Monday, November 30, 2009

Ruffled Scarf Giveaway

Isn't this the most gorgeous scarf you have seen? I immediately fell in love with it. Lola sent me a video one day, by email, and it was of Trina's scarf collection. I looked at the 1 Charlotte Russe that is around here. But I couldn't find this scarf. I was so sad. Until, I saw this great giveaway. Trina is hosting a giveaway for this scarf. All you have to do is head over to her blog and enter! You know you want to. Run, you only have a little over an hour! ♥Anna Marie♥

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Custom Necklace Giveaway

Isn't this the most darling little necklace? I think so! The perfect thing to proudly show off my 2 girls! With their names, and their birthstones. I just think the little pearl is adorable! I found another great blog via Lola. Mama Manifesto, a cute blog! And they are hosting a giveaway for one of these custom necklaces! You should go enter the giveaway. You never know, you could be the very lucky winner. And get one of these beauties to proudly show off your little ones! ♥Anna Marie♥

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Our Love Story

It is almost Joe and I's 3 year wedding anniversary. This year, there is a very good chance that we will be in the hospital. Celebrating Emma Grace's arrival. But I wanted to share our story with you.

My husband and I have dated since we were teenagers. Joe was a freshman in high school, I was in 8th grade. I noticed him one day waiting around for his brother. He was sitting with his cousin. On the half wall, that was just outside our school. My primas and I were on our way to our school bus. He and his cousin sat and waited. For weeks, I would hope to just catch a glance of him, on my way to the bus. But I was sure he never saw me.

Then we had a local concert in the "Big Park." It was the place where everything happened in our town. My primas and I were in line to buy a Coke and nachos. We were just enjoying the local music and having fun. Joe and I literally ran into each other. I turned around with my nachos and Coke, and Joe was instantly covered!!! Orange cheese and ice covered his white shirt.

He was a good sport about it. He laughed it off. I was mortified! So much so, that I could barely look at him. I managed to say sorry. And I went to sit with my parents. I was devastated!!! How in the world was I ever going to face him again? My parents wanted to know what was wrong with me. I just told them I wasn't feeling well. I made my primas promise to not say a word. So I moped around.

Unfortunately for me, it was still early in the evening. My parents had planned to stay a few more hours. They wanted to dance. Their favorite band was the last to play. So I moped about. Never moving from my place. Then I heard that familiar voice. At the time, I had only heard Joe talk once or twice. But I just knew it was him...

He asked my dad if it was OK if we went for a walk around the park. This was the moment in my life, that I was so happy my dad was strict. He cleared his throat in that, threatening kind of way. And my mom poked him in the side. She gave him that look, the one that meant business. And my dad caved. "Sure son." WHAT?!?!?!

Joe helped me up from my permanent seat in the grass. As we walked away, I could hear my dad grumbling. And my mom assuring him that they could see us at all times. Joe walked, and I walked slowly. I was shy and embarrassed. What was I supposed to do? Or say? He slowed his walking to match mine. Then I slowed mine again. It took us 15 minutes to get to the other side of the park. It was ridiculous!

Now that I think about it, it makes me laugh. But Joe was persistent. I have to give him that. When we were on the opposite end of the park, from my parents, Joe stopped. We crossed the street, and sat on the steps. You see, our park is in the middle of our town. All around it, are businesses and an old hotel. We sat there and he started talking. Trying desperately to get me to look at him. But I stared at the hem of my shorts instead. I played with this string that was on the bottom. Finally, he laughed. Just hysterically! And I looked at him. I was in shock! What was wrong with this guy?

Before I knew it, I was laughing too. He got me to relax. And we sat there talking. Eventually we were on the same step. Just watching the fiesta in front of us. He told me how he had to go buy the t-shirt he had on. Because his shirt was covered in nachos. Then he had to beg the store owner to let him use the restroom in the store. He had to try and rinse off the Coke and change. To this day, that t-shirt is in my drawer! After all, it was the start of "us." And he had spent all of his money to buy it! :)

When the sun started to go down, we watched the sunset. By that time, we were holding hands. My first time ever to hold a boy's hand. But we watched as the sky turned bright orange. The sunsets in our state, are a sight to be seen! And as the darkness took over, Joe asked me to dance. It was the first time I had ever danced with a man, that was not my dad or grandpa. We crossed the street back to the park. And we danced. To Flor de Las Flores.

