Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lot's Wife

Do you remember Lot's wife? She was too preoccupied with what she was leaving behind to look forward and have trust. And well as you know, that story doesn't have a happy ending.

This morning I woke up and God has placed this story of Lot's wife on my exhausted mind. I had read Mama's blog about Gramma and this picture had struck me:

Mama, HayBee, Gramma and Darbey Rhea

At the time of this picture, we thought Gramma's life was pretty much over. We were looking back because it was so hard to look forward. Little did we know, we still had many, many memories to share.

Yesterday, after leaving the hospital, I looked back at this picture and thought that I wish we could go back to this time. Yesterday, Gramma was not doing well. Doctors were taking her treatment hour-by-hour, and threats of ventilators and life support were looming in the distance. I should have been looking forward.

God blessed us with another great memory and milestone today as Gramma "earned" Most Improved Patient in the CCU this morning. Traces of Gramma were back today: she was sitting up, talking and making progress on her breathing, so I was encouraged to look forward.

These Heavenly words encouraged me, let them encourage you too!

Psalms 121

1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Looking forward love and all of mine!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hard Candy Christmas

This is one the Girls' favorites.

Hard Candy Christmas.

And come on, it's Dolly -- you can really belt this one out and no one can say otherwise.
Not even a grumpy Gardener Guy -- bah hum bug.

Christmas Caroling love y'all, and all of mine!

Monday, December 6, 2010

In Everything Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:18: In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Thank you Lord for my tire blowing out tonight.
Thank you Lord for having a safe road for me to pull off onto.
Thank you Lord for the nice man who stopped, and keeping away other creeps.
Thank you Lord for canceling my conference today so that rather than being stuck in Independence, MO as planned, I was in a safe rural community.
Thank you Lord for the two new flashlights that I hadn't carried in yet, batteries included!
Thank you Lord for a full tank of gas so that I could sit and wait in a warm car.
Thank you Lord that I had cell phone reception and could call Gardener Guy.
Thank you Lord that Gardener Guy worked in a mechanic shop in his teen years so he knew how to safely change my tire.
Thank you Lord for reminding me to not ask Gardener Guy if he "knew what he was doing."
Thank you Lord for letting Gardener Guy be my hero tonight.
Thank you Lord for the quiet ride home listening for another blowout.
Thank you Lord for my family that will read this and have a good laugh.

Thank you Lord for letting me crawl into bed tonight with Gardener Guy and this day will be over.

Thanksgiving love and all of mine!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You better not pout, I'm telling you why!

What is your earliest memory of Christmas time?

I have lots of faux-memories thanks to watching many, many hours of home videos.

But, one of earliest real memories was when we lived at 1901. Mama slept in my room with me and Baby Haley Beth, while Daddy and Z slept in his room on Christmas Eve.

I woke up early and went out to the family room, (apparently our tradition of waiting for the fam wasn't ingrained yet). I scanned the room of Santa's deliveries and went back to my room to pout to Mama. I thought that Z and Daddy were camping out to watch for Santa, but really Santa had brought Z a pop tent.

I made the Nice list-- and got a pink Fisher Price vanity. I sure do hope that's still in the basement somewhere. Then again, Mama might have sold it with Z's first bike in a garage sale.

That hurts, doesn't it Mama?

Merry Christmas to all, and all my love!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Army

Old Navy Christmas Wishlist 2010.

Ok... so some of these are sold-out, or you know, only available in Darb's size; but this is a WISH list. Typically, I shop Gap Online, but I love how Old Navy uses color, more-so than Gap. Keep in mind, I keep it safe with colors. Jeepers, that was fun playing on Paint.

Other items on my Christmas Wish List:
-Blackberry Curve. I'm due for a free upgrade.
-Rubber cutting board. My glass one is a little too noisy, and well, breakable.
-Weekly planner: Wal-Mart special.
-Lunch box: I think Mama Out-Law is taking care of this one.
-Winter Coat, with hood. My current coat's zipper fell off this week.
-Books or games for my classroom/office.

Gardener Guy and I each splurged this year. I bought a couch, he bought a truck. So ... we're doing stocking stuffers for each other, and Jasmine might get some chew toys, or a new old sock.

What is on your Wish List?

Holiday love and all of mine!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I'm not a Mama.

But when I am, I am going to be cheap and make my kids use their imaginations.

And why would you not want to use your imagination with these precious before and after on Design Sponge?

This reminds me of playing kitchen at Auntie J's house. She had the best little nook in her basement with a wooden kitchen set.

Surely Daddy has one of these in a rental house somewhere.
Maybe he does but don't call me Shirley.

Makeover love and all of mine!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Friday I'm In Love

Friday I'm in Love.

I read NieNie everyday. She and Mr. Nielson are remarkable. Their love is infectious and their kids, well they are just adorable.

Love this video, you should check it out.

NieNie love and all of mine!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Santa Baby

This morning was cold.

Somewhere inside of me started crying because that means winter is coming.

Lola is scared too. She doesn't like winter either. One year she was just minding her own business and then got crushed like a snowball by a giant snow plow.

Poor girl. Oh yeah, Lo is my car. Lola, the Corolla.

Anyway, Santa Baby, I need a new coat this year. I'm window shopping. I'll get back with you. My only request: don't make me look like a part of a group of Asians on a College campus.

Christmas music love and all of mine!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bermuda, Bahama, Come on Pretty Mama

It's been a busy week. Busy, and stressful: right Mama?

Just think, we will be cruising in March and I can't wait!

Of course, I wouldn't turn down a tropical getaway anytime sooner though!

HayBee talks of tropical vows although no time soon... so I play Wedding while she is far, far away. Unlucky for me, our tastes are ... well ... polar opposites. Oh well. If I were planning tropical nuptials (or re-nuptials) it would look something like this: bright, fun and oh-so laid back.

