It’s a…..BOY!

Wow, baby boy, you sure are loved so much already.  Look at all these people who showed up last night just to see if you were a girl or boy.

You literally had a whole “team” on your side and even those, like your momma, who wore pink wishing for bows and tutus will love you just as much.  They were just trying to support your momma who truly wanted to over rule your poppa and flood him with estrogen.   Maybe next time! 😉

It was so fun having so many of our loved ones around to find out what you would be.  We were hoping to have this little party in our back yard where you will spend time running like a wild man eventually.  However, this summer in Indiana has been nothing but rain and we had another crappy weather day.  I don’t feel nearly as bad for myself and not having our party there as I do all those farmers we love so dearly.

Of course we had a few of our favorite little people who really wanted to help us open the box….Brody and Willow.  You see, they were married the same day we were and thought it was only right.  
At this point I was so nervous about opening this box I truly thought I was going to puke everywhere.  

And then it was time to open!

and OH MY GOODNESS I was definitely shocked when those blue balloons popped out. 
I thought for sure you were a girl!

Check out momma’s face. 
Seriously shocked. 

But so happy!

and I instantly wanted to find that ultrasound pic to see what the tech was so “confident” about!

And then there was the “turtle” they claimed we would see. 
And yup, it looks like a turtle. 

Look at your daddy’s face.  He is so stinkin proud. 
And this one below is where I figure out your cousin, Shailynn, is not so happy about having another boy cousin.  I felt really bad, but there is nothing I could do!

Mommy and Daddy are happy!

 and so are your grandparents! 

Notice how all the grandparents wore blue.  They wanted you pretty badly!
I couldn’t have pulled it all off without a BUNCH of my favorite women and definitely this one, my best friend, for allowing us to backtrack from her clean party barn and make it happen.  She has a little guy too who will probably teach you all the bad things you need to know!

Kynsey’s excited!

The happily married couples!

Here’s a photo of your future wife (inside Melissa’s belly) who should arrive in this great big world about the same time as you.  We’ve already arranged your marriages.  You’re welcome!

Now all I can think about is your nursery and all the little things I want you to have and how I can get ready for your arrival.  20 weeks away!

I can’t stop thinking about watching you and your dad outside in the barn working on things.  I can’t wait to watch him teach you everything he knows….and he knows a LOT about fixing things and building things.  You are truly one lucky little boy to have a dad like him.

I can’t wait to love on you and snuggle you, my very own little boy.  I’m excited to welcome you to this world.

I know that despite the difficulties that come with this last name it’s very important for a family name to be carried on, and you will carry it on well my little man.

There are great big things in this world that are waiting for you and I can’t wait to show you them all.

Love,

Your Truly Fortunate Momma

Dear Birthday Twin

 Dear Birthday Twin,

9 years ago when you came into this world I never knew how much I could love someone else who I had to share the same day with.  I know you totally understand that, because…..well…..we are basically one in the same.

Over the years I’ve become more accustomed to sharing our special day together, and quite frankly, I really can’t imagine it any other way now.

Being in the delivery room on the day you were born kept e 
Celebrating at all your birthday parties has always been the best. 
When I’m 90 do you promise to drive me to Olive Garden for the must do birthday dinner?
You’ve always been so fun to dress and play with. 
A true princess no doubt. 
The day your parents left you with me and I decided to try on all your baby bikinis was definitely my favorite…..until you peed all over the chair and I knew I was in trouble.  
Your chubby self just smiled and drooled.  
My partner in crime.  

I’m very grateful your mom has always included me on special days. 
Things like venturing off to a princess tea party all dressed up. 
I’m a very lucky aunt to be a part of all that.  
And because we have the best BEST friends in the world I get to spoil your best friend too. 
She’s like a niece, but not technically, and I love that you’re okay with that.  wink wink 🙂

Then Brody came into your world to throw things out of alignment.  
I love this picture because you were so stinkin excited to have a sibling. 
Some days you might want to reflect back on this pic to remind you how truly adorable and funny he is.  🙂
 You’ve been trying new things like crazy lately, and that’s just another of the million reasons I love you. 
Throwing yourself out there to see what you like. 
Conquering this world one day at a time.  

