Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Today is Jason's thirtieth birthday!

We did some celebrating over the weekend. Two of Jason's good friends from North Carolina came down on Friday to spend the weekend with us. Friday night, we had a delicious dinner at the house. Jason cooked the steaks, and I took care of the rest. It wasn't a very nice weekend, so Saturday we headed over to the mall. We walked around, had some lunch, and did a little shopping. At Brookstone, the guys found the massage chairs. Needless to say, we were in Brookstone for awhile...

Boys in the massage chairs
Later Saturday afternoon, we headed to my parent's house for Jason's surprise party! Jason knew I had something planned for his birthday, but he didn't know what it was. He said he was surprised! We had a great time at the party with lots of family and close friends. I did a Ford truck theme for the party since Jason is a big fan. I didn't even think to take a picture of the decor, but I did get a picture of Jason's cake. I had Elaine, who made our wedding cake, make Jason a strawberry cake in the shape of a truck. It looked great and was delicious!

Strawberry truck cake!
Here are more pictures from the party:

The "Ogres"
Jason and I
Opening gifts and reading cards...
Sunday morning we went to Northpoint Community Church. Jason's friends wanted to check out Andy Stanley's church because they listen to his podcasts a lot. It was a great service. After a quick lunch, it was time for them to head back to North Carolina.

I snapped a quick picture before they left.
Sunday afternoon we spent some time with Jason's family. Then last night we had Jason's birthday dinner with my family. Charles and MC were in town this weekend so they were able to come too. We also got to spend time with our dachshund niece, Ruth! She's still a cutie, and Daisy was being a little nicer to her last night.

Jason is the dog whisperer
Dear Jason, 
Happy birthday sweet husband!
I hope you have a fabulous 30th birthday. I love you and am so blessed to call you my best friend and my husband. Thirty will be a great year!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nashville: Family Day and A Surprise

Saturday was our family get together, but we had one more tourist stop on the way. We went to the Belle Meade Plantation. A long time ago the family that lived there had thoroughbred horses they used in racing. The blood lines of Seabiscuit and Secretariat can be traced back to one of the family's horses. 

The main house
The Carriage House
After our tour at the Belle Meade Plantation, we headed over to my aunt's house. We had a big lunch with some of my aunts and uncles and cousins. It was great to see all of them and spend some time catching up. We did a little shooting and played games too!

Sunday morning we started heading home, but we had one more stop to make. Jason and I are getting a blue tick hound from a breeder in Shelbyville. When we originally planned our trip, we were hoping to meet our new puppy at this visit. Unfortunately, the litter with our puppy did not survive birth. Our new puppy is in a litter due later this month. We got to meet our new pup's sweet momma though! I'm also glad we finally got to meet the breeder and her other dogs. We also got an unexpected surprise! The new Smokey, Smokey X, for University of Tennessee came from our breeder, and he happened to be there when we stopped by! After meeting Smokey IX last fall, it was exciting to get to meet Smokey X too!

Smokey X waiting on a treat!
Getting some kisses from Smokey X!

We had a great trip to Nashville and are already looking forward to going back!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nashville: Seeing the Sites

Friday was a busy day of seeing sites in Nashville.
We started off in downtown Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium.

View from across the street

We took the backstage tour, and it was really cool to hear the history of the Ryman. It was originally built to hold church revivals before it became a concert hall. And it is where the Grand Ole Opry was held before they built their own auditorium.

Inside the Ryman

Next, we headed over to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

We love country music, so it was cool to see some history and a lot of memorabilia from over the years! Then, it was time for lunch. We ate at a place called Merchant's. It was delicious! Probably the best sweet potato fries I've ever had!

Merchant's from across the street. I love the building!

After lunch, we headed out of downtown to the Belmont Mansion.

Beautiful church we passed on our way out of downtown.
Belmont Mansion

We took a tour of the Belmont Mansion and got to hear a lot of history about the woman who had the house built. Our last stop on Friday was the Parthenon in Centennial Park. It is a replica of the one in Greece, complete with a giant statue of Athena inside.

The Parthenon
Jason and I outside the Parthenon
Beautiful lake in Centennial Park

The Parthenon was our last tourist stop on Friday. We met my aunt and uncle for dinner, then headed back to our rooms to rest. We were exhausted after our busy day!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nashville: Opryland

Jason and I just got back from a long weekend in the great state of Tennessee. I have some family that lives around Nashville, and they invited us and my parents up to visit a couple of months ago. Since Jason had never been to Nashville, we decided to make a long weekend out of it and do a little sight seeing as well.

Jason and I left on Wednesday and went to Chattanooga for his last follow up appointment with the doctor there. Thankfully, we received more good news. His arm is continuing to heal up well with no signs of infection. They took his stitches out and told us that he will not need a skin graft, which is a big praise! He will follow up with a doctor closer to home next week.

On Wednesday night in Chattanooga, Jason and I finally got to have our Valentine's date. It was only three weeks late! We had a delicious dinner at Carraba's.

Mom and Dad met us in Chattanooga on Thursday around lunch time. We had lunch at a restaurant downtown called Mount Vernon. It's a restaurant that my dad used to eat lunch at all the time when he worked in Chattanooga. My mom also remembered eating there as a kid. The food was good, and it was cool to learn something about my parent's past.

After arriving in Nashville and getting checked into our hotel, we went to the Opryland Hotel. My family stayed there once, back when Opry Mills Mall was still the Opryland Amusement Park, so it has been awhile! It is such a cool place! All the gardens inside are beautiful. I love the columns and the balconies that look out over the gardens too!


In front of the big staircase.
I love this mural also!
We didn't have time for a tour of the Grand Old Opry, but we did stop by. 

We had dinner at The Rainforest Cafe inside the Opry Mills Mall. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was very interesting! We also did a little shopping while at the mall. I found a pair of shoes, and Jason found some new jeans.

We went to bed early Thursday night. Friday was our big tourist day!