Friday, October 30, 2009

Cheerio, as they say....

Today's the day....I'm headed to London and am getting just a tee, tiny bit anxious. Looking forward to getting on with it....

I have this theory (that has been tried and found true many times) that if I don't really look forward to something, it usually turns out great. And if I do really, really plan and look forward to something, I'm usually a little disappointed. Glass half empty? Murphy's Law? Nope, just how I psyche myself out before big things. So with this trip planned and paid for in June, I have put it out of my mind until this week. Because of course, I had to pack. I even put that off as long as possible. But now I'm ready and giving it all I got now to NOT think about the 10 hour flight.

TEN. HOUR. FLIGHT. Girls, I've been known to get witchy after 2 hours in a car. Thank goodness for Chuck....he's not going. I will have to behave. Sit still and behave. Those are words I have heard my entire life. And still have a hard time doing just that.

I am really looking forward to doing things this week that I have yet to do in this life.....
  • Get on and stay on an airplane for more than 10 hours.....TWICE.
  • See a castle. Or 2 or 3.
  • Go to a pub. (I've been to my share of bars....but never a real pub.)
  • Shop at Harrod's. (I may not make a purchase, but I will shop.)
  • Spend 8 glorious days with 2 great friends. Ahhh...a Girl Trip. Never had a Girl Trip this long.
  • Be away from sweet Chuck for 8 days....not sure that has happened before. (Chuck, get the grin off your face.)

Check back in 10 days and hopefully, I will have posted my tales of the trip.

On a completely different note:

It's that time of year when Chuck has to sign up for employee benefits for the next year. He is able to increase the amount of life insurance on me and so is having to fill out the paperwork. He called me and said he needed my height and weight.

Uh, no. He does not need to know that. I am willing to tell him how tall I am, but really? Does he need to know that other number? Because then he will know.....something I have been keeping from him. I may have gained just a little bit since our wedding day. hahaha.

Maybe we really don't need to increase that life insurance. And HOPEFULLY, he won't be benefiting from it anytime soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Whoooooo knew?

When I am tutoring a small group of kids, I sometimes use a set of alphabet cards that are printed in blue and red. The consonants are blue and the vowels are in red. We "talk" about how many letters are in our alphabet...and the blue ones are consonants and the red ones are our vowels. Today.....

Me: Oh, this one is red. What do we call the red ones?

Him: We call dem da OWL.

Ahhh....I love me some of dem kindergarten kids.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Secrets, Guilt and Other Useless Information

Now that I have your attention, you may be a little disappointed in this post. Although, all of the above will be's not nearly as exciting as it sounds.

The Secret....I've been keeping is that I painted my dining room about 2 weekends ago. And I don't believe I've told many of you. The color before was a faux treatment of a green over a yellowish gold with very little of the gold showing. The green was a nice shade of green....if you love the color of the green felt on top of a pool table. I grew tired of it. I went a little funky. I'm warning you.



What I was aiming for:

And AFTER...

Sherwin Williams Antiquity:

It's not lime's more like pea soup....or like a green pear. This happens to be Jordan's favorite I know she will like it. And I like it. If you are crunching up your nose right now at this color, believe me when I tell you it looks better in person.

Now for the Guilt: Today's sermon was given by a visiting pastor who leads a World Ministry in India....feeding thousands of orphans and teaching them about Jesus. After a very moving testimony, he asked if we would pray about giving to the Missions of our church with it earmarked for this particular ministry. Only $10 will buy a blanket for a child who lives in the coldest part of India where many die from the exposure to the elements. When these blankets are delivered they teach them about Jesus and Christmas...and how Jesus was poor and had nothing and was swaddled in a blanket.

Well, that opened the floodgates. I sat there and cried. The slide show was ridiculously that kept the tears flowing. At this point, I am crying for these orphans, and all the empty shopping centers, and the children whose parents never look in their backpack, and people who suffer from Gout....and I start thinking about how I am just one person and how in the world am I going to fix all of this mess?

