WOO - CONNECTEDNESS - POSITIVITY - ARRANGER- MAXIMIZER

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Date.

When Kevin and I sat down to start looking at potential dates for the wedding, it was immediately a puzzle that we would have to put together. Before Kevin proposed, I had always pictured a fall wedding. Since I was assuming he would propose in November, I was thinking that a year long engagement would be perfect ending in a November wedding. So, you can imagine the kink Kevin threw in my plans when he popped the question in August. Looking back now, I am SO glad that he didn't wait until November. I would have been impatiently waiting and honestly, was ready to marry him back in early Spring! So, the fun began of really considering how long we wanted our engagement to be and what would be the perfect day for the Gleason Wedding! November was over a year away and I just didn't want to wait that long. When we started RCIA classes at St. Mary's our teacher shared this quote with me...and it of course rang very true with us...
At Lacey's wedding, my mom swears that she has never been so hot in her entire life. I would like to think it was the wine, but August 2nd definitely wasn't a "chilly" day for a wedding. Likewise, my dad spends his summers in the field harvesting so we wanted to keep that in mind as well to allow him to enjoy the day with us and not be worried about how many acres he could be combining that day. Luckily, neither Kevin nor I like sweating, so we pretty much marked out June-August. That was easy. 3 months down, 9 more to go. Since we were trying not to have a long engagement, September-December began getting ruled out as well. Perfect, 7 months out, 5 months left. The thought of planning a wedding, or I should say, the wedding I have dreamed about, could not be done in a short period of time and after being a part of so many other weddings, I wanted to make sure we weren't rushing anything and giving ourselves enough time to enjoy being engaged! We definitely understand that this is a very special time of preparation for us and we didn't want to cut that time short just to make it official sooner. So, after praying about it and taking all things into consideration: harvest season, planting season, graduations, Kevin's brother being in Qatar, etc....we decided on May 2015! There are 5 Saturdays in May so again, the challenge was set. A couple of our family members had gotten married over Memorial Day Weekend, and I remembered having that extra day off the Monday after was never a bad thing. So, we considered May 23rd. But after visiting with family that weekend wasn't going to work, so we started looking in early May instead. We narrowed it down to May 2nd and May 9th. There is a special little boy who's birthday is on May 9th, and we didn't want our wedding to interfere with Reid's 4th birthday, so we settled on May 2nd! After calling around to make sure the church and hall were available, it appeared that we had SET A DATE! May 2, 2015 it is! So, after holding it in for a few days, we knew we wanted to have a little fun as we shared this date with our parents. We got them together and let them do a little puzzle solving as well.
After a little unscrambling, they too were marking their calendars for 05.02.2015! We can't wait for it to be here and look forward to celebrating on May 2nd for many years to come.

The Dress.

Everyone has heard about "that moment" happening when a bride slips on that white wedding dress. Well, on October 25th, 2014, I had "that moment"! It was a day that I hadn't really pictured in my head. Throughout the entire wedding planning experience I have struggled with picturing myself. I could always picture Kevin, walking down the aisle to him, the hall, and my friends and family having an awesome time at our reception...but the one thing I couldn't see was me. That all changed, with my dress shopping day! It was hard to decide who to take with me on the dress shopping adventure. I wanted to take the whole crew of #LesleysLadies, but after reading a few blogs and thinking about it, I knew that due to space in the dressing rooms, I wanted to stick with the moms and my sisters! We have spent many weekends in a dressing room together over the years and they have never steered me wrong in regards to an honest opinion before, so why start now. I also was very excited that Kevin's mom got to join us for the weekend. Having two boys, I knew that this was a special day for her and who would know what Kevin would like better than his mom. So, to Houston to Houston we went. As I got ready I heard some racket going on in Lindsey's living room. As I walked out, I was surprised to see this waiting for me. My family always knows how to make little things into big moments with unforgettable memories. This day, was no exception.
. We started out the morning with brunch at an awesome place near Lindsey's house. Clearly we had a lot to celebrate, so mimosas were a necessity. Mimosas take all the nerves away, right?
A few people had already starting inquiring about when I was going shopping and I was feeling a little behind since this is one of the most important things about getting married, or so people say. I would beg to differ since Kevin told me I could wear shorts and a t-shirt to our wedding and he would still marry me. I decided NOT to go with his suggestion and venture out to find the perfect dress. After 3 stores and multiple slip ons and slip offs, I found the PERFECT dress at David's Bridal. Going into the day, I had a feeling that David's Bridal would be the place I would find it. As I stated before, David and I have been friends for a while now. Minus a few, the majority of my bridesmaid dresses had been purchased there. I always felt comfortable there, they had dresses in my size, and more importantly...in my budget. I had something in mind in regards to the design that I was looking for going into the day. All the other dresses were beautiful and I felt beautiful in them, but none of them were exactly what I had in mind....until I slipped on this one. It was the second dress I tried on at David's Bridal, and it didn't take long for me to realize it was "the one". For those of you who are married, you know that there are no mirrors in the changing rooms. Therefore, you wiggle into a dress, walk out, see everyone's reaction, and THEN, finally get a look at yourself in a dress. So...I put this one on (with the help of my sister, both of which were super helpful to me in the dress sopping experience), walked out....saw some wonderful smiles looking back at me from the girls....turned around.....and saw it. I am tearing up just thinking about it. In that moment, I knew. It was exactly what I was looking for, it was exactly my size, and it was exactly the dress that I wanted to be wearing as I walk down the aisle to marry Kevin. So, "that moment" immediately turned into my neck turning red, me tearing me, and in return the girls tearing up as well. I think I tried on one other dress, for good measures, and then decided it was "the one". I clearly, can't post pictures of the dress just yet, but I definitely want to take Kevin's breath away walking down the aisle in my beautiful white dress, and I am confident that I will. Here are some pictures of the shopping fun...

