Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve in Florence

Florence, Alabama - not Italy

Bryan and I were unable to arrange to be in the same state for New Years Eve, due to work schedules, so I headed to Florence to ring in the new year with Amber, Bam and Connor. 

We celebrated with a delicious dinner and awesome southern rock music at Flobama.

Happy 2015!

Hap Hap Happy Holidays 2014

Annual shopping trip to Phillips Toy Mart

Bryan flew up from Florida and we spent the holidays with family and friends. 
Morgan, Anna Belle and Emri

The Hodges were out of town and graciously offered us their house (and doggies) so we could have plenty of room to celebrate. 

Chassi and Josh, Alex and Jenni
Thomas and Hall celebrations!

We are very blessed and it was a super holiday!

Anzel - the newest family member

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thanksgiving in Florida

Jenni, Alex and I drove to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with Bryan. 

We also fit in a trip to Universal while we were there! 
Entering Diagon Alley
It tastes exactly as you would expect.

Happy Birthday, Anzel!

A year ago I was working in El Paso when this little tyke was born. He is such a cutie! 

JT Hodges at City Winery

City Winery is a new venue in Nashville. We jumped at the chance to see JT play there. 
Great venue - awesome show!!


Bryan flew up for Halloween and we had a great time with the kids!

We also fit in a night with friends at Mafiosos Pizza.

Time to start a new chapter, but first some fun!


Diagon Alley at Universal

I will begin my new job back in Nashville this month, so Josh flew down to drive me and my things back. We decided to spend a day at Universal to relax and have some fun before the 10 hour drive. 

You have to stop for a Flaming Moe and Duff when in Springfield!
Bryan and Josh tackled Rip Ride Rockit. I was too scared! 

I yam what I yam!

August brings changes...

There have been several changes at work lately and it made me feel a little unsure of the future so I started looking around. I've loved my training job and especially working remotely from Florida, but it was time for a change. So...I interviewed and took a position with a company back in Nashville. This isn't a remote job, so I'll be moving back and Bryan will begin looking for an opening back at Verizon Nashville.

Please keep us in your prayers during this transition. 

Dexa Scan results

The gift that chemo gave: Osteoporosis. Boo! My bones have not improved, in fact they are a bit worse. They've adjusted my meds and I need to up my weight bearing exercise. 


We took a little weekend family trip to Gatlinburg. I took along Anna and Morgan, Linda brought Michael and Lisa, Anzel, Dad and Sherry were there. We had lots of fun staying in a cabin at Mountain Shadows and exploring town. Dad and Sherry were at a nearby hotel, so the kids took advantage of the hotel pool.

taffy pull
Go carts!

Dr. Peacock

Time again for my yearly check up with Dr. Peacock, my oncologist. I had blood work and a good exam and was declared a 6 year cancer survivor! I do have to have a dexa-scan to check my osteoporosis level to see if the bone meds are working, but that's for another day. 

Thank you God for good health reports!

Grayson and Margaret Anne

July 26th:
Grayson and Margaret Anne's wedding in Huntsville. (click wedding to see slideshow) 

I love my family!!

Spencer and Gina's wedding

July 25th:

I drove the girls back from Florida in time to attend Spencer and Gina's wedding in Nashville. It was so great to see Amber (Spencer's mom) and all her Buckley siblings. I have very few childhood memories that don't include this family. What a wonderful family and a beautiful wedding! 

One of the last pictures you saw of Amber was in a hospital bed. We all knew she would dance again! This is Amber and her sons, Spencer and Connor.

I love you Buckleys - thank you for being my second family!

Happy Birthday, Jenni

Jenni and her boyfriend Alex flew down a day early to Florida. We went to trivia night and our team name was "It's my Birthday" and we WON first place!

My house is full this week, and so is my heart!

