Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Holiday Season

I know the term "Holiday Season" is usually reserved for the Christmas season and may or may not include Thanksgiving, but to me the Holiday Season begins around Halloween. One day it's Halloween and then next day you're celebrating New Years. Ever year it happens that fast, only each year it seems to speed up just a little bit more. The stores, for example, have already celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving. It's currently Christmas, but will be Valentines in just under a month. So once we start celebrating Halloween I know it's time to gear up and hang on for the crazy ride of the holidays. Well this weekend we did just that...kicked off the holiday season. Saturday we headed to Louisville and to my most favorite place, Huber's. I've searched and searched for a similar farm/winery in and around Nashville, but nothing compares. There are wineries and there are farms, but nothing quite as great all bunched into one. 

We started out the visit by heading to the pumpkin patch to get some pumpkins. We've taken Landon every year and I had high hopes he would really love it this year, but that just wasn't the case. It was nice day, but very windy which caused it to feel pretty cold. Still, it's never too cold for a tractor ride.

Not only that, but we didn't go until the last weekend of the season and the pumpkins seemed pretty picked over. Landon kept tripping on the vines which seemed much worse in that particular patch than normal. I tried to find a small pumpkin that Landon would like, but of course he picked out the biggest one he could find.

And of course, Papa made sure he got the one he wanted.

Despite not loving the pumpkin patch he did have plenty of fun at Huber's especially playing on all the tractors..

And we did manage to get this little family snapshot as well. It's little blurry, but I'll always love a picture of three of us. It's a rare thing.

After the pumpkin patch, Dad and I broke off for the best wine club event of the year, the Pop's reserve barrel tasting. Pop's reserve is a semi-sweet red wine which is aged in used Bourbon barrels causing the wine to have the the slightest taste of bourbon. Wine club members get to sample 18 barrels to pick their favorites and the top three barrels are bottled exclusively for members. 

Each person received a score card and were asked to list their top three picks at the bottom. See the difference between my score card and the accountants?

Despite our different approached we did agree on the same top three although our order was a little different. I'm looking forward to seeing which three barrels won. Despite some harsh criticisms written on my sheet, they were all wonderful and I'm looking forward to enjoying a bottle with family at Christmas time.

This was the most anticipated wine club event of the year for me and it didn't disappoint.  
After dinner and a quick visit with Noni we headed home. Going to Louisville to see everyone is great, but being at home is nice too and we wanted to be able to spend Sunday relaxing. Which is exactly what we did. We slept in, ate some breakfast, took a nap and ran a few errands. It was a lazy day and a great one at that. Since we didn't do too much on Sunday we made a point to decorate our pumpkins Monday night. Although Landon wasn't thrilled with picking pumpkins he was excited to have a pumpkin of his own. We figured he would most enjoy painting a pumpkin giving his age and inability to really be part of the carving process. And boy were we right.

At first there was order and separation of colors, but that quickly went downhill.

We did manage to write his name and make a hand print in all that mess.

Poor kid doesn't stand much of a chance in the artistic department given his parents, but as long as he enjoys painting and coloring that is all that matters. He really loved this activity and is extremely proud of his pumpkin.

Adam didn't do half bad himself free handing this one.

So next year we will be sure to pick our pumpkins a little earlier in the year and maybe the picking will be as big of a hit as the decorating. All the painting though has given me a Christmas gift idea for Landon, a painting easel. It might have to be an outside activity, but at his age it's something I think he would really enjoy. And Lord knows I need to start thinking of gift ideas since the holiday season has officially begun! Next stop, Landon's first year trick or treating.

If the pictures were not enough cuteness here's a little video I took of the boys working on their masterpieces.


Wedded Bliss

I've been lucky enough to be in more than a few weddings over the years, but I'm pretty sure my stint as a bridesmaid is officially over. Just two weeks ago my oldest friend finally got married to her long time boyfriend. It made me so happy to witness and be a part of Brandi's special day. I'm a sucker for cute couples and Brandi and Nick definitely fit the bill. They asked Adam to take pictures of their big day and for doing so Brandi painted a picture of Kaiser for him. Not only was it the best gift ever, but it turned out AMAZING!

