Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bush Center Warrior Open

I don't even know how to blog this event and give it the justice it deserves, but I will try... and mostly I will just show some pictures.

Back story:  One of Jay's very best friends from childhood (Scott) was badly wounded in Baghdad on April 15, 2007.  Scott was riding in the turret of a humvee when a roadside bomb went off to the left of the vehicle.  As a result of the blast, Scott suffered major head trauma.  In fact, a piece of shrapnel is still embedded in the right side of his brain.  If I remember correctly, Scott was in ICU for months... he told me he was unconscious for 3 days, and finally woke up when he first heard his mothers voice (so sweet!)... His prognosis was bad, but he made it!  He is such and amazing person and friend, and we are so glad he is still with us.

Scott and Jay at our wedding in 2005

President Bush visited Scott while he was still recovering from his injury, and Scott quickly became a friend of his, as well as somewhat of a "posterboy" for many wounded warrior programs he does.  Jay and I got to participate in one recently.  A 36 hole golf tournament honoring those who serve and sacrifice to defend our country at Las Colinas Country Club.  The tournament featured 20 badly wounded soldiers.  I can't say enough how AMAZING these men were.  Many were double amputees.  I have never seen such happy people... you know why?  They were just happy to be alive.  They have faced terror many of us will never know, and now appreciate life more than ever.  It was so inspiring.  I am sure they come home from war wondering why we are all so concerned with petty things like:  who will be competing on DWTS, or what the cast of Jersey Shore is up to. 

Scott asked Jay to be his caddy during the golf tournament, which was a huge honor for him.  That also meant we got to participate in the events sponsored by the Bush Center this past Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  It was exhausting, but so much fun, and definitely a once in a lifetime experience!!

Scott with wife Candy (who is expecting about one week ahead of me), and Jay at a dinner honoring the warriors Monday night.

I got to meet former First Lady Laura Bush!!! This was all I cared about all weekend, because I am truly a huge fan of hers. She was so incredibly nice!!! Probably talked to me for 15 minutes, and was genuinly interested in me and what I had to say!  I love  her even more now.

On that note (and politics aside)... say what you will about the Bush's, but they are some of the nicest and most genuine/down to earth people I have ever met.  You can tell how much these soldiers mean to them, and President Bush really cares about these men and women.  Scott can attest to that... and I will take Scott's political opinion as a veteran and friend of President George Bush over some celebrity any day!   

Another amazing person we got to meet was our "chauffer" for the evening.  All of the warriors got chauffered Mercedes or Navigators to take them from the tournament to the hotel/dinner or wherever.  Our chauffer to dinner on Monday night was in the North Tower on September 11, 2001.  Wow... and she was telling Scott she couldn't believe what he had been through!!! Crazy.  They have both been through horrific experiences and survived with their spirits intact.  Amazing.  Really made me realize how incredibly blessed I am. 

 Surprise musical guest after dinner:  RASCAL FLATTS!  I love them!

 Recognize the backs of these heads?? These were the only people seperating me from Rascall Flatts :)

They were incredible

Tuesday, I took the girls to Las Colinas to watch the final day of the tournament.  Here are some shots I got...

President Bush and Ben Crenshaw

Rascall Flatts stayed for the tournament Tuesday and met with all the players

Reese is excited to be here!

Silly girls

Scott and another warrior (who you can see lost his left leg)

 Caddy Daddy

So sweet

Giving Daddy some love

Sunday, October 9, 2011

TAYLOR SWIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, after an incredibly long and hot summer it was time for the T Swizzle concert I had been waiting MONTHS for. I can't believe it is over now!! Jay and I took Zoe with us, which I was a little concerned about.  I didn't know how "normal" it was to take a 3 year old to a concert, but there were a TON of little girls her age there.  I think the average age at the concert had to be something like 5 1/2 years!! haha.  That is one of the reasons I love Taylor so much.  What an incredible role model she is!!! So far... maybe it's because she didn't come from the Disney Machine a la Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, or Xtina (remember those lovely chaps she used to wear??)  Not that I myself don't enjoy those performers, but Zoe will definetely not be attending their concerts just yet;) 

About to leave for the concert

Of course we had to dress a little how Taylor herself does.  Fluffy skirts and cowgirl boots!  Anytime Zoe saw someone at the concert NOT wearing cowboy boots, she would look at me and say, "why is that little girl not wearing her cowgirl boots???" haha

Our little rock star!

group shot before the concert

On our way...took forever to get there, because between the TS concert and the Ranger game, there were about 110,000 people within a one mile radius of eachother... traffic was lovely!
We had amazing floor seats at Cowboys stadium directly under the GINORMOUS jumbo tron.  I have to say, the jumbo tron was a little distracting for me.  I absolutely hate large things hovering over me (example:  I can't be on the bottom bunk with the top bunk directly over me, just waiting to fall on my head).  I kept looking up at it, seeing Taylor's giant face and thinking, "Oh my God, death by Taylor..."  luckily the jumbo tron stayed in place and I was able to enjoy the concert. 
This was my first time at Cowboys stadium, and I enjoyed it, but I like smaller venues for concerts better.  Several young kids stood up on their chairs the whole time, making it hard to see... and you couldn't say anything to the poor things, b/c there is no way they could have seen the stage otherwise.  Also, we were nearly trampled to death once since we had aisle seats, and at one point Taylor came through the aisles as part of her act... my life definitely flashed before my eyes (death by pre-tween stampede)...

view of the stage from our seats

Me and Zoe with our awesome glo stick necklaces

Sometimes the cheering crowd was just a little too loud for her...

