I am thankful for my sisters

Happy Thanksgiving! As I sit here in my sewing room typing away on the computer, Mr. Right is busy in the kitchen making us a gourmet breakfast (because we haven’t consumed quite enough calories yet) and prepping for our family dinner tonight. He asked me if my 30 Days of Thankfulness ends today… it doesn’t. I’m not sure if it’s good timing or bad, but I’m extending my thankfulness through the end of November. Besides, I still have several more big posts up my sleeve… I could be thankful until spring. But I’ll try to cap it on November 30.

Today I am thankful for my sisters. Growing up in a house full of girls was one of the biggest blessings God could have given me. My sisters are my best friends–not just because they have so much dirt on me that I’ll always have to stay on their good side. No, they are two of the coolest and strongest women I’ve ever met. I am so thankful for them.

You can imagine that we grew up with a lot of laughter in our house…

We have seen each other through weddings and major illnesses. Dozens of moves and dozens of boys (but praise Jesus we found our keepers). Breakup CDs and dance parties and High School Musical movie nights. We have cheered each other on at softball games and gymnastics meets and cheerleading competitions. I’ve watched them walk the stage at high school and college graduations. And soon, we’re going to cheer Sarah on as she has a BABY. (We’re pee-in-your-pants excited about that one.)
We have traveled the world together… from Italy and France to the White House and the mountains of Colorado. I have shared a bed with them (they’ll tell you I hog the sheets… they’re lying) and tiny back seats with them (with our running joke that I need more room because of my LONG legs).  
(In Venice… part of a two-week European trip without hair dryers or straighteners… talk about roughing it and BAD hair days.)

Not only are my sisters fun, but they’re also super talented. Sarah is the most fabulous interior designer I know (call her!) and she has helped me refinish furniture and figure out how to make my house look like something that could be on Pinterest. Lindsay is nurse in the neuro ICU at one of the biggest hospitals in town and is always available to answer those pressing medical self-diagnosis questions (can I mix Benadryl with this flu medication?), and who’s the only one in the family not worried about being puked on (she’s pulled hospital family puking duty on two different occasions).

Our sisterhood is authentic… while we were all Thetas at Baylor, we opted to start our own sorority… Beta Sigma Lambda for LIFE. We eventually let the husbands join.

So to Sarah and Lindsay… I am so very thankful for you. And Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy birthday Sarah!

Happy birthday to my beloved sister and one of my very best friends… Sarah.

Sarah is one of those rare finds in life – she’s the laid-back middle child who goes with the flow and gets along with everyone she encounters. She’s a hard worker and an uber talented interior designer (go check out her new design blog), painter, and crafter extraordinaire. She’s one of the most creative people I know, and she has a sense of humor and the gift of mercy, making her a favorite of a lot people. Oh, and my dad will tell you that she was an All State softball player back in high school.

For my wedding my mom dug up some old family photos for a slide show, so I thought I’d let you enjoy some “classics” of Sarah and me over the years (and of our youngest sister Lindsay).
When Sarah was a born, I thought my mom had given me my own personal, life-sized baby doll. What a treat she was! From the looks of this picture, I think at first I enjoyed her a bit more than she enjoyed me. I can see the panic on her poor baby face! (Oh, and why did my parents insist on dressing us in bonnets? You’re about to see more…)
For three years it was just the two of us, and then our sister Lindsay entered the scene. It was just about this time that Sarah blossomed into her uber cute phase, and I hit my tremendously awkward phase, which didn’t let up until the eighth grade. Enjoy these and feel my pain…
My parents were cheap when it came to Halloween costumes (as an adult, I certainly don’t blame them), so I was a pumpkin five years in a row. The suit went from rather large to rather tight. After that I was a karate kid for another five years, which might have been slightly creative, except we took karate, so it was the same suit I wore twice a week to class. From the looks of it, this particular year Sarah was a homemade clown, and I think Lindsay must have been Mary from the Bible. Obviously we were good Baptist trick-or-treaters… I guess this was foreshadowing that we would both marry ministers.
Ahh, yes. The year our Easter dresses sported shoulder pads that rivaled any football player. So. darn. cute. (and another bonnet…) And fitting, since both of us happen to be sitting like football players. The adult version of me wishes I could go back in time and tell 11-year-old me to CROSS YOUR LEGS LIKE A LADY! (Oops, was I shouting? I apologize)
Most of our childhood summers were spent either (1) playing softball or (2) watching baseball games. My dad had season tickets to the Rangers through his work, and anytime Nolan Ryan pitched (plus any other time we were in the mood) we’d load up the free Pizza Hut jugs full of Coke and Dr. Pepper and head to Rangers Stadium to cheer on our favorite team. It looks like on this particular night poor Sarah got bonked on the head by her sweet little sister.

