Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Time My Sister Had to Settle for Me...

Everyone has stories from their wedding. I got married in early January so we had ordered 250 white poinsettias from our florist. We mostly used candles so the poinsettias were the only floral influence. 3 days before the wedding we received a call from the florist that in a complete misunderstanding in their warehouse, all of our poinsettias had been discarded. They though they were an "over order" during the holidays. That's code for, "We threw them away. Oops!"

In my sister's case, she was scheduled to take her bridal portraits but rain ruined the weekend. She was re-scheduled for the following weekend but sadly, my Papa passed away. With the wedding a mere month away and us traveling to Dallas for the service we knew time was running out. She decided to forfeit portraits. Mom and I knew that she wanted photos but with her living in Dallas, her photographer in Austin, and time running out we needed to think outside the box.

Specifically, we thought outside the photographer box. We were already in Dallas for Papa's services so we called my dad, asked him to pack up Kristen's dress, "Do you have the dress? The Veil? Her belt? Shoes? Ok, her jewelry is in the little box...."

In a miracle of all miracles, Big Daddy came through big time and made it to Dallas with every single piece of the bridal puzzle! We took Kristen to Turtle Creek, I pretended to know what I was doing, and we took approximately 1 million photos in an effort to get just one that could possibly be used. They are certainly not professional, but when you have a subject as pretty as Kristen it's easy to get a few that work! Here's the beautiful bride...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Randoms...

People are so funny in their passions and affections. My mom is a Diet Coke drinker addict and will literally walk out of a restaurant if they are a Pepsi property. I've been there and done that as her dining companion. She'll apologize profusely, admit her need for a Diet Coke and the fact that no substitute will do, and we will move onward and upward to Coca-Cola product bearing establishments.

Coffee drinkers...y'all are funny, too.
  • "I drink coffee all morning but never past noon."
  • "I have 2 cups of caffeinated coffee first thing in the morning and then switch to decaf for the rest of the day."
  • "I spend 1 kabillion dollars at Starbucks a week." - Ok, I made that one up. But it's true! Some of you do.
My brother drinks it religiously, my husband drinks it religiously, my co-workers literally can't function until it hits their veins. I can totally take it or leave it. I basically drink milk with a dash of coffee when I drink it anyways. All that to say, I'm not sure what took me so long but I recently discovered a taste for iced coffee! When we visited my brother 2 weeks ago in CA, he took me to his all-time favorite coffee shop and got me a "mint-mojito iced coffee". I love me some mint so he had me at hello. It was delicious, refreshing, and I have been making them at work this week.

In other random news...I started Beth Moore's study of James: Mercy Triumphs this week. I am so honored to be studying this with my mom and very close friends for the next 8 weeks. We have watched the first video and I have done 1 day of homework and I can already tell you I am going to LOVE it! I think God is going to teach me so much thorugh this study.
Last night I got to watch Taylor pitch on the computer! When he plays at home his games are on TV. He has literally been the king of road starts this season. It seems his day in the rotation always hits on a road game! We were glad he finally got a home game so we could watch...He looked great, got the win, and I got to bed at 11:30. Dang west coast!

Last but not least...this one's for you! How stinkin' cute is this handbag? You guys know I have an affinity for gold. It's on sale at JCrew right this very minute. Go get it.
Happy hump day, friends!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Dave and I spent the entire weekend in our own zip code with nothing on the agenda but items we hand picked and added ourselves, and it was fabulous. We ran 90-to-nothing but it was one of the most fun and filled weekends in a while!

We had friends over Saturday night so we spent Friday evening and the better part of Saturday preparing. We are proud to be 'Merican so I decided to make this wreath to go with our flags. It took me 30 minutes and less than $6 to make. I'd like to think Martha would be proud.

I have NO idea why I don't have photos from our cook out, but let me just tell you...there were adorable kids, super fun adults, lots and lots of food, 3 desserts and many laughs. I wish I could spend every Saturday night that way!

After church on Sunday we went and toured our new church which is still under construction. It will be completed in the next couple of months and I am so excited! Our church started about 5 years ago and Dave and I were one of the first "young adult" couples to attend. At that time there were about 4 "young adult" couples who came regularly and we have watched the church grow abundantly! We would have never DREAMED that in 5 years we would go from meeting in a strip mall to having a beautiful building like this where generations will be able to come and worship! God is good, and while this is only a building, we hope it will be a building where people can gather together and feel loved, find and deepen friendships, find JESUS, grow deeper in their love for Him, and have fun! We hope and pray this church- the people- minister to the city of Austin and take the gospel around the world.

After our church tour, Dave studied and I did my usual Sunday afternoon chore...the grocery store. In an effort to entend my Sunday night and not spend too much time in the kitchen I opted for a crock pot dinner!

Chicken Ranch Soft Tacos:
  • 1-2 lbs. chicken breast
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 pkg ranch seasoning
  • 1 pkg chicken taco seasoning
Throw it all in the crock pot on high for 2-3 hours.
 (Depending on the amount of chicken. I did 1 lb for about 2 hours.)

