Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve quote of the day

Leaving snacks for Santa

‎"First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat an entire roll of Toll House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we'll snuggle!" ~ elf

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Hall Family News 2010

I don't think I have ever written a Christmas newsletter. I get several each year and I'm always tempted to do my own. So here is my first attempt at a family newsletter.

Dear Friends and Family,

We realize, everyone wants to know what exciting things the Hall family has been up to this year, so we will give you, our people, an exclusive.

Bryan and Laura took a number of trips this year. The first was a fun week in San Francisco. They took in the city (as well as breakfasts, lunches, dinners, afternoon snacks and desserts). Laura, ever the daredevil, crashed her bike on the Golden Gate Bridge. Bryan was thankful that she emerged with all her teeth and limbs intact and medical assistance was not required. Laura has since retired from cycling. There was also some shopping; hiking and a trolley ride or two.

In August, the whole clan went to Hilton Head for an expensive week of whining, sun-worshipping and delicious, though not necessarily nutritious, food. The kids had a blast dividing their time evenly between the beach, the pool, watching Calliou, playing tennis, and harassing the local wildlife. The highlight of the trip was seeing an alligator in the lagoon near our house. We dined out several nights while we were there, and Anna and Morgan enjoyed sharing our family secrets with complete strangers whenever they got the chance.

Bryan and Laura -
we look best when we are slightly out of focus

 Bryan continues with his grown up career at Verizon Wireless as Resource Manager, but his real passion lies in photography, cycling and music. Bryan has participated in several cycling events this year and plans to continue this in 2011.

Laura celebrated her two year cancer survivor anniversary in June and is feeling healthy and trying to develop an addiction to exercise. Laura enjoys making personalized jewelry and eclectic gifts for friends and attending monthly girl’s night out painting classes. In the other 40 hours of her week, she works at Onlife Health training wellness coaches.

 Jenni lives in Green Hills and works two jobs – Carrabbas and Nannies of Brentwood. This keeps her pretty busy, but don’t feel too bad for her. She still has plenty of time to pursue her photography, travel, shop, dine out, and be an awesome Aunt Jenni. Earlier this year Jenni decided to tattoo her body, but since the tattoo is of her grandmother’s name (Reba Jane) no one can really complain.

Josh and Chassi
Josh and Chassi are busy raising three energetic little girls. Josh works for Simplex Healthcare selling medical supplies and continues his custom furniture business. Chassi keeps children in their home and does a great job of keeping everyone fed and healthy. Josh and Chassi are avid runners. As you can imagine this is a great stress reducer, in addition to being a healthy activity. This year Josh ran his first ultra-marathon, as well as the Rock Creek stage race, and the Memphis Marathon. Chassi ran the Ragnar Relay Race (from Chattanooga to Nashville) and also a local 5k.

Anna Belle
Anna Belle turned seven on December 15th. She is enjoying first grade and is reading well beyond her grade level. She swims like a mermaid, and ran a timed mile this year in 10:13. She shares generously and loves to try exotic foods.

Morgan will turn six on January 24th. She is enjoying kindergarten and has her own sense of fashion. She has been known to make trips to the store in rain boots and a cooking apron. Morgan is very nurturing and loves all things art. She was also invited to the competition team in her gymnastics class.

Emri, what can we say about Emri? In addition to her ability to push her sister’s buttons, Emri has other talents. She is energetic, loving, stubborn, and climbs like a monkey. She literally and figuratively tests the water with both feet. We are all gearing up for Emri’s teenage years now!

We enjoy having friends and family like you!

Happy Holidays,
Bryan, Laura, Jenni, Josh, Chassi, Anna, Morgan and Emri

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Happys

Amber and I saw this when we were shopping at Fabu on Saturday. It made us giggle!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day

Snow was predicted for Sunday night, but it's Nashville so you never know what you'll actually get until it happens. Well...this time the weatherman was correct, before sunset we already had an inch on the ground and it continued snowing all night. The issue was that it had rained most of the day Sunday, before it changed over to snow. So, under the beautiful layer of snow, was a treacherous layer of ice. Bryan slid his car into the curb at the entrance to our subdivision and it messed up things underneath, so it had to be towed.

