Monday, May 19, 2014

39 x 39 - Be a Bridesmaid and Dance

When I added "Be a Bridesmaid" and "Dance somewhere other than my kitchen" to my list of 39 by 39, I kind of cheated. I KNEW those would happen.

My good friend and cousin Heather had asked me to be in her wedding which just so happened this last weekend.

Now when I added "Dance somewhere other than my kitchen" I actually had something bigger in mind. I'm embarrassed to admit it but I had secretly hoped to dance in our community's version of "Dancing with Your Stars." I wanted the lessons and I wanted to challenge myself to be on stage. Well...Heather's wedding ended up falling on the same weekend as Dancing with Your Stars so the wedding took priority.

I still managed to get the dancing in thanks to the reception.

Heather and Neil have been together 3 or 4 years and tied the knot at Multnomah Falls. They are a beautiful couple. They've been through a lot the last year with a botched surgery that became a nightmare. Neil has remained Heather's knight in shining armor and stood by her through it all. Heather has fought to heal and get to where she is now...with a lot of healing left to do. I think it's fitting that a waterfall would be setting for their wedding. There's something refreshing and renewing about cascading water.

Multnomah Falls plunges 620 feet in two major steps. It's the highest waterfall in Oregon and the second highest in the nation. I wish I'd had the time to take a photo of the falls because it is GORGEOUS but alas, I was super busy with some bridesmaid duties.

First order of business, hair! I got pampered. Didn't have to do a thing except show up. My part would come later when makeup and false lashes were my duties du jour:)

Me without makeup. SCARY!

Brides sans makeup...still beautiful
I did everyone's makeup. It's sort of my passion. I had ideas of taking photos of my steps but alas, no time for that. I stuck on false lashes on girls, fixed peoples blush, and then made myself presentable. Then used a few moments to take a couple selfies.
Me and bridesmaid Bethani

Me and the GORGEOUS bride
Bethani and I drank a bit too much champagne hahaha and my pictures began to digress into fish lips, duck face, and other silly selfies while we waited for the walk down the aisle.

In the meantime, my other duty was to arrange flower petals down the aisle in a swirly sort of pattern. I think I did pretty good considering the windy day.
Of course there was the usual, find the rings. Find out if we're ready yet. Walk, find the groom, come back up, lace up the brides' corset dress, help her with her boots on, reassure her that she's beautiful and everything will be perfect. Lots of reassuring.

I wish I had photos of the ceremony but I think carrying your cell phone down the aisle snapping photos is frowned upon so you get more selfies. haha
Trying to break into the second bottle of champagne. 

After the ceremony, waiting for our turn for the photographer.
We tried to get a photo of the falls behind us. 

Bethani and I and the waterfall
I danced a few dances and headed back to the hotel. It was a great time. Congrats Neil and Heather! My wedding duties are finished!! :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

On Being Mom

From a very early age, I remember wanting to be a mom. I had my baby dolls and I'd dress them, swaddle them in blankets, and tuck them into bed. I'd take them for a stroll in a baby carriage. I named them. It was always names I thought I'd name my kids...Chelsea, Heaven, Xavier. I just knew I'd be a great mom.

Now that I'm a mom, I doubt every single day whether or not I'm a great mom. I get wrapped up in all the things moms feel guilty about. I should have stayed home instead of worked. Did I teach you the right life skills? Did I nourish your creativity? Did I instill confidence? Did I read you enough bedtime stories? Did I play enough cars and trucks?

The one thing I NEVER doubt is that I have amazing sons. Strong and masculine yet sensitive enough to not be jerks. Kind-hearted. Intelligent. Responsible. Funny. Capable. My world. When I look at them, I feel like I did something right. The phrase "my pride and joy" makes sense. Being mom to Marc and Nate is the best thing I've ever been.

Me and Nate headed out for ride #1
They spoiled me rotten this Mother's Day. It was darn near the perfect day. I woke to breakfast, a pedicure and a manicure, gifts. I relaxed watching tv, read a book, and went on three bike rides (I got a new bike so we had to break it in). Then dinner (crab-stuffed, bacon-wrapped shrimp and a yummy salad). Then some cuddle time. Lots of smiles and time together.
Me and my boys!!

