Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Most Forgotten Point

I know I am not perfect. I know sometimes I pretend to be, but I am working on humility. I also think I know what part makes me not perfect. And I think it’s something that a lot of people struggle with.

Sometimes I forget that people love me. Not that the people that love me do a bad job of showing me they love me, because they don’t. But because I get so frustrated or angry or upset that my brain clouds my judgement, and I don’t ever think that maybe the person who I am angry with isn’t saying things to hurt me. They are saying things because they love me.

Sadly though, this cloudiness can lead to people saying some extremely mean and hurtful things. I know some of the things I am most sorry for in life were because I said something when I was in this type of situation.

I think it’s important to remember that people are not evil…some are, but most aren’t. And the ones that make us craziest are probably the ones that love us the most. Maybe we should cut them some slack.


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At my heaviest, I weighed 300 pounds. I never in a million years thought I would be able to run for prolonged periods of time, let alone for 30 minutes straight. But with some great support and some hard work, Savannah and I recently ran our first 5k. We participated in  the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure supporting breast cancer awareness and research. Here is a picture of us from race day.

We also hiked for Safe Haven, a homeless shelter for families, who every year puts on Hike for the Homeless. We mentioned in our blog from last October, that we were participating in  the sixth annual hike. Savannah, her sister Brook, and two of Brook’s boys, Cameron and Ethon, formed Team Trailblazers. For the seventh annual hike, Team Trailblazers almost doubled in size! Also our team was able to raise $200 in just two days! We also hiked Edwin Warner Park for 2.67 miles! We are so fit! 🙂 Here is a picture of the whole team.

And continuing with a move to fitness, we are running the Grace Ministries Turkey Trot on November 24. We are super excited because our good friends John and Anelle will be running with us! Well, they will probably be running ahead of us, but we will be in  the same race.


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Greetings all! It’s been a while since our last update. As you can read from Part 1 and Part 2 of our last blog entry. Savannah had back surgery, and I have had play practice. Well we are finally starting to get our lives back into the swing of things, and the play I am in, “Father of the Bride,” opens this Friday, June 4th! If you would like tickets visit Pull-Tight Theater’s website.

So the play is all about the Banks family making preparations for the daughter’s marriage (her name is Kay) to Buckley Dunstan, a young business man who “makes something or other.” I haven’t done theater in eight years, and it seemed only appropriate to get back into acting by being in a play about a wedding the first year I am married. The play is quite funny and has some very warm moments. And there are definitely some parts that bring up memories from Savannah and my wedding.

When I was thinking about it this morning, the cast includes a cavalcade of characters separate from the family that, despite Stanley Banks’s initial reaction (who as my father would say is wound up tighter than a tick in heat), are there to help. From Miss Bellamy, Mr. Banks’s secretary, to the furniture movers who move every piece of Mr. Banks’s furniture, including his favorite chair, these people are here to make Kay’s wedding a day to remember.

Looking back at our wedding, this is a universal truth about weddings. Weddings are definitely about two people being in love, but it’s also about people coming together and making a normal day into the most special day in two people’s lives. It’s about sharing the love between those two people with all the people that they love.

But why wait for a wedding. I wanted to take this Wedding Wednesday blog to thank all of my loved ones for not only supporting Savannah and I during the wedding, but during Savannah’s first surgery, and my first play in a decade, and LuLu’s bad vet appointment, and checking on us during the flood, etc. Savannah and I are truly blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. We love you all!

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Bonne fin de semaine de l’Amour! That’s a bunch of de’s. 🙂 That’s right, this weekend was Valentine’s Day Weekend, and it was a pretty big deal for Savannah and me. This Valentine’s Day marked our First Married Valentine’s Day! So we wanted to make it very special!!

We started our celebration on Saturday morning. Savannah made a gift basket that had details for a Day in Paris. Here’s the gift basket with the card she got me and the little book she made me:

The basket included plans for breakfast, a homemade dinner and a movie. We started our morning by having a French breakfast at Provence.  It was a delicious meal. We even had french hot chocolate (chocolat chaud), which was nice because it was so cold Saturday morning. They were out of the bread we wanted for our French dinner, so we then drove to another Provence location for our French bread.

After our morning activities, we took an intermission from French Day to have Valentine’s Day Tea at Savannah Tea Company with my mom and the Sweets. (We were excited to see Penelopi to give her the Valentine’s gift we got her!) Those that regularly read the blog know that Savannah Tea Company made our wedding cake. They are also a tea house that has great food and a schmorgisborg of different flavored teas. They are like the Baskin-Robbins of teas!