Joe had a good eye on my parents and his. Making sure that we were always on the opposite side of the gazebo dancing. It happened to be the last song. And at the end of the song, he bent down and kissed me. One of those sweet, and innocent kisses. But I swear, I felt the electricity shoot through me. And I was glad it was dark. For 2 reasons. No one would have seen us. And Joe wouldn't know that I was blushing!

He walked me back to where my parents had been sitting earlier. And he helped me get our things together. My parents were talking to some friends. Eventually they made it back over. And Joe carried all of our things to the truck. He asked my dad if it would be OK if he could call me sometime.

My dad was not thrilled. But he knew Joe came from a good family. A family with very similar values to our family. We also lived in different towns. Joe and I grew up in small towns in the northern part of our state. I lived more in the "city," but it is still very much a small town. A college town to be exact! Joe lived in a smaller community, and would come to school in our town.

We talked a few times a week. Joe always talked to my dad first. ALWAYS! I think my dad was probably lecturing him. When Joe would see me at school, he would always bring me something. A wild flower, a candy, or something he had made. Because he carves things out of wood. Before long, we were sitting next to each other at church. Convincing our families, to go eat at the same places, on Sundays. Stealing looks from across the room.

We dated. And continued to date through high school. My dad realizing that Joe was the one for me. And when Joe graduated, he decided to move to my hometown. He started college, and lived in a small apartment. I would go visit him. Attempt to make dinner. Which I always managed to burn! I think my dad was really starting to stress out. Wondering if I would make it out of town. Or if we would end up getting married and having kids right away.

At the beginning of my senior year, to my dad's relief, I applied to college. And was accepted to our state university in the southern part of the state. Oh, 5-6 hours away! I failed to tell him that Joe was also going to transfer out there at the end of the year. We had made that decision right before Christmas of my senior year.

My mom knew everything and didn't say a word. She is the one that went with me to orientation the summer before I started school. She helped me and Joe find a place to live. Joe had it all covered. His family is in the cattle business. So he was set. We had a budget and a plan. Joe decided that he would pay for all of our bills. My only job was to go to school. To grow into an adult.

The week before we were going to move, Joe came to my house. He and my dad went out and had a "man to man" talk. I still don't know what they talked about. But I do know, that my dad gave us his blessing. A week later, he was helping us move.

Joe and I lived together in a small house for a long while. In the middle of this large piece of property that Joe had bought. Again, in a small town. Near the larger town. Another college town. It is actually the 2nd largest city in our state. But it is still small. And we loved our little house. We added to our family, buying 2 dogs shortly after we had moved. But we loved our home. Soon Joe had built a barn. And we had animals. A nice yard. Our own home.

For years, we lived together. My dad always knew that Joe loved and respected me. Our families would come visit us. And we would go home when we could. It wasn't as often as we would have liked, but we would go. People always wanted to ask if we were engaged. Or ever planned to get married. But they would never ask us. Instead, they would ask my mom.

Then, on one trip home, my dad and Joe went out riding horses. Not out of the ordinary for them. Joe actually would help my dad out on a lot of projects. I was not worried when they were gone for hours. But when Joe and I went home the next day, I was shocked!

Lola had helped him out. But Joe had planned it. The entire house was lit with candles. Rose petals were everywhere too! That is the night Joe asked me to marry him. He got down on one knee and asked me, "to be his wife, the mother of his children, and his partner for life." I still remember it like it was yesterday. That was in 2003. And after I said yes, he told me that my dad had given us his blessing. I cried. Because I knew in that instant, he was my Prince Charming.

Our entire family rallied behind Joe and I. My primas were in love with my ring. And our entire hometown was excited about the wedding. We planned our wedding for nearly 3 years. Our entire family worked for all those years, on every detail. Nothing was left undone.

