"M & M Night"= Wonderful Memories With A Bestie!

When Justin was married 5 years ago, my best friend from Dallas traveled to Hot Springs to start a tradition that has been carried on throughout the marriages of two of my other children; she called it "M & M Night".

The first "M & M Night" was held in my hotel suite in the historic Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Just when I thought the pre-wedding stress was going to do me in, Lori showed up bearing gifts!  The first thing she had planned was massages for us, since Hot Springs in known for their wonderful spa resorts touting mineral baths and massages.  We then returned to my suite where she took two martini glasses out of her bag and LOTS of M & M's!  That evening we reminisced about the days when our children when small while drinking White Chocolate Martinis and eating our M & M's.  When Lori's next daughter got married, I presented her with the gift of a Fleur de lis martini glass and we once again celebrated the wedding of another child.  The same followed when my son, David, was married two years ago.  Lori showed up on my doorstep with her martinis of Cool Swan and M & M's.  This time, for Caitlin's wedding, she went even a little further for our special evening.

Lori was the wedding coordinator/floral designer for Caitlin's wedding.  Not only is she creative, but she is also a calming presence.  Truly, with all that was going on, I had forgotten about "M & M Night"; Lori had not.  She showed up at my house a couple of days before the wedding to discuss the last minute details and with her, she brought along a very special gift.  I have been a grandmother (Ya Ya) for almost two years now and Lori just found out that she will be a grandmother (and her grandmother name will be La La) in November, so she etched our martini glasses that we would use this year...

                                                    See the Peanut M & M's back there?

The martini was pink this time since it was my daughter getting married and then there was another little gift she threw in too; a burlap (keeping with the vintage theme of Caitlin's wedding...) heart that said, "Memories".

 We decided that there were a lot of "M Words" that we could use now:  Martinis, M & M's, Marriage, Memories...OK, and she DID mention that "M Word" that I'm not too fond of; menopause (ugh...).  But memories, I did like.  Memories of when we first met as our husbands were playing softball for the church team and that time when we drove to Disney World with all of the kids and that time when we flew to San Francisco for the weekend...and I could go on and on.  Lori is kind of friend that everyone wants and I am so glad that she is mine.  She helped make Caitlin's wedding the dream that we had only wished for.  Here's to the next "M & M Night", Lori...I think it might be for the birth of her TWIN GRANDDAUGHTERS!


My Daughter Gets A Honeymoon On The Beach And I Get A Bone Graft?! (ugh!!!)

Sunday I officially had a "Wedding Hangover".  Oh, not one from alcohol but from the exhaustion of 8 months of planning.  I didn't sleep late on Sunday morning, instead got up, headed to the pool and stayed there for the good part of the morning.  The adrenaline rush had subsided and now I felt as though I could barely move around; I found I didn't even have the energy to expend on eating.

It was Memorial Day, a holiday weekend, but there was no way I was interested in grilling or basically even getting dressed.  I still had a couple of house guests left and they seemed fine with just chilling too.  I moved from pool to couch, taking naps that never found me feeling fully refreshed afterwards...so I was compelled to take another one.  Sunday, however, I did take those left over guests and some of the kids with me out to the club to pick up our decorations.  One would be correct in assuming that they have still not been put away yet.

I continued to just lay around by the pool on Monday and then actually took in a movie that afternoon.  I was trying to not only relax, but also get a few enjoyable things in before my pending oral surgery on Tuesday.  Yea...remember those unexpected tooth implants that I had begun preparing for a month prior to the wedding?  Well, Tuesday would be the day that the bone graft would be done (ugh...).  I knew that little procedure would find me in bed for a couple of days afterwards.

Tuesday morning, Ryan drove me to Shreveport for my procedure while Robby went to the office to catch up; the wedding week had put us all behind.  I had already asked my prothodontist if this procedure would be as painful as the last; he told me that it really wouldn't be too bad.  OK...FYI, it was a LOT worse!  The last time I left his office, I groggily made it to the car, where I instantly fell asleep for our 2 hour ride home.  This time, however, Ryan had to stop and have my pain medication filled there.  With a terribly sore and swollen face, I spent the rest of the day and evening in bed with an ice pack on the affected area.  Thoughts of the beach my daughter was enjoying kept floating through my head as I dreamed...what was wrong with this picture?! (sigh...)

