Takin’ A Fall Break

November 12, 2008 at 9:22 am | Posted in Family, Life, Photos | 16 Comments
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Last week (yes, I said last week, I know I am behind-no judgement) was one of the best weeks. I had a few days off from the grind and that just happened to coincide with my Aunt Cora being in town! I am convinced that she and I are in many ways the same person. It is kind of like being a twin, but not. It is kind of scary. We spent one whole day just loving on my new nephew, talking, laughing, crying, and laughing more. It was fantastic. It is like we are in many ways living parallel lives. We married basically the same man, have the same dreams, feel the same on issues, religion, family. It is in many ways like talking to a mirror.

The next day we headed out for sushi, nature, photography, and shopping. Perfection. Thanks Aunt Cora. I LOVE YOU!


One of my favorite places in Nashville.


Pausing for a pic on a beautiful Fall drive.


The big boy loves to sleep!


Fall Awesomeness!


I Will Always Have Gum

October 3, 2008 at 8:27 pm | Posted in Family, Fun Times, Life, Photos | 30 Comments
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My new little baby nephew was born on Wednesday. I can’t even begin to tell you how perfect and beautiful he is. I think he has to be the most wonderful thing ever. When I held him for the first time all I could think was something this perfect could have only come from Heaven. Being an aunt is already the coolest thing ever. We love him so much already and can’t wait to see what life has in store for him! Thank you all for all the prayers and the thoughts!

Intruders of the Four-Legged Kind

August 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Posted in Family | 20 Comments

We have an issue with an unwanted neighbor, the kind with four legs. This is Jack.


Jack is the proverbial neighborhood dog. He emerges from his doggie door each and every morning and proceeds to roam the entire neighborhood taunting other dogs and cats held hostage by fences, collars, and closed doors. He is the proud owner of the cul-de-sac and he does not fear anything. We also think he is part cat. In his almost nine years he has been kicked by a horse, bitten by countless snakes including a water moccasin, and almost been hit by many neighborhood cars. And he has lived to show it, battle scars and all.

And he is also an intruder. It is not unheard of for me to come downstairs and find him roaming around my kitchen looking for a snack. He just walks right in like he owns the place. His owner came over the other day and was joking about how much of a Houdini he is. They lock his doggie door and bar exits and still he finds his way out. We tend to think it has something to with this beautiful girl:


He is slightly infatuated with Ellie. Since she came to live with us in January of ’07, he has been making his appearance more and more. He always tries to sneak in the house to see her. Case in point the other day as I was leaving for work, I did the “Jack look” to make sure he was not behind me as I backed out. All clear. I back out. I figured he might have been off flirting with another neighboorhood doggie. I just happened to look back toward my house as the garage door was closing just in time to see four little legs running across the inside of my garage.

Oh, heck no. He has made it inside and is trying to sneak in. He was good at being a sneak and he almost made it. I had to stop the car, open the garage door and coax him out. He knew he had been caught. His ears perked up and he scurried off to the his house. I think I hurt his feelings-he hasn’t been back.

I always knew girls would be hard to raise, but this is ridiculous!

Why I Fail At Live Blogging

August 10, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Family, In the News | 18 Comments
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On Friday night Hubby and I parked ourselves in front of the TV with our Chinese food to watch what everyone else all over the world was watching. I love the Summer Olympics. I used to pretend that I was Kim Zmeskal and Shannon Miller and when I was four my parents enrolled me in gymnastics. I was big stuff. I vaulted, I beamed, I could walk on my hands in a hand-stand for over a minute. I was big stuff. If you never dreamed you were an Olympic gymnast I feel sorry for you.

So this year I thought I would try to live blog the entire opening ceremony.

  • That was the coolest countdown I have ever seen. Great way to start it off China, I especially love that you didn’t just stick to the english numbers. Loved the chinese numerals.
  • Those fireworks were so bright I thought at one point a mushroom cloud was forming. Slight panick is now subsiding.
  • Amazed by the huge screen with no end. Amazed.
  • Was impressed with the commercials, until the skinny girls jeans Old Navy Commercial. No one can wear those things comfortably.
  • Morgan Freeman’s voice makes me a little sad.
  • Just opened my fortune cookie which says, “You take an optimistic view of life.” Then Ellie ate it, yes the fortune itself. Does that still mean it is true?
  • Loved the blossoms coming from the wall. What great symbolism.

. . . and I did not make it any further. Why? Because I was in awe. When they rolled out that huge LCD screen and the Tai Chi masters kept their perfect concentric circles I was gone. I was in awe.