Magic Kingdom 

Beach day at Cape Canaveral 
Family Portrait on Splash Mountain 

Happy Father's Day

Happy Fathers Day! I want to thank my Dad not only for the million things he has done for me, my family and friends, but also for the example he has been. His kind generous heart, love for God, country and mankind are traits I admire and strive to emulate. 
I love you Dad!

June 12th, Sanibel Island

June 12th:

We decided to escape for a long weekend and celebrate our upcoming 31st anniversary. After researching beaches near by we chose Sanibel Island. 

On the way to the beach we passed a smokin' bbq pit. Now, if you are a girl from West TN and you pass a smokin' pit in Florida you MUST stop, because there is potential for great food. Smokin' Joes BBQ did not disappoint! If you are ever passing through Lithia, Florida, stop in for great food. 

Sanibel Island
31 years with this guy!
We had a very relaxing weekend in Sanibel. The beaches are full of seashells and our hotel had a nice bar and grill, pool and private beach. 

May 17th, the Roots and Mardi Gras at Universal

May 17th:

Universal has become one of our favorite hang outs for days off or weekends. They begin their Mardi Gras celebration in March and continues it through May. The parades, cajun food choices and entertainment are awesome. Each week they have a different big name act for entertainment. This week we saw the Roots, and they put on an awesome show!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Erin and Brandon's wedding weekend

Erin and Brandon had a beautiful wedding at the Loveless Barn in Nashville. What a great couple!
Hasty-Goodwin Wedding Party

Erin and Jenni 

Jenni, Anna, Morgan and Emri

My beautiful grand-girls

Jenni's interview is at 14:45 

Dr. Whitworth visit

I have been trying to schedule all my medical appointments around visits to Nashville for events or work. This trip to TN included my yearly trip to the oncology surgeon. 
After some poking and prodding I was declared healthy. Norma, my wonderful NP reminded me again of things to look for and report. I also love how the nurses add a little eye candy to each room. I'm not sure Dr. Whitworth totally agrees, but he trusts his nurses to know what we ladies need. 

Thank you Nashville Breast Center!

The Windy City, a 50th Birthday and a Gangster

My fabulous big sister Linda and I celebrated her 50th birthday with a trip to Chicago. 

Her cousin in-law Nancy who lives there joined us, and also Lisa, Chadd and Anzel were there for a while with us too. What a great weekend of giggling, shopping, dining and exploring! 

Happy 50th, Linda- I love you!

One of those days...

Do you ever have one of those days when you just can't get things to line up and go right? I had one of those on my recent trip to Louisiana for work. The day started with my missing my window to check my bag at the ticket counter. So I had to lug my large bag to the gate and check it there. Security confiscated and threw away my oversize (5 oz toothpaste), because clearly Crest can be a hazard. That should have been my first sign. When I arrived at the gate my flight was delayed due to weather, causing me to miss my connecting flight to Lafayette. I was given 3 standby options - each 2 hours apart. I reported to the first gate, which was changed 3 times. I felt like I was stuck in that scene in Airplane where the people are running from gate to gate as the plane drives by the window. It was so ridiculous it was almost comical. I was finally granted a boarding pass and all was well...or so I thought. 

We boarded the small plane and had a very normal take off. The first flight had been turbulent so the bumpiness of this one didn't phase me much. I was buckled in and trying to relax. After about 20-30 minutes in the air the pilot came on the speaker and said we needed to return to Dallas, that we had some wing vibration when we reached top speed and altitude. Ok, he's the boss, so I was disappointed but all for a safe trip. 

Then 7 minutes before we landed the pilot came back on the speaker. He wanted to let us know that because we were returning to DFW it was considered an emergency landing and we would be met on the tarmac by ambulances and firetrucks as a precaution. Hmm...wonder why he left that part out with the first announcement?

Thanks to a great pilot we made it back safely, and I took a detour flight to a different city (Baton Rouge) and then embarked on a short road trip (in a large passenger van- because that's all that was left) into Lafayette. What a day, but alls well that ends well! 

Do you have a family password?