Love and Surf. Via Snippet and Ink.

Thank you J.Crew.

This would be a pretty simple gown for HayBee but it's so classic and elegant & she could dress that gown up with some gorg accessories from Etsy.
Maids in green, moms in blue, and red hot toes.
Put those boys in green ties and throw on some yellow leis for the night. Love it.

How adorable are these Save the Dates? They're luggage tags for cryin' out loud!

... ooh baby why don't we go down to Cocomo?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Is it just me or have you been hearing a lot about Fall weather this year, like more so than other years?

Maybe I am more aware of it because I am not dreading walking campus in sub-zero weather for months upon months. Now I am dreading driving snowy, icy country roads for months upon months. But enough negativity, Nancy.

What I am trying to say is that I am really enjoying this Fall weather. Granted, I do miss rocking hoodies and sweats to class each day -- it was State school what do you expect from me? But, I enjoy how nicely it warms up in the afternoon and cools down in the evening.

Our Fur-baby Jasmine is enjoying the cool weather too. Enjoying the weather... in her new dog pen! This has been months in waiting for me and finally, after I chased the dog deep into the timber, BAREFOOTED, Saturday afternoon, Gardener Guy realized we needed a pen. And a pen he built. J-Baby has spent a lot of time outdoors exploring her new casa. After a few whiny barks in objection, she seems to like it.

How do you take time to savor this beautiful Fall weather before Winter moves in?

Outdoor love and all of mine!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Count Down.

Ever get a $20 bill and "nickle and dime it away" until it's all gone? And then wonder, where did my money go?

Ever have a free Saturday and decide to take a long nap, then wake up at dusk? And then wonder, where did my day go?

I feel like most days. I'm wishing my days away until May. I will regret it, but right now counting down is the only thing getting me through the year.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Baby Steps

Gardener Guy and I are baby-stepping with Dave Ramsey.

Baby Step #1: Set up Emergency Fund. Check.

We are on Step #2. Paying off debt.
We both have a bit of credit card debt, as well as Student Loan debt.

(enter lump in the pit of my stomach)

I gotta say, in college, Gardener Guy was better with managing money than I was. I took a 4 year hiatus from balancing my checkbook and had overdrafts to prove it. So now, I am kinda anal-retentive about balancing it because, well, it just makes cents. You laughed out loud didn't you?

In moments of stress we were quoted on more than one account of saying, "It will be better when we graduate and have jobs." And, it has. But now, it's time to pay off some debt and save some moolah.

I had a small credit card debt, so we transferred my balance to a 0% interest card with 12 months until interest begins to build. (These are my words you see, I have ABSOLUTELY NO business or financial background).

I have paid off all of my "Store Credit Cards". For crying out loud, cut those suckers up into tiny pieces, Chic Chick! Mama is right, the feeling of not dreading a credit card bill in the mail is so much more satisfying than buying stuff. Go me.

We are trying to pay off the rest of the balance transfer and GG's credit debt asap and building momentum and motivation as we go. Soon, our Student Loan bills will be rolling in and we will be ready to take those on too.

Baby Step #3: We will be working to put 3 to 6 months worth of expenses in savings. I'm thinking this might come in handy when Chic Kiddos come around.

See more of Dave here.

Goal for October: use Envelope System.

Baby stepping love and all of mine!

Friday, September 24, 2010

What do you you do when...?

... you come to the end of a To-Do list pad? Stop making lists?

This is my conundrum on my 1st DAY OFF OF WORK! Get in or get out I got a horse to saddle!

I took my 1st sick day for an eye appointment today and my eyes are dilated so forgive me for any spelling faux pauxs. (Guarantee that is one right there.)

Here is my to-do list.
1. eye appointment -- check dilated eyes -- check
2. blog -- check
3. dishes
4. laundry
5. vacuum --- I HATE to vacuum but this is the only way I can torture our dog because she hates it more than I do.
6. Get stuff: paint, painter's tape, ply wood
7. Paint accent wall
8. Pick up BC. No Chic kids yet.
9. Cook -- we may be camping tonight so that might entail putting hot dogs and buns in the cooler. Go me.
10. Get Mama's present

Tomorrow is Mama's 40th - ish birthday! :)

Last year, "she was learning to scuba dive" and I was "playing Mama to HayBee with a very broken finger".

This year we're going to do it up big -- Kansas style. Prayers for Mama because this will be one of very few years up until now that her parents will not be around to help celebrate. Gramma is in Texas "on vacation" at a different Bed & Breakfast, Lake House, Bank Trip, Condo each night -- you name it, she is "vacationing" there.

I am reminded this morning how THANKFUL I am to have Mama and Daddy around whenever I need them for support, especially with the struggles I am having at work. They are such an encouragement and blessing to both Gardener Guy and Chic Chick.

So, "Happy Happy Birthday from your blog friends to you -- we wish it was our birthday so we could party too, hey!"

Mama love and all of mine!

PS. Today is Gardener Guy's last day at his job! Hooray! He will be gradually taking over Boss Daddy D's business. He'll be Window Guy after tonight --- eh, I still love my Gardener Guy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Few Favorite Photos

We finally received our photo discs!
I have been creating a photo-book on Snapfish and can't wait to see how it turns out!

Here are a few of my favorites of the day:

I may or may not have cried and laughed throughout the entire ceremony.

We did it!


Backyard Chic moved indoors.

He's got a little King in him.

Get it MJ.

Gardener Guy totally surprised by our surprise dance.

Photo love and all of mine!