Wasn’t it amazing? I feel sorry for the next Olympic planning committee. I am not sure they can supass or even meet our expectations now. Who is it by the way?

What was your favorite part?

It Really Is Ridiculous How Happy This Makes Me

July 26, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Posted in Family | 17 Comments
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We interrupt this crazy, busy weekend to let you know that. . .

. . . this little baby is our family’s new best friend. If you have a pet, you MUST get this.

It is totally worth the expense. Lily and Ellie are about 5lbs. lighter and my back deck is covered in dog hair.

My vacuum cleaner just breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Another Reason Hubby Boycotts Movies

July 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Family | 30 Comments
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Or the one where Hubby grounds me from the computer and blogging forever. Or because you all love Hubby stories (even though he doesn’t!) 

I mentioned last week that Sunday after church we hung out at the theater, (yes, we go to church in a movie theater, how cool is that?!) to watch TDK. We were meeting Rosy and B-Man shortly after so we snuck in a lunchbox and some sandwiches so we wouldn’t starve to death by the end of the movie.

I ate when the movie began, but Hubby kept insisting that he would wait. I thought this was odd. I knew he was hungry because I was famished! I finished my drink and since he literally had not touched his I decided to take his.

Hubby: “That’s my drink. I am saving it for the ride home.”
I guess I should interject here that we are on a strict budget these days and apparently he did not want to splurge for another drink.

Me: “But I am thirsty, mine is long gone, and you haven’t touched yours. Why don’t you eat your lunch?”

Hubby: “I don’t want to talk about it.”

This is our code for “seriously, drop it” in our relationship. By this time the movie is well past half over. I let it go. Not my problem. But, I am thirsty!

Thirty minutes later I get frustrated.

Me: “If you aren’t going to drink it, I want it. It is just going to waste.”

Hubby: “No. I can’t drink it now. I have to (in an even more hushed voice) go.”

Me: “So go. What is the big deal. Just get up.”

Hubby: “No, I will have to step over at least five people and it is dark and I don’t want to.”

Have I ever mentioned that sometimes Hubby’s stuborness parallels that of five year old?

Me: “Suit yourself.”

Fifteen minutes later he is, shall we say, uncomfortable!

Hubby: “How long is this movie?”

He did not like my answer. Panic came over his face. 

Hubby: “WHAT?!”

I laugh. I can’t help it. It is about the only thing keeping me from having a psychotic break watching that movie. I tell Rosy because she thinks I have lost my mind in a fit of giggles. We both laugh at him. I am sure the people around us thought we really did have some kind of joker-induced psychosis.

He quickly gives in and crawls over about five people to make his way out of the theater. This is a token shy guy. He doesn’t even want to bother people at the movie theater even at the expense of his own personal comfort.

But I love him anyway.

You can’t tell him I told you this story, Ok? Great, just between us!

To My Momma

July 16, 2008 at 6:06 am | Posted in Family, Life, Photos | 16 Comments
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Happy Birthday to literally the best Mom in the world!

I love you so much and am so thankful everyday that I was allowed to be your daughter.

You are an the glue that holds us together, the wheels that keep us moving, and the base on which we stand. Without you we would all be lost. 

Love you so much,

Tipp, Favorite Son-In-Law (who might as well be your natural born), Lily and Ellie

Out of Commission

July 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Posted in Family | 26 Comments

Hey guys,

This is Hubby.  Tipp hurt her hand at church yesterday.  Typing is hard for her today so she asked me to blog for her.  She hit her hand on a steel rod while participating in the rough contact sport of setting up the kids area at church.  She joins the growing list of casualties that include the pastor’s wife nearly severing a toe last summer while setting up.  As for me, I managed to escape with just slightly sore arms from holding chunky babies.  And to think, she does not want our boys (if we have any) to play football because they might get hurt. So you tell me, what is more dangerous? Football or church work???  As Tipp spends a few days on the disabled list icing her hand, she needs some backups to step in and guest write for her.  But rest assured, she will still be on the computer, watching Ghost Hunters on youtube.

Any takers for guest blogging?

Why Hubby and I Don’t Do Movies (Together)

July 12, 2008 at 9:07 am | Posted in Family, Fun Times | 15 Comments
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We spent last night watching The Sound of Music, the new digitally restored version, and I have to say I could tell the difference. It was amazing. What was even more amazing to me is that Hubby had never seen The Sound of Music. How this is possible I have no idea. I realize he is not really a movie person, but, really, The Sound of Music?

