Friday, May 28, 2010

Show us your life! Things that make me happy...

Today's topic over at Kelly's Korner for "Show us your life" is the things that I LOVE, things that make me happy!

I can do that! I will try to keep the list manageable.

1. Obviously, my family is going to be at the top of this list! I have been truly blessed with an AMAZING family. They make me happy every single day! My husband and I have been married a little over 10 years, we have 2 great boys, and our extended family is wonderful too!

2. Ice Cream!!!
Who doesn't love ice cream!? Give me a big bowl, chocolate please!

3. Sleep!!
Any mom will tell you that sleep is a valuable thing, and let me just tell you I am NOT a morning person! I get a little grouchy when I don't get enough sleep and of course those rare occasions when I get to sleep in are just priceless!

4. My wonderful friends!
What would I do without them? They are so good to me, I can call them and talk about anything! We all have such a good time together, I am so lucky!

5. Dr Pepper!
Yum! I admit I have somewhat of an addiction to Dr.Pepper! I am doing better about limiting myself to no
more than one a day. Sometimes that is really hard, but I am working on it. Could be worse things, right?

6. My Work! Seriously! Ever since I made the decision to go out on my own as a photographer I have never looked back! I love every minute of it. Even when I am tired and want a break I wouldn't give it up.

Friday Fives - 5 random questions....

Just Me and My Life

Today's Friday Fives over at my friend Beth's blog is "Five random questions about me" so here goes!

1. Are you a MAC or a PC?
Well, I hate to disappoint you all, but I am a PC! I know the craze surrounding the MAC especially being a photographer, and I have used them some. However, I am happy and comfortable with my pc. I am a PC user and I am proud of it!

2. If you could go anywhere on vacation this summer, where would you go??
I would love to book myself in an all-inclusive somewhere.... Mexico, Bahamas... doesn't matter! If it is going to be blazing hot outside, I want to be in or beside the pool with a good book. I love the all-inclusive resorts because you don't have to worry about anything. You can eat what you want, when you want at your choice of dozens of different restaurants without ever having to carry a purse or money. They wait on you hand and foot and it is completely no stress, which is what I need right now!

3. Which is your most cherished childhood memory?
I have to say that I had a great childhood with so many wonderful memories. One thing that sticks out were the days my dad would take me to work with him. When I was little my dad, who was a full time officer in the Army National Guard as well as a pilot, worked as the director over the facilities in Smyrna. On the way there he would always stop at this little bakery to get me a doughnut! It didn't matter how much jelly or sugar, I got to pick out the one I wanted.

Once at work there were offices, but there we
re also airstrips and hangars full of helicopters and airplanes. I was fascinated by them! Dad would let me sit in them, talk on the loudspeaker, you name it. He also had a sweet secretary who was very patient with me, as I am sure she really didn't need all the help I tried to give!

4. What were you doing the last time you had a good laugh?
I was hanging with my wonderful girl friends on our recent girls' trip to New Orleans! We always have such a good time! Our trip was full of laughs, as always! Some of the best ones took place when we were just sitting in our room telling stories or talking over beignets and cafe au' lait at Cafe Du Monde.

5. What is your favorite book or magazine?
My favorite magazine is Real Simple. It has the best organizing tips and ideas! It also has great pointers for home improvement ideas on a budget! I am very frugal, so thi
s is just my style.
My favorite book is going to be a tough one! I really love to read, usually thriller
s, crime novels, etc. I don't care for the sappy love stories or the self-help stuff. I think the Dave Ramsey book was the only self-help book I have read (and it was great!)
However, the BEST book I have ever read was The Shack. It was heartbreaking at first, in fact I struggled to get past the first few chapters. I stuck with it, though. I was told that if you get past that part it is well worth it. Let me tell you that is absolutely the truth! This was the most inspiring, uplifting, and thought-provoking book I have ever come across! If you have not read it you need to hurry up and just do it! Without a doubt this book will change your life and change your perspective on living it!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Photo of the day - I want cake!!!

