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Wife, doggy-mother, Jesus follower, CANCER FIGHTER! Just enjoying each day as it comes and remembering what is really important - family and GOD.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Pet Peeves.... 30 Things: Day 11

Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

1. People walking in dirty shoes over my clean floors. I am obsessed with sweeping, mopping and vacuuming my floors. And when people or Oreo mess them up it drives me crazy!

2. When people act like they are owed something that they are not.

3. Loud chewing. HIMYM anyone? Lily? Yeah, that drives me nusto.

4. Outsiders trying to control our life.{Edited to add: And my ability to do my job. There is a reason I went to school for a long time to do this. Because not everyone knows how to be an attorney. And if you aren't sitting in my shoes, don't tell me how to do it!}

5. Not respecting boundaries. I need space (emotional/mental) too!

6. Not using manners. Especially when children don't say ma'am/sir/please/thank you.

7. Jealousy. It's ugly.

8. Rudeness, especially in the face of someone trying to help.

9. Facebook Drama. Who needs that in their life? I don't understand it.

10. Getting the run around when someone doesn't know the answer. Just tell me straight up.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Embarrassed. 30 Things: Day 10

Describe your most embarrassing moment.

First of all, I need to preface this post with one thought: You would think I would learn my lesson on listening to what my Momma tells me to do!!!


Ok... When I was younger, there was an older gentleman pharmacist here in town named Harry George. I loved him. He always said I was his girlfriend and asked if I would marry him one day. I used to think this was so funny!

Fast forward to a few years ago, my Mom and I were out shopping together in Cape and decided to go to Ruby Tuesdays to eat. We pulled up to park, and you could see inside the big windows at the people sitting around tables. My mom looks and exclaims "Look, Claire! There's Harry George! AND HE IS SITTING AT A TABLE FULL OF WOMEN! Wouldn't it be so funny if you walked up to him and asked why he was with all those women?!"

Well, I hesitated, and then thought you know, I bet he'd get a big kick out of that! So we walked in and told the server that we saw someone we knew and wanted to talk to them.

So here I go sauntering over to this table full of strangers and Harry George. I stop at the head of the table, throw my hands on my hips, and exclaim.. "Well Harry George! Are you cheating on me?!"

About that time, my mom takes of running around the corner, all the while yelling back at me "THAT IS NOT HARRY GEORGE!!"

Oh yes, I stood in front of an entire group of strangers + Harry George A STRANGE MAN that I accused of cheating on me.

I was so mortified.  Mortified. AND MY MOTHER LEFT ME STANDING THERE LIKE AN IDIOT. She RAN to the other side of the restaurant.

I just stood there with my hands on my hips, spun around, and took off. Then I asked to be seated on the other side of the building.

That was the day I learned I should never listen when my mom tells me to do anything with the potential of being embarrassed!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Influential.... 30 Things: Day 9

List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

{ok, so instead of listing out 10 separate people, I did some "groups" of people. I didn't want to be listing just to list. To be honest, I can only say a handful of people have truly "influenced" who I am. I can list a lot, though, who I respect and admire!}

My Husband, Justin

This man has been the biggest influence on my life. Considering we started dating when I was FOURTEEN (gasp!!), we grew up together. There is something that has to be said about growing up with the person you love more than anything. We always laugh, because he has rubbed off on me in so many ways - and he finds that hilarious.

He is the bravest, most caring and upbeat individual I have ever met. I stand in awe of him and the way he approaches LIFE. I pray that I can be the wife he needs me to be, because I am just so blessed to have him to influence me.



My Parents

My parents have been hugely influential throughout my entire life. They have been my biggest fans and encouragers. I have always known how much I am loved. Just like I have never doubted that no matter what the situation, they will be behind me.

My parents have also shown me what it means to pray. Any time I feel worried or anxious, I can ask them to pray for me, and I know they will stop everything they are doing RIGHT THAT SECOND and pray. How many people can say that they have that? They have taught me right from wrong, and how to apologize.  I can't say enough good about them.



