Thanksgiving 2017

Well, Thanksgiving 2017 is in the books and this wife, momma and nana didn’t have to cook one thing!  (1st of many things I am grateful for!)  Thanksgiving this year meant heading to San Antonio early to visit and have our first Thanksgiving with John’s mom.  At around 2 p.m. we headed to Lauren’s house where my daughters and family were gathering.  I spent the rest of the day loving on my family, and playing with my grandchildren.  What did that look like?  Well, that meant wrestling with Eli which I think amazed Jennifer as he would head toward me to “body slam” me and we would count “One, Two Three!”  Who wins?  And Eli would yell:  NANA!  and we would do it again and again and again.    Sometimes Eli would yell his name.  Wrestling is how Eli shows affection and so I always try to do that with him.  I love it when he grabs my hand and looks at me and says “Wrestle, Nana”.  And that boy also drug me out on the trampoline!  OH MY!  Thank goodness Ava came to my rescue!  Then there was Camryn, who is content to play with her toys in the middle of the floor and Marshall who between Eli and Camryn was enjoying the mayhem.  At the end of the day, I got to give Eli and Marshall their baths.  Haven’t done that in a long time and enjoyed it immensely.

Then there was helping Ava with her Christmas piano music.  Ms. Crider (my band director would be proud!).    I made Ava count the beats out loud and told her it was like cheering.  Everything had a beat and she needed to stay with the beat whether cheering or playing the piano.  It was great to experience that with her.  Music was something that I loved, and was such a big part of my life and I still remember today!  Learning to sight read and count out music before playing it.    It went something like this while clapping like a metronome:  Rest, two, three, four and one, two, three, four, REST, two three, four……

Lauren did a great job of hosting.  I was so proud of her for taking this on.  She decorated the table and Jenn and Keith brought scrumptious side dishes, and I brought one of our family faves “Sister Schubert dinner rolls” and a Pumpkin Spice bundt cake from “Nothing bundt cakes” (remember, I didn’t cook!).

I stayed to help Lauren clean up and put food away and we made the trek home and as I laid my head down at 1 a.m. tired, full and fulfilled……it was the best Thanksgiving in a long time…..and I know Elizabeth, Fischer, Ben and Hayes were smiling that through it all we understood the importance of family, thankfulness and gratitude.  It’s been so incredibly hard.  But my family is such a testament to grace.  God’s grace.  And for that I am so thankful.

It truly is all about gratitude.  As I was reminded earlier this week, the 10th commandment from God is about covetousness.    It is a commandment for the heart.  It is more than not wanting your neighbor’s things as we were taught as children.  It is God’s commandment for us, our hearts, the essence of who he created us to be…..to be grateful in all things, all situations and for all things that he has provided for us.  The most important, the sacrifice of his Son Jesus.  So when gratefulness is hard.  I would recommend starting with that truth.  It truly is about our hearts.  And I continue to learn at the feet of the Master about what that means.  Today was affirmation and I am so very grateful.  Thank you Lord.

Here are some pics at the end of the day.  We didn’t get a picture of us all together, but here are a few of me and the three littles as they were leaving and going to bed……

Let me close with I understand holidays are difficult for so many of us, that even though you are in a hard and difficult place this year, my hope is that you are able to find gratitude in the little things…..because those little things collectively are what makes the big things so amazing.  It is from a grateful heart that God does his best work and life becomes so very special.  As I have said before, there is beauty in the mess even when we don’t see or understand.

Blessings,

Julie

To my sweet Ava…..

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To my sweet Ava:

This brown make-up case belonged to your Zizzy. It was her first case that she purchased at Sephora.  I remember how excited she was when she got it.  I have been saving it for you for the moment when you would start to wear make-up.  And now that your Mom is letting you wear mascara, it seems now is the right time to pass this on. She would want you to have it, especially now, to have something that represented a significant part of her life.  I wanted you to know some things about your Zizzy, my Elizabeth and her passion for make-up and why this make up case is so very special.   You see, she was very gifted in her make-up artist business.

