working on the property. Billy has been building a work space for himself. And they are going to be working on it today. Although, rain is in the air. I wonder how far they are going to get. The girls, well we are going shopping. First, we are going to the Craft Fair. It should be fun! Then we are headed to all the little shops. Mom has been wanting to buy some new clothes. Honestly, I need some bigger clothes. Yes, I wear regular clothes during my pregnancy. I just buy larger ones. Mom tailors them for me. My mom-in-law is also excited. There is a cooking shop that she likes to shop at. She has been wanting to stock up on some of the fun kitchen accessories that they have!

Today is going to be so much fun! Hopefully the rain holds out until after our shopping spree. If not, a little water never hurt anyone. Lauren is super excited to go to the toy store. She got some money from her grandpas last night. She has been wanting this doll at the toy store. And all it's little accessories. I think the toy store will have to be our first stop!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wonderful News!

We got some pretty great news yesterday. But we are going to wait a bit to tell everyone on here. There are some very important people that need to know first! Lola knows, because she was there when we found out. Sorry about being so cryptic. We just need to talk to some important people in our lives first.

For now, we are headed to visit my parents. It should be a nice weekend. There is rain in the forecast, but not too much. Mom and I already have some plans to go shopping. I just hope the crowds aren't too bad. Because it is a holiday and my hometown is a bit of a resort town, it usually gets flooded with people over a holiday weekend.

In any case, we are excited about heading to the mountains. We only have a few short weeks before the snow begins. And when it starts snowing out this way, our trips become less frequent. Until then, we will make a couple of more trips. And love every single one!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

1. I feel anxious and excited.

2. Trips and friends are always fun.

3. Right now, I can hear these things: Billy in the kitchen and the TV.

4. It's September and I'm glad that the hot weather is almost behind us.

5. The last time I went to the doctor was 2 weeks ago.

6. We are going to my hometown this Labor day weekend.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a dinner with friends, tomorrow my plans include traveling to the mountains and Sunday, I want to do a little shopping!

What a week we have had! But in a good way. Emmers and Paul are in town. A nice change of pace for everyone! We got the good news that they are moving back. That is really exciting! From what I hear, Vi and Scott will be here, or they might already be here. It is really a good time when all of our friends come to visit. I don't think the 4 of them have ever been here at the same time. We have having a good time though.

Today, we have a doctor's appointment. Just a check up. But I am excited to hear the baby's heartbeat. For me, that solidifies that there is a healthy baby growing in there. Billy is really excited too! We decided to make it a day in town. And Lola had offered to watch Lauren while we are in our appointment. She works at the hospital were my OB/GYN is located. They actually work together. I am just a little anxious this morning. Just ready to hear our baby's healthy heart beating away!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Time with Old Friends

We had a nice afternoon today. We met Emmers and Paul for lunch! It has been such a long time since we have seen them. Emails just don't do our friendship justice. Neither do our sporadic phone calls. But today, we got to sit down, for hours catching up.

Turns out, Emmers and Paul are moving back. It has been about 3 years since they moved to Florida. A long 3 years! But they have decided to move back home. Paul is going to work for J. And Lola is helping Emmers get a job. We are all so excited! They are also going to be living in one of J's houses. That means just down the road from us. A couple of miles.

Lunch was amazing. We went to La Posta. One of our favorites around town. Lauren was over the moon excited about the birds. I have to admit, that is one of my favorite things about the restaurant too! She also had such a good time coloring. Emmers and Paul bought Lauren a bag of goodies. Coloring books, crayons, some hair bows, a teddy bear, and a new pony. She was so excited!

We spent a good 3 hours at the restaurant. Then another hour browsing a jewelry store that is connected to the restaurant. There are a few shops that are on your way out. Paul bought Emmers a pretty silver necklace. And Billy bought me and Lauren matching silver bracelets. All the jewelry in that shop was just gorgeous!

The 5 of us made it back to our house. Were we just relaxed, ate some chocolate cake, and eventually played in Lauren's Little Pink Playhouse. She had Billy and Paul in big pink hats and boas. Emmers and I got to play baby dolls with Lauren. It was a nice afternoon. One to remember. We just love spending time with all of our friends!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pregnancy Brain

Yes, I am certain that there is such a thing as "Pregnancy Brain." Because I have been very forgetful since I got pregnant. And very indecisive. To the point that it takes me an hour to figure out what I am going to wear. Or I do Lauren's hair 4 times before I am happy with it. I walk around looking for my keys, and they are in my hand. Billy tells me about a story he read in the paper, then I see it on the news. I don't even remember that my dear husband just told me about it.

Is "Pregnancy Brain" real? Lola said that it is. I trust her. She works in fertility health and prenatal care. It is one of the specialties that she is considering. So I believe it when she says it's true. My doctor also said it's true.

What in the world am I going to do until March? I don't remember having "Pregnancy Brain" the last time I was pregnant. Then again, I also forgot about labor and delivery. Does that just happen? You forget about these things. Because if you remembered, you might not have more kids. I just wonder. It could just be the "Pregnancy Brain."


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I went by Lola's today. I needed to drop off some stuff, that Billy needed to give her, before their rehearsal tonight. And going up the walkway, Lola has the most beautiful plants. With the sweetest smell. I just had to know what they were. Turns out, they are Gardenias. And she has 5, maybe more.

Now I know why I liked them so much. That is one of my favorite scents. I just never had seen them in plant form. You know, in the dirt. Well, I am in love. And on the search for some of these gorgeous little plants. Between the dark green leaves and the flawless white flowers, they are gems in nature. I also can't get over the sweet smell. It was not overbearing, just present. I really would like a couple of these to plant around our patio!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Do You Ever Wonder?

I was thinking about one of my very best friends in the whole world. Yes, Lola! She is so determined in life. And motivated. Honestly, she does put every single person ahead of herself. Lola is one of those very good natured people. The ones that go around doing things for others, without wanting or needing any type of recognition.

Lola is also one of those women that are completely gorgeous inside and out. And don't realize it. The whole situation reminds me of the song, She Don't Know She's Beautiful, by Sammy Kershaw. Since the first time we met, that song crossed my mind. Because she is surrounded by all of these amazing guys. And one by one, she has managed to set them up with the loves of their lives. When in reality, they all had eyes for her.

Now, we all know J is head over heels in love with Lola. He would do anything to get her to feel the same way. But there is a bigger player in town. The boss, Mr. Blue Eyes. The way he looks at her. The fact that he flies out to see the band's rehearsal every week. We all see it! But she doesn't. Lola just goes into practice, sweet as can be, and rehearses. I wonder if she will realize that this man is completely in love with her. I wonder if he will get through to her. I hope for my friend, that she allows his love into her heart.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Loving Weekend

Lauren is fast asleep! The minute my parents left, she fell asleep on the couch. But it was a wonderful weekend!

