Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blessed be the name of the Lord...

I have been praying for sweet Layla and I am just broken hearted. It is so difficult to fathom that a precious, innocent child is dying a horrible death from cancer. God literally lays her on my heart constantly and I find myself calling out to God on her behalf praying for a miracle of healing on earth if He so chooses, or a swift healing when He calls her home. All I know is that I just can't hardly imagine this battle she is fighting.

I have been reading her story and it just amazes me the strength and hope her parents have. That strength and Hope only comes from God. I am so thankful that I found out about their journey because I have been so humbled and consider it an honor to pray for Layla and her family.

This morning in church we were singing "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" and I almost couldn't take it. "He gives and takes away, he gives and takes away, still my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name." This family quite possibly will lose the thing most dear to them in the next few days, yet they are still saying "blessed be your name." What an example. I am so honored to beseech the throne on their behalf. Please join me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fabulous Find Friday! (Finally!)

Y'all, I am so sorry that I took such a hiatus from FFF. It was not on purpose and I promise I will be coming your way with great finds in the next few weeks. If there is anything in particular you are on the lookout for please let me know and I will assist in the hunt!

I have to tell you guys....I am in so deep! Three of my best friends that I see at least once every 2 weeks if not more often are pregnant! It wasn't 8 months ago that we were sipping Mango Mama's, or whatever that guy called them, on the beaches of Mexico and now we're in high gear planning baby showers and picking out nursery themes! I love it! Now that we know we have one girl on our hands I am in full shopping mode. I can't stop looking for precious outfits (and I don't have to look far!) and thinking of how darling she'll be when she's hangin' out with the girls. :) I can't wait to find out what the other 2 are having!

In my quest for great baby gifts and cute party planning ideas I have turned, once again, to etsy. I don't really think you can go wrong when you have so much to choose from. I found these precious blankets that would be a great compliment to any shower gift.
Now, I am not a mom so I don't really know all the ins and outs of a great sling. Feel free to leave your tips, tricks and best advice in the comments. But, I have seen several of my mommy friends wearing slings and swearing by them. I have never been a huge fan but I have also never had to lug a 15 pound baby around! I spread no judgement. :) So I figure if you need a sling it might as well be super cute, right? I think these are both darling! Especially the camo one for a little boy!
And my complete for little people! I know the pillowcase dresses are not a new concept and there are millions of sellers on etsy, but I found a few that are just too cute not to share. Looking for the perfect Easter dress for your little one? I think I've found it for under $30!
The ones below are from this seller...

Can you tell I'm ready for all things Spring?? Have a great weekend!!

PS...did anyone watch figure skating last night? Did you cry for almost an hour like I did because you were so happy for Joannie, the figure skater from Canada who lost her mom unexpectedly 2 days before her first skate in the Olympics? I literally stayed up until the end of the medal ceremony just because I wanted to see her dad when she got her bronze medal. What a hard time for them but what a huge blessing for her to win bronze and have that joy in the midst of such sadness. What am I going to do when the Olympics are over??

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Perfect Timing!

God and I have been having a little dialogue about timing lately. I've been wondering if His watch stopped...because of course things don't always happen when I think they should. He has been teaching me patience and giving me so much joy along the way, but the other day I really felt like He said to me so clearly, "Don't you think I know?? Don't you think I love you and I know exactly what I'm doing. My timing is perfect, have you forgotten?" And he used this picture in my Nana's house to do it...
This picture is from 2005. It was taken about 4 weeks after my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. We were in a whirl wind. She found out she had breast cancer, her amazing doctor suggested chemo before her double mastectomy to shrink the tumor, and within no time her chemo began. It all happened so fast that we hardly had time to process the fact that our mother, who didn't seem sick at all on the outside, was very sick on the inside. And in a few short weeks, all the world would know when she lost her hair.
My mother is so loved and many people were asking what they could do. For the most part, it was a fight she had to fight. We knew it was her and God against the cancer, but an idea was born and they were about to be part of God's perfect plan. My sister, Nana and I decided to throw a surprise "Hat Party" for mom. We asked her friends and family to come together to celebrate her and bring a hat or scarf if they so chose. The invitation read:
A wardrobe of leopard and feathers galore
she's dressed to the nines to go to the store
A true diva is the word to describe
A Woman we love who has touched all our lives
During this time you've all been so dear
But let's not forget our humor and cheer
Fun times and fun memories are sure to be made
As we dress up, laugh, and sip lemonade
Come celebrate Vicki's Brand new "do"
With hats and scarves and friendships too...
We asked mom to get ready for the day and we were going to go have lunch and a girl's day. That morning was a devastating morning. She took her shower and as she washed her hair, it began to fall out. We talked in great length about it after the fact and she said she really thought she was prepared for it. But I'm not sure you're ever quite prepared for that moment. She was obviously upset by the events of the morning, and we (my sister and I) were nervous because we had this party awaiting her only 45 minutes away! What had we done?
We hadn't done anything. God knew exactly what He was doing. She got dressed and we went to "pick up Nana" and all of her friends were there to comfort, support, encourage and love on mom and our family. Not 5 minutes after we arrived, the morning's events were a thing of the past and the love of mom's friends far out shadowed the sorrow of losing her hair. We laughed so much and of course we cried a little too. But the main message of the day was, "I haven't forgotten you. I would never ask you to do this alone!"
Sometimes I don't get it. Sometimes I think I know everything and I forget that God is so, so sovereign and He has not forgotten me. I'm not the ONE that got away. He blessed us on that day and He showed us that in the midst of one of the hardest things (if not THE hardest) that my family has faced, that he was there all along. And on that VERY day that her hair fell out, she was having a hat party! What a perfect, perfect coincidence. ;)

