Category Archives: life

First third reflections

My to do list is sitting right beside my keyboard, glowering at me that I dare to take the time to move “blog” up on the priority list. However, every day, lost among the names of people I need to email — either with questions, thanks or just to follow-up on something — always is my long-time creative outlet of written word. Sometimes you just have to tell the rest of the world to wait a minute, and you do your thing.

My husband commented once that, “You always have someone to email.” And he’s right. I suppose to live and die by my email these days. But I love the paper trail it gives me, and I hate making phone calls. So it’s a win/win situation in that respect. But in the same breath, sometimes it gets overwhelming and you really do start to feel like you’re being pulled in multiple directions at once.

As a result, a third of the year 2017 is almost over, and I feel like in some ways I’ve barely acknowledged it began. The first part of the year is always busy with tax season, as I go back and forth from Nashville to Texas. I am so grateful I can help with the family business, and the time I get with family and long-time best-friends is so priceless.

With Mom & Dad on Easter Sunday

Touring season started early this year for my husband, which worked well with me being gone so much this first third of the year. I wasn’t home any way, so he might as well be out working as well! But now that I am settling back into Nashville full-time, I’m having to get into the mode of not seeing him (more importantly, get reacquainted with lots of alone time!) and working around his crazy schedule.

Last Friday was Aggie Muster. This was my ninth year organizing it here in Middle Tennessee. Luckily big parts of it I now have on auto-pilot, but even more importantly I have people who are absolute rock stars taking parts of the job off my plate. I don’t get nearly as stressed as I did in the past! It went off so smoothly this year, and we’re already formulating a plan for 2018.

Middle Tennessee A&M Club Muster – 2017

I love Muster. It humbles me. It lifts me up. It embodies what it means to be a Texas Aggie.

Now with Muster behind me, though, I can shift a lot of my focus over to the ACC-SEC-B1G Golf Tournament I’ve helped with the last several years. Fixing up the flyer for it is on the to do list that is glaring at me.

I have photography things on my mind as well. In a long story short, I have in my possession a lot of camera gear that once belonged to our wedding photographer. He passed away a couple years ago, and to now have his gear… well, it too humbles me and challenges me to work harder at making my work as a photographer better. His love for photography and his memory will most certainly live on… Of this I promise myself, his memory and his (and my!) loved ones who believe in me.

Texas Bluebonnets

One thing about the first third of this year, I certainly didn’t lose any of that “winter weight” one puts on through the holidays. Definitely time to make some changes in how active I am as well as in how I eat. Baby steps there, though. It’s been very Oregon in Nashville recently, as it seemed to rain non-stop for three days. I’m ready for some outside exercise time. I’m also ready to plant some veggies in my yard for healthy eating this summer.

I have lots of home projects I want to do. My  husband may just come home off the road one weekend and not recognize his own home. Wouldn’t that be crazy and cool all at the same time?

I am sure with all I have on my year’s wishlist (as well as that ever-changing and pesky to-do list), the next third of the year will pass just as fast at the first third did. I am not in any need to rush it, though. Time to take a moment to smell the roses and enjoy the world around me.

Even if it means putting it on the to do list.

103/365 : Another sunset

Vacation to Oregon

It’s been awhile since I posted, because my husband and I made a long overdue trip to Oregon to see his family. We don’t make it out there nearly often enough, primarily due to the cost of flights. However, thanks to others trips over the last couple years (many of which are due to his job!), we had enough points on Southwest Airlines to make the entire trip on points. All we paid were a few taxes and fees that points didn’t cover. Score!

Portland, OR

Every time I visit Oregon, I fall a little bit more in love with it. My husband even commented that there was a different twinkle in my eye this trip, and I admitted I enjoyed the trip more than ever before.

Growing up in Texas and now living in Tennessee, I am most definitely a Southern Girl. With that, I’ve often visited Oregon and felt like (no pun intended) a duck out of water. This time, though, my eyes were wide open to how similar Oregon is, and how you find good people with great values everywhere you go. And isn’t that what matters the most?

Mt. Hood

On one of our first days there, we visited Manzanita, where an EF-2 tornado went through only a few weeks ago. We got engaged on Manzanita Beach, and it’s only a few minutes from where my husband’s dad lives. Every trip to Oregon has featured walks around Manzanita, taking in its charms. Seeing the damage from the tornado was unsettling, but what I truly took away from our visit was how friendly everyone was on the street.

Manzanita, OR

When I moved to Nashville, one of the things that made me love it was how friendly everyone was… you couldn’t walk into a bar or restaurant without receiving smiles and genuine hellos and, “How are you?”s. Over time, as we’ve all grown more and more weary of the changes coming to our city, I’ve noticed that friendliness has diminished. With that, the openness and friendliness stood out even stronger to me as I walked along the streets of Manzanita.

Manzanita, OR

A favorite moment, when a couple pointed out my Yazoo t-shirt.
“Did you take the tour!?” they asked.
“I work there!” I replied.
“What!? We love Yazoo! We were just there a couple months ago on vacation!”


For anyone curious, it truly is a very small world.

And on another side note, Oregon truly is the home of great coffee and amazing craft beer.

Fort George Brewery

My husband and I also took time to explore a bit. We visited places he said that he himself had never gone, and others he hadn’t been to since a field trip in elementary school. How often do we fail to visit the places right in our own backyards? How often do we miss the beauty right around us?

Cannon Beach, OR

Finally, it was wonderful to reconnect with family. As I stated in the beginning, we don’t get out there nearly enough, so we take our trips out there very seriously. We also tend to visit in stealth mode… slipping in and slipping out before most people know we are even there. And it’s not because we don’t want to see everyone! It’s because we want to focus as much time as possible with family, versus spreading ourselves too thin. One of these days, we’ll go for a much longer period, and we will be able to see EVERYONE we wish to see. But on these shorter trips, our focus in on his family. As the years pass, we are keenly aware of the fact that these opportunities won’t be there forever. We want embrace the time we have with both hands, and we want to make memories we can share long after the opportunities fade.


Or more of my photos from our trip, visit my Flickr photo album. If you ever get a chance to visit the Pacific Northwest, go. Just go. And take in the beautiful scenery, and more sure to visit as many of the locals as you can. You might just make a new friend or two or ten.

Oregon 2016