We also celebrated prom #2 this weekend. Marc's girlfriend goes to a different high school so off they went to dance the night away.

This time, I decided to attempt to make her corsage. I think it turned out great. 

Me and my little sis with my mom and dad
Of course, what would Mother's Day be without a few words about my own momma. She's loving, kind, thoughtful, and always there for me. She taught me to cook, laugh, clean house, and take care of myself. She taught me how to be a good person and a great mom. She taught me what it means to love your kids unconditionally. She taught me to forgive. She's taught me to be nice to everyone I meet and how to be respectful even around those people you dislike. She's taught me generosity and to do for others. My mom has the best laugh and a smile that can warm a room. She makes friends in the grocery store and knows everyone. She taught me the best things in life can't be bought. I love her! I hope some day my boys say the same things about me. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stop the Boat!

There's no earthly way of knowing 
Which direction we are going. 
There's no knowing where we're rowing 
Or which way the river's flowing. 
Is it raining? 
Is it snowing? 
Is a hurricane a blowing? 

Not a speck of light is showing 
so the danger must be growing. 
Are the fires of hell a glowing? 
Is the grisly reaper mowing? 
Yes! The danger must be growing 
For the rowers keep on rowing. 
And they're certainly not showing 
any signs that they are slowing!

To say I've been busy is an understatement. Truthfully, I don't know that I'm any busier or slower than the next gal but man, I feel run down but also energized. Weird. 

So I thought a quick check-in was in order. 

First, weight loss - c'mon you knew I'd start there. I've lost 100 lbs! 100 lbs! That's like a small deer. Or a Great Dane. Or an adult goat. It's a lot of damn weight. You can read a little bit about how I celebrated here on my weight loss blog. I'm purposely not posting a comparison photo - I have something big in mind;) 

Second, Marc. Oh my delightful wonderful 18 year old. Two proms. That's what. Two? Yes, two. Ok, really thankfully he's a boy and so I didn't have to do much. Except rent two tuxes, remind him the girl needs a corsage, make him get his hair cut, remind him the importance of shower and cologne, make sure he has something nicer to drive than his geo, hound him all day that he better stop by for photos....yeah, easy! But look at how handsome this young man looks and how beautiful his date is. 
Marc and Jyni
Jyni, Marc, Jenni, (can't remember his name, how sad), Haley, and Alec

They're so handsome!
If you know me, you should not be surprised I love me some prom. I wish there was prom for adults. I LOVE LOVE LOVE an opportunity to dress up. Formal gowns? Yes please. Makeup? uh, duh! Hair? Oh yes! I don't have girls though so again, read my role of a prom parent above. However! I did get a chance to do hair and makeup for prom. My great friend (and author!!) Chrystal was dealing cards at prom. I did her hair and makeup. I'm a genius but really it's easy when you have such a beautiful natural canvas. You can see the photos here. Chrystal pointed out that I could go to prom as a chaperone...Marc would hate me. 

School. Of course, there's school. So far I'm stuck in a database class. It's like being stuck in hell. The only bright spot is that it's about to be over. The database part anyway. Now I get to move on to for my video debut in the next few weeks. 

And lastly, the wedding. It's coming up quick. I've got my bridesmaid dress (remember, sunbeam yellow). I've got a great tan going on. Yikes, and I'm not even the bride. I'm looking forward to it. Photos soon!

Oh and speaking of that wedding, there's something else big coming that weekend. Marc's bio dad. My first husband. It's been well over 10 years since we saw him and he's meeting us in Portland. I'm excited for Marc. He and Roy (bio dad) are both so excited it's cute. Really. Cute. Yeah, that. I'm on the fence. On one hand of course I'm excited for Marc and Roy. I'm also a little "mama bear" and he better not screw up. And of course, there's a weird part of me that just wants to make sure I look fantastic that weekend - eat your heart out. haha. So yeah, a little busy around here. Happy days!!