Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: In Words

2009. Where did it go?

I have been asking myself this a lot lately. It seems I blinked and a whole year passed. But looking back on this year, it has been amazing and definitely one to remember.

Someone told me I should write a book about this year. Little did they know, on my 5 hour flight back to LA in October, I wrote the entire flight. No, not to be published, but to look back months later and remember exactly how I felt about my year so far. Give me a few minutes, and allow me take you down memory lane....

If I were to describe this year in one word, it would be WOW. (In second place: CHANGE) (In third place: Roadtrips)

My year was so unpredictable yet perfectly planned. So perfectly planned that I was aware each day that no matter what I had decided, God had a plan that was going to happen. In the end, I was taught that no matter what, you have to trust in his plan, wear your heart on your sleeve, a smile on your face, and have no regrets, for everything happens for a reason.
I guess I should issue this....
WARNING: I am a very detailed individual and remember everything so beware of post length.

January. I can't help but smile. It was a great month which started in Memphis with friends, new and old. Day 6- 3 of my best friends and I headed to NYC to stay with my sister. Day 9- Chelsea and Seth got engaged at Tavern on the Green. We got out of NYC just in time for an engagement party in Memphis. Then- time to start my last semester of college. A Brad Paisley concert, trip to Oaklawn, fun times in Fayetteville, and a few jazzercise classes later and well...January was gone.

Oh.... but we can't forget the Ice Storm in Fayetteville that cancelled class for 4 days. Everyone lost power except for Natalie and I. Which meant sleepovers and games galore, followed by everyone getting out of town for a long weekend. Pretty sure all of us: Gail, Natalie, Ashley, Seanne, Amanda, and Chelsea made road trips that weekend.

February had begun and it was full of surprises of every shape, form, fashion, good, bad, indifferent. I used Chelsea "Having to have" her nails done to my advantage (remember she just got engaged!), discovered Uncle Gaylord's blueberry pancakes, and lived off Baba boudan's coffee while school was getting in full force. This is the month I realized what an idiot I was.... To take an online English class instead of one at 7:30 am that a grad student taught and generally took away some of the assignments. Thanks to the person who told me that a little too late. Still bitter? No, I actually learned something from those 22 lessons I had to turn in. Seriously : ) I also got to babysit one of the sweetest 6 month olds ever a few times in February. (Erin Parker, this is for you) He made my heart melt one day; I was feeding him is bottle and he started rubbing my hand then just held it. It was the sweetest thing in the world. (Yes, I'm a sucker for children) But it was exactly what I needed!

Before I knew it, March had arrived. I won $120 in March on three card poker. LOL. No, I'm not much of a gambler, but for my first time to play, I didn't think I did too bad! I met my parents in Fort Smith for a wine tasting that my dad was working. He informed me the casino was 10 minutes away. So.... we forced Mom into staying up past her bed time and going. My Dad's co-workers were playing, taught me how, next thing I know, I had turned $20 into $250 and had no idea about it. I thought straights and flushes just happened every hand. I cashed out with $125, then handed my dad his $20 back : ) kept the rest, which made me a happy girl! Lacey came to Fayetteville for a visit and well....we didn't have the same luck playing three card poker. : ) Spring Break I went to Memphis to tag along with the Future Jewells and look at venues for their wedding, see the Smiths, then joined Uncle Al, Tammy, and Meemaw in Hot Springs! I also realized that I was graduating college in 2 months and didn't have a clue what I was going to do.

In April, I lived in the library. With one of my busiest semesters being my last one, I lived there. Literally, except to sleep. I also turned 22. And celebrated my b-day the day before with friends by 1)getting dropped off for a massage 2)dinner that night 3)going back to Ashley and Chelsea's immediately after dinner to put on PJs and watch Movies since it was POURING DOWN RAIN in Fayetteville! April was also the month I volunteered and worked with J. Bailey Occasions for Brides for the Cure, and realized what I really enjoyed doing. After an 18 hr day, being up, helping at Race for the Cure, then setting up and helping at a wedding, and leaving the reception at 1 am...I was driving home exhausted but with a HUGE Smile on my face. I had one of the best days ever helping out, working at events. I had found my calling. (Thanks Jenesssa :)

Next thing I knew, 4 months were gone, and so were 4 years of college. May had arrived! And I was about to GRADUATE!!!! AHHHHH SO Exciting! College: Check! WOW! May was filled with finals. Last 2 weeks I was with 6 papers, 2 presentations, 2 tests, 2 finals left, and a portfolio due for my online class. I didn't believe myself when I turned in my last assignment. I triple checked my planner : ) Time for a Graduation Party with friends and moving out of the apartment that Natalie and I had lived in for 2 years. And yet, I was still Clueless what the next step in life would be! But I wasn't worried, one of my favorite professors told me to be patient and wait! This was the best advice I received, plus I had a wedding to be in (Corey & Jacob Powell's), another one to go to, and a garage sale to have!!! Oh and a trip to Fayetteville to pick up a couch to sale!