I made it through the night OK, even had a phone call from my doctor telling me to stay in bed and rest the next day too.  I agreed, thinking "staying in bed didn't REALLY mean staying in bed", did it?. Well, I learned the hard way (as I often do...) that he meant EXACTLY that.  Everyone left me home alone this morning and although I had everything I needed for my "day in bed" within my reach, I felt compelled to do just a "few" things...and THEN I would get back in bed.  I fed the cat, threw some clothes in the washer, picked up the kitchen a bit and then headed outside to take the dogs out.  THAT'S when it happened...You know, that moment when you ask yourself, "Now WHY didn't I just listen?"  I suddenly got very dizzy, started sweating and thought I was about to be sick.  I knew I would pass out if I didn't sit down quickly, so I sat on the walkway and lured the dog back inside.  Realizing that I shouldn't attempt to get back on my feet, I crawled back inside, myself.  I laid on the floor for a few minutes and then crawled over to the phone (note to self:  when sick, keep a phone with you at all times...), called Robby who then called his mother to come over and assist me.  By the time she arrived, I had made it back to the bed and she gave me another medication for nausea and some ginger ale.  When she left, I promised I would not leave my bed again; this time I MEANT it.

And so I sit here while everybody else gets to be out and about.  And Caitlin gets to sun under a clear sky on a sandy beach.  Hmmm...What's wrong with this picture, I ask again??  Oh, well, to look on the bright side of things, I'm getting this out of the way at the beginning of the summer so I can enjoy the rest of it!  And I am going to embrace this time of rest...and start posting those pictures I promised of the wedding reception!  OK...so I'm gonna "sorta" rest!



Well, the wedding is over.  It turned out more beautiful that I could have ever imagined.  Every detail had been taken care of and Caitlin's day was magical.

I will share more photos during the week of the actual ceremony and reception details, but for today, I wanted to give you all a peak at some of the bridal portraits that were taken in Dallas and a couple taken yesterday before the wedding...Hope you enjoy!

                                                         Caitlin in her dress with my veil.

                                                                   Caitlin in my dress.


The vision that Caitlin had for a "Vintage" themed wedding was carried out through her attire, that of her wedding party, hair pieces and settings and props for her photographs.  I cannot wait for you to see all of the other many details that were put into this very special event!


A Special Gift From The Bride To Her Parents...

As I awoke this morning, I rolled over to find Caitlin still snuggled between her dad and I in our big bed.  She had announced weeks before that she would be sleeping right between us on the eve of her wedding day.  It wasn't difficult for me to remember that she was there; I had rolled over and looked at her several times during the night.  This was my baby.  How could it be that she would be married in less than 24 hours?  It seemed like only yesterday that I brought that tiny bundle home with me from the hospital.

Yesterday turned out to be a very eventful and productive day.  There were 15 of us working on decorating the rehearsal hall.  One of the employees of the club told me that I had more people working on our event than they had employees.  Across town, a wonderful friend of mine had agreed to host the rehearsal dinner at her home and had her own crew of 9 working there.  This was not a day for messing around or wasting time.

                 One crew was guys, who would hang all of the light fixture that Robby made.

At around 2 O'clock, we headed home to rest a little and get ready for the rehearsal and dinner that evening.  Since the wedding party is large (9 brides maids and groomsmen each, 4 flower girls and a ring bearer...), we had them arrive 15 minutes early to get set.  I had attempted to rest for a while, but had not been able to; I was still on an adrenaline rush.  I suppose that is why it surprised me that I would be the first one to cry at the rehearsal.  When the organist began to play, I suddenly felt the same way I had at my own wedding rehearsal.  It is something about the music that gets me.  I was able to make it, however, until the couple would were singing a duet began.  I looked at Robby and said, "I'm going to cry tonight."  He turned his head saying he couldn't do that now.  Caitlin turned to glance at us and seeing me said, "Stop, Mom!"  Maybe I would get this out of my system early and it wouldn't happen at the actual wedding.

Breathing a sigh of relief that I could check one more thing off of my list, we headed to the dinner.  The setting was lovely and this was a time where everyone could just mingle and catch up.  Once seated, however, the speeches started and then the tears almost fell again...

                                 Caitlin and "Her Boys", as she always called them growing up.

                                                      Robby started the speeches off.

                                            Followed by Tabitha, the maid of honor.

                                                 And Caitlin's brother, David, the best man.

At the end of the evening, Caitlin presented her dad and I with a precious keepsake.  I knew about Robby's gift but had no idea that I would be receiving one too.  Caitlin had gotten one of my step-father's hankies and monogrammed it with a letter to her dad...

My gift was a vintage hankie of my mom's, also monogrammed with a letter from Caitlin to me...