Go to the driving range with your husband and enjoy your evening. When you come home, dinner is served!

Ahhh...I love weekends!

Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week. ~Joseph Addison

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Weekend According to Instagram

It's amazing how I turned 31 and I can't remember anything! Seriously. I can't remember what I had for dinner 2 nights ago, I have no idea what I wore to church last Sunday (only important the NEXT Sunday when I wonder if I wear the same thing every week...over and over), I'm starting to forget how old I am....I always wondered how my parents could forget their age. People would ask and they would look at each other in complete bewilderment. Then they would start, "Am I 54? 53? Wait, you're 54 so I'm..." OLD.

I depend on my camera roll to remind me of the events of my weekend, so here goes!

 I had a work event last week in Allen, TX and the Thursday night event was Top Golf. It is so much fun! I've been to the driving range a total of 4 times in my entire life so you can imagine how successful I was. You try to hit it into those big pods and you gets points depending on where you hit it. I scored 80 points in one game! Certainly thanks to the lessons from my coach, Griff.

While in Dallas I had the privilege of visiting my Papa's grave. I miss him so much. There are no words. These flowers were for him for Father's Day.

For my birthday Dave had given me tickets to the Michael Jackson Immortal- Cirque Du Soleil show. We went out to dinner, had his and hers cocktails, and then had a great night at Cirque.

Saturday morning started in grand fashion as I joined Big Daddy for his Father's Day mani/pedi. Y'all...there are no words. I can't believe he did it! But he loved it!! They gave him the royal treatment.

I hit the pool with my favorite lap partner and then we had Griswold Family Father's Day dinner. Not complete without the Texas Food Group.

Sunday concluded with homemade mini pizzas using this recipe (YUM and EASY!), grocery shopping, and a little moaning that the weekend was over once again. In all I'd say it was a good one! Hope yours was too. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Third Time's a Charm...

In the last year I have picked up Angie Smith's book, What Women Fear, twice. Each time I read about 10 pages and quickly was pulled in another direction. I'm not going to lie, I was probably pulled in a thrilling direction. Like towards the Hunger Games. But the truth of the matter is...I wasn't ready.

In the last 3 years I have faced a lot of emotion in the wake of childlessness and it's always a challenge of how I deal with it. I go back and forth between genuine trust in God- trust in His timing, in His goodness, in His plan for me, in His love for me- and in the weakness of my own flesh and doubt that creeps in. Has he forgotten me? Did He forget that HE gave me this desire to be a mother? That He created me this way?

I picked back up Angie's book last night and it was divine timing. Now was the time for me to hear the words God spoke to me through Angie's pen. She Wrote:

"I am someone who lives in a constant state of worry about the future, and it is something I have had to commit to the Lord many times a day. I fear that He has somehow forgotten me and that I'm on my own. I take matters into my own hands but He reminds me that He hasn't gone anywhere. There is always a moment in time when I can feel His gentle voice reassuring me, but it's usually hindsight that brings relief instead of trust in the moment. I long to be a woman who walks in the moment God has given me, with full confidence of what's to come. I know it isn't always going to look the way I want it to, but I long to internalize the fact that He is never going to forsake me or take His hands off me."

In March of this year Dave and I went through fertility treatment for the second time. The first ended in heartbreak and I went into this one with my guard up. Although we felt God leading us to the decision to try again I couldn't help but try (the best you can in this situation) to guard my heart. I told myself the realities of treatment, read the statistics to keep myself honest, and relived the pain of "last time" because it just's my reality and so my mind goes there. When you have heard nothing but "No" it is so difficult to even dream of the miracle of a "Yes!" That is Satan's way of bringing fear and doubt in.

I relish the moments of trust in God's timing and then falter and feel genuine sadness at what's taking so long! I watch as my best friends (who all have children the same age) have play dates, swim parties, take pictures of their kids eating Popsicles together, take kids cooking classes together, and enjoy the joy and gift of having their kids grow up together and be friends. I find myself on the outside looking in and Satan has been grabbing hold. He tells me how sad it is that I'm missing out. He tells me that I may never get that. He tells me that they are having so much fun and their kids will be best friends and if and when I have kids, I will be doing it alone. He tells me my friendships have changed because they have families to care for. He makes me feel so sorry for myself.

I am being really honest here. I don't talk about this with many (or anyone) and I am now laying it out on the interwebs in an effort to be honest and reclaim my hope. I don't want to sound hopeless. I don't want to sound sad. I don't want to sound bitter. I do have hope. I know God has His very best in mind for me and I know that as Angie so eloquently said, "it's usually hindsight that brings relief."

My goal is to live out the second part of her statement, "I long to be a woman who walks in the moment God has given me, with full confidence of what's to come."

I don't know what God has planned for me. I hope it includes a family... but it may not. And I want to truly be alive and happy in this moment. In the one that finds me going on walks with Dave on nice nights, spending a week in California with my mom, Nana and brother, and enjoying the goodness that God has for us at this point in our lives. Sometimes I want to read the end of the book but I have to remind myself that all of the good details, all of the background story and all of the character development is right there in the middle. I don't want to miss the present being so concerned with the future.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." ~ Proverbs 31:25

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Beautiful Break...

