what a weekend!
- 8:30 help with commencement preparations (time for another graduation ALREADY?!)
- 10:00 E and i leave for Little Rock (two words: PAPER SALE! $1 per pound/paper!!!)
- 1:00 Jennie (yay!), E and i get in line after a thorough examination of the paper, plates/napkins (i couldn’t have shopped without sweet Jennie’s help–E was quite the fuss-budget with no nap!!)
- 1:10 spend a whopping $22.67 (!!!) on a HAUL of cute, cute, cute paper, cards/envelopes, plates/napkins
- 1:30 go to sam’s for the “cheap” gas (pathetic that cheap gas=$3.55/gal) and search for an at&t store to buy a car charger…really need my cell phone for the rest of the day and battery is very d-e-a-d.
- 2:15 finally get to rachel & harry’s and see my beautiful 3 1/2 week old niece, AnnMarie
- 2:45 spontaneous photo shoot of the cousins! PERFECT to frame for Mother’s Day gift for Mom the next day! (well, after cropping out the horrendous, blaring yellow date.) :)
i can’t believe how beautiful and precious AnnMarie is–it even looks like she’s smiling here! E is being awfully greedy with the stuffed animals. :)
AnnMarie was getting really bored with the photo shoot & Elisabeth’s kisses. :)
by far, my favourite out of the 15 photos we snapped. AnnMarie was actually crying, but it looks like she is laughing with her cousin here! :) i love it. i love THEM. together.
- 4:00 arrive at sarah’s apartment
- 5:00 FINALLY leave LR after loading poor Quigley, Sarah’s dog, into the very back-end of my van (not to mention all of sarah’s belongings for her ten ONE night visit to arkadelphia)
- 6:00 drop off sarah at mom & dad’s and head home. once again, FINALLY.
- 7:15 start to try to get E to sleep (after a day of no naps–well, hardly–you would think it would be a breeze, right?!)
- 9:00 WRONG. E finally goes to sleep. oh.my.WORD. nightmare city.
- 10:00 collapse. :)
- 6:30 or 7:00 wake up to sweet doug’s mother’s day gifts AND anniversary presents (yes, they were on the same day!) my favourite part? Elisabeth bringing me “her” card. :)
- 9:00 getting ready…doug for WORK (BAH!!) :( and me & E for church.
- 10:00 work/church
- 11:30 leave with mom, dad, sarah, E, once again the quigster in the back…for another little rock trip.
- 12:30 meet rachel, harry and annmarie at mimi’s cafe–LOVED IT! (wait was 2 hours, though. we only had to wait 1 hour b/c we were driving for part of that time, but WOW.)
- 4:00ish after dropping off sarah and the pooch, leave for arkadelphia
- 5:00 get home
- 5:45 doug and i leave for little rock (NO, I AM NOT KIDDING) to go on an anniversary date. :) felt terrible for “dumping” E on my mom/dad (it was still mother’s day, after all!)…but they sweetly insisted. i’m glad. 6 years, after all, is a big deal! :) 6 is my fav. number, so i’m guessing that means this year will be AMAZING. :) although, technically, we’re now on our 7th year. which is just as nice, i suppose. :)
- 7:00 see made of honor. loved it. really, really, really cute. :)
- 9:30 we’re old geezers and too tired to do anything else. GO HOME. :)
did anyone make it through this entire (mostly boring?!) play-by-play of my weekend? my goodness.
i decided the best way to tell you about everything would be to just share some photos…
our friend, sara, graciously offered to make Elisabeth’s birthday cake. we had no idea it would be so beautiful–or delicious!
can you get over the precious cupcakes??
she even made E a special separate cake:
Elisabeth, of course, LOVED it!!
she really enjoyed opening all her wonderful gifts–i seriously couldn’t believe her reactions and expressions!
she loved helping unwrap…
interested already in dishes, shoes, hats and cards…what a little woman she is!
this one’s priceless!
the eubanks family graciously allowed us to use their private lake and pavillion; it was the perfect setting for the party! sadly, i didn’t get any photos of everyone swimming, but i know some of you would like to see the birthday girl in her bathing suit!!…so here’s some photos of E modeling her itsby bitsy teeny weeny flower polka-dot bikini back in may:
as you can see, she’s not nearly as happy in her other bather (later in the summer):
okay, back to the party!
doug, always young at heart, having fun with bubbles!
we were overwhelmed by all the friends and family who came to celebrate E and her first full year of life. the sproles, jennie, and the clevelands all came from little rock. several friends, young and old, came from our local church:
i guess you could even say that my nephew, E’s cousin, came all the way from australia for the event! (it doesn’t look like he had much fun…although, i’m not sure any 18 year old would have very much fun at a 1 year old’s party!)
my favourite photo of all–the entire family, both sides.
