Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Fight for Leah

As most of you know, my cousin Leah died in 2005 due to a complications from child birth. These complications could have been avoided if she was given the proper medical care, but sadly she did not.

For the past 10 days, a trial was taking place in Washington County for a lawsuit that our family filed against the Parkhill Clinic doctors. Without going into too much details, Leah suffered from high blood pressure at the end of her pregnancy, was not admitted for delivery and finally, when she was admited 3 days later and after almost 15 hours of labor, gave birth to Kinly Diane. Leah was then discharged from Willow Creek without ever beening seen by a doctor. Two days later she collapsed and never regained consciousnes.

For the past 10 days our family was in the courtroom reliving the nightmare of her death. We cried, we laughed and were holding onto hope for justice. Yesterday the verdict was announced and it was not in our favor.

As you can imagine we were devestated but the family put up a good fight. I wanted to thank everybody who was sending prayers up for us. Now all we can do is make a plea to every expecting mother in Northwest Arkansas to carefully consider their doctors. Do your research and know the history of your doctor. Oh and by the way, Leah's doctor was Robert Hix. We do not want this happening to any other family.

Leah, I love you so much and miss you terribly, especially now that I am planning my wedding. Just like I was a bridesmaid in your wedding, you would have been one in mine. Kinley is growing up to be just like her mama- sassy as ever. We love her and are so blessed to have a living piece of you with us. I can't wait to see you again someday and hope you are having a very Merry Christmas with the angels!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

200 Days and Counting!

I got a reminder today: It is 200 days until your wedding!

When I talk to people about their engagement, the first thing they always tell me is that it FLYS by. I didn't really belive them until now. I can't believe that we have been engaged for almost 6 months and we are half way there.

On Sunday, Ryan said: "Do you need me to be doing anything for the wedding?" Isn't he great!!

Below is a list of things that are done:
  • Church reserved
  • Reception site reserved
  • Caterer hired
  • Florist hired
  • Photographer hired
  • Wedding dress purchased
  • Wedding shoes purchased
  • Wedding party secured
  • Bridesmaids dresses picked out and ordered
  • Wedding day Hair Stylist booked
  • Ryan's wedding ring purchased
  • Registeries made

And here is the list of things that I am currenlty working on:

  • Getting addresses organized
  • Invitations
  • Save the Dates - Ok I'm not really working on this, my bridesmaid Kelsey is. She and her husband decided as a wedding gift that they are going to design our save the dates for us - they rock!
  • Rsearching and meeting with DJs
  • Getting price quotes on blocks of hotel rooms
  • Shopping for the "perfect" head piece to wear at the reception
  • Reserving reception "get away" car
  • picking out tuxes
  • In negotiations with Videographer
  • Bridesmaids Gifts
  • Engagement Announcement for local papers
  • And the scariest thing of all...I am preparing for my "Wedding Bootcamp" diet and workout regimine that will begin in January. My dad is going to be my personal trainer and I am slightly scared of what he has planned.

I'll keep you updated with more wedding info throughout the next 6 months. Until then, hope everybody is having a great holiday season!

Friday, December 10, 2010

His Wedding Band - Check

There is a local jewelery store in Fayetteville that is shutting its doors. Ryan told me we should go there and look at wedding bands so yesterday we did just that. We got there and to our delight, all the male wedding bands were 50% off. Score! He found one that he really liked, and I did too, so I bought it right then and there. They were even able to size it so it fits perfectly.

While we were checking out, the nice man helping us said we get to pop a ballon and get an additional savings. He said every ballaon had at least a 10% off coupon in it. So I carefully examined my options of all the ballons around the store and I chose the lone purple ballon which happend to be right by the wedding band case. POP! I got another 20% off!! Wahoo!!

