Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A complicated contradiction.

I have been following Kelle Hampton's blog for many years now and sometimes she writes something so wonderful and so like me, that I have to share.  I swear she and I need to be friends.

Find her full post here.

"I cry when I stare at my sleeping kids--I can't believe they belong to me, and the quiet moments when I get to watch them breathe and contemplate their every smile, how they need me, how they've changed our lives--it overwhelms me.
I swear like a sailor and censor it all for this blog.
I believe in God, and communicating with him and connecting myself to his purpose is an important part of my life.
Sometimes, I question if God exists.
I believe strongly in owning your voice and making a meaningful impact in the world with what you have to offer.
I often feel vulnerable and unworthy of making an impact.
I am passionate about changing people's views on disabilities and making the world a more accepting place for marginalized individuals.
I read fashion magazines and stress out when my toe nail polish gets chippy.
I love classical music.
I love techno music.
I love ballet.
I love dirty dancing.
I care about the environment.
I use a lot of paper towel.
I respect Buddhist faith and Jewish faith and Muslim faith and Christianity.
I love my atheist friends.
I dream of living on a quiet prairie,watching my children run in fields of wildflowers,smiling in the hot sun.
I dream of living in the big city, hosting parties, visiting museums, hailing cabs to our next big adventure.
I want to help people, connect with people, make the sad feel loved.
I like to buy stuff.
I like to make stuff.
I like to give stuff away.
Sometimes I feel so pissed off, I could knock walls down with my anger.
Sometimes I feel so weak and weepy, I could crumble if you looked at me funny.
Sometimes I feel so strong, I'll say whatever I think and not give a shit whether anyone agrees or not.

But all the time, I am complicated--maybe even contradictory. "

Monday, February 24, 2014

Stitch Fix #1!

So I was turned on to this online personal stylist company called StitchFix.  Great concept...basically fill out a style profile, link your pinterest board (because we ALL have one), set your price and delivery date and voila!, a box arrives with 5 pieces of clothing!  You have 3 days to decide and send back what you don't want.  Want all?  Get 25% off.  Here are pics and comments from my first box.

FIRST...good grief and ignore my hair and face.  I did this pre-shower this morning!

I must admit, I was a little disappointed in variety of the pieces.  I was hoping for more out of my norm and "fun".  I received 4 blouses and a pair of pants.  A friend said her first box was pretty conservative as well so hoping my next will be different! From the three tops below, I am keeping the far left and far right!  The middle was too short and not my color preference.

The two below are the gray slacks which were a little tight in the hips and slight too short for heels and not long enough for flats.  SUPER bummed about the shirt on the right.  It was my fav but SO SMALL.  I literally had to have John take it off me.  :/

Overall, I enjoyed the experience.  With my $20 styling fee applied plus a $50 credit, it was an easy choice to keep the two shirts!  I will send a note with my next fix for more patterns and more non-traditional pieces.

Want to try?  Use this link!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Starting our goodbye.

We've been talking about moving for over a year now.  We have planned, calculated, read, visited, interviewed, discussed, and hypothetical-ed all our options and moving scenarios.  And now the time has arrived.  We are under contract with about 45 days to get our final ducks in a row.

I'm not ready to talk about leaving Nashville but I DO want to talk about my final Nashville bucket list.

So...tell me, where/what should we do/eat before we leave?

Things already on my list:
Personalized Hatch show print
See Dolye & Debbie show
Martin's BBQ

Traditional Nashville things we've had the pleasure of doing already (and I know i'm leaving many things off):

Prince's Hot Chicken
Lockeland Table
The Southern
Hattie B's
Loveless Cafe
City Cafe
Germantown Cafe
Eastland Cafe
Blackjack Cove
Urban Flats

Frist Center
Nashville Zoo
Adventure Science Center
Centennial Park
Percy Warner/Edwin Warner parks
Honky tonkin!
General Jackson
Country Music Hall of Fame
Bluebird Cafe
Schermerhorn Symphony
Seeing a ballet with Nashville Ballet

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Tigers.

