Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving With Scissors

It takes a long time for fall to make it all the way to Houston, but it's finally here. How do I know?

Because the big trees in my front yard turned a glorious gold this week.

Because it's hard to see my front walk for all those glorious gold leaves...
and there are pansies waiting for me to get busy and put them in the ground.

And because this turkey is on my dining room table.

Thanksgiving Day will mean lots of love and calories with my family. And Dallas Cowboys football. Because we like the Cowboys, of course, but mostly because my very famous brother is producing the halftime show again. Don't miss it!

Wishing you and yours a day of

And go Cowboys!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wedding With Scissors

Remember when my baby got married? Well, guess what! My other baby got married. Like my baby baby.

It was a glorious wedding and Miss Holly, my new daughter-in-law, is a jewel. Beautiful inside and out.

And speaking of beautiful, the venue was a breathtaking slice of Texas Hill Country. I'm still glowing a week later.

The wedding went off without a hitch--at least that's what we told everyone. Actually there were plenty of hitches, but very few knew about them, because hiding hitches is our best thing. 

The wedding was in Dripping Springs, a sleepy outpost just outside of Austin. I think it is sleepy because there is only one hotel there, so some people can't find a bed. The wedding just happened to be the same weekend as the Formula 1 race in Austin, so there were even fewer beds than normal. What Dripping Springs doesn't have in hotels, however, they make up for in bed-and-breakfast establishments. Luckily, all guests seemed to find lovely places to rest their heads.

It was quite a search, however, to find a place to have the rehearsal dinner. We ended up at Pecan Street Brewing in Johnson City. That's Johnson as in Lyndon B. Johnson. Some family had a chance to tour the Texas White House and check out LBJ's boyhood home.

Captain America and I would have liked to do some sightseeing, but we were too busy trying to get the AV equipment at the restaurant to play nice with the video I made for the evening. We went to the restaurant around noon and found that the projector and all the attendant cords were lashed to a pole about 18' above ground level. (I'm not exaggerating.) The DVD player was only 12' above ground level, so the staff brought us a ladder and up we climbed. We stuck in my DVD. The DVD player sucked it in, took a breath, and then spit it out like a baby spitting back mashed peas. Dang it!

So the next three hours we fiddled with everything trying to get the silly thing to work. I had brought the video on DVD, on a USB stick, and on my computer, but nothing we did seemed to work. We tried another computer; we bought new DVDs at Dollar General and re-recorded the video; we downloaded applications and converted formats; we plugged and unplugged cords--and then did all of it again. Nada.

The rehearsal was scheduled to start at 5. I wanted to be back at the hotel to dress at 3:30. At 3:20, Tim, the owner of Pecan Street came out and said, "Maybe if we plugged this cord into here..." And voila! It worked! So if you are doing the math, we spent 3.5 hours on a ladder for a 2.5 minute video. What we do for love!

We went racing out the door for the hotel, got dressed, and hurried to the venue. The rehearsal went off just as planned and the rehearsal dinner was a big success. Great food! Great friends! When it was time for the video, Captain America climbed on the ladder and pressed the button. It still worked! Yay! (Note how we had to balance the computer on two pizza boxes so the cord would reach.)

If I had anything to do with this party there had to be paper involved, right? And there was. Here are the favor boxes I made with my Silhouette machine. They were stuffed with yummy pecans from G&W Family Farms, which just happens to be owned by Miss Holly's family, and sealed with wedding logo stickers printed by the wonderful Babette at Print Me Prim. If you need pecans or printing this holiday season, click these links!

So first hitch successfully hidden we were ready for the big day. Months and months of planning were at stake. The next morning I was trying to stay calm and out of everyone's way in my hotel room when the next hitch arrived. 

Phone call from the groom: "Mom, I think I left the keys to my car in the cart at the golf course this morning. There's a lot of stuff for the wedding in my car. We need to get it open."

Really? Really?

There were several frantic calls to aunts and cousins who were staying near the golf course, but even if we had found someone to retrieve the keys, the staff at the course couldn't find them.

That was followed by...

Received text: "We may have a problem here at the venue. The wedding planner just fell and may have broken her ankle." 

Oh no! And what the text didn't say was that the wedding planner was also Miss Holly's Aunt Kathleen. Long stories short--someone from Miss Holly's family was able to maneuver a coat hanger through the window to unlock the car, and Miss Kathleen had done such a bang-up job with the advance planning and rehearsal, that we all walked down the aisle at the right time and in the right order--even Captain America got to be charming on his way in.

Hitches got nothing on us!

The bride looked absolutely radiant walking down the aisle.

She carried a gorgeous bouquet. And if you look closely...

Photo courtesy April Skinner

...very closely, you'll see it included flowers made by yours truly.

I call them Holly flowers, and she was so sweet to include them.

Photo courtesy April Skinner
The ceremony took place under a canopy of live oaks and gauzy linen complete with chandelier. And if you look closely at the top of those corner pillars, you'll see more and larger Holly flowers.

She promises to keep my son fed and uses my flowers in her wedding, too?? The woman sure knows a way to her new mother-in-law's heart.

Dinner and dancing followed and I didn't trip over my dress--which had a lot to do with taking some scissors and a needle and thread to my hem earlier in the afternoon. (Thank you, Barb, for reminding me to bring a sewing kit!) Hitch avoided.

All in all a wonderful, hitch-free evening. Congratulations, Brian and Holly! And the golf course called. They found your keys!