Saturday, July 8, 2017

Ellie Sue is 10.

 Let's talk about TEN YEARS OLD.  I figured if I am going to dive back into this blog thang, I need to have a special reason to do so.  And here it is... Ellie Sue is T.E.N.  Or will be on the 12th of this month anyway!  And I am so excited to "share" her with you since most of you have been here since the very day I found out she would be the sweet blessing to me and Todd that she has certainly turned out to be.

Let's chronicle her 10th birthday party, shall we?  Here's Cousin Madi.  She and Ellie call each other BFC's.  (Best Friend Cousins)  And... Staci drove all the way from Houston to Monroe (6ish hours) Wednesday night to drop her off so she could be here for Ellie's party, then turned right around and drove right back.
And THAT, my friends, is what I'd call a BFC!  And a BFS!

 Here we have Madi well protected with her sunscreen!
 Ellie decided she wanted to do a pool party this year.  One small detail, we don't have a pool!  haha
 Enter Daddy's golf club!  yaaaaay!!  We went down the road a bit and had it at Squire Creek.  Because it's about 30 minutes away, we also added on the invitation that we would take and pick up kiddos.  We had a major carload, truckload, and second carload with the summer sitter right behind us.
 I'm not sure how I feel about this double digit thing!!  I mean, look at her.  She really DOES look like a pre teen!!  (and some of you may have seen some of these pics on instagram..... if you are not my friend and wanna be... melaniemomom is my Insta name)
 So cute to hear all the old faithful games being played!
And naturally, we felt like a crown was fitting.  We added 10 candles made from washi tape. 
 And the last time I blogged, I was never able to get videos to play.  I doubt that anything has changed.  (But I betcha Jessi can help me.  Y'all remember Jessi?  That girl can do anything!)
 The above video had to attempted though, because Mr. Blue Shirt is her "boyfran".  Yes... I said that!  And you don't have to worry.  It's not really that big of a deal yet.  In fact, we saw him and his mom at a local restaurant, and Ellie refused to even acknowledge him or say "hi".  She was mortified when I walked over and introduced myself to his mama.
 I'm pretty glad about all that.  But here's something.... do YOU remember who YOU liked in the fifth grade?  I find it so interesting that the majority of people I've asked that (even though they are in their 40's) actually DO!  And don't even bump that up to the 6th or 7th grade!  The numbers go waaaay up!  Isn't that nuts?
 I guess "special" feelings are special feelings.  And my baby girl is growing up right in front of my very eyes.

Did you see how much I've grown too?  Look at that cake above... Ellie and her daddy made it! Ellie said she youtubed how to make a multi layer cake and wanted to make her own.  Remember I'm the psycho mom who does a Bohemian Style Show for my 6 year old?!  haha.  I like a gorgeous cake, perfect decorations, and pull out all the stops to create a theme of all themes.
 She is definitely my independent spirit!  I liked this pic, cause it totally sums up her personality.

( At some point, I am going to do a few posts on strengths finder 2.0 which has become quite an obsession for me.  All that I was talking about above, with my needing to have things "perfect:" at parties is a by product of my strength of #maximizer.  Ellie's fifth strength is #command.  It is a leadership strength, and can tend to have a bit of a bossy streak until it matures.  I know, I know... that is shocking to so many of you who know her.  (I wish I could add a laugh face emoji here!) )

 Ellie typically has a really poor showing at her party, because it is a busy ball tournament, vacation going, camp attending time of year! This year was an exception.  She had a whole bunch of friends show up!  And she was downright thrilled!
 Todd is thinking, "I'm watching you, boy.  I am watching you!!"  hahaha

 Gabster has a month until she also has a birthday.  She'll be nine.

 Look at all these sweeties.  So polite and kind.  and wild and loud.  but mainly, all very good buddies.

 This is sweet Parker.  He has such nice manners and is very conscientious with his manners.  sweet boy.

