Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Counting My Blessings...

It's the time of the year when we're supposed to be thankful for all God has blessed us with, but I like to think I should be thanking Him each and everyday for all the gifts He bestows to me... this year, I am especially thankful for:

1. A loving and supportive family (one that is also close so we can spend time together)

2. Friends who mean so much to me - I hope each of them knows how much they add to my life

3. My job- so many people are not as fortunate as I am to have job security and I know I am extremely blessed

4. My home- I have a warm place to come back to each and everyday; I also have a roommate who is my best friend and constantly keeps me entertained

5. My good health - For those individuals out there who are sick or hungry, I pray for them

6. The U.S. armed forces- even though I don't say it enough, these men and women give the most important thing of all- they give us freedom and keep us safe from those who wish to harm America and they risk their lives for our country- I am so thankful for your loyalty to our country and I pray for your safety

I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving... I hope you are surrounded by those you love most and really sit back and think about all the blessings God has granted you. I'll be helping my mom prepare our family Thanksgiving, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, cheering on the Titans as they tackle the Detroit Lions, playing Wii with my competitive family, shopping with my mom on Black Friday to continue our annual tradition, and then heading to Auburn with Roy to celebrate the holiday with his family... lots to do!

With Only A Week To Go...

Seems like everyone has Britney fever lately... her album drops in 7 DAYS and everyone is claiming she is ready for her "real" comeback this time. She looks better than ever (especially after having 2 kids), she is getting more visitation with her children, her dad Jamie is handling all of her personal and professional affairs, and her famed manager, Larry Rudoloph, is doing whatever he can to prove to the public that Britney Spears is indeed a pop music legend.
As for her 2nd cover ad feature story for Rolling Stone magazine in 2008 alone, I love the title "Yes She Can" - she is back and out to prove she can overcome anything we throw her way. And even more exciting is her 90-minute documentary "For the Record", which airs on MTV this Sunday (11/30) at 8PM... and yes I will be watching =)

In the following feature from the Today Show, Meredith Viera interviews a Rolling Stone writer to get her take on just how far Britney has come in the past year - take a look

Friday, November 21, 2008

Better Late than Never

So another Thursday full of surprises yesterday- I'm sorry I'm late, but work has been crazy this week! First of all, my friend Candice celebrated her 26th birthday. Her and I have been friends since we both joined Delta Gamma our freshman year in college and have grown so close through the years. From living on Massey to Spring Break in Hilton Head to weekly Wasabi nights and now fun times in Nashville since she moved here late last year, she is a great friend and a person I am thankful to have in my life. So Happy Belated Birthday Candice... I know you're going to have a great year =)

And in other BIG NEWS, my friend Ashley Kessler delivered her little cupcake, Miss Macy Kate Kessler yesterday afternoon at 1:01 PM. Ashley is the sister of Roy's best friend Amber, and I just love her and her family. The Dales' are like a 3rd family of mine and they are the sweetest people you will ever meet. This is their 1st little girl and she is going to be such a blessing for their family, the 1st grandbaby, too. I got to go see her yesterday afternoon, and I swear I don't think I've ever seen a cuter newborn baby- she looks just like a little doll and of course everyone was celebrating in this new life God created. So congrats again Ashley and Marc- you two are going to make great parents and I don't think any baby will ever be loved more than Macy Kate. I can't wait to babysit one day

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whistle While You Work

My ever-entertaining boyfriend told me about a website recently that I sent on to family and friends, but I thought it necessary to post about, as well. Pandora Radio, an online iTunes of sorts allows you to create custom radio stations based on the type of music you're wanting to listen to at any given moment in time. The best part is there is absolutely nothing to download - this is extremely helpful when you work in corporate environments, who won't allow you to download alerting software on their machines, such as mine. You can search for a particular artist, song title, or genre, and only listen to songs in certain repertoires if you like - I am completely addicted and listen all through my busy work days... trust me, it helps make the hours go by and it's relaxing at the same time. I also highly recommend the holiday christmas music now, too - really gets you ready to start decorating the tree and baking holiday cookies. Enjoy! =)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Classy Night Out

For Ryan's birthday, we all ventured out in the cold winter air (it was about 40 degrees that night) and braved the conditions for some fun out on the town. It seemed like it had been forever since that big of a group had been out together, and true to fashion, we partied just like we used to in college. Here are a few images of our Broadway fun...
Some of the ladies at Fiesta Azteca for Dinner
The Birthday Boy with his Mexican Flag Flaming Shot
Happy Birthday Mullins!
Dance Party at Paradise Park
Bang Bang Shoot Em Up Game- I have no idea what
makes us do these silly things
Right after Meg and I almost beat a guy up before our boyfriends
came over and rescued us- Cheer Up Charlie

A Sign of the Times...