My parents got in early yesterday morning. Billy made us all a wonderful breakfast. And before we knew it, Billy and Dad were gone. They had decided to do some riding. Mom, Lauren, and I decided to do some shopping. We made it to the last 30 minutes of the Farmers' Market. Mom bought a big bag of apples and 3 bags of Kettle Corn. Lauren got a Princess Wand. My Mom spoils her so much!

We then went to all the fun stores, Hobby Lobby, Target, Dollar Tree, Barnes and Noble, and Claire's. Mom was in complete shopping mode! We eventually made it to lunch at Applebee's. Billy and Dad met us there. And my Dad got a bunch of those dessert shooters. I think he gave Lauren 3 of them!

After lunch, Billy and Dad went to Home Depot and Lowe's. They had a whole list of things they needed to buy. Us girls, we went to Marshall's and Ross. Mom bought so much clothes for Lauren and the new baby. We won't know for months whether this new little one will be a boy or a girl, but mom felt the need to spoil her grandkids!

Saturday night, we all went to Cattleman's for dinner. This was a treat. Dad just LOVES the food. Lauren likes going there too! It reminds her of Texas. And her grandparents. On the ride back home, Lauren fell asleep. Poor baby had missed her nap! The rest of us spent the evening on the back porch enjoying the warm summer evening. Dad talked about the upcoming winter. He tells us that we are going to have a lot of snow. I'm excited about that!

This morning was like any typical Sunday for us. We all got up for church. I rushed around trying to get ready on time. But this week, Dad took us to brunch at Peppers after church. They have the most amazing brunch around here. I ate, and ate, and ate some more. To the point, that I really did feel like I would explode! Lauren was fascinated with the plants in the restaurant. This happens every time we go there. Billy was just into his food. My husband really likes to eat!

After brunch we walked around the shops for a while. Mom bought different things. Some stuff for Lauren. A book to send my brother. Matching bracelets for Mom, my sister, and myself. She shopped and shopped. Until Lauren spotted our guys. We found Billy and Dad eating ice cream. Apparently, they hadn't had enough at brunch! :)

We went back to our house early in the afternoon. Lauren had Billy and Dad playing house with her. She managed to get necklaces and hats on them! Mom and I worked on some Fall wreaths. Do you remember I bought some ribbons and decorations? My Mom is really the creative one. She helped me make 2 large wreaths for our front doors. We have double doors. And she made one to take home. We also made centerpieces. It was so much fun. And it reminded me of my childhood. Mom would buy all these supplies, and one day she would sit us all down to make decorations for the house. Our house was always filled with love and handmade decorations.

The weekend was wonderful! I would not have done anything differently if I could. Except make the weekend longer. Mom and Dad left late in the afternoon. They wanted to make it home before dark, so they skipped dinner. I packed them a small meal to eat on the road. And we saw them off! It was nice to spend time with my parents at home. I know that Billy enjoyed sharing so much with my Dad while they were here. Lauren just LOVED having them here. Even if it was just to have grandpa watch her ride her horse, or grandma help her get dressed. It was a weekend filled with loving memories.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Purple Pumps

Lately, I have been getting a little wordy on here. A little too emotional. And my posts have been long. So I have decided to lighten the mood and share with you some shoes that I like. I have a little time to blog before my parents get here for the weekend.

I saw these peep toes on the Payless commercial about a week ago. And I was immediately drawn to them! It didn't help that Lola recently bought them for work. And I seen her on Tuesday. All dressed up, with these shoes on. They are really cute. Yesterday, I finally decided to look at them online.

They come in both black and purple. But the purple ones just grab my attention. I think it is because I have so many pairs of black shoes. And I don't think I have a single pair of purple ones. These shoes have gorgeous ruffle detailing at the front and have a 3.75" heel. They are $25. But right now at Payless, they are having a BOGO. The 2nd pair is 1/2 off. You can buy these shoes for $25 or $12.50, just depending on the other pair of shoes you buy.

I am going to have to go to Payless soon. I know my mom would enjoy the shopping trip. And some new shoes. These purple peep toes will definitely add some fun to any outfit!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

1. He was a great man in my life.

2. Fall is what I look forward to most this time of year.

3. My best friend is Billy.

4. I'm scared to death of parenting 2 kids and still being a good mom, to be honest with you.

5. Appearances can be deceiving, you just need to go on instincts.

6. The last person I gave a hug to was my love, Billy.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to time with Lauren, tomorrow my plans include spending time with my parents and Sunday, I want to have a good family day!

This has been quite a week! I have been thinking so much about Robert. I think it has something to do with my pregnancy. But I am grateful to still feel his love. My parents are coming tomorrow to spend some time with us. I am very excited! Lauren keeps going to our Guest Room to see if her grandma and grandpa are there yet. I keep telling her that they will be here tomorrow. But she wants them here now!

Lauren has spent so much time playing in her Little Pink Playhouse! This is probably the best investment we ever made. I LOVE her so much! And I am so glad we could make her this happy! Billy has been spending a lot of time with the guys this week. But it is a good break for him. He works so hard. All of the time. So this little bit of time that he spends with the guys, is so well earned.

I am just looking forward to the weekend. And some time with my family. My mom has so much planned for us to do. Lauren is so excited to show her grandparents her Little Pink Playhouse. Billy is excited that he and dad will get to ride horses out here. It is just going to be a good weekend. I know it!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Day with My Girl

Lauren's dance studio is closed today and tomorrow. They are putting in new floors. So I thought we would have a special day together. Billy is working with the guys on some kind of project at J's. Honestly, I think they are just enjoying some Guy Time. Because they are all finally in the same place at the same time.

We started the day in bed. Lauren got up around 7AM. Because I had slept in, she found me still in bed. We lay in bed together. I enjoy cuddling with her like that. We talked about fairy tales, dolls, and dancing. Then we got up and started getting ready. Billy had left at 4AM. They were going to break some horses. Then the guys were delivery some cattle. And he is supposed to be gone until 10PM. It was just me and Miss Lauren for the day.

Lauren sat in a chair next to me as I did my hair and makeup. Waiting for her lipgloss and the bow in her hair. She really likes to put makeup on. Billy might want to start worrying since now. We got dressed up. Lauren had her favorite sundress on, and I had my new dress on. We went to IHOP for breakfast. We shared nutella crepes. One of our favorites! Lauren was over the moon because she got to eat chocolate for breakfast.

