1. I love coffee. I’ve finally 100% embraced this and refuse to apologize for it. Some people go get pedicures. Some people love massages. Some just go shop for whatever. MY “get away” is to get a good cup of coffee. It’s just my thing, and I love to share Instagrams from my coffee breaks. Sorry… not sorry.
2. I am a Christian. Even more specifically, I am a Catholic. Somewhere along the way, this became a bad thing? At least that’s the vibe I’ve been getting lately from media. It’s no longer in fashion to be a Christian. In fact, if you’re a Christian you’re probably a conservative idiot who hates everyone that doesn’t see your way. I mean, that’s pretty much is what I’ve been getting from the chatter and noise in the media. (See my blog post from a few days ago.) Am I exaggerating? Yes, of course I am. I know this. But you know what? Sorry, not sorry. I’m a Christian, and I’m not going to deny God. If you decide to dismiss me and judge me on that then… well. That’s fine. But you’re missing out on knowing a pretty cool lady. :)
3. I like to take selfies and pictures of my cats and post them to Instagram. Cliché as hell, and I know it. But its not the only pictures I post. I just happen to be guilty-as-charged that I take these types of photos and… sorry! Not sorry! Going to just keep taking them as I wish.
4. I am a driving snob. I like going through old posts via the app Timehop. And I’ve found I rant about drivers a LOT. Usually has to do with lack of turn signal use, blowing off yield signs, texting while driving, cutting people off, and tailgating or driving way below the speed limit. Oh and just cruising down the turn lane. Look, I make my mistakes while driving. I’m not perfect. But when I see someone blatantly blow off basic driving laws… I get pissed off. Because vehicles are not toys. They kill people. So… sorry, not sorry. I take driving very seriously, and I really wish others did, too.
5. I am an Aggie. Not an Aggie fan. An Aggie. There is a difference. I don’t stand proud of Texas A&M University based only on the football team. I don’t wave my Aggie flag as just a fan. I have my degree on the wall, and my ring on my finger. Bash my school based on football, you’ll get an ear full. I’m proud of the education my school offers, the research its doing constantly, it’s sports — all sports — successes, and that impossible to explain family feel that you get as an Aggie. So, sorry, not sorry if I quickly correct you when you say, “Oh you’re an Aggie fan.” No, I AM an Aggie. There is a huge difference.
Ever have a day that starts out all laid back. Turns really weird. Then ends with you just feeling… rejuvenated? I just did yesterday.
My husband and I have started a little tradition of going out for coffee on Sunday after he comes home off the road. We have coffee and catch up from our weekend apart. I look forward to it all weekend, and its become a favorite part of my whole week.
This weekend, due to July 4th and my working at the bar when my husband had to be at the bus, my husband drove himself to meet the band on his motorcycle. So, I didn’t have to pick him up today, but I was up and ready to go when he got home. I grabbed my phone, wallet and helmet and we were off! We rode over to Starbucks, ordered some iced coffee, I grabbed a breakfast item, and we sat down outside to catch up.
After about an hour, we decided to hop on the bike and take a ride around the lake. It was a perfect lake day, and we commented that as much as were were enjoying the bike, we wished we were on the lake instead of on the side. But, hey, baby steps. We get more use out of the motorcycle than we would a boat, so be thankful for what we have going!
We road over to one of our favorite recreation areas, and sat at a picnic table just enjoying the breeze for awhile. After awhile, we decided we’d head home. We were going to grill hot dogs, and just have a chill evening at home. I asked my husband to stop at the restrooms on our way out of the recreation area, so we headed over there.
When I came back and got on the bike, we went a couple feet and my husband stopped. He told me to get off, as he looked at the back tire. Something was wrong.
Sure enough… flat tire.
A park ranger drove by not long after our discovery, and we flagged him down to see if he had an air compressor. Nope. No go. It was time to start calling for help.
If there is anything you need to know about Nashville, its that we all look out for each other. This wasn’t so much a case of “find out who your friends are” as “which one to do we call first?” It took no time at all for us to have help on the way. While we waited, my husband said he was going to roll the bike forward and see if we could see a nail or anything in the tire. I sat down on the ground, and he didn’t even have to push it six inches and I saw it…
The discovery of a nail told us right away, just adding air was going to do no good. We were going to have to trailer the bike home. So while we waited, we discussed how to handle it. We agreed I’d stay with the bike, and my husband would go get our truck and trailer and come back. When our friend arrived we loaded the helmets and bag with my wallet (I at least kept my driver’s license so I had ID on me) in the backseat and my husband left to get the truck.
