Thursday, May 31, 2012

my greatest hopes for you

Dear children,

Mom is feeling a bit nostalgic today. It has everything to do with Bailey’s graduation from elementary school and Keegan’s graduation from intermediate school. The time is flying fast, and I worry that my days raising you will be gone in a flash.

So, here are ten of my greatest hopes for each you…

1. That your Daddy-Pete and I instill in both of you a love of education and books and seeking knowledge. Read everything. Fill your head with philosophies and history and science. Education is one of the few things in life that can never be taken away from you.

2. Travel the world. Experience as many different countries and cultures as possible. Take every opportunity to go and do and see!

3. Seek out your passions. Grow them! Be they music, art, dance, sports… whatever! You are capable of reaching whatever goal you can dream up. Invest in yourself and your talents.

4. Do not be afraid to speak up when you feel something is unfair, unjust or harmful. We are all deserving of kindness. There is no cause or difference worthy of belittling or bullying others. Doing the right thing is not always the popular thing, but it will always be worth it.

5. I hope that one day you know what it feels like to love another person with all of your heart. Take your time (lots and lots of time!). Don’t rush into matters of the heart. Enjoy your youth and be carefree but when you’re ready, loving someone else faithfully and completely will be one of the greatest gifts of your life.

6. And along those same lines, I hope that you know what it feels like to be loved by another with all of their heart. When you do fall in love, make sure that person is willing to give the same to you. You are worth the effort. True love is an equal partnership.

7. May your heartbreaks in life be minimal. They will happen. And they can feel so consuming and paralyzing but know that they are part of your story. The hurt will shape you and it will make you a wiser, better person. Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is allow yourself to be vulnerable.

8. Have a group of friends who will be loyal and encouraging. Over the course of your life you will hold so many different friendships - some of them good and some of them detrimental. Don’t waste time on anyone who is not good to you. Let the lessons from all of these relationships allow you to build a circle of friends who will always be there to stand with you in the highest and lowest moments of your life.

9.  No matter what happens to you, remember that your father and I are here to care for you and guide you and support you. Even if we disagree with you, don’t ever be afraid to come to us for help. We may not always have the answer or the means, but we’ll be in it together. Our love for you is without limits or conditions and it will always be that way.

10. And lastly, the most important hope of all. Never forget that faith in and love for Jesus Christ is all you need. Above the love of a partner, the friendship of your peers, even your family. Let Him be the north star that guides your life.

When I think of your future, my heart can barely contain the hope it holds for you. You are so young now, but the days are moving fast and I am taking every opportunity to be purposeful and open about my dreams for you. But these words are just that … my dreams… merely a launching pad for the possibilities of your life. Who will you become? What will you achieve? Only time will reveal those things. I am certain that the very best thing I will ever do in my life has already begun. In whatever you accomplish, you will be my greatest legacy.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

we've been published!

So, huge announcement: our wedding has been published as a feature wedding in this week’s A Lovely Find wedding guide.

It’s not Bride magazine, but it might as well be – I’m THAT excited.  We owe it to our photographers, Archetype Studio, for it’s their submission.  But anytime anyone gives you recognition for something you put so much time and effort into, it warms your heart.  When Koby tweeted me this morning “guess who’s been published,” I immediately clicked on the link while sitting in the drive-thru line at the bank.  I read it aloud to Pete, hesitating sporadically trying to hold back the tears.  Me, in love with the mere fact that Pete and I mirror love and family and friendship.  It’s exactly what we aspired our wedding to be.

It simply blows me away that our special day will be in a wedding guide, a staple for brides across America.

Thanks again, Terilyn & Koby, for making this spread possible and doing such an amazing job on photography (aka the reason we ended up in a publication in the first place). 

Readers, have you picked up on the notion that I’m obsessed Archetype yet?