OK...so, the tears were really on the brink of falling now.  And so, as I watched my daughter sleep soundly, nestled between her father and I, it was sad to think that this would be the last time she would do so.  That precious little bundle that was laid in my arms 22 years ago; my best friend who goes with me to get manis and pedis and watch movies on lazy days with me will soon be gone.  I tell myself it will only be for 5 years.  Five years isn't that long, is it?  But for this day...I will savor every moment of this magical event that we have so carefully planned for 8 months now and think about those 5 years "Another Day"(Scarlett...).


Laissez les bon temps roulez!

"Laissez le bon temps roulez!"...LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!  That's what we say down here in Louisiana.  Hmmm...Good Times?!  I'm not sure that's what I would call my day today.

With 2 days left until Caitlin's wedding, I hit the floor running this morning at 6:30.  I had an 8:30 appointment so I had to be out of the house by 8:00.  All of the kids would be in this evening, the Merry Maids would be here at noon and I STILL had a million little things to do for the wedding (sigh...).  At one point, Robby told me rushing was one thing...bursting a heart valve was another (Ha Ha...Very funny!).  I ran out of the house a neck speed with a bowl of cereal in my hands, eating as I raced down the road at neck speed.

Robby had only STARTED building all of his projects for the ceremony and reception yesterday.  He and his friend had actually taken over my home gym and I'm really not quite sure it will ever be the same.  There are light fixtures he has built, along with a saw horse and many other tools hanging and laying around everywhere.  The arch has just been completed and is being painted so it can be placed in the church tomorrow...yea, cutting it a little close, huh?

As I was attempting to get all of my errands completed, I happened to look down at my legs.  They had been itching a bit, but I had not had the opportunity to see why.  Upon taking the time to do that, I was shocked to see that it looked as though I had the red measles!  OH MY GOSH!  I pointed this out to several people who determined that it was red bugs (chiggers); GREAT!...I hadn't had those since I was a child.  I had to run to the store to purchase some clear fingernail polish to put on all of the red spots, which I was told would get rid of those little suckers.  But, I thought, wow!  Won't my legs look lovely in my dress for the wedding?!

Rushing to try to finish the last few items on my list (yes, I still have little lists everywhere...), Caitlin reminded me that she and Kevin were taking their engagement pictures at 6:00 today.  WHAT?!  That was a TERRIBLE idea to plan such a thing 2 days prior to the wedding.  She explained that they hadn't had time to do so earlier and we had paid for them so they were going to do it today.  Oh, and don't think that one can just go out and merely take a few pictures. NO,NO, NO...I looked out in the yard and they had constructed a tee pee for their photo shoot and had collected up some of the vintage items we were taking to the reception hall to decorated with tomorrow!

I finished up by delivering all of the goodie bags we had made for our out of town guests to the hotel.  Notice they say, "Laissez les bon temps roulez!"  Yea, something was rolling today, I'm just not sure it was the "Good Times"!  Well, I plan on hitting the pavement running again tomorrow.  We will be at the church to set up at 8:00 and then head to the reception hall.  And then I guess we will officially be in the home stretch; rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and then the wedding.  I'm not sure how there can be so many little details left to complete after 8 months of planning.  But one thing is for sure...I'm RACING to the finish line!


If He DOESN'T Build It, Maybe She Won't Go

Here we are, FOUR DAYS until Caitlin's wedding.  WOW!  These 8 months have flown by.  Robby has officially admitted to "surrendering" to whatever we want or need to finish this event up.  I have completed all of the tasks that were set before me and I must say that, although, I am a bit weary, it feels good to have accomplished everything I was given.  Robby, however, still has not completed the few "important" tasks he was given.

Robby was not given any physical task concerning the wedding preparations EXCEPT to build the arch and some unique lighting fixtures for the reception.  I know when to harp on things and when not to; it is a talent a wife acquires over time.  Robby knew all along that he had these items to build for Caitlin's big day but just kept saying, "You don't have to worry about it...I will get it done."  Hmmm...as the time drew nearer and nearer, I would mention the projects every now and then.  However, at the one week mark, I began to get worried.  I cautiously brought the subject up one last time at which his reply was, "Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow?"  (sigh...)  He did, however, assure me that I could just put my worries to rest; everything would be done and in place the day before the wedding.

In the meantime, Caitlin was also worried about the completion of these projects, but was so busy packing that she didn't have much time to dwell on the matter.  She had decided to pack all of her things for us to take with us to Kentucky and store in a building, so when she and Kevin got ready to move after their honeymoon, they would already be halfway there.  This was an enormous task that had my house upside down for most of the week.  She would work a while and then take a break as I could hear her mumbling something about "Moving sucks!"  I couldn't disagree; I hate the entire moving process, myself. 