*All photos by Nichols & Co. Photography.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Baby Blessings

Baby D is here and SHE is a doll baby. :)

Baby Nora was born on the morning of August 26th to a very big family.
She is petite bundle of sugar and spice and everything nice.

Mama D had a few complications with low blood pressure (never my problem -- eh Gardener Guy?) but now Mama, Daddy and Big Brother Stratty are doing well with their bundle of joy!

Soon after her birth, she was tested and received results that Baby Nora has Down Syndrome. Baby Nora is blessed to have a big loving family who has been learning all about how to do the very best for her.

Please keep Baby Nora and her Mama and Daddy in your prayers to be strengthened and encouraged in the next few weeks.

Baby Nora,
Your Uncle Gardener Guy and Aunt Chic Chick love you very much and can't wait to see you grow up into a beautiful big girl!

Baby love and all of mine!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Baby D

Baby D is coming in less than a week!

My SIL Jess is due on Thursday morning (C-Section) in KC.
We will find out if Stratty will have a baby brother or a baby sister.

Baby D will live in the cutest nursery with jungle friends and I found these on Etsy to join in on the fun!

Welcome Baby D!
Uncle Gardener Guy and Aunt Chic Chick (already) love you very much!

Baby love and all of mine!

On a scale of 1 to 10.

Mama plays these sick mind games, like: "On a scale of 1 to 10, how are you feeling?" We grunt and groan, and play along.

Thursday, I was low like a 3.4 or so. Friday, I handled the personnel conflict I had been avoiding all week so I was sailing at a 7.35. I don't totally regret taking my job because I have finally realized that God has a plan and I was meant to learn from this opportunity so when something better comes along, I can appreciate it for all its worth.

Other realizations of the week:
-Avoiding conflict makes it worse. Handle it professionally and move on.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1.

- I am learning to literally take one day at a time because that's all I can do.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34

Teaching love and all of mine!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Uh, honey?

. . .can I have a powder & prep room?

Not a room, maybe a nook?

Ok, ok not a nook, how about a small corner?

Via Classic Bride.

I gotta start stocking up on cute (but unpractical teaching) shoes. STAT.

Pretty powder room love and all of mine!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just Married!

Daddy and Mama were just married.. 26 years ago.. today!


If you want to hear it the way it would be said at Gramma and GranDaddy's house, try this:
"Happy Anna-versry!" Haley Beth and I have been practicing putting the emphasis on the 1st syllable so that we fit in with the family )and we can stand under their UMB-erella.)

Love this photo from Sonita's Rehearsal dinner. Daddy had the honor of marrying his niece Sonita Maria to Law Guy.

Anna-versary love and all of mine!

Waiting Game

I'm waiting on proof discs to be mailed so that I can order wedding photos. Then I will frame them... and then rearrange in my cottage.

Waiting, waiting. What is it with the wedding business?
My vendors were excellent and I was so pleased with their services.

However, almost everyone I talk to that has been recently wedded is waiting on their photographer. Maybe that is just the name of the game but c'mon: the discs are just proofs. So burn the CD and send it in the mail. Don't get me wrong, I saw the online proofs and I love the photos, I think he captured the day beautifully. He had an artistic eye, but don't lack on the professionalism of honestly communicating with clients and deadlines.

Here's a tip: send my photos!

In the meantime: here is our online gallery with the option to purchase (and drain your bank account).

Username: Draper Wedding (include space between words and capital letters)
Password: 14276

Let me know if there are photos you want and I can copy them once the discs arrive!

Browsing love and all of mine!

PS. You already knew I was impatient.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cottage Chic

I told you about Auntie J and I "chic"ing up my cottage right? I have been finishing up our projects this week, which boils down to painting, and repainting.

1. We transformed my living room walls from Country White to Tea n Cream. So warm and cozy. I finished edging the ceilings and touching up on trim yesterday. Daddy and Mama visited last night and were happy with the transformation. Score.

2. We painted and distressed my side tables using the Tea n Creme and leftover Ottertail from my parents' remodel. They looked great. But against our 1980's "distressed" couch and tan walls, they looked less chic, and more.. cheap. So I repainted with Country White, will apply a second coat and then... add the finishing touch: wallpaper, (from Lowe's).

Idea from Love and Lace and Centsational Girl.

I will apply the wallpaper in the square on top of the side table with a minty turquoise finish.

*Green lantern: sweet victory with Auntie J. *Brown haired Chic Chick. *Notice the "distressed" couch?

I have 2 of these side tables, so I will try it on both. I'm trying not to overdo the aqua and mint color combo but I love it so with the tan and white.

3. The last project was Auntie J inspired. She had a vision to use Aunt Skeeter's mirror above our couch, as it is bare bones right now. To frame the mirror, she suggested using distressed shutter shades. She was spot on. We barely were in the flea market before I found the shutters that were perfect for our project!

We used Tea n Creme, leftover black paint (Thank you for Daddy's biz and Mama's painting obsession!) and a can of black spray paint to paint and wipe and paint and wipe these babies. They were beauts. Then I got a little impatient and threw some aqua colored paint on too. And then I couldn't stop.

What do you think of our Work Week? I think Auntie J may have created a monster because...

I'm already inspired to transform my Country White dining room walls from this...

into this.
Again, Centsational Girl.

I love the ivory and chartreuse with the deep wood color.

Can I show you his and hers baby nurseries that I stumbled upon and love?
Oh, goodness Gardener Guy is barely adjusting to the painted walls, I better not even go there. :) Maybe another day!

Painting love and all of mine!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Auntie J and I are crispy-ing up my Chic Cottage while Mama and Daddy take some much need vacay time before the "Family Vacation."

I found this list on Young House Love blog. I mean it's a list, and I can almost check off each and every one on it. Life is good.

7 Cheap Ways to Crisp Up a Room.

Crispy pictures to come!

