"Mom, you know at gym today when the coach was talking about the Christmas break camp and she said "if your parents want to get rid of you..." That's SO weird! Why would she say that? What parents would want to 'get rid' of their kids?? I mean I guess some parents just want a little peace and quiet but to 'get kid' of your kids? Who does that???"
Post Engagement- stick with me as I get all of this out. One day I will be glad I did. You see, when Georgia was born I began a blog to remember. Surely you think, "Oh, I'll remember all of those things" and you do...the thing is- what MAKES you remember them? I've spent countless hours sitting back and re-reading what I wrote about her growing up- some is "published" some is not. But it's her life story. I cherish this. Sure- I remember her birth- but to go back and re-read her "birth story" that I wrote as soon as I was able.... I'm glad that I did.
So piece by piece I want to write down and remember every little detail of how Lee and I became one. I skipped a lot- our meeting, dating, etc. and hopefully I will get to that one day, but for now our engagement and marriage is where we will begin...
So we were engaged!! The moment I had waited for. First up on the list- tell our children!!! Georgia came home that Sunday. She pranced in and plopped on the couch to begin chatting with me.... "Mom, wait, what's that?" as she grabbed my hand. "Oh...that's nice- did Lee give that to you?? WAIT! MOM IS THAT AN ENGAGEMENT RING??? ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED???" Yes Georgia, Lee proposed! "OH MY GOSH I'M SO EXCITED!!!!" She jumps up and runs to give Lee a giant hug then begins to ask the question a million others did "When are you getting married?" Well- we don't know yet. "Well, Where?" Georgia, I have no idea. little did I know, my daughter was a wedding planner as she whipped out a clip board and began to take notes on the 'best places to get married' see picture below...
1. Bayou Bend
3. Disney World (If only she knew....)
4. Horse Back Riding
5. Castle in California
6. Castle in Austin
7. The Alamo (that would be classic...)
8. Cruise Ship
So the question resounded from all...."When are you getting married?" , "What's the date??". I thought to myself, "Ummm we JUST got engaged!! We don't have a date!"- oh but I spoke too soon. These questions prompted us to look at a calendar.... many of you know Lee and I have opposite weekend schedules with the kids- meaning when I have Georgia, he doesn't have the boys and vice versa. Meaning we never have a weekend together with our children, a holiday, etc. EVER. Last year was bit different but from here on out- nothing. EXCEPT for summers. My schedule with Georgia changes, his does not- which enables us to about 4 weekends together with our kids, 3 weekends to ourselves and a few weekends split. As we looked at the calendar we realized after summer 2015 we would not have our children together on a weekend until June of 2016! Obviously the three of them being present was our main concern. That- coupled with the fact we still had separate households pushed us to the only possible date to wed- August 8, 2015. Lee didn't want to wait almost an entire year to be together as a family, nor did I. So after throwing around a few different ideas we settled on this date. 2 months and 8 days away.
First things first though- regardless of the date and location- I needed a dress!!! My wedding dress appointment was 3 days after our engagement. (Can you tell I've dreamed of trying on wedding dresses since the day I was born?!) My sweet friend Gina led me to a little boutique that sells off the rack custom and designer gowns that you don't have to wait 6-8 weeks to be shipped then altered. I cannot believe I found my "dream dress" in one day.... but I did. I knew the moment I tried it on, then after at the tailor- that it was perfect. I could envision my future husband's face when I walked down the aisle and I knew- he would love it. I can tell you now- I hit the nail on the head. ;) he was blown away and has told me almost every day since he has never seen me more beautiful.
After deciding on the date you think it would be easy! Not. We wanted a destination wedding but that fell through after Lee's work schedule played out. I thought a wedding in Houston would be "too much" considering we both had children and wanted something intimate with our closest friends and families present. After about a month of going back and forth we realized our only option was Houston. We went one day to look at venues and found the perfect place. I'm still in awe this happened.
Lee was off work and I "conned" him into going to look at a couple of places. We checked out The Bell Tower and last minute The Houston Club. Jeana (who ended up being our wedding coordinator) stayed a bit late to let us come by and see it. We were both blown away but tried to not let on. We knew *this* was the place. I signed the contract on July 7- that's right, one month and one day before our wedding. A month to go. Let's do this.
