Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's a Good Day

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. ~Piglet, (Winnie the Pooh)

I will pretend that these Sunday afternoons will last forever and that school will not start back in 6 weeks.  Sunday afternoon naps are an institution and studying is a word I've never heard of.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

I don't know how long it's been open and I don't know why we haven't been there yet but Cafe 4 in Market Square just might become one of our favorite restaurants.  This is Chris with the Tennessee Cheesesteak.  We did not sample the delicious-looking cupcakes inside but one of those mint julep kind may be in my future.:)

Nothing's Sweeter....

Tonight Chris and I went swimming after we got home from a nice summer evening out.  Chris likes to swim and splash but I like to float...especially at night.  I was floating on my back looking at the stars and the full moon.  I couldn't hear anything because my ears were under water and it was so peaceful just looking at the sky.  I was looking at the Big Dipper in particular.  Stargazing is a favorite of mine and one summer I learned about a lot of the constellations.  I remember a few but the Big Dipper is one that I've known for a long time.  Something about the stars has always amazed me.  Anyway...I was floating and looking at the stars and thinking about all the other summers in my life when I have looked up to see the Big Dipper. 

Aren't summer memories some of the best memories?

When I think of summer I think of:
Family trips to Rock City/Lookout Falls
Bike-riding barefoot
Catching lightning bugs and putting them in a jar to use as a nightlight
Hide and go seek with my brother and sister
Swimming in the lake at Montgomery Bell State Park
Playing on the slip-n-slide down the hill behind my grandparents' house
The ice cream man!!
Grilling out on my grandparents' deck.  We would most likely always have grilled hamburgers and frozen fruit salad.
Going to Lylewood church camp, especially the cabin with no air conditioner!!
Mission trips to Wyoming and New Mexico
Hiking trips to Sugarloaf mountain and impromptu trips to Heber Springs
Swinging in the park with Chris when we were first dating and sitting under the pavilion while it stormed
Camping at Elkmont with a bear!!
Marrying Chris and going on our honeymoon to St. Lucia

Summer memories are wonderful!  They give me such a feeling of nostalgia and optimism.  I'm up for anything and anything is possible during those lazy summer days.  What are some of your favorite summer memories?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Confessions of a Chocoholic.

OK, I confess.  I LOVE chocolate.  What's not to love about warm brownies straight out of the oven, chocolate chip cookies, or one of the all time greats-chocolate and peanut butter?  I would have to say, though, that probably my all time favorite chocolate products is Nutella hazelnut spread.  It's good on anything!
Nutella is great, for example, on strawberries!
and bananas
and even a slice of bread.

However, I have to say that the single best way to eat Nutella is:


I have to say that Nutella is not allowed as a staple in our house.  It wouldn't last very long!  Tell me about YOUR chocolate confession!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Amarillo's On My Mind...

It's been four weeks today since my Dad passed away and it's hard to say exactly what I feel about it.  My first reaction when I think about him is this little sick feeling in my stomach because of how much I miss him.  Sometimes I am going through my day having normal thoughts and I think about him and ask myself, "Did all of that really happen?".  "No, surely not."  For those who don't know the story I'll tell you briefly:  About two years ago my Dad was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.  He had been a smoker for several years.  They tried radiation but that didn't work.  Last May he had a laryngectomy during which they removed his whole voice box and rerouted his breathing through a stoma (hole) in his neck.  They removed much of the cancer and were hopeful for a recovery.  He had a rough year with many complications.  In April of this year they found out the cancer had come back.  His immune system at this point wasn't the greatest and there were several other issues.  Basically there wasn't much left that they could do.  At the end he was comfortable and well cared for at an Alive Hospice Center.  My Dad passed away on May 23, 2010.  He was 53 years old.  

