Saturday, November 6, 2010

Busy, Busy

Several weeks ago now, Zach and I took the leisurely path to New Orleans by driving the Natchez Trace. This is a beautiful road! It was made to drive. It has soft curves and up and downs. It is just enough to keep you interested, but not enough to make it hard to drive. The leaves were changing. We camped out the first night and stayed with my Mississippi cousins the second night and then we were in New Orleans.

Zach had only been to New Orleans one time previously and that was on a mission trip to help clean up many months after Hurricane Katrina. We were there to go to one of my friends weddings, but we also got to hang out with one of Zach's really good friends. We had a great time eating, hanging out in the French Quarter, going to a Jazz Club (which also had people doing the jitter bug to the music), hanging out in the City Park and thrift store shopping. It was all a blast and the wedding was beautiful. This is a picture of us at the wedding reception.

Following this trip, Zach demolished our bathroom in just 3 days. It is stripped to the studs! Then the Farewell Drifters took off on tour again. I caught up with them in Birmingham for the weekend. Zach will come home tomorrow and the bathroom will begin to be rebuilt starting Monday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What is Happening In and Around the House?

A Lot!

Fall has come and then left for a week and now is back. The cool weather came in and inspired me to get out my Halloween decorations. Unfortunately I was not able to get it up before the hot weather came back, but I got it up just the same.

During these changes in weather, our mums have bloomed! They are so beautiful and welcome me home everyday:D

Mia has taken a lot of changes. I have never been in charge of an inside kitten. She is either wanting to play, sleeping (on Zach or me) or pottying. All of these involve Zach or me. She takes a lot more than I thought she would. It seems that Zach is falling in love with her.

Take a look at those eyes!

The biggest thing that is happening is....we have decided to redo our guest bathroom. We have been spending any free time talking and looking at tile, toilets, mirrors, sinks, etc. Tonight I just began the destruction. I took the medicine cabinet out and made my first hole in the wall. So much more to go...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Visit from a Friend

My friend Andrea, one of my bridesmaids, came to visit after living in India for 2 years. I was so excited to see her and catch up on her life abroad. She arrived Friday night and we stayed up until around 1am looking through photos and chatting. We talked a few times while she was there, but it was not nearly the same as having her right here in my living room. I cannot describe how great it was to just be with her.

On Saturday, we headed out to experience Nashville. Andrea has been here 2 times before (once to surprise me for my birthday and for the wedding), so she had seen the classic Nashville tourist scene. So Saturday was filled with more unique sights and sounds and in PERFECT weather (mid 70s and sunny).

First we headed to Celebration of Cultures in Centennial Park. There were several areas. There was an area where there were different tables for different countries. Andrea was able to assist me through these areas, as she is much more cultural aware than I am. It was almost like traveling around the world in just 30 minutes;) The picture below is of me trying on a Vikings hat at the Norway table. You can see a ship in the background that the kids were able to play in. The other areas were goods from around the world, food from around the world (even though Andrea got a BBQ sandwich), and some dancing/music at different stages. All in all, a fun time and free.

Then it was off to Cheekwood to see the Chihuly exhibit. I have been wanting to see the Chihuly exhibit at Cheekwood for a while. A friend informed me about a week ago that I could get in free with a Bank of America card, which Andrea, Lisa, and I happened to have. I really enjoyed walking the grounds and seeing Chihuly's pieces intermixed with Cheekwood's well known landscapes. I am pretty sure I loved it most because it was free and PERFECT weather to be outside.

An amazing weekend had by all (or at least by me:D)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

If You...

You know those books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..., etc. Well, I feel that is currently my life. My title is If You Help Your New Neighbors...

And the story goes...If you help your neighbors, they will bring you a lost dog. Once you find the dog's owner, they will bring your a stray kitten. That is right folks. I know have a very pretty kitten in my house. That is not the end of the story.