Summer was here and I was happy! It was my favorite season of the year, and in June, we all loaded up to go to Mexico Beach for the Whitt Family Reunion!!! All 75 of us. I told my mom that I couldn't get a "real" job till after MB cause I really needed this beach trip! : ) I couldn't miss out on seafood and karaoke! After the beach, I headed out to camp to see the kiddos and co-workers! On the way home, I had a heart-to-heart with myself while driving, and gave myself 2 weeks to get an event design/production internship secured or settle for a marketing job/get masters/grow up. This was the end of June when I decided this.

July: I headed to the Lake for the fourth after securing a telephone interview with Mark Sheldon of AOO Events. A week and a half later, they had formed a shared internship position that would be worth my investment in moving to Los Angeles, CA for a few months. As cliche as it sounds, I really had landed my dream internship, and wasn't afraid of a thing. I made a quick trip to Memphis for Chels' bday, saw friends in Arkansas, and went to the lake one last time with the family. By the end of July, I was in the car with my Dad driving across the U.S. to Los Angeles, California (for the first time ever).

August was a new chapter of the year! My internship began and so did my journey in California! Favorite things: Hollywood Stars tour, Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, & first job on-site being on Magic Johnson's tennis court. Plus meeting lots of new friends in California, that welcomed a "Southerner" with open arms! (For more details on August, refer to the side bar on the right, click on August.)

September I asked myself....How does a girl from Arkansas end up working at the Emmy Governor's ball and HBO post party... to be honest, I am still not sure! To read all about September refer to sidebar on the right) September was also the month for weddings! I was able to help on-site at numerous ones but two that stick out the most are the wedding at the Firestone Vineyard and Pelican Hill Resort. I also made two very great friends, Megan and Brett who were Arkansans in CA as well.

I decided to stay in LA for October to work for some of the companies I had interned with. I traveled to Pittsburgh for a fun gala, then back to LA to work another event. Then it was PLay, Play, PLAY, in LALA land time. Including skydiving for the first time ever, Disneyland, and a trip back to Arkansas for Birthday Parties and Football games! (See right sidebar for more on Oct.)

November: Where did it go? It literally disappeared before my eyes. Moved back to Maumelle, finalized my decision for Young Designs to be launched, 2 Couple' wedding showers, MSU/Arkansas Football game, Thanksgiving, and then Dec. 1 was here.

December, the last month of 2009, and a great time spent with friends and family. I realized more than ever, that I wouldn't be half of the person I am without the friends and family I have. December was a fun, FUN month! And ohhh so busy (more posts on Dec. look on the sidebar). A road trip with Ashley to Nashville allowed me to see some of my family. Working and helping Wendi at Limehouse has been very beneficial to both of us (as well as becoming super close)! Chelsea and Gail being in LR for certain things allowed us to have a fun lunch with Natalie and to all hang out, add a wedding in LR, then throw in a road trip to Memphis for girls Christmas, Chelsea's shower, and to see the munchkins... and I have been able to spend quality time with my best friends all this month! (Including Molly and Lacey who are back in town..Shout out HA) Christmas allowed celebration with family, both sides, and my sister being home, it was such a fun Holiday season. And is time to turn the page again and bring on a new year......

Hope you enjoyed my recap of 2009, it has been a special year! But Goodbye 2009 and cheers to 2010.

I'm Ready to see what 2010 has to offer : )


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Play Day in Memphis

Every year, over Christmas break, I go to Chelsea's house and we hang out with our favorite 3 kiddos!!! It is a day I LOVE and look forward to! Chelsea and I nannied for the same family for 3 summers out in Bolivar, Tn! Their parents run Victory Ranch, so Chelsea and I lived at camp and played with the fam. all summer long! We have since had to "grow" up, graduate college and get real jobs but we are extremely close to them still, and they really are part of our extended family! Monday we had our annual play day!!!

Before I show the pics from Monday, I figured I would throw a few in from our first summer with the little Monkeys! N was 3 1/2 years, A & J were 21 months old! Here is us after an afternoon of swimming!
Chels and I playing dress up with the twins! Yes, J had been in the Chocolate ice cream!
Us at outdoor adventure!!!
Now you will be able to see how much they have grown! But they will always be our three little ones! Right Chels!?!