When people say things are "meant to be", "kismet", "fate", etc., never I have believed that more than with our wedding. If this wasn't the *right* thing so many forces would have never combined to make our day what it was.... too many things fell in the right place than was necessary. I know I was suppose to marry this man, and I'm so glad that I did.
So we sign the contract July 7 and I'm handed a list of "preferred vendors" of which I stare at for a week. The next week I go back to The Houston Club for our tasting. Jeana asks me who my florist, DJ, Officiant, etc is. I have no answers. She and Michelle (her assistant) look at me quizzically? Worriedly? I am three weeks from my wedding and have nothing. Jeana tells me to go home and call the preferred vendor list. I do.... and this is where the magic started...
Call number 1: DJ
I call the DJ- we get on the phone and he gives me a deal better than I could have imagined. I was skeptical- why? Turns out The Houston Club was holding their very first Bridal Open House earlier int he day.... this DJ was going to set up for the open house, for him to stay for my wedding was easy- and naturally he could upgrade everything! Sold!
We pushed through everything else- bridesmaid dresses- worked out uncannily well, all the mother's and grandmother's dresses- found them and they were gorgeous! The flower girl dress, the boy's outfits. I hacked out invitations, we set a room block at the hotel. RSVP's were coming in...we even decided to use my mom's pastor- met with him and LOVED him. Things were really falling into place. All done. The one last thing was the flowers.... I had my heart set on something and couldn't let it go.....
Been so FAR BEHIND on this!!! For the record the photo above is when Lee asked me to marry him. One of the best days of my life. I am totally backtracking now that I have had a chance to catch my breath (lucky for you!). As we quickly approach our 2 month wedding anniversary I realize that I have YET to give a run down of everything that has occurred.
My apologies for not getting this in prior. It has been the most fantastic whirlwind of my life. I suppose we should start from the beginning- our engagement....May the fairy tale begin!
Once upon a time.... on a rainy Saturday in May Lee and I had plans to celebrate the end of school and the end of an EXTREMELY long sports season. Since the kids are on opposite schedules it isn't often we get a weekend alone. In fact, it only happens twice a year. This particular weekend was our first weekend alone of the year. The weekend before Lee took me shopping (this has quickly become his favorite past time..) to buy a new dress to wear out the upcoming weekend all under the ruse of our "end of season celebration". We found the perfect one and he set about to "surprise" me with where we were to eat. We ended up lucking out when the boy's mom couldn't keep them and we were able to have them through Saturday. :) Slight change of plans but we took them to Westside to swim that day and then dropped them off in the afternoon. We went to the gym after this and this is where things turned interesting.. While at the gym the sky turned black and it began to DOWNPOUR rain. I literally could not see out the windows. We became nervous thinking of another recent time it had down poured and flooded the streets...and my car. We knew we better make a run for it to get home without flooding out yet another vehicle.
We made our way home in Lee's porsche, which by the way- is NOT a good car to navigate flooded streets in. We were able to make it about 4 blocks away when we realized the car would not make it through the quickly rising water. We parked it and did what we have done before- made a run for it. 2 hours before we were to go to dinner we are running in thigh high water through the streets to get back to his house. Classic!
Once we got home we realized the power was out. I am still thinking we are going to dinner just to celebrate "end of the season" so I say, "We can just cancel...Let's do this another night." To which Lee replies, "No, go ahead and take a bath. I'll bring candles in so you can see. Hopefully the power will be on by the time you are finished and we can get dressed, go get the car and go to dinner." umm... okay. Sure enough- he was right. I bathed and began to get ready, the power magically was restored in perfect time. He called and pushed back our reservations from 7pm to 9pm and we were off!
