Hello... I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! I made two 28-pound turkeys. One for my sister Kathy's and one for my house. The kids and I cooked for two days straight! Thanksgiving was just amazing, and we were and are very thankful for all God has blessed our lives with.
Seeing how excited Yolanda was to see Gigi was so adorable. She looked like a little girl herself. I know the feeling waiting for them to come home! The proud moms waiting just to see their little faces...and to put your arms around them! Gigi looked so beautiful as always. What a natural beauty.
It's nice to see Lisa V. and Ken's restaurant PUMP doing so well! It is such a beautiful restaurant, and they are always so kind and thoughtful to host dinners for their friends on special occasions.
I really enjoy seeing Brandi settling into her new home with the boys. Seeing her try to hang a picture is a whole other story. LOL.
Watching my sister and Maurice shop with Portia was very cute. There's something about when Daddy comes shopping...they know they can get away with a lot more. And boy did she try! Portia is sweet and adorable and those faces! I just love her!
It was nice to see Yolanda spending some one-on-one with Bella. Such a good mommy! Bella is such a beautiful girl! It's hard to think of another one off to college! Yo, you did good!
Wow, and then there's my baby girl! My first born... Brooke got engaged last Christmas! One of the most exciting calls I've ever gotten. I just love her fiancé Thayer. He is like a son to me. I couldn't be more thrilled. My little girl, beautiful and sweet. My daughter is getting married, and it is so exciting!
Nolan Miller and Mark Zunino designed my wedding dress many years ago, so no better place to go than to see Mark. Just walking in the door with my girls and "the bride to be," it became so surreal I almost started to cry!
At first I thought maybe Brooke and I would go alone just the two of us. But then after we talked about it, we decided we wanted the input from her sisters, my sisters, and cousins! We wanted everyone to be there. I'm so glad that my sisters could be there to share in this experience! When Brooke walked out in the first dress, I couldn't believe how beautiful she looked! Like an angel! Of course it was only the first dress she tried on. There were many more to try.
Brooke likes a very simple dress, not fluffy or with too many sequins. She had already decided what kind of dress she liked by looking at pictures in magazines. She wanted to try some on and see what she and Mark could come up with. My sister Kathy definitely had something different in mind for our girl. I think we were a little quiet for a moment, but Kathy has amazing taste. She only ️wants the best for us, and she's definitely going to give her opinion! Kathy says you don't buy the first thing you see. You have to try until you find the right one. Which is exactly what Brooke did! She and Mark worked together and designed the perfect dress! It wasn't even something you could go in and buy. Mark sketched, Brooke told him what she liked, and it was the most beautiful dress for the most beautiful bride.
Brooke and Thayer originally were to get married early next year-- a destination wedding on the beach. Brooke's dad/my best friend Monty wasn't feeling so good. He went in for a check up. He said it would be a few hours, but as I dropped him off and drove away, I got a horrible feeling. I turned the car around and headed back the doctor. He called me just a few minutes later and told me he had lung cancer. I said I knew that something wasn't right and that I was already there! The words you never want to hear! And the thought of telling our daughter! Over that week we decided to have a wedding with just our immediate family, so that we could be sure that Monty would be able to walk Brooke down the aisle. It is something every little girl and every father dreams of! I was going to make sure that happened!
The day Brooke was trying on dresses we found out that the cancer was also in his brain and spine! Brooke wanted to continue with looking for a dress. It was the best thing for us to do. One of the most important things I needed to remember was yes, Monty was sick, but our girl was getting married! And if Montys going to get well, we must be positive! We were and are very positive and hopeful that Monty will be here a long time. Sometimes yes, it is scary and hard, but we are very supportive of Monty and each other through this time!
For all you mothers out there with daughters who are becoming engaged to be married, this is a very exciting time! Wait until you see your daughter in her dress. It really is an amazing feeling. I can't really describe it, but when when you experience it, I hope you remember reading this! The joy, pride, love, and emotion that you will feel is overwhelming...enjoy every moment of this experience!
A special thanks to Mark Zunino and his team.
Love you all!