 Dad sitting in the shade.  Probably wondering how many more of these girl parties he'll have to attend heretofore.  Well, I'll tell ya... It dawned on my recently that I probably have another 6 0r 7 summers with my girls.  At least only that many more where they'll be under my roof, wanting to take vacations with mom and dad, and letting us throw them annual birthday parties.  For that reason, I have really made it a point in the last two summers to spend as much time as I possibly can with my girlies.  I recall a similar summer 12 years ago when we had a limited amount of time to spend with a little boy, and we came to the beach twice and DisneyWorld twice, and I have never regretted the sacrifices made to see to it that that happened.  I know I'll never regret the sacrifices made now for my baby girls neither.  That's really what life is about!
 All in all we had a very successful tenth birthday party!  I was happy there was such a great showing from her friends.  I had a glimpse into what the boy/ girl thing might look like in a few years as they all go to junior high and high school.  (I also have #futuristic in my top five strengths, so it is natural for me to visualize the future as though it has already occurred.)
I love, love my girl.  And I am excited about the idea that I am back in action on this blog.  Hope you are still here and don't mind me sharing a #grovesgirls story from time to time .  (Or daily if I get crazy!)

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tucson 2017

Oh my gosh!!  Have I really not updated the blog since October?  Can you say Looooserrrr?  Sorry.  If it weren't for Cheryl emailing me and calling me out I wouldn't be back on here tonight.  As it is... I am, and I thought I'd share a few pics from my most recent adventure... Tucson Gem and Mineral show.  
 I snapped a pic of the mountains as I came into town, because, well, we don't have those in Louisiana!  And I am kind of mesmerized by them!

I ended up going on this trip alone.  I put out a call for anyone interested in traveling with me, and I even had the hotel and rental car covered.  Alas... no takers!  But the pull was STRONG, so I just went alone.
 I get asked, "Oh, are you going to your little bead show?" often.  And it drives me NUTS.
A. it is not little.  It is HUGE!! Like an entire city is consumed with more than 30 shows huge.
and B.  It is way more than beads!
 Since I realize that is what everyone thinks of the show, I decided to not only do a few Facebook live videos so you could vicariously shop with me, but I also took some pics.
I have sort of been into some weird things lately.  Like I am digging more "earthy" things.  LOVED all the natural, uncut stones and fossils, and well... even these...
 And so, I bought a set.  I bought the smaller set, but Todd still thought I'd lost my mind as he was looking on when I opened all my wares as they arrived in boxes via the postal service.
 I think these will make the coolest displays!
 The above are trilobites and all sorts of castings from archeological digs.  and below is coral and something else?
 Thee are all actual fossils from digs.  Would these be cool on a mantle or what?  Next year, I'm thinking I am getting together a girls' road trip and we are renting an RV to haul stuff back in.
 And just as soon as you see fossils, you turn the corner and see all these colorful bags and dresses and scarves and awesomeness.
 and then you realize that you are one of the only people at the show who doesn't have what looks to be a poor little mutt on a leash, dreadlocks and smell like a goat, not to mention, you have a Vera Bradley backpack on, so you stand out like a BIG Bright thumb...and you think... hey!  I'll get a cool headband and wear it like a bohemian so they'll think you belong there.  Yes.  Blend in, Mel!  "Smile and wave, boys.  Smile and wave." (Who can name the movie that quote came from?)
 Check out this Yak wool.  Do YOU have a yak wool blanket?  Then don't judge.
 And all these needlecelted and hand-stitched scarves!  I mean, I was dying!
 Moving right along... I'm pretty sure this is pyrite in the rough.  Whatever it is, I find it miraculous that right amidst the supportive chunk of rock, a perfectly cubic mineral is growing.  That fascinates me and I can't help but think that God was thinking, "Hey, I'll jack with them.  When they think there's nothing in there, I'll surprise them with a golden, perfectly angled stone."
 And these quartz crystals.  I bought several year before last, so I really tried to restrain myself this year.  But it was hard.
 Just absolutely piles of cool stuff everywhere.  When you get back to the hotel at night, you need a serious scrubbing.  Arizona is apparently not known for it's beautiful green landscaping!  In fact, there is no grass.  Just lots of dirt.  and it gets all stirred up when all these people are all in one place shopping.  And so... my nose.  My mouth.  My hands.   UGH!!
 Turquoise.... my FAVORITE!!
 I was Facebook live-ing when someone asked me if I could pick up a dinosaur bone because his son had put it on his vision board.  Well..... I am a sucker for fulfilling a vision board wish, so I had to go on a HUNT for dino relics.  I ended up with a Megaladon tooth and a Spinosaurus tooth.  I think he will be JAZZED!  AND... the best part is that he'll believe in the process of vision boarding... which by the way, has become one of my most recent obsessions!  (I'm hosting a class with Erin Love on it at my studio on February 25th!  Sign up at
 This booth had buckets of water with all kinds of minerals in them.
 There were stones and minerals from Peru.
 As well as just about anywhere else in the world one can imagine.
 These would make a most interesting coffee table piece!
 This dude finds turquoise in the rough, then has a unique technique for mining it and turning it into artwork.
 This bull is made of turquoise, lapis, and looks like a red jasper.
 And omega what I would do to have one of these turquoise tables.  ($$$$!!!! so it will never happen)
And that concludes tonight's tour.  I'll do my best to be back tomorrow to continue with pics from the trip.  Cheryl (tell me again who you are... as in from where and what's your last name?), I'm glad you called me out.  I needed to get back over here to the ol' blogola! I've missed my peeps.  

