Friday, May 16, 2008

Another Wedding on the Horizon

That's right, the Clough's look forward to welcoming the Blue's to the family! Laurel and Jason are finally engaged! The long-awaited engagement occurred on Thursday in Austin and I feel so honored that I got to be a part of this special occasion. Jason had come to visit my parent's house last weekend to talk to my Dad, and we had a pre-engagement celebratory toast and hatched plans for the proposal the following week. Jason wanted to propose in a scenic spot next to a creek in a green belt area near their apartment in Austin. In order to get a picnic area set-up beforehand, he needed some assistance and I jumped at the opportunity to be there. I met up with him on Thursday afternoon and he showed me the spot to set up a blanket with rose petals and picnic basket with champagne and fruit. After setting it up, I was to hide a ways down the trail in order to put the ring (which I had attached to a collar) around Bandera's, Laurel's dog, neck. Sure enough, I heard them coming down the trail an hour later and instead of Bandera running past me on the trail, it was Harley who came right to me. So, although it wasn't in the plan, Harley was the one to wear the collar and bring the ring to Laurel. Needless to say, she was very surprised and ecstatic to see such a beautiful ring. Jason designed the setting himself, which has small blue diamonds (how appropriate as his last name is Blue) around the base of the diamond.

After giving Laurel another surprise by popping out and taking some pictures of them, we headed back to the apartment and got ready to meet some friends at a bar for Jason's birthday. Mandy surprised Laurel again at the bar, and we had a great time celebrating both their engagement and Jason's birthday with many of their friends.

I am so excited for the two of them and can't wait for all the wedding fun to begin again. Although no date is set in stone, it will most likely be another ranch wedding and Jon and I can't wait to return to Texas for such a fun occasion. It will be fantastic to have a brother-in-law and I'm excited about our stupendous growing family!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Texas vs. Iraq

It's hard to believe that on May 5th, Jon and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. Well, it wasn't exactly a celebration considering we couldn't be together, but I did get a phone call from Jon in Iraq and hearing his voice was gift enough. This year has truly flown by so quickly, and three days before our anniversary, Jon left for Iraq for his eight-month deployment. Although I will desperately miss him, I have fun plans of my own for the summer as I will be returning to Texas.

I've only been back four days, but have already had Tex-Mex several times and am re-adjusting to the Texas heat and humidity. I have stayed in my parents house numerous times since graduating high school, but this will be my first time to live in my old room for four months since high school with no car. Therefore, I feel I'm returning to the age of 15 when I would have to beg for rides from Mom and Dad and had all my household chores. Truthfully, I'm so excited to be home again and really won't be at "home" all that much. There are so many friends I look forward to re-uniting with, weddings to be a part of, vacations to go on, etc. Really, I'm looking forward to an outstanding summer with the family, and what an opportunity to spend so much quality time with my parents even as a married woman.

Jon will hopefully send updates on the blog periodically during his deployment although he worries that it will simply be a recount of groundhog day. Regardless, we plan to still update the blog even if we won't have travels in Europe to write about (at least for four months). This summer will be dedicated to my hometown return and all the adventures of reunions with family and friends.

Thank you for continuing to read the blog and for your support of Jon and me as we endure this deployment. One thing is for sure, we've both been through the long-distance dance before - this will be a piece of cake.