Our 4-H fun is what makes the summer the best. 
That and those pool days at my house. 
You’re an amazing baker, crafter, and sewer. 
Always remember how incredibly talented you are! 
I haven’t made it out this year, but I will soon….promise. 
I always learn so much about life when it’s just me and you. 
Those are my best days. 
Lunch at your school. 
Lunch or shopping on a Saturday. 
Our best days together are just you and me and our sassy selves.  

My goodness you were cute, right?  

Your eyes just light up a room.
Big and beautiful eyes to sparkle and shine. 

And your attitude. 
Well, it’s like 99% awesome and 1% like me.  
Or, maybe a little more one way or another. 
Either way, your attitude is what makes you YOU. 
It’s what will make you an incredibly strong woman. 
Strong enough to conquer whatever you choose to do in life. 

Your beauty is incredible. 

And your love for Relay and helping the world. 
I know that by next year you will totally be capable of running Relay if you so choose. 
I’m fully ready to pass that down to you as soon as you want. 

Your passion for things that I love always excites me. 

Your goofiness. 
I ask you to pose for a picture. 
You do. 
Then, you ask if it’s going on social media. 
Most likely….yes. 
Because I totally want the world to know I have the most rockin’ niece around!
And lastly…the head flower girl of my dreams. 
You led the pack down that aisle (all but one) with fierceness and beauty. 
You knew your duties and never failed to amaze me. 
You stood by my side as I married my best friend and quickly asked to call him Unkie Mike….or Unkie Bert. 
We would be very blessed to bring a baby into this world with a cousin like you. 
No, we would be EXTREMELY blessed. 
I know you’ll take care of my own like they were your siblings. 
You see….we are just incredibly lucky that YOU were born 9 years ago.  

To end, I want you to know that I hope that 20 or 30 or 50 years from now you choose me to spend just a little of your day with.  Because quite frankly, there is no better gift than to spend time with you on this day.  
Love, 
Your Favorite Aunt Addie

Reflections and Resolutions

Back on January 1st of 2014 I vowed to make these my goals….

A bad habit I’m going to break: leaving my straight iron on
didn’t totally happen but I did purchase one that turns off automatically!  score!

A new skill I’d like to learn: quilting…something very simple
nope…didn’t accomplish because my sewing machine broke.  Currently searching for a replacement

A person I hope to be more like: Pioneer Woman
I did try many new meals (a lot of hers) so we shall call this one a success – However tonight I tried her corned beef and cabbage and it was a major FAIL.  Never again.  I also think my nose is absolutely ruined from the smell.  

A good deed I’m going to do: serve at a women’s shelter or soup kitchen
Did not accomplish….fail

A place I’d like to visit: Idaho
Our next vacation…for sure!  Hopefully summer. 

A book I’d like to read: the Bible
read more this year than the year before!

A letter I’m going to write: to my friend Lauren R
communicated a little but no official letter…..fail

A new food I’d like to try: some Asian cuisine besides chicken fried rice
success

I’m going to do better at: communicating to my loved ones
I think success….some may disagree

So as the year 2015 begins I’d like to tell you about a few things I plan to work on.  Some people call these resolutions….these are just my HOPES.  I feel like the word “hopes” is a bit more realistic.

My 2015 hopes and plans….

1) I’ve joined the SSMT (Siesta Scripture Memory Team) thanks to my friend Jeffer’s invite.  The idea is that I will be memorizing 24 verses of scripture in the next 12 months.  I’m pretty psyched because this will get me reading the bible more, talking to God more, and using His word to guide me and calm me down a bit.  I’ve decided to start with Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  (NIV)

I chose this particular verse because I’ve been having anxiety and worry about our next step in life….children.  It’s not happened quite as quickly as I would have liked.  So through reading this and memorizing it I plan to work on not being anxious and presenting my requests to God through praying just a little more often….especially when I get anxious.