When we pulled up to TABLE I began to wonder. TABLE is where we officially decided to become exclusive the year before on May 25. Here we were back again just slightly over a year later. I'll never forget Lee coming back from the bathroom during our first visit and nervously asking me if I wanted to be his "girlfriend". ;)
The restaurant was pretty empty due to the downpour earlier but a few tables were seated around us. We ate dinner then turned down dessert. Lee went to the restroom and I began to think, "Maybe I was wrong and he ISN'T proposing tonight..." He returned, sat down and then he turned to me and took my hands in his. He told me how much he loved me and what I meant to him in his life. Tears began to fill his eyes, and mine as well. What I meant to his boys and what Georgia meant to him. That he never thought he would ever find anyone that he wanted to commit his life to in this way but after being with me there wasn't a question or hesitation in his mind. He wanted me to be "his" and to be "mine". He said he loved me more every day- that there was something about me that he could never place that drove him crazy and made him so in love with me. Then he pulled out a ring- he got down on one knee, "Melanie, Will you marry me and be my wife and spend forever with me?"
Of course I said "Yes!"
He put the most gorgeous cushion cut diamond in the most perfect setting on my finger and kissed me. We wiped a few tears off our faces and I couldn't stop smiling. A few of the tables had noticed what had just happened and congratulated us. The manager came by with Champagne and we toasted to our engagement. :)
Little did I know from this moment on I would plan a whirlwind wedding and be "Mrs. Loyd" by the end of summer.
Stay tuned for the rest.... If you are a true believer in things that are "meant to be" in the next few posts you will see, as I did, almost everything about our wedding and Lee and I together is "meant to be" there just isn't another explanation. You'll see.... ;)
One year ago, to the date via Time Hop ;), my husband (yes...I said HUSBAND), sent me this:
At the time, this man wasn't my husband. Naturally, from the beginning we both knew the commitment it took to date someone with children. I never had, neither had he. We were both quite comfortable with our lives solo. We had both created a life we loved by ourselves. We both attribute this as to why "we" happened.
I married this man 2 1/2 weeks ago.
In the wise words of Cinderella, "If you keep on believing, the dreams that you have will come true." In so many ways, in so many truths. I was happy, I was solid.....and then, I found my fairy tale.
I promise to update more later.... as soon as I can catch my breath. I can't leave "our" story untold ;)
For now I leave you with the this..
The last 18 days have been the happiest of my life. I didn't expect us marrying to change our relationship, but it has...in the best of ways. You are more of a "husband" than I could have ever imagined. The way you care for me and for our kids is second to none. The love I feel from you is unimaginable. I truly feel as though I'm living a fairy tale. I love you more and more every day. I love our family, and I love the example we are setting for our children. You have made me happier beyond my wildest dreams. I love you, and I can't wait for forever.
My sweet girl,
Here we are again...the end of ANOTHER school year. I will never be able to explain to you this sense of time speeding by me. You are 8. I truly cannot believe this day has come. I know I say this about all the days of your life and maybe one day you will understand. Becoming your Mom instantly taught me the importance of time.
Time that you never get back, time that you never get "enough" of, time that you never get to "re-do". I've said from the beginning- I always *knew* time was slipping away with you. From the moment you were born. Those moments would never come again. I recall thinking to myself "How is it that I will only get to experience this moment once in my life?! This child is so amazing, so precious! I could re-live THIS second forever." Lucky me that I get to.
I haven't been the best on catching up this year. I have plenty of pictures that you can see and recount the stories from our adventures but I haven't had time to "log" it all in here. I said this last year- I noticed a HUGE difference in you in 1st grade. You really changed and matured. This past year in 2nd grade, needless to say, this has occurred even more. Long gone are you "baby" days- no trace has been left. Wait, wait....there ARE your dimples, courtesy of moi ;). I look at you, and I promise, you won't ever understand this feeling until you have a child of your own, my mom use to tell me about it... My entire heart almost stops. I see SO much in you it amazes me. You grow taller every day it seems. I'm willing to bet you will be my height before you graduate from elementary. You still have arms and legs that go on for days just as the day you were born. So again, I suppose I re-count my statement...not all traces are gone of your "baby" days. Even as in infant you had the LONGEST legs, fingers, arms and toes. Nothing has changed there. The taller you grow, the longer your limbs grow.
