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Sunday, December 30, 2012

DIY Photo Ledge Wall

The Hubby and I recently rearranged our living room. This left a large empty wall behind our couches where our once small entertainment center sat. I have seen all over Pinterest these photo walls and photo ledge walls.





The photo ledge walls were very appealing due to the minimal holes drilled into the walls. Less holes = fewer patches if you decide to sell = no matching paint. Which the previous owner did and it did not turn out well. 

I was shopping around various sites and those ledges are not cheap! Either they are not cheap or have horrible reviews, and I am all about reviews!! 
Target - One ledge had a decent price, but horrible reviews. The other ledge looked good, but was pricier and no reviews.

Pottery Barn - They have the Holman ledge, which I am sure this will be no shocker, they were pricey. $35-$55 for one ledge. Not to mention I had bought their wine bottle and wine glass shelves earlier this year and I swore I would NEVER buy shelves from them again. Their anchors are the most destructive anchors I have ever encountered. Let's just say if you screw up, too damn bad, or you have to saw out a good 4" circle to get it out of your wall. And their templates are obviously just preprinted and not necessarily checked for accuracy with the shelf it is shipped with. Can you sense my hostility?

The Container Store - Their Tchotchke shelves had almost great reviews, and the price was decent.  $28-$38. 

Still, I wanted something cheaper. Not to mention, when you say $38 it doesn't sound too bad, but when you need 4 or 5 of them that is a whopping $152- $190 before tax. Don't forget you have to buy frames too if not already in your possession. So, when I stumbled upon Be Simply Organized I was squealing with joy! DIY Photo Ledge for about $10/ledge. Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Ma'am! Sign me up! 

I plan to make a trip to Home Depot tomorrow to buy the necessary supplies. Hope to have them up and running by next weekend, so stay tuned!

Alana XOXO

All photos from Pinterest

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas From The Johnsons {2012}


I hope you and your loved ones had a fabulous Christmas holiday this year! I know my Hubby and I did.

We were quiet busy since I have family 5 hours away.  We had to drive to Houston Sunday morning for my dad's side of the family, followed by my moms on Monday for Christmas Eve. We then continued on home after the family gathering to make it home by 2 am so we could enjoy our first Christmas as a married couple in our own home. 

Since we don't have kids we have the pleasure of splurging on other people. Not to mention, Henry gets plenty of credit card rewards thanks to his business, so gift cards are usually handed out in lieu of an actual gift so people can spend on themselves how they choose. Henry absolutely hates gift cards and their insensitive meaning, or at least that is what he thinks, I on the other hand love gift cards! I would much rather enjoy a gift card to spend on myself however I choose than to get a gift, fake a smile, and go exchange it later on. Luckily,  my family members know me pretty well so exchanges have never had to happen, but that is my opnion on the whole gift card topic.

Sunday at my Uncle Mark's house I enjoyed eating my Grandpas amazing oatmeal cookies, watching old family videos my grandparents had managed to turn into DVDs and chatting with cousins and aunts. One cousin in particular was latched on to Henry like a leach. But the cutest leach ever I must admit. 


My baby cousin Aimee seems to have grown a little kid crush on my husband. Which Henry eats up because he adores children. He had absolutely no problem entertaining her.


Monday was my aunt's party. We always do a themed Christmas with them since in our family by Christmas you have just about finished left over Thanksgiving foods and would prefer anything other than more turkey and dressing. This year was Asian food. Nom Nom Nom!! Delicious Shrimp and Pork Spring rolls, Coconut Curry Chicken, Egg Rolls, Wontons, brown rice....Side note, if you notice me capitalizing nouns, such as Egg Rolls, please forgive me. I speak German, in German all nouns are capitalized, it has been a difficult habit to break because I rarely notice until someone asks me.
Needless to say I think I stuffed my mouth more than I did on Thanksgiving and felt like I was going to pop!

Christmas gifts rolled around and we really enjoyed getting to see all the kids open their gifts. I am sure everyone knows what we get them because it typically involves us brainwashing my little cousins with Aggie Gear. My heart fluttered in delight when my sister asked my 6 year old cousin where she wanted to go for college and without hesitation, grinning ear-to-ear my cousin blurts out, "Texas A&M College Station!" That's my girl!!!! So proud of her.
Quoted above is Shaye, the cousin on the left. Right is Henry's niece, Ariana.
After my aunt's we hurried on over to my parent's house where we finished up a few family gifts so we could get on the road before too late (it was already 8:30 pm). We had given my parent's their gifts at my aunt's house, however my mom wanted us to open her gifts at her house. Unfortunately, my sister was still at her boyfriend's mom's house and my dad was being a vain toddler who can't think of anyone else other than himself at times, so the gift opening consisted of my mom, Henry, the two Harbor girls visiting and myself. My mom had thoughtfully bought me some wonderful scrapbooking additions, and an amazing wine bottle chandelier!! I had been eyeing one at Pottery Barn, so when I opened the box I was ecstatic to see she had purchased it! They also got my Hubby some more beer brewing supplies to go along with the ones my Aunt Robin and Uncle Warren had earlier given him as a gift. Lot's of home-made beer in our future. Yummy! (I say that in all seriousness too, it's awesome!)