Hope you are enjoying the play by play.  Leave a comment and say hi! 


Monday, October 3, 2016

John Maxwell event. Day 2.

Yep.  Melanie's 47th birthday fell smack in the middle of my work week in Orlando this year. But never fear... I had fun friends there prepared to celebrate with me!
And I'm telling ya... when I am there, it is different than it was a  couple of years ago for me.  IN a good way.  I pretty much am meeting people, painting, shaking hands, and painting some more.  And that is just how I like it!
See that chick in the middle above?  She is a West Monroe native!  How bout that?!  And she joined the John Maxwell Team this year.  I didn't even know she was going to be there.  She is also coming to my 11/11 event, The Seed!
I get a little bored from time to time.
This is just before we started painting for John himself!
and if I'm being perfectly honest, I have no earthly idea what I am holding here.
These are a couple of my faves!  John and Wendy Taylor of Birmingham.  Brian and I had the honor of going to work with their company on strengths-based teamwork, in July.  And Wendy is also coming to the Seed in a few weeks!
More completed projects.
Did I happen to mention that John Maxwell was approached by a third party to run in the presidential campaign this year?  He took two weeks to really contemplate his answer.  He decided it just wasn't the year for him.  However, he just may consider it in 2020~!  We can hope anyway!  I painted this while he was telling us the story of his nomination. In fact, I have them for sale on my website.  ( I think they'll make good collectors' items someday!
Looks like we are getting ready to start back up again!
I LOVE my little work station.
Much later that evening, a group of ladies gathered to discuss forming a faith-based group of female leaders/ speakers to tour together.  I was honored to have been invited to these preliminary talks.
Paul Martinelli was getting the energy UP!  See me up there in that apron?!

(I've lost my cute orange glasses!  And I need to find them!!)
This girl right here is the reason I can keep my sanity while I'm there in the midst of very quick pace and lots of demands from lots of people.  She is about as chill a person as I know.  And she gets my brand of crazy!  She just tells me straight up when it is time for me to "stop", "shut up", or "give it a break".  Only Jessi can talk to me the way she does and get away with it.  I know she loves me and it is always for my own good!
More completed paintings.

And would you BELIEVE that one of my interpreters from Paraguay in February was actually in Orlando getting his certification to be a JMT coach?!  That is Cray Cray.  He came right up and recognized me right off.

A couple more commissions.  I love doing these for people.  Her son was about to go through a life-changing, somewhat experimental surgery on his eyes, and she got that "Everything worthwhile is Uphill" for him.  I loved doing it for him.
Until tomorrow.