Saturday, December 03, 2005

LIFE'S A BEACH!!!!


Holiday Inn- Destin On The Beach
I wanted to let everyone know that I have reserved rooms at this hotel.
There are 12 rooms reserved- six with a King and 6 with two double beds.

The hotel is located on the beach! I have them reserved until May 9th, but don't wait until then because they may all be gone. They usually sell out during the summer months because they are one of the only hotels around them located ON the beach. They have given us a special discount rate, so when you call just say you are a part of the Ritchie/ West wedding party!
If I need to reserve more rooms, then just let me know and I will do so immediately. I just didn't know who was coming and who would want to stay there.

Other options are the Hampton Inn (in Destin, FL), Comfort Inn (in Destin), Sun Destin (condos in Destin), and Breaker's East (condo in Destin)!!! Also, Abott Realty helps alot of people with condo rentals in Destin and the surrounding areas. One of the neatest looking places was the Inn On Destin Harbor- it was also one of the cheapest places without taking away comfort, and especially great if you aren't the biggest fan of the beach, or just want to hang around a couple of nights www.innondestinharbor.com


The wedding is in Seaside, FL, but my family and I are staying in a house for the entire week before the wedding in Destin, FL as well. The travel time between Destin and Seaside is a little under 30 minutes.
The reception will be within walking distance of the wedding ceremony! You are all free to kick off your shoes for the wedding ceremony though, its on the beach!!!







This is a picture of the Inn On Destin Harbor!!

I loved this place when I was reading about it! It sounds so cozy and personable! Plus it has been newly renovated and the rooms look beautiful!

Does the song of the sea end at the shore, or in the hearts of those who love it?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day!!!


Thanksgiving just wasn't the same...
This is my last holiday without Wayne!!! He comes home SOON!!!

Thanksgiving tradition in my family includes what every Southern family's tradition includes: lots of family and lots of food!

We had 25 people from just one side of my family at my house today, from all over the states. It was so fun just eating past the point of being full, sitting around watching football and talking about what everyone wants for Christmas! This Thanksgiving I was told would be my last Thanksgiving as just an eater.....next Thanksgiving Wayne and I are incharge of bringing food!! They said it was a grown-up thing... Thank goodness I love to cook!!!

This Thanksgiving was so joyful for me, I realized I have some of the best years of my life ahead of me.....I am definitely thankful for Wayne in my life. God has blessed me more than I ever dreamed possible.




Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Blessing!



Lydia Alexander Michael

Lydia and I have been best friends since the seventh grade. She is such a blessing in my life and has never done anything to hurt me. She is always there and even when I moved off 5 hrs away to Baton Rouge, joined a sorority, and we were worlds apart....she still loved me and was the best friend I had!

The picture above is Lydia, but the bottom one is not Lydia, but her beautiful daughter Hannah Grace Michael. I was allowed the extraordinary experience of being there for her birth. I don't think she realizes the gift she gave me that day. I don't think I have ever witnessed anything more amazing!!!! I cry every time I think about that day!!! Life is just sweeter after you witness something like that!

Lydia is a terrific mommy. I am so proud of her!!! She is truely one of the best friends that I have. She and I have logged so many memories, and my future will always include her!!!! I love her to death. Everyone should have a friend like Lyd.

Lydia and her husband, Dana, and Hannah all live in Cotton Valley, Louisiana.

The picture below is (from left to right): Marissa Ebarb, Lydia Michael, Brook-lyn Fleming, and then me in highschool. I do have longer hair.....I guess I was just having a rough day!

Friday, October 28, 2005

La Duni

To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.

Karen Sunde

Wayne and I realized today that we have about 7 weeks until he comes home from Iraq for good!!! This is such a blessing to have him hom before Christmas! I cannot wait to see him!

Wedding plans have begun to pick up their persistent pace. We are nearing the 7 month marker till June!! I am so excited!!!

My mom, sister, Amanda, and I are going to Dallas in November to look for a dress. We are meeting one of my favorite people, Mrs. Debbie Garrett. She is going to join us in our search and celebrate with dinner at one of the most fantastic restaurants in Dallas......La Duni. The place is unbelievable!

La Duni Latin Cafe 4620 McKinney Avenue 214.520.7300

La Duni Latin Kitchen and Baking Studio 4264 Oak Lawn 214.520.6888

The left picture is the restraurant and the right picture is the La Duni family..


The Crew


"Home Is Where Your Story Begins"
A. Danielson
The benefit of being the oldest is that you remember the birth of each of your brothers and sister. I remember every rushed visit to the hospital for Clint, Amanda, and Luke.....for a while I was worried they would never stop coming!
I made the mistake one day of saying I was lonely. I remember I came in from playing outside, and asked mom why I didn't have brothers like the neighbors. Well, she solved that problem!

The oldest's position comes with alot of build in leadership; sometimes I tried to be mom and I always got the same response............"I don't have to listen to you....you are not my mom." (Luke had that line down pat.)

With a large family comes large amounts of love. We are all so close and really never argue or bicker about very much. I mean anybody who lives in a house together argues, but really we all get along great! The way I see it God had three best friends lined up for me before I was even born. Best friends for life! I love all three of you so much and know that you each have talents and gifts that will help you accomplish eveything on your dream lists. Life thus far would have been pretty boring and lonely without ya!




