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“Our” holiday

December 31st, 2010 1 comment

My husband and I have spent every New Years Eve together since we rang in 2003 together, and we’ve agreed that as long as its possible, we will ring in the new year together. As such, we’ve spent the holiday all over the place in the last eight years. This is our ninth to spend together. (NINTH!?!)

Welcome 2006!

2003 – Billy Bob’s Texas in Dallas, Texas. I bought tickets to the concert he was playing that night. Why not do something different and ring in the new year with my friend, all while seeing a great show? I had NO idea it would start a tradition!

2004 – Cowboy’s Red River in Dallas, Texas. Same idea as 2003. Same artist, even!

2005 – Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. He didn’t have a show that new years, and this time instead of my traveling to ring in the new year with him. He traveled to ring it in with me!

2006 – Jubitz in Portland, Oregon. Newly engaged, we rang in the new year in a club he used to play in “back in the day” with old friends of his. My new fiance originally had a gig in Buffalo, New York, which was canceled last minute. We lost a lot of money changing our flights, but the fun we had was worth it!

2007 – Star Hall in Cyclone, Texas. Six days away from our wedding, we were surrounded by family and friends as the clock struck midnight.

2008 -Lexington, Kentucky. My husband had a show in Lexington that night, so I drove up from Nashville to see the show and spend our sixth new years eve together.

A kiss at midnight... 2009!

2009 – Fiddle & Steel Guitar Bar in Nashville, Tennessee. My husband didn’t have a gig, so we welcomed 2009 in our “second home” surrounded by our Fiddle Family.

2010 – Star Hall in Cyclone, Texas. We expected the same party we had in 2007. Didn’t quite work out that way, but we were still with friends and family, and definitely were left with a story to tell!

2011 — We will welcome the new year in downtown Nashville again this year. My husband doesn’t have a show, so we’ll go join our close friends and toast to the hope and promise of the coming year.

I have bought black-eyed peas and collard greens to make tomorrow for luck and prosperity. It’s the only “superstition” I really follow… well, that and a kiss at midnight! One of these days, there will be the first new years we will miss spending together. That will probably have to do with our kids, when they come.  But until that time, we will spend every December 31st into January 1st together. No matter where our jobs take us, we’ll find a way to be together.

Do you have any new years traditions? What are they? Where will you be when we click over into 2011?

Categories: holidays, husband Tags: ,

My take on New Year’s Resolutions

December 30th, 2010 3 comments

052: Happy New YearI pretty much never make New Year’s Resolutions. And by pretty much, I mean I think about it briefly and that’s as far as it gets. So, as the new year approaches and everyone is talking resolutions, I thought I’d have a little fun: I Googled  “Typical New Year’s Resolutions.” I discovered that USA.gov has a list of popular New Year’s Resolutions. So, since I really don’t make resolutions, I thought maybe I’d analyze the list from my point of view.

  • Drink Less Alcohol — I actually cut back on that in the last year already. The expense of it, not to mention the fact that its empty calories, forced me to drink less already. I don’t think I’ve sported a “buzz” in well over six months, if not longer. And I’m okay with that! You don’t need alcohol to have a good time. I do drink socially, and I do enjoy a glass of wine or mixed drink in the evening. And I still consider myself a “beer snob.” But drinking less alcohol really isn’t an issue for me already, and thus there’s no need to make it a resolution.
  • Get a Better Education — I do hope to take a few photography “classes” this year. And I would love to make it to at least one blogger conference. You should NEVER stop learning!
  • Get a Better Job — How about instead of getting a better job, I just advance myself and what I am already doing. My goal for the end of this year had been to have a literary agent by, well, today. That didn’t happen, but it doesn’t mean its not a goal I don’t still have. It’s a goal I will continue to pursue into 2011.
  • Get Fit — YES! Something I need to do. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution, though. It’s a life resolution.
  • Lose Weight — I wouldn’t mind still shedding 10 lbs. But I’ll do it at my pace and more in the realm of getting fit more than with the need to lose weight.
  • Manage Debt — This week. The last week of 2010. I already did this one. I’ll only mention this ONCE here: I officially filed for bankruptcy. I was just in too deep with no way to claw my way out. Short of winning the lottery, I was already only weeks away from one creditor filing suit against me. I’m not proud of it, but it was what I had to do. It doesn’t make me a bad person or a slacker. It makes me someone taking matters into my own hands and moving forward with a clean slate in the new year.
  • Manage Stress — See that last bullet? That already made this one happen as well. Now its just a matter of keeping myself striving forward in a positive direction. Reminding myself to keep my eye on my goals, but live in the moment.
  • Quit Smoking Now — The only smoking I do is second hand smoke in the bars. Guess if I were to follow the less alcohol point, I’d lower this one, too. HA!
  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle — The house we are moving into next week is in an area that offers curbside recycling. This WILL happen anyway!
  • Save Money — Yes. We’re making huge strides to be able to do that. We have a few friends and family to pay back (who have helped us through this year), and as soon as that happens… the little bit of money that I was still throwing at credit cards will now be thrown into savings. Time to get smart about my money.
  • Take a Trip — We missed Oregon this year. I want to make a trip to Oregon to see my husband’s family happen this year. Which will be facilitated by the whole save money thing.
  • Volunteer to Help Others — I’ve wanted to work with MDA for the last several years. Perhaps this year will be the year I actually make that happen.

