Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras, Part III

Aside from Layne and the gimp knee accident, Sunday was a wonderful day. It was chilly, but it was so nice to be home with everyone for the day. It was the first time we've seen my family since the wedding, and I was excited to have some quality time with people. We were exhausted by the time we got done with work yesterday, but it was definitely worth it. I know my Mom is probably sitting in the kitchen with the Rex coronation ball on TV- wish I was with you!
Happy Mardi Gras 2009! Looking forward to the next one...

Part II

After we left Reece's game, Layne, Stephen and I headed over to Terrell, Texas. Stephen called a game at Southwest Christian College. I'm so busted for posting these pictures, but I know all of you wish you could be up here to see him- this is as good as I could get!

It was... how should I put this... interesting. Let me paint the picture: Stephen referred two colleges whose teams were all African American. There were no white boys playing ball on Saturday. The other two referees were also black. There was one white girl on the visiting women's team that had the first game and her mother, and then there was Layne and I, the only two Caucasian fans in the stands. There we are, Layne with the day's paper and me with a book. Do you think everyone knew who we were there to watch?
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Our Wild Weekend, Part I

We ran a road trip marathon this weekend, that started off with an 11am kick off in Celina, Texas. To be honest, I didn't really see much of the game. The wind was whipping my hair around, and I was trying to play footsie with Christine to stay warm. We really enjoyed being at Reece's game again though, and are excited about the ever expanding fan club. Mr. Wayne and Mrs. Carmen are in town this week, so we'll have a better crowd to keep warm with!

I thought these pics were so cute, I just had to share them.

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Our Furniture Upgrades

Here you go... the newest additions to our home!
The couch is really deep- Layne and I can comfortably lay on it together. It reminds me of Ben and Jess' old couch, and Adam's couch too. Both were notorious for knocking people out in 15 minutes. I haven't decided if that is a positive feature or not.
Below is my desk, with all my LSU  paraphernalia on the wall.
And this is Layne's new desk, with all the Aggie gear on the wall. See the corner section? It provides some serious leg room.
We just got the computer all hooked up, and are starting to organize all the paperwork in our life. Hopefully, this will help me deal with the clutter I'm so prone to letting build up in the office. I'll let you know how that goes.
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Knee Update

Layne went to the doctor yesterday, and so far, so good. No broken bones, which is a plus. The swelling is concerning to the doctor, so Layne has an MRI scheduled for tomorrow morning. His next appointment with the doc is at the end of next week. Until then, my husband will be spending some quality time on the couch icing his knee down in the evenings... how convenient that the new couch was delivered on Saturday!

I've got to give Layne props for being a wonderful patient. Despite his pain and the frustration that comes with the knee injury, he's in good spirits. I'll keep everyone posted...

Monday, February 23, 2009

What a Monday...

1. We're back from New Orleans. Our 36 hour pit stop was everything I hoped/needed it to be... and then some.

2. The "and then some" isn't so great. One of Layne's knees is 1.5x larger than the other right now. A guy bumped into him, and Layne went flying down the stairs.

3. Getting through the work day today isn't going to be a problem. Getting everything done I need to might be though.

4. Since I'm playing the role of Florence Nightingale, I can't be Emeril too. Pei Wei for dinner. Easy decision.

5. I hope Layne survives the day at home. He decided not to go into work, which is a good thing since driving could be difficult. I can imagine the phone call now... "Honey, I've fallen and can't get up."

... Good thing the office is only minutes from the house.

Friday, February 20, 2009


In the spirit of the season, I thought I would share a picture of the other little bit who has stolen my heart- Grace. Grace is the youngest in a long line of Reynolds grandchildren, and I love that the two of us start and end the line. Grace was an answer to our prayers- we waited a long time her to get here... but man, was it worth it.
Apparently, she had a little Mardi Gras parade at school this week. Her outfit is too cute- I bet she makes Aunt Candy (my Mom) proud.
I missed Mardi Gras last year, and you can probably tell I've been having withdrawals. Tomorrow we get on the road for Pardi Gras '09... the year G-Baby officially turns 21. (Unofficially, he's been 21 for quite some time).
Grace- can I borrow your shirt for Sunday?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our Shopping Spree

After the soccer game this weekend, Layne asked if I wanted to drop by Bassett and see Brina at work. I didn't think anything of it at the time, so I agreed and off we went. As we were pulling into the parking lot though, it dawned on me. I asked Layne if we were just there to visit Brina, or if he was planning on furniture shopping as well. All I got back was a "Mwah Ha Ha Ha Ha."

