Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Things I learned from my children...

On Mother's Day I reflected on things that I learned from being Josh and Jenni's mom. Here are a few I came up with:
  • some children see Santa and the Tooth Fairy as magical, others see it as deception
  • I will never get used to having any type of reptile (even caged) in my house
  • I do not know what the giraffe says
  • if you open firecrackers and put the powder in a toy and shake it, there will be an explosion
  • the pop tart was invented in 1963
  • when you are yelling at your 5 year old and he looks at you and says "I have no response to that", it's best to just leave the room
  • If you call them "Cinderella chores" it makes them more fun
  • there is no written law that your clothes must match - my kids looked it up
  • it is possible to play frisbee alone, and I have video to prove it
  • it's ok to wear a wedding dress with red cowboy boots to the grocery store
  • never ever feed a hamster silly putty
  • driving your jeep through a car wash while wearing a rain coat won't kill you (just don't leave the photos around for your Mom to see)
  • if your kids are in playing quietly in their rooms with the door closed, go check - they are up to something!
  • you can catch a fungus from your pet duck
  • sugar gliders and hamsters are escape artists
  • when you don't know the answer to a test question and you write "Jesus" - sometimes your teacher will give you credit, because let's face it - Jesus IS the answer

My children are caring, funny and exhausting; I can't imagine life without them. I love you Josh and Jenni!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day!

I had the most amazing mother and I miss her every day. I see her in my sisters and also in Jenni. We all inherited some of her fabulous qualities and also a few of her quirks. I feel her presence with me every day, and I know she is watching over all of us.
Mother's Day is a very special day, because I get to celebrate being a mother to my two fabulous children, and also I get to celebrate how lucky I was to have been blessed with such an awesome mom.

Reba - we love and miss you!

Historic Flooding in Middle Tennessee

Here are a few homes to show just how much devastation there has been in our area. The first ones are from the neighborhood Bryan worked at, Pennington Bend. One is the house and the other is the street full of volunteer vehicles and people/companies delivering free supplies/food to all the residents and volunteers.









This second set is of a home and neighborhood in Bellevue. Lisa Page Reyes is a fellow Chester County girl and she and her husband lost pretty much everything.








So many people are having to pick through all their belongings which are soaked and covered in mud. Keep sending those prayers and donations this way - lots of folks need them right now!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Angels of the Mud

When floods engulfed Florence in the 70s, volunteers from all over Italy worked day and night for weeks, in horrid conditions, to rescue what could be saved. The grateful people dubbed them "I Angeli del Fango". The Angels of the Mud. Nashville has it's own Angels of the Mud right now.

Tennessee is the volunteer state and Nashville particularly has some wonderful volunteers. Most of the Red Cross shelters have an overabundance of food and supplies. Many of the churches in town are taking in donations and feeding and clothing hundreds of people every day. People are opening their homes to strangers and donating their money and their time. Bryan and I have been trying to do our part to help. I've been gathering personal supplies, cleaning supplies, clothing and water and getting them where they need to go. Bryan worked Saturday at the Pennington Bend area helping clean out a couple of houses. He said the whole time he was working there was a steady stream of volunteers supplying help, food and water to anyone and everyone in need. We just each have to continue doing everything we can do, no matter how big or small it is.

I have no doubt Nashville will survive and thrive, but we could sure use lots of prayers right now!

Music City

One advantage of living in a bigger city is the many music options. The night before we headed to San Francisco we went to see Bon Jovi at the arena with Mike, Lori, Larry and Kristy. Bon Jovi has been playing hits for 25 years and they always play a great selection of all their hits, as well as their newest album. I've been a fan for many years and Bryan has come around to appreciating their music more since working with Billy Falcon - one of their songwriters. We've even had a few opportunities to go to "after the show" parties and Bryan and Mike have had the opportunity to play music with Jon and Richie when they are in town. They are really great guys who do a lot for their community and many charities.

Linda, Lisa, Chassi and I also went to see the Goo Goo Dolls recently at the Ryman. The Ryman has fabulous acoustics and it's one of my favorite music venues. My cousins Brenda and Beth were originally going to come go with us to the show, but with the horrible weather they were unable to make it. We will just have to plan another cousins music outing soon!
Music city had a lot of damage to the Opry house and several other great music venues, but they will rebuild and be even better than before I'm sure. This town was built on music!

The rains came down...

Saturday it began to rain. The weather man said to expect thunderstorms, this is usual stuff for Tennessee during this season. We are used to rain, thunderstorms and sadly enough, even tornadoes. So it rained, and rained and kept raining. Not just showers but a steady downpour. Josh and Jenni were at a Red Cross class in downtown Franklin. They called and said the class had let out, because flood warnings had been issued. Bryan and I turned on the TV and began to get worried. Chassi had dropped the girls off at her sister Tiffany's house at 11 and headed to her book club in Crieve Hall. She called at 2pm and asked what was going on. We told her to stay put and not get on the roads. Josh and Jenni ended up taking 3 or 4 detours before they finally ended up where Chassi was at their friends house (Vetters) in Crieve Hall. We quickly realized more was going on than just rain. Nashville was flooding and not minor flooding.

