Last night I stopped and I listened.
I went outside to have a cigarette last night and usually when I go out I have my phone in my hand or my ipad, something to toy with while I am out there. This has become a habit. Last night I I went out with neither for the first time in awhile.
It was about 11:00, it was silent except for the summer night bugs singing their songs, there was a breeze blowing.
I sat and I listened.
I listened to the silence which is night.
I listened to the sounds of the bugs that are only out during the summer night warmth.
I listened to the breeze rustling the leaves in the trees.
I watched the breeze blow through the line of trees, jumping from one tree to the next.
I sat and felt the night breeze on my face and I breathed it in.
The breeze was fresh,warm and cleansing.
I cleared my mind of the chaos which life can be.
I let myself just be.
Life, we let it consume us with the daily chaos it can have.
We are always running here or there, worrying about this or that.
All which is most likely insignificant when it comes down to it.
How often do you let yourself just be?
How often do you stop and take in what is around you?
How often do you sit and listen to the night?
The night is a mysterious beautiful time.
All is quiet, the daily hustle is over, the day is at rest.
It’s the perfect time to…
Sunday afternoon B went shopping for a new wardrobe. He needed it, trust me, the guy hasn’t had new shorts since our last vacation 2 years ago. He was due. *side note I refuse to shop for the guy anymore, he either doesn’t like what I buy or it doesn’t fit right etc.* When he got back I was going through what he bought to see how he did on his own (I was very impressed by the way) and I made the comment that we should go on vacation now that he has new clothes. He smiled and said “that sounds good”. Later we were making dinner and I looked at him and said “we really should just say f*ck it and go somewhere, just the two of us”. I waited a moment to be shot down with reality but instead I heard him say “We really should.” Just going with it I said “Should we do Key West again or Vegas?” He said “It would be really cool to do both, spend a few in Vegas then fly down to Key West”. Yeah well we aren’t millionaires and don’t have $7,000 just laying around to pull of that vacation (I priced it and that is what it was). We are pushing being Thousandaires and need to stick to a one destination vacation. After dinner I plopped myself on the couch and started pricing trips to both Vegas and Key West.
Now you see I love to plan trips. Love it. I become ridiculously wrapped up in it and will spend hours researching different hotels and flights on every site imaginable. I’m anal. It’s ridiculous.
Of course it’s cheaper to go to Vegas than Key West. We have been to Key West a few times and only Vegas once. The one time we went it for a convention for B’s Company. He was stuck with his itinerary all week which was full of seminars, classes, manning a booth etc. where I was free to do as I pleased everyday. I wondered around Vegas during the day by myself and with another wife and poor B didn’t leave the Venetian the entire stay. So we decided on…
After a quick phone call to B yesterday morning to confirm that he was indeed serious about going, I was on a mission to plan our vacation. I spent all day on different sites, playing with dates, and researching different hotels. I even called and picked HackingVegas’s brain about the strip. If you ever need any information about Vegas he is your man to talk to. I had 10 tabs open on my laptop at any given time through out the day. This is a hell of a decision you know and especially for me being a Gemini, decisions like this don’t come easy.
What was killing me were the flights. The majority of the flights were late flights, not getting us in until after 7pm and having us fly out in the wee hours of the morning which was making me consider an extra night stay. All the flights were at least 6 hours with layovers on each of at least an hour. Pricing the good time flights added an extra $100 at the least to our total price, usually more like $200. Grr. I was beginning to get frustrated and had started to except that we were going to pay at least an extra $200 over the budget I set for us any way we stay. I had it narrowed down to two hotels, The Cosmopolitan and The Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo was the least expensive of the two but my hesitation was that the rooms were just plain ole hotel rooms with no “Wow” factor. *we were completely spoiled by our first trip and staying at the Venetian (that we didn’t have to pay for)* The Cosmopolitan was a bit more but the rooms were beautiful. By this point I had smoke coming out of my ears and a headache was approaching. I then found my way to TripAdvisor. That site always changes everything for me. Both hotels had good reviews but with the same complaint. That made me rethink my choices. During my research I had came across a hotel called the Aria, which looked amazing. I always skipped over it because of the prices. As I was plugging in different hotels into TripAdvisor I typed in the Aria just to see. The reviews were amazing, I don’t think I read a negative one. This got me thinking. *more smoke coming from my head* I went back to the 3,873 tabs and repriced everything with the Aria, prices were still on the high side. I made my way to Aria’s site to look at rooms and they had a flight+hotel option. I had learned from earlier that when you go straight through the hotel’s site the flights were going to be crap and it was more expensive but I tried it anyway on the Aria site just for shits and giggles.
