Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pfunky Mother's Day

When it's mother's day and your husband isn't in town, you know you have to take yourself out to eat if anyone does.  The kids are too small to do any breakfast in bed maneuvers.  Even if their father was home, he's not the morning person in the family so breakfast might be a stretch but coffee, he could handle that!  So we got up and dressed quickly to head across Nashville to a place I'd been hearing about.
The Pfunky Griddle.
I knew it was probably more of a "kid place" than a nice place to go for mother's day but I figured I could call it celebrating the ones who made me a "mom"!
It was a rainy 20 minute drive to a small house in Berry Hill.  When I say rain, I kinda mean torrential downpours.  We walk in and attempt to dry off at the table.  There is a griddle in front of us and this is where we are going to be cooking our own pancakes with our chosen toppings.  Want an egg?  You'll have to cook that too!  She brought us white and wheat pancake mix and let us get to it.  I chose blueberries, Jackson had chocolate chips and I got Lincoln peaches.  Of course the boys wanted to help flip the pancakes but it wasn't super easy and I didn't want anyone to get burned so I suggested they just watch.  I did allow them to spread butter, lots of butter on their pancakes.  It's all you can eat but when it comes to pancakes, a few is just about all I can eat.

Flip when you see bubbles!

Me and the ones responsible for making me "mom".  It's the best job I never knew I wanted.  I didn't realize I could be so content and fulfilled staying home with these guys.  Now I couldn't imagine any other way.  It was a great mother's day breakfast, even if I did have to cook it myself because at the end of the day it's not the cooking I dislike.

It's the cleaning up afterwards!  
 Jason was kidding me about paying money to cook my own pancakes.  I'll be the first to admit, I paid that $20 to simply not clean up
And it was worth every penny!  
Happy Mother's Day to me!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

One Saturday in History

It's our first Saturday at home without Jason here.  I distinctly remembered immediately how much weekends can suck during "deployments".  This one was no different.  It was slow and boring except there were 2 children at home to annoy me instead of the usual little one!  I'm still in denial about summer without school.  These are the days I'm grateful we  begin  a year round schedule this year!
 We started out the  Saturday afternoon with a trip to the Nashville Farmer's Market.  I simply LOVE this place.  I had gotten peaches a few weeks ago and WOW!  they were good.  So I needed more.  After we purchased the local produce, we got our favorite popcicles in the world.  They are sold at an international foods market inside the farmers market.  They don't look like much made from plastic solo cups but I can promise you they taste a little like heaven!

 Then we headed a little further away.  Jackson woke up asking to go to The Hermitage.  He's been asking to go ever since he did his president's report on Andrew Jackson.  He did a great job and we all learned a lot about Andrew Jackson including that he was from Nashville and his house was here.  I couldn't deny the child a chance to learn about history and today was as good as any.  Besides, it closed in a couple of hours and they boys would be exhausted by then!
The grounds was bigger than I expected and we did a lot of walking around.  They boys were good and actually intrested.  They give you free headsets to listen to the commentation and Jackson would actually listen while Lincoln mostly wore his for show.  

 We took a LONG walk around the creek and though the woods.  It had began to rain and we spotted deer in this wheat field.  I also filled my purse with wheat berries because I've been dying to try growing wheat seeds and it's been impossible to find it!  I know, I know but seriously I think there was plenty!

 I enjoyed learning that this is the original color of the dinning room.  The color was chosen because it reflects light the best when lit by candle which was the only light source after dark.  Maybe I'll paint my next dining room this color.

 Here's our guy, Andrew Jackson.  Right there on the $20 bill.

 The house was beautiful, interesting and historic but nothing beats simply spending time with my boys!