Wow, it's been a long, long day! I wanted to try and get a photo of the day posted, though before I head off to bed.

I wanted something that makes me laugh. Then, I remembered this picture of my friend Candy's little boy, Carter. They had hired me to photograph her grandmother's 80th Birthday party, the whole family was there. So naturally, they had a really big cake for the big day.

Carter likes cake!

Every now and then he would ask if he could have cake and they would politely say "not yet." Finally, I guess he decided that if he sat at the table right in front of the cake someone would come over and cut him a slice....... Nope, didn't happen.

He was actually very patient, and I am sure he had been lectured about being good for his great-grandmother's birthday party. So, he didn't make a scene as you might imagine a little boy would. He just sat there.

Eventually, when everyone was gathering around the cake he got so excited..... only to learn that he had to wait for a family group photo and a round of "Happy Birthday" before he could have it. It was then that he just laid his head down in frustration.

It was so adorable and so funny! I thought you might like it too!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Photo of the day! - Vegas, baby!

I know, I have been so behind on my blog posts lately. I have some good ones in mind, ready to type and get posted but honestly I have had so much work these last couple of weeks it just hasn't happened.

I am pretty tired tonight, but I figured I could at least get a photo of the day up!

I shot this a few years ago when my husband and I took a trip to Las Vegas. Actually, he went for work and I tagged along. It was a great trip! I was able to relax at the pool while he went to class and then we enjoyed the sights (and food) together at night.

I came across it tonight when I was working on some other things and was thinking how I would love to get away again, just the two of us.

I would love to go back to Vegas and see some of the elaborate shows. We were not able to see any when we went a few years ago, but I am told that the Cirque de Soliel is awesome!

Truly, if I could go back in time, I would really love to have seen the Sigfreid and Roy show with the white tigers before that man almost had his head bitten off! (You know, I don't feel sorry for him though! You play with fire and you will get burned!)
I am sure that show was just unbelievable, regardless of how strange.....

So, that's it for today! More to come in the days ahead!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I LOVE my Nashville!!

So, today's topic over at Kelly's Korner is "Show us your hometown". Well, mine just happens to have been in the news a lot lately! Anyone who has read my blog in the last month can tell you that I am a native of Nashville, TN. and I absolutely LOVE it here!

I have lived in several places in the U.S. but I could never wait to get back "home." This city is known to most as Music City USA. I can walk down the street in certain parts of town and pass by any number of well known celebrities. I met Martina McBride once..... she came into the clinic where I was working as a receptionist.

I booked Tracey Lawrence's children for swim lessons.

Hillary Scott, the lead voca
l in Lady Antebellum graduated from DCA where my children go to school, she came to visit them last week. All of that is fun and cool, and the city's reputation is well known, but it is also the least important thing about my town. Nashville is well known and has everything you could ask for in a big town, with the small town feel. We have the city life downtown, but you can also come across a farm full of animals within a few minutes drive. We also have the kindest, most generous people I have ever met.

I know we have all heard plenty about the recent Nashville flooding so I will keep it brief, but the way our people gave of themselves after such an awful tragedy was inspiring.

We are also the home of President Andrew Jackson. You can still visit his plantation home, The Hermitage. I had my wedding reception there 10 years ago!

Basically, Nashville is a true southern hometown. It's my hometown....

Friday Fives - Get Healthy!

Just Me and My Life
Wow, it has been a long time since I wrote last! I am sorry! I try really hard to keep up, but the last 2 weeks have been unbelievable. Work has been crazy, plus I had a girls' trip that was just so amazing! (I will post about it soon!)

Anyway, it is time for the Friday Fives again over at my friend, Beth's blog! Today's topic is 5 health tips. So, let me just put this out there before I begin! I am by no means an expert, nor do I always stick to my own advice. I do try, though and I guess that is what really counts!

1. Don't Smoke!!
Now folks, this should be pretty obvious! No offense to those of you who may still enjoy this habit, but come on!! How many warnings do they have to put out there to make it clear? Smoking WILL KILL YOU! Plus, the smoke can kill those around you who breathe it. That's no good. Not to mention the fact that when you smoke you walk around smelling like an ashtray.