My Siblings

Both my sister Miste and brother Zach, although they may not realize it, have influenced me. Miste has been there not only as an older sister, but as a friend and confidant. She has shown me what it means to be a devoted mom to wonderful children but still have her own life and personality. I am so amazed at how she manages to do it al.


Zach has influenced me as well. He will always be my "baby" brother even though he is not a baby anymore. But I can't help it! He has taught me about hard work. Zach has never given up on his dreams to play baseball - and he busts his butt every day to be the best he can be. 


 My Nanny

 My Nanny was the sweetest, most loving person. I loved loved LOVED staying with her anytime. As I grew up, even though she would drive me crazy calling and worrying about me, nothing compared to the thought of knowing someone loved you to the ends of the Earth. She helped shape the person I am today. I miss her so much.



My Mentors

I have had a handful of extremely important and close mentors over my lifetime. All of them have contributed to the person I am today. Many have taught me not only important educational lessons, but life lessons as well.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Passion... 30 Things: Day 8

What are 5 passions you have?

1. Serving God

Particularly as I grow up, I grow in my faith. Bottom line is: I want to serve God every day. I will be the first to tell you that I struggle. I am by no means perfect. But what I can say is that I strive to love God passionately. It is hard work, because I am a sinner. Most days I start out great and end up defeated. But I know that the next morning brings a new chance.

2. Helping those less fortunate than me

I don't really know if you would consider this a "passion." But it pretty much sums up what I do every day. And no one could work this job, with this population, if they weren't passionate about what they were doing.

3. Supporting cancer research

I think this is self evident. But I have been passionate about this for a very long time - much longer than these past two years. However, the life experience have cemented the fact that cancer sucks. And research leads to a CURE!

4. LOVING to the fullest extent

I would say that love is a passion of mine. Romantic love, family love, pet love, food love =) Love is a frequent verb AND adjective.

5. Babies & Kids

I am very passionate about children. I want a lot of children, and I love being around children. We often have a kids at our house because we want to. There is nothing more important, I think, than nurturing and loving on any child!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Girl Can Dream... 30 Things: 7

What is your dream job, and why?

I used to think I knew what my dream job was. Now, I don't have a clue.....

The other day, Jay and I were talking about what we would do if we won the lottery. As in, would we still work at the same place or do the same type of work. I think I would do the same type of work. However, I would love to open my own organization that focused on providing quality legal services to the under-served. I would love to be able to really focus on families. So offering more than just legal services would be key.

My dream job, honestly, would be to know I was making a difference in the lives of people I served in a righteous way. I would also like to have flexibility and be able to raise a family without sacrificing one or the other.

I want to be a mom and have lots of kids. However, I also know I am not the type of person who would thrive as a stay-at-home mom. I need to be doing something to give back to my community, and for me, I need this to be through a job. But ideally, it would be one with a daycare facility full of wonderful staff AT the job so that my kids were always "with me." Plus, one where I could make my hours and come and go as my children needed.

I guess that is why it would be a dream, right? Because I am fairly positive this would never exist in reality!

Bottom line - I want to do something, whatever it is, that God calls me to do. And right now, I feel like I am doing what God is calling me for. I just wish, as I am sure almost every person in the work force does, that some things were different! My dream job would definitely come with less stress, because I can say right now - the stress is seriously affecting my life in ways I don't care for.

Weekend Recap

We had such a wild and crazy weekend. No, really. We did. Lowes anyone? You know that place is hopping on spring Saturdays!

