Monday, December 31, 2012

I have super kids!

There are some photos, you just have to re-create.
Don't you agree?

What an honor to receive this gift!

Deanna gave us this for Christmas this year, from Dan.

This a flag that went on one of Dan's mission flights with him in Iraq. Dan had prepared this paperwork and kept the flag, in anticipation of making this as a gift for us. Just the fact that he took a minute to think of us, while he was serving in war-time touches my heart. The only thing that could have made this gift better, is if Dan was here to give it to us himself. We love and miss you Dan, and we are so proud of your willingness to live and die for what you believe in - protecting our precious America!

Hall family Christmas celebration in Nashville

We celebrated with the Hall side of the family on Christmas afternoon. What a wonderful time we all have when we get together. Lauren and Logan are such great kids, and it's always fun to be with Deanna and Bryan's parents.
Josh has added carving walking sticks to his list of hobbies and made some great ones for Logan and Kent this year. Kent's stick has a cowboy on top (being he's from OK).
What a wonderful family we have! 

Merry Christmas 2012

On Christmas eve - we had some believers and some skeptics, but everyone was excited to see what Santa might bring. So we hung our stockings, decorated cookies, scattered reindeer food and went to bed wishing safe travels for Santa.

Santa did not disappoint - We had a Merry Christmas 2012!

Thomas family Christmas celebration in Henderson

We were all able to be at Dad's house in Henderson for our Christmas celebration on Saturday and to worship together on Sunday.

On Saturday our cousins from Kentucky (Leonards) joined us at Dad's house, and I can't believe we didn't get a cousin picture! It was so good to spend time with them, I hope we can make this a tradition too. We have such great memories of holidays with our Kentucky cousins.

It's a Wonderful Life

We always enjoy the Wonderful Life Foundation's annual showing of "It's a Wonderful Life". After the movie, there is music, food and a fabulous silent auction.  All money raised goes directly to families with children battling cancer at Vanderbilt.

A wonderful cause, wonderful people and a fabulous movie. The absolute best way to kick off the Holiday season each year. 
It really is a Wonderful Life- they were just tired of my camera.

Redneck Christmas 2012

2012 Annual Redneck Christmas Party!


2012 Annual Holiday Newsletter

It's that time again, the annual holiday newsletter for the Hall family. 2012 has been a challenging and eventful year for our family, but we are hanging in with all the changes.

Bryan continues his day job with Verizon, he joined a new department which he really loves. His new department has recently announced some major changes, which could mean a relocation - more to come on that in the future months. We of course, would love and prefer to stay in Nashville, but we are trying to stay open to all opportunities.

Laura found found herself unemployed as her whole department was dissolved with a major shift in company focus at Shared Health. Luckily she fairly quickly found a new position with H2U in Nashville and continues to support/train Electronic Health Records. Laura continues to have great check ups and in June became a 4 year breast cancer survivor!

Josh left Gibson for more stable work hours, and loves his job with Vetter Electric. He continues to do custom furniture as a side project. Josh is also doing some crazy training for his endurance race coming up in Vermont this June. Chassi continues to offer childcare in their home, as well as keep up with school projects, her own half marathons and other various projects.

Anna Belle, 9 yrs old, 3rd grade and Morgan, 8 yrs old, 2nd grade are thriving at work and play. Anna and Morgan are currently training for the Nashville Kids Triathlon in May. They got new bicycles for Christmas to prepare for their race.

Emri just turned 5 years old, and started pre-K this year. She is really enjoying school and enjoying being with her big sisters at Liberty Elementary neighborhood school. Emri loves ballet and pretty much any other activity. I don't think I have to tell you - this is one HIGH ENERGY household!

Jenni continues to love working as a nanny for the Hodges family. They welcomed Delta Faye to the household in October so she now has her hands full with two precious little girls. Jenni continues to love music, literature and travel. She spent her Thanksgiving holiday exploring Rio de Janerio and the island of Ilha Grande. (tough life)

Our hope is that 2012 has been kind to you and that you have made some wonderful memories with those you love!

With love from us to you,
Bryan, Laura and Jenni
Josh, Chassi, Anna Belle, Morgan and Emri

Birthday Shopping at Phillips Toy Mart

It's become a tradition to take the girls shopping at Phillips Toy Mart for birthday gifts. Phillips is a great toy store in west Nashville. It's also where Bryan grew up shopping as a child, and where we took our kids.

So the tradition continues...