We decided I would take Bryan into work and then head in myself. We made it out of the drive and halfway down our hill and could not stop sliding, so we abandoned the car and walked back home. I heard on the news there were more than 300 wrecks before 10am.

Luckily I had my laptop and could get work done from home so I stayed put. Bryan waited until the road thawed more and retrieved my car from the hill and went on to work.

I love Nashville snow, but I could do without the ice!

A visit with friends

"Tears may come and go,
But there's one thing I know.
All my life you're a friend of mine.
You can depend on me.
I'll be fine...
'Cause you're a friend of mine."
                          -Clarence Clemens
I took a couple of days off this week to spend with Amber. I have been wanting to visit before the holidays were in full swing, so I headed to Florence on Wednesday afternoon. I arrived in time to help her teach the 4 & 5 year old class on Wednesday night. Thursday we did a little holiday shopping, wrapped presents and tried out her new juicer.
On Friday, Amber and I came back to Nashville in time to have dinner with some high school friends. Sherry was in Nashville for her mother's surgery, and Dawn was here as well. I'm a firm believer that one should never pass up the opportunity to spend time with friends, so we grabbed the chance and met up for dinner. It was wonderful to catch up on each other's lives and families. The hours flew by and before we knew it, it was almost midnight. We ended the night with promises to not let too much time go by before meeting again.

Thank God for girlfriends!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Christmas Barn

If you happen to be visiting Nashville this time of year, make sure you drive down Franklin road to see this annual site at the Turner farm.

It's a great sight during the day, but at night it just gleams and is breath-taking. Merry Christmas everyone!
Night photo by Bryan


Just to be clear, I think beer tastes awful, wine is not something I crave, hard drugs - never tried em', but Snickers candy bars and regular Coca~Cola to me are what I imagine heroine is like to a drug addict. I try not to keep these items in my home, because I have no willpower against them and will consume them immediately.

Earlier this week one of my younger co-workers walked up and said "Hey look at this gift basket one of our vendors sent me? It has CANDY in it. Do they not know we are a Wellness company?" She then proceeded to pull out a snickers and a Hershey bar and put them in my snack drawer and walk away.

I guess I need to start by explaining the "snack drawer". I work at a wellness company. We teach people how to live healthy lives, eat healthy foods, exercise, prevent illness, etc... We have an onsite gym, healthy vending machines, hallways marked for walking and clear front refrigerators. So...several of us also have snack drawers, these are places we can stash leftover halloween candy, chips, and other snacks that might not meet the "onthemenu" guidelines.

Ok, back to the story - so I sat there trying to finish the document I was working on, all the while thinking about the snickers just a few feet away from me. When I could take it no more, I got it out of the drawer and enjoyed every single bite of those 200 calories! Oh well, I'll take the stairs the rest of the week and up my treadmill use.

In another creative word from the Snickers campaign - I hope your day is Satisfectellent!

It's a wonderful life

It's that time again - watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on the big screen at the Belcourt surrounded by family and friends. This is always one of my favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit. The movie, and the cause also are a great reminder of just how blessed we all really are.

If you are not a part of the "Wonderful Life Foundation", you should join, and make sure you mark your calendar to attend next year.

Thank you to Angie, Robbie, Dale and Elisabeth for another great year!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Josh

Josh 4lbs 6oz 11-30-1983

Twenty seven years ago I went for a check up at my OB doctor. I had been having a back ache for a couple of days and it just wouldn't go away. When I called the office, they told me to come in and be checked just to be on the safe side. My due date was still six weeks away. Well...that back ache was actually very active labor! I was quickly whisked away to the labor floor and Josh arrived very soon after. He was precious, wiggly and immediately had us wrapped around his tiny finger.

Josh is now grown and a parent himself, and he is a fabulous father to his three energetic little girls. I have to smile when I hear him answering those same thousand questions that he and Jenni used to ask us all the time, or when he is reading Fox in Socks to the girls before bed. We must have read that book 1,000 times.
Here's a link to recent blog he wrote about answering strange questions.

