My Last Hurrah

My official bachelorette party began at Tic Tac Day Spa and Salon. I arrived looking fantastic, thanks to my early morning photo shoot.  When I walked in all the girls were already sitting in a “private” room in massage chairs getting their pedicures and drinking mimosa’s. I quickly picked out my  polish colors and joined them, wearing a sash and crown of course.

I was given a manicure, pedicure, and ten-minute massage while enjoying the company of my favorite people. It was all perfect, except for the fact that everyone was whispering about the plans for the rest of the day and night.

This entire weekend has been kept a secret from me and I was about to explode with anticipation. I tried offering everyone more mimosas and doughnuts, and sweet-talking them into spilling the beans, but no one would crack.

After the salon, we took a caravan of vehicles to Houston. We arrived at the Hyatt hotel in downtown with enough time to scarf down a quick lunch. Then, Zoey handed me a sports bra and booty shorts that she stole out of my closet from home, and tells me to put them on…. with a pair of my stilettos…

Excuse me?

All the girls quickly changed into skimpy workout clothes and high heels and then whisked me, and themselves, into an SUV headed to God only knows where. (Well, God and everyone in the car accept me).

Much to my surprise, and delight, we arrived at Pole-la-teez. We had to enter through the back door and sign a waiver stating that we were aware we’d be performing dangerous tricks.

After we all agreed we wouldn’t sue if we fell of a chair while trying to act sexy, we entered the dance room. The room looked like a typical dance studio with mirrors and a wooden dance floors. The only difference was the ten poles spread out down the room.

We were told to choose our own pole and let the lesson begin. She taught us an entire routine full of great moves like the sexy walk, the fireman, and the “hide the kitty”. It’s not as inappropriate as it sounds…especially with a room full of giggly amateurs. It was like a really fun workout-dance class, with a pole.

Before it ended she made me perform a solo for my girls as they threw fake dollar bills at me. It wasn’t the classiest moment of my life, but it was fun and definitely a memorable experience. Plus, the teacher accused me of taking these lessons before…If you read Zumba Brat, you know I took no offense to this and left the class feeling pretty good about myself.

Yup, that’s a dollar bill in my hair

If you ever need a bonding experience for a group of girls, take a pole-la-teez class. There’s nothing we could be embarrassed about after sharing that experience with each other.

We were really excited, sweaty, sore, and bruised after class. Luckily, we had a few hours to relax and restore before spending the night out on the town. Lying around gossiping about boys and racing through the halls on the luggage cart is how we decided to spend our down time. We have behaved this way for the last 15 years and I assume we will continue to act like stupid teenagers well into retirement, whenever we all get together.

They took me to dinner at Fajita Flats, which is a little bachelorette party tradition for some of us. This Mexican restaurant is complete with a juke box, pitchers of warm salsa, strong margaritas, and lots of sleazy waiters….all ideal for a girls’ night.

Once we’d finished our meal, the games began. I was forced into a too-long salsa dance with a waiter in front of the entire restaurant, a fake tattoo behind the bar (where I convinced the bar tender to allow me to make drinks for my whole table), and much more.

We were in full swing after dinner, and beyond ready to hit the dance floors. After leaving the first dance club (it was more body mashing than dancing), we were invited in for free drinks at a smaller nearby pub. Unable to turndown such an offer we entered to find a large spacious dance floor, and a DJ that knew just what we wanted.

We took our free drinks, and spent the rest of the night dancing the night away. At one point I looked around at my amazing friends, and noticed how much we’ve grown. Sure, we still hung a penis piñata in our hotel, and wrote dirty mad libs for two hours, but we really aren’t as young as we were sayyyyy whenever we had our first bachelorette party.

Five girls out of the eight of us out that night are married, two have kids, others are trying, and we all have real lives, jobs, and commitments now. My party included phone calls home, work emails, baby pictures, and breast pumping. And you know… I wouldn’t change any of it.

Life seems to keep getting better the older we get. I am so happy for all of the beautiful, strong, and successful ladies in my life.

