Friday, July 31, 2009
So this is how it all started...with this simple yet elegant invitation. We bought these about 3 weeks after getting engaged. I went in to merely look but they had a special going on. I wanted to try an mimic the border design of my parent's invitations. Not only did they replicate the design exactly, they even replicated the font! Plus, I got a really good deal on them, and they were ready in 1 week! (That's right, I had my invitations for my June 2004 wedding in August of 2003!)
The location was the adorable historic chapel in the middle of a rose garden. Believe me it was not easy to find a beautiful rose garden in the middle of West Texas! This place, however, was one of the first places Hubby and I ever went on a date. He took me on a picnic in the rose garden, I think it was date 3 or 4. I fell in love with the country charm, wood beam ceilings, and old wooden floors...reminded me of my hometown.
I walked down the isle to the Westphalia Waltz. Two ladies from my hometown came and played the fiddle and acoustic guitar as the guests were seated. The wedding party walked down to 'Faded Love' and 'Ashokin.'
The heart of my family is music, and I always knew I wanted my Daddy to sing at my wedding. He is a very accomplished singer and guitar player. (Much loved by West Texas ladies over 70! hehe) When I first asked him, he said he did not think he could make it through, but after convincing, I got him to play 2 songs. (By the way, those of you who know my father know that it was much harder on me to get him into the tux than to sing...but that's another story!)
Right after walking me down the isle, and 'giving me away' Daddy sang the 'Farmer's Daughter.' He actually picked this song out for me. It is written and originally sang by his hero Merle Haggard. For those of you who have never heard it...
Daddy did change some of the words. For example, in the second verse instead of Momma died 8 years ago December, it became "Ashley was born the 1st of September, she joined her Momma, brother Shane and her Papa too, Somehow me made a home of our old farmhouse, and love was all our Ashley ever knew...Dave, welcome to the family. I promise, we're going to feed you the best we can. But you say that you really love the farmer's daughter, and I know the farmer's daughter, loves her man." (Side note, totally tearing up writing this..)
We were married by our preacher Brother Ira Lynn from Kingsridge Church of Christ in Lubbock. One of the very special things about Ira is that he not only married us, but baptized us both the previous year. He will always hold such a special place in my heart for so many reasons! You can also, in the picture, get an idea of our adorable wedding party and the West Texas sun gleaming through the stained-glass windows..Let me tell you it was warm....especially in layers of wedding dress!
Here we are lighting the unity candle...this picture also gives a better idea of the beams in the church and all the spheres of flowers I spent days making..Our flowers were pink and white roses with white hydragenas. They were so gorgeous!
After lighting the unity candle, Daddy sang another Merle Haggard song, "That's the Way Love Goes." I can remember him singing this song to my mother since I was a little bitty girl. You can also tell from this picture, that my Daddy does not sing with his eyes open, something my Mom and I always kid him about. I wish I could have taken a picture from my angle of all the people crying as he sang. It was so cute. Hubby's Grandma K. once told me, she loved my Daddy once hearing him sing..So cute!
One of my favorite pictures of the two of us..
A picture with part of our wedding party..and our families. My parents and brother, and Hubby's parents and sister.
This is another favorite because it isn't staged..I think the photographer said "Say Grandkids," and I said something like "No!"...
The reception was short and sweet...cake, heavy appetizers, a little music, lots of conversation...nothing too big. We had the best Italian Cream Cake as our main cake.
Hubby's groom's cake was the Texas Tech double T, chocolate divine chocolate covered strawberries surrounding. There was not a single piece left of the either cake after the reception. People went back for seconds and thirds. Guests still tell me that was the best cakes they have ever had...One thing about a party that my family throws...there is going to be good food, especially desserts! = )
My maid-of-honor/best friend since 7th grade Kat caught my bouquet and my nephew/ring bearer caught the garder. Well, he was more-or-less thrown in front by the other guys and caught it..he wondered why no one else wanted it. Kat caught the bouqet and 5 moths later was married...and they say its just an old wives' tale...= )
Here is the best man and Hubby's best friend since he was 10 lighting the sparklers. I had this fabulous idea that we would run out with fun PINK sparklers. It was really beautiful, but with 75 people holding them, it became a LOT of smoke..so much so we set off the fire alarms in the reception hall..and my uncle Jerry got a spark in the eye and my neice/flower girl caught the hem of her dress on fire...yeah...sparklers, fabulous idea!