Friday evening I had a hankering for ribs. Justin was laying on what I termed "the big couch" and I was laying on what I termed "the little couch" after work on Friday evening. Suddenly, I turned over and exclaimed "I WANT RIBS!" To which he replied "I thought you'd never ask!" So off we went to my favorite rib joint of all time - Dexter BBQ. Seriously, this place is a southern girls dream. But before, we went to get some groceries while we were in Sikeston. Grocery shopping on an empty, hungry shopping is usually a disaster. But we made it out with only $70 worth which should last us (except for some lunchmeat and probably some pork steaks), about two weeks. Score! Then onto the ribs. And the vinegar sauce. Yummy!

Saturday morning we slept in, then got up and started working on our house. We have decided to put it on the market, which means it needs to look in tip-top shape. So we cleaned out our back laundry room and ended up with three large trash bags full of junk to well, trash. It looks SO much better back there. You can actually walk through. Justin helped me clean the entire house. Then a contractor came by. We still have a few more finishing projects from the never-ending renovation that we just don't have the time or the skill to finish. After he left, we were inspired to hit of Lowes. And we left there much, much poorer. But with two new toilets (can I get a woot! woot! for that), two new sets of closet doors, and some paint for our front door. That is the end of renovations for us. If people don't like the house, oh well.

Saturday evening we went over to Justin's brothers house to eat with his parents and sister and our niece. We ended up getting to bring Sophie home with us! She is too precious for words. Even when she waked up at 5:45am and leaves a pee spot in our bed =) We made a big breakfast for her Sunday morning, then got ready and went to church. After church, we hung out at our house and Sophie ate a big lunch and took a long nap. Perfection!



It was a very nice weekend. I hated to see this morning come!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

30 Things.... Day 6

What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?


I keep typing and deleting..... Because this is so tough to write. Two years ago, I was right in the middle of law school. Law school - the entire three years + bar prep - was honestly the hardest time of my life.

For me, nothing about law school was fun. Yes, I made some wonderful, great friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life. But other than that, law school was miserable. It was difficult, all consuming, and super stressful.

February of my second year of law school, my now-husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer. That threw me for the biggest loop of my life.... My heart broke with sadness and worry for him. I have never been that scared in my entire life. I have also never been that humbled. I was knocked to my knees and prayed breathlessly for hours upon hours at a time.

My husband is a survivor. He is the bravest, most upbeat, amazing human being I have ever had the privilege of knowing. He NEVER - not one. single. time. - questioned this. Amazing. He said he knew, from the beginning, that every little thing was gonna be alright.

Those few months of surgeries and treatment were hard. And I cannot even fathom how hard it was for him. But he never stopped smiling. He never got down. I rarely left his side, although for the first couple months I was sill in school three hours away.

Now, as it has passed, and my sweet husband is two years cancer free!!!! And close to two years post-treatment.... We reflect back.....

My husband told me the night before our wedding that he knew this had happened for a reason. God had shown him how, no matter what the circumstances, I loved him with every fiber in my body. God has shown the both of us what it means to have faith - in Him, and each other.

I am so thankful that the Ultimate Healer laid His hands upon my husband.

Friday, March 23, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It.... 30 Things... Day 5

What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

1. My relationship with my husband!




I seriously fall more and more in love every single day. Not to say we don't have our days where, like last night, I completely freaked out on him over cooking supper. Not my greatest moment. But thankfully, after our little blow-up on each other, we sat down and really talked through what was going on. Which ended quite nicely ;-) I thank God every morning and every night that he is by my side. I want to spend every moment I can with him. Our relationship, while long, has been pretty stressful by most people's standards. We are almost always doing the long distance thing as adults. Now that we are together - I just am positively delighted.  We continue to grow together. I can honestly say I married my best friend.

2. Having a J-O-B, which finally makes us a two person income household. Praise JESUS!

I think this is fairly self-explanatory. But seriously, two people trying to survive on a one person teacher's salary, while one is in law school and traveling back and forth frequently, then studying for the BAR which leaves ZERO time for a job, was tough. We also had a lot of medical debt, and some credit card debt. BUT - due large in part to some serious financial planning and God's good grace (He who gives shall receive, right), we finally have ALL our debt paid off except our home, student loans (and mine are never going anywhere), and one medical bill. Biggest relief ever.

