Tag Archives: memories

Don’t look back? Ehhh…

It’s often said to not look back. The future is ahead, not behind you. You can’t move forward if you obsess over the past. Etc. Etc.

For me? For me, looking back often propels me even better towards the future. Which is what this last week somehow ended up being all about. Even though it wasn’t the plan going into it.

Somewhere over Texas
Somewhere over Texas

I’m currently in my way back to Nashville after a, frankly, amazing week in Texas. I had traveled with the goal of seeing my neice graduate 8th grade, checking in on family affected by the storms, see my husband play a show in Oklahoma, and visit The Association of Former Students at Texas A&M. If I got some relaxation in there, awesome. I was definitely at, “I need a vacation” point simply due to recent financial stress.

I made it to my niece’s graduating. I mused over how it was 20 years (probably to the day) that I myself graduated 8th grade. One of my classmates is junior high principal, which was cool to see but also admittedly a little weird. (I am not old enough for that, am I!?)

Go Jeni!
Go Jeni!

How far my town has come since my 8th grade graduation! New schools. State championships. Classmates now in the roll of teachers. Sometimes I marvel at it all.

Sometimes it’s good to look back and see progress as its come along.

I then traveled the four hours to see my husband play in Oklahoma. Like, old times, it was me and my parents, off to see this guy with crazy talent, and a heart of gold… Who stole mine a long time ago.

I’m pretty sure when a girl is willing to travel over 4 hours to see you for just a few hours of your time, she finds you pretty special. And if her parents tag along, they approve.

I'm his biggest fan.
I’m his biggest fan.

The artist has changed (a few times) since the last time I saw him play in Oklahoma. This was a different casino. And of course we are married now. I’m also no longer dazzled by the “famous” side of the life. If anything I’m cynical about it all. But I still love going to see my husband do his thing, and it’s more about supporting him than anything else.

Of all of this, however, perhaps the most powerful look back to go forward came when I visited Aggieland on Monday.

I know to some it may sound crazy, but I NEED to visit College Station periodically. Graduating from Texas A&M is one of my greatest accomplishments in life. Those years shaped me more than sometimes even I realize.

Once an Aggie, always an Aggie.


But it’s going to the Association that meant the most. To discover people who I so greatly respect also respect me means so much. I left my meetings that day feeling like I did when I walked across that stage with my diploma:

I can do anything I set my mind to. I have been set up for success. I simply need to reach out and take it.

The trip ended with a visit to the Bonfire Memorial. I’ve gone a couple times before, but it never fails to quiet my soul all over again. As I read about each of the 12 amazing souls lost 15 years ago, I hear them whispering words of encouragement. You can do anything. Live your life to its fullest. Be not afraid.

So yes, I did look back for awhile, and all it did was push me towards my future. My seat back and tray table are up and locked, ready for landing. Let’s do this.

Five years later

#TBT to 5 years ago this weekend when Nashville flooded.

A photo posted by Denise (@niseag03) on

Last night, I read (and shared on social media) my blog post from May 2010 and the Nashville flood. It was interesting to read my memories from those days of rain, flooding and recovery. Over time, details fade from the memory and sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of those details.

A friend shared her thoughts about the flood and how her life has changed since then, and it really made me think.

Five years ago, my husband and I lived in LaVergne, TN. I can definitely say that in the last five years, my memories of that house went from being mostly negative to now remembering all the good times we had.

If you’d told me in May 2010 I’d move from that house in seven months, I’d have not believed it. I’d certainly have not believed I’d make huge financial decisions at the same time. I’m not sure I’d have even believed I’d start bartending regularly, make big strides in photography, and ultimately buy a house in Gallatin. Heck, I’d have probably laughed at you.

Where I am today versus where I was during the flood are night and day different. Sometimes it’s hard to believe five years have passed since the flood. Other times, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been longer.

Nashville… Nashville has changed a lot. I think the flood gave the city something of a rebirth. Many buildings that needed to be remodeled got the much-needed upgrades. Efforts to avoid future floods have been made. And all of us who lived through the flood continue to have something of a bond. Nashville definitely can be said to have a “Before Flood” era and “After Recovery” era.

I think the recovery possibly paved the way for the fast paced building going on here. The way the city bonded together turned heads, and perhaps that helped turn us into an “It City.” We’re facing a different kind of flood these days: a flood of newcomers and condos.

Yes, five years later, Nashville looks a lot different. All of us do. I’m curious what we’ll see in another five years. I suppose we have to just stay tuned…

Valentine’s memories

Oh Valentines Day… A day people either love or hate. For me… It’s one that makes a lot of memories through the years.

I remember in high school, the parade of girls called to the office to see flowers sent by their boyfriends. My first taste of the day feeling like it was more about showing off to your friends than being shown love by someone.

My first concert ever was on Valentine’s Day. Bryan White headlined in 1997 in Waco, Texas. I’m serious when I say this Valentines was a pivotal one In my life. It lead to my going to Fan Fair that year, which made me fall in love with Nashville. It lead to me meeting the people who would eventually lead me to meeting my husband.

One of the first times I ever got flowers in general was on Valentine’s Day from a guy thanking me for being his friend. He became my husband years later.

In 2006, I was struck with an abscessed tooth on Valentine’s Day. It lead to years of extensive dental work (still a work in a progress) that gave me a new smile and a new confidence I never thought I needed.

Valentine’s lands during tax season, so I’m usually in Texas. As such, it’s been five years since I spent the day with my husband. But every year he’s sent me flowers. At work. And I gotta admit… I love, love, love it.

Flying right now to Nashville and I am all kinds of excited to spend this evening with my husband. Love him with all my heart, and I can’t wait to just curl up on the couch together with Netflix and our cats.

I confess… I asked for flowers again. Because I just love getting flowers. Never thought I’d be that girl, but I am.

And yes… Yes there will be pictures. Consider it me parading to the office to see my flowers and show off to everyone else.