Sunday, February 28, 2010

Like they were just gathered from the garden...

... and not the grocery store.

I found this DIY tutorial about constructing a bouquet of garden roses that looks, well, garden-y. It uses spray roses but I am hoping to recreate this look with average size roses.

Find more information and tutorial here.

Pictures from Frolic!

Garden roses love and all of mine!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bless My Little Color Blind Heart.

In my excitement to find 1. Easter outfits on-sale and 2. seersucker suits with coral ties, I apparently overlooked the fact that the seersucker was not khaki, but rather grey. Did you forget how impulsive I am?

Well, bless my little color blind heart.

And bless my Guy and Mama for not pointing it out to me until after I had the suits home, hung in the closet and noticed the GREY color on the tag. Thought for the day: Would they have informed me that I was color blind before I sent those three precious boys down in aisle in grey suits?

Who knows. Either way, I'm returning them to Target tomorrow and going to check out Sears that has a great selection of toddler suits to see what they have to offer, in coordinating khaki of course.

Here is what Mama and I have scouted out online:
It's not seersucker but it's closer to my inspiration pic below:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Red Velvet & Seersucker

My GranDaddy loves a good piece of Red Velvet cake and who can blame him? Somewhere, somehow I just learned that Red Velvet Cake is a Southern delicacy. However, my Uncle R has been known to say that the Mason-Dixon Line runs just north of our town. So bring on the Red Velvet!

Seersucker is absolutely adorable to me and also has a certain Southern flair. I had wanted to put my Guy's guys in seersucker but the idea was lost on him. I settled on decking out our Little Guys in seersucker suits. Seersucker suits: say that three times fast.

I found these adorable suits (with coral ties, sorry Daddy-in-law!) at where else, Tar-shay. I bought 4 suits to take to size the boys and will return one once they all have the right size. At $24.99 a pop and considering that they will get to keep the suit, I am very happy with the bang for my buck!

Coral ties with khaki seersucker. What do you think of the sailboats?

Von Trapp boys: Piercey, Stratty, and Big J.

Should I be worried that the seersucker didn't photograph well using my camera, hopefully it is just that my photography skills are less than par!

Southern love and all of mine!

For more Southern inspiration visit one of my favorite blogs: Southern Weddings!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sharp Dressed Man

"Lace, do you know who sings this song?" is about the extent of the conversations with Z when riding in his truck. Sharp Dressed Man of ZZ Top is probably on one of his many mix CDs.

A Sharp Dressed Man is what I'm looking forward to seeing in June, and July.. and August... you get the idea. My guy and his guys will be sharp in khaki linen suits and I think that they will look "simply charming".

My Guy, his daddy, and I went to CoachLight this weekend to reserve suits for all the men. It was important to the Big M that we didn't stick any guys in pink ties, (apparently men can't tell the difference between pink and coral) so we stuck with neutrals and I think the guys will be very happy. We ordered one for Guy with an ivory tie, 2 for the Daddies with light brown ties and 6 suits with darker ties for the groomsmen. They didn't have little penguin suits for the ringbearers (3 little guys!) so we will be searching for Easter outfits :)

Groomsmen with brownDon't you want to love on those cheeks? My inspiration for ring bearers.
Mama, if you look real close on the left picture, there is a bicycle!

Here's to getting the groom involved and all of my love!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Black Ice

Sometimes I live vicariously through Daddy and Aunt Joyce's stories about growing up. One of the many stories I have heard is about my Grandpa and Grandma (the GP's) and all four kids loading up in the car and heading West to Denver to visit family. Between reading Little House on the Prairie stories and a few, "Mom! Rod stinks!" I am sure that there were many trips to remember. My dad tells of one blizzardy, wintery night the family took out on I70 West. Icy roads and snowy conditions I'm sure made my Grandma about as nervous as riding in a rowboat without a lifejacket. The storm worsened and my Grandpa hit a patch of ice to which my Grandma yelled, "BLACK ICE!"

Winter weather makes me nervous! A couple years ago, my Corolla Lola was hit by a snow scraper truck in Manhattan and took months to get through the body shop; to which 4 months later was in a hail storm and needed a whole new face lift. Poor Lo!

Lola is a fair weather fan.

Back to Black Ice. Black Ice is the story of my travels this semester. Every time I try to head home or back to Manhattan it is either snowing, sleeting, ice remains or a chance of a blizzard is looming. One particular night, I had to drive home in Haley Beth's Silverado Sylvia with no heat with windchills below zero and icy country roads, answering my Daddy's calls every 13 minutes making sure that I was not in a ditch somewhere. I made it home, only to be nearly attacked by Zach's precious pooch Harley.