1 daddy + 1 mommy + 4 grandparents + 4 aunts + 1 uncle + 1 cousin = ONE HAPPY ONE YEAR OLD BABY GIRL AT HER FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!
Tomorrow is the big day: Elisabeth’s First Birthday Party!!
We have made plans to have it at a private lake…but with the forecast, I’m wondering if our water activities (swimming, canoeing, paddleboating) will have to be cancelled? :(
We’ll still have fun, though, and come rain or shine, Elisabeth will still be ONE YEAR OLD on Monday!!
Rachel & Harry’s wedding weekend was so jam-packed with events; if I am ever going to post about them, I need to write in little installments. Otherwise, I feel way too overwhelmed to even beGIN to tackle everything. :)
We couldn’t have a bachelorette party for Rachel without first sending invitations!
With her input, I chose these:
Because I had to communicate so much extra information, I made an additional card to go with the lovely invitation. I guess I committed a crime by copying the picture, but I wanted my card to match!!…
Yes, I made up the cheesy poem at the bottom…but Rachel loved it! :) So girly and fun. Also, did you catch the r.s.v.p. email address? Uh huh, I really did create an email address SOLELY for her party. So much fun!! :) I absolutely LOVE to design/print any type of invitation or stationery…too bad I didn’t major in graphic design!! (I never know what I’m doing–I consider it “playing around.”)
Along those lines, I really didn’t know WHAT to do for favors…and since I wanted us hostesses to be able to give something unique and special –say, in lieu of the traditional doodle* gift? :) –I decided to make stationery for all the girls. We had to be semi-strict on the r.s.v.p.’s since we were working with a fancy-schmancy restaurant and staying in a suite at The Peabody (didn’t want someone to end up without a BED to sleep on, for example!), so I knew the names of all the girls who were coming. Here’s a photo of the party favors, lined up on a table in the hotel suite:
The o-c in me almost made a set for myself–I hated there weren’t an even 20!! :)
[*this is the term I learned in Australia for a certain male part…ah hem…]
The reality of my baby sister getting married REALLY set in when I was making her set…I couldn’t put Rachel SPENCER on her cards; she wouldn’t be able to use them anymore!
As stated above in the catchy poem, :) we all met first at the restaurant. This would be the time and the location that ALL FIVE SISTERS would be together for the first time in over twenty years…I was so excited for that (in addition to being excited for Rachel’s party) & a little nervous, too! Sadly, we didn’t even get a photo of us five together that night…I think we were all just so focused on Rachel and the huge event that was about to happen in her life! :)
so,…SO (I’m sure all you Little Rock persons know this, but that is the name of the restaurant) was REALLY wonderful. I had a good feeling going into it, because my contact guy had been so great with all the planning. I got to/had to (once again, with the Princess Bride’s input!) :) choose a “set menu,” and there were some delicious choices!!
Let me know if you can’t read the menu & want to know details!! :) I had the chicken pasta…oh.my.goodness.
INSERT: oops…I just realized ALL FIVE photos I’ve posted so far are nothing but stationery…BOH-RING!! Lemme change that for ya! :)
Rachel had such an interesting mix of close friends at her party–they literally came from all over the country! (And, including Kellie, all over the WORLD!!) :)
Here’s Sarah, enjoying her “chocolate sack” that she so graciously shared with all of us:
I’m not sure, but that arm in the bottom left might be going in for the kill!! I wish I had a picture of the dessert before Sarah dug in–it seriously was amazing. Literally an edible chocolate “sack,” filled with all things delicious. yum yum.
I absolutely love this photo of Rachel; I think it captures how genuinely happy she was:
She was such a little cutie in her tiara and “bride” t-shirt. :)
After we rooollled out of there, we were off…to The Peabody! I had never been there before–it’s stunningly gorgeous!
The two-story suite was amazing. It really looked like something straight out of a movie or something. Sarah & some of the other girls had gone earlier and decorated the room a little….