Luke



Luke Garrett Ritchie

Luke is by far the kid in the family with the most personality. I love him to death and know God has given him this enthusiasm for life for many reasons. Having such a personality and outlook on life will get you far!! He is a little business man too! He is only 14, and has plenty saved for the future, and even has invested in stock that is doing great! He earns his money with the business he started when he was 13 years old, which is a power-washing business. He keeps up with the names and how much they give him. He is amazing. He has always been a hard worker. When he was in kindergarten he would wash chalkboards for the teachers after school for some money, and then as he got older he would rake leaves, manicure lawns.....anything that was worth the hard work...even pick up pinecones!

Luke is not only a genious young business man.....future millionaire......but an extraordinary athlete! The picture above is he and Amanda before a football game!!! He is still in Junior Varsity sports, but has been asked to move up for both the Varsity football and basketball teams. The Varsity football team at Glenbrook is going to state this year!!!! Luke is also an excellent swimmer for the Glenbrook swim team.

Luke is going to be great at anything he wants to be great at! He is a leader, with a kind and courageous heart and spirit that will win people over and take him to the top of whatever he does. He is understanding, committed, loving, hard-working, intelligent, charismatic, and handsome.....all qualities of a champion!

I love you Lukie!!! I am so proud of the young man you are becoming!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Clint Man


Clint McCay Ritchie

All of those photos on the blog and nothing of two of my favorite men.....by brothers!! Yep, there are four of us. From oldest to youngest, it is me, then Clint, Amanda (one of my maids of honor), and then Luke. My next blog entry will be about my little brother Luke.

The picture above is Clint and me in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.!!!

Clint is a sophomore at LSU, and is in the Acacia fraternity. He loves it down there! Who doesn't!! Goooooooooooooooooo TIGERS!!! Oh by the way, LSU beat Auburn last weekend!!!

Clint graduated from Glenbrook just like the rest of us. There, he dominated every sport he played. A sister is allowed to say such things, but I am also just being honest! Clint's favorite sports were football and basketball. I am so proud of him for always doing his best! He and his group of guys, that were like brothers to me, always played sports diligently, and with more heart than any other group of highschool boys I have ever seen play.

At LSU Clint is majoring in Business, and thinks he wants to specialize in Fiance. I love my brother so much and know that he is going to make some woman very happy one day!

"Brothers don't necessarily have to say anything to each other- they can sit in a room and be together, and just be completely comfortable with each other."

Women will never understand this concept!


Monday, October 24, 2005

Queens of Everything!!



Marissa Ebarb and Jamie Wilson

Marissa and Jamie both have been amazing friends. They have taught me so much about life, love, and lessons! I am so proud of each of them, and the beautiful and talented women they have become. They represent the city of Minden well. Both classy examples of Southern Belles with southern charm and exemplory leadership qualities. I love you guys! Thanks for all of the memories and for granting me the honor of standing beside me on Wayne and I's big day! What a journey it has been to find each of our Prince Charmings!!!

Marissa and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of two beautiful children! Cade and Gabriella are so precious and both have turned out to be the perfect combination of both of their parents. I am so proud of Marissa...she sets such an example for other moms. I am trying to soak in everything I can from her, and watch her because her children love her and respect her.

Marissa Pickett Ebarb graduated highschool with the rest of us, at Glenbrook School. She joined us in the seventh grade, and when she came to town she took all of the boys' breath away. She was gorgeous then and she is even more radiant since she has had those two children that she and Chris adore! Marissa juggles Cade and Gabriella and school. She is currently taking online classes through Louisiana Tech, and is close to graduating. She and Chris are living in El Paso, Texas right now, since Chris is in the Army and stationed there. They are due to move back to the Minden area in November. I cannot wait to have her closer to home, so I can see her more often. I am so thankful to have a friend like you in my life. You have helped me through Wayne being in Iraq, and made the whole situation more bareable. I appreciate your listening ears, confident attitude, and continuous laughs.

Jamie currently lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she is attending LSU Law School. She originally went to Ole Miss, but then graduated from Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Louisiana. Jamie is so dedicated to her dreams and passions. She is a beautiful, multi-talented, brilliant, athletic, loving woman. I have always admired her hard work at everything she commits herself to, but also her diligence to be the best sister and daughter to her family. Jamie has two brothers, Tomlin and Borden. She rarely misses one of their sporting events. She constantly amazes me. She plays the piano and sings, and will be compeating in the Miss Louisiana Pageant the weekend after Wayne and I's wedding! She would make the most amazing Miss Louisiana. Well, James....I'm proud of you and so thankful that you are going to be standing beside me on the big day!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What Is Big Jim Thinking?!?!


WAYNE, BIG JIM, AND BEN

These three are the greatest....but doesn't it make you wonder what in the world my dad is thinking!
His daughters are madly in love with those two men!!
Truthfully, I know that my dad thinks the world of both Ben and Wayne and realizes God has blessed Amanda and I with two of the greatest!
Thanks Dad for all of your patience with Amanda and I throughout the years, and for teaching us to never settle for anything but the best!!!!!!!!!
I love all three of you sooo much!!!