The End of an Era

That’s what I told Matt today.  That’s how I felt…. that today was the end of an era.  I said goodbye…. to my trusty, ol’ Volvo.  And, it was harder than I thought it would be.

My dear parents gave me that Volvo when I graduated college (for the second time…. not the first time or the third time….).  Dad was so generous because I was able to pick the vehicle of my choice, within reason, of course.  I chose a Volvo because I thought I would and could have it for a long time.  Dad had two arguments to go along with that Volvo.  First, he doesn’t buy anything but American made cars.  He did not want to buy a Swedish car…. it was against what he stood for.  I told him I wanted that car because I would keep it for 1o years.  His second argument was that I was crazy.  That there was no way I would keep a car for 10 years.  Well, respectfully, this has been the one and only time I’ve ever proved my Dad wrong!  🙂

That Volvo was good to me.  I had it my last years in Knoxville, two years in Atlanta, and six years here in Nashville.  In between my time in Knoxville and Atlanta, it took Carrie, Tony, and I across the country to live in Telluride the summer we finished grad school.  All we took on that trip was our tents, mountain bikes, a cooler, and a backpack of clothes.   I think we may have even slept in that car a night or two when we couldn’t or didn’t pitch our tents.  It took us all, Matt included, to Sante Fe that summer chasing Panic around, and to several other destinations that summer.  It’s made countless trips back and forth to Munford from everywhere I have lived, and it has carted both my kids around.  Most recently, Matt inherited the car, and it took him all over TN, KY, IN, and AL for work.

The older the car got, the quirkier and more expensive it became.  Eventually, it was going to be more expensive to fix it than it was worth, and then it wouldn’t pass emissions.  We were only able to renew our tags because a friend “helped” us.  And, we knew we weren’t going to be able to have it much longer anyway.  This growing family really needs a vehicle with a 3rd row.

Before trading the car today, I had to take some last shots to remember.  Matt was a good sport to drive this car for the past year and a half!

The gas tank door was pushed in (and scratched).


The antenna broke off and it was going to be very expensive to fix because something was wrong with the antenna motor.  So, Matt drove around for the past year with no radio.  Depending on where he was in town, he may could pick up sports talk.


The paint was peeling all over the car.


The motor played out in the switch to adjust the side mirrors (explaining why it is pointing out and to the ground).


The wheels lost the decorative plate in the middle that said Volvo, and we gave up trying to replace them long ago.  It was a battle that couldn’t be won.


I don’t know what you call this, but it was peeling off as well….. the trim???


I don’t know what you call this either…. more trim?


The scars of one of the times Matt was rear-ended.


The mileage, which really wasn’t that bad.


The “check engine” and “service” lights that have been on for months keeping us from passing emissions.


The one of three rocks in the windsheild.


The headlights that we were always pushing back in because they would pop out.


And, naturally, the endless dents and scratches….

And to think that this car didn’t qualify for the “Cash for Clunkers” program!

All the problems this car had and gave us toward the end, I was still sad to see it go.  When we drove off in our shiny, new-car-smell, 3rd row truck, we all waved and said “Bye, car!” to the old Volvo.  You’d think we’d be glad to see it go, but that just wasn’t totally the case.  As much as I love our new ride, it was a very bitter sweet moment.  It’s odd in my current state the things that hit me and make me sentimental, but hopefully it will be another 10 years before we have to say good-bye to a car again.

Bye, Volvo!



All About Cole

A few things in the life of Cole…..

I can ask him for a kiss, and he will plop forward, open-mouthed, put his face on my face, and give me a big, wet kiss.  I love it!  It’s a favorite of mine lately.

He imitates often and is now waving hi and bye.

He gives high-fives.

He is also signing “more” when he wants more food.

And, he has found a new favorite playing area.  I quickly had to baby proof!  See below….




Rain, Rain, Go Away

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to curl up with a blanket on a rainy day.  And, why does rain make one so lazy?  And not want to get out of bed?  I’ve learned my daughter feels the same way.  I walked into the living room to find her under a blanket on the couch on this wet, dreary, rainy morning.  This is unusual for her.



It didn’t seem to stop Cole as he was very interested in watching the rain.


Birthday Week

Matt and I like to drag our birthdays out as long and as far as we can.  So, we always say it’s our birthday week to get our way the week before our birthday until our actual birth day arrives.  Well, this year, I must admit, I had a birthday week for sure.

It started out the Friday before in Knoxville at Ruth’s Chris.  We decided to get a good dinner because we would not have a babysitter my actual birthday, so we splurged….. at it was good!

Then, my good friend Niki called and had extra tickets to “Wicked” on Wednesday night.  So, we did that as well as meet them at Midtown Cafe to eat dinner before the show.  It turned out to be an expensive night, but it was well worth it.  It was great hanging out with Niki, Jeremy, Lee, and Leigh.  The food was so good, and “Wicked” was awesome!  I recommend seeing it.

