Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Surprise Engagement - Justin & Stephanie!

April 19, 2014 ~ After 4 years of dating my diva cousin Stephanie finally got engaged but this was no ordinary engagement!  Justin and Stephanie started dating on March 6, 2010 while out with friends in the Power and Light District in Kansas City, MO. These crazy kids keep us laughing as they are perfect for each other!

The Top Secret Proposal....

My cousin is such a diva... seriously! She is a hot mess and gets it honestly! She wanted to be involved in picking out the ring and gave Justin specific instructions of what she wanted when he was going to pop the question (told you she was a total diva)! She didn't want him to propose on any holiday, she wanted their families to be there including her cousin (me) to take pictures, etc. We all laughed as Justin definitely has his hands full with this girl!

Little did she know I had been talking to Justin for about 2 weeks about her proposal. He wanted to do something that would be really cool and memorable and include their families just as she wanted. He said with their busy schedules it looked like April 19th was the only day that would work as Stephanie thought the ring wouldn't be in for another 4 weeks or so. (It was a custom order and would take 6-8 weeks after ordering it) Justin and I came up with a great idea and we were ready to put it into motion! 

I bought some thicker poster board and painted "Will you marry me?" on them the night before so they would be ready to go. The idea was that the family would enter the room holding these signs to help Justin pop the question! 

When I got up in the morning I thought they needed another sign that read "She said yes!"

Stephanie wanted to go shopping with her mom so Aunt Judy got up early and headed to Kansas City to pick Stephanie up. They would head out around 9:45 AM. I had an all day author's event that started at 10:00 AM in Columbia, MO and wouldn't be able to leave until 3:30 PM. I needed to talk to Justin before I went in to this event to make sure of the plans for this evening. Everything was a go and we were all excited! At 3:50 PM I hit the road and stopped by to pick up the signs and my momma and head to Kansas City! Justin was taking Stephanie to dinner at 5:30 PM down on the plaza and they would be done around 6:30 PM.

We had the ol' Spry-Express hammered down and had enough time to stop by Krispy Kreme! We got there just in time as we got the first couple doughnuts off the line! OMG... those things are so good! 

We finally arrived to Justin and Stephanie's house! 
(We parked at their friends house about 2 blocks away and walked to their house)

Aunt Judy loving on Maverick!
(Judy told Stephanie that she had to leave Kansas City by 3:00 PM because she wanted to get by a store in Columbia before they closed... in the video you hear her tell her mom that she is such a great liar! Well we can't tell you everything Stephanie!) 

It was a lot of fun running through how this would all happen so that we all had a game plan! Then we got the text message that Justin and Stephanie were leaving the restaurant and heading home. They had dinner down on the plaza and would be home in about 10 minutes!

We had to set their home alarm system and hide out in their spare bedroom as we waited to hear them walk in the door and Justin would disarm the alarm. He would then give her a card to read and that was our que.... No pressure right?!?!?! 

It was all captured on video....... 
(Sorry about the "F" Bombs that were used at the beginning.... when you surprise someone you never know what they will say!) 

As you can see she was totally surprised! Somehow, someway we pulled off a wonderful engagement with family and friends! We couldn't be happier for you both...

Congratulations Justin and Stephanie!

Mom picked a fresh bouquet of tulips out of her yard to give them! So pretty!

After a little champagne toast we needed to get some photos of everyone who helped to make this day extra special and catch the happy faces of our newly engaged couple! 

I think Maverick approves! 

Such a happy couple! 
Wedding is planned for 2015!

Justin and Stephanie with Judy! 
(Stephanie's momma)

Justin and Stephanie with Linda and Dennis
(Justin's mom and dad)

Justin and Stephanie with Steve, Tracy, Liz, Kaeden and Addison
(Justin's brother, sister-in-law and nieces)

Justin and Stephanie with Marsue and Michele
(Stephanie's aunt and cousin)

Justin and Stephanie with Erica and Lauren

Stephanie, Erica and her little baby girl! 

With the help of some wonderful people we pulled it off without Stephanie even thinking twice and what a fun and memorable evening captured through a great video and pictures! Great job Justin! 
Oh and Stephanie.... never under estimate a SPRY-ize! Ha! 

Looking forward to planning a beautiful wedding with you crazy kids! 
Congratulations!!! Love you both bunches!!!!

Celebrate Local Author's Day!

April 19, 2014~ Since becoming a self-published author (still sounds so funny to me) it has been a very interesting yet fun journey. I have met some wonderful people along the way, learned (and of course I am still learning) a lot of things pertaining to writing, marketing, and social media, I have shared tips and tricks with other authors and encouraged anyone that wanted to turn a dream into a reality and writing their own book. One of the best feelings in the world is actually holding a book you wrote in your hands!

I was asked by Daniel Boone Regional Library to be a part of the Celebrate Local Author's Day and I was honored! I didn't serve on the panels yet listening to the writers/authors there seemed to be a common thread... persistence and passion! Many of them had wrote books years ago and are just now getting them published. This isn't something that happens overnight and once you have wrote a book you would need (it's highly recommended) to have it professionally edited. This isn't always a quick process but one that is necessary to make sure that you are putting the best work out in front of the world to be noticed. Really interesting to hear some of the trials and tribulations they have went through to get to where they are today including talking about social media and marketing.