Chassi was very stressed about not being able to get to her girls, but if she had headed out at 2pm, she would have been on 24 very close to the horrendous flooding that submerged 130 cars. We are so thankful she did not take that chance. Tiffany's neighborhood had flooding at the entrance and the girls ended up staying there until Monday morning. It was comforting to know they were safely in the care of family. All and all, it was a long stressful weekend for us and we were some of the lucky ones whose homes stayed dry and had electricity. We had flooding all around us, so we could not leave but that was minor compared to what was going on in our city.

Bryan took a few photos near our home early on, while we could still get out of our neighborhood. I'll include a few of those. You don't often see a firetruck pulling a boat, but this was a common occurance all weekend.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Photos

I take photos with my phone and with my little digital camera. Some turn out good, some blurry, some quite funny. Bryan and Jenni take artsy and beautiful photos. I've been trying to get them both to start a blog to show off some of their work.
Bryan finally granted my request:
http://noteverythingisblacknwhite.blogspot.com/ Photo Blog page
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezsledge/ Flicker photo page

I'm still working on Jenni.

Home and back to reality

We arrived home to a broken dryer, and lots of laundry. Bryan was able to replace the heating element and it is working fine again. We celebrated our homecoming with dinner at La Terazza (our favorite neighborhood restaurant) with Mike, Elijha, Sophie and Josh, Chassi and their girls. It was a wonderful trip, but I was happy to be home and see my family and friends smiling faces again as well.

and now...heigh ho heigh ho, it's back to work we go!

Goodbye west coast...

Bryan and I arrived home safely after a wonderful week in Northern California. The weather was absolutely perfect the whole time we were there. The temperatures were in the high 60s and of course it was breezy. The morning we left it was drizzling and a bit foggy, but that was the only time it even misted.

I am still a bit sore from my bike incident on the bridge, but my bruises are healing and I'm still glad I attempted and made the trip across the bridge. If we go again I might walk across it, but no more biking the Golden Gate for me. Bryan did his map-my-ride calculations and it looks like we rode about 13 miles. No wonder I am so sore!

Movie time

We arrived back at the hotel and the second feature The Rock was showing in the Bijou theater. I had to go in and catch the ending - even though I've seen it several times before. Sean Connery is one of those men who ages very well and I try to not miss an opportunity to see him act, even if it isn't an Oscar worthy movie.

Scala's for dessert

After a delicious dinner at Sams Grill we decided to walk off a little of our dinner and search for the perfect place for dessert. We walked through little Italy, down to the wharf and just never found exactly what I wanted. I was searching for the perfect chocolate offering.
Meanwhile, I had posted what we were doing on my status on facebook and one of my friends recommended Scalas Bistro on Powell. By this time we had hopped back on a cable car and were heading back towards Union Square and the cable car stopped right beside Scalas - it was definitely a sign. They had the most delicious dessert called chocolate chocolate and we finished every bite! http://www.scalasbistro.com/

Sometimes social networking comes in very handy - Thanks for the suggestion Nick!

Sams for dinner

Anytime we travel, we try to ask where the locals are eating. They always know the most delicious places and it helps us avoid tourist traps that are overpriced and have long waits. Bryan found us a quaint little restaurant for our dinner meal - Sams Grill. Sams had delicious seafood, fabulous bread, salads and a great wait staff. I highly recommend Sams! http://www.belden-place.com/samsgrill

Big City Shopping

I love to shop! Even if I am only window shopping, just seeing what is out there and what others are buying is enjoyable for me. Union Square definitely has lots to offer in the way of shopping. They have every big store imaginable: Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, North Face, Betsey Johnson, Crate and Barrel, Barneys, Ferrari, Kate Spade, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, and tons of little boutique shops and fabulous art galleries nestled in between the big name stores. I spent a wonderful afternoon exploring.

Chinatown


Breakfast in Chinatown: There is a bakery in Chinatown that I discovered several years ago. It is the Eastern Bakery on Grant. They have the best chocolate dipped granola that I have ever had. I always have to go there to get this special treat when I am in the area. Bryan and I started the day here and then we decided to split up for a while. I wanted to shop and he wanted to explore and take photos. This is one thing I really love about traveling with Bryan; we each can choose to do our own thing and then meet up for dinner and we both have a great time.

After breakfast, I headed out to browse in the little shops all along Grant street. I love wandering in and out of the stores to see what each of them has to offer. I found some cute dolls for the girls, a nice tea set and some fabulous deals on handbags.