You can find out more about the SSMT by clicking here   It’s through Living Proof Ministries and one of my favorite gals to listen to and get inspiration and guidance from….Beth Moore.  

2)  Less junk food and sticking to the NO’s on my grocery list.  I always keep my grocery list as a “note” on my phone.  I’ve added some no’s to that list….such as Pepsi.  I may treat myself to the occasional pop but I’m no longer going to keep it in the house.  No more buying that Kettle corn popcorn Smartpop I love so much.  There is nothing “smart” about that stuff when you can consume an entire bag, by yourself, in one sitting.  No more purchasing chocolate….my students already know it’s my weakness and they provide me with enough in gifts.  I swear I have enough chocolate from their Christmas presents to last me until next Christmas.  I’m not buying it anymore! I’d like to also say no more ice cream….but saying no just seems silly  How about less?

3) Workout 4 days a week.  Lately I’ve been squeezing in 1…maybe 2 days.  Which is such a waste of my gym membership.  I always tell myself I’m too busy, but I know I feel better after I get there…even if it’s for only half an hour.  In that half an hour I can get 2-3 miles wogged and feel better and maybe…just maybe…eventually look better.

4) No credit cards.  I’ve cut up a few and I’m going to focus on paying them off in 2015.  Then, I’ve kept 2 for those just in case emergencies.  BUT I’m going to keep them somewhere NOT near my purse so they aren’t that easy to use.

5) A cleaner mouth.  We discussed this at Christmas Eve.  If we’re going to try and bring a child into this world we have a lot to work on…..one thing being a cleaner mouth.  Sure they don’t understand it when they are first born but my goodness we will have a child destined for the principal’s office if we don’t clean it up!  We never mean harm by the things we say, and usually they are said with laughter….but still.  Time to clean it up.

6)  Less DVR and more books.  Just today I deleted a bunch of Intervention episodes and other crud.  I always have something on the DVR to watch.  Sometimes I just play in the background to have noise.  Most of it is junk.  I’ll never let my Real Housewives go…..but there are many things I can do without.  And with less DVR I can read this huge stack of books I’ve bought and been craving.  Then, I can spend all my Barnes and Nobles gift cards from my totally rad students and read even MORE!

7)  Last but most importantly…..never forget to date my husband.  The love of my life, my lifetime partner, and very best friend.  We were engaged last Valentine’s Day and married in July and then life threw us for a bit of a loop.  I got so wrapped up in planning a wedding and then we had to focus on some major life changes…and I think we’ve just totally forgotten how to date.  I’ve forgotten how to get all sexy and stuff for him and would much rather throw on a hoodie and go to dinner.  Fact is….he needs to date me….and I need to date him.  We’re still young (kind of) and without children we really should take advantage of all that life has to offer….including special date nights.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant or something mega expensive, but I should still look my best for him because he always does for me.  We have an entire jar of date ideas that my wonderful family and friends gave us at the awesome bridal shower.  We haven’t even picked one.  I think we need to get on that….pronto.    And maybe….just maybe….if we date enough then my hope for a little one will also work!

I love this man and I certainly hope that 2015 only gets better.  I’ll stand by his side no matter what curves that life may bring us.  It’s hard to even imagine that 2015 could top 2014 when I married the man of my dreams….but I’m hoping it will!

p.s. – I’m typing this on my new laptop the hubs got me for Christmas and it is FABULOUS!!!

Family

Family is so important.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

Our wedding would have been totally IMPOSSIBLE without the love and support from our family.

His family.
My family.
Our families.

Probably the most prints I had done were of our family photos.  I love seeing the people I love so much surrounding our home each and every day.  