Finally at 9:12 pm, yes 9:12 pm, my mom refused to let us drive off at 9:11 pm, we were on the road to Fort Worth again. We made it home safely around 2 am and crashed. The next morning when we finally rolled out of bed we kept our dogs back so we could scatter their new toys on the floor. We adore watching them scramble out of the bedroom and frantically trying to decide which toy to take for the day. Dunk, the fatty of our two dogs, tried unsuccessfully to cram two new turkey leg shaped rawhides into his mouth and instead settled on plopping down between the two as if to guard them. Tux, my baby baby, has an infatuation with green toys. People say dogs can't see colors but I gaurantee Tux can see green. I take him to PetSmart, throw down a few toys and say, "Get your toy." Tux goes back and forth between toys before settling on one, typically green, and setting it at my feet to let me know that is the one he chooses. I then grab an assortment of colors of the toy of choice, being sure to not use the same original he chose, to see if he again picks the green and he always goes for the green one. So, on Christmas day he had the choice between the first green toy he ever had as a puppy that a lawn mower destroyed, a green rope with green plush squeaky, a blue treat dispensing toy, and a green squeaky snake. Tux proceeded to grab the green squeaky rope and settled on the front door rug. After contemplating for some time, he shoves the rope in his mouth, walks back to the pile and successfully crams the other turkey leg rawhide into his mouth, and goes back to the rug with both. I love our Fuzzy-butt babies!

Henry and I finally began to open each other's presents. I had been so upset because we always do one "big" gift for each other each year. This year my big gift was a pair of Ostrich skin Lucchese's that Henry had been eyeing before we got married. Now I love Cavendar's, however I do not love that the week before Christmas they deliver the Lucchese boots in a opaque Cavender's bag! I did not like getting a text from my hubby with a photo of them on the doorstep. I had literally just got of the phone with them the night before when they called to say they were shipping, and I had specifically told them they were a Christmas gift. Thank youuuu Cavendar's, you dumbass.
So, as to not ruin his gift I had to be creative. I had to pretend I did not get him boots.

We began opening gifts, Henry received a few nice lumberjack shirts, long sleeve, and sweater from Banana Republic. I got two amazing skinny Miss Me jeans and VSX yoga outfits (all matching! He is so good!). We each bought each other 3 new colognes and perfumes. I got a new blingy belt and Vogt sterling silver cuff bracelet and he received a few Nike basketball shorts. Then he hands me a box that had not been under the tree with cowhide wrapping paper from a store called "The Maverick". I had never heard of this store. I anxiously unwrapped the gift wondering what he had bought! I was flabbergasted when I opened the box to see a stunning pair of Old Gringos!!! I had been dying for a pair of Old Gringos, and hadn't even told him this was a pair I adored. It is so nice having a Hubby who knows my style and taste so well. After drooling over my new boots, I decided it was time to hand Henry his boots. He ripped the wrapping paper off the box saying, "I wonder what these could be", with a huge smile on his face. The look on his face was priceless when he revealed the levi's and boot wedge and NOT a pair of Lucchese's. I couldn't resist bursting into laughter. He was SO disappointed they were boots. He looked under the tree to not see anymore gifts and made the most pitiful face. After pulling myself together I told him to hold on, walked into the guest bedroom, and grabbed the gift bag for Henry to open. Sure enough, there in the bag was his brand new boots. He was in love and we couldn't wait to flaunt our new boots.


However, there was one gift Henry had not let me open yet. He gave me a hint saying it was about the size of an iPad mini. I knew it wouldn't be an iPad because he bought me one last year, I was racking my brain trying to figure out what it was. Finally I gave up on guessing and opened the box to reveal a black box with the letters "LOCK" on the outside. Did he seriously get me my own toolbox? What in the world!?
I opened the box to see my very own Glock .40! YEA BUDDY!!! I would have never guessed!


Looking at all the gifts he got me it definitely was different from the years before I knew him. I went from getting wedges and pumps to cowgirl boots, from dresses to jeans, from jewelry to guns. However it is different for him too, he still gets his boots, but instead of camo and ammo, he gets sweaters and button ups. We have really rubbed off on each other, in a good way. It was an amazing Christmas together as Husband and Wife, and I wouldn't have changed one thing.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wedding Romantics

It is time I share some of our amazing wedding photos with you!! 
To start off, I felt I needed to share our Romantics. 

We had such a roller-coaster wedding day, that seeing these pictures post-wedding made all the bad memories fade. I even asked out amazing photographer, Michelle Peyronet, "How in the WORLD did you capture such great wedding photos!?" 

The hair lady they sent had NO IDEA how to do the hairstyle I had requested during my TRIAL RUN and when I booked, caterer forgot napkins, we had rain, followed by great Texas humidity, a tornado watch, my bustle was ripped out right before our first dance, caterer forgot to serve us, guests disappeared to watch a football game in the grooms suite, our get-away limo didn't show, and the list continues. HA! 
So, needless to say, these photos made everything better.








We were very blessed to have the weather let up in time for an amazing sunset. 
The terrible weather created a phenomenal backdrop. <3

Source for all photos: Peyronet Photography
Location: Double Creek Crossing College Station, Texas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

You're Never Too Old

My hubby and I have been Christmas shopping like crazy!!! Before Henry, I probably had ~8 people to shop for. Now that Henry's GINORMOUS family enters the equation we have about 30 people to shop for.

I feel like I am pretty good at "tricking" people who are normally difficult to shop for into telling me without realizing all they want too. Then I secretly take notes, snap a photo here or there and voila my Christmas shopping is miraculously made simple. I always have people asking me what so-and-so wants for Christmas because I typically know what everyone wants.

Case and point: Henry's wonderful mother.

I am truly blessed with a self-less mother-in-law who goes above and beyond for anyone who enters her life, even if only for a day, or a lifetime.

I took her to Apple to fix her laptop, not knowing you needed an appointment. Luckily for me, our appointment was scheduled an hour after we arrived. My MIL loves to cook and is always cooking for the lovely people that stop by their farm last minute, or her husband invites without warning, with a smile on her face.

As we peruse the endless cooking supplies at William-Sonoma I closely listened as she Ooooed and Awwwed at the various items.

Tuesday around noon, Henry's dad starts calling me back to back. Which is unusual, since he typically texts me if he needs something. Once I answer Herman asks, "Do you know what my wife wants for Christmas? I always get her a necklace and she never wears them. I want to get her something nice." I start grinning ear to ear hearing such sincerity and love for my mother-in-law.