3. Oreo



This dog is like our child. And how could you look at that cute little face and think of anything but happy thoughts? Anytime we have been gone from the house, even for 10 minutes, as soon as he sees our vehicle he does this little reindeer like leap all around the house. Then he will run as fast as possible in circles the house at least three times in his excitement. He is spoiled. He likes to sleep on the couches, and LOVES to cuddle up. Even though he is way too big to be a lap dog :)

4. Our growing relationship together with our faith.

Justin and I have grown so much together in our faith. It's really amazing, honestly, to see what God has been doing in our lives. And how He works within us. We had a strong faith background always really, but it is really grown by leaps and bounds. I can't wait to see what is in store.

5. SPRING's arrival = beautiful flowers.

Who can't be happy about this? The weather (minus the redonk pollen count) is gorgeous. The sun is shining. My flowers are blooming. Happiness all around.

6. Friends + Family

The Original Secoy Clan

Our FAVORITE kids. Ever. Hands down.

Parents :)

Okay, so I cheated and added a 6th. But I just have to say - I am surrounded by people who love me.

With my Sam & Ella

See why I love this man?
My sweet Sophie.

All my "other moms"

Too fun.




Who couldn't be happy with people like these?!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

30 Things.... Day 4

List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

1.  Loosen up!
 
I was always so scared of getting in trouble, I think I missed out on a lot of fun times.

2. Failure isn't always a "bad" thing.











You learn a lot from not always being right! I would be beside myself if I had anything other than straight "A's". However, I am fairly certain I still would have gotten into college even if I had a "B"!

3. You won't always be this skinny.



Ha!! I was such a stick back in the day. What I would give to have that metabolism again. I should have really appreciated it while it lasted :)


4. This boy you love, don't worry - he will be your husband.

Be still, my heart. It will all work out like God planned.

5. Stop worrying.
I had an ulcer at the tender age of 16. I worried about everything. Still do sometimes. But back then, I had no clue how tough things really could be.

6. You are beautiful just the way you are.

7. ENJOY life.

See above. You are only a teenager once, and can only get away with doing teenager things then. Live it up!

8. Hug your Nanny. Go visit her every time you have a chance.

She won't be here forever. And when she is not, you will wish many, many times a day that you could just hear her voice one more time. Cherish that.

9. You will do great things.

I still need to tell myself this =)

10. Don't forget to TRUST in your maker. He knows your plan, and He made you in His image.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

30 Things... Day 3

Describe your relationship with your parents.

Ohh my. I love my parents. They are absolutely wonderful human beings. Honestly, I couldn't ask for any two better people who love me just for who I am.

My mom is honestly one of my best friends. I know she will ALWAYS support me. She prays for both Justin and I every day, and wants nothing but for us to be happy and succeed. And also for us to give her lots of little baby grandchildren. :)



My Daddy will always be Daddy - no matter how old I get. He takes care of me! Makes sure we always have everything we need. He gives me good gardening advice and loves our puppy Oreo so much. I am so grateful to have him in my life.



Honestly, I couldn't ask for any two better parents!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

30 Things: Day 2

Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.


1. Tornadoes

I am petrified of tornadoes and storms in general. It has been a long-standing fear, really. When I was young, my parents used to call me Claire McNeeley (only those with KFVS12 will appreciate that reference). If there was even a hint of cloudiness in the sky, I would be glued to the weather channel analyzing every little detail! I think it stemmed from a childhood incident. I was about 5 or 6, and I was with my mom in the neighboring town when a tornado hit. It happened so fast, and we were pulling through the bank. The only thing we could do was stop in a parking lot and wait it out. I remember watching the tornado come down from the sky in the distance and being petrified. We were just fine, but I think it was obviously very traumatizing. 


