Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Good, The Bad, And The Swine

Where did we go tonight? The beach? No. The Mobile Bay? No. We went to BBQ Fest! Memphis in May International Festival. This is the view from the tent we visited.
Ok, so maybe I didn't come up with the catchy title myself. Dave's friend Jerry is on a championship BBQ cooking team that actually travel the country competing with their BBQ. This is Jerry with Em and Dave.
Last year, Jerry's team won second place with their ribs. I have to say, in our three years in Memphis we have had some magnificent BBQ, but nothing even close to the yumminess we indulged in tonight! They had a full spread including sausages, bacon wrapped roasted artichoke hearts, venison kabobs, pulled pork, ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, and baked beans with pineapple. Oh my word, those were the best ribs I've ever had. But to be perfectly honest the sausage was my favorite. AHmazing!
It was a big night for Emily, she had her first taste of BBQ. She really seemed to like it!
Mommy's attempt at a self-portrait.
Thanks to a nice stranger passing by, we got this one.
I had to stand between the river and Em because she kept trying to run down the hill into the water. No fear, that one!

Did I mention I love this beautiful girl!
Look Mommy, BOAT!
WARNING! WARNING! Grandma's and those who are overly cautious, DO NOT LOOK!
(I promise she was just fine, and having the time of her life!)
Family portrait, and par for the course, Dave's eyes are closed. The lady taking it actually asked if I wanted her to retake it. I said no. That's how he looks most of the time anyway. :)
After gorging ourselves we took a walk around to see the festivities. Music was blaring from nearly every booth and Emily was rocking out.
Like I said, rocking out!

As it started getting dark we decided it was time to head home. The crazies come out at night. On our way back to the car we passed a horse drawn carriage. I'm pretty sure everyone within earshot knew this was Emily's favorite part of the night. I've never heard "Neigh" yelled at 50 decibels before.
Now it's time to starve myself in preparation for next year. Thanks to Jerry and his team for inviting us and for all the yummy food.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


One of the things I love about Memphis is our zoo! That place is awesome! This year we bought a membership for $70. Free admission, free parking, a couple coupons, and entrance to members only events. Well, you fellow bargain hunters will be so proud, but by May 5th I have already gotten my money's worth out of it! Emily and I love to go. Here are a few pictures from our recent visit.

This time was the first we rode the train. Emily really liked it!
Then we went to see the monkeys. This is Emily's Elvis impersonation.

Next, we're off to Teton Trek, the newest exhibit. They have grizzly bears and timberwolves, and elk.

Oddly enough Emily's favorite exhibit was the herpeteriam, with all the snakes and lizards and alligators! Yuck!
On our way out we stopped by the zebras. As you can see, 2pm plus 4 hours in the sun equals one tired Emily.
By the zoo entrnace they have this little creek which is perfect to help cool you off.
Another zoo trip... success!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oh, How I Love My Mommy!

There's no one like my mommy

for bringing happy smiles...

For stopping what she's doing

to rock me for a while.

There's no one like my mommy

for singing lullabies...

For hurrying to hold me

when she hears my little cries.

There's no one like my mommy

for taking me on walks...

And for being a good listener

in our "mommy-baby talks"!

There's no one like my mommy

to hug and snuggle me!

And though I'm small,

my love for her is as big as it can be!

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy,

With Lots of Love And Baby Kisses!

(Instead of forging Emily's signature he quoted her instead and wrote down all her favorite things to say. Momma is written four times on purpose)

"Momma" "Momma" "Momma" "Momma"

"Neigh" "Nite Nite" "Airplane" "No!"

"Hot" "Luv You" "Quack Quack"

"Bird" "Milk" "Moo"

I Love being a Mommy and I love having the best partner in the world to help me raise our daughter. Thank you Dave! I love you! And I love you Emily, more than you'll ever know!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"And the rain was upon the earth..."