I was aware that the boxes were beginning to stack up, although I continued to walk from room to room with apparent blinders on.  Perhaps if I didn't stop long enough to look at everything, it wouldn't be real.  I suppose Robby felt the same way until the night before he had to help her put all of the boxes in the U-Haul. 

I walked into the room to find Caitlin sitting in her daddy's lap with him rocking her.  There were tears in his eyes as the realization finally hit him; this WAS going to happen, his little girl was going to be moving thousands of miles from home in only a week's time.  I knew this too, but I am that sort of person who gets through the event ok and then falls apart later when everything is quiet and still.  Nothing would truly hit me until after Caitlin pulled out of my driveway, newly married, headed to Ohio for 5 years.  I had stuck that into one of the back corners of my mind, where I intended to keep it for a couple more weeks.  Robby, however, had allowed those thoughts to enter his mind and now I could see how difficult the wedding week and day was going to be for him.  I thought about that arch and those light fixtures and suddenly it dawned on me...perhaps he thinks, "If I don't build it, maybe she won't go"!  Oh, he knew deep down that she would be going with or without having those items at her wedding, but putting off actually building them far in advance meant that he didn't have to think about it with every stroke of his hammer.  I got it now; this  wasn't mere procrastination; it was self-preservation.  He was saving himself from the reality of what was about to take place very soon.

Well, the items still have not been built, but his builder friend stopped by last night and I heard them talking about getting them completed and in place by Friday.  I'm not worried; I put that issue to rest like he told me to do.  Everything will be built on time and look exactly as Caitlin envisioned.  He knows that this wedding is coming on full speed ahead whether he is ready for it or not.  Just hold onto your hankies, wedding guests, because this is going to definitely be a tearful day.


I Can't Believe It...My Son Is A Doctor!

This past weekend, we traveled from Louisiana to Kentucky for my middle son, David's, graduation from medical school.  This was a very emotional and exciting day for both Robby and me; a day that we have awaited for a long time.

I know many of you have been in attendance at those high school events during one's senior year where the announcer tells a little bit about the student, where they plan to attend college and their future goals.  Sometimes those goal are never met, for whatever reason, but David kept his head in the books with fierce determination to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming a physician.

I can remember clearly when David was in junior high school, he approached me and said he wanted to become a doctor.  I looked at him seriously and told him that goal was attainable but he would have to make many sacrifices to achieve it.  He set forth making the grades and taking all of the advanced classes in high school that he could, graduating in the top ten percent of his class.  From there, he enrolled in college, where he not only played football, but also graduated Suma Cum Laude in four years.  During his senior year, he began attempting to get accepted into medical school.

The journey to just getting accepted into a medical school was no easy task.  He took the MCAT, applied and was then wait listed.  At the end of the day, David did not get into medical school on that first try.  He did not, however, just sit around crying in his Cheerios.  He received a letter from one of the schools where he had been wait listed and they invited him to join their post baccalaureate program for one year.  In that one year, he would take the same classes that first year medical students took; it would be a chance to prove that he could do the course work.  The school was in Erie, Pennsylvania!

During that year in Pennsylvania, David began re-applying to many different medical schools.  Thankfully, he was accepted into one in Kentucky!  The first few months alone, found him 30 pounds (which he did not have to lose...) lighter.  The work was grueling and I can remember him calling me late at night while taking short breaks, just to talk.  I was his cheerleader, telling him that it would all be worth it one day.

After two years of classroom studies, David got married and moved to Mississippi to do his two years of clinical rotations.  This was a bit closer to home and I was happy for that.  The rotations were hands-on, more like a job (except without pay...) and he loved it.  Medicine was a passion for him.  During that second year of rotations, it came time to apply for a residency program and prepare for the next four years of his life.  Once again, the application process began.  We were thrilled when he was accepted into the PM& R (Pain Management and Physical Rehabilitation) Residency Program in New Orleans!  Yea!!!  He had finally made it back to Da Boot!

And so, this weekend, we celebrated a milestone in David's life.  Graduating #5 in his class, we witnessed the making of a doctor!  Dr. William David Rogenmoser.

 Such a proud moment as I watched my son walk into his medical school graduation ceremony.

                                                       Dr. William David Rogenmoser

                                                              David and his wife, Codi

                                                          David and a very proud dad!

                                             Proud parents with their little doctor!

                                                        David with his Mimi and Papa

                                                              Congratulations, David!


The Problem With "Lists" Is...

