Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!.....Er, I mean Halloween!

So you all might be in the Halloween mode, but here in Nashville, we've just celebrated Thanksgiving! My inlaws have been in town for a week and while they were here, we wanted to have Thanksgiving together. So last Saturday, we went all out and celebrated with the works. It was my first Thanksgiving dinner and I was so nervous! I had planned out my recipes, bought all the ingredients, timed out my day - I was set! And I'm happy to report it went off without a hitch!! I made my first Turkey, which after a little help from Sherry, was fairly easy. Though I have to admit, pulling the insides out from a raw bird always makes me a little gaggy....(uh-hum). But after that, I was sailing. I also made mashed red potatoes with onions and chives, brown-sugar glazed baby carrots (per Jason's request), green bean casserole, gravy, and homemade rolls. Jason went and bought a honey-baked ham and Grandma made the stuffing. We had so much food it was awesome :-) What am I saying? We STILL have so much food! The night before I also made a double-layer pumpkin cheesecake, a regular pumpkin cheesecake and a pumpkin pie. Josh didn't end up coming over, so it turned out to be myself and Jason, Jerry & Sherry, Grandma and our friend Roxanne. It was such a good time and I was stuffed for 2 days. Now we have plenty of turkey and ham for weeks - which you know what that means dad, turkey sandwichs!!! I also got to decorate the table and apartment for the holidays, which is probably one of the highlights of the holidays. Jason and I had a blast hosting the thanksgiving meal at our home for the family.

Tonight is our last night with the Keiths and Grandma. I'm making Pasta Fagoli and Cornbread for dinner and Sherry is giving me a lesson on how to use the sewing machine they bought me for my birthday. She also gave me a book on how to use it, so that is my next project, is to read the book and get on the machine, then I can get started on learning how to make some super cute quilts. We also have a puzzle we've been working on - a must for family vacations together :-) Another thing we've been doing with them, is driving them through the different areas of town to see the houses. They've seen LaVergne, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, East Nashville, Murfreesboro, Lebanon, Brentwood, Franklin, Ashland City, Belle Meade....and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few others. Jason and I have our fingers crossed, cause we're hoping they fall in love with the city and eventually move here in a couple years.

Other news on the homefront is
Jason had a meeting with Sony again this week. It was encouraging, because they suggested some independent labels that he should meet with in regards to getting a publishing/writing deal. I think Abbey (his contact at Sony) gave him close to 6 different labels to check out. Also, Nick and Jason finished their demo of the song they've been preparing to pitch for Little Big Town's manager Rindy Lovelady, I believe the song is called "Thinkin' Out Loud". Nick dropped it off on Friday at Rindy's office and Rindy called Nick over the weekend to tell him that he's been out of the office in St. Louis for the World Series, but that when he got back in town he would listen to the CD. We put "Thinkin' Out Loud", "Right Where We Belong" and "I Can't" on the CD Nick gave to him. Really pray for favor that Rindy would love at least one of the songs and put one on hold for Little Big Town. Jason also finished another song recently that he wrote with Jeff Batson and the bass player for Mark Chestnutt's band, its called "Our Love Ain't Dead, But It's Dying". The bass player, who I can't remember his name for the life of me, played this song for Mark Chestnutt and he loved it. He said he would love to cut it, the only problem is, Mark is not signed with a label at the moment. Even though, he may not cut it right away or even at all, it was a huge compliment to Jason that Mark loved the song. We're hoping when the demo is finished, that we can pitch the song for George Strait, that is unless something works out for Mark Chestnutt before then.

Some other upcoming things to note - next Monday, Nicholas Sparks releases his latest novel, Dear John. I have my copy already reserved at the library :-) And this coming weekend is the flea market, so maybe Jason and I will run down to the fairgrounds and see if we find any good deals.