Repainting love and all of mine!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rain Check

It rained on my wedding day. It rained, a lot. The Farmer's Almanac said it wouldn't rain that weekend. The weekend forecast called for light rains, possibly 30%, but that was all North of us.

30% chance of scattered showers turned out to be 4 hours of buckets of water falling and leaving no place for an outdoor wedding. I was up early getting decorations ready for the ceremony and reception site. My Auntie J was there helping and coordinating. There were many others helping too but I had to leave the muggy morning to go get my hair and makeup done a few miles away. A short time later, it started raining. And raining, and raining. At one point during getting my hair up in hot rollers, I looked at the reflection in the mirror and a tree outside the salon was literally bent over because the rain and wind was so strong. I closed my eyes and my bridesmaids assured me that it would all be fine.

I knew the rain would leave, and I knew it would leave behind a swampy, muddy mess in our back yard. I finally got to leave the salon and get back to headquarters. My bridesmaid K rode home with me and I remember saying, "I hope when we get home, there has been a decision made about what to do today." She replied, "Well don't look now but there's Z with the stock trailer, I wonder what that's for."

I made it home to an awaiting room of Mama, Auntie J, Sonita Maria, Haley Beth and K. They laid it out for me. The rain would clear out around 2pm. I had 2 choices: A)Wait until then and then get set up outdoors as planned and people will go with the flow and try to enjoy the atmosphere. (As Aunt TAM said, "It's Kansas, we know how to deal with mud.") or B) move the shindig to Plan B.

Daddy was no where to be found and without a cell phone. He didn't want to make an early decision to move it to the school, he wanted me to have an outdoor wedding. I wanted an outdoor wedding, I still want an outdoor wedding. In the spring with a temperature of about 75* and a nice breeze. I didn't want a swampy outdoor wedding, so I made the decision to move it next door and move it quick! I called our Photog, told him to back up the schedule 2 hours, rather than all pictures before,we would do our private moment and formals before and then shots with Gardener Guy and I during the reception. All other vendors were called to move the delivery next door and we were off.

We waited for the rain to slow, called all of our troops and started moving next door. I had to organize all of my decorations, flowers, necessities into piles to be carried, dollied, drove next door. The men began loading chairs, tables, arbors, table clothes, dishes, water fountains, dressers and potted plants in the stock trailer to make one big trip next door. People began showing up from out of nowhere. At one point, I walked in our kitchen and my Aunt TAM was there and said, "It'll all be all right honey." I about broke down, so I left the kitchen and headed to the school.

The bridesmaids and candlelighters and I sat up our shop in the office. We cut fresh flowers and arranged them in the vases. I loved it. We spilled pitchers of water on that carpet but we moved like lightening: deleafing, cutting, pouring water, arranging flowers and stacking on a rolling cart I found. I loved it. I can't imagine how much more I could have enjoyed it the day-of if the plans would have gone as planned.

I left the school with the Maids to get ready and to start photos. At some point during this time when we were shooting outdoors, my parents' air conditioning quit and so we had a house full of dressed up bridal party people, with no air conditioning. Of course.

Gardener Guy and I still had our Private Moment on the front porch. I love the photos from this short time with us. I had missed him all day and kept thinking, "How are we pulling off this huge change in the wedding day without seeing or talking to each other." We have amazing friends and family, that's how.

We shot outdoor formals with the Maids, Men and indoor formals with our family. In all of the hulabaloo, I didn't get any photos with my guest book girls, candlelighters or soloist. This is a bummer.

Guests were arriving as we finished up pictures and I wanted to get out of site. We hid in the library and office waiting for the ceremony to start. Even with 4 ushers, the ceremony got started late. After watching the video, I realized half of the wedding ceremony was over before I even walked down the aisle. Seating of parents and g'rents, reading, candle lightings, Mamas' lighting, processional.... and then I got to walk. Made for a short ceremony for me though!

I loved our ceremony. Some of the processional music was wrong and went too long, but I didn't hear it until watching the video. Daddy had set the mood lighting so that the stage was lit and the audience was dimmed, a perfect touch. I couldn't believe how well the ceremony went considering we didn't rehearse there and didn't have time to talk through details before.

Ok but really, I loved our ceremony. My Uncle Rand made the audience laugh and even made me cry. I never thought I would cry, but I did, I enjoyed the moment. I cried, and he about cried, and then I blamed it on Mama. We said our vows, listened to GG's sisters read, lit our unity candle, listened to Dana's beautiful song, gave and received rings, and were married. Mr and Mrs. Gardener Guy.

We left and as we were about out the door a horrible ruckus happened. Well, I thought it was a horrible ruckus, really it was a surprise of the Wabash Cannonball to escort the Bridal Brigade back down the aisle. The culprit: 1st we thought it was GG's brother Golf Guy. Nope. Auntie J? She says no. We think the DJ took artistic liberty but we don't really know. Pretty bold of the guy to do that to a bride who's day was a rainout. Lucky for him, I enjoyed the K-State tribute.

Reception low-down to come.

Rainy day love and all of mine!

*Rain check: on our flight home from the honeymoon, we sat next to a man who renewed his vows with his wife in Mexico after 20 years. I told GG he owes me a rain check for our vows in 20 years.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

1 Peter 5:10

Count your blessings.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

My GranDaddy F passed away this weekend.
My Sister in Law JoJo sent me these Heavenly Words, which are more calming than she knows.

Prayers for Gramma, Mama and Daddy are appreciated.

All my love.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Gardener Guy and I are blessed, in about 4,273 different ways but that could be another post. God blessed us over the wedding planning process.

