Thursday, October 19, 2017

Amber's Wedding

This weekend was an eventful weekend in Dallas!  True story, I hardly took any pictures of this wedding.  It's hard when you are wearing a dress and don't have your purse.

I drove up on Friday afternoon and met everyone (bridal party) at a local restaurant for dinner. We got our bouquets and a cute bridesmaid makeup bag filled with goodies.

The guys went out for the bachelor party, but we all just went home. I suggested a sleepover, but Amber was too tired and had a lot of wedding stuff to do.  Funny story:  After she turned down our pre-wedding bridesmaid sleepover, she said "maybe tomorrow night" but we all (including David, the groom) looked at her like she was crazy because that would be her wedding night. She was like "oh yeah".  Really?  LOL.

The next morning we were up bright and early.  Clarissa was in charge of making the cake and I was to help decorations at the park.  Let me back up:  So Amber's dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer so they moved the wedding up from December to October (there may be a 2nd wedding that is bigger in December) so her dad could walk her down the aisle.  At the time she told us, she wasn't sure where she wanted the wedding to be so I started looking at local parks to suggest because her mind was elsewhere.  I found Samuell Farm in Forney, TX that is about 10 minutes from her dad's house and it would be an easy drive for him. Amber loved the idea because she used to go there as a kid all the time.

I got to the park about 8:30 AM and we hunted for the perfect location for the ceremony.  She had three locations in mind and she narrowed it down to one under a beautiful tree.  The only problem was that she wanted lights wrapped around the tree but there was no power source.  We located a power source but it was faaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrr from the tree.  Long story short, we spent 4 hours wrapping the tree and more time hunting for extension cords to light up the tree.  But it was zero hour and we still could not find enough power cords and were about 50 feet short.  No lights.  Sigh.  I mean, I got ant bites from that friggin' tree everywhere for nothing!  The picture above was just of the lights but we also added tulle around them so it was a softer look.  No pictures though, darn it.

The wedding turned out awesome, the bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome in his military uniform.  The ceremony was short and sweet so we headed to a local mexican restaurant for dinner.

Clarissa made the cake and the rest of the bridesmaids helped add the flowers.  Amber really liked a cake that was similar to this one so Clarissa made it with flowers we could find locally..

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

MK Museum Tour

On my final day in Dallas I decided to go to the Mary Kay Museum inside the headquarters.  I had tried to go when I was in Dallas last time and a few other times before that, but it just never happened or they were closed.  This time=Success!

The museum is open during regular business hours and I heard there was a cafeteria you could eat at, so I decided go right before lunch.  You walk in from the visitors parking and you see this graphic on the wall.  What a great thing to see first hand!

The museum is on the first floor and you walk in to a beautiful portrait of Mary Kay and her son, Richard Rogers. 

There are all types of articles in frames, old products on display, even pictures of when records were broken.  There is a National Sales Director (highest level) gallery with all of their portraits.  Outside there is a "Wall of Leaders" with each sales directors name on a brick that creates a wall.  I didn't go out there but I got the general idea from the door. ;)

I went to lunch in the cafeteria and said bye to two ladies that I had met while in the museum.  They said that they were going on a tour of Mary Kay's office and I so wanted to go too.  The security guard said I could come along if I wanted to off we went!! 

Mary Kay's office was/is on the 13th floor, her lucky/favorite number.  She died in 2001 and they left it exactly like it was when she was last in there.  I may or may not have opened a desk drawer and peeked in side.  OK, so I did (with permission)!  Inside the drawers were her actual things like files, notes from consultants, nick names, etc.  In the curio cabinets are tons of porcelain items.  The tour guide pointed out that Mary Kay  thought one of them was too pale, so she added makeup too it. I didn't get a picture of that though. Next time. :)

I got to hold her feather pen too!

She had a round couch and a two way desk so she was always equal to that person, not above them.  She wanted everyone to feel included at all times.  The chandelier is so pretty in person and the bird was a gift from her husband, Mel Ash.

They even let us peak in her bathroom.  Her old cosmetics were just sitting on the vanity, waiting to be used.  They were formulas and bottles from way back before 2001 and the tour guide said they were her actual ones.  Pretty cool.