Look at her face! Y'all know she loves leopard print!

This one is hard to explain, but ever since she was a little girl, she twirls her hair. She twirls it every night before bed, when she is relaxing, when she is tired...she does it subconsciously. One day she looked up from her chair and she had been twirling her hair and she said, "Oh my. I'm not going to be able to twirl my hair!" Her friends know her all too well and Deborah brought her a piece of twirling hair that fastens to a scarf or bandana! ha!

Me wearing one of her wigs! I'm definitely not cut out to be a blond!

Look at all of these fabulous hats and scarves!

The party crew! Her wonderful friends. ( was on a Saturday before the Texas football game and most of these women have season tickets. They aren't just crazy Longhorn fans! ha!)

Thank you to all who came on short notice on an October Saturday. You were part of God's perfect blessing to my mom and our entire family.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baby it's Cold Outside!

Central Texas got a couple of inches of snow today! This doesn't happen often, so we are enjoying it. It's not sticking and the high tomorrow is 53 so I don't think any of it will stay around long, but for the time being my street is lined with short snowmen and my little man is trying to figure out what the white stuff is. Mom and Taylor made quite the snowman today! Check them out...

Hope you're staying warm this February day!

Dave throwing snow balls at Rookie. He was trying to catch them in his mouth!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Top 5 reasons I'm glad to be home....

  1. I don't have to use a plastic key that deactivates anytime it's near my cell phone to get inside my doors!
  2. My desire for a cheeseburger can be satisfied with a $3 Sonic Wacky Pack instead of a $22 room service escapade.
  3. I get to spoon with this guy.....
  4. My DVR! Bachelorette, Biggest Loser and the Olympics, I heart you!
  5. MEXICAN FOOD!!! Y'all, I hadn't had Mexican food in 7 days! I have felt so tired and a little out of sorts. I feel certain it wasn't the 76 hours I worked last week but rather the absence of chips, salsa and refried beans from my diet. Don't you worry that I never care where we go out to eat, but I couldn't get "Antonio's" off my lips fast enough on Friday night.
Home sweet home! And thank y'all SO much for your sweet comments on my last post! The flowers did make my day, and your comments did too!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Out of Commission....

As you can tell I am a bit out of commission. I've told you guys before that I am a meeting planner and the biggest event that I do all year is currently underway. Last week was the crazy "final week" of preperation and then this entire week I am living out of a hotel 3 hours away from home entertaining 2,500 of my closest friends for a whole week!

The days are long....generally starting by 7am and ending around 10pm....

Not to mention, the week before I left Dave went snow skiing so we spent a total of about 5 hours together in between our trips. I miss him.

Today, aftera LONG day, I got back to my hotel room and I had these sitting on my entry table...

And let me tell you, he does not usually (read: NEVER) do things like this. Which is why it was so very special to me. I may or may not have cried.

He is a good man.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Conversation Among Hearts...

I needed something to entertain me while watching the Bachelor and all of his crazies...

And please don't let this alarm you... I don't have a complex and really question if he loves those things more than's just our inside joke! Have fun making your own! It's addicting!

Monday, February 8, 2010

It wouldn't be the Super Bowl without tears and empty calories....

