Friday, July 20, 2012

Coffee Shop Dates

I don't know why I never wrote about this last week, but I just wanted to write a note about how thankful I am for the group of ladies that I have here in Nashville. They are some of the most supportive friends that I've been surrounded by since I lived in Florida, and it's good to finally have that again. There was just something about last week that I happened to have the opportunity to meet with two different groups of girls for ladies nights on Wednesday and on Sunday. There is just something so refreshing about unloading all the stresses and worries of the week onto a group of kind, listening ears. So many thanks to Brittney and Jen, and then to Jamie, Jordie and Crystal. Gotta love married lady talks haha

The massive strawberry shortcake that I had Wednesday night

Crystal and I on Sunday night (photo from Jordie)

Taking Me Back

Talking about a tiring week! But when is it not, I guess. I think that I've finally just admitted to myself that we're in the time of our lives where things just DON'T STOP. We never have a break because there is always something, big or small, going on in our worlds. I can't even imagine what it would be like to bring a child into all this craziness... but then again, I could just be overreacting (and tired).

This past Tuesday Keith and I got a chance to go see one of my most favorite bands from high school, Death Cab for Cutie. We bought these tickets forever ago and in the chaos that is our monthly schedule, we almost forgot that we were going. It was a welcome surprise when we looked at the calendar and actually remembered that we had something fun to look forward to. Since Keith has access to fancy tour history websites, we looked up that I has previously seen Death Cab in 2004, 2005 and 2006, meaning that its been SIX years since I've given them a proper listen. I was worried about not enjoying this concert because they've put out a couple albums since then that I never purchased, and as we were walking into the Ryman we could tell that the crowd had definitely gotten younger since the last time I was at one of their shows. Still though, they managed to blow me away! I counted, and they only played 3 songs from the album they're touring for, and 2 from the album before that... the rest of the set was made up of songs from all of my most favorite cds. It was glorious! I had such a great time singing along to all my old favorites, and it really took me back to high school and the first time that I ever saw them live, which was one of the greatest shows of my life. They're great musicians who put on a great live show, and I can't see myself passing up an opportunity to see them live anytime they happen to be near. For as great as they sounded, and as great as the set was, the crowd there turned out to be pretty terrible. I think that because they played so many older songs that newer listeners hadn't heard before, people were getting restless and talking which is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Regardless, I had a wonderful time, and it was nice to have a little midweek date with Keith :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Weekend with the Bergers

This weekend we got a chance to spend both Friday, Saturday and a little bit of Sunday with friends from our small group: the Bergers. We don't see them TOO often because they live about 25 minutes away in Smyrna, but when we do get together it's always a good time (hence the hanging out all weekend thing). Last Wednesday, Brittney kindly put together a ladies night, and so Brandon and Keith got some time to hang out. As we were parting ways we decided that before we ended our current hang out time, we needed to be sure to schedule the next time we would be seeing each other as a way of making sure that quality time together happens more often. It was arranged that we would drive down to their place on Friday night for dinner, which made for quite a lovely evening. Brittney put together some yummy salad and pasta, and we all got a chance to unwind from our work weeks by hanging out back with good beers and good conversations. Somewhere during the course of our evening we all discussed how much we wanted to take a tour of the local distillery in Nashville, Corsair, but they were all booked up. Still though, we vowed to spend part of Saturday together. Plan B then became to take a tour of our favorite brewery Yazoo which we go to ALL the time, but have never taken a formal tour. Brittney and Brandon made their way to our house, we swung by the brewery to reserve our tour time, and then had a delicious lunch at the 12 South Taproom. Our tour was at 4pm, and as we learned a bit about the brewery and the brew process we tasted heavily and left quite happy. We had a couple more beers in the taproom before we moved on to try more local beers at Jackalope (terrible, bleckk) but of course ended up back at Yazoo to fill up our growlers (for free) and then we grabbed some hot chicken at Pepperfire and went home. The Bergers didn't hang around too much longer, and we were thankfully in bed at a decent hour ( haha).

I don't know if you could tell from all that I just wrote... but we had one of the BEST weekends we've had in a long time! When we have nothing on the agenda for our weekends we usually do our best to lay low, relax and lounge around the house to try and offset how tired we are from the week. In this case we were VERY thankful that we broke out of our routine a bit and tried some new things with good friends. Here are some photos from our adventures (some from me, and some from Brittney):

Friday Night at the Bergers

Saturday Lunch

First of many group shots

The waitress put hearts in their beers, they felt special haha


Behind the scenes



Yazoo taproom group

Jackalope (lady beers)

Free growler fills, gotta love making beer friends haha

Friday, July 13, 2012

Exhibition Three

Last night was my third family night at camp, and one of my most successful exhibitions of the campers art! I actually had a parent tell me that her daughter made more interesting projects and had more fun than her other daughter who had gone to camp at the art museum. Then there were a few others who made sure to tell me they we happy to finally have a "real" art program at camp haha. Hearing so many good things from the parents definitely makes all the hard work more worth it... it really has been a great summer. Here are some photos of the things we did this past session:

This week for their theater performance the kids put on a rendition of Titanic, complete with a "sinking" ship. It was completely hysterical.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Direction

I feel like I've hinted at this a couple of times, and certainly haven't been shy to share this information with anyone who has asked, but I haven't made any official statements regarding my new job! As I've talked about a few times here, I've struggled this past year with finding a full time job, and with figuring out what I even wanted to be doing here in Nashville. I just kind of rode the wave of jobs that I was presented with once my Americorps term ended which took me from teaching art after school, to subbing, to subbing at a preschool and to where I am now teaching at camp. Every one of those jobs has been GREAT (except subbing for the school system... worst ever!) but I wanted to not have 4 different jobs that I went to on different days... I just wanted ONE full time, go to everyday and get a steady paycheck type job. Well, beginning on August 1st, I'm about to FINALLY make that "dream" come true.

