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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Facebook is great, but face-to-face is better

February 10th, 2014 2 comments

Tillamook CheeseLast night, my husband and I invited some friends over for a “wine-and-cheese party.”  We had Tillamook Cheese we wanted to share with our friends that we brought back from our recent trip to Oregon, and we figured what goes better with cheese than wine?

My husband and I happen to really love hosting get-togethers at our house, but we haven’t done it much in the last few years. We just felt like our house was too small to adequately host friends. The house we rented prior to the one we are in now was PERFECT for parties, but it was a little ways out of town and hard to get people to come out to visit. We moved into town, but downsized dramatically. We felt like our party hosting fun was still on hold until we moved again.

Boy were we wrong!

So what if we had to haul my desk chair from the office in and another chair up from basement?

So what if we didn’t have room on the table for plates, so we all just picked out our choice of finger foods with our fingers?

So what if there was a line to our one bathroom at one point?

323: Rhythm in WineIt didn’t diminish the wonderful evening that we had one bit. We put together a spread of cheese, veggies, fruit, bread, sausage, etc. We had Merlot, Moscato, Rosé, sparkling red, vodka, beer, Irish whisky, and water.

We had conversations.

In person.

Face-to-face conversations. We told stories, laughed (a lot), high fived over the table, and bounced ideas and thoughts off one another. No one was on Facebook. No one was on Twitter. We were all there, in that moment, together, enjoying each other’s company.

It was amazing.

When the party broke up, we all agreed that THIS was what it was all about. Friends getting together and catching up. And we vowed to do it again. We vowed to do it more often.

When our friends left, my husband and I looked at each other with big grins. I told my husband, “This just proved no house it too small when your heart is this full.”

 

Categories: friends, fun, general-post Tags: , , , , ,

Seven years ago, it was sunny and 70°

January 6th, 2014 4 comments

Today’s big topic is how crazy cold it is… as I type this, the wind chill is -5° (with an actual temp of around 11°). I know to anyone in the northern states, this is nothing. But to a Nashvillian (and expecially a born and raised Texan!) its ridiculous. Silly. Stupid.

But it doesn’t keep me from smiling and remembering that seven years ago, it was 70° in Texas, and I got to marry my best friend.

Photo by AJW Photo

I made a new years goal this year to journal daily (or as close as possible), and as a bonus I’ve gone back to read old posts. Today, I dig out my journal entry about my wedding…

I had scheduled myself and the girls hair appointments at 9 AM, and the place was half an hour away. … It took an hour and a half to do my hair. My usually straight (and fine!) hair was put into ringlets, with the front pulled smooth in a side part with my tiara and veil placed at the edge of the smooth area before it went into curls. I loved it! I was nervous it would fall, but actually it held in curls for over two days. LOL God bless hair stylists!!

We grabbed hamburgers at McDonalds on our way to the church, and the drive-thru lady actually asked me when I was getting marred, to which I replied, “In about four hours!” ;) I felt like a McDonald’s commercial in my veil eating a Homestyle Burger.

Photo by AJW Photo

We had the BEST bridal party, ever. This is HUGE in things going well. I was blessed with bridesmaids who were SO HELPFUL, because once you get that dress on you (heck when you just get the veil on!) are seriously rendered rather… helpless. You need people to help you.

Time passed… really rather quickly. I think a lot of people were surprised by how calm I was through it all. It wasn’t until my maid of honor went down the aisle did I just get SO GIDDY. I almost got teary when I looked at my Daddy beside me and realized it was all HERE. My Dad gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, “No tears.” I replied, “No promises.”

Photo by AJW Photo

It went SO smoothly, and seemed to fly by! I honestly can’t wait to see the video of it to remember all the details. I know one of the groomsmen said he almost started tearing up himself! And we were paid such great compliments like, “That was the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever been to.”

Our priest was so awesome. I didn’t start giggling, and I put the ring on the correct finger. (The night before I got his hands backwards.) Our readers were fantastic. Everything flowed so smoothly. Before I knew it, we were being introduced as husband and wife! And amazingly it started to lightly drizzle rain down; we feel it was Craig’s mom shedding tears of joy. :)

Photo by AJW Photo

Once we came into the reception, we decided to cut cake right away. And, no, we did not smash it into each other’s faces. We had the peanut gallery egging us on (haha) but we had agreed not to, and we stuck to our word. Many of our guests thanked us for that — as did our photographers.