Hubbs never really invests in a movie he actually is forced sits and watches with me, but last night he invested. I have never seen him get so fired up. My biggest mistake was telling him that there would be Nazis. This was my meager attempt to get him interested from the very beginning, whereas if I told him it was a musical he would have jumped ship very early. So, for the entire course of the movie he is on war criminal watch like it is his career. 

Is he a Nazi? I bet he is. Hate him. 

First, he said it about Christopher Plummer, then about the boy Von Trapp children, but when he moved on to Maria and was trying to make the nuns from the abbey be in cahoots with the them I had had it.

JUST WATCH THE MOVIE. They will explain it all-I promise!!!

That’s when I realized why movie-watching is hard for him. Quite simply, he is as impatient as a kid (and quite possibly ADD) when it comes to waiting for something, like a movie plot, to unfold. Same goes for reading books for entertainment. He can’t do it. Books about sports, historical figures, and instructional books are no big deal because he basically already gets the gist of what is going to happen. But, put him in a scenario where he is forced to wait on an outcome, and it drives him crazy.

This is very strange for a person who is very laid back and patient in matters when it comes to real life. Who would have thought that some simple movie-watching would have sent him over the edge? After the movie, I had to look up the personal history of the entire Von Trapp family because he could not rest until he knew what happened to them after they crossed that green mountain. For me, I am happy knowing that they made it safely somewhere ( I used to firmly believe they lived in the woods behind my house) and I was content to believe that all was well in their world, but not him. No. I had to google all things Family Von Trapp and was forced to map their entire singing trek through America after they fled Europe. I was exhausted and didn’t get to bed until after midnight.

He was still asking me questions about the story as we went to bed. 

This is quite possibly the very reason we don’t do movies together. 

Or perhaps he is way smarter than I give him credit for and he thinks that if he takes all the fun out of the movie experience I won’t ask him to watch with me anymore. By Jove, I think I’ve got it! 

Oh, he is in trouble now.

Who Is Your Hero?

July 3, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Posted in Family, Life, Thoughts | 19 Comments
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Editor’s Note: I wanted to share with you guys the guest post I did for EP over at Stylish Handwriting. If you are not reading her, you should! She is one of my favorite 20somethings! Happy Fourth!


It’s official. And it is not good. I have hit another anniversary that I never wanted to celebrate.

I realized today that this will be the fifth Fourth of July holiday that I will have someone I love in the sands of Iraq or Afghanistan. Five years of men who I love, who I care about, and who I will worry about in the desert. They are in battle situations, on hazardous roads, and surviving miles away from their loved ones. They are hot, tired, homesick, and trying to do a job most Americans do not understand and most don’t agree with.

It all began with my Hubby, my man, my soulmate. He left on the day I graduated for college in May of ’03 and did not return until August of ’05. He was gone for two Fourth of July Holidays, two very lonely, very difficult holidays.  While he was there, he was part of a Military Police Battalion. They were the guys who did the security, the daily escorts on the “road of death” airport road, the prisoner guarding and exchanging. He kicked down his share of doors, went on patrols with over fifty lbs. of gear on his back, survived countless mortar attacks, and did it all in 120+ heat. My Hubby is my hero.

The next two years saw my cousin and my uncle also in the sands of the desert. Both are engineers, one was in Iraq, one was in Afghanistan. They are husbands to my aunt and my cousin on my Mom’s side. They are my family. They built roads and schools. They tried to provide a better life for the people of the Middle East. They trained others to rebuild their countries. They played a pivotal role in not only rebuilding structures, but in rebuilding hope. My cousin left two children under five and his High School sweetheart. My uncle left grandchildren, a full time working farm, and my aunt, to whom he had only been married to a short time. My cousin and my uncle are my heroes.

Now, this year, one of my best friends from High School is sitting in the deserts of Northern Baghdad, and he is as happy as he can be to be there. He is a helicopter pilot who has trained, prepared, and planned for this deployment for years. He is the soldier who still believes in the mission. He believes there is a better way for the people of Iraq. He believes in the cause. He is willing to fight and to die for it. My only solace is that he spends most of his time off of the ground and away from the roadside bombs. Now, all I have to worry about is Rocket Propelled Grenades and missile launchers. My friend is my hero.

I don’t tell you all of these things to bring attention to a cause I believe in. If you know me, you know different. I don’t tell you these things to bring attention to the friends and family who have sacrificed greatly. They would not want me to. I tell you these things so that you remember that amongst the fireworks, the BBQs,  and the day off from work there is a sacrifice being made by someone, somewhere, so that you can be free. Take a moment to think about them and their families and the sacrifices they and others like them are making and have made . . . for you.

My Hubby

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