If you take in a stray kitten, you will find out it has fleas. You decide that giving a kitten a bath is a good idea. Two hours later, there are still fleas on the kitten. If you are going to find a home for the kitten, you have to get rid of all the fleas. When you take the kitten to the vet for fleas, you find out the kitten also has mites in her ears and heart worms. Once you spend over $100 on the kitten, you feel like you are now the owner of a kitten whether that was your plan or not.

That is my story.

And here is our kitten (maybe temporary, maybe permanent)....


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why Not?

On Wednesday nights, I go to a Zumba class at the YMCA that I LOVE. After class this last week, there was a lady who made an announcement that there was going to be a casting call for a new Curves commercial dealing with Zumba. She said they did not want actresses and/or models. I thought, why not?

So, yesterday, I stopped by for the casting. What did I find? Actresses/models! I thought, "What am I doing?" It was pretty stinking hilarious. They wanted to know my agency, sizes, etc. They also wanted a portfolio. I don't know what that lady was talking about. But, I was there, so why not. I went into the casting room. We were told to introduce ourselves to a video camera and then they turned on Latin music and I was supposed to dance. Lets just say that if I were the one watching the video, I would be on the floor laughing.

Oh well, it was a fun experience.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Role Reversal

Usually when we travel, I am tagging along with the band. When we get wherever we are going, I have no obligations until show time. My choice is usually to wander around the town while the boys do whatever they need to do. Well, this past weekend, Zach and I took a trip to DC to see my friend Ashley get married.

Well, this weekend, I was the one with obligations and Zach was free to explore. I was a bridesmaid. My duties included, rehearsals, hair, makeup, help with decor, etc. Zach on the other hand was able to explore DC including the Smithsonian, a sculpture garden, and Mount Vernon. I believe he really enjoyed himself. I really enjoyed myself as well. The wedding was beautiful! I unfortunately did not take any pictures of Zach or myself or even of the bride. Oops. I can't wait to see the photographers pictures.

After the wedding, we drove the long way home by taking the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here is a picture from that part of our trip...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Too Long

It has been so long since I posted, I have been procrastinating starting again because of how much I have to catch up on. Some things that come to mind are Colorado, a man climbing our trees, the woman on the downtown sidewalk, beginning of a new school year, creating a photo book, etc. But, what I am going to start with telling you about is my impulse buy today.

So, about a month ago now, my sister got me to sign up for Groupon (a daily coupon for something in your area). I get an email everyday with the coupon of the day. I have been slightly interested in one or two of them, but for the most part just immediately delete them. Well, today the coupon was for one of my secret desires....laser hair removal. I have told Zach several times that if we had money to spend, I would get lasik and laser hair removal. Today's coupon was for 85% off laser hair removal. I hardly ever make an impulsive buy. And when I do, it is for something that is 50 cents, not for larger ticket items. But, today I broke out of my mold. I am both excited and nervous about this adventure. What have I done?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Epic Fail x2

This weekend was full of failures and one semi success.

The Failures:
#1-I had put together a girls night out with 2 friends. One band wife and another stay at home mom who needed a night out. I thought going to hear the Nashville Symphony play outdoors would be a great way to spend the evening. We packed up our picnic dinner and headed out. We arrived at the destination to find no concert occurring. I started to wonder if I had gone crazy. I had read that the concert was tonight, right? One of the other girls had read it as well. We would look on our phones, but only our husbands have internet on their phones. So we started calling friends to look it up for us. One friend sent us to another location downtown. I dropped the other two off and off I went to find a parking spot during CMA week. I found one! only to get a call that this was not the right location. A phone call to another friend, to find out the series was rescheduled for another night. We headed back to the first location for a nice picnic dinner together. It actually was a great night, just not as intended.