Have I told you that Zach brought home a puppy and he was the hero of the family? I haven't? Well that is another blog another day friends!

Zachary B and Harley Bean. Bird in there.

Today, Blake and his sister Amanda, and I headed back to Manhattan to meet a wintery mix and more than a few cars in ditches (including one snow scraper --ruh roh!) We made it safely and I am working on not "nagging" his driving skills.

He should drive with my Grandma.

Here's to hoping for warmer weather! All my love!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

This next week and a half will be about being still and having faith. I always think of my mom when I hear this verse and today it has been ringing throughout my mind. I think that it has to do with my upcoming interviews with a few school districts around the Kansas City area.

So leading up to my interviews on March 1st, I thought that I would give myself a bit of a homework lesson to research each district and let you know about each as well. An extra prayer for my job search would be appreciated :)

Paola USD #368: Ensuring Success for All Students.
Elementary Schools: 3

Spring Hill #230: Building a Foundation for the Future
Elementary Schools: 2

Olathe #233
Elementary Schools: 34

Gardner-Edgerton #231
Elementary Schools: 6

Blue Valley #229: Education Beyond Expectations
Elementary Schools: 20

Shawnee Mission #512
Elementary Schools: 35

Ottawa #290
Elementary Schools: 4

More to come this weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Everyone else on the mountain feels the same way you do!

I finished up Parent Teacher Conferences today and Blake took me out for cheap burgers and fries to celebrate! This evening we are taking it easy and watching the Winter Olympics because The Office isn't on this week.

Lindsey Vonn just crashed on one of her skiing runs and it takes me back to a place that I don't like to let my mind wander -- Spring Break 2006 skiing in Colorado. My family, along with a group of other families, and Blake went skiing in Colorado in 2006 for Spring Break and I was excited to ski there for the first time. After the first trip down a blue run on the first morning, I was over it.

I couldn't ski.
I couldn't "snow plow".
I couldn't stay up on my skiis.
I couldn't work the mountain like I was able to in Westin, MO.
I was not a happy kid.

After a few hours of trying, I sent Blake on with the rest of the group and I figured I would hike down the mountain if I had to. Blake had tried to help me, Haley tried to help me, even Zach tried to help me, that's right Zach tried to help the Boom. I ended the day on the slopes with sore muscles and a worse attitude. As I turned in my skiis, the rental man said, "You must be a great skier, these are pro men's skis." No wonder I couldn't ski.

I tried the second day with a fresh attitude, beginner skis and sore muscles that I had never experienced in 6 years of competitive sports. Day 2 = Not much better. I spent the rest of the day "smiling and faking it" and trying to keep up with Blake and our friends Taylor and Katie. I ended the day early sipping hot cocoa at the lodge.

The third and final day, my parents took pity on me and we worked over the green slopes. Towards the end of the day I had reached my emotional breaking point and had a meltdown. At this point I got a "Come-to-Jesus" talk from my dad that went something like this:

"You're a Madden, and Maddens don't give up, they succeed; always. You gotta get through this, no matter what. EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE MOUNTAIN FEELS THE SAME WAY YOU DO!" I look over and can see someone who I think was Shaun White doing back flips off the half-pipe next to our run and exclaim through my tears, "HE DOESN'T!"

So the moral of this story isn't about getting back on the horse, no way. The moral comes down to when Blake and I are raising kids and decide to take a skiing trip, their mama will be at the lodge with snacks and hot cocoa, not on the slopes. Not even close.

A special thank you to the Winter Olympics for bringing back that traumatic experience every four years; see you in 2014!

"Smiling and faking it" at Rabbit Ears Motel.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daddy's Little Girl

I talk to my mama everyday on the phone, texting and/or emails, usually multiple times per day. I rarely talk to my dad on the phone and if I do, it's not too long before I hear "Well, here's your mom..." or "Well Stacey, I gotta go". Lucky for me, when I make it home he catches up on our talks with an, "You're the only one who will let me talk to you." Cough, cough Z!

I am probably most like my dad more than anyone else that I know except that I am noticing those moments -- "I'm turning into my mom". My daddy and I have the same sense of humor and laugh at the same lines in movies. We also enjoy the same small things in life, a quiet cup of coffee on the porch starts a summer morning off better than any other way that I know.

Team A at Dad's Master's graduation from Baker University.