Let The Wedding Planning Begin...

Welp, the countdown is officially begun. In 158 days I will become Mrs. Kevin Gleason. Crazy to think about how quickly the time will fly by. A little over 3 months has passed since we got engaged and I am feeling really good about the wedding planning and have been in awe of how nicely everything has come together so far. Maybe it is the experiences I have had being a bridesmaid 11 times or maybe my event planning experience at work, but I feel like I am rocking this whole "bride" thing. It didn't take long after the proposal for me to sit down and start making my lists. Anyone that knows me knows that I find a great deal of joy in excel spreadsheets and word document timelines. So...not long after the lists had been formed. We started the event planning with the Fall Bridal Show in College Station on September 21st! I wasn't sure what to expect but having been to the bridal show in Houston with Lacey when she got married I was ready to feel overwhelmed. As I started browsing the aisles of florists, rental places, caterers, and bakeries, I wasn't stressed at all. The opposite really, I was having FUN! The girls with me were so helpful and from that moment, I realized that what I had coming my way over the next 8+ months was going to be so wonderful. Having the wedding in Cameron, we didn't need a reception location or a caterer, but nevertheless, we had a ball eating free cupcakes and signing up for tons of free giveaways (which I didn't win). Overall, it was the perfect way to start out planning our special day with #LesleysLadies. Here are a few pictures form the Bridal Show...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Our First Date.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I love to reflect. This weekend will mark a full year since my first date with Mr. Gleason. We met back in August but for some odd reason it took that man a whole two months to finally make a date with me a priority. In his defense, October 2013 was a pretty crazy month for my family. At the beginning of the month my dad found out he had a blood clot in his leg which made some new challenges. At the end of October, our family had one of the worst weeks when we lost my aunt. All of these things resulted in Kevin and I having to reschedule our first date three times. I guess it true what they say, third time is a charm. When November 1st came along and I was supposed to go to dinner with Kevin, I honestly wasn't sure I wanted to. Not because I wasn't excited about getting to know him, but because it had been a pretty heavy week. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I needed dinner with someone who didn't know all the sadness we had been experiencing. On Friday night, November 1, 2014, I agreed to dinner with a man who I had no idea I would be engaged to a year later. I had been asking around for some suggestions for the perfect place for a dinner date. I asked around and did lots of research which led to choosing Napa Flats, a new place in town. After multiple outfit texts to Bethany, I found the perfect outfit and waited patiently. As soon as I opened the door and saw him, all the craziness went away and I just felt happy. Happy that we finally had a chance to do dinner and happy for the chance to get to know a really great guy. After an extended dinner that turned into an even longer conversation post-dinner, I was super surprised at just how interesting I found this man. He was smart, played guitar, knew some people I knew, paid for dinner, and made me smile. I had no idea at the end of the night just how much I needed all those things. The next day I got some free tickets to the A&M Football game and was surprised when I decided to invite Kevin to go with me. He agreed (which now might have been because he liked me and might have been because he liked Aggie Football, not sure which). Again, I was pleasantly surprised at just how warm he was and how happy he made me feel. Here is a picture of us at the game on our "second date"...
I accidently left my parking pass in Kevin's truck which resulted in a very quick third date. We met up in Caldwell, went to Sonic, and sat in his truck and talked. After three quick dates in a three day time period, I ended up inviting him to my birthday dinner the following weekend. That first date turned into many dates and six months later, I found myself back at Napa Flats with that same man. At this point, I was pretty confident that he was the one.
As I look back at the past year we have spent together, I could not be happier that God put Kevin in my path. He supports me, he loves me, he makes me laugh, and on May 2nd, I am going to become his wife. So, to my love, here's to many more exciting years ahead as my partner! I didn't know I would fall for you so quickly, but when you know, you know. I love you more than you can imagine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mr. Owen turns One!