Here are our ushers and two of our 3 groomsmen proudly standing by their masterpiece..my car covered and stuffed with everything! The three ushers were Hubby's only boy cousins from Michigan, and these two groomsmen are Hubby's best friend/best man and his then roomate and our dear friend...The car was packed with balloons, streamers and confetti. They put confetti in the A/C ducts and it blew everywhere! It took me a solid year before I stopped finiding confetti in that car!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Thus it goes something like this....
Me: "So listen to our hearts..."
Miss Mia: "la la la HARDS!" (and yes, she screams it because she is my child!) hehe
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I'm trying to limit myself, because this could go on for a while.
1) I Love Friday night in our house. Knowing that we don't have to be up early the next morning and we can stay up late and watch TV, DVR compilations, movies or just sit in our big bed, listen to pandora & read books (or read to Miss Mia).
2) I have posted posted before of my love for all things Nigella Lawson. From her cooking show to bakeware, I find her fabulous. (And I want to look like her when I grow up!) I have been devouring her book How to Eat. I just adore it. I approach it like a text book with so many helpful hints and basic cooking 'how to's'.
3) I love more than words can say a well organized pantry. Having a slight case of OCD, I need all everything facing outwardly and in descending height. Knowing that I have extreme measures, I usually do all the putting away of all groceries. Hubby, however, has been under 'orientation' for general rules of this goes here, etc. (In his defense, most of the time, he is very good at putting things back the way I like them.)
4) I get many bottles of lotion free with coupons, but really only use the one that I can not find a coupon for. Thus, I give away in gift baskets the others. The one that I use the most and would love to give the world a free sample (it's just that good!) is Mediterranean Spa Olive Oil Lotion. This lotion covers like shea butter but it is not even the least bit greasy. The Olive Oil fragrance isn't overly fungent and I can still have a perfume on without the two competing. They also make soaps and body wash which are also supper amazing. The unfournate part is that it isn't sold everywhere. I buy mine at Bauble Bath Ltd. which is a fabulous store in Saugatuck, Michigan. The owner is a dear friend of Hubby's grandparents and he sends me the lotion!
5) I love, love, love traveling. One of the first coversations Hubby and I had when we started dating was about our love of traveling. Since we've been together we have traveled all over the world. My favorite place that we have ever visited is Bath England. I could do a blog dedicated to everything Bath. I absolutely adored the streets, the smells, the water, the architecture, the history..
Monday, July 27, 2009
So, here is my "I Don't" List....enjoy...
1) I don't do humidity...neither does my hair. This is why I was born and raised in DRY West Texas! (also b/c Jesus knows I love and need hot salsa!)
2) I don't sleep with dirty dishes in the sink...such a pet peeve
3) I don't eat mushrooms...sorry...I can't do fungus..I try to explain this to Hubby but he can't understand. (Even our dog Bentley won't eat them, so there!)
4) I don't drink coffee or tea or Dr. Pepper. (The last two could get my Texas card revoked...and the first, I think I'm the only Ph.D student ever who is addicted.)
5) I don't leave the house for more than a day without giving it a deep cleaning. (This stems from my Grandmommie who once told me that I should keep the house clean in case I die. That way when family has to come over they won't think bad thoughts about what a horrible house I kept...I realize this is crazy...but yeah, family!)
6) I don't like to drive. Long before I would hire a house keeper, I would hire a chauffeur.
7) I don't like to sleep with no sound because my mind won't shut off. I have to have music or a movie going the entire night. Hubby has had to learn to deal being the deep sleeper of the two.
8) I don't like to shop without coupons. I feel so guilty buying anything, even if its only a dollar, without a coupon.
9) I don't go two days without a luxurious bubble bath. It is an essential element to keeping my sanity.
10) I don't trust birds. Silly phobia but I think they'll poke my eyes out. Miss Mia, however, is fearless and loves all birds/chickens..She is constantly running at the park after birds yelling "Chicken! Come here!"
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The chair came to me with a bright gold frame and 60s white (fading) vinyl covering. Although it is almost 50 years old, being from my Grandmommie, it was still in very good shape. My bathroom, however, is not really in golds and white vinyls. I have had my eye on some beautiful fabric at Hobby Lobby for a while, but wanted to wait for it to go on sale. This week it did!
