Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day!

I hope everyone is hanging in there in what appears to be a very nasty cold & flu season! I've been doing my part to take my airborne daily, wash my hands regularly and drink plenty of water. So far, so good.

Tomorrow Jason & I attend our first marriage seminar, "Love, Sex & Marriage" by a well known author & inspirational speaker, Joe Beam. He's featured on the country music radio once a week in the mornings and I've often heard him answer many difficult questions with such wisdom from a Biblical perspective. He's also been a guest at our church a few times to preach when Bobby was out of town. I'm so excited and some friends of ours from church will also be there with us. I'm looking forward to it, I think it will be both encouraging & challenging, but yet lots of fun too.

Other fun news - on February 21st, Heidi & Aaron Powell welcomed thier beautiful new little baby boy into the world, Aiyers Gideon Powell! I so wished I was there with them during all the excitement. Aaron was great about texting a bunch of us the progress of the delivery. I can't believe he's a dad now! Time is flying!

It seems like so many of my friends are beginning to grow their families - Karlee is expecting a baby girl in July; Katie Hallstrom, who's also due in July, will soon find out what she's having; Vanessa's expecting a baby girl in April and looks so adorable with the tummy getting bigger every day; and Kate Barnette recently found out that she too is expecting sometime in September. Its an epidemic I tell you! I'm so excited for all of them and its hard to believe we all grew up together and have seen various phases of each others lives.
I also just recently got pictures from my friend Genesis of a wedding we all went to last month for our friends Melanie & Ryan Sutton and then of the super bowl party we had at Matt & Amy Walter's home. They're kinda fun and thought you all might enjoy them.
Jason & I at dancing at the wedding.

My friend Genesis & I at the wedding.
Steven & Genesis DeLong
Amy, myself & Alicia watching the super bowl - well sorta. Let's just say I was more there for the relationship, rather than the football ;-)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Diets Suck

At the beginning of the new year, my office began a weight-loss contest. Whoever was interested in participating had to form teams of 4 people and then each person on that team had to lose a minimum of 10 pounds each in a 10 week period. It's not about who loses the most, so don't get all freaked out that I'm starving myself silly. That's a pound a week, which isn't all that terrible. And I felt like it was a reasonable goal. 7 weeks into this freakin thing and I'm only 4 pounds down. I've yo-yoed like crazy! I thought I could do this whole thing with having a cheat day every now and then (ie. super bowl party), but I have since discovered that I lose all control on my cheat days and gain back in ONE day what took 4 weeks to lose. It absolutely sucks. So now I'm having to go total hardcore and cut out ALL sweets (like the little hard candies I like to suck on and my bag of chocolates to help with cravings). I'm also cutting out more carbs and adding more protein, fruits and veggies to my diet....and I know, I know, I should probably get exercising too. What really sucks, is the moment one decides they're going to start a diet, all you can think about is DESSERTS! I wake up and think about donuts, at lunch I want cookies, dinner I'm thinking about ice cream - its out of control. And yet even when I wasn't dieting, I didn't eat all that in one day, nor did I probably even think about it as much as I am right now. I literally began a list of what I wanted to bake once these freakin 10 weeks are over.

So why am I putting myself through all this you might ask? Because if our team succeeds in losing 10 pounds each person, we'll be entered for a drawing to each win one of 33 $100 gift cards and then one team is entered into a drawing where each team member could win a $500 gift card!!! Of course it came down to winning money, why else would I be doing this? Sure, I want to be summer-swimsuit-ready, but not at this rate! It's only February for crying out loud! I think I can do it, I just need to stay strong and not give into temptation. Deep breaths. Only 6 pounds to go, and I can do this!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Country Family!

All growing up, I have always looked up to my older cousin Tina. I can remember her wedding back when I was a little girl and that huge white hoop dress she wore and the little flower girls that got caught underneath it. I remember the empty pop cans that filled their getaway car after the reception, the bridesmaid dresses and the basement where the reception was held.

I would say my favorite Christmas ever, was the one my family spent out in Montana on my cousin Tina's diary farm with her family. The snow was several feet thick, the ice accumulated on the inside of the windows, we drank fresh milk from the dairy, had her delicious home-cookin, rode the snowmobiles in the fields, and warmed ourselves by the hot pellet stove - so many fond memories. Then years later when I was a teenager and just learning to drive, my friend Vanessa and I headed out to Montana for a couple weeks during the summer. I would say that's when my love for country music really kicked in. She started me listening to Billy Ray Cyrus & Trisha Yearwood and took me to my first country music concert with Joe Diffe and Collin Raye.