2. Something happening to a loved one

I have always been so fearful that something would happen to someone I loved. As in, they would be hurt or injured or sick. That fear has honestly eased here of late, because someone I loved did get sick. But thanks to the grace of God above, he is healed. And now, I have had a lesson in trusting the Lord. So I can't say that I never worry or think about it, I can say that I have faith that my God is an awesome God and He will protect those around me. 

3. Failure

I am always so scared of failure. I am my own worst critic. I constantly push myself for perfection, which just wears me out. I am exhausted at the end of a workday. I honestly don't know why I am like this. My parents never pushed me into being perfect. I think I just have such a strong Type A personality that it is who I am. But hey, after a few cussings that I have received as of late at work, I think I may be getting over this!

Monday, March 19, 2012

30 Things: Day 1

I have decided to jump on the "30 Things" bandwagon from Hopes and Dreams. I saw the list on Pinterest, then my SIL posted it to her blog as well. And I think if for nothing else, it will force me to really look inside myself.  Here is the list:

THE LIST:

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

I am going to start today with #1. I will try to remember to come back to this list and link up the posts so at some point, when all 30 days are done, they will all be easily linked from here. I am getting so bloggy sophisticated. Ha!

So here we go. 20 Random Facts about yours truly:

1. I worry - a lot. But I feel like over these past two years especially, God has really been trying to teach me that HE will carry my burdens. My husband will attest to the fact that although I am still such a worry wart, I have really lightened up. I am learning to lay my troubles at the Lord's feet ant NOT pick them back up.

2. I want to be a mom so bad it hurts. I know it will happen one day, when it's time! Probably when I stop worrying about it :) Ha. But honestly, the one thing I have ever wanted to be is a mother. I have dreams of a gaggle of little kids running around our house. Being the fun, cool Mom that bakes and cooks and crafts. We shall see how that turns out!

3. I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was in kindergarten. I think I may have wavered at some point for a month here and there and wanted to be a teacher. But I always went back to being a lawyer. And it is NOTHING like I thought or hoped it would be. In both a good and bad way.

4. I take so much pride in our home. Justin and I worked SO hard to have what we do. It may not be much or anything special, but it is ours. And no one else helped us get here. We have painted and nailed and scrimped and saved to make this house a home. And hopefully, sometime soon, it will serve another family as a wonderful place to make memories.

5. I love dessert. I would eat it every meal for my meal if I could and not weigh 500lbs.

6. My job is really tough. Emotionally and mentally. And I thought I was prepared for that, but I totally wasn't.

7. There are a lot of people in my life that I wish I had better, more "complete" relationships with. But I have come to the realization that it isn't me. As much as I want to change someone, I can't.

8. Justin and I are blessed with three very special, wonderful and precious nieces/nephews. I can honestly say I love them all with every bone in my body. And it may seem weird, but if anything ever happened to their mommas and daddies, I could take those babies in and raise them as my own without ever batting an eye. Because in my heart, I already love them as much as if the were my own. I am so proud to be an aunt. I would do anything to make sure they are happy, loved and cared for. Luckily, they all have great parents so we get to totally be the "fun" aunt and uncle that let them do what they want and then they go home :) Ha!

9. I used to hate cleaning, but now that we have our own home, I love it. I wish I had time and energy to clean every day!

10. I love working in my flowers. I have a black thumb I think, but I still like it :)

11. I wish I ate healthier. But I just can't make myself do it!

12. I have loved my husband since I was thirteen. I am serious. I knew then that I was going to marry him. And I never, ever doubted he was simply a gift from God.

13. I am terrified of needles. Even Dr. Jim knows this and if I need a shot, he prepares me and has me lay down on the table before bringing in the nurse. I am such a baby.

14. Speaking of, how in the h-e double hockey sticks will I ever GIVE BIRTH with the above fear? I will have to be sedated for nine months. Oh my.....