Happy Birthday Josh - thank you for 27 exciting years. We love you and are proud of you!

Another fun post-it note Tuesday

Office visits

This week I had two doctor's appointments - Optometrist and Dentist. It was so nice to go to a check up and be able to keep my shirt on! My teeth are healthy and my eyes are holding steady with contacts.
Thank you to Dr. Ballard, Dr. Waggener and your fabulous staff!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday morning at the Pfunky Griddle

French Toast
I got a call Saturday morning from Chassi inviting me to join them at the Pfunky Griddle for brunch. Bryan was working and I was home alone, with a long list of chores. I happily put my list aside and headed on over. Lisa and Chadd also met us there and we had a great time making french toast and pancakes with all the fixings.
Aunt Lisa and Morgan

I know many of you are are paying to make your own breakfast? The way I see it the restaurant supplies all the ingredients and cleans up the mess - Completely worth it!

Update on International City Swap 2010

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Great International City Swap this year!

Here are just a few of the comments about packages that flew back and forth across the world:

Goodies from Canada

"I just received the greatest parcel from Nashville.  It was filled with magazines, a deck of playing cards, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a CD with a selection of local artists, a bag of goodies from the Loveless Cafe, some beautiful postcards from a local design group, a print from Hatch Show, some guitar picks, and a brilliant letter detailing all of the goodies in the box.   Each item came numbered with a little tag and then the letter described each item in detail.   I was so pleased with the package."

"Mine was great!  I took pictures, but I haven't uploaded them yet.  Juliette is from Ottowa, Canada, and she is a photographer, so she sent me a really cool picture that she took herself.  She also sent candy and a magnet--always good choices.  It was such fun!  I really enjoyed getting to know her and reading her blog.  Definitely sign me up for next year!"

"Anelle sent me some goodies from her home country of Swaziland!  Rooibos tea, photos, info on Swaziland, handmade candles, yummy candy and a beautiful beaded necklace!"

Colorado swag!

"I received my package today from Jenni today, and I'll do a post on it later on. She sent Elvis coffee, lots of little knick knacks from the Loveless Motel, postcard, magazine, jam, and a Goo Goo Supreme which I have not had in ages!! Oh, and a cd and a bandana too. Lots of lovelies!"

Everyone seemed to have a great experience and many have asked to participate again next year. Lessons learned: 1. give everyone at least a month to gather their goodies 2. Post shipping rates

A question for all: What time of year do you think would be best to do the city swap? (fall seemed pretty busy)

Thanks again!

Stuffing Muffins

My friend Amy in Denver takes part in "Operation Turkey Sandwich" each Thanksgiving and it sounds amazing. They make bagged thanksgiving feasts and hand them out to people who have to work on Thanksgiving day. What a great idea!

Here's her recipe for Stuffing Muffins

4 oz unsalted butter
2 ea garlic, minced
1 medium onion, small diced
2 ribs celery, small diced
1 box Basic Chicken Stuffing Mix (the box may call for ingredients)
1 t ground sage
4 each large eggs, whipped
2 ea scallion greens, sliced thin

Sauté some garlic, onions, and celery in butter. Add to stuffing mix. Make stuffing according to package directions. Stir in sage. When stuffing is prepared, divide equally among 12 lined cupcake tins, slightly pressing them into the cups to minimize large holes yet keeping them light and fluffy. Pour the eggs over
the stuffing, again, dividing equally. Sprinkle cheese over each muffin, dividing equally. Garnish each with scallions. Bake at 350 ˚F until they begin to puff up and slightly brown.

Thanksgiving Day

Logan, Emri, Lauren, Anna Belle and Morgan
We always begin our Thanksgiving day by watching the Macy's parade and having a big breakfast. Jenni and Bryan were in charge of breakfast and made pancakes, bacon, eggs and potatoes. Yummy!

After breakfast we all got cleaned up and ready to head to Bryan's parents house for an afternoon Thanksgiving feast. Dan, Deanna, Logan and Lauren were there and the girls really enjoyed playing with their cousins. Bryan's parents are incredible cooks and we always have delicious holiday feasts.