N turned 7 the other day, and was showing Chelsea how well she could read! We made a pit stop at the Ortho's office Monday morning!
They took a quick break to take a picture! How cute! Love this one of them!
This is my "Missy Prissy" and I posing for a quick pic!
Chelsea with the girls! See they really could be related to us! We are their older sisters! HA
After the pit-stop, we hit an antique store, then went to get our sweet boy!!! How can you not smile at this picture ?!?! J had just finished basketball camp and was SOOOO excited to see us! We were just as happy to see him too!
We made a few more pit stops, and hung out in the car for one of them. Here are a few of our goofy pics! Sweet J giving us some lovin'!!!
His girlfriend is Chelsea!!! And he was definitely happy to see her!!!
I still can't believe she is 7!!! But she is a smart, beautiful 7 year old!!! Love you N!!
N made us Necklaces from the "slap" bracelets!!! I think this might be a new fashion trend! Don't ya think!?!
After running errands, we headed back to Chelsea's house to play!!! Here is a pic of the gang and Anne!!!
The Barbies came out!!! So we rehearsed for Chelsea's wedding!! The Barbie wedding was fabulous! A few of the bridesmaids had dresses that Mrs. Rose might not approve of for Chels' big day, but other than that, it was a successful ceremony : )
Check out the 11 Bridesmaids, 1 Bride, 2 flower girls, 1 ring barrier, and 1 groom!!!
(Notice J is playing the "groom"! Chels- Seth better watch out!! J might try to sneak in his spot on yalls wedding day! lol)
Christmas time for the lil' Monkeys!!!!

And N had to open her birthday present from us!!! She loved it!!!J with his presents from Mimi and Chels and I!!!
It was such a fun day playing with the children! They really do hold a special place in our hearts! Hope you enjoyed this post! For more on this day, check out Chelsea's post here!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chelsea's Bridal Shower

The real reason all of us were in Memphis (if you read my last post) was for Miss Chelsea Rose's first bridal shower!!!!! YAY!!!! I am so very honored to be one of Chelsea's bridesmaids!!! Chelsea and Seth are getting married this May! This was the first of many showers for them! Sunday afternoon, a few of Chelsea's friends from High School and their mothers threw her the shower at Mrs. Karen's house! It was so lovely and had an excellent turn out!!! Here are a few pictures from Chelsea's Shower (courtesy of Nat- sadly, I left camera in LR !)
Chelsea with 7 of her 11 bridesmaids!!! Bottom row: Helen, Chelsea. Top Row: Amanda, Gail, Allyson, Me, Natalie, and Seanne. Such a fun group of girls!!! Can't wait for the Wedding in May!
Here is Seanne, Natalie, and me with the future bride!!! She is already glowing!
All of us with our Moms!!!! L-R: Gail with her mom, Mrs. Pam; Natalie and Mrs. Lisa, Chelsea and Mrs. Denise, Amanda and Mrs. Pam, and me and my mom, Mona. Can you tell where we get our looks from : )
Here is a quick pic of my Mom and I!! Luckily her and Mrs. Lisa made it to Germantown after being stuck on I-40 for a few hours! They sure do have a funny story to tell about their adventure to Memphis!!!
The shower was so much fun getting to hang out with most of the bridesmaids, Chelsea's flower girls, friends and family!!! Congratulations Chelsea and Seth, we are all so excited about your big day!!!

Holiday Events: Post 2

What do you get when you put these 4 girls in a nice restaurant.......?

And this....
AKA....4 girls having SOOO much fun, Laughing, Chatting, Eating and Catching Up!!! : )

Saturday December 19, Natalie and I headed to Memphis to Celebrate Christmas with a few of the girls!!! Amanda (not pictured) planned a girls dinner and Christmas party in Memphis for Saturday night! Then couldn't make it! Why? Ohhhh LOOK I found a picture of Amanda from that Saturday night.....
with Country Music star Joe Nichols in Fayetteville! She ditched us for him! Guess I couldn't blame her! But back to the night....

Chelsea, Natalie, Gail, and I headed downtown to eat dinner at Circa and open presents!!!
Here is what we got from all of our friends!!!
Natalie Jean got a "Happy" plate from Chels, Amanda, & Ashley (who was in New Mex. and couldn't be there! She was there in spirit though!!!) Body Wash & Eye mask from Nurse Gail, and a bracelet and notepads from Me!!! Doesn't she look "Happy" : )
Miss Fashionista Gail was posing with all of her fun items!!! Here she is with her apron & gloves from Natalie, scarf from me, and super cute bling'in bracelet from the Fay girls (Chels, Ash, A.T.) ....
Next up, Chelsea and her fun presents! Amanda and I got her the PJ's, Natalie got her the sparkle'y vase for her new house, and Gail got her the fun bath and body "relaxation" items!!! And last but not least.....
ME and my wonderful gifts from these girls (+ Ashley and Amanda)!!! The Fay Trio gave me the picture for my Young Designs "office"! It will definitely make me laugh every day : )
Side note: My sister flew in from NYC and saw it and asked "Who made this picture of Mom!!!" Maybe it is a sign...?
It really is hilarious! I LOVE it girls!!! Gail got me some great smelling bubble bath and the zebra mask which I am wearing! Can't wait to use it!! And Natalie got me the candle on the right! It is soo cute and very accurate with every thing going on in my life right now! Here is a closer look at the candle....
We really had one of the best nights hanging out!!! I love you three chica's!!! Thank you Nat & Chels for providing the pictures for this post ( I left my camera in LR)! For more pics of this night, check out Chelsea's blog post here!!!

