My Favorite Music Artists

I grew up in a very musical family, so I love hearing new music and falling back on oldies. Music has a way of bringing you to a certain time in your life. Certain songs bring back tears of joy but also remind me of painful times and the healing. I have songs that remind me of people and the memories made.

Here are some of my favorite artists (who are still living) that are always a joy for me to listen to:

Tyrone Wells.

I love this man. He has a voice like butter. It is so sweet and just the perfect tone. I love singer song writers, and he is the cream of the crop for me. (I could honestly do a whole post about all my favorite singer song writers…) I also love that Tyrone stays true to his family and faith even amidst his fame. Tom and I were featured on his Facebook page once, and I have actually had a real conversation with him one of the times I saw him in Iowa. One of his songs, our friend sang at our wedding. I have seen him 5 times now, and every time it is so worth it. This is my go to music if I need to feel anything. Do yourself a favor and buy all of his albums.

Michael Buble

He has an old soul feel to him, very Frank Sinatra-esque, which I love. His songs always make me want to be a competitive ballroom dancer. I just love his rich tones. Yummy music! I would love to see him live.

Celine Dion

She has got the best tunes that are perfect for belting it out in the car or in the shower. (Or when you are 9 singing hysterically “All By Myself” when you are told to clean the basement…this may or may not be based on a true story.) She was also the first cassette tape that I owned.

Jimmy Buffett

I grew up listening to Jimmy since he is my dad’s favorite artist. My dad and I danced to one of his songs for our father/daughter dance. They are just great songs to dance to and make you feel like you are just living it up. Most have a party on the beach vibe. Every day I wish I was partying on a beach. I sing “Cheeseburger in Paradise” to George all the time. It’s amazing my brother and I didn’t didn’t ask more questions about some of the lyrics…

Justin Timberlake

I mean what girl who grew up in the 90s doesn’t love Justin Timberlake? From his N’SYNC days to now his solo career, I love it all. Also our sons are very close in age, which means PLAYDATE? One could dream. Anyway, he is a dreamboat who can act, sing, and dance. But I mostly love him for his singing. I also need to see him live…someone please make that happen. I can’t wait to hear this song on the radio!

I have so many others! But these are my top 5 today.

Who are your favorite artists?

Whitener Wednesday-We have been married 3 years!

Today is our anniversary. It is hard to believe that it was only 3 years ago that I walked down the aisle towards the rest of my life.

Year 3 as with every year has had its good and bad moments.

We left off on our story last week with our first military ball.

Moving in together for realsies had its struggles. We were both used to having things a certain way after so long and then there are the added differences of life post-deployment and moving to a new state. I swore at times my husband resembled a caveman, but then again I wasn’t a perfect princess either with my nagging on where things belong. It was like we were recycling back to our first year of marriage.

The end of that summer I geared up for the beginning of a new school year at a new school. I felt like I was in a groove at work and was ready for the new challenges. I was continuing to job search for a full-time job because there did not seem to be any sign that they would be turning my part-time gig into something more permanent. I however, worked that semester trying to change their minds.

It was that fall that Tom started an intensive training schedule. He was out at a range or some training mission every other week it seemed.

In September, he had to undergo another surgery for a tumor that had grown on his hip.

Also in September, we made the plunge and added to our family by adopting Crosby. It has been a whirlwind with them since, but I couldn’t imagine not being a two dog family. I love my little pups, even with moments like this…


I ran my fourth half marathon for a family that we have had a great time getting to know in the past year. They inspire me greatly as Tom and I look to start our own family.

Tom and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time, and I would like to think that it went off really well. We had turkey for days…

This year is the first year in our ENTIRE relationship that we have been together for every single holiday for the ENTIRE year. Mind boggling that it took us seven years to do that. It was so great to have Christmas, birthdays, and everything in between with Tom.

Right after the new year, Tom was forced into a job change. We also had to come to grips that Tom would be deployed again. Some days I have accepted it, other days there is just anger and bitterness knowing that he is so close to peacing out from the military.

We had been actively trying to conceive for awhile, but after the new year thanks to some complications I was having hormone wise, we decided we would look into a fertility specialist just to make sure that everything was hunkydory on this journey. We also wanted to get everything checked out before Tom went on deployment while we had the time.