She left no detail out.  Even her bathroom wallpaper had little bees and MK's on it.  Sorry for the bad picture!  You know you're super fancy when you have custom wallpaper.

I had to get one last selfie before I left. I'm so glad that I was able to tour the museum and her office.I didn't feel rushed at all and could truly take in all that I was seeing without anyone keeping time.  Just seeing all the old memorabilia, I could get a feel of the impact she had on many generations.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Texas State Fair

Since I was already in Dallas for the weekend, I wanted to go to the Texas State Fair!  It's a bucket list item of mind and each year I miss it.  Clarissa offered to go with me and her boyfriend Michael was also supposed to go, but he had to back out at the last minute.

We took the train down to the fair and were able to get in immediately since we bought tickets online.  We got a package for two tickets plus 100 ride/food coupons but still ended up buying an additional 40 tickets.  

They had this cool map that you could add a dot to show where you were from.  Look at all those dots!

After the shooting in Vegas, I was hesitant to go in a big crowd again, but there was a ton of security presence at the fair.  Even on the rooftops!

We were hungry when we got there and decided to try different things but split them so we could each try more.  I got a shrimp on a stick for 14 tickets that was NOT worth it.  It was three tiny shrimp covered in a sauce (the sauce was good) but not worth the equivalent of $7.  Clarissa got fried waffle covered strawberries that were delicious!  It was a strawberry covered in chocolate, dipped in waffle batter and then fried.  YUM!

Next we walked around and I entered a few contests that I hope I win. LOL.  Someone's has to win, why can't it be me?!?!  We tried Maple Bacon Margaritas that were basically a regular margaritas with bacon bits on top.  So far I wasn't too impressed by the eatin' at this fair.  

I even saw Big Tex!

We went shopping next and then ate some more.  I mean, come on, you have to eat at a fair!  Our last and final food was a Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger and Fried Deviled Eggs.  Those two were awesome!  The deviled eggs fell apart but were still delicious!!  They were more of a chicken fried steak type of batter, rather than a funnel cake type batter.  The burger was a perfect blend of sweet and salty.  Props to the creators of those items.

We walked around some more and I was honestly looking for one of those throw a ping pong ball into a jar to win a gold fish game, but apparently those aren't a thing anymore.  So I had to ride at least one ride so I slide down the giant slide.  It was faaaaaar up and I got kind of scared of heights.  It was fun though.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Vegas, Part 2

Saturday was like a 10 AM wakeup.  We were all exhausted from the night before and we didn't need to be anywhere until 3 PM.  Some of us went to get Starbucks and pizza, others stayed sleeping.  We are old ladies, people!

At 2:30 we left to walk to Planet Hollywood for our Stripper 101 class. This class was AWESOME!  I loved it.  We learned how to do a strip tease/lap dance plus we worked the pole.  So fun.  Our instructor was an ex-stripper in LA and Vegas and she showed us some moves and even taught us how to hustle for more $$.  We were clearly there as a joke class, but she made it interesting and gave us useful tips to do for our man. :)  At the end of the class she showed us some upside down acrobatic pole tricks that had us all in shock at how good she was!  I didn't realize how athletic strippers need to be.

We could all take pictures at the end, just not during class for privacy of everyone.

We even each got our own Stripper license. :)  My stage name is Ruby, by the way.  We could choose whatever stage name we wanted and if we needed help, there was a list to choose from.

After the class we went back to the hotel to change for dinner, zip-lining and Chippendale's.  Saturday was a packed day!  We got dressed (we wore the shirts my sister made) and I even wore false eyelashes for the first time ever!!!!!  I really look like my mom in this picture.

We decided to go to Downtown Vegas' Container Park area for dinner.  Container Park is an area that is made up entirely of shipping containers as the buildings.  It has restaurants and shops that you can visit and even has a huge playground for the kiddos.  We all went down the slides at the park after dinner.  It is only about a 3-5 minute walk from Container Park to the entrance to Downtown Vegas' Freemont Street.

The zipline we did was called, Slotzilla.  You can go during the day or the evening, but we chose the evening to zip past all the lights that are blinking everywhere!  We got our ziplining wristbands and went up the steps at our designated time.  We got fitted for harnesses and walked a zillion stairs to the platform.  There was a huge crowd there and it turns out it was for a Chevelle concert.  I didn't know who they were, but apparently they were a big deal.