Here comes the guilt. I am going to London next week. And I spent yesterday shopping for comfortable shoes, toiletry items, and a new carry-on bag. I was feeling so guilty about spending this money because you know....2 children in college and now a wedding and already the cost of the trip. But now I really feel guilty...because now I have these orphan children staring at me from the slide show...and the pastor asked the congregation to pray about this pledge....and then put the pledge cards in the bowls of pottery placed at the alter. I am thinking let's give them hundreds. I am needing to fix this. I look at Chuck and he makes no eye contact. I whisper can we pledge something? He says okay. I whisper how much should I put? He a rather loud whisper... how about $25.00 one time. (He says one time, because that is one of the boxes you can check....but monthly is on there, too.)

And that would be the difference between me and Chuck.

I am worried that the people behind us heard his low ball number. And he is probably sitting there thinking when the heck will she realize money doesn't grow on trees. I can report that we came to a compromise and pledged enough to buy a couple of dozen blankets. We will give monthly an amount that we spend on junk like People magazines and fast food when we have food to cook if we would just cook it.

We then went out to eat after church. Guilt. Is that God or estrogen? I really don't think Chuck feels guilt. So it must be estrogen.

For Chuck: Chuck, I do know that money does not grow on trees. And I do know how hard you work and how stressful it is for you. But I have been cursed with a love for shiny things and a bleeding heart for all of the world's woes. My particular soft spot is for children. Because they did not ask to be born and I cannot imagine a child being an orphan and living like a wild animal. And my brain says FIX IT. And then I can't, so I go shopping. If you think it's exhausting being married to me, try being me.

Thank you for compromising with me today.

And for some useless information: I made some more photo blocks last week so I could finally send my faithful reader, Debbie....who Dixie chose to win a photo block back in September...her prize. I made a few Halloween blocks while I had the mess going on in the kitchen. The possibilities are endless with this craft.

I know, I'm all over the place. Welcome to my brain.
Happy Halloween Week. May your jar be loaded with candy.

I have tons of laundry to do so I can pack for my trip this week.
I hope to have lots to post about when I return.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hunting Trip

Well, not the kind of hunting trip you may be thinking of, but it was a hunting trip.
We went on the hunt for a dress.
A bridal gown to be exact.

Cameron....reading the duties of the Maid of Honor.

Me.....reading the lists of lists of lists of things to do and when to do them....and letting go.

Cameron, my sister Catha, and I flew to Phoenix this weekend to help Jordan shop for the dress. Jordan knew exactly what she wanted and after trying on a least a dozen or more at 2 different places, she found the one. Just like deer hunters in their stand, we kept quiet. Very, very quiet. The deer would come out in a dress and we wouldn't utter a sound. So as not to disturb her. Sometimes we were so quiet, I swear the deer would look over at us wondering why we were there....sitting so quietly.

Our hunting trip was a success. Only in this story....the deer (dear) won! She found the dress.
It was exhausting for me because I had promised myself and others to keep my mouth shut and my opinion to myself. Not an easy task on any day but especially on the day your first daughter is shopping for her wedding dress......that is getting charged to our American Express.

Jordan (the dear) humored us and tried on a few that were "not her" because we begged her to. She even started bending a little when trying on those dresses that were "not her." Hum.....maybe? The one thing she said she did not want was glitter and bling. And I am not going to reveal anything on this blog........but her dress is very simple, very elegant, very "her"....and might just have a tiny bit of glitter and bling.

She definitely knew it was the dress when she tried it on. And after not saying anything all day, when she asked if I liked it, I replied, "I like it if you like it." Hahahaha. I never talk that way. That's how Chuck Hackney talks.....when he talks. All neutral and Switzerland like lest he sets anyone off. But I was determined to keep my opinion to I pulled a Chuck Hackney.

I did like it. I loved it. In fact, I found it on the rack and brought it over to her....and she grinned and said, "That's one I marked in the book (catalogue) but the girl hasn't brought it over yet." BINGO. And one minor adjustment was made to the dress....Catha's it was a win-win for all. The only problem I see is that faithful readers....will have to wait 5 months for the reveal. Could you just die?

