Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Another Year Older

Well, this past week we've had some great get-togethers for Lance's birthday. He says he feels soooo old now - because he's closer to being a Senior Citizen than he is to birth.

That's over-analyzing, don't ya think? :)

Anyway, Friday night we started out with dinner at Texas de Brazil with Reed (Lance's twin bro) and his girlfriend Elin. It was really good to finally meet her and get to know her a little better. The food was yummy - although I know we would've never gone had we not gotten a buy one, get one free coupon. I'm just not enough of a meat eater to spend that kind of money on food!

As a surprise for the guys' birthday, I had called ahead to request birthday dessert to be brought out at the end of our meal. I made sure they knew that there were two birthday boys and that it was supposed to be a secret. Well, we got to the restaurant to check in, and they wouldn't seat us until Reed and Elin got there. They were running late, so the hostess went ahead and seated us after 15 minutes. As soon as we got to the table, the waiter said, "So, this is the table with the twin birthdays, right??" Luckily, Lance was on his cell phone talking to Reed so he hadn't heard. I was so glad that the surprise hadn't been ruined!! I had to pull the waiter aside to explain that it was a secret - that's when he glanced back down to his notes and realized he'd missed that part of it. He was so apologetic. Luckily when the desserts came at the end of the meal the guys were surprised. They even had birthday candles to blow out! Of course we could barely eat them - we'd been eating meat for two hours - but they were so good!

So, that was Birthday Celebration #1.

Yesterday, on Lance's actual birthday, I definitely had some tricks up my sleeve! I woke him up with a card and a gift certificate to his favorite clothing store. He's been needing a new pair of pants so I thought that would be a good gift (can you tell we're married now? a pair of pants as a birthday gift??) :) Then, unbeknownst to him, I got him some balloons and roses over lunch and delivered them to his desk at work. He's working at clients' offices during the day, and only is at his office in the evenings, so it was supposed to be waiting for him as a surprise until he got there around 5:30. Well, apparently some of the guys in his office don't know what a secret is, because by 2:00 he had gotten 2 emails from folks telling him what was waiting for him. Argh!!! I tried so hard. Of course Lance was still thankful and kept saying, "But babe, I won't know what KIND of flowers they are until I see them in person!!" It was still a little disappointing to know that the surprise had been ruined, but he really liked them and is keeping them on his desk all week.

Then last night we met up with Lance's parents, his aunt Helen and uncle Dick, and Reed to celebrate with a Family Birthday Dinner. We had some yummy food and the guys got some really good gifts. The family was really creative and got Lance things off of our wedding registry that hadn't been purchased for us. He's finally starting to accumulate all of those tools he really wanted!

Anyway, this week it's back to the grindstone and Lance and I won't have much time together, but on Saturday night I'm taking him out to dinner again to celebrate. Lance has never really had a big deal made out of his birthday, but I keep telling him it's important to remember that it's supposed to be all about you! I told him I'm glad that we've been able to stretch out the celebrations a little bit longer than just one day. It only happens once a year, so we should go all out!

I have some pics to share from Birthday Week, but I'll have to add them later.

I feel so blessed to have Lance - and pray that we'll have 70 more birthdays to spend together.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Treinta Anos Feliz

As promised, I wanted to post the pics from Helen's birthday party and to the surprise Girls' Night Out we had this past weekend.

Last Saturday was the party at Helen's house. All of her friends and family were there to wish her a Happy 30th! It was so much fun to all get together again.

Helen and Addie spending some together time (a.k.a. "meal time") before the party

No, Uncle Steve! You don't hold me like Daddy!

The Crew: Hang, moi, Shelley, Molly, Lashlee, Amy, and Helen with baby Addie

Hang and Amy

Nate had surprised Helen by asking all of us to write down special thoughts or memories of our times with her over the years, so he could put them all together in a memory book for her. She got to see what we had come up with. I think she was really surprised!

The theme of the party was, of course, Mexican - so one of my additions to the party was Helen's Party Hat (the sombrero) and I saw a little tiny one at the store for Addie too - I couldn't resist!

The Maloney Family

Momma Helen and Addie in matching FiestaWear!

Our little sleeping bebe!

