Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Laugh at Yourself How often have you heard, “Laughter is the best medicine?” Sure it is, as long as you aren’t the butt of the joke and everyone isn’t laughing at you! I’ve embarrassed myself one too many times in the past 27 years, and I can promise you I have cried in humiliation a lot more times than I have laughed at myself. And if I laughed at myself, it happened months later. Luckily, the older I get the more I am able to laugh at the quirky things I do. There’s no changing my “weirdo-ness” as Michael calls it, so why not laugh about it. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Here are a few embarrassing moments I've learned to laugh about: I farted in front of Michael while doing pilates very early in our relationship. I fell down a flight of stairs at a college football game. I was the only fully-clothed soul out of 200 passengers on a catamaran who got drenched by a huge wave in the Great Barrier Reef. It was so bad, the captain made an announcement apologizing to the unfortunate girl who got clobbered by a wave everyone else saw coming. I’ve peed in my pants in public a few times after laughing hysterically, and to keep myself from peeing I’ve stopped and sat on the floor in the middle of a public place. It’s so much fun explaining to everyone that you spilled water in between your legs! On spring break in Panama City Beach, I announced to the whole world that I was from Arkansas, “The Show Me State!” I promise I wasn’t drunk, and my girlfriends still give me hell about this. I winged a speech in front of 300 Rotarians because I couldn’t get my PowerPoint to work. I was mortified at the time. I took a hip-hop class once. Thought I was cool until I looked in the mirror. White girl can’t krump! It’s Never Too Late to Laugh at Yourself Life is too short to take it too seriously. It’s easy to laugh at others – much harder to laugh at ourselves. But it’s more rewarding. It lightens our lives. It brightens others’ lives. It builds self-confidence and self-worth. It endears us to others. Laugh alot Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Never Too Late...5 days, 5 acts, 1 post

We safely arrived from Houston yesterday, and I survived! We had an awesome time, and there's so much I want to share about the trip, including the flight experience, the dedication to Michael's dad, and everything in between. I have some pics and video to share to, but I want to wait on Michael to write about the trip with me, which may take a few days. This trip meant a lot to him, so I think the post deserves his input. I am 5 days behind on my It's Never Too Late posts, so here we go: Friday, March 26 It's Never Too Late to Take a Trip Boy does this mean a lot to me! After suffering from panic attacks since 2008, I took my first flight in over two years on Friday. To say I was nervous is an understatement. Thursday night around midnight, I was shaking and pacing back and forth in panic telling myself and Michael there was no way I could make the trip. With an act of God, I finally fell asleep around 1 a.m. but woke up a nervous wreck again at 6:30 a.m. I prayed hard and forced myself out of bed. I got ready with the tv on to distract myself and kept picturing the sun and warm weather that awaited me in Texas. We had a two hour drive ahead, which gave me some time to calm down and talk to Michael. I couldn't stop sweating though it was 38 degrees outside and I had sandals on. We parked at the airport, the panic rose and my heart was beating out of my chest, but there were no lines at security and the airline staff was the friendliest ever, so my panic began to subside. I was finally there, getting ready to board, and I realized the experience wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined, which is usually the case with us panickers. I was doing this! I was finally moving on with my life! But just to be safe, I took half of a xanax my doctor had prescribed to get me through, and it was all smooth sailing after that! Saturday, March 27 It's Never Too Late to Smile I smiled all day knowing what I had accomplished! I smiled even more during the dedication to Michael's dad Kevin as Sean made a great speech about their father and Michael threw the first pitch of the 2010 Katy National Little League baseball season. Lesson Learned: I should smile more! Sunday, March 28 It's Never Too Late to be Patient All the anxiety I had been feeling for weeks prior to the trip had done a number on me. I had a constant headache and felt tired and nauseous most of the trip. I still had a wonderful time, but it makes me more nervous to be around other people when I don't feel well because I don't want people to know I could panic at a moment's notice(I guess they'll figure it out if they read the blog!), and I definitely don't want my anxiety to ruin anyone's fun. I didn't feel very well on Sunday, and I was sitting in the car with Michael's aunt Eileen who knew I was ill. She told me, in her thick New York Bus Driver accent that it was okay to feel bad every once in a while and if people around me can't deal with me feeling shitty than to hell with them! I thought this was great and funny advice! She made me realize at that moment to be patient with myself and give myself a break. Like she said: It's okay not to feel good all the time. If people don't like it, TOUGH! Monday, March 29 It's Never Too Late to Forgive I was finally home in my own bed thinking about the days before and how I thought the trip went. A lot of worrying, and it was already over! I was about to dose off when a light bulb went off! I'm not going to change who I am, but I can change how I feel about who I am. I am NOT anxiety, but anxiety is a part of me. It's never going away, so it's time to forgive myself for all the beatings and blaming and just let go. I am NOT anxiety. Tuesday, March 30 It's Never Too Late to Listen to Your Heart My very first step in this series was about making plans for a quiet time. I have outlasted my 7 day goal and have been continuing my quiet times because they have significantly made my life more peaceful since this journey began. This personal time with me, my thoughts, and God is the only time I truly have to listen to my heart and seek guidance. I am happier when I have this time. My mind races continuously, and I rarely ever stop to listen to my heart and ask one simple question: "What would make me happy today?" My quiet time gives me perspective and brings me back to the present. If you haven't had a quiet time in a long time, I recommend it. It will change your life. I believe my quiet time on Friday morning at 6:30 a.m. gave me the strength to get on that plane. I am so glad to be back, and again, I thank all of you for being there for me!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Scared? Who's Scared? This girl maybe...

