Monday, October 31, 2011

Welcoming... Share your world, Thursday

Starting this Thursday
there will be three random questions for you to fill in
for the world to read and learn. Serious, funny, deep, spontanuous... there is no certain adjective
describing these questions. There are no right or wrong answers.
So join along and Share Your World.

Halloween Tradition {+ some}

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                           Happy Halloween Bloggers!  
   Since my oldest niece was born {10 years ago} it's always been a tradition to
go over to my parents house on Halloween. Mama cooks a big pot of spaghetti for
 all of us to fill our tummies with before the fun starts.

In ten years our family has grown quite a bit so it's always pretty interesting.
However, my parents live across the street from a golf course and that's where all the fun happens.
However, there is a side kick.
Nobody ever walks over to my parents house to get candy.
but we solved that problem many years ago.
We pile up in the Gem Car and go from house to house
as the kids get candy from these homes WE pass it out.

Yesterday I sat home and baked cupcakes
my inspiration & Halloween cookies.
& filled my {120} goody bags with DELISH candy.
then usually after a few hours of trick OR treating
we head over to my MIL house and let her enjoy the costumes.

Last Years RE-CAP

Being our family has grown so much through the years {Brother has 3 kids, Sister has 4}
The hubby is bringing home a trailer from work and we are making a hay ride for all
 of my little angels... and us big folks too. Aaron's sister, her hubby, & our two nephews may also be joining us. I sure do hope so.
That would be NINE little costumes!
I can't wait!
I hope everyone has a marvelous time tonight, post your costumes ASAP.
I'm stoked to see your kids all dressed up!

Playing Dress Up! {with a few year missing in between}

 Danny & Sandy
This was actually NOT halloween...
{laughing} But I figured it was appropreiate to share our costumes.
However, this costume party WAS amazing and you should go check it  out!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Playing {Ketchup}

Boy am I glad to be back.
I feel like days have past and really it's only been 1.5 days...
I've been out with the FLU.
Let's just say...
worst nightmare.
not only me
but the hubby too.
let's just say
worst nightmare x 2
me + him + sickness + in our house = worst thing ever!
I'm thankful for my mother.
that stuff spreads with the quickness.
however we are over it.
thank goodness!
it's never welcomed at our house again.
my energy is back.
i feel as if
my moves like jagger are over the top!
SO much energy.
whoo RAH!

I would like to thank ALL of my followers & Stephanie from BEAUtiful Mess's
followers for supporting Steph with all your kind words.
Stephanie wrote me and said she
 "had no idea what an impact it would bring & how many lives I would touch."
Thank you.
'To be Inspired is great. But to Inspire is incredible.'
Stephanie, your words, your wisdom, & your strength brought courage to all the other
wonderful people out there who struggle with losses of loved ones.
I ask you share this with your Mother and Brother... maybe they too will gain something from it.
 NOW for something uplifting and HILARIOUS...
watch one of my favorite posts from Steph.
I promise... the day she shared this, I watched it a million times.
I stalked her!

I love the words and thoughts from everyone.

I've got something superb to share with you all but it has to wait just a little longer.
I know, I know. I want to share... but I can't just yet!
Bare with me.
 My moves like jagger are.... INSANE today!

Until then Happy Halloween {weekend}!
Don't we look scarey?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

BEAUtiful Mess {opens her world}

Meet Stephanie. I'm sure a lot of already know this happy-go-lucky blogger and some of you do not... but now you do. No excuses.  Stephanie is the "CEO" of her adorable blog BEAUtiful Mess

 Today, she is here to share a very touching story that I'm sure will move all of you as it did me. You may have a new outlook on the words Live each day as if it's your last, because unfortuatley Stephanie learned it the most difficult way.
Topic Choice: A Life Changing Experience
Oh hai! For those of you who don't know me, I'm Stephanie...a twenty somethin' newlywed from Texas and CEO of BEAUtiful Mess. (Yes-I just called myself a "CEO")

I'm a health nut who is OB-sessed with weddings, college football, vodka, lip balm and anything pink. Beau is the husband and was actually the inspiration behind my blog title (BEAUtiful Mess-get it?) Anyways-he's a social butterfly who loves to hunt. He's got mad skills when it comes to slow pitch softball and I can honestly say he was put on this earth for me to marry. :)

Nice to meet ya!

When Jessica asked me to guest post about something inspirational, I knew there was only one thing I would be writing may be a leeeetle lengthy but I hope you all find it inspiring and can learn a lesson (or two!) from it...