#2-Today was the neighborhoods annual ice cream social. I thought all week about what kind of ice cream to make. I finally decided on brownie batter ice cream. I whipped it all up last night and put it in the refrigerator to make today. Nothing better than just finished homemade ice cream. I went to church, helped with kids church, went to the store to get ice (no room in the freezer), and started the ice cream maker. I followed the directions to a tee. After 45 minutes, I opened it up to find liquid. Hmmm....3 hours later, still liquid. Needless to say, it was not ready for the social:( I still have no idea what went wrong.

Now for the success:
I mowed a (our) lawn for the first time in my entire life!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bang Progress

Today is the first day that I was able to pull my hair back wet after a shower and my "bangs" not fall into my face as they dried. Now that I am finally reaching the point of my bangs growing out, I kinda miss them:D

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Nashville Flood

I have been putting off writing this blog, because it is one of those moments in life that is impossible to put into words. I am going to try my best to summarize what happened in Nashville 3 weeks ago.

I drove to Birmingham on Saturday May 1st. When I was leaving Nashville, I had to drive through some of the heaviest rains I have ever been in. I (along with everyone else) was going about 30 mph on the interstate. The rain stopped about 45 miles out of Nashville and the rest of the drive was smooth.

In Birmingham, I spent the day with my mom, visited with my grandmother, had dinner with my grandfather. The usual. That night I got on Facebook and saw crazy posts about flooding in Nashville. I was mesmerized by what I was seeing. Then began my search of when to get home the next day. I decided my only chance of making it home would be by leaving early in the morning.

Sunday morning I woke up and headed out. The skies were cloudy, but no ran until I hit Nashville and then the skies opened up. The same rain I had driven through the morning before besides for this time, many sections of interstates were flooded and I meandered my way around the city to finally make it home. As I was pulling into my neighborhood, a neighbor informed me that the house at the end of the street needed to be emptied of contents because the water was rising. So, I dumped my bags in the house and headed out. We unloaded the house with every passing the water getting deeper and deeper. Then it was on the the basement of the next home. Then there was a little bit of a break. The rain even stopped around 6pm, but we were only beginning.

My neighborhood has people who lived in during the great flood of 1975 and so they knew where the water might come up to. We slowly began getting word that this was going to surpass that. We continued to move cars further and further up the street. By night fall, we came to realize that it was going to enter many more homes and so by canoe we got to the homes and began to move furniture to the second floors (of the homes that had second floors). Then there was an emergency rescue of the people in the house one street behind us where the water was now entering their second floor. And then some neighbors walked waist deep through water with a canoe to get some neighbors (2 sisters and their mother), who just moved here about a month ago, out of their house. The mother was recovering from a hip replacement and required a walker. They only had one floor and so there was no where to move their furniture. Around 3am, we decided we had done all we could and it was time to try to sleep.

I got a couple of hours of sleep and woke to find the water creeping into our yard. Neighbors headed back out to move more furniture to second floors of homes further up the street. I continued to go out and help and then return home to see where the water was at my home. At this point, we hear that there is a possibility of the river rising 5 more feet. This would mean our home. We decided to move our tenant out completely. Trucks and trailers pulled up and her place was unloaded. I got the instruments and important papers in the car in case I needed to evacuate. Then it was back out to helping others. The water finally peaked Monday afternoon, coming within 10 horizontal feet (1 vertical foot) of our home.

During all of this, I had not turned on the tv and so I had no idea what was happening around the rest of Nashville. Come to find out, we are only one tiny piece of what was happening all around Nashville and Middle TN.

We have since been trying to recover. It will be a long road ahead. Here are a few photos of our street.





A home close to the end of the street as it normally looks.

The house close to peak.

The water coming up into our yard.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Update on the Birdies

So, the robin sometimes has been in her nest, but it seemed like mostly not. The only time she really seemed to be there was at night and she must have been sleeping at night because she would not fly off until we were unlocking the door. This was quite startling every time, even knowing that it was coming. I have not been turning on the back light because I don't want to disturb her which only made it more startling.

