May 24, 2010

wedding weekend

this past weekend Bill and I were back in Little Rock for a wedding weekend extravaganza! well, technically, i'm the only one who attended the wedding events. Bill just enjoyed the weekend in LR.

1st up was a bridal shower for Laura Allen. She is a friend from high schools fiance. She is from Austin, so they had a bridal shower in LR for all of Blake's friends and family. It was a very nice shower, and so nice to meet the bride to be. They will be getting married in Austin in July, and we are looking forward to attending the wedding.

After lunch with mom and the BFF, I ran home to change clothes and head to the next event. This was a wedding for a friend that we used to attend church with when we lived in LR. Her daughter was getting married. It was a lovely wedding and so good to see all our old church friends. We miss them dearly.

After that, I went home to rest for a bit, and get ready for the 2nd wedding. This wedding was for one of my very dear friends, Ashley Gibbs. Ashley and I have been friends since the 4th grade. We spent a lot of time together when we were younger... carpooling, cheering, making up dances, and just being goofballs. The wedding was at Wildwood Performing Arts Center. This place is out in the country, surrounded by nature. They even have a butterfly garden there. Its a beautiful place. It was lots of fun seeing old friends, and spending time with the besties.

Here are a couple pics from the wedding...

Michelle, Carla, Ashley, & Me

Eric, Me, Meesh, Carla, Kim, & Spencer

I told Bill going into this weekend, that I didn't mind if he didn't attend the weddings with me. As much as I enjoy being with the hubby, and want him by my side at events to show him off, it was good being able to hang out with old friends and not worry about him feeling left out. I know he was disappointed he didn't go with me (sarcasm). He enjoyed his weekend by meeting and working out with his triathlon coach, playing golf, and having dinner with his best friend.

Now, I'm looking forward to next weekend so much I can hardly stand it! Lori and Trevor are coming to spend the weekend with us. Some other friends are coming as well. We're going to a concert, Six Flags, maybe Billy Bobs, and celebrating Lori and Trev's anniversary!

May 18, 2010

final review

disclaimer: i am and always will be a razorback. they are my one true football love.

last weekend i joined my family in College Station, TX for my cousins final, Final Review. this was his senior year at Texas A&M, making it his last year to be a member of the Corps of Cadets. if you have never seen the cadets march, or even seen the Aggie band perform, you are truly missing out.

Texas A&M is known for their traditions, and the Corps is considered the Keepers of the Spirit. Spirit meaning traditions. I am truly proud of my cousin for committing himself the last 4 years to this organization. One tradition they have is Final Review. In my best explanation, it is where the Corps marches their final time for the year. This is actually something they do before every football game. they gather in "the quad" (dorms) where friends and family can mill around and talk to everyone. then a LOUD cannon goes off, and that signals the cadets to get in formation. then the ceremonies begin.

lets start from the beginning... me and my mom in one car. my dad and step mom in another. we head out of dallas at 7am. 3 hours and one coffee spill later we're in rainy college station. we meet up with my aunt and uncle at their hotel. we sit and chat about life, recent happenings, floods...ya know? then we head over to meet my cousin at the Corps Museum. he gives us the grand tour then we head over to the book store. it was rainy and humid, and that equals a bad hair day for allison. so in total support of my cousin, i buy a A&M hat to wear. walking back to the car we ran into the famed mascot of the Fightin' Texas Aggies, Reveille. cutest little collie you've ever seen. she goes to class everyday with one of the cadets! how fun is that?

we headed to a place called J.Cody's for lunch. good BBQ people. highly recommend. Jordan (the cuz) showed us around campus, and where he was going to be living next semester. then we dropped him off so he could get ready for the big event. after a huge parking fiasco, we finally made it to see him. i felt like i was in a movie. its hard to explain the magnitude of what goes on on this campus day in and day out. young men in uniforms, with sabers, flags, and regalia. its so surreal. doesn't my cousin look so handsome? he is the commander for his unit, so he gets to carry around a sword! its a huge honor.

these are little our of order. this is actually after the 1st march at the senior reception. man, i love those boots. i really want some. the seniors are the only ones who get to wear the boots. they order then their 1st day as a cadet, and get them when they're seniors. its a major commitment.

again, out of order. before lunch we went to see the Bonfire memorial. A&M had a tradition that they burned a huge bonfire before the texas vs. texas a&m game every year. in 1999 the bonfire collapsed during the building of it, and killed 12 people. they built this memorial in their honor. it is a moving place. another thing everyone needs to see.

the seniors of my cousins unit.

we staked out our spot by the arches to watch the ceremonies begin. after the canon went off, everyone forms together, and then all of a sudden you faintly hear the sound of drums. the Aggie band starts playing the fight song, and they get louder and louder as they approach you. it gave me chills.

here comes the cuz! he's the one on the left.

they march from the quad to the stadium. the whole time the band plays to keep them in unison.

tried to capture the entire corps. there are tons of them.