Well, well, well...the Saints pulled it out! It was touch and go there for a while, but they came on strong in the 2nd half and got the job done. We were invited over to James and Allison's house for a New Orleans themed bash and it wasn't very clear who they were rooting for, but I think they were ok with the way the game turned out....

Bradley (because I can't keep up the charade of calling her Allison) made some crazy crawfish stuff that everyone loved (you guys know I don't eat this stuff...) and she really outdid herself with a homemade King Cake that was SO stinkin' good! And because she forgot the baby, she gets to do it again next year. :)

We had so much fun and we were all glued to the game. Lots of times I don't really care who is in the Super Bowl, but this year I was really interested in the game. I watched the entire game, National Anthem to final interview and I have a few observations...

  • Carrie Underwood....y'all, I LOVE her and I was so excited she was going to do the National Anthem. And then she walked on stage and I threw up a little bit in my mouth. What in the world was she wearing?? All white and those crazy white was brutal and so was her hair. And her last note...oh my word...we all cringed and were so happy when the stadium started cheering and yelling because it drowned her out. I was just really confused because she's normally A-MAZE-ING...clothes, voice everything. It was an off night for sure.
  • not funny. There was the one Doritos' commercial with the little boy telling off his mom's date and then, of course, the ETrade commercials were funny. Other than that, it was just lacking this year.
  • The Who at Halftime...BORING. We vote Beyonce or Justin Timberlake for 2011. As Ryan said, "I think josh Groban would have been more entertaining."
  • The Colts new all-time favorite! What a class act!!
  • And the best part of the night is that the entire room chipped in to help me "punch out" and stuff my 1,500 name tags for conference. LIFE SAVERS! The boys were thrilled! ha ha. It was like I was running a sweat shop...but with Miller Light and King Cake...

And favorite part of the night....

It was at this point that my ovaries started burning....

Getty Images

I mean....are you kidding me? Adorable and priceless moment doesn't even begin to cover it. I'm so happy for Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints, and the entire city of New Orleans. Enjoy your moment!

I hope you all had fun last night no matter where you were or who you were cheering for! A special thank you to those of you who participated in my "Super Hostess" Giveaway. You all gave me some great ideas and some great recipes. Thank you! I entered everyone into a random drawing using Random.Org and the winner was entry #1! Sandra from Celebrate Everyday! Sandra, e-mail me at to give me your address so I can send you your goodies!

True Random Number ServiceRandom Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-02-08 16:04:08 UTC

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Super Hostess" Idea Share and GIVEAWAY!

Hey party people! I don't know about you, but I love an excuse for a get-together! "You got a job?? Let's get together and celebrate!" "You lost your job? Let's get together and have a glass of wine!" "You got new carpet?? We'll be over Friday night to see it and we'll bring the pizza!"

It doesn't matter what the justification is, the idea is always the, friends, fun!

This weekend is no exception. Super Bowl weekend is....well, the Super Bowl for pizza companies, beer distributors, tortilla chip makers and Velveeta stockholders. This one Sunday provides as much as 60% more sales than any other given Sunday. Not too shabby!

This Sunday I will be a guest instead of the hostess and I am SO excited! I am going to Bradley's and she has already said she has made Saint's T-Shirts and is working on the King Cake. Lynch and Ryan are bringing the gumbo and I am in charge of appetizers. I have a few ideas up my sleeve! Before I get into my recipe sharing I have to tell you that I could live off of appetizers. They are my favorite part of any meal! I'm more of a snacker rather than sitting down for a full meal, so give me chips and salsa or give me death!

Here are some great recipes (pulled pork sandwiches, guacamole and mint brownies) I shared last year, and below are a few of my favorite quick dips because they are SO easy and very few ingredients...(I don't have pictures for all of them, but I promise they are simple!)

Corn and Black Bean Salsa- Crowd favorite!

  • Can of corn- drained
  • Can of black beans- drained and rinsed
  • 2 avocados sliced (I love avocado so I always put a lot. Use 2-3 depending on the size)
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • Mix together in a bowl and serve with tortilla chips!

The next dip...I don't even know what to call it. Maybe Yummy Goodness?? - Another crowd pleaser!