Happy Birthday! 
 Anna - December 15th, Morgan - January 24th, and Emri - December 2nd

Dr. Wagstrom check up

I had my yearly check up with Dr. Wagstrom (plastics) and she said my implants are behaving just as they should. My scars, which will always be there, are fading as they should and I don't have to return to see her for a year! I love hearing good news, especially at doctor's offices!

Live music anytime you want it

One of the great things about living in Music City, is live music anytime you want it. Not only do we host large shows almost nightly at the Ryman, Grand Ole Opry and Bridgestone, but you can find live music at the local pizza joint or one of many small venues.

Here are three of my recent favorite shows:

Ben Taylor @ 3rd and Lindsley

The Nashville Hayriders at Henpeck Market

If you haven't visited Henpeck Market, you should definitely go. It's a great place to gather, hear some fun music and have a fantastic meal!


The annual Holiday Howler @ Gibson Showcase. A great event for a great cause!

Jenni goes to Rio

Christ the Redeemer
As I mentioned before, Jenni spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Rio De Janiero and on the island of Ilha Grande. One of our friends, Justin, has been studying and working in Brazil this past year and invited Jenni to join him for a visit. As you can imagine, my travel loving little girl jumped at this chance and had the time of her life.


Jenni and Justin have known each other their whole lives, because his mom Kim and I have been best friends since kindergarten. Jenni had a wonderful trip of sightseeing, hiking, shopping and trying out all the local eats and drinks. She has some amazing pictures - although she and Justin are in NONE of them. I told her I would have loved to have photographic proof she was actually there. Oh well, she is back safe and had the trip of a lifetime.
Hotel in Ilha Grande

Thank you Justin for hosting Jenni and keeping her safe!

Ilha Grande

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's been a good backyard movie season

The season is coming to an end, but we've had some great backyard movie moments this year. Here are just a few. Obviously, some photos came out better than others.

Yard Art

I'll admit it - I love yard art! I'm keeping it all hidden behind our fence so the neighbors don't complain.

Here's my newest addition:

Can you name these movies? They are some of our favorites.

There is always always always something to be thankful for

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Lebanon with the Hall/Cole side of the family. Bryan's Mom and Dad always serve the most delicious holiday feasts. When I say feasts - I mean feasts! We always eat a very light breakfast, because we want to save room for all this great food.

Here's a photo of Bryan's plate. He's pretty good at loading his plate to take advantage of all the real estate there.

Morgan, Anna and Logan
The kids always have a great time exploring the neighborhood and playing in the yard. This year they decided to go rock climbing. Luckily the rocks aren't too high and no one needed assistance. We were there, but with our full stomachs I'm not sure how much help we would have been.

Morgan loves her cousin Lauren


Jenni didn't get to celebrate Thanksgiving with us this year, she is spending the week in Rio. More on that later...

Henderson friends monthly gathering

Linda, Lisa, Joyce, Elizabeth, Angeline and I try to get together for monthly dinners. We always have so much fun catching up and I know our Moms would be so happy that we do!

Our high school friend Tony joined us this month!

Brenda's in town!

Cousin Brenda comes to visit much more often now that Megan and Carson live here in Nashville, and her visits make me very very happy.

I have always loved spending time with Brenda, and it is so fun to watch Josh's girls squeal with glee when they see her arriving. Brenda and Megan are always game for playing wii or watching the girls put on one of their many musicals or plays.

I love my family!

I have always loved family gatherings, because I have an awesome family. We have had several occasions this year to gather and make wonderful memories. Jewel and Nancy were in town for a few days recently and we gathered for dinner at our house. The house was full of laughter, hugs and great stories.

It is so much fun to watch little cousins playing together like we did at Grandmothers big white house in Tuscaloosa.

I already know one of my new years resolutions will be to spend more time with my wonderful family!

Brownie Meeting

Our neighbor, Kim is a Brownie troop leader and invited Chassi, the girls and me to join her daughters and her for a Brownie meeting at their house. Kim and I had discussed how I was in Brownies and my mom was our troop leader.

We had a great time attending the tea party celebration in honor of Juliette Gordon Lowe's birthday, which happens to be on Halloween. All the girls dressed in their favorite costumes and we learned about the proper way to have high tea from one of the Moms who is from Bermuda.

Anna, Morgan and Emri can't wait to visit again. Thank you Kim, Maddie and Mary Caroline for including us in your fun day!