After our delicious 5-course meal and tea, it was back to our day in Paris. Savannah and I stopped at Corrieri’s Formaggeria to pick up some ingredients for our French dinner. Growing up, my parents always had nice cheeses with crackers as appetizers before big dinners. It was nice to actually go get the nice cheese for myself for once. Being my first time, I didn’t really know what to get, but the guy at Corrieri’s was awesome! He was a big help, and the cheeses he suggested were delicious! If you like cheese, I highly recommend making a stop. Corrieri’s is right behind Vinea Wine & Spirits, and they were actually having a $5 wine, cheese and chocolate tasting while we were getting our cheeses. [Fun fact: Corrieri’s is owned by the same people as Mafiaoza’s, which is the place that catered our wedding.]

After a trip to the grocery store, we headed back toward Bellevue and started making dinner. On the menu, french baggette and fine cheeses for appetizer, and the main course was Croque Monsieur (this is basically fancy grilled ham and cheese) and bisque de tomates (tomato bisque). It was DELICIOUS! I don’t  mean to toot our horn, but Savannah and I are excellent chefs!

And what’s dinner without some entertainment? As part of Savannah’s gift basket, she got a DVD Romantic Comedy movie pack, that included the classic “French Kiss” starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. Savannah couldn’t believe that I had never seen it. I wasn’t a big fan, but truth be told, I am not a big Meg Ryan fan. Also, we have been watching Lost recently, so I think a romantic comedy wasn’t holding my attention enough. That aside, Kevin Kline was good in it, and the plot was cute, but most importantly it was absolutely lovely to get the chance to spend Valentine’s Day Eve with the most beautiful woman in the world! 🙂

So what about Sunday, Valentine’s Day proper? Well, we didn’t make any big plans for the day besides dinner reservations. We spent the afternoon finishing the first season of “Lost” and then drove out to White Bluff to give the nephews their Valentine’s presents. We ended up missing our dinner reservations, so we decided to have our Valentine’s Day dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (romantic right?). 🙂 Savannah has been craving buffalo sauce, and we have both been wanting to give it a whirl. So we figured, why not? (It was really good, and we had a great time. We were definitely not disappointed with our choice.)

Well that was the story of our First Married Valentine’s Day. It was filled with time spent with each other, and time spent with family that we love. To those we didn’t get to see, we love you all too. We will have to give you an extra big hug next time we see you.

Love you all!

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Day 2 of wedding dress shopping took me, my mom, my older sister Brook and my BM Kelly all over middle Tennessee. It was a full day! We started at the Bridal Warehouse in Goodlettsville, which reminded me a lot of David’s Bridal, but a little cheaper probably. They were helpful, but the experience definitely wasn’t as nice as it had been at the high-end bridal boutiques in Nashville. Guess that’s part of the whole “get what you pay for” thing. While we are in that area, we also stopped at Second Time Around, a consignment store in Hendersonville that Mrs. Cheap had written about in a wedding article she wrote. I didn’t find anything that I liked in my size; the selection is obviously dependant on what they have gotten in from consignment customers. They were nice enough to call me when an empire waist dress in my size came in. But I had already found my dream dress by then.

We then drove all the way out to Murfreesboro, to visit A Bride’s Storey. Even though we called ahead and had an appointment, they were really busy that day and didn’t have time to help. We felt like we were wedding dress shopping pros at that point and just helped ourselves. With my sister and BM helping pick out dresses and my mom helping me get into the dresses, we did a pretty good job of helping ourselves. They did have some nice dresses in their shop and some reasonable prices, but they didn’t have anything that I just had to have. I took the lack of service as a bad sign, so I would have had to find a really incredible deal there to actually purchase anything from them. We stopped by Fashion Atelier on our way out because we saw a sign about wedding dresses. We found out that it is actually a seamstress shop and Tatyana, the owner of the shop, makes custom wedding gowns. She was very nice and had some pictures of some nice gowns, but when I asked her about lace gowns, she said I could probably get a better deal with a manufactured gown since lace is so expensive. She was more than happy to make one for me though. I decided that I should probably stick with the cheaper route and we continued on our way to Franklin.

The first place we went in Franklin was the Bridal Gallery of Franklin. The girls working there were nice and attentive and we were the only ones in the store at the time. By this time, I was exhausted from the four places we had already been that day, but I was also determined. So we found several dresses for me to try on, and pushed through. So glad I did. There were two dresses at this store that I absolutely loved, and for the first time, when I came out of the dressing room, everyone just oohed and aahed.  I was a little torn between the two dresses, but I just knew that I would be perfectly happy in either one of them on my wedding day. Wedding dress shopping Day 2—success! We had our last appointment for the day at David’s Bridal, so we decided to go ahead and keep our appointment to make sure I wasn’t missing out on anything. From this experience, I can tell you that even if you have an appointment, do NOT go to David’s Bridal on a Saturday. That place was a mad house! I didn’t really find anything in David’s Bridal that was for me. I found a couple that could have been, but they were nothing compared to the two dresses I found at the Bridal Gallery, and the ones at David’s Bridal were also more expensive! Contrary to popular belief, David’s Bridal does not have the least expensive wedding gowns.