So today I made the new seat cover and spray-painted the body white. I LOVE the finished product. It looks like a completely different chair. Now Miss Mia can start sitting in the chair making her memories of the torture of getting her hair done..haha
Friday, July 24, 2009
A few days later, with help from my roomie, he set up the proposal. The very next day, Mom, Grandmommie and I headed to Amarillo for the big sale. I tried on about 50 dresses that day, and of course, knew the moment I put it on that it was the one. (I had a small quiver when I tried on one more, but when I saw the $24k price tag on it, I knew that I would go with my original choice!) My dress, of course was not the $99 that Mom and Dad had hoped for, but it was $500 cheaper than normal...I saw that as a good sign.
My sweet Grandmommie wanted to buy something for me that day too and she bought my veil which was had pearls throughout. It was then in the middle of the store, with my dress on that she offered to let me wear her pearl earrings and necklace that my beloved Grandad bought her on their 35th wedding anniversary! It was one of the many times that day that I cried!
The dress was perfect for me! Strapless, with pink and ivory bead work on the bodice, A-line skirt with Italian lace on the bottom..The dress matched my already picked out wedding colors and the already chosen brides maid dresses. It was just perfect.I so loved the train of the dress as well, espically after we chose the site for the wedding, and I knew it would cascade down the sweet steps.
With my gorgeous bridesmaids and flowergirl.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
What is your current favorite memory? Mia yelling “Chickens!!” at the top of her lungs at the seagulls at Lake Michigan
Starbucks or Peet's? Starbucks vanilla bean frapaccino (oh so yummy)
What's for dinner? Mini-burger sliders with corn salsa, and plums!
What would you eat for your last meal? Steak (pink all the way through!), Rosa’s chips and queso, italian cream cake, very large cherry coke…(its my last meal, who needs veggies?)
What's the last thing you bought? groceries at Homeland
What is your favorite ice-cream flavor? That’s like picking a favorite relative..but other than vanilla bean, I always go with mint chocolate chip
What do you think of the person who tagged you? I actually got tagged twice last week, but both ladies are so very dear to my heart as they have helped me acclamate to living in Oklahoma
What was your favorite toy growing up? My buddy doll
If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Venice Italy…give me a gondola, some gelato..some breezy summer night in Venice…
Which language do you want to learn? I want to be fluent in Italian..not jut my broken/reader knowledge…but once I have concured Italian, I am moving on to French
What's your favorite quote (for now)? "If I had a nickel for every time I was wrong, I’d be broke!”- Stephen T. Colbert (I recite this to Hubby frequently!)
What is your favorite colour? Pink and robin’s egg blue (leaning blue these days)
What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? Black cashmere sweater…I would wear it everyday…bring on the cool temperatures!!
What is your dream job? Being Martha-esc..dabbling in crafts, cooking, homekeeping, etc
What is your worst habit? Leaving the folded, clean laundry in the basket way too long
If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on? Good lamp for the master bedroom
Do you admire any one's style? I heart Kate Winslet with the fire of a thousand suns…I love Jen Garner’s style too
Describe your personal style? i am a jeans and tank top girl...when i dress up i usually stick with layers of black with good earrings and the most fabulous of purses!
What are you going to do after this? Frost the cake I made for Hubby!
What are your favorite movies? Movies that I can watch over and over, Love Actually, Meet Me in St. Louis, Pillow Talk, Becoming Jane, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
What is your favourite fruit? Plums
What inspires you? Traveling, photography, crafty people
Your favorite book? Pride & Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird
Do you collect something? Torquay, Quimper, McCoy..vintage tin boxes..cookbooks..oh so many thing
What are you most proud of? My amazing family and the life we have created
What do you like most about yourself? My organization (“I have won awards for my organization.”-Monica from Friends, also known as ME!)
What is your go-to nail polish color? DEEP reds…
Then there is Miss Paula Deen, who should really be renamed MY MOTHER! I remember the first time that I saw her on her cooking show. I shouted at Hubby (who was then merely 'Boyfriend!') "That woman is my mother!" She has a ridiculous southern drawl, big hair, sweet smile, and cooks with butter y'all! My mother to a T!
(Little side note, the first time Hubby met my mother, she cooked for our whole family and the 12 friends I brought home with me to see their first 6-man football game. Most mothers might make a dessert or some appetizers, not my Momma! She had a full Thanksgiving type spread with a ham, cake, multiple pies...oh the food! My friend Mara still says she full from that meal 9 years later! Hubby said that after meeting my mother, he fell a little more in love with ME! haha)
But back to my original story..Paula vs. Martha. How do you choose? Martha is definetley more formal and Paula is obviously more Southern. Paula's dishes and new accessories are casual, while Martha's are simple chic.