I quickly ramble off a list of things I know she wants. He asks if I am willing to go pick the items out because he has no idea what Williams-Sonoma is - GASP! I know! But remember, this is my Country Boys family.

I ask how much I am willing to spend and love his response even more, "No limit, get everything she wanted."

Henry and I head off to get her gifts. As we enter Henry asks me what I intend to get. I list the items and he asks my same question, "How much are you planning to spend?" I respond with a giddy tone, "I don't know, your dad didn't give me a budget." I turn around and give him the biggest smile.

Henry says, "My mom doesn't need a lot of presents. She buys gifts for others now." I turn around shocked by his insensitive statement. "HENRY! Your mom does so much for others! She deserves a great Christmas too! You're never too old for presents! Trust me, she'll be very happy."

Wednesday Herman calls and asks if I am home. He heard Blondie was making Christmas Candy tonight and wants to give her one of the gifts we have been safely been keeping at our house. I rush home and make sure it's ready.

Once they arrive we hand her the ginormous box. Henry, Herman and I wait anxiously for her to tear open the paper to reveal her gift. When she does her face is PRICELESS! She was like a kid in a candy store! It made my heart flutter to see her with so much joy.

Henry proceeds to point out her numerous other gifts being kept safely under our tree. She clasped her hands together, grinning ear to ear says, "All those are for ME!?"
Henry tells her yes and she expresses how she can't wait to see what they are.
After they leave I turn to Henry, "See! I told you your mom loves presents!" Henry smiles, hugs me and tells me he loves me.

I can't wait for Christmas Day!

My Mother-in-law, Blondie, with her brand new KitchenAid Mixer :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Barnes and Noble Customer Service....SUCKS!!

Today I proceed to purchase my Hubby his gifts from Barnes and Noble Online since we finally received our rewards gift cards. I had $250 in B&N gift cards, but unfortunately they sent them in $25 increments. Lame.

I proceed to check out with my $350 order - because you can never spend JUST the gift card amount - and it informs me I can only enter two gift cards per order. TWO?!?!? WTH!? Gjhfhnjgbjkh!!!!

Now there is no way I am going to break this order up into 8 different orders and pay EIGHT different express shipping fees!!
Soooo I call customer service. I should've known the moment I heard the foreign accent this was going to be one of those stereotypical, no-good, terrible, horrible, customer service experiences.

I proceed to explain my dilemma of 10 gift cards, and only allowed three entries, and not wanting to pay excessive express shipping fees.

CSR: "Oh but standard shipping is free so it shouldn't be a problem."

Me: "Um, no, I am doing express shipping and that is not free."

CSR: "Express shipping is free if you are a Barnes and Noble Member."

Me: "Well, I am not a Barnes and Noble member, hence why Express shipping is NOT free and why I don't want to pay 8 separate shipping fees."

CSR: "Ok, well enter in your gift cards."

Me- rolls eyes and clenched jaw "Yes, I have entered in my two allowable gift cards but I still have 8 more to put towards the order. I would like to pay as little out of pocket as possible. Which is why I have called."

We go back and forth because for some odd reason he can't comprehend the number eight. Once he finally understands I have Eight more to apply we continue and he takes each number over the phone to apply to the order.

CSR: "Ok, give me the order number and I will apply the gift cards to your order."

Me: "Where to I find the order number?" Thinking, don't you have to complete the order to be given one!?!?

CSR: "Place the order and it should generate one."

Me: "I must enter a credit card to place the order to cover the remaining balance. It is NOT going to charge the full amount to my credit card if I click 'Place Order' will it?"

CSR: "No, there will still be time between then that I can apply the cards before it charges the remainder to your credit card."

I do so, give him the order number generated and he puts me on hold.

CSR: "It seems you applied your credit card to the remaining balance, so I cannot apply the gift cards without canceling the order and re-submitting it."

😡Kshekamjfkaljeish!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You dumbass!!!!! Is that not what I just asked you, you incompetent dipshit!!

Needless to say, I have now expressed to him that I am pissed because that is exactly what I asked prior to doing so and he instructed me to go ahead, and now I being informed the order has to be cancelled, THEN I have to wait 24-48 hours for them to get the cancellation confirmation from my bank to re-do the order.

ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME!?

So now I risk not getting the stuff in time because this flipping idiot has no idea what the hell he is talking about!

I proceed to ask to speak with someone else or a manager and he tells me no because they will only be able to provide the same resolution.
SO NOOOWWWW, I have to wait and go through this process all over again with potentially another dumbass!!!

I am very livid!!

I better get those gifts before Christmas, and I better not have to pay any excessive shipping fees to compensate for the dimwit's mistake I had to deal with! Ugh!!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bachelorette Party - Night {No. 1}

For my bachelorette party, the girls agreed to go to Austin for the weekend. We got two hotel rooms for all the guests invited, each room sleeping 6 girls comfortably, more if needed. 

It was the weekend of a Texas home game, and everything was packed! 

Friday night consisted of my Maid of Honor/Sister, 2 Bridesmaids (Danni and Audrey), and girlfriends, Marina and Ashley. We had intended to have a chill night, sitting in the hotel drinking wine and playing games. However, at the last minute we decided to head to the infamous 6th Street!

Everyone got dressed rather quickly, then we went to call a cab. 
Unfortunately, it was a home game weekend, which meant no last minute cabs available! We waited for about an hour and still no cab. We were getting anxious and restless.
 THEN, in comes Jose. 
Jose waltzes into the hotel completely unaware that 6 girls are about to high-jack him and his van. He asks the front desk if there are any available rooms and is sadly informed they are booked. 
You can tell he was exhausted. 

Our friend Ashley boldly asks Jose, "Hey can you take us to 6th Street?".

Now we are all pretty intelligent women, and have all been raised to never get in the car with strangers. YET here we all were piling into Jose's white van, which wreaked of wet dog, to drive about 10 minutes to 6th Street...or so we hoped. 

