Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Buh-bye Anonymous

Due to some pretty hateful anonymous blog posts, readers are now required to sign in using a Google ID to post comments.  Since most of you reading don't post comments anyways, feel free to keep silently lurking.  And for those of you who take the effort to use a Google ID, I promise you won't regret it.  Google is taking over the world, and sooner or later you'd need a Google ID anyways.

And to the person or persons posting the controversial anonymous comments, just remember that there are always 2 sides to every story, and while I understand that you are entitled to your own opinions, it would be nice if you could confront me personally and own up to your opinions with a name attached to those comments.

Occupy Memorial

Saturday night was one for the books.  It was one of those spontaneous, hilarious nights that take me back to the good ole' days of the Diva Domain when funny Nashville going-out stories abounded.

I found out Saturday after Zumba class that former Sugar Shack roomie-turned-Nashvillian, Anne, was able to score us free tickets to the Vandy- Kentucky game Saturday night.  Well, to be more accurate, her husband Darren is the one who got the tickets, but he had an out of town bachelor party to attend... so sad... so that left me to go in his place!  I was literally dancing in the door when I found out.  We decided to meet up at her house and ride together, grab a quick bite to eat and a few beers, and then get to Memorial in plenty of time to see the game.  You see, unlike fairweather Vandy fans, we like to come early and stay late.

Anne and I are both the proud owners of the new IPhone 4S. We are also both inept at using said devices expertly to find places to eat near Memorial Gym. We knew we wanted to check out Corner Pub since it was being touted as The Place for Kentucky fans to hang before and during the game. After a long circle of Vanderbilt's campus, and finally employing Siri to help us navigate downtown, we found our destination. While it was impressive to see a bar full of blue, the potential for a seat and any kind of food was lacking. After checking out the small quarters, we decided we would be better off finding another spot to dine before the game. By this time, it was dark, and I was already starting to panic that we wouldn't have time to find a new location, eat, and get to the game on time.

Again, I utilized my iPhone to pull up nearby restaurants, and we settled for Chili's due to its free parking, and close proximity to campus. The place was packed, so after putting our name on the list, we pushed through all the people in the bar to try and get a few drinks while we waited, in hopes that someone would leave and we could take their table in the bar. No such luck. Every person in there it seemed, were doing the same thing we were- killing time before the big game, so nobody was going anywhere any time soon. I pushed up to an open corner of the bar to order drinks in between 2 nice-looking Kentucky fans. After a while, we discovered that a) they were Richie Farmer's cousins {Richie Farmer- a famous UK player from 1992, the team known as The Unforgettables}. They even pulled out their driver's licenses to prove their heritage. Yes, Mikey and Rudy weren't pulling our legs- Their last name was Farmer. And yes, I of course had to start the infamous slow Rudy chant, upon discovering Cousin #1's first name. and b) the second funny thing about these two guys is that they are literally farmers by trade in northern Tennessee. I once knew an attorney who's last name was lawyer and she didn't seem to get as big a kick out of that ironic cooincidence as you might think.

Anne and I had a good ole time at Chili's talking to the Vandy fans behind us, Richie Farmer's cousins at the bar, watching basketball on the big screens, witnessing a near bar-fight between rowdy fans behind us, scarfing down a shared appetizer, and generally getting super-pumped about seeing our beloved #1 ranked Wildcats in action.

About 45 minutes til gametime, we walked over to the gym with Richie Farmer's cousins, and a whole crowd of other people en mass for the game. Our seats were on the second level, towards the back and weren't as close as I would have liked, but hey, at least we were there! I giddily snapped pictures of Coach Cal and the team as they warmed up. There was far too much back and gold in that place for my taste, although we did befriend the Kentucky fans behind us, and would flash each other the "Three Goggles" whenever our team drained one. Anne and I both agreed it was too stressful a game. Watching live, you miss a lot of the details, and there's no benefit of having instant replay or analysis from the commentators when they aren't jabbering about unrelated topics.

It was a close game, but the Wildcats prevailed. It felt good to be able to cheer Kentucky on to a road game win, and after the game we made our way back to the Corner Pub and it was like being transported back to Lexington there was so much blue in that place! For these 2 UK grads it was a fantastic night out in Nashvegas.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Weezers

"My best friend Heather from home," which is how many of have heard me to refer to her, was in town this weekend. Bradley and I drove over to west Nashville on Saturday and met Heather and her sister Angie, and poor Bradley was such a trooper as we hopped from place to place. We had lunch at Bluecoast Burrito, then went to Steinmart, Angie's house, Fabu, the Container store and a few other places in Green Hills mall, and finally to Maffiozas for dinner. He went with us from store to store and was an angel even though he wasn't really looking "with his eyes and not with his hands" like I asked him to, but he's 3, what do you expect?!

Right as we were leaving lunch, Angie let Bradley in on a little secret: Heather's childhood nickname: Weezer. Well B thought this was just
about the funniest thing ever, and so the next store we went to, he
hollared loudly for Weezer in every single aisle, much to the
amusement of the other Steinmart patrons. What goes around comes
around, they say, so Bradley connected the dots and determined that if Heather was "Weezer," then Angie must be the "Other Weezer." So
that's what he called them all weekend. Sunday morning, he woke up and wanted to know where "the Weezers" were!

The Weezers came over for a late Sunday lunch, and then since
Bradley's daycare was closed for professional development on Monday,
he and I got to spend the entire day playing with Weez. We picked up
Heather and drove to get hot tea from Starbucks, and then to the open
gym time at Pump It Up where Bradley proceeded to expend lots of
energy in a 2 hour period, and Heather and I got time to sit and catch
up. We even almost got dragged into a Brentwood Mom fight between
these two women whose kids were being bullied.