My dad and Sandy….and I love the color.

I’ve always loved his scratchy face kisses.

Siblings. 

Love them. 

My aunts who were behind me every step of the way asking what they could do to help plan as if I was one of their own.  

His parents, brother, and sister-in-law

All of us together

Muah

And my momma’s best friend who steps in as momma all the time.  

I knew it would be a challenge to try and gather everyone before the reception started.  I put 4 lovely ladies in charge of the people while we were in the receiving line to gather the troops up in the back.  I wanted 4 big ole pictures of all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandma….and the same for Mikey.  These people have watched the two of us grow from young love birds to totally meant for each other, head over heels in love.  
They’ve loved us. 
They’ve supported us.  
They’ve always told us we’re doing the right thing.  
The Snider side. 

The Plank side

The Thompson side

The Reed & Schenck side
And don’t worry everyone…I’ve made PLENTY of copies and you’ll each be getting your very own as a Christmas present.  Or before….if I see you before!
Truly Fortunate,

Littles we Love

There are a million things I loved about our wedding day. 
One very important thing were the little people who make us smile each and every day.  
From the little ladies who I’ve watched from infants to sassy little women.  

To the young men who’ve had my heart from day one. 
It was tough for “Uncle Mike” to compete with Colton Wayne on this….and then Brody as well. 
Colton has been my boy for so long. 
Bryce, too. 
Brody not as long…but they all three have my heart!

The six little people who led me down the aisle were the cutest ring bearers and flower girls you will EVER see.  No doubt about it!
I’m not biased or anything…

Guys {Wedding}

Some of the main men in both of our lives stood by our side on the day we wed.  
These guys are important to us both…for many reasons. 
These dudes are there for all the ups and downs, but their presence is a little bit quieter than my chicks.  Please take no offense to that.  There is something about this group of guys.  Something we are so blessed with.  Their quiet presence keeps my guy sane.  Reminds him how to be a good man, a man of his word.  
Not only were they handsome as hell…..but also the best guys I could ever ask to stand by my husbands side as we take that next step.  

A best man (and giant) Dave. 
I’m always thankful for him looking out for my husband.  

My cousin, Joel.  
Sometimes I worry he married me for him.  

His good buddy Cody.  I love Cody, his wife, his whole family. 
I wish we were neighbors again….

Of course my new brother-in-law, David.  
Wish we lived closer to them too!

My handsome brother Joshy.  

A good welcome to the family handshake.  

My best bud Ted.  
Some say Ted should have stood on my side. 
Ted wasn’t comfortable wearing a dress.  
Maybe he should have but I know he is just as big of a fan of Mike as I am so it was totally cool to have him on his side.  

This may be one of my favorites….
The dudes were suppose to look away.  
Please notice TED who is not only NOT looking away, but also drooling over my garter reveal. 
That is why I love Teddy.  

Some cool jumping shots.  

Thanks again to Meigan with Blink Photography and McKinsey for the amazing pics!
Your truly,

I miss you Bahamas…

The air is starting to get a chill to it.  
I’m going from flip flops to boots, from shorts to sweat pants, from painted toes and shaved legs to not caring a dang bit. 
And it makes me miss….our honeymoon….and the Bahamas. 
We took a cruise with Royal Caribbean (highly recommended) to the Bahamas for our honeymoon.  A 4 night trip which included Coco Cay (their personal island), Nassau, and a day at sea.  
Our float was EARLY in the morning on Monday.  Very, very early.  Looking back I am so glad we had all of Sunday to get things unpacked a little at home and then packed again.  
We arrived in Port Canaveral several hours before we could board the ship so we got a rental car and ate a late breakfast at a random but fabulous restaurant, the Big Biscuit.  Those kinds of places are always the best.  
I can’t wait to go back someday!
Then, we drove around and killed some time.  Finally, we decided to return the car and head towards the ship.  I was shocked at how long the lines were.  Apparently it is tradition for Argentinian girls to head on a cruise for their 15th birthday.  Like, over 300 girls.  Who don’t speak English…..and have little to no supervision.   I was already slightly annoyed.
After customs and checks and random conversations and being nosey wondering where all these people were from…we finally made it to our room!
This was our room…
It was tiny, but it was perfect for what we needed.  (wink, wink)
Someday our children will be so grossed out by that.  Ha!