This past weekend we went to Nashville (Technically Franklin, TN) to stay with Dave's family. We went to work on our rental house in Spring Hill to prepare it to go on the market. That's a whole other post. When we left Saturday morning to go to Spring Hill Mike warned us that they were predicting 4-8 inches of rain and that we should drive carefully. Boy, was that the understatement of the century...literally!!! After a few hours of painting we ran out to get some lunch and much to our surprise the exit ramp we used only 2 hours earlier was under 3 feet of water! The tornado sirens were going off and we ended up seeking shelter in the Home Depot employee lounge. After the tornado warning expired we went back to our painting; we had work to do! We knew it was still raining and might flood but could not comprehend to what extent. By 7pm Dave's mom was frantically calling us, telling us to get on the road before we couldn't get back. Several of the roads back to the interstate were completely flooded. We nearly didn't make it back to their house because of the 3 feet of standing water on the roads in their neighborhood. Their house backs up to the Harpeth River in Franklin. The backyard is very large and is about a quarter of a mile from the river. It's hard to describe the volume of water and craziness we saw unless you have some idea what it looked like before.




Around 11ish Dave and I were standing on the deck and noticed that the hottub was crooked. Hmmm... It was floating away! So Dave hopped in the river and waded out to the hottub and tethered it to the deck with the garden hose. But it stayed!

About 7am Sunday the wind, lightening, and thunder was so crazy it actually woke me up. And some of you know what a great feat that is. The waters had receded but the tornado warnings were in full effect. For a brief time we could actually see the grass! But with a line of storms in the forecast hope didn't last long.
As promised the rain returned! And in full force! It rained all day long. We heard some pretty stupid news anchormen say things like, "Surely by this point there have been 100's of thousands of dollars worth of damage, maybe even a million." Seriously?!?! We could look down the street and see a million dollars worth of damage. Then there was the breaking press release from the Tennessean reporting that the Monday newspaper would not be delivered. REALLY? Is this really what people were concerned about? Dave and I couldn't take anymore and left the house to roam the streets and take in the sights. We took Maggie with us and she was happy to get out. The coolest thing was watching the water crest over one street and pour down and fill in a small culde sac. In less than 5 minutes we watched it fill in with over 2 feet of water. Crazy! Below are the majority of the pictures which were all take Sunday afternoon.
Dave and I actually waded out into this section of water to check on one home for some folks. At the point we turned around I was up to my chest in water and Dave was past his neck, having to tread water. It was cold.

This was Jamie and Mike's neighbor's house. Water did get inside on the first floor and their van caught fire Monday morning when the seat heaters shorted out.

The weather did not phase Emily. She was in love with the Canoe which we safely stored on the front steps.

This is the storage closet in their garage. You can see the water got up to just below the door handle. Thankfully their house is built on top of the garage.

Not one to miss an opportunity for fun, Jamie threatened to push Dave in the water at which point he threatened to take her in with him. Fun. Fun.

There's my redneck husband showing his roots. He is fishing in the driveway. Not many times you can say you've done that!
Sunday night the rain stopped but the water was still high. The National Guard actually came to try and evacuate us. But at 10pm with the rain subsiding and a sleeping toddler upstairs there was no way we were getting in a boat! I know we must have seemed like those redneck holdouts on the news, but less than 30 minutes after Mr. National Guard left the water had already receded 3 inches. Here's what the garage looked like in the aftermath. Dave asked me to note that he thought the man was an idiot.

This is the neighbor's 8 foot fence that was completely submerged in water for the past 2 days. As you can see the solid brick post was knocked over by the strong current.
Some perspective. This is what the backyard looked like before the rain. Mike's Explorer would have been completely submerged if it had been there during the storm.

Before we left town we had to take the opportunity to visit with the cutest baby to grace Williamson County, Miss Rowan. We lunched at Cracker Barrel.
Check out those thighs!!!!
Dave and Ro-Ro.
When we got home we all needed a good hot bath. Luckily Grandma Jamie had bought Emily some bathtub crayons. Thanks Grandma Jamie, really, thanks! ;)

In the end, the weekend was very humbling. It truly is an awesome thing to see the power of our great God. In a world where we often feel so in control of what we do and how we do it, sometimes we need a good smack in the face that we are never in charge. He is in control always.