Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Trip to Nashville

I traveled to Nashville to visit my BFF, Tammy, who had moved there a year ago.  I have been wanting to visit and made it part of my 40 Before 40 goal to get it done.  I finally found a long weekend that worked for both of us and I booked my tickets.  I had a super easy flight and after arriving and hanging out at Tammy's office for a bit, we headed to Broadway or the Nashville Strip!  After shopping through a couple stores, we had to check out this fun candy shop.  Every single kind of candy I know of was in there along with concert posters and celebrity cardboard cutouts.  Fun store!

All along the strip are fun photo opps like this huge boot!

While walking along we saw this Pedal Tavern.  Very interesting idea.  I'm not sure I would like it.  No back support to hold you have to pedal, stay on the seat and drink all at the same time?  Not for me!

After trying to get into Nashville's famous hot spot, Tootsies's and finding it way too crowded for us, we found a spot at the bar in Robert's Western World with a band playing great classic country music.  

A few more of those great photo opps along the strip!

I thought this was such a creative name for a Karaoke Bar....Wanna B's!

We ate supper at Demo's Steak and Spaghetti House.  Our family had actually eaten there a few years ago as we were passing through on our way to the Smokey Mountains.  It was delicious...I highly recommend their pasta!

Saturday morning we headed out by starting our morning with DUNKIN DONUTS!  Of course, I was super excited since we don't have one here....yet!  Tammy's husband even went out Sunday morning and got me another DD coffee.  The shocking part of that gesture is that he doesn't like coffee and had NEVER ordered coffee before in his life!  What a guy! Thanks Matt!

After our DD breakfast, we headed to a beautiful place called CHEEKWOOD.  The Cheek family was one of Nashville's first entrepreneurial families and were part of the Maxwell House Coffee company.  The property is full of beautiful gardens and the mansion is now available for gatherings (there was a wedding there that day) and also houses an art museum.  There was a new exhibit going on titled Treehouses, where different artists created Treehouses based on children's books.  If you are visiting or live in the area, definitely put this on your list.

"The Rainbow Fish" Treehouse from THE RAINBOW FISH. It is made out of used CD's.  Very cool.

"Ocean's of Notions" Treehouse from HAROUN AND THE SEA OF STORIES made from colored rope.

More views of "The Rainbow Fish" Treehouse.

"Ocean's of Notion" Treehouse

"Walden Treehouse" from the book WALDEN

What an amazing view from the mansion!

"The Giver" Treehouse based on the book THE GIVER

After walking around Cheekwood, we went to Centennial Park for the Food Truck Festival.  Dozens of Food Truck's lined up to serve food for a charity fundraiser.  It was quite hot on Saturday, but the park was still quite busy, even local musicians stepped out to share their talents.

Tammy and I decided on Just Like Nannie Fixed It food truck and we were NOT disappointed.  

Check out their menu....what to get...what to get?

Tammy chose the Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken and I chose the Chicken and Dumplins.  We then shared our sides. It really was all super delicious and so glad we tried it. 

Each food container had a Bible verse stuck to the outside.  What a neat touch!

On Sunday, we traveled a half hour south for some wine at ARRINGTON VINEYARDS.  Kix Brooks of the duo, Brooks and Dunn, is one of the owners.  The location is just beautiful and offers a wonderful view of Tennessee scenery.

ARRINGTON VINEYARDS offer many delicious varieties of artisan wines.  Their Gewurztraminer 2010 was a favorite of both Tammy and I.  I also loved their Blackberry 2011 dessert wine.  Both along with their Syrah 2009 came home with me!   

Arrington Vineyards is a gorgeous winery with class and offers a personal touch with their free wine tasting.  Check them out on your next visit to Nashville!

The night before Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw held a concert in Nashville.  Sunday, we passed this bus....Do you suppose Kenny was on there????  
That is as close as I got to a Keith Urban for me.  

The best part was reconnecting with my BFF, Tammy and her family.  We have been friends for 19 years this fall and I can count on her for love, laughter and friendship for a lifetime!  
Thanks for a great weekend, Tammy!  When can we do it again??????