This is us getting ready to leave from Port Canaveral in Florida.  

I’m so lucky!

Yup.  We’re married.  Flash that ring baby!

Right after we boarded the ship and I changed clothes we immediately had to check everything out. 
Everything!
We also realized that the ship had my very favorite Moscato….and with the beverage package we purchased I could have it free….all….day….long.  I was super excited!
By the end of the week I actually started to despise it and my stomach started to rot, I think.  
Top of the ship!  
VERY windy that day.  

A few of the pool deck…

A large movie screen that played stuff all day. 
I know the littles would have loved it.  Frozen was on practically every night!

Dinner our first evening was incredible. The menu changed each night but I always indulged in what I love….RED meat.  I had the prime rib and my love had the salmon.  It was delicious.  They encourage you to get appetizers, salads, and even dessert because it’s technically already paid for!  
At one point in the meal he said, “Shhhh….do you hear that?”  
I was so confused.  We were in a loud restaurant.  There was a lot of things to hear!
To which he replied, “No phones….”  🙂
It truly was one of the best parts of the trip!
You always had the choice of a restaurant called “My Fair Lady” which was a sit down meal or a few other places which were quicker and more like cafeteria or deli style.  They even had a little Starbuck/Ben and Jerry’s shop!  Yummm
After dinner we did a little bit of people watching and then some gambling in the casino.  
The next day….we started with some breakfast in bed. 
A cup of delicious Starbucks that my sweets brought me.  
Then….a trip to Coco Cay.  
The first day out we were off the boat on our their private island, Coco Cay.  
Of course it was a rainy morning and we had to take a little boat to reach the island. 
When we arrived it REALLY started to rain and we debated for about an hour if we should head back to the ship. 
We stuck it out and walked the entire island and eventually…the sun came out!
Our “excursion” we paid for was a pair of floating mats.  It was delightful.  
Michael doesn’t really know how to relax, but I think that even he enjoyed it.  

We didn’t pay for this excursion, but it looked fun!

Ahhhhh relaxation!

While relaxing we did watch some hula and limbo contests. 
Did a little bit of shopping for overpriced tourist trap crap.  
Ya know, the things you have to take home to say you’ve been there?

Beautiful water.  

A picture of our ship from the island…

This is one of the little boats that would take you back and forth.  

When we do go on a cruise again I will remember to book the excursion of “luxury cabana” FO SHO.  

The little boat made me sick.  Very ill. 
So, this is the view from Mike behind the camera as we traveled back to the ship. 
I was below deck about to vomit.  

Coco Cay’s island

That evening was our formal dinner. 
This was our captain.  

They had an evening parade of all the ship’s employees and the flag representing their native country. 
Really neat to see there were so many people with us from all over the world.  

The boys from the US represented us well by dancing to the “Cotton Eyed Joe”

And we waited in a line to get our photo on the staircase!

This was our favorite bartender, Ariel, otherwise known as ARod.  

One of the lounges that had karaoke every night.
Unfortunately I never got to sing….

They had a very cute and super cheesy “Honeymooners Meeting” so we could meet all the others on the ship that were also on their honeymoon.  
They took our picture with a cake and we danced to some Michael Bolton song.  
They also did a raffle for some champagne and we ate some of the cake.  
Kind of cute.
Dinner that evening was duck for the man and some sort of red meat for me. 
I can’t remember…
We also saw a comedy show that night. 
The guy was super hilarious and very wrong.  
There is always something to do on a cruise ship.  
We also met back up with ARod and the other bartender at the bar we liked, Myra, to have a night cap.  
The day we were in Nassau, Bahamas and decided to do the “See and Sea” Tour for our excursion choice.  We would have loved to try Atlantis….but it was so freaking expensive.  Definitely next time now that we know the price!