After breakfast we went to the museum. It is nothing to get overly excited about. It is in the mall. Next to JCPennys. And it is the size of a WetSeal store. But Lauren was excited to see the dinos. We took lots of pictures to show daddy. We made dino tracks in the sand. And bought some dinos to take home. Even Mr. Duck enjoyed the dinos.

Then we went shopping. We can't go to the mall and not go to Claire's. Since I was little, I have always gone to Claire's when I was at the mall. I still can't believe I spent $80 on hair ties and plastic jewelry for Lauren. But I did. She came out of the store very proud of her new purse. The little chapsticks inside. She was also draped in 3 new necklaces.

Barnes and Noble is right across from Claire's. So we went. I bought the new George Strait CD and a new book. And Lauren got some new books. We sat in one of the chairs reading 3 books. Lauren gets so excited to read. And to tell you the truth, we were in need of some new bedtime books. We bought 10! And we bought 2 big chocolate chip cookies for later.

Before leaving the mall, we went to Trade Secret. It is one of my favorite stores. I wanted to look at some OPI nail polish. And some Burt's Bees products. Lauren was excited to help me pick out some nail polish. We bought a few. Lauren picked out 2 pink and 2 purple. And we bought her some new bubble bath. The cashier even gave her some bright hair elastics.

We left the mall and went to Hobby Lobby. I let Lauren pick out some fabric. Lola said she would make Lauren curtains for her Playhouse. After thoroughly looking through all of the fabric, Lauren was debating between 2. She decided on some pink check material, that has Raggedy Ann and Andy on it. I got more than enough. Because Lola is also making her an apron, oven mitts, and a table cloth!

While looking around, we found the clearance section. And there was a little pink table and chair set. It is a miniature bistro set. Just Lauren's size. For $25! She sat in one chair and put Mr. Duck in the other. I couldn't resist. Lauren got the set. I also bought some ribbon and small barrettes. Lola is going to show me how to make those cute hair ribbons for Lauren. Lauren also got a doll kit to make her own rag doll. Everything was in there, and it was only $8.

I asked Lauren where she wanted to have lunch. All she had to say, was that she wanted to eat at the park. We bought some toasted subs from Dion's and headed to the park. We found the perfect tree to sit under and had a picnic. We ate and watched the birds. Lauren and I ran up and down the small hills. Eventually, she clonked out on our blanket. And I sat and read some of my book. I didn't want to wake her. And I couldn't resist Miss Lauren sleeping on top of me, holding Mr. Duck.

When she woke up, it was starting to get hot. I decided to go to Target before we headed home. We needed some things like shampoo, soap, and toothpaste. At Target, we bought some coloring books and crayons. And 2 My Little Ponies. Lauren was just too excited. I don't regularly spend this kind of money on her. We are able to, but I don't want her to be spoiled. Today was just a special day.

At home, we spent time coloring. Lauren made her daddy a card. And we colored pictures to send to T-Lo. Late in the afternoon, we sat and I painted Lauren's nails with our new nail polish. And we read 2 of her new books. Lauren and I also made dinner. I put her apron on her, and she helped me. We made chicken, mac-n-cheese, and a salad. Lauren helped to wash the veggies and put them in the bowl. She also put the napkins on the table.

After dinner, Lauren and I went outside to play. It was finally cooling down. Lauren and I played in her Little Pink Playhouse. We put up her new table and chairs outside the house. Next to her new flowers. She is so excited to play outside. She made me dinner, washed clothes, and cleaned her house. As the sun was setting, Lauren came and sat in my lap. We shared our chocolate chip cookies. And watched the sun go down.

Lauren looked up at me and told me she loved me. She gave me a big kiss and hugged me as tight as she could. Today was about more than the things that I bought her. It was about the time we spent together. About laughing and having fun. I am glad that I get to spend good quality time with her. It's little things like sharing a chocolate chip cookie and some kisses that make our days so very special.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Peace Lily

Today is a day that I think about my peace lily. And all that it represents. When I was younger, my brother passed away tragically and suddenly. It was very unexpected. It was right before the beginning of his senior year, my freshmen year. My family took it hard. My brother had been coming home from football practice. And a semi-truck driver crossed the line, hitting my brother's truck. He died almost instantly. We later learned the other driver was twice the legal limit.

The days that followed my brother's death, they were difficult. Our neighbors continued to visit. Bringing with them food, flowers, plants, hugs, love, and support. And on the day of my brother's service, we had a very special delivery. As we were leaving our home, a florist was coming up our driveway to bring a delivery. It was a Peace Lily. My brother had bought it the day he was killed. It was delivered to our family the day of the football BBQ we were all supposed to attend. My brother bought this plant to tell us all Thank You. For all of our help with the fundraisers we were doing. The card read, "To the #1 family anyone could dream up. Thank you for your help with football and all these crazy fundraisers. I know it wasn't the way you wanted to spend your summer. This plant is like us. Full of life! With the most delicate flowers to sweeten our days. Rob"

My mom took the plant and card inside. Mom placed the card in her treasured box. She put the plant next to her chair in the kitchen. We had this small nook were mom would sit in the morning and have her coffee. She would look out the window into her flower garden. Whenever you just needed to chat with her, there was a small chair for you to sit too. My mom put our Peace Lily there.

For the longest time, the lily sat there. Mom would quietly have her coffee. No one ever moved the lily. No one ever interrupted mom in her thoughts. From time to time, when I thought no one was around, I would sit in mom's chair. I could swear that I felt my brother right there with me. That little nook would fill with love.

My brother and I had been really close. He was the oldest. I was 3 years younger. He had always protected me and watched over me. We have a younger sister, and a baby brother. But the 2 of us were always super close. When we were real little. Mom and dad would tuck us in. We weren't supposed to leave our bedrooms. But Rob would sneak out of his room every single night. He would come into my room and check under my bed and in my closet. You know, to make sure there weren't any monsters. Then he would kiss me on the forehead and say, "Love ya Manders. Sleep tight. I will protect you in the night. See ya at breakfast." Every night he did that. Then he would sneak back to his room.

The summer before he died, we talked about high school almost nonstop. Rob was going to take me to school with him in the mornings. Mom would pick me up in the afternoons. Because Rob had football practice. After football season, we would go to school together. And go home together. I was so excited! All summer our family helped Rob and the football team raise money. They were trying to get new uniforms and equipment. We had bake sales, spaghetti dinners, car washes, sold candy, and cleaned yards. All for our guys!

For many months after Rob's death, I felt lost. Mom was sad. She tried really hard to be brave. But I would catch her every once in a while crying. Dad couldn't even watch football. Rob's room stayed untouched. Mom would go in and dust and vacuum. But we didn't ever move anything around.

