Monday, January 30, 2017

The special gifts for Christmas- Shirt aprons

Yep, still talking about Christmas.   I saw an idea on Pinterest that i really liked and wanted to do for Christmas gifts for my stepmom Deb, My grandma Mimi and my 2 aunts Brenda and Tammy.
The idea is to take a mens shirt and have them made into aprons.   I told Deb that i had a special idea in mind and if i could have 6 of Daddy's shirts.  She still has his full closet of stuff.  She let me pick out some and i picked 2 that i actually had bought for Dad and seen him wear them often.
I asked a lady at work Penny if she could make them for me because i knew she knows how to sew.  I have a sewing machine but dont know how to sew.  I got to change that!!  Anyway, this was in November when i asked my coworker because i wanted there to be plenty of time before Christmas.  Her husband happens to be a pastor and so Christmas season is very busy for them. However, she volunteered her sister Michelle , who also could sew and definitely could use extra money.  YAY!
I printed out the ideas from Pinterest and wrote on the pages what i wanted.  I asked for the 6 shirts to be intermingled such as part of one shirt being used as the pocket on another apron, etc.  Michelle looked at them and said they would be no problem and that she only wanted 15$ per apron.
The day i brought the shirts to work to pass off to Penny , i explained my comments written on the pages and then i held one of dad's shirts and hugged it. Immediately i started crying.  I guessed it was like hugging him.
A few weeks later, i sent an email to Penny and asked her if she would tell Michelle to save any of the scraps.  I just didnt want any part of his shirts being thrown away.  I'm still just wanting to hold onto every little thing i have of his.  Penny never replied back.  She is super super busy at work so i didnt think too much about it.
The week before Christmas,  Penny brought the bag in with the finished aprons.  All of them were so cute!  I discovered the reason that she didnt reply back to my previous email asking for the scraps. She had already asked Michelle to make me a small lap quilt with the leftover fabric from the shirts. I cried and cried happy tears!! I dont have a picture of it but its so cute. Its at home on my quilt ladder.  Penny said that when she saw me crying while holding daddy's shirt, she knew then what she wanted to do.   I wrote the check for Michelle and tipped her on top of the fee because she did such a great job.   A cool thing is that Michelle brought the aprons to church to hand off to Penny to bring to me and when doing so, a few ladies from church saw them and now they are going to make some for fundraisers.
The week of Christmas i had lunch with Mimi and Aunt Brenda and gave them their aprons, i mailed Aunt Tammy's to her house in California, i gave Deb's to her on Christmas Eve and then i kept the last one for myself.  They all really loved them and i am so glad they do because i love mine. I've been using if too!

Friday, January 27, 2017

My height ruined my Christmas gift

I know  I know, Christmas was a month ago.  I'm kinda behind on things so bear with me.
When Todd asked me what i wanted for Christmas, i only had one thing that i really wanted.  I asked for a pair of Hunter glossy black rain boots.    They are stupid expensive and probably a little impractical because they're not something i'd wear too often except rainy days.   BUT- its what i wanted and when else can you ask for something you'd normally not buy for yourself but really wanted?
On Christmas morning, i was SOOO excited to open my box with boots on them. The official logo on the box, the printed wax paper that goes inside the box that covers the boots- the carry bag that comes with the boots. The smell of new fancy boots.  AHHH i was in love.

I had intended to wear them that day for Christmas lunch with Todd's family and i had my outfit already planned in my head.  I put them on and when standing, they seemed good. They went a tad over my knee but didnt think anything about it.  Yay- they were beautiful and looked good. Then i sat down.  The boots went directly under my knee in the back and it felt like razor blades cutting my leg off at the crease.   I happened to be wearing my sleep shorts so i had bare legs when i put them on.  That seemed logical still because i might wear them in a summer storm with shorts or skirt.  Oh well, i put some jeans on and tried again.  When i sat certain low chairs, the boots dug deep behind my knees again.   I sat in the recliner and pulled the bottom rest up and said as long as i dont have to bend my legs, they're great!!!  Todd laughed and said that is So something a woman would say to justify a purchase. 
My leg is at angle and i'm not standing straight up. The top of boot went behind knee. 

