Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Celebrating the Mast-ah


My rockstar of a husband finished and graduated with his Masters degree(WITH all A's this semester I might add)! (Hallelujah chorus)

Whew! Words can't even begin to express how proud I am of him. He stuck with it, even working full time and adjusting to a new job and a new place. He is utterly and completely amazing. I can't stop gushing about him. ;)

To celebrate his achievement, we had all our immediate family up to Fort Smith for dinner and dessert. I think we had about 21 people total--including six kids (8 and under) and 2 puppies (my parents brought JoJo, their new lab puppy to play with Sophie). It was absolutely crazy but such a fun time! Daniel's middle brother, Sean, and his wife Kimberly live in Tyler, TX and they drove up and brought their two girls, Carley (3 1/2) and Audrey (18 mo.), to stay the weekend with us. It was so great to be able to spend time with them--and the girls absolutely fell in love with Sophie! On Saturday, Ben and Rebekah (Daniel's oldest brother and his wife) came and brought their 4 kids, Will (who turned 8 that day), Hayes (6), Olivia (5), and Caroline (3 1/2). My parents came and brought JoJo, and both my grandparents and my cousin Caroline came, who was a big help with the puppies. Finally, Daniel's parents and his grandmother Ruth drove up to finish out the crew.

We ate dinner at Taliano's Italian Restaurant in Downtown Fort Smith. Can I just say, WOW. This restaurant is in a house that was built in 1898, and they have totally remodeled and decorated it like it would have been in the 19th century. They also make all of their pastas homemade, as well as their sauces and dressings. If you are ever in the Fort Smith area, be sure and eat there! It was absolutely incredible. Once we were absolutely stuffed, we came back to our house, where Daniel opened gifts and then we ate even more by partaking in desserts--brownies a la mode and white chocolate chip torte. I think we were all miserable by the end of the night!

All in all, it was so great to have everyone together and celebrate Daniel and just spend quality time with family. Memories were definitely made!

Sophie spent some quality bonding time with Dad


One of our nieces, Audrey

Dessert table!

                        Me and my graduate                        

                                      My mom and my grandmothers are such inspirations to me!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We got a PUPPY!

It finally happened. We got a puppy. We are now officially part of the "my dog is my child club." And I mean that in every literal sense. It's funny how many times we have looked at each other and gone "what do we do?"..."I don't know, what do you think we should do?"..."I don't have any idea, just wing it I guess." When she whines, is it because she is hungry, thirsty, needs to go outside, is tired, wants to play....the list goes on and on. Talk about a reality check. Yes, puppies are cute and cuddly and fun and great companions, but THEY ARE WORK. Can I get an amen??

However, late nights and accidents aside, we are in love with her. I told Daniel this was just good practice for when we had a baby. He just laughed. She is really smart and loves to play (and of course bite everything in sight), but she also loves cuddles and just being with you. She is an 11 week old redbone hound/lab mix, so it will be interesting to see which qualities she picks up from which parent. Fun times ahead!

Right after we picked Sophie up

They were both tuckered out on the ride home

Peaceful napping

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Baby Sister is Gettin' Married!

Y'all, I am SO excited to announce that my baby sister is getting married! I am incredibly excited for her and my future bro-in-law, Kirby...they are so perfect for each other (and bless him for putting up with her lol). We had been secretly plotting behind her back for a couple of months--talk about biting your tongue to keep a secret--and everything went absolutely perfect and without a hitch!

Ok, story time!

Kirby called me back in January to discuss rings and what Hannah liked and what cut of diamond she wanted, etc, etc, etc. Right in the middle of all that, the Lord decided to up and move Daniel and I back to Arkansas and it was a really crazy time, so the plans kind of got put on hold for a couple of weeks. We picked right back up in February, going to a couple different jewelry stores and just seeing what we could find. One of the ones we went to was Brooks Jewelry in Conway and they specialize in custom-made rings. DING DING DING! We had a winner! Kirby really loved the idea of creating Hannah a one of a kind ring that no one else would have, so we went to work deciding what kind of setting he wanted, where to get loose diamonds, and all that jazz. It just so happens that his grandmother had a ring that she told him he use for Hannah's ring (how special is that?!). The ring was yellow gold with a .35 carat solitaire. Now, Hannah absolutely loves rose gold, so Kirby decided he wanted to incorporate that into her ring somehow. He also decided he wanted to do a three stone ring, because it would signify that their marriage relationship would consist of God at the top and then the two of them. Kirby was able to use the solitaire diamond from his grandmother and then the other two stones we found from some close family friends. Brooks Jewelry went to work drawing up a design and it was absolutely STUNNING! 

Now that the ring was taken care of, we had to decide when and where he would propose. The weekend of April 13-14, UCA had a Spring football game and Kirby's parents and sister were driving up from Austin, TX to watch him play. We decided this would be the perfect opportunity cause then all the families could be involved! He called my grandmother to see if she could do lunch on Sunday before his family had to leave--our grandmother's house is very special to us because we have so many fun and loving memories there and this would be absolutely nothing out of the ordinary to Hannah. Again, it was perfect! Knowing that she really wanted me at the proposal, I had to let her think I wasn't coming to lunch since Sunday was a work day for Daniel. Secretly, Daniel and I drove down after church so we could be there and watch the whole thing!

The Proposal:
Sunday, April 14, 2013, was a bright sunny day with a high of 75 degrees---absolutely perfect weather! (notice a trend here). They all get up and go to church, and then head to my grandmother's house for lunch as planned. Meanwhile, Daniel and I are driving down from Fort Smith and my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jim are driving back from our cabin to be there to take pictures. Once we arrive, we sit and hide at the end of the driveway so she won't see our cars. Kirby takes Hannah down to the lake that my grandparents live on, and at that moment we RUSHED into the house to watch the whole proposal transpire. It was so fun and beautiful to watch--especially to see the look of shock of Hannah's face since she had no idea it was coming that day! We got some great pictures and came back up to the house to celebrate and eat cake! 

I mean, honestly, how gorgeous is that ring?! 

The rest of the afternoon, we ate cake and took pictures and sighed with relief that we didn't have to keep a secret anymore! Since then, she and Kirby have already set a date---May 9, 2014 in an intimate beach ceremony in Florida! The countdown has begun so let the wedding festivities begin!

PattiCakes Bakery made this beautiful cake

Yay for being engaged!

The happy couple

Mike and Jan O'Meara, Kirby, Hannah, Mom and Dad

The couple with our grandparents :)

The Henderson women and our bling. I'd say our guys did well.