Almost 4 years later, I was a high school graduate. It was the summer before I was going to leave for college. I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life. But dad told me I should try school. Dad and I drove the 2 hour trip to a nearby college town. I enrolled in freshman classes. We looked at the dorms. Dad listened patiently to the parent lectures. And I took a walk to the duck pond. Something didn't feel right. I couldn't put my finger on it. But it didn't feel right.

Maybe because Rob and I had talked about going to school there together. We had talked about getting an apartment together. He was going to study Business Administration. He wanted to own his own Sporting Goods store. Now, I was here alone. Life had somewhat gotten back to normal since he had died. But there was something about this trip that made me wonder.

Dad and I went back home. I had 2 months to wait for classes to begin. About a month after our trip, my dad came home one day, to find me sitting in our old tree house. I was crying. I hadn't even realized dad was there. I think that is the first time dad realized I wasn't ready to leave. I just remember him coming into our old tree house and holding me while I cried. The only thing I remembered was dad carrying me into the house, into my room, in the dark of night.

Sometime in the following days, dad withdrew me from the university. We didn't really talk about it. He just knew that is what I needed. I got a job at one of the little shops around town. I worked during the week. But one day, right after the school year began, the pipes in our building busted overnight. I had 2 days off of work.

Mom and dad let me sleep in the first day. And when I woke up, everyone was gone. Mom and dad had gone to work. My sister and brother had gone to school. I went into the kitchen and found the plate of food my mom had left me from breakfast. And as I sat down to eat, I saw our lily. It had grown so big. Mom had changed the pot 3 times. And now, it sat on the floor next to her chair. It made me think of Rob.

I left my food and went into his room. It had been a while since I had been in there. Probably a year. But everything was exactly like it was when he was alive. The room smelled like him. His homecoming tickets were still thumb tacked to his bulletin board. His jacket still hung on his bed post. His notebook still opened to the page he left it on. With his almost unreadable writing littering the 2 open pages. I sat on the bed and looked around. I took everything in. The smells, the objects, the details. This was Rob's space. This was him. This was all we had left of my brother.

I lay on the bed crying. Uncontrollably crying. And once my tears began to dry, I found my face against his pillow. Smelling his shampoo. The faint scents of my brother still lived in there. It was then that I realized he wouldn't be back. I would never get another hug from him. I would never again get to sit and talk to him. Get to fight over the last piece of bacon. Or have him tickle me until I thought I might explode.

My family came home. Mom found me in Rob's room. That night, the 5 of us sat in Rob's room. Crying. Laughing. Telling stories about Rob. That was the night we all let ourselves mourn our loss. Remember the man that was taken too early in our lives. The night that we let Rob go. And held on tight to our memories of him.

The next day, I began the painstakingly hard task of packing up his room. We did not get rid of a thing. But we did pack everything away for safe keeping. And hidden deep in the back of his closet, I found a present Rob had bought me. It was wrapped in pink wrapping paper, and a white bow. It was my birthday present. For my 15th birthday. That was my first birthday without my big brother. He was a good 8 months early. But that was Rob. He always planned ahead.

I carefully opened the present. And inside, I found a makeup brush roll. 7 brushes tucked inside. MAC brushes no less. And a small gold ring with a pink sapphire. There was also a note. Or I should say a letter from my brother Rob. He said in that letter how proud he was of me. How one day he would have a successful business. And one day, I would follow my dreams too. He still remembered me wanting to be a makeup artist. I told him that one day I was going to be a lady just like Audrey Hepburn. And I would be the best makeup artists ever! That pink ring, during our back to school shopping, I had seen it. We had gone to the "Big City" for the weekend. My parents took us to the mall to buy some school clothes. My brother and I had gone to get some ice cream. On our way, we passed a jewelry store. And I saw this ring. And I immediately fell in love with it. It was my favorite color, pink.

In his letter, Rob told me that he wanted to be the first guy, other than dad, to buy me some nice jewelry. And that one day, when I was going to get married, the man would have to ask both dad and him for my hand. I still wear that ring. And I think about my brother. I think about him every time I have a big milestone in my life. Like when Billy and I got married. Or when Lauren was born. I think about how Rob would have been the greatest of friends with Billy. How much he would love Lauren. And how excited he would be for this new little one on the way.

I spent a week slowly packing Robs things up. I wrapped every breakable object up. Folded up all of his clothes. Filed his papers. Slowly taking his posters down. I took my precious gifts and safely placed them in my room. I even took a bowl. It was from summer camp. Rob and I had gone together one year. He was mad that he had to do crafts one day. But at the end of the day, he had painted this cute little bowl. He was silently very proud of it. We have it in our kitchen now. We put our fruit in there.

I stayed at home for a total of 2 years after graduation. I worked. Our family healed. My sister became a cheerleader. My days were filled with work and my evenings were filled with her games. And our little brother's football and baseball games. Then, the summer before my sister's senior year, I decided to move. I woke up one morning and Rob's letter fell out of my bookcase. I took it to dad's office (Rob's old room) and read it. I sat in dad's chair looking out the window. Dad was feeding the animals. Something that I had loved to watch he and Rob do. And I just knew it was time.

I moved to the "Big City." I enrolled in some classes at the local university and got a job at the mall. It wasn't the same university that Rob and I had planned on going to. I think that was a good thing. The day that I was leaving, our house was busy. Dad was loading boxes in his truck, mom was packing us some snacks. My sister and brother were trying to get their things together. They were staying with some friends while mom and dad helped me move. Because they had practice.

I walked into the kitchen and sat at the table. Mom caught me looking at our lily. She went over to were it sat, and picked it up. By now, it was really big. It had almost been 6 years since Rob had died. Mom took the plant and put in the back seat of the truck. She didn't say anything. When we got to my small apartment, 3 hours away, she carefully unloaded it. Dad and I were busy taking boxes from my car into the apartment.

I didn't have much. An old rocking chair that my grandma gave me. And my TV and bookshelf from my room. We put those in the living room. A small table and 2 chairs that our neighbor was getting rid of, went into the kitchen/dining room. My bed, nightstand, and dresser went into my bedroom. And my desk went into the 2nd bedroom. Mom put the plant in the living room next to the rocking chair.

When it was time to say our goodbyes, mom was crying. Dad was being strong. And all I could think was, how am I going to do this? I held my dad tight, knowing he wouldn't be that far away if I needed him. And when mom hugged me, I could feel her tears hit the top of my head. She carefully whispered in my ear that she loved me. That I would make it. And as they turned to leave, I saw our lily. This made me cry. And I asked mom, "How do I take care of it?" "You'll just know."

