Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I've got to leave the country!

I must confess that I'll be leaving the country completely by choice.  There really isn't any drama to speak of. 

Very soon I'll be headed to Canada to take a tour by train through the Canadian Rockies.  I can't wait!!!  We will be meeting up with my family and some good friends, and it should be a super relaxing adventure.

One of the things I'm most looking forward to is daytime temperatures in the 70's! Since we've been hitting 100 degrees in North Texas, and the humidity is so high you feel like a sweat pit after 10 seconds, I can't wait to walk around comfortably outdoors.  Plus, North Texas just isn't very scenic.  It's very flat and ugly here.  We have to drive at least a couple of hours to see beautiful cliffs and hillside.

We will make several stops along the way to see a few World Heritage Sites.  From what I've read online that means those parts of the region are representative of their primitive state with native peoples living as they have for thousands of years.  I can't wait to check everything out.

I've ordered some serious walking shoes that should arrive in the next day or so to keep my feetsies nice and comfy.  I'll let you know how they fare.  I'm especially curious how they will look with skinny jeans, which is what I mostly wear these days.

Stay tuned for a full report!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beautiful Giveaway

I always love a good story about someone following their dreams.  Check out Kelly Berkey Designs and read her story in her profile.  She's living her dream as an artist.  And I love her whimsical art and jewelry that she has available through her Etsy site.  You'll also want to check out her giveaway... it's a beautiful one!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Beautiful Bride

My little sister is now officially married.  Her wedding was absolutely amazing. And beautiful.

She worked so hard putting everything together. So many details were visible that she has spent the last year working diligently to coordinate.

I can honestly say that I've never been to a more romantic and uplifting wedding.

Now she and her groom are honeymooning at a Sandals resort in a tropical paradise.

Congratulations, Sissy! I love you and am so proud of you. Can't wait to see you and my new brother when you get back!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How to Feel Lucky

I'm usually not a very lucky person.  But, in the last two years I've found myself to be luckier than ever before.

I'm not talking about how lucky I am to have a wonderful family or all the great friends I'm blessed with.  I'm talking about true luck.  The kind where stuff just falls in your lap.  For free.  No magazine subscription necessary.

Last year I won a quilt.  An entire quilt!  I was so excited.  That was the first time I had ever won anything that I could remember.

Recently I won a Mod Podge starter set when I entered a contest over at Blog Guidebook from ModPodge Rocks, and yesterday I received notice that I won a $50 gift certificate to CSN Stores from ComeandseetheSeitz!  I'm not sure what I've done to become so lucky all of a sudden, but I'm wondering if I really should go buy a lottery ticket!  Texas PowerBall is up to $70-something million I've heard!

A big thanks to the ladies at Blog Guidebook, Amy at ModgePodge Rocks and Sarah at ComeandseetheSeitz for inducing an elevated sense of magical-ness in my life these past couple of weeks!  Check our their Websites... I promise they all have a wealth of information that will help you with your blog, boost your creative juices and give you some serious reading enjoyment.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Missing My Scout

I am trying to console myself with the thoughts that my son is having the time of his life this week.  He's at Boy Scout Camp for the first time, plus this is his first week away at any type of camp.  He left early Sunday morning, snazzed out in uniform, bleary-eyed but excited.

I had a small boo-hoo festival back in the house as Hubby drove him to meet his troop.  I kept telling myself to shut up and grow up, but the tears kept flowing.  The dogs approached me with sorrowful stares and leaned into me for comfort.  After about five minutes I was better.  I began to mosey on with my chores and got ready for church.

As I prayed in the Chapel I found myself tearing up again as I asked for protection over my family and for those traveling far away.  I'm not sure why, but I always have to remind myself to 'let go and let God' instead of just trusting in Him to take care of what I'm praying for.  Perhaps it's just my control freak nature not to want to let go completely.  Or maybe it's because I have such a hard time trusting.  Probably both.

Here is a picture of one of the scenes my Little Guy is getting to enjoy this week.  He'll be home Friday and I can't wait to hear all about his adventures.  He should be well-versed in Swimming and First Aid by the time he leaves camp.  Hopefully he's taking lots of pictures with his little camera so I can see pictures as he tells me stories.  I'm imagining he's reveling in his new found independence.  And despite my missing him, I'm really proud of him for going.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Big Career News (Thanks, Karen!)

Well, folks... I've been thinking a lot lately.  Thinking about my career, how I feel about it, where I want to go and how I want to get there.  (And I need to thank Karen for the motivation to do a bit of self-analysis; check out Karen and her Face It Friday goals.)  

I've been reminded year after year that I never did finish my original goal when I went back to college at the age of 28.  Don't get me wrong, I finished my Bachelor's Degree (in Political Science) but I had originally gone back to school so that I could teach.  I had been teaching preschool and my ultimate goal was to teach Honor's English.  I got off track during the journey through working, being a mom, being a wife and being a college student and did what I could to hurry up and graduate.  I forgot about wanting to teach and just focused on finishing school so I could get a decent paying job and start a career.

I graduated in December of 2005, and every year since then (at least one time each year, some years over and over) I would hear that little voice in my head reminding me that I have something to give back.  That I want to lead young minds.  That I want to educate people.  A couple of years ago I started down that journey, I took a state exam to get started and failed by 14 points.  I focused on the failure and gave up.  I told myself that I worked too many hours, that my commute got in the way, that I didn't want to go to night school, that I didn't study enough, etc., etc., etc. 

