Posts filed under Big Fat Dreams

A Southern Shindig


TA-DA!!!  We are open for business y'all!  To celebrate and to show it off, last month we invited local (and some not so local) wedding vendors to a Southern Shindig.  

WR Inside.jpg

We had a blast!  But seriously how could we not?  Yummy, soul food, great music, and cool folks is always the perfect recipe for a great night!

Thanks to a "not so" local wedding vendor and new friend  Christina  for IG'ing our invites.  

Thanks to a "not so" local wedding vendor and new friend Christina for IG'ing our invites.  

Our invitations were designed by our friend, Whitlee Mullis.  Have I mentioned how talented this girl is?  I know I have and I'm sure I will probably say it a million more times.  Through the rebranding of Le Rae's, we have become BFFs.  She is one of my sounding boards for most, if not all, of my "big fat dreams".  This chic is  always honest, brutally at times.  One of the first people I called about the shindig, was Whitlee.  Our chat went something like this... ME:  "I want to have an open house for wedding vendors.  What do you think?".  Whitlee:  "Do I get to do the invites?"  Me:  "DUH!"  Whitlee:  "I think it's a great idea."  

Aren't they adorable?!  They turned out great!  Just look at that envelope liner!


My next call was to the other member of what we like to call #teamawesome....Wes Roberts.  Him being there was an absolute MUST!  Thanks so much to him for these amazing images.

A big fat thanks to my mom and the Red's crew for cooking this delicious southern spread.  

WR Food Table.jpg
WR biscuits.jpg
WR BBQsliders.jpg
My brother, Bert frying cornbread and green tomatoes.  Hey Bert, where is your bow tie?

My brother, Bert frying cornbread and green tomatoes.  Hey Bert, where is your bow tie?

WR Nana.jpg
LeRae Party-Processed-0014.jpg
WR cherrycrunch2.jpg

Our dessert table consisted of 'nana pudding bites, pecan pie, caramel apples, mini apple tarts, and mini cherry crunch (aka the star of the show).

WR Appletarts2.jpg

Of course, I didn't want to do anything "normal" and decided instead of having regular tables we could hang pallets from the 16" ceiling to use as food stations.  Poor KC!

LeRae Party-Processed-0025.jpg
WR hangingtables.jpg

Whitlee designed these adorable "Hey Y'all" prints that we used everywhere!  What about linens you ask?  We made them from painter's drop cloth.  Turns out they were the EXACT match to all of our paper pretties!

WR Hey yall.jpg
LeRae Party-Processed-0007.jpg
LeRae Party-Processed-0010.jpg

So many great folks joined us!  This guy below may have been the most popular person there.  This is Jay Mullis (Whitlee's brother).  I could listen to him play for hours!  Watch out Ray LaMontagne!  Check him out on YouTube.

LeRae Party-Processed-0032.jpg

AND A WHOPPING THANKS to Mr. and Mrs. Hicks for letting us borrow their gorgeous car.  

WR Car.jpg
WR hangingtables2.jpg
WR Windshield2.jpg

I am so thankful for each and every one of you that helped, supported, and cheered us on through the entire process.  And to everyone who came and partied with us!


It's Happening!

Kelly, Mr. Frank, and Jared

Kelly, Mr. Frank, and Jared

On my way to work Wednesday evening (I work once a week as a nurse), I drove to the land to tell KC bye.  THIS is what I saw.  The FIRST pole being raised.  I was ecstatic and mad at the same time.  I jumped out of my truck and yelled "I can't believe y'all are going to start this knowing I have to go work tonight".  They knew I was "jokingly" mad.  They all grinned.  Mr. Frank looked at me with that smirk of his, and said "you just wait until you get home tomorrow".  It was SO hard for me to get back in my vehicle and drive to Montgomery and miss it all!  

When I got off of work Thursday morning, I had a few errands to run.  Although I had been awake for almost 30 hours straight when I got home, I couldn't lay my head down until I got another look at their progress.


