Summer is Here!!!

Hey Y’all,

I’ve been quite a bum on this fine Memorial Day. My actions have been the total antithesis of the men and women for whom we celebrate on this special day. I’m the proud daughter, sister, and cousin of men who have served our country in the United States Army and the United States Air Force. I respect them greatly for their courage and sacrifice. I don’t have a relationship with my father but I will always be in awe that he served in the Vietnam War and in the Gulf War. My heart grows for him when I take that into account. I know that he’s seen a lot and done a lot to ensure that I’m able to live my life of freedom. For that, I am eternally grateful. We’ll work it out one day. I know God will see to that.

Memorial Day also marks the beginning of SUMMER! She has officially arrived.

summer1

I made a list earlier in May of all the things I want to do this summer. Ahem! Drumroll please:

1. Drag Brunch at Suzy Wong’s House of Yum
2. The Zoo
3. Cheekwood
4. Belle Meade Plantation
5. The Peach Truck
6. Oz
7. Grand Ole Opry
8. Movie at Elmington Park
9. Full Moon Pickin’ Party–might become a fall activity?
10. Concert: Woods at Fontanel
11. 12th & Broad Events
12. Musician’s Corner
13. Movies at the Schermerhorn
14. Belcourt to see Belle
15. Visit to the Farmer’s Market
16. Intense sits on rooftops and patios
17. Johnny Cash Museum
18. POOL! –Already had 2 days in a row :).
19. Apparently, we have an arena football team?!

So far, so good. I’m excited to work my way through these items. I’m sure more will be added to the list as I catch up on the happenings of Nashville. I’ll also be taking trips to VA, GA, TX, and FL. Strong maybe on DE and later in the summer I’ll be off to WA.

As for music, I’ll see Katy Perry in June and Beyonce/Jay-Z in July. There are some others shows I’d like to add to this list including Sara Bareilles and JOHNNYSWIM.

summer4

I do love the summer. It is a time to replenish. My skin looks great and my smile is bigger. People and time are more flexible. You get to see folks you haven’t seen in ages and the margaritas and my never ending collection of dresses are flowing.

I made a lot of mistakes last summer and did things that took a huge detour from my instincts. I’ve been paying for those mistakes ever since. It is now time for me to “let it go” and keep it moving. Pray for me in that endeavor. Forgiveness is hard, but it is what is commanded of me by my God.

summer2

Cheers to the summer!

Later Y’all.

Dare me.

Off to NC tomorrow to visit Duke University and then head off to the beach to celebrate my friend’s 30th Birthday.

I think that I’m going to work REALLY HARD to disengage from social media. All of it! Shut it down!

I really want to enjoy where I’ll be and I don’t give 2 f-bombs if others like it or not. Of course, I’ll take pics BUT I just really want this moment to be mine and those that have the privilege of sharing it with me.

So, don’t expect to see any details of my trip until I get back to TN.

Pray for me and send good vibes my way as I take this respite from the world that is solely responsible for creating FOMO.

Later Y’all.

Progress in the Wilderness with Salt Water

I haven’t touched my blog in a while but I decided to look at my 101 in 1,001 list and found that I could cross off a few new items and add progress updates to many others.

I’m a woman who loves crossing items off a list.

Check out the list here and tell me your thoughts about what I should add. I don’t have 101 items just yet.

Since my last post I feel like a lot has happened but as my pastor said last night, “God takes you to the wilderness when he wants your undivided attention.” I’m trying my best to refocus my energy.

I get to end August with a trip to the beach and I have never looked this forward to putting my feet in the sand. As they say, “Salt water is the cure for everything…”.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your evening.

Later Y’all

Job Perk?!

For Monday and Tuesday my staff and my boss took a little trip to Emory University to meet with their Office of Student Leadership and Service Staff. Site visits are a great way to learn from peers in the field. As bonuses we were able to go to Chattanooga, TN and Atlanta/Decatur/Tucker, GA and there are some really cool people that work at Emory. All in all totally a worthwhile adventure. Learning and having fun while doing so is so the hottest thing on the streets. Get into it!