I decided to call it a night, and head back to the hotel for swimming, and more girl time.

I was in my bikini before we called the front desk to learn that the pool was closed for the night. We all huddled in one room, ate cake, and eventually passed out from exhaustion.

I woke up spooning one of the girls, still in my bikini, with a spatula full of icing on the bedside table. Perfect. I am pretty sure that’s exactly how you are supposed to wake after your bachelorette party.

It was Easter morning, and everyone left to spend time with their families. Zoey and I lazed around my parent’s house the rest of the day. I got to spend some time visiting my MawMaw, which I rarely get to do, and she asked if I had strippers at my party. Then, she gave me a lesson on fashion faux pas for when I or if I ever decided to get pregnant. (MawMaw is NOT fan of rockin’ the baby bump).

This weekend could not have been more perfect. I know brides say this all the time, but I am right when I say I have the most awesome group of girls by my side. I cannot thank you all enough for making this weekend so exciting and glamorous for me. Natalie, and Zoey, I owe you big time.

To all my ladies, I love you, miss you, and cannot wait to plan another wild weekend with you all. Even if it is 4 years from now, and we all have to have babysitters and botox. We will still run through the hallways in our bikinis and have people tell us to “grow up”, which I am sure we will never do.

Xoxoxo

Hil

My Katy (another bridesmaid) who couldn’t be there because she is living in Japan with husband and precious little girl. Love you and we missed you!

Crawfish, Dairy Queen, and Dirty Dancing

I spent Easter weekend in Texas. (Yay for four days off of work!) I got to spend time in my hometown with my family, and in downtown Houston with my closest girls. Zoey flew in with me and got to experience a little bit of life in small town  Texas. We were only there for a few days, but we managed to pack in enough fun to last us until the wedding.

Our visit began at my Mom’s dress shop, Dressin’ Up, so I could get my wedding dress altered, and actually see it for the first time! My Mom has used an amazing guy (Si Bui) for years now, who has never once messed up someone’s dress, (Take that Sunshine Cleaners!)

We drove to Si’s house in the ghetto, for real, and I stood in his tiny dirty home while he quickly took a look at me, put in a couple pins, and then shooed us away so he could get started. His home was literally full of clothes waiting to be altered, and he somehow managed to alter my very intricate wedding dress in 8 hours. He is a crazy talented Vietnamese sewing machine! It’s absolutely beautiful and fits me like a glove!

While the dress was being altered we were busy living it up at my parents home. It was sunny and 80 degrees, and my Dad was boiling a large pot of live crawfish. Zoey and I were so excited to be out of the city, the cold, and the wind that we laid on the hot concrete as my parents’ dog ran circles around us, excited to have company.

Eventually we began to sweat so we got up and took the four-wheeler and 4×4 for a ride through the neighborhood and down to the bayou.  We managed to get our rides covered in mud without getting a drop on ourselves….like a true lady.

For lunch, Zoey tried crawfish for the first time. We each gave her lessons and tips on how to peel the crawfish, but she was disgusted and could only do a few…big baby. My Dad took pity on her and peeled an entire tray full for her to eat. (I’ve never even got that kind of treatment!)

My vegetarian dish

 

My bridal party had planned an elaborately themed lingerie party for me that night, but I was forced to leave the house so they could decorate. My sister and Zoey (aka my matron and maid of honor) took me shopping to keep my busy.

The only thing I was told about this party was to dress “glamorous”, like I ever dress anything less.

I put on my fancy face and fancy shoes, and entered into the living room to find that it had been turned into a scene right out of Manhattan. Sex and the City was playing on the big screen, champagne and martini glasses lined all the counter tops, silver and blue balloons, flowers, and confetti covered all empty spaces, my favorite foods were on display (tacos, salsa, and hot fries), large framed photographs of NYC were on every table, posters of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda were hung, the most amazing cake sat in the middle of the table, and all of my beautiful friends were dressed for a night out in their stilettos.

My Sex and the City themed party was unbelievable. After stuffing my face with lots and lots of chips (I was so close to lasting till’ Easter!), I opened my scandalous gifts. We spent the night catching up while drinking some kind of delicious coconut and cream cocktail my Mom made.