Here is a story to let you know what a great guy he is: Every Valentine's Day, my dad sends my mom and all three girls roses. Why? To spoil his girls so that one day when they have their very own Valentine and he tries to send roses, we can say, "*I don't need your roses, my dad sends them to me." What a great daddy right?

*I wouldn't recommend actually saying this, it might not turn out so well for you either.

So here is a top 5 list to get to know Ron! :)

5. "Everybody else on the mountain feels the same way you do!"

4. Clark, Audrey's frozen from the waist down. That's all part of the experience, honey. -Christmas Vacation

3. Hear , ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. Proverbs 4:1

2. He's just like you Dad, only brilliant! -Father of the Bride

1. "I don't care if you're mad, you're going to smile and fake it!"

What does this have to do with Backyard Chic? He's walking me down the aisle :)

Love to you and your Daddy, and all of mine!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Peddle your crazy somewhere else, we're full up here!

Do you watch The Bachelor? I only watch The Bachelor when he is down to the last three or four ladies and goes on hometown dates and the last few final rose ceremonies. With this being said, I did happen to watch the first few episodes of The Bachelor: Jake season. Each week I was astounded that he kept "The Crazy" aka Michelle. The poor guy just wanted a few minutes of fame to date America's top bachelorettes, why was this crazy pouring on her crazy a bit too soon? Doesn't everyone know not to let your skeletons out of the closet too soon in a relationship?
Michelle "The Crazy" Bachelor 2010

What in the world does this have to do with Backyard Chic? Well, today I am feeling much better after a few prayers, a night to sleep on it and a good day of teaching!

You, my few and fabulous readers are Jake, just looking for a good time in this blog. I apologize for "pouring on my crazy a bit too soon" and promise to blog about all things love and marriage, (and a baby carriage for you Grandma T... wayy after June 12th!) For those of you who were at Madden Christmas Extravaganza, we are still not expecting a baby next Christmas :)

As my Auntie J would say, "Pedal your crazy somewhere else, we're full up here!"

PS. My mama can vouch for many a emotional breakdowns and letting the bathroom mirror hear about it. But why go there...?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes Unto the Hills...

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Psalms 121.

It's been one of those days where I am blessed to temporarily live in Manhattan, in the middle of the Flint Hills because, well I needed to "lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help". Today I found my help on the Top of the World Observation Point near my apartment.

I'm trying to take one day at a time and make it to graduation so that I can move back closer to home..uh, I mean in my front yard. I miss my family and miss living in a house full of people. I'm blessed to have Blake and Haley Beth in Manhattan with me, but I also miss seeing my friends on a regular basis because of Student Teaching. Today was a tough reminder of this coming home to an empty apartment.

Here's a look at those hills, whence cometh my help.

Top of the World Drive.
Pictures via my new BlackBerry.

Dry your eyes Mommy, I'll be home Friday.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fantastic Fifty Flower Finds!

Busy weekend at the 'rents house!
One of my favorite tasks that we tackled this weekend was ordering flowers! We* will be doing our own flower arrangements from bouquets and bouts, to center pieces and decorations, and decorating the cake. I was nervous about taking on this challenge, but from early in the planning process I knew I wanted to "try" to arrange the flowers.

*We: myself, Mommy, Haley Beth, Darb, Sonita Maria and anyone else would would like to try out their green thumb! Maybe a few of those Awesome Aunts? Please, anyone?

After the New Year, Sonita Maria came down to watch Martha Stewart Weddings and to practice making bouquets and stayed for dinner date night to meet Haley Beth's BF CoCo. Anyway, back to flowers! My mama and I had bought a couple dozen roses from Wal-Mart to practice working with the flowers. So after many Martha DIY videos we started wiring flowers and trying to put together bouquets! It went pretty smooth once we figured out an assembly line: Darbey strip the stems of leaves, Soni cut wire and cut stems, and I would wire the blooms. Between Soni and I, we were able to group the flowers to look like a full bouquet. If you want my opinion, I think it turned out, well, fantastic!

We used coral roses and sprigs of baby's breath, which made it a bit more "garden-y".
Here is the process of making bridesmaids' bouquets:

So today we ordered bulk flowers online from Fifty Flowers.

Polo White roses for my bouquet,

Marlyse Salmon roses for bridesmaids,

Creamy blush garden roses for cake,

and salmon peach hydrangea for decor.

I can't wait to enjoy the fresh aroma of these on the big day!

Flower love and all of mine!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Backyard Chic meets Frontyard Fabulous!

One of the last few big things that Blake and I have crossed off our to-do list (and I live by my to-do list!) is where we will live after the wedding!

