Rusty and Jess’ wedding: the flower girls

Rusty and Jess got their professional photos back from their wedding, and other than the photos doing a great job of highlighting how beautiful and perfect their wedding was, I finally have pictures of Louise and Celine in their flower girl duties!jessica-rusty-wedding-187jessica-rusty-wedding-188

Notice Mike in the background, miming throwing petals on the ground for Celine ūüôājessica-rusty-wedding-189jessica-rusty-wedding-193

There are also a couple of photos of me doing my reading.jessica-rusty-wedding-240jessica-rusty-wedding-241

Love these people!jessica-rusty-wedding-335

Louise’s circus performance

One of Louise’s after-school activities for the past two years has been circus, facilitated by Lone Star Circus. They put on a concert at the end of each year but last year she was too little to perform. This was her first performance and we are so proud of her!

Monday was the dress rehearsal day, and I can categorically say that it was a nightmare for all Haydel women. The “Little Tots” (her age group) were slated to do their run-through from 4-4:45, but the woman with their costumes didn’t even show up until 5pm, so there was a lot of sitting and standing around.5.2.17 Rehearsal 1

Oh – did I mention I had Celine with me?5.2.17 Rehearsal Celine

I called Mike to complain about the insanity of the situation, and he offered to come pick up Celine. Since I was in Garland, I didn’t think that would work, and at this point I was still optimistic about our ability to get out at a reasonable time and with minimal issues.

Once the costume person arrived, there was mayhem trying to figure out who got their costumes first to put on. Louise was waiting patiently while the other kids in her group got their costumes…and then, all of a sudden, she was sobbing next to me, wailing that they didn’t have a costume for her. I was confused (it was very chaotic and loud backstage), so I said “of COURSE they have a costume for you!”

And then I realized that they didn’t have a costume for her.

I was given a backup costume that was way too big, which caused Louise to start crying again. After waiting for about 5-10 more minutes, we finally acquired an appropriately-sized costume and retreated to the tiny bathroom to put it on. As Louise was slipping into the costume, a girl flung open the bathroom door, hitting Louise in the head and causing her to fall over, hitting her head again on the bathroom wall on her way down. I jumped up to grab her as she started crying in earnest, and my phone dropped from my lap and smacked the tile ground flat on its back, shattering the screen.

It was at this point that Celine decided she was done being a patient little sister and wanted to go home.


I called Mike back, trying (and failing) to hold back tears. He could hear my frustration and told me he was on the way to pick up Celine. I bribed Louise to go out there and practice with her costume on (she was still upset about the costume snafu + the head injury) by promising that she could open three presents from her birthday party when we got home. Begrudgingly, she sauntered to the floor to go through her routine.5.2.17 Rehearsal Louise

Mike arrived to relieve me from the girls, and thanks to him, I made it through the evening.

Friday was concert day! Mike and I picked up the girls from school and headed to the venue, stopping briefly for dinner on the way. Mike and Celine dropped off Louise and me and headed to a restaurant to wait until the start time with my parents. Louise and I headed in for hair and makeup. The hair women were busy, so I plunked her in a chair and did her hair myself!IMG_7463IMG_7462IMG_7461

Then it was time for makeup! First time she’s worn eyeshadow and mascara…IMG_7466IMG_7469IMG_7473

She and her silks partner were ready!IMG_7485

We waited around for about 45 minutes, popping out briefly to say hello to Grandma, Papa, dad, and Celine. Finally it was go time and they asked the parents to head to their seats. Louise panicked a little bit but she was brave and let me go. Then it was showtime!

Her age group was the first to go, and then they let the kids sit with their parents in the audience. Mike and I both teared up with pride when she did her act – it was her first big show and we are so proud of her!!


Louise: 5 years

I was going to say “I can’t believe I have a five year old!” – but…honestly, I can. Louise has grown into such a KID that it would be weird to me to NOT have a five year old. She surprises us every day with her words and actions, with her thoughtfulness and her intelligence. She can still throw a fit (let’s be real) but overall, her composure is impressive. Although I enjoyed Louise as a baby and loved watching her grow, I can confidently say that this phase – the kid phase – seems like it’s going to be amazing.DSC_0518

I’ve also decided that the five year mark is the end of the monthly updates. I’ve really enjoyed doing them for Louise, and I look back on them all the time to remind myself of her development. But as she moves into kindergarten and has fewer big milestones on a frequent basis, I think it’s time to¬†switch to ad-hoc updates and let the official monthly photos and blog post go.DSC_0522

DIS Fairy Tea

Following Louise’s birthday party this past Sunday was a school-sponsored “fairy tea” for mothers and daughters. I have the perfect dresses for the girls – my mom bought them both lavender frilly dresses that were made for a fairy tea – but I forgot about them, and they were already in outfits from Louise’s party so I just went with it.5.4.17 Fairy Tea 1

