Thursday, December 6, 2007

And I'm spent...

This will be my final "catch-up" blog for those of you whose lives seemed hollow over the past 3 months due to my blogging sabbatical. I will wrap up the happenings of last month with brief summaries on my sister's b-day & the JPII Homecoming.

Michelle's 28th Birthday

Yes, it's official, Michelle has just 2 years left before she enters middle age! Therefore, we celebrated with margaritas (and a festive cake prepared by yours truly) at Blue Goose (shocker) and a little dancing (with a side of cougar hunting) at Martini Park. The band was hot, but we were hotter...or something like that. We had a great time and even got to experience the wondrous feats performed by an in-house magician, Marty.

In what seems to be a tradition, we followed up the party Saturday night with a little family brunch at Blue Mesa. For those of you who have yet to partake in a belt-busting brunch at Blue Mesa, I highly recommend you imbibe as soon as you get the chance (just make sure you don't eat a single thing before you go. You'll need all the stomach space you can spare). Anyway, I had to work Open House at school right after, but was able to join the party at its completion where a rousing game of Scattergories went down -- can you guess the winner?

Here are some pics:

JPII Homecoming

The first week of November marked JPII's 1st "real" Homecoming (the first time there could actually be alumni returning to the school for the game). The theme was "Back to the Future," so each day of the week marked a different decade. The week was capped off with a pep rally which was attended by my sister & Haylee. It was so fun to have them there to witness something I had put together, and of course, I was so proud of my little niece who had a blast jamming out the band. After the pep rally, the cheerleaders (and I) had a little party where we watched "License to Wed" and ate take-out from Cheesecake Factory. The next day was the Homecoming game where we got slaughtered...such a shame. Anyway, here are some pics!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Round 2

Happy Friday friends! It is that glorious day when everything seems to be right in this world. The day that puts all other days to shame. Yes, it's Friday and nothing can bring me down...oh, except having to teach in about 15 minutes, but other than that...

Anyway, in an effort to proceed onward and forward with the happenings of my life over the past 3 months, I will keep these "updates" (if you will) as brief as possible.

Family birthdays

Between weeks filled with football games, volleyball games, pep rallies, team events, open houses, and the like, I celebrated my "halfway to 50" birthday, Haylee's 1st birthday, my sister's b-day and my mom's birthday.

In order to get me ready for my birthday celebration, Hailey surprised me with a shopping trip to Forever 21 where she bought me my birthday dress, earrings and necklace. It was totally unexpected and so sweet of her...much too generous! I had big plans for my birthday this year. We were going to begin with dinner at Jasper's (one of my favorites) and then dance the night away to the vocal stylings of TOP at Martini Park. Well, let's just say that dinner was a bit too good and I failed to make it for any of TOP. My apologies, again, go out to those that joined me for the celebration. Nonetheless, it was really special having my friends help me celebrate the passing (or beginning) of another year. Here are some pics:

I celebrated my "real birthday" the next day with a gluttonous brunch at Blue Mesa and just chilled with my family all day. I was also treated to a cassata birthday cake which was amazing, and really the best birthday present a girl could ask for!

Moving on, it was Haylee's turn next, and I think her birthday party put everyone else's to shame! She had a "Backyardigans" themed party, and my sis did an amazing job planning, organizing and hosting the birthday bash. Her house was totally themed out, and there was even a miniature bounce house which was a definite hit with all the kids. The cake turned out perfect and I assisted the event with my culinary skills. To go with the outdoor theme, I made ants on a log and PB&Js in the shaped of butterflies and flowers. Haylee got a ton of fun toys and cute clothes. She especially liked the Backyardigans DVD that her Aunt Rachie gave her! Here are some pics:

Alright friends, that's all of have time for today. I have a dance class in my room just dying to get started. Happy Friday again to you all! Until next time, keep it classy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I may be down, but I'm not out!

Greetings to my fellow bloggers and blog readers!

My apologies for taking about a 3-month leave of absence from my blog post. As I so accurately predicted, my life has not been my own since we last met. Those summer days of blogging between trips to the pool are but a distant memory to me, but I decided I had deprived you (my 1 reader - I know you're out there) long enough.
Yes my friends, it has been far too long since I last regaled you with the sordid details of my glamorous life. Allow me to bring you "up to speed" on the nitty gritty story that happens to be my life. So much (and yet so little) has happened since we last met. In order to expedite the process, I will divide the past 3 months into a few sections (with helpful headings to follow along).
Brooke & Freeland's wedding (September)

I had the distinct honor of participating in the union of my dear friend Brooke and her now husband, Freeland. It was such a fun and special weekend, and I am so grateful I got to be a part of everything.