These are the days they'll remember.  These are the days I never want to forget.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gone Pickin'

 It's that time of year again!  Strawberries are in season and a few weeks ahead of schedule thanks to a warm spring!  They are as delicious as ever though and we found them ripe for the pickin' last week at the Bottom View Farm.  I checked Jackson out of school so we could go with some friends to pick.  We've been every year since Jackson was born so I didn't want him to miss out.  I had the foresight to bring rain boots as much for the mud holes as for the squashed strawberries as they trampled around the vines to pick. Lincoln worked diligently picking the smallest and greenest strawberries for me to toss while Jackson and I  competed for the biggest strawberry. The best part of picking strawberries is eating them fresh off the vine.  I have a fondness for the way they taste fresh and warmed from the sun.  I dislike them cold from the refrigerator.   

  It didn't take more than 10 minutes to have 2 buckets overflowing. 

 The boys had already moved on to frog catching anyway.  It's not a complete day until those guys have caught something creepy crawly.  
 These boys did an awesome job picking, eating and giggling the whole time.  If it were 100 years ago and I was plum crazy, they could essentially all be stair step brothers. Eeek!
 Sweet little strawberry stained hands.
 There's my little linebacker ready to take on the farm with his basket.  
 I love these brothers, especially when they are not fighting.  A rare brotherly love moment.  Seconds later, someone was screaming "don't touch me."  

 I had looked at several blogs about what to do with all those strawberries.  I love them fresh but they go bad quicly so you have to move fast.  Of course we ate some fresh on cereal and yogurt but the rest we froze for smoothies and made these AWESOME fruit roll-ups!  Here's the link to the recipe I used.  I'm tellilng you they were amazing and easy to make!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Holy HILLS, Batman! Country Music Marathon 2012

Well, 2 weeks have passed and I think I've finally recovered enough to talk about it!  I was back to running the following tuesday but discussing this race was something I needed to mull over a bit! 
 I think the 3 H's sum it up best.




We began this journey a LONG time ago.  Last year when we moved here, it was race weekend.  I said then, I would run it next year and back in Janurary we formed a running group to start training.  Stephanie and I had been running most all winter but our milage needed to go up....WAY up!  Our 150 miles of training started in January!  It was in fact SNOWING on one of our first runs.  We ran several routes and at some point we ran every part of the half.  We knew the course.  We just couldn't control the weather.

Race expo opened for locals on Thursday and we knew to go that day, I heard it gets pretty crazy down there on that Friday before.  We went around lunch time and Lincoln had to accompany me.  He was a complete ANGEL!  

Race day was pretty nostalgic.  We had some great friends that drove us downtown becuase getting there can be somewhat of a nightmare.  Our walk was short and all lines were minimal.  We got to pass on the miles and miles of port a potty's in lieu of indoor plumbing at PF Changs on West End.  With a sticker we signed up for at the expo, we were allowed inside to use their potty's and were grateful for the insight to do that ahead of time!  Once inside our corral, the butterflies begin.  There were oh about 15,000 people in front of us 
and another 15,000 people behind us.  

The air was buzzing with deodorant, body glide and a slight smell of steaks from the J Alexanders just ahead.  Once the National Anthem was complete and the waves started, it was around 11 minutes into the race when we finally got across the start line. 
The first 2 miles were downhill. It was nice while it lasted.  That would be the end of that.  It was SUCH an amazing feeling to finally culminate all those training miles into seeing the city pass by full of runners.  They were EVERYWHERE you looked.  Lots of onlookers cheered too.  We saw some great signs such as "girls don't sweat, they glitter" and "May the odds be ever in your favor" from Hunger Games!  The music was great every few miles.  The first 6 were not as challenging but after that every ounce of my concentration was put into keep up pace.  I wasn't prepared for it to be so hot. A friend even picked up and ran a few miles with us along Belmont, 12S and Music Row.    We passed down Broadway the quintessential Nashville, we ran Demonbreum, we spend through the blazing Gulch  We crossed the bridge over the Cumberland and passed the farmers market.  Seeing the stadium was the most blessed sight.  I have never been so happy to see the finish line.  There was a few moments at miles 12&13 that I simply thought I wouldn't make it.  It was too hard.  But thankfully, I have some fantastic friends that wouldn't let me give up.  They wouldn't leave my side and we all crossed the finish like together.  I will always be grateful for them!  We knew around mile 10 that our time wouldn't be what we all wanted.  The heat was dragging everyone down.  We were hoping to finish in under 2:10 and we hit 2:20.  It was a far cry from my previous half but the difficulty of this course was the sole factor in that.  I knew it would be hard, now I know...it is HARD.  