To my surprise they had NONSTOP flights and the prices were cheaper than anywhere else! HOLY MOTHER OF MAKE ME EXCITED! I just about peed. So for just $100 more than I was going to pay to fly 6.5 hours with layovers and stay at the Monte Carlo in a mediocre room, we are now going to stay at a 5 star hotel AND have nonstop flights to and from. Can we say Stoked? Together now…Stoked.
I am now going to spend the next month brushing up on my Blackjack skills, oh yes, I love me some Blackjack. I will also be starving myself and working on my tan. If the women really look like the ones that showed up in my “Aria Pool” google *see pic below* I am going to need to do both of those things PLUS get boob implants.
Yeah, I don’t look like that and I sure as hell don’t sport heels with my swimsuit. I will most likely come home with a complex.
On top of a fabulous place to stay and flights that rock my world, there is one more thing makes me extremely excited. I get to meet Thypolar and HackingVegas while we are out there! Word! 2 people that live in my computer will come to life! I am very excited to meet both of them and spend an evening drinking ice cold beverages and tearing up Las Vegas! So you two get ready…get plenty of rest…and get ready to rock.
Let’s do this!
“School’s out for Summer!” Well not yet, it will be at 2:30. It is indeed the last day of school, yee-mother lov’n-haw! I woke up to the beeping of my alarm for the last time this am. It started beeping at 5:40 and I grabbed the butcher knife from under my pillow and I stabbed it. I stabbed it like my life depended on it. You shut your mouth Mr. Alarm clock.
Then I laughed..bwhahahaha. I don’t need your beeping/lip anymore! You are officially not needed around these parts for a few months. I hopped out of bed with a spring in my step and the feeling of victory!
The kids popped right out of bed this morning too, go figure. They are stoked for summer break, I can’t blame them. Do you remember the feeling of the last day of school? It was such a cool feeling, the feeling of freedom. The feeling of not having structure from day to day for 2.5 months.
I can remember my final day of school like it was yesterday, it was May 26th, 1995. The last day is always full of signing year books, chit chatting in every period, making plans for the summer. The final bell rang at 2:45 and we all headed out of the school. A few friends met me at my car, I was rocking a 1987 Cutlass Supreme at the time. I took the T-tops out and we loaded in. I just happened to have the soundtrack to Dazed and Confused in my car and popped in the cassette (that makes me sound so old!) and we jammed ‘School’s Out’ by Alice Cooper. Yep we were dorks like that but it was fitting and it was true! Dazed and Confused closed my life’s high school chapter that day. One more reason I have so much love for that movie and soundtrack.
I hope everyone Rocks their Summer!
1yr ago today Music City was devastated by floods. Today we stand tall, unbroken & rebuilt.
We Are Music City, We Are Nashville.
I can remember it like it was just yesterday, we had friends coming in from out of town. Our friend Chuck and his son was coming down from Illinois to stay the night on their way back home to Georgia, his wife was driving up from Georgia and meeting them here at our house. The rain started and it didn’t stop. Chuck and his son made it early in the afternoon. When they were on Interstate 24 just minutes from our house and the water started to rise. The water was at the edge of the interstate and if they would have been on the interstate for 10 minutes longer there is a good chance they would have been 2 victims of the rising water. This picture is Interstate 24 about 15 minutes from my house where Chuck and his son had just came through not even an hour before.
