Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spotlight Saturday: Marcia

Spotlight Saturday:  Marcia
In case you missed it, what's {Spotlight Saturday} ?

Meet my beautiful friend, Marcia
Photo by the amazing {Rachel Debell}!

Technically, you've already met Marcia {at her wedding}.
P.S.  Her husband, Matt, is precious and perfect for her.

I have a vague recollection of watching Napoleon Dynamite with Marcia the first time I met her when she came down to Houston to visit her cousin.  We happened to spend the same week in Mexico, while I was on a missions trip, and got to know each other better there.  Since then, we've become AIM Buddies and occassional Google Chatters.  Truly, Marcia has become a daily part of my life and one of my closest friends.

Marcia tells me the truth when I forget the truth.  I think that is a mark of a true friend.  Today, I told her about a situation that made me nervous.  She sweetly reminded me of who I am and that there really was nothing for me to fear.  It meant so much that I went back to her words later and it was just what I needed to keep going.
Marcia is dedicated to growing.  She's a learner.  Not only is was she an amazing student (she just got her masters!), she is always seeking to grow in understanding.  She asks questions.  She looks for opportunities to grow.  She looks for new ways to think about and approach all kinds of things life throws at her.  It encourages me to do the same!

She has a huge heart!  I know she's loved me at times in my life when I felt so unloveable.  She's so caring and compassionate.  Marcia's in social work.  I have no idea how she handles what she does on the job, but she loves those kids!  I know that they are blessed to have her serving them because she takes, very seriously, their well-being.

Once in a while Marcia just pops out with the most insightful thoughts.  To me, they seem random.  I have no idea where they come from, but they are amazing!  I assume that by the time I hear it, it's actually something she's been mulling over.  It's funny though, how I usually just get the end product.  And I'm usually.blown.away.
I got to take Marcia for her first mani/pedi (my sis joined us).

We randomly text each other pics of what we're working on or doing... my crafts, her berry garden, decorating, etc.  Last night it was a photo of a menu of a restaurant I was at with a girl friend.  I realized about 20 minutes after arriving that she'd been telling me about how great this place was.  I had no clue we had one here, so I sent a pic of the menu. 
It's nice not to have to explain why you're sending a random picture.  It's just accepted.

Celebrating her upcoming wedding with all her friends.

The only thing I'd change about our friendship is I'd have more face-to-face time!
Love ya, Marcia.  As you say, you "rock my world".

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hot glue and paper

Prepare to fall in love...
{Jones Design Co. Art Prints}
{Art by Jones Design Company}
I love how scripture is incorporated in the designs!  This would be a perfect reminder on each of my kids' sides of their Jack and Jill bathrooms.

And where was {this} book page wreath tutorial before I started mine that is taking me decades! 
The two hours she warns against are a drop in the bucket to the hours I've already spent twisting these little roses.  But I press on in hopes of having a winter wreath for next winter, since clearly spring has sprung already.

This {hair clip tutorial} is so sweet.  I must find some clips to make some for Lexi ASAP!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Awkward and Awesome

  • "Well you can tell by the way I use my walk..." The good news is that I'm walking without crutches.  The bad news is that I have a horrible limp.  There is nothing cool about my walk.  I walk like a 112 year old woman.  You can't call it swagger, or saunter, and not even a mosey.  It's ridiculous and I feel ridiculous.  I never have been ultra-graceful, but a little grace and poise would go a long way for my self-confidence at this present time!  (Note the doc's initials to make sure they operated on my left foot.)

  • On my first day back to work a woman hurriedly came up to my desk carrying an armful of stuff including two bags of Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles and a Coke.  She was trying to ask me where a particular meeting was scheduled, but managed to spastically dump the brochure holder full of our company values brochures and safety brochures sitting on the counter all over and behind my desk.  When she left, all I could say was, "Awkward!" and go diving under my desk to collect the brochures.
  • Vicodin-induced nightmares and general weirdness.  Here's a glimpse, one involved sandstorms and levitation.  The other had a very bitter friend and roller coasters.  Needless to say, I'm glad to be able to tell you that I am clean!  LOL
  • We enjoyed some time with friends and absolutely stunning weather at a picnic with our small group at the park.  Looking forward to doing that again soon!
  • We had a thouroughly fun time at the auction for our daughter's school.  Got to sit by Helen of {TheCrazyCastros}.  Her daughter sang a little song on the video they showed and I couldn't help but wonder if we'd see her on American Idol one day.
  • Justus' birthday was one of the {best.days.ever.}
  • He couldn't identify the best part of his {birthday party} because according to him, it was all a blast!  (I even felt a little supermomish, sitting at the table with my foot propped up, decorating the cake that Jeremy baked.)
  • People took really good care of me after my surgery... time, meals, gifts, calls, texts, etc.  Really appreciated the love!  See {here} and {here}.
  • I had lunch with Ambre this week at Lupe by the sandbox so her kiddos could play.  A few minutes after I sat down, sweet little one-year-old Lucas noticed me and walked right over and asked me to pick him up to give him a hug.  Pretty sure my heart melted.  Yep, it did.

