Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend Success!

Almost two months ago I got an email from meh's hubby. He was anticipating her birthday and wanted to send her to my house for a visit. It was about three weeks before her finally told her the news!  


You don't know how hard those weeks were for me!

But the weeks went by quickly and now I cannot believe the weekend is already over!

It was a good one though.

Hanging out with my sweet friend meh was just what I needed! It was great to shop and eat and talk. And talk. And talk. 

We also watched old movies. What is more fun than having a friend over and watching Hailey Mills or Katherine Hepburn or Doris Day, while eating popcorn and peanut M&M's?  Nothing!

We really packed this weekend FULL of great things. It's amazing what we accomplished. But the best part is that I feel rested. The weekend was a true retreat. 

It's been a busy 6 weeks for us, and I  needed some down time. I know she did too.

Thanks for coming meh! And thank that man of yours for giving you a birthday gift that was a gift to me too!

PS: Y'all! Look at my hair! It is a humidity mess! In AZ I could skip the flat iron if time was of the essence.  Apparently, that won't be an option here! 

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Red Door


This is my front door. 

And there is a story. 

When I bought this house three and a half years ago I was sad. 

I was leaving North Texas, a place I loved. My friends were there and it wasn't all that far from AZ where my parents live. It was the place I had grown spiritually and emotionally. A lot of good things had happened there for me.

However, the last two years in that town had been difficult ones for my husband. Probably the most difficult years he has ever had in his life.  He had a wrestle with the Lord that 
challenged him personally, professionally, emotionally, financially, spiritually and physically. 

It was a hard time. 

That two year chapter in our lives ended with our first move to North Carolina.  

One of my dearest friends, Jen with one N, came to help me find a house here in the piney woods.

We came on a weekend and had exactly 48 hours to find and buy the house of our North Carolina dreams. 

The realtor had about a dozen homes for us to look at and I was convinced that the Lord already had a home for us. I just knew He had a place in mind for The Sweet Mister to heal, for our family to recuperate. I had it set in my heart and mind that Jen and I weren't going home until I had bought that house, where ever it may be.

I had made a list of things that I knew the house needed: four bedrooms, a garage, lots of light, and preferably in the country with a bit earth to call our our "own."

But there were a few things that weren't necessary: a deck, two stories, separate dining room and kitchen. You know, things that would be nice, but not really necessary.

There was also something that I wanted that I hadn't dared to write down, but it was a desire in my heart.

A red door.

It wasn't until we had moved in and settled in that I realized that God had not only chosen a house that had nearly everything on my list, but He has also graciously given me the desire of my heart. Foolish as it was. 

Y'all, as I was hanging up our fall wreath on the door this week, I was filled with gratitude for a living and gracious God, who is kind and compassionate. Who heals the brokenhearted and cares for the smallest of details in our lives. 

I do not type lightly when I say that I do not deserve the red doors of life. I certainly haven't earned them. Which makes my heart flutter all the more with praise. God lavishly loves us by knowing the desires of our heart. He knows and understands the longings we don't want to admit we have.

Psalm 63:7

 I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, 
       the deeds for which he is to be praised,       
according to all the LORD has done for us— 
       yes, the many good things he has done 
       for the house of Israel, 
       according to his compassion and many kindnesses

La Vida Dulce!

PS: As I type, meh of Biding My Time, is about to get on a plane to visit for the weekend!  The blog may be quiet until Tuesday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Letter to The Boy


Dear sweet Boy,


It seems impossible that you are 11 years old today.

You are always asking me to blog about things that are important to you and occasionally I find a way to write about things you suggest.  

Today I will write about something important to me. 

You.

Recently, I was asked this question: What is God showing you right now?

And you know, I had a post all neatly typed and ready to go on a different topic, but for some reason it didn't feel right. I think God wasn't done showin' me yet.