We arrived on Friday night for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (which included super yummy food courtesy of their awesome neighbors). Everything went very smoothly and we got to go back to Brooke's that night for her lingerie shower. She got some really cute stuff and my menu idea (which was done for Kori) was a real hit!

The next day we did lunch at the Earle Harrison House and just hung out until the wedding started. It was really nice to just be with everyone. I really enjoyed all of Brooke's friends from school! Anyway, the actual wedding was really beautiful and they could not have picked a better location. Being outdoors with the trees and the perfect green grass, it was amazing! Brooke looked absolutely gorgeous, and again, I loved her dress! I, of course, was a crying fool, but that seems to be pretty much "par for the course" these days.

After the two lovebirds tied the knot, we got to get down in the tent. We danced until we couldn't dance anymore (and had some great cake too)! Everything was so nice, and I know everyone had a great time. All in all, it was a super-fun weekend and I am so thrilled that I got to be a part of it all.

Here are some pics:

Whew! I'm spent! I'm definitely out of practice. I think that's all I can do for today, but I hope you enjoyed this morsel. Up next, family birthdays -- woo hoo!

Until then, Keep it Classy!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Well friends, RL here, bringing you another mind-blowing blog to cap off your already red-letter day. As you can see by my title, this blog will not tantalize your literary tastebuds with the lavish details of a top-notch reception, nor will it highlight my sun-drenched, carefree, "omg, did you see what Lindsey Lohan did today" lazy days of summer. No, I'm afraid this blog is simply a farewell to my embarrassingly, if not incredibly enjoyable, lazy summer days and hello to my other life that I have attempted to "forget" about for the past 2 months. Yes, it is with much sorrow and undeniable sadness that I bid you farewell, summer. My days of going to bed without setting an alarm, leisurely enjoying a fresh made cup of coffee, blogging away at the computer for my loyal fans, soaking up the Texas sun (when it finally came out 2 weeks ago) and enjoying the many wedding festivities of my recently betrothed friends have in fact, come to a rather abrupt and finite conclusion. We had a good thing going, but I guess the saying holds true, "all good things must come to an end."

So please, accept my disclaimer today that if you do not see or hear from me until Christmas break, please know that it is not personal. My life, as of today, is officially absconded courtesy of JPII and I no longer hold claim to my time. So...until we meet again...keep it least for the kids...NBL

Thursday, August 9, 2007

And the beat goes wrap up

RL here, ready to give you the play-by-play details of Kori and Jon's glamorous ( know the rest of the song) reception. It was an event worthy of celeb-status, but enough chit-chat, let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we?

The lavish affair was set to take place at the exquisite Arlington Hall at Lee Park in Turtle Creek. I couldn't have picked a better venue myself. In fact, when I first saw the facility back in my cake days, I remember thinking that I had to tell Kori about it when she began planning her wedding, and lo and behold, she chose it as her reception location. There is just such a classic, southern glamour about the property. It really is unlike any other facility I have been in and it's truly unique. Anyway, the bridal party arrived in style in our bumpin' limo bus with Kori and Jon arriving in a little bit more style being chauffered in a classic Rolls Royce...not too shabby! We headed to the bridal suite for a little (or if you were me, a lot) bubbly and then ushered into the main room where they introduced us and then, of course, introduced Mr. and Mrs. Jon Bailey.

The couple had their 1st dance ("Feels Like Home" -- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days anyone?) and on cue, I proceeded to shed several more tears. I wish I could say those were the last of my waterworks for the night, but I'm afraid I would be lying. Their first dance was really beautiful and the girl who sang was awesome! I could not wait to bring sexy back on the dance floor, but my booty shaking would have to wait just a bit longer since the band was playing the standard "light dinner music"...seriously, who can't eat to the tune of Outkast, Hey ya...honestly? Just kidding...kind of...anyway, I digress as usual.