Photo by AJW

We then did the bouquet toss and garter toss, followed by first dance, father-daughter dance, and money dance. I was out on the floor for about eight songs straight, and by the last one (in which my niece grabbed me to dance) I was motioning for Craig to come take her to dance so I could get something to drink! I was exhausted — but happy. I was a little bummed a lot of people left early, but it was fine. We still had a ton of fun.

Photo by AJW

Before I knew it, it was time to leave! We had purchased confetti poppers to use instead of bird seed or bubbles or bells. I danced one last time with my Dad, and then we headed out. Mom had made me a cape to wear over my dress since it was chilly and my dress was strapless. I put on my cape, hugged my parents, and then we dared the confetti. I made sure to double back to hug my brother before we climbed into my maid of honor’s new Explorer.

Photo by AJW

I pulled a fast one on everyone. I set it up with my MOH to leave in HER car, and kept out truck hidden. Our wedding present to ourselves was to get a next truck, and I refused to have it painted up or anything. So we hid my truck, and left with her — keeping them all in the dark on it all. Only my MOH and her boyfriend knew where the truck was. I LOVED that and it worked so great.

We went to a little cabin that my Dad’s cousin has as a Bed & Breakfast. They gave it to us for the night for free! It was in the middle of no where. So adorable; so private. We ended up sitting for three hours on the couch talking — filling each other in on all we each missed the last day.

I am SO HAPPY right now! I am almost overwhelmed in how happy I am. The funny thing Craig and I both agreed — we don’t feel any different. We’re more relaxed having it all behind us now, but we’re mostly just insanely happy. I am amazed by how well it all went. It was SO SMOOTH. And I attribute that to having such great people around us that we could depend on to help us at all times.

Photo by AJW

Its fun to go back and remember, seven years later. The last two days I’ve been going, “This time seven years ago we were having our joint bachelor/bachelorette party!” and then, “You were getting your tux right now, seven years ago.” Then, “Where did I go at this time back then? I can’t remember now! Darn it!”

Even if some of the details are lost now, the fact that I am so thankful for that day… and thankful we’re stronger today than we were then. We are still blessed with amazing people around us. New friends. Old friend. Our parents and siblings are so supportive. We’re a team, but we have a great support staff helping us along the way.

THANK YOU to all of you… and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my husband. I LOVE YOU and am so very thankful for you every single day. Here’s the seven years, and many, many, many more.

All photos by AJW Photo. I can’t recommend them enough to this day. 

Making it Happen Monday: Surround yourself

October 22nd, 2013 2 comments

OKay, so its technically Tuesday, but the blog was down for two days and then I was away from the computer all day yesterday. So MiHM is being posted on Tuesday. I’m such a rebel. Or something.

work

In the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with people who really lift me up. I’ve found myself surrounding myself with positive people… and its really given me a boost I didn’t know I needed!

I have always known the idea that your friends are an extension of who you are. You tend to be friends with people who have similar thoughts, morals, beliefs, goals, etc. And I love all of my friends. I see them all as professionals in their fields, and they often (unknowingly) challenge me to do better in my own field(s).

All that being said, life gets crazy. People ask me how I’ve been these days and I respond with, “Busy!” Sometimes when I say that and end up wondering what I’ve really been doing to be so busy. I think it mostly comes down to the fact that I don’t have a definite set schedule. My life is pretty random and I rely on my calendar heavily. No two weeks look the same. No two DAYS look the same! So I’m left feeling very scattered and spread thin.

Lately, though, my calendar has included time with friends. The Road Widows meet up. The Color Run. A scavenger hunt. All included sitting down around a table to eat at some point giving me much needed time to just talk with friends. Catch up on what we are all doing. We laughed together and discussed things that might be bothering each other. Every time, I left feeling much more centered and focused.

We often may feel we can’t rely on others. We feel like if we want to be successful we can only rely on ourselves. “It’s all up to me to get it done RIGHT.” And in some ways, that might be right. But you can’t forget how your personal needs can affect your professional goals. Personally, you need positive people to give yourself that boost and put you back in that right mindset to truly succeed.

♥♥♥

mihm

Like I’ve known them 20 years…

September 17th, 2013 2 comments

Wine and a flowerLast night, we had our inaugural Road Widows meet-up in Nashville. There was only three of us this time (which I can understand given being the first one) but it was still simply amazing.