This is how every night goes...We come home and pull into the garage. As I am walking towards the door, I call out (not quietly I might add) to the robin to let her know that we are home and that she should leave her nest for a little bit. I creep up the stairs hunched over in case she flies out she won't fly right into me. At this point, I begin to convince myself that she is not on the nest tonight. I put the key in the door and then she is off. It gets me every time.

On the other hand, during the day, I hardly see her. Until today when I came home and she was perched on the edge of the nest with a worm in her mouth. I am sure she was aware that I was there, but I just watched. Once the worm disappeared, she flew off to a nearby branch to watch me enter. I immediately grabbed a chair to look up in the nest and this is what I found...


3 little birdies!!! I have been listening for them for days, but had not heard anything. I wish I had been checking everyday because I wish I knew how old they are. I will be checking in frequently now:D

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Feathered Friend

We have a robin that decided to build its nest in our light fixture right outside our back door (the door we use to enter and exit the house). This is a bit of a controversy in our home because Zach tried to take apart the nest while the robin was building it to discourage it from building there. Despite Zach's efforts, the robin pushed on and completed its nest. The controversy is that Zach wanted me to move the nest, but my thoughts are if the robin was so insistent on building there, then let it stay.

So, now we disturb the robin a lot. My hope was that it would just huddle down in its nest and watch us, but it doesn't. Every single time we come through the door, it flies off and watches us from a nearby tree.

Today, Zach disturbed her and somehow an egg was broken in the process. I am not sure whether he is completely innocent, but he claims he is. Anyways, I checked out the nest to see what was in there and this is what I found...
So, we are one down, but there are still three little robin eggs left that I hope will make it to flight.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blooms

Here are some pictures of all our daffodils (on one side of the driveway)...



Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring is Blooming!!!

My first three daffodils have bloomed. I am so excited that all that hard work of planting all those bulbs in the fall is paying off. I would say that about 80% of the bulbs are about to bloom. Here is a picture of one of the current blooms.


Hopefully I will have a photo of all of them blooming along the driveway in just a couple of days:D

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cruisin'

Zach and I had a wonderful time on our cruise. We drove to Orlando, spending 2 nights and 1 full day with my grandmother Marna and her husband Dan in a retirement community. We experienced the retired life of riding our bikes to the pool, playing on the putting green, and shuffle board court. It was a nice way to start our vacation.

On Monday morning, we headed to the ship. Once on board, we began eating and didn't stop until we got off the ship on Friday. There was always food around. A typical day included about 4 meals. The best thing I ate on the ship was strawberry pavlova (meringue, whipped cream, and a reduced sugary strawberry sauce with fresh strawberries on top). It was heavenly. I also had french fries and bacon every day which made me a happy sailor.

Our first stop was Coco Cay which is a little island owned by Royal Caribbean. The day was partly cloudy which made the day perfect when the sun was out and okay when the clouds were covering. We rented snorkeling gear and wet suits and spent a lot of time out in the water. We saw starfish, coral, and lots of fish. Some fish were so close we were able to touch them. Towards the end of the day, we attempted geocaching and failed:( Our GPS was only accurate up to 15 feet which was just not accurate enough.

The next stop was at Nassau. The day was packed with activity. We started out very early on Segways. Our tour guide was incredible and we had a lot of fun. I will post a very funny video in the next week of Zach on a Segway. Here is a photo that will have to do for now.
Following the Segway tour, we very quickly went through a few rows of the straw market. It was a bit crazy and we didn't really see anything of interest to us. We quickly headed to the ship for lunch and then it was off to go snorkeling. We went out on a catamaran to a coral reef. This water was much clearer than at Coco Cay, but also much colder. We were only able to last about 45 minutes in the water. We got to see a lot of beautiful coral, fish, starfish, and even a lobster (pictures on stuck on my camera right now). Zach was shivering the whole time. Even though it was cold, it was well worth it.