I saw several people I knew along the course!  Most were friends of Jason's from Vandy!
With views like THIS how could it be anything but awesome (and HARD)?

I could run another 13.1 (give me a few months!)  with these guys by my side.  They are simply the best!

The race was amazing, an accomplishment and incredibly challenging.  I'm happy to have completed my second one and to have done it in the city I've come to love.

  Despite the challenging course you ask "Will I do it again?"

You better believe it!!

May Photo A Day Challenge 1-11

Never done one of these kind of challenges.  I like the idea but it was intimidating to do a whole year.  I don't like to fail.  I don't even like to be sub par at something.  I hold myself to some pretty high standards! I knew I could keep this one up.  Besides, 2 of my favorite girls were going to hold me accountable!

Day 1: peace
This one was easier than I thought.  I kept thinking bedtime, coffee time or the Bible then naptime came around.  Lately, I have had to force naptime by rocking this big ol' 2 year old.  It is apparent that I did not mind.  It was one of the most peaceful moments that day!

Day 2:  skyline
Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Nashville?  We'll I totally do and it will be hard to beat a view like this.  Taken from a pedestrian only bridge, leading to Titan Stadium, which is also part of a city wide greenway system for increased non-motor transportation!  Just LOVE this place!

Day 3:  something you wore today
Normally, this would have been some fabulous bling because that is what I love but on a rainy day in middle TN in Spring, these were a much more appropriate choice.  

Day 4:  fun!
It's been a HOT spring.  Hot enough for this kind of activity to take place after school.  It's amazing what a waterhose and an umbrella can provide for entertainment.  Funny thing is, I can remember doing the exact same kind of thing with MY sister.

Day 5:  bird
It' was our "last meal" before Jason moved to Houston.  We went into the Gulch to eat at RuSan's one of our fav sushi locations.  On the way out, we stopped by a total touristy place called "2 old hippies"  They sell $40 t-shirts, $700 cowboy boots and guitars covered in glitter!  They also have a VW van inside with this dove painted on the side.  Come to think of it, this could have also worked for "peace" as well.
Day 6:  you
This one was a little difficult.  I had to use the tripod and of course it had to be perfect for me to post it as "me".  It's just not my style.  I did put some thought into it.  The things I feel that define me (besides my children) are my friends and connections with others, my Stella & Dot  jewelry business, a to-do list and my essential every day of my life coffee cup.  

Day 7:  someone that inspires you
I heard her speak at my church back in October.  I knew then that she impacted my life as she has so many others.  She was a wealthy cute girl who chose to "love the least of them".  We should all try to be more like her, more like Christ.

Day 8: a smell you adore
It was nearly midnight when I took this.  I thought about going upstairs and making a photo of my fav perfume.  I considered making a photo of my coffee grinds but as I started a load of laundry, my favorite smell came over me and I knew exactly what to do!

Day 9:  something you do everyday
The kids got a huge kick out of the self timer on the camera.  I would run over and hug them and then we would all check out the photo and see that somebody's head got cut off so we had to go again.  I think it was the frantic mommy running back and forth that elicited such smiles but I'll take it.  How adorable!

Day 10:  a favorite word
It says it all.  Hope is how we can face tomorrow.  Hope is how we face today.  It's how we care.  It's how we carry on.  It's a small word with a BIG meaning.

Day 11:  kitchen
I dreaded having to clean any part of my kitchen to show the world.  Then last week, my faucet broke.  I got this new fancy one and dish washing time just got a little brighter!  I LOVE it.  A faucet is one of those things you are going to use EVERY single day and if you get one, you should get a good one!