Monday, June 29, 2015

29 things on the 29th! in honor of the bday king himself!

images by ali harper 

the twenty-nineth of june is always one of my favorite days because its the day we extra celebrate that dad of mine and his birthday! and there sure is a whole lot about him that i could say! so here are a few [or twenty-nine]  that came to mind ever so easily. facts, mems, special moments. lets seeeeee!!

1. he is left handed
2. he is one of seven [third oldest]
3. he used to tell me he would pay me $5 if i wore jeans, because i never wore them. i made zero dollars.
4. on christmas eve after we are all in bed and santa has come, he will walk around jingling bells and singing ho, ho, ho
5. i did a first look with him on austin and my wedding day. he wanted my dress to be a complete surprise to him too! even when the dress was kept in my parents hotel room a couple days before the wedding he would make sure to shield his eyes from it
6. him and my mom, their marriage and our childhood are what have always made me be such a believer in love and marriage and wanting to have a family 
7. he is a total manomet man [his bathrobe says so!] when they built the outdoor shower at our beach house, he made sure the door was juuust tall enough so he could still look over and see the water at low tide.
8. we have collected sea glass forever. and if you find white, green, brown and blue, it's call a grand slam, says us.
9. he is so good with words. and speeches. and letters. and, and, and!
10. when he sends me emails, he usually makes sure to include a picture, because he knows i love my pictures :)
11. on bri and my birthday every year he would come home with a bouquet of red roses. and when college came and we were away at school, he still would never miss a bday.  except now that i'm a married lady, he has handed that torch off to my husband, who is carrying it just fine :) 
12. i would wave to him from my window every morning as he left for work. from around my middle school days right on through high school. i never missed it. he would always stop right in front of my window and there i would be! sleepy but making darn sure i was there to wave goodbye
13. on those sunday mornings where i reaaally struggled waking up for church, he would come in my room, turn my radio to AM and find the worrrst, most annoying station, which then forced me up and out of bed. cleeeever!
14. he is a big cheers-ing guy. austin noticed that one! and now he has become one too. cheers! 
15. on all beach walks, when we finally reach the point where we decide to turn around and head home, we will stand on the jetty,  flap our arms as we face 4 directions [front, side, back, side] and jump off.  ha! austin has had to partake in this as well ;)
16. he is the best, best guy to have by your side to guide you through this life of ours. in so many different aspects. one being the working, grown up world
17. when austin called him and asked for my hand in marriage, he said yes ;)
18. he likes to keep chocolate chip cookies in the freezer
19. we are the only two in our family who love miracle whip. team miracle whip vs team hellmans 
20. he alway gives you the best seat at any table to take in the view. your seat over his any day :)
21. on our annual thanksgiving walk, he always has everyone pause for one minute of complete silence to give thanks for so much.
22. aaand, actually. at our wedding, when he made his speech, he had everyone be quite for 15 seconds so we could take it all in, that was one of my most favorite moments of the whole beautiful night
23. he likes the red sox and patriots. so i like the red sox and patriots. and while i can't really name the players, whatever!  go team!
24. he is reaaaally crafty [from his manomet signs to rock balancing to his bluff bar eeetc!]
25. he was always a team player when it came to birthday parties growing up! both my sister and i had mystery bday parties that involved him having to be the dead man in the bathtub. ha! or the time i had all my little girlfriends over for a tea party and my parents were the maid and butler, which i'm sure was juuust how he wanted to spend his saturday. catering to 12 seven year olds ;)
26. his advice. and his words of wisdom. golden!!
27. he loves a good plan! and making dinner recommendations.
28. his memorable emails. i have one saved from last year, where he came up with 10 reasons for me, chelsea coleen, to be happy :)
29. how i got to spend my last final moments as a single gal with the first guy i loved :)

so! happy birthday to you my dearest dad! you are soo, sooo loved! and i am just the proudest girl  to be yours. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

before charlie, there was a duncan!



gosh they are cute! so yes! before there was a charlie there lived a duncan! our childhood portuguese water puppy. who lived fourteen years before making his entrance into doggie heaven. these puppies and thiiis breed!!! you fall in love. i did. and when we lost duncan, ugh. it still makes me sad. we missed him sooo much. so much! and so eventually my heart [and persistence] led me to charlie! and when i saw his white little paws just like duncan and his similar personality, oh it was love! there are so many things charlie will do that remind me of duncan! flashbacks constantly. and i love that. i love how they both get so excited when we come home. even if we just ran outside reeeeal quick, or how they get these random burst of energy and run back and forth playing with themselves, and how you are never alone because they follow your every move [for better or worse] etc etc! 