We have all heard the words "Social Media" and it's also something many of us are familiar with as we post, tweet, upload and share but did you know that social media also plays a huge role in your marketing efforts. Years ago before social media was created (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, E-Newsletters etc.) people relied on printed materials, advertisements, e-mail blasts and mailings. While they still may use e-mail blasts you may not reach everyone as they have filters catching a lot of mail in their spam folders. With the creation of  this newer social media the doors have been opened wider because you can capture a grander audience and interact with them on a daily or even hourly basis. Majority of us have smart phones and we are on them constantly. It's important to know your audience and how to interact with them.

After the panel discussions were over they had a book fair that the local authors were able to sit up tables to sell their book(s) and interact with anyone that had questions. Here are some of the authors that were also a part of today's event and I would encourage you to check them all when you have a chance! (Sorry the pictures aren't the best.... I left my good camera at home!)

"Sarsaparilla Sue and the Sassmouth"
Author: Julie L. Barnett
Illustrator: Jessie Starbuck

"The Easy Bake Coven Series" and "Guardian Trilogy"
Author: Liz Schulte

"The Feedsack Dress", "Show Me The Murder" and "Show Me The Deadly Deer"
Author: Carolyn Mulford

"Where Secrets Reside" and "In The Shadows"
Author: Susan Finlay

"Oil in the Wok"
Author: YuMin Ye

"For the Love of Jack"
Author: Breanna C. Troesser

"Rebecca's Road" and "The Absent Woman"
Author: Marlene Lee

"Broken Slippers"
Author: Deborah Sue Crews

"Reluctant Witch"
Author: A.R. Potts

"Healthy Mom Healthy Me"
Author: Gwen Ratermann

"David and Dad Catch the Rainbow"
Author: David K. Aycock

"Heart of a Warrior", "Fighting Poles" and "Quinton"
Author: Paul Mazan

"Christiana's Saga: From Norway to Dakota Territory", "The Changing Face of Sex" and "Offbeat Travel"
Author: Wayne Anderson

"Alzheimer's Caregiving: A Voice of Experience"
Author: Penelope Braun

A huge thank you to Sarah Howard and Patricia Miller for inviting all of us out to attend this event! I know I walked away with some great tips and hope to implement some of them in the near future! 

Daniel Boone Regional Library
100 W Broadway
Columbia, MO 65203

*Please note: No one asked me to do this and I wanted to show my support towards other local authors and encourage you to visit their respective sites and/or Facebook pages. Many of these authors have multiple books and I may not have listed them all... again please check out their websites or Facebook pages to keep up on the latest up-to-date information and what they are doing!

2014 Best of Columbia!

April 17, 2014~ You know, in life we do things that make us happy for the most part. I try to make a difference in the lives of others in a positive way and have fun! (Not everyday is fun but I try to find good in everyday) I can't even tell you what a great surprise to see my name on the ballet for not one but two categories in the Inside Columbia Magazine's 2014 Best of Columbia contest. This contest has been going on for several years and general public vote for their favorite people in various categories such as restaurants, shops, TV and Radio personalities, coaches, etc. I have to say what an amazing honor to even be nominated for the 2014 Best of Columbia contest (so whomever took time to nominate me.... Thank you!) and so special to have my name next to some of Columbia's greatest people!
Best Local Author:
Gold: Michele Spry 
Silver: William Least Heat-Moon 
Bronze:  Laura McHugh

Ultimate Volunteer:
Gold: Cindy Mustard
Silver: Chuck Everitt
Bronze: Michele Spry

You can see the complete list here:
 Congratulations to everyone that was nominated and received an award!

So I bought 4 tickets and gave 2 of them away on my author's page...
Congratulations to Renee Costner who won those tickets! 

I took Martha (aka: my momma) as my date! She had a lot of fun! We tasted some great food, she had some great adult beverages (someone had to get us home safe and sound) and lots of laughter! 
I love that woman! 

Thank you so much Inside Columbia Magazine for a such a fun event! What a great way to recognize so many great people and places in our community... Y'all ROCK! 

To everyone that voted... Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

Inside Columbia Magazine
47 E. Broadway
Columbia, MO 65203
Office: 573-442-1430
Fax: 573-442-1431

Friday, April 11, 2014

Two More Quilts!

April 11, 2014 ~ I was surprised to receive two more of my t-shirt quilts in the mail today! I truly love how these quilts turned out and each of them have so much character and style! I love seeing my old t-shirts (on the St. Louis Cardinals one) and our old button up shirts (on the Midway Electric, Inc. one) re-purposed into something that we can actually use!

I love it! So fun to see some of my favorite shirts on here too! 

 She made me a number 6 for Stan Musial since I didn't have a shirt with it on it... She's awesome!

Another view....

23 is my favorite number... it started way back when I became a fan of Michael Jordan and has stuck with me since then! (Of course I liked David Freese too!)

Here's my Midway Electric, Inc. quilt! I love it too! 

This quilt is primarily made of our old button up shirts... 
Kind of cool to see them together to make a unique quilt!

Jane outdid herself again! I am so happy with them! 
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

or visit her website at