Marina, being the most level-headed of the group, snaps a picture of Jose's license plate. She text the picture to her husband letting him know if anything happens, this is what we were last seen in. HAHA. Comforting. 
Ashley and I in Jose's van - No idea why I am so orange?!
Ashley, now officially "Jose's secretary", makes a few phone calls on the way and reserves Jose a hotel room on the path to his home-town on the outskirts of Austin.

We arrive safely at 6th Street! 

Ashley was the best to have around that night. She would walk right up to a bar, the door guy of course wants a bunch of girls in his bar/club, and offers us "$3 shots, $2 shots, $1 shots".....
"No Deal!" Ashley says and we all walk off. 
Without fail, the door guy yells after us, "FREE SHOTS! FREE SHOTS!"
"DEAL!" replies Ashley. 
We all turn around, go into the bar/club, take our free shots, dance a song or two, and out we go to the next bar where the exact scenario repeats until the end of the night. 

We took entirely too many alcoholic drinks in the short 1-2 hours we were there. 

One bar we chose to go into had a bachelor party. Of course bachelor parties and bachelorette parties have to mesh! 
As soon they recognize the bachelorette party the guys are all yelling, "Heeeeyyy!" 
Then like a lightening bolt, out dashes the groom!!! Out of the bar, into the street, out of sight. 
Ummmmmm? Is he ok!?
None of the groomsmen or friends are phased and continue on with their drinking. Great friends!

Ashley finds a chair somewhere and the lap dances begin! 
I was completely shocked! As you can see from my facial expressions haha!
Ashley begins the lap dances, followed by the rest of the bachelorettes, then came the groomsmen of the other party and a few randoms. 
It was absolutely hilarious. 99.9% of guys have absolutely no rhythm what-so-ever, but you can bet your bottom these guys were giving it their all. 
At least they tried. :-P


The last bar we ended in was quite interesting. I had some very flamboyant guy hip bumping me most of the night, another guy was promising my sister the world and love at first sight, then another we were pretty sure was trying to slip my soon-to-be-sister-in-law a drugged drink. 
Did I mention all three of those guys were in the same group?
They were quite weird. Yet we got quite a few laughs out of them, and free drinks.
The guy promising my sister the world bought me TWO GINORMOUS Jager-bombs. 
I LOOOOVE Jager.
That was entirely way too much Jager.
I entrusted my always faithful girlfriend, Danni, to help me down these Jager-Bombs.
She is such a trooper!! I adore her!


After the Jager-Bombs, it was GOOOOODNIGHT. 
That was the icing on the cake.


We walked around trying to find a cab, and yet again none were available. It took us near two hours to get back to the hotel. We were beat.

In hind-sight, we should've played the games. HA! 
It would've been much better for our health.


 Alana 
XoXo

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Neck Pain

Earlier in the year I was at work, going about my usual morning. I walked into the break room to open the freezer so I could enjoy my typical breakfast of Strawberry Whole Wheat Waffles with Peanut Butter.

Don't knock it until you try it!

Anywho, I reach out for the freezer door and WHAM!!! I feel this instant sharp, shooting pain, start at the top of my neck and quickly make its way down my spine to the base of my shoulder blade. One second I am trying to enjoy a harmless waffle, the next second I am in a sense, paralyzed. Any movement sends a sudden rush of pain and an urge to burst into tears.
The only thing stopping me from crying is the fact that it hurts to even breath, so crying would only be worse.

I need to go to a chiropractor, ASAP! My heartless co-worker sees the obvious misery I am in and has the nerve to ask, "Can you just wait it out and see how it feels?" Um NO!! Did you miss the part where it hurts to BREATH!?

My fiancé has to pick me up because I obviously can not drive without killing myself or another innocent person.

I get to the chiropractor, he takes an x-ray, and sure enough I pulled a great one. My neck was experiencing such extreme spasms that I had actually inverted the spine in my neck. The spasms had such force, my spine was curving the complete 100% opposite direction. Fan-freakin-tastic.

Even better, it's too swollen for him to do anything without making it worse. Solution? I must alternate between applying an ice pack and bio-freeze to my neck about every 15 min. Which lasted the next two or three days until he was finally able to adjust my neck. It took about two weeks to finally get my neck to move without serious pain.

This past Saturday, my now hubby and myself went to College Station to watch the last football game of the season. The hotel had the worst pillows ever!!! I wake up Sunday morning and that all too familiar neck pain is back.

It subsides as the week-days pass, but here we are, Thursday, and yet again, it's worse than ever! My sweet Hubby goes to get me some Advil and buys a lovely, large ice pack with its very own cushioned bag, that resembles a sleeping bag, for me to place on my neck.

Now at 2:30 pm in the afternoon, I am not as miserable or wincing with every breath, like I was this morning. I just hope it gets better quick because I intended on decorating our first REAL Christmas tree this weekend.

First things first, once I can fully move on my own, I am going to the mattress store and buying a damn good pillow!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Coincidence

     Ever since we got back from our honeymoon I have been in this funk. Struggling to get back in the swing of things. Struggling to be productive. Which is to be expected. I went from 3 weeks of "romantic" bliss, strolling beautiful allies, drinking wine, eating adventurous foods....to USA, working, and well, more working.

       While we were on our honeymoon in Santorini we stumbled upon a lovely restaurant that was run by a family. Grandma and mom were cooking in the kitchen, Dad catering to guests in his various fluent languages, and two sons helping here and there where their ages would allow. One little boy I wanted to steal away. He was unbelievably adorable. He had heard so many people say, "My name is..." while pointing to themselves that his understanding became pointing at something saying, "My name?" meant, "What is that?".
Points to my hair... "My name?"
"Hair."
"My name?"
"Jacket."
"My name?"
"Wedding ring. College Ring."

