Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summertime Summertime Sum Sum Summertime Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. Summer is upon us this week in the Northern hemisphere. Tell us three things on your summer bucket list.
Spend lots of time at the neighborhood pool - I've been changing into my bathing suit in the bathroom at work and going straight to the pool . . .what an awesome way to unwind! I get in and exercise for about 20 minutes and then dry off a tad before heading home to prepare supper and ride the bike.

Go zip lining - maybe I should wait until this fall when it cools off??

Stay cool!

2. Something fun you used to do as a kid in the summertime?
Summers were almost magical when I was a kid. We would roam all around the neighborhood and play all day. We would stage elaborate Miss America contests - one time we were setting up the runway (the picnic benches end to end and the table was the stage - I kid you not!) and we dropped the picnic bench on my toe . . .and broke my toe! We played kickball ALL the time - I loved kickball!!

3. Rootop or backyard? Why?
Both!! We don't actually have a backyard but we have a courtyard and I love sitting outside - I just realized that both of these pictures are of my feet!!

This is not actually "rooftop" but it is our top floor porch. We love sitting up here either in the early mornings or early evenings. The two ceiling fans make it almost pleasant.

This is the view from the middle of the porch.

4. Do you read food labels? Place importance on them? Make an effort to find out/care about where your food comes from?
Yes, I almost always read the labels and I think they are important. I'm very aware of the sugar and I always like to see how much protein and fiber. I ALWAYS check the labels on seafood - we are very particular about where our seafood was caught.

5. A song you'll have on repeat this summer?
My most listened to playlist has a couple of songs by Imagine Dragons - I know those aren't really "summer" songs but I have songs by Pink, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Mandisa . . .and I'm embarrassed to tell you that "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) by Beyoncé is also on my most listened to playlist! I like all sorts of music!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I celebrated a BIG birthday last week and my sweet hubby surprised me by inviting friends to meet us at a local restaurant. This restaurant is in a former bank building and he reserved "the Vault" for our party.

My co-workers surprised me with balloons and a fruit basket and diet pepsis and all sorts of other goodies. I felt loved!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Going to the chapel (I mean church!), anniversaries, twins, make-up, pies . . .and on and on and on!

On Sunday, I shared about the wedding gown, our precious (yes, I'm prejudiced) flower girl (and boy!). Last Tuesday, I shared about our photographer, the cake, and the florist.

The wedding was held in our church - Laura was baptized and confirmed in this church and now married in this church.

My husband has been a member of this church his whole life and I've been a member for over half of my life. . . almost 2/3 of my life, now that I think about it!

Rev. David Thompson officiated at the wedding. Jamie McLemore played the organ. He can make our organ sing! He is a well known organist in town and it just so happens that we went to high school together. Scott Brooks was the soloist and he sang "How Beautiful" and was accompanied by Anna Underwood . . .who just happened to be the maid of honor! When you have a wedding at our church, you have to use one of our wedding directors and Kelly Johnson was the wedding director and she did an awesome job.

I'm throwing in a couple of fun photos today. Laura's wedding day just happened to be our wedding anniversary and also the groom's parent's anniversary. Laura is quite crafty and she painted a chalk board for each of us to hold with our wedding dates. I think this is a fun picture but even more fun . . .

the bride is a twin (twin brother to the left of her) and the father of the bride is a twin (guess which ones are identical!) and the mother of the groom is a twin (pictured on the far right) -- isn't that fun?

Do y'all remember those pecan pies I was baking? They turned out just right! I ordered some trays from Amazon and had some other acrylic trays from hosting previous showers and loaded all of that up in the car and delivered it to the reception venue. Just FYI - these pies freeze beautifully. I didn't eat one but everyone who did said they were awesome.

I didn't tell you about the party favors. Thank you to my sister, Becky, for helping me tie all of these ribbons onto all of these bottles. Scott's granddaddy worked for Coca-Cola and so the party favors were in memory of his granddaddy.

I haven't told you about Holly Craft! She was the person who came to the church and did our hair and make-up. I want her to come and do my make up every single day of the year. She is awesome. I don't wear a lot of make up so I told her that I wanted to be me 2.0 and she made us all look amazing.