but they are different too! and discovering those differences is fun too :) for a water puppy duncan didnt really like the water too much! [but manomet beach! beach he liked, with his umbrella and shade] while charlie, he loves the water so much and doggy paddling his way all around. and when it comes to cuddling! duncan wasn't the biggest cuddlier, i think because he slept downstairs when we were growing up, but charlie, he is the worlds biggest puppy cuddlier and we more than welcome that around these parts.  so similar and different those two. and i love them just the same. so all this to say! today would have been duncans birthday! dates likes these are ingrained into my brain. we are thinking about you sweet puppy!! and missing you! but charlie is sure keeping you memory alive every single day! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

australia for the win!

i went to college with some really really beautifully sweet hilarious loving people. i married one of them! my most handsome of a college boyfriend. but also! i was lucky to have found some really great girlfriends who made such a big impression on my heart. i lived in a big, big house with five other girls for four years and it was soooo glorious. because sometimes that happens! sometimes girls, can live in one house in peace! and love! and happiness! if you're really, really lucky, and we were. and when you live with people for so long, you know them. you just really, really know them. and they know you. which is soo important. gosh, the most important. and i could write love letters to all of them, but this one in particular is just to say the biggest i-am-so-proud-of-you/congratulations/australia-is-so-lucky to one of my dearest loves [old roommates. bridesmaids. bffs],  andi. because a couple of  months ago she took the biggest leap of faith and moved from michigan to australia. i mean, what!! i tried my very best to convince her to move to georgia but!! it is really hard to compete with warm weather year round and oh yes, those once in a lifetime - you will regret it if you don't go - opportunities. and that was exactly what she was given. given and really, really earned.

and so while my heart was feeling a little bit sad and selfish knowing she would be leaving me and my america, the rest of me [the better part of me ;)] has been sooo excited for her adventures and to get to hear about every single one, every step of the way. i've know andi for mayyybe 10 years. we lived in our beloved tuscaloosa home for years and lived right across the hall from each other. i could yell from my bed and have conversations with her in hers if we just could not make it a few steps across the hall. we shared the same bathroom and became pros at mastering the one hot water knob and the one cold water knob and creating bathroom memorials for the geckos that just did not make it to see another day. we shared obsessive loves over chunky babies and inflatable pools, and serious faces. [and nicknames! in fact, she took what i would call austin [austonian] and shortened it one day to stone and hey! eight years later and it still slips on out of my mouth without even thinking!] and well, obviously a million more memories graced our lives during that time. soooooo many. and we love remincing, we can do it

for my birthday this year she had sent me a whole box of fun things [because birthdays! she is sooo good at birthdays. and cakes] - but my most favorite was this little book with 50 things about me by her. i made one for austin a couple of years ago year, and so it was already right up my sentimental alley. and the things she wrote! just perfect. it prompts you to fill in the blank which had me laughing. and tearing up. and laughing again. and just left me with a really happy heart [likeee "i wish i knew you when" you learned to drive or "i love how you" get wired on coffee everyday] or ["i love how you" want to make people feel special during big moments in their lives, "i love how you" love cheese! and the small things in life"]  she gets me and my heart. the good the bad and the ugly! and vice versa. i can say it a million times until i'm blue in the face, but friends like that, they are soo golden. golden and glittery and so sparkly and special.

and well, i just think australia is sooo lucky to have one of my best friends on its side of the beautiful world. because us people in america are really missing her. but ooh! we are so proud! and i am right there with her in spirit, constantly asking what time it is, screaming in fear when she drives on the.other.side.of.the.road [!!!] and asking for pictures of kolas and kanagas and if she has watched the movie i sent her and really just all about her mates and all the important stuff i can no longer yell across the hall anymore

so all of these words and feelings and sentiments [because this is meee of course]  just to say, my dear, andi!!! we are sooo proud of you. and love you, all da way from our tuscaloosa mansion to down unda! [and please be careful driving . eeeeek. xooxox!!]

and because your reaction is one of my favorites - thanks for cheering stone and i on back in september - we are cheering you on toooooo, mate! :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

sweet wish turns twenty-four!