He went on over to a German family asking, "My name?" unaware of his meaning, and the family begins to introduce themselves. The daughter was Adalena....later we heard them again and understood it to actually be Annalena. Either way, they are both gorgeous names. Henry and I immediately loved the name. We have always said Claire Faye Johnson would be our first girls name. However, Adalena/Annalena Faye Johnson is now the favorite. there is something so elegant about those names.

We were talking to a friend today who was trying to pick baby names and we recalled the names from over a month ago that we loved and shared with our friends. Again, we are baby smitten and having major baby blues. Lol

I am not a big reader. My husband is. He reads an unbelievable number of books. It takes a good book to get my interest, usually something involving women's rights, such as the author Jean Sasson. She is a phenomenal writer. We went to half price books to purchase baby books with our friends and some for ourselves. :-] While there my husband points out a book titled Atonement. We watched this movie randomly one day about a year ago and it greatly affected me. I cried so hard after the movie because of the thought inspiring ending that made me greatly appreciate my love for Henry beyond comprehension. To see this great movie was a book brought me so much joy! I bought the book immediately.

When I got home, I opened the book. There on the 4th page was two words.

"To Annalena"

Coincidence?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Back In the USA

If you aren't aware, Henry and I finally tied the knot on October 13, 2012!! Whoop! The very next day we flew off to Greece, followed by Italy, and one unexpected night in London.

It has been almost one month since we've slept in our own bed and boy is it nice!

Needless to say, we have a lot of fun memories and experiences to share with everyone. I plan to blog about the bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, wedding day, and the honeymoon one day at a time.

Some of the things I can't wait to share is the Red Sand Volcanic Beach, Dark Side of Rome Tour, and experiencing one of the highest record floods in Venice in 20+ years!

Get Ready.

XoXo

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baby Blues

Those who knew me before Henry was in my life knew that I did not want a baby until I was 30. I wanted to wait, get married by the time I was 23, enjoy being married, travel, THEN have a baby.

When I met Henry, he wanted to be married by the time he was 26, have kids by the time he was 28, two kids by the time he was 30. 

Henry is a year older than me. 
That puts me at 2, not one, TWO kids, by the time I am 29.

I remember meeting Henry in February of 2009. By June of 2009, I remember Henry bought us amazing Mavericks tickets and booked us a room at Hotel ZaZa in downtown Dallas. After the game, I remember laying in bed talking about everything. Then Henry blurting out that he already had the date he was going to propose to me. 

I was shocked. 

I tried to act all cool and non-chalant. I mean I had just gotten out of a 5 year relationship December 2008 - who had plans to propose December of 2009 -  I was extremely leery of promised futures. 

Deep down though I was squeeling with joy, and in the dark grinning from ear to ear!

Henry was not like any guy I had met. 

He was honest.
Brutally honest.

He would straight up say when he saw a hot girl. 
He didn't pretend he wasn't looking or checking her out. He brought her to my attention too.
 I admired that. 
The guy before Henry was a lying, cheating, good-for-nothing dog. 
Henry's up-front honesty, even though I didn't care to hear it all the time, was deeply admired. 

I even remember one of the first things Henry said to me was, "Don't expect me to be a gentleman. I am not going to open doors or pull out your chair." 

Again, honesty. 

So, even though Henry and I had only known each other 4 months - he had been nothing but an open book with me. 
We fully trusted each other. 
Something I was NOT use to, at all. 

Sure enough he proposed April 2010. 
He had actually purchased the ring with the help of my sister December of 2009.

Naturally, in a relationship you discuss kids. 
Now that we were engaged, Henry really stressed his love for kids. 

He is the youngest of 6, with each sibling having numerous kids. And let me tell you! Kids gravitate towards Henry!! They adore him. Babies don't cry when he holds him, toddlers belonging to strangers want him to play with him or pick them up, his nieces and nephews adore him. It is truly the craziest thing I have ever seen - his dad is the same way. 

Kids just can't get enough of Henry. 

Seeing how kids love Henry, and how Henry loves kids changed my perspective on when to have babies. 
Now don't get me wrong, my Andrology job did too. 
There were so many women coming in my age or even YOUNGER who were having infertility issues. All said the same thing, "Well, we wanted to get married, travel, enjoy married life....and here I am. Unable to have kids on our own." 
But regardless, Henry's affinity for children was something I couldn't help but love. It made me want our own kids and to see him with OUR children. 

I had never once before ever had this burning passion for wanting kids. 
It was like before it was something I knew would eventually happen, like just out of habit - meet a guy, get married, have babies, kind of habit.
Now that I was with Henry, I wanted a baby of our own more than ever.
 I wanted a little bundle of OUR DNA to have, to hold, to love.

Going to the A&M game this past weekend only amplified our baby blues. Sitting in the Alumni section with all the former Aggies and their kids was something that truly brought tears to my eyes.
 I wanted my own little boy to dress up in Aggie gear and tote around to games! Every child that was in plain site had us pointing, "Oh! Look at that baby!" "That little girl is the cutest thing!" "Look at those three sons and all their Aggie Jersey's! How fun!"

If all things go as planned, which I know God has plans of his own, we are hoping to be preggo with our own lil future Aggie by the end of January/February. Hoping for an October baby, like me. :-) 

I hope we end up with two wonderful boys!
Henry wants a boy and a girl. 

Odd? 
That I want all boys? Yea, people keep telling me that. 
BUT, I want two cute boys that I can teach to country dance, and take to football practice (or whatever sport, except baseball, BORING!). 
I want two adorable country boys, just like their daddy. :-)
This world honestly needs more men like Henry. 
He is such an amazing man. 
Even though he didn't start off as a gentleman, he sure has come around on his own. 

Needless to say, I have been pinning baby stuff like CRAZY!! haha
If you want, check out my Baby Board:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Starbucks + Good Deed = Great Day


Better late than never.

