Things I’ve Asked My Dad

Have y’all seen this video?

I love it! It made me think about all the things I have asked my Dad over the years.

Here’s a few that came to mind:

During college, I just had a fancy ol’ flip phone, so I had to depend on myself or MapQuest to navigate around Nashville. Both of these options normally resulted in me getting lost, so I typically would call and say, “Dad, I am driving through Nashville and the Batman building is on my right. Which way do I go?” Luckily he always managed to get me to my destination.

My roommate Kristen and I were headed home for a weekend on the lake, I couldn’t get around a tire that was on the interstate and hit it, which caused us to go across the median and onto the other side. We were on the other side facing oncoming traffic, so I sat there, called Dad and just started crying. Probably not the best first move, but we survived.

I worked at Cracker Barrel in college and was driving home when a car t-boned me at an intersection. Guess what my first move was? “Dad, a car just hit me. What do I do?” Oh, I was crying of course during this phone call.

Dad, how do I do (insert any number of things) this on my Mac? This started in college when I had to use a Mac for the first time and thought it was the spawn of Satan. Since I bought one last year, I have made this same call multiple times…and probably more to come.

I was leaving Murfreesboro one night after cheerleading practice and my car wouldn’t shift into fifth gear. Solution-call Dad! “Dad, my car won’t go into 5th gear and I’m on the interstate, what do I do?” This resulted in him driving to Murfreesboro the next day to take me car shopping.

“Dad, my boss just called me and here’s what he said. What do you think?”

Upon landing my first grown-up job, “Dad, I get a retirement account and need to decide how I want to invest. Which one should I choose?”

I’m sure this list will just continue to grow!

Why I Travel

In 7th grade, I had to do a report on a city and since then, I have wanted to travel the world. I still remember making my poster and gluing photos to it!

Once I did a study abroad program to Costa Rica in college, I knew I officially had the travel bug and our recent trip to France just reaffirmed why I want to go as many places as possible. I love seeing other cultures and experiencing how other people live, trying new food and exploring neighborhoods.

The recent attacks in Paris made me even more grateful for the traveling I have been able to do and is something I want to pass on to Carson. Yes, I realize it sounds crazy to discuss travel where a terrorist attack happened. But having been there (and only a few weeks before, which is scary) just makes these type of events real and not just a news story. I come from a small town and many people don’t feel the need to travel further than Knoxville, but I feel like they are missing so much of the world. I feel like meeting people and seeing how they live differently just opens your eyes to so much more than we experience in our daily bubble. I hope that we are able to travel with Carson and that we give him a larger view of the world than our little piece.

Paris was magical, the people were friendly (despite what you hear) and we had an amazing trip. Here are some of my favorite shots from our week there.



Let’s Talk About It

When I use to see people share pregnancy news very early or make an announcement after a miscarriage, I always wondered why they would share with the public in case anything went wrong again. I heard someone make a similar comment this weekend and it struck me that my view has completely changed since our miscarriage. 

Despite putting a lot of details about our lives on this blog, I don’t share everything about our personal lives with the general public. I didn’t mention anything about our miscarriage on Facebook and only our close friends and family know about it. However, just because that wouldn’t be my normal to share it, there shouldn’t be any hesitation for that type of news to be discussed. Would it be viewed as fishing for sympathy? I probably would have viewed it that way in the past.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I approach it differently now and no longer understand the stigma attached to pregnancy announcements. Why the secrecy? If it’s okay to rejoice with someone over good news, why not pray over them in sadness?

1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, yet as common as it is, it seems like there is a perception that women shouldn’t talk about it. The thing is, for me, that has been one of the best things I can do. I don’t always want to talk about it or broadcast it widely, but talking to other women that have experienced the same thing we have makes you feel less alone.

Several of my close friends have also had miscarriages. I ran into a college friend this weekend and she mentioned they have been trying for two hours without success, which is exactly what we are facing right now. Every family has a slightly different story, but we can all agree on one thing: it sucks. 

Lately, when a pregnancy announcement pops up on Facebook, I immediately think, “why can everyone in the world except me get pregnant right now? I’m sure I’m not alone in that thought and hearing from a group of women along the same path could give someone hope or strength. Most of the time, people tend to share they had trouble only after a baby is born. 

I’m not here with all the answers or even ready to start standing up as an advocate and talking about my experience to anyone who will listen. But I was bothered by the comment I heard this weekend that a woman shouldn’t share her pregnancy story just because of a previous miscarriage. I don’t want to be silent, I want to be comfortable to talk about it without others feeling like it’s a taboo topic.

So, let’s talk about it and support one another instead of suffering alone.

She’s Freaking Out

Carson started talking around 18 months, but now we have full on conversations with him. We are constantly looking at each other and saying, “did you know he knew what that was?” He says something new every single day and it’s amazing (and scary) at what he picks up without us realizing. I sometimes leave my headphones out on a run with him because as soon as I put them back in, he has something very important to share. Same for a car ride-there are times when he is perfectly silent and observing, but other times he will just chat the entire time we are driving. I’m constantly cracking up at the things he tells me.