In the end, because of a family tragedy, we got married during a rather difficult time. But still on our original wedding date. It wasn't a big wedding. I actually wore a dress that I bought at Dillard's. It was supposed to have been what I would wear to our rehearsal. My original wedding dress just didn't seem appropriate. None of this seemed appropriate. But we got married in our church, in our hometown. With just our parents, siblings, grandparents and a handful of friends.

Then we planned. On our first anniversary, we would have the big wedding. It seemed more appropriate to wait. Our family would have healed somewhat. Emotions wouldn't be so raw. We had been married by the church already. But we hadn't had the big wedding, the huge dress, and the big party. The big celebration that a wedding was supposed to be. That time to celebrate. It just hadn't happened that way for us.

That Christmas, my dad asked if we were ever going to have kids. He was ready to be a grandpa. We had been married for a few weeks. But he thought we should start a family. After all, by this time, Joe and I had been together for about 13 years. Joe and I just laughed. But we knew we wanted to start a family soon. We figured sometime after our first anniversary. After the big wedding, we would start trying.

Joe and I have always wanted kids. We have wanted kids since we could remember. When we were in high school, we would sit and talk about kids. What we would name them. How many we wanted. Who they would look like. Family has always been important to us. But we had just wanted to have a completely solid marriage before we had kids. We wanted to have a solid foundation for our family. With a solid income and careers. I knew that I wanted to stay home when I became a mom. And Joe knew he wanted to help expand his family's ranching business. That's what we focused on.

And a little over 6 months, after my dad telling us he was ready for grandkids, we made the trip up north. To tell our parents the great news! They were going to be grandparents! It wasn't planned. But we were excited! Joe and I had been married for about 7 months. We were just back from our honeymoon. No big wedding after all. My dress, is still in my Hope Chest. I actually got it professionally cleaned and stored after Eva was born. Something tells me, we will never have that big wedding. Instead, we welcomed Eva into our family in early 2008.

Joe and I were so excited! I always knew I wanted a little girl. I wanted to dress her up in ruffles and lace. To play dolls, and bake cookies with. But I never realized just how much my husband wanted a little girl. Eva just made us into a family. Life just blossomed around her. The smallest of things, would make me so excited! Because I was seeing them through her eyes. Experiencing life for the first time through her experiences.

All of a sudden, it didn't matter if I couldn't cook. If I burned dinner 5 nights a week. Or if the house wasn't perfectly clean. It didn't matter if I missed out on a MAC collection. Or if I wore 2 different socks. Joe, Eva, and I were a family. The same family that Joe and I had talked about on his prom night.

Then just 2 months after Eva's first birthday, we found out about Emma. I was a little worried. How would Eva adjust? Heck, I am still slightly worried. But we were so excited to be expanding our family. I am positive the Eva is going to be a great big sister. She is so gentle. And is always talking to my belly.

Joe and I want 3-4 kids. If it were up to Joe, we would have nothing but girls! That was a little surprising to me. But we are just so happy. Our story started with a chance. That school yard crush. And the nacho and Coke accident. We have had bumps along the way. And I am sure we will endure more hard times. But it is the love that is between Joe and I, that will get us through it all. As long as we love and respect each other, we will be a happy couple. A happy family. ♥Anna Marie♥

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anniversary of My Family's Tragedy

Today marks the 3rd Anniversary of a horribly tragic day for our family. The day that 5 family members were taken in an instant from us. It was a strange time in our lives. With tons of mixed feelings. And tons of raw emotions. This is our story...

Joe and I got engaged in 2003. We decided to have our home built shortly after that. And we planned for a big wedding. We planned and planned. For what seemed like forever! Our wedding date set for the Fall of 2006. My family and his, worked for hours and hours on the smallest of details. For almost 2 years, our families came together to work on our wedding.

All the women in my family went with me to pick up my wedding dress, just 2 weeks before. We all cried!!! My tia gave me a bracelet to wear. And a handkerchief that she had made. With my new initials in light blue. We talked about what my future was going to look like. She gave me the wisdom that only a married woman could give. About the good days and the bad. And on a small piece of paper, her favorite and prized recipe for that dessert. The one she always brought to parties. The one I loved!!!