Side-stepping the mama drama, we convinved Bradley without too much
trouble that it was time to leave Pump It Up and go get some lunch.
Heather's and my "thing" growing up was chicken fingers, and knowing
she doesn't have an abundance of chicken finger places up her way, we
decided to go to McDougall's. I'll admit, I was really tempted to
cave and enjoy some fried buffalo tenders, but spotting the grilled
cheese on the menu, I went with that. Until I truly decide where I stand on the whole eating meat issue, I didn't want to cave now.

After lunch, we went home and I got Bradley down for his nap then
Heather and I had a little Grey's Anatomy/Private Practive mini
marathon. We colored, played Bat Cave and baseball with B once he got
up from his nap, and then enjoyed an early supper of breakfast-for-dinner, where I made Heather the most utterly boring omelet ever, (Seriously. Just Italian seasoning? No cheese? Who
does that?) followed by a semi-healthy dessert of chocolate fondue with fruit.

I dropped Heather off that night, and then met up for one last dinner
hurrah last night at Chuy's before she departed again for the land of
the yuppies and fiber-optic cable, where Angie and I had a laugh at
Heather's expense at the Blondie Cowboy Mouth event, and the story
about the man who had "the AIDS" helping her put air in her tire in
the ghetto. The visits are never long enough, but I love that we always pick up right where we left off. Until next time, Weezer!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Be Careful What You Pray For

New job + New iPhone = Blog shifting to the bottom of my priority pile.

But I've promised myself I wouldn't give it up because I love writing too much. So even if it's just me writing and reading, even if some of the silent lurkers don't want to, or can't figure out to post comments with a Google Account (There IS always the anonymous route, I'm just sayin... you can type your name, even), I still have life events I want to document, current events to comment on, and perspective to share. Today's post is a long time coming, and the moral of the story is this: Be Careful What You Pray For ... because it just might happen.

Backing up, I shared 2 prayer requests for 2011 with my Small Group/Sunday school class at church. 1) For Bradley & I to have a place of our own to live, and 2) For me to trust God with my finances and commit to tithing. Now here it is 2012, and while I don't yet have a place of my own to live, I do believe that God honors our prayers and He's not on my timeline, so even though the year has come and gone, doesn't mean that my prayers were in vain. My other request had to do with finances. As a single mom, it's tough to make ends meet. I won't play up the circumstances because I know there are many moms out there who have it worse than me. Still it's tough when almost all of my small income goes towards paying for daycare and gas to get to work. So it would be easy to hoard my money in the name of being financially responsible and promise Jesus that I will start my giving once I have a better job, or once I have X amount in savings, or once I have a house... but those events-to-come are never ending, and I know there will always be an unexpected emergency to pay for, or some fun opportunity out of the blue that costs more money that I had planned on spending. So I understand that the time to give back to God is now.

You hear over and over that if God gives you a little, and you are trustworthy with what He gives you, He'll give you more. I'd tithed to church in the past, and I support missionaries and other causes, but my 2011 resolution was to be consistant with tithing as a starting point, with the intent that it would become a habit and I would give more down the road.

So that's the backstory- I was praying for my finances in 2011, and asking God to help me trust Him. Well when God's people start praying, God gives you tests aka opportunities to strengthen your faith.

About halfway through 2011, some residual effects from my divorce left me suddenly, soley, legally responsible for over $10,000.00 in credit card debt. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth the day I found out about my new predicament, and yep, I absolutely blamed God. "Why am I being punished over and over?" were my cries to Jesus. "It isn't fair, this isn't my fault." So I did what believers do when faced with trials. I prayed. A lot. And I asked a lot of you to pray with me. After a few weeks, I came to the realization finally that the amount of money being asked of me was so great, that I had no choice but to pray. Anything smaller and I would have come up with a game plan, and figured out my payments with the credit card company, and set to paying off debt for the rest of my life. BUT (and God is funny like that) the amount might as well have been a million dollars as far as I was concerned. So I reached a point of peace where I left it in God's hands. I made some phone calls and I wrote some letters (God certainly has blessed me with the gift of writing, so again, the credit goes to Him) but one day I called and discovered that the debt had been erased. 100% gone.

Not to get all hyper-spiritual, but it was like my own real-life example of Jesus dying for my sins- forgiven in an instant with no way to repay Him- the grace and mercy of God at its finest. I was overjoyed. This was a real-life miracle. We all know what shape our economy is in, and credit card companies don't just wipe away thousands of dollars just because. But I prayed to trust God with my finances, and in that time of financial stress, I got my opportunity.

I share this story not to place blame on anyone, and not to glorify myself, in fact, I felt guilty for not praying more during those months, but I share this to show how Awesome God is. Modern day miracles do happen. I didn't hear God speak to me, but I did read lots of Bible verses about trusting God, and I sensed a peace wash over me when I realized this was just one of those things I was gonna have to trust Him with.

Be careful what you pray for, because God hears your prayers, and will honor those prayers in His time. It makes me wonder how many other prayers I might have flippantly offered to God, and then not followed through. Maybe a challenge or an opportunity presented itself but because I wasn't doing my part in spending time talking to God about, or making sure my heart was lined up with what God would want, I missed it. Anyways, this was one of the biggest events of 2011 for me, so I wanted to share it with you.

God hears our prayers, and He is Good All the Time.