WOW!  In that short time, one pole had turned into a whole wall.  They had also raised 3 of the 6 large poles that will hold the half ton trusses.  I was in awe of the size of it all.  Word on the street is that by Sunday evening this 52 x 60 rustic barn will be framed.  I cannot wait and of course I will post pictures for those of you who can't see it in person! 

Y'all pray with me for God to give strength and safety to all of these awesome men helping make this big fat dream come to life! 

ISAIAH 40:28-31 (MSG)

28Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.


I LOVE.....To Dream BIG

10 day giveawayglitter.jpg

Wooooooo!  Yesterday was a tear jerker!  For the sake of my kleenex bill, I promise to try and keep today a little lighter!   

The first time I realized my thoughts and ideas weren't quite normal was probably 10-15 years ago.  One of my friends told another friend, "I wish I was as brave as Raeanne".  I don't know what I was doing at the time but I'm sure it had something to do with starting a business.  I remember asking my friend Brooke what that meant, "brave as Raeanne".  I didn't really think of myself as brave.  Her response made sense.  "You aren't scared to do anything, to start something new, to just go for it", she said.  Hmmmm.  She was right.  I guess I am kind of brave.  But, why would I be scared?  My thought or rationale in these situations is usually, "What's the worst that could happen?".  I fail?!  So what?  I can't tell you when my brain started working in this "reach PAST the stars" mode.  But what I can tell you is where it most likely comes from.  That would be Paw Paw (aka Red) and Mom (Debbie).  To dream is to be imaginative.  But to qualify as a "big fat dreamer", your imaginations have to go beyond the point of reason.  They have to almost NOT make sense.   I call it dreaming big.  Some call it crazy. ;)  And crazy is exactly what Paw Paw and Mom were called with some of their big ideas.  

Paw Paw cutting my brother Bert's hair!

Paw Paw cutting my brother Bert's hair!

Paw Paw is a barber by trade.  Early in his career, he would cut hair on Sundays at the local country club for extra money.  There wasn't much of a barber shop at the time.  In fact, he says they didn't even have a door.  But it wasn't long before he started this side job, that his wheels started turning.  He got the idea of opening a full service barber shop on a full time basis.  They (the country club) thought he was out of his mind.  This really wasn't heard of at country clubs in the 60's.  Truth be told, they said it would never work.  Well, guess what?  It did!  He started with a tiny, one room shop.  He recalls to me, "I had a sign up sheet for customers on my door.  I realized business was taking off when I came in one morning to see that sheet was full".  When the club was torn down and totally remodeled, the committee came to him for his opinion on the needs of the new shop/salon.  I can still see it.  Long gone was the tiny locker room turned cramped barber shop.  This was huge and gorgeous!  He was proud!  In 1994, he retired from an amazing accomplishment and successful career.

Red's Little School House

Red's Little School House

If you have been reading this blog series, you already know my family loves to eat.  This love for food and cooking turned into yet another "big fat dream" for Paw Paw and my Mom.  In 1984, "Red" purchased a one room schoolhouse on the same road we all lived on.  Mom wanted to turn it into a restaurant.  Talk about crazy!  And of course, everyone thought they were NUTS.  To open a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, well that surely wasn't going to work!  Haven't they ever heard "location, location, location"?  But, just like the story above, Red's Little School House is BOOMING!  Last year (after 27 years of business), Red's had it's best year YET!  It is truly amazing where ALL the people come from.  Don't believe me?  Show up on a Sunday afternoon about 12:30!  You can't find a place to park and you may not find a place to sit

And then there's me.  I pray at the end of my "big fat dreams" I can say I am half as successful as they have been.  Not necessarily in the monetary sense, but in the sheer achievement of it all!  (DANG!  I said I wasn't going to cry today! )  What an awesome feeling for both of them to look back and see big, fat dreams can come true (sorry that was borderline corny).  


Holley Gerth says it ALOT prettier than I do.  She calls them God-Sized dreams.  Today, I am adding her book "You're Made for a God-Sized Dream" to the goody basket.  I haven't finished reading it yet (I'm terrible about that).  But so far, it's awesome!  Hope you enjoy!

