Jude Landry Store

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It takes a village

I was lucky. Blessed, really. I didn't have to take care of two girls all by myself for the 40 days that Jude was gone. I had really great help from a few people and I had a few things that made my time away from Jude bearable. So here goes the thanks, I couldn't have done it without you:

My mom & dad - watching Joan the first week & a half for me, then mom driving here to stay another week, then driving back to LA with me to help with the girls for another 10 days, for the foot rubs, baths, and feedings.
My mother & father-in-law - for helping me with the girls for a total of 11 days, for encouraging Joan to eat (every. single. bite.), bedtime stories, baths, and food.
Stephanie and Lillybug - for giving up your bed (and maybe your sanity) when we slept over.
Chloe & Art, Amy & Brandon, Mark & Sara (+Ryan) - for your visits and your laughter

Also deserving of a bit of thanks...
white wine
blogs & good blogging friends
wireless internet
cherry coke
sound machines
water parks and swimming pools
united states postal service
online bill paying
realtor, john armstrong
disposable diapers
manicures & pedicures
lands end & dirt cheap
8pm bedtimes
bravo tv, hgtv, & the food network
sewing machines & fabric
landlords, wallace & christina
cellular phones & text messaging
zoomba & wii's just dance
mr. gatti's pizza
a darrell's special with everything on it

And I know I'm making light of it all right now, but really, I'm so thankful to get my husband back tonight. My prayers and my heart goes out to those whose spouse isn't coming back or those without the help and resources I had. God be with them, as He was with me.

And thank you Jude, for the box of beautiful flowers found on my porch this morning! All those years of delivering flowers finally paid off - I think my arrangement came out quite nicely.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We have fun.

And here's how we do it.

Playing in drapes. Dancing. Singing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sing it, Ray.

That's right, Jude gets home on Thursday! This song just might be on repeat as I make my way back to Starkville today.

Three More Days by Ray Lamontagne
**Update: I just saw that Jude put this same video on his blog. We talked about how I would be listening to this song all the way home, but I think it's pretty cute that we both blogged it...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

And it only took 4.5 years.

We moved to Illinois in the fall of 2006. And ever since our first Christmas of that year, we've tried to take a picture of any drive-thru daiquiri shop in Louisiana for our friends up north. They (specificially the Herr's, Gesterling's, and McGraw's) always thought it was crazy to give drivers alcohol (even if in a sealed container...). Jude and I joke about how for over 4 years, we've always forgotten to take that picture, post it on facebook, and tag them all. I was not going to let that happen again. So this post is for Jude and our friends up north. Cheers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

This is what happens...

...when you don't allow your daughter to walk before her papa gets back from Italy. She improvises.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Poor Jasmine

I wonder if she'd be picked last in kickball, too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keeping busy

22 days is a long time to be away from your home. I knew working on a few sewing projects would help pass the time and I'm pretty proud of what I've done. Not only did I get a chance to repair some clothes and take in a skirt, but I actually made some dresses for the girls and their cousins. This is the first time I've ever sewn a dress from scratch. I didn't have a pattern, but I did look at a few tutorials online. I would link up, but I never really found one that I liked. So I made it up as I went and I think it turned out great. But the tutorial for the t-shirt dresses can be found on my blog here.

Little sun dresses with elastic straps and collars

t-shirt dresses

I guess I have to stop telling people, "I don't really sew..."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Dads,

(and by Dads, I mean my kids' Papa, Papa John, and Big Poppa. Maybe I should change the title to Papas...)

I'm afraid I don't have any great poetic words today for the celebration of your role as father. I've tried writing a bunch of stuff here for each of you and I just end up deleting it 20 seconds later.

So, I've decided on this: You bless us.

Though the phrase is simple, its meaning is grand. And so are you.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who - not what

Today I was having a conversation with God in my head. It went a little like this,

God, I know it would be really nice and easy on us if we could just get rid of that house - but I also really want it gone so that You may receive glory.

I mean, it would have been such a great witness for our unbelieving friends to see the power of prayer and faithfulness, or to our non-Catholic friends who misunderstand novenas or the intercession of saints.