This was our Sea guide.  He reminded me of a Jamaican Flava Flav.

One of the pictures is Oprah’s house. 
Every picture of a house is someone famous but I really can’t remember who. 
Oprah has 2 houses in Nassau. 
Who the hell needs two houses in Nassau?
Apparently Oprah does…
One house belonged to a prince with 7 wives. 
Another house belonged to the owner of Heineken. 
In the Bahamas the beer everyone drinks is called “Kalik”

We took a boat out to another boat where we climbed under for the “Sea” part of the tour. 
This boat took us out to the coral reefs so we could see all kinds of sea life. 
Very cool!

The Jamaican Flava Flav took our pic.  

Here’s a little bit of useless knowledge for you that we learned…
This is Atlantis. 
That bridge thing was built way back and is now known as the Michael Jackson suite because that is where he always stayed.  
Now you can stay in it for $25,000 a NIGHT with a minimum 4 NIGHT STAY!
Say whaaaaat???
And the kicker…..it’s booked for the next 5 years. 
Who in their right mind would spend $100,000 to stay there?  It can’t be that wonderful.  I mean, come ON!

Then we traveled in a smelly van with half of our group with a crazy Bahamian driver around the city of Nassau.  Now, don’t get me wrong I am totally glad he was driving and I wasn’t but there is a dang reason why every car in that city has a dent in it.  Smallest streets ever + worst drivers = terribly damaged vehicles.  
Another tidbit of random knowledge for you…..the top 2 industries for the Bahamas are tourism and banking.  There are banks in every other shop there.  Now that I have seen the place I think it is the last joint I would keep all my money.  It’s obvious why people do….tax free….but I’m not sure I would spend more than some daylight on that island.  
We saw the governor’s house, the straw market, the Queen’s staircase, the Bay St. (no…I didn’t get any diamonds)

Despite being offered peanuts (code word for drugs) and the mass amounts of children or people without shoots and little kids smoking cigarettes…the island is truly beautiful. 
It’s certainly a different culture and a different way of life. 
Thank goodness it takes all kinds to make up this world. 

After our official tour we decided to branch off and head to this “fish market” everyone kept talking about.  We knew it wasn’t safe to travel alone, but there were two other ladies in our group who were interested in going as well.  We figured it would be okay if we traveled together. 
We found a taxi driver who took us to the fish market.  It was just loads of restaurants with conch and all kinds of fresh fish.  Smelled delicious. We ate at Curly’s. 
I tried conch.  Figured I had to because the cab driver kept talking about it.  Too chewy,.  I also ate some fried shrimp and got the grouper sandwich.  The grouper was heavenly.  
The place was a little sketchy….especially since this area was clearly a natives hangout.  
We ate our lunch and headed back to a location a little closer to the port,. 
Before we loaded the ship we shopped around for a while at the straw market and other little shops.  Found the Harley store where you can buy a shirt that says the Bahamas for $50 just because they can do that.  The straw market was definitely overwhelming.  Every person in there hounding you to buy their goods saying “Oh pretty little girl you need this….and that….” 
It was so flippin hot this day we eventually headed back to the ship.  
The alcohol was free and so was the food on the ship. 
We needed some air conditioning!

We came back to this cute little guy….