When I got home that evening, I realized that the two dresses I loved so much (and everyone else loved on me), were the two dresses that I had in my wedding planning notebook! I was so happy to know that the dresses I initially loved were the ones that looked the best on me.

The next week as I was still trying to decide between the two dresses, I got an email from The White Room in Lebanon saying they were having a 10% off sale for Columbus Day. I immediately called and asked if they had the two dresses I liked—and they did! I made an appointment for Saturday, February 14 (last Valentine’s Day), and me and my sisters went out to Lebanon that morning to make the ultimate dress decision. (While my sweet fiancé watched two of my nephews so my sister could come with me—how perfect is he?) I had such a great experience with The White Room. Ashley was the one who helped me try on all the dresses, and she was very attentive. I tried on several other dresses just to make sure, but when I put on the original dress I fell in love with, the one I saw on Ashley’s Bride Guide, we all just knew. It was the perfect dress for me. And I bought it that day. It was $100 less than it had been at the Bridal Gallery, and it was 10% off which meant even more significant savings.

So yes, I bought my dress on Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t think of a more perfect present for the man I love. When I got back to town, Ryan and I had a date at Savannah Tea Company, which happened to be our cake vendor for the wedding. They have an annual Valentine’s Day Tea, which is a 5-course meal. We definitely recommend it. We also recommend them for cake, but we’ll talk about that in another blog. After that we went to Macy’s and Williams Sonoma to register for wedding gifts. All in all it was a very romantic and fruitful Valentine’s Day.

Here is my beautiful dress that I bought that day:

On a side note, it turned out to be fate that I got that email from The White Room and did not get my dress from the Bridal Gallery in Franklin as they ended up going out of business and locking their doors so that several brides, some who had already even paid full price for their gowns, were not able to get to their dresses. I’m not sure exactly how that worked out for everyone, but my friend Lora was involved with that, and they did end up getting their money back on their credit card after a lot of hassle. Someone was definitely looking out for me during the wedding planning process and on our wedding day.

We hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day this year!

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In honor of Valentine’s Day 2010 (our first ever married Valentine’s Day!!!), I thought I would do a recap of last year’s Valentine’s Day, which was a very important day in our wedding planning journey.

It was the day I bought The Dress.

I’ve never been one of those girls who had her wedding dress envisioned from the time she was a little girl. In fact, when looking through bridal magazines, it was rare that I would see anything that really stuck out to me. Nothing really looked like me. Thankfully, after I was officially engaged, that changed a little. In fact, one day while I was checking out Ashley’s Bride Guide, I found a dress that I absolutely loved on her site! She had posted a recap of one of the bridal shows and had a picture of a dress from The White Room. I wasn’t sure who the dress was by, but I knew I loved it. Then, when I was flipping through some of my bridal magazines, I found a couple of dresses I loved, and one of them happened to be the exact dress from the Ashley’s Bride Guide post! I was excited about my preliminary research, but you never really know how a dress is going to look on you (or any article of clothing for that matter), so I just took the print-outs and magazine pages and stuffed them in my wedding planning binder for future use.

Last January, I took a couple days off work to go wedding dress shopping, one day with just me and my mom and one day with my mom and sisters (although my younger sister got sick, so my bridesmaid Kelly came with us instead). I decided to just start fresh and see what looked the best on me. I didn’t even bring my wedding planning binder. Day 1 with my mom was a very snowy day; in fact, we were a little worried about traffic conditions and almost called the wedding dress search off for the day. But after going back and forth about it for an hour or so, we finally agreed to push through and get out and officially begin the search for the dress. We braved three Nashville wedding dress boutiques in the snow that day: The Bride Room, Arzelle’s and b. Hughes Bridal Formal. I made appointments at each of these places, and they were all really nice as I was trying on dresses. The Bride Room was especially nice, and had I found the perfect dress there, I would have definitely bought from them. I found a few that I liked at each of the places, but none were perfect. Well, except for maybe the $10,000 Oscar de la Renta dresses I tried on. I love b. Hughes and the lady helping us was so nice and attentive, but I just didn’t have the budget for a $10,000 dress. Although she did tell me that I’m “definitely an Oscar girl.” I would have to agree. Those Oscar dresses fit me perfectly. This one was probably my favorite:

We ended Day 1 with some ideas of what looked good and what didn’t, but no solid leads. We did have a great time though. Trying on wedding dresses was so much more fun than I thought it was going to be. I felt like a princess!