Josh's super-girls

Chassi wasn't with us this year for Thanksgiving, she spent it in Atlanta at Scottish Rite with her two sisters and children. Caleb (I've blogged about before) is making progress and she really enjoyed spending time with all of them.

This year has definitely had it's challenges, but we all have plenty to be thankful for.

Emri, Raider and Deanna

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm loving post-it note Tuesdays! (and I love my family too, but I couldn't resist this quote!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What makes you smile?

Stop – grab a sheet of paper and write down 25 things that bring you joy, make your heart sing, or at the very least bring a big goofy smile to your face. Don’t stop and analyze the list, just jot them down quickly – straight from your gut!

I’ve done this exercise many times through the years, and I am always amazed at how many things I love that get pushed aside with the demands of every day life. I am also always amazed at how “hot fudge cake” always makes my list.

Now, add at least one of those things you wrote down to your to-do list for this week!


I've blogged about my best friend Amber before, and some of you have asked how she is doing. Amber was able to go back to her body pump exercise class on Monday. This is the first time she has been able to return since surgery and I know it felt great. When I talked to her on Monday night she was feeling strong and ready to get started on her chemo. Please join me in praying she will do well, and her treatments will be very successful.

I've been putting together a box of goodies to send Amber since I returned from her house. Things that I hope will make her smile during the not so fun days. I'm currently working on a cd mix. If you are reading this and you know Amber - please tell me what song you think of when you think of Amber and I'll add it.

I love you Amber!
don't you just love post-it note tuesday?

Ten years ago...

November 15th is always a sad day for me. It's the day my mother lost her battle to cancer. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of her death. Even though I feel her presence every day and I see so much of her in my family - it's hard not to have her here with us.

I love you Mom!

Weekend getaway to combat insufficient funs...

I read a very good article a few months ago about being cautious not to let fun slip out of your life. Scheduling time with those you love, those who make you to laugh and have fun may be the last thing you are thinking about in this high paced, stress filled world, when actually these are the things that should be at the top of our to-do lists.

This past weekend I went with a group of girlfriends to Atlanta for a quick overnight trip. When we all began working together we were in the same department, but years later we are scattered throughout the building. These women are the ones who supported me every day while I was battling cancer and trying to keep it together in the workplace. When we realized we all had a free weekend we jumped at the chance for a quick get away.

So, Friday at noon we all turned on our "out of office", loaded up two cars and left on our Hotlanta vacation. We checked in at the Artmore Hotel, an awesome boutique hotel, and walked down to Atlantic Station for dinner at a great steak and sushi place.  After dinner we walked back to the hotel and sat in the courtyard by the fire pit and talked for hours. Saturday morning we enjoyed Ikea, H&M and all the other great Atlantic Station shops. We finished up our trip with a great lunch at Rosa Mexicano and made it home before dinner time.

Great trip - awesome girlfriends!

Plastic surgeon follow up

It seems like I am always seeing one doctor or another. This week held a visit to my plastic surgeon. I am on a yearly schedule to have my implants checked. Most breast implants last 15 years or so and then have to be swapped out. Even though I have many more years before that is necessary the doctor likes to keep and eye on the integrity of the implant, evaluate the healing and check to make sure scar tissue is not forming around the implant itself. 

All in all Dr. Wagstrom was very pleased with how I have progressed. So pleased in fact that they asked me to sign a consent to do photos to share with other women considering breast surgery options. I remember before my surgery looking at these photos. It's such an odd feeling to see before, during and after photos of someone with normal breasts, then no breasts, and then reconstructed breasts. When I stop and look back at the past two years I think... whew what a crazy ride this has been. (just in case you look - that's not me on her website)

So my chest (not my face) may just be famous! : )

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanks to Sam for introducing me to post-it note Tuesdays!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


photo by Bryan Hall
Last night we saw John Mellencamp at the Ryman Auditorium. John is 59 years old now, and we have seen him several times since the 80s and he always puts on an amazing show. One thing you can say about John is that he speaks his mind, stands up for what he believes and he makes music on his terms. Even though sometimes he is harsh, I respect his ability to completely voice his opinions. This album is very bluesy - it was recorded at the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia, Sun Studios in Memphis and the Sheraton Gunter Hotel in San Antonio. He wanted to go back to the roots of blues to summon the strength and spirits of the great musicians of the past.