More love!

Among {more} phone calls, texts, and wall posts from my sweet family and friends while I am recovering...

My mentor, Diana, picked me up and took me out to a matinee with popcorn and the works!  I hobbled in with crutches and was delighted to get to sit in the front row with the railing to prop my foot up on.

While we were out, {Meredith} dropped off a Feel Better Soon gift.  I am definitely without a doubt addicted to blackberries and was literally griping to Jeremy that we didn't have any the night before!  So, I was probably a leetle more excited about them than was probably necessary.  That is, until I tried the chocolate.  Someone took a little piece of heaven and wrapped it up in gold foil.  Apparently, she knew I had the crafting itch, so she included a fun DIY magazine, too, which only served to perpetuate that craving.

Karen (a.k.a. Mrs. B) brought us some homemade BBQ.  It was super tasty and very much appreciated after my outings to the doctor and movies.  Everyone sat in the living room and watched the American Idol results show with me, while I propped my poor swollen foot.

{Erin} was gonna bring us some things that sounded amazing, but didn't end up needing to because I had gotten my dates crossed and it was the same night as Justus' birthday party, to which Dominos Pizza was already promised.  The thought really does count!

On Monday, Meredith brought dinner, too.  Which was great!  Jeremy's only complaint was that she gave us too many delicious cookie pops.  He simply couldn't resist eating more than he meant to.  I couldn't either, for that matter!

My team at work sent me a lovely Wishing you a speedy recovery bouquet.

Had lunch with Diana on Monday and got to pick her brain.  She's a smart, funny, compassionate lady and I'm lucky to have her!

Lunch on the patio on Tuesday with {Ambre} at our fav fajita spot.  Love spending time with that girl!

{Gina} brought us a super healthy and yummy asian meal, too.  If you don't count the peanut butter cookies. ;)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(Gasp) *I* have a pre-teen!

We had his birthday party with friends on Friday night.  His requests were fairly simple.
  • Dominos Pizza
  • Homemade cake
  • Laser Tag
  • Sleepover
Totally do-able!  Even the Friday after I had surgery on Monday.

And especially with a husband like Jeremy who has been an absolute angel all week!  (He's pretty much an angel all the time... I'm lucky and very blessed.)

You saw the evite above.  I liked the design a lot for him.  It was a little more grown-up and this kid has grown up so much this year!  I decided to play off of the colors and style.  So I designed a cake topper...
and had Target print it on an edible cake topper.  It worked out really well and he was pretty facinated by the concept of edible paper!

The boys showed up at five o'clock and headed straight for the trampoline.  When everyone arrived, there was a chaotic tour of the house and a little playing until pizza arrived!

Ethan and Josh

Preston and Justus

Lexi (looking a little freaked out-don't worry, she had a blast!)


Here's how the cake turned out!

Happy birthday, birthday boy!

I think there were all kinds of things going on during "Happy Birthday to You".  I can't even begin to describe it, but I don't think we were all singing the same traditional song!

 Time for some gifts

For a boy who claims not to embarrass easily, this apparently did the trick.

Jeremy took the boys to play laser tag, while Lexi and I stayed home for a little girl time (not to mention a chance to prop my foot up!).  According to Jeremy's status update, on the way there:
"Just saw six 10 yr old boys fall in love with a blond in a blk GT Stang. She smiled, waved, & blew a kiss. Each claimed the kiss was theirs."

Here they are outside the Briefing Room, getting ready to play laser tag.

When they returned home, we let them choose a movie.
They picked Napoleon Dynamite.  (classic)
We popped popcorn and busted out the movie theatre candy boxes.
They demolished all of it and giggled away.