On October 14, 2013 (1 year ago today) our family sat in the waiting room in a hospital in Katy, Texas. We were overjoyed and patiently waiting to meet a little boy. We knew he would make his arrival that day and prayed for a safe delivery for Lacey and a healthy Owen. At 1:17 pm, Owen Joseph Abraham was born. He was perfect and weighed 8 lbs, 11 oz, 21 inches long. From the moment I saw him, I knew what a little blessing he was. Although, I had not idea just how much joy he would bring us in the past year. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from his birthday.
Since that day, Owen has filled a place in our hearts that we didn't know was empty. He loves his big brother, wants to touch everything, and is pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself). I always count down the days in between my visits and look forward to the next time I get to see him. Honestly, my favorite thing about Owen would have to be that he is happy. There is just something so special about seeing happiness in his face. He is so loved. I also have the honor of being this little boy's Godmother. As my first godson, I made a promise to Owen to always be there for him and to be an example for him in my faith. I take this role with great responsibility to live a life that is an example for him.
Also, I want to take a minute to brag on Lacey as his momma. I know I have said this before but there is nothing more that precious than seeing your sister be a mom. Lacey is patient, loving, and caring. If I might brag on her, she is raising two pretty handsome and well behaved little boys.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Best Marriage Advice Ever.

Kevin's dad sent us a link to a list of the marriage advice. Credit goes to http://davewillis.org/the-best-marriage-advice-ever/, I just copied it here to share with all of you. As Kevin and I prepare for marriage, I see a lot of value in this. I hope that is a great reminder for all of my married friends, and something to look forward to for all of my single friends. 1. Choose to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. 2. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling and when possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse. 3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the “currency of relationships” so consistently invest time into your marriage. 4. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage and remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character. 5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in the hard times, find reasons to laugh. 6. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.” You are partners in everything so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution. 7. Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak. (This is one of the many wise nuggets from my amazing wife, Ashley!) 8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it! 9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50-50, divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It’s not splitting everything in half, but both partners giving everything they’ve got! 10. Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else. 11. Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique! 12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage. 13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy. 14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust and trust is the foundation of a strong marriage. 15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” 16. When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly which will promote healing and create the opportunity for trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.” 17. Be patient with each other. Your spouse is always more important that your schedule. 18. Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives. 19. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away their tears, not the one who causes them. 20. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online. Protect your spouse at all times and in all places. 21. Always wear your wedding ring. It will remind you that you’re always connected to your spouse and it will remind the rest of the world that you’re off limits! 22. Connect into a community of faith. A good church can make a world of difference in your marriage and family. 23. Pray together. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it. 24. When you have to choose between saying nothing or saying something mean to your spouse, say nothing every time! 25. Never consider divorce as an option. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Road to Catholicism.

