Sunday, May 22, 2011

Music City!! Day 1 & 2

I arrived in Nashville on Wednesday, ready to hit the town with Grandma!! I went out a day early, before my friends all got there, to prepare the music city for all the awesome girls that were going to descend on it! And to spend time with Grandma. Lucky for me, I arrived on a pretty active day. As many remember, this particular Wednesday was very difficult for a lot of people in the South. This was the most active day for tornados in a long time. When I was flying into Nashville, it was pretty turbulent, actually more like a roller coaster. So I can only imagine what the really bad winds were like and after seeing the destruction on TV of what went on just 60 miles south of Grandma's, I am grateful that we were looked after where we were. The afternoon was spent with Grandma, watching the weather news and getting caught up on family news. Because the next day, 5 more girls were headed into town!!!

On Thursday, the rest of the girls made it to Nashville! They flew in about 1pm. Emerald and I met up with them at the airport (side note: Emerald served her mission in Nashville. She flew out on Wednesday as well to do some mission visiting). Our first stop of course needed to be some southern BBQ! We hit up downtown and Jacks BBQ.

We decided to wander downtown and check out Broadway, where all the music venues and honky tonks were located and Printers Alley. While we were there, we were introduced to boiled peanuts, sorry just couldn't get behind this southern snack. We walked the riverfront and had a great time getting ourself acquainted with area. The Country Music Hall of Fame was on the agenda as well as we strolled throughout town.

 While others were in the Hall of Fame, Emerald and I, the parentals, laid out plans for our Nashville excursions. Emerald and I, being those who had been there before, were kind of the unspoken navigators. But when it came down to it, we were daily changing it up and checking out our "GPS."
 After we got worked our way through downtown, we headed out southwest to the famous Loveless Cafe for dinner. On the way, we drove through Vanderbilt and through some beautiful neighborhoods. But we had a goal...FOOD. Yup, folks, this trip was almost all about the food. We ate our way through Nashville.
And as said before, we here's to the end of the day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I know, Nashville will come! So here's some fun tidbits in the meantime

My nephew Bruce is having his 1st Birthday party this Saturday, so I wanted to do a little post about all my nieces and nephews. I'm the proud aunt of 6-3 nieces and 3 nephews. With three more on the way this year! wow!
Here they are:
Mariah and Jack Jordan. Mariah and her red hair, Jack and his little mischievous smiles. You think he's innocent, but then not..Pretty much they're cute. They like talking on the phone with me so that's really fun! One day they wanted to drive away with me in my trunk-while eating cake in there:)

Logan and Erica Brown. They live in Utah. Erica was just born earlier this year. Logan is 3 and is the most amazing puzzle and letter organizer. He's got that down. Pretty much I've become the jumping bag for all the kiddos and Logan likes to jump on me too.

Sydney Keogan-She lives in Concord, closer to my parents. Sydney has this little gleam in her eye that tells you she's thinking and choosing exactly what she wants to do. She loves apples and will say hi and wave at me when I talk on the phone with her. She's just started walking. Watch out!
Bruce Christensen-He lives in Redondo Beach, CA. He just turned 1 and it's his birthday party on Saturday. He likes food. He learned how to crawl up and down stairs and is pulling himself up into things. He likes to be outside with his parents, having taken some trips to the zoo and beach recently. Happy Birthday Bruce!
There they are. Soon 3 more will come along this year and it will be a longer post. Super fun kids and super great that I get to be their aunt (play with them, buy them stuff, that sort of job is great!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Honky's a verb! And more goodies...

I will have to write all about Nashville when I have pictures to go with it. Just to give you a comparison, when I went to Europe, my friends and I took almost 2,000 photos. We were in Nashville for 5 days, with one more additional camera than in Europe, and we still managed almost 1,000 photos. A little FYI so you know why the pictures are taking a little while to get organized:)

I just needed to thank my Grandma for hosting so many girls in her house. She allowed 6 girls to take over, use her space, come home late, stay up talking probably too late and still got up early to make us breakfast. Waffles, French toast, bacon, fruit, she had the spread and it was so nice of her. We would come home at night, talk about what we'd done and seen and she listened. It was great to spend time with Grandma at her house and in the temple. It was a great trip! So more to come!

Just a few thoughts I've been having lately. As you know, I did the Ragnar Relay down here with 11 other ladies and it was so fun and uplifting. The ladies I ran with were all so positive and had a great spirit about them. Most were members, 2 were not. But it was a wonderful spirit of friendship and support. Going back to work after that event was hard, because it's a totally opposite spirit at work. I need my job and like my work, but I felt a complete downward pressure when I walked into work the Monday after, it wasn't uplifting. Unfortunately, the depressing feeling started when I met up with my carpooler, who I like as a person, but I'm realizing more that it's not that fun to be around him. It requires a lot of work to be have the spirit and be a positive person around him and many of my coworkers. I had the same experience after Nashville. I loved being with 7 (Grandma included!) wonderful ladies, who were happy, lived the gospel, we could talk about that and were overall positive and uplifiting for me. Going back to work was a struggle (not just because my car had been towed while I was gone and I had to go find it and pay to break it out of jail) but because I knew exactly what I was going to walk into, another spirit draining environment. And that's not to say that I can really help the work environment, except to be my own little island of positiveness, it's the way work environments are I think. But it really struck me how much I need friends who have the same standards and beliefs as me and be around them as much as possible. Work can be so draining with it's cattiness, politicking, back-stabbing and micromanaging. The gospel and spirit of friendliness, positiveness, happiness and concern for others is so much better. Last night, my relay team went to the Mormon Battalion Historical Site with one of the non members on my team. She is investigating the church now because of the spirit she felt with the team. She said she wanted to have the same spirit that the other girls had. It was a great experience to be with her as she felt the spirit again and is totally happy and excited about finding true happiness. It's great stuff, the gospel.