Brandi is a tattoo artist and as you can tell from this picture she is true artist. She has painted a number of pet portraits, but I was stunned by the perfection of this one. Maybe I'm a little partial, but she made Kaiser come to life in this picture and it blew us both away. The painting was from a picture that Adam had taken and while the photo is good, there is something extra special about having a painting of our fury son. Like I said, she has does a number of pet portraits and if you are interested in having a portrait done visit her Etsy page HERE
Since Adam was the photographer, I have special access to all her wedding pictures. Being an artist, Brandi used creative talents in many ways putting her special touch on a number of things. The most amazing being her birdcage veil that she MADE HERSELF. She even used pieces of her Mom's wedding dress to make it. It was perfect and perfect for her. She was truly a gorgeous bride.

 Nick with two of his groomsmen. 

As a tattoo artist it's no surprise Brandi has a few of her own including this colorful back piece. Adam loved how it took traditional wedding pictures like putting on the dress and added a cool element. 

This was shot just a minute before the ceremony began when the flower girl and ring bearer first saw her. Not being a fan of lots of attention Brandi was a bit nervous, but I think these two helped to ease her nerves.

I love the small smile on her face here.

Being huge UofL fans they decided to have a red and black theme. It was a great choice and Brandi looked stunning in her white dress with red accents. The girl can pull off red lips!

The Bridal Party. Oh and Brand made all of the flowers too. Not only did she save a ton of money, but I think she did a better job than most florist.

Mr. and Mrs.

The First Dance


Brandi dancing with both of her parents.

And my favorite of the night...

It was a great wedding and I know it will followed by a great marriage. Their true happiness and love for one another was captured in that day. It was an honor to be a part of it. And lastly, here is picture of me and my date. I was happy to say I snagged the photographer. Gotta love weddings!



We've been living in Nashville for two months, but this weekend is only the second weekend we've actually been able to spend time here. The first was spent mainly running around and getting our house in order, but this weekend was full of food, drinks, and good company. I was going to use the word debauchery, but then I googled the definition and realized we didn't take it quite that far.
My best friends and their husbands came down for our first fun-filled Nashville weekend. Mary and I kicked it off right Friday night by going to the Luke Bryan concert. While I'm not a country fan, I'm always down for a good time and since Mary had NEVER been to a concert, I thought it was only appropriate that I help her change that. 

We had floor seats, but managed to squeeze in even closer to the stage for the first opening act.

Of course none of my pictures from the night came out very well, but that didn't stop me from taking a bunch or from sharing them! Florida Georgia Line was great and while it looks like we were far away from the stage, it actually made a T and anytime the guys walked down the stage they were right in front of us. We stole the perfect seats, but once it was over we decided to get a drink and possibly a foot long hot dog at the concession stand. Yes, it was delicious! We made it back to the floor and found more great seats just in time for Thompson Square. 

Like I said, I'm not a big country fan, but both opening acts were awesome. I didn't know that the two singers from Thompson Square are married and I have a soft spot for cute married couples. They were too sweet on stage being lovey and even kissing a few times. Plus they started in Nashville and talked about how just a few years ago they were at a bar across the street just trying to make it and how honored they were to be playing at the Bridgestone Arena.They definitely won me over. I'm officially a fan! Even now as I sit here  listening to their music, Landon has informed me that he AND his cars like the "moosekit". I have to admit it's pretty good stuff. Once they were over it was time for the big guy. Mary was pretty excited to see her boo.

He didn't disappoint!

We were so close that at the end we tried to get right up to the stage, but got turned back quickly by security. It was worth trying. I think Mary was overcome by all his gyrating and had to at least try. He put on a great show and we had a great night! I felt like I was enjoying Nashville the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Country fan or not, Nashville is the country music capital and I had to do it up right at least once. Best picture of the night though belongs to this selfie.

