Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours...

Love- Kyle (photographer), Brandy, Tyson and Riley Beth.

Christmas Eve- 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mount Mayon

This is our planet; More specifically, Mount Mayon in Albay, Philippines- in all her violent beauty. And right now she is really, really pissed off.

I so wish that I was as interested in this stuff in 7th grade as much as I am now. Probably would have helped out on a few science tests. Nonetheless, I take every opportunity to abosrb the information when something like this happens. Volcanos and earthquakes, space and our exploration of it, our oceans and the creatures that live there: it's all just a sobering kick in the gut that confirms just how small we really are. We think we are in charge, right? That's the most common outward example of our narscasesstic and self-consuming nature. Well, this is earth laughing in our faces.

this article is one of the more intresting ones that I have found so far...

Everyone say a prayer for this province and the people that at this moment are leaving their home, their land and livestock- everything they know. This has the potential to be bad.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What Kind of Dinosaur has a hypothesis?

tyson just asked me this question. Priceless.

photo by Kevin Oatsvall.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Betrayed Cat Video

You will want to mute the music down below in the right hand column before you watch this... This had me peeing in my pants- seriously. After two kids, it happens easily.

"How would she like her big pimp then?"


To a 24 year old

If you are 24 or know someone who is- please pass this on- Might be a little boastfull- but yes, I think it's that important.

The backstory is that I, along with my friend Rachel, went out to a local bar tonight to watch football and drink beer (apparently, we grow testicles in our spare time). A guy sat down beside me and struck a very appropriate, non-sexual type of conversation. He had probably had too much to drink but never did I feel that he was hitting on me. He even gave me the 411 about his girlfriend; the pretty size 6 blonde with the tall black boots and short skirt. She was 24 (he was 29) and unhappy with him at the moment for something he had said earlier. All of sudden, she slips up behind us and appears to be even more furious that he has struck a conversation with a 30 something, saggy boobed, root-showing, wife and mother of two. She was upset that he was talking to ME. My once positive first impression based solely on the fact that she was attractive qucikly changed- and suddenly she wasn't so pretty anymore. She was acting like a brat and feeding off the self-inflicted drama. I was baffled and felt the urge to drag her to the nearest corner and yell at her like a red-headed stepchild. Look at you! LOOK AT ME!! Grow Up, I would say... What the hell is wrong with you??????

The more I thought about it- the more I realized that what I would say to her, right there in that bar, wouldn't be much different than what I would say to a 24 year old friend, or even better- to my 24 year old former self. 24 is such a crossroads age- it's a mixed up, complicated rabbit hole between "I'm so cool" and "I have no idea who I am".  I was there once- I wish someone had told me....

  • In 3 years, you will not even remember the dress (that you spent a car payment to have) you wore to that party.
  • Sex will not make someone fall in love with you. 9 times out of 10, doing it too soon will result in the complete opposite.
  • Make him treat you like the gift that you are.
  • Beer makes you fat.
  • Reality TV makes you stupid
  • Envy drives you crazy.
  • VOTE. But arm yourself with knowledge before you just go and vote for the popular one who smiles nice.
  • Fighting or trying to start a fight- makes you a bonified classless redneck.
  • Write down your feelings- destory it afterwards if you want- but write them down.
  • Go on trips with your girlfriends and have the time of your life.
  • If you know you really don't have a handle on it- ditch your credit cards.
  • Find a cause you believe in with all your heart and vow to somehow make a difference in it.
  • You never know what other people are going through and why there are the way they are. Try not to be too judgemental self-consuming.
  • Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever put a phone in your hand when you have been drinking. Even if he agrees to meet with you it's because he is horny and feels sorry for you.
  • Take lots and lots of pictures. One day you will look back and wonder why your legs don't look that anymore.
  • Even if you find the love of your life at this age- wait 5 years before you marry him.
  • Most of the things you want in this life are waiting for you right outside your comfort zone.
  • Drive a paid off crappy car for as long as you can. It saves you money and gives you character.
  • He thinks your body is beautiful.
  • Don't smoke- It's so incredibly unattractive and expensive. And it makes you stink- yes, even after you put it out. Oh and IT WILL KILL YOU. Don't date someone who smokes either.
  • Explore, learn and respect other cultures.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up- rid yourself of toxic relationships.
  • Save your money- no one will care if you wear the same boots as you did last year.
  • Be mysterious.
  • Learn the art of empathy
  • Older people really are smarter than you- listen to them.
  • Two words: BIRTH CONTROL!
  • Be safe: be aware of your surroundings and always let someone know where you're going.
  • Be confident and even when you're not- ACT confident.
  • Spend more time with your family- before you know it, many of them will be gone.
  • Floss your teeth.
  • Whatever it is- it is not the end of the world.
  • Learn to enjoy salads- after 30, that's all you're allowed to eat.
  • Buy good bras. In 10 years, your husband, back and TaTa's will thank you.
  • Try to stay out of the sun- and don't you dare step into a tanning booth.
  • You are stronger than you ever thought possible.
  • You will kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.
  • You will find your prince.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Well, hello Christmastime- I'm glad you're here....

