Sister Date

I got to hang out with my super awesome sister, Olivia, last night…which makes my heart so happy.  We haven’t had a chance to hang out in a while due to my school schedule and her similarly busy life.  I mean, the life of an 18 year-old  high school senior is packed full…this I know.

Anyways, I (unknowingly) got to witness my super cute little sister get asked to prom after a school ultimate frisbee game.  I will take a quick pause for you to reflect on the fact that high schools now have ultimate frisbee as a team sport.  I thought we were pretty forward thinking by starting hockey, lacrosse, and rugby…obviously not!  So, after WINNING the game, her date went and did a quick change before coming back dressed in a blazer and bow tie and carrying a bouquet of flowers.  Being the wonderful big sister that I am…I snapped a few quick pictures.

the ask

right after he asked her to prom

Olivia, her date, and the entire ultimate frisbee team.

Olivia, her date, and the entire ultimate frisbee team.

We headed to Frothy Monkey in Franklin for dinner afterwards for a nice dinner.  We had a great chat about all sorts of things and I ended the night with a beautiful Vanilla Latte.  If you haven’t checked them out, you should definitely make your way to the Franklin location.  They are just off of five points in this great old house.  The atmosphere is great and on a warm day they have a pretty awesome patio.  I ordered the PMP sandwich for dinner…thanks Olivia for making me think of PIMP. I couldn’t get 50 Cent out of my head and definitely ordered the “P.I.M.P” instead of the PMP. Thankfully our server was good-humored and played along – bringing me the P.I.M.P sandwich I requested.

they always do the best foam designs!

they always do the best foam designs!

And somehow we ended the night with no pictures together…date fail!  At least we had a blast together.

Have a great weekend – I’m headed to Atlanta for some fun with my Georgia loves!

Thanksgiving Recap

I hope you all enjoyed time with family and friends this Thanksgiving.

I got my Thanksgiving fun kicked off with my mom and sister over lunch on Wednesday.  It’s always fun when Olivia has school off and gets to come up to eat lunch with me..and even better when mom gets to join!

Girls lunch…we look nothing alike, right?

Wednesday night we joined some friends for their annual Turkey Bowl and had so much fun…even though I am absolutely terrible at bowling.  I did get a few strikes but still was not able to break 100 (I did say I was bad, right?).  Joshua, on the other hand bowled like a champ and lead our lane to 2 straight victories (proud wife).  Bowling was followed by Chick-fil-a and then home for some sleep before the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning.

This year our Thanksgiving was extra special because it was Joshua’s birthday!  For those of you that don’t know, Joshua was born on Thanksgiving, so I always think the Thanksgivings we get to celebrate his birthday are extra special.  Thanksgiving morning started with a the Turkey Trot with mom…Joshua enjoyed a few extra hours of sleep and I woke him with a warm cup of Starbucks + a new travel mug for his morning commute.  I sadly have no photos to document Joshua’s birthday or Thanksgiving because my phone completely died Wednesday night and wasn’t resurrected until Friday.

I made our traditional Barbeque Green Beans for the Vincent Thanksgiving lunch.  We had a great time visiting with Josh’s side of the family and even played a few rounds of catch phrase – which was so fun with a multi-generational group!  Over lunch we went around and took turns reading little slips with things to be thankful for, along with a verse of scripture.  I loved the idea and it was great to remember why we were gathered together.  We hung out with the Vincent side until 3:30ish and then headed over to my parents’ house.

Mom made a feast, as usual with turkey AND beef tenderloin this year (along with all of our usual sides).  We had a great time sitting around the table and enjoying one another.  Mom got a pad of paper out half way through the meal and had us all share what we were thankful for (we did about 5 rounds).  After dinner we retired to the family room to rest before dessert.  Joshua got to open his 2 awesome birthday presents – gear cufflinks and this print from Old Try!  He now has 2 great prints from them to hang in his new office.  I’ll post some pictures once we get them framed and hanging.