I don't remember taking this picture at all and I'm not sure what I was trying to do here, but I just had to share. I think it belongs with our pictures of the wall at the bar from Mary's birthday celebration. At least I can laugh at myself. Matt and Marty arrived while we were at the concert and by the time we got home Marty was already asleep. Mary and I haphazardly put together THIS overnight crockpot casserole while possibly eating some pizza rolls. Believe me when I say that if we can do it, anyone can and it was pretty good too! It was great for having lots of guests and needing something easy and fast. After breakfast us girls went to the Opry Mills Mall to do a little outlet shopping. The Opry Mills is a huge mall with both regular and outlet stores and since it was a nasty morning it was great to go outlet shopping in an indoor mall instead of the regular outlets. I don't think we managed to get through even half of the mall, but that's ok, because it's only about ten minutes from my office. Now that I've been once, the urge to go back is strong. Dangerous! And although shopping is what us girls do best, the highlight of our day was our extra special dinner that we had planned at a Brazilian Steakhouse. Driving through Nashville, Adam and I had seen billboards for this restaurant and it intrigued us. Since I work with two women from Brazil, I asked them about the place and they both said it would be good for our guests. It was unlike anything any of us had been to before. Having made reservations we were given the best seats in the house, right next to the churrasco or grill station. There is no menu or ordering and the food is unlimited. They start by bringing a variety of appetizers to the table. They also have a huge side bar which has everything from soups, salads, potatoes, fruit, olives, chesses, etc. It was all delicious, especially the Strawberry salad. Once you are ready, meat carvers come around to your table and carve a variety of freshly cooked meats.

At first we thought they were being a little stingy with the serving sizes, but when we asked how many different meats they had and they told us 12-18 we realized there was a reason for the small portion sizes. They had all kinds of meats from fish with bell peppers, turkey wrapped in bacon, garlic beef, parmesan crusted pork lion, sweet and sour chicken, and so on. I can't even remember them all. On top of the regular items they were also have a wild game fest which included wild hog, frog legs and rattlesnake sausage. I tried the hog and rattlesnake and surprisingly enough the rattlesnake was one of my favorites. One item we all loved was the grilled pineapple. It was crispy and coated in a sweet syrup that mixed so well with the pineapple. It was divine and now we are all on a mission to learn to do it ourselves at home. Even Landon had a good time and thoroughly enjoyed the night. It's the first time he's spent over two hours at a restaurant and not gotten completely bored of sitting in the chair. 

Believe me when I say that it was a one of a kind experience. It's not something we will do often and ALL of us felt almost very sick from the amount of food that we ate. I wouldn't be surprised if I gained ten at all. You definitely have to enjoy meat and be ok with a variety of meat items, but even for picky eaters like we are, it was a real hit. It was great to share the fun experience with our close friends and I look forward to man more friends weekends in the future. Despite our best efforts to convince them to stay Mary had to work Sunday so they left once we got back home.

Sunday morning the four of us and Landon went out early to try one of Nashville's most famous breakfast places, the Pancake Pantry. When we arrived before 8:30 to find a line outside wrapped around the building, we found a plan B and ate at a cute little cafe called Fido. Landon was excited for his pancakes which he likes to refer to as cupcakes.

I ordered cheese eggs with herbs and some hot chocolate and while it was absolutely delicious I think my stomach was still working on dinner from the night before. After eating most of this I was honestly sick. Why do I do this to myself?

 After breakfast we said our goodbyes and Matt and Marty headed back home. We took a short rest at home where I laid horizontal for an hour and tried not to lose my cookies. It was hard.

Just about the time I was feeling human again my Dad and Step Mom arrived for a short visit. This was their first time seeing our new place. Landon was super excited to have his Papa at his new house. I know he misses seeing him all the time. It was a short visit, but we followed with the weekend tradition and and went and got lunch before they left. Unfortunately, when they left so did Adam who had to go on a business trip for the week. It was strange going from waking up Saturday morning to a house full of people, to Landon and I chillin all alone Sunday night. We did however manage to make good use of our time and get out some winter clothes. Winter is coming people! I am not prepared. We even came across some race car pajamas which means he can be head to toe in his most favorite thing ever...RACE CARS!

This weekend was a blast! I'll probably spend the entire week recuperating and trying to lose however much weight I've gained, but it was totally worth it. I'm glad we live close enough that I can still hang with my girls and it's great to invite them to our new city to have new experience with them. I'm already working on our next weekend together and coming up with something just as fun, but this weekend will be pretty hard to beat. But we will give it our best shot!


Final Farwell

Almost everything about moving to a new city was exciting for us. We've always known we would one day move, branch out from the comfortable, and push ourselves to go in search of our dreams. The excitement built and built as Adam applied for jobs all over the country and we waited patiently to hear back from prospective employers. Everything was exciting and positive with one exception...