I was expecting a shindig that had face painting and other activities, but it was pretty much just tables set up with snacks and drinks. We stayed for about an hour and then headed back home. I was glad we went, though – it was extra outside fun for the girls on a beautiful day, and I got to chat with a couple of DIS mom friends.5.4.17 Fairy Tea 25.4.17 Fairy Tea 35.4.17 Fairy Tea 45.4.17 Fairy Tea 5

Louise’s 5th birthday party

The Sunday before Louise’s birthday was her art-themed birthday party! When I first asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, she said she wanted another princess party. I said nope – been there, done that. So then she suggested an art party, which worked for me because it was gender-neutral and activity-focused (and NOT at Pump It Up!!!). I did some research and settled on Kid Art in Snider Plaza. Kid Art recommended a drop-off party since their space was pretty tight, so that’s what we did. There were a few minutes of chaos as kids watched their parents walk away, but overall everyone did a great job and the parents loved a little bit of free time!

The kids all put on their smocks and got to work. They painted wooden picture frames and then applied jewels to it.5.4.17 Party 15.4.17 Party 25.4.17 Party 35.4.17 Party 5

Celine was a little clingy in the beginning, so Mike and I took turns holding her. She was also the only child that was initially pro-beret.5.4.17 Party 4

She finally warmed up to the space, but did not have any interest in crafting. So she did her own thing, stylishly of course.5.4.17 Party 65.4.17 Party 75.4.17 Party 8

Once everyone was done with their picture frame, they drew an owl to fit into it. By then the kids were getting a little antsy, so we busted out the food. We had hot dogs, rainbow Goldfish, and fruit for them to eat, and I made some “paintbrush” Rice Krispie treats along with SusieCakes mini cupcakes and cake for dessert.5.4.17 Party 95.4.17 Party 115.4.17 Party 10

Celine…Ms. Hot Mess Haydel. ūüôā5.4.17 Party 12

I REALLY wanted a picture of all of the kids in their berets, but there was zero interest in putting them on. Before we passed out the desserts, I said they had to put on their berets in order to get a cupcake. Worked like a charm.5.4.17 Party 135.4.17 Party 14

Then we all sang happy birthday to Louise!5.4.17 Party 155.4.17 Party 17

Louise had a wonderful time and the party was quite the success!5.4.17 Party 18


April/May goals

I did NOT do so well in April, unfortunately. Too much other stuff going on!

April goals:

  1. Exercise 3+ times per week.
    1. I didn’t really do this that well. I tried…but I probably averaged more like 2x per week.
  2. Manage travel stress.
    1. Yeah, you could say I did ok at this. I didn’t stress out too much during our Austin trip!
  3. Celine’s photo book.
    1. Noooooope. I don’t think I even finished one page.
  4. Replace air filters in the house
    1. Nope. I’m going to outsource this goal to Mike, I think.
  5. Declutter toys
    1. I’ve started this about a thousand times, but it overwhelms me each time and I never finish. I think I need to find a strategy to tackle – like by room, or by type of toy.¬†I think the first step is goal #6 though, so I have the space to put some toys.
  6. Organize the two hall closets
    1. I’ve finished one closet, but it was mainly just trashing our DVDs (the packing tape from one of our apartment moves was still intact on the top…clearly we don’t need these anymore) and donating Mike’s video games. I still have to go through the toys in the bin that was in there, but now we have a board game/puzzle/big floor activity¬†closet, which is nice!

I can’t really do May goals because things are so busy this month – I doubt I’ll have the time. I still want to do some organization and decluttering, and finish Celine AND Louise’s photo books. So I’ll just keep April’s goals for May and do my best!

May goals:

  1. Not fall completely off the exercise bandwagon.
  2. Celine’s photo book – only five left to do (months 8-12)! I can do it!
  3. Louise’s photo book. This might bleed into June, considering I’m farther behind it than Celine’s.
  4. Declutter toys Рspecifically, donate all too-young toys and trash the broken/parts-missing ones.
  5. Organize the kids’¬†hall closet. This includes moving all linens, drapes, pillows, etc to bins in the garage, and adding designated spaces for themed toys (Play-Doh, musical instruments, etc).

Rusty and Jess’ wedding!

This past weekend, the Haydels headed down to Austin for the Rusty and Jessica wedding extravaganza!