I love seeing shows at the Ryman. Not only is it a beautiful building, but it has awesome acoustics and as you sit in those wooden bench seats you can just feel the vibes of all the great shows it has hosted through the years. As we were leaving I noticed how some people had discarded their used drinking glasses in the aisles of this incredible building. They had people standing by with garbage bags to clean all this up. This is one thing I don't understand. How can anyone disrespect such an amazing place, or actually any place by trashing it. We are so blessed in this country and we often totally miss that.

One of my favorite quotes from his new collection is "Life is short, even in the longest of days". So so true! Thank you John for another great album!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween weekend 2010

Halloween is a big holiday at Onlife. We have a costume contest each year and our department, once again, chose a theme. This year we were Disney characters, and I was Snow White.

Evil Queen, Sock Monkey and Snow White
 My friend Amy knitted her own sock monkey costume. It was amazing! She won our work costume contest, and also the contest at the Wildhorse on Halloween night.

Later that night (Friday) we attended a Halloween party at a friends, so I headed home and hung up my princess dress. For the evening party Bryan was Frankenstein and I was his bride.

On Halloween night (Sunday) we celebrated at the Spears. They host an annual Halloween chili dinner and night of trick or treating. It's always a great night for our families and friends to get togehter, and the kids look forward to trick or treating as a group. Thanks for another great fall celebration Mike and Lori!

Retro movie night

Our Carmike Cinema is hosting a Retro Movie series and it has a very impressive line up, and admission is only 5.00.

Last night we saw "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with several of our friends.  I remember all too well when it came out in 1981. My friends and I headed to the theater several times to see Indiana at his best. If you are in the Nashville area, you should check out the Retro Series.

Next week it's "Back to the Future!"
There are things you do because they feel right

and they may make no sense

and they may make no money

and it may be the real reason we are here:

to love each other and to eat each other's cooking

and say it was good.

~ Story People


I have loved the band U2 for many years, but I have never seen them in concert. They are fabulous musicians and seem like wonderful people as well. A band with this large a following rarely comes to this area, and when they do they usually sell out immediately.

Last summer when Jenni was on her European adventure, she emailed me and said she had the chance to buy a ticket to see U2 play a stadium show with some friends. She was undecided because she hadn't budgeted for it. I of course, said she HAD to go and offered to buy her ticket for her birthday. It was her 21st birthday and where better to celebrate than with U2 in Berlin! Jenni loved the concert, although I think she enjoyed the opening band as much as she liked U2. I was beginning to think the closest I would ever get to seeing them, was watching her video and looking at her photos from the show. Until a week or so ago...

The local media announced that U2 would be  playing at Vanderbilt's stadium this summer. I was determined to try and get tickets when they went on sale. As it happened, one of my co-workers is a Vandy alum and he helped me get tickets during the pre-sale. According to the stadium diagram our seats should be great and I am very excited.

Thanks Brad - I owe you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quote of the day

 "I may not have control over what happens in my life, but I do have control over my attitude."
                                                                                                                   ~Christine N.

This quote spoke to me today. Some days I want to jump up and down and say No, No, No! I want all of my family and friends to be healthy, happy and have no stress in their lives and I want the same for myself. Well guess what? Sometimes that just doesn't happen. I guess I could blame it on Eve for eating that apple, or I could scream, or kick something, but that never works. So, on those days I remind myself to turn it over to our creator and try to take it one day at a time...and when that doesn't work I take a very deep breath and take it one minute at a time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Living in Music City

Nashville is a great city. Sometimes I take for granted what a wonderful city we live in, until I am talking to someone who is newer to our area. The cost of living is decent, traffic isn't too bad, people are kind and generous and you can see all types of live music pretty much any night of the week. My friend Katherine and her daughter Macie enjoy going to the Opry. The other night they saw Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift for $40. Where else can you do that?! I think one of the reasons many celebrities like to live here is because no one really bothers them. They can shop, dine and head to the movies without being hounded by the paparazzi. Not that we don't notice when we see Nicole and Keith at the coffee shop, or Sheryl Crow at the store but we southerners are polite and leave them alone.
I was working on my box for our city swap and decided to head downtown to get some official music city souvenirs. I had a great day playing tourist while looking for the perfect items to represent our fabulous city. I hope the person who receives it enjoys it, because I have had a blast putting it together.