Here is a little photo journey of our trip:

Leon’s Full Service
Raging Burrito & Taco
Community Pie

Fun times and another kick in the face that we have a lot of work to do. Eek! However, we have great partners at a peer institution who want to help and that’s always a good moment. Relationship building is important and I’m amped to continue learning from Emory and perhaps one day we can teach them something. BTW, Emory is adorable–I neglected to get photos of our lunch location but if you ever get to visit pop over to the restaurant above their museum. Delish! There was also a really cool Farmer’s Market happening in the middle of campus. Confession: I’m a college campus geek.

Later y’all.

The Mountain

My friend Dorothy Lou (Dorothy, Dottie, D Lou) has been asking me to visit her on the “The Mountain” since I met her in 2007. I politely denied her offer until a few weeks ago when I realized that she was moving to San Francisco. I’m in Nashville, TN and she was traveling from Raleigh, NC. 5.5 hours for both of us. After getting a few new tires, I jumped in my car and drove to Bryson City, NC.

She wasn’t kidding when she said that she lived on a mountain. My car found a new gear as we climbed to our destination. Bryson City is about 1.5 hours away from Asheville, NC. We were in the Nantahala National Forest which totally confused me on my iPhone.

There are places in this world that God made breathtakingly beautiful and this is one of those places. Green, is the word. The view from my room was spectacular and I enjoyed breathing fresh air and reading in the morning while Max, my new dog friend, scurried around beneath me keeping an eye on things. I arrived just in time for sunset and I knew that I was a goner. Sometimes you just need to get away and this entire experience was just what the doctor ordered.

DLou’s family is wonderful and they certainly embody the meaning of hospitable. It didn’t take me long to not feel like a “visitor”. There was tons of laughter, chatter, and delicious food. Cute kiddies running around, an adorable little town with places like Cork and Bean: Mountain Social House, Everett Street Diner, Humanite Boutique, The Chocolate Shoppe, and Madison on Main.

We hiked (eek!), decided not to go tubing (yes!), we dipped our limbs into Deep Creek (DLou just went for a full out swim), we visited Relay for Life at the local high school, had ice cream and pie before bed my first night in town, attended a family cookout, and had a grand time at the Nantahala Brewing Company.

I also happened to be visiting on Decoration Day. This was a new tradition for me and is only celebrated by a few areas within the Appalachian Mountains. Relatives celebrate this day of remembrance by decorating the graves of deceased relatives. It was moving to see people pay respects to their loved ones who have gone on to be with the Lord. Even in the rain, people sang worship songs and heard the good word from a local preacher. The rest of the tradition involves gathering and eating till your belly is full.

I think I loved this trip so much because–in no particular order (a) I was able to catch up with Dorothy Lou after not seeing her for 2 years (b) The Mountain is gorgeous and is especially so when you get to drive around in a convertible with the top down (c) I felt like I was a part of this family and I think it takes special people to be able to make someone feel that comfortable in such a short amount of time–it takes big/good hearts (d) I was so out of my element and for the most part, except steep parts of the hike, I think I did well with sticking out like a sore thumb.

I really want to travel abroad but let me tell you, sometimes going 5.5 hours away from home gives you a cultural experience like you wouldn’t believe. I’m so thankful to have spent time in Bryson City, NC with DLou and her kindhearted, funny, and lovable family.

Now, I’m totally regret not going to the mountain years ago ;). smh

Thanks Dorothy Lou for the invite. Miss you, love you, and so proud of you!

Check out my pics below:

Thanks for reading about my adventure.

Later y’all.

Because I’ve Never Been There Before

These are just few of my favorite images from my 30th Birthday Trip to Austin. I went with the lovely Jennifer B. Why did we go to Austin? Well, I’ve always heard great things and I’ve never been there before. I’m not a spontaneous purchaser of plane tickets but thanks to JB I pulled the trigger and don’t have any regrets.