Tomorrow is the big day! I’m finally taking that flight. I’m very nervous, almost panicky, but I’m living through it. I am so scared about having a panic attack on the plane, but I just keep telling myself that I have to do this for me, panic or no panic. I hope this will become easier once I fly tomorrow. It’s all so hard to swallow because I’ve traveled in the past without a worry, and now I can’t even take a 2 hour flight without freaking out. Gotta love panic attacks! Though I’m terrified of the panic, in the end, I am very eager to take this step and prove to myself I can do this. Besides, I don’t want the rest of my vacations to be confined to the continental U.S.! I don’t know if I will have access to a computer until Monday, so I probably won’t be blogging. Just look for an extra long post in a few days. I will miss you all, and thanks for reading and supporting me!

It's Never Too Late...

To Make a Friend

My mom always told me that my friendships would change as I got older, got married, and moved on with life. She was right. It's so sad that friends lose touch, but life gets the best of us sometimes and there's just not enough time in the day to chill with your girlfriends. Moving overseas for a year and then away to Knoxville made me realize how much I took my friends for granted when we lived in Arkansas. I hope you girls know how much I love you!

I have been so lucky to make new friends in different places. One of my best friends Julia lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is such a cool chick with a free spirit who loves fashion, so we have lots in common and our personalities balance perfectly. My other dear friend Elizabeth lives here in Knoxville. We both love dance, our dogs, and eating out. She and I can do nothing but sit on the couch with a glass of wine and still have fun together. Plus, she's always a great friend to turn to when I need advice.

The newest friends I have made are friends from the blogosphere. I never realized when I began writing, I would meet people with whom I have so much in common from all over the country. The neatest person I have "met" is a girl named Alice. I don't know her last name, what she looks like, or where she lives, but we both read and comment on each other's blogs and share similar stories of dealing with anxiety, panic, and life. She is a good blogger friend to have.

It's Never Too Late to Make a Friend...

Your mother was right...
if you can count your true friends on one hand,
you're a lucky person.
Some of our best memories come from our friends.
The real joy of friendship is when you give.
To make a friend, give them your friendship.
They will reciprocate.
Treasure your friends.

