Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Logan and Taylor, The Perfect Pair!

If you know my family well you know that there are 2 things we love very much...each other and a good party! Some of the happiest times in my life have been on the dance floor with my entire family shouting out the words to Brick House. We pretty much find an excuse to celebrate anything and this weekend could not be the exception. In my last post I told you about my little sister getting engaged, it was truly the most romantic proposal and thanks to the wonderful pictures I feel like I was there. (I wish I knew how to put pictures side by side.)

As soon as Taylor told us he would be popping the question in Carmel my sisters and I knew we had to welcome her home in a big way. We missed her so much over the last 2 months and were so excited to see her as an engaged lady. We started planning a welcome home/engagement party for her with the theme being "The Perfect Pair." It was so fun to brainstorm ways to incorporate our theme and we had a fun time keeping one last secret from the bride-to-be. On Saturday Connor, Chloe, I got up early to make the short drive to Fort Worth. It was a little tricky coming up with a reason why we were not waiting at terminal D for Logan to arrive at 5:30 on Friday night, like we were last time. Poor Sam, I used his love for golf as an excuse which DID NOT sit well with Logan. As she had breakfast with Taylor she cried to him and stated "I have been gone for 2 months and now I'm engaged and no one cares. Why did Sam have to play golf today???" Boo hoo! Luckily Taylor was smart enough to take her out for some retail therapy, I knew things were looking up for her when I received this text "Taylor just bought all my stuff at Gap, I love this being engaged thing!" What Logan didn't know was that there was a lot going on to make her night perfect! Sam and my dad were headed to Dallas, my mom was flying from Lubbock (she was there for a bible study), and we were prepping for the party.

These cookies were made to look like Logan's rose gold ring...they were mistaken for a chicken leg and a ham.

We ordered Logan this adorable Erin Condren wedding planner and decided that every bride-to-be needs one!

We can't wait for October 2012!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Perfect Proposal

My little sister is engaged! I could not be more excited for Logan and Taylor and it is about time there is another Braaten wedding! Logan has been in Carmel for work for the last month and a half. She thought she was going to the beach to look for a "lost sweater" but was actually going to get engaged. Taylor was there waiting for his bride to be. What a wonderful surprise!

Love you both, congrats!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Santa Fe

A couple of weeks ago Sam and I took a long weekend trip to Santa Fe, NM. We went with my parents but there were several people from Abilene there to celebrate Parker and Kelly's wedding weekend. It was an amazing trip and the weather was perfect. During the 8 hour car trip we saw the temperature drop 40 degrees! We knew that our entire trip would be spent sitting outside eating and remembering what 2 digit temperatures feel like. I love being from a big family (5 girls) and would not change it for anything; however, it was nice to have my parents all the myself for a change.

I also got to spend some much needed quality time with one of my lifelong best friends, Kelsey. It was perfect timing because she just moved to LA! I am so excited for her adventure and the changes it might bring to her life but I will miss having her close!

Our days were spent eating, drinking, eating again, shopping, eating...

Sam and I also continued our winning streak at the casino outside of Santa Fe. This was my first experience with an Indian casino and it really was a sight. The people seem so serious, almost like they are trying to earn their mortgage payment. Sam and I planted ourselves at the blackjack table and walked away $200 richer!

Of course we went to the wedding, which was amazing. The bride and groom are both childhood friends and I loved getting to see them become husband and wife. Congrats Kelly and Parker!

We can not wait for our next trip to Santa Fe!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

blog swap.

I recently participated in my very first blog swap. I have always noticed the swaps that Meredith T. host from the blogging side lines and wanted to participate. When I saw that she would be hosting another one I decided to give it a go. It is such a cute idea and I LOVE getting packages in the mail, who doesn't? I was paired up with Kathryn, an adorable new mommy, who sent me a great package!

Here is what I received...

Something Orange: Nicole for O.P.I orange nail polish.

Something Funny: A little slimy critter that lights up.

Something that cost $1: Pink and gray argyle socks.
Something that she loves: Pink and orange note cards and a notebook. (I love making list's so this was perfect!)

Something Sweet: A BIG salted caramel chocolate bar. Yum!

She did such a great job, you would think we knew each other! I love to keep a notebook in my purse and car for grocery and to do list and I love to have stationary. I am not the best at getting notes out to people but I love to collect beautiful and fun stationary. Thank you so much!!