They hooked us up to the wire and had us walk down some stairs and sit back into the harness.  They said, "Have fun" and let us go.  We made it to the concert and the crowd cheered for us as we zipped by.  So cool.  Only 6 of us (out of 7) did the zipline, the 7th person took pictures (she's afraid of heights).

After ziplining we had to book it to the Rio for the Chippendale's performance.  We made it on time and were seated in the back (the balcony-which isn't really a balcony, it's just the back row). We had free tickets so we couldn't really complain where we were seated.  The seats were still good and we could see everything.  I think we were loud enough and clapping a lot so we got moved up to the front of the room to some vacant seats!!!

Amber got to go onstage (not saying what she did *wink) and we all cheered for her.

I love Chippendale's because it was more of a show vs just strippers.  I mean, I feel so dirty holding dollar bills making them work for it.  Having tickets and dance routines classed it up a little bit.

At the end they told us to take a selfie and post it with #Chippendales and one of us would be chosen as the winner.   Can anyone guess who was the winner....ME!!!!!  I won a poster, a blinky light up necklace thing, a compact (I think, I haven't opened it yet), and lanyard.  I gave the poster back to the gift shop because, honestly, what am I going to do with a Chippendale's poster?  Calendar, maybe, but not a poster.  Sorry guys.

We wanted to take the shuttle to the Flamingo from the Rio but the shuttle driver was rude so we took a Lyft. They had given us a $10 play match (play $10 and get $10) so three of us played my $10 and agreed to split whatever we won.  Clarissa suggested we play the $20 on "ODD" since there were an odd number of us.  We doubled our $$ so we came out with $40.  I took my original $10 back, we used $10 for the Lyft ride, and we split the other $20.  Easy $30!!
Ever since seeing that movie, Big, I wanted to get my fortune out of one of those Zoltar "fortune telling" machines.  We saw one at The Rio on the same floor as Chippendale's and three of us got our "fortune".  Mine was all about travel.  Hmm.  I love travel!!

After the show we went back and did some other "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" stuff.  Sunday was spent cleaning up all the crepe paper, popping balloons, and eating the last of the jell-o shots.

Four of them left at 9:30 AM and three of us stayed behind until our flights.  I was the only one that was leaving that evening, the other two girls were staying an additional night.  I just walked the strip and hung out the next day until my flight time.  Before I left the Flamingo, I put $10 in a slot machine and I lost money down to $4 but I did it one more time and won $17 something.  I tried one more time and lost down to $16.05 and then cashed out.  I figured $6 in winnings was better than none.  I knew I wanted to play Roulette so I found a table and played a few times.  I won all the way up to $27 and used that money to have lunch at the Flamingo Hotel buffet (not worth it).

My flight left at 7:55 PM and I got home right as the shootings (or just after) were happening.  That is the closest I have ever been (or ever hope to be) to a terrorist event.  The other girls in our group that stayed behind were in the hotel before the shootings happened and had no idea anything was happening until the next morning when they woke up to our texts.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Vegas, Baby!

First, I want to say that I am so sad about the events that happened in Vegas this weekend.  It is so sad that there are sickos in the world that hurt innocent people based on their own head issues.  I am trying really not let this be the bad experience to my trip, but it made the trip end on a sad note. I received lots of calls and texts from friends and family that knew I was there this weekend and who wanted to make sure I was OK. I flew out at 8 PM, Vegas time, and the events didn't happen til 10:00ish.  There were two women in our group (out of 7) who stayed that night and we couldn't get a hold of them, but luckily they were just sleeping and had no idea what had happened.

This is as close to a national tragedy that I have ever been, or ever hope to be.  I can't keep from watching all the news broadcasts and internet stories because I was almost in the general area.  I know if I would have stayed another night there (like two girls from our group did), I would have made my way to the Mirage Casino to watch the volcano explode, then head to the Bellagio to watch the fountains and go further down the strip towards that direction. I know this because I was thinking that on Sunday afternoon when I was getting ready to leave the strip to head to the airport.  It was, "If my plane wasn't leaving until late I would..." sort of thoughts and I know I would have been in the general area, not necessarily at the concert though.  I don't know, but this has really gotten into my brain and makes me not want to go anywhere in large crowds or take my niece/nephews there either.  I know that is letting the enemy win, but I can't help it.