That was on Saturday. By 5pm on Sunday, we had officially loaded up on all of our furniture needs. First, Brina found a rug for us for our front entrance to the house. It's round, very traditional, and looks great in the space. It definitely needed something. The rug is originally $500, but we walked away with it for $50. It was a steal, like everything else we walked away with.

We got new bar stools for our island too. Our island is a great feature in the house, but the chairs we had weren't working for us. We really wanted swivel chairs, because we're constantly looking behind us into the living room when sitting at the island. So while we were at Bassett, we found these great chairs in Clearance. Brina's store is the clearance center for the entire state of Texas, so we really are spoiled. We'll probably end up changing the fabric on the stools so that they tie in better with our breakfast nook, but that's an easy project we're looking forward to.

We've been without a bed for weeks now. We were rushing to pack and get out of town, threw luggage on the bed and crack... that was it. Neither of us have been sleeping well, and after my last trip to Colorado, it was too much. When I got back, Layne informed me he slept too good without me to continue in the queen any longer. So we found a great deal on a California King in the Clearance center, that is actually still on the floor. We had to spend an extra $100 on missing parts, but it was such a bargain. Brina helped us out with a mattress too. We lucked out.

Layne found a couch that fits him, which is no easy task. It's long, it's deep, it's extremely comfortable. The brown leather is going to look good in the living room, and we're all excited about getting it to the house. While this wasn't a "need" in our life right now, we were able to get the sofa at cost, and Layne didn't want to walk away from this opportunity. Happy Valentine's Day Husband!

And last but not least... we got office furniture. The line we selected is modular, so you can pick and choose the pieces you want to put together. The main reason we chose this line was because of the flexibility for leg room for Layne. Desk shopping is a problem for Long Legs... let's be honest, all shopping is a problem for Long Legs... so we were extremely excited to have found something that fits the space we have to work with and allows Layne to fully extend his legs. We have my old kitchen table in there right now, and it just wasn't working out for us.

The furniture isn't coming this weekend due to our mini vacay to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but hopefully we'll have it all in place the following weekend. And as it just so happens, my furniture is still going to go to good use. See, my little sister and her fiancee just moved into their new home this weekend. They don't have all the furniture they could use yet, so the couch, table, island, and six chairs are going to make their way back down to Louisiana for the future Mr. and Mrs. Donnelly to use at their new place. Abby was with me when I picked out my furniture, so I'm glad it's going to good use. The table is a great project table, and the island will be perfect for storage. I can't wait to see it all at their new home.

Last night, Brina and I used our Macy's gift cards to buy new linens for our master bed and Granny's bed in the guest room. I couldn't have been happier with our selections, and I know Granny is smiling at my Macy's purchases for her bed. Aunt Ellie even called me while I was walking around Macy's- she was on her way there herself. I took it as a sign we were making the right decisions.... hehe.

We're excited that the house is starting to come together, and we're enjoying putting the finishing touches together. I'm loving the "nesting" phase we're in right now.

Random Note: Last night I got home, and Stephen was in the kitchen cooking dinner. I've got to give S.O. props- he was making hush puppies. (He and Layne were super excited to use the mini fryer Mrs. Holly gave us at our wedding shower.) They were delicious. Our grandparents (on both sides of the family tree) would have been so proud.

Only 4 more days till we're back home... and 5 till we're on the avenue. It's Carnival time! Can't wait to see everyone on the Avenue!

Monday, February 16, 2009

No David Beckham

She's no David Beckham, but you wouldn't know by the number of her fans! That's right- my niece Reece is playing soccer. On Saturday, Uncle Layne and I made our way up north to spend the day with the Maywalds and see Reece star in her very first soccer game. Her team is the Lightning, and we look forward to the many games to come in the future.