I'm kidding. About the die part. But not about the 5 months part.

Getting that huge chore out of the way freed up the rest of the weekend for meeting the new mother-in-law and touring the resort where the ceremony and reception will take place.

Lunch was at an adorable place in the middle of Old Town Scottsdale. This place is as cute as can be and the food is all organic and fresh and wonderful. It will be the site for the Bridesmaids' Brunch being hosted by Aunt Catha.

Chris' mom sat between Catha and Cameron. She told us some sweet stories about Chris as a little boy. Poor Chris. He was the only guy in the whole place. What a trooper.

Catha came along on this hunting trip and made it all the more wonderful.

She is such a calming force to be around.

Jordan seems to be getting a wonderful who seems genuinely kind. She might... just might.... talk as much as me. And I'm thinking I like that about her. I like looking like the quiet type for a change. She went with us to tour the resort and she and I got spend some time together. We discussed what we would wear....and she and I agreed it would probably be something we didn't have to worry about our legs. I really loved that about her.

The resort was as gorgeous as I had thought it would be but the weather was severe. The temperature reached 100' and I don't care how pretty something is, the heat makes me want to flee inside. We took a lot of pictures of the place and did a lot of throwing around ideas. We threw them out and Jordan and Chris just looked at us, like really? Are you really thinking that? Not in a bad way. Just in that way that says, "we got it all under control."

This is the door that leads to the area where the ceremony will take place.

The walkways are all canopied in vines.

I am dreaming of sitting in these chairs with my husband after it's all over.....ahhh.

New love.

Outdoor patios every time we turned the corner.

They had me at "birdhouse."

Chris and Jordan in the lobby area.

Posing for us again.

We would walk 3 feet and say stop, stand there, let's get your picture.

I am doing you a huge favor and only posting a few.

Do you see how tall he is?

We did a little shopping and then met up with Chris again for a Mexican dinner at a place that will probably be the sight of the Rehearsal Dinner....Aunt Chiladas. Is that the cutest name for a Mexican restaurant? It was full of atmosphere and the food was delicious. Catha said they had the best Margaritas....after she tasted a it definitely got her vote. We had to sit you know.....I know........very hot.

Dining a la hell..... I mean dining al fresco.
Not complaining, really. Just setting the stage for you.

I am hot in this picture, got it?

Aunt Chiladas is ready for Halloween.....decorations everywhere.

Did I mention it was hot in Phoenix this weekend? The weekend that the first cold front blew through Houston? The weather here felt delicious when we stepped outside of the airport on our return. A yummy 67'. It was good to return home...but I had a wonderful weekend with my girls and my sister. And my soon to be son-in-law. Who assured me.....after we have put down several deposits.....non-refundable....that he is in it for the long haul and isn't going anywhere.

(He better get his own bathroom and closet.....that's all I'm saying.)

Best part about this weekend? Being with my sister and my daughters and taking it all in....knowing that we were in the middle of one of the times of our lives.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Do.....not know what I'm getting into....

This is a picture from our wedding in October of 1983. I really wanted to run away to Vegas, but Chuck's mother insisted he get married in a church. ahhh. So with little to no money, we threw a wedding together in less than 6 months. I can only recall a few things about the planning process. And even less about the ceremony. And really only one vivid memory of the reception.

My sister, Catha, had gotten married in April of the same year, so my parent's bank account was drained. And I certainly didn't have any money. I usually only had $30 to live on after my bills were paid every two weeks (I am not exagerrating). Chuck was making less than I was at the time and he was paying off college loans. I just remember doing the whole thing on the cheap. My mother and daddy paid for most and Chuck and I helped as much as we could.

The bride and her attendant are carrying silk flower bouquets. Yes. They. Are. And yes, this photograph is blurry. It was 1983. We did blurry back then.