I left dinner feeling like I’d just hung out with women I’ve known for 20 years… when in reality I had only just met one of them and the other only once prior (outside of Twitter, that is.)

It was amazing to sit and talk with women living the same lifestyle you are. Women who GET missing your husband, but who also totally understand that speck of truth in the joke, “Isn’t it time for you to go back on the road yet?”

And yet… because all our husbands work for different artists, we also all have different experiences. I left with a deeper knowledge of things others go through. I hope that maybe (maybe) I gave a little insight on things we’ve been through as well.

In the same breath, both of the other women have children… something my husband and I don’t have yet. I listened with interest as they talked about things they’ve been through as, essentially, single mothers while their husbands are on the road.

I loved finding so many things in common and found myself wanting to high-five over the table when we’d hit on something so random and something anyone else would consider “silly” that we all agreed upon. I loved that no topic whatsoever was off-limits. The candid nature we could talk just filled my soul with something I didn’t even know I needed.

I can’t wait until the next meet-up. Perhaps more will come and maybe they too will leave with a new confidence and comfort… whether they know they needed it or not.

Proactive vs Reactive

May 10th, 2013 1 comment

Lighting experimentThere’s something I’ve been very guilty of over the last few years. I’ve become very reactive to things in life. Something happens. I deal with it. We move on. Keep on keepin’ on. Not necessarily backsliding in any way, but not taking big strides forward either.

I’ve mentioned in various posts lately that I’ve been in a cleaning mood, and cleaning moods usually equates life changes. Positive life changes.

So here I am also realizing that those changes can’t happen without effort from me. Just cleaning out my closet and hauling clothes to Goodwill isn’t going to be enough! It’s like the joke about people in a flood declining help from helicopters and boats while sitting on their roof, because “God will save me!” Then when they die and get to heaven, they ask God why he didn’t help and he said, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter!” You can’t just expect God to make things happen without doing a little work yourself.

Here’s what’s interesting. As soon as I decided I wanted to again be proactive chasing my dreams, and doing what I want to do career-wise, things started rolling without my trying too hard. It’s almost like it was all sitting there just waiting for me to make my mind up to go for it 100%.

First, I had an absolutely awesome photoshoot with Joseph Reed. He and his wife are amazing people that I already consider friends. I haven’t laughed that much during a shoot… ever. It just made me go, “This! This is what I want to do MORE of… gotta make that happen.”

Second, a new invigoration has come to RoadWidows. And you know what’s the coolest thing about this new push? Discovering how much of a drive both Chris and Lindsy have for it and their work ethics in general. Their focus is contagious, and they make me want to work harder. Work with more focus. They’re driven, focused and successful women. Just the type  I want to be associated with more and more.

Third, an old friend that I’d lost touch with over the last couple of years reached out to me, and we got together for dinner and drinks earlier this week. The refreshing things about her are that she has no association with the music business, she’s a successful business woman, and she’s a big fan of what I dream of doing and AM doing. Her encouragement has been yet another a kick in the butt.

Finally, I only need one word: FAMILY. My parents are patient with me. And Thank God for that!!! They know I’ll come into my own in my own time, and they’re supportive and encouraging. My husband and I had a long conversation this week about being proactive in BOTH our careers, and its invigorated us. We’re each other’s biggest fans and cheerleaders. So with my family behind me, how can I not throw myself into it all with a renewed vigor?

I’m excited. I’m terrified. I’m ready. SO ready.

C’mon future. Let’s do this.

GPS, BFFs, ACMs and BTW

April 10th, 2013 1 comment

This is the last week before April 15th, and I’m pretty out of it come the end of the day. Between tax season and Muster planning, my plate is overflowing. I need to get some sleep (its only 3:30 am!) but I just couldn’t let another day pass without a post!

Last Friday, I drove down to San Antonio to see my husband for awhile. I loaded the address of the venue they were playing into my phone’s GPS and away I went.

I knew there was one section of the route that the GPS wanted me to take that I did NOT want to follow. For whatever reason, Google Maps likes taking me as the crow flies, which in Texas usually means ending up on little Farm-to-Market roads in the middle of nowhere. That can be fun and all, but when you’re hitting those areas after 3 pm, you’re subject to school buses on top of the already lower speed limit. It is NOT the fastest route, no matter what Google seems to think.