We were recently hanging out with friends and some of the moms were talking about a news story where a preschool girl was approached by a stranger. The little girl did not go with the stranger, because he didn't know the family password. Her parents had clearly taught her about stranger danger and how to know when to run for help.

Growing up, we had a family password. It was mostly used when we were staying in hotel rooms. If someone left the room to get ice they would have to say the password to get back in. Ours was a long silly password, but I hadn't thought about that in years until recently. Evidently passwords are used in lots of schools and daycare settings now. I think it's a fabulous idea, so I'm spreading the word to those that may not one in place. 

Savannah weekend to celebrate a big birthday!

It's the year of turning the big 5-0, for Bryan, Mike, Lori and Linda - among many others. You just can't let these milestones go un-celebrated so we planned a trip and met in historical Savannah, GA.

We spent a wonderful weekend of shopping, exploring and of course dining at all our favorites - The Crab ShackGarabaldis and Vinnie Van-Go-Gos

We walked through Bonaventure graveyard and read all the old tombstones, took a hop on/off tour of Savannah and even did the nighttime Ghost Tour. What a fun weekend to celebrate with fabulous friends!

Video pending

Spring Break Visitors

We had some great spring break visitors this year. Deanna, Logan and Lauren came to visit. Bryan's parents came for a few days, and Linda, Alan and the boys came to stay as well.

insert photos here

Come visit us - We love visitors!

A Harry Potter bachelorette weekend

March 29 2014

Since Erin and Jenni were young they've talked about going to the Wizarding World of Potter. Since Erin is getting married in May they decided to take a quick trip south to make their dream of visiting Hogwarts come true. I tagged along as the official bachelorette photographer. 

It ended up being a very rainy day, but these two can have fun anywhere, anytime! 

Now...on to the wedding! 

Quick trip to the home office, with a detour to Florence

March 2014

I made quick trip to the home office for my annual evaluation. Since I was so close, I drove 2 hours south to Florence to visit Amber. Her hand and foot are healing, her nose is back to perfect and she isn't having to wear her neck/back brace 24 hrs a day. We went to dinner and had a great visit! 

I spent the next night with Josh, Chassi and the girls. We all cuddled on the couch and watched Frozen. All in all a wonderful trip to Nashville! 
Oh yeah, and the business reason for my trip - a good evaluation!

When did you talk to your friend last?

On the actual Valentines day, we made a delicious meal and settled down to see what was on TV. I flipped on my ipad and logged in to facebook to see what cute Valentine photos and funnies were being posted by my friends. Almost immediately I had a message pop up from one of my hometown friends. It said "when did you talk to Amber last?" I had actually just texted Amber an hour or so earlier to ask if she was home. I knew she had just returned from the Westminster dog show and then left again to head to Missouri for her step-father's funeral. My friends response was one that caught my breath. She said "I think their plane just went down in Pinson, it was just on the radio." 
So...I called Cindy and from there got the news that it was them and that Bam was ok, but Amber had been hurt. The next few hours were full of pieced together information. 
I finally got to talk to Bam and arranged a flight to head to Nashville to see my friend. Amber had multiple fractures, a lacerated forehead and most critical of all- fractured vertebrae. When I walked in and saw that awful neck and back brace and heard that sweet voice and saw her drugged up smile- I knew

she would rally from that hospital bed. That gal is tough! 

I was able to stay for several days and each day she amazed me, her multiple visitors and the hospital doctors, staff and physical therapist more and more. I was so grateful for all the visitors that came to bring a smile on her face, childhood friends, high school friends and college friends. Amber is loved by so many, and she was showered with all the things that can make you feel better, soft kleenex, flowers, fruit, pop-tarts, pepsi, snacks and lots and lots of chocolate! 

In fact Amber was discharged a week after that plane crash. Of course, she was insistent on going home to recoup in her own surroundings. Her Mom met her there, and nothing helps you feel better than a Mama's love!

Amber's first selfie after she returned home

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
― A.A. Milne