Meanwhile, his wife was coming up from Georgia. She pulled over in a town just before our because 1. there was a tornado heading right for where she was driving and 2. she couldn’t take driving in the non stop white knuckle pouring down rain any longer. B, Chuck and his son headed out to pick her up. As soon as they left the house a tornado warning came for us. I put the kids in the closet and hunkered down for about 10 minutes. After we had the clear back came B and Chuck. They couldn’t get out of the neighborhood. Every entrance was flooded. Chuck was on a mission to get to his wife. B stayed here with me and the kids because of the weather and Chuck headed back out. He made his way through the waters and made it to his wife. I was relieved when they made it back.
The rest of the afternoon we sat in front of the tv and watched in awwe. We couldn’t believe our eyes. It just kept rising..and rising..and rising. The pictures that were coming in were unbelievable. There was moments of complete silence in our living room with the occasional gasp. This was happening.
B’s phone started to ring and it didn’t stop (he runs Sunbelt Rentals Pump and Power, Nashville Division). B went into work mode over drive. I didn’t see him for a week, his guy’s families didn’t see their husbands and fathers for weeks. They worked day in and day out, delivering pumps, pumping water out of buildings downtown, and anything and everything they could do they did. The hard work, sweat and probably some sleep deprived tears were appreciated everywhere by everyone.
Nashville was over shadowed during this time by the Gulf Oil Spill. That was Ok. We didn’t need it. This city came together like no one had seen before. We didn’t need the coverage, we didn’t need the help because the people of Nashville jumped into action. People came together, immediately went out to help rescue their neighbors, even if those neighbors were towns away. That day I fell in love with my city all over again and on a whole new level. I was proud to call myself a Nashvillian.
Take a few minutes and watch this incredible video. The song is “When one of us Stands” written for the floods.
There was a great article that was written by Patton Fuqua titled We Are Nashville. Here are a few quotes from the article.
“The national news coverage gave us 15 minutes, but went back to focusing on a failed car bomb and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico”
“The Cumberland River crested at its highest level in over 80 years. Nashville had its highest rainfall totals since records began. People drowned. Billions of dollars in damage occurred. It is the single largest disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War. And yet…no one knows about it.”
“But let’s look at the other side of the coin for a moment. A large part of the reason that we are being ignored is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn’t. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn’t loot. Our biggest warning was, “Don’t play in the floodwater.” When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren’t doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.”
Benefits, concerts and telethons quickly followed raising money to help the ones effected, the ones that lost everything in the flood. I am very proud to say that I was able to be a part of one benefit. My sister, myself and a few others came together and put together a benefit concert at 3rd and Lindsley, one of Nashville’s oldest music venues where my sister was working at the time. We had music all night long, a silent auction, sold t-shirts that we had made and took donations with all the money going to The Community Foundation. I am so proud to say that all of our hard work raised almost $3000. It felt so good to do something that would help others.
The people of this city and all surrounding areas came together in the most beautiful way. The floods didn’t discriminate in it’s attack. Everyone from the common Joe to celebrities were effected by the waters and all came together to help one another.
After a year people are still rebuilding, still feeling the effects of the waters. On this day 1 year later we are being hammered by rains again with our western counties in Middle Tennessee on the verge of being flooded again, some already are. It makes the memories of what happened a year ago that much more vivid and some unfortunately are reliving it once more. My heart goes out to them and everyone in this wonderful beautiful city which we call home.
I heart you Nashville.
We are Nashville, We Are Music City.
Last Thursday was my sweet baby girl’s 6th Birthday party. She was so excited to have her birthday party at Bounce U, which is a local bouncy place with 2 different rooms full of slides, bouncers, and all kinds of “wear your kids out” goodies. She had a blast and when I was putting her to bed that night she grabbed my face and looked me in the eyes and said “This was the best birthday ever, I love you Mommy.” My heart melted as I wiped a tear from my eye. That girl holds my heart. Here are a few photos from the festivities.
It was a good day and it’s safe to say they were all Pooped. Mission accomplished!
Today is a special day, My sweet, beautiful little girl turns 6 today.
E is one of the most sweet little girls you will ever have in your life. She is my little ray of sunshine. She lights up a room with her smile, she can make you laugh with her complete and utter randomness, she can make you feel better with just a hug. She is a joy to have around all the time.
