Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Asheville Wedding Weekend

Last we left each other, Jay and I were headed east to Asheville, NC for a wonderful wedding weekend. My sister, Angie, and her darling fiance, Nick, were about to head for the alter in a beautiful mountain town during the most beautiful season.

But first, Jay and I met up in Columbia, SC at Angie and Nick's house to reunite our puppies with their puppies. It was a huge doggy love-fest and a great reunion for the adults too. Angie, Jay and I tied up some loose ends while Nick worked his final hours as a single man. The cars were jam packed full of everything Angie and Nick would possibly need and we all headed to Asheville.

The first night we were in Asheville, Jay and I had an enchanted evening at the Biltmore estate. We started off with a wine tasting, then a cozy dinner, and the evening was sealed with a candlelight Christmas tour of the mansion. Perfect to get us ready for the holidays.

The second evening was a night for the bachelor and the bachelorette. Everyone convened at a pizza joint downtown and then headed off to their respected corners of the Asheville bar scene. Of course the girls had more fun, as you can tell. Impromptu toilet paper veils and lap dances were just a few of the highlights. From what I hear the boys had a great time gambling and harassing their cab drivers. Thanks to my awesome mom, the girls weren't without a sober driver as well.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner, well it was dinner and a show. The Leyendeckers threw one heck of a party. All the wedding guests who were in town were invited. Dinner was divine and yours truly helped Angie and Nick put a memorable slide show together to celebrate their relationship. But the real show was Nick performing a crowd favorite and blast from the past, "My Ding-a-ling". No fear, I'll have the video on YouTube soon. :)

However, I feel as though I can't describe the wedding day. I know that is disappointing, but I truly don't feel I will do Angie and Nick justice. They arranged an autumn wedding resembling a fairy tale complete with her sparkling princess dress pillowing like icing on a wedding cake, the gorgeous glen where they tied the knot, and the not so poisonous yet sweet caramel apple favors. Everything mirrored the colors of fall and the celebration was so quaint.

But don't think we didn't have a super duper dance party after the cake cutting, toasts, and first dance. Let's just say there wasn't a dry shirt/dress in the place. You know it means it was a good time when we all needed at least a day of recovery after the weekend.

Monday came and it was on to our next journey...Clarksville, TN.

Monday, November 2, 2009

On the Road Again

Update from the traveling twosome:

Lauren Lea will be leaving Arizona Tuesday morning heading to Seguin to coordinate the move of our household goods. From there she'll head to the Carolina's for the big marital shindig going down in Asheville.

Jay will complete his final leg of OCS training on Thursday and will head to Fort Worth and then on to meet up with LL and the bride and groom on the east coast.

Our life again is packed up amongst our two vehicles and we are driving to the beat of our own drums, no doubt playing a Journey's tune. We'll meet back up with you when we finally settle in Tennessee at Fort Campbell. Our new home is yet to be determined, so we'll also update you on those whereabouts then too.

Until then, Gig 'Em and Go Yanks!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Be Safe this Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Our safety brief this weekend: There is no need to drink and drive when you have a battle buddy who has his own breathalyzer. Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The City, Oh I Wanna Be There...

When the lights go down in the city And the sun shines on the bay I want to be there in my city Ooh, ooh So you think you're lonely Well my friend I'm lonely too I want to get back to my city by the bay Ooh, ooh Its sad, oh there's been mornings out on the road without you, Without your charms, Ooh, my, my, my

The lights definitely never go down in this city. Vegas is all action all the time, 24/7/52/12/365 ... You get the idea. Jay and I were both late to hop on the Vegas bandwagon, but thanks to our great friends Paul and Tara, we are no longer Vegas virgins! The two 'Vegans', as they call themselves, planned an awesome see-do-eat-gamble as much as you can in 2 and half days trip for us. They opened their guest room to us and were our local tour guides all weekend.

Jay and I got on the road Thursday evening, stayed the night in Phoenix and made it to Vegas around lunch on Friday. Just before we made it to the oasis in the desert we slowed down to see the sights of the Hoover Dam. We got a preview of ourselves playing tourists as we slowly drove the winding road through the dam. Our mouths gaping open, hands flying to point out sights, and me constantly flashing the camera with very little effort to focus was a repetitive theme for the weekend.