My night ended at a somewhat reasonable time (1am?) because I had scheduled my photo session for my bridal portraits at 8am Saturday morning. This meant I had to be up at 5:30am for makeup to make it to my 7am hair appointment. (God bless Courtney who is 7 months pregnant and more than happy to fix my hair at such a god-awful hour).

*BTW, Courtney did a beautiful job, and works at The Parlor in Nederland, TX.*

I chose my cousin Jeff to take my pictures, not because we are related and I get a nice family discount, but because I LOVE his work. He is truly talented and creative, and I knew he’d capture exactly what I wanted for my Bridal pictures, and boy did he not disappoint!

Me in the car on the way to get my photos taken!

I wanted my portraits to be personal and unique. I had an idea to take them around my hometown and at some of my favorite places. Jeff was willing to go almost anywhere, provided it had the right lighting, and work his magic. We took pictures in downtown Groves (by my Mom’s shop), at the local Dairy Queen (owned by one of my bridesmaid’s Mother and was a fav hangout during high school), at Starbucks (for obvious reasons), at a really pretty local Catholic church, at the Julie Roger’s theatre (where all my childhood dance recitals were held), and at a local art museum.

Jeff has already sent me a few teasers, and I could not be more stoked! They are turning out better than I even imagined. It is going to take all of my will power to wait and share them with you until after the wedding. And, it’s going to take a team of people to keep me from showing them to Fiancé. Two more months is a LONG time to wait for someone who can’t keep a secret for more then 5 minutes.

From here, my Mother had to drive me straight to a beauty salon to meet my girls. I pulled a “Dirty Dancing” in the back seat to get out of my wedding dress before getting to the salon. (I could actually see new gray hairs instantly growing on my Mom’s head.)

The rest of the weekend is just too much to continue on this first blog. Tune in tomorrow for dancing, a fake tattoo, and a surprise that involved me signing a waiver.

Woohoo!

Be Back Soon

I’ve been in Texas all weekend having the time of my life! It’s been a whirlwind of wedding dress alterations, bridal portraits, lingerie shower, bachelorette party, and way too much food.

I have so much to share that a real blog will have to wait until I’m back home in NYC. Until then, here’s a little sneak peak of the ridiculously awesome weekend.

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No Mascara

There are three things I never leave the house without; mascara, earrings, and lip gloss. These three things can magically transform me from sleeping zombie, to a healthy almost-human. Okay….. fine, those three things and coffee.

If you ever see me outside of the house without these things you should assume one of the following:

1)   I am very VERY sick.

2)   I woke up 30 seconds before I had to leave.

3)   ….. I honestly can’t think of another reason…. Maybe if the apartment was on fire? Even then I think I’d grab Belle and my makeup bag before running out.

Today was a NO MASCARA kind of day. I won’t bore you with the details of my extremely terrible, no good, very bad day. It was just one of those “when it rains it pours”, go back to bed and start over sort of days.

When I got to work, my boss, who was unusually chipper first thing in the morning, made the mistake of saying, “How are you this morning?” All I could do was look at him and say “I’m not wearing mascara! Or earrings! AND, I haven’t had coffee!”

Even, my boss knows this is dangerous. (My rule of thumb is to never work for someone who is not addicted to caffeine. I need a boss who understands the importance of coffee breaks, and drinking coffee at work. Not to mention, you can always get them a Starbucks gift card during any present giving holiday.)

As my “no mascara” day continued, things continued to get worse and even worse. I could not wait to get home, straighten a few things out, and go right to bed to start everything over. Zoey; however, had a different plan

She called to inform me that she had tickets to the Opera MacBeth, (thanks Grandma Barbara!), and that I had to go with her. I tried very hard to let Zoey know that I did not want to go at all on account of my horrible day and needing to recover from it.