There is one thing for certain I know...Just because you make lists, does NOT mean that you are an organized person.  Oh, sure the organized person makes "a" list.  And they keep that "one" list with them in a place they can easily access.  The unorganized person, however, strives to keep up with the MANY lists they have.

I did this while planning the boys' weddings, unfortunately, it has become much worse with Caitlin's.  As I think of important things that must be done for the wedding, I write them down on a piece of paper.  That's probably my first mistake.  I should most likely find a little notepad to write "a" list on.  And then, perhaps I could keep up with "it".  That is my second problem concerning my list making skills (or lack thereof...); I can't ever find my list so I have to make another list...and another...and another!!!

I decided to try to improve my list making skills by making one huge list on my i-pad.  About 2 months prior to the wedding, I wrote down week by week what I needed to accomplish.  This was a great idea, I thought, since that weekly list would appear on my Apple computer and I would be reminded what needed to be done on a weekly basis.  Then, I could engage in my favorite part of list making; scratching things off of the list!

I wake up each morning, after often times during the night dreaming about the wedding wondering...WHAT is on my list that I have to do today?  And, believe me, there is ALWAYS something to do (sigh...).  Actually, the calendar alarm on my cell phone goes off at intervals, daily reminding me of...you've got it!  All of those things that are on my other lists.  The month of May, alone has had me running around like a crazy woman!  Here are just a few things I have already checked off my list...

Ryan's Birthday/ May 4 (Happy 24!)
Caitlin's Graduation/May 5 (Yay!  I got a raise!)
My Wedding Anniversary/May 8 (Congrats to us...30 years!)
Throw in a little Smart Lipo (I know...what was I thinking?!  Oh yea, "Skinny Jeans"!)/May 9
Bridesmaids Brunch/May 12 (Gifts presented; one more thing out of my hands before I lose it)
Mother's Day/May 13 (Gifts given and lunch prepared for the mothers)
Invitations to Rehearsal Dinner mailed out this week
Caitlin is up to date on all thank-you notes (Yay!)
Caitlin is packed up to move to Ohio after the wedding (Boo!)

And NOW, today we are packing up to head to Kentucky for David and Kevin's graduation from medical school!  (Yippee! On the graduation...Ugh, on the road trip).  We will be traveling to Kentucky today and will arrive tomorrow.  We will attend a dinner in the graduates' honor Friday evening and then the graduation on Saturday morning.  Right after graduation, we will get on the road to head back to Da Boot, arriving back home some time on Sunday (whew!).  Then, it will be here...THE WEDDING WEEK!  OH MY GOSH...I hope I have done everything that was supposed to have been done...Hmmm...now, where did I put that list?!


The "REAL TRUTH" About How Motherhood Changes Your Life...

Motherhood changes one's life forever.  It begins from the moment of realization that they are going to become a mother.  First the physical changes begin and then before you know it...BAM!  Miraculously a woman's entire perspective on life changes and they become more concerned with their child than anything else on earth. It has been said that, "There is no love like a mother's love" and one only comes to know this truth when they become a mother.  Motherhood is a lifelong adventure that cannot be compared to any other.

We are all born with a selfish nature; that is just part of being human.  However, I have found that a strange phenomenon occurs whenever a woman becomes a mother.  It changed me and as I observe all of the young women around me who are becoming mothers, I find this to be a universal truth.  There is no longer the emphasis on "self", instead it is all about that little being that is soon to be the center of their world.

It all begins with the physical and emotional changes that a woman goes through as she prepares for motherhood.  For those carrying their own child, a bit of self fades away as one realizes that it is worth losing your figure over to bring a new life into this world.  And as that child begins to grow and move within you, the emotional strings begin to attach.  Little does one know at that time that those string are made of material that can never be broken.

A woman soon finds out what motherhood is all about when that cute little bundle is sent home with her from the hospital.  The long nights of colic and crying were not truly explained to her but her instincts kick in and she soon "figures it out".  The bonding continues as mother and child get to know each other in a more personal way outside of the womb.  From rolling over to crawling, walking and running, the mother watches as her baby begins to grow into a more independent being.  However, when they are feeling bad or simply tired at the end of the day, they always return to their mother's lap.  And the mother smiles; life is complete.

As a child moves along at life's rapid pace, often times mothers are not yet ready for their precious child to enter the "real world".  The "real world", they know from experience, is not always a friendly place and they long to keep their child within the comfortable confines of their warm and protected nest.  However, life does move along and so does the child and mother.  It is in the "real world" that the mother's protective role is tested beyond what sometimes they ever could expect.  Going to bat every day as a cheerleader of sorts, the mother attempts to help their child navigate difficult situations.  Waking each day to teach their offspring the lessons that will not only get them through the day, but life as well is a huge responsibility that the mother bears.