Halloween is next Tuesday - our plan so far is that Jason has requested the night off, since it will be super slow at Mortons and then we're going to rent "What Lies Beneath" and eat popcorn. It'll be our own little scary movie night where we dodge the trick-or-treaters. Why might you ask? Because those darn trick-or-treaters have really gotten on my nerves the last few years. Am I the only one, or have you noticed that the kids are getting greedier and its probably from the example of seeing the ADULTS trick or treating! Teenagers is one thing, but adults - for real? Good Lord people, get a job!!! I have literally opened the door at my parents house and given out candy to the little kids and they stand there shaking their bag and still holding it out - like I was skimping out on them. Argh! This is definately a pet peeve of mine - can you tell? The little, little ones though in their costumes couldn't be cuter. As a matter of fact, in honor of the holiday, if you have a picture of a little one or cute kid in a costume, or even yourself, send it to me by email at steppincloser@hotmail.com and I will post it on the blog at Halloween! Even if the picture is from years ago! I know we've got a cute picture of Jason in a costume from when he was little that I'll be posting. I've posted a couple of pics from kids on the internet in costumes that I thought were pretty darn cute. Jess, I thought you and Ben might like the little fighter pilot!

Also don't forget Friday night the 1966 classic of "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" will air on ABC at 8/7 central. That's a classic for all of us growing up and I haven't seen it in forever, so I'm planning on catching it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stuff On My Cat

I don't know if any of you have ever heard of the website www.stuffonmycat.com but there are some pretty clever ideas that people come up with. The idea is you put different things "on" your cat, take a picture and submit it to this website and they post the best ones - I thought you all might enjoy a couple of these pics:

Monday, October 16, 2006

A good laugh for Monday morning

Keep your eyes on the lizard on the left of the table, it will appear as the camera zooms out.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Some Things Better Left Unheard

As I sit at my desk trying very hard to concentrate on my work, there is the most obnoxious noise coming from out of one of the offices. I figure if I don't say a name, then maybe this won't sound so mean...but I have never heard such an offensive laugh in my entire life. Maybe offensive is not the word to use, because I know its not intentional - but its causes myself and others around me to cringe so badly, you would think we were all involved in the taping of a Seinfeld show. Is this for real? I'm trying hard to think of other things to share with you - but the "nails on the chalkboard" in the background is all that fills my mind.

OK - on to more interesting things. Church on Sunday was GREAT! Praise God we may have found us a home! We're still walking into this cautiously to see if its where we truly want to lay our roots down, but the first impression was definitely a positive one. The worship was a perfect balance for Jason and I. It was a great mix of upbeat and contemporary worship with plenty of hymns and not overly charismatic. The band was awesome and the leadership humble. The church is called Harpeth Community Church and was recommended to us by my friend Kelley Skiles, who also lives here in Nashville (some of you may remember her from the MC trip to Dallas 10 years ago.) They're temporarily meeting in Centennial High School in Franklin until they get a building of their own - I would say between 400-500 people attend, though it could be more when not over a holiday weekend. It was also very important to both Jason and I that we find a church that used A LOT of scripture in the teaching. And not like one verse to base an entire two hours on - but really diving into a lot of the Word of God to get out the meat and truly challenge us. The head pastor is Dr. Bobby Harrington. That's right Dr. It appears, that he has a doctorate in theology....yea!! His teaching style reminded me of a combination of my own father and Pastor Stone rolled into one. He was real, honest, passionate and NORMAL. :-) He looked like the rest of us - someone you could understand and relate to. On Sunday he spoke on the end times - and where we're heading. Not necessarily all the tribulation details, but what scripture says about where we are today - where our kids are, how to train them, how to lead, how to follow God. It was very refreshing and we walked away with a peace and feeling challenged. I think for the first time in months, I felt the Spirit of God in a church and was even brought to tears a couple times. There is a 101 class coming up that we're going to check into, just to see what exactly they believe, their vision statement et...then we should have a lot better idea on whether this is home for us or not. Keep praying for us - for wisdom and discernment!!! If you want to check out more on Harpeth Community Church, you can go to: www.harpethcc.com