As for me, I'm pretty happy that 10 is not to old to sit next to your mama during the movie and snuggle up!
Random Funny Stuff:
  • Jonathon was very facinated with the house and the family photos. He also exclaimed that this was the "Best party ever!" about 10 minutes after arriving.
  • One of the boys told Justus, "You're just as funny as you are at school!"
  • Lexi referred to Ethan by his first and last names the entire evening. She claimed he was her favorite because he was so nice, which may have been something as simple as answering her after she changed in her room and came back to the gameroom and asked, "Do I look cute?"
  • The boys compared Laser Tag statistics the whole way back home.
  • Much to Justus' dismay, Jeremy picked caffiene-free Coke for the party.  Josh brought in the "good stuff", real Cokes, and a bunch of candy, which they snuck after bedtime.
And in the mornin', I'm makin' waffles!

 Which I did!  But not until after I had coffee to make sure my brain was functioning well enough to operate this machinery and Jeremy brought a stool in for me to sit on while I cranked those bad boys out.
Breakfast is served!
The boys headed home at 10 o'clock and we spent the rest of the day being lazy.

Weeds of the Heart

I have a confession.  I am very prone to bitterness.

God has been at work in my life to dig it out.

It's painful.  It's humbling.  It's taken a lot more work than I'd like to admit.

I know there have been days where I've examined my soul and it has looked like a barren wasteland.  A vast emptiness of nothing but dug up bitterness.  I wondered if it would always look like that.

Regardless, it felt good to have those roots of bitterness removed.  I discovered that there was joy in a simple, raw faith... even when I didn't feel there was much fruit to show for it.  It felt good to have the soil unclogged.

I'm not saying there aren't any seeds or roots remaining to deal with still.  Like I said, I'm prone.  This will likely be a lifelong work!

I'm enjoying the joy and the sweetness of life in a way that I simply couldn't before.

This morning, the sermon we heard gave some structure and clear thoughts to some of the things I've experienced.  I wanted to share it with you.  {Updated with audio link.}

"Call Me Bitter"
from Ronnie Norman's Graced Message series

Bitterness is a poison
  • Bitterness = longstanding resentment
  • Bitterness occurs when we perceive that God or other people have let us down
  • Bitterness is a heart infection with deep roots.
  • Bitterness can infect anyone and it's easy to go there.
  • The great lie of bitterness is that someone else made you bitter.
    • The truth is that I'm responsible for my own bitterness.
    • "If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted." ~Amy Carmichael
      So, if you have two cups, one full of sweet water and one full of bitter putrid water.  When each is bumped and spill its contents, does the bump cause the water to be sweet or bitter or does it simply allow what is inside to spill out?
Tell-tale signs of Bitterness
  • You are passive-agressive and deal with perceived hurts indirectly.
    • Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body ~Ephesians 4:25  (Passive-aggressive people do not deal directly with the hurt, they beat around the bush.)
  • You are obsessed by a perceived injustice and you want revenge.
    • “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. ~Ephesians 4:26,27
  • You recruit allies to take up your offense.
    • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~Ephesians 4:29
What's the antidote to the poison of bitterness?
  • Know that bitterness sabotages the way of the Spirit in your life.
    • And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. ~Ephesians 4:30  (When we're stuck on sour, the Holy Spirit can't use us for good the way He wants to be able to because we're not allowing it.)
  • Own your bitterness and take aggressive action.
    • Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. ~Ephesians 4:31 (Bitterness is an on-ramp to all of these.)
  • Send the shovel of grace deeper than the roots of bitterness.
    • Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  ~Ephesians 4:32
“To do him a hurt was to beget a kindness from him. His heart was made of such fine soil that if you planted in it the seeds of hate they blossomed love.”  ~Alfred Lord Tennyson on Archbishop Cranmer
Wouldn't it be awesome to be characterized by such love?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


When you can't carry anything anywhere that doesn't fit in your pockets...
When you can't even get a glass of water for yourself, unless you're gonna stand at the sink to drink it...
When your laptop dies at the most inopportune timing possible...
It's easy to get discouraged, but I stopped tonight and thought of ALL I have to be thankful for just in this one day. I'm blown away!

My friend, Ambre, coordinated meals for our family, so I haven't had to worry about cooking at all and Jeremy (who can cook!) has been more able to focus on the kids and me.

Another friend came by for a few hours to hang out with me today. I'm such a T-I-M-E girl that it was exactly what I needed!

Tons of "checkin' in" texts. Love them!