I had never had to take care of a living thing. My brother fed our animals. Even our fish. And when Rob died, dad did it. Mom always took care of the plants and flowers. Now, our lily, was in my hands. On Sundays, I would call my family when I got home from church. And after we talked, I would water our lily. Sunday nights were always tough for me. I would miss my family desperately. But when I sat in my rocking chair, I would feel the love of my brother.

During the Christmas break that year, I went home. One day, I went to visit my grandparents. Grandpa told me that there was an old bench that I could have. It was in the shed. So I went out back to look at it. I remembered it. Grandma had asked grandpa to refinish it during Rob's junior year. Grandpa struggled to sand it. So Rob would go out to their house on Sunday afternoons to help grandpa. It took them weeks. Because grandpa took things slowly. Then grandpa had gotten sick. And months later, Rob had died. It had sat there since. Covered in boxes.

I went to the bench and moved the boxes. I sat down. It was a little rough. But I knew I could use it. I just needed some furniture. I thought my dad could help me to paint it. And my mom might be able to make a cushion for it. I opened the seat. The seat lifts up like a lid to a box. And inside, I found 5 envelopes. Each had a name of someone in our family, written in Rob's handwriting. I opened mine. And inside was $200, and a piece of paper from the local furniture store. It was a description of a vanity table and chair.

In each envelope was money, and a description to something that Rob had picked out for us. My dad's was a tool that he and Rob had talked about. My mom's was a jewelry box from the same furniture store. My sister's had a camera. My brother's had some football stuff. It was so Rob, to plan all of this out. That year, we took the money and bought the items that Rob had picked out for us. All those years later, we got the presents he wanted us to have for Christmas.

At the end of that school year, I wasn't sure if that was the place for me. I had adapted well to the new city. Work was good. I had new friends. My sister would be moving in with me later in the summer. But I wasn't sure about school. And on the morning of my sister's graduation, I was busily getting ready. I looked at Rob's gift to me. The brush roll and my brushes. I had added a couple during the past year, but it still reminded me of Rob. I knew, my place was in beauty school. I had picked up the application over Christmas break. But it had sat in a drawer until that day.

I sat and filled it out. Soon, I found myself in beauty school. I went part time, and I worked. My sister was living with me. She was going to the university. And small memories of Rob where sprinkled throughout our apartment. Whenever I felt alone, I would sit in my rocking chair. And I could just feel Rob's love around me.

Today, Rob's lily sits in my makeup room. Billy had Lola decorate it when we were in Texas. She had heard my story of Rob early in our friendship. And she made sure to make special places in my room, for my memories of Rob. The lily is now so big that we have it in one of those large outdoor pots. I have gotten many other lilies from it. Now, my parents, my sister, and my brother all have lilies from the large one. My vanity and chair are the stars of the room. They are exactly the type of thing that I love! And Rob knew that all those years ago.

There was something about Ted Kennedy's passing, and all of the specials about his life, that reminded me of my brother Robert. August 4th marked the 15th Anniversary of my brother's death. There are still days that I miss him. There are days like Lauren's birthday, that I stop and think about him. I know that his love is still with us. The kindness that overflowed from his body, still exist. I am reminded every morning as I get ready in the morning and I see Rob's lily next to my makeup chair.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Billy Forgot

Last week, when the BBs had rehearsal, they planned a "Guys' Week." With Lola. She is just part of the crowd. But Billy forgot about it when we went to visit my parents yesterday. J is still gone. Lola had to work. Which everyone already knew. Anna Marie and Joe went to visit family. Jacob and Cari went to see her family. And I don't know what happened to the rest of the guys. Or how they all forgot about their previous plans.

But Lola called us yesterday afternoon. To see where everyone was at. She was going to work. And the boss called to see where everyone was at. He was sitting at J's house. How he made it to town, from TN before the guys, I don't know. But he was waiting patiently. Lola convinced him to meet her at work. And they spent the day with the kids in the hospital. Eventually, she gave him the key to J's house. And I guess he called it a night.

Now, the guys are all pumped up about the week. Somehow everyone descended on the area. And at 5AM, Billy left to go hangout with his friends. They have a bunch of stuff planned for the next 10 days. Practice for the band falls in there somewhere too! As does a camping trip. Lola seems excited about it too. Although she already has a full plate with work and school. It's just something that she enjoys. Spoiling the boys. The band is definitely going to be doing some bonding!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Heading Home

This morning Billy had an idea. We could go visit my parents. Most of our friends were going to visit their own families. And our dinner plans would have to wait for another day.

After mass and a quick breakfast, we headed to my parents house. It is roughly 2 hours from where we live. Lauren was quite excited! Billy had plans to work with my dad. They have been working on some project with the trees around my parents property. And Billy wants to get further along with it. My dad enjoys spending time and working with Billy. I think he is also very relieved to have the help.

When we got to my parents' house, they were very happy to see us. My sister and her fiance were on their way too! And Miss Lauren was very excited to play with grandma. She got a new baby doll from J earlier in the week. Lauren and my mom got right to work on a blankie for the new baby. My mom likes to sew little projects like that for her. Lauren just gets so excited about the things that grandma makes her and her baby dolls.

When my sister got there, it was a nice change. I hadn't seen her in almost 2 weeks. We all don't live that far from each other. But with our daily lives and schedules, sometimes visits become more spread out then we'd like. Dad promptly pulled his future son-in-law to help in their project. I don't think he had anticipated it. But he was willing to learn. I am sure Billy and dad had a good time picking on him!

My sis and I just caught up on each others' lives. She is elbow deep in wedding plans. Mom thinks it's all too funny! She carries around a little carrying case for all her files. I have to say, she is very organized about this. Every folder is labeled and well organized with her picks. Lauren and mom spent most of the afternoon playing baby dolls. Mom even made her a few outfits for her new baby doll.

Eventually the guys came back from their project. And we had dinner. Mom is such a good cook. And she never lets my sister and I help with Sunday dinner. We had a nice feast of pork chops, squash, baked potatoes, salad, and peach cobbler. Lauren was over the moon because she got ice cream and peach cobbler. My daughter makes me laugh!

Billy and I decided to head back home after dinner. We didn't want to travel in the dark. There was a serious accident around here last night. And a man died. So we wanted to play it safe. My mom packed up a big bag of snacks. As if we were traveling across the country, instead of the 2 hours home. I love her so much. And now we are on the road headed home.

It was a long day. But a fun one. I am glad that we decided to come and visit our family. Billy and dad are very proud of the progress they are making on their project. Lauren is happy with the things grandma made her. And I am just happy to have spent time with our family.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Girls' Day

I'm up early today. We are having a girls' day. Just Anna Marie, Cari, and myself. I honestly couldn't be much more excited than I am right now. Well, if some more friends were going. But we got our little group.