We found a bar that had random trivia. 
We sucked at the trivia and quit early. 
Got ready for dinner that evening. 
Delicious french onion soup for me and lamb for my guy.  
We gambled very late that night. 
They took my money….if only I knew when to quit. 
The next morning we had the breakfast buffet.  It was so delicious. 
We grabbed our swimsuits then found the adult only pool…the Solarium. 
Laid there for most of the day (our day at sea) and read. 
We highly recommend that you never take a cruise without the 18+ pool.  
It was so nice to swim, eat, and drink all day.  I even slept for a while.  
Then, we showered and purchased the pictures we wanted and shopped a little bit. 
Gambled some more…
Arranged for our rental car the next day and changed our flights to get home a little earlier. 
While on the computer there was an announcement that they were going to check out this “unidentifiable floating object”.  I freaked a bit. 
What if it was terrorists?  Or pirates?  Why were heading towards this thing? 
It was only a bumper. 
Panicked for no reason.  Imagine that.  

Saw a show that evening in their large theater and it had all kinds of bits from famous musicals including Hairspray and West Side Story.  It was fun to sing along.  
Best steak ever for dinner at the Chops Grille.  We had lobster and dessert too  
Again, heavenly. 
Then, we decided to check out the “Quest” game show.  If you ever take a quiz, we highly recommend it.  It was a lot of fun.  It involved both of us taking off some clothing at some point.  A piece of mine was even held up by the cruise director.,  Loads of laughter.  
Mike got up the next morning at sunrise for more pictures.  
We were already back at port very early.  
Quickly got off the ship and customs was seriously a joke.  A few random questions and we were back in the USA kind of freaked by how easily it was to get back.  
We rented a car then headed to the Kennedy Space Center.  It was crazy packed so we ended up at the Orlando mall instead.  Walked around shopped and killed some time.  Ate at the Hooters for lunch and then sat in the airport for hours waiting for our flight.  
My dad and Sandy were super sweet to pick us up late from the airport.  Our flight was all screwy. 
And they were even waiting to take our picture when we got home., 
It was so good to see both of them….and of course to be home.  
It was a honeymoon I will never forget!
Can’t wait to go cruising again…

Me and my girls

I love the women in my life. 
I am truly blessed to be surrounded by some strong ladies. 
If you don’t know….you know now……you don’t want to mess with us. 
I could probably never say THANK YOU enough to Meigan and McKinsey with Blink Photograohy for these special photos. Our day was amazing.  
Not only do we get our special photos of just the two of us, but we also have moments captured with our very best friends and family. 
Moments we can treasure forever. 
My sister.
My MOH and best friend. 

My bridesmaids.

Me and my girls ready to conquer the world….or the day. 

Having fun every moment 

Beautiful with every move they make. 

Dazzling in coral and turquoise…my two favorite colors. 
Damn, they looked good!

Some special shots with my MOH and best friend. 
I know I can face anything in life with her by my side. 
I hope she feels the same way. 

Everyone needs a little duck lips in their life….even on your wedding day. 

And the beautiful cherubs who have looked forward to this day just as much as I had. 

These photos weren’t easy but I’m so glad they turned out so well. 
Each of these little ladies is so special to me.  

I’m not sure what she was checking out.
I think my necklace….

Kisses from the head flower girl who is also my favorite niece and birthday twin!

I love them so much. 
They were so beautiful and so precious despite the mini meltdowns. 
It was a very long day for these angels, but they made it and stayed excited the entire time. 

Too precious….

And our personal recreation of the Bridesmaids movie poster….

We are so hot…even without our heads. 

I love these ladies. 
I love them all. 
Your truly, 
Fortunate Gal

Just the two of us

We are so blessed to have amazing photos from the very talented Meigan with Blink Photogaphy. She and her assistant, McKinsey, captured some of my favorite moments from our day. 
Just the two of us…

You may have seen this one in the paper. 
Or, you may not have, considering it was blended in with the classifieds. 
I’m so glad I paid $53 to be blended with the classifieds. 
(sarcasm)

And the perfect photo for our thank you cards….

I think this one is getting framed….

I don’t normally love pictures of myself, but I do love these….

Love…

My veil and my dress don’t match at all, but wearing my mom’s veil made the day even more perfect. 

I’m so glad I didn’t hide my tattoo.