I'm a little old school... I like to talk on the phone. Christie called to chat on her way home from work. We do that a lot, anyways, I just especially appreciated it today.

Diana texted to see if I could hang out tomorrow. For someone who doesn't know me super well, she knows me super well. She said I need to get out of the house (yep), so she's gonna pick me up so we can catch a matinee tomorrow. Crutches, foot propped up and all... I'm looking forward to it!

Aubree brought brownies last night. Yum! Still yum today.

Karen called. She's bringing dinner tomorrow.

I had a nightmare last night. Jeremy was there to tuck me back in. Pain meds do weird things.

My boss, Nikki, checked in with me today, too.

I hobbled over to the table today and propped up my foot and got a little crafting on. So thankful that Jeremy was willing to pull out my supplies for me.

Appreciated the friends willing to help with boredom busters, like Words with Friends (Thanks, Wendy!)!

I am very blessed.

P.S. Jeremy is working on getting my laptop running again AND rescuing all the photos and documents frozen on the hard drive. If anyone can, he can!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Couch Potato, but not by choice!

My foot surgery went well yesterday.

I'm stuck on the couch for a while now... Amazing how life can so quickly be reduced to the basics! Yesterday, the only thing on my agenda was sleep, sleep, and more sleep. The anesthesia made me sick, so I didn't eat anything, but a few saltines.

Jeremy has been taking such good care of me. He's the absolute best. I couldn't wait to see him after they moved me out of the recovery room yesterday. He wore his "Clark Kent blue" t-shirt yesterday, which seemed appropriate since he spent the day being my hero. The kids have both been super sweet and gentle. I slept most of the evening, but they sat quietly with me on the couch until bedtime. Justus kept telling me he felt badly for me. And Lexi snuggled up on my lap for a little while, too.

My sweet friend, Ambre, organized meals for us with our First Family (small group) and a couple of other friends. It's such a blessing to not worry about dinners for the next couple of weeks. My friends are even being accommodating with my request for healthier meals, since it's gonna be a while before I can really exercise. Very kind of them! Amber brought dinner and flowers last night. Ambre is expecting a new baby this fall. We chatted a bit about her gender reveal party that their families had this weekend with her hubby, who is serving in Iraq right now. Thanks to the wonders of Skype they could all share the moment together. It's a boy! I couldn't be happier for their precious family. We're all looking forward to having Chuck back home soon! It was great to see her and you should have heard the "mmmmmmmmmmm's" from the kitchen table. It sounded like that scene from What About Bob times three people!

My church family and friends sent me notes and messages throughout the day. Each one made me feel so loved and cared for! I'm truly blessed beyond what I deserve!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I had the best day with you today

Justus is 10!

It's hard to believe that ten years ago today, we met our Justus. Words fail when I try to describe what a treasure he is! He's passionate about "cool" and smelling good, which is (most of the time, adorable). Inside, he is wise beyond his years. He's thoughtful. He's a loyal friend. He's smart, especially when it comes to figuring out how things work. (He gets that from his daddy). Justus is sweet and helpful with his little sister. You should see those two on the trampoline! Don't get me wrong, he does do the big-brother-tormenting-his-little-sister bit now and then. But most of the time, he's caring, protective, and even instructing toward her. Justus has a funny little sense of humor. He occasionally tells me I'm funny, too, which probably makes me happier than it necessarily should. Funny gets you cool mom points. He's very responsible! I really do trust him. I think that says a lot about his character.

I'm just so proud to be his mama!

We had the best day together. My dad always comes down for the kids' birthdays, so he was here this weekend. I made waffles for breakfast. Waffles were his fav food, but were recently surpassed by funnel cake. I'm not a carnival, so I did the next best thing... He opened presents this morning. He's been hinting that he wanted an iPod Touch since before Christmas. The answer was and has been a definite "no". But apparently, Jeremy changed his mind and managed to talk me into it. We had him very convinced that he wouldn't be getting one. Observe:

Several people in the family chipped in on that one and the accessories and iTunes gift cards to outfit it. After that, we headed to a great morning at church. Justus stopped at Best Buy on the way home with his grandpa to pick out a case. We had lunch and cake & ice cream at home.

(I have pics of all of this, but I'm in the midst of some devastating computer issues, so I will post later when I can safely get the data {i.e. Photos of everything!} off of my hard drive. *crossing fingers* Then I'll be able to handle my full memory card waiting in my camera. Irony is that moving all those photos to safe storage was high on my list of what to do while I'm stuck on my couch after tomorrow's surgery.)