I have had a lot on my mind lately. As you know, our family has been quite busy. Moving has been such a big part of your life. In eleven years you have moved five times. Five times! You have taken on that burden with great courage.

My son, you are brave.

Today you were telling me that you love learning to make things and that you had found an old book that taught boys how to trap moles. The problem was that, in the end, the mole wouldn't survive. So even though you knew that I despise the moles that are tearing up my yard, you wouldn't be able to make one. 

You are compassionate.

Five weeks ago we began our homeschooling adventure. For many years I have heard teachers speak so highly of you, the way you respect adults and students alike; The way you always cheer and encourage the underdog. 

Now I get to enjoy you as a student too. I'm amazed at your ability to learn. You are a lot like your daddy.

You are smart.

I appreciate you humor; your love of laughter. 

Sweet Boy, you are fun.

It's amazing to watch you interact with your sister when you don't know I am watching. Sometimes I can see when you have had enough of that phenomenon called female chatter, yet choose patience. I watch as you are long-suffering with her when she tells you in detail what she must do/say/wear when playing a certain game. I listen as she (sometimes) speaks to you in tones that aren't always sweet. You are slow to anger and quick to encourage. You are who you are whether I am watching or not.

You have integrity.

Oh, how I wish I could take some credit. How I wish I could say you are just like me!

But the truth is that you are who you are because God has made you that way...I'm just glad He has allowed me to play along. 

So what is God speaking to me?

Well, lately I have had many opportunities to do other good and worthy things, and yet nothing could compare to being your mom. The Lord has reminded me of the commitment I made 11 years ago to make our home my main ministry. And, to be honest, sometimes it's hard to see the fruit. Sometimes it is tough to not receive accolades. Sometimes it difficult to lay aside what appears to be better things, and quietly choose what's best. 

But I would do it again and again and again for the privilege of being your mom.

Happy Birthday!

Love,
Mom

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Trip in Pictures

I am in a need of a trip to the craft store. 


No seriously. Crafting is like therapy. So I must go.

It's just that sometimes I have this deep need to create. Especially when change is spinning all around me. 

Speaking of change. A few of the leaves are gently beginning to fall from the trees. 

It's still very green here, but this morning, with the cool air and the the ever so slight change in the colors, fall is making herself known. 

Change. It's inevitable.

So I haven't much time to write today, and I promised pictures. But tomorrow, I will answer in earnest the question Carrie has asked: What is God showing you right now? 

Here is a picture that sort of represents my answer to Carrie's question...but more tomorrow.


 The picture above is the view as you drive into North Carolina from the Tennessee border.  Y'all they don't call NC God's Country for nothin'.  This picture, taken while driving and through a windshield, does not even begin to describe what it is really like.

 This is the entrance to Dollywood. We actually have a really nice picture of the family, but He Who Does Not Wish to Be Seen On The Blog For Security Reasons (a.k.a., The Mister) is in it, so I can't post it. Which is a shame for y'all, cuz he is handsome, with his salt and pepper hair. 

Anyway...
 This is The Boy and Girl, happy to be free of the mini-van. The Girl is looking for a roller-coaster. The Boy is looking for good food.

The Girl and The Mister found a roller coaster called The Tornado. The Boy and I stayed behind. He doesn't much like roller coasters, and I? Well, let's just say that at 35, I have lost my roller coaster edge. Which was dull at best anyway.

There they are towards the back. The only ones on the ride. This roller coaster was impressive. it had THREE loops in it! They rode it twice. One right after the other.

OK. Now I must explain this next picture because it shows some true colors. And y'all know I am all about Truth!

The next ride the kids wanted to do looked very benign. You got into a boat and shot water guns at the targets along the ride. The kids wanted to go but we had all just gotten drinks. So The Mister volunteered to stay with our drinks and I figured I would go with the kids, because "how bad could it be?"

Famous. Last. Words.