Resolutions aren’t bad things to have. I prefer to call them goals, and they can be made at any time in the year. January 1st is just a pretty date to use as a starting point. If it works for other’s, great. But for me, its more just a chance to check in on my life goals and see how far I’ve come… or how far behind I may be.

How are your goals going??

Categories: goals Tags: ,

Wordless Wednesday: 2010 in pictures

December 29th, 2010 2 comments
Wedding Anniversary

3rd Anniversary

Steve Cropper & Steve Wariner

Steve Cropper & Steve Wariner

02.23.10 Snow in Central Texas

Snow in Texas

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium (Stride & Ride)

Albritton Tower

Gig'em

Nashville Flood 2010

Nashville Flood

Lee Roy Parnell

Fundraiser

Fireworks

Independance Day

Cathedral of the Incarnation

Cathedral

Stage at night

Tennessee River Run

Fall leaves

Music City Roots

Joe Diffie & Newfound Road featuring Aubrey Haynie

Bluegrass Debut

016: Ready for the game

WHOOP!

Opryland Hotel

Back to its glory -- Opryland Hotel

046: Family photo

Family

New toy

New Toy for the New Year

Categories: photos Tags: ,

Looking back on 2010

December 28th, 2010 2 comments

I think few people would disagree with me when I say this: 2010 STUNK.

Oh, I know. It had its high points. Other years have stunk, too. January to December is arbitrary start and stop points in the grand scheme of things. Yadda yadda yadda. Doesn’t matter. I look back on 2010 with a scowl on my face. I actually FEEL 30 in a lot of ways. I guess the year aged me to my age for a change. Perhaps that is not such a bad thing, but its also not what you ever want to say.

What made the year so bad you ask? It just felt like an uphill climb the entire time. We lived month to month financially. I became buried in a dark cloud financially that, yes I created, but it was also one that was created at a time when the idea of being able to dig out of it was not far-fetched. Then life happened, and it all came to a head in 2010.

I ended up taking comfort in watching the news and hearing of others right where we are. We at least had family and friends to lean on… we at least had work in general. I was thankful for my blessings, but it was hard to not sink into a stressful depression.

Time and time again, we found ourselves taking one step forward, two steps back. We found ourselves making hard decisions — selling my husband’s truck, canceling services that we realized were a luxury. We definitely learned  the difference between want and need!

And perhaps its within things like that, that I look into 2011 with optimism. We’ve learned hard lessons and picked up new habits that will make big differences for us in the new year. What first felt like the last blow, we are having to move. But now I look on the change with optimism for a clean slate. I, myself, laid a lot of groundwork in my writing and photography. I go into 2011 with optimism professionally, and with hope that changes we’ve made will have a positive effect.

I’ve picked up a motto and belief this year… that its after our greatest failures that our greatest successes are realized. 2010 is one of the hardest years I’ve ever experienced, and its my belief that 2011 will follow with stark contrast of positive strides professionally, financially and even personally.