Well now that I'm all grown up and have a husband and house of my own, I was able to return the favor and offer up our home to have cousin Tina and her daughter Amanda and her boyfriend Jonathan as guests and come stay with us for a few days. It was kinda surreal actually, because a lot of time has come & gone and now we can sit down as adults, women and wives and relate on the same level. There was so many things I was able to learn about her that I just never knew when I was a kid. It was just the coolest thing to be sitting with her talking more like friends, rather than adult to teenager. I absolutely loved it and we laughed a ton. God's brought her through some tough places and just listening to her stories has built my own faith. I still very much look up to her and admire the woman God's shaped her to be. And now with her kids grown and out of the house, she's gone back to school to finish her college degree! She just amazes me and I'm so proud of her! (these pictures of Tina were taken when Jason & I were driving out to Tennessee and had stopped in Montana to stay with them for a couple days.)

We showed her around Nashville a bit and of course took them down to the honkey tonks on Broadway. But the main reason for their visit to Nashville was because Amanda has been accepted to the University of Mississippi Law School and she wanted to take a tour, plus she was able to audit a class at Vanderbilt Law School here in Nashville. There are a few different law schools in California, Texas and then in Mississippi that have all accepted her and she's trying to weigh her options for deciding which to go to. Amanda is just stunning and an absolute sweetheart and selfishly I hope that her path to law school leads here so that we'll have family in town and be able to hang out. Plus, it will also give Tina & Phil a reason to come visit!

It was literally a whirlwind of a trip and even though they were here only for the weekend, Tina was able to stay a couple more days with us which was really a blessing. And I loved that I was able to spend my valentine's with her, since Jason had to work that night. After talking for 3 hours that night, we finally headed to Mortons for dinner and sat at the bar eating lots of yummy food and drinks. It was so much fun!

I like a dummy didn't take my camera out once, but I know Amanda was able to get a picture or two, so I'm hoping I can get a copy of hers to post up eventually. But for now, here's a picture of Amanda & Jonathan that Tina had sent me, back from Amanda's soriority spring formal at Pepperdine last year. Aren't they an adorable couple?
We'll miss you Tina, Amanda & Jonathan! Thanks for staying with us!

Straight Up!

So one of my favorite artists growing up was Paula Abdul..."Straight up now tell me do you really want to love me for-ev-er, uh oh oh....are you just having fun?!" I used to rock out and dance in my room to her songs all the time. More recently she's been a judge on American Idol for the last like 7 or 8 years. After her 15 years or so away from the music scene, she has just released a new single. Her new single was just released and the music video's not too bad!

Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lots to Share

So these last five days have been packed full of fun things with my family in town from Montana and I will be going into further detail when I get more of a chance, but I have been super slammed at work this week - so please hang tight!

But until then - let this preview for the upcoming Indiana Jones 4 movie hold you over!!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Celebrity Sighting

Was shopping at Target the other day and saw Jack White of the White Stripes in the kids section.... He actually lives here in Nashville and comes into Mortons all the time.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I received a number of emails this week with some seriously cute and funny pictures attached - they brought a HUGE smile to my face and I'm pretty sure they will for you too!!

These lab puppies are so stinkin cute!
I can't wait to get our puppies!!

Now this will make you think twice about sleeping in the buff!
And somehow I think this next picture is foretelling of my future.
And I had to throw this one in - I love it!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Tennessee Tragedy

Well folks, if you haven't already heard, we got one heck of a nasty storm last night. For the first time since moving to Nashville, I got to hear the tornado sirens blaring from outside the house, and let me tell you, they are not a comforting sound. I could tell when I was heading off to work yesterday morning that we were probably going to get a storm, only cause it was so humid outside and close to 70 degrees. Not exactly your typical winter weather. Sure enough by the afternoon, the talk around the office was of the coming storms and to stay safe at home that night. Thankfully, and I mean THANK GOD, Jason was off from work last night and home with me. I would have been a nervous wreck if he wasn't there to hold my hand, literally. We were sitting at home watching American Idol when the news interrupted and warned us of the coming storms and with them the threat of tornados. We didn't really think to much of it, till I noticed that the red area on the Tennessee map in the left hand corner of the screen was inching toward Nashville. So we finally flipped over to the local news and watched intently as many counties reported tornado touchdowns, severe weather damage, destroyed homes and expected arrival times of the storm heading our way. For us, it was more built up expectation than anything else - other than some quite frightening thunder and lightening, and a power outage that lasted half the night, our neighborhood was relatively untouched. But others were not so fortunate. One friend from work had the roof of her garage ripped off from the wind alone. It was a nightmare of a storm and destroyed many homes throughout a number of states. Hopefully, the last storm we'll have for quite a while! But thank you to everyone who's called and left us messages that you were praying for us, we very much appreciate it! Please continue to pray for other families in our city during this horrible time. God bless. (Check out the lightening reflected in this Nashville building downtown!)

February 2008 tornado outbreak
(From Wikipedia article)

The February 2008 tornado outbreak, also known as the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak, was a deadly tornado outbreak affecting the Southern United States and the lower Ohio Valley from February 5–6, 2008.