Nature, meditation and prayer

The fall season in the south is a beautiful time. Temperatures are pleasant, humidity is low and breezes are plentiful. Today we headed to Radnor lake, to hike and enjoy nature. This time of year the leaves are beginning to change from green to brilliant reds, yellows and oranges. I find it so peaceful to walk along under the canopy of blended colors, breathe the fresh air and enjoy God's handiwork.

Some days it feels right to be in a building surrounded by other believers worshipping our creator as a group. Other days it just feels right to be immersed in nature where you can breathe deep, meditate and pray. I am a firm believer that God meets us wherever we are.

Dr. Whitworth visit

I had an appointment with Dr. Whitworth (oncology surgeon) this past week. I usually see his nurse practioner Norma or Bea for follow ups, and then he pops in for a minute. I am on the every 6 month rotation for follow ups with his office. 

On this visit Norma did my examination which includes a little poking, prodding and listening. Then we talked about how I've been feeling. I told her about the pains I still occasionally have in my chest area, and also some strange feelings like liquid is running under my skin. The only thing I can compare it to is lactation. Evidently this is all part of the healing process and is perfectly normal. As long as I know it is normal, then I'll try not to worry about it. My next appointment is with Dr. Wagstrom (my plastic surgeon) next month.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


The stores are full of Halloween candy and costumes, the leaves are changing, the air is brisk and Boo Berry is back! I used to love this cereal as a kid. When I was a kid they only sold it during October and I always convinced my mom to buy me a box.

The grand-girls are staying with us this weekend and I couldn't resist but to purchase some Boo Berry. It seems they have added marshmallows to the original formula. Did they think it wasn't sweet enough? Anna Belle said "hey La La look my milk is turning blue!" and I thought, oh no that can't be good.

I must really be getting old, because I no longer see it as blueberry deliciousness, now I see it as full of sugar, preservatives and blue dye  #1. I think I'll stick to my low fat yogurt with granola and actual blueberries.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Life's unexpected turns

Life can change in a split second. Sometimes it's a cancer diagnosis, sometimes it is just a freak accident.

Josh and Chassi's nephew Caleb, who is 2 years old, was playing at the base of Fall Creek Falls with his parents on Saturday. A boulder broke loose and struck Caleb on the head. He is now fighting for his life at Erlanger Children's Hospital in Chattanooga. Please say a prayer for healing, peace, and strength for Caleb and his whole family.

Fabulous girlfriends

I was able to go spend a few days with Amber, and Kim came and joined us too. We sometimes go months without seeing each other, but when we are together it is like no time has passed. When I was on my cancer journey, Kim and Amber were there for me - now it's our turn to be there for Amber.

Quote for the day

I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.

-Jennifer Unlimited-

Sunday, October 17, 2010

City Swappers

Drum roll is the list of participants in the Great International City Swap for this year!

Amy in Tennessee will give to Hexe in Florida
Mindy in Texas will give to Katherine in Tennessee
Anna in Ohio gives to Amy in Tennessee
Katherine in Tennessee gives to Anelle in Florida
Laura in Tennessee gives to Nell in Canada
Amy in Colorado gives to Zhu in Canada
Savannah in Tennessee gives to Elle in Canada
Ulrike in Georgia gives to Mindy in Texas
Jen in Canada gives to Savannah in Tennessee
Elle in Canada gives to Amy in Colorado
Anelle in Florida gives to Anna in Ohio
Hexe in Florida gives to Chelsea in Missouri
Adrian in Tennessee gives to Samara in New York
Zhu in Canada gives to Jana in South Carolina
Jana in South Carolina gives to Jen in Canada
Chelsea in Missouri gives to Ulrike in Georgia
Nell in Canada gives to Laura in Tennessee
Samara in New York gives to Adrian in Tennessee

You have two weeks to put your package together: the packages will need to go out by Monday, November 1st. Use your own judgement regarding how much to spend, but I’d say a minimum of $15 is probably a good idea, just so that no one gets short-changed.