I could definitely think of a worse place to be stranded! Families were everywhere, so I felt 100% safe the entire time. I called my Mom and caught up with my parents for awhile. I made friends with a dog that was hanging out with his family at the park. I also walked around. A lot. According to my pedometer, did about a mile and a half just wandering around the park. It felt great to do! I want to get more exercise these days, and I grasped the opportunity with both hands.
My cell phone was almost dead (I wasn’t planning on being stuck, so I didn’t exactly try to make the battery last earlier in the day!), so I turned my data off after awhile to try to save what little life it still had. It was kind of amazing to not be able to look at Twitter or Facebook. To not be able to post pictures to Instagram. I found myself missing having a good paperback book to read, though.
It gave me a chance to just… be. I watched the water and felt the breeze. I enjoyed watching the families have fun together, and it just reminded there is still a beautiful simplicity to life. A simplicity that gets lost in technology and social media. A simplicity that gets lost in deadlines and trying to make the almighty dollar.
What we expected to take less than an hour actually took closer to an hour and a half. After all my walking, I was starting to get hungry. My coffee and breakfast square was long gone. I also was keeping an eye on a couple guys that kept hanging out by a truck beside the bike. They were probably just hanging out visiting, but I was paranoid. And did I mention hungry? Hunger makes me a little irritable sometimes. And apparently ups my level of distrust.
I was super happy to see our truck coming my way, trailer on the back. I walked over and we started to load the bike up right away. We were just ready to get this done. Of course as we start that, the two guys who were hanging by the bike had to leave. Right then. My husband had to take the ramp off the trailer so one could back his truck out of the spot they’d been just hanging out in for the last half hour. It very much added to my distrust, but what really surprised me? I was only mildly annoyed. Normally I’d get super annoyed going, “Seriously? You have to leave RIGHT NOW? Can’t wait five minutes?” But instead I was so relaxed from my afternoon! I was able to just let it go within moments.
It didn’t take long and we were loaded up and ready to go, which also helped me forget any annoyance. Our adventure for the day came to a positive end (so far.)
On our way out, we saw a deer. I like to think nature gave us a nice little, “Thanks for visiting!” in that.
We both agreed, we were too hungry to go home and cook. If I’d have gone straight home, I’d have probably just sat down with a bag of potato chips and scarfed them down. Pretty much negating all my exercise.
So we ended up going to Buffalo Wild Wings (a favorite of ours) for dinner. Hot wings and beer on the patio! Which I guess still negated my exercise. But I didn’t care.
When we got to the restaurant, my phone was at 3% charge. We cut it a bit close there! By the time we left, my phone had completely died. I felt so strange and yet also so… free. I had no purse. My phone was dead. I was literally walking around with nothing but my driver’s license.
Granted had I not been with my husband, I’d have been pretty freaked out and felt very vulnerable. I strive to never let myself be in such a position. But as it was, given the circumstances, I just felt so… light! I liked it.
As we we walked out, we ran into a friend we hadn’t seen in awhile and got a chance to catch up for awhile. I marveled at the friendships we have. On our way home, we both agreed we were exhausted. Full stomachs, the stress of the “adventure” we were sent on by a carelessly dropped nail, the summer heat, and the peace of feeling so thankful for friends we can rely on left us feeling very content and peaceful.
Oh sure, I’m not happy that we have to go into the expense of the tire being fixed. No one likes something like that. And it threw a wrench into our day’s plans. But in the end, I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. I’m taking this Sunday Adventure as a lesson in simplicity, friendship, and faith. Consider it a lesson very well learned.
You would be amazed by how many blog posts I’ve started and never posted in the last week. Some are completely written and ready to go. Others are nothing more than an intro. The one thing they all have in common though, is that they will never see the light of day.
See, writing is a form of therapy for me. And I often write when I’m upset about something. I spent much of the last week in a funk, and I’ve tried to convey my reasons for it in writing. I ultimately get frustrated, because I know what I’m writing will probably become fodder for people to argue and perhaps flame me. I enjoy levelheaded debates, but they are hard to find that on the Internet these days.
So instead, I write for myself. And then leave it as a draft, never to be posted publicly. Perhaps I should put my opinion out there on some things, and maybe — just maybe — someone will take a moment to think of things from a different point of view. But I found one thing to be very evident lately: there is a recurring belief that if you don’t agree with someone you’re clearly against them. I think that as a result of that, people are really quick to stand extra firm on how they feel, and will arbitrarily strike out against anyone who might have a different point of view. As a result of such strikes, I spent much of the last week licking my own wounds. Wounds made by words that were never meant to be aimed straight at me but that struck me hard. I have found myself pulling away from social media in general because of this.