Below are four pictures of my dear friends starting with Holly who is a best friend from years ago, my bridesmaids from college and high school, Julia from Australia, and Elizabeth from Knoxville.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Play Golf How ironic is it that for the last two years, I have been working at a private country club that prides itself on being the best golf course in east Tennessee? I knew absolutely nothing about golf before I began working here. In fact, just a few months ago, I learned that they change the holes on the course every day. I never would have thought! I write about golf and promote golf, so I know enough about it to be dangerous. I watched my first PGA tournament here last year, which was pretty cool, but it is the only golf event I have watched. That's about the extent of my golfing experience. If I was a fly on the wall in the Pro Shop downstairs, I would have no clue what most of our members were talking about when it comes to the game, except for Tiger and Elin of course. By the time I attempt to complete these 172 acts, I can guarantee you I will not pick up a golf club. So I am going to have to pass on this one. I see enough of golf every day to know that it is a special game in a league of it's own. I also know I have neither the patience, time, or money to even think about taking up this sport. But I will say, if any of you possess any of these virtues, you should consider golf as your next hobby! It's Never Too Late to Play Golf... It's a challenge of the mind and body. It's like's not fair... and you never completely master it. ('cuz the holes are moved) But that's the lure... each round is a new adventure, a tantalizing test of your skill and patience. But don't expect too much too soon. Very few golfers are naturals. Take lessons or you'll just practice your mistakes. ($$$) One good shot will bring you back for the next try. Once you're hooked, you can play for the rest of your life. Doesn't Mr. Lindsay make golf sound so enticing?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Get Fit

I'm keeping this one short and sweet!

Went to the doctor yesterday for a physical...nurse told me I gained 5 pounds...I freaked out a little but acted it's not cool...I've gotta do something fast!

Starting Today, I will really do my arm, leg, and ab exercises that I promised I would do a few posts ago. I'm such a slacker!

It's Never Too Late to Get Fit...

Think of yourself as a 'street' athlete. (ha ha)
Start slowly...but start.
Set your own, personal goals. (3 times a week for me)
Think how long it's taken to get unfit.
Walk one block, jog one block.
Swim half a lap, paddle half a lap.
Keep increases gradual, and manageable.
Be proud as you progress.
Never be afraid to ask for help. (hint hint readers)

Now only if I could look like her!

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Fall in Love

Thank You Mr. Lindsay for going easy on me today.

If any of you have had the pleasure of knowing my husband Michael, you can see how easy it is for me to love him. I am a very lucky girl who fell in love with a boy who is the kindest, most patient, free-spirited, selfless...did I say in the world. God knew what he was doing when he brought Michael into my life, and I've never looked back. In two months, we will be celebrating our 4 year anniversary. I think we both love each other more than we did on our wedding day, which is what I truly think marriage is all about.

Michael may come first, but there is another object of my affection that I must confess. I am in love with a very special box fan I call Galaxy. Yes, I said box fan, and I cannot live without her. The Galaxy has been keeping me company at night for about 2 years now. I love her so much that I carried her to Arkansas a few weeks ago. She and Galaxy 1 & 2 have accompanied our family on very many road trips in the past. I am sorry to say, but Galaxy 3 died last night, and I woke up around 1:00 a.m. to dead silence. I woke Michael up to listen to the silence to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I wasn't. Galaxy 3 had grown old and tired, and her motor finally gave out on her. I couldn't go 24 hours without another Galaxy, so Michael and I went to Wal-Mart this afternoon and bought Galaxy 4. I am in love! No, this is not a joke. Yes, I may have a problem.

Now on a more serious note,

It's Never Too Late to Fall in Love...

Open your heart. (It's not easy but it's essential.)

How will love enter if your heart is closed.

Look ahead for love, not behind.

Love is waiting.

Don't chase it.

Be yourself.

Be open to possibilities.

Love will find you.

Michael, if you are reading this, I love you more than anything (even Galaxy 4). Thank you for finding me and allowing me to be myself. I look forward to many more exciting years with you!

Michael and I celebrating our 1 Year Anniversary in Australia

Our Little Country Girl!

Click on November Photography to check out pictures I posted of Scarlett basking in the Arkansas Country Life!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Lose Weight

This seems all too real after just finishing a pizza dinner and lounging on the couch watching New Moon (those movies are terrible by the way)! Did I mention I'm about to eat some lemon cake for dessert?

There's not much to add to this advice. I think all of us at one time or another have felt the need to shed a few pounds. I'd be lying if I said I was completely happy with my weight. But I don't think I freak out about the number on the scale as much as I used to.