We arrived in Las Vegas with our tummies rumbling, so our tour guide suggested a dive where only the locals eat, El Sombrero. Sounded perfect to us! We were definitely happy and satisfied as we squeezed out of the tiny restaurant. Next...TO THE STRIP!! Again with the gaping mouths and pointing fingers, oh well it's not like we were able to stop ourselves, IT'S VEGAS BABY, the Entertainment Capital of the World, Imagination Station, Sin City, the Land of Lust!

Our first night was dinner and a show. We ate in Paris at a French steakhouse, Mon Ami Gabi, on the patio at the most scenic table in the restaurant. We were front and center for the Bellagio's water show. Between the bottle of champagne we ordered, the cool desert air, the beautiful people surrounding us, and the serenading water show, we were for sure we had slipped into starring roles of a Hollywood movie. After dinner it was on to MGM Grand for the Cirque du Soleil show KA. The set blew us away. The stage was moving the entire show and the performers moved along with it. At one point were acting on a nearly vertical stage. Read: Me trying to push Jay's jaw closed.

We walked the strip and saw the lights of Las Vegas Boulevard for the remainder of the evening making it an early night due to early tee times for the boys and early massage appointments for the girls. After our pampered morning, the four of us met up for a beverage that would lead us home for a nice nap. We were going to need all the energy we had for the long night ahead of us. I'm sure you've all noticed that our trip has yet to dive into the tables, slots, or roulette wheels.

Saturday night dinner served up a spunky Italian hole in the wall restaurant off the strip called Battista's. Great Italian classics and all you can drink house wine at every table, I mean really what can go wrong here. We knew we were at the hottest place in town when a wedding party arrived for their reception and the groom and groomsmen were wearing classic bowling shirts embroidered with the names of the bride and groom. If you haven't been to Battista's, you MUST go!

We had a lot of pasta and wine to walk off so we headed down the strip again. We just couldn't get enough of the lights! It was the most incredible sight, like a shorter version of time square, but a mile longer. We saw all the major casinos and of course had beverages in about all of them. Tara and I sipped champagne like true celebrities. Like the old folks we are, we all needed coffees a couple of hours in to our saunter down the strip since we still hadn't made it to the gambling tables.

We did finally hit those infamous tables around 2 a.m. at a locale's casino closer to the house. It wasn't nearly as crowded as the strip which amped up my confidence and ability to throw down some bets. We schooled black jack, prayed at roulette, and threw hot dice at the craps table. I was very pleased at how we well were doing. The end of the night rolled around and a few bad hands finally cut us off. We had all boycotted watches for the evening, and it worked! As we walked towards the cab, to our oblivion, the sun was about to rise.

Needless to say, Sunday was our recovery day. Four couch potatoes watched football and baseball all day with only breaks for food and naps. The trip ended on a very tasty note. Paul and Tara fixed fondue for us and we had a lovely, quiet evening at their house. They were the best hosts, better than any casino could have done, and much cheaper! We hit the blacktop again the next morning bright and early, and felt we couldn't get back to our puppies fast enough. Thankfully, Jay was driving and we did make it home pretty damn fast.

Las Vegas - CHECK

We'll definitely be back to this city!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Anytime we see our puppies make an adorable face, sit or lay in a strange way, or play together; anytime they lick their nose, wag their tail, or sniff each other; and anytime they forget they are dogs and act like humans we get the urge to capture their adorableness in a photo or two or twenty.

We're not kidding ourselves here, we know they are ridiculously loved and spoiled. We swoon over them every minute of everyday. They are our little girls and we love to share their charisma, talents, and lovable hearts with anyone who walks by, calls, or in this case follows our blog.

So enjoy this short dedication to Killer and Daisy Duke. The two cutest canines who fill our hearts with joy everyday.

From Dogs

Monday, September 28, 2009

After All These Years

Jay and I checked out a local village this Saturday. They were having an annual wine festival featuring three vineyards in the area. We had high hopes for the event, however once we arrived, we think we may have over shot our expectations. However, it was entertaining, and we definitely had an experience; therefore, we felt it was a worthwhile trip.

The wine and food were sub par, but the people watching was highly entertaining. The scenery was really charming as well, seen in this beautiful chapel atop the festival courtyard.