Even though that was just one thing on my list of thousands surrounding the wedding, it feels good to mark that one off the list. Now I am on the move to tackle the next item - reserving blocks of hotel rooms. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Getting a Little Creative

This big blank wall in my bedroom has been driving me nuts ever since I moved in. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to hang on the way so it has just been blank for months. Once I got my engagement pictures back I figured out the perfect solution. I decided to get all different kinds of frams and make a collage out of them on the wall. I killed 2 birds with one stone - display our engagment pics and fill the space on that wall. I am pretty proud of it. Hope you like it as well (and yes I realize that some of the frames are croocked - I have already fixed them.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm Slightly Obsessed with Christmas Decorations

I love Christmastime! And I love decorating for Christmas. Actually, I am probably go way overboard but I just can't help myself. I getting it from the Smith side of my family. You should see my aunts houses.

Ryan was gone all last week so I took the opportunity to take my time and do all of my decorating. I had a blast decorating my new house as you can see from all the pictures below.

First thing first - lights on the outside of my house. I LOVE christmas light and knew I wanted to put them up. I actually did the majority of my house by myself. I used the light clips that hang on your gutters and and the roof shingles and they made things so much easier. Dad came over with his ladder and helped me with the areas I couldn't reach. The hardest part was over my roof. We decided that we were going to have to crawl on the roof to get them up there. I started to climb the ladder and dad said: "No way. I am getting up there" and then I said "Well it's my house so I am doing it" and he responded "You are MY daughter so I am doing it." I gave in at that point and watched as he climbed on my house.

Of course the purple bathroom had to get the purple tree
Now on to the kitchen.

These reindeer both have stories. The little stuffed ones were my mom's she got before I was even born. The big gold one I got last year. Mom, Dad and I went shopping after Christmas to find some deals. I found this at Pier One and I didn't want anybody taking it so I had Dad carry it around the store for me while I shopped. Everytime I look at it I laugh and picture him holding it.

Moving into the living room.

I love snowman. I collect snoman ornaments and snowman figurines.
The main attraction - my Christmas tree
And the little tree in my bedroom. Tackle wanted in the picture too.
Hope you like my decorations. If you are in town, come by and see me.
Merry Christmas Y'all!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Royal Wedding

The big announcement was made. Prince William is engaged and will be getting married next Spring or Summer. Just like Princess Di's wedding, the world will soon be enthralled by a Royal Wedding that I am sure will be just as big of an event.

When I saw the press conference come on CNN about the engagement, I immediately felt sorry for Kate Middelton, William's soon-to-be bride and Princess. I mean, really who wants to announce their engagement at a press conference? But.....don't worry, I haven't forgotten that she is now wearing Princess Di's 14 k Diamond engagemnt ring. Wowzers! Now that is a rock.

I wonder if she was one of those girls that dreamed about becoming a Princess when she was younger. I wonder if she ever imagined that she will ACTUALLY become a princess. Crazy thought because in months time she will have gone from lowly peasant to all mighty Princess. If Prince William is the next King of England, does that mean she will be Queen? Even crazier thought!!

Kathy, my future mother-in-law asked me today "So how do you feel about planning a wedding and getting married at the same time a Royal wedding is taking place?" Up until that moment, I hadn't actually thought about it that way. I guess because I wasn't even born when the first royal wedding happend, I didn't realize how much of an impact these weddings have on the entire planet. Everybody will be tuning in to watch the Prince get married. What if they got married the same day I am? Even if its not the same day, it will be the same year. The Prince of England and I got married the same year.

Who knows, maybe I can steal some ideas from the Royals for my wedding. (Please note the sarcasm in my voice as I type.)

Stay tuned for more details on MY "royal" wedding.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Washington DC - Site Seeing from the Back Seat

For a very long time the #1 city on my "Must Visit" list had been Washington DC so when I found out on Friday that I was leaving the following Monday to go to DC for a video shoot, I was super excited. I literally found out on 3 p.m. Friday and at 9:30 on Monday I was on a plane heading to our country's capitol.

We arrived late Monday night and were staying 30 miles outside the city so we stayed close to our hotel. Tuesday we drove in early before our shoot just to drive around and do some site seeing from the car. We didn't have enough time to get out and actually see anything so I was playing the part of dorky tourist and taking pictures from the backseat of our van.