This post is a bit late from our trip to the National Title game.  Honestly, it wasn't from being too busy (although I have been), it was more of just not being able to talk about it yet.  Our hearts were a little sad from the outcome, not for selfish reasons, but for those boys on the field.  We wanted this for them.  We wanted them to relish in a victory that was hard-fought...all season long.  But with a little distance from the game, we can even more appreciate the season and of course know how much love we have for that little town in Alabama...because we believe in Auburn and LOVE IT.

Here are some fun photos from our trip.  We decided to be kids on the Sunday before the game and head to Disney Land!!

Fun times in CarsLand!  And us in our "Bug's Life" 3-D glasses.

Top middle: TERRIFYING roller-coaster.  Hated every second.
Bottom left: Soaking in the beautiful California sun.  BR: Mrs. Incredible!  
We sent pictures to the kids throughout our day in the park and Pam said they LOVED it.  We would track down characters as best we could.  We wished they were with us but we truly had a GREAT time on our own.  Sometimes its just fun being a kid again.

Finally it was GAME day!  We were so nervous, excited, giddy, proud and just happy to be there!  It seems the Auburn fans outnumbered the FSU fans but we knew we were in for a tough game.  I won't go into a detailed play by play because, well, we all watched it.  We know the heartache of that last play.  But damn, we were proud.  It's always GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's a New Year.

I've found that I've not been the best with the blog lately but one thing I don't miss is my New Year's post.  You can see 2012's HERE and 2013's HERE.

I am really excited about this year.  But first, before I talk about how awesome 2014 will be, I must sum up our 2013.

First and foremost, WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!!!!  (imagine a Dave Ramsey type scream here).  We paid off and cut up credit cards years ago, don't have car payments so all that was left was that darn Sallie Mae.  John paid his off in the beginning of the year and we called on Dec 31 and paid off the remaining balance on my student loans...I totally cried.  The customer service rep was super awesome and was quite excited for us as well.  What a GREAT way to start the new year!

I would claim 2013 the year of RUNNING!  Running a 5k, 2 10k's and a half marathon!  It is such a great feeling of accomplishment and can't wait to see what races we run next!

Graham:  Our self proclaimed little pirate.  He has grown leaps and bounds over this year.  Finally talking and bringing the cuteness (and feistiness) with it.  He still loves to give big hugs, especially to the dogs.  Started the year in a crib and he ended the year in a big boy bed and underwear!
Notable phrases of the year: "It's not fair mommy, Hmm (with pursed lips)" and "it's good fair, Mommy!!".
Fav book:  Spooky Box!  (great Halloween book)
Fav food: Peanut butter and Jelly sammies, Pizza

Anna:  Our little 4 year old (going on 14).  This hasn't been the easiest year with our sweet girl but still wonderful.  She is our constant talker (aka running commentary on life), constant clothes changer (minimum 4 times a day) and lover of all things princess.  She is in a Pre-K class even through she won't start Kindergarten until 2015 so she will repeat the curriculum.  She is eager to read and doing great with her handwriting!
Fav Book: Pinkalicious
Fav Food: Broccoli! Pizza

John:  Super busy, business booming like crazy, super weight loss, super runner!

This brings us to 2014.  House is on the market and are anxiously awaiting a contract.  For those that haven't heard, we are moving to sunny Florida and are just so ready to go!!  We truly LOVE Nashville and will probably miss it more than we realize but those sunny beaches are calling our name!

The kids will continue to grow and out-smart us, our businesses will continue to grow (God willing) and we will continue to love and cherish every moment.  This will be a year of change and transition!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Race recap.

We did it.  We ran a half marathon.  THIRTEEN point ONE M I L E S!!!  It still hasn't really sunk in yet.  I will say again, this is one of the hardest physical things I have ever done.  All the training, all the sweat, tears, pain....ALL was worth that feeling of crossing the finish line.

We started this journey a little over a year ago with the Couch to 5k program.  John has always been a runner and was able to jump in a little easier than me.  We ran our first 5k together on Jan 1.  That was the first time I had ever run 3 miles without stopping, and man, I thought that was big news.  After watching Matt and Ruth run the Half/Full in Nashville in March, I knew I wanted to run it.  John immediately signed us up for Savannah in Nov. It was ON like donkey kong.

