Monday, April 26, 2010

When The Week's Away, The Browns Will Play

What a fantabulous weekend! Although I failed to take my camera along to two of our planned outings, I think I'm able to rumage through my memory attic well enough to recollect a few moments to share...

In our normal 'last-minute-let's-see-just-how-close-we-can-cut-it' fashion, we secured a babysitter 2 hours before dinner and drinks with Kyle's cousin Melissa and her husband Tom- several of her friends and my favorite brother-in-law, Ben. We headed to Urban Flats to enjoy wonderful company, amazing wine and tasty flatbread pizza.

Urban Flats just happens to be one of my favorite places to eat in the The Gulch. And The Gulch just happens to be one of my favorite parts of downtown.

Then we headed to Red Door, a 'saloon' of sorts where you will find an eclectic mix of locals and tourists alike... eh, and unalike. Nonetheless, it's one of the best places to enjoy a beer, or shot while chuming up to a biker dude named Thomas and a Vandy prep named Tub (yes, these people really exsist). I partook of several vodka-sodas while Kyle chose to exercise his idiot gene by taking shots of Jack Daniels. One day he will realize that he is in fact: Over thirty.

Saturday, we got up early to pack our chairs and cheerleading skirts and headed down to Rosa Parks to yell for the marathoners. We got to see my cousin David who was going for his first full marathon- only to be cut short at 22 miles by the weather. I just CANNOT IMAGINE how disappointed so many of them must have been. I did the half marathon for three years in a row. And I have to say; for someone who always claimed that running is for, well... "runners" and I wasn't in that league (large ta-ta's and frequent hangovers don't serve well for pounding the pavement), completing a half-marathon- three times- is among one of my greatest achievements. And although it's been three years since my last one, I still find any reason to be around it. The energy  is indescribable- no matter what side of the street you're on. But I will say- being on this side now for three years really makes me feel like a bonified lard ass. So NEXT YEAR people... I'm back at it- shinn splints, seperated toenails, chaffed thighs, dried sweat-salt and all. Ahhhh- the beauty of running for nothing but pain, a free t-shirt and a medal that will take it's place among the others in my underware drawer!

The thunderstorms that came through on Saturday left Sunday in prime kite-flying condition. The clouds were low and luminous, the wind was crazy strong and the air was a mix of warm and cool currents. Give me a warm sunny day anytime- but secretly, I love days like this. I close my eyes and for a moment, pretend that the strong breeze is sliding off a nearby ocean. Man- I need a vacation. So we went a bought a kite, headed to Centennial Park and enjoyed family time. Perfect ending to a great couple of days!!





Monday, April 19, 2010

Home Tour 2010

If you have talked with me at any point in the last few weeks, you will already know that I volunteered our home to be on the 2010 Nashville Downtown Partnership Live It Up Home Tour. They came and checked out the place- liked what they saw and many headaches and arguments with Kyle later, close to 350 people trudged through our private quarters! So, I'm happy to report my friends, it has come and gone and today... AHHHHhhhhh.... I breathe!

The aforementioned headaches came about because there was much we wanted to do to get the house ready. I had a wish list a few pages long. But time and money were both snickering behind our backs. They just were not on our side. There were several minor repairs that needed to happen before the tour- and while they got done- they did not get done until 8:00pm the night before. I don't know why we insist on doing things so last minute- it drives me crazy but most of the time, it's how I work best. I do, however, acknowledge that I had a little help.

The best thing to come out of participating in the tour was discovering again my love and appreciation for our home and the city where it dwells. I've made no secret of the raging tug of war I face regarding our decision to live downtown. And after we were broken into, I was ready to pack up and move the next day. And while moving wasn't immediently feasible, I spent the next several months daydreaming of all the serenity, security and comfort the suburbs would surely bring us. I became very detached from our current homestead- even declaring a few times that buying this condo was one of the biggest mistakes we ever made. While I still struggle a little with our past break-in and Tyson's school situation- I now remember why we are here- and why it makes sense for us.

So we made our repairs- we did a little painting (although the heavily-despised giant mustard yellow wall had to stay for now), added a few peices of art and other decorative accessories. And I have to say- the place looks great. It feels like Home. I walk outside and smell the city air and once again- feel comforted and alive. Although the suburbs will surely call to us again- and at some point an answer of 'yes' will be our reply; right now- this is our home. This is where our hearts beat- where our family grows and where our lives are lived. It's a great place to be!

The day of the tour was pretty amazing. With the kids away at Ruth and Gary's, Kyle and I left the house in the hands of a couple of volunteers and went to lunch. In celebration of our completed home project and our still in-tact marriage, we decided to enjoy a few fruity drinks and devour some really big shrimp.


