Thursday, May 21, 2015

Oh hi!

May has been an incredibly busy month in our world! It's to the point where it's only May 21st, and I feel like this month has lasted 6 weeks.

It started off with a girls' weekend in Mexico at an all-inclusive resort. Stephanie and I have been BFF's for like 18 years now... which makes me feel old because we didn't meet until freshman year of high school.. Amanda and I met probably 13 years ago, and Jenny and I first met about 9 years ago. We're all connected in sort of random ways, and we all live in a different state. It was so great to meet up in Cancun and just relax on the beach, eat, drink, and catch up.




May is also race month for me... as in, the annual race I plan for my work.That has definitely been keeping me on my toes. I came back from Mexico relaxed, but I had to dive into the craziness of the final weeks of race planning!

I was supposed to have Lasik done early in the month, but unfortunately they had an issue with the laser and had to postpone me until June. It was a bummer, but what can you do?

On May 13, I turned 32. Adam surprised me with some really nice Reidel white wine glasses (and a bottle of much nicer wine than we'd typically pick up) and picked up breakfast for me at Chick-fil-A. Connor was home that night, and we had dinner and dessert with my parents and Adam's mom. It was a pretty low key but nice birthday!


In mid-May, I went on a field trip with Connor to Lucky Ladd Farms. It was definitely a fun day, and I was so glad to get to join him and his class. He has had a great year in first grade, and we have loved his teacher. It was a blast to get to hang out with them all day, although I'm confident I'd never do well with managing a group of 20 first graders day in and day out.


The look of sheer joy on Connor's face in this photo makes me so happy!


Connor had a couple of really good weeks with his behavior at school, so we got to go see the new Avengers movie. We took him to his very first IMAX, and I think it was pretty much the best day ever. He was so excited!


I really love this photo I snapped after the movie...


Our neighborhood pool opened in early May (It hit the 90s in the first week! But don't be fooled. Tonight the low is 46. Typical Tennessee weather.) In mid-May, we were able to break it in with Connor for the first time this season. I foresee many afternoons at the pool this summer!


I also got to join Connor and his class for their water day and end of year party. It was so much fun to see all the kids playing with the water activities, and I always enjoy chatting with the other moms. I suppose that means I am old, ha!



We've still got 10 more days left this month, but the busyness will end this weekend. My big race is coming up on Saturday, and after that I can rest a bit easier.

Summer officially starts next weekend when Adam and I hit up our first DMB show of the season...


With marriage, parenting, grad school, work, and life in general... there's just been a lot going on this month. It's been crazy and fun and stressful and draining all at the same time. I'm sort of ready for a break, but at the same time it's fulfilling.

All that to say, there's been very little time for blogging... but I'm still here. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Feedback on My Second Stitch Fix

I decided to do a second Stitch Fix this past week as a little treat to myself for my upcoming birthday. I'm also going on a girls' trip soon with my BFFS, and it seemed like a good time to freshen up my wardrobe.

It's really exciting when the box comes in the mail. I love opening it to see what surprises are in store. I was super excited this time about all 5 pieces! I couldn't wait to try them on. My stylist also wrote the nicest note and wished me a happy birthday. If you decide you want to check it out, I'd love it if you'd use my referral link to do so. :)

Let's start with the ones I didn't keep.

I REALLY loved this dress. It's very much my style, and I knew it'd be fun to accessorize with! Unfortunately, the top part of it was just too big. I know it's supposed to be loose, but I could've taken in the straps an inch or two, and the arm holes were so big you could see almost all of my bra. And this almost-32-year-old isn't trendy enough to wear some sort of cute bralette that's ok to show or something like that. Oh well.


This photo in this dress isn't as unflattering as the first one I took. Believe me when I say that when viewing me from the front, this dress made me look wide. It just wasn't flattering, and it felt too big in the top. I think I've decided that I like wrap dresses on other people, but they're just not for me.


Now on to the things I kept! When I did my first fix, I felt like they did a great job of sending things that were my style. It just turned out that some of it didn't quite fit or wasn't quite what I needed in my wardrobe. I'm sort of doing the Stitch Fix thing to try to find some fun, unique things I might not normally find or buy at the mall. (Plus I hate to shop... so this is convenient).

This time around, I was even more impressed with how well a stranger picked out clothes for me! In fact, before I tried anything on, I thought there was a chance I'd keep all five items.