Everything was perfect. Things were right on schedule. I had had the bridal shower. We had bought gifts for everyone in our wedding party. Our honeymoon was scheduled. Joe and I were making the 5+ hour trip home every weekend. Because we had to work on the wedding. And our family was so amazing. Everyone was so excited to pitch in for our big day.

The week before our wedding, tragedy struck. There was a DWI accident that took the lives of 5 of my family members. They were on a shopping trip and were hit by a drunk driver. Killing 5 of the 6 family members in the car. It was a hard time for our family. A time that I didn't know what side was up or what side was down.

We got the news from my mom. She had been watching the news and saw their car. Her and my dad knew right away it was them. They called me and Joe. And all at once, I was numb. I couldn't feel a thing. How could 5 of my loved ones be dead?

Not just our family mourned, but our entire community mourned the loss of our family. I couldn't forget the times we had spent together. The holidays we had shared. The laughter. The good times and the bad.

On that day, a selfish man, took our family away. He made the decision to get behind the wheel of his car, and drive. For months, our community was numb. A time of happiness and love had been shattered. All for a few drinks. I still remember the family get togethers. And the times we shared. Their memories will forever live on.

One day, I will take out the pictures and show my girls. Share the stories of their lives. Tell them about my tia's laughter. How the smile always reached her eyes. How she just had a way of making the boo boos hurt less. My tio always had words of wisdom to share. He had stories to tell and lessons to share. And of the silly childhood stories of my primas. Of the days we would pick wild flowers, shop around town, or eat popsicles during the summer.

I will never forget that day, 3 years ago. The day that my family changed forever. The day that our smiles turned into tears. I will never forget the empty feeling that I had. Or of the hurt, pain, and sadness I felt the day that we buried our family. Decades too early, they were taken from our lives. Today, we will celebrate their lives. The laughter and the fun. We will remember the good times. And we will pray for our 5 angels in heaven. ♥Anna Marie♥

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Still Up!

I know. I should be asleep. But I can't sleep. No matter how I lay, I am uncomfortable. I feel like I can't breath. And nothing helps to get me in a comfortable position. Ya, I have reached that stage of my pregnancy. I want Miss Emma Grace to make her arrival. Mommy is ready. The nursery might not be, but I am ready.

Tonight I watched Desperado. Because I can't sleep. I haven't seen that movie in forever! But I found it this morning when I was looking in my desk. I was looking for an address and found the Desperado DVD. Salma Hayek is one of my favorite actresses. I also like Fools Rush In. The lady that played her grandma, she is from my home state.

Joe comes home tomorrow. Or should I say later today? It is after midnight already. He had a great time. I know he did. Because he has been so excited when we talk on the phone. I am glad! I really am. People don't understand why I would talk him into going to Las Vegas for 2 weeks, days before I am due. But he needs time away too. I know that he enjoys playing in the band. I know that they don't play very often. So it was an important trip.

Something else that I found in my desk earlier, the list from the doctor. You see, Eva was a little over 10 days late. 12 days to be exact!!! I had to go to the doctor every day after my due date. I was miserable. It was freezing outside. And I couldn't sleep. My dear baby girl just didn't want to meet us yet. But my doctor gave me this list. Of 20 things to do to induce labor. Um, nothing worked. And I mean nothing!

The top 3 things didn't work. The 3 things that everyone swears would induce labor. Nothing worked. Walking didn't work. Probably because I walk 2 miles every day. Spicy food didn't work. I eat a lot of spicy food. Hello, I live in the southwest. And I grew up eating chili the way normal people eat ketchup or gravy. And sex, well we tried. And tried we did. But Eva wouldn't come. My dad even suggested that we go on a weekend trip. You know, "get more romantic." I don't know who's face was redder, mine or Joe's. We tried many, many, many times, but no baby.