Ha ha…too cute. Things started getting a LITTLE crazy when Rachel started trying on all her gifts–over her clothes, of course. :) One of the girls had even given a gift for Harry–a pair of black mesh (see-through?!?!) undies…yep, Rachie put those on, too. :)
After things died down a bit following the “Name Your Lingerie” game (hi-lar-i-ous…can’t go into the details here on that one), we had cake. As you might remember, I was kind of up a creek with the cake responsibility. I thought Sarah had taken care of it, but the DAY BEFORE the party–when talking with her about everything–she said she didn’t care about a cake. I said, Sarah, it’s a SHOWER as well as a party…we’ve got to have SOMEthing!! And she said (in a very stressed-out state), “Fine! Then go make some cookie bars or something. If you don’t then fine, we won’t have anything!” It kind of reminded me of the Grandma in Napoleon Dynamite saying, “Go make yourself some dang quesa-dill-ahs.” Too funny. (But not at the time–I got pretty stressed pretty quickly trying to think up a shower dessert/cake for 20 people less than 24 hours before I needed it.) Once again, ubercheesy, but I went with a “photo cake.” The local grocer’s bakery saved the day!! Although I think the roses were a bit much, I was really happy with the way it turned out–and Rachel liked it, which is all that mattered, really!
I think she had a wonderful time and felt very honored and special–rightfully so!
Spa Day/Rehearsal & Dinner/Wedding Day to come!! :)
- how has 2 1/2 weeks passed without one single post? for shame, for shame.
- my youngest sister is getting married in THREE DAYS. i’m so afraid i’ve been holding in a lot of emotion and that it’s all going to come blubbering out soon–hopefully AFTER the wedding day. (is that possible, PLEASE?!)
- doug has been in India for ten days now, and he’s doing really well! although i cannot imagine the heat (125 degrees, anyone?), he loves it there…so much so that he has been writing things like, “i just wish you were here, because i never want to leave” and “you and E would do just fine here.” um…
- still haven’t decided on a birthday theme for little E’s first birthday. it’s one month away! i’m so excited about her turning one year old, but i still cannot believe how fast the time has passed.
- my sister, Kellie (and this should be #1), and my nephew, Daniel, are here from Australia!! they have been with us in Arkansas for one week now, and the time with them has been so great. i wish all of you could meet them–or at least just hear them talking. :)
- going along with #2, rachel’s bachelorette party is tomorrow night, and there is much left to be done! tonight i have to figure out what type of dessert we’re going to have in the hotel suite after dinner, make/buy it, figure out party favors and make/buy those, gather up cds and dvds…the list goes on and on. this is no run-of-the-mill bach. party, either: we’re having dinner at some la-la restaurant called SO and then staying in a two-story atrium suite at The Peabody. wow. it should be a LOT of fun, though!! i’m excited about everything, but, like everyone else involved in planning for the wedding, being able to breathe again will be nice, too. :)
- i booked our plane tickets for london–we’re really going! since our house lease ends in december, i don’t even know where we’ll be LIVING come January, but hey!–we’re going to london!
- i’m going to get a spray tan after work today. a little nervous? yep. hope i don’t end up being the orange one in all the wedding photos. :)
- don’t ever put your phone number in anything you fill out “on a whim” online. just for kicks, i clicked on a yahoo link a few weeks ago re: online masters degrees. why oh WHY did i put in my personal info. including my phone number?? but i did, and within MINUTES my phone was ringing. i’ve gotten probably at least one call a day from admissions counselors at all these random schools. i answered the phone once and talked with someone, but i was too embarrassed to have to keep saying i am not genuinely interested…so i recently changed my voice mail message, addressing the counselors at the end. yes, i seriously did that. immature? yes. a relief? definitely. no more calls since then. :)
- Rachel asked me to sing at her rehearsal dinner, and i heard the song for the first time on sunday–beautiful!! do you know “mended” by watermark? here’s a snippet. :)
- one month from today, my youngest sister will be getting married. WHAT?!
- Julie, you will already be married!!
- did you hear last week about the boy with the spiders in his ears? i’ve thought of this EVERY night before going to sleep since then…earplugs, anyone?
- for girls only: commando. do you ever go? i had to yesterday due to the MOUNDS of dirty clothes yet to be washed–and it wasn’t as bad as i thought. no, it wasn’t my first time, but it had just been a long time. (unlike one unnamed sister, whom i think does this pretty regularly?? can’t imagine.)
- i wish i could hire some “helpers” for my parents. because their days are filled with everything Elisabeth, they simply do not have the time to clean their home and unpack boxes that are yes, still sitting untouched. the space they’re in is SO much smaller than their previous home, and so there’s literally not room for everything. this is such a burden for them–especially my Mom–and so it’s a burden for me, too. if i had vacation time, i would be there in a flash. could i please, like Evie, just stop time for a while?
- Elisabeth is ten months old today. how is THAT possible? :)
- a year ago, i was enjoying a night’s layover in London on my way to Finland. (again, how is that possible? that it’s been a YEAR?)
- i had my first official Mother’s Day on Sunday. so surreal. and precious and wonderful.