What I didn't know was that there were also high powered water guns along the walking path, so that people not on the ride could participate too. This one (fully grown) gentleman gathered extreme joy by going from water gun to water gun along his path, soaking me the entire way. 

I love to be one to spread joy, but come on! Could he give a girl a break? First of all I was having an amazing hair day. And for those of you who live in humid climates know what a victory this was. My good hair was not only ruined at the end of this ride, but every bit of clothing I had on (right down the the undergarments) were DRENCHED. The picture below says it all:

Oh yeah. She's happy.

And this is me trying to save face by smiling for The Mister.  He is really only following directions. I always complain about how I am never in pictures because I am always the one behind the camera. Well, now I am in one. 

This is a huge steam engine train that we got to ride around the park.

And this is DoggyWood, hotel to posh pets everywhere. 
I know that from this angle it looks a lot like doggy jail, but it was really very, very nice!

La Vida Dulce!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall is in the Air

Just checking in.


I am pretty much unpacked. Now we are about the business of establishing some routine. I'm hoping all my favorite bloggers haven't bailed on me since I haven't been reading or posting very regularly over the last three weeks! I'm coming back! I promise!

This weekend was very nice. The weather was fantastic and I was able to relax. Yesterday we went to church and had some lunch with good friends. When we came home I played a game with The Girl until I got so sleepy I couldn't keep my thoughts straight. So I took the most delicious nap I have had in quite some time. It was just a 30 minute doze, but it was awesome. 

Sunday naps are the best.

Now it's back to school, and work, and laundry...

No matter where I go, there is always laundry.  It's the constant in my life amidst all the change. 

Today, my hope is to get back into my work-out routine. We'll see how that goes. Maybe I'll just read all your blogs and post for tomorrow instead! After three weeks without a solid work out, what's one more day? Right?

La Vida Dulce!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

From There to Here

Whew!

I was a whirling dervish of activity today. Not only did I get my entire family room unpacked and in order, I was also able to get the kids school area finished and my bathroom unpacked and organized.

Don't think less of me, but going with out Q-tips for a week was a hardship. I like clean ears.

But now all my lotions and potions are in the right place in my bathroom cupboard.

Remember a few months ago when we had a toilet paper crises?  Well it's feast or famine around here. Apparently I bought a huge Costco pack before we left AZ. Then The Mister picked up another huge pack that was in the hall bathroom (unbeknown to me). When we
 arrived here in NC we ran to the Costco and picked up another huge pack.  So we shouldn't run out for a good while.

Just in case you were worried.

Let's change the subject.  OK, what else did I do today? I made a pot of beans for lunch. I
 unpacked. I made sure the kids did some work and then I kicked them outside. I unpacked.

It is amazing to be able to send them outside to play every single day. They were building a tee pee out of some sticks they found. And making a camp of sorts. They would come in every once in awhile to tell me all  about the wildlife in our yard. Yesterday it was a bird with the biggest worm in it's mouth (I saw it too). Today a blue jay was chasing a cicada, trying to catch his lunch. The crazy squirrels were jumping from tree to tree. The quick humming birds in
our neighbors garden were zippily doing what they do. A bright red cardinal was found hanging out on the deck. Oh, and those moles (I had forgotten about them!) they are busy digging all over my yard! 

Yesterday morning a fawn walked across our front yard. She was the cutest thing!  All spotty across her back. 

Country livin'. It's awesome!

Tomorrow and Friday I will post pictures from our trip across the country but here are a few just to get you to come back to see the rest!
This is the truck leaving our home in AZ. If you have never had the opportunity to watch every possession you own be driven off by complete strangers, you should try it! It helps one to not be too attached to things!

Here's our beautiful NC house!

 Just kidding! This was a replica of a pioneer cabin at Dollywood.  But honestly, when the view from this cabins porch is the Smoky Mountain Tops, who cares what the house looks like!