You are funny. Your jokes- terrible. Sorry my dear. I'm working with you...maybe my fault that your jokes are so awful I laugh at them regardless. Who knows. Santa broke you a joke book. We need to continue reading up.... Regardless of your joke telling you are just funny. Your delivery on every day stuff is great. You make me laugh constantly. I'm constantly telling others of your anecdotes.
When you were in Kinder and 1st Grade I swear I never thought you would: (a) learn to read; or (b) find a love for reading. Oh how I worked with you! Finally you picked it up somewhat in 1st grade and still- reading was SUCH a huge part of my life... I truly have a love for reading and I wanted you to unlock that same passion. I knew once you did you would realize how amazing books are. They can take you amazing places and open you up to so many, many things. Reading is such an awesome tool to love. I'm not sure what happened. We will call it the "2nd Grade Summons" ;) You began to read. Sorry- you began to DEVOUR books this year! Gucci and I couldn't buy books fast enough! I would order off Amazon and you would open up and begin reading- by the time we would drive to dinner and finish eating you were finished with your book! Gucci would fill out your book orders and *bang* you read them all in a matter of days. If I had to rank "accomplishments" in you this year- Reading would top the list. I am so proud of you.
Your Imagination?!!? Second to none. Go take a look at your writing journals, your pictures you have drawn (all categorized and saved in your art room from preschool on) nothing new here but it continues. The stories you tell me in the car, the dreams you recant to me, the play scenes you act out. Every last bit of it.
You are the "leader" the "director". You know every move that should be made. At the annual square dancing at RCE you know EXACTLY what moves you and all your dance mates are suppose to make. I mean, after all, you guys do practice for weeks.... but boy are you angry when they make a mis-step!!! At your play- you whip your arms out and stop your other fireflies from going off the steps until the first line of fireflies has departed. Clearly- you know the rules ;P Someone running in the halls? You're going to cite the rules. I love this about you. I treasure this about you. Please, please, please continue to be a "rule follower".
All along the way I've never doubted for one minute being your Mom. It is the greatest thing I have ever done with my life and will always be. You have blessed my life in so many ways. If I make a million dollars and buy us a mansion nothing compares to you. I hope I am instilling in you all the morals and values I want to. I hope I am guiding you through life in the way God wants me to. I pray every night, you know this we pray together, that God protects, blesses and guides us every day for the rest of our lives. Every night I'm praying for guidance in being your Mom. I'm so very thankful God blessed me with this privilege.
We went to have mani's & pedi's recently.... an older lady was in the chair next to me and her daughter next to her. You were next to me. After awhile I realized the daughter was probably in her 20's, grown and had her own place. She and her mom had met up and did this regularly for manicures and to talk. I hope one day that is you and I. If not- I pray I have don't my job while you are young and although my voice isn't with you when you are older it's in your mind always reminding you of who you truly are.
Georgia you are amazing. You are and will be far greater than I ever will be. You were born to do great things and you will. You are fiercely loved by so many. Never, ever, ever doubt yourself. You are a child of God. As we have prayed every night since you were born, his protection and guidance are upon you always.
Say it isn't so!! Georgia is EIGHT!!
I think I'm just in shock. I cannot believe it.
In planning Miss G's birthday we had a chat. As with the last 2 years I offered a trip- "Do you want to go to Chicago?? We can see the first American Girl doll store I told you about last year!?, San Fransisco, Florida???" A couple years ago I decided I really liked the idea of trips for birthday's, Christmas, etc. (i.e. Ski Trip 2014) rather than spending money on toys and games that come and go. The memories you make off of a trip last forever. (Georgia isn't on board with this idea just yet it seems...) Just like last year, Georgia wanted a party with her friends- so we did. "What theme would you like, what kind of party?" She said she and some gals at school had put quite bit of thought into this and she would like a "Star Wars Pool Party". Dun. Dun. Dun....
Okay, Georgia. "Star Wars Pool Party" it is.
Give me a theme- (it may take a minute) but I will rally and Georgia will have the best "Star Wars" theme party you have ever seen.
In our location planning (since Georgia wanted to invite the ENTIRE 2nd grade class at RCE) we decided our neighborhood pool would be best over Westside this year due to the fact we could have an unlimited number of guests. Plus- why can't I throw a nice, easy, birthday party without intense work involved and planning for days? A little pool party between 2-4 would be easy! Swim, cake, we are done.