I really wanted us to be that family with the amazing story of "One day after the novena, our house was sold," because I truly want others to see how mighty You are, what great deeds You do. Maybe we could have brought souls to You or back to the Church.

And yeah, I understand the whole 'suffering is redemptive' perspective, but to other people it could just look like you're forgetting us, and that's hard to explain to others who are already having a hard time with You - no offense...

And I immediately thought of my friend Bonnie as an example. Her son was born without a heartbeat for over an hour and spent a good while in the NICU. Doctors, nurses, specialists - all gave predictions of the worst for him. But her family immediately called upon family, friends, and strangers for prayer for his complete healing. (And in no way do I mean to compare the potential of losing our house and money to that of losing a child. The similarities exist in the way we've approached our very different crosses. And she's probably done a better job at it than I have.) But through the faith and prayers of Bonnie and those she loves, I believe God healed James. It was truly a miracle that we were able to witness. And now, her story - James's story, gives glory to God.

And for a moment, how foolish of me, I thought that somehow God missed a great opportunity to use us. So foolish, I know. But in weakness, I thought, how discouraging our story could be for someone already struggling with God's presence in their lives or struggling with prayer or Catholicism.

And as quickly as I thought it, God revealed something great to me. It went a little like this,

I know the plans I have for you. Yes, you are called to carry this cross, as Bonnie was called to hers. But your roads are different. I am restoring faith in the hearts of people through healing My son, James. But for you, I am asking that you remain faithful to prayer and hope and sacrifice even without the rewards for the time being. This is so that others may see not just what I can do, but Who I am. I am not just the Healer, Creator, Miracle Worker, Protector, or Provider.

I Am God. And that is enough.

So family and friends - strangers who read this blog and know our house-hell story - I hope that I've in some way been a fraction of what God needs me to be, so that I may testify to His unconditional love for me, and you, even when the circumstances seem otherwise. Forgive me in my failings and encourage me in my weaknesses. God bless you and may praise and glory be to the Blessed Trinity.


Great job random sign in south Louisiana. You couldn't have been more ambiguous.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our Engagement Story

Betty Beguiles is collecting engagement stories and sharing them on her blog, so here's our whole story - from beginning to end. I'll try to keep it short. You can do this, too.

In 2002, I was a freshman in college and attending daily Mass. Looking at everyone’s reflection in the glass behind the altar, I thought, Oh my, I guess I could meet my future husband at any moment now...

After Mass, I met some older students on the steps outside the chapel. Jude was one of them and introduced himself as this year’s president of the campus ministry. He was so handsome, friendly, and Catholic… so, you know… I began my crush.

We quickly became good friends through our involvement in the campus ministry and praise band. But as my attraction for him grew, he started dating someone else.

They dated for about a year and a half and we remained friends throughout this time. We just got along so well and were so comfortable with one another. And I was even in and out of crushes on different guys (I’m sure you remember this, Jill…).

When he broke up with her, he came to me for support. And a good while after their relationship ended, he developed feelings for me and shared them with me. I however, was right in the middle of a crush that actually had potential.

But we were always honest with each other. He shared with me his feelings and actual love for me, and I told him I was confused. Poor thing. He continued to pursue me, I mean really pursue me - letters, gifts, surprise visits, and writing me songs.

During this time of crushing and pursuing (the spring of 2004), I was elected as president for the following school year and decided to remain single to be more devoted to the students. And over the spring and summer, my feelings for the other kid eventually faded.

But my feelings for Jude basically exploded. And since I was trying to be single and I wasn’t sure if the feelings were solely because of his affection, we began discerning if we were meant to be in a relationship.

I realized over the summer that I did love him, and I shared this with him, too – all before being together we were both saying ‘I love you.’ But then, trying to be single became more of a distraction than just being in a relationship with him and having his support.

So on Thanksgiving, he came to my parents’ house and told them that he would be asking to court me soon. They said, “Uh, what does that mean? Are you engaged?” We assured them that it just meant we were taking dating very seriously and it could lead to a quick engagement.