This maxi dress made the cut. I feel like this isn't the best photo ever, but this is actually really flattering on me. I had given up hope of ever finding a maxi dress. I always think other gals look so cute in them, but when I try them on they're either too long or too big in the top (chest/shoulders) or BOTH. So for this one to fit so well? Awesome. Adam really liked it, too. It was a little more than all the ones you se at Gap and Old Navy, but it also was really nice fabric that felt soft to the touch.


This tank top. So stinkin' unique! In the second picture, you can see the back is split. I really love the pattern and colors, and it's just totally different from anything else I have. It also looked really cute with my skinny jeans and with my white skirt and white shorts. It was a no brainer to keep it. Plus, Adam really liked it!



I also kept this tunic. I really loved the colors, and it felt super comfortable. It's way more "flowy" than what I usually wear, but it looked awesome with my skinny jeans. I decided it was unique, and it was a fun item to add to my wardrobe since I don't have anything like it.


So there you have it. My second Stitch Fix. If you're thinking about trying it out, please use my referral link. I had two friends who did after my first one, and it was awesome to save a few dollars on this birthday present to myself. I'd much appreciate anyone who wants to use the link to try it out!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Join Me for the Beyond the Battlefield 5K/10K/Virtual Race

As some of you may know, I work for a non-profit program called Courage Beyond. We provide confidential, no-cost programs and services to service members, veterans, and their loved ones who are impacted by PTSD and other invisible wounds of war.

Our biggest event of the year is the 4th Annual Beyond the Battlefield 5K/10K, and it's coming up Saturday, May 23rd in Brentwood, TN or virtually from wherever you live! There is a way for everyone to get involved at this event during Memorial Day weekend to help us honor fallen soldiers and remember the rest who have returned from war. I'd love it if you'd consider joining us in some way!



Here are more details on the various ways to get involved:

NEW this Year – Virtual Race: We’ve added a virtual race to this year’s Beyond the Battlefield event!  Anyone can run with us virtually from wherever they are located if they can’t join us in person on race day. Learn more and register on the race website. Our goal is to have all 50 states represented! Virtual runners can sign up for free or pay $25 to receive the race t-shirt.

Register for the 5K or 10K: If you're in the area, join us for the physical race! We welcome every one of all ages to run, walk, skip, juggle, crawl or whatever it takes to get from the start to the finish of either race! Dogs on leashes and strollers are welcome if you don’t mind staying at the back of the pack.  Our course runs through the beautiful Maryland Farms and the early start will help ensure we avoid the heat of the day.  All registrants receive the event t-shirt, and age group awards are given three deep per bracket for both races. Register here today!

Volunteer on Race Day: We need at least 50-60 volunteers to make this event a success! If you're in the area, this is a great way to show your support. Volunteers pass out t-shirts, serve as course monitors/encouragers, work at a water station, oversee food and drinks, and more! Even if you’re already signed up for the race, please share this opportunity with anyone you know who may enjoy serving in this way.  Volunteers will receive the event t-shirt and have a lot of fun!

Fundraise or Make a Donation: In addition to race registrations and business sponsorships, Courage Beyond raises even more money through this event through additional donations and fundraisers. Consider making an additional one-time donation by clicking DONATE on the race website. Additionally, you can create your own personal fundraising page that can be shared with friends and family to ask them to consider making a donation to Courage Beyond. Just click on FUNDRAISE on the race website. The more donations we receive, the closer we come to reaching our fundraising goal for this event!

Promote the Race: Please help us spread the word to everyone you know about this event and encourage others to join us! 

All proceeds from this race will be used to directly provide confidential, no-cost programs and services to our nation’s military members and their loved ones. Learn more at www.CourageBeyond.org.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, April 17, 2015

TR3 at City Winery

If you know me at all (whether in real life or online), you know Adam and I are big Dave Matthews Band fans. If you don't follow DMB, this post may not be as exciting to you.

Tim Reynolds is an amazing guitar player who tours with DMB. He definitely adds something to the music that is just incredible, and we always love seeing him out there with them.

When we caught wind that he was playing a show with his band TR3 at a local Nashville venue (and tickets were only $15) it was a no-brainer to make the last minute decision to go! We hadn't been to City Winery yet, so we were excited to check it.

We managed to get pretty awesome seats at a table right in front of the stage. We went early so we could eat dinner there. It ended up being the kind of meal that was fun to do once, but if we see other shows here we'll eat before we go. We ended up doing a cheese board and a couple of small plates. The food was good, but it was pricey and not THAT good. Nonetheless, it was fun to do it once.

By the time we finished eating, the band took the stage. I'm not kidding when I say we were close. I' not even zoomed in for this photo.