I promptly found my family so they could gush over how beautiful I looked...ha ha, at least I'm honest? Hey, if a girl can't look halfway decent after putting on a pound (make that 2 pounds) of makeup and having someone do and redo their hair about 4 times, there's no hope. And so, I remembered there was supposed to be a sweet potato bar on premise so I corraled my sis to hunt down this tasty treat with me. We were successful in locating the goods and had mashed sweet potatoes mixed with sweet cream, brown sugar and raisins all in a martini glass...delish...or should I say Yum-o, if you will...for those of you that watch Food Network. I also had downed 2 glasses of champagne, so I needed to get a little refill on my bubbly beverage at the open bar...I am officially a self-proclaimed champagne-only drinker. Let's just say the champagne did not stop flowing until the place was shut down, and I was certainly not the only one to imbibe! I also used my downtime (and by downtime, I mean the chunk of time when the band is not playing music that demands my presence on the dance floor) to talk to Peter & Anne, Shaun, Tim, Josh Horn and Jon Hernandez, both of whom I had not seen in forever!!! It is always so good to see people at wedding that you never get to see otherwise!

Once the band had finished their obligatory set of smooth listening jazz, it was time to get the party started. I must inform you that the band-elect was none other than "Top" which actually plays at Martini Park on occasion, should you be so inclined to partake in the ultra-hip over-50 crowd...I kid...but not really. One of my favorite parts was being able to dance with Kori to Mustang Sally while the dance floor was relatively empty because let's just say the dance floor did not stay empty for long. I saw people dance at that reception that I never thought would dance in public a day in their life! It should come as no surprise that the music/dancing was hands-down the highlight of the reception, in my not-so-humble opinion. It was the perfect mix of songs and the band was incredibly versatile playing everything from Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" to "Jesse's Girl" to Michael Jackson classics. I never wanted to leave the dance floor because every time I did, I felt like I missed my "favorite" song. I don't think I have danced that hard and for so long in quite some time. I absolutely did not leave the dance floor unless absolutely necessary, and I actually don't think the bride or groom left the dance floor for any extended period of time either. It was so great to see them having such an amazing time at their reception because so often, the married couple doesn't even get to enjoy their own reception...such a shame...but so not the case with them.

One of the only reasons I did leave the rockin' good time on the dance floor was to take advantage of their photo booth. That's right, they had a classic photo booth at their reception that was an absolute hit with I think absolutely every single person there. There was always a line for the booth, and you got your prints on the spot. It was so much fun, and the pictures definitely got progressively more hilarious as the night went on. It's amazing how free people feel when they get in a photo booth, but it should be known that all pictures taken behind that not-so-private curtain were posted online the very next week...whoops a daisies!

Amidst the party, the couple did have to cut their highly-anticipated wedding cake, and when I say highly anticipated, I'm mostly referring to me as it was a cake from my old bakery. Kori had chosen cassata as her wedding cake which is an ameretto-infused cake lathered in the most decadent cream cheese frosting you've ever tasted. However, I made sure my rents took some home for me in a napkin because I didn't want to waste any time eating cake with so much more dancing to be had. Any self-respecting girl would have done the same thing.

So it was back to the dance floor to keep the party going. I had such a blast dancing with Shaun, Tim, my sis and Kori's Mizzou friends! We had to all look absolutely ridiculous at certain points, and I would have paid money to see us on a video. I also got the chance to dance with my dad to Eric Clapton's "You Look Wonderful Tonight." It is such a special song for me and was such a special moment with my dad, so of course, prompted my last set of tears for the day.

It felt like mere moments had passed when the band announced the last song, and just like that, we were herded out to the front to send the couple off. I felt like shouting "wait, just one more song, just one more chance to shake it," but it was no use. The couple left in a bevy of bubbles and we were left with a half-empty glass of bubbly. We (Kori's friends from college and me) decided to make the most of it and proceeded to have a little impromptu photo shoot in the bridal suite...don't worry, there are pictures below.

All in all, it was an absolutely fabulous wedding week that included quite arguably the reception to end all receptions. Kori, Jon and her parents planned an incredible event that everyone truly enjoyed. As I said before, it was the highlight of my summer and really, the highlight of my year. My only complaint is that it is over and we can't partake in the party all over again. Nonetheless, the happy couple are finally married, enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon and are settling into married life quite nicely...that's probably the real highlight...awww...

Until next time friends, this is RL reminding you to keep it classy...or something like that...

Tim and me

Me and Shaun

So hot!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

For your enjoyment...

Just a quick FYI that I have added more pictures to my last 3 or 4 riveting posts...just a little something to whet your appetite while you wait in anxious anticipation of the reception details...stay tuned my friends...

Until next time, this is RL telling you to keep it classy...word...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

You would have thought it was my wedding...