You might call me a sucker or perhaps some other name with a slightly negative twist. You might call me cheesy or gushy or commercially sentimental. I don't care- you can stuff it in your stocking because I'm ok with it. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I love the music- I love the decor- I love shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I love the traditions, new and old. And now with my own children in the mix, Oh MAN- Christmas Day is my utopia. I love it all!

I suppose this is my fair warning. I'll probably get sappy and a little homesick and you'll just have to bear the Christmas music playing here as you read this. You might have to endure some slideshows of old Christmas photos. You might have to read about my Dad, my sweet Granny and Grandmother; My Pa and my Uncle Gary. These are all people that at one time played such a huge part in warm Christmas memories. They're gone now and so Christmas is always a little bittersweet. It's not like I don't think about them every other day- but you know- Christmas is just.. well, it's Christmas. It's a little harder.

But it's still cozy and joyous and a happy time. Because even with all the crap going on- even when it feels like there's not much to celebrate. Even when you feel like the inauthenticity and commericalism has just clouded every real aspect of this time... you have to just breathe and release it. It is yours to enjoy and to appreciate all the love and beauty around us. And then it's our own responsibility to carry that in to the coming year.

"Christmas, in its final essence, is for grown people who have forgotten what children know. Christmas is for whoever is old enough to have denied the unquenchable spirit of man." ~ Margaret Cousins (1905- ), senior editor Doubleday Publishing Company.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


One of my closest friends, Allison, is a Momma!

As of right now, Little Man is still without a name... so we're patiently waiting on the final verdict. Congrats to Allison and Dusty- you guys are going to be wonderful parents. Oh and hold on to your're in for the ride of your life!

Love you, AB!!!

"Making the decision to have a child--It's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ~ Elizabeth Stone

NAME ALERT! 12/2/09- Just got a text from Allison officially announcing the new name for the baby formally known as Baby Block-

Welcome to the World- Tanner Joe Block!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Do you know this band? No? Then shame on you. Go to Itunes now and download a few songs- better yet, just download all their albums because you're going to anyway... Their 2006 self titled debut album is a sure fire winner. You will not be disappointed. Then you might want to dive a little deeper to experience "Flesh and Bones Electric Fun" which takes the composition of a live album to a whole new level. Love it Love it Love it!! Their newly released "Armistice" delivers just as well. Be sure to visit their website and take a look at the video for "BackFire". It's beyond! These.Guys.Are.Just.So.Brilliant.

And so there's a story behind all of this-and I will warn you, I don't prefer it but I have no choice but to do a little name dropping here. It's not often that I find myself in these situations.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of meeting a young woman by the name of YoMary. She also went by the nickname, JoJo which is what I chose to call her because I couldn’t quite mimic the sound it took to say her name as beautifully as she did. I can't even begin to tell you the amount of positive energy this beautiful girl radiates. She is simply magnetic and we became fast friends. JoJo is (or was- I haven’t spoken to her in a while) the nanny to a certain Mr. McGraw and Mrs. Hill. (It's important to note here that she does not reveal her employers identity easily- mostly until well after she gets to know someone. She has the utmost respect for that family and those girls and they are indeed lucky to have her).

