Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Matt and I had the BEST weekend!!  We spent the majority of it in Shreveport, LA with friends and had a fantastic time! We drove to Katie and Clay's house Friday night and ordered in pizzas.  It was so relaxing and just what I needed after such a chaotic week of traveling.  Saturday morning we went to breakfast at Strawn's (a hole in the wall and SO delicious).  Emily and Jack drove in from Monroe that afternoon and we all got cleaned up and had drinks before heading to dinner at the Oyster Bar. 

Love my sis-in-law

Emily and Matt

Thanks for hosting us Clay...

Em and Jack getting ready for some oysters

Sweet Katie and Clay - we can't wait for Annah Kate's arrival in a month!

The girls down on the Boardwalk

After the yummy dinner at Oyster Bar, we headed down to the Boardwalk for a drink and met up with Clay and Jeni.  It was a great night!  Sunday, we slept in and then went back down to the Boardwalk to eat lunch and shop a little bit before heading home.

Lunch at Joe's Crabb Shack

Matt's ready for some crab legs!!


On the Boardwalk

We always have such a great time visiting Clay and Katie and it made the weekend even better because Jack and Emily came in town!  Matt and I drove back last night so that we could spend today getting ready for the rest of the week.  It's been a VERY productive day!!  I now have a clean house, a mowed lawn, a kitchen full of groceries (and I squeezed in time for a run too.)  We have burgers on the grill and are ready to start another week. 

Today I am very mindful of all the men and women who have served our country.  My grandfather was in WWII and will be 91 this October.  For the individuals who gave the ultimate sarifice, their lives, a "thank you" will never be enough.  May God bless all those who fight for us every day!

Hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday weekend!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

I am SO THRILLED TO BE HOME!!!  What a week!!  All I can say is, in all of the hundreds of times I have traveled through airports, I have NEVER had such a horrible time as I did this past week.  Ashley and I were in Indianapolis to make up for the launch meeting we both missed the week before (me, being with Dad in the hospital, and she, recovering from falling and splitting her head open and having to get staples...poor thing.)  Needless to say, God had a plan in making sure we had each other this week.  I couldn't have stayed sane without her.  We were grounded in the middle of flights for storms, had up to 8 hour layovers, spent time in our corporate basement because of tornados, were pulled out of our beds at the Embassy for another tornado, had to sleep outside of the Detroit airport because of a cancelled flight, they lost our luggage on the way there, we missed half of our meeting on was unbelievable!!!  You name it, and it happened!  We finally got home last night around 1:00 a.m.  My boss was extremely kind and told us to take the day to catch up on sleep.  If you know me at all, this girl is used to 8-9 hours of sleep a night, so running on 15 hours of sleep for the past 3 days has taken it's toll.  I am so glad to have training behind me!  The launch of the drug was actually great, but I'm glad to be home.  Matt and I have big plans this weekend!!  We're so excited for this next month!! 

In the basement at corporate, dodging tornados ;)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

After a crazy and emotional first of the week, I took Wednesday to get a little bit of rest and to get caught up on some things around the house.  I needed to run to Target, do laundry, clean the house, just the stuff that didn't get done since we've been in Rogers.  It felt great to be caught up that evening as I cooked dinner.  Thursday I decided to go ahead and get back out in the field.  I traveled down to Nashville, Arkadelphia, and Malvern, it felt good to be back in the swing of things.  I am having to make up the launch meeting that I missed, this next week.  I'll fly out tomorrow and will be back late Thursday night.  It's going to be a busy one!

This weekend was really our last one to relax.  We have so much going on over the next month and honestly don't have another weekend without plans until July 8!  Where does the time go?!  Friday night, Matt and I had a quiet dinner at Bonefish Grill and then came back to the house and curled up for a movie.  I think I was still catching up on the sleep I didn't get while in Rogers.  It rained most of Friday night and Saturday morning - making for the PERFECT sleeping weather.  It was so nice to be able to sleep in and not have to get up for anything.  I went for a two mile run Saturday morning and then Matt (again so graciously) went with me to catch another chick flick.  We saw Bridesmaids.  It was pretty funny. (Not quite like The Hangover, but good).  After the movie, we met Kyndall and Ben at the Fountain for a drink and then the four of us met Lindsay and Jake at Cantina Laredo for dinner.  This morning we enjoyed church and then spent the afternoon napping.  Matt and I just got back from a nice walk and we're winding things down, getting ready for another week. 
(I know it's much more exciting to read someone's blog when there are pictures on it...Sorry!  I am going to get back into my "picture taking mode" this next weekend when we go to Shreveport.)