But now I'm back to this desire to teach, to knock out this state exam and get moving towards Certification.  I know I can do it.  I know I want it.  I've just got to stop thinking about obstacles and make it happen.

So there you go, friends. I'm blogging about this for accountability purposes. I'm going to organize what it's going to take to reach my goal and keep my list handy for reference.  My goal is to teach high school kids and my focus is now on History.  I think I can have more fun with History versus English at this point in my life. 

Wish me luck!  And stay tuned for milestones.  I'm determined to make them happen!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flooding in Gruene

I can't believe I was just in this little town.  This is just reminder of how fast things can change.

The Gristmill and Gruene Hall were high enough to not receive damage, however one man perished in the flooding.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Unburned Gruene Experience

I am excited to report that I successfully made it down the Guadalupe River on Saturday!  I floated for almost seven hours, and thanks to some serious sunblock from Neutrogena I am not even sunburned.

The Bachelorette Weekend Excursion (BWE) was a lot of fun.  My sister's friends were great to be around, everyone got along, and no one made a fool of themselves.  My sister seemed to have a great time.  I think she was a bit bummed because there wasn't any 'clubbin' to be had in Gruene, but we partied pretty hard on the river, so hopefully that made up for it.

I can not get over just how much fun I had floating the river.  It was so relaxing, and there were so many people just taking it easy and making small talk as we passed by.  We all wore pink foam crowns on our heads, so I think it was a natural conversation starter.  (Forgive me for not having a picture, but I have to wait for the waterproof camera pics to be developed.  In the meantime you can see Axel sporting my crown.) There were a few minor rapids (if you could even call them that) we had to pass through, and we all got split up a few times, but we quickly would reunite and get back in our circle formation.

 In the above pic from left to right: K, My Lil' Sis, J, Shorty

 I'll post more pictures just as soon as I have some.  I highly recommend staying at Village at Gruene if you're ever in the area.  The condos are brand new, they all overlook the Comal River, and it was a perfect set up for seven gals to stay in.  Lots of sleeping space, a full kitchen stocked with dishes and the essentials needed for feeling like you're at home.

 I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bachelorette Gift Ideas

As promised, here are some pics of what I've prepared for party favor bags for the gals going on the Bachelorette Weekend Excursion (BWE).  I didn't take pictures of the contents of the bags since some of the items are a bit on the tasteless side, but basically this is what I've included:
  • Tank tops with the following messages:
    • For the Bride -  "Bride-to-Be, Please spank me!" with a big diamond graphic
    • For the rest of us - "What happens at the Bachelorette Party stays at the Bachelorette Party!"
  • Phallic Swizzle Stick that has a blue or red blinking LED light in the top
  • Phallic Rainbow Ring Pops
  • Pretty color-coordinating soy soap bar
  • Bird seed packets with the following message printed on a little birdie - "From once upon a time, to happily ever after, Lauren & Justin, June 19, 2010" (this was my favorite addition)
  • And these cutesy little Absolut Vodka bottles with the message - "Lauren & Justin, Absolut-ly Forever" on them (this was my second favorite part of the gift bag)

I wanted to have some fun things in the party bags since I'm sure my little sis and her friends are still 'into' that kind of stuff, but I also wanted to include some genuine memento kinds of items that are hopefully treasured.  If you are interested in the seed packets you can find them at Gift Bags By Susan on Etsy.

Stay tuned for more pics after this weekend.  Please send some well-wishes my way that I don't get fried as we float the river tomorrow afternoon. I'm so freakin' white its not even funny, so I'm armed with some seriously high-powered sunblock.  I haven't tried anything this stupid in several years so I'm curious to see how it all turns out.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Two Days Until BWE Blast Off!

The countdown has officially been initiated.  In approximately 52 hours I will be en route to a Bachelorette Weekend Excursion (BWE).  The Bride-to-Be is my little sister, whom I've blogged about before.  (She will be getting married on June 19th.) 

Last year she asked me to be her Maid of Honor (excuse me, Matron.... but I hate calling myself that), which meant that I had to cruise into uncharted waters and find out what my responsibilities were.  One of those duties was planning the big girl's night out.  But, as many young brides-to-be are opting for these days, more than just one night of excitement is being called for.  It's more like an entire weekend.  This caused the intimidation factor to go way up for me.  I'm not a party planner, much less a weekend event planner, so I'm naturally lacking for ideas when it comes to these sorts of things.

Fortunately for me, my lil' sis loves to be part of the planning side of things.  She emailed me ideas to get me rolling.  I settled on a little town called Gruene, Texas which is one of those little historic spots that has been groomed for tourism.  We'll be staying within walking distance of just about all that we plan to do.  I'm rather excited about this since I won't have to play designated driver the entire weekend.

I'm thinking things will be rather low key compared to other Bachelorette parties.  My sister wanted to keep things on the classy side, so I don't think we'll have to worry about embarrassing photos making it onto the Internet.  I didn't arrange for any men to jump out of cakes or uniformed servicemen to disrobe for her viewing pleasure. Hopefully she won't be disappointed.

Stay tuned for a super cute party favor idea that I included in the gift bags for the ladies who will be joining us this weekend!