On Friday I woke up bright and early to get dressed and head to the Hobby Airport for my Southwest Airlines flight (I love Southwest!).  I made it to Vegas about 9:30 AM and met Clarissa in baggage claim. We couldn't check in until 1 PM so we dropped off our bag, ate a nice Brunch at Hexx and walked the Strip.
This was basically Clarissa to get us free Chippendale's tickets. LMAO.

We checked in and were walking to the elevators and a guy at a desk stopped us what we were there for and we told him a bachelorette party.  He asked if we wanted free show tickets and my mind instantly flew to timeshares.  Yep, it was a timeshare presentation but there were free Chippendale's tickets on the line...we quickly signed up!  Haha.  Actually Clarissa is the only one who went because we were running out of time and had to get the room decorated.  She didn't want to go by herself but since it was a 2 hour presentation, we didn't have time for us both to go. I just told her what the standard procedure was and how to say no.  If you can stay strong and keep repeating the no, you will get your "reward" of whatever you choose.  It turns out the presentation lasted about 3 hours and she got there about 30 minutes before everyone else did.  If you ask Clarissa, she will tell you that three hours was worth it!

Meanwhile, I decorated the room with all the crafts that we made.  I waited to do the streamers because Clarissa wanted to help decorate too.  I blew up balloons, set out the shirts and the rest of hte crafts for each person in their own pile.  It turned out super cute!!

Amber had her own little chair for her stuff.

I made a door sign for both doors and throughout the weekend you could hear people talking about our sign and our bachelorette party.  One day we were all in the hallway when another group came by and said, "Hey it's Amber's bachelorette party crew.  Which one of you is Amber?"  haha.  I'm glad the whole floor new us. :)

That night one of the girls in our group was able to get us free club entrance with a table and bottle service.  Now, I had NO IDEA how expensive that was but let me tell you, WOW!  To get it in was about $50-$100 each person and the table itself was $5,000.  Yes, you read the number of zeros correctly.  The club was a beautiful spot on the rooftop of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Casino.  You had to go up stairs through a big room and up an elevator to get to the nightclub.  It was so pretty being that high up and seeing all the Strip lights.

The table came with a free bottle of Vodka + mixers so we all had a few drinks.  We inquired how much another bottle was, but it turns out bottle service is VERY pricey.  I'm talking about $495 for a bottle of Tito's Vodka.  I couldn't believe it and wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen the menu.  Here's a pic if you don't believe me.  WTF?!?!?!?!

We danced for a while and then left to go back to the hotel to change shoes.  Some people went back out and others (like me!) fell asleep.  I figured I made my appearance (and even danced) at a club so I did my bachelorette party duties.

Part Two is coming up including all of the Saturday festivities!  Saturday was SO FUN!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Four Friends Tea Room Pearland

I went to lunch with my friend Tracey a few weeks ago and we went to the cutest tea room in Pearland, Four Friends Tea Room.  The menu selection was excellent and I have been wanting to go back there every since!

Tracy is actually hosting her daughters baby shower there and I thought that is a perfect location!

The restaurant is in what looks like an old home and converted into a restaurant.  You walk in and there is a little waiting area and also a small gift shop to purchase gifts or your favorite teas.

There is even a doll high chair and doll outfits!  Too cute.

I had the sampler platter that included sandwiches,pasta salad and the most amazing bread pudding EVER!!  OMG, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I don't like hot drinks in general so I just got some iced tea that was delicious.  
Seriously, go there if you can!  The hours are on the website and I would for sure recommend going.  Try and get there early because it gets pretty busy and the parking lot (which is super small) fills up quickly.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Bachelorette Weekend Crafts

Guess where I'm going this weekend?!?!?!?!  VEGAS, BABY!!  So my friend from college, Amber, asked me to be a bridesmaid for her December wedding.  When I went to her engagment party in February, we discussed going to Vegas for the party but that seemed SO FAR away.  Well, the time has come and I'm heading out on Friday morning.  Whoo hooo.