We left a LOT of people we love dearly. These people right here being the hardest to leave. I wish I could have brought them with us. Just packed them away in another box or packed our car one more time with them inside. I know it's not a far move, but knowing that I can't meet up with my Mom or Dad for lunch on a whim or stop by and see Noni when Landon points me in the direction of her place is hard. There's been a few times in Nashville I've seen a truck like my brothers or car like my Mother-in-laws and looked to see if it was them only to realize they are a few hundred of miles away. Two of the hardest people for me to leave were these two...

My girls. And as hard as it was for me, I know it was 100 times harder on them. My life has been changing for the better in many ways, but there lives are remaining the same with one exception, I've left. I know they are happy for me, but in a way sad for themselves. Daily life for them hasn't changed too much. Mary still goes to work (way too often) and whips her patients into shape. Marty still goes about her normal daily routine meanwhile dreaming about her next vacation. We all know this friendship isn't over, FAR FAR from it. But we also know that things are different. Impromptu girls days at Huber's are a thing of the past and while text and e-mail between us are a constant thing, it won't ever replace pinterest nights and hours long talks. 
As a farewell, these two priceless friends threw us an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G going away party. It would have been enough just to spend one more day with these two, but they also invited our family and closest friends. Even more, they went all out with a Tennessee theme and had a home cooked Southern dinner that included pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw, corn bread (TO DIE FOR), macaroni and cheese, green beans, jalapeno popper dip, and pecan cookies. I know I'm forgetting something, but needless to say it was all delicious and made from scratch. And if that wasn't enough they had a full bar with some Tennessee whiskey mixed drinks that were surprisingly good! Sorry Mary, but I might prefer whiskey to bourbon.

They even had a cake for us that was almost too cute to eat...almost.

The cake matched the invites that they had a few weeks before.

They also made some posters with interesting information about Tennessee. I learned a lot of valuable information which will most certainly keep us out of jail. If I didn't know it was illegal, I would have most certainly brought a skunk into Tennessee.

Click the picture if you want to see it bigger.

It was a great day spent with our closest family and friends. Landon had a blast running around and being the center of attention. Of course it helped that his favorite person in the whole world, his big cousin Cha-Cha, was there with him. Both of these cuties love their Nana. Can you tell?


Nan brought us a few books which Landon enjoyed opening and later reading. Two books for Landon on the world and space and then a third book on Switzerland to prepare us for our next move. She knows us so well.

Beyond missing my girls it was also sad to leave Noni. Noni had originally declared that Marty would miss us the most, but then changed her mind and decided it was going to be her. Either way, I know I would have packed Noni in one of the first boxes if I could. 

My big brother Matt puts on a big front, but I'm pretty sure he was very sad to see us moving away. We've been fortunate to have become very close in the last few years and now he's just not my brother, but also one of my closest friends. Plus, he's always our bartender and makes some pretty good drinks! I love this picture of him.

Having been out at my Dad's house for almost a year we had really gotten use to seeing him just about everyday. I'm not sure who loved the farm the most between Landon and Kaiser, but it wasn't easy for any of us to leave. Still, it's nice knowing we always have a place to come back to which includes this man. He is the resident story teller.

My Mom has put up a good face, but I wouldn't be surprised if she has been secretly crying to everyone else. Like Dad, she was used to seeing us often and I know its an adjustment for her. The great thing about my Mom is I know if I ever need anything shes just a phone call and a short drive away. I can always count on her.

We had to get a girls picture with Brandi in it as well. She's been a part of my life longer than I can remember. The great thing about leaving amazing friends is the fun you have when you come back to visit. Such was the case this past weekend and hopefully many more to come.

 The Nashville crew family portrait.

And although I wasn't expecting anything special, Marty and Mary did something I would have never have dreamed of...they sang a song to us. And yes, I cried like a baby. We have the whole performance on video, but I'm not going to share. They wouldn't want me to share it, because they'd be embarrassed, but I've decided it's just something I want to keep private. When I heard them singing the lyrics, I honestly thought they had written the song. It's so simple and sums our friendship perfectly. Little did I know it was a famous Dionne Warwick song. Now it will forever hold a special place in my heart. Here's the original. Believe me when I say Marty and Mary did much better job, but this version I can listen to without crying. Like I said, it sums up our friendship, true friendship, perfectly. Having ALL of these people in our lives makes it that much easier to keep smiling, keep shinning. This day was just one glorious reminder of how incredibly lucky we are. No matter what we will ever achieve or have in this life nothing will replace these people.