Hahaha.... Must have forgot I was "me". And also that I Pinterest. (we have a love/ hate relationship)
Isn't this the first step of party planning?!?! Not a fan of goodie bags. They suck. Biggest waste of money I've ever seen in my life. PLUS I feel incredibly guilty for throwing away any piece of a goody bag Georgia comes home with from other parties. Look Moms, I know you tried, I try! You cannot put stuff in there that every parent doesn't want to throw in the trash, and we all know how much you spend putting said goodie bags together. Umm, It's not cheap to put a bunch of crud in a bag to pass out to friends. Therefore, every year I spend the goodie bag "budget" on one item that may be cooler than usual, or at least MIGHT get re-used by our party guests. This year- we turned pool noodles into Light Sabers. Not only was the 8 year old sect ecstatic they *actually* got to use those things as "swords"... They got to take them home as well. (Credit, My Mom and Emery for making these up to code and as rue to a real light saber as possible.)
BUT- you know me... Those light sabers just weren't enough to send our guests home with! (i.e. I got on Pinterest....Seriously- someone shut down my account.) I saw this SUPER cute R2D2 Craft someone made and bagged out of foam pieces to make R2D2. Uh...I can totally do that! AND surely Hobby Lobby will have SOME pre-cut circle foam pieces, etc.
No....They didn't, and by this time I was fully committed. No problem. They did have the foam sheets, and double sided sticky paper and I had a craft! Time... not so much, but I was going to do this! Countless Hours and hundreds of tiny foam pieces, goodies for Georgia's friends- Done! (Hours, days, a few people bribed to help me later...)
Again, I told myself, "Make this easy! Just have cake!" ha. ha. ha.
This is what happened:
If you happened to talk to Georgia this week she couldn't get "Obi-Wan-Ka-Bob-Ies" out without dying from laughter. ;) She thought it was hilarious!
And Then- The Party...
Party day arrived. So did the Houston rain. The party was scheduled to begin at 2pm. At 1pm the water began to fall from the sky. We held steady. No lightening, no thunder. At 2pm it was still quite drizzly, but nothing to stop about 25 eight year olds from jumping in the pool and having the time of their lives. This became one of my favorite parties to date. Georgia was SO into the "theme" and loved every minute. We had a blast and quite the turn out considering the rain. Thanks to all that came to celebrate- I surely hope you enjoyed as much as Miss G did!
And THAT is how you have a Star Wars Birthday Pool Party (in the rain). Actually turned out pretty perfect. Georgia and her friends ended up with a private pool and the other parents and I did not melt in the heat. Win for all! Turning "8" did not begin or end here though... Stay tuned for the rest of Georgia's Birthday weekend. Eight is looking to be pretty darn amazing. ;)
It's February!!! I suppose it's time I take a moment to give a super quick run down of the holidays and that will come shortly.... But first, can I say how EXCITED I am that February kicks of the season of my "Seasons"?! Yep- First up is our all time favorite- Rodeo Season. :) My mom recently said to me, "Don't worry- it's almost Rodeo Season and you know that always cheers you up!" You know me all to well mother... ALL too well. On top of that (after last year) pretty sure it's Georgia's favorite season as well. Only Mommy will have to hook it up again this year because Miss Priss asked, "We get to go back in the suites this year right? The one with the Ice Cream carts??" In fact...any time we go to the stadium the child thinks we are going up to the suites. Can't say I'm going to hold that against her...she lives the life ;)
Naturally, Rodeo kicks off with the BEST weekend ever. Cook off weekend. What else is so great about cook off weekend? It ushers you into none other than Birthday Month. You may have thought last year was a little overboard. I know many of you were glad when April rolled around and ended the never ending celebrations but I'm here to tell you today, have no fear...this year Birthday Month is now to be referred to as "Birthday Season". Self declared, naturally. I am encompassing the month of February and the month of April as the mandatory "Melanie turns 30 Birthday Season"! SO much is already in the works. From here on out candles and dessert at every restaurant. I will have the "list" posted soon for those of you (mom) who pay attention. Kinda irritated there are still roll overs on there from years past. Why hasn't anyone purchased a small horse (dog) for me yet? And the new house? AND all that furniture?? I did take it upon myself to begin that Pinterest project....yes...*begin*...