Then Katie and Gary, Jason and Sarah, and Damon and Trisha met up with us to see the other homes featured on the tour. I believe we all agreed that the penthouse located on the 30th floor of The Viridian was our favorite.


And our second favorite home on the tour? OURS.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back Where I Come From...

That would be Anderson South Carolina- you see things like this in bars:

a plump jolly ol' lad with a hat the color of prison shoes proudly showing off his gut and a "3" shaved into his belly hair. MMMmmm- it just doesn't get any better than this.

OH WAIT- yes it does. Does anyone else spot the oh-so pregnant chick to the left in the background? And if I'm not mistaken- she has a cigarette in her hand. THAT- my friends- is redneck at it's best.

And yes- this was taken in an Anderson bar. I've probably been there- I've probably seen the bathroom closer than I would have preferred and I've probably even dated this guy. It's just all peices of the Brandy puzzle....

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Didn't Even Have To Use My A-K

Even Mr. Cube would approve.

Score one for the city living team! Nashville MTA just began a free- did ya hear that?- FREE bus service called the Music City Curcuit. Not only are the buses super nice, they are super green using a clean diesel hybrid electric propulsion system that produces fewer harmful emissions and uses less fuel. *SWISH*- Nothing but net.

So the offspring and I set out on a little adventure this afternoon and much to my inner worry warts dismay, everything went great. We hopped on the bus at the corner of Harrison and 7th- right at the fountains at the Bicentennial Mall and got off at Riverfront station. I love downtown in the spring and summer- it's so alive- and today was no exception. Nashville tourists are such an eclectic mix of people. And people watching is prime. We grabbed some ice cream and enjoyed a cozy spot at the Riverfront. I stared out on to the Cumberland River, fondly remembering the time that I almost swam the entire width of it- I was offensivly drunk and saw no other option. Luckily, a bridge appeared out of no where. It was not one of my better moments, fo sho!
We headed to the Pedestrian Bridge and I snapped some shots of Miss Riley while Tyson was busy growling at innocent people walking by. I have given up on trying to stop this behavior and just assume that he will stop by either growing out of it or by getting slapped in the mouth by some unsuspecting victim. It is what it is.

Then, after getting trapped in some old womans fart bubble on Broadway, we found our way to the bus stop and headed home. I gotta say it was a good day. Er... except for the fart bubble. That was excruciating.

Anyhoo... pics below. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Attention April Powell, The 20's Called- They Want Their Final Rose Back.

This is my former neighbor, my co-worker, my wedding florist, my comrade in all things "The Bachelor" and my friend, April.

She turns 30 tomorrow.
She is awesome.

Somehow, and I'm not sure what I've done in this universe to be so lucky- life has lead me to a handful of really exceptional, positive and charismatic people. Human beings who are nothing short of magnetic and who choose to run the marathon of life with a very real and fiery passion for all that that journey entails. April is one of these people.

Because our relationship spans a variety of connections- we've shared quite a bit in the past 5 years. She was there when Tyson took his first steps. She got me the job that I now cherish more than I ever imagined. And because she works for the same company, I am fortunate enough to watch her grow in her career and impress and impress and impress some more. And she does it in a way that is very unassuming, very natural. She's just so effin good at what she does. From her, I have learned so much.

On my 30th birthday, I came to work and was greeted with balloons, streamers and banners all announcing to the world or anyone who walked past our office that "Brandy Smith was 30!" I loved every second of it and I'm not sure if I told her how special that made me feel. But hopefully I just did.

Being the two similarly passionate people that we are, we have had some heated moments. From this I learned two things: She don't take no shit. AND she gets over it very quickly. To me that speaks volumes about a person. And for April it says that she just has no desire to harbor negative baggage. We could all learn a lesson or two from this. I've learned mine.

Although she currently lives in Denver,  the land of woodsy, John 'Denverish' type things, she embraces her southern roots in a way that would make even Paula Dean proud. I love love love this about her. And I think there's a certain mountain man in her life that would agree.

So Happy Birthday to my dear friend, April. You said it best when you announced that the 20's are soooo overrated. There is a wisdom, a comfort, and an awakening that almost immediately envelopes you upon your arrival into the thirties. Wisdom because you've learned from mistakes already made. Comfort because you can now truly recognize and appreciate the colorful fibers that make you FINALLY feel safe in your own skin. And you awake to discover that all of this combined, makes you beautiful. And beautifully amazing. Of course we can’t leave out your supporting cast: The aforementioned hunky mountain man, your cool kitty, those sexy-as-hell cowboy boots and your lover, Celine Dion.

Much Love, Miss Powell. Hope this year is all that you hope for and more!!!
Life is funny. Sometimes it's the complete opposite. This is my best attempt at trying to capture it all...