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!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My First Stitch Fix - Feedback

I decided to try this whole Stitch Fix thing that everyone keeps talking about, and I was really impressed! I sort of hate shopping, and I really hate trying on item after item that doesn't fit. However, I could use some new items in my wardrobe and thought this might be a good way to make it happen without the hassle of the mall.

I am mostly writing this post so I can pin it to my style board and give even more feedback to my stylist. It's really cool you can link a Pinterest board so that they can see what you like in general, so I thought it'd be useful to show them pictures of me in the items.

I was impressed with how much I liked all 5 items when I took them out of the box. They were all very much my style to have been selected by someone who only had a Pinterest board and my style profile to know me from. It was all pretty spot on, and ultimately I only sent back so much of it because of small details that I'll expound on below.

People say that as you work through the first few fixes, they get even better at picking things you love - so I'm excited to try it again sometime.

Here are photos of me with the five items I received in my first box and my feedback:

These pants. I knew they were going to be too small when I held them up, even though they were marked as my size. They went beyond skinny jeans and felt like they were painted on. It was uncomfortable. They were also too long. Ironically, they were a perfect fit in my waist - which I have a hard time finding in pants.

I liked this sweater a lot, but I have another sweater that is VERY similar. So it was an easy decision to send this one back, too.

This sweater is the only item I kept. It's incredibly cozy, and I liked that it was unique from other more typical sweaters that I already own.

I really loved this top. I loved the colors, the stripes, and the sheerness. What I did not love was how the sleeves had points on them. I don't think they were made to be pointy, but the way the fabric was sewn together caused them to point up. It didn't seem promising that they would soften, and I'm not one to keep something that I have any sort of quirky issue with. I think if it had been sleeveless then I absolutely would have kept it.

Adam and I both liked this dress. Ultimately, it was just a bit pricier than what I want to spend on a casual dress of this type.

If you've never done Stitch Fix and want to try it, I highly recommend. They offer $25 account credits to folks when people sign up via a referral link, so here's mine if you want to check it out -

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Birthday Shenanigans

This past weekend, we had a terrific time celebrating Connor's 7th birthday!

Adam's mom also has a birthday around this same time, just a few days after Connor's. So on Thursday evening, we took everyone to the Predators game. Sadly, they lost - but we still had a lot of fun!

Friday evening we just hung around the house, and we started Saturday morning with breakfast from Chick-fil-A (a family favorite!) We knew that Connor and Gram both would enjoy an afternoon together for both of their birthdays, so we dropped Connor off and headed to another Preds game for a few hours. This time they won!

After the game, we met up with Gram, Connor and my parents and sister at Rainforest Cafe for little man's special birthday dinner. He loved the restaurant and all of the rainforest decor!

After dinner, we headed back to the house for presents! He loved all the fun things that we all picked out for him. 

One of the things that Adam has done for Connor every year is "adopt" an animal for him through World Wildlife Fund. You get a stuffed animal when you do, so he has all of them on his bed. This year we picked out the elephant, and he loved it!

Adam and I also got him a Home Depot work bench two birthdays ago, so this year we got him a toolbox and another set of a bunch of really awesome tools. He is so excited about them!

On Sunday, we had all of his friends from the neighborhood over to have some cake and then play in the back yard since it was a reasonably nice day. He had a blast!

It was such a fun weekend! It's crazy to think he was just a 4-year-old little squirt when I met him, and now he's a little man!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Our Son is Seven!

On January 31st, our son Connor turned seven!

It's hard to believe he's already gone from a little 4-year-old squirt when I first met him to this tall, smart kid! It's crazy how quickly time passes.

This year, he had his birthday day with his mom, so we're doing most of our celebrations when he's home this weekend. However, we did go to school on Friday (the day before his birthday) to have lunch with him and take a few treats to his class. We had so much fun!

On Saturday, we spent some time on the phone with him to wish him happy birthday and to call all the grandparents and my sister so that they could do the same. It was so cute to hear how excited he was about his special day!