To say my world completely changed within the blink of an
eye 33 months ago would be an understatement.

Back in college, I bartended at a little bar in my hometown. I was a busy girl who never came home so instead, my parents would come sit up at the bar while I worked so I would be able to visit with them a little bit. It was a busy Friday night and we were getting ready for Joe Nichols to take the stage. Beau was on his way to come visit me, too, since it was his birthday (& because I snuck him free booze every chance I got). I remember
it being rainy. My dad was supposed to go hunting that weekend but for some odd reason, opted to stay home instead and come see me at work. It was pretty early in the night, maybe around 9pm or so when all of a sudden, my world came crashing down.
One second, I was telling my dad all about mine and Beau’s upcoming cruise we were going on and how well I was doing in school and the next, I was on the phone with 911
Dad collapsed.
Never in my life would I have thought I would have to actually use that 3-digit telephone number they taught us about in elementary school…and I definitely didn’t think I would be dialing it for my own dad. That was the last time I saw him. To save you all (& myself) from reliving any more heartache than what I’ve already dealt with, dad had a massive heart attack and passed away within the blink of an eye.  
I remember thinking this was some kind of cruel joke.
The doctors were all wrong. There was no way this was possible. This was just a dream. How was I supposed to wrap my mind around all this? He hadn't been sick. He was fine
Wait. My dad died.
He was only 48. Not old enough to lose his life. How could
this be? I was only 21. Not old enough to lose my daddy.
I was his little girl.
He was going to walk me down the aisle one day.
He and my mom had been married for 24 years. What would she do without him?
What about my baby brother?
Dad would never get to see him graduate high school or congratulate him for getting his acceptance letter to Texas.
The thoughts ran and ran and ran through my little mind as the days passed. Any and everything you could think of...I thought of it. This was, by far, the absolute worst day of my life…our lives…and although I've grown tremendously from it, I would never wish it upon my worst enemy.
Although I felt this way, I knew I had to be strong. I knew that mom would need me. And although he didn’t know it at the time, my brother would need me too.It was my senior year of college. I was taking 21 hours,
bartending every single weekend, working 2 internships throughout the week and had my heart set on making the Dean’s List and graduating with honors...all while dealing with the loss of my beloved father.  But how would I even stand to go to class with all this weighing on my mind? How was I supposed to function after such a loss? How would my mom go on without her rock? Without the supporter of the family? She only worked part time to pay for shopping and traveling…how would she pay the bills? How could she live by herself once my brother and I were both completely out of the house?

At first-yes. Looking back-no. I talked about it, a lot. I cried even more. I thought about him, and still do, a ton…which is why I can sit here and write about it without shedding a tear. How did I make it through the rest of school? How did my mom move on? And the question every girl wants to know…how did I get through my wedding day without him there...he was supposed to see me in that dress…and walk me down that aisle…and have that father/daughter dance we were supposed to share.
I had no choice-I got humble. I soon realized that every single thing in our lives happens for a reason. Every person we meet comes into our life for a reason and the events that we deal with on an every day basis, happen for a reason.  I stopped judging people. I realized that each and every person in this world has a story and you can’t go around passing judgments when you have no idea what that person has been through. You literally have no idea. I can definitely say I now know the true meaning of  “Live each day like it’s your last”.
Sure-it would have been really easy to just get mad, ask God “Why me?” and just give it all up. But I couldn’t. Dad wouldn’t have wanted that. He wouldn’t have wanted me to drop out of school. He wouldn’t have wanted my mom to quit living her life. He wouldn’t have wanted my brother to not go to Texas just so he could stay home and take care of mom. And we knew that. So every day, from then on out, I knew I had to live my life for my dad. I knew I had to do what would make him the most proud…what he would have wanted to see me do or accomplish…and what would make him the happiest. So of course I went on with school. I not only made the Dean’s List but I also graduated with high honors. (Not to toot my own horn but it wasn’t easy so I have to give myself I finished my 2 internships. I got my first props every once in a while.) “big girl” job before I even graduated college and I realized that that would have made my dad proud.
On my wedding day, I wore his wedding band pinned to the
inside my boot (I'm from Texas, y'all!), I laid rose petals in his honor, and my uncle (his brother) delivered a memory reading during our ceremony.