All of the girls escaped to one of the back bedrooms for some silly "girl time" while the guys hung out as well. It was so much fun! We felt like we were back in junior high again!

The party was definitely a success!

Okay, on to Friday night at El Porton. It was a surprise for Helen - another Girls' Night Out, her first without Addie. It was soooo much fun!

They've recently redone the restaurant, so the demand was even higher than ever for a table (hard to imagine!). While we waited 2.5 hours by the bar, we were surprised by a sighting of David Gest. Of course Hang was the brave one, and asked for his pic. Nothing like a pic with a C-List celebrity at a Mexican place in Memphis!

The Group with Gest: Ellen, Cat, David, Helen, moi, Amy, Molly and Lashlee

Gest and Hang, the brave one!

Of course the evening got sillier as the margaritas flowed! We had such a wonderful time, telling crazy stories and reminiscing.

Helen (the birthday girl) and Shelley

Moi and Amy

Carrie and Lashlee

Hang and moi

Cat and Molly

One of the things that they do at El Porton for your birthday is bring you a dessert, sing Feliz Cumpleanos, and then smash your face with a bit of whipped cream. Well, Cat knows the workers so she had requested an extra-special version for Helen.

It was going fine until...

Smack! Two plates at one time!

Poor Helen!

She didn't take it very well - I mean, who wants to spend the rest of the night picking Cool Whip out of their hair? - but it was a good excuse for a laugh. Shelley was a trooper and helped do some of the cleaning.

What a friend!

Helen tried to get Cat back but she moved too quickly

After a while, Lashlee started to feel bad for Helen so she slathered her own head with some cheese dip. Is that a true friend or what!? :)

That Lash, you gotta love her!
And look at Hang! Think she was shocked!?

Overall, it was a wonderful night. We always have a blast when we get together! We're trying to plan a Girls' Night Sleepover soon. I hope that gets kicked into gear before too long!

This week and the following week are full of celebrations for Lance's 28th birthday (and Reed's)! Tomorrow we're having dinner with Reed and Elin at Texas de Brazil (yum!) and on Monday, their actual birthday, we're getting together with their parents. Should be a good time!!

Plus, I've got a couple of tricks up my sleeve... so I'll have to write about those later. Can't wait to celebrate with Lance!

God Bless!


Friday, February 17, 2006

I Digress

So... since I'm actually attempting to keep up with this blog, I thought I'd share some pics from the past few weeks. We've had a lot going on lately!

Two weekends ago, I flew to Dallas to see my sis Erica and her husband Joe. They're expecting their first baby in June, so I was there to help them register for baby goodies. A couple of their friends - who actually have experience with parenting - were there for more practical help. I was mostly there to give input on what stuff is the prettiest :)

Erica at Babies R' Us - she was so proud to park in the Expectant Moms Only lane!

Erica and her Baby Bump. Isn't she adorable?!?

We also got the opportunity to visit with one of my best friends from Mineral Wells, Andrea, her husband Jonathan, and their daughter Alaina. This was the first time we'd gotten to meet Alaina - and she is literally one of the most beautiful and well-behaved babies I've ever met! She was so happy and all giggles.

Andrea and Alaina. What a doll!

All the gals - Alaina, Andrea, moi and Erica

It was such a joy to see them again and catch up. Lance was sad he missed this visit - he was working, of course - so we are hoping to plan another reunion with Andrea and Jonathan soon. It will be wonderful for them to all finally meet each other!

Okay, so fast forward to the next weekend - Memphis was pelted with a somewhat unexpected snowstorm on Friday afternoon. The meteorologists on the local news all said it was coming, but they barely ever get it right - so we thought at the most we'd see a few flakes and that'd be it.

Uh, not quite!

Within 2 hours on Friday afternoon, we had over 1.5 inches of snow. Our office closed early and I ran home to take some pics.

It was so much fun! I hadn't been caught in a quick snowstorm like that in years - since my time out in Lubbock.

Lance was on his way home from work himself, and the next thing I knew the snow had accumulated to over 3.5 inches in our neighborhood! Some parts of town had over 5 inches.

These next shots were taken 2 hours later.

I wanted to get out in the snow and play, but by the time Lance got home (it took over 2 hours for him to make it) it was dark and I figured it could wait til morning.