Monday, May 28, 2012

corporate is ever-changing

My friend, mentor, and former boss was let go from the company where I work. Her loss is immeasurable to me. I won’t get into the politics, the right and wrong of it. I’ll just say that to have her leave has left me feeling empty and a bit aimless. Now I really don’t know who to attach my anchor to. There may be a person who emerges to become that mentor. For now, I have to rely on myself. Perhaps that’s not a bad thing, but my own personal compass is a bit broken. I know where I want to go, and I know I’m not headed in the right direction. I’m not sure what to do about that.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

our wedding style

After we got engaged, I never really spent any time perusing bridal magazines.  Rather, an image appeared in my mind, and it came from my love for all things vintage and timeless.  The question was how do we mix chic elegance with simplicity?  We wanted something special with lots of attention to small details; lavish and ostentatious just doesn’t define us.  We toured a number of venues in the Houston area, and soon realized we were way off course -- we wanted to celebrate at a place that was not completely plucked from the blue.  The focus was on intimacy and illustrating the love we possess for one another without the monetary setback that most weddings incur.

Birdcage veil. My veil had a couture look, but really is DIY.  Remember, however, if you’re making something that you plan to wear on your wedding day, give yourself plenty of time to get it perfect.  In other words, start now!

The dress.  My dress was a Pronovias -- Bangkok model -- ivory in color.  Gina and Chrissy can attest to the fact that it was the first dress I tried on at the first appointment.  Some things are just meant to be, and this dress was suited especially for me. *swoon*

My favorite memories: The sounds from the cello and violin setting the mood.  The opera talent singing my most loved classical song, Ave Maria.  The smiles from a few of our closest family and friends in attendance.  Though my favorite part of that day was walking toward my children and fianc√© waiting for me at the end of the isle, and meeting Pete for our “first look” – seeing the Cheshire grin on his face and reveling in that very special once-in-a-lifetime moment with my handsome husband-to-be.

Wooden chalk board sign.  While this idea isn’t totally new, we love a variety of typography (hence the invitations).  Pete did the hard work, devising a plan to construct a wooden welcome that could stand on its own.  Brilliant is he; a chalkboard, stained to resemble a finished wooden frame – he’s so handy like that.  The night before the wedding, I sketched on paper the ideal layout for what the board would say, and then transferred it in chalk…and on a much larger scale.  I was proud of the way it turned out.  And the best part is that it’s erasable if you make a mistake.

Chair poms.  Silk luscious green florals with the stems removed.  (Cutting wire is truly Pete’s specialty.)  The flowers were wrapped with floral wire with which the satin brown ribbon would hang on just the inner row of chairs.

Bouquets and boutonni√®re.  Homemade with love; white and cream silk flowers wrapped with cream-colored satin ribbon.  And did I mention baby-proof?  Baby Reef often beat my bouquet like a hand drum, keeping him happy during photo shoots, and it still looks as good as new.

The restaurant’s glamour didn’t need any help of mine.  The cascading water wall back-dropped the dinner setting, and the dimmed lanterns gave the room a romantic ambience.  We added our own little touch with shimmering candles, sparkling glass and gorgeous orange ruffled florals.  Everything personalized by the bride and groom, all the way down to the place cards.  We had a vision and both absolutely loved creating the look and how it all came together; it wouldn’t have been the same had we not put our own distinctive stamp on the wedding.

Centerpieces.  We needed to choose a flower or plant that was resilient.  So, we chose silks.  And with every gush of awe from guests and/or restaurant staff, I wanted so badly to exclaim, “they’re fake!”  They were placed in rectangular glass vases, filled with whole coffee beans, and complimented with a bazillion square candle votives.

Favors. Stem-less wine glasses were our favors.  Embossed with an old-fashioned car from the 40s. 

Place cards.  Completely DIY.  Simply printed on 40# cardstock in a beautiful Palace Script.  Cut by hand.  So incredibly simple, but so ridiculously elegant.

It could not have been more perfect and we had an absolutely amazing time celebrating with our loved ones – eating, drinking, and merrymaking.  I’m still overwhelmed by all the love and joy, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue our happily ever after with our best friend.