Here are some of Paula Deen's chicken measuring cups. These are so my mother. So much, in fact, that I actually bought these for her! (My parents house is a chicken coop...chickens, chickens everywhere! One of Miss Mia's first words was chicken. In fact, she thinks that all birds are chickens!)
Classic Martha cake stand. Whenever I see cake stands like this, I think Martha. They are simple, classic, they never go out of style...just like Martha!
As for recipes, I have never had a single problem with either ladies' recipe. From main courses to desserts, all have been delicious and well recieved by my taste testers!
Here is one of my favorite Paula recipes (if you've never tried this...you will so thank me later):
Baked French Toast Casserole
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
8 large eggs
2 cup half-and-half
Butter, for pan
1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Raspberry Syrup, recipe follows
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch thick each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Cook Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
Here is one of my favorite Martha recipes (this one is so great b/c you can freeze these and they will save forever!):
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 slices bacon (2 ounces), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon plain dried breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- In a large bowl, combine beef, bacon, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Shape mixture into 40 meatballs. (For equal-size meatballs, scoop out meat mixture with a teaspoon, using two scoops for each meatball. Then roll between your palms to shape into balls.)
- Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or on two large plates. Freeze 1 hour. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag; label and date.
- To use the meatballs straight from the freezer, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Earth Land Bread
Budding Turkey Luncheon Meat
2 lbs of bananas
2 lbs of red plums
Mission Tortilla Chips
Generic Vanilla Wafers
Generic Wheat Thins
2 boxes of Tyson Chicken Nuggets
Fiber One Pancake Mix
Lg. Package of Borden 2% single-slice cheese
3 packages Shredded Mozzarella
1 package Shredded Colby/Jack Mix
3 liter of Minute Made lemonade
3 Lb bag of chicken
2 lb rotisserie lemon-peppered chicken
6lb beef brisket
3lb of center-cut pork chops
Grand total...$5! The young cashier checking me out was sort of flabbergasted when I was all done. He told me that he was going to tell his mom about me. I gave him my card with my e-mail and told him to have her e-mail me. I'm due for another coupon class soon anyway! = )
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I keep this quilt in my cedar Hope's chest that my parents gave me during the winter months, and pull it out for the summer. The light yellows and pinks (the colors of our wedding) remind me of summer and that very beautiful day in the rose garden!
So this is our summer bedding...patches of summery hues all stitched by Grandma R. (A fun side note, less than a year after our June wedding, that December in fact, she made me another King size quilt for Christmas. That year all the women in the family received Christmas quilts. Being Church of Christ, and since we don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, she made mine the colors of our Italian decor--deep purples, greens, browns and golds. It too is gorgeous and stays displayed on our quilt rack or guest bed all year round!)
One of my favorite touches..in the corner she embroidered our names and the year of our wedding...
The most special touch of all, however, is her signature E.R. in the corner of everything she does...Even Mia's fleece baby blanket has it too! Oh, how I adore Hubby's Grandma R.!
I had a few problems with our kitchen, however, because I felt it lacked color and character. We also have a bit of storage issue, as I have a miniature Williams & Sonoma in my house! So we needed some storage, place to put some of my more decorative items and something that would add color to the kitchen. I thought this book shelf might be a good idea for the kitchen. With too many cookbooks to store, I have to pick and choose once or twice a year which books to keep out. We had this bookshelf in our office, but it didn't work all that well. I also loved the idea of the cabinet doors that would hide my standing mixer, toaster and other appliances! I can't believe it worked!
A bit of a closer look at the knicknacks on the shelf...a few of our favorite Torquay pieces and my beloved McCoys. Also, two of my must-haves in the kitchen, my Le Cruset pot (makes the best soup ever!) and my pasta roller. (makes all my noodles the perfect thickness!)
Here's what the doors hide...our toaster, standing mixer (with ice cream maker attachment), sno cone machine, blender, stock pot, and so much more. I love not having to see it anymore. Just shut the door and have instant organization!
Here is a peak at the top of the cabinets. I store some of the more colorful and bigger pieces that we can't store on the top. Oh how I wish we could repaint these! I am not a honey-oak cabinet kind of girl...but we do what we have to! Looking up at the old tins (which used to be my Grandmommie's cookie jars) they make me smile and think of my sweet family!
Friday, July 17, 2009
My love of all things Martha truly knows no bounds. After seeing these pictures, I think my love has grown as big as her prop room! Oh, to be able to run around in this room unsupervised for a few hours...I think I could decorate and entertain for years on end!