Then, my actual birthday is on a Saturday.  Hooray!  When Cole awoke this morning, Matt got up, turned off all the monitors, told me to sleep, and he shut the bedroom door.  I walked downstairs at 10:15….. let me repeat that…. I woke up and walked downstairs at 10:15.  If that isn’t enough of a birthday present for of mom of two little ones, then I don’t know what is!  But, when I got downstairs, there was a balloon, a card, a copy of “Us Weekly,” and coffee awaiting me.  Ahhhhh.  Then, Matt hopped up and started cooking.  He cooked eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, and had an appetizer of fresh fruit.  Again….ahhhhhh.  I walked into the kitchen at one point, and he was googling “How to cook eggs.”  Ha!  We all ate breakfast, and then Matt cleaned the entire kitchen.  And again….ahhhhhh.  Do I have a great husband or what?!?!?!


After the feast, we got ready and headed to the Crabtree’s for some UT football!  It was great hanging out with great people, great food, and great dogs on my birthday; however, the game was not so great.  Grrrrrr….  Cole had buddy Jake there to play with, and Chloe enjoyed playing with Jake and with the dogs.  Matt and I had fun hanging with the Crabtrees, the Schriners, the Rosses, one of the Lehmans, and all the parents.  And, of course, I thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes.  Thanks for surprising me with them!


Of course, once Cole and Jake were placed in the pack n play, Chloe wanted in.  She couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t let her participate.


I only gave in when Cole wanted out.


I absolutely love this next picture.  Just look at the intense expression on all of these guys’ faces.  I wonder what interception Crompton was throwing at this point.


Here’s Jake pulling up and standing for the first time in the pack n play.  Yay, Jake!!!  And, my gosh!!  Those eyes!!


And more random shots from the day….






Thanks, Crabtrees, for having us over and for letting my daughter destroy your house and invade your cabinets/drawers.  Chloe found the chocolate covered raisins in the cabinet somehow, so she obviously went through the cabinets when no one was looking.  Little stinker!  She would carefully eat all the chocolate off the raisin, then eat the raisin.  For some reason, she thought they were beans and continued to ask Miss Ree for “chocolate beans” the remainder of the night.

Thanks to my mother-in-law, she knows my weakness/love for desserts.  She gave me a Baskin Robbins birthday cake, and it is soooo good!  I don’t know who was more excited over it, Chloe or me.


Thanks to my great friends and my wonderful hubby, I had a great birthday.  If only the Vols had won…..

Chloe’s First Day of “School”

Chloe started school today, and she could not have been more excited.  We’ve been talking it up for a while now, and we went shopping.  She was able to pick out her backpack, lunch box, and rest mat.  Her backpack cracks me up.  It is almost as big as she is, but it’s the one she picked out, so we went with it.  Here are some pictures of her first day.


A side view to see the size of her backpack….


And this picture really explains the size of her backpack compared to the size of Chloe’s body.


I asked her to smile for the camera, and this next picture is the reaction I got.  She was so excited!  It looks funny to me to see her in socks and shoes with shorts.  She’s had on flip flops all summer, but the rule at school is no open-toed shoes, and socks must be worn.  So, we are just following the rules.


When we picked Chloe up today, she was worn out.  She was sweaty, her hands and face were filthy, and her barrette was hanging by a hair with the rest of her hair in her face.  Her teacher said she was a very good girl, but she would not rest on her rest mat.  I knew this was going to be a struggle with her.  Ms. Amy said once she gave her some books, she stayed on her rest mat and “read” the entire time.  Books will do the trick for this child!  Chloe’s lunch came back untouched, and I thought this could be a problem as well.  She’s like her Daddy.  She would rather socialize than eat or sleep.  When we got back into the car, I talked to Chloe about laying down and being quiet at rest time.  I told her she didn’t have to sleep, but she would have to lay still and quiet.  I asked her why she wouldn’t lay down for Ms. Amy, and as Chloe put her finger to her lips, she demonstrated, “She said shhhhh.”  So, I just wonder how many times Ms. Amy told her “shhhhh!”

All in all, Chloe had a good day and is ready to go back!

I’m Getting Tougher!

I am very squimish.  Very, very squimish.  Always have been.  When I was in high school, I came home one day and Mom told me she had fallen in the garage, cut her leg, and thought she may need to go to the ER.  She wanted me to look at her leg to see if I thought she needed stitches.  She showed me her leg, and I immediately started seeing black spots.  She had to sit me down, put my head between my legs, and gave me a coke (for sugar) to drink.  She totally had to take care of me for a little while before I was able to drive her to the ER.  All that said, I have a weak stomach and can’t handle things like that easily.

However, since being in the hospital with Dad for 2 months, I’ve handled more than I ever thought I could.  I’ve watched the doctor put a needle into Dad’s brain catheter and inject it with chemo, and if you would have told me 3 months ago that I could have handled that, I would have called you a liar.

Well, Matt had something on his arm.  His doctor seemed to think something flew into it while doing yard work or something.  He had to have it removed and had stitches.  His doctor told him he didn’t have to come back to have the stitches removed if he had a nurse friend that could do it.  Well, I decided I could do it….. and I did!

Before stitches…..


And after stitches….. and I actually kinda enjoyed it!  🙂


Go Titans Go!

Tonight was the first Titans game, so Mom and Dad came over to watch with us.  The tv in their apartment is not that great, so we got some chicken wings and all watched the game together.  We also found out today that Dad’s tumors have shrunk, so we had reason to celebrate!  I love this picture…. my 3 favorite boys all together.