Changes continue for the mother as  her child enters the realm of social life in high school.  She becomes a little sad as she sees her child slipping from childhood to adolescence; she knows that adulthood is right around the corner.  The mother continues to nurture this half child, half adult who still returns to her shoulder for comfort whenever things don't go as planned.  The mother has made her home a soft place to land and the child knows this.  This thing called motherhood has morphed into a career; one that has consumed her, one that is a 24 hour a day job, one she would never give up in a million years.

As adolescence turns into adulthood and the child flies away from the nest to test their wings in the new world of college, the mother (outwardly) excitedly sends them off, hoping that she has equipped them with all of the right skills to become independent.  Secretly inside, she is crying.  Where did the life of this child go?  It passed far too quickly for her.

One day the child comes home to say that they have met the "right one"; the one they want to marry and spend the rest of their life with.  In the whirlwind of excitement, sadness can also be found.  MY CHILD?  How can this be?  It was only yesterday that I held you in a blanket, watched you learn to crawl, skipped rope with you.  And the mother is suddenly overwhelmed at the circle of life.

"The Circle of Life"does not stop.  Life continues in a cycle, as it should.  Motherhood is a journey; one often filled with unexpected joy and sadness.  Once a woman has become a mother, she can never go back to where she was before.  The children may grow up and move away, but they are always near in a mother's heart, mind and life.  There is not a day that she wakes without thinking of her children.  They have woven themselves into her very being.  Women miraculously change when they bring a child into this world.  They simply do not know how much a child will eventually reshape their life and how full a life can be until one day they look at those children who have become adults, and find that all the hard work and sacrifices and tears have paid off.  The joy of a mother comes not only daily, but also when she see the fruits of her labor...and they are good.

                                                          HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


What Is Smart Lipo and Would You Ever Consider Having It?

For the past couple of years I have become increasingly curious about a procedure known as Smart Lipo.  That curiosity has taken me on many Internet searches where the more I read, the more I wanted to have it done.

There are several reasons I have become so interested in Smart Lipo.  You see, although, I work out religiously and am right at the threshold of my ideal BMI, there are a few places where some fat deposits have taken up residence and just love it there so much, they refuse to leave.  These little "unwanted squatters" on my body have driven me crazy by refusing to leave so I decided to see what alternative ways there are to get them evicted.

Smart Lipo is designed for those people, like me, who have some fatty deposits that they would like to get rid of.  Considered much more safe than traditional Lipo, Smart Lipo is done in a physician's office, with shots given around the areas to be worked on.  The patient is NOT put under, therefore one risk factor is immediately taken away.  Many patients choose to take some sort of anxiety drug before the procedure begins, but YES...you are wide awake and can even carry on a conversation with your physician while the entire procedure is taking place.

Also unlike traditional lipo, Smart Lipo is done with a laser.  After the patient has been marked up and the shots given around the affected area, a fluid containing more numbing ingredients is put inside the incisions.  Once numbed up, the doctor then places a laser inside those incisions and begins to break up the fat.  Now, this is done quite vigorously (as I had seen on quite a few You Tube videos).  There is really no pain while the laser is being shoved in and out of the incisions but one can feel what is being done...HEY!  He's trying to get those "unwanted visitors" out of there!  And the really GREAT thing about this laser procedure is that while after it breaks up the fat, it is smoothing the skin out to prepare it for collagen repair later; something traditional lipo does not do.  After the laser part is complete, the fat is suctioned out..."Good-bye, you little pests!"

Now, there have been some who have said that when you have any type of lipo, the fat will come back somewhere else.  This is totally false!  Explained to me, a person has all of the fat cells they will ever have by the age of about 9 years old.  When one gains weight, those cells swell; when they experience weight loss, they shrink...but those same number of fat cells are still there.  Therefore, once removed, those fat cells will never come back. Why, then do some say they come back in another area?  Well, if you gain weight and they can't come back where they've been removed, naturally one will gain weight where there ARE still more fat cells.  Hmmm...Now, THAT made sense to me!

Well, after all of my reading and researching, I took the next step.  I made an appointment with a physician for a consult.  Upon completing my consult, I decided that Smart Lipo was for me!  I decided to have it...before the wedding.  I know what you're thinking...ARE YOU CRAZY?!  Well, I thought that fact had already been established!  However, the down time for Smart Lipo is much less (one can walk right out of the office...) and there is usually no bruising that can be found using traditional lipo. 

