The day I said yes!

Ok, so now that you know I said yes, you need to know the FUN things I got to do before that moment!  Here's the timeline:

4:00 - I get off early on Fridays. Stephen had called and made an appointment early in the week for me to get a massage, mani and pedi. I know what you're thinking.  How did you not know that he was going to propose?  Well, he's super sweet and this would not be abnormal.  So, my instructions were to go, get pampered, then go home and get ready for a fun evening of dinner and a movie.  Here's how my massage started:
Mimosa.  Yes.

After my massage, I got a spa manicure and pedicure.  It was fabulous!  Stephen got me in at the Spa Concepts in Shreveport, which is an Aveda spa.  Love.
Pedicure - which was fabulous!
After my treatments, I (very relaxed) went home and got ready.  I was trying not to think anything, like "you might be getting engaged!" but it was kind of in the back of my mind.  (I would be lying... any girl would think something!  but I wasn't sure)

Stephen picked me up and he looked so nice.  (I learned later that he was wearing the same dress shirt that he wore on our first date. Which was under a sweater the first time, so I didn't notice it as much.  It was so sweet that he did that.  I on the other hand wore the dress I wore in my sister's wedding!  Who said you can't wear a dress twice.)

He took me to eat at this place called the Mabry house, which is a darling Victorian home with super gourmet french cuisine.  It's old and quiet and dimly lit.  We showed up and they had this on our table:

We had a wonderful dinner, which included the most amazing soup I've had (roasted tomato with Gouda), pecan chicken, and a decadent dessert, which was a raspberry torte with balsamic ice cream.  Yum!  We were both so full and I was told we would go home, change into comfy clothes and watch a movie.

There was another plan a brewing.

As we're pulling into the neighborhood, a firetruck pulls down one of our streets.  Stephen speeds up.  I told him, "why are you freaking out?  It can't be your house silly."  (I didn't know he had candles freely burning in his backyard!)

Well, we pull in the driveway (no fire!) and we start to walk inside.  As I'm waiting for him to turn off the alarm, I notice there is a glow coming from the backyard.  There were Christmas lights and 13 vases full of white flowers all over the backyard. (13 is our number... our first date was on the 13th, my birthday is on the 13th... he said I love you on the 13th, etc.)  He also had candles.... which were not catching the yard on fire.

He lead me to the backyard, where I had a present waiting.  It was packaged like a Tiffany box, but bigger.  We sat down at the table together as I opened my gift.  As we sat, he played music over his Bose stereo, which was so romantic.  (the weather was perfect.  Clear, no humidity and somewhere chilly for Shreveport!)

I opened my gift to find the most precious scrapbook that he had put together.  It has pictures from our first weekend together, to our first date, and all our fun times over the last year.  As I flipped to the last page, I found the last page to say "the proposal" and it was blank.  This is when he got down on one knee and proposed with the most beautiful ring. 

He of course said so many wonderful things, and I was so emotional!  He searched for a long time online to find a turquoise vintage ring box.  Isn't that the most perfect thing?  I love it!

We then toasted with champagne and danced in the backyard.  It was such a romantic evening and I still don't want to take down the Christmas lights! 

God has blessed me with this precious man and I am so happy to be the future Mrs. Baker.


13 reasons why I love him

Today was our anniversary.  11 months of pure bliss.  I'm so cheesy.  Don't judge.

13 reasons why I love Phen.
He makes me smile.  So much.  This was on one of our date nights.  We will someday have a million pictures taken by ourselves, holding up our camera.  Sometimes we use the timer... when we remember.

I will come home and he will be working on the house.  I love that smile.  Gosh he's cute.

I love going to church with him (this is a picture of our church!)

I love going on dinner dates with him in Dallas.  This is us at Kenny's.  Eating his first popover.  He loved it ;)

Gosh that looks good.

 I love the silly faces he makes while driving and singing. 

Ok, I know he's not in this picture, BUT, these two kids are SO important to me. And Stephen loves them and loves going to visit them.  This was us at dinner.  Stephen and Bussi have so much in common.  And that sweet girl next to me is my little sis.  I hope they come visit us soon in Shreve!

I love his love of fried chicken.  And mashed potatoes. And pie.  This is us at Strawn's, a famous place in Shreveport.

I love that he goes with me to antique malls.  And plays with the bingo machine.  B 13!

I love that he goes with me to the fabric store and doesn't sit on the sofa the whole time.  And then takes my picture so I can blog about my weekend.

I love that I came home tonight and he was grilling steak.

And veggies.  Notice he put the cross marks on the steaks.  I couldn't make that happen if I tried.

I love that he bought me flowers today.  He is truly the sweetest man, who is always looking for ways to make me smile. 

And he never fails.


Welcome Wagon

It's funny how as soon as I came on the scene here, Stephen's neighbors have come out of the woodworks.  As we were working on the yard Saturday, people stopped by to talk and meet us.  Stephen said it was funny as many people hadn't said anything, but as soon as there is a cute girl on the scene, they show up ;)  I don't think it's true, but maybe it is.