2. Exercise
I know, this part is no fun. The good news is that you don't have to kill yourself or join an expensive gym just to stay healthy. All it takes is a few minutes a couple of times a week to improve your health. I like the walking track at our church gym. I try to go there and run or walk for 30 minutes when I can. We also have a nice greenway here in Nashville where I see lots of people out running, riding bikes, or walking their dog. You could even pick a set of stairs, maybe in your office building and run up and down them for 20-30 minutes. You will be surprised at how many calories you burn this way! Whatever you do, you just have to keep moving!

3. Drink Water
I had heard this one for years and never believed it. Then, a couple of years ago I tried drinking the amount of water that we are supposed to drink in a day. I was surprised at how full I felt. After a few days I began to crave it. Now I drink water all the time! It is wonderful for making you feel full, causing you to snack less.

4. Cut back your portions
A friend of mine told me about this one. She had joined one of those expensive diet centers. She said that 2 of the biggest tips they gave them was to drink lots of water and simply cut back the portions. It seems like we have all gotten accustomed to those "super size" portions we are served in most restaurants. The more we eat large amounts at a time, the more hungry we become. So, if you can begin cutting back on the amount you eat at each meal and supplementing with water you will eventually find yourself able to eat smaller portions. Not only will this make you more healthy, but you will probably lose weight too!

5. Fruits and Veggies
Everyone can find at least one fruit and vegetable that they like, or can tolerate. You don't have to make a whole meal out of it, but we should all try to incorporate fruits and veggies into our meals. At our house it's broccoli! Yes, we all LOVE broccoli, even my kids. I fill up one of those steamer bags with broccoli and put it in the microwave for a few minutes. Yum! It comes out perfect! Add a dash of salt and the kids gobble it right up. You can do this with so many different veggies, depending on which ones you like! My kids also love apples. I will slice an apple and apply a little peanut butter for a snack. They get so excited! It's healthy and it fills them up enough that they aren't snacking on junk before dinner.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday! - dream houses

Well, in my lifetime I have lived in many different places and states. Houses, apartments, mom and dad's of course, from Nashville to Phoenix. Being a flight attendant gave me the opportunity to see and experience all different types of environments.

As you may have read before, I do NOT like heights! So you won't find me living on some mountain top. I am also fairly claustrophobic. I like my space. Therefore, a house in a crowded subdivision is not my thing.

I would love to have some property where I could build my own dream house. Although, after the recent flood here in Nashville that caused the Stones River to invade my basement, I would prefer to be at least a mile from any sort of lake or river..... I love to visit them on nice, sunny days, I just don't like seeing them come into my house uninvited.... call me crazy.

The house would be similar to a plantation house you see in places like New Orleans, or even the Hermitage. Brick exterior, big columns, and a porch filled with ferns and rocking chairs. It's cozy, yet elegant. I like to feel like I am away from everything, but within driving minutes of the places I need to be.

Inside I am really fond of my hardwood and tile floors. No carpet for me to clean. I would have a big, bright, open kitchen with all the cool accessories!

Plus, a bathroom that I could relax in. I love cozy, but also charming and spacious.

Most of all, I would love a fireplace! None of this gas stuff, I want to burn real wood! I grew up in a home where we always had a fire going in the winter. Although hauling the wood in the house can be a pain, there is nothing else quite like it!

My second "dream house" is going to be on the beach. While we are dreaming, let's make sure that there is no one else around. I would love to have my own private beach with a dock where my boys could fish and my husband could park a boat.

Again, I love spacious. Room for the whole family to go down and relax whenever they want to.

Oh yeah, any dream house I ever own..... will be loaded with flood insurance! :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Snack time!

Just Me and My Life
So, it's time for the Friday Fives again at my friend, Beth's blog. This week's topic is my 5 favorite snacks. Wow, let's see if I can narrow it down to 5.... I love food and therefore I love to snack, I just have to be careful not to have too many snacks!