As I suspected, DC is a place you need to go to for at least a week and do all the fun stuff. I can't wait until I get to go back for pleasure and not business. See my pictures from the back seat below.
The Capitol
The Lincoln Memorial
Union Station
The White House - this is as close you can get in a car now.
The Washington Monument at night - beautiful!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday

I found this picture today and it made me laugh so I thought I would share. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Adventures of Registering

I never knew what an ordeal making wedding gift regestries would be. We decided to start making ours early, before the holiday season, because we were already starting to get asked by our families for Christmas gift ideas. This way when they ask we can hand over the regsitry lists and say "here is a really big list, pick something from it."

Ryan and I made a game plan:

1. Start with Bed Bath and Beyond because that will be the biggest list
2. Go to Dillards second so we can pick out our china and crystal - that will be another involved task.
3. Go to Target and register for the leftover things - this should be the easiest.

Well we knew it was going to be a long and involved process when we spent 2 hours at Bed Bath and Beyond and didn't even make it through half the store. We had to leave because the store was closing. That was Day 1.

The next day we decided to finish BB&B and then head to our 2 other stores. Luckily the second half of the store didn't take as long so we headed to Dillards next. We were optimistic about Day 2

Dillards started off weird. First, we got the girl who had only been on the job for a couple of weeks so she wasn't sure of anything. Once we finally got in the system she then told us that she had to scan each item we picked herself. Can we say awkward? She was following us around like a puppy and listening to us rationalize every single thing. Ryan finally had the idea of telling her she was off duty while we went around the store, picked what we wanted and then she could go back through with us and scan everything in a few mintues.

We started with bedding and left that department after 30 mintues because we couldn't agree on anything. Next we went to China and stemware. I ended up standing in front of the shelf with dozens of china patters for 2 hours because I couldn't make up my mind. Finally Ryan reminded me that I didn't have to make a decision that day and pried me away.

We were in Dillards almost 3 hours and got maybe 10 items scanned. After that ordeal, we were exhausted. But we had to truck on to the third and final place. All registering had to be done today because it was going to be the last weekend until December that we had free to complete this task.

Target was our final spot and turned out to be ok. Ryan proclaimed that Target had the best scanner. I let him be the keeper of the scanner at all three locations. I had to do something to keep him interested.

Looking back on the registering weekend I have come up with a few insights.

1. It is ok to pick the things that aren't the cheapest brand. Both Ryan and I felt really odd making lists of things for people to buy us and on top of that picking out expensive things. After talking to several people, we took their advice to "get over it" and scanned what we actually wanted.

2. Thank goodness for online registering! By the end of store 3 we didn't have a clue what we scanned or what we might have missed. Being able to access it online is a life-saver! Ryan registered at Sears for a bunch of tools so he was able to do that online, without me and without going to the store. He said we should have done that for everything.

3. I have become a registering pro - if you have questions, ask me and I can probably answer your question.

4. Through this process I have been reminded of how truely blessed I am to have friends that want to shower us with gifts, families who are happily throwing us an amanzing wedding and for the man that I will call my husband in 8 months. God has blessed me beyond belief!!

A Day at the Farm

On Halloween Day Ryan, his parents and I went to the family farm that is just outside Eureka Springs. I had only been there once before this day but I have to say this time was much better. This is one of Ryan's favorite places. They have 160 acres that they camp and hunt on. Their whole family loves it and I know I will be spending many days there.

My Studly FianceMy first tractor ride - I am sitting on Ryan's lap - ha how redneck can we get?

We took the dogs with us and this is the first time ever that Tackle had left my sight at any point. He had a blast exploring and playing in the creek. Obvisously in the picture he was right by Mama's side.

It is such a beautiful piece of land.

And I found a turtle - Ryan named him Bill. We let Bill go at the end of the day.
Ryan also found a Copperhead snake and subsequently chopped the snake's head off - not the best moment of the day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

After the game vs. Vandy Ryan and I headed back and changed for Halloween! This year we went as a ghost and ghost hunter! I have to get imaginative to get Ryan to actually "dress up" This year a sweatshirt and headlamp was what I came up with.