Since Gardener Guy and I began dating over 5 years ago, I had always had the fear that my GranDaddy would lose his fight with cancer, among other infirmities over the past few years. There had been more than 1 close calls in the past 5 years and that has been hard for my Gramma, as well as my entire family. My GranDaddy and Gramma M were healthy enough to share in our day. We are blessed they could be there.

My other Gramma has had a rough go with Alzheimer's over the past 2 years. She lost her brother to the disease last year and with this passing, I also feared that she would not be healthy enough or here to share with us. In fact, just a few days ago, her sister who suffered from Dementia passed away. My Gramma and GranDaddy F were healthy enough to share in our day. We are blessed they could be there.

Gardener Guy's maternal Gramma and Grandpa have had their share of small and large infirmities as well, but all in all, are healthy. God blessed us with their health throughout the planning and wedding day. GranDaddy and Gramma S were healthy to share in our day. We are blessed that they could be there.

Gardener Guy and his family lost GranDaddy Jerry last September. He lost a hard but short fight to cancer. His entire family came together before and after his passing, and his Gramma G has been well cared for as well. Before his passing, GG and I had talked about moving up the date so that all of our grandparents could be present. Jerry would hear none of this. So we focused the last few months him and his wants and needs and little on the wedding. I think our wedding day may have been hard for GG's Gramma as their anniversary had just passed a few days before, but she was very gracious.We are blessed she could be there.

I realized this blessing as we were flying home from Cancun last Sunday. We had no cell phone service for a week and we were both wondering what news or crisis that we may have missed. It was flying over the ocean that I had time to reflect on these blessings that I had worried about for many many months.

And when we returned, no crisis. God is good.

Blessings to you and all of my love!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In the trenches

Mama and I are working in the trenches today.

We have planted, mulched, dug, watered, laid bricks and entertained the dog.

This afternoon we are running to Hob Lob, Home Depot and taking my ring to get sized!

Speaking of rings... Mama D and her girls are treating me to a spa day on Friday! I relax with a Get-A-Glow facial and then a mani-pedi. I think Married Lacey will be jealous of Bride Lacey.

10 Day weather forecast has changed everyday. What can ya do? We're praying for sunshine and blue skies, but a few clouds wouldn't hurt.

Pictures to come on our 2 church bridal showers! :)

Gardening love and all of mine!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dancing Queen

Gardener Guy and I are meeting with our Dee-Jay tonight! I have spent all morning getting paperwork together for this party -- paperwork for a party? Yes, paperwork for a party. I will suffer through it though because we are planning on our DJ to be our Master of Ceremonies for the day and to keep the party going for our Bridal Party and guests.

I have been on YouTube all morning listening to songs to determine Must-Play songs and Do-Not-Play songs for the reception. We narrowed the Do-Not-Play list to rap. As far as the playlist goes, we have been choosing from thousands of songs in Disco, Dance, Motown, 80's-Rock, 90's pop, Country and current top hits! Whew this has been a morning!

Through all of this, GG and I haven't been able to narrow down a First-Dance song. We will have the lyrics to our "song" read in the ceremony so we won't be dancing to this. I have 2 or 3 songs that I would really like, but he's not crazy about them. We've thought about classics, slow, fast, salsa (ha!), country, pop, rock ballads and even Hawaiian. Still... no dice.

I'm hoping we'll make a decision with the DJ tonight as he said he would help us plow through the selections.

Stay tuned for our selections!

Music love and all of mine!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mirror, mirror in the tree...

Classic Bride inspired me.

She was holding an auction for some goodies that she had in her wedding and that she has adopted, refurbished and is ready to sell! But this bride-on-a-budget (and her parents!) are digging for pennies this close to the wedding so I knew that mirror was out of the question. But oh, so pretty to look at right?


Enter Aunt Skeeter.

Aunt Skeeter was my Gramma's aunt, Mama's great aunt and my great, great aunt! She was a delightful woman with the shrilliest giggle you can imagine. She latched on to Mama because they shared the red-haired gene. (Remember, one of my Chic kiddos will more than likely be a red head?)

Now I am sure that you are wondering why we called her "Skeeter"? In the words of my 5 year old babysittee J-Dub "I have no idea."

Whatever the reason for her name, Aunt Skeeter drove a shiny red sportscar and lived alone in an apartment in KC her final years and would visit us on Thanksgiving and Easter.

About a year and a half ago, Aunt Skeeter passed away leaving some of her goodies to my Gramma and Mama.

One of these was this beauty.

Ok scratch beauty. It was a bit retro chic, but not quite Backyard Chic.

One bottle of white Rust-oleum spray paint, a piece of newspaper and painter's tape and this is now a Backyard Chic piece of art!

I am thinking that I will hang this in a tree above our Guest Book area that will include a dresser/hutch so it will be like bringing the indoors, out!

DIY love and all of mine!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 1

Sonoma Diet Day 1 starts today.

Oh, woe is me.

Did you know that I can't even have FRUIT until Phase 2? If I have to say no to fruit, then saying no to that plateful of graduation cake and cupcakes is going to be a slap in the face.

I don't even want to step on the scale after this weekend of celebration! What did I eat coming up this evening! Check out Auntie J and Mama's blog for the wonderful graduation celebrations with pictures to boot!

On a more positive note, Gardener Guy and I started moving into the house yesterday, picked up our new bedding at Kohl's, came home empty-handed from Petland's Puppy Days and I got to play house all evening.

It doesn't get any better than that! Well maybe with a vanilla cupcake and new puppy it could be better, but why go there?

Today, I am heading down to meet with my new principals, students, staff, and... paperwork...

Wish me luck, buttercup!

Dieting love and all of mine!
(Ok, that was an all out lie but I'm trying!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Private Moment Inspirations

I want to make it up to you for the lack of pictures in the last post!