It was then that our life changed completely. We found out AT the fertility doctor that we were actually 8 weeks pregnant. You can read more about that story here.  We are having a baby! We still get a kick out of telling that story.

Baby 1

Our lives have kind of been topsy-turvey since. Tom still has been doing training missions, and I have been working as much as I was allowed. We have crafted and DIYed our butts off this year. Check those specific tabs if you want to see what we have done in the last year! Some have been duds, but some have been the bombdiggity.

We then found out that we are having a boy, and we decided on the name George Lawson. We think the dogs know what is going on by some weird behavior we have been seeing, and we hope they are as excited as we are once George becomes their new playmate!


I participated in my 5th half marathon with my sister-in law. I was 19 weeks along at the time, and we successfully made it all 13.1 miles.

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We have done some traveling over the past year. There have been countless trips to Missouri to see the famjams. We had a trip over Easter to see our friends in Indiana, and recently we took a trip to Iowa.

But mostly this year we have spent being homebodies enjoying being together. It was the first time we got to come home to each other every day. It was the first time that things seemed relatively normal, as normal as they can get being a military family that is. It was the first time that we didn’t have a countdown going until the next time we would see each other. So in our third year of marriage and seventh year together, we were still able to have a lot of firsts.

We have gone through every emotion possible between the two of us this past year. We both have been strung along and had discontent with how our careers were going. I had ups and downs of being a temporary employee (ups like I wrote here, here and here; downs like this) and being stuck in a never ending job search. Tom’s leadership has been less than stellar leading him down some paths he never wanted to go through during his Army career. For example, they forced him into a job he didn’t want and had him slotted for a deployment that he will need to reenlist for even though he has no intention of doing so, but they are sure he will. Hence him being on the list in the first place. You know stuff that we have no control over, but impacts our life dramatically.  It was during these times that we have had to be each other’s rock and just keep keeping on. We learned to accept things and make new plans when necessary. We learned a lot about ways to support each other through this year, and it has been nice to do that in person. Special moments.

And then to learn that we are going to be parents. Words cannot describe the happiness and content we have experienced since hearing, “You knocked her up.”

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It has been a year.

So much has happened, but yet at the same time very little in comparison to other years. Although, I think George kind of trumps everything as far as life changes. It is a little ironic that our first year of just us in one place, will also be our last with just us.

All I have to say for the last few years is, “High five Husband.”


Happy Anniversary to the man who has taught me so much about life, love, and happiness. To the man who can make me laugh even in my darkest moments. To the man who never ceases to amaze me with his courage and passion. To the man who is the best dog dad and soon-to-be-George dad. To the man who encourages me in all of my endeavors and has made so many sacrifices for our family. To the man who is always on board for crafty time and is the best handy man to have around. To the man who makes me prouder than I ever believed possible. To a man who has never doubted us for a second since we met.

Here is to many more great years to our add to our love story.

35 before 35 Update 6

Another month down! I am officially 29 now as well with celebrating my birthday this past weekend.

I am only going to comment on ones where I feel I have an update from now on.

So let’s see how I did in April.

1. Crochet something else besides blankets or scarves at least once a year

2. Do a photography challenge

3. Visit 5 cities I have never been to before (3/5)

4. Tour at least one of the distilleries in the KY/TN area

5. Send at least 5 snail mail a month

  • This is done, but postage is expensive folks!

6. Become a “professional” photographer

7. Run at least 10 races (any distance) (1/10)

8. Go camping with Tom

9. Pay for the car behind me in a drive through

10. See Tyrone Wells live as many times as possible

  • I went to his “Closer Than Ever” tour last week. It was AH-mazing.

11. Tour Fort Defiance here in Clarksville

12. Water ski with my dad

13. Do a 5K with my mom

14. Take a swing dance class with Tom

15. Read at least one fun book a month and one professional development book every three months

  • I did read a fun book this month, which I will post my review soon. I picked out a Nicholas Sparks book to get me out of my rut. (Some people don’t like Sparks, but he can always get me out of a bummer book time.) I am also working on a professional development book.