We made shirts, a pink cup, and a bachelorette sash for Amber to wear.  Even though what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, I will at least post pics of everyone using these fun items! :)

Also, these items ARE available for purchase if you want us (me and my sis) to make one for you or someone you know. We don't have an Etsy store (yet), but we can at least accept PayPal.

The Sash
Have you ever seen the fugly bachelorette party sashes at the party store? They are all of fringe and scratchy fabric!  I looked on Etsy but they are are all $20+ (for the cute ones), so we just decided to make them ourselves.  I bought ribbon from Hobby Lobby for $3.99 and used my sisters Silhouette to make the "Bride to Be" and diamond cutouts.  Easy peasy.  We chose white lace ribbon so that she can also wear it at her bridal shower.  Also, there weren't too many options of lace ribbon that are wide enough to be used for a sash, at Hobby Lobby that is.  If I had had more time to order the lace ribbon online, I'm sure I could have found other colors.
The letters look red, but they are actually hot pink and glitter.  

I didn't want to lug my sewing machine out just to stitch three inches of fabric, so I just got a big safety pin and added these cute rhinestone letters to it that I also found at Hobby Lobby.  I pushed the safety pin in, added a letter, re-pushed the safety pin and added the other two letters so they would be two separate words.  Simple!

The Shirts
We voted on some shirts that we liked via ideas on Pinterest and other sources and chose "I got the Hubby" for Amber and "We got the bubbly" for everyone else.  The shirts online didn't use glitter vinyl, but, it's Vegas, so we had to go all out with the glitter.

My sister designed the shirts and did awesome on them!  I love the cursive font that she used.  Super cute.  Laura has a really good eye for design and I'm so glad she is able to help me so I can  make cute things on a budget.

The Cups
The cups were just a fun extra that we made for everyone.  I found these cute pink cups at the Dollar Tree that were there for pink cancer awareness.  They had the toughest sticker on them that I had to use goo gone to actually get it off the cup.

I had originally wanted everyone's monogram, but honestly monograms are a pain in the rear to make!  I made an executive decision to just have the first initial instead.  There are two "S" people in the group so I just made two different "S" font shapes and the other S can choose which one she wants.  I like both so it doesn't matter to me which cup I get.

I liked the pink but didn't want the cup just to be used for the weekend, I wanted it to be used all the time, so I made it with floral paper. I added the leftover lace fabric for an extra touch, even though that won't stay on all weekend.  The cups aren't super fancy cups (since they came from the Dollar store), but I figured they are a cute touch that we can use to pre-game before we go out on the town.

I know that we will be short on time so I tried to get everything done before we go!  Clarissa and I get there at 10 AM on Friday and everyone else gets there between 5-9 PM. We can't get into the hotel rooms until 1 PM, so we only have a few hours to get everything decorated before she gets there.

Another craft that we will have to see if it works:  HOTEL ROOM JELL-O SHOTS. haha.  I will let you know if that works out. :)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Great Flood by Harvey

You might have heard that we had a little storm here called, Hurricane Harvey.  We dodged the actual hurricane winds, but we got the rain from it.  In fact, we got 6 months of rain in 4 days.  The Bayou City (Houston's nickname) was flooded.

Houston is designed to flood because we aren't too far above sea level.  We have a series of bayous and canals to help drain water, but when you get that much rain (some areas 50+ inches) in so little time, we are destined to flood.

My friend said that everyone should just move from there since we are prone to flooding, but I disagree.  In any area of the country you are destined to have some sort of weather or natural disaster.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards, sand storms, hail, tornadoes, volcanoes, tsunamis, etc plaque the Earth in all areas.  Each region does what it can to minimize the damage of Mother Nature in its area.  This was a once in 800 years flood, should someone not live here because it floods this bad (percentage wise) in 800 years?

Now, part of Houston's problem is that we are growing so quickly and we are taking out trees to add concrete in its place.  The buildings and new developments are supposed to add retention ponds/drainage but it has not been enough.  Couple that with 50+ inches of rain in all areas of the city, you will get a lot of damage.