We picked up some doughnuts for breakfast- cause whats the fun in having aunts and uncles if they don't spoil you? The soccer game was too cute. It was 4-5 year old girls playing 4 on 4 soccer. Connecting with the ball is an accomplishment. Controlling the ball is a whole different story.

Family Photo

Our Favorite Soccer Player... EVER!

If anyone is planning a trip to Dallas in the next few weekends- please make note that my calendar is booked on Saturday mornings. But don't worry- we're always accepting applications for Reece's Fan Club. You're more than welcome to join us on the sidelines!
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Little TLC for the Eyes

This isn't a very exciting blog post, but I just wanted to share my good news!

I've been without my glasses for a few months now, and its been a little painful. My eyes are tired from staring at a computer screen for 10 hours a day, and reading multiple books a week doesn't help. The result- I am now slightly farsighted. My mom bought me two pairs of glasses before I got off my parents insurance plan in 2006, but both of those went MIA. One pair disappeared. I thought I had left them at the Newell's house, but they never surfaced. Who knows where they ended up. The other pair was stolen from my office... at least, I'd bet some serious money that is was the cleaning crew. That used to be a problem at the office. Glasses, wallets, IPods. It was really weird.

Anyways, I had to wait until February for my insurance to pick up the tab, and with the cost of frames, I knew I should wait. It was painful... literally, not wearing my glasses when I read gives me headaches, and you know how much I read. But thats all past us now. As Reece used to say, "Ta-da!" Below are my new glasses. I had Layne snap a quick shot when we were on our lunch break at the house today.

I've got another pair coming in soon that they had to send out for insurance purposes. This pair is my "backup." They're fun, and are a little different from my old glasses. The frame has a rounded lens. Layne says you can see more of my eyes with these. He's a little thrown off though. The tortoise shell pattern isn't symmetrical, and that is going to take some getting used to. (Snicker.)

Hope everyone has a Happy Hump Day! Only 10 more days until G-Baby's Birthday!
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Special Surprise!

I feel bad for Layne sometimes. The man gets no slack when it comes to surprising me. I'm just a very observant person, and it's been hard for him to pull off surprises. I found out about the concert tickets for my birthday before Layne gave them to me. He even got busted when he was going to meet with the jeweler about my engagement ring. So you can imagine my surprise when I got flowers delivered to me at work this week.

Layne knows I'm not a girl who wants to be given flowers. I think they're beautiful, but I hate spending the money on something that has such a short lifespan. Just leave it to my husband though to find a solution. Layne found out about a company called Infini-Flowers. It's a small company, a mom working out of the house, and she creates these environmentally friendly, bio-degradable flowers. They're great for people with allergies, and are a perfect solution for hospital patients. I would have loved to give these to my Granny.

So for a Valentine's Day treat this year, Layne special ordered a bouquet of purple and gold irises, with a few Fleur de leis scattered about. They are the perfect size to sit right on my desk at work, and they bring a smile to my face every time I notice them.

Would it be completely disgusting if I gushed about how wonderful Layne is, and how perfect the man is for me? Okay- I'll resist the urge. Just wanted to let you know that I had it.
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Anyone Can Cook

Sounds far fetched, but with the proper guidance, I think anyone can cook. I know, ironic, especially coming from me. But last night, I put myself to the challenge and passed with flying colors.

One day we were over at the Maywald's house, and Christine surprised me with the cookbook you see above. It's AWESOME. At the bottom of every recipe, there are questions, like "How do you slice green onions? Pg. 42" or "How do you shred carrots? Pg. 63" See, following a recipe isn't the hard part for me- it's understanding what the recipe means. This book answers every question I could have, so it makes it easy to figure out what to do. I highly recommend it to anyone who struggles in the kitchen

Last night, I made Sweet and Sour Shrimp soup from scratch. It had some mushrooms, carrots, green onions, and shrimp... and man, was it good. It was a level 2 recipe (they really break it down so you don't get ahead of yourself), and Layne and Stephen had no complaints. Actually, they both drained their bowls.