SO...as I am writing this post, I am here to tell you that yesterday afternoon I had my Smart Lipo!  Am I sore?  Well, YEA!  Is the pain unbearable?  No.  I have 2 days until Caitlin's Bridal Brunch and should be just fine to attend that.  I will go back to have my incisions checked (they are not stitched...) this morning and have my bandages changed.  I do have to wear a body garment that is tighter than a Spanx (didn't think that was even possible...) 24 hours a day for the first week and 12 hours a day for the second week.  That means for the brunch and church on Sunday, I will be sporting a maxi dress (so glad those came back on the fashion scene...). 

If you are in the same position that I have found myself in all of these years and just cannot get those "unwanted squatters" to leave certain areas on your body, research Smart Lipo.  There's lots of information online.  I'm glad I did it and I don't think anyone would be disappointed in a decision to do so also.


Oh How Wonderful To Hear Your Name Uttered...Your Grandmother Name, That Is!

From the moment I knew that I was going to become a grandmother, I began researching "Cute Grandmother Names".  Laugh, if you must, but THAT is a very important thing!  Whenever the child begins to talk, you grandmother name not only needs to be cute and fitting for you but it needs to also roll of the tongue easily; you are hoping it is one of the first words they say.

I chose Ya Ya for my "Cute Grandmother Name" for just those reasons.  And I believe that when Parker Ann was most likely only a day old, I began whispering it in her ear..."Ya Ya, Ya Ya, Ya Ya...telling her that I was going to be her "favorite" and I KNEW she was going to say my name first.  Well, needless to say, she did NOT say MY name first; she even said Robby's "Cute Pa-Paw Name" (Poppi) before mine (sigh...).  Maybe my name wasn't that easy to say after all. 

One day several months back, I heard her finally say it!  "Ya Ya, Ya Ya, Ya Ya"; YEP!  she said it the same way I had been repeating it to her over and over.  That was OK; she was at least saying it now.  But I wasn't really sure that she knew who went with that name...until just recently.  It seemed like all of a sudden words just came flooding out of our Baby Girl's mouth.  She was putting names with faces and pointing people out.  It is truly unbelievable how quickly a child can learn to talk.

I KNEW that she knew Ya Ya went with my face whenever she started saying my name when she saw me and OH, the thrill the sound of that coming out of her mouth gave me.  Robby and I were in a store the other day and he took her off in her stroller while I lingered behind looking at something.  Then suddenly I heard this little voice somewhere saying, "Ya Ya...Ya Ya".  She was looking for me; wondering where I was (BIG smile on my face here...).

Recently, Parker has begun to put words together.  She runs over to where I'm standing and holds onto my legs and as she tugs she says, "Hold, Ya Ya, Hold".  OK now, how could anyone NOT  pick her up?!  She know this too... I can tell.  So, of course, I pick up her and tell her to give me a kiss and a hug and she does (smiling BIG again here...).

Whether it is Mam-Maw, Mimi, Granny or Ya Ya, just know this one thing...Those words sound better than anything else in the world when it finally comes out of THEIR mouth!

                                                                    Ya Ya and Parker Ann


30 Years Of Marriage...Oh, What A Ride!

Today my sweet hubby and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary.  WOW!  30 YEARS?!  I have been married for way over half of my life.

I woke up this morning and thought it was 7 o'clock; it was only 5:58 (ugh...).  Robby was still snoozing and I decided to just go in the living room, turn on the the T.V. and sleep a little while longer, myself.  I wanted to be the first one to say, "Happy Anniversary!"  The next thing I knew, Robby had already gotten his shower and was sitting down in his recliner eating a bowl of cereal.  In my still sleepy state, I was just beginning to sit up when he said, "Happy Anniversary".  My eyes popped open and I said, "Ugh!!!  You beat me to it; I wanted to say it first!"

30 years...By ANY standards, that is a LONG time.  But, HEY!  Am I really that old?!  Heck no!  I was just a "child bride"...That's my story and I'm sticking to it!.  Recently, Robby cleaned out our storage building and found our wedding album.  I thought it was lost forever, so when he brought it home, I was SO excited!  Looking through that album, I realized something...We were just kids 30 years ago.  I'm quite sure I would NEVER agree to let any of my own kids get married that young.  But, "When it's right, it's right". 

Robby and I met while still in high school and married shortly there after.  We had absolutely nothing, except the used furniture our family had scraped together for us and LOVE.  Our first home was a little low income apartment and neither of us had jobs that made much money.  However, we were happy...and content.  Imagine that, huh?