15. My favorite color is pink, with yellow a close second.

16. I love my family. I am SO blessed really with the people in my life. It's wonderful.

17. Oreo, our adorable puppy dog, is like my child. I swore up and down I would never be a crazy dog lady, but oh my gosh, I totally am.

18. I wish I could wear stretchy pants every day. Man, would life be better or what?!

19. I am addicted to reading blogs. Specifically mom blogs and food blogs.

20. I love shopping. Even if I don't buy anything. It's just the thrill of the hunt!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Opinions






This is seriously what I felt like today. I have never been one to shy away from expressing my opinions. It probably gets me in trouble sometimes. But believe it or not, I am actually well educated and have smart ideas at times. However, some people don't give a rat's hiney about OTHER PEOPLE'S good ideas because it did not come from them first. Seriously, grow up. I can take a lot of things, but I cannot take someone treating me like I am stupid. That just toasts my grits!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Musings

I am so tired today! Doesn't help that I've got a lingering migraine hanging on. These headaches have got to GO. It is so miserable!

Nothing new going on here. Been a busy morning so far and I am sure it will be a busy afternoon. I am so thankful for this beautiful weather, however. It is gorgeous outside! Now, if I could manage to sneak away from work to enjoy it....

Thought of the day:





I am so guilty of this! For one, I am a very verbal person. So I tend to need to "talk" about whatever is bothering me and rationalize, plan, think through - all aloud. I am pretty sure I sometimes drive Justin crazy by rehashing the same issues over and over... 

 But I have been working lately on talking to God more. God knows the words I am thinking before they are even on my tongue (Psalm 139:4). How awesome is that! When I can't find the "right" way to pray - HE ALREADY KNOWS. I've been trying to take more quiet time to just meditate on my thoughts. To pray to my forgiving God and ask Jesus to shine His light on my path. And I tell you now, IT HAS BEEN WORKING. Whenever I start to feel anxious, scared, upset - I stop. I stop my brain from going ninety miles a minute and take a moment to be quiet. I give myself a chance to breathe, then I talk to God. I pray. I pray for calmness, understanding, peace. And just these last few days when I have REALLY been trying - God has listened. In fact, He has known before I even speak.... How great is that?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Coffee

I have decided that I shall post about my favorite morning ritual: drinking my coffee. Now, if I could pull myself out of bed somewhat early, I could probably partake in this ritual even more so than I do. But that will not happen until I probably have a screaming child forcing me to get up.... And then I will probably roll over and make their Daddy get up instead. Or Oreo. I bet he'd be awesome at tending to a hungry infant....

Anyway, I have taken to enjoying one to two cups of delicious coffee when I get into work. This is thanks in part to an awesome Christmas gift from my parents - a Keurig! Seriously, the BEST invention in the world of coffee in a long, long time.


Source: keurig.com via Claire on Pinterest


This little baby makes me so much more pleasant in the mornings! It is nothing "fancy" in the world of Keurigs, but it does the job here in my office. Just the smell of the coffee is enough to make me happier! I have tried a LOT of different flavors of coffee. I bought some of the sample packs that have five different varieties so that I can taste them before committing. But I have found a couple of brands/flavors that I am sold on.
Source: keurig.com via Claire on Pinterest


I absolutely adore the Green Mountain variety pack. It has Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Caramel Vanilla Cream, and my all-time favorite, Wild Blueberry. SO yummy!!!

Source: keurig.com via Claire on Pinterest


This chocolate glazed donut is also a big favorite. It smells delish and has the faintest hint of chocolate and glaze. Perfection! Hope this inspires someone out there from my scant following to cross over into the dark side of Keurig. We are already saving to buy a "fancier" on for the house!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Update

We had a very nice weekend, despite the fact that Justin was feeling pretty sickly. Poor guy has a seriously terrible sinus infection that popped up overnight it seems!