We didn't really know what to expect considering we've only ever seen Tim with DMB, but it turned out to be an incredible show! His bassist and drummer were also awesome, and we got a kick out of the facial expressions as they played.


After the show, we bought their recent album and hung around for a bit. We're glad we did because the band came out to mingle with the handful of us still there. We got to meet all three guys and chat with them a bit. It was awesome! We let Tim know we'd be seeing him again at a few DMB shows this summer.



I'm so glad to be living back in Nashville where we get to easily see these kinds of awesome shows!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Second Nashville Snow

During the first week of March, Nashville saw snow. It's crazy because a) it's really late in the winter for getting snow here and b) we just don't get much snow here, and this was the second "winter event" we saw this year!

This time it was mostly snow instead of ice, and I have to admit it was really pretty! Nonetheless, the schools shut down and people stayed home. We enjoyed a few days cozied up in the house, but I did insist we do a little sledding. Adam and I discovered our backyard is pretty fun on a sled one afternoon, so when Connor got home we got up early one morning to take advantage before it started to melt.

The house and yard covered in snow.


I loved discovering some tracks in the snow on our deck. We have a wooded area behind our house and see tons of critters like deer, turkey, squirrels, and rabbits. We've also seen an owl one night and a bunch of bats. I think these are either rabbit or squirrel tracks.


The view from our front door the first morning after the snow.


Connor and me doing some sledding. You can see it was starting to melt by that point, but we still had a blast for a bit!



Adam snapped this of me when I didn't know he was taking one. I actually sort of like it!


My boys in the snow!


In true Tennessee fashion, it was sunny and 60 degrees a few days after it snowed. HA!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Enjoying More of Music City

Adam and I have attended several different concerts lately. Every time we go to one, we are reminded of how awesome it is to live in such a great city.

We spent a whopping $15 each to see one of our favorite locals Dave Barnes at 3rd & Lindsley. It was sort of funny because I used to go to this bar in college to see some friends of mine play on occasion. It's a tiny little hole in the wall, but it makes for an intimate experience. They've expanded since I last went, but it was still small and we had a great spot.

The evening was an "in the round" including Andrew Ripp, Gabe Dixon, and Emerson Hart (lead singer of Tonic). We listened to them rotate through the line several times. While we went to see Dave, we really enjoyed listening to all of them. Emerson did "If You Could Only See" and "You Wanted More" as well. This pretty much made my day, and I couldn't believe my husband had never really heard of Tonic. I guess those two years I've got on him make a difference.


At the end of February, we headed to the mother church to see Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. They've become one of our favorite bands over the last few years, and it was great to see them perform their first show at the Ryman.



I don't have any photos, but we also spent another huge $15 (haha) to see Sean McConnell back at 3rd & Lindsley in the middle of March. I had never heard of him, but he's someone Adam listened to a lot in college. We enjoyed his set, and it definitely rounded out a month of frequent concerts.

We don't have anything else on tap right away, but we're of course looking forward to taking in a couple of Dave Matthews Band shows during their summer tour!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nashville Ice Storm

In February, we had an ice storm in Nashville. This is not normal. Furthermore, it made Adam and I question if winter followed us home from Indy. We were stuck in the house for a few days, and the kids were out of school for a week! I have to say, there was a certain beauty in it. It was also fun that it was our first winter weather in our new home.


We did get out and go for a walk on a sunny day after the ice has stopped. I managed to scrape a snow angel in the yard.



The icicles on everything were flat out impressive.




Later in the week, Connor was home with us for a few days. It ended up snowing a bit one evening (again, not normal) so we headed out to play in it a bit!




Connor had never been on a sled of any sort, and we happen to live in a hilly neighborhood. He had a BLAST sledding with me!


We may have landed in some twigs on occasion, haha!



Even though it's crazy we got this kind of weather, it was fun to make the most of it!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Race Report: Predators 5K

This morning, Adam and I headed downtown to run in the Predators 5K. When we saw it promoted several months ago, we decided it would be a fun way to see another Preds game since registration included a ticket to an upcoming game.


We hadn't run a race since December, so it was fun to head out for one. However, we knew it would be incredibly hilly. From the start, we took it at an easy pace. It was a gorgeous day (bright, sunny, 55 degrees) so no complaints there! It was definitely a great way to kick off spring.

We enjoyed ourselves, but I honestly think it was because of the good weather and because we had each other's company. The race itself did not impress.

It began initially when we registered. We thought upon registration we'd get information about how to get our game tickets, but we didn't get any details in the confirmation. There was no information on the race website. I contacted the race management company (one that I don't truly care for in the area for numerous reasons), and they didn't have answers. I contacted the person listed as the Preds contact, and our emails and calls went unreturned.