The last day was spent on the cruise ship all day. We had a sit down leisurely breakfast, participated/watched several game shows, Zach did a wine tasting, I watched a demonstration on towel folding, etc. We kept ourselves entertained.

A dog that our stateroom attendent made.

My creation after watching the demonstration.

We returned to Orlando the next day and spent a little more time retired before heading home on Saturday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Addiction

I am here to admit that I am addicted to reality TV. At this moment, I have spent 2.5 hours watching The Bachelor. And I still have 30 minutes left. Craziness I tell you, craziness. ABC has had me hooked for quite a while now. It started with The Bachelor and then the Bachelorette. Then they added Dancing with the Stars by bringing in Melissa. Now, I am watching The Bachelor.

The scary part is that it is not just ABC. I am embarrassed to admit that it goes much further than that. There is TLC that really sucked me in with John and Kate Plus 8. That still is my number one favorite reality show EVER. TLC has a million other shows along with Style, E, HGTV, etc. They all got me. I am not sure that I watch anything but reality TV.

So, with this being the last night of The Bachelor, I thought, next week I can have my life back. Then I found out about Jason and Molly's (The Bachelor) wedding next week. Then, in the end of March, Dancing with the Stars begins which which is combining my reality TV worlds by having Kate (John and Kate Plus 8) and Jake (The Bachelor) dancing. Will they ever give me a break?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pictures From Hiking

Crossing the stream with bags over shoes


Our campsite


Zach crossing back over stream on Day 2 without shoes on

Our beautiful surroundings

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cold Feet

Cold feet pretty much sums up my weekend. Zach and I went backpacking with our friends Tyler, Greg and Morgan. The date was set a while back and we were committed no matter came our way. Snow is what happened to come our way.

It was lightly snowing as we packed the car Saturday morning. By the time we parked at the trail head, there was snow on the ground and snow was still coming down. As we headed down the trail, we encountered many stream/river crossings (double the normal amount on this trail), most likely due to snow melt from last week's big snow. I lost out on the first stream crossing and got wet feet. This is when my feet got cold and stayed cold.

There was point in which we had to cross through rushing water. The guy before us warned us that his dogs nearly washed away when crossing. We tied trash bags over our shoes and attempted to cross. I believe that 3/5 of us made it through without getting wet shoes. Which really means only 2 did not have wet feet since my shoes were still wet from the very first crossing.

We made it to camp and started gathering firewood. As you can imagine, all the wood was soaking wet from the previous snow melt and the current snow...yes, it is still snowing on us. Tyler was brilliant in searching the bowels of the cave for dry wood. We were able to get a fire started (we found out the next morning that we were most likely the only ones able to start a fire according to reports from other backpackers). I was able to get feeling back into my toes by the fire, but they never really got warm. Then it was off to bed to wake up to even colder temperatures outside.

Once out of the sleeping bag, my feet froze solid. It was not until an hour or more into our hike that I began to gain feeling back in my toes. Thankfully I was able to keep my feet dry when crossing the much lower, calmer streams. Zach actually opted to take his shoes off and walk across the biggest crossing in the probably low 30* weather. But, all of us made it out with our toes still attached and working.

It was a cold trip, but a really good one. I am glad that Zach and I stuck with our commitment even if it meant having cold feet:)

...pictures to come

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Days

So, this year we have already gotten 3 days off school for snow. All of you who live in North, don't even say anything. It is different here as many northerners are experiencing right now. Last time it snowed, a slick little layer of ice formed on the roads, no biggie, but dangerous just the same for those of us who have never been trained in driving on ice. But this time around, we really got some snow. About 36 hours after it began snowing, all the streets have probably at least 1 inch of compacted snow/slush/ice with up to 4 inches of snow surrounding those areas. And, there are no snow plows in sight and there will not be. This would be why people stock up when we hear snow might be coming. When snow does come like this, it stays and keeps a lot of us in.

