Friday, July 22, 2016

Planning a Wedding ~This Special Girl is Getting Married ~~Say Yes to the Dress

Congratulations to Logan and Ashley.
Earlier this spring, he popped the question.
And, she said Yes!

I had only been home from my trip for a day,
when we were out celebrating Ashley's dad's birthday.
And then, Ashley popped the question...
"Since you are my godmother, 
would you like to come dress shopping with us?"

I'm thinking, really?
You don't have to ask me twice...
I would be honored to come along.
After all, we were there the day after you were born.

Amy, Emily, and Ashley.
Sweet babies in 1991...Beautiful women in 2015.

Sooo...let me dry a tear, and get back to the subject here.
Since my hubby and Ashley's dad were best friends in college,
we have spent many holidays, birthdays and special occasions together.
Here we are on New Year's Eve.
Ashley's dog Kaia is even smiling!

Dress Shopping Day.
The MOB is driving and the Bride is riding shotgun.

Two of her bridesmaids met us at Brides and Belles.

I cannot show you our bride in any of the dresses,
as that would be bad luck.
But I do want you to know that she found 
The Perfect Dress!

Ashley, I was honored to be a part of your special day.


Take care,
~Natalie

Thursday, July 21, 2016

My Birthday Week Report ~It was a Milestone Birthday ~~My Family and Friends Spoil Me ~~~Some Thoughts on Aging

In June, I had a big birthday.
I had never given much thought to my birthday age before,
but this year, I was having a little trouble.

It wasn't so much about how I feel, but about how old I sound.
And if I think it sounds old, 
think about how it sounds to my high school students?!

Family and Friends Celebrated with me for a full week.
First, my Mother-in-Law treated me to a lunch.
She brought the beautifully wrapped gift to the restaurant...
inside the box, were these super sweet bowls.
They could make anyone happy!

Shortly after I got home from lunch, 
the FedEx driver rang the doorbell.

Carefully packed inside,
 was this very large vase...

and this HUGE bunch of Lilies.
At first, I was worried that they had gotten overheated,
but just you wait and see!

The next day, my standing coffee date with my longtime friend.
We taught FACS together in this district for 35 years.
Is this bag is just the perfect tote for me?!

And inside, this pretty card and little surprises.
Thank you, Lorie.

By my birthday, the bouquet looked fresh and full.
Thank you, Emily and Jake.

Hubby had been traveling for work early in the week.
When he came home, he brought a package of coffee.
Notice it is hand-crafted in South Dakota.
However, this gift was just a decoy.

Before dinner, he presented this package.

While out for my birthday dinner,
we ran into these good friends.

We enjoyed a quick bite and complementary birthday dessert.
How did Minervas know I love lemon?!

The next day I woke up...
Sixty plus a day.
I do believe that the anticipation
was far worse than the event.

Still celebrating...
we had dinner with these special friends.
One of my former students treated us to Red Velvet Cake.
Thank you, Brooke!

A lovely pashmina wrap came by mail.
Thank you, my friend, Debra.

Amy had tucked a package in my bag when I returned from my trip.
Thank you for the beautiful kitchen linens...too pretty to use?
Thank you, Amy and Nick.
Also beverage glasses from Elizabeth,
and the kitchen goodies from Lorie.
Thank you!

More useful kitchen goodies from Lorie and Kari.
Also, a generous Starbucks giftcard from my SIL.
(Sorry it doesn't show up on my photo)
Thank you, Lorie, Kari and Alan, and Stacy.

This is Day Six for the Lilies...
still beautiful.

And are you wondering what was 
in the package from my hubby?
A very special gift to celebrate this year...
our 35th wedding anniversay and 
my 60th birthday.
Thank you, honey.

I'm not going to lie...this aging thing is not for wimps.
everything seems to take far more effort than ever before.
It is important to eat right,
to exercise,
to get the right amount of sleep,
and to stay connected with family and frinds.

(After all, the alternative is way worse.)

Take care,
~Natalie

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dream Vacation ~The Full Story ~~And then, all of a sudden, it was time to say Goodbye

This was my ride home.

We left Croatia in the late afternoon.
There was a quick stop in Munich.

Our flight was slightly delayed,
which allowed us time for a refreshment...

and little more time to spend together.

Back in London, I stayed at a Holiday Inn 
that was adjacent to Heathrow. Amy and Nick had a two hour drive home, 
as they both had to work the next day.
I'm sharing this photo to show you how efficient the Europeans are.
Everything you need for your morning, right here in this shallow cabinet.

Ready.

My taxi driver brought me right up to the Queen's Terminal.

After checking in and checking my bag,
I had about an hour to visit the shops before looking for my gate.

Bye Bye, London...

Hello, Chicago.

Welcome home.

I will treasure the memories of this dream trip forever.
Thank you for following along.

Take care,
~Natalie

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dream Vacation ~The Full Story ~~Day Nine: Strolling the Waterfront and Lunch in Cavtat

While the population of Dubrovnik is just under 43,000,
the neighboring town of Cavtat is home to 2,000 people.
It is such a quaint little place to visit.

It is an easy stroll along the waterfront 
lined with specialty shops and restaurants.




We also explored the side street walkways.


HAPPYLAND...that's for sure!

Dubrovnik and Cavtat, both provided plenty 
of outdoor browsing of the local artists' handmade items.


I purchased a bracelet of Croatian Coral...
a sweet reminder of my trip.


Nick kept us on schedule...it was time to find a spot for lunch.

First we check out the menu and then check on Trip Advisor...


Click and visit their website...
That is a treat in itself!

My host and hostess, and the best tour guides.

Refreshing beverages...

and the local brew.

Amuse-bouche = one bite appetizers

Homemade Rolls

with two types of dipping oils...
Olive Oil and
Pumpkin Seed Oil

I could have made a meal on the bread and oil...
but we needed to order a lunch.
(I never did figure out how to read their prices)

My choice?
The Lobster Bisque

and the Spring Salad.


It was the absolute best ending to our weekend get-away...
...and my Dream Vacation.

Take care,
~Natalie