This fall I will be leaving my part time jobs behind and I will now be a full time lead preschool teacher at Micah Children's Academy, the preschool that I had been faithfully subbing at throughout the year. I could not be more thrilled with the age group I've been placed with and the assistant teachers I'll be able to work with. I had a couple of other potential jobs waiting in the wings, but I knew that this offer just felt right. Everyone at the school always welcomed me with open arms and helped me to feel loved, respected and included there, so I'm really happy to be entering the world of full time teaching with that kind of team on my side. Obviously preschool is a little different than the art world I've been living in for the past few years, but I've been taking the past month or so and getting myself prepared for the challenges that I may face. I've also been working with the teacher that I'll be taking over for and learning all her tips and tricks for creating a safe and fun learning environment for the students. Gosh, this is going to be such an exciting and challenging year! Can't wait to share this journey with you all!

Now here's hoping that this is the LAST "new job" that I have to inform anyone of for a good, long while. I think Keith and I have changed jobs more than enough for a lifetime just since we've lived here in Nashville haha.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July the Fourth

Our 4th of July this year was a little different than usual because for the first time in my LIFE I had to WORK on the holiday. I guess that's what I get for working at a day camp haha. So while I was complaining and griping about having to go into work while EVERYONE else in the country was drinking beers and partying... Keith made some plans with friends to fill up his time until we thought I would be getting home. Turns out, our usual roster of 300 campers was reduced to about 55, so when our director asked who wanted to go home I raised my hand as high as it would go haha. Needless to say, I was there and back in less than 2 hours. With Keith headed off to the batting cages with Bennett, I toyed with the idea of taking a nap, but ended up going to the gym because I wanted to swim. The outdoor pool was PACKED beyond limits, so I opted to exercise for a bit, and then swim laps in the indoor pool solo. Did nothing for my "tan" but the "ADULTS ONLY" sign on the door won me over haha. After I got home, Keith was done hitting baseballs so I met him down the street at the Music City Hot Chicken Festival. Wooooooof. It was probably around 110degrees outside so even the walk from the car to the park was like crawling across the surface of the sun... meaning we didn't stay too long, because the idea of eating food meant to scald your mouth couldn't have been any less appealing, ugh. We shared a sandwich, Keith had a couple beers and then we headed home to get our house ready to have people over for a BBQ. By about 6pm we a great group of friends hanging out on the deck while Keith grilled various things for everyone and we enjoyed some beers and conversations together. Everyone left by 8 or 9 to get back home, or to see fireworks and Keith and I actually ended up in bed before our local fireworks even went off! Party animals haha. Here are some of our daily photos:

That whole hour I was at work? Yeah, I just made festive buttons haha

Indoor pool... much preferred to the one foot of personal space I would have had in the outdoor pool, yuck.

Feigning excitement at the hot chicken festival... believe me, no one is happy when its more than 100degrees outside.

Keith and David around the dinner table

Other guests: McKel, Jamie, Tytus and Cory

Bennett and McKel, not pictured, their dog Zoey who was under the table at the time... sweet girl!


Bein nerds.

I may have staged this patriotic photo of Theo... just maybe ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Birthday Concert

This past weekend my uncle Chris and his girlfriend Heidi came to visit us! We had such a blast showing them around town and taking them to some of our most favorite places to eat. The main event for the weekend though was seeing Ringo Starr play at the Ryman Saturday night. What a crazy amazing experience to be able to say now that I've seen a Beatle play live! Can't thank Chris enough for that one haha. One of the reasons Chris was so adamant about seeing this show was that it was his birthday, but also Ringo's birthday too. Needless to say it was a VERY fun weekend, filled with food, drinks, laughs and good times. Here are some photos from our adventures:

Before they even arrived, Theo welcomed their arrival by finding a nice spot under the covers on their freshly made guest bed. What a brat...

Right off the plane we drove them over to Yazoo to have some local beers and to catch up. 

We obviously had a great time because we left with 3 growlers of beer hahaha After this we proceeded to Mas Tacos where we nearly finished them all. Oops.

Saturday at noon Ringo did his annual birthday "peace and love" broadcast at the Hardrock downtown, so we made our way over to join the crowd in singing happy birthday. 

Peace signs all around!

Afterwards we walked over to Hatch Show Print to check out the posters that would be selling at the show.

Then we took them on a tour of the Belmont/Music Row area and had a renegade tour of RCA Studio B

Which we also toured the first time my parents were in town!

Then lunch and beers for the birthday boy at the Flying Saucer.

Dinner before the show was at our favorite, Burger Up. 

Classic photo in front of the Auditorium

A shot of the poster we got for Chris' birthday present... all too relevant because of his shared birthday with Ringo (we got one for ourselves too, come on... he was a BEATLE!)

Chris and Heidi getting ready for the show to start.

Ringo and the All Star Band! What a great show, definitely one for the personal record books.

A shot of everyone on the stage during the finale of "A Little Help from my Friends" which included Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Kix Brooks, Joe Walsh and lots of others I didn't recognize...

Getting lovey during the show.

After party honky tonkin at Roberts
 Sunday didn't get pictured much because we did our best to just sleep up, hang around the house and all those other great things that come along with Sundays. We did have two great meals: lunch at Mitchell's and a fabulous dinner at Coco's Italian Market in West Nashville. Overall... SO great having them in town and being able to spend some time with my uncle without the glorious chaos that sometimes comes along with getting the whole family together. Can't wait to have them come visit again!