Early on in Kevin and I's relationship we started discussing religion. Discussing God and religion often times is one of those tough topics to bring up when you start dating someone. However, with us it has always been one of the most natural things to talk about. At the end of every conversation about religion I would feel a sense of peace. I knew that Kevin and I were both grounded in the most important thing, our relationship with God. From the first month we started dating, Kevin was extremely supportive of me as a Catholic. He started attending mass with me every weekend and along the way, I saw his heart start to open up to the idea of Catholicism. Last week, Kevin and I took a very important step by having our first meeting for RCIA. RCIA stands for the "Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults". This program welcomes people into the Catholic Church as adults and focuses on helping them learn the basic fundamentals of the church. This process involves a lot of prayer and is one that I participated in at St. Mary's as a volunteer. Welcoming people into the church is truly one of the most beautiful things that we, as a church, have the opportunity to do. It is a bit overwhelming that I am now sitting on the other side of RCIA next to my future husband. The RCIA process has already had its ups and downs but through it all we knew that God would show us a path if it was meant to be. As we walked into St. Mary's last week for our first meeting, I told Kevin that I wanted to make sure this was something HE wanted to do. From the beginning, I never wanted this to be about me and my wants for our marriage. He quickly assured me that it was not. Again, that sense of peace was back showing me that this man was without a doubt the spiritual leader, life partner, and soul mate I have been looking for. We both feel that being the same religion is an important step for our marriage as well as a future family. Being able to participate in mass together is something that connects you on a deeper level than just husband and wife. I can't wait to participate fully with him and to receive the Eucharist together. It is one of the things I am most excited about as we begin this journey. This process has been another reason for me to fall more in love with him. As I sit and listen to him talk to our RCIA coach about his relationship and what led him to this decision, my heart burst with joy. This man truly is the one I have been praying my whole life for. He is strong in his faith, he is happy, and most importantly, he is willing to do whatever it takes for our marriage and future. I know that this is a huge commitment from him and something that I do not take lightly as his future wife. So, please keep Kevin and his RCIA teacher in your prayers over the next 7 months. I am so honored to stand by and watch as he takes his very important step. Also, keep me in your prayers so I can control my emotions and not cry every week at RCIA. There is nothing I love more than hearing my man talk about prayer, God, and our future. Thanks in advance and God Bless You!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

OH gooness, I am the BRIDE!

For the month leading up to the proposal, I was hoping that Kevin was busy making some plans. We had talked about rings and the future and just how beautiful it would be when it finally would be a reality. Early on in our relationship I had told Kevin that we needed to date for at least 1 year. I had this crazy idea that I needed to experience every holiday with Kevin before he popped the question. That makes complete sense, right? We went on our first date November 1st, so I was just being patient until November came around. Luckily, Kevin viewed our meeting as the year mark. SO… on Saturday, August 23rd Kevin’s plan was set into motion. A couple months earlier Kevin suggested paying for his mom to get a mani/pedi for her birthday. I agreed and Kerri (Kevin’s Mom) sneakily suggested that we wait and go the weekend they came to Cameron for the Marak Picnic. Since we met at the picnic, I thought it would be neat for his parents to come to visit that weekend. That morning Kevin’s mom and I went to Temple to cash in on this mani/pedi followed by lunch with Kevin and his dad. Any opportunity for me to be a little spoiled in addition to his mom sounded like a great idea to me. The entire morning/early afternoon seemed completely normal and I literally had no hints that Kevin would be proposing hours later. In preparation for Kevin's parents being in town I also invited my sisters to join us for dinner at Oscar Store (one of our favorite places). I had been texting Lacey that week and she shared that they weren't planning on being in Cameron that weekend due to school starting on Monday. That afternoon as I was driving myself home from Temple I got a text from Lacey saying that they decided to come and were at Mom and Dad's. I immediately starting smiling thinking oh what a PERFECT DAY. I would get to see my nephews, have our families in one place, and then a it hit me. Family is in town, nails are done, dinner plans tonight….this was it! My stomach sank in excitement that this could be the day. However, after arriving at home, everything seemed normal, no one was excited, no one was dressed up, no one was acting weird. So naturally, I convinced myself that I had been making all of this up in my head. The week prior, I was cleaning Kevin's house in preparation for his parents coming into town. As he was outside I moved some stacks around to put them away. One of those stacks included 2 phone books (honestly Kevin Gleason, it is 2014, no one uses those things). As he came into the house he asked where I had moved his precious phone books. Curiously I inquired why it mattered and he shared with me that something very important was in there. He shared that he had been working on a letter that he wanted to give me. After PROMISING that I had not seen the letter he let it go. Well, on Saturday amongst our families Kevin told me that he had finished the letter. He said that he wanted me to read it and of course, Lesley was confused. “Can’t I read it later while we are alone?” "Why would I read a letter in the middle of a group of people?" Then all of a sudden, it hit me...this was IT. We went outside and read the letter (which was perfectly written and shared some of the sweetest words that have ever been written to me). As I finished the letter I prepared to see Kevin getting down on a knee, but he did not. No question was popped and we headed back into the house. Of course, at this point I am thinking, this was a trick. When we go back inside there will be fireworks, a waterfall, Aaron Watson, something? Again, everyone seemed normal and did not address us leaving for a good 30 minutes to go outside. As time passed I was starting to get antsy. We had a reservation (which was quickly approaching) and we were without a doubt going to be late. If you know anything about me, you know that I hate being late. All of a sudden Kerri mentioned that Kevin should “play that song for Lesley real quick.” Really? We don't have time for this!! And yet again, I finally had it figured out. Kevin would play a sweet song and then after get down on one knee and pop the question. I was so focused on that plan (the plan I knew was so Kevin) that meanwhile, he asked me to get him a guitar pick out of his case. Naturally, I leaned over, removed all the stuff in the guitar case (including a little brown box AKA THE RING!) and tossed it all to the side. My hair was in my face and it was kinda dark so I really couldn't see well but quickly determined that there was no guitar pick to be seen. As I looked up, I immediately saw Kevin, on one knee with the box I had just tossed aside in hand. I was in shock....surprised to say the least (although I was expecting it after the song). Kevin quickly asked me to marry him and of course I said yes. For all you women out there, you know that when you find the right one, all you can do is think of the engagement. How ill he do it? What will I be wearing? Will my hair be fixed? Will my nails be done? I was right there with you. And as he proposed I started thinking oh gosh, this is it. But all of a sudden a sense of peace came over me and realized that proposals are just a small part of a marriage. I was so honored to share in this moment with my parents, my sisters, brother in law, nephews, and Kevin's parents. But in all honesty, all that really mattered was that Kevin was the one asking me to be his wife. After I realized what just happen, our families prayed with us and we proceeded (as planned and LATE) to Oscar Store for dinner. Since the proposal we have been in a whirlwind of happiness. We have been SO overwhelmed by the amount of people extending their well wishes and prayers to us. I have always known what a fantastic support system I had, but getting engaged was a perfect reminder of the extent of friends and family we have behind us, rooting for us to be happy. So, here I am...ENGAGED. Be on the lookout for more blogs as I enter this fun time of being a bride. I know I will learn a lot and see a different side of weddings that I haven't seen before. So stay tuned for my journey to being Mrs. Gleason!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ashes to Ashes...