The problem with this situation is my inability to tell people no, and Zoey’s inability to accept no as an answer. We make an odd team that way. So, I ran home, got ready in exactly 2 minutes to meet Zoey on time. She was dressed like a model who just stepped out of a photo shoot… I had on jeans, a sweater, and still NO MASCARA. I think by this point I’d just given up completely.

The Opera actually improved my mood a bit. There was a man sitting near us who was dressed like the type of biker you’d see at a costume party (crop top and all). I was thrilled to not be the worst dressed person at the Opera. Zoey ended up being the one sitting next to Mr. Farts-a-lot. Plus, the whole experience at the Lincoln Center was very impressive.

The building itself was massive and so beautiful! The cast was also enormous and very talented. And, my favorite part of the whole production was the set. It was crazy, intricate, stunning, full of detail, just brilliant.

The Lincoln Center

When I got home, Fiance texted me (he’s still out of town), and said he had one “feel better” present that he hid for me in the apartment, and wanted to know if I wanted it tonight. It’s incredible how well Fiance gets me, well enough to know that I would need a “feel better” present at some point during the 3 weeks he is away!

The present was hidden inside our closet. I tore it open to find lots and lots and lots of my favorite chocolates! My day was immediately so much better, especially considering I had not had lunch or dinner, and it was almost midnight. I thanked Fiance immensely for being the most amazing and thoughtful person. Then, I ate a pound of chocolate for dinner.

This little guy was delicous!

I am a little concerned that I used up my “feel better” present only 3 days after Fiance left. I think I’ll set my alarm even earlier tonight…I can’t risk another “no mascara” day.

Side note: While talking briefly with a friend today I mentioned to her that I was up to my eyeballs in $%&# today. Being the great friend that she is, she asked if there was anything she could do. I said “no”, because that’s what we women do, and considered it my problem to fix. Tonight; however, I read a new blog entry from one of my all time favorite blogs, Momastry, which was all about telling people what you need, especially when they ask! Something to think about….


Cheers, and have a GREAT day full of mascara and earrings tomorrow!

Texas Girls

My favorite tee...thanks Mom!

*Another post from my weekend in Texas.*

This weekend Fiance and I flew to Texas for our second wedding shower. That’s right, TWO wedding showers for this lucky couple. Typically showers feel awkward as everyone sits around and watches the bride open kitchenware after kitchenware. She pretends to be excited about the toaster that she herself picked out… Well, I now know that it is not at all awkward when it’s my own shower.

I love opening presents (especially ones that I picked out!), I love being the center of attention, I love seeing my friends and family, and I LOVE snack food. My shower was perfect. I got to see SSOOO many people whom I rarely get to see, some I haven’t seen in years. My first grade teacher even came! Although, I am probably the only person in the world who still talks to her first grade teacher.

Fiance and I got so many gifts that we feel like the most spoiled couple! My mother ordered a pretty awesome cake for the event, and even arranged for some special vegetarian/dairy free finger foods for me to enjoy. I am even excited about getting back and starting on all of our thank you cards. I truly enjoy writing cards and letters to people so thank you cards feel more like pen pal writing than a chore for me.

The best part of my weekend in Texas though, was spending time with some of the most freakin’ cutest adorable little babies I’ve ever snuggled! THREE of my close friends had babies in January. I am always so sad to miss big events like that, but it was so great to get to see them this weekend…all boys by the way.

The only picture of me without a baby in my arms.

I am pretty sure that some people walking into my shower had these thoughts running through their mind:

Oh shoot, is this a baby shower?!

Did Hilarie have a baby?

Why isn’t there a nursery?

That was definitely the look on some faces as they came through the door, mostly because I had a baby in my arms through the entire event. I was actually told I had to put the babies down to open presents.

It’s amazing how much you can love a baby the first time you hold them, or even before you hold them. I am just so happy for all my friends who have started their beautiful families. And, thank you for allowing me to call myself “Aunt Hilarie” every time I’m around. Also, I’d really appreciate it if you show them my picture at least once every day and repeat my name a few times. I’d hate for them to forget their favorite honorary “aunt” who promises to bring presents each time she comes to visit. Thanks.

Love this face!

xoxo

“Aunt” Hilarie