Back to the fabulous day we had...

After lunch, we headed up to see the Houston Aeros play their last game of the regular season. We had tons of fun and the Aeros won, again! They're headed to the playoffs on Wednesday. We really enjoyed having my dad there with us. Hockey is his fav. We had great seats. And it was fun to see Justus really enjoying himself. I don't think he stopped smiling the whole day!

I cannot believe that I'm now the mama of a preteen, but that's an entirely different post!

Happy birthday, Justus! I love the person you are and the man you are becoming.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Annual Father's Day Photos

We have a tradition.  It's a Father's Day tradition.  And, if I'm honest, it was born out of procrastination.

When I was pregnant with Lexi, I wanted to get Jeremy a father's day gift that was sweet and meaningful but I was out of time.  The thought crossed my mind to get a photo of Justus and me and my baby bump.  I knew of a portrait place that I could get portraits into my hands in one hour, so that's what we did.  Sadly, the belly didn't make the picture, but he loved the shot of us so much that we've kept up the tradtion.  And now, the guy is getting quite a collection in his office!
Justus (age 5)

Lexi (8 months) and Justus (age 6)

Lexi (age 1) and Justus (age 7)

Lexi (age 2) and Justus (age 8)

Lexi (age 3) and Justus (age 9)

It's fun to see how Justus and Lexi have grown!

We're planning to keep it going...  I guess he's not quite out of space on his table.  This year, I've even snagged up a LivingSocial deal for it.  I guess it's about time to find some white shirts, too.

Linked up to Show us your Life at {Kelly's Korner Blog}

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Awkward and Awesome

  • Pretty much the entire trip home from Savannah.  See Wedding Madness {Part 3}:  THE ONE WITH ALL THE PERIL AND TRAUMA.
  • The realization that I have no flats that I like (and certainly no dress flats for work!) and I'll be living in flats for the next four months after Monday's foot surgery.
  • I have been so tired this week that I've been in kind of a confused stupor.  It hasn't been pretty.  And I'm not even sure I can identify what's normal, what's awkward and what's awesome, as a result.

  • I saw an empty orange plastic bag laying at the bottom of the stairs and asked Justus what came in it.  He replied, "A phonebook.  I ripped it."  Yes, my son tears phonebooks when they come to my house.  I have no explanation for it, but I find it hilariously awesome!
  • My husband takes really really really really really really good care of me.

Wedding Madness {Part 3}


We left the reception to, once again, crash my dad's room to change and head back to Atlanta for our flights that were leaving at about 7:00am. We got changed and repacked. Jill and I hit the road at about 12:30am. It was nice to get some uninterrupted chat time with my sister. Sometimes I really hate living so far from family! About three o'clock in the morning, I was getting kind of sleepy, so we pulled off at a Waffle House for some coffee and middle-of-the-night breakfast.

As I opened the door, I briefly wondered if it was a good idea.

It was fine.

We stopped for just enough gas to make sure we got back to the airport, since I had pre-paid for a full tank.  We made it safely back to the airport at about five o'clock in the morning.

I turned in the car and they overcharged me.  So I stopped by the counter to find out why.  Turns out when I walked out into the garage with my "Intermediate" Alamo Car folder, they pointed me to the row of "Full" sized cars.  I don't know who labels those things, maybe clowns, but a "full-size" car is not what you would expect a full-size car to be!  I was charged for gas in a full-sized car (since that's what I unknowingly took!) and it came out to over $13 difference on a one day rental.  The lady was nice and refunded the difference.

At this point, I was feeling pretty good about our insane trip.

I was also feeling exhausted and looking forward to getting to the gate, where I could snooze in a chair.  Sleep, glorious, sleep!  (Contrary to popular opinion... I DO love sleep.  I don't often get a lot of it, but I dearly cherish the sleep I do get.)  So, there I am snoozin' in the chair with my feet up...

when all of the sudden, Jill freaks out.

"They changed your gate!  "We've gotta go down to A33!"

So we leave my nearly deserted gate and head to the opposite end of Terminal A, where we see the flight boarding the plane.  And the Delta workers are calling my seat number over the loudspeaker because it was an exit row and they wanted those sitting in exit rows on the plane.  I happened to notice a list of standby passengers on the screen, so I went up to the counter to let them know that 10B was present and accounted for.  Don't give away my seat!  So, I find my spot in line.  When it's finally my turn, my boarding pass beeps under the machine and they won't let me through.