This is that same truck (and driver) pulling up the road with all our stuff on Friday morning. Well, except a bookcase that someone else must own now. This rig was HUGE and our stuff was one of three households our driver packed in there.  Oh well, you win some, and you lose some. 

Anyway, 7 days and 2300 miles later, here we are...

This is me on Saturday, being OCD (or CDO, alphabetized, like it should be) about the grass. We had had someone mow it two weeks earlier but it looked like a jungle when we arrived. I couldn't rest until that lawn was all neat and tidy, so instead of unpacking that first morning, I was out mowing with our neighbors lawn mower.

The Mister laughed at me, took pictures, and when I was done and dripping wet with humidity, he asked, "Do you feel better now?"

"Yes." I said. "Yes, I do."

La Vida Dulce!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Greetings from North Carolina!

Hello! Hello!


How are y'all doin?

We are up to our eyeballs in unpacking and humidity and green, green landscape. But we are finally here.

The last time I posted we were in Tennessee and were about to visit Dollywood.  We went and had a lovely time, and even Kona the Wondermutt was able to have some fun at Doggywood, the canine resort for pets who like to travel.

Yes. Our dog stayed at the on site dog hotel in Dollywood. Darril and Marie, please stop laughing. You should take Truck (the Dog) sometime. He would love it, I'm sure.

Truth be told, the day away from our mutt was much needed. Seven nights in hotel rooms with that cantankerous canine was "fun" (kind of like a root canal), but everybody needs a break now and then. She did actually do a good job traveling, and she only threw up once. I won't go on about my relationship with my four legged friend because when I write about her I get hate mail. 

And I don't like hate mail.

Have a mentioned we are in NC???

I have a ton of pictures. But haven't yet had the chance to sit down, what with all the unpacking, and starting up school today, but I just wanted to to tell you that I am alive, and my North Carolinian accent is coming back.  Just this morning I told The Mister I was "fixin' to go to the store, and did he want p'tatahs for suppah? Cuz I might could get some." 

Oh I kid!  Because, honestly, I think the North Carolinian accent is really the sweetest accent there is. It truly melts my heart. 

And y'all, I had forgotten how nice the people are here. Yesterday when I went to the grocery to pick up a few quick items, the lady at the check out counter greeted me with a "Are ya ready sweetpea?!"

OH! AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL!!!!

You might need to be sitting down for this...they built a new Starbucks just 4.74 miles from my front door. Just 4.74 miles!!

And it's a drive thru!

I drove by it on Saturday, but showed great self control and didn't go in. I decided to wait until Sunday so I could take The Mister by for a look-see. 

When I showed it to him, his exact words were: You better start saving your money. Your gonna need it. 

And then he bought me a grande, skim, Cinnamon Dolce latte. Cuz he's good about keepin' me in my habits. 

Anyway, I just wanted to say Hello! I am looking forward to peeking in on all you bloggers out there soon!

La Vida Dulce!



Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Greetings From Nashville TN

Good Morning!

It's a fine morning here in Nashville. The sky is overcast and the air is cool, but nothing could dampen our spirits today!

Our long drives are over, and since we found out that our stuff won't be delivered until Friday (instead of tomorrow) we are going to take a little detour through the Smoky Mountains and take the kids to Dollywood!

I have been wanting to go there for a long time, so this little side trip is as much for me as it is for them.

Today we will drive 3 hours to Pigeon Forge and then on Thursday we will drive the short 4 (ish) hours to NC

On a different note, can I tell you how fun it has been to see all your encouraging comments at the end of each day?! Y'all are so fun and it's like you're traveling with me!

While we have enjoyed the beautiful scenery, we have also had a dose of reality. There is nothing more sobering than seeing a caravan of eight or more ambulance and utility trucks, headed to Louisiana and the Gulf states; to prepare for the next round of hurricane. It reminded us to pray for those who are in harms way.

Last thing, when we pulled into Nashville last night the sunset was incredible! It was to our back so when I looked in the rear view mirror it was spectacular! I wish I could have taken a picture!