I'm sure the warmer weather and the return of shorts to my wardrobe has something to do with it, but I have been talking about needing to shed a few pounds from a few particular body parts a lot lately. Michael keeps reminding me that I need to step up my routine and do more than walk every day. But I don't wanna!!!

But I know I gotta, so here's my step towards losing weight: For the next 6 weeks, I will add to my cardio by working out my arms with weights, doing 3 sets of squats, and ab exercises 3 days a week.

I'll let you know how it goes!

It's Never too Late to lose Weight...

Decide to act.
Set personal small, medium and large targets.
Give yourself time, don't rush.
The key is patience.
Look at the positive results, however gradual.
Praise yourself when you succeed.
Forgive yourself when you slip,
look at the big picture.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Start Again

Look at nature.
Nothing stays the same.
Why should you?
Use change wisely.
Like a sporting champion, change a losing game.
Keep the things that matter.
Lose the things that don't.
Set some goals.
Start afresh.

What a perfect lesson on the first day of spring! As I drove to work today, I spotted quite a few bright yellow daffodils beginning to bloom, and it made me so happy! I love spring! Everything becomes alive again and the world awakens. We go outside more, we socialize and host parties, we take vacations, we go to farmer's markets and eat organic foods, and we get our share of much-needed vitamin D, all of which make us feel so much better.

Spring makes me look back at the goals I set at the beginning of the year, which usually involve shedding a few pounds and getting in shape. Something about sunshine and bare legs make me go into panic mode and kick the pilates workouts into high gear! But I had a few more goals this year that involved a little word I've grown all too familiar with lately-Acceptance.

There are a few things I'm doing to start afresh and work toward acceptance. I am finally getting on that plane, I am learning to let go of bad memories and baggage because the past made me who I am, I am writing again, and I am really working on quiet time.

What are you doing to start again?

Friday, March 19, 2010

7 Days 'til Take-Off

7 days from now, I will be hanging out in Houston, TX. I am very, very excited about this trip to Texas. I’ve never been to Houston, but I’ve heard rumors from the McGreevey boys that this city has some of the best Mexican food I will ever eat. I can’t wait to be sipping a margarita in the sun! I’m ready to see the house Michael grew up in and meet some of his friends from way back when. Most of all, I am ready to see that field get named after Kevin McGreevey. What I’m not so excited about is the ever so looming plane ride I have to take in 7 days. Shouldn’t we have time machines in 2010? I guess I’m as prepared as I’ll ever be. I’ve got my special “plane-worthy” play list, complete with Journey, Def Leppard, and Madonna hits, on the ipod. I’ve got my outfits planned out, and my last Twilight book is packed and ready to read (I know…I’m the only girl left who hasn’t read the series in less than 4 days). I was saving it for a special occasion! All my bags are packed, and I’m ready to go…and the anxiety begins. P.S. thoughts & prayers over the next 7 days will be greatly appreciated!

It's Never Too Late...

To Get A Life

When someone tells me to get a life, what are they implying? Does getting a life mean I should

quit worrying over the little things
drink beer on weekdays
stay up past my bedtime
go out in the sun without sunscreen
take my sweet tea with sugar not Splenda
eat beef instead of chicken or white instead of wheat
wear heels
be spontaneous

If I had $5 dollars for every time someone told me to “get a life” or to “just live a little,” I wouldn’t be paying rent on a two bedroom town home people. I’d be shacked up with Michael and Scarlett in a mansion on the beach!

I’ve always been the responsible one, the girl who takes charge and makes sure things get done. I’m not the girl who lets go and lets things happen. I’m not the first girl you would call to go party with, but I’d be the girl you would call if you needed help.

I am the girl who listens when you need to pour out your heart. I’m the designated driver, planner, and caretaker. Because I’m this girl, I’ve been told I need to let loose and have more fun. In other words…I need to get a life.

A year or two ago, you would have hurt my feelings if you told me to get a life. But now I know more of who I am, and I am discovering the meaning of my life as we speak. I know Kevin was searching for his personal meaning in life when he read this book. I truly believe he found happiness before he left this world, and I know he would want Michael and I to do the same before it’s too late.