Wouldn't you just love to peruse? According to Martha: The people who work in this department are called "prop librarians" and they know exactly where everything is located. And just like a good library, every single object in this room is labeled with a description, the size, the quantity, and a bar code. Each piece has been logged into a computer and must be checked out when it is borrowed.See, she has everything...as is super organized! Ahh..amore! I tried to do something not nearly as fantastic for all of our storage bins currently residing in a barn at my parent's..I like Martha's method so much better. I think I will bring it up to Hubby..
One of my weaknesses are pedestals. I have way too many of them and even more in storage. Someday I figure I'll have the room for a big hutch or a large kitchen to display my favorite finds!
I do not want to be the person who has to polish all of this! But it is just so gorgeous! If you want to see what else Martha has to say on her prop room or even more pictures, you can check out her blog and the pictures here.
-So grateful that the weather has cooled off! (Temperatures have dropped from 109 to a 'cool' 90!)
-Wonderful meals with friends! Its becoming a weekly tradition.
-Miss Mia's hair being long enough to put in pig tails! My heart runneth over!
-Grateful to be running and jogging again! A girlfriend and I are training for a 5k in a few weeks!
-Grateful that my stomach is healing! Doctors said I am down to 2 ulcers and only 20-25% damage! That means no surgery..and that the medicine is working!
-Miss Mia getting to go to the theater with her Mommy and watch Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (She LOVED it! She kept saying, Ron "Weezie".)
-Eating yummy fried squash! Oh how I love fresh summer produce!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
It was so precious! It was quite lucky that we did put the hair up b/c when I took her to Mother's Day Out, the main toddler rooms were without air conditioning..so the teachers were scrambling to find cool places for the kids to play.
So she left for school with her cool hair up, and a cute (and airy) outfit...then we came home, after melting all day..
She has been playing "potty" with her dolly Helga. Apparently Helga is also potty training. She told Helga today to go "poo-poo." She converted the doll case into a double bed for her other doll and teddy bear. I think this shows great intuition and imagination on her part!
....like I was saying, she has imagination. Yes, that's the potty seat on her head as a hat! Oh, and remember the cute outfit and up-hair do? Once we got home, she stripped down and pulled her hair bow out...I don't blame the kid...it is too hot to worry about such things!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
That night the girls went to Cousin K. Ann's wedding shower. Hubby and Grandpa K had a boys night out..they enjoyed some alone boy time. The shower was really sweet and the couple got some great presents. Miss Mia, however, stole the show. She's not used to going to parties where the presents weren't for her. This took some time to get over. Then as the party was winding down, she spotted the hostess's grand piano.
The hostess teaches piano lessons, taught all of Hubby's cousins and his mother how to play! She also leads the childrens singing ministry, the Spiritual Sprouts, at their church. Mia never pounded on the piano..she was very meticulous with her hand movements and her timing.
The hostess played a duet with Mia..Mia played the high notes..precious..it made me and Grandma K. tear up.
The following day was the 4th! We started the day in the wonderful town of Saguatuck. Its a fancy artsy town in West Michigan. Their were many art shows going on. It was fabulous. Before we ate our picnic lunch, we took Miss Mia to an old soda fountain shop and let her get a snack.
Doesn't she look thrilled by the events? She had her snack, then we met up with the rest of Hubby's family for a picnic. After our yummy chicken lunch, we went back to Holland and headed to the beach! I had been waiting the entire trip to put Mia's little feet in the tide.
I got my wish! Is that not the most pinchable set of legs ever?
I love this belly shot picture!
Mia is a water baby..always has been. Even with the major waves crashing on her, she loved the water and refused to get out.
Post wave, she was still happy! She kept wanting to scoot further into the water. Finally, however, we had to get her out of the water.
Mean Mommy made her get out of the water and put on her jacket. I'm not sure she's forgiven me yet!
After the beach, Miss Mia took a few hours nap! Hubby stepped on a fish bone at the beach and it got stuck in his big toe. We had to take him to the Urgent Care. There they numbed his entire foot and thought they were going to have to operate. Luckily, they got the fish bone out and put a large bandage on his foot. The bandage made the 14 hour drive home a lot of fun. Hubby does all the driving b/c he's a bad passenger. The bandage, however, hurt when he drove, so I drove about 500 of the 943 mile trip!
We got home exhausted, but to a spotless house. I threw in the laundry and put Mia and Hubby to bed..Then I unpacked the vehicle and slept for 11 hours!