On Saturday morning, we had a couples massage scheduled bright and early in Cape. We try to go once a month for both our sanity, and because it really helps Justin's back. Plus it is just something we can do the two of us for a little break from reality. Then we hit up the mall and Hobby Lobby, and Target. We got some super cute new things for the house, and an adorable bistro table and chairs for our patio area. We spend that afternoon cleaning off our patio, which had become a catch-all over the winter. Now it looks so springy! I can't wait to start working in our plants - we can actually afford to really spruce them up this year. Being employed is great :)

Sunday we went to church and then came home and Justin laid around. He just felt terrible. I tried to clean and disinfect our house. Because we live off a gravel road our house stays dusty - I can dust one day, and the next it looks like I haven't dusted in MONTHS. So I always worry that contributes to sinus/allergies we both suffer from. That's why we need to move ;-) Haha!

Anyway, today is the start of another work week. Hopefully this is a good week with a lot accomplished. I think it will be. Just have to look at the bright side of life!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Getting My Learning On

Yesterday I had to get up at 5:00am to be on the road to St. Louis by 5:30am. Anyone who knows me understands how difficult this was. I am NOT a morning person by any standards. In fact, I think I would be better off working an evening shift... Or just not working :)

I had a CLE in St. Louis on trying divorce cases. It reminded me a little of first year law school. I walked in, didn't recognize anyone, and set way in the back. It was a very helpful CLE, though. I actually learned quite a lot and got some great case law.

Afterwards, I was so excited to meet up with my two very best friends from law school for lunch. It was so, so nice. I hadn't seen one of them since July and the other since September. We didn't get to chat for too long, but we caught up on the gossip and goings on.



I ran by Trader Joe's and Whole Foods before I left. It was nice to be back in my old stomping grounds for a bit. But I remembered exactly why I am a country girl. City living is not for me!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yellow Pants

Today I am wearing yellow skinny jeans. First, let me say I said I would NEVER wear skinny jeans. Broke that rule a while back... Along with the whole "never wear jeggings" OR "leggings aren't a substitute for pants." Whatevs. I like to be comfy yet stylish. Second, let me say I said I would NEVER wear colored pants. Again, broke that rule.




Something about these pants just make me HAPPY. It's like wearing a burst of sunshine on your hiney. So fun =)

 I am by no means a fashionista. I mainly go for clothes that are comfortable, yet stylish. Most days I can't wear super fun outfits because I need to be court appropriate. But let me tell you, on days that I can, I totally go for comfy!

Feeling better today. Yesterday my tummy was a little unsettled. Felt like it was fizzy? I don't know what that was about. I like to contribute it to allergies. Blame everything on allergies this time a year. Cranky?? It's my allergies. Bloated? It's my allergies. Hateful? It's my allergies! Hehe.

I'm really hoping I can talk Jay into going for another walk tonight. We went for about 45 minutes last night and it was so, so nice. We just talked, caught up on our day, and chatted. With no TV or Oreo needing attention. We looked at some nice homes in a subdivision close to ours and decided which ones we would jump on if they were put on the market. I think that is always fun to do - just dream about what you want or don't want in a future house.

Our list of wants, you ask? In no particular order:
  1. large yard, at least 2 acres
  2. Large master bedroom/bathroom suite with LARGE closets (we have a LOT of clothes)
  3. Open, updated kitchen
  4. Updated bathrooms
  5. Clean, updated flooring - don't want to have to rip out floors, put down tile/hardwood, ect.
  6. At least 4-5 bedrooms, 3 baths
Those hit the main points. Our hope is that the next home we buy, will be our home for a long time. So we want plenty of room for lots and lots of babies and kids!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Expectations




Ah, yes. This explains a lot!

The hubs and I were having a conversation about this the other evening. First, I must stop and say that it is pretty awesome to be able to talk through sensitive issues with your partner, without anyone becoming upset, and actually finding some peace and resolution.

But that is neither here nor there. And my issues aren't about him :) Thankfully.