Now, here is what I sent her. Kathryn said that she loves orange, pink, and turquoise so that became my theme. Something Orange: A necklace with big orange balls.Something Funny: Cocktail napkins that read "Eat now, for tomorrow we diet!" and candy.Something that cost $1: E.L.F lip gloss, it is great stuff!Something I love: A BIG coffee mug with hot tea, I suggest using this right after a bath and right before bed!Something Sweet: I did not want to send her anything that might melt in the package so instead I sent her Peach flavored bubble bath. It can be used before the above item. :)I hope you enjoy, congrats on your precious new baby!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

to Julia with love.

Last year when our dear friend Jessica was preggo with baby June we knew we wanted to do something special. Me, Julia, Abby, and Tamara started planning a wonderful weekend full of rest and relaxation instead of a baby shower. We were all so sad about Jessica's recent move to Fort Worth and knew it was the perfect excuse to be together.
I started brainstorming of the perfect way to treat Julia and baby Perry the second I knew she was to be a mom. We wanted to do something similar but with a new spin. After several months of discussion we decided to surprise Julia with a trip to Fredericksburg. It is one of the most relaxing places in Texas and a favorite of hers. I was so pleased when she told me that she was "craving a trip to Fredericksburg." She had no idea that her wish was our command and already booked. It took a lot of sneaky planning and help from Mr. B but it went off {almost} without a hitch.
On Friday Jessica, Tamara, and I surprised Julia at her house. She is such a good sport. All we said was "pack your bag with comfortable clothes...we are going on a trip." If you know Julia you could see that she was slightly overwhelmed but mostly excited. After she packed her bags and more importantly, her body pillow, we hit the road. Our first stop was not very glamorous but defiantly necessary.
We were literally pulling into Fredericksburg before Julia figured out where we were going, we were in deep conversation for the entire 2 1/2 hour drive. I am convinced that we had the most adorable house in the entire town, I will never stay in another again. It was right in the heart of town and came complete with a fresh peach pie. We had to do a little stalling before dinner because, without Julia's knowledge, Abby was in route from Austin. We enjoyed the local brewery and talked until I got the "I'm here" text. That is when the trip could really start! We had the most amazing time eating, drinking {San Peligrino for J} , getting massages, shopping, and talking in our house for hours at a time. We spent a lot of time trying to decide what the perfect gift for Julia and baby Perry would be. We knew it had to be practical but could not settle for something that wasn't equally special. We found the perfect combination of the two if I do say so myself. It was a beautiful white bassinet and pink quilt. I cant wait to see the sweet little thing sleeping peacefully in it. I adore these girls and am so thankful for our accidental tradition! Now we just have to ask...who will be next??

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

This past week Sam and I took a trip to Las Vegas. This was my first time to see the bright lights of Las Vegas Blvd and it did not disappoint! Sam and I like to pretend we are foodies and knew we would have a lot of great meals while on vacation, our first one being Mesa Grill. It is chef Bobby Flay's restaurant and is known for its take on south of the border cuisine. I had the Rabbit and it was delicious! We took advantage of all that Las Vegas has to offer but my favorite part had to be seeing "O" by Cirque du Soleil. It was an amazing show to see and comes highly recommended from the Vinson's!
We took time out to fulfill my father-in-laws wish to see the Hoover Dam. I was a little unenthused about seeing the Dam but quickly realized what an amazing sight it really is. I could have done without the tour down below, a chlosterphobic persons nightmare, but I survived!
Sam and I also got to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary while in Las Vegas. I can not believe we have been married for 5 years and together for 10! It feels like I have known him forever and like the last 10 years have gone by in a blink all at once. We had dinner at Il Milano, an amazing Italian restaurant in Cesar's Palace. Within 2 minutes of sitting down we had San Pellegrino, a hunk of Parmesan cheese, bruschetta, prosciutto, bread, and steamed mussels. All of which were compliments of the very generous chef! We had a wonderful dinner and even better dessert, it was the perfect way to celebrate each other and our marriage. I am so sad because it is the one night we did not take a picture!

After dinner I was so excited and surprised when Sam took me here to pick our my anniversary gift!

I was even more surprised when I walked away...EMPTY HANDED!! One of my dearest friends, Julia, has been trying to knock some sense into me via text since that night. I have a feeling Abby and Jessica will be doing the same. I walked through the store a minimum of 3 times looking for the perfect bag but nothing was jumping out at me. I always carry big bags and even my large never full is always full. I found a few promising things but nothing that I felt was just right. I will keep my eyes open and still appreciate the magic of the night, thanks Sam! Lucky for me it was not a one time offer...more like a gift card.

Here are some other pictures from the trip...
The above pictures is especially for my mom, Julia, and Jessica. The Bellagio fountains (behind us) will forever be a symbolic place for us. ;)
We had a wonderful time and even learned I am pretty good at black jack!