16. Take a pottery or stained glass class

17. Do one new recipe each month

18. See both a Clemson and UCM football game live

19. Find a place to volunteer on a regular basis

20. Go hiking

21. Ride in a hot air balloon

22. Go to at least 20 “new to me” restaurants. (11/20)

  • I went to the Rockbottom Brewery in Nashville. I think anything I would have eaten there would have tasted good because I as so hungry. We went there after the race expo, but there was a huge wait because of all the tourists. The pizza there is awesome. I also went to The Alley here in Clarksville, who makes a wicked burger. They are also really cheap so that is a double win in my book. After the half marathon, we went to Richard’s Cafe which is a small hole in the wall place outside of Nashville that has live music and awesome food.

23. Stay at a bed and breakfast

24. Spend a day without electronics (phone, t.v. and computer)

25. Have a Kentucky Derby themed 3oth birthday party.

26. Explore Nashville while we live here

  • I got a huge dosage of this when I did the half marathon since it went all over Nashville.

27. Watch at least 10 movies that I have not seen before that won Best Picture at the Oscars and at least 20 documentaries (not necessarily Oscar winning) Movies (0/10); Documentaries (4/20)

28. Sew an item of clothing from scratch

29. Do a personal devotional/bible study on my own

30. Be a mascot for an event

31. Go on our honeymoon (preferably somewhere tropical)

32. Host an annual NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship game party

33. Go on a mission trip

34. Be on a recreation volleyball team

35. Become a mom

  • I just celebrated my first Mother’s Day, even though it is odd since George isn’t here yet.


30 before 30 Update 3

It does not seem like it was 3 months ago that I made this list!

Let’s see how much I didn’t do this last month…

1. Crochet something else besides blankets or scarves-so something that isn’t straight lines.
  • Done.

2. Do a 30 day photography challenge

  • I did pick a challenge to do. I want to do it later in the spring or in the summer so the weather is better for me to include outside opportunities.

3. Visit 3 cities I have never been to before (1/3)

  • Nothing.

4. Tour at least one of the distilleries in the area

  • Nothing.

5. Send at least 5 snail mail a month

  • Done. I really enjoy mail, although I wish the stamps didn’t keep going up in price.

6. Become a “professional” photographer

  • I have some things coming up in March that will hopefully propel this business further. I was able to take pictures of our friend’s homecoming a couple weeks ago. (It was just as much for me as it was for them though.) We had planned on doing a Facebook ad in February, but decided to wait until the events in March happen so potential clients can see those in my portfolio as well. I have also been brushing up my flash photography for one event. I would rather do natural lighting and not press the flash, but the exposure of this event is just too good not to take the time to hone my flash skills.

7. Run at least 5 races (any distance)

  • I have signed up for one in April. I am hoping to do a couple 5ks during the summer. Anyone want to run with me?

8. Go camping with Tom

  • We are going to celebrate our anniversary this summer at Land Between the Lakes.

9. Pay for the car behind me in a drive through

  • I did not do this, however we did give a tip that was 100% plus more a couple weeks ago!

10. See Tyrone Wells live again

  • He will be in Nashville on May 7th, which is two days before my birthday! You better believe that I will be there, even if I am by myself!

11. Tour Fort Defiance here in Clarksville

  • Waiting for warmer weather.

12. Water ski with my dad

  • Also waiting for warmer weather.

13. Do a 5K with my mom

  • We need to get a plan for this.

14. Take a swing dance class with Tom

  • So with the upcoming deployment, I need to find a class this summer.

15. Read at least one fun book a month and one professional development book every three months

  • I am working my way through Monuments Men for fun and another book on the digital age for my professional read. Keeping on track!

16. Take a pottery or stained glass class

  • This needs to happen this summer as well.

17. Learn how to make sushi

  • I think I will wait to do this while Tom is on deployment since he doesn’t like sushi.

18. See both a Clemson and UCM football game live

  • I was hoping I would be able to do this with Tom, but with the deployment schedule not confirmed yet who knows. Although, I am sure I can convince my dad for a football road trip to distract me from my empty house. Plus I would really like to go to my undergrad for Homecoming so I can march with the band at halftime…some day.

19. Volunteer with MCFOTS and Special Olympics on a regular basis

  • I am fairly positive that Special Olympics isn’t going to happen so I am going to just change it to only MCFOTS, which is the animal shelter in town. I love it there. It definitely gives me my little dog fix. I do have to share about one dog horror story-now funny story. There is one dog who loves to play off leash, and we usually let dogs who have been there for awhile hang out without a leash in the yard to play. She however does not like to come back inside after play time. It was the first week of super cold temps here, so it was around 5 degrees. I chased that dog for about 45 minutes in my snow gear. I looked like a sobbing marshmallow (obviously I was crying) because I couldn’t get her to come inside for anything. I eventually had to lay on the ground with hotdogs as a trail to me to get her back on the leash. Needless to say, this dog has not been off leash since. She is otherwise the most darling dog. She cuddles so well once she is inside, and she never barks. She just really loves to run outside as much as she would like to dictate. I still want to bring her home with me. Who am I kidding; I want to bring them ALL home with me.

