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.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm on Twitter

I joined Twitter today. Let's see how well I use it. Because I haven't been doing real well with MySpace. I've all but neglected my page for about a year now. Most likely because most of my friends have stopped using it. We now chat in Lola's private chat room thing. That is nice because we make little "chat dates." It's all on live cams and we share lots of personal pictures. All without worrying about them getting into the wrong hands.

After seeing that poor mom, whose baby was placed on Craig's List for adoption, I am pretty certain that I will not post pictures of Lauren and the new baby. I will post pictures of other things, but my kids are too precious to me. I could not even begin to imagine what I would do if that would happen to us. For now, we will stick with twitter. And see if I actually "stick with it."


A Beautiful Wedding

We just got home. Billy is putting Lauren to sleep. She is so exhausted! And was happy for nap time today. As we all are! But yesterday was such an amazing day! Once I got to the suite that they had rented, I got organized. That is the key to a successful day! I remember that much from school and my training. I was 30 minutes early, and happy when 6 women showed up early. I got to setting hair in rollers. And by 10:30AM all the hair was done. Except the little girls. We decided it was best to wait until the last possible minute for them.

The women definitely had my heart. They were so excited when I pulled out the air-brush. The same way Lola and I had gotten excited when I first got it. The makeup was also very easy to do. Hispanic women have the most amazing skin. There complexions need very little help. And really, we were going for the natural, summery look. Lola worked on little girls while I perfected the bride. We were completely ready and dressed, out the door and in the cars 3 minutes early!

I don't think I have ever known of a wedding to be on-time. But these women were amazing. And everything was so super organized. I credit Lola for that. She never leaves any detail undone. Even the dresses were hung out on these gorgeous racks. The room looked beautiful. How many times can you say that?

They took pictures before and after the wedding. The guys were first. Then they were ushered into the church. The girls took a lot of beautiful pictures too. The ceremony was gorgeous! With mariachis and everything. The groom, a rather large guy, cried the entire time his bride walked down the aisle. It was too sweet! The guys wore mariachi suits instead of tuxedos. It was really pretty. After the ceremony, the large wedding party took pictures for about an hour and a half. They took pictures in a grassy area behind the church. It was filled with hills. And Nico has such imagination. He grouped them in small groups on various hills. Then went out and snapped a bunch of shots. The wider shots had all of these people, but it was so beautiful and simple. I wish I had one to post. It was just a neat idea!

The reception was dream-like. The tables were amazing! Lola had been helping them get everything together. And she has a good eye. Back in February, our Wal-Mart stopped selling fabric. Right before, they put everything on sale. And she had Amelia buy bolts of fabric in the colors of the wedding. She helped them make the table linens out of this fabric. Then they bought a bunch of white candles, all sizes and shapes. And the tables were decorated with candles, a couple of mirrors, and varying heights of glass vases with the flowers. The lightening of the hall was amazing. And with the candlelit, it was magical!

The food was so good too! And baby was cooperating last night. So I got to enjoy every last bite of food. The dessert plate was my favorite. And Lauren's too! The desserts were mini Mexican desserts. Simply love! The cake was gorgeous. It was a replica of the church they got married in. With lights and everything! WOW! And the gift at the end of the night. Prepare yourselves for this. Was a candy bar!!! A table with glass vases of various sizes and heights. Filled with candy in the colors of the wedding. We were each given a heart shaped tin to fill with our favorites.

But the best part of the night was the dance. Lauren danced the night away. She and Little M, M, Little S, Little A, and a bunch of little girls danced together. They were too adorable. Billy and I danced too! It reminded us of our wedding day. We ended up not leaving until the dance ended at 2AM. Then we went with some friends to IHOP for breakfast. It was a day that we never wanted to end.

Billy and I had so much fun! Our wedding and theirs couldn't be more different. We had a small wedding, 3 other couples besides ourselves. They had 20-25? Our wedding was small, intimate, and a country style wedding. Theirs was posh and overflowing with everything. But it was so nice. We have met many new friends that we will have for a lifetime!

All the best wishes for the Newlyweds!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Beautiful Day for a Wedding

Today is Amelia's wedding. I for one, am very excited! Lauren and I each got a new dress. Mine is white and strapless, with kelly green accents. I am going to wear emerald jewelry and some fun sandals. Lauren's dress is pink and green polka dots. She is very proud that she will match the wedding colors. Billy is wearing a nice suit with a tie to kinda match my dress.