We didn't stay at the festival very long since college football and Yankees' baseball were calling us back to the house. The unexpected heat was also pushing us back into the air conditioned car, so we headed back for a classic Warren Family Saturday night...snacks, bevies, games, sports, and puppies! Our neighbor joined us for part of the evening and taught Jay a new board game, which required crazy concentration and counting. Good thing Jay and I had only had a couple of drinks. :)

Just another weekend of reminding me of how lucky I am to have found Jay. He has made me the happiest woman in the entire world. We have the most fun together doing whatever, whenever. Which is definitely one of the best perks of our relationship, since we have to be creative with our time together. Between deployments, temporary living situations, long weekend visits, and living on only one income, we're not always given the classic fairy tale or romantic movie setting. However, Jay has given me the most loving, romantic, and fulfilling
life, better than I could have ever dreamed up. Example (one of many): Our first wedding anniversary fell on the same date as a family reunion. All a bride and groom who hadn't even spent 5 months of their married life together wanted was a little time alone. So what did my resourceful hubby conjure up for us...a sweet moment alone in the storeroom at his mom's house. We cuddled up close in lawn chairs and toasted our first year of matrimony with champagne in dixie cups. But all I saw was two of the happiest people in the world reliving every moment of joy over the last year and feeling more blessed than ever.

No matter where Jay and I are living, Augusta or Clarksville, in an apartment or our parent's house, separate or together, I know our love for each other is so strong it will forever keep us bound together and close at heart.

A faded wedding photograph
You and me in our first dance
Our eyes are closed
We're lost in one sweet embrace
Since those days the world has changed
Our love remains the same
God knows we've had our share of saving grace

And I'm proud of all the blessings
You have given me
The mountains we have climbed to get this far
You learn to take the laughter with the tears
After all these years

You make it feel brand new
After the fires that we walked thru
Against the odds we never lost our faith

In a house we've made our own
Where our children all have grown
Precious moments time can not erase

Make a livin' up and down the gypsy highway
Seasons that we've beared to share apart
Somehow in my heart I always keep you near
After all these years

After all these years
You stood by me
The days and nights that I was gone
After all these years
You sacrificed, believed in me
And you stood strong
Cause with our love there's nothing left to fear
After all these years

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

'City of the Angels'

City of the angels, city of the angels

Some of my favorite angels originated from Seguin and as I flew back to Texas for my beautiful sister's wedding showers, I grew more and more excited to be near memories of them again. It seems as I turn every corner in that town I see another memory of my grandma, pa, or my sweet baby girl. Those memories are just icing on the cake now when I venture back to south Texas.

Walkin' and talkin' and laughin' about
Dreamin' the things that you want will work out
People and places where you wanna be
I'm lost in the city, who's got the key?

City of the angels, city of the angels

Visiting family and friends is therapy for my soul and although I am
usually only in town for a long weekend, I squeeze as much of them in those three days as I can. This trip was no exception since we had family showers for Angie and Nick, as well as babies to celebrate for many of my friends and family. Seriously though, babies and bellies are blooming all over the place. The bundles of joy bring me such a nostalgia and a yearning for another Jay and Lauren Lea creation. Jay and I know it will be our turn again when God feels we are ready.

I've got this feeling that things will work out
I've got this feeling and there ain't no doubt
I'm folding arms, hoping to find
Life in the city can bring peace of mind

My very talented friend, Chelsea Lietz (Chelsea Lietz Photography), gave me something I didn't think I would ever get again. She
captured another beautiful mother-daughter moment and again I realize how blessed I am to have such a strong circle of friends, family and faith surrounding me.

City of the angels - ooh, I hear you calling me - city of the angels

City of the angels - oh, I hear you calling me
City of the angels - just like, just like it used to be, yeah
City of the angels

I left Seguin knowing that I may only be back again in the near future as a flash of break lights, but I felt rejuvenated, ready for the future and what lies ahead for me and Jay.

I'm going home (home), home (home), oh
Bye bye, bye bye, bye bye, oh bye bye, bye bye, bye bye
Yeah yeah, I'm leaving (leaving)
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh, I'm goin' home, my friend, I'm leavin' leavin'...