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Facebook is great, but face-to-face is better

February 10th, 2014 2 comments

Tillamook CheeseLast night, my husband and I invited some friends over for a “wine-and-cheese party.”  We had Tillamook Cheese we wanted to share with our friends that we brought back from our recent trip to Oregon, and we figured what goes better with cheese than wine?

My husband and I happen to really love hosting get-togethers at our house, but we haven’t done it much in the last few years. We just felt like our house was too small to adequately host friends. The house we rented prior to the one we are in now was PERFECT for parties, but it was a little ways out of town and hard to get people to come out to visit. We moved into town, but downsized dramatically. We felt like our party hosting fun was still on hold until we moved again.

Boy were we wrong!

So what if we had to haul my desk chair from the office in and another chair up from basement?

So what if we didn’t have room on the table for plates, so we all just picked out our choice of finger foods with our fingers?

So what if there was a line to our one bathroom at one point?

323: Rhythm in WineIt didn’t diminish the wonderful evening that we had one bit. We put together a spread of cheese, veggies, fruit, bread, sausage, etc. We had Merlot, Moscato, Rosé, sparkling red, vodka, beer, Irish whisky, and water.

We had conversations.

In person.

Face-to-face conversations. We told stories, laughed (a lot), high fived over the table, and bounced ideas and thoughts off one another. No one was on Facebook. No one was on Twitter. We were all there, in that moment, together, enjoying each other’s company.

It was amazing.

When the party broke up, we all agreed that THIS was what it was all about. Friends getting together and catching up. And we vowed to do it again. We vowed to do it more often.

When our friends left, my husband and I looked at each other with big grins. I told my husband, “This just proved no house it too small when your heart is this full.”

 

Categories: friends, fun, general-post Tags: , , , , ,

Seven years ago, it was sunny and 70°

January 6th, 2014 4 comments

Today’s big topic is how crazy cold it is… as I type this, the wind chill is -5° (with an actual temp of around 11°). I know to anyone in the northern states, this is nothing. But to a Nashvillian (and expecially a born and raised Texan!) its ridiculous. Silly. Stupid.

But it doesn’t keep me from smiling and remembering that seven years ago, it was 70° in Texas, and I got to marry my best friend.

Photo by AJW Photo

I made a new years goal this year to journal daily (or as close as possible), and as a bonus I’ve gone back to read old posts. Today, I dig out my journal entry about my wedding…

I had scheduled myself and the girls hair appointments at 9 AM, and the place was half an hour away. … It took an hour and a half to do my hair. My usually straight (and fine!) hair was put into ringlets, with the front pulled smooth in a side part with my tiara and veil placed at the edge of the smooth area before it went into curls. I loved it! I was nervous it would fall, but actually it held in curls for over two days. LOL God bless hair stylists!!

We grabbed hamburgers at McDonalds on our way to the church, and the drive-thru lady actually asked me when I was getting marred, to which I replied, “In about four hours!” ;) I felt like a McDonald’s commercial in my veil eating a Homestyle Burger.

Photo by AJW Photo

We had the BEST bridal party, ever. This is HUGE in things going well. I was blessed with bridesmaids who were SO HELPFUL, because once you get that dress on you (heck when you just get the veil on!) are seriously rendered rather… helpless. You need people to help you.

Time passed… really rather quickly. I think a lot of people were surprised by how calm I was through it all. It wasn’t until my maid of honor went down the aisle did I just get SO GIDDY. I almost got teary when I looked at my Daddy beside me and realized it was all HERE. My Dad gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, “No tears.” I replied, “No promises.”

Photo by AJW Photo

It went SO smoothly, and seemed to fly by! I honestly can’t wait to see the video of it to remember all the details. I know one of the groomsmen said he almost started tearing up himself! And we were paid such great compliments like, “That was the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever been to.”

Our priest was so awesome. I didn’t start giggling, and I put the ring on the correct finger. (The night before I got his hands backwards.) Our readers were fantastic. Everything flowed so smoothly. Before I knew it, we were being introduced as husband and wife! And amazingly it started to lightly drizzle rain down; we feel it was Craig’s mom shedding tears of joy. :)

Photo by AJW Photo

Once we came into the reception, we decided to cut cake right away. And, no, we did not smash it into each other’s faces. We had the peanut gallery egging us on (haha) but we had agreed not to, and we stuck to our word. Many of our guests thanked us for that — as did our photographers.

Photo by AJW

We then did the bouquet toss and garter toss, followed by first dance, father-daughter dance, and money dance. I was out on the floor for about eight songs straight, and by the last one (in which my niece grabbed me to dance) I was motioning for Craig to come take her to dance so I could get something to drink! I was exhausted — but happy. I was a little bummed a lot of people left early, but it was fine. We still had a ton of fun.

Photo by AJW

Before I knew it, it was time to leave! We had purchased confetti poppers to use instead of bird seed or bubbles or bells. I danced one last time with my Dad, and then we headed out. Mom had made me a cape to wear over my dress since it was chilly and my dress was strapless. I put on my cape, hugged my parents, and then we dared the confetti. I made sure to double back to hug my brother before we climbed into my maid of honor’s new Explorer.