I say it everytime but I don't want y'all to miss out:

If you are new to the Le Rae Life blog or forgot any details, I listed the links below to refresh your memory on how you can win or so you catch up! 


DAY 1 - I LOVE.....KC 



Want an extra chance to win?  Here's some ways: 

  1. Instagram something that represents your big dream and hashtag it with #bigfatdreamer AND #theleraelife.  Make sure you spell it correctly!  Come back here and brag about it in the comment section below.
  2. Don't have IG?  Tell us your big fat dream below!



Welcome to Pisgah Hill


When my youngest (Hunter) was a baby, we had a Sunday afternoon, lunch at Red's, and then a little riding to lull him to sleep.  Almost weekly, I would purposefully take a left off of Gardner Road onto Pisgah Road.  This route was for one reason only - so I could drive by THE most GORGEOUS place around......1850 Pisgah Road Grady, Alabama.  This sixteen acre slice of heaven was once owned by my grandfather.  He later sold it to a man who was known for turning places into pure beauties and then selling them.  The work that was done on this property was AMAZING!  I had total "property lust".  I had never drooled like this over a piece of earth in my life.  Ponds, fencing, driveways, and the prettiest, green grass were added.  Every time I drove by, I daydreamed of owning it.  But, thanks to its hefty six digit price tag I was quickly brought back to reality.  Although I consider myself a "big fat dreamer", I'm not completely crazy and knew buying this was NOT an option.  From time to time, I would have to "mess" with Paw Paw by telling him he should have given me the land instead of selling it!  But for the most part, I guess you can say I kind of forgot about it.  

Years later my hubby and I caught wind that the land was up for sale.  We inquired (with no real plan) about it.  The price was PHENOMENAL!  But the more we learned about the deal, we knew something just wasn't right.  We walked away.  I knew someone would snatch it up quick!  I was sad but knew two things:  1) no matter how great the price was, we couldn't afford it and 2) something was off.  So, I guess you can say, I kind of forgot about it - again.  Another year or so went by, and I was surfing the internet one night.  Looking for a place for weddings, I was googling local real estate and came upon a familiar slice of heaven.  The acreage was slightly smaller but the price was ASTONISHING!  I couldn't believe it!  Long story short.....I love GOD!  HE ROCKS MY WORLD and NEVER ceases to amaze me!  Almost 10 years later, Kelly and I became the proud owners of 1850 Gardner Road Grady, Alabama.  This time we had a turn it into a beautiful venue for weddings and events.  I will never forget the day we closed on the property.  My Paw Paw and I walked the land and holding back tears I said, "I can't believe after all this time it's mine!".

On April 28, 2012, we held our first wedding at Pisgah Hill.  Our great friends John and Lacy exchanged vows in front of the big pond.

On April 28, 2012, we held our first wedding at Pisgah Hill.  Our great friends John and Lacy exchanged vows in front of the big pond.

It's been almost a year since John and Lacy's wedding and we have something new up our sleeve.  My good friend and AU college roommate called and told me she was engaged.  Her "must have" for her wedding was a BARN!  Both of us searched and called and googled and looked and scoured the entire state of Alabama for a barn venue.  Don't get me wrong we found some nice spots but none that would fit the bill.......too far, too expensive, too many restrictions, too busy, and the list continued.  UH-OH!  The "big fat dreamer" brain kicked in and I sent a text saying, "Hold off on your search!  You have stirred something up!".  Hmmmmmmmmm?!  Why not build a barn at Pisgah Hill?!

Front view.  Thanks to Mr. Frank for building our model barn and being one of our biggest supporters.  

Front view.  Thanks to Mr. Frank for building our model barn and being one of our biggest supporters.  

This is the side view that will face the big pond.  Look at those HUGE door openings!  LOVE IT!

This is the side view that will face the big pond.  Look at those HUGE door openings!  LOVE IT!

The Barn at Pisgah Hill will be the perfect addition to our slice of heaven.  The idea of doing exactly what I love and doing it 295 feet from my house sends goose bumps down my arm that I can't describe!  Stay tuned to see the progression.....and of course the good, the bad, and the beautiful!  I can't WAIT!