Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Tender Tennessee Christmas

My first Christmas album (and only Christmas album) was Amy Grant's first Christmas CD when it came out in 1993.

On that CD, track # 1 is the song Tennessee Christmas. I would listen to that song over and over again and see that picture of the album cover and dream that one day I could experience something similar to "a tender Tennessee Christmas".

Here I am 17 years later and experiencing my 2nd Tennessee Christmas in a cabin out in the Smokey Mountains. Isn't it funny how God puts dreams in your heart so early and then years later are realized? Amazing.

This Christmas Jason's family will be joining us at a cabin in Coker Creek, Tennessee out in the Smokey Mountains for 5 glorious days! And with the way our winter's been going so far, we might even have a chance to see some snow!

Back in early August, we booked a beautiful cabin called the Phoenix in Newport, Tennessee.

Two months later on November 18th we got a phone call from the owner of the Phoenix that their cabin had burned down!! The ironic thing is, the cabin was named the Phoenix because it had been built on the foundation of another cabin that had burned down years earlier. Coincidence? Hmm....

So that left us in a huge rush to find another cabin to accommodate all 7 of us, was available over Christmas with the late notice, needed to be pet friendly and yet not be overly expensive in their rates.

Then we stumbled across Windy Ridge in Coker Creek, Tennessee. A beautiful 3 bedroom, 3 bath cabin with a cozy living area, gorgeous kitchen, a hot tub and wood burning fireplace. I AM PUMPED. I envision a lot of puzzle making, book reading, lazy mornings with hot biscuits and jam, hot apple crisp baking in the oven and watching fun holiday movies while sipping hot peppermint cocoa cuddled up with loved ones.

10 days and counting!

Monday, December 13, 2010

House for Sale....no not mine!

LeeAnn Rimes is selling her house in Franklin, TN if anyone's interested.

Walnut plank hardwood floors.

Private dance studio

Guest House

Home Theatre
Infinity Pool
Only listed for a measly $6,250,000.

13,310 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and situated on 5 acres.

Wowzas. Any takers?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Do you Advent?

I think there is just something so fun about an Advent Calendar. I grew up with the candy ones that had the little molded chocolates inside and thought they were so fun to open through out the month of December.
Jason and I have a cute little painted wood one that I picked up from Old Time Pottery and I like to fill it with peppermint & chocolate candy. But lately, I've seen some Advent Calendars that I am just drooling over and would love to make myself for my own family someday.

How fun are these?!! This one is homemade by Scrapbook Dimensions.
And I love these two from Pottery Barn:
And there's even a whole group on Flickr with some seriously cute homemade Advent Calendars that you should check out here.

Ode to Christmas Shopping...

I'm a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas shopping. Quite frankly, I hate it.

First of all, there's the crowds. Lord have mercy its enough to send me into a full blown anxiety attack weaving through the pushy & grabby shoppers.

Secondly, the plethora of options. For example. I've been looking for a few different things on my sister's Christmas lists and even though they're somewhat specific I can't seem to make up my mind for the life of me on what to purchase. So then when I finally buy something, I then proceed to question what I bought, then end up hating what I bought, then return what I bought and then stress all over about what I should buy instead.

Are you with me so far?

Exhibit A. Kris asks for a scarf for Christmas. I proceed to visit 4 stores looking for the perfect scarf. And yet, they're all crap as far as I can tell and I even have to ask Jason to pose as my model so I can get a better idea of how one might look on. He's quite the sport isn't he?

(Sweetie, I only promised not to post this picture to Facebook, I said nothing about the blog. Love you, mean it.)

Don't get me wrong, I do love Christmas. LOVE IT. It's just the shopping that stresses me out.... well and I'm not a fan of Christmas music...or grabby little children. Ho ho ho.

Ok so this isn't the blog post of warm fuzzy Christmas cheer. I'm almost done with my shopping, so I'm getting there, be patient.

Excuse Me.

Alright, so I've been getting quite a few complaints lately that I haven't posted to the blog in a while. And my excuse is that its not that fun doing posts without pictures and my camera went kaput on me and therefore, I have lost all inspiration to blog for the time being.

But if you're really dying to know what's going on in my world, here's the dilemma of the day (rather weeks I should say).

I am so full of air its out of control.
See, now aren't you excited that you get to know this about me? On average, I'm belching between 25-30 times a day, I kid you not. The pressure in my back from all this air, builds up the point where I'm in ridiculous pain and the only way to relieve it is by either leaning against my stress ball or having Jason burp me.
I even mentioned it during my yearly physical yesterday with my doctor. He said that sometimes anxious people involuntarily swallow air and it builds up. Otherwise he's not sure what's causing it and didn't see it as cause for concern.

Even I think its getting disgusting and I feel for my poor cube neighbor, Angela who laughs every time I have to let one out.

Now how's that for a blog post?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

So terribly wrong

So if you hadn't seen my post from Facebook already, Tuesday morning Jason and I woke up to a very unpleasant surprise. To be honest it was probably the rudest awakening I've ever had in my life...well almost.