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Zizzy was the youngest employee (worldwide) that worked for Louis Vuitton who owns  Sephora at the young age of 16.  She applied at Sephora at the Arboretum (it was the only Sephora at the time) around this time of year, hoping to get hired over the Christmas holiday season.  The hiring manager was reluctant.  They told her that hiring high school employees had not worked out in the past, but the manager was impressed with her passion and her portfolio.  Yes, Elizabeth walked in with a portfolio of photographs of her “clients”.  Her “clients” at the time were her high school friends, but she convinced Sephora to hire her none the less.  The work in retail is grueling during the holidays and she would come home exhausted with tired legs and feet and tell me stories about rude customers but also how she loved interacting and helping her clients.  Her stories have had a lasting impact on me to always remember to be kind to those that are serving you in retail.  I also remember she had one sale that was $500!  She hung a copy of the receipt on the fridge.  She was proud of that accomplishment.

She fell in love with the Stila cosmetic line while working at Sephora.  She did “make overs” for customers in the store and I remember her telling me how much she enjoyed having clients that felt unattractive when they sat in her chair and how much better they felt about their appearance after she was done with them!

She made many friends there.  Friends who have blessed me since she has been gone.  She later left Sephora after Fischer and Ben were born to become a trainer for the Stila cosmetic line.  She even got to travel to New York City for an event! With her committment to her family, she decided it was time to leave retail and the hours away from her family and start her own business.  She would do what God had given her talent and passion to do and would do make up for weddings, bridal portraits and prom. She named her company “Twentycoats”. She told me that she named it that because she always got asked how many coats of mascara you should put on! Not that you should put on TWENTY, but her point was one coat was not enough.   Her business was very successful.  She won an award from “The Knot” wedding website for best newcomer her first year.  I remember that day she called to tell me.  She was so excited.  She was also interviewed for the Killeen Daily Herald regarding her line of work in the wedding industry.  She also decided to be a vendor at the Austin Convention Center for the Bridal Extravaganza!    Some of her Sephora peeps came to help.  They were giving free air brushing.  The line was OUT THE DOOR!  She was surrounded by brides all day who wanted to talk to her.  She ended up booking 6 months of weddings from that event.  It was great to watch her that day and I was blessed to be a part of it all.

She loved serving brides and their families for their big day.  She was best at calming their nerves with her easy going personality, her laugh, her smile and her talent.  She preferred to do the brides make-up in very natural shadows and lip color.   She wanted their inner beauty to shine through on their big day.  I think if Zizzy were here with us today (besides showing you how to properly apply make-up, what brands, etc) she would tell you as you begin to explore this world of make-up…..that less is more and how beautiful you are and therefore you just want to highlight that.

Your Zizzy had beautiful skin and was often asked what was her secret.  Zizzy never went anywhere without sunscreen.  I have no doubt, she would tell you to never leave the house without it!  She would also tell you a good skin care regimen is essential.  Zizzy always let her natural beauty shine in how she wore her makeup even though Zizzy looked great without any or when she wore her red lipstick!

Her dream was to open a spa in downtown Salado.  She obtained her massage license in high school, established her make-up business and wanted to go to the Aveda Institute in Austin to obtain a cosmetology and skin care license once the boys were in school.  I have no doubt that Jesus completes our deepest desires in heaven, and so I am sure that she has her spa on streets of gold and we will get to see it one day.

Also in her make up case is her curling iron that she used when she would do her own hair and when she would do her clients hair.   My hope is that every time you open her case or purchase make-up to place inside it, you are reminded of your Zizzy. She loves you very much and is cheering you on with God and the angels above. She,  like me and your family are very proud of you and the amazing young girl that you are and we look forward to the woman you will become.

Here are some pictures of your Zizzy sharing herself and her talent with brides and wedding parties……..

You were five when she went to heaven, and so I want to write down stories about her.  Stories that you probably didn’t know, but stories we will store in our hearts until we are all together one day.

I love you,

Nana