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Brenda’s Blog

— Style —

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Hope everyone’s having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! I just returned from New York City where it seemed as though every third woman oohed and aahed over my Julie Vos stacked bracelets, including the woman at the hotel checkin desk who went “gaga;” the woman at the next dinner table who wouldn’t let go of my arm; a fellow shopper at Barney’s and a friend I met for lunch.

By the way, Julie Vos is having a Memorial Day Sale this weekend!

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— Life —

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One of my favorite words is “beginning” because it conveys strength and hope. In the beginning everything is shiny and new. We’re brimming with good intentions and lots of can do attitude.

Beginning, again, is what our bodies do without our conscious awareness. With each new breath we refresh our brain and our other organs. It’s part of what God thoughtfully set in motion when He created man in His own image, and it’s one of the keys to our survival. Continue Reading

— Life —

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As long as the Rollings Stones continue performing, I’ll continue going to their concerts. The first time I saw the Stones, it was their second U.S. performance, June 6, 1964, at Teen Fair in San Antonio, Texas. I was there–by myself–to see Bobby Vee and Paul Peterson from the “Donna Reed” show. As far as the Rolling Stones go, you might say I’m a pioneer; one of the first. They changed my life but Paul Peterson? I don’t remember much about him.

This September I’m going to see the Stones again—by myself—only this concert is in Lucca, Italy.

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— Life —

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Regardless of where we are in life, we all have stories that have played in our heads since childhood. I’m not talking about fairytales and fantasies but our version of our life. Notice I said “version” because your viewpoint may be different from your parent’s or sibling’s. In some respects we make sense of our life through our stories… our history. Take my mother, for example. Whether she was talking about the past, present or future, mother always chose to paint herself as the victim.

She didn’t know it, but her stories played a major role in the stories I told myself and who I became.

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— Relationships —

Annie
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My forearms look like someone burned rubber on the highway except instead of tire marks, they’re teeth marks, and I have a newfound respect for mothers… especially of twins. I now understand when mothers say they haven’t gotten out of their PJs or brushed their teeth, all day, and the only meal they’ve eaten is a cold slice of pizza on the run.

If you or anyone you know is lonely or depressed, I suggest a puppy instead of antidepressants. If you get two puppies, just don’t expect to get anything done!

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— Relationships —

Debbie White and Deana Sears, Partners in Southern Charm Builders. Photography by Jennifer Denton.
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When most of us hear the word “homebuilder,” we think of a male-dominated profession, but these hardworking Texas women have built 17 homes in the last two years. Debbie White and Deana Sears are the powerhouse team behind Southern Charm Builders just north of San Antonio.

With no middle men—literally and figuratively—Debbie and Deana build homes for their clients like they hope someone would build a home for them.

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— Relationships —

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When a sudden storm descends it can unravel our lives in a blink. We’re forced to call upon an inner strength we didn’t know we had. If we’re lucky, we take shelter in the arms of family, friends, church and community. Often we’re forced to become our own strength. When James died unexpectedly that Christmas, his family wasn’t there for me, but then he’d predicted that.

“If I go first,” James once told me, “They [his family] won’t be there for you. I’m sorry, but you know how they are.”

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— Relationships —

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My bedroom smells like urine, and there’s a dog that likes getting stuck under my dresser, but I’m deliriously happy. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an eight-week-old puppy and until now… I’ve never had TWO. Everything is something to chew on: the dust ruffle on my bed; the edges of the old mirror that leans against my wall and the terra-cotta pots in the courtyard.

When they’re out of their crates, I feel like it’s Roller Derby time. Girls rushing past me like they’ve got wheels on their feet!

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— Style —

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Throughout history many marriages were more of a business arrangement between families than a marriage of love. If the bride came from wealth, her dress reflected her status, otherwise, most brides wore the best dress they owned. It wasn’t until the marriage of England’s Queen Victoria in 1840, that white wedding dresses came into vogue. Since then styles and traditions have changed. First-time brides no longer feel they have to wear white, and choosing a dress for a second wedding—especially if the bride is a certain age—is often more challenging.

Months before I married James, I hadn’t given my dress much thought until… One morning I awoke with what can best be described as a strong message.

As clear as can be, my little voice said, “Your dress is waiting for you. Go find it. Today.”

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— Life —

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Today I transferred the contents of my safety deposit box to another bank. The contents contained things you might expect to find in a safety deposit box, but it was my diaries and old passport photos that reminded me of one of the scariest, yet most exhilarating times of my life. A lot for a 20-something to endure, much less to write about so matter-of-factly.

“7/2/82: Guido and Little Louie [my names for the men who steal our garbage and override our alarm system] are still with us.”

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