Why not?

Because "this flight is going to Cincinatti."  Oh, well, THAT makes a difference!  I told the gate agent that the sign on my gate said the gate had been moved.  She looked it up and sure enough, we were still leaving out of A13.

So, I took the long hike back.

When I arrived, it actually looked like a plane was leaving that gate.  People were boarding, gate agents available.  I take a look at the screen behind the desk.and.completely.flip.out.

You see, I left Houston Hobby airport on Saturday morning.

My flight was scheduled to arrive at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport.

But my car was waiting for me at Hobby.


I asked the gate agent if they have flights to Hobby.  She says, "Yes, but you have to change flights at ticketing."

Ticketing is in a completely different terminal.  I'm in the final boarding group, which is now being called to board.  I decided that I'd at least be in my city and I could figure it out from there.  So, I got on the plane.

But not without frantically texting Jill and Jeremy to let them know of my predicament.  I had thought of one friend who could have possibly been available to pick my up on a Sunday morning and decided to text her about the same time they're telling us to power down our electronic devices.

That's when she showed up behind me in the aisle.

"You have to turn that off!", the friendly Delta flight attendant snapped.
and by friendly, I mean friendly to everyone around me, but me.  I really have no explanation why.

"Yes, I understand," I replied.  "I just need to send this text because I'm parked at Hobby and I don't have a ride from Bush.  I didn't realize this was going to happ..."


I feel this big.  But, I'm not about to miss my last opportunity to send my friend my flight info before we're airborne, so I frantically finish my text and paste in the flight info.  Meanwhile, her eyes are burning holes into my fingers.  If she had a ruler, I was certain that my fingers would have been smacked!  She waits until I'm obviously turning it off and moves a couple rows ahead.

Where she proceeds to have a lengthy conversation with another flight attendant, who happened to be on board.

You're kidding me!?  It was really so urgent that I turn off my phone that instant that you had to belittle me, only to go and have a nice heart-to-heart with her?  I don't get it.

So I cried.

Mostly because I was so overtired.  A little bit because I felt scolded.

The last thing I told Jeremy was I'd figure it out in Houston.  I knew he had to work and the vast majority of people I know would likely be heading to church, as well.  Nothing I could do now, so I decided to try to sleep.

When I landed, and was given authority to turn on my own phone, I had a couple of texts from Jeremy and a voicemail from Ron, our nanny's dad and friend of the family.  I had a ride!  My hubby is my hero.

So, Ron picks me up outside and we get on the road.  I ask, "Where are you taking me?  My house or my car?"  We're headed to get my car.  Mkay.  Cool.

For some reason (sleep deprivation, I'm sure!), I thought we got on the Beltway going the loooong way around Houston to get to the other airport.  I thought it was odd, but didn't say anything until I realized much later (at Gallery Furniture, for you Houstonian readers...) that we were taking the more direct route of 45 South.  It was then that I realized I was in a state of delirium.

Ron took me to my car and I proceeded to get on the actual Beltway and head home.

...and that's when I saw the lights in my rear view mirror.

I think that is the very definition of adding insult to injury.

I wasn't speeding or anything.  But truth be told, I deserved the ticket.  I had an expired registration.  I think you have a month of grace and I was two days outside of that.  My license was stashed in my suitcase in the trunk, so I had to get out of the car to get it.

And I stood on the side of the road and cried, while he ran whatever he had to run through the computer.

The officer came back and asked if I was okay.

"It's been a rough night."

I told him about being up all night and ending up at the wrong airport.
I told him I was so tired and just wanted to get home to sleep.
I told him I knew I was going to get a ticket and it wasn't his fault.  It was just one.more.thing.
I think it was pretty obvious that I had reached my limit.

And so, he gave me a ticket.

Apparently, it's a possiblity to have it dismissed by taking care of the registration.  (Which by the way, my handyman already took care of for me.  Isn't he the very best ever?!)

I made it home safe and sound by about ten-thirtyish in the morning.  That's thirty-one-and-a-half-hours after this adventure began.  You have no idea how excited I was to see all of my {sleeping gear}!

Truly.  I slept until 4:30pm.

In case you missed the first parts:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Don't Read This!