With that said…my life is about being a good wife and daughter, accepting who I am, learning new things, not getting sunburn, being healthy, writing, traveling, wearing comfortable shoes, taking pictures of beautiful things, and getting my 8 hours of sleep!

It’s Never Too Late to Get a Life...

Slow down.
Look around.
Feel your heart.
Find the people and things that you love.
Care for them.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Have a Happy Childhood

I think all of us would like to erase a few bad memories from our childhood and even go so far as to burn the pictures that serve as documented evidence of our jacked up teeth, bad hair and bird nest bangs, acid washed denim, hammer pants, tube socks, tucked-in oversized t-shirts with momma jeans and Reebok’s, and who can forget our neon-colored braces. Whew! This list could go on for days! At some point, we were all picked on as children. I was a proud member of the “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” from 6th grade through graduation.

Newsflash: They are still itty bitty! But it's funny how something you hated 10 years ago can become one of your favorite body parts. I'm edging closer to 30 every day, and they are perky as ever! No fighting gravity for this girl! Aside from the obvious growing pains that accompany childhood, when I think about my adolescence, I can’t really recall a whole lot of good or bad memories. My life was simple. I read a lot of books and played by myself most days, teaching my stuffed animals school lessons or checking out library books for them. My parents didn’t make a lot of money, but they somehow came up with Catholic school tuition for 7 years until we moved to a better school district. I am eternally grateful for their decision to invest in my education. I think it’s the best thing they ever did for me. When I needed a new dress for a dance, a cheerleading jacket, or a total prom makeover, they never complained about forking over the money. I am grateful for having dinner together as a family rather than TV traying it up in front of the boob tube without talking. I am thankful for the fact that I could talk to my mom about everything, and I could ask my dad to fix anything (this was especially helpful when I got a car.) I thank my mom for teaching me to accept others for who they are, and I thank my dad for teaching me to be intuitive and for showing me how to take care of myself in difficult situations. These memories are easy to hold onto, but the point of Mr. Lindsay’s challenge is to let go of the bad past that we still carry into adulthood. This is something I need to desperately work on. It’s time to let go of the fact that my dad chose alcohol and other things over me and left my mom to be the one to “show up.” I need to realize he’s only human, and his addiction got the best of him. It's time to forgive the fact my mom would not know how to be stronger and stand on her own two feet until years after I left home. It’s time to understand that no matter how much I have been hurt or how lost I may feel sometimes, my childhood was the product of two people doing the best they could with what they had. Through all the mistakes, they loved me. It’s Never Too Late to have a Happy Childhood… Draw a line. Accept the past as a lesson for the future. Praise yourself for surviving. Use that strength. Look ahead and smile with anticipation.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

On Sunday, Michael and I dove right into the ever so joyous task of spring cleaning. I admit, I am kind of regretting the big clean because it no where near feels like spring outside. Oh well, it was time to give our home a bath, and I always enjoy finding little treasures that come with decluttering. This time I stumbled on what I think is going to be a valuable find!

Since Michael's dad passed away in November, we have been storing a box of his belongings in our spare bedroom. We finally opened the box and went through his things we had carried with us from his home in Florida. Most items were simple everyday things, and others were sentimental to Michael, but one item in particular caught my attention. It was a small, vintage looking book with a black bicycle sketched on the front cover. Above the bike, was the title It's Never Too Late...172 simple acts to change your life.

This book could not have found me at a better time. As I shared in a post in February, my anxiety over the past two years along with Kevin's death, my parent's divorce, and a few other circumstances, have done wonders on me. I often question what the meaning of my life is, and I get down in the dumps because I never feel like I am doing enough, which only makes me more anxious. I put so much pressure on myself to do something big or to be someone special, which is a habit that probably needs intense therapy. I all too often forget that a simple smile, a kind spirit, and a positive attitude can make a difference in my life and help someone else who may be struggling.

The whole premise behind this book written by Patrick Lindsay is perfect. It is never too late to regain balance and make small steps toward living a better life. With simple acts and a willingness to grow, it is possible to seize the day and live fully.

So for the few months, I will be sharing with you what I read in this book and the steps I take to carry out each lesson and to Sieze the Day!