I am really excited about the whole gig though. Not for the money. I am fortunate enough to not have to worry about finances. But I am excited about getting back to work. So much so, I couldn't sleep last night. Billy thought it was very cute. All my cases are packed. My brushes are ready to work some magic. Lola packed up all of her things too. She is funny like that. Lola has her own brushes and stuff for me to use just for her. :)

Now, I just have to wait. Billy is making breakfast. And Lauren is sleeping. We rented a room near where the reception is being held. For 2 reasons. There will be a place for Billy and Lauren to rest before the wedding while I am working. And so we don't have to drive the hour drive home at 1AM. It's all set.

I am just anxious. The group of woman are amazing. Everyone is so up beat and excited for the big day. In total, I will be working on 40 ladies, and I think it was 10 girls. I can't really remember now. I call it "pregnancy brain!" But it shouldn't be too tough. I will work on the moms, and grandmas first, then the bride, Lola, then the other women, and finally the girls. Lola has already offered to help me with the girls. And I am so grateful. But we should have plenty of time. We are meeting at 8AM and have to be ready for pictures at 1PM. I will do hair first, then makeup.

All of the bridal party is getting pretty much the same hairdo. Amelia picked out a nice summery up-do. The toughest one, will probably be Lola. She has such long hair. And Little S. Not for the hair, but for the scarf. But I am excited!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

1. Iced tea is my favorite summertime drink.

2. My favorite John Hughes movies is Sixteen Candles.

3. Lauren's hair is something I love to touch.

4. The full moon is beautiful when you get to see it.

5. It's really quiet right now.

6. When daylight fades it begins to cool down around here.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to , tomorrow my plans include the wedding and Sunday, I want to soak in a warm bath!

OK, I think Lola is going to pop out any second! I got the idea for a blog from her. I went looking for a layout at the same place she got hers. Now, I "stold" the Friday Fill-Ins from her. I am such a copycat some times. hehe Billy is already off. He and Joe had to go do some things over at J's house. Since J is on the road again. Lauren is still sleeping. And I am bright eyed. That is what happens when you wake-up at 3AM to make your husband breakfast. But it was worth it. We had a nice breakfast together. :)

I should start getting my stuff together. I told Lola I would be at her house around 9:30AM. I need to shower and eventually get Lauren up. Get her ready, and off to Anna Marie. She is being super nice. Taking Lauren and her friend M to dance rehearsal this morning. Then bringing them to Lola's house. Little M is also in the wedding. But those 2 ballerinas have to go to practice this morning. They are very dedicated to their dancing!

Last night was also a treat. To see Lola again was just what we all needed! Lauren got a new ami from T-Lo. I don't even know how many that makes. But Lauren just loves them! Of course Billy and Lola talked business. About a big gig in North Carolina. And when they need to start rehearsing. But the best part of the night was Lola and I playing with makeup. I ended up painting her nails a nice summery pink color to match the flowers in the bouquets. I think I will use that on all the ladies. Unless, they want to stick with the French tips. We will see. But I have the makeup plan in place for Saturday.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Excited for T-Lo

Lauren is so excited today! Her T-Lo is coming to visit. T-Lo is mine and Billy's friend, Lola. We don't get to see her much. She works as an intern at the hospital, and she travels a lot. But we are very proud of her. That makes a day like today even more special.

I do some freelance work from time-to-time. Not too much though. But when Lola asked me about doing the hair and makeup for one of her friend's wedding, I couldn't say no. I am really excited about it. It has been such a long time since I have done an event like this. It's a 2 day event. A bridal manicure and pedicure day, and the wedding day.

Billy, Lauren, and I will also be going to the wedding. Amelia was so nice to invite us. Tomorrow Lola is hosting the party for Amelia and her bridal party. I am going to do manicures and pedicures for all the ladies. Even the little flower girls. To be a very nice friend, Lola is coming over later tonight, so that I can do hers. Get a little head start.

Miss Lauren is so happy to see her T-Lo. She made her a necklace and a card yesterday. This morning she helped me frost some cookies that I baked. And right now, she is dancing around in her tutu that T-Lo made her. It is a very exciting day in our house. Even Billy is excited to see Lola!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quiet Time

Billy took Lauren to ride her pony. She was all decked out in her pink Wranglers, "Cowgirl Up" shirt, pink boots, and hat. Just like her daddy. She is a cowgirl at heart. That is what first attracted me to Billy when I met him. Those Wranglers, his green eyes, and that Texas twang. Miss Lauren is just like her daddy. But also a princess in every way imaginable. I watched them leave. Hand in hand. Or I should say, Miss Lauren's hand wrapped tightly around Daddy's pinkie finger. Almost too much for her little hand to hold on to. But with all the love in her heart.

I am such a lucky woman. And I thank God every single day for my family. I have a husband that loves me for being exactly who I am. And we have a daughter that is truly the center of our world. I used to think I would never find this kind of love. Or a man like Billy. Was I ever wrong. I used to be scared that I would not be a good mom. But it just seems natural. And when I first found out I was pregnant again, I was scared I wouldn't have enough love for both of my babies. But I know now, that our love only multiplies.