We finally grew up (sort of) and lived some fun adventures as semi-adults. We overlapped one year at Baylor, and we shared some wonderful memories while we were there. Sarah changed my life when she introduced me to the hair straightener (her roommate had one of those crazy things… my hair has never been the same since) and I returned the favor by letting her lay on the floor of my apartment bathroom for a day while she battled the stomach flu (it was more comfortable than her dorm room). It was a fun year.
A few years later we were both back living in DFW and I convinced her to visit my beloved church. Soon she was hooked and we spent about four years hanging out with the same group of friends, serving alongside one another and generally just having a ball living life together. We traveled, just the two of us, to New York to watch a Yankee game one summer, and another time we took 15 of our closest friends to our favorite spot in Colorado. In between we got hundreds of pedicures, ate a lot of dinners, talked a LOT about boys, and watched a lot of High School Musical movies. I will always be thankful for those years.
Now we’re both married and have houses about ten minutes apart. She continues to be a total blessing to me, and I am so thankful to have her as my sister. Happy birthday Sarah!

My Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad… Week

I wrote a story in the 6th grade about my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. My teacher loved it so much that she kept it, and years later she told me she was still showing it to her classes. Maybe it was an early sign that I would choose a career in writing. Or maybe I had written about a day that was so bad, even Mrs. Lewis was impressed.
This week has been THAT bad.
That car repair? Oh yeah, much worse than expected. When my dad broke the news to me, I dissolved into tears (again). He asked me over the phone, “Are you okay?” That’s when I told him that I felt the overwhelming urge to throw up.
Of course, I didn’t. But it would have added to my week.
Just about everything that could have gone wrong, did. From the moment it started until the minute work ended tonight, it was one set of bad news after the other. One stressful moment after another. One tough conversation after another. I’m really glad the week is over.
And then I went to dinner with my family, and everything changed. As I told them about my crummy week, we all started laughing at just how horrible it had been. Next thing we knew, we were laughing so hard that tears were streaming down all of our faces. I think the laughter began when my dad recounted that tearful telephone conversation, and I started hyperventilating just thinking about the cost of the repair bill (think thousands and thousands of dollars). The hyperventilating triggered a minor asthma attack, which just tickled everybody else, and from there, we couldn’t stop.
It was a great night.
And then, the night got better, because I spent it with my new favorite boy.
(Insert sigh here)

(Go ahead and insert another one here…)

(Maybe one more?)
After our family dinner my sister introduced me to the greatness that is High School Musical 3. Granted, I haven’t had that much cheese since my last jumbo pretzel at the hospital employee party that came with hot, melted cheese dip (and bbq sauce, another tasty pretzel treat). But Zac is just the cutest thing ever, and I’ll admit that I loved the dance numbers. Now I need to see HSM 1 & 2
After the movie (and the out-takes, and the special features), we had a debriefing. My sister decided that in our family, she would be Vanessa Hudgins, and I would be Sharpay. I’m not sure how I feel about that, especially since that means Sarah would get the boy, and all I would get is some little yappy dog. But pink IS my color, and I do love my sister… although I’m not sure I love her enough to give up Zac without a fight. 
Tomorrow will be better. I’m going for a run and then spending the day at the zoo with a friend. It has to be better… Surely it will be better…

Going to the Chapel

Tomorrow is the big day! My baby sister is getting married (the one in the blue). So crazy, I remember when she was an itty bitty thang, cute as could be with her white blonde hair and mischievous smile. And now she’s all grown up into a fabulous woman, and she’s getting a pretty cool husband! Or, I should say that Dallas is gaining a pretty cool wife (and amazing sisters-in-law, I might add).

I’ll post more about tonight’s rehearsal dinner later, but for now I need to get my beauty sleep. Remind me to tell you about the wreck, flat tire, sprained or broken arm, the tornadoes, and the sorority initiation. Tonight was a night to remember!

And the panic sets in

I’m the co-maid of honor in my youngest sister’s wedding on Saturday, and I wasn’t the least bit nervous. Until about an hour ago, when I discovered that there will be a fabric runner laid on top of the center aisle for me to walk on. 

EEEK! What was my sister thinking?!
I’m the girl who tripped at a job interview as I walked down a tile hallway. One moment I was walking along in my brand-new business suit and high heels, and the next moment I was face-down on the linoleum, arms and legs spread eagle. I hit so hard my forehead had a bruise. I think they were so worried I might sue them that they went ahead and gave me the job. 
I’m the girl who tripped while walking up the stairs at my high school. I fell face-down on the top stair, and when I finally lifted my head in shame, I saw 25 students staring back at me from a classroom, right across from where I lay. 
I’m the girl who fell down a set of marble stairs at a hotel in Venice in front of a small crowd of people.
I’m the girl who fell down all 20 stairs at my apartment sophomore year, causing a deep, purple bruise that ran from my bra strap to my tailbone… the week before I was due to wear a backless formal dress.
I’m the girl who knocked out my own front tooth. Twice. And caught my hair on fire. At church.
And I can’t tell you how many chocolate fountains I have bumped into, staining perfectly beautiful cocktail dresses. I not only spill on myself, but also on those around me. Just ask the table full of people in Tuscany, who witnessed me spilling 10 bottles of water and wine all over everything and everybody. It was just like knocking over dominoes… one right after another after another.
If it can be spilled, I will do it. If there are stairs, I will fall down them. And if there is a runner of fabric laying on top of the aisle, with even the slightest crinkle or movement, then we all know that I will probably trip and fall, ruining my sister’s wedding while 350 of our closest family and friends watch.
I’m going to start praying now. Maybe she will change her mind.