Oh! And no matter how many times we cross the Mississippi River, it is always incredible. Especially with the city of Memphis on the other side!

OK, it's getting to be time to load up and get going. I pray that y'all are doing well!

La Vida Dulce!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hello From Ft Smith, Arkansas

Just a quick hello as we check out of our hotel in AR.

Yesterday was our longest day in the car at 9 hours, 30 minutes. But it's worth it to be half way finished.

Good news: The DVD works at 45 minute increments, so we are making do.

Bad news: We have all developed colds. The Girl had a fever the night before we left AZ. She has obediently done what we have taught her her whole life: Share.

Not only has she given it to us, but to my parents as well.

But it's all good and we are looking forward to our drive today, the last of the long drives. THe last two days we are breaking up into 4 hour increments. We should arrive just east of Nashville, just in time for rush hour traffic! Yippee!

Oh, and the homeschooling that was going to get done in the car?

Yeah, right.

OK, The Mister and The Boy are out getting breakfast and I am supposed to be in the shower!!

Gotta Go!

La Vida Dulce!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hello From New Mexico!`

We are here at our hotel just about an hour east of Albuquerque (try spelling that without spell check!)

The day went fairly quickly and was pretty uneventful. Tomorrow will be our longest day of driving as we try to get to Arkansas (Mer, I'll wave hello to your home state!)

The only excitement was when I took Kona the Wonder Dog out for a quick walk. We walked all over the perimeter of a rest stop in NM. When we had been out there for about 5 minutes I came back and passed by a large sign that said, "Danger: Rattlesnakes and poisonous insects. Walk at own risk."

Um, I think I would've liked to have read that sign before I walked The Mutt.

Also, my kids convinced me that we HAD to have a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for the trip, (to eat dry) for a snack. I am very sorry that I tried it this afternoon during a period in which I should have stopped for a Diet Coke. I was sleepy and I needed something to pep me up. For those of you who don't know, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. Why didn't any on tell me this before? I am pretty sure I ate more than a serving today. But who cares, I'm driving 2300 miles in a car with two kids, a dog and no TV.

Which brings me to my final, and most pressing problem of the day. The DVD was not working properly. It has been acting temperamental for a couple months now, but I was hoping it would make it through one last trip.

I am seeing an expensive trip to Target in my future...luckily they have one in almost every city.

I miss reading the blogs. I will have much to catch up on in the next few weeks! But I wanted to check in and say hello!

Time for bed!

La Vida Dulce

Headed East

By the time this posts, we should be headed toward New Mexico.

I had so much in my head as to what I would write about this last day as a resident of this warm, desert town. I held in the floodgates that I won't be opened until I have the luxury of time on my own. Most likely that time will come on that first five minutes on the road, when the morning is still dark and the stars can be my cover.

I don't often like to cry in front of others when the grief is my own.

And yet, I know this isn't a goodbye forever. This truly is a "see you soon", since plans for a summer trip are already in the works.

I also look forward with great anticipation to our North Carolina home. It's smells, it's seasons, it's beautiful, soothing accent. I look forward to the greenery, and of course, above all things, seeing the friends we haven't seen face to face in 18 months.

We have much to look forward to. Much to be happy about!

I may be taking a blogging break while we are on the road. But then again, maybe not. We'll see...

I did want to tell you this funny story...

Upon packing our traveling bags I gave the kids list of what to pack, with strict instructions to pack one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of flip-flops. They weren't to pack anything extra, just what was on the list.

Last night as I was rechecking bags (we were at my mom's house for the night) and getting things ready to load in the car, I noticed that The Girl not only managed to pack flip-flops and tennis shoes, but stuffed in the bottom of the bag, were also a pair of brown sandals, sparkly pink slip on sandals and a sparkly handbag. She just couldn't be limited to two pairs of shoes, and she "always uses the sparkly handbag when she uses the sparkly shoes".