Don't read this if you're going to judge me.
Below you'll find my fears, confessions, shallowness and more.  Friends may proceed.
  • I want to punch Wednesday in the face.  When I woke up at 4:30, as I usually do on weekdays, I kinda felt sad that I knew I'd leave my house this morning and not be home until 8:30pm.  Wednesdays are my craziest days at work, followed by a doc appointment, followed by dinner at church with my fam and First Family, followed by our First Family meeting.  Most of those things are great, but they make Wednesdays a weekly marathon.  And it's hard.  This week, I'm particularly bitter towards this Wednesday because I haven't fully recovered from my weekend in Savannah.
  • Justus had perfect attendance his last nine weeks and because of that, the Astros reward students with perfect attendance with two free tickets to a baseball game.  We've discussed the game and that he could take his dad or me as a special time.  He's yet undecided on the matter, and don't tell anyone, but I hope he picks me!
    Photo {here}
  • Can you believe he's going to be 10 years old this weekend???  Apparently, this means that I'm old enough to have a ten year old.  On second thought, let's not talk about that...
  • Do pearls and zebra stripes match?  It doesn't really matter at this point, because I'm wearing both together.  Maybe I should be more concerned about the fact that my toenails are still red from the weekend and my zebra print shoes have hot pink trim.
  • I'm completely freaked out about having foot surgery on Monday.  I have to have a bunionectomy.  I guess I should explain what that is.  Because of my awesome genetics, the bone in my foot that goes down to my big toe is angled outward.  Shoes and other factors cause my big toe to point inward to compensate.  So on my left foot, you've got something like this > going on.  It's not quite that prounounced, but you get the idea.  It complicates it and gets more painful because the little joint there where it turns into toe develops deposits and it rubs on shoes, so it is swollen and blistered on the side.  If that's TMI, skip to the next bullet point, cause I'm going to tell you how they fix it.  My doc will cut into the side of my foot and break the bone that leads to my big toe.  He's also going to remove the deposits on the side and put it all back together in a nice, neat straight line with a pin.  After that, there's some recovery time and in about four months I should be feeling a lot better (and more like running again!)
  • Recovery from that surgery...  This is actually the part I dread most (slightly more than the IV)!  I'll be on the couch for about a week, crutches for a couple of weeks, then in a surgical boot for six weeks.  Full recovery is expected to take four months.  Blech!
  • I have no flats (shoes) that I  This is a problem starting next week.
  • All I really want to do is go home and start nesting.  I want to throw open the windows, turn on the music and clean clean clean.  (But it's Wednesday-see above.)
  • I miss running.  Let me rephrase, I miss running and enjoying it.
  • I'm pretty stoked about catching the Houston Aeros one last time before the season ends.  Happy birthday, Justus!  (...and my dad is coming, so I get to see him two weekends in a row!)
Photo {here}

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wedding Madness {Part 2}


You can find Wedding Madness {Part1}:  THE ONE WHERE TEAM WEDDING MADNESS IS WINNING {here}

We braved the gravel of the {Roundhouse Railroad Museum} in our stillettos.  If I had known I should wear hiking boots, I may have considered it, but I survived the uneven terrain all in the name of "fashion".

Meet "fashion" - she boasts a 4 1/2" heel on a 1" platform in a red patent leather.
I guess it's worth it, otherwise we wouldn't do that to ourselves.

So, as I told you in {Part 1} , Team Wedding Maddness was winning and the winning continued when everything went as planned and we were able to get ready and arrive at the ceremony early.  Yes, you heard me right, Jill and I arrived together.early. for something.  My dad marked it down on his calendar.  And this day will go into the history books, not only as the day my brother married beautiful Brandi, but also as the day we arrived early.  I think there was singing in heaven on both counts.

Enough with the sarcasm.  On with the ceremony.

The Roundhouse Railroad Museum was a simply stunning venue.  Brandi entered through these huge doors.  The doors added just the proper amount of drama to our first glimpse of the bride.

And by first glimpse, I mean, literally, my first time EVER.  I mean, we were Facebook friends almost the moment they were engaged, but we hadn't met face-to-face yet.  My sister, Jill, is not Facebook friends with anyone she hasn't met in person (except for one, and it's totally my fault!)  I was excited to meet Brandi.

And look how pretty!

The ceremony was very short and very very sweet.  The vows they exchanged were so beautiful in their simplicity.  They literally made me cry.  (Which, by the way, the rental car agent in Atlanta assured me that I would cry during the ceremony.  He also told Jill she needed to behave and pretty much not give me a difficult time.  Funny dude.  But he was right.)  I did cry.