Pooh on David’s Bridal

David’s Bridal, you are a bad, bad company.

First, you messed up my sister’s wedding dress. You altered it (for $400). And it didn’t fit.
So she had it altered again. And it still didn’t fit.
So she had it altered a third time. And it still didn’t fit.
Oh yeah, and after the third alteration, she found BLOOD on her dress. And rips and snags in the seams. Your seamstress BLED on my sister’s dress, did shoddy work, and all you offered to do to make it right was discount her $65. 
Um, yeah, that’s not going to work.
Because you ruined her first dress (after three failed alterations), you ordered her a second dress. You made her wait a month for it to arrive. When the new dress came… it was too small. Even though it was the size you claimed would fit her better. And then, you still wouldn’t do anything to make it right. That nothing could be done. For a fourth time, you couldn’t get it right. 
Even worse, you made my sister cry.
That’s when big sister Bethe stepped in. After a spirited “discussion” with your manager, you said you might give her a free alteration. After you clear it through corporate, you have promised to call me in the morning.
But, David’s Bridal… if you don’t take care of this (and quickly)… then you’re going to get to see me in action. Nobody messes with my sister. And you have no idea how persistent I can be. Just ask the VP of Communications for AOL, who called and gave me a personal apology a few years ago for the actions of his company. I’m a nice girl, and I will be nice to you. And I’m rarely assertive or confrontational. But don’t mess with me when I mean business. 
And trust me, I mean business on this one. 
But I’m hopeful that you, David’s Bridal, will do the right thing. Take care of your customer. Save the day. 
Go ahead. This is your chance.

Weekend Wrap-Up

I’ve had such a good weekend. Friday night I got a pedicure with my sister and another friend, and then the three of us, plus one more, met up for a quiet dinner. It was so nice… just laid back, lot’s of laughing, comfortable shoes… I love nights like that. The pedicure place used a chocolate exfoliator thing on my legs… you haven’t lived until you’ve had a stranger rub chocolate on your legs as you sit in a massage chair sipping a cappuccino. Hmmm… that sounds a bit racier than it really was. After the pedicure, I felt like a new woman. A new woman with dark purple toenails… again. The edginess is back. And maybe here to stay.

Then Saturday I spent the whole day cooking and cleaning to prepare for a shower I hosted tonight for sister Lindsay (the one getting married). I absolutely love the preparation that goes into throwing a party. I like the cleaning up afterward part a lot less. Saturday night I turned my iPod on “shuffle” (yes, the iPod magically works again), and cooked for hours. I cooked for the party, and also made Christmas goodies for some of my favorite coworkers. Since they put up with me for another year (almost five, actually), I figure they deserve some baked goods.

I did such a good job of preparing yesterday that today I was able to sneak in a quick nap after church. A nap on a party day is so very rare, and it was just the thing I needed to keep me going through the party. The party went fantastically well, many of my sister’s bridesmaids, old roommates, and friends from childhood came by, along with some of her new family members. It’s weird to see that my sister is going to have NEW family members… new sisters-in-law. Part of me finds the whole situation a bit strange, but I’m thankful that these new family members seem to be strong Christian women who treat her well, so I guess it’s okay to share her a little.

So it was a good weekend. I got to spend quality time with friends and family, got rubbed down with chocolate, danced in my kitchen and ate large quantities of cake. Yes, it was a very good weekend.

Hospital Blog

For all those who have been praying for my sister’s surgery, I want to say thank you. It’s so neat to see people rally around someone you love, and I can tell you that she is so moved by the support she has gotten from her friends and her church family. I write this blog as I sit in her hospital room, chuckling at my sister’s witty sense of humor, even with her head slightly cloudy from her pain medications. She is a real trooper, and I’ll be so glad to have my favorite playmate back up and running very soon! 

In the meantime we’re having a bit of a party in her room. And by party, I mean I’m sitting here doing homework while she catches up on her sleep. Tomorrow night she and I will be having a slumber party… there’s even talk of painting her toe nails a new fabulous color. A girl may be sick in a hospital, but that’s no excuse for not looking fantastic! If only I had planned ahead and bedazzled that drab hospital gown… sparkles would definitely add a spark to her stay!