You know, that girl is a lot like her mother. I couldn't stick to my own list either...

All right, time to sign off on my last blog post west of the Mississippi...

To my Arizonian peeps: I miss you already!

"Say good things about me, Cuz I've gone to Carolina..."-James Taylor


La Vida Dulce

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Guitar Playing Packing Man


When Willie came in on Tuesday he asked if we had anything listed on our High Value Inventory. I told him that the only thing that I had was my china and crystal stemware and my classical guitar. He asked to see where these items were while he off handed said, " I play a little classical guitar."

I walked him into the bedroom where I keep my guitar in it's case. The poor thing was badly out of tune since I haven't really picked it up in several months. 

I pulled the guitar out and handed it to him. He admired it by looking inside it, commented about it's make and then cradled it up into his right hand to play a chord with his left.

And suddenly it was very obvious that this man was an artist.

I play a little classical guitar: meaning I know a few chords and can get by.

Willie plays a little classical guitar: meaning he plays all different types of guitar. Very well, I might add. 

He only played a few chords on Tuesday before he put it down. So I blurted out "I'll buy you a sandwich this afternoon if you play a little more." Because I am not above bribery.

The truth is we always feed our packers and make sure they have plenty of water and Gatorade to drink. Of course, Willie didn't now this. ;)

So I spent the whole day wanting to ask him if he really would play something for me, but he left and there really wasn't a good part of he day to ask.

But yesterday, I subtly made it known that I did not want that guitar packed until he played, and finally I was rewarded; everything was packed and he played my guitar before packing her up. 

He played for less than ten minutes. From show tunes to a lovely Latin Samba. Even a little bit of the blues. 

But he started with the video below. I don't know how he knew that this was one of my favorite songs growing up, but it was the perfect piece to play.

The back ground noise is the other packers taping up boxes. And the quality of the speakers on my camera make this sound so much less than what it was.

La Vida Dulce!
video

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Burning Rubber

Actually, I am not burning rubber, but the packers who are packing up all nearly finished, and it's just now past 10am. By far, the quickest pack job we've had by far.

Of course when we moved here we got rid of half of what we owned because our house was 500 sq ft. smaller. Why we did that, I'm not sure, especially since we ended up with two completely empty rooms.

I must have been having one of my "cleaning fits".

Anyway, I am not actually at my house right now, but am waiting for the fine people at Discount Tires to replace my two front tires.

Uh, hello? 316 dollars didn't feel so discount, but what's a girl to do? And they aren't burning rubber. And I hate the smell of tires. But I'll stop complaining now.

I am hoping that they will hurry because I have to get home to say goodbye to Willie, our head packer. I hope to blog about him tomorrow because he is a neat guy in his fifties, with amazing talent.

So, that's today's news at the La Vida Household!

I hope you are having a fine Wednesday!

(Can you believe it's September? I went to the Starbucks this morning and they had their Pumpkin Latte posters all over the place! Let the fall begin!)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A very random "packing" post.

So, it's been a bit of a slow day until this very moment. 


This morning one packer showed up, and he packed up my kitchen and left. He just walked back in with two other guys, who are now packing the contents of my underwear drawer. 

Whoever said childbirth destroys modesty had not been professionally moved six times in 13 years.  

Just kidding!

I am grateful to have these guys packing my stuff. The alternative would be me having to pack my stuff and that would totally vaccuum like a Hoover. I am trying to keep from saying that word I really dislike, but say all the time, kwim?

Speaking of kwim, that's text speak for "know what I mean", and I picked it up from Darcie. My only problem is that I have caught myself wanting to ask people, in real conversations if they kwim.

If I am ever speaking with you face-to-face, and I say kwim to you, please smack me. And then remind me that I am 35 years old and should attempt to speak like one.

AUUGHHH!!  I have on the 80's station on the radio and Kenny Rogers is singing, You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille.

