Friday, April 29, 2011

My Top Ten: Royal Wedding

Although I did not end up staying up all night to watch the wedding, I did DVR it and watch it this morning. I LOVED it and was in near tears several times. Mostly because I was so happy for William and wished dearly for him that his beautiful mother could have been there to see it all. But also I was so happy and excited for Kate. I remember all to well what it was like to be a bride. Even me being a simple commoner having experienced nothing like what she did today, I could still feel that excitement and happiness that comes with being a bride and marrying your "prince"!

So what were my top ten favorite things about the wedding:

10. The location of the ceremony.

There is something so sacred and special about being married in a church, but to be married in a cathedral that has been standing for hundreds of years, it must be awe-inspiring. I have walked in many old cathedrals and basilicas in my travels and I cannot even imagine what it might be like to be married in one. If I could have my pick, I would pick St. Peter's in Rome. Breathtaking! I thought they had decorated Westminster beautifully and I love the layout of it. It was a wonderful backdrop.

9. The hats of the guests.

I have always loved the British tradition of wearing hats to weddings. There is something so formal about them and I love how fun all the designs are. There were several that were border-line weird, but for the most part, I loved looking at them all!

8. The wedding cakes.

Especially the fact that William had a groom's cake! How southern is that! People in CA don't even have groom's cake normally. I even loved that his cake was a recipe from a cake he used to eat as a child. How sweet. I thought they were both beautiful!

7. Prince Harry.

I love how cute these two brothers are together. He seemed to play the part of the perfect younger brother/best man. I saw him making jokes and just being a brother to William on many occasions. It has been so neat to watch these boys grow up. They both really take after their mother.

6. The carriage ride.

How royal is that. It is like something out of a fairytale. Sure you can arrange to exit in a horse and carriage after your own wedding, but when does anyone ever get to parade around the city with millions of people cheering them on and with hundreds of uniformed escorts. AMAZING. ROYAL.

5. The exit from Buckingham Palace.

How cute was that when William and Kate left on their own in such an amazing car. It even read Just Wed on the license plate. I could have done without the cheesy balloons and ribbons on it, but how wonderfully cute and surprising the whole thing was.

4. The formality.

I love all the royal protocol and all the proper-ness of the whole thing. How much time must they all spend learning how to be royal. How to act graciously, who to shake hands with and who to not, how to compose yourself and be proper all the time. It was amazing and refreshing to see. One thing I love about being from the south is all the etiquette and learning how to be and act, and it is so nice to see that there is still a proper way to be and the royals are experts at it.

3. Pippa's dress.

I almost half expected for Kate to be wearing something along the lines of Pippa's dress. How perfect is her petite frame and how wonderfully beautiful was her dress. It was fit perfectly and I loved that it was white. It complemented the whole bridal party I thought.

2. The coordination of the wedding.

I am not sure who the wedding planner(s) was/were, but my hats off to them. I am pretty sure it wasn't a Martha Stewart or a Colin Cowie, but they need to be equally recognized as if they were. How in the heck do you coordinate such a fete and have it come off without a hitch. As a planner myself I am in awe of how you seat all 2000 guests appropriately in a church where most will not have a view at all. How you get people from 3 different locations, to one location at perfect intervals and in the order they need to be. I am imagining people on radios going cue the brothers, cure the mother, cue the queen, cue Kate, etc....They all made it on time and in the correct order. Amazing. Prefect.

1. Kate's Dress.

My first reaction when I saw it was, that's it...that's what she chose? I have seen that dress before? Someone else has worn something almost identical before. It is so the opposite of what I pictured her in. Where is the modern day princess everyone was talking about? How safe of a pick. How boring of a pick. How not representative of a young bride. It looks like an older bride dress. So at first I was disappointed. So how did it make my #1?? It was perfect for the occasion. Had it been me, I would have picked the same thing. I would have said, "I want to look like Grace Kelly, like royalty. I want to be that traditional princess bride. I want a tiara, I want a ball gown, I want lace, I want to be exactly what I had always pictured a princess bride to be. In that sense, I LOVED it. She is so beautiful and it fit her perfect and it was just perfect for a royal wedding.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding Fever

I have got it bad! I remember Diana's wedding 30 years ago very well! I remember watching it on TV and just being mesmerized! I think it was at that moment I became in love with weddings. Her wedding was the stuff dreams were made of. I must say, all the excitement and those feelings are coming back now for the wedding of her son. I am almost seriously contemplating staying up all night to watch this thing! The coverage begins at 1am PST. Am I crazy??

I cannot wait to see Catherine in her dress. I mean really, that is all I really care about. What crown will she wear is maybe something I am looking forward to. Maybe! All this hype made me bring out my old Diana doll my aunt gave me the year she was married. It is a little old and yellowed, but I love it. It is priceless to me.

I still have all my old Diana books too. I used to gaze at these pondering my life as a princess one day when I was a little girl. I wonder if my girls will do the same about Kate? Probably not as they don't seem to be as into it all, ....yet.