I really really did not want to give them up.  A few days later, i went to the department store and tried on a few other pairs but didnt like them as much.  You know when you have your heart set up something specific its hard to let go.  I asked if they had another pair of the same and the guy looked at me funny but he brought me a pair of the same boots same size. When i put one next to mine, it was a tiny hair shorter . I was so excited thinking for sure it would be the answer. I exchanged them and brought them home.
Sadly, i went to put them on again one morning when it was pouring rain and we were heading to church. They were so uncomfortable when i sat down at home. I knew i couldnt sit for an hour at church with them cutting my legs off behind my knees.  I had to return them and get a refund.  I havent given up though.  I went to the official website ( link above) and discovered that there are different styles and sizes. There is an original tall and an original short. Then there are original and adjustable.   Todd got me a gift card so that i can go to different department stores and see if there is a style i like better.
I never thought that my height would ruin my one prized gift i had been looking so forward to! I never considered that my legs would be too short to wear a rain boot.  Its bad enough i couldnt be a Radio City Rockette because i was too short.  Stay tuned for what i end up with . I am going to go explore this weekend.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Family gals and new places

Last night, we had a girls only family dinner. My aunt Tammy lives out of state in California and Idaho ( yes both). She is in town because we had my great aunts funeral this past Saturday. Aunt Edith was my grandma Mimi's older sister.  I suggested us all getting together one night this week so that we could hang out, have a glass of wine, and have fun outside of a funeral.  Last night was best for everyone so we met in Addison which is suburb of Dallas that was in between where we all live.

We had dinner at a great new place that i had never been to before. It was called Ida Claire's.
 On the website, its introduced as  Ida Claire- South of Ordinary... an intriguing, southern inspired destination for relaxing suppers, slow weekend brunching or a meeting hub for business lunches and happy hour.
Instead of happy hour  they have a Vinyl hour. They select a vinyl record and play it in its entirety from 3 to 6 with drink specials and appetizers only available then.  We had vinyl red  ( only 5$) which was their house blend and it was so good!  We asked our waiter to tell us what the label was called and he said Haze.  I'll be on the lookout for that!
The menu was very unique. Everything on it had its own twist of something different . They're most sold item is their homemade  fried chicken that is battered and fried at time of order. They also have chicken and waffles that came with egg sunny side up. Thats what scared me,  LOL- i hate runny eggs.  I had the shrimp and grits with the piquant sauce on the side and i never added it.  The grits were parmesan grits and they were wonderful!
This is just the Supper plate menu: I recommend you clicking on my link above and checking out their appetizers, drinks, and site items.  So good!
Wood Grilled Chicken
• 18 •
Shrimp & Grits
• 19 •
Wood Grilled Snapper
• 19 •
• 22 •
Nashville Hot Fried
• 17 •
Pecan Smoked
Pork Chop
• 19 •
Chicken & Waffles
• 15 •
Wood Grilled Redfish
• 26 •
Braised Beef Short

We ordered a slice of their pie of the day which was coconut creme and a slice of their Vice cake ( chocolate cake with bacon in the ganache icing).  All it was so good!!
The decorations were awesome. Yall know that i collect bird cages right? Well i was in Heaven because in one corner of the restuarant, they had at least a dozen of cool vintage birdcages hanging from the ceiling with lights in the them.  I'm already thinking of doing that at my house somewhere!
On the back patio is an airstream decorated so cool. You can actually dine in the car and of course it was always reserved. They had old vintage metal patio chairs outside.  On one of the walls inside they had old plates like hundreds of them hung.  I didnt get pics of everything.

Its always fun to try new places and especially when its good and yummy! I'll definitely be back.

It was nice to visit with my cousins that i really dont get to see very often unless its a funeral or family event.  We all said we would try to do better and get together more often. I hope so!! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Celebration of Life for Dad and a Regift

Good morning yall!  Last week was a tough week. I cried everyday and my eyes stayed swollen until this past Monday.  Last Thursday was the day my dad passed away a year ago.  I worked from home so that i didnt have to put on makeup and see anyone.  I cried pretty hard at moments.  I have to share something special with you though.
I sometimes hide precious things that mean a lot to me. My fear is if my house is ever robbed, i dont want them to find everything in my main jewelry box. Does anyone else have irrational thoughts and behaviors like that? ( I was robbed back in high school so there's a story behind my thoughts. I'll save that for another post).  I thought I had lost an amethyst pendant along with my senior class ring from high school. Its been at least 2 years since i had thought i lost them.   While working in my home office ( it's messy) on Thursday , I came across an old wooden jewelry box and of all things to found was that pendant ( along with class ring) Daddy had bought that necklace and matching earrings for me when I was in high school or early college. It was my very first set of "real grown up stones". It was funny because he got my birthstone mixed up with my grandmas. Mimi's birthday is February 17 and mine is May 17.  I can still remember the look on his face as i was opening my gift. He had his big goofy smile and his eyes were twinkling. He was as excited to give me the gift as i was receiving it. Daddy said to me " its your birthstone right? and i replied No Daddy, its even better, its Purple"!  My birthstone is emerald but i think all girls love pink and purple when they're young.   I still have the earrings and i had lost the pendant a few years ago or so i thought.  I can't help but think that was a sign from Daddy for me to find something so special that came from him on the very day i was grieving for him on his death anniversary.   I had shared this story on Facebook that day and one of my friends mentioned that he Regifted it to me. It made me smile and i needed that!  Oh and  I'm wearing my necklace right now with the pendant.