First up, we are going out for breakfast. I have been craving the Nutella Crepes from IHOP. We are going to the larger city, about an hour away. IHOP is first on our plans. Anna Marie and I just might eat everything in the place. 2 pregnant ladies with cravings.

We don't have a lot planned. Just places we want to go to. A little shopping. We couldn't have planned this better. On the news, they just said it is the Tax-Free weekend. I just hope that the crowds aren't too bad! I definitely want to go look at some fabric. As does Anna Marie. Lola is going to be decorating their nursery. But with the crazy schedules, she hasn't had a chance to start. And Anna Marie can't decide on a fabric! Very typical of my friend. And we have a nice lunch planned. I remembered to make the reservations last week.

Sometime in the late afternoon, we are going to Cari's. She is going to be giving us some of her amazing plants. I just love their yard! I wish I had her green thumb. For now, I am just hoping to not kill whatever plants she gives me. But Billy is good with the yard. So I'm hoping for some success.

It is getting late. And I need to finish getting ready. Lauren is going to have a Daddy Day. Well, after we go to the Farmers' Market. I'm going with them to pick up some food for the week. Then I'm off with the girls!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

1. I remember, I remember to eat my veggies. :)

2. Dear Billy I want you to know I LOVE YOU.

3. Is that my bra!!??? (How did I forget this part of being pregnant?)

4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of of the box of chocolate pecan candy that J gave us.

5. I'm saving a place just for you!

6. If I made a birthday list makeup, shoes, and clothes would definitely be on it!!!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to eating at the Double Eagle, tomorrow my plans include spending time with Cari and Anna Marie and Sunday, I want to have some friends over for dinner!

This has been a full week! I can't remember us being this busy for a while. Billy and the band are getting back into the swing of things. They had rehearsal on Tuesday night. And Thank goodness that Lola was there for that! She even cooked for everyone. BBQ chicken, potato salad, corn on the cob, fresh biscuits, Southern iced tea, and fruit pies with ice cream! I think the guys just like to rehearse because she cooks for them! :)

The boss, aka Mr. Blue Eyes, came to their rehearsal. Don't tell Lola, but he is madly in-love with her! I am as serious, as the sky is blue! We all had a good time. The band picked right up were they had left off. Lauren and Eva danced around as the band played. And Lauren was quite taken by Mr. Blue Eyes. She asked him if he ate too many tomatoes (because of his hair) and why his eyes are blue. He just smiled and laughed. He is really good with kids. (Did you hear that Lola?)

Lauren has been so into her new Little Pink Playhouse. On Tuesday, after we all had dinner, she told J that she needed some pretty flowers like his. J didn't skip a beat. Before I knew it, he had a shovel in one hand digging out some lilies for her. Lauren was happy as pumpkin pie! She got roses, lilies, and gardenias. Later today, Billy is going to go and buy her some more flowers. She is going to have a whole garden for her new house.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dollar Tree

After dropping Lauren and Maribel off at dance practice this morning, I decided to go to the Dollar Tree today. I just needed to waste some time while they had practice. I have always LOVED the dollar stores. When I was a kid, I would get so excited to go to the dollar store. Probably because we lived in a mountain community. And when we went to a larger town, I could buy a WHOLE BAG of stuff at the dollar store.

When the Dollar Tree Stores opened around here a few years ago, it just got worse. Because Dollar Tree is a little more high end when it comes to those dollar stores. They sell a lot of resale stuff from Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target. Yes, they do. I had a friend that worked there for a while.

Today, I spent a little over $100. And still don't know how that happened. I bought some small glass containers to use as candle holders. The same ones that you buy at Wal-Mart for $2-3. I also got a little carried away with the dish towels, pot holders, and oven mitts. But they were nice quality ones. That doesn't always happen. I also bought a ton of Fall decoration stuff. My parents are coming down to visit next week. And I thought mom and me could make some things. The ribbon alone was a steal at $1. Hobby Lobby has the same one for $12!!!

But it didn't end there. No it didn't! I got lost in the barrettes for Lauren. And ended up buying her $20 worth. I didn't forget about the G Girls. And spent another $10. Then I got lost in the books and coloring books. I don't buy Lauren toys there. Unless, I have seen the same ones at a store like Target. But books, yes I do. I bought her a bunch because she likes to read.

I also bought makeup. And before you say anything, it is the same stuff you would find at any drugstore. Today was Maybelline day. And I left with 6 mascaras, 5 shadow sticks, and 3 lipsticks. Did I need them? No. But it was a good buy. Things that I can use. It was nice that they were stocking as I was looking. Because the lady let me go through the stuff in the box. You just never know what you are going to find at the Dollar Tree!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feeling Crafty!

Today Lauren and I went to Hobby Lobby. We didn't have anything that we needed to buy. We also didn't really have anything on the mind to look at. We were just killing some time while Billy, J, and Lola were working on a project. But I soon found myself in the fabric department. I just wanted to look at the nursery fabric. We are far from knowing whether the baby is a boy or a girl. But I thought I would take a jump start on the fabric selection

When I was pregnant of Lauren, I picked Raggedy Ann and Andy or Little Cowboys as our nursery themes. Lola agreed to decorate the nursery for me. Partly because Billy and I were in Texas. And by the time we would move back, Lauren would be a few weeks old. The minute we knew we were having a girl, I called Lola. And she got right on it. She had just finished J's house and was all creative. When we got back, we had this amazing nursery. With Raggedy Ann and Andy sprinkled throughout. She even put in pink boots and a toy box that looked like a little red wagon. Joe had made it. Not that I didn't love the nursery that my mother-in-law and I had put together in our Texas house. But this one was absolutely amazing!

Today, Lauren and I got completely lost in the rows of fabric. And I have absolutely no clue what I want to use. I am thinking about the Little Cowboys again. But for a girl, I have absolutely no clue what to use. I like that I used Raggedy Ann and Andy for Lauren because it is a room that she has grown with. It was not exclusively a baby's room. And she absolutely LOVES the rocking chair with the big Raggedy Ann that T-Lo made her. I find her wrapped up in her Raggedy Ann arms when she needs quiet time. Gently rocking back and forth.

After an hour of looking, I am kind of leaning towards Strawberry Shortcake. The original one. But I am not sold yet. I am still open to something that sparks my interest. We are also very lucky that T-Lo has agreed to decorate the baby's nursery. And after all that fabric searching, Lauren and I bought some cupcake fabric. She wants T-Lo to make her an apron!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spontaneous Nail Polish

I've been looking for the perfect lavender color. Today, I picked up China Glaze in Spontaneous. It is a gorgeous color. Like all China Glaze colors, this has a good coverage. The formula is smooth and dries quickly and evenly. I polished my nails with 2 coats and a clear topcoat. No bubbles or smudges to be found. Just a beautiful opaque lavender color.