Around 6am I'm aroused from my sleep to the smell of something so foul it made my stomach turn. And to be honest, the first thought I had was, "Oh geez Jason, what on earth was that?" Thinking of course that he had some terrible gas. But then as I come to my senses, I realize, no this is WAY worse. I tiptoe through the living room praying I'll avoid whatever foul thing I'm smelling and turn on the lights & turn off the alarm. The sun isn't quite up yet, so it was still quite dark in the house. That's when Jason wakes up and thinks the same thing of me, like I had let some serious fart go. Yuck. He gets up and asks me, "What are you doing up?" And I look at him and respond, "Do you NOT SMELL THAT?!" He responds, "Yeah it smells like poop." So I say, "I know and I'm trying to see where its at."

And Lord did I find it. Around the corner of the dining room table, on our brown rug and all over the hardwood floors and splattered up on the wall & curtains was some seriously disgusting doggy diarrhea. Oh yes people, diarrhea from a 90 pound Labrador! Are you following me here? It was DISGUSTING. We followed the trail to a huge mound of nastiness in our kitchen on the tile floor. All I can say is, thank God for tile & hardwoods. I will NEVER have carpet with dogs & kids. Blech..... I think in total Jason and I gagged 5-6 times between us and used up almost 2 rolls of paper towels and half a liter of pet cleaner over the next 45 minutes. Even at that hour of the morning we both thought of the story Heather Armstrong shared on her blog Dooce of how her own dog Chuck did the same thing throughout their brand new home. And we remember thinking to ourselves, "Oh my word, how horrible would that be? Poor them." Ha. Lesson learned and now we've managed to join that club ourselves.

If I had my wits about me, I would have taken some pictures for y'all to share in the misery with us. It was SO NOT cool. As Jason and I would take turns gagging while cleaning up the mess, I kept saying, "Cleaning up puke on top of this is going to make this whole experience 10 TIMES WORSE. DON'T PUKE." Thankfully we weren't hosting small group at our house that night, because it would not have gone over well with the stench that remained in our house over the next couple days. It's almost getting back to normal.

Aren't y'all glad I shared :-)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Humor Me

So every now and then I like to dream a little and peruse the real estate listings in Franklin for a big gorgeous home on a big ol' piece of land.

And then I stumbled across this insanely cool home on 12 wooded acres out in Leipers Fork, an area where Jason and I dream of living someday if we can ever afford it.

How amazing is this house?
Walkway out to the garage? Not sure if that's the garage or a workshop.
Huge wrap around porches. I'm drooling over those plantation shutters.
A modest but beautiful stairway with gorgeous molding and trim.
I'm dying over the clawfoot tub & his & her vanities in the master bath!
Um hello dream kitchen. I could make all kinds of amazing food there while looking out that incredible window!
I mean seriously, do you see that window over the farm sink? Geeeezzzzz... And that's the family room just beyond with french doors to the back porch.
Another view of the family room with the kitchen of paradise beyond.
A cute bedroom with his & her closets and a fireplace between. LOVE. Someday I dream of having his & her closets, don't ask me why because I can't answer you.
I see built-in bookcases and is that a window seat in the background? Sigh........
More built-in bookcases!! This house was meant for us. Darn that pending contract.
From the entry, a view into the formal living room and hallway down to the family room & kitchen.
Another view of the formal sitting/living room. The hardwoods throught out the house are drool-worthy.
And this looks to be a playhouse, but I would make it a guest cottage, for all of our wonderful friends and family to visit us. :-)
I mean is it just not the cutest on the inside with the arched ceilings?
4 Bedrooms, 4 Full Baths, 3 Half Baths, 4 Fireplaces, A Playhouse/Studio ect... all for $800,000. Which is A DEAL for all this house on all that land. Wow. Someday...someday.

Friday, September 24, 2010


The last couple weeks have been emotional ones. 2 weeks ago I found myself invited over to the youth pastor's house, along with some other friends, to support him as he was grieving the sudden loss of his father. Then this week one of my best friends miscarried at 10 weeks of pregnancy.

I've brought food, prayed, texted, facebooked and called to support the loved ones in my life during this difficult time. Grieving is such a process and the best thing one can do is just listen and love. Well that and maybe feed them. :-)

I love cooking for people. Just last week I baked an entire lemon bar/tart to satiate my friend's pregnancy cravings.....
and then just days later I found myself bringing her homemade mac & cheese as comfort food.

This weekend I'm hanging out with some friends and have been asked to bring my molasses cookies (obviously I've developed a bit of a reputation and honestly I don't mind one bit!)

Part of our journey in life is dealing with the extreme ups and downs of joy and sorrow. I've been fortunate thus far to not have to grieve in such a personal way through the loss of a close family member or friend. And when I think of possibly experiencing that myself one day, it truly scares me. But then I look at my brave & strong friends and realize that God is always there through those valleys and His supernatural peace will bring comfort no matter the trial.

These last two weeks have been a time of remembering what's most important in life - the relationships we've been blessed with and the love of our Father. I'm grateful that we serve a God who comforts, heals and loves. And that the time we have on this earth is not where life ends, but where it only begins.