It's Ash Wednesday. This is my prayer for this lenten season. May we all use this time to grow closer to God in all that we do. Wishing you a blessed lent.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm back....Hello 2014!

Hello 2014! In my time away from blogging, a lot of life has happend! As I started to think of how I could catch all of you up, I realized that I recapped 2013 in my Christmas letter that I send out in December. So, in order to keep all of life documented here on my blog, here is a catch up post of all the ups and down of 2013. The year started off blazing with an unexpected nomination to be a Fish Camp 2013 Namesake! From the moment I found out about Camp Vaculin, I fell in love with Texas A&M all over again. January-August revolved around me suddenly being crafty, hanging out with 19 year olds, and buying all things BLUE! Getting to know the Aggies involved with my camp was a dream come true. I, without a doubt, gained 26 new family members over the course of 2013 and I couldn’t be happier about that. As I look back, I now realize that being a namesake was probably one of the coolest things that will happen in my lifetime. They say traveling does the heart good! In September, I took a fantastic trip to San Francisco with my best friend/cousin, John and two of our close friends Ashleigh & Garrett. It was a gorgeous state full of friendly people, fresh air, and beautiful sites! I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel with friends…not because of the places we go, but because of the memories we make. I always like to look back at last year to see what I wrote about and how things have changed. Since 2012 was the year of weddings, 2013 was the year of babies! On October 14th, I became a crazy aunt of TWO as our family welcomed my new nephew, Owen Joseph Abraham! I didn’t think Reid could get any cuter, but then he became a big brother. There are a lot of things in life that make me proud, but my nephews take the prize. Owen brought with him a new experience for me in making me a first time Godmother. Weeks later (on Thanksgiving Day), I became a Godmother again as my cousin Travis and his wife Kayla welcomed Chancey Lane Dohnalik! These two boys have already stolen my heart and have given me a new sense of responsibility to set a good example in my faith, my love for others, and the way I live. Unfortunately, 2013 has also had some struggles, as most years do. At the end of October our family said goodbye to my sweet Aunt Lisa after a long, hard battle with cancer. Even in the darkest moments of life, there are blessings to be found. This year I was reminded of how unbelievable our family is. It’s easy to be there for each other in times of joy and celebration. Yet, more importantly, I saw just how blessed we are in times of sorrow and struggle. As October ended and November began, a new leaf seemed to be turning. On November 1st I went on a first date with a guy that has turned out to be quite the surprise. Kevin has been an unexpected breath of fresh air for me as 2013 comes to an end. If you haven’t met him, I hope you get to soon!  AND there is is. As best of a recap of 2013 as I could do. I look forward to blogging more over the next couple months and hope that I don't bore you with all that is coming your way (since I have a LOT to catch up on). Love you all!