It's no surprise that our economy is in a major recession, but when I see messages of big retail stores closing their doors, some before the holiday season even ends, it's frustrating to think about the many people out there who will be unemployed and searching for work throughout the holidays, just so they can pay their bills. Before our new President-elect takes on any more significant issues, I think the first plan of action is to figure out how to rescue the US from this major economic depression we are facing. I normally don't post political thoughts on my blog, but I hate to think of men and women losing their jobs because companies can get it made cheaper overseas. I care about other countries, don't get me wrong, but I love everything about the Unites States and I think we need to take care of our own people before we go trying to save the world like the big superpower we're known to be. In a recent email I received from a few friends and family, it talked about major retail chains closing their doors, which was extremely alarming to me, because on the outside, buyers are unaware of just how fragile the market is and just how much money companies are losing because everyone seems to be holding on to their money in case things get worse. For example:
  • Ann Taylor is closing 117 stores
  • Cache women's boutique is closing 20-23 stores
  • Gap is closing 85 stores
  • Home Depot is closing 15 stores
  • Macy's, the world's most popular department store, is closing 15 locations

These are hard times and I for one am thankful that I have a good amount of job security in my career. A lot of individuals can't say that and I thank God everyday for all His blessings. So be looking out for better-than-ususal Holiday shopping deals at your local retailers because it seems they are doing whatever they can to get us in the stores to buy Christmas presents for our nearest and dearest. And speaking of, for all you crazy people out there that love to do Black Friday Shopping just like my mom and I, the Black Friday site shows you all the store ads before they even come out in the newspapers- Happy Shopping!


Friday, November 14, 2008

18 Days and Counting...

Yes, it's true friends... only 18 more days until my favorite artist of all time releases her new cleverly-titled CD "Circus"... since her personal life has been somewhat of a circus itself these past 2 years, I think the name says it all. An earlier post I wrote features Britney's new "Womanizer" video, but thanks to the folks at 103.5 KTU- New York, loyal fans can hear a remix of 6 of Britney's new songs including:
  • Womanizer

  • Circus

  • Out From Under

  • Kill the Lights

  • If You See Amy

  • Unusual You

When I saw the news on People yesterday, I couldn't scramble fast enough to get the music going on my work computer (sorry for anyone who was disrupted by this!) but I blasted the volume and listened to the songs, and was far more impressed with these new tracks versus songs from the Blackout CD - you can tell she has worked really hard on this new material and is anticipating it's release on December 2, her birthday coincidentally enough. This may just be my favorite highlight of the holiday season...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday

Today marks 2 special birthdays... my friend Ryan Mullins is turning 25 so welcome to the club Big Boy! Trust me, it's not as bad as you think and you can still claim to be part of the "young 20's club" which I don't plan on leaving anytime soon. I met Ryan through my boyfriend and he has become a very close friend of mine. Always fun to be around, very amusing, with a genuine personality, he plays professional baseball as a pitcher and it VERY talented (I'll brag on him since he never does so himself) - he's at home for a few months since his season is over and we're taking him out Saturday to celebrate out on the town so Happy Birthday Mullins- we love you!

Rory, Me, and Mullins at the Pat Green Concert at City Hall!

And another extraordinary birthday today is MY MOM! She is my favorite person in the world and she is turning 46 today- to this day she is constantly asked if she is my sister, and secretly I know she loves it- she just blushes and says "oh no, she's my daughter". She is a remarkable woman who has accomplished so much in her life, and I am proud to call her my mother. She is driven, talented, genuine, loyal, compassionate, and the best mother anyone could hope for - I'm just lucky that God blessed me and gave me to her. She is everything to me and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for all the sacrifices she has made. So thanks for all that you do, Mom, day in and day out, you are my constant source of strength and I can only hope to be as great of a mother as you are to my own kids one day. I love you with all of my heart!

Hollywood Comes to Nashville

When I get down in the dumps about how Nashville is always typecast as a "small, country, hicktown," it always makes me happy when an exciting event comes to town and blows everyone away with our Southern Hospitality. Last night marked the 42nd Annual Country Music Association Awards, which was broadcast from our very own Sommet Center downtown. Hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, I tuned in and actually watched the entire show (which is hard for me to do because award shows usually seem to repetitive), but I was surprised about how much I enjoyed it - live performances by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Kelly Pickler, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, The Eagles, Brad Pasiley, Kenny Chesney- what more could you want? I was pleased to see so many celebrities turn out for the festivities, too, and my did the ladies look good.
Throughout the show, Carrie Underwood had 6 costume changes- yes SIX and they all looked amazing, but I especially loved the colorful yellow dress she arrived on the red carpet in. Then, Reese Witherspoon showed up in her hometown and had that "Old Hollywood Glamour' down to a T. Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland walked away with 2 awards, but I even more impressive was her simple white and black beaded dress. And the show stealer for me was definitely Kelly Picker- talk about VA-VA-VOOM! She was there to make a statement and that she did.