Here are some inspiration pictures for our Private Moment. Our Photog says that this will be the most private moment of the entire day... this guy knows our family!

Ok enough chatty chat, here are some pics!
(I am REALLY sorry, but I can't find photo credit so I claim no rights to these pictures!)

This one is my favorite!See the excitement in the bride's face?
The nervousness in the groom's?
Loves it.

Gardener Guy doesn't really understand the logistics of these pictures, so I tried to explain to him that the photographer is going to try and capture both of our emotions as we see each other for the first time in our wedding get-up!

Photography love and all of mine!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The race is on...

...and here comes stress in the back stretch.

30 days, folks. A couple weeks and it will be all hands on deck.

Here is a round up of the last couple of days.*

-I missed my dress fitting. It was scheduled for Tuesday. Mama took off Tuesday and I told her I was sure it was on Wednesday. My seamstress called on Tuesday afternoon to ask if I was coming. Oops! We rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon and Mama and I got there, early! We will pick up the dress on June 8th, 10:00am. I have it written down in 3 different places.

-Gardener Guy and I met with the photographer on Wednesday. We nailed out the day-of schedule and that was a huge relief! Plus, I was able to determine that I get to sleep in on my wedding day! I probably won't, but the schedule will allow me to do so if I can! We are planning to do a "Private Moment" to see each other before the ceremony. I know this is not traditional, and other choose to wait, but it seemed to work for us.

We chose to do this for a few of reasons.
1. I think that seeing Gardener Guy before the ceremony will help me calm down and enjoy the day with my guy and keep priorities straight.
2. With the ceremony and reception both at my parents house, we are assuming that our guests will want something to do immediately following the ceremony. We didn't want to hold up the guests or our bridal party from eating and cavorting (right Auntie J?). Plus, this kid eats dinner at around 5:30, by the time 6:30 rolls around, I will need to boost my blood sugar!
3. I am trying to squeeze every ounce of emotion out of Gardener Guy that day! And maybe, just maybe, I will get 2 emotional moments (the Private Moment, and walking down the aisle)

Mama thinks that I'm crazing expecting to have a "Private Moment/1st Look/Reveal" in the backyard in the midst of the chaos of the day with vendors and bridal party milling around. Maybe Mama knows best.

-We didn't get to organize our RSVPs yet, but that may just have to wait until after graduation.

-I started to organize the basement. Well, the wedding corner at least. There was a method to my madness and I want it to accessible to find what we need in the next couple of weeks. Now my bedroom is a different story. Let's not go there, ok?

*(I originally typed weekend, but it's Thursday, not a real weekend.) Also, I apologize for no pictures!

Saturday will be graduation for both Gardener Guy and I, and then a bachelorette party for my friend K! I am so excited that we have almost completed this chapter of our lives and can't wait to see what God has in store for us next!

Countdown love and all of mine!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Father of the Bride

Gardener Guy and I will be loading up his Daddy's truck and trailer tonight and heading back home!

Tomorrow morning we will head clear up into Kansas City to meet with our photographer (I am so looking forward to this!) and then swing by the courthouse to pick up our marriage license.

Then, Mama and I will drive up for my 2nd dress fitting, which hopefully will be my last fitting!

Tomorrow evening, George, Nina and Annie will be sitting down around the kitchen table recording RSVPs that have been sent back!

Now tell me, you have seen this clip right? Let's just say, we don't bring up the budget around George or else he might go hot dog shopping. Lucky for Annie, Nina isn't adding everyone in the tri-county area and their dog.

Love to you Mama!


Father of the Bride love and all of mine!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The To Do List

Life to do list.
(Don't be confused, this is not a "bucket list", but rather a survive before you can thrive list.

-Find a job. Check

-Find a home. Check

-Finish Student Teaching, successfully. Check.

-5 year anniversary with Gardener Guy. Check.

-Dinner with sorority friends. Check.

- Pedicure with HayBee. Check.

-Graduate. Almost check.

I feel like I have been looking forward to May 7th all year, honestly. That was to be the last day of Student Teaching, my 5 year anniversary with Gardener Guy and prepping to graduate. I haven't had time to reflect on this semester, year or college experience to really let it sink in that I will be moving on to adulthood. Real adulthood, with bills and a paycheck (!!).

Tomorrow, I get to go home to work in the garden and get it ready for the wedding with Gardener Guy's direction. When planning for the wedding, I always thought to myself, "Self, the wedding soiree will sink in when it is close enough that you can plant in the garden." Yippee it is here!

This just in. (As is just popped into my mind!) In my midst of getting out Save the Dates, Wedding Invites, Graduation Announcements and passing the word about Showers, I have not had the time or creativity to create Graduation Party invites. If you would like to come out for the festivities, you are MORE THAN WELCOME!

Who: You and your family!

What: Graduation Celebration

When: May 15th. My graduation is at 11am, GG's is at 2:30. We will have light lunch in between and BBQ after his.

Where: Manhappy: Bramlage Coliseum and GG's house

To bring: A lawn chair for each rear that would like a place to sit! Your presence is gift enough!

RSVP: If you can plan in advance, that's great. If not and you show up, we'll be around back of the house! :)

Graduation love and all of mine!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Are you ready to begin the test?

When I was younger, and uh, plumper, Mama would say, "Are you ready to begin the test?" This was my cue that I was supposed to lay as still as possible for the worst torture. Spankin' with the wooden spoon? Worse. She would make me lay still so that she would try to tickle me without me laughing or without getting goosebumps. I failed, every single time. I would get instant goosebumps the second she asked the question. And then she would laugh and laugh, and tickle me anyway.

This was only one of the mean tricks she would play on me.