Unfortunately, the location of my “don’t-go-the-way-the-GPS-says” was in a town I’ve gotten lost in more times in my life than I care to admit. Its seriously my Bermuda triangle. It’s sad, really. And just as I feared, I got all turned around and nothing looked right to me. I ultimately ended up following my GPS down lots of little FM roads, with lots of local Sheriffs looking to help their county pocketbooks, instead of hitting the tollroad with a speed limit of 85 mph. (C’mon Google maps. You can NOT tell me that going 55 down little two-lane roads as the crow flies is faster than hitting a 3 lane toll road going 85.)

Once I finally hit the tollroad, I was good to go. Or so I thought. My GPS kept telling me I’d be exiting onto “183″ or something like that, so I kept an eye open for that. I was coming up on a split, and I moved over to stay on the tollroad I was on… it wasn’t until I was committed to that stretch of road that my GPS told me to “stay right at the split” forcing me to miss yet another turn and dropping me onto a totally different state highway in 5 o’clock traffic and sitting through stoplights three or four times.

My 2.5 hour drive turned into almost 3.5, and my nerves were SHOT. (I am not even going to go into the idiots I dealt with… like the guy who blew through the yield sign and that I almost made pee himself when I laid on my horn as I avoided t-boning him… thank God I had slowed down from the 85 mph I’d been doing in anticipation for his stupidity.)

BFFsLuckily my Saturday went much better. Travel was a breeze and I got to spend the evening with my (to be a cliche teenager) BFFs.

I LOVE THESE WOMEN.

I am blessed with two amazing women that I call both best friend. One I’ve known since Kindergarten with a history that’s impossible to ignore, the other that amazing college friend that you know you’ll have rest of your life. Both like sisters to me, I cherish every time we can make it work to get together.

Our venue this weekend was downtown Bryan, TX. It’s definitely a place made for people our age, and it was just such a refreshing change of pace for me. I love my bars in Nashville, don’t get me wrong! But the class of the place and area was just… refreshing. I always say I can hang in a dive bar and be happy just as fast as I can dress up and hang in a fancy restaurant and be happy.

But the best part of our venue choice was that we were able to sit around a table, drinking wine, talking for hours on end without interruption. Another friend joined us for awhile — one I haven’t seen in 5 years — and it was such a treat to catch up with her as well!  The night was so very good for the soul, and I really hated to see it end. I already look forward to next time!

Sunday night brought the ACM awards. I’m not going to comment too much on it. I just know it left me very sad… sad of the state of the industry that I love so much.

I seriously feel like the class and respect it demanded all through the years has diminished to catering to… to… what I don’t even know. I work in a bar. I can take dirty jokes. But I was put out with the number of them thrown through the night. I remember when it was more about honoring the greats of country, not doing whatever it takes strictly to get ratings.  I remember looking forward to awards night, glued to the TV. Now, I force myself to watch, and I end it wondering why I bothered.

My biggest complaint since last year is making the “Entertainer of the Year” award fan-voted. There are fan-voted award shows already. Keep this one strictly Academy voted. To me, making the top award fan-voted dilutes it down and makes it just another popularity contest. I happen to be one of the few people who might not be a Taylor Swift fan, but for several years championed her getting the Entertainer award… because she IS an Entertainer. And it doesn’t matter my personal opinion of Blake Shelton, he’s become the current face of country. He’s the one people associate with the genre now. He deserved it, too. These are the angles that the Academy would vote from… or at least SHOULD vote from… in my personal opinion. (And yes, these are MY opinions, not anyone else’s.)

Finally, I got to watch my niece play ball tonight. She’s a fierce softball player, and I think it is going to carry her far. Her team (Born to Win aka BTW) was taking on a team the next town over.

150: Born to Win

My niece at bat… a swing and a HIT!

What a game! I have to say, its getting more and more fun to go to games as she gets older. They ended up playing an extra inning due to it being tied, but had to call it when it got too dark to play safely. It was like being left with a major cliffhanger… they were ONE out away from winning the game… or one batter away from losing it. I like to go with the first one, though.

I hope someone lets me know how it ends when the finally get to finish playing!

I was afraid this would be the only game I’d get to see, since the season started so late this year. But it looks like I’ll get to catch one more on Monday before I head back home to Nashville. Here’s hoping for a win!