Surgical Oncologist visit

I had an appointment at Dr. Whitworth's office for my every 6 month check and it went really well. I continue to have some random phantom pain, which is just that a pain. It makes me feel like I am a bit crazy to have pain in the exact place that my tumor was, but it is always reassuring to hear that I am not the only patient that experiences this. You always hear of amputees having phantom pain, but until all this I was unaware it happens to mastectomy patients as well. It is also very reassuring when they check me out and tell me everything checks out fine. I was reminded again of all the things to watch for and report right away - dimpling, rashes, scaly skin, lumps, etc... Intellectually I know since I had a bilateral mastectomy I've pretty much got skin on implants, so if there is something there I should be able to feel it. I just have to keep reminding myself of this, when those little pains hit.

Also, since I continue to do well. I may get to move to yearly appointments after my next office visit with Dr. Whitworth!

Busy, Busy, Busy

I think I got used to being a lady of leisure, because going back to work has been tough. Everyone has been very nice and supportive and I think I will really like this job. I love traveling and I love meeting new people and this job will allow me to do both - while still bringing home a paycheck. Thank you God for this new opportunity!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mangia - Oct. 5, 2012

Our dinner club group decided to celebrate the October birthdays with a trip to Mangia Nashville. This was our second trip to this fabulous pop up restaurant and it was just as delicious and fun as the first trip. Chef Nick and his staff serve up a delicious meal in a great atmosphere.

Here's the fall menu:

Happy Birthday, Catherine and Jamie!



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I have completed my first week at my new job, and all I know at this point is that I have LOTS to learn! The people have been fantastic and I think I will really enjoy the job, once I figure out exactly how to do the job.

This card says it all!

Story People by: Brian Andreas

The adventures of Amber and Laura

Amber and a mouthy cockatoo in Key West

Sunset in Cozumel

Have a Coke and a smile - we skipped the Cigar!
Scary Mexican clown!

Does this table make my legs look short?

Enjoying every minute!

I am sure if I thought about it, there are many things my friend Amber has taught me over the years. One of the most important things I have learned from her is how to enjoy every single minute!

After I received and accepted a job offer, I called Amber to tell her the news. When I added in - I don't start for three weeks, her response was "Do you want to go somewhere?" to which I, of course said "Yes!" Amber called her sister Cindy who is a master at travel planning and she was able to find us a last minute 4 day cruise. So we packed up and headed to Miami to board the boat!

We had the perfect blend of fun and relaxation aboard the Carnival Imagination. We had delicious meals, explored Key West, swam and shopped in Cozumel and enjoyed all the entertainment the boat had to offer. We also got to engage in one of our favorite past-times - people watching! I'll spare you too many details, but let me just say - there were lots of interesting outfits and personalities to watch, and we were VERY entertained!

A new adventure...

It's always been a bit tough for me to turn things over and just have faith that it will all work out as it should. I guess I am a bit more of a control freak than I want to admit. Also, I come from a long line of worriers. Since being laid off, I had really tried to just pray that I would be placed wherever I needed to be. When Linda and I were with family recently, my cousin Nancy shared with me her experience of being laid off. Nancy said it was the best thing that ever happened to her, and resulted in a better job with higher pay. She said she felt I would end up in an better situation, as well. Having said that, I have news to share:
I have been offered, and accepted a job with H2U!
It's hard to explain, but from the moment I walked in the door I felt like this was a safe place for me to land. After my interview, we walked through the office, and with each person I met I felt more sure about joining this company. Everyone we encountered was very friendly and then I began to see a few familiar faces from early Gordian (former company) days. These were people I worked with years ago, and people who's judgement I really respected. I came home and told Bryan that I didn't want to get my hopes too high, but I felt really good about the opportunity. After waiting an eternity (really only 36 hours) I got a call and an offer!
My position at H2U will encompass two things I love - training and wellness! I will be training staff at the wellness clinics on how to use the electronic medical record.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Good friends, and a photo booth app = FUN!

Wedding weekend in Greenville

The family is one of nature's masterpieces
- George Santayna

I was blessed with a wonderful family. None of us are perfect by a long shot, but we celebrate our eccentricities, imperfections and love each other through them. Our family is spread from coast to coast, but when we gather together it's as if no time has passed. We laugh, we hug, sometimes we cry, but we always have a great time!

My mom would have loved it being at this wedding, and she is part of the reason we decided to go. Not only, because Hollis and Christy were getting married on her anniversary, but also because Mother was a firm believer in the importance of staying in touch with family. So Linda and I packed up, and drove to Greenville!

We arrived just in time to check in, get a quick hug from a cousin or two, and head to the ceremony. Hollis and Christy made a beautiful couple, and the love and happiness radiating from them couldn't help but bring a tear to your eye, and a smile to your face.

What a fun weekend, reconnecting with family and meeting new ones!