  • 1 package cream cheese softened
  • 1 package of sausage- browned and drained
  • 1 can of rotel- drained
  • Mix together in a bowl and serve warm with tortilla chips

Corn Dip- This is my old faithful. Super easy and I usually have the ingredients on hand in a pinch

  • 3 cans of corn- drained
  • 2 cups of Mexican blend cheese (You can use Cheddar if you prefer...or in a pinch!)
  • 1/3 cup diced jalapenos (If you like a little more spice you can add a tbs of the juice, but watch out!)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1-1.5 cups of mayo
  • Mix all ingredients together, place in a baking dish and bake on 350 uncovered for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

And don't forget the Taco Salads! (Click for the full recipe) You could do the corn and black bean salsa, queso, whatever floats your boat for apps and then serve the taco salads in a buffet line. You'll make new friends and keep the old with this one!

Now that we've conquered the food fun, let's talk about the actual party. It's always nice when you can throw a great party but not totally break the bank! Here are some great table/centerpiece ideas (some could be used for super bowl Sunday and some for any other Sunday!) and I just LOVE the idea of using leaves as coasters. I always trim greenery off my trees and bushes and fill the vases around my house.

I hope you are looking forward to your next get together! I'd love to hear your ideas! Food, decorations, great serving ideas, etc. Just link to your blog below and you'll be automatically entered in my "SUPER HOSTESS" giveaway! The winner will get some adorable PJs and my current favorite OPI nail polish. The winner will be announced Monday, so check back!

Party on party people!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Didn't really want a pony when I was 3. I wanted a Spray Tan.

I'm new to this party, so please roll with it, but I've recently caught a few episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras. All I have to say is, "what the what??" I can't lie to you...not now, not after all we've been through...I set my DVR to record the new episodes.

Have you seen it before? It's CRAZY! These moms are crazy! They are like the Texas Cheerleader mom on steroids! Do y'all know who the Texas cheerleader mom is? She's the lady who tried to put a hit on one of her daughter's classmates and the classmate's mom so her daughter would have a better shot at making cheerleader. You think I'm kidding...When Holly Hunter plays you in the made for TV movie we're talking true story. Any who...these toddler mom's are complete Texas Cheerleader moms. One of the women last night said she has probably spent $35 THOUSAND dollars on pageants in the last 6 months!!! What in the world! Dave would have me in a straight jacket!

Watching these little girls put on fake hair, "flippers" (fake teeth), get SPRAY TANS, wear fake's just too much! It is beyond bizarre.

I will say that when I was 4 I had a choreographed dance to the electric slide that would have certainly won me Ultimate Grand Supreme. There's no question in my mind. The little girl last night with the Geisha routine would have had nothin' on me. And the Elvis bit...child's play.

*PS...don't forget to get your party planning blogs together for tomorrow! Recipes, decorating ideas, party games, etc. It doesn't have to be super bowl related. A commenter said she is throwing a Valentine's party! We would love to hear your ideas!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Little Family Competition...

Dave and I invited my mom and dad, nana and papa, and my brother over for dinner Saturday night. Our dinners usually involve good food, lots of making fun of each other, lots of laughs and games. This was no exception.

I made lasagna, The Loj's Italian Wedding Soup which is SO stinkin' good, salad and bread. And for dessert, I tried something new! I LOVE creme brulee and there are so few places that serve it. I was flipping through my Pioneer Woman cookbook when lo and behold, there before my very eyes was a recipe for creme brulee. I decided it had to be done. I bought the ingredients, found myself a handy dandy butane lighter at Bed Bath and Beyond and set off for custard glory. Now I will say, it's a little bit tricky to make. Adding the HOT creme to cold eggs without cooking them isn't the most fun experiment I've ever tried, but it really wasn't that hard.

And it was a huge hit with Dave and Taylor. I found it funny that none of them so much as stepped foot in the kitchen while I was cooking all day, but they about broke their necks to be in there to fire the top of the dessert. Boys and fire...

My brother torching his dessert

After dinner it was game time! We always enjoy playing games, but I must interject that we are all SO competitive. And I will be the first to admit that I hate to lose. Well, I lost bad on Saturday night! I literally couldn't get rid of my dominoes to save my life! It didn't help that Dave should have gone out and bought lottery tickets because he had the luckiest night of his life. He is such a bragger!

Have you ever played chickenfoot?? We love it around our house! We play it most holidays. nothing like mistletoe and competition!
Look at mom's shifty eyes...I think she was trying to peek at Teeny's dominoes! PS...this is completely off topic, but while we were playing dominoes mom mentioned that painting my table black and "shabby chic-ing" (In case you couldn't tell I made up that spelling...) it might look good. I think that will be my next project...what do you think?