My Guy took a job in Olathe with the company he did an internship for last summer, Brickman. I am still in the discouraging process of finding a teaching job so we weren't sure where to look for a house. We liked the idea of living in Spring Hill and Paola, but hadn't thought about living in Oz. When we started to realize all of our bills that would be piling up after graduation, I became a bit panicked.

That's when Dear Ol' Daddy stepped in and saved the day! He offered for us to move into one of his properties, which is located... in my parents' front yard! Bring on the summer BBQs!

Have I learned nothing from Everybody Loves Raymond you ask? Do Frank and Marie not hit a little to close to home you wonder? I'm not worried and Blake isn't either, or else he is an awesome actor!Ray, Robby, Marie, Frank and Debra: what's not to love?

Renovation pictures are sure to come!

New house love and all of mine!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Awesome Aunts

It takes a village to raise a child and it takes talented aunts to pull off a wedding! I have awesome aunts and they are all helping with the wedding in some facet.

My Aunt L (who I was a flowergirl for many moons ago!) is helping me pull off the garden feel of the wedding and has provided many tips of inspiration for the vintage feel that I want to capture! I might even have to beg her to dip a few strawberries in chocolate for the dessert table.

My Aunt L helping my Lil Sis Darb at Sonita Maria's shower.

My Aunt T is best at Gettin Er Done! She is so helpful with working behind the scenes to make sure that when the party is over things are cleaned up and dishes are washed. I will be asking her to help oversee cake table to run smoothly. She gives a pretty good bath too; my sisters and I used to love spending the night with her when we were young just for bathtime! Fun fact: she is married to my Uncle Randy who will be marrying My Guy and I! ( I know "and I" is terrible grammar but I'm up for a rhyme, all the time. Catch that?)My Aunt T with her two daughter in laws, S & S.

My Aunt Mickey is great at dinner parties and decorating is her forte! She also has been helpful giving party planning advice for logistics and the prettier side too! She will be helping with Reception Decor, especially lighting and cutting blooms to put in bud vases for the center pieces!

My Gramma Ruth and Aunt Mickey having a good time!

My Auntie J is my go-to-girl for wedding planning! She will be helping manage people at the rehearsal and the day of to direct wedding party and guests. She is also creating the invitations. She's truly an artist and she has designed roses for the invitations using watercolor and I can't wait to see them all finished! She also has a great sense of humor that I have adopted and my dad lovingly refers to as my Acid Tongue. Check out her blog here!

My Auntie J, my Gramma Ruth and cousin Sonita Maria at Soni's Bridal Shower!

How about my poor old mama?

We're just going to keep the crazy juice (red grape juice really) flowing for the week of the wedding! But really, she has listened to my ideas with a well taught "uh huh, that's an idea" response and has only had to give me "I told you so" a few times throughout planning. She surprised me this weekend by reserving tents, tables, chairs, china, an arbor and cake stand in Kansas City with my dad and even bought her Mother of the Bride dress the same day: very productive weekend! She is so excited about our Bridal Luncheon for my girls that sometimes I think she forgets about the wedding, well until the bill comes.

My mama and I in the kitchen getting ready for Thanksgiving chaos, I mean fun. Bring on the crazy juice.

PS. Mom: How's your best friend Robbie?

Bridal Brigade love and all of mine!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valentine's Day!

I am very excited for Valentine's Day this year for two reasons!

The first is that I'm Student Teaching in 2nd grade and so I will receive 21 lovely Valentine's cards from my rascals, (and an afternoon off of teaching for a Valentine's party!). I'll post a pic of the party next Thursday!
Miss Madden's Valentines: "Happy Valentine's Day Smartie!"

The second is that I don't have to think hard for a present for my guy. I always get him a necktie because his closet is lacking nice clothes. This year I'm keeping my eye open for an ivory, paisley tie that he could either wear for the wedding, or at the least the rehearsal or the honeymoon. I'll post a pic when I find one!

***Update! I ended up not getting a paisley tie for Valentine's Day but I'm keeping my eye open for his groom's gift. Instead, I got a purple tie from Target (pronounced tar-shay.) I really like the deep plum color and it might be perfect to wear for graduation: countdown is hovering at 3 months!

Can't go wrong with Target.

We exchanged gifts early today and here is what Blake treated me with after dinner with Aunt Joyce and Mike at Famous Dave's (which is a present within itself!)

A dozen coral roses and a BlackBerry! :) My poor old Samsung phone had been through the wringer! Love you!
Valentine's love and all of mine!