I wore Chuck's mother's wedding gown and the lady who made my cakes lent me her antique tiara for my veil. The most expensive thing I had on that day was my shoes. I rolled my own hair and put on my own make-up. I had never heard of a pedicure....but it wouldn't have mattered, I wore panty hose. My only attendant was my sister and we had her skirt made...and I guess her blouse was store bought. The lady that made my cakes also did silk flower bouquets. That was all the rage. So I said yes to silk flowers. Because? Because. Chueeeezey. I even had silk flowers wrapped around my wedding cake. Uh, huh. I did. All. The. Rage.

The church my parents belonged to at the time was new and being held in a school building. For weddings and funerals, members were allowed to use an Episcopal church in the southwest area of that's where we got married...the place had no sentimental value to us at all. The reception was also there and we were allowed to have alcohol in the form of a punch. Way to go Episcopalians! This was somewhat important to us....because we were at least trying to have a party! My sister had had the hotel reception with the beer and wine. So I had to try to compete with that.

The day of the wedding, the caterer arrived early to set up and went nuts when she saw that a mural of an Israeli town (painted on brown butcher paper) was hanging on all 4 walls of the fellowship hall. She tried her best to camouflage the ugliness with her lattice screen. Honestly, I couldn't have told you what the walls looked like before....and was not really aware of them that day. But oh, I've studied the ugliness in my wedding photos all these years.

Go ahead. Call it ugly.

The caterer let us use her silver goblets for the traditional toast in the picture above. What happened right after this picture is my most vivid memory of my reception. As Chuck and I walked away with our goblets of champagne punch, his mother looked him in the eye and said, "Put that down." And he did. Like a hot potato.

I guess she said that because it had alcohol in it...and they do not drink. But her 26 year old son did. And it was his wedding. And I was just a little agitated that the 26 year old man I had just married had dropped his goblet like that AT HIS WEDDING RECEPTION. And I had just married this man less than an hour before. MARRIED. And that is what I think of when I think of my wedding day.

And that was the beginning......

And now 26 years later, I am here to tell's not about the wedding.
It's about the marriage.

Jordan is getting married and the planning has begun. We are basically handing over an amount to her....our very own Event Planner....and staying out of it. It will be small but elegant and the guest list will consist of limited family members and Jordan and Chris' friends. It will be their wedding celebration held in their town of Scottsdale, Arizona. I hope it is all she dreams of (within her budget) and that she has wonderful memories of the planning and the actual day itself. But no matter what goes right....and lots of things will.....or what goes wrong...and something's not about the wedding. It's about the marriage.

To Jordan and Chris: When you say "I do" do not know what you are saying. You do not know what life is going to throw at you. You do not know how many kids you will have or how secure your jobs will be. You do not know your future addresses. You do not know your tolerance levels or your ability to share. You do not know what it will feel like to have to go to everyone else's house on the holidays, year after year, when all you want to do is stay at home and enjoy the comfort of your own home. You do not know.

But when you say "I do" are saying I can. I can do this....because I love this person.

I remember walking down the aisle of that strange church and thinking, "Gosh, I hope this works out." And then I made that promise.

And it wasn't so much the "I do" part....but it's been the "I can."

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

The K Word

I shepherd 2 Sundays a month in the first grade class. Today, as my small group was finishing their craft, this is what was said........

Me: You guys rocked on that craft!

Her: (Gasping and throwing her hand over her mouth) You said a bad word!

Me: I did?

Her: uh, huh...

Me: What did I say?

Her: The K word.

Me: The K word? (thinking, thinking, can't think of one...) Whisper it to me....

Her: Crap. (Krap)

Me: No, I said craft. I said you guys really rocked on the CRAFT. (emphasis on this word.)

Her: Oh. My mom says KRAP but I can't.

I am so glad we cleared that up. I can cuss like a sailor but I also can put a lid on it in the right places. I really did say craft. The C word.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mother of the Bride

Yep! That will be me in March! Jordan got engaged!

I am taking a picture off of her blog.....
Head over there if you want the details.

Prayers answered. Wishes granted. Blessings are abundant.