Archive

Posts Tagged ‘memories’

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. 

Memories from 2013

December 30th, 2013 2 comments

As always, as another year draws to a close, its time to look back and remember some of the best (and worst) memories of the past 12 months. So here are some of my memories from 2013:

 

064: Happy Birthday, Rick & Joyce

Fiddle & Steel Sock hop

West, Texas

West, TX Explosion

Glenn Miller Orchestra

Glenn Miller Orchestra

Cruising the Smokies

Gatlinburg, TN Vacation!

Cameron Yoe vs Lexington Eagles

Another State Championship for Cameron Yoe

Wilson County Fair 2013

Wilson County Fair 2013

280: CASA golf

SEC vs ACC golf tournament benefiting CASA

269: Frist

Our first trip to the Frist to see some amazing cars

257: Jimmy Fortune w/ Brassfield Aly

I got to see Jimmy Fortune perform

Nashville Sounds Baseball

Nashville Sounds Baseball with Friends

IMG_20130606_194950

I got to meet Mel Tillis!

Joe Diffie at Riverfront

My husband played the Riverfront stage during CMA Fest.

199: Natchez Trace: Water Valley Overlook

Amazing drive out (a few times!) with my husband on the bike.

197: Views from the bridge

My sister-in-law visited!

An Afternoon at Arrington Vineyards

Several wonderful visits to my parent’s house and them here.

151: Born to Win

My niece and her softball games are always memories to treasure.

148: Downtown Uncorked

Quality time with my girls!

Loaf Love Tour

Three words: LOAF LOVE TOUR

115: Chip Esten with the Time Jumpers

My first time seeing the Time Jumpers… which is darn close to going to church if you’re even remotely a music fan.

Printer's Alley Christmas

We made it snow in the Alley

360: Cheekwood

Cheekwood beauty

Katie & Ryan

LOTS of fun photoshoots!

Carving pumpkins

Anne came to visit right before Halloween!

Michael Bublé

Michael Bublé took the top spot in my “concerts I’ve ever seen” list

Nashville Fall Color Run

My first 5K with amazing friends. COLOR RUN BABY!

Laughter and good times with Friends

Laughter and good times with Friends

img_6010

Surrounded by love and family.

2013… you were very good to me! THANK YOU!

Christmas memories

December 20th, 2013 No comments

20131220-232706.jpg

This time next week, it’ll all be over. The gifts exchanged…carols sung… Families going separate ways. Another Christmas in the books.

As we barrel down the interstate to spend the holiday with family, I am filled with conflicting emotions. I’ve spent the last week focused on to do lists and getting everything done before we left. House and cats covered (so no bad guys go case my house… It’s under surveillance and you’ll be caught!). Photo jobs done and completed. Christmas parties and shopping. Paying bills. Etc. The spirit of the season gets lost in responsibilities.

I miss the wonder of the season I had as a child. The anticipation of Santa. “Midnight” mass where I’d sing in the choir, and all us kids would all whisper about what gifts we already received. Peace on Earth seemed to truly happen for that one night a year. New dresses and shiny shoes. Dressing up that night was as exciting as Santa’s approach… Would we get home before he got to Texas??

I still remember like yesterday seeing a shooting star just after midnight on our way home from church a few yeas ago, and I remember closing my eyes making a wish… An extra special Christmas wish.

My grandparents and cousins are Christmas... late 1980s.

My grandparents and cousins are Christmas… late 1980s.

I miss seeing my extended family every Christmas. Photos were taken; carols were sung. (The biggest laughs coming from the “12 Days of Christmas.”) Gifts exchanged and opened in order of age — youngest to oldest. Books and horse things were my main loves. My brother the occasional remote control car.

Christmas in Texas typically was warm enough to go outside and play after dinner. New bikes could be tried out immediately, and I know a few toys were broken within hours of being opened.

However, as years have passed schedules and lives have changed. Christmas together isn’t necessarily guaranteed as it once was. The season no longer seems to last long enough… It passes in a blur and we are left wondering what happened. We worry more about paying bills than we worry about getting enough hugs. And it’s in that fact that I feel a tinge of sadness going into Christmas. But it’s also spurring me to strive to enjoy my Christmas holiday. To move a little slower. To disconnect from the web more. Worry less. Laugh more. Wear my Santa hat and dare anyone to stare. It’s Christmas… And a time to make more memories to be cherished for years to come.

SONY DSC

Yesterday was #birthday33

November 11th, 2013 2 comments

So, yesterday I turned 33. Since I consider 3 my lucky number, I’m going to say 33 will be my most lucky year. How’s that sound to everyone?

The day started a little bumpy, simply due to trying to figure out when my husband would be in off the road, and within that when I would get to sleep. I ended up getting 3 hours of sleep before doing a photoshoot that just made for a wonderful way to spend the day.