Sometime in between Day 1 and Day 2, I went to Faccio Bridal in Franklin on one of my lunch breaks to see what they had. They had some beautiful dresses in stock, but none that really stuck out to me, and the price range was a little more than what I had decided to spend.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 Tomorrow!

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I last posted a week and a half ago on the 18th, right before we celebrated our friend Kelly’s birthday. We have been celebrating the holidays and birthdays every day since then. I’m sure this time of year is busy for most people, but for us, it felt a little out of control this year. I’m sure that is partially due to the fact that we hadn’t really had much time to recover from our big trip to Africa and Ryan’s audit a few days after. We’re really looking forward to getting some rest in January!

Here’s a snapshot of some of our celebrations:

Saturday, December 19–Our niece Penelopi’s first haircut! Followed by brunch with the Arthur/Sweet family at Loveless Cafe to celebrate Steve and Jackie’s 27th wedding anniversary! That night, Ryan and I had to split up for separate celebrations. I went to my annual Lipscomb girls Christmas party/gift exchange (we’ve been doing it every year since my Freshman year of college), and Ryan went out to celebrate his godsister Ashley’s 25th birthday. We both had a great time, and I’m proud to announce that I won the best present contest for the second year in a row! It’s hard to compete with gifts from South Africa, Swaziland and Paris. 🙂

Sunday, December 20–We went to the Coxes’ annual Christmas cocktail party.

Monday, December 21–The second annual next-day sushi celebration with the Coxes, Arthurs and Sweets.

Tuesday, December 22–Our nephew Ethon’s 5th birthday! I can’t believe he is getting so old and will be starting Kindergarton in the fall! (*tear) Ethon is such a riot, and definitely such a boy. He loves anything with wheels. He loves the Grinch. He plays rough and loves to wrestle. He’s so cute when he tries to play it tough, but we all know he’s really a softy on the inside. And he’s so sweet when he shows that side of himself and gives these huge bear hugs or just wants to cuddle. He’s always been so tall for his age, and he’s now as tall as his 7-year-old brother. So if you weren’t in our family, you probably would have stopped referring to him as a baby years ago. But he’ll always be our little baby.

Wednesday, December 23–Christmas Eve eve! It’s the anniversary of the day we met three years ago in Findley’s Pub at Opryland Hotel. We have the tradition of going back there with a group of friends every year now. This year, we had a great time there and then had an afterparty at our place that included Last Word, Apples to Apples and Scattergories. Our friend, and Ryan’s best man, Steve Kraski is in town. So we were excited to finally see him that night. It’s the first time we’ve seen him since the wedding. In honor of the anniversary of when we met, we’ll post our love story tomorrow. 🙂

Thursday, December 24–Christmas Eve! We finally got some time off work! We celebrated with my dad’s family at my Uncle Steve’s house at 2 p.m. and then had dinner and presents with the Arthur family that night.

Friday, December 25–Christmas!! We had a huge lunch and presents at my mom’s house, followed by sibling/nephew presents at my dad’s. We ended the Christmas festivities by watching some Christmas movie classics–Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. (As a side note, I actually bought Ryan Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas as a Christmas present, and I’m pretty sure he got a little weepy over it…)

Saturday, December 26–Supposed to be a day of recupperation. But actually we did returns and shopped some after Christmas sales.

Sunday, December 27–Our niece Penelopi’s 2nd birthday and birthday party! We just adore our little niece who loves sushi and opera and has the sweetest little voice and a sweet disposition to match. She calls me Nannah and my heart just melts. 🙂 Isn’t it amazing that children already have such a personality at such a young age? Penelopi is Ms. Independent, always wanting to do it for herself. She is strong-willed, but so sweet and polite at the same time. Which means it’s hard not to let her have her way. 🙂 Penelopi’s birthday party also meant we got to see some of our dear family and friends, including the Alabama Arthurs. Ryan’s twin cousins Benjamin and Mackenzie are in Kindergarton now, and they are just so much fun to be around. He spent the evening with them and they all went to see Ice. I spent the evening with my mom and sisters at our weekly Sunday night girls’ night. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to have girls’ night much lately, and with my baby sister Phallen being in Mississippi, it’s just not the same without her. She actually left to go back to Mississippi today, so I’m so glad we all got a chance to get together last night. She isn’t planning on coming back to Tennessee for quite a while. Yesterday was also Ryan’s godsister Ashley’s 25th birthday and my sister Brook and brother-in-law Zach’s 8th wedding anniversary. Happy birthday and congrats, guys! Love you!

I think that catches us up to the present. As I mentioned, tomorrow we’ll feature our love story. Going into the New Year, we have some fun Africa stories to tell, as well as some wedding shout outs we never got around to. Hope everyone is having an amazing holiday season! Get anything good for Christmas this year?

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