Yesterday, the lessons began:

It's Never too make plans

I honestly laughed at Mr. Lindsay's first step. Are you serious? This is a piece of cake! I am always making plans for the future because I am often dissatisfied or tired of the present. I wanted to give this thing an honest effort though, so I thought about it for a while, and I finally decided on some plans I've been needing to make. My plan is to do a quiet time every day for the next 7 days, which I began this morning. For the next week, I plan to take a few minutes out of my day to renew, to pray, to read, and to breathe deeply. I hope I will feel renewed enough to continue on because I haven't had a quiet time in I don't know when, and I think this is an important plan I need to make.

I honestly think God knew I needed this book, and I am grateful that it found me. God Bless you Kevin!

Monday, March 15, 2010


CHARLESTON, SC – Michael McGreevey known as “the guy” amongst blog followers has recently concluded his Alternative Spring Break career with the 2010 edition in Charleston, SC. It was an amazing trip as usual that was filled with powerful moments of service with a group of Tennessee’s finest student leaders. This group of 22 students, who all interview for a spot on the team to give up their spring break to serve others, had a group dynamic that was downright scary at times. For instance, at the conclusion of the trip when students usually can’t wait to get home, this group waited until they hugged every team member before they would go home. We worked with a wide range of non-for-profit agencies including Crisis Ministries, the Low Country Foodbank, the Cannon Street YMCA, the Community Outreach Center at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, and even the National Park Service, who cares for Fort Sumter in Charleston. All of the agencies had wonderful projects to work on that hopefully benefited the people of Charleston. We served over 170 meals to the homeless at Crisis Ministries, we helped supervise and tutor around 30 Gullah children at the YMCA, and we learned and helped preserve some of our nation’s history at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie. The students were able to discuss and reflect on the service experiences with each other so that eventually those of us who are able to address our nation’s social issues will have some knowledge of what is actually going on. I have a great deal of respect for our team of students and it is more than an honor to help make these trips possible. Please visit the agencies web sites to learn more about them and check out below for a group shot from our hour long visit to Folly Beach.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brandi's Trip Home

Well...I started my day off with a homemade breakfast of champions complete with my very own huevos rancheros burrito with eggs of course, refried black beans, salsa, and cheese on a whole wheat tortilla accompanied with a 1/2 caff coffee. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Michael bought me half caff because he knows I don't want to quit drinking coffee and thought this would be a perfect compromise. I actually feel fine after drinking it, so this might actually work! I know my green tea is healthier for me, so I might try drinking it on the weekdays and treating myself to coffee on the weekends. Sounds good doesn't it? After breakfast, Michael, Scarlett, and I went to Lakeshore Park and walked the 2 mile trail and quickly hurried back so Michael could watch UT vs. Kentucky. He is currently yelling at the tv while I am trying to write this blog. Scarlett is pooped out on the couch after chasing birds through the mud. I can't tell you how happy I am to be writing today. And Watch out! I'm even going to post some pics today in November Photography! Like I said in the previous two posts, I have been in Arkansas for a little spring break trip. You know you are older and wiser when you look forward to spending spring break with your mom chilling out in the country rather than partying it up on the beach in Panama City. (That was a fun spring break though). I took the trip home because Michael was going to be gone on a spring break trip of his own to Charleston, SC. (He will blog about his trip later.) I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for me and the baby to go visit my mom and friends. Oh how grateful I am for Michael who always offers to drive most of the way on our trips. Driving sucks, especially on I-40 when there's nothing pretty to look at. But we made good time, and I had a better experience driving than I thought I would. Scarlett and I arrived at my aunt and uncle's house on Saturday, and we were greeted with a nice barbecue dinner smoked by my uncle Bobby. I'm not a big barbecue fan, but it was delish! Later that night, I met some of my girlfriends for a second dinner (oink oink) at Lulav in Little Rock to celebrate Joni's birthday. I don't get to see these girls very often at all, so it was great to catch up. We all went to college together, and I love how we can always pick back up though we are all living in different places.

Me and the Birthday Girl Joni!

Joni, me, and Andrea!