On November 29, 2004, he made me dinner, bought me presents, sang me a song, and asked to court me. And thank God, because life got easier (and better) after that.

It soon became clear that we were called to marriage. He asked for my father’s blessing and picked out a ring, all with out me knowing.

And on October 14, 2005, he proposed.

We were leaving town so that I could sing in a wedding and we stopped by the Catholic center so that I could make copies of the music first. After getting out of the car, he said, “Actually, I already made the copies.” While I was asking why and what we were doing, he led me to the steps of the chapel and reminded me that this was the very place he met me, the beginning of our friendship, the foundation of our courtship and spiritual connection. And in front of Christ in the Eucharist, and he knelt down and said, “Alisha, I want to serve Christ with you for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?”

And on July 29, 2006, I married him.

     1.5 years of solid friendship
+   9 months of discernment
+  11 months of courtship
+   9 months of engagement
5 years of marriage that I’m very grateful for

Great. This didn’t make me miss Jude at all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

She's got tricks up her sleeve

Here's the latest of what Charlotte can do:

Talking on the phone.

Making weird jaw-faces without any noise. It's kind of bizarre.

Playing peek-a-boo.

Licking her lips (even if I can never seem to capture it).

And best of all, sharing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

You are my sunshine

You may need to turn the sound up for this.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Try not to get upset. Try not to get upset.

Try not to get upset. Try not to get upset.

But when you get this feedback from an agent showing your house,"That garage is bad no one will buy it with that floor. Makes you wonder about the house," wouldn't you get upset?

Try not to get upset. Try not to get upset. Try not to get upset.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

[Italian] Cafe

If you knew Jude and I in college and watched our relationship form, then you'd know that Marc Broussard started it all. He's basically why we got married. See, Jude and I were great friends and he introduced me to the music of singer/song writer Marc Broussard from Carencro, Louisiana. It was our first real connection and bond as friends.

I still remember the first time we went to see Marc play in Lafayette. I went, Stacey went, Jude went, and Drea went. Who's Stacey? Oh, she's my friend who eventually married my cousin. Who's Drea? Oh, that was Jude's girlfriend at the time...

And now, tonight, I'm going with Stacey to see Marc play - sans Jude and obviously sans Drea - full circle, kind of...

Music has always been a huge part of my relationship with Jude. And it's interesting to see the evolution of our tastes from then to now (always at the same time). No, Marc Broussard is no longer playing over and over in my car as it once was, but his riffs still give me chills, especially in this tune, French Cafe. I'm sure Jude's somewhere in Italy, loving me from some little cafe, too.

Lyrics, because I like to know them when I listen,

Friendly people
But I can't make out all the words
Melodies so sweet through all the trees
From different birds

All around me
Sights and sounds and songs I've never heard
Swearing I'll be back again
One more week might do me in

And I stop to catch my breath
On the slippery steps of Angouleme
And with my little finger
Across the town I write your name

I can't stop drinking the wine
Can't stop counting the days
A world apart, an ocean away
Just loving you baby
Sittin' here, loving you
From this little French cafe

Oh, yeah
Turn the bed down, baby
Pray that jumbo plane's gonna bring me back
Got roses and bazaracs
Six Bordeauxs all in a sack

We may know some scrapes
But some things we won't ever lack
All the fields of Beaujolais
Couldn't buy you anyway
Couldn't buy you babe

All the oysters in Marennes
Whole French army and Charles de Gaulle
A million Francs wouldn't phase me at all
From loving you baby
Sittin' here loving you
From this little French cafe

Sittin' here loving you
From this little French cafe

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Yesterday was not a great day. But it helps to have a husband who is so concerned about me. (If you were on facebook and saw his status of, "say a prayer for Alisha, she's not doing well," no - I'm not in the hospital and I wasn't diagnosed with any terminal diseases. But I thank you all for your calls, emails, text messages, and facebook posts making sure that things were ok.) So now, let's start this day off right, with one of our faves, Verbatim.