after the first march, all of the cadets, with exception of the seniors, go and change into their new ranking uniform. this is where the freshman become juniors, sophomores to juniors, juniors to seniors... you get the point. then it starts all over again. the seniors get to line the field for one more yell practice, and cheer on the cadets at they march back in as their new classification. this is the first time the juniors get to wear their boots. how exciting! so the ceremony gets repeated. then its all over. it really was amazing.
after that we went and had dinner with everyone and started our trek back home. we left really late, so we didn't get back until 2am! i was struggling to keep my eyes open on the drive back home. it was a long day, but totally worth it. i hate that i only got to see it one time!
we're so proud of you Jordan, and we're so excited to see what "power school" has in store for you!

happy birthday bill

last week Bill celebrated his 27th birthday! let me back up to the week before though...

i decided waaaay back before Christmas that I wanted to get Bill a new leather chair for his birthday. the one we had was getting a little too worn in. bill loves that chair, so i had to be careful not to change something he wasn't ready for. i tip-toed around the subject a couple of times, just to feel out the possibility of getting a new chair. he seemed alright with it, as long as it met a few of his requirements. so, i started saving up my money (that was tough).

bill went home to Little Rock the weekend before his b-day, so i took that as my opportunity to search for the perfect chair. Dad and I decided to go to The Dump. Such a fun place, and no, not a literal dump. They sell brand name furniture 30-70% off. So off we go. The very first one we found, ended up being the one we chose. I liked it for a few reasons. 1)It was a lighter leather than our previous one. The room was getting a little weighed down by the dark furniture. 2)Our previous chair had an ottoman, and it really took up a lot of room. This chair is a recliner, but its NO Lay-Z-Boy! You can't even tell it reclines just looking at it. 3)It was contemporary looking, but still traditional. Wrap it up, we'll take it! So we moved the old out, and the new in. I stuck a big bow on it, and surprised Bill when he walked in the door from his long drive. He was completely shocked. Brownie points to Allison!

The New Chair!

Bill decided that he would like to go to the Texas Rangers game on his birthday. So, we bought the $12 tickets and made our way to The Ballpark. It also just happened to be $1 hot dog night! Score! It was a great night too. Double back to back home runs, a win against the A's, and it puts the Rangers 1st place in the ALWest.

View from our seats

Birthday boy
i think Bill had a wonderful birthday. i didn't make a cake for him, and i sorta felt bad. but he assured me the cake his momma made him the weekend before would suffice.
love you bill! happy birthday! you're getting old...

May 9, 2010

happy momma's day

happy mother's day to the best mom in the whole world!
i love you!

May 3, 2010

nashville flood

sunday morning we got a call telling us that my aunt and uncle, who live in nashville, tn, were having to evacuate their home due to flooding. they have lived in the same town home since i have been alive. its a cute little place outside nashville, actually in a town called bellevue. there are several rivers that run through the town of nashville, the biggest being the Cumberland. but there is also a river called the Harpeth River that runs behind the development that my aunt and uncle live in. on a normal day, it sits 60 feet below their home.

so, sunday morning the fire department and police station set out to warn residents in the area that they should prepare to evacuate. this was just a warning, but they took the proper precautions and gathered some things, and moved valuables, pictures and the like to the second floor. well, things got bad, and it got bad really fast. all in all, i believe the greater nashville area got around 15-20 inches of rain in 2 days. more than the little harpeth river could handle.

word got out soon that they were evacuating people in their development in boats, and that the water was waist high. so, stranded at a starbucks, they tried to find a place to stay. luckily, they have a great church and work family, who extended open arms to them. it has to be a scary feeling not knowing whats happening at your own house, but knowing it can't be good. everyone was expecting the worst, after watching the weather channel and news stations all day. seeing footage of the damage, and how the bigger cumberland river was nearing its breaking point. it runs through downtown and the tourist area. opryland hotel, country music hall of fame, LP Field, opryland hotel, and much more.

today we got news of the outcome. they were able to get back in their house to see the damage, and it wasn't pretty. the water level had gotten up to my aunts shoulders, so a little over 5 feet or so. a gross, slimy, muddy sludge all over everything. the fridge tipped over and floated thru the kitchen. all the furniture was strewn about. the water had gotten up to the 7th step of the stairwell. thats probably about halfway up. they're so lucky it didn't get to the second floor. now, here's the even worse news. they had their house up for sale. they had literally just finished a big renovation to update and clean it up for the sale. they will have to completely start over. that is, if they are able to. since they were in a flood plain, they are still unsure if they will be able to rebuild. they are also unsure of the coverage they have for flood insurance. it is going to be a long road to normalcy for them. i can't even imagine. we are happy for their safety though, and in the end that is all that matters.

searching through photos of damage, i found this group of photos that actually shows their development.
its just unbelievable. we're praying for a somewhat hassle free transition into filling claims, talking with insurance adjusters, getting the help they need from insurance companies and FEMA, and rebuilding. keep them in your prayers, if you think about it.