Photo by AJW

I pulled a fast one on everyone. I set it up with my MOH to leave in HER car, and kept out truck hidden. Our wedding present to ourselves was to get a next truck, and I refused to have it painted up or anything. So we hid my truck, and left with her — keeping them all in the dark on it all. Only my MOH and her boyfriend knew where the truck was. I LOVED that and it worked so great.

We went to a little cabin that my Dad’s cousin has as a Bed & Breakfast. They gave it to us for the night for free! It was in the middle of no where. So adorable; so private. We ended up sitting for three hours on the couch talking — filling each other in on all we each missed the last day.

I am SO HAPPY right now! I am almost overwhelmed in how happy I am. The funny thing Craig and I both agreed — we don’t feel any different. We’re more relaxed having it all behind us now, but we’re mostly just insanely happy. I am amazed by how well it all went. It was SO SMOOTH. And I attribute that to having such great people around us that we could depend on to help us at all times.

Photo by AJW

Its fun to go back and remember, seven years later. The last two days I’ve been going, “This time seven years ago we were having our joint bachelor/bachelorette party!” and then, “You were getting your tux right now, seven years ago.” Then, “Where did I go at this time back then? I can’t remember now! Darn it!”

Even if some of the details are lost now, the fact that I am so thankful for that day… and thankful we’re stronger today than we were then. We are still blessed with amazing people around us. New friends. Old friend. Our parents and siblings are so supportive. We’re a team, but we have a great support staff helping us along the way.

THANK YOU to all of you… and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my husband. I LOVE YOU and am so very thankful for you every single day. Here’s the seven years, and many, many, many more.

All photos by AJW Photo. I can’t recommend them enough to this day. 

GPS, BFFs, ACMs and BTW

April 10th, 2013 1 comment

This is the last week before April 15th, and I’m pretty out of it come the end of the day. Between tax season and Muster planning, my plate is overflowing. I need to get some sleep (its only 3:30 am!) but I just couldn’t let another day pass without a post!

Last Friday, I drove down to San Antonio to see my husband for awhile. I loaded the address of the venue they were playing into my phone’s GPS and away I went.

I knew there was one section of the route that the GPS wanted me to take that I did NOT want to follow. For whatever reason, Google Maps likes taking me as the crow flies, which in Texas usually means ending up on little Farm-to-Market roads in the middle of nowhere. That can be fun and all, but when you’re hitting those areas after 3 pm, you’re subject to school buses on top of the already lower speed limit. It is NOT the fastest route, no matter what Google seems to think.

Unfortunately, the location of my “don’t-go-the-way-the-GPS-says” was in a town I’ve gotten lost in more times in my life than I care to admit. Its seriously my Bermuda triangle. It’s sad, really. And just as I feared, I got all turned around and nothing looked right to me. I ultimately ended up following my GPS down lots of little FM roads, with lots of local Sheriffs looking to help their county pocketbooks, instead of hitting the tollroad with a speed limit of 85 mph. (C’mon Google maps. You can NOT tell me that going 55 down little two-lane roads as the crow flies is faster than hitting a 3 lane toll road going 85.)

Once I finally hit the tollroad, I was good to go. Or so I thought. My GPS kept telling me I’d be exiting onto “183″ or something like that, so I kept an eye open for that. I was coming up on a split, and I moved over to stay on the tollroad I was on… it wasn’t until I was committed to that stretch of road that my GPS told me to “stay right at the split” forcing me to miss yet another turn and dropping me onto a totally different state highway in 5 o’clock traffic and sitting through stoplights three or four times.

My 2.5 hour drive turned into almost 3.5, and my nerves were SHOT. (I am not even going to go into the idiots I dealt with… like the guy who blew through the yield sign and that I almost made pee himself when I laid on my horn as I avoided t-boning him… thank God I had slowed down from the 85 mph I’d been doing in anticipation for his stupidity.)

BFFsLuckily my Saturday went much better. Travel was a breeze and I got to spend the evening with my (to be a cliche teenager) BFFs.

I LOVE THESE WOMEN.

I am blessed with two amazing women that I call both best friend. One I’ve known since Kindergarten with a history that’s impossible to ignore, the other that amazing college friend that you know you’ll have rest of your life. Both like sisters to me, I cherish every time we can make it work to get together.

Our venue this weekend was downtown Bryan, TX. It’s definitely a place made for people our age, and it was just such a refreshing change of pace for me. I love my bars in Nashville, don’t get me wrong! But the class of the place and area was just… refreshing. I always say I can hang in a dive bar and be happy just as fast as I can dress up and hang in a fancy restaurant and be happy.

But the best part of our venue choice was that we were able to sit around a table, drinking wine, talking for hours on end without interruption. Another friend joined us for awhile — one I haven’t seen in 5 years — and it was such a treat to catch up with her as well!  The night was so very good for the soul, and I really hated to see it end. I already look forward to next time!