The last time I talked to my Dad in person was two weeks before he went to the hospice center.  He declined quickly in the last week and I did not get to talk to him again while he was conscious.  I have no doubt that he knew I loved him.  However, there are so many things that I wish I could have said to him.  Some seem like silly, little things, but are very important in my memories that I have of him.  I would like to have been able to tell him:

~Thank you for my appreciation for music and for the way that I am moved by the lyrics.  I would have liked to listen to Amarillo by Morning with you one more time.
~Thank you for always giving me advice even at the times I didn't want to hear it.  Because of that I know you cared. 
~Thank you for always telling me to wear my seat belt, drive the speed limit, watch what was going on around me, and make sure I get my oil changed.  I know you wanted me to be safe. 
~Thank you for your generous, unselfish heart.  I know you gave me money when there wasn't much to give. 
~I'm proud of your athletic abilities and I am thankful that you passed a little bit, even if only just the love of the game, to me.
~I'm proud because of the many people who look up to you and all the lives that you touched in the community.
~I'm thankful for your faith in God and the many prayers that you prayed for your family.  I know that you weren't always dealt the easiest cards in life and in so many ways you made the best of it. 

These are some of the things I would have liked to have said to my Dad.  I'm sure he knew.  It's just hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I can't call him or hug him or see him when I come home.  I know, though, that he is at peace and that is what I have to hold on to.  I will hold these memories in my heart and know that one day I will see him again.  That little sick feeling in my stomach will probably not be going away any time soon but that's ok.  Sorrow and loss are inevitable in this life.  I will spend this Father's Day and probably many more thinking about him and missing him.  I will also, however, spend those days remembering that I had a Daddy who loved me and who gave so much of himself.  I can only be thankful for that.  Happy Father's Day, Daddy.  You are missed.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I wish ya'll had been here to eat supper with us tonight.  Smoked beef brisket, fresh corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, Sister Scheubert's yeast rolls, and these:
Strawberry Shortcakes! 

A little pre-Father's Day dinner for my father-in-law.  Happy Father's Day, Wade!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Introducing...My Best Friend

This is him.  My cute husband of almost 4 years.  Look at that smile.  We met about 6 years ago and were immediately friends.  It took him a while to ask me out but he managed eventually.:)  We had so many things in common and had so much fun together.  It felt like the most natural thing in the world to be with him.  It still does.  These past 4 years haven't been the easiest-I have been in school pretty much the whole time.  Chris lost his job last Spring and I quit working completely to go to nursing school.  We were blessed, however.  We were able to sell our house amazingly fast and we moved into his parents' house just in time for me to start school.  Whew!!  We have been challenged but we always stick it out together and have faith that things are going to work out.  Chris works sooo hard to provide for us and I could not ask for a better husband.  I know that he is always there for me.  Our favorite times are the nights after school and work when we can just sit together and watch one of our favorite shows.  We love to travel, spend time outdoors, and cook together.  I thank my God for this best friend that he gave me and look forward to many more years of love and fun together.

July 22, 2006

Griffith Park Observatory-Los Angeles, CA
Bandy Creek Camping

Rainbow Falls-Great Smoky Mountains
Atop the Empire State Building

We love Tennessee Football!!

Forsyth Park-Savannah, GA

This was our last "dinner creation".  Chris is really good with the grill and made a yummy pork tenderloin.  I made the corn, tomato, and feta salad.  Oh so good!!

My sexy man.

Monday, June 7, 2010


These days are the best!  Chris and I are both on a rare day off together and we're spending the day at the pool.  85 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  I gotta go so I can work on my tan (ha!) and Chris can work on his cannonball.:)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Living Deliberately

I've been wanting to start a blog for a while now. As you probably know, I am in nursing school and therefore terribly busy so much of the time with studying, class, and clinicals. I get caught up in the notion that mine and Chris' life is on hold until I get finished with school. That's not true!! Several events in my life lately have reminded me of the importance of LIVING to the fullest and taking no day for granted. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." This blog is a reminder to me to count my blessings every day and that the important things in life having nothing to do with tests and papers. I hope you enjoy reading this and will come back from time to time. I'm counting on you to keep me accountable!