1.) The reason I went home (and was able to get there!) was because one of my best dear friends Marivy was getting married. She and her now hubby Bryan got engaged in July right before Jonathan and I left for the Bahamas for MERP. We were so blessed to get to be a part of the engagement festivities, but were so sad that, even though Marivy had asked me to be a bridesmaid, we weren't going to be able to make it to the wedding. Living on student loans and little bits of extraneous income that I make with my business and other things just doesn't leave a whole lot of extra room financially. When we were home on break in December, Bryan called me up and, in a nutshell, said, "Rachel, I really want you to be there. And I know Marivy does too. It would mean a lot to both of us for you to be a part of the wedding. Whatever it's gonna cost me, I don't care. I want you here. And I want it to be a surprise for Marivy!". Did you get goosebumps?? Cuz I did! I was completely floored and words can't express how grateful I am to him for being so generous! So I figured out the dress situation and got a flight situated kind of at the last minute and flew my little tail back to the states to be a part of all the fun. She was TOTALLY surprised (good job keeping the secret Bryan!). When I walked in, Marivy just looked at me kinda weird and then burst into tears. She said "I don't even care if everything goes wrong now...you're here!" She said when she first saw me she was like "Wow, that's Rachel. Oh my gosh, she's not supposed to be here! Wait...she's here for the wedding! And...she's gonna be a bridesmaid!!!!". After the initial shock wore off she was worried about my dress...and I already had it. Then she was worried about my flowers...Bryan had taken care of it. It was all done and she was so happy! It just blessed my heart and I'm so glad I got to be a part of her special day. Look how gorgeous she was!!
Such a gorgeous bride right!! Her jewelry and hair piece are from A Different Kind of Flair (that's my small business). She knew that was coming because she and I were coordinating on exactly what she wanted. She even had made the comment that she was happy we were doing the jewelry because "it would be like I was there in spirit". Ha! But I was there for real!!! She just makes it shine, doesn't she?? So beautiful.
2.) After the wedding, the happy couple hit the road for a mini-moon in Austin. So I went over to Sara and Jared's house for the rest of the weekend to soak me up some Henderson time! It was SO wonderful to get to spend time with them. Emma is coming up on 5 months old already...where has the time gone?? She is just so gorgeous and she totally took to me! The first time I picked her up she just started smiling and babbling and touching my face. It was almost like she was trying to give me an update on everything that had happened while I'd been gone! She's nearly 3 times as big as she was when I saw her in December (she was only 6 pounds and 4 weeks old then!) and she's already eating rice cereal from a spoon! Such a big girl! But I got to love on her, spend some awesome time with my Sara just talking and shopping, hang out with Jared and shoot the breeze (and help him babysit!), and worship at my favorite spot...UBC! I left Houston with my cup overflowing for sure! Look how precious my little Emma Bug is!
That baby looks more like her daddy every day. Having known Jared for close to half my life, sometimes it's a little strange to hold a baby that is, like my mom says, "Jared in drag". She even scrunches her face up to sneeze just like he does! But she's got Sara's personality. She even sings too!! So stinkin' cute it's ridiculous...
3.) Back to OKC I went. Had some medical tests run and all in all, got really good and promising results. Made me feel like there's still some hope out there! It was all an answered prayer since I've been basically "misdiagnosed" for almost 3 years now. Now we have an answer and it's fixable and we're very happy! Then, as if I could contain any more baby lovin', one of my best friends Rachel told me she's pregnant too!!!! Oh so excited for her and Matt. And I was so excited to get to see ultrasound pics and everything. I told her that I'm only very rarely wrong on my gender predictions, but this time around I hope I'm wrong. They have just about the cutest baby boy name I've ever heard picked out and I LOVE it! I won't reveal it here, but suffice to say if that all comes to fruition that baby is gonna get some serious monogram action from Auntie Rachel! THEN (again...can my heart be any more baby filled?), another of my best friends Angie introduced me to the latest and greatest addition to their family! 4 week old Cayden Allen Riggs. What a beautiful baby boy! I got to love on him a lot and he's such an easy going baby. Just like his momma in that way! I can't tell who he looks like yet, but he's got his momma's cute little nose for sure. During our Trunk Show (which I'll fill you in on later) I just had to get my hands on that little snuggle monkey. So Cayden and I snuggled on the couch for an hour while Mommy and MiMi shopped at A Different Kind of Flair. Heaven I tell ya!
Babies, babies, babies! And can you believe it...there's one more! My little sister Amanda gave birth to her first baby Carolyn Ruth Estes last Thursday March 28th at 6:33 PM. She's named after my Gammy! We are so very excited and Carolyn is such a beautiful baby. She didn't get much of her mommy, though, that I can tell. She's got her daddy's curly hair, long legs, long feet, and pouty lips. Very pretty! Amanda's husband James is deployed in Afghanistan right now, but he's due back at the end of this month when he'll get to meet his daughter for the first time. I'm certain that will be a happy happy day! But I'm also certain that even though he's overseas, baby Carolyn already has him wrapped around her little finger! My mom was with Amanda for several weeks leading up to delivery, she then passed the torch to my dad and Gammy (they're there now), and then my mom will be back for a long weekend, and the James will be home. Very exciting changes and additions to our growing little family! Check out this gorgeous little girl...
My daddy and his first grand baby
My Gammy and her first great grand baby...named after her!
My favorite picture of baby Carolyn...look at those beautiful lips!
4.) Last but not least, last weekend was quite eventful. First, we found out some awesome news about the official end of Bernice's treatment. She is officially CANCER FREE!!! Oh we are so excited!! There are a few more steps to round out her treatment plan, but we can officially say she's in remission. Praise God for that blessing!! After hearing that great news, we moved on to our ADKOF Trunk Show. Which, I have to say, was the most successful trunk show we've ever done. We had an AWESOME turn out and sold MOST of our items! It was amazing! And, as always, we are so happy when people we love end up with the pieces we love. It really does bless our hearts! So we launched our new website www.ADifferentKindofFlair.com, and celebrated with a Trunk Show. And it was a great success. Check out some of the pictures from it!
So all in all, it was quite an eventful three and a half weeks home. I barely had a chance to stand still for a minute. My poor hubby missed me and I missed him. It was really too long for us to be apart! After 8 years of being together, that was the longest we had ever been apart. That last week was really tough without him! I was so happy to get back here to Dominica to be with him!
I'm finally getting back into a routine, but I will say that it didn't take long before my hectic schedule filled right back up! I've been busy ever since I got back!! Jonathan and I moved into a new apartment. I loving refer to it as "The Treehouse" because that's what it looks like. I'll be posting pictures and maybe even a video soon. I hope everyone had a blessed Easter Weekend too. He is Risen!!