Let me tell you about another vendor -- Coats Classic Cars. Laura wanted to surprise Scott and we actually searched for the kind of car he had years ago (I can't remember what kind now!) but had no luck. Laura found Coats Classic Cars and we rented the Elwood as a surprise. The driver was waiting for them as they exited the church and then he stayed at the reception and took them to their hotel. The weather was glorious and it was the perfect day for riding in a convertible! This company was easy to work with and the car was excellent and the driver courteous! Perfect get away car!

I need to check with the bride but I think I've covered everyone and everything except the reception venue and it was so awesome that we wanted them to have a whole blog post!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sorry . . .not sorry . . .more wedding

I am still so overwhelmed from the wedding that I have a hard time beginning a blog post! As I said, everything was wonderful. I told someone in Sunday School today that I wish I could have invited every single person we know but those of you who have planned weddings know that is not possible for most families. Let's see . . . I told you about the photographer and the cake and the florist in a post last week.

How about the wedding gown? Laura scheduled two appointments with local wedding dress shops. We went first to Ivory and White and then to Heidi Elnora (she was on Project Runway!). Both shopping experiences were so much fun and the employees who helped us at both shops went above and beyond to make Laura's dreams come true.

Laura decided on this dress . . . from Ivory and White.

The photographer, Madison Walters, got this amazing shot of the dress hanging in a tree on the front lawn of our church.

The dress had inverted pleats and a sweetheart strapless neckline. The wonderful ladies at Ivory and White helped the bride pick out the lace overlay jacket and even stitched it to the dress for a little coverage.
These ladies were professional yet fun and caring.
On the day of the wedding, we actually had a minor emergency with the dress and Molly from Ivory and White was on the speaker phone talking to us while we were in the bride's room at the church. Crisis averted with her help!

 Laura wanted a long train because the aisle in our church is soooooo long! This picture was taken in the side narthex when her daddy saw her for the first time.

Here they are walking down the long aisle.

I love this cool shot from the back of the church. You can even see the petals on the carpet.

This was taken on the sidewalk outside the church.

I just had to post this picture in front of the altar -- you can see the front of the dress BUT even more importantly . . .look closely . . .Laura is holding hands with her grandmother. Doesn't that just melt your heart? 

The dress could be bustled for the reception and guess who was the designated bustler (evidently not a word!!)? Me - the mom of the bride!!  So Laura and Scott arrived at the reception venue (I'm going to write a whole post about the Wine Loft!) and were whisked inside a small tasting room for a quick glass of champagne and a few bites of food.  My first job upon arrival was to go straight to that room and bustle Laura's dress. The folks at Ivory and White had sewn tiny corresponding ribbons to the underside of the dress and to the next layer and each ribbon (there were six top and bottom so twelve total!) was numbered with the matching ribbon . . but the writing was white letters on white ribbon and my eyes are a tad bit old and the room was a tad bit dark. Finally, I was so frustrated that Scott got his phone and turned on the flashlight and got under that dress with me so that I could tie all those ribbons! Tadah! We did it!

The pictures from the photographer came this week and I just have to show you the Kate Spade matching keds - bride and flower girl

Our sweet flower girl grandbaby showing off her dress and shoes!!

Same sweet baby having a melt down but mommy held her and made it all better!

 In the picture below, we are already seated at the front of the church and sweet grandbaby was to walk down the aisle from daddy to mommy (mommy was a bridesmaid and was already at the front of the church). Sound great in theory, right? Mommy even had gummy bears in the pocket of her bridesmaid's dress for bribery.

Nope  - didn't work so daddy carried her all the way down the aisle and flipped those flowers out of the basket with sweet flowergirl giggling every time he did it. Isn't that what twin brothers of the bride are supposed to do? be the flower boy if necessary? I think I will cherish this as one of those special memories!!