While hanging in the family room we took the opportunity to get some family photos…squished on the couch.

Left to Right: Joshua, Me, Olivia, Meg, Zach, Elsie

And that covers our Thanksgiving fun!  We intended to see Skyfall Thursday night but were too stuffed to sit through a movies.  We finally saw it yesterday – and it was AWESOME!

I’m thankful for a wonderful weekend to enjoy time with family.  It was great fun!

Looming Deadlines

I have several very important tests coming up in November…which is just around the corner, my friends.  I cannot believe October is almost over.  The first of these tests is the Praxis Content Knowledge test on November 3.  I will be taking the “Are you smarter than a 5th grader” test that morning and I am in serious crunch time.  One would think the topics would be easy…but some of the content is surprisingly difficult.  I know I can do it…I just need to push onwards to the finish.
Test #2 will be a bit more difficult.  I need to take the MAT (Miller Analogue Test) for grad school this semester in order to do all course work BEFORE student teaching. If I don’t get this done, I’ll have to student teach next fall and THEN finish up my coursework for my grad degree WHILE teaching.  I much rather do all coursework first.

On top of those tests, I have work and my normal school work..say a little prayer, would you? I know this will all work out, I know this is where God wants me to be.  But that doesn’t mean I can slack off..if anything, it means I need to dedicate myself that much more!

 

Dallas Trip

Joshua and I headed to Dallas last weekend for a little catch up time with some dear friends.  We headed out late Thursday afternoon, getting us to Dallas around 1am.  We had a great time on the drive and I even captured this amazing sunset.

Completely, awesome…right?  It kind of looked like it was going to storm our entire way there (at least the part that we had daylight for).  The rain held out until we were on our way home.

Friday was a casually filled day.  I headed to the Y to visit with some great old co-workers.  I was even treated to lunch at Mi Cocina.  They were all probably about to roll over and die because I used to NEVER want to go there (not huge on tex-mex), but it was great to do something that was old tradition.  Friday afternoon we headed to Twisted Root Burger for Joshua to grab some lunch.  He was so excited for their delicious fare.  The burger didn’t disappoint, but the beer selection DID!  We used to love Twisted Root for their huge, delicious selection…which has been drastically reduced to appeal to the college crowd. Total bummer.  Twisted Root was followed by a trip to AMS Ducati.  It was great to see our friends there and catch up for a while while surrounded by beautiful Italian motorcycles.

Like this beauty! (image from scenic reflections)

Motorcycles was followed by shopping for game day apparel with Ashley at NorthPark while the guys caught up over a beer and then dinner at Kona Grill.  We had some delicious sushi!

Pre-tailgate picture. The only one of us from the entire weekend.

Saturday was a day full of tailgating and football.  We went to the SMU tailgate for a while and then headed to a bar to watch the Tennessee vs. Florida game (Jayson’s choice…clearly NOT mine!).  The tailgate was really fun.  We got to see a bunch of Joshua’s old classmates and catch up with everyone.  Oh, and the weather was perfect.

The drive back was quite dreary, but we did get off the interstate and took Highway 100 from Memphis to Nashville.  If you ever have time to joy ride and find yourself headed from Memphis to Nashville (or the other way around), we highly suggest taking the back roads.  It is absolutely gorgeous with some awesome turns, too.
Well..that about sums it up!  How was your weekend.

Friday Letters

Dear Tennessee, It has been a year since we moved back and you have not disappointed.  I am LOVING your cool September mornings.  The picture above captures your morning beauty wonderfully.  Looking forward to all the beautiful colors this fall.  You’ll be able to find us cruising the Trace.

Dear girlfriends, It was so so SO good to see you all this past weekend and celebrate Jacklyn and Ryan’s marriage together.  Loved that we were all at the same table sharing laughs, smiles, and good conversation (of course).  You all filled my heart with joy.  My cup runeth over!