 I am still calling home a couple times a day to check on my Dad. He seems to be doing well, just still very tired (which is totally understandable).  He is really making the effort to take better care of himself.  I am so proud of he and Mom.  I will be excited to be back in Rogers in two weeks...for Emma's first birthday party, but to also check in on him and HUG HIS NECK!!

I hope everyone's weekend was as relaxing as ours.  I've got to get packed for this big meeting...the busyness never stops!  :))

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Moments That Change Your Life

The past few days have been an emotional roller coaster.  Sunday morning, while walking out of church, I received a phone call from my mom.  I couldn't understand her because she was crying so hard.  My heart immediately dropped into my stomach.  She quietly whispered, "Dad had a stroke."  I don't know how many people have experienced a moment in life where you hear news like this, but I literally lost my breath.  I couldn't think, I was bawling and lost all sense of what to do.  I found Kyndall who wasn't out of class yet and the next thing I knew, she, Matt and I were in the car and headed to Rogers.  I was actually packed to fly out for a 6 day meeting in Dallas on Sunday night so I threw the suitcase in the car, Matt put a bag together, and we were gone.  The drive felt like a lifetime and all I could do was stare out the window and cry. 

If anyone knows me at all, my family is my life.  I prayed to God on that drive, that he could take anything away from home, my job, every penny I have...just don't take my Dad.  We got to the hospital and the CAT scan had identified a small blood clot on the left side of his brain (affecting the right side of his body).  It was already beginning to break up which was a miracle...there was no hemorrhaging.  The next couple of days were filled with Echocardiograms, EKG's and tests on his carotid arteries.  Amazingly enough, every test came back good.  Dad is now at home, resting, with no permanent impairments...he is going to make a full and complete recovery.

There have been so many things going through my head.  First, I can't stop crying and thinking about how good God is to my family.  I know that we have been blessed beyond belief with so many things in this life, but for my Dad to have this kind of stroke and to be all right brings me to tears.  He is only 54 years old!!  The doctor and nurses just kept saying how lucky he was and that 80% of people who experience a stroke never walk away without permanent problems.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt this was not luck, this was our Heavenly Father giving my dad a second chance.  It's nothing short of a miracle and all the glory goes to our amazing GOD.  Second, my heart is so warmed and I (again) get emotional when I think of the amazing friends and family we have.  The Bentonville Church was so good to my parents, people showing up the entire time we were at the hospital. Calling, texting, asking what they could do... showing so much love.  And I personally, could not be more blessed with the friends God has put in my life.  I had two college friends who were calling and texting me before I even got to Rogers.  I can honestly say that I am sitting here crying, thinking about how much you two mean to me!!  You both have such beautiful hearts and while one of you was at the hospital (even before I got there) letting my dad know you were praying for him and leaving a gift basket, the other one was texting me words of comfort that I read over and over on the way to Rogers.  Amanda and Kim, I don't get to see you girls every day, or hardly enough, but the kindness and love you have shown me and my family, will never be forgotten and I love you both with all of my heart!  God knew exactly what he was doing when he crossed our paths 12 years ago. :)

The Honea family, Julianna, David, Joe, all of my cousins, my amazing Aunt Patti and Uncle many people who were there (in person or on the phone) through this entire ordeal.  You truly see how much people care when someone they love is hurting.  I am so thankful for each and every one of you and words cannot express how much love I have for you all.  You hear of things like this happening to other people but you never think about them affecting your own family.  My dad is one of the most important people in my life.  He is the most generous, kind-hearted, loving, Christian man I know.  I love him with all of my heart and I feel like I can't give thanks to God enough for saving his life.  As I gave him a hug good-bye, it was different this time.  I hugged him with everything in me, so tight and didn't take for granted his big bear hug right back to me.  It was hard leaving him and my mom today.  But this is where faith comes that God will take care of them, bless them, and watch over them.  Dad is making some lifestyle changes and I know he can do it because he has my mom standing by his side.  My mom, who is the strongest woman I know.  God has so many more great plans in store for them!