Song: Marry Me   Artist: Train

Thursday, May 24, 2012

thank you, readers

I have many blessings and am thankful for more things than I could even list in a single blog post.. I am truly and deeply blessed with family, friends, love, health, life... I would love to list everything, but I wanted to dedicate this post to how thankful I am for YOU and for this blog!

A few years ago, I started this blog as a place to rant, whine, ramble record my feelings, photos, thoughts, etc. I also wanted to continue connections with friends that have moved away and started their own blogs. This little place of mine on the internet has become that and SO much more to me.

This blog has given me some GREAT friends across the country...and across the ocean in some cases! You all have given me such a great gift through our paths crossing in this fabulous blog-o-verse. When I have a bad day, I can rant about it and am repeatedly humbled by comments with uplifting words or even comments saying "Girl, I SO get it!" When something exciting happens or something goes really well, you're there, too. I'm perpetually eager to read about what's going on in your lives. I get so mad when life gets too busy for me to connect with you over the web b/c it feels like that phone call you REALLY want to make to someone but can't seem to reach them. There are nights when my eyelids are heavy and I still check my phone b/c I want to read what ended up happening with this or that. :)

I've even noticed that subconsciously I refer to you as "friends" in everyday conversation. Things like "One of my friends just had a baby!" or "One of my friends went through something really similar..." I guess somewhere in the past few years, the phrase "blog friend" changed to "friend" and it is such a true depiction of how I feel.

I might not always respond to comments via e-mail at the rate I WANT to or feel like I should (various apps blocked at work.. blah), but I read every single one and am humbled by every single person who cares enough to stop by my little corner on the web.

I'll quit rambling and just say I am so very thankful for YOU, friends. Happy holiday weekend!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

wordless wednesday

Saturday, May 19, 2012

wedding preview

i have so much to tell you. about our special day. about the joy that envelopes us right now. how excited we are to greet each other in the morning as mr. and mrs. roach.

until then, here are a few pictures that julie took...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the big step

Pete: “This fortune must’ve been meant for you.”

Me: “Why? What does it say?”

Pete: “Don’t be afraid to make the big step.”

Me: “You’re not even a little nervous about getting married?”

Pete: “No. I’ve never been more sure about anything in my entire life.”

I must add, Pete says a lot of sweet things, and expresses his love and devotion to me on a daily basis, but this? This is up there.


Song: Sweet Disposition  Artist: Temper Trap

Monday, May 14, 2012

glory days

Pete suggested we download some old Beach Boys music for Reef. In case you haven’t noticed, the 9 mo old is destined surfer. Aside from his name, his room is decked out in surfboards and hibiscus flowers.

Side note: the kid is currently afraid of water.  Yeah.

Anyhoodle, the Beach Boys are having a fiftieth anniversary tour.  Is it just me, or does anyone else find it disheartening to think of seventy year old men still singing about going on a surfing safari, or of their fascination with California Girls, or about various cars that were popular fifty years ago?  I like Good Vibrations as much as the next person, but when those Good Vibrations are caused by prostate issues and cardiac arrest…well…one might forgive me for thinking that maybe it’s time for them to hang up their hats, so to speak.

This reminded me of something I saw advertised a while back; it was a reunion of KC and the Sunshine Band.  I started singing “Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.”  And the “get down tonight” made me imagine them stroking and falling over.

And yet.  I turned thirty-four a few weeks ago, and I will say that I’m finding it a struggle to retain my stylishness without looking like mutton dressed as lamb, as my nanny used to say.  I still wear Hollister and Abercrombie and Roxy and Pink, for the love of god.  Every day I wonder if I look okay, or if one of the sixth grade girls at my son’s school is going to compliment me on my outfit because she has the same one.

