Friday, September 30, 2011


My day has made a rapid turnaround from my previously posted crisis. Keith is on his way home and we're going to enjoy a date night together, I'm watching the leaves gently blow off the trees in our yard from a great spot on the couch and I'm enjoying a first listen at Ryan Adams' new album "Ashes and Fire". All is well in the world.

I have a feeling that this album will be a permanent fixture in my car this fall/winter. I just cannot get enough and I'm hoping that Keith will become a fan also :)

Take a listen here... thank you SO much NPR!


So here I am on this BEAUTIFUL Friday afternoon with my windows and doors open enjoying the breeze only to turn around and find that my wonderful little cat has brought me a present:

Theo is a TERRIBLE gift giver. Just plain awful. I tried to ignore this little gift but I was irrationally afraid that it would slither onto the couch and down my shirt. I let Theo play with it a little longer hoping he would bring it back outside, and then left the door open just in case it saw fit to escape. THEN! I looked out the door only to find Theo trotting up the steps with a bigger, longer and more squirmy snake than before and I don't think I've ever moved quicker in my life. I slammed the door as hard as I could and stood on the couch praying the first snake hadn't suddenly made a move while I was otherwise occupied. I looked like a total crazy person. After listening to Theo cry to come in, I went around front (to make sure he didn't have anything in his evil cat mouth) and let him in and told him he needed to find the snake! I made a frantic call to Keith and he told me to be brave and try to get rid of it. Once I spotted the snake in a vulnerable position I put my brave-girl pants on and got a shovel, scooped him into a bag and set him free. I only screamed like... twice. and now my house is (hopefully) snake free. and now Theo doesn't get anymore outside time, because he's clearly perfected his snake catching skills and I'm NOT letting him get anymore practice. 

Hope everyone else is having a great Friday... now I'm just thinking about all those great things I could have been doing during those 2 hours I spent worried about a snake. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011


So I know that I've hinted at this a few times, but finally next week I will be starting a new job! Don't worry... this isn't a bad thing, I'm not leaving because I hate it or because I've had enough, I just only signed an 11 month contract and believe it or not but we've almost lived here in Nashville for a whole year! As much as I've griped about the craziness of my job this past year it will be extremely bittersweet to step away, and not see my students everyday. I knew this day would eventually come, but thankfully my new job doesn't require me to pull away from them completely.

So what is this new exciting job? Well, it's almost exactly like the job that I had in Florida before we ever moved to Philadelphia, which means it's as close to my dream job as I've ever been. Let me explain... the non-profit community center that I work at does tutoring after school at our site but also at many other schools throughout east Nashville. There is a whole troupe of tutors, in an entire department that I've had no contact with throughout my year of employment. A couple months ago I saw a posting online that the center was looking to hire an art teacher after school and was immediately upset to think that the people I worked with knew that this was what I wanted to do, but never mentioned it before posting. Anyway, I sent in my resume and got a phone call within hours for me to go to the Director of Educations office. We had always been cordial with each other, but didn't work in the same department, so we hadn't ever had a conversation that went past casual small talk... meaning she didn't know I was an art teacher! She explained that the job they had posted was for a teacher to work at a few of their tutoring sites doing art enrichment to offset some of the academics and she hired me on the spot. I've known since then that I had solid employment lined up after my Americorps term expired and have just been WAITTTTIINNNGGGG for the moment they would let me start. I'm not technically done with my term until October 14th, but by some miracle (and way too much miscommunication) it has been confirmed that I will be starting this coming Monday. I will travel between 4 different sites, Monday through Thursday. 2 Elementary school groups and 2 Middle school groups and I could not be more excited! I finally get to teach art again! I've kinda been nerding out and have about 2 months worth of lesson plans ready and waiting haha. The best part about this job though, is that I will be making the same amount of money that I made this year working 40 hours a week by only working 8 hours at this new job AND I'll still be working for the same center so I can come back to visit whenever I want even if I won't see them everyday! Best of both worlds and I am so grateful that this all just fell into my lap.

In all the confusion about my start date, I kind of forgot to mention to my students that I would be leaving them soon. This school year has been a little different for them since my replacement was hired in August and has been primarily working with them since. I have definitely stepped out of a leadership role in our room in order to make her transition easier, but they are definitely still used to coming to me to talk about their problems or when they're looking for hugs or help. I casually brought it up in our class today and was SO surprised when I had more than one student laying in my lap in tears. I guess I never gave myself enough credit, or thought they cared as much as they did. When my supervisor announced it to them again later I thought they were going to bring me down when they all tried to hug me at once haha. I'm going to miss these little ones so much, but it has truly been an amazing year watching them grow up, and I hope that I can be consistent with checking in on them throughout the rest of the year.

So many changes! I feel like our lives have constantly been in flux since our wedding last August, but it's all been so good that it's hard to complain. I'm still waiting to discover what my next BIG step will be since this new job is just 2 hours after school, but in the meantime I'll be substitute teaching and waiting on whatever may come my way :)

Some of the notes I got tonight.