Over the last few years, especially since I started bartending and even more since we moved so close to downtown Nashville, I’ve become more and more extroverted. I still think I’m an introvert at heart, but I find myself craving and enjoying the company of others more than ever before these days. So to spend the day with my husband taking photos of a beautiful family and then having dinner with friends (and being sung to for the first time in a restaurant!) just made for a fantastic way to spend my birthday. I’m so thankful for how it all went, and I sit here feeling very content.

Birthday fun at the hibachi

Birthday fun at the hibachi

Four of the last five years, I’ve done a “Project 365″ starting on my birthday. It’s a fun way to advance my photography skills, but also to look back over the last year of life.

With how much I am now photographing professionally, I’m going to take a P365 break for this year. I “phoned it in” much of the last year anyway, so I think I need to give that little project a break. Nonetheless… click here for a little look back at the last year of my life in photos.

 365: Cookie Cake

Categories: birthday Tags: , ,

10 years a former student

August 15th, 2013 1 comment

“It was here that our lives were forever changed, and loyalty to on another and to a cause greater than self filled our hearts.” — Phillip D Adams, Class of 1970

showing off the diploma

Ten years ago today, a dream came true. I graduated from Texas A&M University. I walked across the stage at Reed Arena. I shook hands with then-University President Robert M Gates. I ceased to be a student, and I joined the thousands of Aggie Alumni as a former student.

Thankfully, I kept a great journal back in those days (something I lament not doing now and someday hope to get back to doing) and I can go back and re-read the little details of the August 15, 2003 that I have long forgotten.

I set my alarms for 5:30 and then 5:45. I needed to be leaving the house no later than 7:00 to get to Reed Arena on time. Well, I apparently turned off my alarms at some point, because I woke up at 6:20 and had to run like a mad woman. [...] Of course, I can’t find the panty hose I’d bought for the day, so I had to search for a pair that didn’t have a run in them. My hair took extra long to dry and then make-up just wasn’t going smooth. I ran out of the house at 7:10.

Clearly, some things have not changed in 10 years.

Finally, the time came. We started out of our “holding area.” (We had Journalism, Sociology, Philosophy, Music, etc. in our area.) We had to go down SEVEN flights of stairs to the floor of Reed. [...] They all got a kick out of the top of my hat, “Happy Hour” when they saw it, since they were behind me and thus above me on the stairs going down.

receiving my diploma photo by parents

Yes, yes I did put a glittery “Happy Hour” across the top of my cap… I wasn’t a big drinker back then, so maybe my amusement and use of that phrase was a strange foreshadowing of my later bartending. Or maybe I’m reaching with that…

We did give our parents a standing ovation, at which point I almost bawled. I am so lucky to have the most amazing parents in the world. I could never thank them enough for all that they do.

Again, some things never, ever change. And I am SO thankful for that.

with mom and dad

My turn came and…I honestly remember very little. LOL! I was so busy focusing on not tripping, trying to hear how much applause I got, making sure I shook President Gates’ hand and took the tube correctly, and making sure I was smiling for the camera. My brain was on overload. Suddenly the diploma is in my hand, I’m walking across the stage to shake hands with the Dean of Liberal Arts and then two guys from the Association of Former Students. I walked off the stage, shook hands with Dr. Walraven, Dean of Journalism, and then practically ran back to my chair.

getting my diploma

The important thing here was that I didn’t trip. Thank God. And I suppose I should add that my diploma really was inside the tube I was handed. That was pretty important as well.

We sang the Spirit of Aggieland, and then that was it! It was over! I was all graduated.

I didn’t have a job when I graduated. I was on a serious burn-out from having been taking classes almost non-stop for over a year. I had a degree, but no where to use it at that time. It was a little scary! I stepped off into the great big world with only the safety nets of a degree and amazing parents…

Ten years later, I look back and marvel a bit at all that’s happened in the last decade. I did use my degree for over a year at a small-town Texas newspaper. I still consider myself using it when blogging and doing any design work. I use it every day in ways I couldn’t begin explain.

metexasflag03

If I could give all graduating seniors from high school one piece of advice it would be to go to college. Even if you don’t know what you want to do or be. Go. Embrace it. Embrace both the in-class education as well as the life-in-general education you’ll receive. Because in four (five or six or however many) years you attend college, you’ll grow and change as much as you did from Kindergarten to 12th grade. College has a lasting effect well past the pomp and circumstance of graduation… well past the GPA you end up having.

In the 10 years since I graduated, I also got married and moved two states away from my family. I’ve traveled to places I never thought I’d travel. I’ve embraced my roll as a former student of Texas A&M University as an active member of my local A&M Club. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve had amazing successes. And all of them… ALL of them… were in some way an extension of what I learned during my time in college… even if the only thing tying it all together is the confidence and accomplishment I got from earning my degree.

I am the proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2003… and today I celebrate that fact more than ever.

class-seal

Five on Friday: July 4th Memories

July 5th, 2013 4 comments

Yesterday, America celebrated Independence Day. It’s a day people spend with family and friends. It’s a day full of fireworks and barbecue. I did none of the above this year… despite being invited out to what I know was a wonderful party. I have so much to get done, I desperately needed the day to get work done. By getting the work done, I’ll be more relaxed and less stressed down the line. So I had to do what I had to do.  (Besides, it was raining all day which made me want to be a homebody.)