Weekly Winners (Dec. 19 – 25)

December 26th, 2010 3 comments

Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

Weekly Winners

My deepest apologies to the Weekly Winners people for never making it around to comment last weekend. Between holidays and moving and other events, this blog has suffered terribly. Only 2 posts this week is crazy! Must get back to nursing this blog…

It all starts with the Weekly Winners full of Christmas goodness. I hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday! I think mine has to go down as a top-10 Christmas. So much laughter and love filled the house. I look back on the day with pure joy. I wish that for everyone.

040: Piano ornament

Featured on Nashvillest, a piano ornament taken in the new piano bar, Randolph's, in Printer's Alley

Opryland Hotel

The big tree at Opryland Hotel.

Opryland Hotel

Looking up the big tree at Opryland hotel to see it reflected back in the atrium windows.

041: Terrified

Scared cat.

Bailey finds Christmas

Bailey found Christmas. It was on the couch the whole time.

045: Cookie cutters

Cookie cutters.

046: Family photo

Family Christmas Portrait

Christmas scenes

My husband's piano ornament.

Christmas scenes

Collegiate snowman.

♥ ♥ ♥

Photos taken using a Nikon Coolpix L20 or my Droid Incredible or a Sony DSLR A230.
View all of my photos and detailed captions on my Flickr stream.

Musician’s Widow’s Day Before (and On) Christmas

December 24th, 2010 1 comment

‘Twas the day before Christmas, when all through the house,
Everyone was stirring, even Bailey with his fake mouse.

The stockings were hung on the wall with special care,
In hopes that the whole family soon would be there;

The gifts were all wrapped under the tree,
While we all sat and wondered what each one could be;

And Mom baking in the kitchen, and Dad making lunch,
Craig and I snacked on goodies, we had a whole bunch,

When midnight approached, we all dressed up and got ready,
It came time for my favorite tradition, one that has always been steady.

Away to the church we drove through the night,
It was time for midnight mass, it simply felt right!

The moon on the sheen from the much needed rain,
Gave the world a clean look, especially our lane,

When at mass we read the true Christmas story,
The one about Jesus birth and God’s glory!

Christmas hymns were all sung,
And tolling bells, they were rung.

Christmas day had arrived under bright twinkling stars,
And in a joyful, yet hushed silence we all went to our cars.

Back home we all went after giving the season’s meaning pause,
And somewhere deep down we all still believed in Santa Claus!

After mass we had a snack to tide us over until morning,
We knew there was no way the next day could be boring!

The tree would remain lit into the night,
It helped to make all in the world just seem right.

For the magic of Christmas gives a sparkle and a twinkle,
And at this point nothing could bring to the heart a single wrinkle.

For the meaning of the season is not in the retail,
Its all in the making of a whole new memory and tale!

For its family and friends, moments and mistakes,
All those things that make you laugh, for goodness sakes!

The smile of a child and the love in your heart,
We all take a moment, we all must take part.

So as we lie our heads down to sleep and welcome the day,
You’re never too old to be excited in a big way!

Memories from childhood mingle with those made anew,
To dance in your head as dreams with a vivid bright hue.

Christmas day arrives, and excitement glows in your eyes,
And the table is covered in turkey, potatoes and pies.

Big hugs all around as family comes over,
And the gifts under the tree even more seems to run over!

Eat as fast as you can while you enjoy every bite,
After hours of cooking, it all tastes just right.

Then around the tree we all gather for a few pics,
Any imperfect ones will just have to wait to be fixed.

For the anticipation has just become far too great,
There are presents open, it almost feels too late!

First the kids open gifts and as they ooh and ahh,
There’s a happiness there that has been too long since we saw.

Then the adults take their turn to open presents,
Practical to funny from siblings and parents,

In those moments we all once again turn five,
Feeling so very alive!

As the paper is cleaned up and deftly thrown away,
We look around and, in our hearts, we record all about this day.

And before we all leave, for the end of the day is all too near,
“Merry Christmas,” we say, “And a Happy New Year!”

Categories: family, holidays Tags: , ,