Holiday Events: Post 1

I have LOVED being back in Arkansas for the holidays! The past week and a half have been full of seeing friends! It started December 16 at Melissa, Ashley, and Jenny's ornament exchange! Here I am with Natalie and Melissa! They are two of my best buds! We had a blast catching up on each others lives! We are all in Little Rock and HAVE to hang out more often! Love you two!
Thursday was Mrs. Lisa's Ornament Party!!! (Nat's sweet Momma) It was such a fun luncheon! I stole this pic from Natalie since I forgot my camera (thanks Nat)! Mrs. Lisa had a "dip" theme this year, and there were so many wonderful ornaments to choose from! We all had a wonderful time!
Then Friday night was just as spectacular! Lindsey Bass (a sorority sister of mine) and Walker Bowden (a good friend from the UA business college) became Mr. & Mrs. Bowden in Little Rock! These two are so perfect for each other! The wedding ceremony was held at Fellowship Church in Little Rock, then the reception followed at Pleasant Valley Country Club! It was so much fun celebrating their special night as well as seeing TONS of friends from college and sorority sisters! We literally danced the night away! Such a fun group of friends! Congrats you two! Here is the happy couple during their first dance!
The GORGEOUS Bride with me!!! She really was glowing the entire night! You looked beautiful Linds!!
And before I put my camera up, I got a quick pic with my sweet friend Lesley Charles!! Then we hit the dance floor :)
This was just the beginning of the Holiday festivities! Check back for post 2 of my Holiday Events!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All...

Merry, Merry Christmas!!! I hope everyone has had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of Jesus with family and friends. I am reminded each Christmas how blessed we are, and this season was no different. I finally realized Christmas was here this week! I really feel as if it snuck up on me! I hope everyone was able to relax and truly enjoy Christmas this year!

Here is how I spent Christmas 2009!
Christmas Eve began with my sister and Uncle Duane fighting over MY leftover pancakes at my grandparents house! : ) It really was the funniest thing EVER!

Once my Dad got off work, we loaded up the car and headed to Heber Springs, Arkansas for Christmas Eve at Meemaw's house!
Throughout the past 2 days, Central Arkansas has received over 9 inches of rain, so the lake was very muddy! However, we loved being able to make the trip up to Meemaw's house! We decided once we all got in, to just stay put for the night! Right after we got there, guess who arrived...?
Uncle AL! (The One and Only : ) )
Here is Aimee posing by Meemaw's Christmas tree!
And Dad looking over the "appetizers"...
Momma and Meemaw getting busy in the Kitchen...
and of course the Young Brothers!
While we were waiting for Meemaw's feast to be ready, we took a quick trip outside for some Christmas Eve pictures! Thankfully, it stopped raining for 5 minutes for us to snap some pics!

Then Meemaw opened up one of her presents! Her Christmas apron was very appropriate for our "head chef!" I just LOVE her!!! (Check out the paintings she did, behind her!!!)
We had a great night, eating and watching movies, while staying warm!!
When we woke up, it was CHRISTMAS morning! We had breakfast and headed for a mini-adventure!!! Here is Meemaw riding shotgun! see the trumpet swans! They have come to Heber Springs for at least the last 4 years! (We have seen them, don't worry!)
Ohh and remember that rain I was talking about.....Check out the flooding on a street in Meemaw's Neighborhood. The lake was definitely overflowing today!
Next Stop was Maumelle, Arkansas!!!! We left Heber and headed back to cook some side dishes and celebrate "our" Christmas!!! Here is Momma with her new earrings! (Santa thought she had been VERY VERY VERY good this year!!!)
Daddy opening his presents!!!
Mils with her presents!!!
And me with a few of my presents too!!! (keep in mind it was still early and we hadn't gotten ready for the day!)

We finished getting ready, and headed over to my grandparents house in Maumelle for Christmas dinner!!! Here is Becky, with her 3 grand babies ....

The three Grandchildren!!
Time to open presents.....we couldn't find one with my name for the pic : ( ...Guess I wasn't very good this year! JK
After we stuffed ourselves, it was time to open presents!!! Here is the family!
Becky got us Peacoats for Christmas! Thanks Becky!!!
Duane LOVED his two pink nieces posing with him!!!
And we even snagged this one of the couch crew! Leah, Dad, and Becky!!!
I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! God bless each and every one of you this year!! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL and to ALL A GOOD NIGHT!