It's quiet now as time nears bed and I miss all of the laughter from the weekend. I flew home Friday night for an enjoyable time in West Texas. Saturday morning one of my Matrons of Honor... oh, wait, let me explain, I have eight bridesmaids - two of those are actually MOHs... Nick and I both do. We're different. Anyway, Stephanie came to get me to take me to Big Spring to register for my bridal shower there. I am going to have two showers, it gets complicated! My other Matron, Chandra, met us at our first store called Jake Switzel. It's an adorable little boutique downtown. Right off I could tell I was not great at registering. I found a few knick knacks here and there, but not too much at the first store. So we headed to Elrods in town that has furniture, kitchen items and so much more. They went straight for the "must haves" like kitchen things. I have a lot, but wow, there are so many gadgets I did not know existed. I have gorgeous plates and glasses, but not many serving dishes. So they tackled that while I wandered around and picked out things here and there. We got a big registry going! Here's the deal with the Big Spring shower... So the girls want to honor Mom by making it a shower she would throw. They have enlisted the help of old Big Spring teachers as well inviting a huge list of teachers Mom worked with for this shower. It is quite touching. I feel a bit surreal and don't want them to look at me with sad eyes, but I am also excited. These women were a part of my entire life as I would roam down the halls every day after school to find Mom growing up.
So we then headed to Settles Hotel for lunch. The Settles has just been renovated after being closed for what, 30, 50 years? It is going to boom Big Spring, it is beyond amazing. One of the guys took us on a tour of the rooms and the ballroom. I have toured a lot of ballrooms for wedding stuff and this was the most beautiful one I have seen in Texas! Everything is extravagant. We had to wait 45 minutes for lunch - in Big Spring, home of 25,000 people! It makes me so happy to see this hotel blooming again. It's just such a treasure. So after lunch we headed to Chandra's home. She and her husband have built this gorgeous home in the country and I have not been able to get out to see it. We went out there and began registering online for my shower in Dallas. Most of all, the three of us had a great time gabbing. I have been friends with Stephanie since I was 4, I believe... and Chandra, oh about the same age. My two very best friends are so very special. Chandra's little girl was not there, but I did get to see Stephanie's three boys a little while later. They are so cute. My parents came in town to get me and we took them and the Stewarts, Stephanie's parents, to the Settles to see it. Of course, for dinner, there was now an hour wait so we went to another restaurant! We were tuckered out at the end of the day for sure.
Today we just enjoyed life around the house. Brenda gave me some sewing tips. I will never be as cool as her at sewing. Dad and I watched TV and hung out. I took the puppy dog on a jog which made her just pass out afterwards! We had a very nice time. Dad kept talking about priorities after I get married and this or that. I kept explaining just because I am married, I am the same Julie. The thing is that I will always be his daughter. I am 31 years old and very close to my family. I explained to he and Brenda I am "weird" if they did not know! They laughed and said, yep, they know. I know what matters in life and I go at it full force. Dad worries at times I am like Granny Jac without much emotion and doing things my way... oh, maybe a little, but I am also very much Mom and Grandmommy, too. I like that I am strong like Granny Jac, but also know there is harm in being too strong as it turns you to ice. I know that. I have fought against that thought. I am also my mother and I am very, very proud of that. I am also my Dad, too, in many ways and gosh darn beyond proud of that. I will be married, yes, but it's just another chapter. It is not as if it is a new book. Nick and I have been together almost five years and we have been through so much. Marriage is going to be a new chapter for us as we walk through it together. He gets annoyed when I joke too much in public forums about love and marriage because it's hard to be "real." I'll say that I'm truly blessed to be marrying Nick and to be uniting as one in families and together. They say you marry your dad. I think Nick and Dad may be so much alike, yet so different in their own ways. To say what Nick is in my world isn't even about words. Anyway, the bottom line is that I am still me. No matter what in life as the chapters change, the base of Julie is the little girl from West Texas who grew up to be the big girl in Dallas Texas with roots that can never be pulled away from their base.