After about a year, we moved up in the world...to a trailer that we put on a piece of property that my family owned.  From there we built several houses over the years, as our little family grew from two to six quite quickly.  No matter what we did, Robby and I have always found time for each other.  We tried to sneak off by ourselves on little trips as often as we could afford and time would allow; we kept in mind that our relationship was important.  So many people we knew, never took time for themselves after starting a family; becoming so immersed with children and activities, they forgot about each other.  I am glad that we did take time for our own relationship because, at the end of the day, the kids move on.  They graduate high school and move on to college and eventually start their own lives with someone special.  Had we not taken time to nurture our own relationship, we might have woken up as strangers one day when left alone again.

Not many people can say that they married their "soul mate" and to some that may sound corny at the least and impossible at the most.  However, when you find that person who completes you...you know it.  Like I said, "When it's right, it's right".  Things come and go and become less important with time.  The one you have chosen to spend your life with is what is important in the end.  The ride that I have been on for the past 30 years has been an exciting one and I wouldn't change a thing.  I can't wait to see what the next 30 years have in store for us!


Our Graduation Day "Adventure"...

Today was Caitlin's graduation from college.  It marked the last graduation (bachelor's degree) of our four children.  Everyone was excited as we made plans to stay at the lake house, which was an hour closer to the university she attended in East Texas.  BUT...as they say, "The best laid plans tend to go awry often times".  Today was one of those days!

When I have a big event planned, I always worry about not getting there on time.  I will calculate the amount of time it will take for me to get ready and then the amount of time it will take to get there...EARLY.  For this fourth and final graduation day, I did not want to be late or heaven forbid have a flat tire or some other car trouble on the way there.  Therefore, I made sure that Robby set the clock for 6 a.m. since the graduation was at 10:30.. If we left at 8 then we should be there in plenty of time; actually we should have time to spare.

We got on the road on time and began our caravan toward Texas.  I was reading on my Kindle and Robby was talking on the phone, while Sarah was listening to her i-pod and Parker Ann slept most of the way there.  Once Robby hung up with his telephone call, he started talking to us when suddenly we caught sight of a sign that signaled we were almost in Longview...LONGVIEW?!  OH MY GOSH!!!  In all of our talking, we had passed Marshall up by OVER 30 MILES!  A quick glance at the time told us that we were in danger of being LATE for the graduation.  Well CRAP; another adventure...

The decision had to be made fast; turn around on the highway at the next exit (my choice...) or take the route that the GPS was calculating (a route I wasn't sure about...).  We turned around on the highway and headed back toward Marshall, checking the time...there was NO WAY we were going to make it there for the processional.  Robby put the pedal to the medal and to be honest, I don't really know how fast we were going.  At one point there was a "Left Lane Hero" (as the boys like to call people who just ride in that passing lane...) that got in our way; Robby was laying on the horn while I was afraid we were about to hook onto their bumper with our vehicle.  We finally got around them and continued to race on toward our destination.  I told Robby I hoped he didn't get pulled over because I didn't have time for that; he would just have to keep driving and when we got there I would jump out of the car, tell him to write the ticket and leave it on the window...I WAS NOT MISSING THIS GRADUATION!

Fortunately, we did not get stopped (whew!...).  David met us at the door and as I raced inside, I noticed that there was a crowd of people in the foyer; we were only a few minutes late, maybe the graduates had not gone in yet.  I followed the crowd in to where the rest of the family was saving seats for us and found that indeed we had missed the processional.  As we got settled into our seats, Robby leaned over and said, "It's always an adventure with me."  I replied by saying, "And you thought I might one day run out of material to write about?"

As the graduation ceremony finished up and the music began to swell,  the graduates filed out of the room.  I looked over at Robby to see tears welling up in his eyes.  I decided not to mention it, but as we were walking out, he did.  He looked at me and said, "Our last child has just graduated from college and I was thinking about the wedding.  I'm definitely not going to be able to make it through that day."  He had started counting down the weeks and realized that as we marked one event off of our May calendar, it only moved us closer to the "Big Day"; it was 3 weeks from today.  I don't doubt that day will be emotional for him and all of us for that matter.  I immediately decided to take up my "Scarlett Attitude" once again..."I would just think about that another day..."

                               Everyone was able to make the graduation except Ryan and my mother.

                                                         Robby and me with Caitlin

                                                 Caitlin with her Mimi and Papa

                                              Caitlin with my sister and her husband

                                                Parker Ann made the graduation too!
                                                               Caitlin and Kevin

CONGRATULATIONS, Caitlin for graduating MAGNA CUM LAUDE with a major in BUSINESS and a minor in POLITICAL SCIENCE!