 I wrote this post the day this happened, but for some reason never published it. 

Until now.

 Up for a long drive this morning, as in 5 AM morning, so I stop by Starbucks and feed my addiction. 
The line is long, but I don't mind waiting especially since the fall drinks are out. YUM!

I get to the window and the lady informs me the car in front of me paid for my order. 

Have you ever had this happen? The endorphin release is phenomenal!!!  Instantly I was über happy!! 
I loved the feeling so much I said, "Well, then I will pay for the car behind me!" with a huge smile. 

No lie, I was cheesin. 

I haven't been able to shake this tremendously happy feeling all day! 

I mean something so simple completely took someone who despises mornings, aka me, and made it one of the happiest moments. Lol

So I encourage you to go out and do what the girl in front of me did - in some form or fashion.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ups and Downs of Wedding Planning: Insight Into My Frustrations


WARNING: I am trying to be a more honest blogger. This blog post entails my personal frustrations. If you are easily offended
 PLEASE, 
DO NOT READ. 


I always heard of ladies saying that after a certain point of wedding planning they get to a phase where they just want it be over with. 
They are done planning, fed up, ready for the honeymoon, etc.

I finally reached that phase about a month ago. 

What phase I haven't heard ladies talking about is their overwhelming sensation of wanting to cry all the time.

That is the phase I am in right now. 

I'm so hypersensitive to emotion right now it's unbelievable.
I'm also irritated easily - more like a pregnant woman would be, and NO I am NOT pregnant.

I am annoyed...:
1) By those who said they would help with something and haven't helped one bit.

2) By people who call you out for not being invited to your own wedding when you barely know them.

3) By things that should've been taken care of long ago, by other people, yet they procrastinated and here we are in a pickle about a month before the wedding and it's yet another thing that is put on MY plate - as if I didn't have enough to do. 

4) By vendors that say they will get back to you and don't, AFTER you've paid!

5) By vendors that cancel on you last minute - has happened TWICE now. UGH! 

6) By guests who are offended that you didn't let them invite their friend. Notice I said THEIR friend. I'm sorry! Last time I checked, this wedding is about US, the bride and groom! Not your fling of the week or month, whichever! If you're in a serious relationship, that's fine, but if you want a date for the sake of having one, sorry bud, there are family members we couldn't even invite and your plus one definitely isn't getting a spot over family. 

7) By guests that add their own guests. Again, we didn't invite them, so you don't either. At least call and ask the bride or groom, there may be a circumstance we didn't consider, don't just mail in your RSVP with the added extra. 

8) By my face breaking out from stress.

9) By my terrible habit of ripping, not biting, my nails off. 

10) By my terrible habit of biting my big bottom lip to pieces after I have no more nails.

11) By my paralyzed stomach! If you didn't know, my stomach became paralyzed my freshman year of college. I was so upset, homesick, stressed, etc. that my stomach became paralyzed, aka no more peristalsis. This means if I don't take this lovely medicine 30 minutes before each meal and before bedtime, my food rots in my stomach, Yuck! I know, therefore causing me to throw-up. If I don't stop it quickly, I continually throw-up uncontrollably until I lose about 10-15 lbs and end up hospitalized - which has happened 4 times now? This is also the reason I was in the hospital the night Henry was originally suppose to propose. The doctors also told me despite my medicine, to try and keep extreme emotions to a minimum, especially stress/anxiety/crying/anger which would inflame my condition and cause me to get sick as well. This is why I am venting and this is why this whole situation sucks even more. So to friends and family, if I seem insensitive to your problems right now, it isn't because I am intentionally not caring, it is because I have so much on my plate already that I am trying to keep my current life as happy and stress-free as possible to prevent hospitalization. Post-wedding, I am all ears! 

Welcome to my life. *Sigh*
I need a spa day. haha!

Alana XoXo

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anonymous RSVP Cards

I saw on a blog, 2 years ago so please forgive me for not remembering, where they had secretely numbered all of their RSVP cards.

It is such a pain addressing return RSVP cards with the individuals address. Most people, like us, stick to just putting the mailing address for the RSVP card and return postage. I saw on a blog where a girl had done just that. She then received a few RSVP cards with no names and no return addresses. They had just RSVPed they would be attending. Odd. Once her RSVP deadline approached, she had to call all the people who had "not" RSVPed to see if they were coming or not, and see who the anonymous attendees were. 
Her solution: Using a black light pen, or Invisible Ink, to number each RSVP card.

I didn't think much of it, but figured it wouldn't hurt to utilize it. Plus I wanted to see if it worked.

It worked.

We received an RSVP card in the mail today, but it was just marked as not attending. Ok people, who is not attending? We have a huge list of people and I don't want to call the wrong person when the mailing deadline arrives and hassle them for their RSVP. There is a line for your name, use it! haha


When you look at the back of the invite with the naked eye, this is all you see.

Lucky me, I used the black-light pen! I shined the little black-light tip to see the number, looked at our list and figured out who the anonymous non-attendee was based on the number. 

Genius.

SO, for those planning a wedding and wanting clever/unique RSVPs - or simply want to track your RSVPs - get the black-light (Invisible Ink) pen! :-]
You can also add my little caption: P.S If you do not RSVP, bring a chair and a sandwich
Seems to have worked well so far! :-]

I bought two at the time from DealExtreme
I paid $2.78. Not bad.

Alana XoXo

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wedding Inspired Wednesday {No. 19}: Country First Dance Songs Continued

Texas Country First Dance: Randy Rogers Band - One Woman


Lonestar - Amazed

   



 Tim McGraw - My Best Friend

 I am rather fond of Tim McGraw, he was the first country artist album I ever owned. I remember my dad bought me the CD and I listened to it over and over and over again. Still do.