Dear Language and Literacy Acquisition, I am absolutely LOVING all the new material I am learning.  So long overwhelming feelings – I’ve got this!  I’ve learned so much about writing in 3 short weeks and I’m excited to learn everything else you have in store for me.  Such a good feeling to know I’m headed down the right path!

Dear momma, Thanks for agreeing to run the Franklin Classic 5k with me.  It was quite a humid Labor Day morning and I had a great time running along side you.  Looking forward to a few more this year.  Let’s finish the fall strong.  Goal: 1 race per month. Our pre-race picture is below. Love you!

Happy weekend, everyone!  I have just a few plans this weekend.  They include fingerprinting for school, going to see NPR’s “Says You” with a small group, a birthday party, and if I can convince Joshua – I want to go to the Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church,

What are YOU up to this weekend?

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Back To School

Yes, you read correctly!  I am going back to school NEXT WEEK!  It’s been a long road of decision making, BUT I’ve actually made decisions about my future and I am so excited about this next HUGE adventure.

So, I’m sure you’re thinking..Milli, what are you going back to school for?  Well here you go:

After leaving Dallas almost a year ago, I knew I really wanted to start figuring out my next steps towards figuring out a career.  Here’s what I knew about myself: I love helping people, I love children, and I desire to make a difference in the lives of others.  Well, all of those things can manifest in tons careers but there were 2 fields that really grabbed my attention: nursing and teaching.  I started volunteering with this great organization, Harvest Hands.  They exist to serve the South Nashville community and I specifically got involved to work with the elementary after school program.  For the past year I have spent one afternoon a week with about 10 children, getting to know them, playing with them, and helping them with their homework.  I LOVEbeing with these children and it kind of dawned on me that I desired to serve in a larger capacity.  I don’t want to just spend one afternoon a week with them, I want to spend all day with them.

So, nursing was out the door and I applied to Lipscomb’s Graduate Education program.  Classes start next week and I couldn’t be more excited.  I can’t wait to soak up everything I can and become the best educator I can.  I’m starting with just the teaching licensure program and will add the graduate courses once I take the GRE.

 

 

 

Looking forward to sharing this new adventure as it unfolds!

Adventures Along the Natchez Trace

After a late start to the day, and a haircut mid-afternoon, Joshua and I headed out for a hike.  However, we soon found ourselves cruising down back roads and eventually on the Natchez Trace.  We knew we could find a bit of hiking along the road, but we weren’t exactly sure where those hiking spots were.  You see, we LOVE the Trace and love taking scenic country drives and have never really ventured out of the car on previous drives. We love cranking up the radio and listening to some good music while enjoying the beauty that is Middle Tennessee.  This time around we created an oldies Pandora station that featured songs like ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’,’This Magic Moment’ and Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’.  It was pretty spectacular.

This time I was determined to get a little exercise in.  We stopped at one of the larger rest stops along the Natchez Trace and grabbed a map and realized we needed to head South (we had been heading North, towards Nashville).  We finally arrived at Jackson Falls and I’m so glad we found this little treasure.  It’s not a roaring waterfall…in fact, it’s more of a trickle.  But it’s beautiful down in the valley!  Josh and I both took our iPhones along and captured some of the beauty.

Top left: Moss on a creek bed rock. Top right: Trickling water from the waterfall rocks.
Bottom left: Joshua beside the falls. Bottom right: Stepped mushrooms on a log in the creek.

After climbing back up out of the deep valley, we hit the road to head back home.  We stopped at the Gordon House, which was just a few miles up the Trace from Jackson Falls.  The house is one of the oldest brick buildings in the area, dating to 1817-18.  It was built by John Gordon, who operated a trading post and ferry on the nearby Duck River.  It looked like they used to have the house open tours, but everything is now closed.

We’re planning on heading down the Natchez Trace again sooner to see some of the stops further South.  The map we used can be found on the National Park Service website. You can pick the section you want to travel and it will provide details on the stops to make.  We used the Alabama/Tennessee line to Nashville map.

Great little adventure for a Saturday afternoon.