Happy Mother’s Day!

My parents are having my brother and his family over for supper tonight to celebrate Mother’s Day. This is once again a moment when I glare angrily at Arkansas and go, “I wish you weren’t there so Tennessee and Texas could be closer and I could be there for this, too!”

Yes, I glare at states and talk to them like they are people. Deal with it.

I have an amazing relationship with my Mom (and my Dad!!) and I am thankful for her every day. She’s given me so much, and she continues to give every day. And I do not take that for granted for a second…

I know I can call her any time to rant… to squeal over good news… to cry…. to laugh… to do ask advice…

She’s my friend. She’s my Mom.

She’s… the best.

A special shout out also goes to my sister-in-law… she’s an amazing Mom to my niece and nephew. I admire her more than she could possibly ever know.

She’s strong. She’s loving. She’s stern.  And I pray my own kids someday turn out even half as amazing as my niece and nephew have turned out… and I credit that fact to their parents.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there! I hope you get to enjoy this special day however you wish to spend it… and that you know how respected and loved you are. Being a Mom is a hard job! You are the front line to the next generation. You are doctor, teacher, confidant, playmate, counselor, friend, rule maker, cab driver, bank, and more! Thank you for all you do for all us kids of all ages!

Who can find a virtuous woman? She is far more precious than jewels…
Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle.
Her sons rise up and call her blessed.
He husband also praises her:
Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.

~Proverbs 31:10, 25-30 (source)

Get off my back!

MOH on breakI’m 5′ 11″. When anyone asks how tall I am, I say, “Right around 6′ tall.” It’s just easier to say that.

I love my height!

In high school, I wasn’t so sure. I was taller than most of my classmates, and I felt a little self conscious about it. But then college came, and I found myself embracing my height more and more.

Today, I wear high heels just like any other woman. I love my height. I love celebrating it. And I am not afraid to wear high heels.

So all that said, last night was the first time I actually snapped at a patron while I was bartending. But this woman just finally pissed me off enough that I couldn’t hold it in anymore.

She kept telling me stand up straight. Put my shoulders back.

This happened probably five times over the course of the time she was there.

I finally just walked away. I was done with her. Right as they left I didn’t have much choice but to go past them and once again she tells me stand up straight. I went, “Look. I’ll stand how I want to stand.” She said I should be proud of my height. I should be proud of “the girls” and get them out there.

“I’ve been where you are. It took me years to be proud to be tall.”

I went, “I AM proud to be tall. I wear heels all the time!” (Her husband went, “Yeah!” And fist bumped with me at that. Ha!) “I love my height and I embrace it!”

I was going, “HOW DARE YOU!?” Oh I was angry by the time she finally left. I finally shook my head and walked away. Her husband was SO nice, and he sorta tried to smooth things over, but I was done. I was glad they were leaving, because I was just DONE.

In hind sight I wish I’d told her she wasn’t my mother. In hind sight I wish I’d said, “Thank you for your advice, but you don’t know me. And I don’t appreciate your ‘advice.'” In hind sight, I wish I’d walked away a lot sooner and ignored her blatantly the entire time.

My husband got to hear me rant after they left. I pointed out I never talk back to patrons, but she’d pushed my button one time too many. My husband finally went, “She doesn’t know you. You ARE standing up straight. You DO love your height. She is clueless.” I nodded in agreement and eventually let it go (until I started to write this.)

Do I have perfect posture? No… I admit that. But I love being tall. I know that in her mind, she was giving me some sort of epiphany. In my mind, she was a meddling little “thinks-she-knows-it” all that needed to get off my back.

Literally.

My favorite places to take visitors to Nashville, Part 2.1

I wasn’t expecting the popularity of last week’s entry about downtown Nashville!  That’s awesome! It’s Monday again and time for the next installment of where to visit when in Nashville… this week’s topic: Parks.

I had read once that part of the magic of Central Park in New York City is how its something of an oasis among the honking cars and skyscrapers. I’ve grown the feel that way about many of the parks in Nashville. (This one is going to be so big, I’m going to have to split it into atleast two posts.)

First on the list, without hesitation, is Centennial Park.

Centennial ParkLocated across from Vanderbilt University, this park is never empty. You’ll find college students studying on blankets, games of Frisbee going on, kites being flown, and any number of fun activities that college students do to blow off a little steam.

Centennial Park has a deep history, one that has definitely shaped what the park is today. The center focus of Centennial Park is the Parthenon.

From the Nashville.gov Parks and Recreation Department site:

Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.

ParthenonIt is SO WORTH the cost of admission if you get there during hours of operation. It will take your breath away, everything you find inside. You don’t have to be an art lover to feel and understand the grandeur of what you’ll find.

Now, while the Parthenon is definitely the focus of the park, don’t miss the many other things there are to see there! Feed the ducks on Lake Watauga. Go for a hike on the one-mile walking trail. Check out the train and fighter plane. Take your dog (if you have one) to the dog parks. Check out the calendar to see if there is anything going on in the events shelter and/or band shell. (During the summer they feature Movies in the Park, Musician’s Corner and Shakespeare in the Park. Oh and most things are FREE.) Take a relaxing stroll through the sunken garden. Bring the kids to the playground.

There is SO MUCH to do at Centennial Park! You can easily spend an entire day there and not see or do it all.

Next up on my tour of parks is Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.

Here is where you’ll get an amazing history lesson about Tennessee. Just a glimpse at the park map tells you that you are in for a treat!

This park… I’m not even sure where to begin! There is SO MUCH to see! It’s beautiful. Let’s start there.

Bicentennial MallTo the left is a photo I took at one end of the park looking back cross the rest of the park. The Tennessee State Capitol (center) overlooks it. On one end is what is called the “Court of 3 Stars and Bell Carillon.” Its HUGE, and simply amazing to be standing in when the bells start to chime and play their song.

There is a World War II memorial and a Centennial Memorial. The World War II memorial features a black granite globe floating on a shallow bed of water. You’ll love rolling it around in its bed… it turns adults into little kids!

There is a timeline of Tennessee history that is absolutely fascinating to walk along and read. Definitely check out the amphitheater (and find out is there is anything showing there!)

The Rivers of Tennessee Fountains were damaged in the flood two years ago, but they are scheduled to be back in working order later this year. I’ve only seen these from a distance myself, so I can’t wait to have it open again to see for myself!

RiverfrontMoving on, there is a new play park on Nashville’s Riverfront called Cumberland Park. When I say new, I mean, like, weeks old. I’ve not been there myself, but its on my personal summer to-do list!

But since I am talking about the Riverfront, I might as well also mention this is where many concerts and events are held through the summer. A floating stage is brought in for things like CMA Fest, and the bank of the river becomes an amphitheater for concert goers. It’s also the site of a spectacular 4th of July fireworks display. Walk a little bit down the river and check out Fort Nashborough while you are in the area.

My final stop on this particular tour of parks isn’t really a park. But I felt the peace of it deserved being included here.

Nashville National Cemetery is the most peaceful, moving oasis in this city that I love. If you don’t leave there humbled, moved, and filled with pride of country and thanks to those who gave all… you need to turn around and go back and closely read the tombstones.

 201: Nashville National Cemetery -- Memorial Day 2011

For a listing of ALL of Nashville’s parks, visit this listing. Part two of this segment is coming soon, primarily featuring lakes.

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…

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