Somewhere I have the post card my babysitter sent me that actually went to London to be a part of the Diana and Charles festivities. She also brought me back a viewfinder with images from the wedding on it. I made scrapbook upon scrapbook of magazine cutouts of Diana when I was growing up. I just loved her. It was such a sad day the day I heard the news about her passing. The world lost a wonderful lady that day. I have hopes that Kate will be just as much a beautiful princess and wonderful role model as Diana was. I feel like a proud mom and am so happy that William seems to have chosen well!

Cannot wait for the big day that starts tonight!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Disneyland for Easter

It was not your traditional Easter for us this year. Since we have moved away from family and Charlie was home this rare weekend, we felt it a good idea to head on over to Disney for the weekend. We had our fingers crossed it would be a little less crowded with the holiday, but no such luck. Actually Saturday was quite busy and Sunday a little less. We decided to surprise the girls with the weekend trip and I even recorded the surprise. The newest Disney commercial it was not, I am sad to say. I think Sarah had a sneaking suspicion all along and Lauren, although excited, thought we were going to see Dora. So I won't post the video as it is not quite what I was going for.

They were excited nonetheless! Our main focus was to see the Princesses. We had much better luck this time and got to see Cinderella. She evaded us a few years ago, but we got her this time. This time around, Belle, was the one we missed out on, but too be honest, we didn't try as hard as we could have. Lauren wasn't to upset that we didn't see her so we didn't push it. It made for less standing in lines and less stress. Here they are the princesses!

Here they are with Rapunzel. Probably the longest line we waited in. About an hour or so. Worth the wait! I think she was the girls' favorite!

We also got to see some other characters roaming around. A few extras that I missed with the camera were Pluto, Goofy, Peter Pan, and Captain Hook. They were just too quick darting around the park. By the time I got my camera out and set, they were gone.

So what were our favorite rides?
Sarah and I loved Peter Pan the best!

Lauren loved the Carousel!

I am guessing Daddy loved the Teacups.
(I know it wasn't It's a Small World that was his favorite)

Well, we all loved the teacups!

Some of our other favorites were: The Dumbo Ride, Alice in Wonderland, It's a Small World, The new Nemo submarine, and we like going into Minnie and Mickey's houses.

Saturday night, Sarah and I did some late evening rides and went to see the fireworks. It was a great show, but man were there a lot of people there. We were all a little too close for comfort. I was glad to get out of there. Big crowds like that freak me out a bit and let's just say the security at Disney seemed to be a little relaxed in my opinion.

We did stay over one night just outside the Disney gates. The hotel was probably about a 2 star venue, but it had the coolest little room with Mickey decor and bunk beds and the girls were in 7th heaven. All that matters right!

On Sunday it did rain for about 1/2 the day. I had put the girls in dresses and sandals with it being Easter and all, but their little feet were all wet and cold. We found the cutest little socks and shoes for them, though!

All in all it was a great weekend! We didn't see Dora ;) but we saw just about everyone else. The girls had a blast and we loved seeing them so happy. It was not our usual Easter weekend, but one we will remember always.

The Easter Bunny had left a few little goodies back at the house for when we returned and a little egg hunt for the girls. Nothing like a little indoor egg hunt when you have no yard at the beach!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are?

I have become obsessed with this show. For those that may not know, it is a show on NBC where celebrities research their family history. I was already a family history/genealogy buff before this show was even created, but it has inspired me to learn more and dig deeper into my family roots.

I have done a little research and have found ancestors dating back to about the 1500's on certain lines, however, I have not verified all the info I have found and I am interested to now learn the stories. At first I just wanted to get names, dates, and places of major events in my ancestors lives, but now I want to know more about them. Who were they really? What did they do for a living? What kind of lives did they lead? Why did they move around and come from another country? A lot of these answers I know I will never find, but the journey to find out is fascinating. I only wish I had the time and the resources to really travel to all the places that my ancestors lived to meet with genealogists and historians to really get the full story. In the TV show that is what each celebrity gets to do. It makes the experience that much more rich. For example: Lisa Kudrow traveled to an old town that was basically wiped out during the holocaust and learning some of her ancestors were the victims in that horrible day. Or Rosie O'Donnell going to Ireland to see first hand the type of living conditions her relatives were living in just before they boarded a ship to come to America. I love that all the stories are unique, but all very much the same. Everyone has people in their family that overcame obstacles and were searching to make a better life for themselves and their family. I find it sooo interesting!

Do any of you know a lot about your family history? How far back have you found ancestors? If any of my friends or family are interested in having me help them, I would love to help. I am by no means a seasoned genealogist, and do not know a whole lot, but it is something I find very fun and interesting to do. It does take time and a lot of reading, but I think it is important for everyone to know where they came from. Don't you?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Texas Tradition: Bluebonnet Photos

One of my favorite things about living in Texas are the gorgeous bluebonnets that blanket the landscape every March and April. Not even after moving from the state could I resist bringing the girls back for their annual pictures. It just so happened that we got to make a visit back to our native state for my daughter's spring break, so I took full advantage. Taking photos of my pretties is one of my most favorite things and one of my most challenging things. Two girls worried about bugs, the sun, not smiling, not looking at the camera (well not at the same time). It is exhausting. I have found that if you take enough, you are bound to have some great ones in the bunch!

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