1. Popcorn!

Who doesn't love popcorn? It's pretty light, so you
don't feel like you ate a meal. It's just enough to hold you over until dinner! Plus, it's the only snack that goes along with a good movie. Just make sure there is salt and butter, otherwise why bother?

2. Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls
I know, I am
not a little kid anymore. I can't help it, I love these things! I am noticing now, too that as my kids get older they seem to like them also. I may have to resort to hiding the box, otherwise they will all be gone... I certainly don't mind letting them have them, but it is so frustrating to go in to the pantry only to find an empty box! How sad is that!?

3.carrots and Purity french onion dip
Aren't you proud of me for throwing a healthy snack in he
As a southern girl, raised in Nashville with family employed by Purity Dairies this
is the only dip I use. Once you've had it you know why. Yum!! Nothing else even comes close.

4. Yogurt
It does
n't really matter what brand or flavor, honestly I usually have whatever was on sale that I also had a coupon for. I don't buy it unless it is dirt cheap. My favorite flavor is the black cherry. Those little 4 ounce yogurt cups are just enough!

Mmmmmmm..... need I say more? It's hard to put a limit on them, so I rarely buy them unless it is a super great deal. But, when I pair up a couple of oreos with
my Dr. Pepper, yum!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We are Nashville!

Well, thankfully I have managed to clean up the mess here at my house for the most part. Pictures will come in the next few days. I am very blessed and very thankful. I feel so lucky to have suffered so little damage. When I drive around and see my surroundings I know how much worse my situation could have been.

I wanted to link up to a couple of blogs for you to read. One is my friend Beth here and the other is a local sports writer who wrote a very heartfelt, amazing article here.

It is so sad how Nashville has been ignored in this. We are not a city to ask for help. However, this is among the biggest natural disasters in history (non-hurricane related). We have barely been a side-story on the national news.

I am so proud of my city. We help each other. We have such loving and gracious people here. When the river was pouring into my house yesterday people simply started showing up. Next door I watched as my son's school was flooded, yet hundreds of volunteers showed up wanting to do something to help. It is a Christian school, it will not receive the funds that Metro schools receive to rebuild. Everything that has been done so far has been from volunteer efforts; people who know and love the school (as seen below.... under lots of water). That is the Nashville I know and love.

But I am also disgusted at the national media for basically ignoring the gravity of this situation. So many people have lost EVERYTHING and they need help! Please pass this along to anyone you know that may be able to help, send donations, ANYTHING!

My sister's church was home yesterday to the residents of a local nursing home who were forced to evacuate. After she spent the day bailing water and moving stuff out of my basement she went there to serve them dinner. (I seriously owe her for that!)

Bottom line, this is a great town that is desperately in need of help. We need to get the word out and so far this is the best way I can find to do it!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is this Louisiana??

Well guys, I am going to keep this brief tonight. I haven't posted in a few days and haven't gotten a photo of the day up in a while.

It has been a LONG two days. Sadly, we were in the path of the flooding you have all heard about here in Nashville. This is unlike anything I have ever seen here!

As you may know, I am married to a true New Orleans native. All day long, as we moved stuff out of our basement full of water, he kept saying "I thought I moved away from all this mess!"

This is my backyard.

Yep, that is my kids' trampoline. It's actually a pretty picture. You can see the sun shining and reflecting all the trees in the water.

I have to say, though, I am very blessed. As we surveyed the river flowing into our house this morning our family and friends began to show up. They got to work, brought food, called, all asking what they could do next. They were fantastic!

I am so thankful to say that our prayers were answered and the waters have begun to recede! While everything is still a stinky mess, the water is no longer standing in my basement. It is mostly just puddles here and there. I will post more pictures in the coming days as the cleanup begins.

For more pictures, including that of DCA where my Cameron goes to school and many others, visit my friend Beth's blog here. It is simply devastating.

You will not see me complaining! I am so grateful, it could have been so much worse and there are many people out there tonight in worse shape than me.

Please pray for all the families who have lost so much.