The group: Me, Andrea, Taylor, Joni, and Lonnie

The next three days were spent shopping, shopping, and more shopping. This is what my mom and I do best together. I got some rockin' deals on dresses and tops, so I was pretty happy. We also got pedicures one day, which is something we always do to treat ourselves when we are together. One of the most fun activites we did was walking "The Big Dam Bridge" over the Arkansas River. I really think they should have named the bridge something better, but I guess it gets your attention. My Aunt Paula joined us, and it was so beautiful to walk over the river at sunset, but I am still kicking myself for not bringing my camera. The coolest part was actually seeing a huge barge go through the dam. I have never seen how a lock and dam works, so this was so neat and a bit scary seeing how they lock a huge barge from one part of the river to the other right under the bridge we were standing on. Too bad I don't have pictures!!! This was a great trip home, and I was so glad to spend time with my mom and see how well she is doing. She is happier than I have seen her in a long time, and I am so glad I got to spend more time with my Aunt Paula and Uncle Bobby and with my cousins Kelsea and Sydney. They are such great girls. I am so happy to call them family.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Brain Mush

Whoa!!! Can you say jet lag...without the jet! I don't know if it's because I drove the 8 hours to and from Arkansas all by myself or because I am really trying to kick my coffee habit, but I'm just beyond tired today. I have had so much trouble getting back into the swing of things, and I know I promised you yesterday I would tell you all about my trip, but it's not going to happen folks. I have a major case of brain mush that may require a vacation from my vacation.

There's hope though because the weather forecast calls for a rainy and cool weekend (go figure), so I promise I will have a grand post on this site as well as some new pics on November Photography.

I just talked to Michael who got back into town from his very own spring break trip in Charleston, SC, this evening. I haven't seen him since Saturday, which seems like an eternity. I'm meeting him for dinner, and I can't wait. Now if we can only decide where to eat...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm back in Knoxville after a fun, long weekend in Arkansas hanging out with my friends, family, and my mom. I had no access to internet, so I didn't even check my email for 5 days! I can't believe how much I missed writing on the blog, and I am so excited to pick back up again. Look for a post about my trip tomorrow!

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's Time to Quit!

I keep saying this to myself and to Michael over and over and over, but I really do need to quit. "QUIT WHAT?" you ask. Coffee! It's time to quit drinking coffee before there's no turning back. For those of you who are like myself and prefer coffee over tea, you are all too familiar with the coffee buzz that keeps us coming back for more. It begins with the first sip of goodness that warms the soul and satisfies your addiction. I feed my addiction with a splash of splenda and french vanilla creamer. I used to drink coffee 7 days a week, now I alternate between green tea and coffee, trying to wean myself off. I don't drink cokes, I barely eat dessert, I don't smoke, I hardly ever drink alcohol, and I stay away from fried food, so why can't I have just one vice? This is how I justify having a cup or two of joe every once in a while.'s more like every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday with another weekday thrown in every once in a while, like today. It's Friday, and I wanted a little treat! The reason for wanting to quit is because caffeine likes to screw with my anxiety. Face the truth or not, caffeine is a drug, and for those of us who suffer from anxiety and panic, it can be a nightmare. Why would I drink something that causes panic in my already overly-anxious, mega-stimulated brain? It's simple...I'm addicted! But I'm going to have to call it quits! I really mean it this time. Today's episode was enough. Bye Bye Starbucks, I'll miss you, but I can't deal with the shaking, nausea, and out of body experiences anymore (yes, this is caffeine I'm talking about, not acid). It's not worth the cup of warm-my-soul pleasure anymore. Hot Tea here I come! This sucks! Photobucket

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh the Plight of Motherhood

Today, my mom forwarded this story to me called, "WHY I LOVE MOM,"

Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said, 'I'm tired, and it's getting late. I think I'll go to bed.'