Our training began and I can't lie and say there weren't multiple "No way I can do this" moments.  It was tough, very tough.  Having never been a runner before, every step was new, different and harder than the one previous.  I had knee and IT Band issues which mentally and physically wore me down. John ran in law school so he was our super cheerleader and a "been there before runner".  Thank God for that man.

Soon we ran a 10k in August, and were deep in our final 12 weeks ramping up to race day.  Our final long run, 11 miles, was a doozy...but we did it and we knew we were ready for the half.  We are so thankful for good friends and neighbors and family who often drank their morning coffee with our kids.  No way we could have done this without them.

Savannah arrived and we were in a constant state of tummy flurries and excitement and a little "what the HELL are we doing!?" moments.  The expo was great, got swag, bibs and just breathed in the awesomeness that is race weekend.  Some friends of ours were running the race (also first time half marathoners) so we got to chat out our nervous energy the night before!

Finally race morning.  Not much sleep was had but we were ready!  Geared up and walking to the start with our friends was exciting as runners came out from every shadow and doorway making their way to the start.  We were in corral 17 and surprisingly we got to the start line only about 26 min after the first gun blast went off.

For me, the first 6-7 miles were great.  Bands, cheers from spectators and excitement from the runners around us carried us through.  I was a couple paces ahead of John for those miles but then I hit a wall.  Right after mile 7.  I couldn't believe it, I still had SIX more miles to go and I was hurting.  My hips were screaming at me but thankfully my knee was holding up.  John and I were pacing each other then and thank God for the lady holding the "You are an inspiration for your kids" sign because that carried me for the next couple miles.

Left: Happy!  Right: Not so happy.

At some point we hit mile 11 and I was done.  With a capital D.  I was hurting, I was sweating, breathing hard and just ready to be finished.  Looking back at my Nike +, I never slowed down more than about 10 seconds per mile, which was quite surprising.  We never walked during the water stations either, for some reason,  just knew that would be harder for me to stop/start.

Finally, John turns back to me and says, "Take your headphones out baby, we are almost done.  Take it in!".  I finally looked around and realized I could see the 13 mile kick turn to the finish.  We were almost done.  Tears started down my cheeks, we did it.  We were about to cross that finish line.  With a raise of our arms, we had the finish in our sights.

After the above picture was taken, I broke down sobbing.  Some from pain but mostly from joy.  From personal accomplishment.  From pride in myself.  I did it.  We did it.  WE RAN A HALF MARATHON.

And you know what?  We're going to do it again.  Looking at you Gasparilla in Tampa, or you Tom King in Nashville and already going to take you on Sprint Triathalon in Mexico Beach.

We've changed our lives and it is awesome.

Friday, October 25, 2013

NOLA weekend!

A couple weeks ago, John and I snuck down to New Orleans for a little getaway.  Those that know us, know that we love to travel and any excuse is a good excuse.  We hopped in the car, CD's & Sirius ready, bags packed and we were on our way (yes, we did drop the kids off in Huntsville first!).

After arriving, grabbing a quick beer and gumbo... and a beinet (of course), we walked around a bit.  Both of us having a feeling that maybe we chose the wrong city for our getaway.  We just weren't feeling it.  It wasn't our first visit to NOLA but we weren't into the drinking or cheap tourist traps.  So, what to do?  Well, we realized we had some great things planned and we just needed to escape the French Quarter.

So escape we did!  First cable car to dinner at Commander's Palace (so delish!) then a 10k jogging tour around town (highly recommend!).


And then a swamp tour!

Yep, that's me!  Holding a baby crocodile!

It was a great getaway, a great time for John and I to spend some good one-on-one time, sleeping in and just being care free.  We did miss the kids, pretty bad.  Our last trip was to St. Louis (and brought the kids) and realized what a GREAT time we had.  Next trip?  Bringing those little rug rats with us.

We are headed to Savannah in two weeks for our first Half-Marathon...the kids won't be traveling with us to that one...but next trip for sure!