Day #35 of Summer Vacation

Instagram had an update today and now I can't post the pictures they way I was before.  Grrrrrr!  

Anyway, here is our Day 35.....Bennett on the left and Patrick on the right performing at the end of KICKS Camp with Sheltered Reality's Drum Group.  

Book Review: Your Daughter Needs A Hero by Maria C. Furlough


By: Maria C. Furlough

Published: March 13, 2012


I'll never forget the very first time I looked in the mirror and thought I was fat.  I was nine years old and spending my Saturday afternoon like I always did, locked in my room with a Teen Bop magazine.  This specific Saturday would forever change the way I looked in that mirror.  Reading my magazine, a picture of Tiffany Amber Thiessen stood out to me.  I looked in the same mirror that had brought so much joy and entertainment, and I thought, I don't look like her.  I am not as skinny as she is.  And that was it.  From then on, I was ruined.  The realization hit me like a ton of bricks:  I don't look like the girls in the magazines.  

The above preface was how the author felt during her teenage years.  I could totally relate to the author's memories as well.  I too remembered measuring myself to the girls in Teen Bop Magazine or Seventeen Magazine, wanting the clothes they were wearing, wishing my hair was like theirs, trying to get my make-up to look like theirs, etc.  It was a losing battle for me.  It is easy as an adult to fall into that trap as well....wanting to look more like your favorite TV Star or even your fit/athletic friend.  We are constantly comparing ourselves and measuring ourselves up against others.

But, this book is more than just how we as adult women feel, but how our feelings play out to our daughters. This book is about equipping us to be the mom and dad our daughters need.  Even though our daughter is only 7, there are plenty of passages in this book that we have already come across even though it is mainly relating to your daughter as a teenager.  Children are asked to grow up faster than we ever did and this book has prepared me well for those situations I will be forced to address much too soon.

I also found while reading this, that it has also prepared me for helping our sons grow up and how they will be expected to treat girls and future girlfriends and wives.  I am also aware of insecurities boys can have and I think this book will help you address those for both boys and girls.

From the pages of this book, what seemed to be in BOLD PRINT and ALL CAPS to me was how I express and talk about myself and my body, as well as what I put into it and do to stay active.  Your children are ALWAYS watching and if nothing else, this book was a huge reminder to me of that.  Even though, it seems obvious, I needed the reminder.

This book is presented from a Christian point of view, which I appreciated.  The chapters are full of scriptures and prayers to support your reading and reinforce the expectations we have of our children.  If you have a "tween" or "teenage" daughter in your house, I think this book is something that should be read by moms, dads, daughters, aunts, grandmas, anyone who has a major role in your daughter's life.  I know I will be re-reading and referring to it again and again.

Maria Furlough has her own website and ministry dedicated to helping each other know our true worth.  Check out  There you can learn more about Furlough's ministry, her book, and sign up to receive her newsletter.

Thanks to the author and for sending me an autographed copy of the book.  This review is my honest opinion and I only review products that will benefit myself or my family.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day #34 of Summer Vacation

We have had a such a hectic schedule lately, I can't remember the last time I cooked dinner and we all ate together.  It has been nice to be home together this evening.  We even had some delicious sweet corn and fresh tomatoes from our own tomato plant.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day #33 of Summer Vacation

Days 29-32 will be featured in my Nashville post later.

Today, Pat spent a good share of the day digging out the dirt for our new patio.  The rock comes tomorrow and hopefully some patio bricks will be layed out this weekend!  

Scenes From Our Week - Week 38

I'm posting this late since I was in Nashville all weekend.  I will do a Nashville post soon, but here is what happened in our world last week.

My parents came down last Sunday for Father's Day.  The kids with my dad.

My dad and I

Reagan in good form, ready to hit the ball.

Happy Father's Day to Pat

Some park time on Sunday

Patrick playing catcher

The kids went for a bike ride while I was gone.

I just love these photos Pat took from his phone while they were jumping rope.  

 Bennett even gave it a shot.

Note Bennett's expression in the background! 

Days 29-32 of Summer Vacation will be part of my Nashville post coming later this week.  I had a great time and lots of fun photos to share and places to recommend!