Notice the train shed as the backdrop...
and you can't really see them here, but the yellow wildflowers behind the fountain.

The Kiss.

I absolutely adore how Brandi is looking at my brother in this pic.  Sweetest thing ever.  P.S.  I liked her instantly.

Yup.  Man and wife!

Okay.  Freeze for a second.  I need to explain the next photo.  Let's go back about two years, to my sister's wedding...
This was when I first heard about Brandi.  Mike was positively gushing about how great she is!  I asked how they met each other.  It was St. Patrick's Day and Brandi's friends dragged her to go out with them to The Warehouse Bar, where Mike works.  She saw him holding up someone for a photo and decided to get him to take a pic of him holding her.  This is the moment they met...
Lucky for them, the camera wasn't working so they got to stay like this and chat for a bit.  Apparently, they hit it off well enough to make a date!  Is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen?

I think it's adorable.

So, the minute we met her, I insisted we get a photo, too.  Might as well!
Nobody picked anyone up, but she laughed.  And I think she appreciated the gesture.

  I was absolutely dying to get this picture.  You see, it's been YEARS since all four of us kids have been in the same room at the same time!  Makes me so happy that I was able to get one.

Mike, Dana, Jill, Matt

 All of us kids with our Dad-dad-dadio.


My brother, Matt, is getting married next year.  This is Karina, his fiance.  She's fun!

Matt is going to make an album of people taking pictures.  This should be his "About the Author" photo.

My lil' bro, Matty


Matt & Karina

Dad & me at the train shed.  To your left is a working train turntable.  Maybe I should take this opportunity to mention how much my brother loves trains...

We all walked out to where the Old Town Trolley waited to take us on a tour of Savannah, while the bride and groom took photos.

I had to "check in".  It's practically a requirement.

The tour of Savannah was amazing.  Huge live oak trees, beautiful buildings, all kinds of history, amazing parks... it definitely whet my appetite to come back and do some more exploring!

Famous spot where Forrest Gump sat on the bench and told the world, "Life is like a box of chocolates..."

 Of course, we saw a ton more places, but you'll have to visit to see for yourself.

We arrived at the reception, which was upstairs in The Olde Pink House in a ballroom, a fireside room, and a balcony.  It was there that I met Jen.  Now, I've met Jen before, a while ago, but I think only once.  And it took a trip to Savannah, GA to find out that we are practically neighbors, like we-probably-shop-at-the-same-HEB kind of neighbors!  She's super sweet.  It made me happy and maybe we'll hang out in the great state of Texas sometime.

 Not a great pic of the centerpieces... I definitely didn't do them justice.  But do notice the disposable cameras.  We made everyone at our table take a {"myspace photo"-see ecnu's answer} of themselves.  Maybe I can get those from Mike and Brandi for your viewing enjoyment one day.

First dance.

Champagne Clouds to toast the happy couple.

I asked our server how we were supposed to drink them.  He said the chef practiced and NOT to put the cotton candy in the champagne, cause it causes a reaction.  And instead to take a bite of candy, then a sip, rinse and repeat.  I tried that once.
Then I followed the crowd who mixed theirs into a foaming blue concocation.  I guess some kinds of peer pressure never hurt anyone.

Mike and his best friend/best man, Jimmy doing their classic pose.  How many of this type of photo of these guys exist in the world?  Countless, I assure you.

My dad.  He's the best.  The end. 

Apparently, singing "Livin' on a Prayer" at the top of our lungs is a favorite past time.  See exhibits A and B:

B is from a different occasion.  Please ignore the candied apple "microphone" props.  Okay.  Now you can't ignore them.  Just politely smile.  That'd be fine.

My dad and bros.

Brandi and Mike cutting the cake.  Ah, the cake...
was unbelievable.  Every layer of the three layers was a different flavor.  In my piece there was butter pecan, rum, and chocolate.  To.die.for.  I'm told another layer had lemon and blueberry and something else.  Wow!

And just so you're aware of my ridiculous sweet tooth, they were making pralines outside on the balcony.  They were incredible, too.

As you can tell, we had an absolute blast!

But this story is far from over.  After we had our cake and danced a little more of it off, it was time to head back.  By back, I don't mean a hotel room, I mean H-O-M-E.  And that's where the real peril comes in... join us next time for Wedding Madness {Part 3}:  THE ONE WITH ALL THE PERIL AND TRAUMA!