Lets all be creative and find things that represent our cities/towns! I will be sending you all an email tonight with the address of your swap buddy. I've been gathering a few things for my box, so I thought I would include a photo.

(If your name is not listed on here and you still want to swap I may not have received your mailing address - send me an email with all your information at: - I have a few extra names that came in late and we can probably still find you someone to swap with.

Have fun!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wedding weekend

I had two precious cousins getting married on Saturday. We decided the only fair way to do this was to divide so we would have family representation at each wedding. Linda and Dad planned to go to Kentucky to Glenda's wedding, and Lisa and I would attend Hayley's wedding in Lebanon. Dad and Sherry ended up going home due to Sherry's injuries, but Linda and her boys were able to be in Kentucky.
Both weddings were beautiful and unique - just like the couples.

Congratulations Hayley and Jonathan, and Glenda and Gary!

What a week!

Do you ever have those weeks when everything seems to be happening at once? Last week was one of those for me. My office relocated, my friend had extensive surgery with scary results, Dad and Sherry returned from Russia with Sherry injured and needing medical attention, it was Race for the cure week, and I had two cousins getting married on Saturday.

So, I unpacked a few boxes at my new desk on Monday, Lisa rode with me to Birmingham to spend the day with Amber on Tuesday. Dad and Sherry arrived and Kim (Sherry's daughter) took her on to Vandy for x-rays. (Sherry has a tibial plateau fracture and injured rotator cuff.) On Thursday, I picked up race packets and took dinner to my other friend who had surgery. I attended a bridesmaid brunch (on my lunch break) on Friday. By Friday afternoon, when I had burst into tears for the fourth time at work, one of my friends said "Laura, I just need to tell you - I think you have passed your limit and you need a break." I agreed and got my purse and went home and crawled in bed.
Saturday morning, Jenni, Emri and I left the house at 7:15 to meet our Race for the cure team. We walked the 5K, then headed home to shower and change for Hayley's wedding. Saturday night we had dinner with friends and relaxed and I went to bed early.

I don't think I could have fit any more in if I had tried!

Race for the Cure

Saturday was the Komen Race for the Cure here in Nashville. This is the third year for team "Fight like a girl". We had about 20 people walking with our team and lots more who gave generous donations to breast cancer research.

Our team this year was dedicated to my friend Denise, who had surgery for her own breast cancer last week. Denise has been on our team for the past two years and was one of my biggest supporters.

Best Friends

I saw them standing there pretending to be just friends, when all the time in the world could not pry them apart. 
~ Brian Andreas

My friend Amber is three weeks older than me, and we have always been the best of friends. I could write a novel about all the fun, crazy and strange things we have experienced together these last uh...45 years.

Through the years Amber and I have been in lots of clubs together; Brownies, Girl Scouts, Beta club, FHA, Drama club, Pep club, etc... Two years ago I joined the cancer club and it was NOT one I wanted her to join me in, but last week she did. Amber has been diagnosed with colon cancer and now has her own battle to wage against this horrible disease.

Amber - I am here for you, and I love you!

Sumo Wrestling

I guess it doesn't matter how old you are, sometimes you still bow to peer pressure. Last week was our first official week at our new location at work so we celebrated with the "week of fun".  There were days of smoothies, scavenger hunts, fruit bouquets, a jousting ring and yes...even Sumo wrestling. I headed down to watch a few of my coworkers battle it out and lend my support and praise. I had no intention of participating, but before I knew it I was wearing a Sumo suit and taking on Carmen in the ring!

I guess that's one more thing I can mark off my bucket list and not have to do again!