Sunday, December 23, 2018

A New Orleans Wedding (pt 2)

Here is part 2 of a 3 part series of posts about our family's getaway to New Orleans for my cousin's wedding earlier this month.

One part of weddings that I always stress about is the attire for different events. I never want to be the person that is underdressed, but being the overdressed person can also feel a bit awkward. When I saw that my cousin's wedding rehearsal dinner was at the New Orleans House of Blues, I knew I wanted to wear something festive and sparkly. I was told the attire was "cocktail". As a 34 year old woman who has attended multiple weddings and military functions, I know that "cocktail" means different things to different people. I wanted to make sure I was going to be appropriately dressed. I think I asked my cousin's fiancé a million times about the attire for her wedding festivities. I eventually went to Instagram and did a poll about the outfit I had chosen to wear, and literally 41 out of 42 people told me to rock the outfit I had chosen.

I chose a rose gold, sequined jumpsuit.
I was extra and sparkly.
I got compliments on it ALL night by friends, family, and random strangers in the French Quarter.
The only downside to this outfit was the 4inch heels I wore.
We had to walk from the wedding venue to the rehearsal dinner, and even a short 5 minute walk is horrible in 4 inch heels on cobblestone sidewalks. 

Sweet Dannika rocked her cowgirl boots, of course.
And I always say, no one looks better in a bowtie than Mattis.

I mean, please...

My sweet cousins Michael and Daniel! I can't believe they're grown ups now!
One thing that I love about weddings is that it brings people together.
It's tough for our family to get together because we are so spread out all over the country.
Even holidays are a hit or miss since we have significant others and extended family that we have to split our time with.
It was so nice to have my entire family together!

My mama and me.
My mom's prettier than yours....

The food was amazing.
Their hors d'oeuvres were even better.
I really only came for the food....and wine...

My handsome date and me!

Here we are with the bride and groom!

The boys decided to do some squats...

My sister and me!

I consumed a little more alcohol than I had planned, which made me hungry...
So on our way back to the hotel, we got some boudin off the street from a street vendor.
I honestly don't remember if it was tasty, but I'm going to assume it was.

We had an absolutely blast at the rehearsal dinner mingling with our family and meeting new friends. The food was amazing, and drinks were flowing (a little too much for me...yikes). The House of Blues New Orleans was amazing, and we'll definitely be going back if we find ourselves back in New Orleans!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

A New Orleans Wedding (pt 1)

At the beginning of this month, our family took a short getaway to New Orleans, Louisiana to watch my "not so baby anymore" cousin marry his love! His (then) fiancé (now wife) asked for Dannika and Mattis to be a part of their wedding, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a part of their special day! My kids were over the moon that they could be in a wedding, and my sweet Dannika, at 9 years old, finally got asked to be in a wedding.

We were not disappointed about making the trip to New Orleans either. I had been there as a kid with my family, but hadn't been back since, so I was really excited. Nick has only driven through there, so it was cool to get to experience "the birthplace of jazz" as a family. I took over 230 photos during our short stay there, so I decided to break it up into the 3 separate posts from each day that we were there.

Below are photos from day 1.

Here is a photo of some of my cousins and me on a family vacay to Jamaica.
My cousin that got married is the third kid from the left (sitting next to me).
Obviously, this photo has nothing to do with our trip to New Orleans, but just to give you context of who in my family was getting married.
He really was "the baby".

The Mercedes Benz Super Dome where the Saints play.

Are Uber pics obligatory?

And because we were in LSU territory, we had to rep our Fighting' Texas Aggies!
After all, we DID win this year in a historic 7 overtime game!

We met up for lunch with a dear friend of mine at a New Orleans hotspot, Cafe Pontalba (in the French Quarter)
Dannika and I split the most delicious plate of red beans and rice with a side of authentic gumbo.
Nick had a traditional po boy and he gave it a 10 out of 10!
We highly recommend you check it out!
It a small cafe, so seating is tough to get, so prepare for a wait!

My friend Kelley and her son Waylon! 
I met Kelley through a small group at our church when we were all stationed in California.
Thanks to social media, we've managed to stay in touch!
It was such a treat to get to meet up with her and meet her sweet son!

I mean, can you say you've been to New Orleans without listening to some street musicians playing "When the Saints Come Marching In" in the middle of the French Quarter???!!!
Our kids had a blast dancing in the street listening to this awesome band play jazz music.

We popped into a seedy liquor store in the French Quarter because we wanted to show our kids a wholesome good time...
They really enjoyed the festive Mardi Gras masks.

Our kids had a blast there the first day. We got to walk around the French Quarter, dance to jazz music, have authentic New Orleans cuisine, meet up with old friends, and soak in the city. 

My cousin's wedding rehearsal dinner was at the House of Blues. I'll post about that tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

When Being a Stay at Home Mom Feels Unimportant

SIX days until Christmas. How did this happen? It was literally Thanksgiving like a week ago, right?! I thought I'd do a better job keeping up with this thing, but based on my last post, I have failed miserably. I feel like our family has been non-stop for the last month! Between Christmas shopping, weddings, kids class parties, working out, and being a wife, life hasn't been very generous with extra time for me.

It's actually shocking at how busy I am despite the fact that both of my kids are in school during the day, and I don't work. Every time I go to the nail salon, the nail lady ALWAYS asks me, "you off work today?" I always answer with, "I'm a stay at home mom", to which they reply with a judgmental tone, "what do you do all day when your kids are in school?"

It shouldn't bother me, but it does. I think I tend to compare my life as a mom now to my former life as a Marine, and that is a dangerous slope to go down. My life's purpose has changed drastically in the last 5 years, and there are days when I dwell on my former life as a career woman that led our nation's finest. My current life consists of volunteering in my son's Kindergarten classroom with a bunch of kids who don't wash their hands, but constantly want to touch me. Oh, and being the doting "trophy" wife to my wonderful Marine hubby (insert sarcasm).

Does this mean I wish I was back in the Marine Corps? Absolutely not. I love my life. I love being able to be so involved in my children's lives and in their schools.

 I love walking into my son's classroom to volunteer and see his face light up at the sight of me. 

I am fully aware at how blessed I am to be able to live a life where I do not have to work to provide for our family. I love baking and cooking goodies to send to work with my husband for his Marines. I love having dinner ready as soon as my husband walks in the door from a long day's work. But this life is so drastically different than just 6 short years ago that I still have days when I don't feel "important". I hear this is a common feeling amongst veterans that are finding their way in civilian life after service.

Anyway, I am hoping in the new year that I can finally get this blog updated to match my "not so new anymore" domain name. I thought of switching it over to Wordpress, but I'm pretty happy and comfortable here on blogger. My content is not changing, and this is just a little side hobby that I have, so staying here just seems right. I will probably post a "year in review" post towards the end of the month before 2019.

If you want to see what is going on in our life, just follow me on instagram @semperag_blog

Hope everyone is having a stress free and cheerful holiday season!

Here is our 2018 Christmas card (front and back)
Thanks to Shutterfly, of course!