January 31st is not just Conno'rs birthday. It's also the day Adam became a daddy! So we spent our afternoon celebrating this fact by checking out some places around Nashville that we've never been to before.  We spent some time first exploring Marathon Village, wandering in and out of the cute shops.

We also toured the Greenbrier Distillery. It was really neat because the distillery was reopened after over 100 years last year. It'll be a few years before they actually have their product ready, but it was cool to tour and try their white whiskey.

We wandered around Centennial Park for a bit to kill some time, and we decided we'll have to come sometime when it's pretty outside and do a picnic in the park and actually go inside The Parthenon.

I don't have any pictures, but we concluded our day with a tour at Black Abbey Brewery. It's a relatively new brewery in Nashville, and we enjoyed our sample.

It made for a pretty fun day, but we can't wait for Connor to get home tomorrow and start a weekend of celebrating him!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day Trip to the Biltmore

During our weekend in Gatlinburg/Smoky Mountains, Adam and I made sort of a last minute decision to drive to Asheville, NC one day and tour the Biltmore Estate.

We were not disappointed! We headed out early, and we were there about an hour and a half later.

I was pretty excited because it was the very last day of Christmas at Biltmore. I had heard the house is gorgeous decorated for Christmas, so I knew I'd love it!

The decorations started from right outside the front door!

I wish I could describe how amazing the inside of the house is to see, and how much more incredible it was to see the Christmas decorations! They won't let you take pictures inside, but if you have no idea what I'm talking about then take a few minutes to Google it.

I had been once before when I was about 7 or 8, but I only remembered a few small pieces. Adam had never been. It was pretty cool wandering through the house and seeing what it was like back in the late 1800s/early 1900s when people lived there!

I splurged and bought the Christmas at Biltmore book that had photos of the rooms with the decorations. It helped that it was on sale half off!

It also helped that it was the off-season while we were there. I read reviews that it can get very crowded during the spring/summer/holidays, but there was hardly anyone there that day. It definitely made it a relaxed and pleasant experience to not feel like we were in crowded rooms.

After touring the house, we went over to Antler Hill Village. It's also on the property, but it's a lot of new stuff like a big Inn up on the hill and the Biltmore Winery.

We spent a decent bit of time at the winery. They offer free tastings, and you're able to taste as many of their wines as you desire! We definitely found a few that we enjoyed enough to buy a bottle and bring home!

We truly spent 7-8 hours hanging out at the various places on the estate before grabbing some dinner and hitting the road back to Asheville. It made for a really lovely day, and it was a fun thing for us to do together!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter Weekend in the Mountains

It's only about a 3 hour drive to the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. Adam and I both love heading that direction from time to time, so we decided to take a weekend earlier in January for a little winter getaway.

We drove in on Friday evening, and I loved seeing the Christmas lights in Gatlinburg. They leave them up throughout January for Winterfest, and it's really charming.

After checking into our hotel, we wandered around for a bit. I am a total nerd and posed in the sled.

It's ok though because Adam is a total nerd and posed with the Avengers. 

If you don't know anything about Gatlinburg, it's a totally touristy town at the foot of the national park. There are a lot of cheesy attractions among cute shops, and the whole place is sort of like going back in time.

On Saturday, we did some shopping and wine tasting in Pigeon Forge before going up into the park to do some hiking. It was pretty cold, but we bundled up and made our way to Laurel Falls.  Parts of it were frozen solid!

We also decided to be cheesy and do the Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium. Here we saw things like a statue of the world's tallest man.

Or a large chair...

Or a screen where you could take photos of your shadows...

We also did the Mirror Maze. It was sort of small and sad, but we made it fun!

We also ate a lot of southern fare during our weekend...

And we checked out the local bar scene when we found the ONLY place in town that had the national championship game on with sound. (Who knew that was going to be so hard?)

It was sort of rainy the last night, and there was pretty much no one out and about... so I took this photo in the middle of the road.

It was a different experience going this time of year. I've usually gone during more of their peak season when the place is crowded!  Regardless, it was fun for Adam and I to get away together and relax a bit. Sometimes it's just nice to get away from the house and not have to worry about chores and such!