I want so much to give her the world but yet shield her of it at the same time. I never want to see her get hurt even though I know heartbreaks will come, unpleasant situations will arise, life will be bumpy from time to time. I hope she knows that I will always have her back, I will always be here for her, and forever love her more than the world itself.
The world wouldn’t be as bright as it is today without her in it.
Happy Birthday to you my sweet baby girl, I love you more than you will ever know.
I only have a few moments this morning to pump out a post because I have date this am with about 6 other girls for Mimosas! That’s right mimosas! I heart me a mimosa especially with a splash of Peach Schnapps. YUM-O. Our mimosa mornings used to be about every other month but it has been on hiatus since last summer. With the beautiful weather that is here and hopefully to stay we are getting them back up and running. Bring them on! We have so much fun when we are together in the mornings since it usually ends up that we are all buzzed by 11am. Nothing like a bunch of half drunk moms on a weekday morning! I love to be in the liquor store at 9am for champagne. It says classy all over it. haha!
The rest of the week is going to be crazy and I’m ready. Tomorrow is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous so my sister and I are headed downtown to spend the morning/afternoon. We are first headed to the Frist Center, our art museum, to see a an exhibit that she says we can’t miss. It’s a photography exhibit by a Memphis photographer, William Eggleston. Awesome! I have lived here for almost 8 years and still have never been, along with the Country Music Hall of Fame. Don’t ask, I don’t know why we haven’t taken time to do these things. After that we are headed down to the heart of Broadway to eat lunch and take some photos of our beautiful city. I am excited! I have been wanting to do this for a while now. Sunny and a high of 75! Let’s do this.
Friday B’s Aunt and Uncle are in town from North Carolina so we will be back downtown for dinner and a night out at the honky tonks with them. Always a good time! After setting up for the kids to go to Dad’s Friday night I was telling B that it will work out just fine because W’s soccer game isn’t until 1:30 on Saturday, he said cool that is our “out” for Friday night so we don’t get all shnockered and are out late. Whatever dude, do you remember last year when they came into town? You were all hammered with your uncle. I see a repeat come Friday night because when we are out with them the rounds just keep flowing.
On that note I am off to get ready for my mimosas. They are calling my name, I can hear them…Jaaaaammmiiiieeeeeee! I must obey the call of the Mimosa.
Yesterday reports came home with both of the kids. It’s the end of the 3rd grading period and I couldn’t be happier. Both of them are doing great. E(5) is right where she should be on everything and according to the teacher is doing “awesome”. That’s my girl, pure awesomeness! W(8) is right where he should be on everything except reading, that is where he is excelling beyond his grade level. I don’t know exactly what level or grade he is reading at but this is what his report card said.
It breaks down by grading period how many correct words per minute they should be reading and then states how many they read when tested right before report cards came out. Every grading period W has been above where he should be (I should have written the other grading periods down), on this one he should be reading anywhere from 62-82 correct words per minute. He is reading 158 correct words per minute!
I don’t know what grade level that is exactly but I can tell you this, they have a reading program at school where the kids pick library books, read them and then are tested on them. The books have numbers on them stating what grade level they are and the majority that he is reading are at a 4th grade level. I’m not sure how many books he has read in the program because he brings home 2 at a time but he has aced every single test on his books expect for one and that one he received an 80%. Who is proud of their kid and has two thumbs? This mom right here!
Seriously, I am so proud of him. He took up reading very quickly, almost over night and blew my mind. He loves to read, he loves his books. Right after the first grading period this year W also started getting pulled out of class for advanced Math. He loves Math and numbers and again blows my mind. He can figure number in his head that makes me stop and want to get out my toes to help figure out the problem. He gets that from his dad…not me. He took it upon himself to learn some multiplication and division. Not anything crazy, just small problems but still he gets it and can do it at 8. He also loves to teach E math, I have caught them at the white board or back in E’s room with her play school kit with him as the teacher teaching her addition and subtraction. I love it! I know I am biased because he is my kid but he blows my mind and is so so smart. Too smart for his own good sometimes. E is going great at reading too, it was like she picked it up overnight as well. She is reading me some of W’s old books, I hope she sticks with it and continues to enjoy reading!
My kids make me One Proud Mommy!