What our guest room looks like currently as I try to sort all of my supplies to travel to all my different schools.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Friends Are Family

Last weekend we made a quick trip to Georgia to visit some of our greatest friends Dane and Deb and their amazing family. We don't get to see them nearly enough, but regardless of that we have an immense love for this family... you see, Dane is the amazing man who you know... legalized our wedding. Got ordained to marry us... he's the best and Deb, she ran the show at our wedding and made me way less stressed than I could have been. We will forever have an unbreakable bond with them because of that (oh and the fact that we all have the same last name) and it was SO GREAT to be able to spend time getting to know their children and loving them to pieces. It was awesome, and definitely didn't help that crazy baby fever I've got going on (don't worry, we're not jumping the gun anytime soon). It was one of those weekends away that didn't feel stressful or leave us tired, which is the best in my opinion. Also, while we were in Georgia we got a chance to see Keith's mom and Joe-dad as well as best friend Jonathan and his soon-to-be wife Erin at their wedding shower. Good times all around :) Here are some photos of our adventures:

Keith reading to Ember

Making silly faces.

Keith reading to Josiah and Ember.

Playing music.

Sweet baby Sage, the smiliest baby I've ever seen!

Keith and Sage.

Watching videos with Josiah and Ember.

Deb, Josiah and I.

Deb and Ember singing.

Richards family photo in front of their brand new house!

The best :)

Ember and daddy tree climbing.

Sage and Deb.


She is so happy!!!

Waving goodbye to us.
and then at the shower....
Keith with the happy couple.

Jonathan and the 3 craftsman shop vacs he got hahaha

Friday, September 23, 2011

Florida Visitors

This past week Keith and I have been keeping busy with some of our best Florida friends who came to visit! Ben an Jackie arrived on Tuesday evening and we've been having a blast with them since. I was able to take Wednesday off to spend exploring the city and to relax and catch up with them. We had a few awesome meals, got a chance to check out a couple honky tonk bars downtown, and had some great beers as well. Here are some photos from their visit:
Classic Nashville breakfast.

Enjoying some time out front while the boys cooked.

Smoke monster.

Live music at Roberts.


In other news... the momentum of this week doesn't look like it will be slowing down any time soon. In just a couple hours I'll be picking Keith up from work and we'll start our drive down to Georgia to visit our friends Dane and Deb and also to go to Jonathan and Erin's wedding shower. Should be a great weekend full of awesome friends and family. Also, if everything goes as planned (fingers crossed!) I should be starting my new job on Monday! more on that later... hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I have been waiting FOREVER to post about this on here! I know I've mentioned it before, but since we've been in Nashville Keith has been playing drums with a few of his friends. It feels like months ago that they recorded two of their songs, but I know I'm just being dramatic :) Anyway, I am pleased to introduce:

Check out their songs here on facebook and follow them on twitter if you would like! I'm excited to see where they take this, maybe some shows coming up? It is definitely worth a listen!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I took a little bit of unplanned time away from the blog this week mostly due to absolute exhaustion. I think I will always be amazed at how tired I am at the end of my work day, regardless of how busy I was. I don't work more than an 8 hour day, but somehow getting finished at 7pm as opposed to 5, or 6 just completely wipes away any bit of energy or motivation. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who feeds me dinner and puts me to bed each night, usually before 10pm haha.

Here are some things that happened this week while I was away from the internet:

Last Sunday we had Trent and Jordie over to watch the Titans game and we made our favorite pizza.

Then we worked REALLY hard to get this group shot haha

One of my little favorites Elijah was SOOOO excited about his new outfit that he asked me to take his photo... precious :)

On Friday Sarah and I took her middle school group on a field trip. 

We went to Rocket town, a local music venue/skatepark and they learned how to play some instruments (note the enthusiasm)

Friday night Steve and Sarah came over, we ate Mas Tacos again and came back to the house to have some beer and hang out... Keith broke out his leather jacket and we all had a good laugh haha

Saturday afternoon we ventured out to find the Grilled Cheeserie food truck with Steve.

I had cheddar with tomatoes and avocado aioli. Yum! Topped off with tots and Mexican Coca-Cola. 

Keith and Steve went to band practice for a few hours on Saturday afternoon so Sarah and I took a walk at Shelby Bottoms to avoid lazily laying on the couch all day.

Then Keith and I watched a movie and Theo stayed very close by 

and today, in honor of the great sandwich I had yesterday, I broke out the panini press and made my own, which was not nearly as amazing, but was way cheaper haha
Some other things that I did this week that didn't get photographed?

  • I woke up early to run two miles three different mornings this week AND I went to a 6am Zumba class... hooray for morning motivation!
  • Because of how good I was with exercising this week I treated myself to a delicious lunch at Mitchell's on Thursday. Mmmmm. 
  • We slept in until 10am both Saturday and Sunday... it felt SO great.
  • I worked a nearly 12 hour day on Friday which is usually my day off... oops.
  • I finished everything I need to do to become a substitute teacher here in Nashville, I can't believe how soon I will be transitioning away from my job!
  • I got some awesome new work pants at the Gap for 50% off! Good things come to those who wait for sales. 
  • Oh and we made chili yesterday, and it was probably the best it has ever tasted. So stinkin good!

Anything interesting happen while I was away?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peaceful Snacking

On Saturday Keith and I did some laundry and caught up around the house, which was definitely the relaxing day that we needed. The only time we deemed worthy of leaving the house was for Keith to get fitted for a suit for an upcoming wedding he's in. On our way back from the mall we stopped and grabbed a bottle of wine to share outside as we enjoyed the amazing weather :) Keith made us this great little appetizer that I found on pinterest awhile ago. It was such a tasty snack to have before dinner... and speaking of the weather? Nashville has had the grossest, hottest summer I've ever felt, but this weekend was pure bliss... I've almost forgotten all about these disgusting past 3 months haha. It was great to spend some time outside with my two favorite boys...

I cut mine up and ate it with bread, mmmm.