This product is also a good standing nail polish. I polished my nails around noon. I went on to clean the kitchen and the bathrooms. Really scrubbing things with no gloves. And I have done dishes twice. There is not a nick or a chip to be found on a single nail.

This is a good polish. I can see myself wearing it to a variety of events. The color is a sophisticated lavender with no sparkles, shimmer, or hints of other colors. I bought is at Sally Beauty for just over $3 with my beauty card. Which is another good purchase. For $5 you get a beauty card that is good for a year. You get a coupon for $5 the following month. And coupons and special offers all year long. Most, if not all products, are also cheaper with the card.


*FTC: All items have been purchased by me. All my opinions are honest, and I'm not being paid to review these products.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Clothes Lines

Yesterday when we were at my parents' house, Lauren asked, "What are those mommy?" She was pointing towards the clothes lines. It got me thinking. There are so many things that Lauren doesn't know about. Things from the past that just aren't around any more. My parents have clothes lines, but they never use them. My in-laws don't even have any. And they live on the Ranch. I guess the Ranch is a lot more modern, then the ones that people probably think about, when they think Ranch.

The only person that I know, that has clothes lines and uses them, is Lola. Lauren asked T-Lo a while back, why she hung her clothes outside. Lola sat next to her explaining. Lauren thought it was cool. She wanted me to hang her clothes too! She also likes that T-Lo has flowers growing on the side of the clothes lines.

Is there anything from the past that interests your kids? I was thinking really hard about this. Lauren is actually really interested in a lot of things from the past. I think I am going to start blogging about them more often. I just love seeing her explore the world and ask such grown up questions.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Warm Summer Day

We made it to my parents' house early this morning. Lauren almost didn't want to leave because of her new play house. But we reminded her of her tree house that grandpa built her. She quickly got in the trucj with Lucky (her horse.) She slept most of the way. It was pretty early.

And when we got here, mom had a HUGE breakfast spread ready for us. I am so blessed to have such amazing parents. We ate. And ate some more. My mom is such a good cook. Billy and dad headed out to work. I tried to help mom clean up, but she just sent me and Lauren to play. Lauren quickly got lost in her world of make believe and I just watched her. It still amazes me how imaginative she is. She cleaned her little house. And sat in her rocking chair, rocking her baby to sleep.

My mom eventually came out with her blanket that she started for the baby. She is embroidering a blanket for the baby. With the cutest little animals all over it. I helped her with the thread, but that is about as talented as I am. I'm not a very crafty person. My mom does it so seamlessly.

As lunch time quickly approached, mom and I made lunch as Lauren picked flowers. Soon Billy and dad came to eat. And as quickly as they came, they were gone again. Lauren quickly fell asleep. And mom and me picked flowers around her garden. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my mom. We made a few arrangements for the house. My even made me one to take home. I love to learn all these things from her.

Not long ago, Billy and dad came back. Dad went to shower. Mom throw me out of the house to relax, as she made dinner. Lauren is happily decorating her house with flowers. And Billy is sitting here with me. We are watching our baby girl. Who is not a baby any more. She is such a big girl. And we are listening to Alabama. Enjoying a warm summer day with loving family. Life really could not get much better than this!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lauren's New Playhouse

Today Billy and Joe put together Lauren's new playhouse. After seeing the ones on Jon and Kate +8, Billy wanted to get Lauren one. After much digging around, calling, and who knows what, Billy took me out to the barn last night. J had delivered it. The cutest little thing you could ever lay your eyes on! But it needed to be put together. The 2 of us agreed to keep it a secret for Lauren.

And this morning after breakfast, we met Anna Marie at Target for some shopping. Anna Marie and Eva were doing a lot of shopping for the new baby. Joe and Anna Marie's new daughter will be here in November. I half wanted to add some new kitchen toys to our basket. But Lauren was very observant today. And I didn't want her to get suspicious. I know she is only 2, but she gets things very quickly.

We also made a stop at Hobby Lobby. The girls were too thrilled over some jewelry kits that we bought. And eventually we made it to Applebee's for lunch. But Lauren and Eva didn't make it much past that. So we headed back to Anna Marie and Joe's house. Still uncertain of the progress at our house.

Halfway through the girls' nap and our manicures, Billy called. They were not done. Because they needed to find some tool. Which lead them to make the hour trip to the larger city nearby. Then another hour back. They were just getting started.

Once the girls woke up, we had a snack. Then the girls noticed our painted nails. And wanted some too! After painted nails, the girls made lots of necklaces. Draped all 4 of us in beads. Anna Marie and I were trying to keep them entertained. When in walked our husbands. All smiles and proud of themselves.

Billy and I took Lauren home. And she was so excited when she looked in the backyard. Her Little Pink Playhouse was waiting for her. And I was very impressed. Billy had even bought little furniture and toys for the inside. Dolls and dress up clothes too! She was so thrilled. And spent hours and hours playing in her house.

I am so glad that we thought about this. Lauren has a tree house/play house at my parents house and at my in-laws. But we had never thought about it here at home. To see Lauren so excited, made me happy! She even wants to plant flowers around her house!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

1. When will it not be hot?

2. Julie and Julia was the last good book I read or movie I saw or tv show I watched.

3. Everything has its beauty but sometimes it is hard to see it.

4. BBQ Chicken, baked potatoes, and zucchuni is what I had for dinner.

5. I'd like your weather if it is cooler than 100*F.

6. In the mountains is where I want to be right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to visiting Joe and Anna Marie, tomorrow my plans include a trip to the nursery and Sunday, I want to go to the mountains!

It is raining. It has been rainy all night long. And I am actually shocked that Lauren slept through all of that. Billy is outside picking up broken branches right now. There are so many all over the backyard. The wind was crazy last night.

But it was a nice change of pace. It has been so hot here. And we haven't had our normal rainy August. Lauren has been spending many afternoons in the pool. And I am just trying to keep cool. This is not the best time to be pregnant. But at least, I am not as far along as Anna Marie. Poor thing. She is just miserable in this heat.