So, now that I explained my wonderful city (I really do love my hometown), let me tell you my experiences during the storm.

I heard the news reports of the storm but I thought it was going to be over and done with super quickly like the other storms we have had.  I don't think anyone was prepared for the amount of devastation we had.  If we had not had the wonderful volunteers in their fishing boats come to save people, we would have had a ton more fatalities.

I headed to work like I normally do on Friday morning and had just got there.  I got a call saying that we were closed for the day, so I headed to my parents house to wait out the storm because my area tends to flood a little and I didn't want my car to be in danger.  My dad got groceries and we were just watching the news freak out.  They really had no clue either though.
We brought the pool things inside so they wouldn't blow away.  Naturally we ate donuts with our babies and stuffed animals in it while having a picnic.

Then it kept raining and kept raining and kept raining.  My parents live in the Spring, TX area and we (they) are on the highest part of the subdivision on a "lake" (retention pond) so they weren't in danger.  The back of the neighborhood did flood though and it was actually the retention pond that overflowed into the neighborhood.  We couldn't get out of the neighborhood because all of the entrances were flooded. Well, I couldn't with my tiny car but my dad could with his truck if we needed to get out.

Kali and I would take walks in our rain boots and with our umbrellas just to get out of the house.  We all were going stir crazy.  My dad is a police officer and was required to work 12 hour shifts during an emergency like this.  He would give reports as to what was happening and get supplies when we needed them (like wine! haha).  His work friend lives in the subdivision that was evacuated because of the levee and she stayed with us from Sunday through Thursday in fear of the levee breaking and she not being able to evacuate safely/quickly with her two animals.

What I learned this week:  1.  HEB is an AWESOME company that does great things.  I already knew this but now I am even more sure.  2.  Gallery Furniture is very giving and I have found a store where I will forever buy furniture.  3.  The USA (or at least Texas) is not as divided and hateful as the media portrays/wants us to be.  We came together to save people because they are people, not because of their political party or skin color.

Eventually we turned off the news because the devastation and desperation was just too much.  Imagine being stuck inside your house with your air conditioner, power, warm/dry bed and seeing your fellow Houstonians (and neighbors) going through devastation for four days straight.  Seeing little children and animals being rescued off house and car roofs will get to you. And it wasn't just one set of people, it was THOUSANDS that had to be rescued via boat.  Imagine seeing a group of elderly women at a nursing home, just sitting in waist deep flood water, waiting on someone to save them-one lady looked like she was knitting.  It reminded me of the scene in the Titantic where the people who were trapped below were just riding on exercise bikes waiting for the waters to get there.  Awful!  Luckily, once the picture was shared, they were rescued very quickly.

Finally, on Wednesday,  I was able to get out of the neighborhood and went to Target.  I walked in and the smell of coffee wafted my direction.  I bolted to Starbucks and treated myself to a Venti Latte instead of my normal Grande. While ordering I said to the cashier, "this feels so normal but weird at the same time." I was walking around Target for over an hour just doing "normal" things that I do every day.  Then just as you focus on towels or bedding, you hear a helicopter flying overhead going to rescue someone.  I could push out all the negative thoughts out of my head for a little while and focus on something other than flood water but then something would remind me that things weren't normal.  I felt like in the movies when there is aliens around and only certain people know it or when the FBI is doing surveillance (in the movies) and they are pretending to be street sweepers or something, but all the while they have an ear piece in listening.  I felt that way in Target like something wasn't right.

It sounds so trivial, I get it, but it's true.  I think some call it survivors guilt.  Like, why were we not flooded?  What does God want us to do to help since we weren't flooded?  We were blessed for sure.  A lot of people I know were flooded and at least three of my extended family members got water in their house.  This storm did not discriminate against the rich or poor, it hit everyone.

Houston saved each other.  There are only so many First Responders in the area and it was so flooded that the National Guard was having a hard time getting to us.  Luckily there are wonderful and brave people in Houston that came to each others rescue with their fishing boats.  It would have been a mess with, unfortunately, a lot more casualties if these volunteers wouldn't have stepped up.  Houston will have to do something very soon to help lesson this problem in the future.  We are growing too quickly and adding too much concrete for the city to sustain itself and not flood again.