Sunday night brought the ACM awards. I’m not going to comment too much on it. I just know it left me very sad… sad of the state of the industry that I love so much.

I seriously feel like the class and respect it demanded all through the years has diminished to catering to… to… what I don’t even know. I work in a bar. I can take dirty jokes. But I was put out with the number of them thrown through the night. I remember when it was more about honoring the greats of country, not doing whatever it takes strictly to get ratings.  I remember looking forward to awards night, glued to the TV. Now, I force myself to watch, and I end it wondering why I bothered.

My biggest complaint since last year is making the “Entertainer of the Year” award fan-voted. There are fan-voted award shows already. Keep this one strictly Academy voted. To me, making the top award fan-voted dilutes it down and makes it just another popularity contest. I happen to be one of the few people who might not be a Taylor Swift fan, but for several years championed her getting the Entertainer award… because she IS an Entertainer. And it doesn’t matter my personal opinion of Blake Shelton, he’s become the current face of country. He’s the one people associate with the genre now. He deserved it, too. These are the angles that the Academy would vote from… or at least SHOULD vote from… in my personal opinion. (And yes, these are MY opinions, not anyone else’s.)

Finally, I got to watch my niece play ball tonight. She’s a fierce softball player, and I think it is going to carry her far. Her team (Born to Win aka BTW) was taking on a team the next town over.

150: Born to Win

My niece at bat… a swing and a HIT!

What a game! I have to say, its getting more and more fun to go to games as she gets older. They ended up playing an extra inning due to it being tied, but had to call it when it got too dark to play safely. It was like being left with a major cliffhanger… they were ONE out away from winning the game… or one batter away from losing it. I like to go with the first one, though.

I hope someone lets me know how it ends when the finally get to finish playing!

I was afraid this would be the only game I’d get to see, since the season started so late this year. But it looks like I’ll get to catch one more on Monday before I head back home to Nashville. Here’s hoping for a win!

Valentine’s thoughts

February 14th, 2013 No comments

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ahhh… Valentine’s Day. The holiday that is hated as much as it is loved.

Singles hate it. Couples enjoy it. Many find it unnecessary. Others hinge their entire month on it.

I, personally, like it. It was the day that my now husband and I said, “I love you,” the first time. (I think it was along the lines of, “Dammit, Denise, you know I love you!” hehe) And I gotta admit, I do love getting roses every year. I even got a special gift for my husband this year, and I can’t wait to give it to him when I see him next week.

I adore getting Valentine’s from my niece and nephew. And I love to find something for them. I especially love trying to find something that ISN’T chocolate or any other candy.

Valentine’s Day, to me, celebrates love in general. Romantic love is the love that gets the most focus, but I don’t think it needs to get ALL the focus. You love your family. You love your friends. You love your pets. Heck… love yourself! Celebrate it all!

I hope everyone out there had a wonderful day. I hope you all know that you are loved. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Roses

January 29th, 2013 1 comment

My husband gave me roses last night.

Red, red rose

It wasn’t our anniversary. It wasn’t my birthday. He wasn’t apologizing for anything. It wasn’t an early Valentine’s Day gift.

He gave them to me, because we make a good team.

080: Love

I rode with him, via cell phone, until after 8 am, keeping him company. The hours on the road had gotten long, and the white lines became a bit monotonous. So I read him Facebook posts and news articles.

“You’re almost home,” I’d say, joking I was being his cheerleader. He couldn’t see me actually pumping my arms as I chanted to him.

I looked for truck stops for him to stop and get some coffee. Encouraged him to take breaks. Stretch his legs. Sometimes we sat in silence, just listening to each other breathe.

I wouldn’t have hung up that phone for anything. I was his co-pilot. I AM his co-pilot. We are a team. 100%.

Roses weren’t even on my mind as I drove to pick him up last night. Dinner out was, sure, but roses weren’t even on my radar. When he stepped off the bus with them in his hands, I was floored. Touched. I couldn’t stop smiling. I still can’t stop smiling when I look at them.

Red, red rose

Sometimes I think women like to get roses more to show off to other women. I have to admit I had to take a photo of my roses right away to share on Instagram and Facebook. (Well!) But I’ll be completely honest here… these were so unexpected in any way that they just meant more than normal. I don’t know how to explain it. This wasn’t about showing off. This wasn’t some pre-determined date to give or get roses. This was… thank you and just because all wrapped up in one. And that… that’s just extra special.

Wedding congrats — Kim & Vaston

November 3rd, 2012 No comments

Every now and then, a couple comes along that you look at and go, “Of course! They’re perfect together!” A total match  made in heaven.

Today, I got to watch such a match exchange their vows and become husband and wife. I could NOT be happier for them both, and I am so thankful I got to be there and witness the beautiful event.

Kim and Vaston, we wish you the best… on this day and every day there is to come. Life will have its hard moments. Life will have its magical moments. The rough ones will be easier together, and the magic will be brighter shared with your spouse. You will get advice from every side today, and if I can interject my piece of advice it would be simply to love one another without hesitation and to remind each other of that love every single day.

Congratulations!!

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