I am looking forward to visiting my parents on Sunday. Billy and I like taking the drive. It is about 2 hours. And my parents live in the mountains. It is a nice trip for all of us. My mom is cooking for us. Billy and my dad are going to work on some of the trees. And Lauren will probably pick every flower she can get her hands on. I can't wait!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Couple's Trip

Billy surprised me 2 days ago with a quick trip north. We were going to see the Gretchen Wilson concert. My parents had already agreed to watch Lauren. Billy really had everything covered. Lauren was over the moon to go see her grandparents. And to go "camping" with grandpa. My dad was setting up a tent in the backyard when we got there. At 6AM! My parents live up in the mountains. And dad decided that Lauren need to camp out for a night. Lauren was jumping out of her seat the minute we stopped in the driveway.

After talking with my parents for a while. And my mom packing us some snacks. Billy and I were on our way. It is about a 4 hr drive. But not too bad. Since we dropped off Lauren and got on the road by 8AM, we had a little bit of time to wonder on our way. We stopped in 2 small towns. The 1st, we found a nice antique shop. Billy picked up some old tools. And I found some nice boxes and metal baskets. The 2nd, we had lunch. It was just a leisurely day. Once we got to the place were the concert was, we checked into our room and relaxed.

We were lucky that the place where the concert was also had a nice hotel. We ordered in dinner and got ready. I was so excited. I love Gretchen's shows. This is the 4th one that we have seen. She is a really good live performer. Not all recording artists are. After the concert we made it back to our room fairly quickly.

This morning we slept in. And ordered breakfast in our room. I have to say, this place has some good food! Billy even surprised me with a mini shopping trip. We went to the Uptown Center. And I bought some MAC, 2 dresses, and some books for Lauren. We had a quick bite to eat. And bought some cupcakes at a bakery nearby.

We've been on the road back to my parents' house for about 2 hrs. We are both excited to see Lauren. As much as we miss her, it was nice to just get away for a day. To spend some good, uninterrupted time with my husband. Taking care of our relationship, only makes us better parents. And while we can sneak in a mini trip or 2 before the baby comes, we will. It is important to both of us.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

LashBlast Length Mascara

Here is a mascara that I was sent to test out. I have to say, it is a really good mascara. One that I am shocked is sold in a drugstore. This is CoverGirl's newest mascara. LashBlast Length, an Elasta-Nylon formula. They also claim that this is the longest brush that CoverGirl has had to date.

The brush is flexible. Yet provides great coverage without clumping. A HUGE plus for me! This is a rubber brush. But it gets all of your lashes. While making them longer in length. I have tried this mascara out for a few weeks now. It does not flake off or smudge off. It was clump free for application, and very easy to use.

But it does not hit the market until September. Sorry ladies! It will sell for around $7.50 a tube. And will come in 4 colors: Very Black, Black, Black Brown, and Brown. There will be the original and waterproof formulas as well.

This quickly has become one of my favorite mascaras. I cannot wait for it to hit the market. I think everyone will be very excited to try it out. And if you go to CoverGirl's website on August 17th, you might just be able to pick up a tube. They will be giving them away as a limited preview.


*FTC: These items have been sent to me for review. All my opinions are honest, and I'm not being paid to review these products.

Some Wednesday Whimsy

My little sister is getting married June 12, 2010! Yay! I am so super excited. She is very different from myself. I met Billy in May 2005, we went on our 1st date 2 days later, and exactly a month later we were engaged. By September we were married. I didn't fuss over dresses, flowers, or any of the other details. Not my sister!

Every few days, I get an email from my sister. With tons of wedding ideas. She buys every Bridal magazine, and searches out every thing having to do with weddings. So, today I was excited when I saw these salt and pepper shakers. She wants to use them on the tables. Part practical, part decoration. I just want a set! I am really hoping that she picks them.

If you are getting married. Or just like them, you can find them here. For $3.50 a set. In either pink and brown or black and white. I might just have to buy a set for myself!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pure Ice Nail Polish

Lola wears this white nail polish fairly often during the summer. For the last 2 summers, every few weeks, I see these gorgeous, white nails. I have searched high and low for the perfect white nail polish. Not a pearlized color. Not a white with hints of color, shimmer, or sparkle. Just a pure white color. I have missed it many times, and now have 5 bottles of "white" nail polish. But not one is the right white.

I finally broke down and asked Lola what brand her white nail polish is. To my surprise, it is Pure Ice. I found it at Wal-Mart today for under $2. I bought 5 colors and the clear coat. A girl has to love her a good deal when she finds one!

While it is not OPI, it is still a good nail polish. I put 2 coats on today and a clear coat. The formulation is smooth and dries rather quickly. It does not bubble, separate, peel off, or glop up. The white is nice and opaque. The perfect color for summertime. This is a great drugstore buy for just under $2.


*FTC: All items have been purchased by me. All my opinions are honest, and I'm not being paid to review these products.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Maybelline Pulse Perfection Mascara

Being a MUA, I get tons and tons of products to experiment with. So does Lola. I think part of it is because I am her MUA and she is the entertainment industry. I figured, from time-to-time, I would share my thoughts about these products.

Between Lola and myself, we received 20 samples of Maybelline's Pulse Perfection Mascara. We each kept a tube and shared the others with friends of ours, that are also makeup lovers.

To start off with, the wand of the mascara has a small motor. Which is supposed to last 3 months. Clever if you think about it. You should replace your mascara every 3 months. This is just a friendly reminder from Maybelline. I used this mascara exclusively for 2 weeks. It wasn't the worst, wasn't the best. But an item that I would not purchase if I was wondering through my local drugstore.

To begin with, your entire eyeball vibrates when you are working with the base of your eyelashes. Not the best feeling in the world. But I got over it quickly. The vibrating wand is supposed to mimic the zig-zag motion that you should be using to apply mascara. You know, when you wiggle the wand, or even your head, to get deep into your eyelashes.

I just wasn't feeling this product. I tried it with the motor running, and without it running. I was still not happy. I tried to be. Because almost 2 years ago, I found another vibrating mascara that I LOVE! This one, not at all. Not even a little bit.

I don't think it was the wand, vibrating or not. Because it was decent. Although, I still wouldn't use it on a client. For fear they would freak out and the wand would end up in the person's eye. On the last day of my experiment, I cleaned off the mascara wand and used it with my Cover Girl Lash Blast. It worked better. I think it is the mascara formulation that I don't like. On one day of my experiment, I got stuck in a little drizzle. To only have my mascara crawling down my face. Raccoon eyes. It was a first for me. I had never, ever had that happen.

In the end, it is a good idea. But not something that I would recommend. The actual mascara formulation leaves so much to be desired. I would say to stick with your favorite mascara and learn how to use your mascara wand. Learn the art of the "wiggle" and don't be afraid to try new things. Even if they leave you disappointed.


*FTC: These items have been sent to me for review. All my opinions are honest, and I'm not being paid to review these products.