I don’t mind other beliefs. I think that’s what makes the world go around. I especially think the differing of beliefs is one of the most amazing things about being an American. You have freedom of speech. You have freedom to be who you want to be. You have freedom to figure out a way to make things better.
What I do mind are broad sweeping prosecution of people who think differently. Just because someone thinks differently from you does not mean they are against you. I have a lot of friends who have vastly different approaches to life, love, religion, politics, etc. I think those perspectives are what make them uniquely them, and I’m willing to listen and accept them for the unique, beautiful person that they are.
Oh I’m not perfect. I’ve made my own statements out of frustration that come out as “broad sweeping prosecution” of others. And for that I apologize. I can’t promise it’ll never happen again, but I’m sure going to be more aware of it. Because at the end of the day, we are all in this messed up world together. And I, for one, have no interest in spending my days angry or feeling hurt, nor do I want to be the cause of that for others.
Thursday, my husband and I found ourselves with the whole day to ourselves. We could do anything we wanted to do.
So we jumped on the motorcycle and took off… literally with no destination in mind. We headed out north of Nashville, and we just started driving down roads. At one point when we stopped my husband said he was just angling back towards town, but we didn’t really have any idea where we were.
My favorite road was “Pickle Knight Rd” and I literally laughed out loud at that name. But it was so freeing to just ride. Sometimes we found ourselves on busier highways, but mostly we were all on our own on a small blacktop angling up or down mountain ridges.
We stopped at a gas station for “lunch.” I grabbed a club sandwich and sweet tea. My husband grabbed some of those warm taquito things you see at gas stations and a sweet tea. We split a bag of potato chips. We just stood by the bike and munched away, talking about our ride so far. I have to say it was one of the most fun lunches I’ve had in awhile!
Our day ended as daylight was running out, and my legs were hurting from riding. (I have long legs, so sometimes riding can end up with me having cramped up legs after awhile.) We went home and grilled out, putting the perfect bow on a relaxing day off together.
Below is a video I took as we went down one of our favorite little roads in Middle Tennessee. You will want to mute the sound because its all just wind noise, but if you look really close, you can see the lightening bugs dancing near the treeline. It was kinda magical!
It finally happened:
I’ve had my photography domain name for over two years, but I just never did anything with it. It was when someone would ask, “Do you have a site?” that I’d cringe.
It was an “out of sight, out of mind” thing. Plus, bartending pays well enough that it was easy to get complacent. I didn’t feel the need to pursue photo gigs. Now… Well, I’m not giving up bartending, but I also realize that I won’t be doing it forever. I have to start building my photography business to someday be full-time.
Understand, I am self-taught. Mostly. I do have my journalism degree and I’ve worked with design both for pay and for fun for years. I have a basic, educated idea of what makes a great photo. I did get a few crash courses from various photographers through the years as well. But on a whole… It’s all trial and error. Lots of errors. And a whole lot of passion.
I. Love. Photography.
Going into it, I don’t want to step on the toes of those who have devoted their education and life to photography! I’ve worried about that. A lot. But I like to think there is room for all of us and perhaps I can fill my own niche. And I’ll discover the niche through the years to come.
The other day, my husband and I were going over some questions that might appear on a motorcycle endorsement written test. One of the questions, I answered without hesitation. My husband stared at me and went, “How did you know that?” I laughed and went, “Dad taught me that long before I even started driving.”
Two days later, as I made myself some breakfast, I found myself smiling at how Dad taught me some tricks to making eggs. And I can’t crack almonds, walnuts and pecans without thinking about how that was kind of a tradition as a kid in the winter… we’d sit on the floor and he’d crack nut after nut for us to snack on in the evening.
He taught me to check my tires (even though I admit I don’t do it as often as I should). He taught me to never let my gas get below a quarter of a tank. (Which reminds me, I need to get gas later.) He dragged me through my Accounting class in college. He taught me business sense and showed me how to treat clients.
He showed me love and respect, and he taught me what to expect from men and how I should be treated. He gave my husband permission to ask me to marry him, but not until after a lecture my husband still remembers today clearly.
He taught me that its okay to ask for help, but to also try my best to stand on my own two feet. He gave me courage to try new things, but also the sense to know when to keep my feet on solid, steady ground.
I still turn to him for advice and guidance. I still go to him for some of the best hugs EVER. I am forever and ever a Daddy’s Girl, and I wish with all my heart I could be with him on this Father’s Day. To thank him for everything he’s done for me through the years, and to give him a big hug myself. I WILL be there in my heart and in spirit, and I’ll make sure to call and talk for awhile on the phone. We’ll make up for it the next time we are all together.
I love you, Daddy!! Happy Father’s Day.