We needed a break. We've had sadness and really "big girl" problems lately. The pain of losing my Papa (which trumps all), the ongoing pain of failed pregnancy attempts, and general life "stresses" have weighed heavy. While we cannot escape the reality of life, which is sometimes really tough, we decided to escape the reality of our routine for a few days. It was glorious!

My mom, my Nana and I decided to go to California to visit my brother. Three weeks ago we threw around the idea of going to California and within hours my mom had looked at Taylor's baseball schedule, realized we could go visit him and be there for Breast Cancer awareness night, and we decided it had to be done. We left last Wednesday with a loose plan, a LOT of luggage (we should be shot with the amount of clothing we took!!), smiles on our faces and camera in hand. We came home broke, full, exhausted, and with a new favorite dessert...have you ever had a Pizzookie from BJ's?? If not, go get one. You'll thank me (actually, my brother) later.

We took a breathtaking drive to Big Sur, had ocean view lunches, took pictures on the beach, watched the bag piper at Pebble Beach ~ Spanish Bay, watched the Rangers play the Giants at AT&T Park, Mom outbid a crazy lady for Taylor's pink jersey and was honored as a survivor at breast cancer awareness night, we had a blast spending time with my brother, he treated me to a mint mojito coffee (delish!!), and we enjoyed every moment together. I am so blessed to have such amazing women in my life who love me so. Here are a few 25 pictures from our trip...

 My beautiful Nana (Teeny) and Mother

 Nana's such a beach babe! Sand and sun are her "happy place".

 A lady tried to bid on my brother's jersey at the very last minute and mom was standing there to make sure she won. The lady started to write and mom said, "I'm his mother! Can you please let me win??" The lady looked at her and said, "Fine." Haha!

 This is why we call her "Teeny". :) 6'5" vs. 5'2".

 Giants vs my Texas Rangers!! Gorgeous stadium! I can't believe these views from the upper deck.

What a treat to spend time with my mom and Nana. It was priceless. Sadly, we were one chick sister couldn't take off again so soon after her honeymoon. I guess we'll have to plan another trip when the whole gang can go. :) XOXO

Friday, June 8, 2012

Passionately Pink...

This post was originally written 10/20/2011. I am reposting because tonight we will be celebrating my mom at my brother's baseball game! Tonight is "Pink in the Park" for the San Jose Giants and all of the players will be wearing pink jerseys. This is the story of last year's pink jersey. Original post below:

*I've told y'all a bit of this story before, but this is the entire awesome story behind the pink jersey and the pink bat and my brother's bid to remain the favorite child.

The Background...

We're into pink around my house. It's weird how, outside of my sister, I don't think any of us ever had a really strong like for pink. I was a total tom-boy growing up. I was into sports and playing outside never dresses and dolls. I don't think I had a single item in my closet that was pink. So it was interesting when our entire world turned pink in the fall of 2005.

When mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on September 25th it was a mere days before pink was everywhere for breast cancer awareness month. It was amazing how our eyes were opened because for the first time, it hit home with us. We formed our first Race for the Cure team in 2005 and we haven't looked back! We printed pink team bracelets that year and all of our friends and family received one. It was our way of asking people to wear them and remember to pray for mom as she began the battle for her life.

My brother put that bracelet on and to this day, he has not taken it off! Our family has been changed forever. We have a fighter and survivor in our midst and we celebrate that and we will never forget what she's been through.

The Story...

Most of the MLB, for mother's day, wears pink in support of breast cancer. The major leaguers will play with pink bats and then auction them off, you'll see pink jerseys and pink batting gloves and many have the pink ribbon embroidered on their hats or jerseys. This past season, the Augusta Greenjackets wore their pink jerseys and the jerseys were auctioned off and the money was donated to the Komen Foundation. The cool part was that Taylor's start fell on the day they got to wear the pink jerseys! He talked to their manager before the jerseys went on sale and asked if his jersey could be left out of the auction. He asked if he could buy it himself as a gift for our mom since she is a survivor. And they let him!!

He gave it to her while we were in Savannah a few weeks later and she cried like a baby! Obviously his favorite child status is going nowhere! He's got that one in the bag.

A few weeks later, he was playing in Louisville and a few of the players went to the Louisville Slugger Factory. My sister and I got this email and I immediately started crying!

It wasn't long before a funny shaped (and heavy) package came in the mail and my mom received a precious gift! Again, she cried like a baby and was so grateful to receive such a treasured gift.
I absolutely LOVE that her name is beautifully engraved on that bat. She is a fighter and a survivor and she is my roll model and great inspiration. Praise God for her healing! I think it's safe to say she has made an impact on many and we never see pink without thinking of her. Keep thinking pink this October! I believe we'll find a cure soon.

There's no place like Hope!

*And my sister and I are not kidding ourselves. Taylor's got a corner on the "favorite child" market after this. Lock-stock-and-barrel. He's such a suck up! ;)