The event began on Super Tuesday,
while 24 U.S. states were holding primary elections and caucuses for both Democratic Party and Republican Party presidential candidates for the upcoming 2008 United States presidential election. Missiouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Tennessee are states among the affected regions where primaries were held. The approaching of the severe weather forced some polls to be closed in advance.

At least 93 tornadoes have been reported. The outbreak has produced several destructive tornadoes in heavily populated areas, most notably in the Memphis metropolitan area, in Jackson, Tennessee and the northeastern end of the Nashville metropolitan area. Reports suggest that at least 57 people have been killed in the outbreak by severe weather (at least 56 by tornadoes) across five states and 19 counties, with hundreds of others injured. Several other unconfirmed reports of fatalities have come in as well and those numbers may increase or decrease as new reports come in. The outbreak is the deadliest in the US since the May 31, 1985 outbreak that killed 76 across Ohio and Pennsylvania (and also killed 12 in Ontario, Canada). It was also the deadliest tornado outbreak in Kentucky since the 1974 Super Outbreak. In Arkansas, the 13 fatalities is the most since 25 were killed during the Benton, Arkansas Tornado Outbreak on March 1, 1997.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

1 Down, 11 To Go

So I've been doing a little tracking of staying on top of my New Years Resolutions. Since its the first year I've really taken them seriously, I've made a list of all my goals and then I update the list on how I did each month.

So here's a little status update (to keep me motivated and accountable more than anything!)

1. Journaling - I wrote in my journal over 10 times in January, not a bad start. 2. Exercise/Diet - My work is holding a weight-loss contest where we're supposed to lose at least 10 pounds in 10 weeks to qualify for some serious cash prizes. 4 weeks into the contest and I'm down 4 pounds!! As exciting as this is, all I can think about is that delicious coconut frosted donut down the street at Shipley's Donuts and baking ridiculously delicious desserts that I find on different blogs. Oh and I don't normally like yogurt, but after trying a bunch of different kinds, I discovered Breyers Smooth & Creamy in Peaches & Cream and Strawberry - they are so good! I can't wait to find the Strawberry Cheesecake flavor!
3. Honesty - I've had a chance to be able to speak honestly a number of times these last few weeks with family and friends about what's really on my heart. At times its been scary, fearing the response - sometimes its been really positive and other times...well I guess we'll see.

4. Read the New Testament - I've read Matthew 1-6! Kinda pitiful I know, so February will be much better!

5. Pray Out Loud - The Lord really spoke to me actually about this in Matthew and I feel a peace about praying out loud when He provides opportunties, but really being more concerned with praying alone to Him, because this is what He truly desires.

6. Read 20 books - One down, 19 to go! I finished The Choice by Nicholas Sparks and IT WAS SO GOOD!! I so recommend this book if your looking for a cozy sweet love story to curl up to with a blanket and hot cup of coffee.
7. Get The House In Order - I've been working my tail off on the guest room. It's almost done being painted. Jason put up beadboard and trim, so my job has been painting it all white. It's getting there!! And we also finished the living room, which was a big accomplishment!

8. Finish Repunzel - yea not so much.

9. Invitation Business Up & Running - I'll work on this when our office is all set up properly, which will happen once the desk is all sanded & ready to move from the front porch back into the house :-)

This last week has been a trying week for me. See we have this fun little leak in our roof that is causing water to drip through the ceiling in the office. And due to a lack of time & some financial constraints, we haven't been able to get it fixed yet. These kind of things really stress me out - so I literally just have to stay away from that part of the house so I don't see it, because if I look at it, then I dwell on it for hours working myself up into a frustrated frenzy.

Then last Wednesday Jason got into a head-on car accident with an elderly woman. I guess she didn't see Jason coming and proceeded to turn in front of oncoming traffice, pulling out in front of his truck. I was on the phone with him and he had to put the phone down to try & slow his truck in time, but all I heard was him yelling in the background and then a big crash. It sounded much worse than it was and thankfully they're both fine. The truck is a little damaged and it took a while for the cops to show up and fill out the report, but other than that - everything turned out ok, which really is a blessing from God.

We also had a wonderful time at our friends Super Bowl Party Sunday. Jason spent two days working on a pulled pork chili and by request, I made my Molasses Cookies with Pumpkin Fluff. Yummy! So you can imagine the diet went out the door that day! There were probably 12 of us there and we had so much fun!! I am so blessed with the friendships that we've made through our church - I just love'm!
So I guess other than the leak and the accident, it wasn't too bad of a week and it did end on a great note ;-)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Puts Things Into Perspective

I was roaming around on MySpace and came across this video on Loree Rowland's page, so I took a few minutes to watch it not really knowing what to expect.

It sobered me quite a bit - and it definately puts things into perspective.

Take a few minutes out of your busy day to appreciate how big God is.