Which reminds me of a joke I used to tell in the fifth grade. I don't remember the joke, but the punch line was you picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel

I am sure you are just dying with laughter at that amazing joke. 

I am also positive that you are now singing that Kenny Rogers hit. My personal favorite was Islands in the Stream, because I loved Dolly Parton. 

All right, I am signing off now because people keep wandering into the kitchen and it makes me nervous for some reason!

(An almost boxed up) La Vida Dulce!

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Fruits of My Labor!

Thanks so much for leaving me comments in the last post! It's fun to hear how y'all work the last minute grocery runs! 


I know I haven't posted in three days. I have been a little busy, although I am never really too busy for y'all. However, The Mister has been home and been working and I never like to look like a slacker when he is home.  

So, the last time I posted I was cleaning out the pantry and I didn't want to miss this opportunity to show you the 'after' photo of my pantry.  Of course I didn't show you the before photo of the pantry because I don't like to air my dirty laundry, so to speak.

Oh, what am I talking about? I have shown my dirty laundry many, many times here on this blog! But I chickened out on the 'before' shots of the pantry.  I do have some standards.

OK, not really, but the pantry was pretty bad.

I also cleaned out my car and both refrigerators, which is why you haven't heard from me in three days. It took me three hours a piece to clean out those fridges (is that a word?)! There is nothing worse than a fridge that has been unplugged and closed up for over a week but hasn't been completely scrubbed out. But let's not talk about such awful things...

Let's talk about happy things! Like a good hair cut and the ability to sport two eyebrows.

Meet the gals that I talk about every 5 weeks. The gals who help me cover those ever-greying greys' and help me to maintain healthy, moisturized skin. 

Aging: it ain't for sissy's.  These gals assist me in aging gracefully:

Melissa is on your left in the grey sweater, and Elizabeth is on your right in the floral dress.

Melissa is not only my hair stylist/colorist extraordinaire, she is also married to my "baby" brother.  If I was independently wealthy I would charter a private jet once a month and fly Melissa to whatever city I was living in next. There is nothing worse than finding the gal who gives you the perfect hair cut every. single. time. And having her live in a different city.  Of course the great thing is that she married into the family, so I know that I can always find her. 

I am non-to-proud of the fact that my biggest concern is finding a new stylist/colorist who understands my hair when we get into our new, yet old, dwelling place.  That is high on my list of priorities, however, the new stylist has a lot to live up to. I may have to lower my standards.

It's all Melissa's fault that I met Elizabeth. Elizabeth is an aesthetist. She gives a fabulous facial. Mel gave me a gift certificate a year ago and I have been hooked ever since. I treat myself to a facial about every twelve weeks or so. Elizabeth is great at what she does, but is only made better because of her sweet heart. I will certainly be seeing Elizabeth on my next visit to the desert. 

Listen, if you are a mom of young children, or have a stressful job, or need some way to spend some time to just feel a little pampered, go out and get a facial. It's an amazing hour of sweet smelling lotions and creams, hot towels and a little bit of massage on the shoulders, arms and back. Husbands (all three of you who read this blog), this is a great idea for a gift for your wives.
There is this soft bed, and comfy sheets and candles and soft music.  It's truly an hour of time where you can relax and enjoy an hour of time to yourself.  

As a matter of fact, I had my facial before my hair and eyebrow intervention, and since it was my "last time", Elizabeth took extra time during the massage and threw in a "peel" (I have no idea what that is and it scared me, but didn't hurt at all!). When I walked out of Elizabeth's room to Melissa's chair I felt very, very relaxed. I could barely talk.  

So, now after I have talked about my day of beauty, you probably don't feel one bit sorry for me that I have been cleaning and packing and working very hard.

And you shouldn't. My life is very full, and I am very spoiled. I have not ONE THING to complain about. 

Not one thing.

Happy Labor Day!

La Vida Dulce