Moving right along- recap of Christmas (pictures later because I'm being lazy)..
Second to Birthday Season (which includes Rodeo) my other fav is Christmas. I mean...whose isn't?! I don't know where I really want to begin with all of this... I have no idea (because, again, too lazy to look if I updated on Thanksgiving...so maybe there?!)
Thanksgiving (briefly) was amazing. Lee made it clear earlier in the year that he would really like to (read- we are going) go to the A&M/ LSU football game being played Thanksgiving night in College Station. Hmmm- this didn't fall into plans of Thanksgiving in Arkansas but we improvised. My Dad ended up flying up to the Lake House with Georgia and Lee and I have a couple "adult" nights...my friends, with 3 kids, on opposite schedules this was quite the blessing as we originally thought our only night without kids was Labor Day weekend and we didn't have another "free" night until 12/28. Uh huh- 9/1- 12/28. Date nights are hard to come by in these parts ;) But we wouldn't have it any other way. Moving on he surprised me with a "stay-cation" here in town and we had date night every night (for 2 nights). Took FULL advantage ;) THEN we went to the game and made the trek to Arkansas for a day late Thanksgiving feast. All was good- except Mr. Loyd says we will be flying next time. Come to find out (already knew...) this guy is not one for road trips. On the flip side...put me in the car for 12 hours with Billy Joel & Mariah Carey and I'm in heaven.
Came home and hit the ground running. Christmas is quite the event if you are part of my family and holy moly was it this year. First weekend of December I was sick. All I recall was demanding from the couch in my illness that a fire be started and where to hang garland. At the end of the day the garland was hung... and a candle lit and place in front of the fireplace because someone doesn't know how to light it (Wait, what?!?! You have a fire place but have never lit it? How on earth can I be in your presence??)
Second weekend Miss Georgia Clare performed in her play performance. Never been prouder of her than when I watch her little acting debuts. She blows me away every time.
Third weekend- dun, dun, dun..... Packed up the kids for a weekend get away/ end of school vacuum to the Gaylord Texas. Never been? You must! It was amazing. Kids had a blast and we went back home and fell right into Christmas week- which included Lee's parent's coming into town, Lee & I Christmas shopping every night until midnight. Lots of food, not a lot of sleep and all the many, many, MANY Christmas celebrations that come with being a "Mabry". The Loyd's were inducted this year and everyone truly did enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Directly after Christmas (no- really, the next day) we began Davis's 4th birthday celebrations. I, for the record, have never envied anyone having a December bday period. Still do not. Davis turned 4 on 12/28. THREE DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS!! Clearly, by now, you know my obsession with birthday's and I was NOT going to let his blur into Christmas. Cake making/ shopping, Top Golf, Family bday party, Decorations, presents, etc. We pulled it off..... then I took a nap ;)
New Years Eve- The night, one year ago, that Lee and I were "introduced". This night held a special place for us both on reflecting on where we were then and where we are now. It's been quite the ride but I can honestly say.....sometimes- when you least expect it, everything just falls into place. We spent the evening alone together at the same restaurant where he FINALLY asked me to be "exclusive" with him ;) and then the rest of the evening being happy to be with each other & friends. Nothing comes close in my opinion.
There is your run down.
Love this life I have.
How lucky am I?
Wait, what?! (classic saying at this point) - "luck" has nothing to do with it. Standing up for myself and my daughter and creating a life I love is what it is all about. What it's always been about. "The Making of Melanie"....still in progress but.... "everyday is a winding road, I get a little bit closer... Everyday is a faded sign, I get a little bit closer to feeling fine..."
I know- the lamest. :) Getting back to my loves. Night night!
For years I have spoken of alternative ways to being buried. Okay- weird maybe that I've thought about this but let's face it- burial is gross (unless you pay for one of those above ground cement houses- but even then...) and cremation is not an option for me. I have, in my head, opted to be frozen. Until I saw this: