Monday, June 29, 2009

Natalie's Wedding

I'm still a little overwhelmed, but I wanted to reflect on last week and Natalie's wedding. She was absolutely the most beautiful bride I have ever seen, and the wedding and reception were wonderful. Maybe I'm a little biased, but I really think it all was just perfect.

Our weekend started on Thursday when Natalie's two friends from ETBU got to Paris after trips to China. Brittney (BRob) and Brittany (Jones) spent the day finishing all kinds of projects for the wedding - tying bows on bubbles, stuffing welcome bags for hotel guests, and generally taking care of everything that Natalie and I needed. My sister Karen and her awesome husband Mark also got here on Thursday. They brought the table toppers from the rental store in Texarkana, and were ready to help with whatever needed done. Thanks to all their help, I even found time for a manicure and pedicure!
Brandon and his family arrived on Thursday also. They checked into the hotel and then came to our house for dinner. Chris did a fabulous job of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, and we spent a very relaxing evening talking and laughing and enjoying ourselves. It was great.
The girls and I went to Chili's for a party hosted by Taylor and Melissa. They called it "Natalie's Final Fling Before the Ring." We ate some snacks and cake, and then all the girls went to Taylor's grandmother's house to swim. It was a fun night for all of them. Nick, Angela, and Ethan arrived Thursday night, so everyone was here for all of the wedding activities.

Friday was BUSY!!! We met at the church at 9 to decorate and then went to the Country Club for the bridesmaid's luncheon hosted by my good friend Paula. Nat and the girls went to get their nails done while I joined Chris, Karen and Mark, and several friends at Heritage Hall at 1 to decorate for the reception. We had a grand time getting everything done, and I loved seeing Natalie's expression when she arrived to see it all together.

Next was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We were all a little concerned about Ethan - we didn't know if he would walk down the aisle with Brittany or if he would balk at the door. After running through the processional a couple of times, he was walking down the aisle like a pro. He just had a wonderful time. Brandon's dad Jay and my friend Becky did a great job of making sure that everyone knew where to stand and what to do. Once we were sure that the ceremony was good to go, we headed to Magel's for the rehearsal dinner.
The Wash family did a great job of decorating and hosting a wonderful meal. There were a few roasts with various people telling stories about Brandon and Natalie. Then, things got kind of serious as Natalie thanked her attendants in a very special and unique way. She brought Chris and me to tears when she made comments about us. I'll never forget them. We came home to try to get some rest while the kids spent some time together. It was a great night for all of us.

Wedding Day finally arrived! Nat and I were up early for hair appointments and brunch hosted by friends from church. Bless Elizabeth's heart, it took her almost two hours to get Nat's hair up. It just didn't come together as easily as it had for bridal pictures last month. Nat got her make-up done after her hair was finished while I ran home to get our clothes. I picked her up and we headed to the church. The girls got dressed, I got dressed, and then I helped Natalie get dressed. I stopped in mid-dress and said that I couldn't believe I was helping my daughter into her wedding gown for her wedding!!! I had helped her into it and out of it so many times through fittings that it kind of caught me by surprise that this was the last time and the most important time that I'd help her into it. I stopped myself from getting emotional about it and finished getting her ready. We quickly went into the sanctuary to take pictures and then hustled back to the fellowship hall to wait for time to go. The girls and I had a sweet prayer time together, Natalie had a last conversation with Brandon on the phone, and then I had a couple of very special minutes alone with her. We were both almost giddy we were so happy.

Everything about the ceremony was perfect. The brass quintet, the decorations, the lighting, the girls' dresses all were a beautiful background for Natalie and Brandon as Jay led them through their vows. There were many special moments throughout the ceremony including a beautiful song by Taylor and Jordan and a marriage braid ceremony. I had never seen this done during a wedding, but it was perfect for Natalie and Brandon. I can't wait to see the video because I know I'll see details that I didn't see during the wedding.

After a couple hundred pictures, we headed to Heritage Hall for the reception. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves as they ate and visited with one another and watched Nat and Brandon cut cakes, drink milk with the groom's cake, dance, toast, throw the bouquet and garter. They left through a cloud of bubbles as many friends and family stayed to see them off.

We cleaned up the reception and headed home while Nat and Brandon headed to Dallas and then to Orlando.
All in all, we had a wonderful week full of memories to last a lifetime. Melissa, one of Natalie's attendants, summed it up by telling me that the weekend was such fun and exactly what it should be for a bride and her bridesmaids. What a compliment!! All the work that went into the wedding and reception was completely worth it. With God as a partner in their marriage, Natalie and Brandon will have many happy years ahead of them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm not as young as I used to be

Natalie and I made a long awaited trip to Six Flags today. We had a great time and learned some lessons to pass along to those of you who might be considering a trip this summer.

Today was a great day to make the trip to Arlington. The weather was great - temps in the high 80s, low 90s with a nice breeze, but it was a little on the humid side. Also, Wednesday is an awesome day to make the trip - very short lines! Our goals were to ride as many of the roller coasters as we could and enjoy plenty of junk food. We almost met our goals but not quite.

First for our Lessons Learned:
  1. Do visit Six Flags on a Wednesday. Don't bother with the Flash Pass; you won't need it.
  2. Don't bring aerosol bottles of sunscreen. Those are confiscated at the gate.
  3. Don't bring a bag at all. We consolidated our stuff into one pretty small shoulder bag. Each of us only brought the essentials - wallets (travel size for me), sunglasses, chap stick, Advil, and tissues. Six Flags has instituted a strict No Bags policy for most of the Thrill Rides. To help their guests keep their belongings safe, SF has lockers (see Loose Articles) near most of the Thrill Rides that guests can use for $1.00/120 minutes. I'm sure they have their reasons for this policy, but there were several rides that we could have tucked the bag in the seat with no problem. Looks like a way for SF to earn some extra money.
  4. Do bring a non-rider to hold your bags to avoid the locker fee.
  5. Do get a Pink Thing. They're only sold near the entrance, so make sure you get one on your way in or on your way out. Better yet, do what we did and get one and take a break near the Merry-Go-Round.

Back to our day and the reason for the title of this post. Again, understand that Natalie and I LOVE roller coasters and thrill rides and Six Flags in general. I'm usually the first person on the ride and the last person to leave the park. Catch the adverb - usually. We first rode Flashback (AWESOME ride; no bag storage required) and then paid the dollar to stow our bag to ride Batman and Tony Hawk's Big Spin (both great rides...we scored front seats for Batman). The Tony Hawk ride was my first indication that this would not be a typical SF day for me. I made an unscheduled trip to the restroom with some tummy difficulties...something I've never had to do at SF. After spending $3.50 for water and munching on a snack bar we smuggled into the park, I thought I was good to go. For insurance, we made it to the front gate and found Pink Things which really do help everything feel better. So, we found yet another locker (and spent another dollar) and rode Titan and Runaway Mountain. By the end of Runaway Mountain, I knew that this day was going to end sooner than I wanted. Add another trip to the restroom, a Sprite (Chris's go-to drink for all tummy upsets), two Pepto-Bismol tablets, and a stop in the Crazy Horse Saloon to rest in an air conditioned room. We walked around a little more, but I was certain that I'd toss my cookies (and Pink Thing and everything else) if we tried another ride. That means that we didn't get to ride Shockwave and Superman and Runaway Mine Train, three of our favorite rides. Reluctantly, we made our way to the front gate, got Ethan a super Batman shirt with cape, and left Six Flags behind.

Before you think that all's well that ends well, think again. By this time not only did I feel pretty lousy but we also were pretty hot and sweaty. We were ready to get into the Jeep, kick up the AC as high as we could get it, and head to Paris. Sounds like a great plan, right? The AC died while we were in the park. We found someone to check the coolant for us (the "Coolant Low" reminder had been flashing) but it was all good. Evidently we have a bigger problem. So, Nat and I drove from Arlington to Paris through Dallas rush hour traffic with no AC.

There were several wonderful things about our day:

  • We had a great time riding the roller coasters and screaming our heads off.
  • We took a much deserved break from wedding planning (altho I'll admit that we made a list and talked about a few details as we were driving).
  • We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at La Madeline, one of our favorite "girly" restaurants.
  • We made it home before the storms hit.

But, by far the best thing of all was spending a fun day with my daughter. These times have been far too few and far between lately (wedding shopping and planning don't always count as fun), and I realize that those days will become much more infrequent after June 27. I'm going to miss hanging out with my favorite daughter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It was time to change the template. Boredom set in, I guess. That's pretty obvious by the lack of posts lately. I updated my reading blog this morning and then read Amanda's blog about when to remove something from your RSS feeds which spurred me to update this one. When I opened it I was completely put off by the template. I mean, really, what was I thinking to have an orange blog?

Speaking of orange, I found some trash on my car this afternoon. Attached to it actually. Can you guess what my reaction was to the Texas Longhorn magnet I found on the rear of my Jeep? Not funny. There are lots of suspects, but I'm not sure who the actual perpetrator is. I'm thinking of putting it back on the car but upside down. That has always been my favorite way to view Hook 'em anyway.

'Tis the season for basketball! By tomorrow night I will have attended three games (one college and two high school) in less than a week. We went to the Ladycats Quarterfinals game Tuesday night in Royse City and will go back to RC tomorrow night for the Wildcats game. The girls had a fabulous season, and I was sorry to see it end Tuesday night. They're a young team, so we're looking for great things from them in the next couple of years. The boys are undefeated since they started district play, so we have high hopes for them. Three of the seniors are library assistants, so we've talked about basketball all season. They're great guys, and I really hope that they go all the way to Austin this year.

The college game I went to was in Denton Saturday night. UNT played the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where one of our graduates is on the team. Sharon and I had a great time watching the game, cheering for Courtney and the Trojans, and visiting with Courtney and his family after the game. A double bonus for me was to see Joe Kleine, an assistant coach for UALR. Joe played for the University of Arkansas several years ago and played professional basketball for a while as well. I met him and had my picture taken with him in Dallas back in 2000 or so when he was playing with the Phoenix Suns.

Wedding plans are moving right along. We've mailed most of our Save the Date magnets, and we're meeting with the caterer Saturday morning. Nat and Brandon are having engagement pictures made next weekend and we're meeting with the wedding planner. We're hoping to get the invitation decision made either this weekend or next weekend. There are so many details still to decide...and pay for! It's going to be a beautiful wedding, and I really can't wait for June 27 to get here. Natalie is going to be a gorgeous bride, and their day is just going to be the absolute best.

I'm so glad we already have Nat's dress and the bridesmaids dresses since I still haven't found my dress. I couldn't deal with the stress of looking for her dress and mine at the same time. I'm getting pretty anxious about it. I shopped all day last Saturday and couldn't find just the right combination. I have a couple of possibilities in mind, but no dress yet. Surely the right dress is out there somewhere. I just have to find it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Dark Side

I've officially succumbed to peer the age of 50 no less. I now have a Facebook account. Yep...I've joined the dark side.

Let's just say that so far my Facebook experience has been a lot of fun. I've reconnected with people from college and from Little Rock as well as connected with friends in Paris and friends I've made through TLA. I've even connected with former students and friends of my kids. All of those links were initiated by the kids...not by me. Bottom line is that Facebook really isn't only for college students.

I've learned how to manage my Wall and I've written on friends' walls. I've posted pictures, tagged some and commented on others. I know what "Pieces of Flair" is, and I have given and received some. I've written notes including that wonderful "25 Random Things about Me" and I've added comments to friends' Random Things. I've joined groups, linked to pages, and proclaimed that Chicago and Arkansas are among my favorite places. I've updated my status daily. I've even become a virtual tree-hugger by contributing to the "(Lil) Green Patch." All of this since only last Saturday! Amazing!! I will admit that I've asked for help in private messages with a friend, but I'm getting the hang of this thing. And I already have 41 friends! Of course my total pales in comparison with the hundreds of friends most college students have, but it's a start.

One thing is certain - Facebook is addictive. I'm so glad I can't get to it at school because even when I plan to just sneak a peek to see what's going on, I find myself totally losing track of time. People post so many interesting things about themselves.

So...if you're a Facebook person, look me up and add me as your friend. Send me some Flair and comment on my 25 Random Things. I'll post something on your Wall!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration 2009

Chris and I attended President Clinton's inauguration in 1993. I get a little misty each time Inauguration Day rolls around because I remember how it felt to be there and to experience all of the ceremony. It's almost like riding a great roller coaster and wanting to ride it again and again. Once you've been there it's just not acceptable not to be there again. A small group from school got to go this year; I can't wait to hear their stories.

We attended the same church that President Clinton attended in Little Rock. Both Chris's quintet and the church choir were invited to participate in events during the inauguration. The choir sang for a church service the night before the inauguration, and the quintet played for the church service on inauguration morning. We still have the invitations and letters and other items we received. One picture I regret not taking was of the bomb-sniffing dog with his nose buried in the tuba bell at about 5 AM that very cold January morning.

One of the highlights was the church service the night before the inauguration. We shared the stage with Bill Moyers, President Jimmy Carter, Barbara Jordan, and Ken Medema. I even got Moyers' autograph on my program. President Carter's speech was wonderful. He was so down to earth and humble. The choir was seated on the platform, so we could see all of the dignitaries in the audience. I think I remember Vernon Jordan being there.

When the Inauguration began yesterday, I couldn't wait to watch it. I justified turning it on in the library because we didn't have any classes scheduled so I could watch it without interrupting anyone. Due to poor cable reception in some classrooms, three groups of students joined my little watch party. They were so very quiet and attentive through the swearing in and the speech. One of my favorite non-Presidential moments was the performance by Itzak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma. WOW! I love "Simple Gifts," and the John Williams arrangement was wonderful. Chris and I watched it again last night.

There were some in the building and some family members who were not interested at all in watching the Inauguration. I know that there are people that I know who are not pleased with the new administration, but I don't understand how some can't appreciate the history involved in this or any inauguration. Our responsibility is to pray for the President and support him whether or not we agree with him. Not agreeing with the President's policies doesn't take anything away from the ceremony and peaceful transfer of power that we as Americans celebrate every four years or so. It's one of those things that makes me especially proud to be an American.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Oh my...more than two months since my last post. Where has the time gone? Here's the Reader's Digest version of life with the Kornegays since November:

Thanksgiving - All of us traveled to Texarkana for the Stow Family Thanksgiving celebration at my sister's house. There were 17 of us but we had enough food for about 30 people. Ethan had a great time playing with all of Karen's boys' toys because the other boys weren't there to play with him. Jamie's boys were in Florida with their other grandfather, and Samantha's boys went home for naps pretty soon after lunch. Chris, Natalie, and I went to El Dorado Thanksgiving night to spend time with BooBoo, but Nick and Angela headed back to Paris before going to Angela's mom's.

Christmas - We had a great Christmas! Nat got home from school on the 13th, we got out of school on the 19th (Ethan's birthday), and Nick and his family got here on that night and stayed until Christmas Day. It was wonderful. We had the Stow Family Christmas in Texarkana on the 20th, and then all six of us went to El Do to see BooBoo for a couple of days. We cooked a feast in El Do - chicken and dressing and all the fixings - and BooBoo thought that batch of dressing was about the best we've made. We went to church in Paris on Christmas Eve which has been a tradition with me and with our family for as long as I can remember. It just helps put the holiday into perspective. Christmas morning was so much more fun with Ethan here. Watching his face light up as he opened his presents was very special. Here he is surveying all the gifts along with a picture of all the kids from the SFC.

Natalie spent some time in Houston/Baytown/Plano with Brandon and his family during the holidays. They got their registry started and went to a cousin's wedding. They're doing a great job getting things together for the wedding and their life together. I'm really proud of them.

I spent New Year's Eve and NYD painting our bedroom. In fact, the only thing I asked Chris to give me for Christmas was for him to move the furniture so that I could paint. Several years ago I was in a green phase so I painted the bedroom green to go with a really pretty green and white quilt I found for our bed. Fast forward two or three bedspreads and quilts later to a new king size bed and headboard and beautiful blue and brown bedding. I think you can see where I'm going. The green just wasn't working for me any more. Much to Natalie's chagrin, we now have a beautiful...drum roll, please...beige bedroom! (Natalie is my child who has a BLACK wall in her bedroom. Beige is way too boring for her.) It's really a beautiful color and I couldn't be happier with it. The next thing on my list is painting the bathroom cabinet which I would love to do this weekend. We'll see...

Be sure to check out Shelfari. My shelf is in the widget on the left. Paula is over the moon with's her new obsession. It really is pretty fun to see who is out there reading the books I'm reading or seeing what my friends are reading. It's a great place to get ideas. Jennifer, you should be able to get lots of ideas for books for you and books to read to Ava.

I'm hoping for this blog to become more reflective and less rehash of what we're up to. Don't look for great prose...just some more thoughtful posts. Glad you stopped by!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Book Lover's Meme

My friend Dee challenged me to do this. Frankly, I don't have a clue what a meme is, although I found an explanation on this link. Bottom line - here is a list of questions that I'll answer and challenge the rest of you to respond or repost. Be sure to send me your link if you post your responses. Here goes:

1. Do you remember how you developed a love of reading?
I don't remember not reading. We visited the library regularly in elementary school, and I read a lot then. In junior high, the library was adjacent to the study hall room, so I was a frequent visitor. I don't have memories of lots of trips to the public library as a child, but I know that I always had plenty to read from school libraries and books we had at home.

2. What are some books you loved as a child?
Henry and Beezus (anything by Beverly Cleary), A Wrinkle in Time

3. What is your favorite genre?
I don't have a favorite. I like mystery, romance, adventure...I've even read some science fiction and fantasy that I like. I've read more non-fiction in the past few years than ever before, and I have really enjoyed many of them.

4. Do you have a favorite novel?
To Kill a Mockingbird

5. Where do you usually read?
In the car and in bed

6. When do you usually read?
Any road trip; just before falling asleep

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
I do now. I never used to have more than one book going, but lately I find myself with a fiction and a non-fiction going at the same time.

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Not really. When I get into a book, where and how I read doesn't really change based on the kind of book it is. I do try to read books that I plan to learn something from while I'm in a sitting position rather than lying in bed. I try to either highlight or take notes as I'm reading, so I need a more active reading environment for those books. I don't always read nonfiction to learn, so that's the difference. Gee...does this response make any sense at all???

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
Good question. I probably do a little of all three. I buy a lot of books, but I don't borrow many from friends. I'm usually the loaner; I love sharing books with my friends! And, of course I check books out of the library. I try to keep something from the PHS library on my bedside table all the time, and I usually read from the Paris Public Library during the summer.

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy?
Yes, I keep most of what I buy unless the people I loan them to don't return them. Many times I'll donate books to the PHS library that I think kids or teachers would enjoy.

11. What are you reading now?
My friend Cheryl loaned me a James Patterson novel - Mary, Mary. I have a partially read Max Lucado on my bedside table as well.

12. Do you keep a To Be Read list?
No, I don't have an actual list, but I do have some titles in mind that I'd like to read.

13. What’s next?
Another good question. I really need to whittle down the stacks at home before I buy anything else. And, I really have to bring something home from school to read.

14. What books would you like to reread?
To Kill a Mockingbird, He Still Moves Stones

16. Who are your favorite authors?
Max Lucado, Marilyn Meberg, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Dee Henderson, Chris Crutcher

If you're interested in seeing what I've read recently, check out my reading blog at A Book is Good Company.