Anywho, I tend to have "unrealistic" expectations about what I expect from others. Which means, I set myself up to have hurt feelings or to be offended. It's not always the other person's fault, if they are TRYING to the best of their ability.

On the other hand, I am such a nurturer. Honestly, a lot of people call me only when they need something. Or when something goes wrong. Because they know I won't turn them down or say I can't help. It is usually quite the opposite - I jump in and do everything I can.

So I end up expecting people to do the same for me, because I am willing (and often do) it for them. I expect more from a lot of the people close to me than I actually get back.

And that hurts. It is sad. But I need to remember that I don't do these things because I expect it to be returned. Yet, when I actually DO need something, or am having a bad day, it would be nice to know I could call them and have support or help.

Sometimes I just struggle. I often feel like I am being used. Maybe I need to stand up for myself. I don't really know the answer. Maybe if just once I said "Actually, I can't help. You only call me when you need me to do something, and that hurts," I would stop having this problem.

But we all know I'll never work up the nerve to say THAT :)

Our Wedding... It's All in the Details

I thought I would do a post about the planning and little details of our wedding. Because some day, when more than five people read this blog, someone may be looking for some wedding planning tips.

As far as a "theme" we knew that we wanted classic fall. I wanted the flowers, decor, and little touches to softly portray that warmth, homey feeling of my favorite season!

As we were thinking about flowers, I had found a few types that I pinned to remember:


Source: google.com via Claire on Pinterest
Source: google.com via Claire on Pinterest




Those little bits of inspiration turned into this:


Some of the 'bouts


My flowers - orange lilies, green irises, purple lilies, red sunflowers, green buttons, deep purple roses.

Flower Girls - mini sunflowers balls, MOH and Maids - yellow sunflowers, orange lilies, purple irises.
 As far as the decorations inside the church, we knew again we wanted to focus on fall foliage but also incorporate in some way the theme of "love birds."

We had beautiful candelabras at the front of the church, which I was in LOVE with!



We played off the "love bird" theme by using ornate black scroll bird cages as pew markers, and in the church windows.




One of my FAVORITE special touches was a hand painted aisle runner, that matched a custom stamp we used on the front of the programs and on our thank-you notes.


We also hired wedding planners for the day. That was, hands down, the best decision we ever made. They took care of everything - from beginning to end. It was marvelous. I would recommend Lukefield Events hands down!

The decorations at the reception carried out the theme. We focused on fall colors and foliage, along with bringing pops of the deep plum of the bridesmaid dresses. We had to buy and rent very little - most we were able to borrow!

With the lights on

A view from the top

Candelabra Centerpiece

Candle Centerpiece

Head Table

Close Up

Head Table

Floral Arrangements flanking dance floor
We also wanted a simple, elegant cake. I have to say, this original design filled that order!



As for my beautiful dress, I bought it from Brides by Demetrios. There was a retail store in St. Louis I was able to buy from. It was a great experience all around, and I thought my dress was perfect. I wore my Mom's veil she wore when she married my Dad. How sweet is that!

Front View

Back View - train is detachable
You are also supposed to have something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, right? Obviously my new was my dress...

My old was my Mom's veil.....


Something borrowed was my Mom's dear friend, Mary Anne's, mother's pearls....


And finally something blue - a handkerchief from my "adopted" Grandma.....







Our rings were something I was very proud of as well. Justin saved for YEARS (honestly) to buy me a jaw-dropping ring set. For someone who was living off a teacher's salary, this was a huge feat. I will forever be grateful to him for this. While I in no way, shape or form expected this, it was still a wonderful and touching surprise. I had Justin's ring custom made out of his Grandma's wedding set. Had to add a few more touches of bling, but I think it turned out as gorgeous as mine!



Hope that gives a little inspiration out there to someone! Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions about vendors, themes or ideas!


** all professional photos provided by Tyson Zahner Photography **