All of which is to say, I understand their struggle with aging.  It’s hard to shake off the glory days of the past, especially if said glory days are accompanied with fame and fortune.  Not that this is an issue with me, but still.  I understand.  I have a nervous feeling that I’m going to be one of those crazy looking old women with bleached blonde hair and bright lipstick feathering into the creases around my mouth, wearing shamefully inappropriate clothing and way too much perfume.  Ack!  Perhaps I should start now, wearing housedresses and elastic-waist polyester slacks, with plastic earrings that match my plastic beaded necklace.

Or maybe not.  After all, the bleached blonde haired old ladies are the most fun, am I right?

Monday, May 7, 2012

bitter baby face

It seems a rite of passage that somewhere around 8-10 months old, an unsuspecting baby receives a lemon and everyone laughs at his/her reaction.

We waited in giddy anticipation for his face to pucker up but instead, Reef nibbled on the lemon as if it was a refreshing appetizer before the main course. He licked it, pulled it out to inspect it, and then just went back to chomping on it like it as a delicious treat. Apparently we produce lemon proof babies and any wild dreams we might have carried in our hearts of getting on America’s Funniest Home Videos with a “bitter beer face have forever been crushed. Sigh.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

mother's day gift ideas

No one knows what you want more than you do, right? Your partner might be scrambling right now to order flowers or buy a card during his lunch hour. Or, he might not be.

Whether he's a prepared planner or oblivious, he would probably be pretty relieved to get a clear message from you about your expectations on Mother's Day. What are they?

Here are ten treats my friends agree would make them feel pampered on Mother’s Day. Feel free to copy and paste them for your partner.

1. It's hard to sleep in when the little people in the next room are giggling. Take them on a walk, Dad! Yes, at 7 am.

2. Bring in the bagels, pack us a picnic, or order a pizza. It doesn't have to be fancy, just make it happen.

3. If the kids are too young to do it themselves, help them give Mommy extra kisses, draw a picture, or pick flowers from the garden for a special I Love Mommy bouquet.

4. Be the bad cop all day long. I'll hug away any tears, but Daddy can enforce consequences with the perpetrator.

5. If there is a potty accident or overturned oatmeal, leave me out of it. Thank you.

6. We can go to a museum, take a hike, or visit with friends. You suggest it and I'll approve.

7. Snap a picture of me and the kids. Or even better, make sure we get one of all of us. I fear in 20 years I'll realize I wasn't in any of the pictures that were taken around the house or on our vacations because I was always behind the camera.

8. Book me a massage or facial. If budget doesn't allow it, keep the kids busy while I take the world's longest bath.

9. Clean anything. No, we're not implying he doesn't usually clean; it would just be an extra super surprise to open the junk drawer and find it organized. Pick a tiny corner of our house and spiff it up. I'd really like that.

10.Smile as you do it all. It's no fun if we feel guilty about our day of indulgence.

Friday, May 4, 2012

{tutorial} bikini care

So, our trip isn't until summer but I'm on the hunt for bikinis and sundresses as though we were leaving in a week. It is what it is. Plus, with work being insanely, head-spinning boring right now, I find my mind wandering to my beach vacation to motivate me to keep on keepin on...

I need to get my kinis in time to soak them in vinegar. Are you going "Huh? Why?" It's a trick I learned when I was on swim team.. or lifeguarding...or something. I don't remember; I've slept since then. But, seriously.. soaking it in vinegar helps lock in the color and preserve it much, much longer. I used to think it was just an old wives tale until I did it and a fellow lifeguard didn't (same swimsuit) and mine looked MUCH more vibrant in a month than hers did. 

Anyhoodle, super easy: combine 2 tsp of vinegar with one quart of cool water (4 cups). I think I used 4 tsp of vinegar and 2 quarts of water to soak my suit. Whatever, just adjust appropriately. Soak for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse in cool water and hang dry! Don't wring out.

Easy peasy! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I’ve had trouble writing (the horror)! But it was suggested that wine doubles as blog lube. (I am not making this up.) So…let’s go with that.

Given the general malaise that seems to be surrounding us, there is a very good chance this message will self-destruct.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

wordless wednesday

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