For everything that I ever thought I was lacking in, God made up for it 1000X's over with my family. Things may have happened quickly, but we are a family. And our love just runs over our cup. We are so very blessed. And I thank God every single day for my blessings.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Little Things

I'm convinced that it is the little things in life that make life worth living.

After Lauren's nap today, she brought me a book. Her favorite one. T-Lo gave it to her when I was still pregnant with her. The Farm Animal book. She climbed onto the couch and sat on my lap. Her head lay on my heart.

I won't lie here. I hadn't been feeling well. I had actually been having my worse day of morning sickness. S had taken the girls to dance practice and had fed Lauren lunch before bringing her home. And as soon as she got home, she wanted to nap. I was half relieved, half grateful to God. And I lay on the couch, eyes closed, with GH on. Praying that Billy would get home early from my parents' house. He had left to help my dad remove some dead trees. And he figured he wouldn't be home until late.

And all at once, my daughter brightened my day. We read about her animals. And she told me that she loved me. And liked to hear my heartbeat. Then with no real thought behind it. She kissed my head and told me I would feel better soon. I almost started to cry.

Then the thing I would pay a million dollars if Billy could have seen. Lauren bent over and kissed my stomach. And started talking to her "new baby." "I love you. I want to play wit you. An kiss you. Be good girl for mommy. I love you." She kissed my stomach again, then rubbed it softly as she lay her head back on me.

By this time, the tears were slowly coming out. I know that my daughter understands that we are having a baby. She understands the love I have for her. And she loves her new baby, even if she has never met the baby. Even if my stomach is not yet a belly. She knows.


15 Years Later

Today marks the 15th Anniversary of Robert's death. Robert was my oldest brother. He died very suddenly when I was 14. He was on his way home from football practice. My brother was only 17 and getting ready to start his senior year of high school. A drunk driver took his life. And in one moment, my family's life was changed forever.

My brother was my sibling that I felt closest to growing up. He and I spent a lot of time together. We always had a special bond. Rob was always looking out for me. Spoiling me with little treats. Like chocolate bars from his work. And the only one that could get away with teasing me.

The morning that he was killed, we fought over the last piece of bacon. Which was very typical of us. And in the end he let me have it. Because that was Rob. We spent the morning talking about high school and all of our plans for the school year. I was going to be a freshman. He gave me all the wisdom of a senior. Told me about the different groups at school. He gave me the scoop on the fun teachers and the really tough ones. How to get a good top locker. We talked about football games and school dances.

Before he left for practice, I made us lunch. We were the only ones home. Our parents were at work. And our younger brother and sister were gone to summer camp. Something we had to do when we were younger. He joked with me that my cooking skills needing to improve before I could find a husband. And he had me laughing hysterically at some jokes.

Before Rob left that day, he grabbed the camera and we snapped some pictures together. He wanted to make sure to have a picture of the 2 of us, to stick in his locker when school started. He wanted to let his friends know that I was off limits. He hugged me tight like he always did and kissed me on the top of my head.

The last words he said to me were, "Love ya Manders! See ya for dinner!" He got in his truck and left our house for the last time. Throwing his football pads in the bed of the truck. I watched his truck drive down the driveway. Dust kicking up as he slowly made his way down the driveway.

Mom and I were the ones that were home when the officers came to tell us about the accident. My dad was picking up my brother and sister on his way home from work. Mom and I were busy making dinner. Rob had wanted to have a BBQ. And that afternoon I had made potato salad, dips, fruit salad, etc. Mom and I were now making hamburger patties and getting the hot dogs ready for the grill.

I will never forget the moment the officer came to our door. He was a State Trooper. The son of one of our neighbors. He asked if he could come inside, then asked us to sit down. My mom grabbed my hand, bracing herself for the news we knew was coming. The moment he said Rob had been in an accident, I knew that he wasn't coming back home. Mom immediately began crying, and I sat there in shock. Dad, my sister, and my brother got home some time after that. I had never seen my dad cry until that day. The day that a truck crossed the double line and hit my brother head on.

After all these years, it is still hard to believe that Rob is gone. He was my big brother. And until that day, he was my #1 buddy. We would do everything together. Camp at grandma and grandpa's together. Play in our tree house. We had a lot of the same friends. We liked the same music. He was my best friend. The guy that taught me to ride my bike in the driveway. The guy who taught me how to ski. The guy who taught me to give, rather than to receive.

I still have wonderful memories of Rob. And those amazing pictures that we took before he went to practice. Pictures that I cherish today. When big things happen in my life, I still find the need to have to tell him. Recently, I went to his grave to let him know that Billy and I are having another baby. Those are the things that I wish we could have shared together.