One of the worst was when we would get upset with her and she would say, "Well don't get mad, your new mom will be here in the morning". Lies. A new mom never showed up. We forgave her eventually.

Did I mention the time in 3rd grade that she taught my class Social Studies? Well one time I didn't know the answer to a test question so I asked her what the answer was. She said that she couldn't tell me. To which I replied, "Well you should, you're my mom!". I was in tears in the hallway in a matter of seconds. Traumatic experience for the ultimate teacher's pet.

Although, it could have been worse. One of my favorite stories is from Auntie J's home. Many years ago, Auntie J wanted Sonita Maria to do come downstairs and do the dishes. She knew that Sonita Maria would not want to hear this chore, so she started the conversation something along the lines of, "Sonita Maria, your father and I are getting a divorce." To which Sonita Maria burst into tears. Auntie J replied, "Just kidding! I need you to do the dishes!".

Oh the mind games and dramatics these Mommies play on their poor, innocent children.

Speaking of dramatics...

Go check out this post on Always a Blogsmaid dedicated to my Supporting Star. Mama.

Cue the music, Wind Beneath My Wings.

Now with all of this M.O.B. bashing, don't forget that Mama went to hours, days, months worth of work to make the very best bridal gift surprise for her Baby Wacey. She loves me, she really really loves me. Not to mention, she spent all day planting flowers to get Hillcrest Estate ready for the Big Day!

We are looking for her garter as my Something Old, maybe she would like it to be known as Something Borrowed, rather than Old. It is older than me though, so that counts right?

Mama and Daddy.
Daddy says that she is the best cook that he knows that gets the least amount of credit. Well thank you P.W. for helping her redeem her kitchen!

There she is working that kitchen over to throw an amazing Thanksgiving dinner! Maybe I will let her borrow an apron. We'll see how she acts. << Another Mama-ism.

Mother of the Bride love and all of mine!

PS. I will absolutely, "tickle test" my children, threaten them with a new mom, and be the strictest teacher this side of my classroom. Mama didn't raise no fool.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Powder Room Pretties

After getting showered with kitchen goodies, I think that our powder room -- oh, who am I kidding, Gardener Guy will refuse to even let me pretend that I have a powder room -- will need to be spruced up!

Daddy has laid the flooring and installed the sink and vanity and faucet. I love the white beadboard, but Gardener Guy is a little bit oblivious to home decor. Mama picked out a lovely brushed nickel light to hang above the sink. The medicine cabinet is still installed, but I will say that it will provide a little extra storage room! I am looking for wall hooks to hang our robes on but I think that above our toilet (there's just no pretty way to describe it, although toilet has to be better than 'stool' as it is affectionately known at our house!) will need some artwork.

I am trying to keep the petite powder room light, fresh and spa like with creams, tans and pinches of chocolate brown. These prints would fit in perfectly!

Here are my top contenders from The Love Shop:
All you need is love.

Keep calm and have faith. Probably my favorite as I am slightly obsessed with "Keep Calm" prints.

There's no place like home. I mean, I do live in Oz-land, and a liiitttllee to close to my 'real' home.

Powder room love and all of mine!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Forecast of Bridal Showers!

Two thoughts about the weather:

1. Yesterday (May 1st) I checked the Farmer's Almanac 2 month forecast and it read that June 6th-June 12th would be sunny and cool. Ideal weather for Gardener Guy to enjoy the outdoor wedding! That is "the good", "the bad" is that June 13-June 20 holds a prediction that thunderstorms will move in followed by sunshine. O boy, what if these T-storms move in early? Have I told you that I am coming to terms with Plan B?

2. I had a wonderful "shower". Ok bad weather transition but you get the idea!

Check out those aprons -- those are Chic Chicks!

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Auntie J, Sonita Maria, and Cowgirl in Pearls for the wonderful, fabulous, generous, thoughtful, personal shower at Sonita Maria's new home! You should see their new home, it feels like home from the moment you walk in, and they have only lived there a week!

They thought of everything! The food, the theme, the decor, the games, the guest list, the seating, the refreshments, even the thank you cards!

I am waiting for Mama to post pictures and then I will upload them to this post to share! Speaking of Mama, did I tell you that she is wonderful as well? She has been working since February to compile recipes and aprons from just about everyone that I know. I was so surprised (except that George Banks almost blew her hard work, luckily, I was oblivious to the magnitude of her work!) Unfortunately, now Gardener Guy will have some expectations that I will have to start working in the kitchen. I think I know what I will make him for our first married meal in our new home. I sure that will be a post in itself!

If you are lucky, Mama might share an (embellished) story about how Baby Lisa almost was left at home for the shower.

Bridal Shower love and all of mine!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Gardener Guy's Best Friend

I would like to think that I am Gardener Guy's best friend. Then, he reminds me that he had his sweetheart Jasmine first. Jasmine is an over-weight, over-possessive, under-ambitious Golden Retriever that will be moving into Northview with us soon. I am excited, really.

Gardener Guy (more like Mountain Man) with Jasmine

She WILL NOT be invited to the wedding though. If she was to be hypothetically invited, I would consider a cliche "family picture" of the 3 of us. I mean, come on, check out that Puppy Jewelry!
Via Wedding Chicks.

But then Roxy would be jealous.

Puppy love and all of mine!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No time to blog...

...because I have a job!

I was offered a position at Prairie View School District as their English as a Second Language Program Director for 2010-2011 school year!

(Sounds so official right? I'll need business cards or something!)

Thank you, thanks, gracias, merci for ALL of your warm thoughts and prayers for my job search! God is good!

Mama -- I think you have a Thankful Thursday topic!

Teaching love and all of mine!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Vintage Chic

More from Etsy!

How adorable would a set of these be to name each table? We won't be using seating arrangements but I think that one of these on each table might add to the vintage feel of the center pieces.

