i’m thankful

It has been a super duper crazy year! Mostly because of personal reasons….but wow, I realize how much I have to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.

  1. We have had the BEST team ever for planning…forever events. I cannot thank Karen or Kerry enough for all that they have done and worked this past year. My heart is swelling with pride, love and thankfulness.
  2. I am thankful for my husband. The only person in this world that can make me laugh or cry, on a dime.
  3. I am thankful for my wonderful son, who I am hoping am raising to be a man. It’s so hard. I demand a lot.
  4. I am thankful for our wonderful wedding clients who trust us ….. you have no idea how much that means to me and my team. We take it personally.
  5. I am thankful that my above said son doesn’t have another option to live at…. therefore, I demand a lot.
  6. I am thankful for my Dad, who passed away 15 months ago. I feel him with me everyday. And treasure the moments we spent together.
  7. I am thankful for my friends…. local and Internet, who’s lives I have touched and helped.
  8. I am thankful for everyday that my lovely dog teaches me unconditional love.
  9. I am thankful for daily walks that my son and loyal dog take. We talk and walk and laugh. And argue (that’s how we roll).
  10. I am thankful for our country, we live in the best one in the world.
  11. I am thankful for the corporate clients that we have that look out for me and our future events.
  12. I am thankful for all the notes of gratitude that I have received from event industry professionals lives that I have touched.
  13. I am thankful that it has taken me 15 long months to get to this place….a long journey, although it there may be more months to travel. Still, it is a much better place than a year + ago.

I’m back, watch out. And be grateful.

ps. I am grateful for pumpkin pie. Best invention ever.

be thankful!


featured on the stylish planner

the stylish planner logo saundra hadley feature

The Stylish Planner is the brain child of Jeannine Kennedy whom I met at a conference (Eventology 09) in April of this year. I didn’t get to speak with her a lot but I remember sitting behind her during one of the sessions.

I did the total “girl thing” and looked at her up and down. I remember thinking, “She is so stylish and cute…a little southern lady”.

So when Jeannine decided to start a website that was geared for professional event planners about their personal style, fashion and beauty … I wasn’t surprised at all. I was however SHOCKED when she called me and asked if I would like to be a featured planner.

Me? For real? Surprisingly, she was not kidding. For pete’s sake, I had to follow Kelly McWilliams the cutest little planner on earth.

So here’s my feature if you would like to get to know a little more about me. And thanks Jeannine for the honor!



a happy mother of the bride

I usually don’t post these in my blog content (well in the kudos section), but I received this lovely email from a Mother of the Bride at 12:15am this morning. (And a similar email happened to my planner friend, Emilie Duncan).

Maddy + Gregg’s wedding was yesterday and it was fantastic. Small, intimate and lovely. What was personal for me was that Maddy’s father passed away few years ago, so we were extra sensitive to this issue, but we still felt that he was there in spirit.

This is the email:


Mere words cannot say how terrific I think you are. You made it all come together perfectly for one of the best weddings my family and I as well as our guests have ever attended. This day would not have been as happy and stress free without you. I know from a professional standpoint we were pretty small potatoes, but I could see how much you love what you do, and I am so grateful for you accepting us as your clients. You absolutely ROCK. I know I was a skeptic a year ago, but change makes believers, and I am absolutely your biggest fan.

Thank you again for putting all the special touches in to this happy happy day. You kept my baby and me smiling and worry free. You can add us to your list of references prospective clients can call and I will sing your praises from the rooftops. It was an A HA day all the way.

Warmest and heartfelt regards,

Stephanie Heine

Heart you both back!


thank you to all my friends for your support

Dear Friends and Clients,

Please excuse the very personal blog post that will follow. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I have not been posting much in August. It’s been a long month, on a very personal level.

About 5 weeks ago my father started to have fevers at night and experiencing extreme weakness. At first, we felt he was just having flu-like symptoms. At 72 years old, my Dad who takes no medication for any “old age” illnesses, started to become a little scared. When he was too weak to even walk up the stairs, it was obvious that there was a serious problem.

On August 10th, his doctor admitted him into the hospital because his blood test results showed very low sodium level. Dehydration is what I thought! It’s no big deal!!! 15 days later I would be taking my Dad home with hospice, diagnosed with Intravascular Large Cell -B Lymphoma (an aggressive, 4th stage cancer in the blood and bones).

Dad passed two days later, August 27th at 6:45am at my home, with my mom, myself and my husband at his side.

There are few words to be able to explain what we have gone through. It’s a whirlwind and an emotional tidal wave, that is so surreal you think for a second you may wake up from a not-so-pleasant dream. My father always told me that if he was going to have an illness that he wishes he would be taken quickly. Obviously God granted him his wish. For that, I am grateful.

Through out this ordeal and after; I have had such a tremendous support from my acquaintances and friends on Twitter and Facebook. To all of you, words cannot describe what your kind words have meant to me. Many of you, I have never  met in-person and your  friendliness was heart warming and incredible. Before Dad got too ill, I did tell him how many people were praying for him. He was amazed!

Some people make derogatory comments about social media. I say to them, they just don’t get it. My online “friends” that I have acquired have given me strength, courage, support, laughter and encouragement.

I remember the first night we brought him home, it was particularly difficult for me, because I knew he was really dying. It was late at night and I checked Twitter on my iPhone just before going to bed. My friend and fellow planner, Jennifer, had tweeted to please pray for me & my family because she knew I was hurting. There were about 10-15 tweets from (online) friends saying that they are thinking of me right at that very moment and praying. Of course, I cried ( you know, the ugly kind of crying). And I didn’t feel alone. To all of you: I am eternally grateful. And to our Special Clients: Thank you so much for your patience & understanding during this incredibly difficult time.

It is with heavy heart that I join “the club” of losing a parent. It’s a feeling that there are no words to describe. Since my parents live with us, I keep expecting to see my father walk in and say something. I turn around and expect him to be there. We don’t have bad days, we have bad moments. Probably because we are still in shock at the speed of his downward spiral. If anything this has taught me to not just “sweat the small stuff” but to actually not “sweat the unimportant stuff”.

Today is my parent’s anniversary, and they would have been celebrating 51 years together. I was hoping that he would be alive today, however we will still celebrate their commitment and love together.

nelson doucet and jenora doucet wedding 1958

I am my Daddy’s only little girl and baby. And that will always be the way it is, whether he is on this earth or not. I hope to continue to make him proud and live up to his expectations in my own way. I’m grateful that my father got to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, see me accomplish professional goals, watch me become a mother, respected my husband and become an intricate part of my son’s life. For that, I am very lucky.

much love and respect, saundra


no, thank YOU!

Got the sweetest thank you card today from the MOB.

Man I love it when we hit a home run. And it was so easy to do so with this family, great attitudes and fun loving. They were one of our risk takers we talked about earlier! I’m waiting for the professional pictures from Walker Studio!! Which by the way, gave us this referral, so thank you very much!


Housekeeping issue: we are tweaking the blog right now and for the next few weeks. Expect to find some weirdness. Just let us know if you can’t access something and thank you for your patience!

happy dance!