   



 Kenny Chesney - Me and You

   



 Garth Brooks - Every Woman 

Now this isn't Garth singing it, but my goodness he sings it just as beautifully!!! I slightly fall in love with him singing.

   


 Lee Brice - Woman Like You 

What I love about Henry, we dont have one song, we have many. This being one he loves especially. He gets a kick out of the yoga part. :-P

   



 Dustin Lynch - Cowboys and Angels

 If my sister could pick our song, this would be it. 
Her boyfriend and her insist this is our song, and she says she is going to tell the DJ the day of the wedding we changed our minds to this song and see if she can get him to play this instead. lol

   



Keith Urban - Only You Can Love Me This Way 

His voice makes me melt.

   



 Brad Paisley - She's Everything 

This song is up there with Lee Brice - Woman Like You 
It's sweet!

 



Check out my other posts containing more Country First Dance Songs:


Me Myself & I


Link up with the ladies above! <3

1. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
I would be a Victoria's Secret Model. No? I adore those ladies! I always watch the Victoria's Secret fashion every year in such of awe of the beautiful ladies, that from the interviews, seem to have such lovely personalities! *Sigh* haha
I would also buy some land and open up the biggest no-kill shelter in the world.
Do those even count?


2. If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time?
Try to see as much as I possibly could with the ones I love. So cliche, I know. But it is true. I would also try absolutely EVERY food item I possibly wanted without the worry of gaining weight. I am such a foodie.

Scotland Fairy Pools

3. If a front page news article was written on you, what would the headline be?
Oh lordy. It would have to be something along the lines of "Woman Caught Stealing Puppies".
I don't really steal puppies! Buuut, it is tempting. If I lived on a little more land I would definitely kidnap malnourished animals I constantly see people having tied up to their trees, etc. and possibly cuddle them to death. Not literally death people.
Hes not missing an eye, he is just winking
4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Smacking
OR
Inconsistent noises - such as a fan that randomly creeks, a random beep, or whatever noise I keep hearing this moment in my house that sounds like someone about to throw up. I am about to go insane if I don't find it!


5. What is your favorite chick flick movie?
The Notebook. 
I just can not get over how sweet this movie is! Not to mention Ryan Gosling - Helloooo Baby!



Alana XoXo

Henry and A Wedding Registry Scanner - Oh My!

Henry and I had a lovely wedding shower hosted by my sister, Stefanie/Maid of Honor, my aunt, Robin, and my mom, Rayshel. It was a lovely Mad Hatter themed shower and it was SO MUCH FUN! Upcoming blog post on that later.

We had a great turn out of friends and family. However, people were telling us that almost everything on our registries were online or catalog only. UH OH! We made the mistake of being lazy and making all three of our registries online. It was easier for us since Henry is gone 5 days a week and on the weekends we are trying to catch up on other things. 

After the shower Henry and I made a conscious effort to at least go to Macy's and take off things that were catalog only, and replace with in-store items that wedding guests could find easier and buy right there - especially for those last minute shoppers.
You know who you are haha! I am guilty of that myself. EEK!

I figured wedding registry stuff wouldn't be too exciting for Henry, so I know most guys enjoy gadgets and let Henry have the little scanner they gave us. We agreed to start at one end and wind down to the other. As we are browsing, I get a bit ahead of Henry when I hear, "BEEP!....BEEP! BEEP!" I immediately turn around to see Henry grinning. I laugh and ask, "What are you scanning? We are suppose to agree on what we scan." He points to a few items, "These look really cool." One being a really neat wooden chip bowl with a white porcelain dip center. Ok fine, I will give it to him, he picked something cool I had missed. 

We keep walking around and he says, "We need flatware. Let's register for this one." 

"Henry we have cool flatware. And that is $150"
"But it's Henckels, and it's an entire set....I'm registering for it." 
Before I could react, Henry had the bar-code spotted and "BEEP!" It's on the registry. LOL

I point to a mixer I had registered for to show Henry - "This is what I registered for online. I really want this!!!" Henry spots the 5 other variations of the mixer next to the one I want on the same shelf. "Let's scan them all so people know we REALLY want it!" Henry starts aiming his scanner towards the other mixers. I start cracking up at his logic, but in a serious tone tell him, "No way! Only register for the one you actually want goof!" and pull the scanner awaaaaaay from the mixers.

Henry wanders off to find a "Ninja" - food processor, juicer, blender, and one other thing all in one. Henry thinks it looks cool and "we could really use it" let's get it! "BEEP" I had already registered for a food processor and blender, but this thing was rather cool and I would love a juicer. Guess I will go take the others off later. HAHA

"OH A TAMALE STEAMER!" "BEEP!" "Henry, are you going to make tamales?" "No, you are." LOL Ok, guess I need to sign up for the tamale making workshop at Central Market. 

"A FOOD PROCESSOR!" "BEEP" 
"I already registered for one and you just scanned the 'Ninja'!"
"A WAFFLE MAKER!" "BEEP!" 
"That's it, give me the scanner. You are done punk!" LOL 

After that he got really bored rather quickly. LOL

Henry's mom also stated how she would like to get us China like her mother got for her on her wedding day. However, Henry hated all the China. I really wanted to the same country rose one my Grandma Black had, but Henry hated it. 

I took my cousin Phoebe and Henry's cousin Megan to the mall with Henry and his best man, Casey. We were in Macy's and Henry and Casey were rather bored to say the least. We buy my cousin a dress and can't find the guys. I get a call from Henry, "Hey come upstairs. Casey and I found some china for the registry." 
"Really? You and Casey...are shopping for china?"
"Yea, it has cows and chickens on it. It's pretty cool."
"You have got to be shitting me. Right?"
"The girl already has the scanner and everything for us, just come up here and look at it."

Our cousins and myself all look at each other with a "WTH, you have got to be joking look" and head upstairs, quickly. 