Which is your favorite?




Nursery Rhymes

All flashcard sets found at Pretty Little Studio shop!

I'm thinking I could use these in a corner of my classroom for decoration or use in a nursery one day. What do you think, are these too vintage?

Flashcard love and all of mine!

The Future Mrs.

I am going to change my name. My last name that is.

Although at one time in my childhood I did secretly change my first name from Lacey to Laura Bell. That was only when I was playing beauty-shop with my mom and brushing her hair. All other times I would answer to Lacey ... or Wacey ... or Stacey ... or Haley Beth ... or Darbey Rhea ... or Tanya ... or Joyce ... .

I'm not really ecstatic about changing names because I enjoy my last name and will need some time to adjust to my new last name. I have been trying to feel out the process of changing my name as I think it will take time, money and paperwork. My least favorite things.

As according to Thirty Something Bride, here is her advice about going at this process. Yes, this is another list in my life:

Here's what you need to do:

All things start with your Social Security Card and Driver's License. Do those first.

Go here to get the SS-5 form for your Social Security Card.

You'll need to go to your particular state's DMV website to get your form. 99.9% of the time you will need your marriage license when you submit. In person. At the DMV. Suckage.

The other biggies?

The U.S. Postal Service- but really only if you're moving in with you're honey and changing addresses.

Passport (You will need to mail in a physical marriage license, but you get it back. I highly recommend getting one or two extra notarized copies. In Tennessee you can request them in writing with a handy dandy on-line form and they are $5 each. It takes less than a week to get them back.)

Credit Cards


Health Care Providers

Frequent Flier Cards/Membership Cards (this one has quite honestly been the most difficult group)


Student Loans

Car Loans

Your place of employment (they'll need a copy of your new SS card)

Investment Houses (401K, IRA, etc)

Legal documents (wills, trusts, power of attorney, etc.)

Voter Registration

There are also some web sites out there that offer all these forms for FREE.



Now, the webiste that I wasted my money on does have a handy checklist that lets you know when you're done filling stuff out. But please, any moron can do this. eHow has a free check list that you can use - that again, is free.

I'd say save your $30 for a spring t-shirt or two at Old Navy and DIY this one, ladies. It's just not worth it.

Now I know this doesn't apply to you readers. Basically, I needed a place to post this so that I won't forget how to do all of this in June/July when I have free time and will have a consistent mailing address.

Changing names love and all of mine!

PS. Dra-dden and family would appreciate prayers as he is recovering from appendicitis surgery. Appendectomy? Visit his Mommy here!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rustic Chic

I want this, or something similar to this, in our bathroom.

I think that it would be perfect to hang bathrobes and brighten the small space with a few flowers!

Found at this Etsy shop.

This is 22 bucks. I wonder if I could make it for cheaper?
O yeah, this DIY ambition has gotten me up to my eyeballs in wedding projects.
Maybe I should just purchase it and call it a day!

More on my favorite Etsy finds later! Thanks to Sonita Maria for inspiring me to do some online browsing today.

Today is a busy day with the infamous bachelorette party tonight in Kansas City! Kansas City here I come!

Nesting love and all of mine!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Peachy and Perfect

I love this gallery on Joy Thigpen's site.


I can't paste any pictures onto this post but you should jump on over and check it out!

I love the delicate peach, cream, yellow and pink hues of the feminine flowers up against the rough, hardwood tabletop flanked by the silver pieces. This is what I am going for in the wedding decor. I think if I look at these pictures everyday, I will be able to achieve this look at the wedding!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
Our 2nd graders watched Dumbo today at lunch recess because of the rainstorms.

Is this too feminine? (Please say it ain't so!)

Just Peachy love and all of mine!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Please leave a message at the beep.


I am productive today.

I am being patient after my interview for the ESL Coordinator job at Prairie View.
I emailed a few principals to keep my name out there in the job market.
I washed my car inside and out. I had a bug cemetery on my front bumper.
I ran a load of dishes.
I made chocolate chip pancakes and cheesy scrambled eggs, for one. Don't ask me about my diet.
I am working on addressing envelopes for invitations. It's going to cost more, and not look as nice, but I'm a "M" so I'm doing it myself.

Tomorrow night, I am going to stuff all the envelopes with those lovely invitations from Auntie J.
Friday they will be in the hands of the United States Postal Service. And, I will be in the hands of my favorite ladies treating me to a bachelorette party!

How lovely is this bridal bouquet?
Via Kiss the Groom.

Random love and all of mine!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baby, Why Don't We Go...

... to Mexico. We'll get there fast and then take it slow.
Well, those are my plans. Gardener Guy wants to get there and jump off cliff, scuba in the deep seas, explore the Ruins, visit with the locals and eat as many burritos as possible.

I want to get there fast and then take it slow.

We will be flying into Cancun, Mexico in two months. Two months people! Then, I will be relaxing on a beach. He can jump off of a waterfall cliff like a crazy person on his own, like I said, I will be on the beach. GG picked out the honeymoon local all on his own and I am so excited because the all-inclusive resort looks fabulous and that was one less decision that I had to make!

I have agreed to one whole day of adventure. I'm hoping to parasail and snorkel and call it a day.

I love adventure. But, after 4 long years of hustle and bustle at college and planning ahead for busy work schedules, I want to take it slow for a week!

The other day, I stumbled upon this on 100 Layer Cake blog.
The ladies at 100LC say that the key Mexican ensembles is to keep evening wear simple and to not underestimate embroidered mini dresses! I have an embroidered maxi dress so I'll work on finding the mini. I am looking forward to finding a local shop/booth/tent? to pick a few original jewelry pieces!

Honeymooning love and all of mine!