This city has a cool vibe. “Keep Austin Weird” is the city’s slogan. Yes, it is weird and it seems to be a place that just lets people live. Delicious Mexican food and margaritas, live music, bats, food trucks, UT, The Driskill Hotel, nice cab drivers, Clive, and Midnight Cowboy, etc. made this trip fantastic. If you want to see all my photos, head over to my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10101755612674978.1073741828.5730901&type=1&l=c3b0ea92ee. I know that Austin is in Texas but I never felt like I was in “Texas”.

Perfect weather and a good friend made it the best package deal. I liked taking a trip for my birthday and I think it shall become a new annual tradition.

Thanks Austin for an amazing vacation and some fun memories.

Later Y’all!

101 for 1,001

What are you doing for the next two years? Mackenzie Horan has it all figured out. Check out her list here. She is the author of the adorable blog Design Darling.

She came up with 101 things for 1,001 days. That’s about 2.75 years to get 101 goals, dreams, and tasks completed. Sounds good, right?

Of course, I love a good list so I started trying to come up with 101 things that I want to do in the next 2.75 years…

This is a lot harder than I thought. Here’s what I have thus far:

1. Join a professional association for Leadership Educators.
2. Invest in a new camera.
3. Take someone I want to learn from out to coffee/dinner/lunch at least once a month.
4. Run/Walk a 5K.
5. Do more guest blogs.
6. Send email to leadership friends for insight into their world.
7. Get personal business cards.
8. Take on a Board/Council position within the Junior League of Nasvhille.
9. Be nominated for and apply again for Nashville Emerging Leader Awards.
10. Participate in a Nashville based leadership development program.
11. Go to Bluebird Cafe.
12. Be an extra on ABC’s Nashville.
13. Contribute to a new charitable cause on a bimonthly basis for 1 year.
14. Eat at 1 new restaurant per month.
15. Make it to the gym 3X per week for at least 3 months.
16. Join Toastmasters.
17. Drink at least 2 bottles of water per day for at least a month.
18. Pick an exercise class and stick to it for at least 3 months.
19. Send 2 random cards to friends at least twice a month.
20. Do Karaoke in Nashville.
21. Go to Gatlinburg, TN and Memphis, TN.
22. Take a trip every 8 months to a new destination in the US.
23. Make plans to go abroad and go!
24. Pay off debt.
25. Clean my house at least 1x per week. I live alone. I’m messy.
26. Get my car detailed.
27. Grocery shop every month. I eat out A LOT!
28. Join CABLE.
29. Go on a date.
30. Cook 1 meal per week.
31. Recommit to a small group.
32. Take a trip to W&M.
33. Read at least 1 new book per month.
34. Send my mom more cards. She keeps them all.
35. Find my signature scent.
36. Buy a great pair of tailored black pants.
37. Take time alone with God in the mornings at least 3X per week.
38. Read the entire Harry Potter series.
39. Get a massage.
40. Find a primary physician.
41. Go on a hike.
42. Clean up my computers (work/home).
43. Decorate my home like a grown up. Curtains? Coffee Table? New TV?
44. Throw a dinner party/supper club in my home.
45. Send out Christmas Greetings.
46. Seriously, plan my return to school for my Ed.D.
47. Plan and have a classy 30th birthday party.
48. Professionalize my closet.
49. Invest in big girl heels.
50. Return to learning the Spanish language.
51. Go home at 5 as often as I possibly can.
52. Leave at least 1 night per week during the weekday that I don’t have any evening plans.
53. Be a lead facilitator or Keynote Speaker at more events.
54. Be accepted as a LeaderShape Cluster Facilitator.
55. Host a book collection event for Book ‘Em.
56. Make more 1:1 connections with students at Vandy.
57. See a therapist.
58. See at least 1 live musical performance a month.

eek! Still 43 more things to go…I’m working on it. Of course, many things that I want to do are at odds with each other but it is all about prioritization and doing things on a budget. Planning is such a joke, right? Life happens in ways that tends to kill most of our plans but at least I can use this to orient me and help me make a first step. We’ll just have to see what He has in store from there. What God has for me is for me and it might not be anything on this incomplete list :).

Later y’all.