Saturday was the day of dad's party that i was not looking forward to. Quite honestly, i just wanted to put it behind me.  Funny thing is that so many of my family members and friends felt the same way. I ended up having a really nice day. It was emotional yes but it was shared with loved ones. We released 66 balloons ( Mimi had a special larger white one) and we  all read a prayer that Deb had printed out on little cards.  Then we just relaxed and shared stories about Daddy.  There are soooo many stories! Dad was one of a kind and so funny.  My stepbrother got a huge fire going outside in the fire pit and had tons of food and drink. Some of my closest friends came which meant so much to me.  My grandma Mimi was very emotional when she first arrived. She couldnt stop crying and even said she shouldnt have come.  I hugged her and told her that its good to cry on each other's shoulders. She also had a good time and was glad she came after all.   Mimi lost her only sister (aunt Edith) last month a few days after Christmas. In fact her funeral is this weekend.  I was not very close to my great aunt but i'm going for support to Mimi.

I think i've mentioned before how much i hate January right!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fly away sweet Queen Bee

Saturday was an emotional day. It was the same day we had Daddy's funeral a year ago. My stepmom Deb wanted to host a Celebration of Life party for Dad.  I was dreading it but it ended up better than anticipated.  I was going to fill you in on the party today but that post has to wait. When we got home that evening and was settling on the couch, i went on Facebook on my phone. One of the first posts i saw was someone saying goodbye to one of my friends Brittany. I couldnt believe it. I said out-loud to Todd " Oh No ! Little Brittany is gone".   Earlier that morning, i had posted a Happy Birthday post on her page.  I later read that she had gone into the hospital late Friday night and passed away early Saturday morning on her birthday.
I met Brittany around 5 years ago through blogging.  Her blog was BeeLittleQueen and then changed the name to Sunny Tales and Happy Mail.  Pretty much very soon after i started blogging. She was one of my first blogging friends where we always commented on each others posts.  We eventually became friends on Facebook and Instagram which was great. I never got to meet her face to face in person because she lived in Arizona. Brittany was in a wheelchair and lived on a ventilator since she was 23.  She had Spinal Muscular Dystrophy and had to start on wheelchair when she was 11 years old. She had to live in a special home for those who needed 24 care with her ventilator, etc.
We would text each other periodically and we always sent little packages to each other.  We even switched maxi skirts one summer.  She loved fashion and makeup and we would talk about her favorite brands, etc.
The last few years , Brittany struggled with her health more and more. She went into the hospital a few time due to infection around her trach, air leaking, etc.  From there it was domino effect with other parts of her body.  She didnt post the whole year of 2016 on her blog. Luckily she would post on IG or FB so i could see some activity from her.
A few years ago, she started going to the Church of Latter Day Saints and met some new friends. Brittany eventually got baptized and joined the church. She loved it and i was happy for her to have a new community of friends to hang out with and look after her.  She came from a hispanic Catholic family and had posted that she knew many of her family didnt agree with the Mormon church but they also encouraged her to make her own decisions.
Brittany was always the most positive person i ever knew. She had the most beautiful outlook of life and the sweetest biggest smile.  She so badly wanted to have a boyfriend and to marry one day.  Brittany wanted what all young women want. She was no different .
I will miss my sweet little friend but she is soaring high with the angels. Had i known just a few hours earlier, i would have dedicated a balloon just for her.  In fact, i actually grabbed 2 balloons to release for Dad which was funny.
I normally dont pick a word for my year like so many do.  I've tried once or twice and never carried through.  I am choosing Brittany's word Mindful .  I feel the need and it came to me last night while i was wide awake until 2am to carry on her word this year. The word is a good one and it applies to me as well.  I want to have a mindful year of what i am grateful for and pull my head out of the dark grieving hole i've been in.
Definition from dictionary (online) mind·ful
  1. conscious or aware of something.
    "we can be more mindful of the energy we use to heat our homes"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Christmas 2016 and up until now

Hey everyone- Happy New Year!!
I’m finally just now posting about my Christmas.  I started to get pretty depressed as Christmas day approached.  Since I can remember, minus the few years here and there when I was out of state , Christmas Day was always always always spent with my Dad.  This was the first Christmas without him and it really was so very different for me. I was kind of lost. I know that seems so dramatic and I always had my husband by my side but when there is such a deep rooted tradition that I did for over 40 plus years, it was hard.
 The whole Christmas week was very busy and hectic which was good I guess.  We had lunch at our house on Christmas Eve day. Our son Collin who lives in Austin with his girlfriend Sydney drove up the night before and went to his mom’s house.  Our daughter Alison rode with them and they got to our house around 11:30. My in-laws came over too so they could see the kids.  We had a nice time though very brief . We rarely get to see Collin now that he lives out of town and he’s working full time.  After lunch, Todd had to leave for church because he was playing drums for the candlelight service and always has to go early to practice with group.  The family left and I then I headed to our church for the service.