Mesmorized by Taylor (Jay, that is...)

Cotton candy, pepsi, and glo stick high... we got pretty sleepy about half way through the concert... Taylor didn't even go on stage until nearly 9, and Zoe usually goes to sleep about 830!!! We didn't leave until nearly midnight!  She was exhausted.  I think we missed a couple of encores because Zoe just couldn't take anymore.  Boo for me! :(

Taylor herself was awesome.  I was worried because some of her televised performances were just a little so-so (to be kind)... but I always forgave her because 1.  I just love her... and 2.  She is an incredibly talented song writer, and she deserves to sing her own music, vocal talent be damned!  BUT, she was great!!!  Especially when it was just her and her guitar.  She really does have a beautiful voice.  Besides, it is really really hard to sing when you are shaking your hips and whipping your hair around!  Just ask Britney Spears, that is why she never sings at her concerts... Let me tell you that Taylor has perfected hair whipping.  It was great.  That girl has some attitude.  But who wouldn't?? She commanded an audience of 55,000 people last night, and she is what?  20 years old?  Must be nice.  She has also perfected a look of "innocent surprise," a kind of "really??? you are all here to see me??? I am so humbled!"  Haha, you're not fooling anyone Taylor!  You have been around for awhile now.  You know how famous you are...

Taylor singing "Mine."

A lot of people have asked me who her "surprise" guest was... she has had a lot of other performers come onstage with her as a surprise at a lot of her concert venues.  Last night she had B.O.B., and they sang "airplanes" together.  They were great! B.O.B. is really talented as well! Taylor, you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Zoe's New Room!!!

I am really proud of Zoe's new room for several reasons... 1.  It didn't cost very much to do  2.  Almost everything in her room I already had (either it came from her old room, or it was in the guest bedroom, and 3.  It is so cute!! (IMHO)
Now, here is a little picture tour...

Here is the room before I got started.. had just bought the bedding from Home Goods... about $39.99.  You can see how the night stand used to look here before I painted it.  Also, we completely rearranged the furniture to another wall, you may not be able to tell from pictures though.
Before photo of old IKEA wood mirrors

Here is the bed all made up.  Everything on the bed is new and from Home Goods, except for the white pillow which I believe was about $10 from IKEA.  Also, you can see I spray painted the old wood IKEA mirrors to match the bedding and placed over the bed.   LOVE LOVE LOVE the pale pink on the walls.  "Hush" from Behr.  The paint was probably the most expensive part of the room... about $80 for 2 gallons plus supplies.  Bedding total was about $75 with pillows. 

The headboard and dresser were a gift from my parents when I got my first apartment (so they are about 10 years old now!  Antiques??? haha).  They are a very nice set from Bassett, so there was no way I was touching them with any paint, however I really love how the brown wood looks in the room!  Was pleasantly surprised!

Here is the best wide shot I could get of the whole room.  Lighting was bad :(

 I have had this mirror for many, many years.  Bought it at Garden Ridge.  I spray painted it hot pink to match the bedding, and placed it in the corner (see next photo for after)
 CUTE!  The green memory boards(not sure what they are called?), are from Kohl's, and these were moved from Zoe's old room.  Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ;)

This is probably my favorite part of the room.  Bookshelves form IKEA (less than $30 for both)... these are the best book shelves ever because 1.  They are CHEAP 2.  They are so cute!!, and 3.  Kids can't pull them down on their heads because they are anchored to the wall!! WIN!  If you look above the table (again, Zoe has had this table for several years), you can see the butterfly mobile that started out over her crib as an infant and now is in her book/coloring corner.

Zoe loves picking out her books to read at night from her new book shelves

These priceless works of art (by Zoe Juliana Alsup) are hung on the wall over her table and chairs

Here is a "before" picture of the mirror before I spray painted it white

"After" much better!

Little bit closer view of the dresser and mirror

Another cheap favorite.  IKEA frames 99 cents a piece with black and white photos of Zoe
Night stand next to bed... this was spray painted lime green to match bedding, then I replaced the old knobs with crystal ones.  I didn't mind spray painting the night stand b/c it was a cheapie off of we have had for about 5 years.  "Z is for Zoe" print bought on Etsy several years ago and came from her old room.

 Another wall with shelf from her old room, and yes that is a fish on her wall.
  Hello, Dorothy!

Another room view
sheer polka dot curtains from Target $40 for both panels, and $20 wood curtain rod from Lowes

I'll send everyone off with a pic of how I found Zoe and Reese this morning...