Monday night, as we were fixing dinner, we had a knock on the door.  It was our next door neighbors (a husband and wife) who brought us some cookies.  The husband grew up in that house next door, as his parents had built the house.  It's a beautiful home, that is pretty large.  Apparently, it was two homes put together.  I'm sure there's a story there!

Back to the cookies, isn't that sweet?  They gave us their phone number and said they would watch the house any time we were gone.  She invited us over when their children came home next as she thought we were the same age as her children (who are just out of college). Ha!  Stephen thought that was funny.

We noticed that we have a new neighbor that just moved in across the street, so I want to take her something baked, like any proper southern woman would do.  What should I make? 

First Day...

Yesterday was my first day at my new job.  I am the new Development Director for LSU-Shreveport Health Sciences Foundation.  It's quite a mouth full saying that.  I work in a small office in an office building, with some really sweet people.  Our office has about 10 people and I really enjoy all of them.  I have my own office, which is new, but no windows.  I think I'm going to bring some pictures to hang on the wall! If I'm going to spend this much time here, I would like some decor! 

My first day was good.  I was able to attend a local chapter meeting of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. There were about 30 people there (mostly women) and everyone wanted to meet me because I was new.  They were all so sweet and from non profits all over Shreveport.  I found many organizations I'd like to get involved with, including one called Holy Angels, which is a home for mentally challenged adults.  My name was even drawn to win a free book at the end of the meeting, which was fun.  Everyone cheered for me that I won since they knew I was new. 

I had a young woman walk up to me after the meeting and asked if she could take me to lunch some time and ask me about my background and how I got to where I was.  She is just out of college and I was really impressed by her assertiveness.  I had been talking to the head of a non profit at the time, and I thought she was waiting in line to talk to her, since she is obviously someone to know.  Nope, she wanted to talk to me!  I thought that was fun.  I look forward to going to lunch with her and learning something from her as well.  I don't always have the most assertiveness when meeting new people!

Last night when I got home, Stephen surprised me by taking me out to dinner to celebrate my first day on the job.  We went to a nice little place by our house and had our usual cheese plate and wine.  I love being able to sit with him after work and talk about our day.  I'm such a lucky girl ;) 

Dinner after my first day at work


The year was 1947...

The average cost of a house in 1947 was $6,600.  The average cost of a men's sweater was $8.50.  A lot has changed since then.

In 1947 a woman named Nell and her husband (who she called Red) built a house.  This house.

This home is now Stephen's home in Shreveport.  You may ask how we know about the former owners?  It's a really cool story. 

Nell was an 88 year old woman who had lost her husband 30 years ago.  She had no children and was living in her sweet little cottage until she passed away in a car accident last November.  When Stephen showed up after closing, the nephew had left everything but valuables in the home.  (That's what he thought!)  We were left with a house filled with memories, untold stories and even first edition books.

With every cabinet, closet or cubby, we learn a little more about Nell.  She led a very interesting life and I can't wait to learn more about her. 

This is my last day to get things done before starting my job tomorrow.  I'm going to decorate for Fall inside, and even get a mani and pedi, hopefully with Kat! (Stepehen's sister)


Molly Bear and Mums

Dad - The Master Packer
So, this was me.  Well, my stuff.  I just want to show you what I get to do when packing a car.  Everything to driveway and then the selection begins. 

The one element of this picture that is almost embarrassing, yet, I am secure and will be the first to admit that I still sleep with my bear.  That I've had since I was born.  See Molly bear on my tub of shoes?  Yes, she is also now a resident of Shreveport.  She was lovingly packed in the front seat, as she has on every other move I've made.  She likes to be buckled in the front seat.  (Yes, I'm 28.)

Today was a very productive day.  I told you I was going to plant, and plant I did.  (but keep in mind, that the mums haven't opened up yet, so nothing looks too impressive.  But this is an improvement!)  I can't wait to plant more! 

Yellow Mum, pink and green coleus, seedum and kale


I have arrived

Well, I have made it to Shreveport! It was quite a day. I woke up and immediately started arranging my pile of crucial items that had to come to Shreveport. I was so worried that it wouldn't fit in my small sedan, but that's where dad comes in. He's a master packer. I was told to put all items on the driveway, and he went to work. 15 minutes later, I had a packed trunk and car! I even got in some extra things I didn't think I could get!

I finally hit the road at 1pm and I did not stop smiling until I made it to Stephen. Well, I didn't stop smiling then either.

Stephen has been sick for 5 days straight. He's finally getting better thanks to a zpack. It may just be me, but I think my arrival put him on the path to a quick recovery.

We went to a local mexican restaurant called Taco Mania when I got here. I was craving carnitas. Now we're home and having fun watching tv, and trying to decide what to do first tomorrow!

I'm going to decorate for Fall first. I'm thinking some fun fall pots :) and he's going to take me to buy some pumpkins. While we're out, I want some candy corn too. It's a must now that it's October. I can't believe it's October!