My brother…the sweetheart of our little family. He keeps us all sane when mom and I start going off the deep end. He saw me in that white dress, took my by the hand and walked me down that aisle on my wedding day. He even picked out a perfect song for us to dance to during our brother/sister dance where we laughed, we cried and we shared the happiest of memories during that dance. We both knew that’s not what was in “our plans” but it was in “His plans” and we have accepted it.

My mom…she’s healing. It would have been so easy for her to
crawl into hole and never see the light of day ever again like many widows do but she knew dad wouldn’t have wanted that for her. She started working full time and eventually even started dating
Weird-right? My mom? Dating?
It was weird. And it was hard. But I also knew that she was too young (only 46) to live by herself for the rest of her life so I had to be open to it. She’s been dating for about 2 years now and although I cannot officially say “She’s found the one!”…it’s so enlightening to see her so gitty over a first date, or a sweet text message or about just staying in on a Saturday night to watch movies.

 Me & mom on my bachelorette cruise

So-we’re still recovering from all this. We fully understand our lives will never be the exact same but we also know that this is what was written in the plans for us and our family. And we’re okay with this. Sure-the holidays, Father's day and his birthday are exceptionally difficult but rather than just moping around feeling sorry for ourselves, we always remember dad.
He still has a stocking that gets hung every year and we typically go to dinner on his birthday. He looks out for us each and every day and I always know that when things get tough, he’ll have his eye out for me. Even though he is not here physically, I still see him, his baby blue eyes and that big sweet smile that could light up any room.
There’s not a day or minute in my life that I don’t think about my dad and what an amazing father he was to my brother and me…what an exceptional husband he was to our mom and how he has made so many memories in ours and so many other people’s lives.  I am grateful for the 21 years I did share with my father as some people don't even have that privilege.
I am grateful for spending countless weekends on  the field with him as my softball coach...even though he was always the toughest on me. :) I am grateful for the marriage he and my mom shared as it is definitely something I strive for in my own marriage. I am grateful for his big heart and the kindness he always portrayed.
While some people may view death as "negative" and this has been an extremely difficult life experience...the death of my father has taught me so incredibly much. Things that I didn't know were even possible for me to know. Things that can't be physically taught or learned by anything other than life experience. And for that, I am forever grateful.
Dad and my chihuahua (Tini) 
these two were insperable
So if there's one thing, anything, you can take from me...remember to make sure your loved ones always know how much you love them,  never let a day go by without realizing how fortunate you are and remember, no matter how hard life my seem sometimes, know that everything always happens for a reason.

Phew-sorry to get so sappy on y'all guys! It's rare for me to write something so serious so I really hope you all see this as uplifting as it was for me to write about it.
And don't be a stranger! I'd love to meetcha so stop on over to my little slice of the world wide web and introduce yourselves, k? k!



Thank you Stephanie  for being the first one to commit to writing your deeper side. I truly enjoyed it, though it was tough reading. You are a strong woman. Thank you for opening up and letting us see your inner emotions on life, love, & family.

 Interested in sharing a guest on Stilettos & a fishingpole?
 choose your topic & then leave a comment with your current email address
and I'll let set you up! Until next time...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My {BODY} Challenge

A lot of people 'EAT to LIVE.'
Not me. I 'LIVE to Eat.' I love food. Seriously... it's bad.
this couldn't have been said better...
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... this is me. I love food. Sometimes {a lot of times} I eat just because
it's good or because it's in the house. Sounds gross.
Horrible right? Well, today I am challenging myself to NO JUNK FOOD-

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This is sad because as I'm reading ALL OF THESE listed above...
I realized I eat more than two a day... every day.
This is my challenge. I will start...
Who is with me? Anybody?
If so, the 21st day is

Here are some other things to think about.

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So me... {blushing}
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I want to loose 15 lbs by my annual Christmas Party, which is the
second weekend of December. So 10lbs by Thanksgiving & 15lbs by
my Christmas Party.

I can only fool myself. I can only fool myself.
I can only fool myself.
I can only fool myself.
I can only cheat myself {& my husband}.

I want to be in shape. I need to be healthy.
I can do this.

Anyone with me?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ceremony Re-CAP {Vows & such}

The wedding re-CAPS are back! Whoo-hoo!
If you've missed anything you can go to my left sidebar and catch up.
You haven't missed a whole lot.
Today I'm sharing the rest of my ceremony + some.
If you missed my first post {the brides walk} Go back and read this before reading any further. The other ceremony post is so touching... or at least I think it is.