We had a great time together this last weekend - though of course it went by too fast. I waited up for Jason on Friday for him to come home from work and we watched a few episodes of Lost (we're trying desperately to catch up!). Then Saturday we got up and watched MORE Lost and headed to the gym. Yes, I'm still working out :-) After the gym we chilled at Starbucks in our sweats sipping coffee, but only for a little while - cause we had to get home....TO WATCH MORE LOST! We were Lost nuts all weekend. And we couldn't stop either. One more episode...ok, just one more. Then Jason was off to work and I caught up on some much needed conversation with my dear friend Jess over in Korea. After not having the best night at work, Jason came home early and we headed to bed so we would be well rested for church the next day. You might be wondering why it wasn't the best night at work for Jason - well let me just tell you. Because freakin foreigners don't know how to tip! This is a serious problem for wait staff who make their living off their customers. There should be a worldwide bulletin informing foreigners that if you want to come to the States, there are some rules you MUST follow and tipping is one of them!! Jason had a table come in from Europe and they're bill came to $197 and THEY TIPPED $3.00!!! Yes, as in three one dollar bills!! I asked him what he did when they left him three bucks and he said he asked them - "Is this meant for the valet?" Atta baby! Morons. What an insult. Did you all know that minimum wage for a tipped employee in the state of Tennessee is $2.13? It's true! Arghhh!!! ............... (inhale....exhale...).......Ok - I've vented, I feel better now.

Sunday we were more productive :-) Actually we were crazy busy - we went to church, then shopped at Macy's, Bath & Body Works and Kirklands. We also saw The Guardian - which was very good. And in the evening we went over to Sarah & Chris' for dinner. It was a great weekend and I wished it would have lasted longer - if only we had Columbus Day off!!

The laughing has ended now, I guess I can get back to work. :-) oh and hey! Don't forget to leave us a comment!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Maybe this is it?

We have another opportunity where Jason's music will be pitched to some influential people. Nick Giaconia and Jason have been working on a song to pitch to the manager of Little Big Town. Chuck Wicks just laid the vocals down for the demo, which I was able to hear a rough copy of when I met them at the studio. We're hoping they also like Right Where We Belong and put that song on hold - so continue to pray!!

Other recent news, we finally got our gym memberships. The gym's not far from our house and its a pretty nice one, where only serious athletic people work out, not a meat market where everyone is checking each other out. The police department is next door as well, which makes me feel a lot better about working out there alone in the evenings - there's usually an officer or two around. And I love the Cardio Theater, which is where they continually play movies and its dimly lit with all kinds of exercise equipment. I usually get on the treadmill and the distraction makes the time just fly by.

We also got a washer & dryer for the apartment. The freakish laundromats were really getting old. I am telling you, there are some strange people in those places. I was in there once and the owner was yelling at this woman for leaving her clothes in the washer and then leaving and coming back. And she was screaming back at him and he was calling her a crack-whore and threatening to call the police - come on folks, it's just wet clothes. Yeah it was very entertaining. I just wanted to wash my clothes and get the heck out of there. Now that we have a w/d, I actually look forward to coming home and doing the laundry. Isn't it amazing how we take things for granted, until we don't have them anymore?

Work is going great. My bosses are still treating me very well and I love working for them. Larry drives me a little nutty sometimes with his OCD'ness , but he's never rude or condescending. At times I want to call him Uncle Larry. Paul is has also been great to work for. He's such a family man and loves to tell me stories of his kids latest football games in great detail. He has 3 boys and a fourth boy on the way. I wouldn't know what to do if I had 4 sons - good Lord. Why stop there? If you have five, you could have a basketball team. (Dad, don't get too excited)

This afternoon I'm spending my lunch with Melissa from work and we're heading to a Fall Designer Jeans & Apparel Sale. Supposedly they have all the top brands of jeans for 75 % off - like Sevens for $35 and Blue Cult, Citizens and True Religions to name a few. It's a sale for some big charity...sounds like a good excuse to me. I told her to beware, because for me this is like taking an addict into a bar. Thank God I get paid tomorrow :-)

The weather is changing fast and pretty soon all the fall colors will be out. Everyone keeps telling me how gorgeous Tennessee is in the fall and I can't wait, especially since it is my favorite season. I hope to get some great pictures to post as well. That's all for now!