I was so excited by my accomplishment, I'm willing to look past the fact that this only means Layne will get me in the kitchen again. It really wasn't so bad, as long I've got the right tools.

A special thank you to my sister-in-law for spoiling me with the cookbook. I love it. More importantly Layne loves it, and I have a feeling we'll be using it for a long time to come!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mardi Gras Mambo!

Get excited- because I am SO excited. It's official. Layne and I are coming in for Mardi Gras! At first, I was going to come, because the thought of missing out two years in a row was unbearable. But then I started to feel guilty about spending the money and leaving Layne at home, especially when we're trying to save to get our garage door fixed. (That story is pre-blog, but would have been perfect for it now that I think of it!) Back to the point...

I wasn't sure if I should still come in, but how could I miss G-Baby's 21st Birthday? I mean, seriously, it's like the end of an era. The Orkus clan is officially all grown up. So we worked it out.

Layne and I are going to go see Stephen referee his college game on Saturday evening at 4pm. The three of us will be packed and ready to go, and will get on the road as soon as his game ends. It'll be great- cause Stephen will have company for the late night drive. We won't get into town until after midnight, but with Amy and crew in town- don't be surprised if you see us making an appearance somewhere. And on Sunday, we'll be on the Avenue at the Taj Mahal. All day... with our family and friends. I hope the weather is nice- cause it's going to a quick trip for one day.

We've got seats on the first flight out on Monday morning. Both of our bosses are understanding, and have no problem with us getting in an hour or so late Monday morning. Bill and Mike- I don't know if you'll ever see this... that thought is kind of scary... but if you do, thank you.

NoLA- here we come. Can't wait to get back to the Crescent City.

You know where we'll be- hope to see you guys soon!

Happy 22nd Birthday Sissy!

To My Baby Sister: (Who isn't exactly a baby anymore)
I'm sorry this post is a day late. I flew back from Colorado last night, and didn't exactly get around to posting this. Forgive me.
You have grown into an amazing young woman. I am so proud of who you are, and am so thankful to have you as my sister. I wish every woman in the world could share what we share. It's that amazing.
I hope your 22nd year is filled with love, joy, and happiness. I hope the memories you make this year will bring smiles to your face for a lifetime. I am so excited about all the time we will spend together (7 weekends together between now and your wedding, wohoo!). I can't wait for your wedding. I can't wait to spend the night at your first home. I can't wait to send snail mail to your address in Chalmette. I can't wait to see if you spend Christmas Eve with or without your parents. :)
You do so much for everyone you love. You deserve nothing but the best sista-face. I love you! Happy 22nd Birthday Abby!
Now... for the next seventeen days, the four Orkus children are 25, 23, 22, and 20. Brace yourself. G- Baby is about to become a legal adult!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

100 Random Wedding Thoughts

Here's the best way I could think to blog about our wedding- here's the top 100 random thoughts that came into my head!

  1. I flew into New Orleans on Wednesday night so I could spend one last night at home. My Daddy and I laid in bed together and talked for awhile. My sister is the one who cried. :)
  2. Thursday afternoon was wonderful. I spent the afternoon with Abby, Annie, and Scrow. I am SO glad I had the quality downtime with my friend. It was perfect.
  3. I had a live in hairdresser (J Todd) and makeup artist (Annie). It was unplanned. I was spoiled.
  4. I wore a sexy green dress to my rehearsal dinner. Loved the dress. Hated the heels.
  5. The only reason the night wasn't perfect was because I missed the National Championship game. I know. I expected more of myself too.
  6. Little did I know Thursday night would be the first of three crazy nights out at the bar.
  7. Layne's the baby on his side of the family and I'm the oldest. Our age group when we went out spanned from 36 to 16. That doesn't include our parents generation, and you know they were out too!
  8. My bridal luncheon left me speechless.
  9. Have you ever been in a room with all of the female role models who you've looked up to your entire life?
  10. I have amazing women that inspire me. I owe them so much for molding me into the woman I am.
  11. I found myself looking around the room and thinking about how different everyone was, but how well everyone compliments each other.
  12. My mom, aunts, and their friends gave me a unique childhood.
  13. No doubt I am incredibly blessed.
  14. Nan and Po hosted my bridal luncheon. I am Nan's favorite. She spoiled me. She always spoils me. I will never be able to say thank you the way I want to.
  15. That's not going to keep me from trying to though in her thank you note. I hope to get it to her before 2010.
  16. The luncheon was at Cheesecake Bistro. Cheesecake is my Mom's favorite dessert. It's become my favorite too.
  17. That was the second time I wore heels in two days. I may have broke a personal record.
  18. After the luncheon, I relaxed at the hotel. Layne and the boys went to lunch at the Howlin' Wolf and then to the WWII D-Day museum.
  19. Friday night we had a welcoming party at the hotel where everyone was staying.
  20. It was the perfect idea.
  21. Uncle Paul D brought Layne's favorite fried chicken.
  22. I think I had 4 pieces of king cake.
  23. Everyone came down and mingled after they checked in and got settled.
  24. People got to know each other better, faces became familiar. It was good.
  25. Guess what we did after?
  26. We had a group of 50+ crash the sand bar at Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar. We owned the courtyard.
  27. We had two rounds of group shots. Yes. 50+ people group shot.
  28. My mom took a shot. You know it was a good night.
  29. I saw my sister-in-law intoxicated for the first time.
  30. I need to hire a baby sitter and take her out with me more often.
  31. Layne finally met Hampton. Hampton finally met Layne. That made my night.
  32. Lots of people ordered these drinks that had sharks on them. No one thought the shark might be a warning. DANGER! DRINK AT YOUR OWN RISK!
  33. Jessica Newell's eyes were perfectly glassy that night.
  34. Lucy's was only the first stop of the night. Red Eye was the second.
  35. We danced. Mom. Dad. Family. Friends. We owned the bar.
  36. You Can Do Whatever You Like became the official theme song of the Orkus/Court Wedding Extravaganza.
  37. I fought hard, but ended up caving in and going to bed at a decent hour. Like, 2am.
  38. Abby, Amy, and I shared the bed on my last night as a single woman.
  39. I don't know if I would have been able to fall asleep without them by my side.
  40. I woke up on Saturday morning, and needed a walk. Amy, Uncle Scott, and I went to get beignets. Just what the belly needed...
  41. Hair and make up in my room all day. It was a buzz of activity.
  42. I took a mini break and disappeared into Aunt Ellie's hotel room. Her tub to be exact.
  43. Yes. Of course I brought a book.
  44. They knew me well enough to send someone in after me though to remind me to get out.
  45. I didn't see my Mom much before the wedding.
  46. I wasn't anxious that day, or nervous about marrying Layne.
  47. Put me around my Momma though, and I would have cried all day.
  48. I want to be her little girl forever.
  49. There are some great pictures from the wedding. If I haven't seen yours, send them to me.
  50. I rode to the church in a limo with my Mom and Dad.
  51. If I was more organized, I would have had a Rex Flag to hang outside the car for her.
  52. Susan Reynolds Orkus is royalty, you know?
  53. I started to get a little anxious at this point.
  54. We drove by Mount Carmel on the way to St. Dominic's Church.
  55. I just thought it was appropriate. So much of who I am is because of the foundation I received there.
  56. When the ceremony started, I was jealous of Layne. I wanted to be able to see everything going on.
  57. Then I thought about Layne having to stand in front of everyone, and I was glad to be me.
  58. Our flower girls were adorable. I know I'm biased, but they were.