On Joel Osteen-I am not a fan of him, but I will give the guy (and his team) a break on this one.  It's hard to set up an emergency shelter at the snap of your fingers.  You have to have a plan in place, you can't just have people walking in willy nilly.  Some people just want to blame others and hate on Christians.  He DID open his doors, maybe just not on "someone" else's timeline.  Check yourself, what are YOU doing for the victims of the flood?  If we all do the good works (even if they are small) they will add up to big works and help the city.  It's not only up to one church to fulfill the burden just because "you" say so.

That's all for now.  I just needed to get my thoughts out.  If you made it this far, congrats, this post was long! :)   I hope you or anyone you love affected by Harvey.  Let's all work together to rebuild.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Garden Update

So, I had to kill my garden yesterday.  Well, my garden technically was dead but I buried the remainder in a trash can.  I don't know if it was the flood, bugs/snails or something else, but it wasn't looking too hot.

I had been out of town at my parents house during the flood and came back to a mess.  My garden looked like it had been eaten by something but then again it hadn't.  I don't know.

The carrot leaves used to stand straight up and be really bushy, but then they started to droop and get brown.  I pulled one up and it was mushy.  It might have been eaten or it might have just gotten too soggy in all the rain we have gotten but it was gross. I pulled a few more up and they were all the same.  Bye, bye, carrots.

The broccoli was barren of leaves so I pulled it up and it came out of the ground super easy, like the roots weren't alive anymore.  Bye, bye broccoli.

Radishes and beets were long gone but the few remaining ones looked not edible.  Bye.

The green onions were alive and kicking, but they needed to be picked anyway.  They were promptly added to salads.

The tomatoes were originally in pots but they looked sickly and yellow, so in early May I added them to the ground where they died.  (Sad face!)

There was a cucumber plant that magically appeared on the outside of the garden.  I'm not sure where it came from because I didn't have any of those seeds.  It was probably left over from the year before or something.  Back in late June it was eaten by a bug (I don't use pesticides) and died.

Back in June I added a black netting above the garden to help with the heat, but I guess it didn't work or maybe it worked too well?  I do't know.  I need to take a gardening class pronto.

So, that's the story of my 2017 garden.  It's sad but this wasn't a successful year for my gardening thumb.

Tomatoes: 6
Radishes:  36
Carrots:  1
Beets:  2
Green Onions:  10 (all regrowth from ones we had already used)
Broccoli:  0
Cucumber:  1

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Spilling Coffee

I read this on a blog and I wanted to share the story because it is an awesome life lesson that we can all learn from.

Credit:  Jamie Taylor from the blog post, "When Life Shakes You".
 My mom was always there to lovingly show me that my behavior was a mirror image of what was going on in my heart. It didn’t matter how sweet I was a school or around my friends… my family was there enough to see the ugliness bubble up. I wasn’t very cute when things didn’t go according to my perfectly laid out plans.

She shared this analogy with me and I’ll never forget it:

You are holding a cup of coffee and someone comes along and shoves you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee?

"Well because someone shook me, of course!" While that would be the initial response for most of us, it’s the wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because coffee was in the cup. If tea had been in it, you would have spilled tea. Whatever was inside the cup is what will come out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you, whatever is inside of your heart will come out of you in that moment and show your true colors. It's easy to fake it until you get rattled. And let’s be clear, we will get definitely get shaken.

So we have to ask ourselves.... what's in my cup? When life gets tough, what spills over? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and actions?

Whatever the heck is in there will come out. Some way or another, life will shake us up bad enough to let that ugliness slosh out of our coffee cups and leave stains all over the perfect image we try to create.

During these adolescent years I also watched my mom. You see life wasn’t perfect at home. We can dive into that later because that’s another blog post for another day. LOL. All I gotta say is that I watched my mom as things SERIOUSLY didn’t go according to plan. I’m talking life-altering, cry-in-the-closet-so-the-kids-don’t-hear-you, get-on-your-knees-and-pray-every-morning kind of pain.  But I've watched her through all the wreckage and I saw what spilled out. Love, gratitude, worship, humility, grace, trust, hope, faith.

I want that kind of coffee in my cup.