Needless to say, we never made it outside to make snow angels or snowmen. We're notorious for not following through.


Saturday night was our friend Helen's 30th birthday party. We had such a great time! All of our best friends were there and it was wonderful to help Helen celebrate her big milestone. I have some great pics but I'll have to post those next week. Plus, tonight is Girls' Night Out to celebrate again, so I can post all the pics at once. I'm the DD for the outing to our fave hangout, El Porton, so I get to watch all the girls swim in their margaritas while I chug ice water. It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it!

Oh - and here are some pics of our crazy cat Gracie. She's a cutie! She's made some progress the last few days, but we still have a long way to go.

Gracie was so afraid of us her first week home that she hid underneath the desk like this. I think she thought if she was still enough we'd never find her!

She slowly progressed enough to let us hold her. We're slowly getting her to open up!

Anyway, that's about all from here. I think you're caught up. Have a great weekend - and God bless :)


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Crazy, Beautiful

Lance and I have now settled into our routine, which I must say has been soooo nice compared to the frantic pace we followed through the fall, up to the wedding, and then into the holidays.

It has been such a blessing to feel settled at "our" house (it's taken me months to stop saying "Lance's house") and really feel like our lives are falling into place.

Granted, with Lance's crazy work schedule right now, it's hard to say that we are truly comfortable. But we are making a conscious effort to scale back and work on spending more quality time together. Lance works til at least 8:00 every night during the week, and another 5 or 6 hours on Saturdays - which means that when we do see each other we try to make it more special.

I am very blessed to have such a wonderful, tight-knit group of friends who have made my life here in Memphis absolutely perfect. So I have plenty of people to keep me occupied during the week, so I don't notice as much that Lance isn't at home. I just wish Lance was around more... (am I whining yet? do I sound pathetic enough?) :)

Plus, we just got a new cat, Gracie! She's been my roommate when Lance is working, although it turns out we picked the Psycho Cat from the rescue shelter. Why didn't they put "won't go near humans, bites when unprovoked, yet craves human connection so badly she cries" in her file? I think we would've thought twice about bringing her home. But she really has been a great addition to our family, we've just got to work through a few things. I think she was abused in her past, so she's taking awhile to really open up to us. We're trying to be patient and let her take her time. We don't know if she's craving more cat company (she was in a shelter with over 100 cats for over a year) or whether she just needs more time to feel comfortable in her new environment. We're praying that she gets over this hump soon and doesn't feel like we're going to do anything but love her - and snuggle with her on the couch. But who doesn't love a good snuggle?!?

So, with that all said, Lance and I are doing very well. We have a lot to look forward to this year: my twin sis Erica is pregnant with her first child, so we will be doing a lot of traveling back and forth to Dallas to see her and Joe before Baby comes in June. I am helping host a baby shower for her in May, in Houston at Mom and Dad's house, so that will be a wonderful time for our family. We can't wait to welcome the first grandchild! Lance and I are sooo ready to spoil that kid rotten!

Anyway, I digress...

Last year was such a great year, filled with such wonderful highs - and we know that this year will be another blessed year for us. We are still in awe every day that God brought us together, and we feel truly humbled by His grace.

We look forward to living our crazy, beautiful lives together each and every day.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for further updates from the Willis Family!


I Plead the Fifth

I know, I know... I've been a horrible blogger. Let me just add that to my list of goals that I've attempted but only halfway followed-through on.


Okay, well I promise to do better.

And only because this now going to be our FAMILY WEBSITE! I know before all you got to read was just the crazy ramblings of an almost-married, wedding-obsessed gal, but now there will (hopefully) be some substance and interesting tidbits to share.

I will be attempting to keep the site update regularly on happenings in our lives. I know you can't wait to hear about the oh-so-exciting things happening here in Memphis (right????).

Now that our time-consuming (but perfect!) wedding is over, the holidays are past, and our lives are back to a somewhat normal pace, it will be easier for me to keep up with.

I hope!

So I raise my right hand to you, my blogging audience (what are we up to today? 2?) and promise to do my best to keep this blog going. I'll try to update weekly.

With that said, I'll start on a new post now. With actual information. About Lance and me. Oh, and I'll post an engagement pic so you can see our lovely faces.

Bet you can't wait, huh? :)