20. Explore Land Between the Lakes

  • Anniversary trip

21. Ride in a hot air balloon

  • My best friend and other half are going to do this with me.

22. Go to at least 10 “new to me” restaurants in Clarksville. (3/10)

  • We went to China Town. Yep we unintentionally started a tour of the Chinese restaurants with this one.

23. Stay at a bed and breakfast

  • Not yet.

24. Spend a day without electronics (phone, t.v. and computer)

  • I will do this one day in the summer when the weather is nice.

25. Go to the Kentucky Derby

  • I need to change this to Kentucky Derby themed 30th birthday party.

26. Go to non-touristy parts of Nashville

  • We are actually going to try to do this one this upcoming weekend.

27. Watch at least 10 movies that I have not seen before that won Best Picture at the Oscars and at least 10 documentaries (not necessarily Oscar winning) Movies (0/10); Documentaries (3/10)

  • I made my movie list, but I didn’t watch any. I also watched two documentaries:  Shelter Me and William and Katherine:  A Royal Love Story. The first is about different shelters across the nation and the good work they do. It wasn’t the best documentary; I am going to admit that I fell asleep in the last 30 minutes. HOWEVER William and Kate, I could watch for hours! This one was really fascinating. I learned a lot about the Royal family. If you are obsessed with the Royal family as I am, or just mildly interested, you should check this out!

28. Sew an item of clothing from scratch

  • I pinned a whole bunch of items on Pinterest to be inspired…

29. Find a church home here in Clarksville

  • We have, but I have been too sick to go the past couple weeks.Womp womp.

30. Become a mom

  • If you read my post on Sunday, you saw that we are definitely not pregnant. Dang hormones. We are going to a specialist this week to talk about some other tests and our options since all my blood work came back normal. Thank you to everyone for the sweet words of encouragement and all the thoughts and prayers in our direction. We know that it will happen when a baby is supposed to come into our lives. We just need to be patient and just continue to enjoy our time as a twosome (well foursome with the pups).

I guess I did better than I thought! Who knows what the next month will look like!?!

If anyone would like to partake in one of the tasks with me, just hit me up! I would love to have friends along this endeavor!

And the Birds Sing

It’s been awhile since Tyrone has graced the blog…

Such a great song! I am still debating on making it to one of his shows on his fall tour. Money and travel really do throw rocks in planning for funtivities. If you have him in your area, you really should try to go!


Recently, Tom and I had a painting date night. There is a really sweet little shop that hosts painting lessons a few times each week. The women who run the place, are adorable and definitely made the night super fun.

As with most social painting places, they provided the paint equipment and the canvas to take home. They do one design so you have to pick a night that you like what’s on the menu. You are able to change the colors and little details, but the underlying subject is the same.

paint 20130829_210746

Tom signed his with the Rakkasan symbol in the corner, and he ended up taking it to work for the office they all congregate in. He has even recruited several other guys to go with us the next time. Awesome right?

It was a fun night, and we have planned to do it every couple months for fun.

The rest of my post will be a plea to help someone I know further his education.

Dan is a student I worked with at Iowa State. He has entered the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway for his grad school endeavors. He is a super talented person, and I am glad I had the pleasure of working with him. He was intentional with his conversations and made sure everyone he spent time with knew that he was present and they were his main priority. I was always amazed at his tenderness and capability of serving others. He is going to be great at his profession of choice!

168037_632398875991_8260199_nThis was a conference trip we went on together for housing. (I am the one in the yellow cardigan in the right hand corner.) Shout out to the Cyclones this week against Iowa. Let’s go Iowa State!

In order to reach his goals without the financial headache, he needs help in this contest! If you are ever so kind, it just takes a second to vote! Just click on the link and hit the thumbs up. Once it is circled in green, you have voted!

Again, he is a great human being who needs a little help! Thanks a million friends!