A scary werewolf

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Engagement Pictures

Our engagement pictures are ready and they are fabulous! My photographer, Rachel Blackwell, is AMAZING and I am so glad we chose her. Below is a sneak peek from her blog. We have 132 pictures to choose from and I have been going through them over and over. I think there might be 3 or 4 I don't like which is pretty amazing for me because I usually hate every picture I am in!

Stay tuned for more pictures to come.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A First For Us

Ryan and I had a first this past weekend. We had tickets to a Razorback football game and we decided NOT to go to the game. Shocking, I know.

At the beginning of the week we didn't have tickets. We decided that since there was a chance of ran and since the game was so early that we would save our money and not buy tickets this week. Friday night we found out that my family had extra tickets that they were going to give us and we still decided not to go. We both had had a really long week and I was not to keen on the idea of sitting in the rain to watch the game.

So I slept in, woke up and turned on Game Day. Ryan came over and I watched the game in my pajamas. Infact, I didn't get out of them until about 5 p.m. It was great! Turns out we made a good decision because there were 2 rain delays and the game, which started at 11 a.m., didn't end until 4:45.

We really enjoyed watching the game from home, just the 2 of us. After the game we went and had some sushi and drinks and then started our registry at Bed Bath and Beyond. That is a whole other adventure that deserves it own post. So stay turned for "The Adventures of Regsitering with Ryan and Meredith"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Football Week 7

Farmington Cardinals (3-3) vs. Gravette Lions (6-0)


From the Coach:
"Gravette's offense is centered around junior running back Daniel Strylezcki. He has carreid the ball 30+ times in each of their last three games. The best part of their team and the secret totheir success this year is their deffensive front - they play A 3-5 look and are super aggresive blitzing and stunting all the time. Thye have three shutouts this year and have only given up 40 points in 6 games."

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Auburn Tigers


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Luscious Layer Pumpkin Spice Cake

So I usually leave the recipe posting to my friend Kendall but this cake turned out so pretty and was so delicious I had to share it. This is a perfect fall cake that is sure to be a crowd pleaser and an easy way to impress your family and friends.

1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 can of pumpkin, divided
1/2 c milk
1/3 c oil
4 eggs
1-1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice, divided
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
1 tub of Cool Whip
1/4 c caramel ice cream topping
1/4 c chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Beat cake mix, 1 c pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice in large bowl until blended. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured round cake pans.
3. Bake for 28 - 30 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove and place on wire racks. Cool completely (I put the cakes in the refrigerator to cool faster).
4. Beat cream cheese in bowl until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin and spice. Mix well. Stir in Cool Whip.
5. Once the cakes are cool, cut horizontally into 2 pieces. Stack on serving plate layering cake then cream cheese mixture. There will be three layers of cream cheese mixture. Do no put cream cheese mixture on the top.
6. Drizzle with caramel and chopped pecans just before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Let me know if you like it!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Back from the Grave

Uggghhhh....this past week has sucked! I mean it has truely been one of the most miserable weeks of my life. I have been down for the count with a stomach bacterial infection that has basically rendered me helpless. I am pretty sure I have never been sicker in my life. I missed 3.5 days of work and when I say missed, I'm talking I couldn't even look at my Blackberry to see what was going on because I was so sick. I have never missed more than 2 days of work for being sick so this was very new to me. I went to the doctor twice and couldn't eat anything for 3 days. I tried taking my pills but they would come right back up so I called my trusty doctor friend and Matron of Honor Stacia and she told me to dissolve them in water. Luckily that worked. I will spare you the rest of the details but let's just say it wasn't pretty.

Yesterday I was able to open my computer and see the hundreds of emails that were in my inbox so I started on those. While doing that it made me realize how much I had missed, not only at work but outside of work too and I started putting together a list of things that really annoy me about being sick.