- doug finished SO WELL this semester!!! i could not be any more proud of him! after his trip to India this summer (mission trip, simultaneously earning 6 credit hours), he’ll only have ONE–count ’em, ONE!!!–more semester to go. -big sigh-
- i’m in the process of planning his huge graduation present we’ve been dreaming of for years…A TRIP TO EUROPE!! (just London, we think. and maybe a chunnel visit to PARIS!!) :)
on this day five years ago, i was smiling for pictures on the front steps of shaw’s tea garden after a lovely, delicious bridesmaids brunch. thank you, aunt debbie and uncle doug, for that gift and the wonderful memories you gave me that morning.
i had woken much earlier in the presence of my dear sister, sarah, and my friends, jennie and julie. rachel and mary beth came later to help with hair and make-up. thank you, precious girls, for staying with me that night and for all your help the next day.
wearing a green layered flowing dress, i was about to rush home down the street to change into my beautiful wedding gown. thank you, mom and dad, for the gifts of those dresses, the flowers and the food, the limo…there are so many things you gave me that day and throughout my life; i will be thanking you until my last breath for the constant gifts of your time, energy, resources, and most of all, your love. thank you.
and on this day, five years ago, i was about to marry you. you, with your handsome tuxedo, jittery nerves and slicked hair. you, with your sweet tears and committed heart, i loved you from that moment in my car on the way to the triplets’ birthday dinner in 1998. you know the moment, you know me, you love me. and i, you.
here’s to five hundred more.
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[l] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
today Elisabeth is seven months old.
how has this much time passed? I can close my eyes and still hear the sounds of the hospital, as though I were there yesterday. In the recesses of my mind and heart are the images of her tiny two pound body, connected to at least half a dozen wires and machines.
The first time I really saw her, two days after she was born, was through holes in her “incubator.” I reached in my hands so as to delicately touch her, shaking with the deepest fear I had ever known. My heart lept when the compassionate nurse asked me if I would like to hold her. Hold her? Hold her? I have longed for nothing else for the past 48 hours, I thought.
All my life I have wanted to be a mother. I had always envisioned giving birth (a la natural, mind you) and immediately holding my baby against me. Everything that was happening could not have been further from my plans and dreams. In fact, I was in the middle of the worst nightmare I had ever experienced. Still, how could I keep from thanking God for entrusting us with such a precious child? We were, are and forever will remain so grateful to Him for giving us the opportunity to be parents.
My entire stay (both times) in the hospital, the scariest night of my life when I had the emergency C-section, and Elisabeth’s 48-day stay in the Neonatal ICU are not things that I’ve really allowed myself to reflect on–in public or private. I’m sure any therapist would rake me over the coals for this, but here I am now, aren’t I? I’m trying; this is a start. And for the whole world to see, at that. (Yes, the entire world reads these posts–didn’t you know?) :)
Unless you saw her (or have ever seen a micropreemie, as those her birth size are called), you cannot imagine how small she was. And now she’s blowing raspberries. And almost sitting up on her own. And eating (baby) food! She’s had carrots and sweet potatoes, green beans and sweet peas, apples and now plums! My baby, eating food! My little tiny precious lamb and angel.
Only five months until your first birthday, Elisabeth Grace! You are so loved.
EDIT: FIVE YEARS LATER!!! I was amazed and a little freaked out when I just googled the term “kangaroo care,” and a photo of me and Elisabeth was in the results!! Somehow the photo isn’t connected to this post, though, but I am okay with that. :)
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I woke up this morning to find that sweet Doug had stayed up ’til all hours of the night “decorating” the entry to our living room with red & white streamers and balloons for me. Then I walked a bit further and found he had scattered yummy chocolate hearts all over the coffee table, set out a beautiful pot of yellow-tinted red tulips, a box of truffles, Patch Adams and a heart-melting card for me, as well. Every year he one-ups himself, I’ll say! :)
As I was walking to the kitchen, I stole one more glance at the streamers and balloons…and I realized that what I previously thought were pale pink squares of streamer (taped onto the red pieces, as extra decoration) were actually, in fact, tons and tons of little post-it notes with sweet messages on them! One time before (I don’t remember if it was V. Day or not) Doug put a few post-it notes around the house for me to find, and I still have most of those saved in a memory box somewhere. :) But these little pink ones…well, they just really were amazing. Although I cannot share with you exactly what most of them SAID (ew, gross, i know)…let me just say that he is absolutely 100% precious.
(You are my only chunkcritter, Dougley, and I love you.)
Dear friends, I hope YOUR day was filled with little reminders of how much YOU are loved.