It was a solid three weeks before we finally spoke with someone after multiple emails and calls. We got our tickets, but it left me feeling like it shouldn't have been that hard to know what to expect about how they would be provided.  Additionally, you could only pick a game in February or March... and as it took until early March for us to speak with someone, we were limited in our choices. I was even more confused today when I saw that some people were getting their game vouchers to use for tickets today.... It's March 21st. When the heck are they supposed to use their vouchers to get tickets???

Past that, I felt like the race experience could have been a lot better. There was nothing said at the race start - no "welome to smashville" or "thank you for being here" or "we love our Preds!" Furthermore, they didn't even do the national anthem. What the heck?! Truly baffling.

I realize it's just a 5K, but I was sort of surprised at the lack of post-race refreshments. There was water, a granola bar and bananas.

I feel like the Preds could make this race one "not to miss" if they stepped up the game a bit. The audience definitely seemed to be Preds fan and not necessarily runners, but I bet it would be even more appealing if they provided a bit better experience to those who run or walk. Sure, the game tickets are great... but how many more registrations could they attract if they make the actual race a bit better experience?

Nonetheless, we had fun. We love our Preds (even with the recent losing streak), and we're looking forward to our next game!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Getting a Little Bit More Education

It's been a few weeks, hasn't it? You might be wondering what I've been up to...

Life, for the most part. Nashville has seen two ice/snow "events" which is crazy because this never happens here. Adam and I are convinced winter from Indy followed us home.

But I also have news. I've gone back to school.

It's crazy. I remember when I finished college, everyone just sort of assumed I'd continue on to grad school. Nope. I had zero interest. There was nothing I wanted to do that I felt liked I needed more school in order to do.

This remained true over the last 10 years since college. (10 years?! How did that happen?) I just wasn't interested.

It's funny how things change.

Adam actually was a critical reason why this change has occurred. He discovered that Trevecca here in Nashville has a Master of Organizational Leadership program. When he showed me the information online and told me it sounded right up my alley, I couldn't help but agree with him. Coupled with finding out my employer has a tuition reimbursement program, I decided it might be worth considering.

As I learned more about the program, I realized it was definitely something that could assist me in my current job in non-profit work. It could also assist me for the years to come, whether I work at a non-profit or back in the corporate world.

I'm in my third week of my first class on Personal Leadership Development. It's definitely taking up some of my time and causing me to really think about my values and my desires to be a leader, but I wouldn't say it's hard. The program involves a lot of writing, and fortunately I'm a strong writer... though it may mean my interest in writing blog posts may ebb and flow.

Nonetheless, I'm loving it so far. I am a nerd at heart, and I love processing concepts and learning how to implement them. Interestingly, my program is entirely online. Even still, I already feel like I know my classmates fairly well considering we just "met" about a month ago. Some of them aren't even in the Nashville area! It's interesting to connect with them and have discussions online.

It's an 18-month program, and I take one class at a time, each for 6 weeks. It's definitely a little intense, but it's also sort of fun. I'm thankful to have Adam's support... he really is my number one cheerleader!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Our 3rd Valentine's Day

This year made for our 3rd Valentine's Day together, and only our 2nd as husband and wife. Since we've had a lot going on over the last year, we agreed again that a date or two was all we needed to celebrate the day of love.

Adam surprised me a few days before the holiday with some gorgeous roses. It's been so nice to have them sitting in our kitchen to brighten things up a bit during this dreary time of year.


Our Valentine's Day started out with us sleeping in and then cooking breakfast together. We also had gotten each other a card. 

We had decided we'd work on a few odds and ends around the house during the afternoon, but our plans quickly changed when the center diamond on my engagement ring plopped out onto the counter.

After a few tears (mine) and a phone call to the store where he bought it (him), we were in the car heading over there to drop it off for repair. Fortunately, they were able to take care of it right away and all was well.

We got all dressed up and checked out a relatively new Nashville restaurant Noelle for our Valentine dinner. We had a delicious meal and then headed back home to cozy up for the rest of the evening.


The day after Valentine's Day, Adam told me he had planned a surprise date. We got in the car and after a drive across town, we arrive at Arrington Vineyards. He had planned for us to do a special wine, cheese and sweets tasting!


Everything was delicious, and we had a lot of fun trying everything together and chatting with some of the others who were doing the tasting with us. We ended up buying a few bottles to take home to enjoy later.


All in all, it was a really fun Valentine's Day!