I went a little concert crazy this year....I'm blaming it on living in a place where big name artists come more than once a year! Living in Nashville was fantastic for indie artists; but big name concerts happened maybe once a year. I've gathered quite the list, and I am so excited!

I kicked off my Summer Concert Series in June with Tim McGraw, Lady Antelbellum and Love & Theft. It was an outdoor venue in Rancho Cucamonga, and I went with my dear friend Dani. My dad and sister gave me the tickets for my birthday. I loved Love & Theft, love love loved Lady A, and absolutely melted during Tim McGraw. What a fantastic concert to start the summer, and what a better friend than Dani to go with!


Next up is Dave Matthews Band with Brett Dennen in August. Katie is flying out for this show, and I am so excited to make this our third summer seeing DMB together! It'll be at the Irvine Ampitheater, and we have really great seats. Should be a fantastic show, as usual! Dave never lets me down!



Just a few days later is the ever popular (and sometimes not) John Mayer with Owl City. I was so surprised by my employers with tickets to this concert for my birthday. I've never seen either artists in concert; so I am so very excited to see them! Owl City had a show a few months back at a smaller venue, and I so badly wanted to go, but was unable to find a wingman (or woman) to join me. Luckily I'll get to see their show on an even grander stage and a great venue! BONUS?! Katie will still be in town! Woohoo! Two great concerts, in California, with my bestest friend ever........happy girl right here.

Wrapping up the summer is Jack Johnson. You have no idea how long I've waited to see him in concert! I am so excited, I just can't hide it! For the past few years I've wanted to see him, but he has never played inland close enough to where I've lived (Nashville, TN). Lucky for me I moved to a coastal town! Ironically, he chose this year to play inland, and my friends back home will be able to see him in Indiana and Georgia.

There may or may not be another concert in there somewhere.....I'd love to see a little Maroon 5/OneRepublic action....



Let me begin this awful story by saying that I loathe reptiles. Of all kinds.

SATURDAY

It all started on Saturday evening. My friend Courtney and I were standing in my driveway next to my SUV, waiting to go to dinner. The drivers door was open for just a few minutes, and all of the sudden Courtney tells me there is a lizard in my car. I grab her poor arm and squeezed for dear life! I could see it's beady little head sticking out from underneath my seat, and I was FA-REAKING out. I ran inside, yelled for Ken (the dad I work for) to come get it out of my car.

Ken is trying hard not to make fun of Courtney and I, while we were shrieking, jumping around...he takes apart a wiring console, bangs around for a while to no avail. It seems the lizard has taken up residence in my car. We decided that the lizard has left, and we are safe to go to dinner. We all climb in, toes curled, looking around our feet for the nasty little lizard. I even get in, start my car, get out, get BACK in, pray, get back out.......I'm completely serious.
The night goes on, we are hoping that if the lizard caught a ride to Newport Beach, that he made his exit with the valet, and not us.

Little did I know...

MONDAY

The weekend has gone great, my fears of the lizard attack are just a blip in my memory bank. I'm in a store parking lot with the kids I nanny for, and I pop the hatch on my SUV to open the back...and what comes slithering out of the INSIDE of the door? That stinkin' lizard!!! I instantly freeze, then unfreeze, putting E in the shopping basket and commanding James not to move. I just stood there, trying to figure out what to do. Do I try to hit it with my purse? Do I slam the glass hatch down, killing him and breaking him into two pieces? (Sorry PETA). I decided to knock it out of the car, but he jumps over the door, and INTO the back of the car! EEEEEEEK!!!

By this time, I know I've gone pale, chill bumps are covering my skin, my muscles hurt from tensing, and I may or may not have screamed. Now I know he won't hurt me, but he is nasty gross. I open the tailgate of my car and just starting throwing things into the parking lot. Big Wheel, stroller, shopping cart cover, all of it, into the street. I know I was screaming a little bit, but I must have been screaming a liiiiitle louder than I thought, because a nice gentleman comes rushing over, asking to help. I tell him what has happened, and he goes to town. I mean, this guy is on a mission to find the lizard! After picking through the contents that I've strewn across the parking lot, he comes slithering out of the Big Wheel. The guy helping me decides not to kill it (I wanted it DEAD.), and shoos it away. The little lizard has the audacity to stop, turn around and hiss at me!

After I'm sure he's gone away, that's when I stop to look around me. There are 4-5 people standing around, watching this crazy lady with two kids throw her crap into the street. Hey, I didn't care! I had chill bumps, my heart was racing, my muscles were tense..... let's say I never want that to happen again. Ever.

Sorry little lizard. We weren't meant to be best friends. Don't take it personally.

By the way, did anyone take notice that he was in my car for TWO ENTIRE DAYS???


Last year I had the privilege of meeting Ree Drummond, author of my favorite website. She is a true Pioneer Woman, chef extraordinaire, homeschooling mom of four, Ranch Wife, etc etc etc. A friend in Nashville told me about the site a few years ago, as someone had told her before that. Ree has now gained national attention with her New York Times best selling cookbook 'The Pioneer Woman Cooks'.

She has been featured on numerous talk shows, made her way around the country on a book tour, and I GOT TO MEET HER!! Now, I've never been a put-a-person-on-a-pedestal type of girl (thanks, mom!); but I'll be honest, when I sat down to chat and snap a photo with her, I froze. I didn't know what to say. I think I mumbled "hi, hello, thanks for all you do, I'm a nobody from Nashville who moved to the big city".... or something like that. I've wanted to live her life! In my dreams, I would be living on a cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere (like Ree), have a hot husband (like Ree), have too many kids (like Ree), cook some amazing food (like Ree), and take incredible photos (like Ree).

So why am I telling you all of this? I don't know. I'm just talking here. BUT-I will let you know what she is having a giveaway today on her site...for an iPad. Yes, yes. The beloved, the coveted, the super awesome and very cool iPad. No strings, nothing needed from you. Just a quick and easy chance to win an iPad! Click here to check it out.

I hope you fall in love with Ree's site as I have. I've so enjoyed her recipes, her humor, and a peek into my future, I mean HER life on the ranch.

Ashley and I waiting, waiting, waiting.

We are Nashville

I was living in a dream
I was living for the scene
I was floating high above
cause I have been through mire and confusion
I am free

as far as I can see
is Nashville skyline
underneath it all
you yourself are free
floating high above
the Nashville skyline
-Dishwalla


Oprymills Mall




First, I must post a link to a blog so well written about Nashville. Please read it here.

We are Nashville.

My heart has been broken over the past few days. My hometown, my beloved Nashville, has seen widespread devastation. There are no words I can say that describe how I have felt. I've cried over seeing photos and videos, and I've never been so proud of my city than I am of Nashville.

While the national media has been slow to report, the precious little we have heard is all positive things. Over 11,000 have signed up to volunteer at Hands on Nashville. Our states motto isn't "The Volunteer State" for nothing! You haven't heard or seen of any looting, vandalism or out of sorts. The greatest warning Tennessee has received is "stay out of the water". Not bad for a thriving metropolis!

Many many friends of mine have experienced major damage to their houses. One friend has lost her entire house to the flood. Just the day after, they began ripping out the contents and starting over. I wish I was there so badly, to help, to serve, to give in any way I can. I've taken to Twitter to do my part in spreading awareness of the situation. I've posted, reTweeted, Facebooked and googled as much as I can. I absolutely hate that I am not there.

In two weeks, a dear friend of mine will be getting married in Arrington, a small town south of Nashville. I'm flying back, and I'm looking bittersweetly to seeing my flood-ravaged town. I might just wear my mud boots. :)





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