  • I haven't seen Ryan since Tuesday. I didn't want him getting this crap. Not seeing your fiance for a week really sucks
  • I missed my dad's game on Friday night - I'm a coach's daughter, enough said
  • I am so sick of watching TV but when you are sick that is basicallly all you can do
  • Even though I was out SICK from work, my office still thought it was ok to call me every couple of hours to ask questions - people: let me have a few days to recover please!
  • My house has become a danger zone - I am a neat freak so this clutter is driving me crazy
  • I missed a going away party for one of my assistants at work
  • It was amazing weather all week and all I could do is look at it from the inside

And one of the major things is I missed our engagement picture shoot. I was really stressing about this because my awesome photographer, Rachel Blackwell, moved to San Francisco because her husband got a job out there. She had already booked 4 weddings before they knew so she comes back every couple of months for us. If we didn't do our shoot this week, I wasn't sure when we were going to be able to do it. By Thursday I was still inmobile so I texted her on the off chance we could switch days and luckily she said one of her clients had canceled on Sunday night so we could do it then. Thank goodness!

It is now Saturday and I finally feel like I am coming out of it. I will let you know how things go. Hope yall all had a better week than me. I am now done with my complaining. Thanks for listening.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Arkansas vs. Georgia

I was going through my pictures and realized I didn't ever post these froma couple of weeks ago. I decided to have a watch party at my new house for the Arkansas vs. Georgia game. This was the first time that most of our friends had been out to the house. We had a great time and the Hogs won in a thriller! Woo Pig Sooie!

My "tablescape" Ryan loves stadium nachos so we went went the stadium food theme
It was great weather so we set up a TV outside. Everybody brought their dogs too. They loved all the attention.
The boys playing ladder golf during half time
Kylie and Ryan's cousin Sheri. Sheri and I have become really close because she teaches a yoga class I go to. I am excited that she is going to be in the house party for our wedding.
Mary, Wilder and Shelby
Ryan grilling up one of my favorite appetizers - bacon wrapped, cream cheese stuffed jalapenos. The jalapenos came from my own garden!

Sad, Sad Realization

I had a very sad realization this weekend. I realized my body is definitely NOT what it use to be.

This week Ryan and I are having our engagement pictures taken. Being the typical girl, I have been trying to pick out our outfits for the past few weeks. I finally decided what I was going to wear and when I tried them on, I was very disappointed. Out of nowhere, these pesky little rolls appeared on my mid section and they are quite disgusting. Now before you start rolling your eyes and yelling at me through the computer screen, no I do not think I am fat, I just think that I used to be more toned when I was a younger gal - but who doesn't right?

In a very depressed state, I drove myself to Dillards to buy the dreaded girdle type contraption that is suppose to fix all my chubby problems - I bought my first pair of Spanx. I have never been to the point that I felt I needed extra help but I gave in to the realization that my body is just not what it use to be.

I was very skeptical of this product, even thought they have gotten great reviews, I wasn't sure if they could live up to their standards. Well by gosh, I was proven wrong! Spanx might be the best purchase I have every made. These things flatten your tummy and slim down your waist like you couldn't believe. I looked like I had instantly loast 10 pounds! With one pair of spandex, boob-high, knee-length "Power Panties" my confiedence was restored and my saddness washed away.

So to you, Sara Blakely, fellow Tri Delta sister, I thank you for saving the day and inventing this glorious product. Thumbs up to you sista!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Football Week 5

Farmington Cardinals (1-3) vs. Prairie Grove Tigers (2-2)


From the Coach:
"Prairie Grove is 2-2 this season. They are very good defensive team with a very good front seven. They play a lot of very talented sophomores from last year 10-0 championship team."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Special Wedding Announcement

I am very excited to announce that my grandfather will be marrying Ryan and I next July. He has been a preacher for several decades and I will be the third grandchild that he has married. Both Ryan and I have a lot of respect and admiration for him and my grandmother. They have both been on several mission trips throughout the world and are an exceptional christian couple to look up to. It means so much to me that my Papa will be a part of my wedding day and that he will make me an official married woman.

I ALWAYS Catch the Biggest Fish

And sadly this was the biggest one we caught that day....but we still had a blast!