We picked up the girls from school on Thursday and headed down. We stopped in Hillsboro at the Wendy’s and it was deserted, which gave the girls an opportunity to run out some energy.IMG_7004

My parents rented a house in south Austin and it was pretty amazing. We enjoyed the large patio and backyard for a bit before heading to bed.IMG_7012IMG_7013

The girls had their own room, which was good except they were giggling together until after 11pm. Come on ladies…your parents are tired!IMG_7006

Friday was full of running errands. My mom and I picked up the flowers – we were in LOVE! They were so pretty!!IMG_7018IMG_7019

My brother made the wooden flower boxes. They were enormous – four of them plus the arrangement for the arbor barely fit in our Tahoe.IMG_7024

We also ordered flower crowns for my little flower girls. I had to try them on, of course.IMG_7025

We all got ready for the evening and headed out to the rehearsal! (Notice the awesome Austin traffic all around us)IMG_7033

Both girls fell asleep in the car…IMG_7035

…which meant that they were at the rehearsal like this:IMG_7036

When Celine is grumpy, she tucks in her bottom lip and peeks at everyone through her eyelashes.IMG_7040IMG_7045

They perked up a bit for the rehearsal dinner…and then promptly got bored. Luckily we live in the digital age and can provide easy entertainment via our phones.IMG_7048IMG_7056

The rehearsal dinner was at Max’s Wine Dive, and my mom did super cute Lord of the Rings centerpieces with Lego LotR ensembles. They were so cute and SO Rusty.IMG_7052IMG_7058

The food was delicious and of course the wine!IMG_7054IMG_7057

My parents gave a little welcome speech and my mom thanked everyone for coming…and promptly started crying when talking to Rusty and Jess. Only the second time she cried that day – the first was when she picked up the flowers. At least now I know where I get it from!IMG_7059

Mike and I left with the girls around 8pm and headed back to the house for the girls’ bedtime. Both girls weren’t in the best moods (see: 11:30pm bedtime the night before), and Celine had one of her epic meltdowns. At one point she clawed me in the face, leaving a gash on my right cheek and a couple of other marks. I was pretty bummed about it considering the wedding (aka lots of pics) was the next day, but the silver lining was that it shocked Celine so much, she stopped her fit.

The next morning was wedding day!! The boys and Katie hung with the kiddos while the rest of the ladies went for blowouts in the morning.IMG_7061IMG_7063IMG_7064

After a morning filled mainly with driving to multiple hamburger joints, we headed over to Rusty and Jess’ to see what we could help with. The girls were surprisingly good while we set the tables, made corsages, and other things.IMG_7072IMG_7073IMG_7078

The flower boxes didn’t fit on the slim tables, but my mom found a great place for them and everything worked out beautifully. The flowers on the arbor also turned out amazing – I think they really set the tone for the ceremony!IMG_7086IMG_7167

I headed back to the rental house with the girls to get ready, along with my parents, Katie, and Hillary. Mike and Taylor stayed with the groomsmen and Liz stayed to make sure everything was set up and ready to go, both for her officiating duties and all of the sound.

My parents left for the wedding with Hillary a little before 4, and Katie hopped in her car to drive Elliot and herself over. At 4pm our babysitter arrived, so Louise, Celine, the babysitter, and I got in the car and headed to the wedding! I loved our babysitter (Laura). She is a sophomore at UT in Texas Spirits and the girls took to her almost immediately…mainly because she had long blond hair LIKE ELSA.

We arrived at Rusty and Jess’ around 4:40, and Laura hovered around the girls while we got ready for game time. Katie was stressing out about keeping Elliot clean and not getting into anything, but finally just let him run around pre-ceremony, shrugging and saying “what’s the worst that could happen?” Finally it was time to go!IMG_7083IMG_7089IMG_7091IMG_7111

Everyone did their thing, and it was time for the ring bearer and flower girls to make their trek down the aisle before Jess. Elliot enthusiastically started trotting down the aisle, but tripped, causing the rings to fly out of their box and into the grass. There was a frantic three minute search for the rings while Louise and Celine anxiously waited for their turn to walk. Someone found Rusty’s ring but Jess’ was still missing. Everyone decided to wait until after the ceremony – Liz gave Rusty her ring to use in the interim – and it was time for the girls to walk.

I ushered Louise and Celine to the start of the aisle and told them to walk to Papa, then went around the side and met them at the end of the aisle. I was surprised and pleased that both girls walked down the aisle and actually dropped their petals! Celine had an overhand throw technique and was only throwing one at a time, but overall they did a great job. I wish someone took a video of their walk, but I’m sure there are a couple of pretty good professional photos. Looking forward to seeing those.

Liz did an amazing job with the ceremony, and I managed to get through my reading without choking up. It was special seeing the two of them commit to each other. Neither of them are typically weepy/emotional people, but they made an exception for their wedding.IMG_7126IMG_7128IMG_7139IMG_7142

The kids did an exceptional job being good children during the ceremony!IMG_7131IMG_7137IMG_7138

I tried to get as many pics as I could, but I didn’t get one of the Haydels, of me and Jessica, or of the entire Fausak family. Oh well!IMG_7106IMG_7079IMG_7149IMG_7155IMG_7163

But I DID get one with the groom!IMG_7145

There was some dancing…IMG_7169IMG_7175IMG_7186IMG_7195

…a couple late-night pics…IMG_7199IMG_7202

…and that’s all she wrote! It was a wonderful wedding and it seemed like everyone had a great time, bride and groom included! Congrats again, Rusty and Jess!