Here's to hoping that Emma doesn't put her mommy through that again. I would like to meet her somewhere around her due date. Not 12 days late! And I don't think Joe can handle my dad and father in law telling him, that he NEEDS to go have sex with me. Because the doctor says that is the only way the baby is going to come. ♥Anna Marie♥

Monday, November 9, 2009

Poppy Fields Set Giveaway

Are you in love? I am! Poppies remind me of my grandma. When I was little, she had these curtains in her kitchen, with poppies on them. I can still see them. They were a light aqua and white, with bright red poppies.

Every time that I see poppies, I think about my grandma. It brings back found memories of when we used to sit and talk. Grandma would let me help her bake and cook. When I saw this set, I thought of her right away. And a smile just came to my face. Go enter the giveaway if you are a fan of these too! ♥Anna Marie♥

Lawn Frock Giveaway

Yes, another "Too Cute for Words" dress! I think I am so close to my due date, that I am dreaming of the day when I can see my feet again! hehe But when I saw this dress, I just stopped. You see, green is my favorite color! No stinkin' lie! This color, could possibly be my favorite green.

This entire dress screams Spring to me. A time that I am longing for. Eva will be 2. Emma will be a few months old. I won't be waddling around. And I should be able to see my feet by then. At least I am hoping to be able to! :) This would be a dress that I would love to wear. I can see myself putting it on for church or to go to lunch with my husband. Oh, if it was sold, I would be buying it immediately! Instead, I am going to enter the giveaway. :) You should too! ♥Anna Marie♥

Limoncello Dress Giveaway

Isn't this the most adorable dress? I thought so. I was reading Lola's blog, and she had a post for this giveaway. A few clicks later, and I was at the most wonderful blog. Wow, is all I can say for the amazing pieces that this mom sews. I wish I was that creative and talented! I really do! I'm not, so I am going to enter this giveaway. And hope and pray that I win this gorgeous dress. Because soon, I will be 20lbs lighter. And before I know it, I will be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Wanting to look and feel pretty. This would do the trick. Go enter too! ♥Anna Marie♥

One Week!!!

Emma Grace is due a week from today. And I am very excited!!! Eva keeps asking me when her "tita" will be here. I can't lie to her. So I tell her sometime next week. I hope she comes on time. I will even be happy to go into labor anytime between now and the 16th. I just don't want to have to wait until after the 16th. Been there, done that!!!

Eva and I went shopping at Target today. I was actually looking for some warmer clothes for Eva. The weather has been so weird around here lately. Very cold at night, then 80 degrees during the day. For a few days it rained and was super cold. Then it was over 80 degrees for 4 days. But Eva needs some warmer clothes. And with Emma coming soon, I see my leisurely shopping trips coming to an end. At least for a few weeks!

Eva was very patient with her waddling mommy today. And instead of wanting clothes and toys for herself. She wanted to pick out things for her "tita." We are still working on saying sister. But for whatever reason, "tita" is what we get. But she can say Emma. But not sister.

We ended up buying a few pairs of pants for Eva, 5 long sleeve shirts, 2 sweaters, a glove and hat set, and a corduroy jumper. Which I LOVE!!! We also got one for Emma. And tights. Plenty of tights for both girls. Because you can never have too many! That I have learned.

I sit here, watching Eva sleep. It is nap time around here. And I can feel Emma moving around. I can't wait until I can hold Emma. And watch both of my girls together. I just know that Eva is going to be a good big sister. We talk all the time about the baby. And she is always thinking about her. Like today, when I was getting our lunch ready, Eva was drawing a picture, to hang in Emma's nursery. It was all her idea. She came up with it all on her own. It was a picture of Eva and Emma. Done in crayon. :) ♥Anna Marie♥

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Miss My Love. She's My Baby

I'm missing Joe. I can't lie. Since we moved in together all those years ago, I think this is the longest we have been apart. It's not like we are never apart. He goes on hunting trips with his friends or the men in our family. I have gone on shopping trips with my girlfriends. Or weekend trips with the women in our family. But this time, Joe will be gone for 2 weeks!