And then, what about Shania Twain's triumphant return at the end to present Entertainer of the Year? Someone has most definitely had some work done to the Miracle Bra area, but she looked GREAT and I hope to see more of her soon since she has gone through so much this year in her personal life - I also loved Kenny Chesney's giddy comment telling her "You look real good!" He certainly has a way with words, doesn't he?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Can All Do Our Part

Growing up, my parents always taught me that you should help those that are less fortunate than yourself, and that lesson has stuck with me to this day. Even though I can't donate lots of money or make a huge difference, I like to think I do what I can, and though it may be small, it does help someone out there. As the seasons change and the temperatures drop, I can't help but think of those who are homeless, those who are cold, those who are hungry, and how we can each do our part to help. Here are a few ways to join in the cause:

1. The Salvation Army Bell Ringers - They stand outside stores and crowded malls collecting donations, giving their time and energy to help those who need it most. Dig down and empty out your pockets... may seem small, but is appreciated by so many.

2. Goodwill - If you have a bad habit of shopping as much as I do, you've surely outgrown your closet space so what better way to help out then by giving away those old sweaters ,coats, hats, and gloves you may no longer wear.. they may not be the most fashionable items, but on a cold winter night, they may just save someone's life. As an added benefit, you can write down the items you donate and can deduct the clothes off your income taxes next year.

3. The Angel Tree - Ever since I was a little girl, my Mom and I have adopted a Christmas Angel each year. This is one of my most treasured traditions we continue even now. You can adopt a child and make their Christmas wishes come true...this is the time of the year we often get greedy, but little do we stop to think about the sweet children who never get to open a present... nothing is as humbling as knowing you've given a child a reason to smile because Santa Claus has visited them this year.

It takes only a small effort to help those who need it most. Donating your time to volunteer or donating clothes or spare change can help to make this season joyous for everyone... God Bless!

Friday, November 7, 2008

What A Week Its Been...

Never in all my years has so much happened in one week... some changes I am not happy about, but I have to admit this has been a roller-coaster emotion kind of week for me, and others I am sure are right there with me.

Monday, November 2nd - in an official press conference from the University of Tennessee, Phillip Fulmer announced this would be his final season as head coach. You could see by all the emotion he had this wasn't his decision. As a loyal and dedicated fan to the VOLS, I have seen the anguish of our players and fans as we have surrendered to another losing football season, but I am optimistic about our program and know we have the capability to rise above this. I believe this is the time for all of us to join together and stand behind our team. I, for one, agree it is time for a new perspective to lead our players, but I'm still upset by how they announced this to the media, and most of all the fans. I wish him and his family nothing but the best, because they have brought many families and friends lots of exciting moments in his many years as head caoch... SEC championship games, #1 recruiting classes, the 1997 National Championship, and countless other awards and honors... thanks Phil, we'll never forget you and thanks for all the joy you brought to so many people

Tuesday, November 3 - Yet another tragic day in America, and I think everyone knows what I am talking about... Always trying to be optimistic and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I hoped for an upset by John McCain winning the presidency, but after all was said and done and the votes were counted, Barack Obama is our President-elect. I'm not excited about the leader our country has elected to represent us, but I will stand behind him and hope for the best. I believe God has a reason for everything He does, and I am confident in this plan we are presented with. It's not going to be easy and our problems are not going to be fixed overnight, but for us to overcome our current situation with the war and the economy among other things, I think we all must try to support Obama and put our personal issues with him aside. I think the best thing for everyone to do is to pray for him, for our troops, and for our country... it's going to be a long ride.

Thursday, November 6 - In an announcement on People.com, it was confirmed that Kendra Wilkinson of "The Girls Next Door" fame is engaged to Philadelphia Eagles player Hank Baskett. Not only was I devastated when I learned Hef and Holly had broken up, but now this... terrible terrible. The Girls Next Door is one of my favorite shows, and one that I'm not sure I can contiune to watch now that all this drama has unfolded. It was also reported Holly Madison is now dating Criss Angel, the magician. How can you go from dating the man who made sex part of main-stream media to a wannabe David Copperfield? You're better than that Holly. Now let's not leave Bridget out- me being the gossip follower I am also found out that Bridget is expected to be moving out of the mansion, as well. She travels more than ever now taping a travel show, so she is rarely there, but with the addition of a new set of twins to the house, I guess the fun-loving girlfriends are all out and a new bunch is in. We'll miss you =(

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