Four Shrewd Shoppers

I just got back from a wonderfully relaxing weekend in Dallas, that is if you count shopping, eating, and laughing non-stop as relaxing (which I do). My mom, sister, and I always go on a girls shopping trip before it's time to head back to school; this year we added our dear friend Kristi into the mix. Fun times were sure to follow!

We ate our way through the city. Literally, I'm really not joking. We hit all the local favorites - La Madeline, Chuy's, Patrizio's, Bread Winners, Sprinkes, and J. D. Chippery. I probably won't have to eat again for days... Kristi, our resident food expert, took careful note of each meal and entree ordered. Her careful reviews and fun photos can be found on her newly rediscovered blog - http://www.farmersfavorites.blogspot.com/. (We're just a blogging bunch these days.) We even carted cupcakes and cookies back to Arkansas for our dear friends and families. This is quite the feat in 100 degree weather... Let's just say the cupcakes went inside every store we did.

I am no stranger to the phrase "shop until you drop", but we took it to a whole new level this weekend. I got a few necessary "teacher" items (cardigans, pants, teacher boots, etc.) and a few other fun things. All in all, we had a wonderfully successful back-to-school/work shopping trip!

(Don't worry Dad. They're not all mine!)

The Party Bus

It started out as an ordinary day but turned out to be so much more. The official kick-off for the Best Friend Dinner (a weekly or bi-monthly dinner that allows us to stay adrift on the happenings of each others' lives) was scheduled to be hosted by Caroline. We were all looking forward to seeing her new place and catching up. We were supposed to wear cute dresses because the theme of the night was "Cocktail Chic" (yes, I did just make that up). Well, Mel and I decided to ride together as everyone else had to stop somewhere on the way. It turned out that we were running late and didn't even know where Caroline's house was (both shocking, I know). Surprisingly, I was not stressed at all.
We pulled up and saw everyone's cars and...drum roll please...a PARTY BUS! Mel's reaction went something like this, "Wow! They live in a mansion, and they have a party bus." With the enormous amounts of weddings we've been attending, I figured a certain someone might have gotten engaged. I know it doesn't make sense that a party bus would be involved, but it did at the time. Then, I thought that Caroline must have decided to surprise everyone with a night on the town. Once again, this one doesn't make sense either. Oh well!

Mel and I figured that we should join the party on the bus. We got on, and everyone yelled, "Happy Birthday!" My birthday is still a week away, and I was totally surprised! I had absolutely NO CLUE about the party. Considering my knack for snooping and nosy nature, this must have been a pretty tricky fete. Rachel got the idea for the party, and everyone else pitched in to make it happen. Have I mentioned that I have the BEST friends in the entire world? Party hats, streamers, and balloons filled the air, and Mel's mix was blaring the perfect songs in the background. The bus also came equipped with a little-used VHS player. Who knows why? We traveled to Bonefish (one of my top five favorite restaurants) where we were met by my lovely family (minus Big Dan) for a delightful dinner. The cake ended the night on a sweet note.

Then, it was back on the party bus for the ride back to Fayetteville. The night was absolutely perfect, and I cannot thank my friends enough!

Sometimes words just aren't enough...

The party planners tooting their horns for a job well done!

Amy, Mel, Annie, and I peek out the bus door...

Turning 22 may not be so bad after all...

Rachel Jessica (aka the mastermind of the evening) in action. Get it girl!

Toot! Toot! It's Jen's birthday!!!

Sing it sisters!

Pretty much the whole group (minus Kenlie - We missed you girl!)

Will put on a show for everyone. Whoop! Whoop!!!

The whole group after dinner!
(Nick and Caroline, Erin, Melinda, Mikki, Trent and Erin, Will, Katelyn, Luke and Kirsten, Annie, Rachel, and Blake and Amy)

All the girls! A perfect party!!!


The Story of Us (in pictures of course)

Well, they say a picture speaks 1,000 words, so I thought this might be a good way to catch you up on our lives so far. Here goes nothing...


Meet the Girls

Standing 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and hailing from Shawnee, Oklahoma, it's Amy Rachele A. (formerly W.). Amy recently graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in communications. Amy works at Glo in Fayetteville and makes sure that we always look our best! She married our dear friend Mr. Tornado almost one month ago and is LOVING married life. After a beautiful wedding and a honeymoon in Jamaica, Amy and Blake are playing house in their new apartment in Rogers. She is becoming a true homemaker in every sense of the word, and we are so proud of her.

Introducing the literature expert of the group, here's Annie Carlisle R.! The 5'4" Fayettevillian is finishing up her last semester as an English major at the U of A. After that, she's off to grad school somewhere very fun and exciting (and hopefully not too far away). She resides in the house and loves working out as well as reading the latest hits and the old classics. She keeps us on our toes with her great sense of humor and quick wit!

Back from a spectacular honeymoon with Mr. Rain Maker himself, it's Caroline Marie R.. Caroline hails from Conway/Springdale and recently completed her educational career at the University of Arkansas. She is gainfully employed at Loving Choices and is working hard to settle in to her house with her new husband. Caroline excels at keeping Mr. Rain Maker's inappropriate comments to a minimum with one fell swoop of the eyes.

Hailing from Fayetteville, Arkansas, meet Katelyn Marie G. The 5'5" Kappa sister is a senior communications major at the U of A (following in Amy's footsteps...). She currently presides as the marshal of Kappa Kappa Gamma where she works to maintain order and keep the traditions of yesterday alive for years to come. She works as the manager of Monday's Child, selling clothing to the finest of Arkansas's citizens (under the age of 7, that is). While she does not officially live in the house (she lives in the good ole KKG), she has 24/7 access to the house with a turn of her key...

Introducing Melinda (Long Legs) L.! An only child raised in 5 states, Melinda calls Cabot, Arkansas, home these days. She is in the process of finishing up her kinesiology degree at the U of A and plans to go to physical therapy school soon. She loves running and doing anything active outdoors. Melinda is certainly most well-known for her moves on the dance floor. She can shimmy like no other and can usually be found leading the "train" at wedding receptions. All aboard!!!

We may call her the president (due to her service and dedication to the Kappa house), but others know her simply as Elizabeth ("Mikki") M. The daughter of a Rogers, Arkansas, real estate tycoon, Mikki now resides at the house in Fayetteville. Her boyfriend Mr. Sampson (a local celebrity in his own right) frequently stops by to visit, much to our delight! She graduated from the U of A in May with a degree in international relations. She is currently on the job hunt, but the end is definitely in sight!

Rachel Jessica M.-enough said. A Southern belle in the truest sense of the word, Rachel loves being from the South. A 5'4" Fayetteville native, Rachel plans to graduate from the U of A with a degree in finance. This will allow her to fully realize her dream of owning a business and becoming a politician's wife. She loves the babies (aka her 2-soon to be 3-nieces and nephew)! She lives for fun and is always up for a night on the town (wearing sequins of course)...

Last, but certainly not least, meet yours truly Jennifer Leigh W. Hailing from Springdale, Arkansas, I went out on a limb and moved to Fayetteville to attend the U of A. I graduated in May with a degree in elementary education; however, I am still in school working on my master's degree. I am so excited about student teaching in the fall! While the picture does not do me the least bit of justice, I am actually very cool and organized. A teacher at heart, I love kids, crafts, and having fun! I would love to join Rachel in Washington, D.C. in the near future. Our love for all things Southern and desire to be fabulous PW's (politician's wives) seems to bond us together. I have the best friends in the world and love my life!