  59. Reece became friends with Grace that weekend. Abby and I loved seeing them playing together.
  60. St. Benilde's choir from 11am mass sang at our wedding. It was simple, and just what I wanted it to be.
  61. I remember three thoughts from when I was walking down the isle. 1 - I can't believe today is the day my Dad is going to give me away. I don't want to get to the end of the isle. 2- But I do want to get to the end of isle. There is nothing more I wanted than to hold Layne's hand and become his wife. 3- I need to give my Mom a hug. I never leave home without hugging my Momma goodbye.
  62. My Dad and Layne hugged. It was a beautiful moment to me.
  63. I was raised by an amazing man. I never thought I would find someone who could live up to the bar my Dad set.
  64. I know Layne can/does/will.
  65. He and my Dad have a beautiful relationship. I love that they really talk to each other.
  66. Our priest was wonderful.
  67. His name is Father Jonathan Austin, and he is one of our parish priests at St. Rita's in Dallas.
  68. We live a block from the school and church. The rectory is right there too. We walk to mass on Sundays. It's a good life.
  69. While we were on the altar, I just wanted to turn around and smile at everyone who was there.
  70. I didn't know I could smile as big as I did when Layne said his vows to me.
  71. I thought about the day he proposed. And I thought, "This is the beginning of our happily ever after."
  72. We took so many pictures that night, I thought my smile would be frozen in place.
  73. Layne wanted to ride back to the reception with just the two of us.
  74. I'm glad we did, even though the window was broken and the driver could hear everything we sad.
  75. My Nanny sang the song Layne and I danced to at our wedding. She looked wonderful. She sounded wonderful. It was just the way I wanted it to be.
  76. My wedding cake was Tiger Stadium. Layne's cake was the Texas A&M bonfire. It was my favorite touch to the wedding. You'll see pics eventually.
  77. The reception is a blur. So many people. Time flew by.
  78. I can't wait to see the wedding video.
  79. We did the limbo at our wedding. It was absolutely hilarious.
  80. I had no clue some people could bend and flex their limbs in the way they did.
  81. Majority of the people who came to our wedding were there at the end of the night.
  82. There were people who went to others weddings who made their way to our reception by the end of the night.
  83. The band stopped playing music, and the crowd chanted "One more song!"
  84. As our wedding gift, Nanny and Uncle Scott paid for our band. Louisiana Spice was awesome, and it is what made our wedding such a great time.
  85. Nanny and Uncle Scott have always spoiled me with their generosity. This was no different.
  86. Nanny let me wear her pearl earrings on my wedding day. My Nan wore them on wedding day too.
  87. I have the most amazing set of godparents. Nan (and Po) and Uncle Scott (and Aunt Leslie) have always been there at every point in my life. I am so lucky to have such a unique relationship with them.
  88. Amy was my Maid of Honor. Claire was a bridesmaid. Brian was an usher. My godparents children stood in my wedding. I am so thankful for these relationships.
  89. Layne loves to dance. He looked so happy on the dance floor.
  90. It made me so happy to see him and all of his best friends together.
  91. There is a picture of Nick, Jody, and Layne that I absolutely love.
  92. If my husband is measured by the company he keeps, he has nothing to worry about.
  93. Layne's friend Dustin has a thing for my aunt. He keeps teasing me about becoming my uncle one day.
  94. After the wedding, we went back to the Red Eye.
  95. We stayed out until 5:30am and the bar kicked us out.
  96. My brothers took turns on each others shoulders as the bartender played a little TI...You Can Do Whatever You Like.
  97. My husband was a dancing fool at the bar. I was too.
  98. Amy Armstrong was not. She had other things occupying her attention.
  99. As I walked back to the hotel with my husband, siblings, new big cousin (Keith!), and friends, I didn't think life could be any better.
  100. Then I realized that we get to do it all again when Doody and Abby tie the knot in June. The only thing that could make this experience better is realizing the joy my sister will experience this summer when she marries the love of her life.

And that's that!


I love my blog. I guess that makes me a bit of a dork- but that's no surprise to those of you who know me. I'm having a bit of a problem with the whole wedding/honeymoon blogs. Pictures are a big problem- there are way to many to post. I keep saying I'll figure it out, and I promise I will.

But... there is a but... I'm on the road again in Colorado this week. Ben showed me what I need to do, so now I just need to find the time at home to do it. Soon- I promise!

And a quick update on my bridesmaid dress- it's ordered. (Sigh of relief.) Thanks for letting me get my rant off my chest. It really was the perfect outlet.