"Joan, why did Jesus die on the cross?"
"I mean, He died so that we could go where?"
"Everywhere we need to go."

And sometimes Joan just says things that are slightly the wrong word or the wrong way to say it and it's just as funny:

"Momma, I need to put this money in my penny banky."

"Momma! My eggs are patching! They're breaking up with birds!"

"What did you said?"

"What clock is it?"
(what time is it)

"I love mizzerts."

"Can I have a ol-da-bart?"
(granola bar)

"Hi Momma. What are you doing?"
"Oh. I thought you were breasting."

"Momma, tell me a story about Jesus."
"Why don't you tell it to me instead."
"Well... He was there and was playing with His friends, but then,
uh-oh, He was breaking the bread..."

Monday, June 6, 2011

By popular demand

Lots of people were asking me for this on Facebook, so here it is.

I got this tutorial from Kaitlin, but I had to improvise a little because my skirt fabric wasn't jersey and I didn't have quite double the fabric to make it more ruffly. But I still think it's cute. And it changed Liza's shirt with a hole in the bottom into a cute little dress. I see many more of these in my future...

Sorry for the cruddy photos, but you know who is still in Italy with our fancy camera. Apparently St. Peter's Square, the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and other stuff like that is more important than my weekend sewing projects. 


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Scratch one off the list...

Today, one of the top ten things that I love about our house will be removed.

Bright and early, tree cutter-uppers were at my house trimming big branches and cutting down dead and hollow trees next to our house. And I think I shed a tear when I saw our huge tree swing fall.

But in its place on the list, I'll write a much safer house, and in this year of severe weather and great tornado devastations, I'm ok with that.

Did I ever show you this photo from when a hollow tree completely fell over, blocking our driveway? It could have easily fallen on us in the living room while watching a movie. Scary. And then there was the time that 2 branches fell on separate occasions in the back yard and would have crushed our vehicle had it been parked there.

Thank you God, for great landlords and please continue to protect us and our home, or at least until we sell that other house - You do know the address, right?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sorry, St. Joan

Did you know that Jude drew this? 
Hasn't God blessed him with such great talent?!

On Wednesday, I realized that I forgot to celebrate St. Joan of Arc's feast day (May 30th) with Joan. Even though she was with my parents for the week, I wanted to send my mom some stuff they could do together to make Joan's day extra special. 

Well, I'm still bummed about it and I need to let it go. We'll try to do a little something special for our strong St. Joan tomorrow. I'm thinking shields...

In the meantime, 
St. Joan of Arc, Pray for us.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Other than the obvious,

these are the things I miss about Jude being gone:
1). He makes a better pot of coffee than I do.
2). He plays the guitar really loud while I'm cooking. (And yes, I like this.)
3). He "shuts down" the house before bed, which is very involved:
     a). Check that all the doors are locked
     b). Turn off every light
     c). Turn off the computer
     d). Get the phones ready for alarms and put them by the bedside
     e). Set the thermostat
4). He watches The Daily Show with me right before bed.
5). He walks through the house 2xs each evening picking up the girls' things.
6). He fixes me chocolate milk at night.
7). He takes out the trash.
8). He's the right height to change light bulbs in our crazy tall ceilings (PS, Kaitlin, please tell Ted that I bought a new bulb and would he kindly come replace it for me?)
9). He makes the long walk down the hall at 6:15 am to retrieve a waking baby, brings said baby back to me to feed, then stays up with same said baby while I snooze another 30 minutes to an hour. (This, I miss most.)

But since you're always supposed to look on the positive side (that is what they say, isn't it?),
1). I never have to logout of Facebook.
2). I practically own Netflix.
3). I sleep on his side of the bed, which is surprisingly more comfortable (which might lead to a very important conversation when he returns...)
4). There are fewer dishes and clothes to wash.
5). Making a salad for dinner every night is way easier.

And now, one major plus to having my mom here:
daily massages!
(Sorry, Jude, but you're terrible at them - you already know this. But let it be known that I'd give up the foot rubs every night to have you back - and that's kind of a big deal...)