All that to say, we have had a lot of fun enjoying our 2 days in. Last night, our friends who are in walking distance (4 in total) walked to our house for some dessert and games. We played some Mad Gab. Hilarious. The best card said "Disco Pierre Knead Stoner". Any guesses? At midnight, I decided that I just had to get out there in the snow. What if the sun came out early and it all disappeared? You never know what might happen in the South. So, I suited up and eventually got everyone else on board. I grabbed a cookie sheet, foam board, plastic storage container, and a 3 ring binder. We had a lot of fun "sledding" and "snow boarding" down the hilly streets with our makeshift sleds. The winner by far was the foam board!

Little did I know that this morning we would wake up to every bit of the snow from the night before plus more. Zach and I took it slow with a good hearty breakfast, randomness around the house, and then we were out. We made some things out of snow....

video

And then went for a walk. On our walk, we ran into some of the neighborhood families that has young children. We joined into the snow ball fight and the sledding (they had a plastic sled). After they went inside to warm up, we finished our walk. Today has been a really GREAT day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

On the Radio

Every morning I listen to a country station because of the dj person (I don't know what you call it). This guy is so funny and always has people call in for random reasons. He also has a tendency to make fun of people when they call.

Well, this morning he was talking about double names. I just had to call in. I was extremely nervous, but I did it. It was a really short conversation, but I think it went well. One more new thing done.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cruising

Zach and I have officially decided to go on a cruise in March. It is a rarity that Zach is able to commit to a vacation weeks ahead of time, so we decided to take advantage of it. We are going to go on a short cruise to the Bahamas! I can't wait...more to come.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Japanese Experience

Zach and I were invited to celebrate the ending of a rough year and the beginning of a new year with a close friend. She picked to go to a Japanese Sushi Bar for this celebration. I was a little nervous but I read reviews that talked about menu items other than sushi. I know that I LOVE Hibachi grills which is Japanese right? Anyways, we accepted the invite.

Zach and I decided to split what is called a bento box. Along with the bento box, came soup, salad, a crispy shrimp roll, 2 entrees, rice, and veggies. Out came the soup and salad. They resembled what I have previously received at Hibachi grills. No surprises there. Then out come our crispy shrimp roll. As the waitress was bringing it to us, I said, "I thought we were just getting one roll." She said, "This is one roll." I replied, "I would call that 8 rolls." Everyone laughed. I saw eight little pieces of sushi (8 rolls) on the plate. So, I learned my first lesson of the night. What I was seeing was one roll cut into 8 pieces.

Next surprise was when our entree came out in a cute little box. Once again, I said out loud, "What a cute little box!" I was given some looks that indicated I should have been expecting this box. Next lesson learned was that our meal was called bento box because that is the name of the little box/plate/compartmentalized little thing that our food came in. I thought the name was something specific to this restaurant.

I gained a little culture (out loud) that night.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm Back

I know that I have been gone for a while. I know my mom missed me, so I am starting this thing back up. I needed a break over the holidays. I gave up a lot more than just the blog over the holidays. I gave up exercise and cooking. I pretty much gave up anything that I didn't want to do. It was rather nice, but selfish at the same time. I must admit that is was a great break though. For anyone who does not know, Zach quit his job at the bank to become a full time musician. This meant that we had 2 weeks off together to see our families over the holiday.

We spent a week in Peoria with Zach's side of the family. During that time, we did some cookie baking, skiing, hanging out, playing games, shopping, playing in the snow, eating, etc. It was such a great time with his family. One of my favorite parts was the playing in the 10 inches of snow! I shoveled snow for the first time in my life. I also got to drive in the snow for the first time. Overall, just a great trip spent with family.

Then, it was a drive through Nashville straight on to Birmingham. It was a great visit with my family, the ones still in town, for a shorter amount of time. We had a great Christmas celebration with those of us in town. Lilly Bea, my little cousin, was so much fun to watch and be around. She is 4 years old and is quite girly right now. She did some amazing posing for the camera. Here is my favorite shot!