I have all sorts of things I want to blog about. Did you know that I had a big birthday this last week? I did! My hubby even surprised me!! I want to blog more about the wedding, too. Thanks for visiting!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It's a wedding Hodge Podge

1. What happens to the mail at your house?
We've been trying to get the mail out of the box and immediately throw away the junk mail . . .never bringing the junk mail in to the house. This is great in theory, isn't it? Sometimes Mark gets the mail and leaves it all on the weight bench in the garage. Sometimes I get the mail and leave it in my car for several days. It seems like the majority of our mail these days is junk mail.
2. Something you always splurge on? Any guilt associated with the splurge?
I get a chair massage every two weeks. Several years ago, our minister's wife hired a massage therapist at Christmas time. She paid for 1 1/2 hours and told me to email the staff - first come; first served - 10 or 15 minute slots. Some of us loved it so much that we asked her to keep coming to the office every other week. If you live near me, Hope is awesome! She always runs specials for new clients. No guilt!
3. There are many, but what are two important questions you think every bride and groom should ask/answer before they plan their walk down the aisle?
Since our daughter just got married a few weeks ago, I should have all sorts of questions and answers but . . .
1) the couple definitely needs to talk about their religious faith and they need to talk about whether or not they want to have children - yes, I know you said just two questions and my response isn't even in the form of a question. I also think they should discuss, "how will we spend/save our money and for what are we willing to go into debt."
2) the reason I needed to save the number two question . . what team do you support? We live right in the heart of the SEC and football is king here. We love our new son-in-law to death but he cheers for the other team! I'm laughing as I type these words because I never thought dear daughter would marry someone who cheers for the other team so this lets me know that love conquers all things! I have a friend who married years ago (back when I got married) and she was Baptist and he was Methodist. She was for Auburn and he was for Alabama. She told him that she would rather change denominations than teams. I still chuckle about that . . .this is the south. What can I say? I found this picture on the internet and this shows how crazy football fans can be about a house divided. I want to see this house in real life!

4. What's the best advice your father ever gave you?
There are many things in life that you don't want to do that you must do. He's been dead longer than I knew him but I can still see and hear him say those words. Some of my hubby's best advice to our daughter and son-in-law is never live beyond your means and don't fight about money. I totally agree with the first part but I think the second part is almost unavoidable at times.
5. Your favorite movie where a father features heavily in the storyline?
Father of the Bride with Steve Martin -- hands down! Of course, I'll read all of your answers and think to myself, "I should have picked that one." I just sat here and read a bunch of quotes from Father of the Bride - I love that movie!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Yesterday, I wrote my first post about the wedding. Last night, our daughter sent us the link for all of the pictures. They are beautiful!! how fitting that today's hodge podge is about weddings! I'm going to do several posts about the wedding because my blog serves as a memory keeper for me, too. I would love for you to come and visit over the next few weeks.

all of those tiny buttons . . and yes, I'm wearing
two watches but I took one off before the

daddy's first look - Father of the bride!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Photographers, Florists, and Venues . . .oh my!

My daughter and I talked after her wedding and we were both so pleased with all of the vendors that she asked me to write some blog posts about all of these wonderful people and places. As I blog about the vendors, I'll throw in some wedding pictures and some details about the wedding.

The day was perfect. We were worried about rain but nary a drop fell from the sky! At the end of the day, we were all exhausted but happy!

So where should I start?

Our photographer was amazing. Her name is Madison Walters and she is a young mother with boy/girl twins (instant win in my book - another mother of twins!). She interned under another photographer that we love, Brittany at LoveBe Photography. You might remember Brittany. She took pictures of Mark and me and our little grandbaby girl a couple of years ago and I talked about her on the blog.

We were so pleased with Madison and her photography and I can't wait to get all of the photos back. She sent out daughter a couple of sneak previews while they were on their honeymoon and I'll share some of those with you.

She was kind, patient, professional, and just fun to be around. She stepped in to help a couple of times with various things just because she was there and had an extra set of hands. As a matter of fact, at one point during the day, she saved the day for us! I can't sing any higher praises than that!!

Our florist was so talented. She was so kind and accommodating. We changed our order about two weeks before the wedding and she allowed me to send her the extra money and rolled with it.
It wasn't a major change - but rather than one large flower arrangement for the reception, we decided we needed two medium sized arrangements. She was easy to work with and very reasonable.
Laura texted pictures of what she liked and Linda worked her floral magic. She did the bouquets, boutonnieres, two arrangements at the reception, and she placed flowers on the wedding cake after it was delivered. Linda is a retired educator (I believe that is correct) and is a local small business. If you live in our area and need a florist, let me know and I'll give you the contact info for Linda. She doesn't have a website -- truly a small home business.