We get upstairs to see the Macy's lady standing on a tea-cup. Henry points toward some hideous china and says, "Look! Don't you like it?" 
I do not mind stating I do not like something, at all - I look at Henry and tell him that I am not registering for any china with chickens or cows on it. 

Casey and Henry start laughing and Henry points to other china that is actually rather pretty! It's made of some semi-undestructible glass, hence the girl standing on the cup, and has a beautiful silver scroll design on the edges of every piece. I look at Henry rather impressed and let him know I like it, a lot. He replies, "Good! We already scanned it!" 
Figures. LOL

Love my honey so much! Loving him is definitely fun, to say the least. <3


Alana XoXo

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wedding Inspired Wednesday {No. 18}: Bridesmaid Attire & Dilemmas

         With 53 days until our wedding day, we have had a fairly smooth wedding planning process. We have been engaged for over 2 years now, 2 years and 6 months by the time the wedding rolls around. 2 years allows a lot of time for malfunctions and dilemmas. Luckily, the only blimp we have had so far is the guest list.....Until today.

Thanks to Pinterest I fell in love with the eclectic/mismatched bridesmaid dresses.






Wearing boots was a must - the isle everyone walks down is a stone path, ankles would most definitely be twisted trying to walk down in heels - or someone would end up tripping or falling on there face. HAHA

Also, with the theme being Country Boy Meets City Girl, our wedding being outdoors, and living in Texas - boots just seemed to fit. :-]

Since our wedding is in the fall, we deemed a champagne color would be perfect for the dresses. This way we can take advantage of the bold colored flowers and foliage that fall blesses us with. The deep maroons, golds, oranges and browns would contrast wonderfully with the champagne dresses for a nice pop of color. 

All the bridesmaids went through David's Bridal to order their dresses to ensure the same color since I have bridesmaids all over the state and country! Each bridesmaid went to the store, picked their dress, then shared with the other girls to make sure no one bought a repeat dress. All the dresses came in during their 4-6 week time alottment. 

Audrey and Megan went to pick up their dresses together and try them on to ensure they were the correct dresses with no blemishes.

Audrey texts me a picture of them in the dresses - WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Megan, my youngest bridesmaid, being 16 years old, has on Danni's style dress!!! I immediately text back to them that Audrey's looks great, but Megan's is the wrong dress overall. 

The cotton sateen dress we had originally ordered for Megan was a little long and I had agreed to take her to get a bubble hem put into it in order to bring it above her knee like the rest of the girls. The dress she text me was sateen with a bubble hem already. Megan texted, "Does the bottom look different to you? I feel like we don't need to hem it." 

I immediately picked up the phone furious. I know, mistakes happen. BUT this dress took 6 weeks to come in. We are about 7 weeks away from my wedding. Get my dilemma? 6 weeks for the delivery of the CORRECT dress puts us ONE WEEK before the wedding. Which means we then have ONE WEEK to get the alterations needed. 

The manager apologizes stating she would get the problem fixed and would ensure alterations were taken care of in time for the wedding. I then have to stress to the manager that alterations are out of her control. Since we are getting the bubble-hem, David's Bridal can not legally perform the alteration because they can not alter the "style" of the dress. SOOOO, we must get the dress delivered and get it to a seamstress who CAN do the bubble-hem we intended on. Unfortunately, the David's Bridal manager can not tell our outside seamstress to go quicker because THEY messed up. She needs her 2 weeks and I am not paying a rush fee, because THEY screwed up. And I am not sacrificing the bubble hem either. HPMH!

I could tell the manager was annoyed with me, but I didn't care - they messed up and I have every right to be upset, especially with our wedding being pretty darn close. I really wanted to call the lady out on her rude tone saying, "Sorry, have I inconvenienced YOU!? Is this a bad time for YOU?!" Do your job right = happy customer = problem solved.  But I bit my tongue, remembering my days of working in customer service. If you know me, that was VERY hard to do. *Pat myself on back*

Deep breath.

Then about an hour later my sister texts me. My Maid of Honor gift to her was a new pair of cowgirl boots. 

Her tiny size of 5 1/2 is not in store, but luckily another store has it! Should take 7-10 days to come in since its a local store that has it, otherwise it could've taken 7 weeks to get from the Tony Lama factory. Uh oh. BUT they have it at the next store, sweet! 

I call my Seester: "Hey! Did your boots come in yet? I want to see a picture!" 

Seester: "No they haven't, but they should've. I am calling up there right now. Ill text you. Love you, bye" 

Seester: A little bit later "So basically a store said they had them, but then called and said they didn't [after we paid and left, but no one called to tell us] and they forgot. So now they're calling another store tomorrow and going to find them. He's making it his 'first priority'" - "He promised to have them by next week, because 'the weekend don't count'"

Me: "Weekend don't count? Wow. That's promising" - How about weekend "doesn't", "does not" count? Maybe? No? Ok.

Luckily, these are all problems that can be solved. However, they are a wee-bit stressful none-the-less. Once the dress and boots are in, safe and sound, I will breath easier. Until then, I am a bit tense to be honest. Blah!


Source for all images: Pinterest: Wedding Party Board

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Halloween? Venice?

Halloween? Venice?

Do Halloween and Venice belong in the same sentence? As an october born, mid-20 year old, college-graduate and an American, Halloween is a very important holiday. It just hit me when booking our hotel today that we will be spending our first holiday abroad together, and that holiday is Halloween.

Growing up Halloween meant my upcoming costume birthday party and trick or treating.

In college it meant skimpy Halloween costumes with a weeks worth of awesome house costume parties, bar costume contests and pretty much wearing your costume any chance you got.

On our honeymoon......uhhhhh....do I include a costume in my packing list?
Do they celebrate Halloween like us? Is it more tame? Is it crazier? Does it involve costumes at all?? Or should we plan a day trip to another town to experience the halloween celebrations? I'm baffled.

Guess I better get to researching this intriguing topic!