Tag Archives: family

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

Total Daddy’s Girl

Surely I’m not the only person who can’t get out of the Father’s Day card aisle with dry eyes, right? Because going through all those cards for dad’s sure got blurry on me, and it wasn’t allergies!

No, I am a tried and true Daddy’s Girl, and I’m very proud to say that.


See, my dad is the best. I keep writing and rewriting what to say next, because I just don’t know where to start!


My dad loves me unconditionally. Both of my parents do, and for that fact I am forever and ever thankful. It gives me this wonderful base to grow from, lean on and feel confident in at all times. I know they accept me and love me no matter what.


I know that if I fall down, I don’t have to look far for a hug and a hand up. I know if I fail they will be there to catch me and support me and help me learn from that mistake and failure. Do you know how very comforting that is to know?


Dad has taught me so much about life, and with those lessons I feel confident in my ability to be successful. He’s taught me about business. He’s taught me about people. He’s taught me how to treat others. He’s taught me how to expect others to treat me.

IMG_20150621_140523709-01He’s taught me to keep an eye on those gauges in my truck. He’s taught me to check my tires. He taught me to drive like everyone else is an idiot (and they usually ARE.) He’s taught me the importance of having a reliable vehicle in general.

He taught me how to be self-sufficient, even in those “guy jobs” I often don’t have to do (but could if I had to.)


He has shown me the importance of faith and God. A huge lesson I got is that God comes first, and it’s a lesson that has stuck with me to this day. Even as I admittedly fall down in executing that, letting work and other tasks keep me from making it to church as often as I should.

IMG_20150621_135549146-01My dad is also my friend. I can’t begin to describe how much I cherish and remember our times talking over coffee back when I was in college (or there abouts.) I learned so much family history and heard so many stories as we sat and talked. I hope he knows how much I loved those chances that we had, and I do hope we get to do it again some time.

Mattox_0074My dad taught me what to expect from a man, and he taught me not to settle. He showed me that real men cook and do dishes. He showed me real men don’t think of jobs in the male/female sense, and that you should just do what needs to be done. He showed me how to put your family first while never giving up on your dreams.

Mattox_0204He gave my now-husband a stern talking-to when my husband asked my Dad for permission to marry me. And I love the great lengths he and my Mom went to hide the fact that a proposal was on the way.

Mattox_1000But more than all of this, I love my Dad and he loves me and all of our family. And I absolutely know how very, very blessed I am.

Daddy’s girl? Oh yes. And I so wish I was spending this day with him…



I would be sorely remiss not to send a special Happy Father’s Day shout out to my big brother… he blows me away every single day by how much he loves his family and cares for them. He is without a doubt an amazing, amazing Dad. And I couldn’t be prouder of him.