....and our lives have been sooo blessed by every one of her twenty-four years on this big big earth. she is my main girl and i really do think the world of her. of both my siblings. [really truly, obsessively so] but yes. she embodies so much goodness. her heart. her way of thinking and living and the genuine kindness that just pores out of her. she makes me want to be a better person. and i think that's really neat. this little beauty, five years younger than me, and she makes me want to grow and be more like her. she's smart. and creative in so many ways. right down to the maid of honor speech she made at our wedding, it was undeniably perfect.  she is an incredible friend to so many [and to me!] she gets people, she connects to them so well. shes outgoing and brave and silly and laid back and the most fun person to go out with and really the sweetest wish queen of america. 'sweet wish' is a name my family has  called her forever. my mom would always sing to her "a dream is a wish your heart makes" from cinderella before bed every night and whisper good night sweet wish :))  and the name [and the many versions we add on] just sticks so well!  we love you wishy! happy twenty-fourth birthday to you my beautiful sister and best friend, thanks for loving me through all my older sister tendencies ;) the world is such a happier place because of you.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

8 years!


+ 8 years = 

photos by ali harper

once upon the university of alabama campus lived a twenty-one year old me and a twenty-one year old austin and on a june fourth evening, that boy asked this girl to be his girlfriend. shyly, sweetly, really cutely. do guys still ask that? i sure hope so. and so, it began! dating dating, dating, life, baseballness, growing  up x eight  years  and hey! june fourth, you are back once again! and this year, we have a secret. we are husband and wife;) and so can we still celebrate such an anniversary? celebrate the memories of one night that was so very sweet and innocent and exciting and will forever be ingrained in this memory of mine?  i hope so!! and we will, because milestones! the big and little and all in between, they are what make me tick. [and funny enough, i didn't mention any of this to austin  i was scheming up my own plans for us when he told me this morning happy 8 years! and that he had made din reservations somewhere ha. i loooove it so.] cheers to 8 years of dating to my forever boyfriend!

and for reminiscing purposes ;)

Monday, June 1, 2015

MDW twenty-fifteen

long weekends! they are just sooo good for my soul! austin birthday this year fell on memorial weekend so we had so many reasons to celebrate. and gosh. we really did. a lot. we were quite the tiiired little fam for a couple days after. we spent the weekend at austin's aunt and uncles lake house on lake logan martin [just like last year!] i love getting to escape there, with all of our favorite people. and puppies! watching charlie in that water makes my heart so happy. i love his love for the water. granted he's a water dog, but you know, that love of the water isn't always so strong! we grew up with our own portugeese water puppy and he was sort of ehhh water, whatever.  but charlie! he is a little fishy and i love it so. last year he finally got brave and jumped off the dock, except it was a very slow flop-fall into the water. ha. but this year! he was full dock jumping. and it was so just fun to watch. and we made sure to celebrate the birthday boy on that saturday with lots of love and lake time and and ice-cream rice crispy cake [because.... family traditions, they run deep in me ;)]  and it was just a reallly good one for the oleeee record books of memorial day + birthday celebratin' 

Friday, May 22, 2015

happy birthday husband!

happy twenty-ninth birthday to you austin parker! my husband! how neat. and crazy! and just so. many. memories.  we've been celebrating birthdays together since we were twenty-one! babies! gosh. and how fun to have so many captured right here.  from year 25, to when i flew to PA to celebrate with you during the crazy baseball season - to year 26, when i drove to charlotte for.... more baseball! [tis the season] and filled the hotel room with balloons - to year 27, when we celebrated in atlanta! for the first time! life post baseball - outside on your deck with our new little puppy! - to last year! year 28, as my fiance! in our first apartment together, dreamin up our wedding. all those twists and turns and it all lead us to here! year 29! you as my husband and me as your wife in our very first home! its been a fun ride, and hey! this growing up thing isn't so bad ;) i look forward to celebrating so many more birthdays with you and all the life things along the way. happy birthday to you, my forever crush. boyfriend. fiance. husband.  best friend. you are so loved and i am so happy you were born.   thanks for loving me so, and changing my last name.