About a year after I met her, I received a phone call from a woman named Gay. She was calling to invite me to a surprise birthday party for JoJo at La Paz in Green Hills. I gladly accepted and thanked her for the invitation. A couple of weeks later, I arrived at the party a little early and was met by the only other person there- her name was Sandra. We talked and laughed, traded funny stories about JoJo and gushed about how much we loved her. Other guests began to arrive and I finally met Gay, the friendly voice that called me. I met JoJo’s sister (who was just as vibrant and fun) and her husband and a slew of other really cool, sort of eclectic, painfully beautiful people. I almost felt like I didn’t belong, but that was certainly a result of my own insecurities, not from any of their doings.

At the table I was seated next to JoJo and across from her sister’s husband. When it was time for JoJo to open gifts, I was assigned the dubious honor of discarding the wrapping paper. Gay handed her the first gift, “This is from Tim and Faith” she said. I nearly threw up but managed to compose myself and act like I hear those names in random conversations everyday. She began opening the gift and started handing me the paper. JoJo giggled and asked Gay if one of the girls had wrapped it. Gay laughed as well and said, “No, actually, I think Tim did”. GULP. I resisted the urge to put some of that paper in my purse as a psycho keepsake but I do recall sort of um, sniffing it before I threw it away. Yeah, I know- I just have this thing with smells… What?

The party began to wind down and I found myself engaged in a rather lengthy conversation with JoJo's sister's husband- the gentleman that had been introduced to me earlier as Roy. I thought that he might be in a band of some sort, so our conversation turned to music. He told me the name of his band and I remember feeling a little embarrassed because I hadn’t heard of them. I made a mental note to look them up when I got home- but unfortunately for me, I never did. The party ended as did our conversation and I took some time to say goodbye to JoJo. There were three others that I wanted to say goodbye to, because I had actually had significant interaction with them each.

So I said goodbye to Gay- Faith Hill’s best friend.

Then to Sandra- Faith’s manager.

And then to Roy- who I would later discover was none other than Roy Mitchell-Cardenas, bassist for MuteMath. And as Cher would say..."If I could turn back time".

It was only years later, when the soundtrack to Twilight was released and the song “Spotlight” was included, that the bell went off. I saw the name of the band- MuteMath and was quickly taken back to that night at La Paz and to the super nice guy that I had the chance to talk with. And so began the getting to know you portion of my now very solidified relationship with their music. I’ve been a very vocal and loyal fan ever since.

This past summer I found myself, along with Kyle and the kids in Jason’s Deli, sitting in one of the booths. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed four guys slipping quietly into the booth in front of us. I looked up- then studied them closer. It was MuteMath, the entire band was right there, in all their glory. I could have reached out and pulled Paul Meany’s ear but thought that might be a little aggressive. But the truth was, I was frozen and completely star struck. I've been in Nashville nearly 9 years now and I've come a long way since JoJo's party- I don't get starstruck that easy. I was also overcome with insecurity and that's not easy to admit. Not only was I about 40 pounds heavier from giving birth to Riley earlier in the year, but I was dressed frumpy and sitting there with my family. I felt like such a mom; which in most situations is the title I'm most proud of. But you know- I felt like a MOM- like how you used to think of your mom when you thought you were the coolest person alive. It’s like I didn’t feel cool enough to love their music as much as I do. Because they are the epidemy of cool and I only used to be. So I never said anything. I didn’t approach them and to this day, I regret it. I wanted to say to Roy- “hey remember me? I was the schmuck at JoJo’s party who was living under a rock and hadn’t yet discovered the sheer joy that is your music.” But I ducked out of Jason’s Deli as fast as my flabby thighs and mom shoes would take me.

So Roy- rock on, brother, and I’ll keep spreading the love. You guys give new meaning to music and I’m very appreciative of your creative mark on this world.
Life is funny. Sometimes it's the complete opposite. This is my best attempt at trying to capture it all...