She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches. Rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper the following evening, checked the cereal box levels, filled the sugar container, put spoons and bowls on the table and started the coffee pot for brewing the next morning. She then put some wet clothes in the dryer, put a load of clothes into the washer, ironed a shirt and secured a loose button. She picked up the game pieces left on the table, put the phone back on the charger and put the telephone book into the drawer. She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and hung up a towel to dry. She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom. She stopped by the desk, wrote a note to the teacher, counted out some cash for the field trip, and pulled a text book out from hiding under the chair She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped the envelope and wrote a quick note for the grocery store. She put both near her purse. Mom then washed her face with 3 in 1 cleanser, put on her Night solution & age fighting moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth and filed her nails. Dad called out, 'I thought you were going to bed...' 'I'm on my way,' she said.

She put some water into the dog's dish then made sure the doors were locked and the patio light was on. She looked in on each of the kids and turned out their bedside lamps and TV's , hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into the hamper, and had a brief conversation with the one up still doing homework. In her own room, she set the alarm, laid out clothing for the next day, and straightened up the shoe rack. She added three things to her 6 most important things to do list. She said her prayers, and visualized the accomplishment of her goals.

About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one in particular. 'I'm going to bed.' And he did. Without another thought.

I would like to thank my wonderful mom for all she's done in my life and for always taking care of me and loving me for me. I also want to give props to all the mothers out there who live this story every day. But with that said, I definitely don't want your job!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And the Gluttony Continued on...

Last night, a group of us (well 5 guys and myself) drove to Oak Ridge to chow down on some Big Ed's Pizza! Can you say "DELICIOUS!" A pizza with sauce does exist close to home! Not one piece of pizza was left on our table, and I do believe we ordered 3 mediums, 1 large, and a small! It was that good... It lived up to it's name by offering a no fuss, no muss menu and atmosphere. All they serve is pizza, no breadsticks, wings, or salads. Their menu is printed on two tiny business cards that make a cute little menu book, and you eat off paper dessert plates and use plastic forks. The joint is ecclectic to say the least, filled with a collection of hisorical memorabilia sprayed all over every surface but grounded by traditional white and red checkered table cloths. Sodas are served in paper cups and beer is served in goblets. Michael used the term "Pimp Cup" and Max preferred "Chalice." Call it what you will, Big Ed's is the perfect pizza place that is worth the longer drive to Oak Ridge (just outside of Knoxville). Anyone who lives here should try it, and anyone who visits Knoxville should make it a part of their trip if they can.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Great (and Gluttonous) Weekend!

Despite another gray and cold weekend, Michael and I spent a great couple of days together celebrating a few of Knoxville's bests, including one of the yummiest meals I've had in a long time!

We headed to Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday morning to watch UT vs. #2 Kentucky. What an awesome game! I consider myself more of a football fan, but I have never experienced such an electric atmosphere as I did on Saturday when the Vols beat the Wildcats. That game was the most fun I have had at any UT game I've gone too so far! There really is nothing like UT sports, and if we ever move away from Knoxville, I am really going to miss them. I shouldn't worry though because Michael has already been scouting out RV's for making roadtrips back to Knoxville every football season. RV and generator are the top things on Michael's all time wish list!

After the game, Michael and I and our friends Marcus and Adam headed to Litton's Market and Restaurant for a late lunch. Trust me, it was worth the hour wait (which is relatively short for Litton's) to eat here. Litton's is probably Knoxville's most well-known restaurant. It's been around since 1946, and it's known for having the best burgers and desserts. Many of you may have seen it featured on ESPN's game day show Todd's Taste of the Town. Everything from the buns to the french fries and their famous cakes and pies are made fresh daily. All of us ordered their famous hamburgers with a side of fries, except for Michael who ordered the best onion rings I have ever eaten! We all ordered dessert to go. Their Italian Cream Cake was to die for!
On Sunday, Michael and I took a drive along the lake in West Knoxville and ended at Fort Loudon Dam. When we got home, we took Scarlett to Cherokee Park for a long walk. Of course we were hungry when we got home, so Michael made a big pot of sausage and shrimp gumbo, and I finished off my cake from Litton's. Tonight, a group of us are going to try out Big Ed's Pizza. Pizza could possibly be in the running for mine and Michael's favorite meal, and everyone has been telling us to try Big Ed's. From what I've been told, it's a classic pizza joint where you eat off styrofoam plates and use plastic forks. Oh yeah...they don't take anything but cash. Sounds like our kind of place! I'll let you know how it is!