I am emotionally and physically drained, but I could not feel more blessed.  When you are having a bad day, or upset because things aren't going your way, just stop and say a prayer of thanks.  Thank God for the health of your family, for all the people in your life that you love so much, for every single minute you get to spend with them.  Life is short, and I was reminded of that this weekend.  Take some time to tell the people in your life how much you love them.  I know that if I am talking to anyone in my family, in Matt's family, or any of my very good friends, I ALWAYS hang up the phone saying I love you!!  You don't know what tomorrow holds.  Thank God for today and all of your many blessings!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What I Do When I Get Sick...And Happy Mother's Day!!

Well, as luck would have it on the most beautiful weekend we've had (and the weekend we were supposed to drive to Shreveport to spend a couple of days with Clay and Katie), Matt and I are BOTH sick!  Actually he came down with it first and was then kind enough to pass is on to me.  A horrible sinus infection and bacterial infection...I got a steroid shot Friday morning and we both are on antibiotics as well as some pretty awesome cough syrup.  (I can only take it at night, because I become coherent once I swallow it!)  Needless to say, it's been a pretty 'lax weekend around here.

We've layed in bed, watched movies, had a lot of soup and ice cream for the throat, and frankly after almost two full days of that, this girl was going crazy!!  SO....Saturday I did a little online shopping.  Yes, DANGEROUS!!  Here are a few things I found. 

I ordered this adorable feather print scarf from Mason's (except in gray, black and lime green)

I have a good friend that lives outside of ATL and has been talking forever about this adorable store she goes to.  It's called the Blue Door Boutique in Columbus, GA.  Since I had so much time on my hands this weekend, I got online and scoped it out.  I bought this cute little number...everything is very reasonably priced. 

I decided I was getting out of the house Saturday afternoon, with a horrible sounding cough or not...I found this dress at Scarlet.

Scarlet had this adorable maxi dress too!  I am totally in love with these dresses right now and this one looked so cute on :)

And lastly, I loved this top...I got it in fuscia.  It's light weight and I thought it was perfect for just running around in.

After I got home from my only adventure out that afternoon, Matt and I decided to grill some burgers and curl up for another night of movies.  I have to admit that although I don't like being sick, we made the most of it and just enjoyed some time together. 

This morning, we were both feeling better and made it to early church and then Bible class.  It was a wonderful sermon about mothers on this very special Mother's Day.  I am sad that I couldn't be at home this year to celebrate with my fabulous mother, but know that I am blessed beyond belief with the mother that God gave me.

February 2011

June 2009 - Engagment party in Monroe

July 2008 in Destin, FL

July 2008 in Destin, FL

July 2009 at the farm

A little distorted...but May 2009 in VEGAS!

Spring of 2009 - just bought my wedding dress!!

(This makes me realize I have got to get my pictures of our trip to Italy scanned and put on here :)

Mom, I don't think I could ever find the words to tell you how much I love you and want to be JUST LIKE YOU!!  You have raised three amazing children with Dad, bringing us up in such a loving home, and most importantly a Christian home.  I thank God for the faith you built our house upon every day.   I can only pray that one day God will bless me to be as good of a mother to my children.  Thank you for being my best friend!!!  I love you!!!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Exciting News....

I meant to write this post last week, but was completely preoccupied with life.  I am very thrilled to announce that my handsome husband, who will soon be an RN, officially has a JOB!!!  He and I are both very excited and feel very blessed.  He was hired for this job a month and a half before graduating, which to me speaks volumes about how well he must be doing during clinicals at the hosptial.  He has accepted and will start right after graduation with a temporary license until he passes the NCLEX.  He will be working in the Oncology unit at Baptist Hospital (which I know will be hard, but Matt will do awesome), and he will be working DAYS!!  (This is a big deal to me...I didn't want to be spending nights alone, and the majority of  grads end up working nights because they are new, so we feel very fortunate.)