Silly selfie with kids and parents

After our church service, we went to my Dad’s house and had dinner with my stepmom Deb.  She is very devout Catholic and her church dedicated 4 different masses in memory of Daddy and the Christmas midnight mass happened to be the last one.  I really do miss practicing Catholicism often especially around the holidays so I would have joined her anyway but it was special bonus for the dedication.  I like that her church actually starts Midnight Mass at 11 and then ends at midnight instead of starting at midnight like many do.   We got our double dose of Jesus that day for church with 2 different church services. I actually liked it and would do that again.  I was soooo tired though by the time we got home. I had got up super early that day for finishing touches of house cleaning for the family lunch.
The first service of the day was Candlelight at our church

Mass dedicated to my dad ( Mark Schmitz)

On Christmas morning, Todd and I slept in until 8am and we fixed breakfast and opened our gifts from one another.  I have another post regarding my Christmas present that I asked for.  We had to be at Todd’s parents house for lunch by noon and they live about 45 minutes away.  Their lunch was with Todd’s brother Kevin and his wife Paula and Kevins sons Zac and Seth, Todd’s cousin Kimberly and her husband Richard,  Us, and the in-laws so there were 10 of us.   We did our gift exchange with the family and had nice time visiting with one another.  I think we left their house around 4 and headed home.  I was SO tired from the nonstop day before and coming getting into bed around 1am, it was catching up with me.  I think we had leftovers and then put on our comfy pajamas and had a Bed In ( our version of Bed in is where we turn off the lights and lock the doors around the house and shut everything down , then just watch TV from our bedroom).  It was great!  We both fell asleep by 10.

Silly selfie with the fam

I took the week off for vacation between Christmas and New Years and it was great. I wish I could tell you that I met up with friends every day, shopped, cleaned house, took down Christmas, etc.   I didn’t do any of that. One day I did take Jack and Avery to the movies to see Sing. I’ve mentioned them a few times. I’m really good friends with their mom who works with me. They don’t have any family in Texas and they didn’t go home to Chicago this year.  They’re good boys and I love spending time with them.  Sing was super cute!  I did read a book- Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children.  I liked it but then I realized it’s a series of 3 books and I didn’t have the other 2.  I hate when I do that!  I slept in every day to at least 8 or 8:30.  I just kinda took it easy which I so rarely do.  It was nice!

Sing with Avery and Jack

For New Years Eve,  we were invited to some friends house who had a really fun ( brilliant) idea- the party started at 6pm and they changed all their clocks in the house to say 9pm.  So at our time at 9, we did a count down and toasted champagne like it was midnight.  Todd and I were back home in our jammies and in bed again by 10.  HAHA! We are some wild and crazy characters !  The following day on Sunday was spent at my Dads ranch again visiting with my stepmom’s family. My stepbrother and sister and the kiddos were in from California and I needed to spend time with them.  It was also Cowboys football time that we lost to the Giants. Poop! Then Monday came around and we had a corporate day off so that was good. I unfortunately had caught a bug (from one of the kiddos I suspect) and was super super sick all day and into the late evening.  Todd took down the Christmas tree and did what he could with decorations but i wasn’t able to help him much at all.   Then back to work on Tuesday. That was all pretty much my holiday in a nutshell.
NY Eve party with friends Debbie and Wendy( avery and jacks mom)
My nieces Ava and Paloma
Dad's dog Leroy did not mind being festive and wearing party hat

This week has been rough emotionally. This Thursday will be the one year anniversary of my sweet amazing Daddy taking his last breath.  I cant believe its already been a year. It honestly feels like it was a few months ago. I think I lived so long in the dark with my head in a hole last year that I lost track of time.  I will be  working from home that day so I don’t have to wear makeup because I suspect I’ll be crying the majority of the day.  This weekend Deb is hosting a Celebration of Life in Memory of Daddy. I’ve also been dreading that. I don’t know why.  It will be friends and family that loved my dad but I just am exhausted from crying and yet I still do.  A few of my close friends will be there so that will help.  Todd said to me the other night that we don’t have to go. But we do. I need to show my support to Deb. Maybe this is healing for her. I am his only daughter ( only kid born to him) and I feel like I need to be there.   So, please pray for my heart this week and weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have a great day yall!!