Maybe it's just because I'm pregnant. And Emma is almost here. But I miss Joe. He is doing a great job. He calls every day. Actually, multiple times a day to check on Eva and I. We web cam once a day. That way Eva can see her daddy. And let's be honest. So I can see Joe and he can see the 2 of us.

My mom graciously offered to stay with Eva and I while Joe is gone. Everyone wanted to make sure that I would be OK. That I wouldn't go into labor while Joe was gone. And be alone with my 21 month old daughter. An hour away from our hospital. But that still doesn't help me. I miss Joe.

Not so much during the day. Eva keeps me pretty entertained. Mom also keeps my mind off of Joe. And let me be honest with you, I sleep a lot. My body is so tired. But at night, when I crawl into our bed, I miss my husband. I miss cuddling with him. I miss falling asleep in his big, strong, muscular arms.

On the 1st night, I coped. I had to. What was I going to do? The 2nd night, I spent it watching Eva sleep in her room. Until I couldn't take it any more. Then I finally went to bed. I think I slept 4 hours. On the 3rd night, I picked up Eva, out her bed, and put her in ours. Yes, every night since, I let her fall asleep in her bed. Then I put her in ours when I go to bed.

My mom isn't thrilled. We had a little argument over it tonight. It ended in me crying. Why? I don't know why. My mom thinks Eva's schedule shouldn't be disrupted. But it has been. Hello, her daddy is gone working. I know I told him to go. But still, she is used to him being around. So why can't I put her in bed with me? I sleep better. And to be honest, I am enjoying the time with her. Before I know it, Emma will be here. So why not enjoy these last few moments with Eva. Just me and her.

When Joe gets back, our schedule will get back to normal. Well, at least as normal as it can be. And then Emma will come. That is why I am cherishing these last few days and moments with Eva. I want to be able to hold my baby girl. To love her. And for both of us to get a good night's sleep. I might just be a little more emotional than normal. But she is my baby girl. I enjoy getting to watch her sleep. Playing with her and her baby doll in the morning. Reading her a book before we get up and out of bed. And I do miss my husband. Why can't we change our sleeping pattern for a few short days? ♥Anna Marie♥

2 Weeks!

2 weeks from today, is my due date! I am so excited! In 2 weeks, Emma might be wearing a pair of these little pink booties. While in my arms. I still can't believe that we are having another baby. There are some days that I still can't believe that I am a mom. And Eva is nearing 2!

When I found out I was pregnant for the 2nd time, I was slightly in shock. Joe and I have always wanted a fairly large family. The night of his Senior Prom, we talked about one day being married and having kids. Ya, we sat outside, looking up at the stars, dreaming of the family we would have one day. I can still remember everything from that night.

Joe was in a black tux. And I had on a green dress. A deep kelly green dress. Nothing fancy. It was long and form fitting. I wore strappy black heels. My aunt had done my hair and makeup. We went out to dinner with friends. Then we danced the night away. All of our friends went to a bomb fire afterwards. We went, but didn't stay all that long.

We ended up in my driveway. Talking. We knew that Joe was going to have to make the decision of where to live after he graduated. So we tried to embrace every minute that we had together. We laid in the bed of his truck and dreamt of the days to come. Of the little house that we would have. Of a wedding in our church. And of the babies we would have.

And here it is November 2nd. Exactly 2 weeks until my due date. Joe must call me twice an hour to check on me. J has the plane ready to go if need be. Manders holds his cellphone while the band performs. Everyone is on high alert. Just waiting for the call. Just waiting for Emma to make her appearance. And for Joe and I's dream to continue to play out.

We may not have had the most ideal of a beginning to our marriage. (I will blog about that later.) But our girls are the most precious gifts we could ask for. They are a combination of Joe and I. Made with our love. Little girls that have features and characteristics of the 2 of us. I just can't wait to meet Miss Emma. Our girls are everything that Joe and I used to dream about as teenagers. They have their daddy wrapped around their little fingers. Our love as a family just grows and grows. In 2 short weeks, we will finally get to meet Miss Emma Grace. ♥Anna Marie♥