He hasn't confrmed his start date yet (since we are vacationing after graduation) but will hopefully be ready to roll as soon as we get back.  I AM SO PROUD OF YOU MATT FITZGERALD!! You have worked so hard to get here! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Little Bit of Lately

Wow...what a week!!  Here is a little catch up...I was supposed to fly to Dallas on Monday, but because of the storms three of us ended up making the four hour drive instead.  And all for a 24 hour meeting...seriously?!?  One good thing was that we got to watch the Texas Rangers play the Toronto Bluejays that evening.  I got back to Little Rock Tuesday night and was ready to sleep in my bed!

Thursday evening we went to the Symphony Designer House in Little Rock.  Every year they take a house and different designers are chosen to decorate a room, then it is shown to the public.  It's done to raise money for the symphony and there's always a great turnout.  Charla was chosen as one of the designers and not only did she get to design a room, but she was given the living room!!!  A huge honor!!  Matt and I had a great time!  Friday night (I was so glad this work week was over), Matt and I grilled out and had Heather and Greg over for burgers before he and I left to go to the James Taylor concert...which by the way was fantastic!!  I could have listened to James ALL NIGHT LONG!! 

Saturday didn't start out like I planned.  Our lawn mower crapped out on us this past week so our agenda for the day consisted of getting a new one.  Well, before leaving the house that morning, I walk in to turn on our computer and what do you know?!?  It's crashed!!  Nothing like dropping a grand before noon!!  Needless to say, I wasn't in the best mood!  I knew that a new computer was in our near future, but it would have been nice if the old one would have lasted just a liiitttlle bit longer.  After that mess, I headed to meet the girls for lunch at Pizza Cafe' (a glass of vino on the patio was in my near future.)  We are planning a Benefit for David's mom who has breast cancer and decided to get together last minute to discuss our details in planning.  Everything seems to be coming together nicely and I'm really looking forward to it!
Saturday night I decided that we needed to spend more money go out to dinner.  Matt and I met Kyndall at Bossa Nova for a fantastic dinner and then I spent the rest of the night curled up in bed with a magazine.   In case you all didn't know, I am most content when I am in bed (with the heating pad on my stomach...yes it's a disorder), reading a magazine, while my handsome husband watches SportCenter.  Some might say that I spend more money than the average American on US Weekly, People and In Style, but it's my guilty pleasure :))

Sunday we enjoyed a wonderful morning at church and Bible class and then randomly Matt and I decided to go to Texas Roadhouse for lunch.  I was a little hesitant, as it is a chain that I am not familiar with, but it turned out to be REALLY good.  This evening we went to the Fountain to celebrate Peter Webre's 28th birthday!!  Here is a glimpse of the cookie cake we had made for him.

Oh....good times!!!  Peter is a good friend and we were thrilled to be able to get a huge crew together to celebrate for a little bit.  I have to post a couple of pictures that made me smile tonight.

My very good friend Amanda sent me this picture of she and my sweet Emma Grace.  I love it because this is such an "Emma face" - the lip stuck out...she is checking this girl out!!  I love you Amanda for sending this to me!!!  If you can give some sweet kisses to my precious nieces while I am away, I appreciate it!!!

This picture is the screen saver on my phone!  Not only is Miss Brynlee the cutest thing in the world, but it makes me so excited for all the weekends we will be spending on the lake!!  (Love her new swimsuit Brandi... and Mom, have you bought the new pontoon yet!?!)  I love this sweet girl!!!  Matt and I are more than ready to be making MANY trips to NWA to spend on the lake this summer!!! 

One more thing...I am in the middle of planning Matt's big graduation shindig here in Little Rock and I am super excited about how the invites turned out.  A big THANK YOU to "By Invitation Only" for making these perfect!!! 

Oh, it's going to be a FABULOUS time!!!!  We are down to T-minus 46 days until