I look at today as being the anniversary of Rob's life. Not the tragic way in which he died. My brother accomplished so much in his 17 years. He did so much good and improved the lives of so many people around him. My brother was a good man. A man that would give you the last dollar in his pocket, that would take in stray dogs, or help the neighbors take out the trash. I will always remember his big smile. And those big bear hugs!


Monday, August 3, 2009

A Sign?

After dance practice this morning, I took the 2 little ballerinas for ice cream. It was close enough to lunch time. :) And while we were at the Plaza, I decided to buy them each a gift at the toy store. Their teacher said they had been doing really well. Listening to her, and learning all of their dances. With my 2 "Lerinas," as they call themselves, we walked across the Plaza to the small toy store.

Lauren was set on a pony the minute she seen it. It is pink. Of course! What else would you expect from my daughter? Little M picked out a monkey. Which was too cute! It had those long draping kind of arms and legs. She was in love! This toy store is very hands on. The girls were able to play with the toys. And the shop owner even gave them each a big lollipop. The kind that is round and swirled with a bunch of colors. They could be bigger than the girls themselves! Something like this...

While the girls had fun, I wanted to look at some baby things. I know in my head that it is early to be buying things. But I can't help myself! The toy store is in the Plaza. Every building in the Plaza used to be a home. So there are a lot of little rooms in there. Each one is themed. As I was looking at some little picture frames and baby books, Lauren came up to me with a pink teddy bear in one hand and a baby doll in the other. "For my new baby." She said it so proudly. And she really, really, really wanted to buy them. I couldn't say no.

Do you think Lauren knows something we don't? I kinda wonder that. Billy was thinking the same thing when I told him the story after dinner. And after Lauren showed him what she bought her new baby. They are on the bed in the guest room. The room that will soon be a nursery.

Do kids just know? S is completely sold on the idea. Her oldest daughter has told them each time she has been pregnant that she was getting a new baby sister. And well, they have 3 girls. I wouldn't mind another girl. And I think Billy is sold on another daughter. I guess we will just have to wait to see if Miss Lauren is right.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

A New Baby

Yes, we are having a new baby!!!

Billy and I hadn't really started telling people. Just a select few. Like our parents, Lauren, J, Lola, the G Family, and my sister. Then I realized that I may have let it slip out. Well, kinda. On the blog yesterday. Then when I was talking to Anna Marie, I said something about morning sickness. And then when I talked to Cole this morning, I mentioned I needed maternity clothes. Oops! So much for waiting until after our anniversary! :P

We figure that we should just put it out there. We are pregnant with baby #2! My due date is March 25th. How exciting is that? Lauren keeps holding her baby doll saying, "New baby mommy." I think she might be a little confused. When Billy and I told her we were having a new baby, something tells me she thinks she is getting a new baby doll. It's a good thing we still have 7 months to explain it to her.

I am also very lucky to be pregnant while 2 of my close friends are expecting. Anna Marie looks too cute! She is due in November. They are having a little girl. That's 2 daughters for Joe. He is over the moon. Have you ever met a man that only wants daughters? And S is having baby #4 in March. We are pregnant together again. Due dates are days apart again! D is praying for a boy. But something tells me they will have another little girl! :)

I have been having some pretty strong morning sickness. Somehow, I forgot about that when I was thinking about my pregnancy with Lauren. I haven't been eating much, other than toast for breakfast. Around 2PM I get hungry and can keep food down. To date, I have lost 6lbs, and gone up 3 bra sizes. The doctor told me that is completely normal and not to worry. The memories are all just beginning to come back to me. hehe

This pregnancy should be a little less stressful than our first. The first time, we were moving between Texas and here. Getting adjusted to Billy's work. And traveling with the band. Since then, we have gotten settled here. We still go to Texas, but not as often. Or for as long. And the band has slowed down on their gigs. The only gigs that they have scheduled are 1 in each month, between Oct-Dec. Now I just need to figure out how to be pregnant and how to chase after Lauren!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Got a Blog

For years I have been reading Lola's blog. Then she got real fancy on us and started vlog-ing too! And for years, I have debated about starting a blog of my very own. When I was pregnant the first time, I thought I should start one. Especially when Billy and I moved to Texas for all those months. But I never did. Then Miss Lauren came along, and time just seemed to escape me.

Until today. As Lauren was talking to her T-Lo on the phone, I decided to start a blog. Just a place to write about our lives. I am still journal-ing, so this won't replace that. It will just be a place for people to read about my family. A place to share some of my thoughts. Maybe talk some makeup here. I still haven't decided if I will post pictures of us here. But we will see. And after Lola walking me step-by-step, over the phone, I have a blog! Yay!