Happy Monday everyone, 

Rewind: Where were you

A repost from September 11, 2012 that I looked back on today.

I know where I was.  I’ll never forget.

I shared these memories today with my cherubs and my niece.  My conversation with the group of 10 year olds quickly turned to looks of shock and horror.  Only two of them were even alive.  One was one day old and the other was a little over a month old.  I tried to help the rest of them understand the impact those events had on everyone, including myself, that day.

My niece said, “What those men did was not nice and just rude.  They made a bad choice.”  That sweet little six year old couldn’t have said it better.

I told them this story.  My story…..

I was a 17 year old senior in Mr. Adam’s government class in the southeast side of MVHS.  He received a phone call and quickly turned in the TV to CNN.  Shortly after that we watched the second plane hit the twin towers.

There was silence.  A room full of arrogant and invincible seniors immediately became hushed with silence.  Everyone knew the world just changed forever.  Boy, did it ever.  One of my best friends Jen was in that class.  I can’t even remember the conversations between all of us.  Sometimes I wonder if we even had conversations or if we just sat there in shock and awe of what we were witnessing on the TV.

Then an announcement came on for the entire school to tell of the events that just occurred.  They asked the teachers to leave the TV’s off.  There could have easily been a riot after that announcement.  We wanted to see what was happening.   We needed to know what was going on.

Immediately we went on a lock down.  No one in and no one out.  More planes were crashing, so who really knew if our little town would be next?  It wasn’t impossible, unfortunately.  Thank the Lord that never happened.

The next period I went to the office to serve as office assistant and Madelon let me call my mom immediately.  She was crying.  Saddened by what she was watching but happy to hear my voice.  She had talked to my brother and my sister and everyone was okay.  I wanted her to come get me.  They wouldn’t let her.  Can you imagine not being able to pick up your own child?  That’s when we all knew this world we lived in would never be normal again.  You’d have to have your ID checked to get into your child’s school.  You’d have to have your body patted down to fly on a plane.  All because some idiots decided killing 3,000 people would get us back for whatever we had done to them.

I was worried my brother would have to go to war.  Would they do a draft?  It was on everyone’s mind.  One thing was for sure.  You crash into our country and we’re going to fight back.  So who was to say they wouldn’t do a draft and my brother wouldn’t have to go fight?  I thank ALL of the military men and women who stepped up and volunteered to continue fighting for our freedom.

So after sharing this story with my cherubs and my niece I pondered on their innocence of these events.

It’s unfortunate that my students know what a “lock down” drill is and why we have to do it.  Isn’t that sad?

It’s heartbreaking that my niece knows that four planes flew into places and killed 3,000 people.  Isn’t that sad?

It’s sickening to know the world that my sweet littles have to live in is so much different than the world I grew up in.  I use to be able to ride my bike whereever I wanted and whenever.  Now we have to worry about creeps stealing kids.  Everyone is on edge.  Everyone is overprotective.  It’s no longer human nature to just TRUST someone.

What has this world come to?

It comes down to this.  We were attacked and we fought back.  When you get defensive you put up a guard and a shield.  Since September 11, 2001, we as Americans have not been able to put that guard and shield completely down.  Will we ever be able to?  We hear about a man killing men and women at a temple and in the back of my mind I’m always wondering….couldn’t that have happened to me? Couldn’t that have happened here?

I want my trust back in this world.  I want my life to feel at ease.  I want my littles and all the cherubs to live in a world where we trust and love and the word “terrorist” doesn’t even exist.

After this long day of constantly pondering about where I was 11 years ago those are the things that I couldn’t wish more for.

One of the many pictures that brings tears to my eyes.  

I am thankful for the men and women in our military who fought or are still fighting.  I’m thankful for the police officers and firefighters and any public safety members who risk their lives to save others when the bad guys try and take over.

I’m heavy hearted tonight, but thankful.

Thankfully yours,