Laura's bouquet on one of the front steps of
the church.

Speaking of flowers on the wedding cake, look at this.

this photograph is not a Madison Walters
photograph - it was taken by a wedding
The cake was from Edgar's Bakery. I don't eat sweets so I didn't taste it but I've had Edgar's cake before and they bake excellent cakes!! We looked at multiple vendors in our area and to be honest, I didn't think we could afford Edgar's but they actually were more reasonable than MANY other bakeries/grocery stores and their cakes are delicious. Laura and Scott enjoyed the cake tasting several months ago. They brought out a huge slice of cake that had a vanilla layer, a chocolate layer, and a strawberry layer. Edgar's delivered a quality product on time and the wedding cake planner was delightful! I'm not sure if Laura ordered the cake topper from Amazon or not but it is Willow Tree and you can find one here.

Back to the flowers -- We are blessed because my sister-in-law is on the flower committee at our church and she was scheduled to prepare the altar flowers (she may have had to swap with someone!!). My sister-in-law arranged the flowers on the altar and they were so beautiful and it was so meaningful to know that the flowers were arranged to the glory of God by the hands of someone who has loved Laura all of her life. 

our sanctuary is so beautiful
our church offers the use of the candelabras
for a $50 re-oiling fee - well worth

the bride, her matron of honor, maid of honor, and
bridesmaid - I love how Laura's veil looks
like it is blowing in the wind

the bridal party

Laura loves all things Kate Spade and
we were so saddened by the news last
week . . .Laura is wearing Kate Spade keds.
Scott is wearing hysterical socks that
Laura bought for him. Our teeny tiny flower girl
was wearing matching Kate Spade keds but
she wasn't interested in pictures . . .so I don't
know if that is caught on camera or not.

my lovely daughter and new
son-in-law - I am sure they
were saying something
funny to each other!

Back to the photographer -- Madison asked Laura all sorts of questions about what kinds of pictures she and Scott wanted and she even took some fun pictures at the reception just because folks said, "hey - will you take our picture?" I wish I had realized that she would do that earlier in the day because I might have asked for a few more! We haven't seen one of the fun pictures yet . . .but Mark (father of the bride) is a twin, Teri (mother of the groom) is a twin and Laura (bride) is a twin so Madison even took a picture of ALL of the twins!

I know I've jumped all over the place in this post but if you know me, you know that is how I talk (write). Tomorrow is HodgePodge but I'll be back later this week with more wedding posts.

Disclaimer - none of these vendors have asked me to write about them nor offered any compensation for my opinions - these are solely my opinions!! To be honest, they don't even know I'm writing about them and may never know!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

and the WINNER is . . .

We drew the winner . . .the old fashioned way! I wrote the names down on individual pieces of paper - same size and folded the same way. I placed them in an envelope and shook them up. Then I asked this man . . .
to mix up the names some more and draw one name! The winner is . . .drumroll . . .Terrie! I'll email the code to you so you can get a free 16 X 20 canvas from Canvas Factory!!

Thanks for commenting and "playing" . . .hopefully, I'll have another give away some day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Give Away on My Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

It is Wednesday so it must be HodgePodge . . and . . .drumroll please . . .today is the canvas giveaway here on Musings of a Middle Aged Mom. See details at the end of today's post!!

1.Describe your 30's in one sentence. If you're not yet 30 tell us one thing you hope to accomplish once you hit that particular decade. 
I'll be 60 in 9 days . . .double 30's???  My 30's were filled with twins (ages 2-11) so our summer days were filled with visits to the pool and park with popsicles and other treats from the ice cream man; pre-school and elementary room mother duties and field trips; Emmaus Walks; teaching Sunday School; being a wife and mom who wore tennis shoes and lacy socks (horror!!) and had poofy hair! I cheated . . . that was the longest run-on sentence EVER and I'm sure I left out a ton of stuff!!

2. Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?
For the last 18 months, I have eaten healthy meals and snacks 99.9% of the time and I have exercised 6 days a week . . .and I've lost about 77 pounds. I think at this stage of the game, the two are so tied together for me that they are almost inseparable. They are both difficult, yet rewarding.

I've ridden a million miles on my bike
and I added a little "water aerobics" in the
neighborhood pool

3. June 7th is National VCR Day. Huh? Anyway this reminded me of something I saw on Facebook listing household items we no longer have and the VCR was on it. I couldn't put my hands on that list, but found another list here of 21 items we all had ten years ago, but which are now obsolete-

bookshelves (WHAT!!???), drip coffee makers, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, printers, printed phone books, answering machines, fax machines, paper shredders, a Rolodex, CD racks, CD burners, china cabinets, home phones, entertainment consoles, DVD players, calculators, takeout menus, incandescent light bulbs, and cable TV

Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still use?
I do still have a bookshelf or two but I used to have a wall of bookcases. I hadn't even thought about them being obsolete but I'm helping that to happen!! We have a Keurig. We use our phones as our alarms. We no longer have a file cabinet at home. I use a desktop computer in my work office but I also use my tablet on my job almost every day. We do have a printer at home but it uses so much ink that I don't use it often!! I don't remember the last time I saw a phone book. We don't have an answering machine. We do have a fax machine at work and one of the older gentlemen in our congregation says he uses his fax machine every day!! We have a paper shredder in the office and we have giant bins that are picked up by a local company for most of our shredding needs. Nope on the Rolodex and CD racks. We do have a burner at the office. I still have a china cabinet and I love my china and I think I've passed that love on to my daughter, which is very unusual in this day and time. We don't have a home phone. We don't have an entertainment console and when we sold our last house (4 years ago), we had a custom entertainment center that was hand built and cost $3,000. We actually had a HORRIBLE time even giving it away. We finally found Habitat for Humanity ReStore and my husband and son (and neighbor and daughter-in-law) had to dismantle it and take it to the driveway in order for them to pick it up!! 
We do still have a DVD player because we use it for Bible studies on Tuesday nights. I still have a calculator in my office but use the one on my phone most of the time. I usually look up menus on my phone. I'm not the light bulb purchaser at home or work so I don't have an answer to that question!!!  Last but not least, we still have cable tv (U-verse) but are considering cancelling it because our bill has gone through the roof!

4. What's something you see disappearing in the next ten years?
I sometimes wonder about email because it seems like most of the younger folks in my office check text messages much more often than email. I also wonder about check out personnel in stores - I wonder if in 10 years, we will be self-pay in most stores??  I wonder if we will be driving our own cars or have cars that drive themselves?? I can't wait to see what other people think will disappear.

5. How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical?
You are asking me to remember last year??  Really?  I just told you that I'm turning double 30's in 9 days and you are asking me to remember last year??  I think our Tuesday night group brought cake. Nope - just looked back - that was in 2016!  In 2016 and in 2017, I volunteered to read a book to the kids at Summer Camp for Overflow. 
reading at Overflow in 2016 . . .and 77 pounds heavier
I can't believe the difference

birthday dinner at Hot and Hot - 2016 - if you ever
come to Birmingham, you need to make reservations
at Hot and Hot
birthday present from a friend - 2017

fresh watermelon margarita at Moss
Rock Tacos and Tequila - birthday dinner 2017

all birthdays are celebrated on
Sunday at my mother-in-law's housed
Emma is such a grown up girl in just a year's time

birthday gifts 2017
Just looked back through pictures on my tablet, we ate dinner at Moss Rock Tacos and Tequila for my birthday last year with our son, daughter-in-law, and grandbaby and we celebrated at my mother-in-law's house on the Sunday afterwards. Everyone's birthday is on a Sunday at Grandmother's house.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Today is the Give Away.  Look back at this post.  If you comment on THIS blogpost, you are entered to win the 16 X 20 canvas print.  I have ONE canvas to give away from Canvas Factory.  I will randomly select on Friday so make sure I have your email address so I can contact you!!