That being said, I usually make sure to have a good time on July 4th! Here are five of my memories of July 4th past.

1. 19–somethings – I remember growing up, July 4th was often a quiet holiday with barbecue, watermelons and (probably) firecrackers being popped in the driveway. The house I grew-up in was out in the country, and you didn’t have to worry about city ordinances (not that anyone ever does ANYWAY) and could shoot off fireworks without worry. I remember many July 4ths shooting off BlackCats, etc. with my brother. Light it and run and wait for that POP! Or in his case, put a whole pack in a coffee can and lose your hearing for the next half hour. LOL! I look back on those July 4ths fondly… No cell phones, internet, etc. We spent time together and made some fun memories.

2. 2007 & 2008… Downtown Fireworks —  Newly married and new to Nashville, my best friend (and MOH) came to spend the July 4th holiday with me. We dared downtown for the big fireworks extravaganza. We packed something of a picnic, grabbed a blanket and grabbed ourselves a spot under the flags at the end of Broadway. I don’t even remember how who played that night, but I do remember it was… amazing. My husband was on the road, and that year CMT broadcast Nashville’s fireworks display. My husband called during the fireworks and we “watched them together” by phone. It was a special night.

Fotor0705193623

Then in 2008… 2008 was a rough year for me and my husband. It’s a year that definitely taught me the meaning of everything happening for a reason, and it taught me a LOT about having faith. July 4th, my parents came to town. My husband had recently lost his road gig, and we were both grabbing any and all work we could get to try to pay the bills. He scored a 10-close at The Stage on Broadway on July 4th. My parents and I decided to go catch the fireworks downtown, which ended up working nicely in conjunction with my husband’s gig.

July 4, 2008

July 4, 2008

I haven’t done the downtown fireworks since these two years. It’s just gotten bigger and bigger every year, now ranked in the top 10 in the whole nation. An estimated 100,000 people descend on downtown now, and I just don’t want any part of that.

3. 2009, Rogersville, TN — My husband was relatively new to his current gig. He had a show in East Tennessee, and my parents were coming to town for the holiday again. So that year, we packed up the truck and drove east. I came to realize East Tennessee and East Texas aren’t that much different. Both in looks and the people.

It was the same year Steve McNair was murdered, and I remember it being all over the radio and the topic of conversation upon our arrival at the venue. Three things I remember most about that day: my husband was newly a Master Mason, and his ring got our truck to backstage without question… blew my mind; I met a soldier who was a Texas Longhorn that got us throwing good-natured barbs back and forth, who asked if I could get my husband’s bosses autograph for him… I did, and it meant more to him than he could put into words… moved me; Nashville got rain and their fireworks display was pretty much a bust, while ours was AMAZING… got lucky there!

July 4, 2010

July 4, 2009

4. 2010, Good-bye, Sully — Another show within driving distance in 2010. This year, it was Clarksville, TN. I drove up that afternoon to see the show and spend the day with my  husband. It was a hot day, and the show was on a floating stage on the river. Somehow, that just made the stage and area even hotter.

A few memories from during the day: my husband and I went on a run for kimchi… in a police cruiser. Guess who rode in the back. I can now say I have been in the back of a police car. I posted about it on line, and I found it incredibly funny how many people wanted to know what I did… I responded back, “Do you really think if I was truly under arrest they’d let me keep my cell phone?” LOL!  Later, during the show a couple got engaged… such a sweet moment! And the fireworks over the river was breathtaking.

However, it was what happened upon my returning home that marks this July 4th. I came home to find my cat I’d gotten around the time I graduated college unable to use his back legs. The way he screamed at me in pain is something I’ll never forget. Tore my heart out. The day’s fun was just gone. My heart ached for my cat. He passed away that weekend… I can’t think of July 4th now without remembering him.

July 4, 2010

July 4, 2010

5. 2006, Hawaii – In 2006, my now-husband’s artist got booked to play in Hawaii on July 3rd & 4th. It’s one of those rare times in which I GOT TO GO. Oh okay, my then-fiance (now husband) had to pay for my flight, but I got to go. That’s what matters most.

I went to Hawaii. This was something I never even, before then, had on my radar as something I could/would get to do. It just wasn’t!  I met up with the group in Jackson, Missisippi where they were doing a show the night before flying to Hawaii. We flew to Atlanta, then direct to Hawaii. Feel free to ponder that for awhile. It was a long, long, long flight. (We did the same on the way back. Honolulu – Atlanta.)

We got to spend several days in Waikiki, and it afforded us the chance to explore the island. I thought waters that blue were just in dreams. I experienced negotiation in some of the shops. I met and had a long conversation with a member of Molly Hatchet. I saw amazing shows, done for our military. What better way to spend July 4th than bringing entertainment to the military?? IN HAWAII.

July 4, 2006

July 4, 2006

fiveonfriday