RL here, wrapping up the festivous week that was Kori and Jon's wedding. The title of my blog really says it all in that not only was I a total wreck, crying at the drop of a hat from the beginning of the day right up to the last dance I had with my dad at the reception, but also, I had such an amazing time, I can't imagine the bride and groom enjoying everything more than I did!!!

I'll start from the beginning: we were just a touch late getting to the church via limo bus, so we had to hurry to get dressed and we experienced a few minor dress catastrophes along the way...luckily, mine had been expertly tailored and I actually felt good in it (despite the fact that it was too long and I had convinced myself that I was going to take a dive on my way down the aisle) -- a miracle! Kori finally donned her beautiful wedding gown that fit like an exquisite glove -- it was to die for! She looked flawless, and I knew Jon was going to be absolutely blown away! I couldn't wait. My absolute favorite part of every wedding is watching the groom behold his bride for the 1st time. It is such a special moment and I almost feel like I'm eavesdropping in on an incredibly intimate moment...but I'm getting ahead of myself! We rushed to take a few quick photos before the wedding at which point I found myself fighting back the tears. Just seeing my best friend as a bride was overwhelming! I couldn't believe we were all grown up. It was a reality that was far too much for my brain to wrap around. We headed back to the bridal suite (and I ate a granola bar...a very important detail) and just waited to be summoned by the overly eager staff at Prestonwood -- that's all I'll say about that!

The beautiful bride in her gown!

The beautiful bride and me

Lindsey, Kay and I pre-ceremony

The wedding processional began and I, again, found myself fighting back the tears. What the heck was wrong with me? I don't know, but I can tell you that I probably cried enough tears to last me until the end of the year -- I reached my quota for the year at this wedding alone. I was absolutely incredulous at my emotional breakdown! Anyway, I made my way down the aisle to a little diddy being played by an absolutely gorgeous string quartet, the best I've heard. The floral arrangements on the pews and at the altar were stunning and truly eye-catching. I made it to the stairs without tripping, but I found myself almost going into convulsions from crying and had to tell myself to take deep breaths...if this is how I was at my friend's wedding, what the hezzie am I going to do at mine, hypothetically speaking as I may or may not get married...but I digress!

And so, it was Kori's turn to come down the aisle and good gosh, did she make a grand entrance! I turned my head toward Jon and saw tears streaming down his face. He was absolutely mesmerized and I sensed that he might also be thinking that this is how Christ feels about us...that we are the bride of Christ and if he (Jon) feels that way about Kori, he (Jon) could only imagine how much more God feels about us. I may be over-analyzing, but I sensed that the ceremony was so much more than an earthly, superficial thing. Either way, I began to lose it once again (not that I had it together at any point), but it was absolutely one of the most beautiful ceremonies I have witnessed. Jeff Benward sang a traditional hymn, "Be Now my Vision," which was so moving and inspired. I was truly touched. Then, it was time for the groom to kiss the bride, and he definitely did...or should I say, Kori did when she pulled him to was too funny.

After the Miss become a Mrs., we took pictures and then were whisked away to the reception at Arlington Hall @ Lee Park in the fabulous limo bus...stay tuned for reception details...the place was on fire!

Me and Lauren on the limo bus

Me and Lindsey having a beverage on the limo bus

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Going to the salon, and we're gonna get pretty...

I'm back and ready to write away! I wrapped up the day before the wedding (still on Kori and Jon's worries) festivities in my previous blog, so now it's on to the day of the wedding preparations...

Naturally, we (as in the bridal party) needed to spend 6 1/2 hours at an uptown salon in order to get sufficiently pretty. It was definitely a marathon, but a superfun way to spend our last hours with Kori before she was married. We started the morning right with mimosas, scones and a Starbucks order that made her dad's head spin. He was so nice to drop us off at the salon and make a Starbucks run for all of us high maintenance girls!

While at the DeNova Salon, every one of her bridesmaids, her bridal attendants and her flower girls were all treated to getting our hair done, and the older girls all had our makeup done by a makeup artist. It was such a scrutinized process that I think I had to have my eye makeup done and re-done 3 or 4 times. I was feeling more like a drag queen than an understated, but elegant bridesmaid. Nonetheless, it all worked out and I felt really good about my hair and makeup (I'm sure you were incredibly concerned). Kori, of course, looked absolutely stunning and I think it was around this time that I started to get emotional. But we didn't have time for tears just yet because the limo bus had arrived to pick us up and take us to the church...until next time...