{In order to get the whole feel of things...
you have to listen to the music this song was actually played
during our sand ceremony}

After leaving the salon where all 10 of us {Maids & Me} got our hair done
we ventured back to our venue. This is when things got a little crazy.
What we thought we had a lot of time... went from a lot to NONE.
I handmade made their earrings and due to picking out their necklaces months after making their earrings & them all being different from each other, there were some earrings that I needed to change. Due to this situation... I never got to finish them. Which led me to finishing them in the bridal room with the wrong glue. Therefore I was put behind a little... a lot.
My photographer was there 30 mintues early to look at everything and prepare..
when they were ready for me, my dress wasn't even on. It takes a whole 15 minutes just to
lace me up. It was a little overwhelming.

First time seeing myself as a completed bride.

The Ceremony

As our guests walked up to the venue they were directed to the back.
As soon as they reached the walk way my oldest nephew, Austin & oldest niece
Chloe were there serving lemonade

Aren't they adorable???

Reaching my groom...

I have two sets of parents. So this was tough.
My {step} Dad walked me down the aisle. I did not want the words "who gives this bride"
therefore, I had my Mom, Daddy, Step Mom Diane waiting for me before I got to Aaron.
When we reached all my parents, I kissed each one of them as Aaron can down and grabbed my hand. My Dad handed me to him... instead of who gives this bride.

The ceremony was one of my favorite parts of the day.
It was so special and a lot of fun.
Although... there were mistakes and uh ohs'..
I rented a sound system from our DJ in order for everything to be heard.
Well, he worn his mic... but nothing was heard.
Our Vows... were written by us. be my wedded wife/husband, my lifetime partner, to have and to hold
from this day forwrd. Through our greatest days & our weakest days, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til' death do us part. 
I promise to love you when we are together, and for when we are apart. I promise to love you when I am proud of you, and when I am disappointed in you. I will honor your goals and dreams and help you fulfill them. For the depth of my being, I will seek to be open and honey with you. I say these things believing that God is in midst of them all. I love you, as I love no other.
After our vows came our sand ceremony.
Aarons cousin sang the song {playing now}. It was so beautiful.
Instead of going back to the preacher and standing there while the song finished out
we took the left over time and give hugs and kisses to our mothers as they accepted both of us as their child. It was special.

Our ceremony was short & sweet.
It was so memorable. I loved every second of it.
The last thing {I had} my preacher say was
"What the caterpillar perceives is the end; to the butterfly is just the beginning."

Then to tell Aaron to kiss his Bride.
At this moment, my maid of honor was supposed to release the butterflies.
1. they were supposed to be behind us. they werent.
2. She could not get the box opened. hilarious.
3. look at my face = PRICELESS.

Then he pronouced us as
Mr & Mrs Aaron ..... Drew

and the party began

Selected song choice to walk BACK down the aisle:
This Will Be {and Everlasting Love}
by Natalie Cole

... and we danced.

During our ceremony, I looked at Aaron and realized he hadn't shanved.
I asked him about it and his response was "They were rushing me. I didn't have time."

Also, in the middle of our ceremony, his shirt came completely unbuttoned.
All of a sudden his entire chest was showing... hilarious.
This is him buttoning it back up. Our preacher was about to crack.

Here are a few random ceremony pictures:
{random selection...}

above: Dani getting ready to release the butterflies.

above: ashley singing so beautiful.

above: love this picture. this is my brother holding my bouquet &
my sisters parasol while she fluffs my dress as we pour the sand.

Dani & Kristie



excuse the blury photo of the butterfly, but this was actually taken with a phone.

this also was taken with someones phone

one of my FAVORITE pictures captured.

... I'll post more {random} pictures
of everthing once I'm finished posting all the re-CAPS!

the things we don't know

Do you know what Epidermolysis Bullosa?
Have you ever heard of it?
Me either, not until last Wednesday when I ran into
Courtney & Tripp Roth's Blog, "EB-ing a Mommy".
My outlook on life & day to day living completely changed when I sat for hours upon hours and cried, laughed and grew a love for Tripp Roth, as I read
his heartbreaking story; he is the strongest little boy I've ever learned about.
Tripp Roth, along with many other EB children & adults struggle everyday
yet they never give up.
That is so inspiring.

Make a Difference in someones life.
Text the word TRIPP to 50555
to donate $10.
This helps find a cure for this disease.

Help spread the word.
Not for you but these babies & all the other
babies & adults out there with this disease.