Here’s one of my favorites:

We were getting ready for church on Sunday morning and the house was a disaster. I was in a huff trying to get things picked up and was slamming things around. Carson was sitting in his high chair eating and looked at Nick and said, “she’s freaking out.” I thought Nick was going to cry he was laughing so hard.

It gets better. I was still being hateful about five minutes later and said,”what don’t y’all just live together in this mess?” Carson looked at Nick and said, “that would be cool.” Nick did cry he was laughing so hard after that one.

Nothing like your two year old calling you our on your ridiculousness.

Stepping Back to World War II

One of my favorite parts of our trip to France was our day in Normandy. We took the early train from Paris and got picked up at the train station by our tour guide. It was well worth the cost of a tour guide because we would have had to rent a car to get around town. Plus, the amount of information we learned was much more than we could have covered ourselves.

We started at the Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église. The church in the center of town is where a paratrooper got caught on the spire of the church and pretended to be dead for several hours. There is still a “paratrooper” hanging from the church today.

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You can see bullet holes in the side of the church.

When we went to Utah Beach, it was a chilly and windy day. I assumed it would have been much warmer in June, but it was actually a little cooler during the invasion than what we experienced. I was ready to get off the beach and warm up, so I can’t imagine being in the water.thumb_IMG_8155_1024 thumb_IMG_8157_1024

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Driving around town, it was remarkable to see how much is still exactly like it was during the war. Fencing and barbed wire that was put up during the war is still up today around farms and homes. Our tour guide also mentioned that her house has multiple bullet holes from snipers.


We stopped at a church that dates back to the 11th century.

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This church was used as a hospital during the war and blood stains are still visible on the pews.

This was right outside the church and was used as a temporary burial spot for soldiers that passed away. After the war, they were moved to the official cemetery, but the plot has never been covered. 

We stopped at a second church that was “newer”, 14th century I believe. The stained glass windows pay tribute to the paratroopers that were part of the invasion.

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We saw Pointe de Huc, where the American Rangers were dropped off and had to scale the cliffs. I believe the tour guide said they had to scale the cliff in 90 seconds. Staring down from the top, that seems impossible, especially when you think most of them were young kids.

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Walking along Omaha Beach, you can still see where bombs struck the ground and German bunkers were broke up.





We went into one of the German bunkers that was still intact. It took them months to build these bunkers and they weren’t done with all of them when the invasion took place. We would see them driving throughout town. That was one of the most interesting parts of the trip, seeing how much is still the same as it was on that day.

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Our last stop was the American Cemetery. This was sobering to see the endless sight of crosses; they stretched on and on.

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If you can see the dates on the Roosevelt graves, one was 1945 and the other 1918. Quentin was moved and buried by Theodore after the American Cemetery was established.


I’ve read so much history about World War II that it was incredible to see it first hand, where it actually happened. I did have a little bit of a tough time being there, though. I talked to Pop and Granddad many times about the war and what their experiences were like. I would have loved to tell them about it and ask more questions.

Trick or Treat

Halloween was so much fun this year! I was certain Carson would want to be a fireman, but from the very first time I asked him, he said he wanted to be a cow. In all fairness, he had no idea about Halloween was about, but he still stuck with cow when asked.

So cow it was! I thought a cow costume would be a piece of cake, but apparently it’s not a popular costume because there were no children’s cow costumes where I looked. They did have adult cow costumes, which seems backwards. I considered making it, but had a huge event at work that week, so I decided to do myself a favor and Amazon delivered a perfect cow costume to our door.

He isn’t big on costumes yet, so we were sure he would refuse to wear it, but apparently the promise of candy won out. Superman, Wonder woman and a Princess Fairy (her exact words) came to trick or treat with us.

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Look at how much they have grown since last year! 


Superman has been hitting the weights!


I can’t wait for the day when she thinks her Mama is uncool and comes over to hang out with Aunt Lauren!




They were unwrapping candy as soon as they got their hands on it!


This costume will be recycled for Chick-fil-a cow days!


Throw this girl some glitter and wings and she’s in heaven!

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This girl is a hot mess and I just love her to pieces. 

Here’s another pair that looks alike!


Trying to get a group photo is impossible, even if you bribe with candy!


We had to wake Carson up so we would have time to trick or treat, so we thought he would be a complete grump. He wouldn’t talk until the candy started flowing and then he warmed right up! He even said “trick-or-treat” on the last street and he RARELY talks to strangers. The things kids will do for candy!

Happy Halloween!

Notre Dame

I ran to the Eiffel Tower again on Sunday morning (where else would you want to run in Paris?!), and there was a half marathon about to start. I told Nick I should have signed up for it. I must have had that distance burned into my mind because we ended up walking 13 miles that day! When I’m saying we walked the entire city, I’m not exaggerating.

We aren’t the type of people to plan every minute of our vacation. Hello, we actually get to sleep in when we are away. So we took advantage of sleeping late and then enjoyed a “croque madame” for breakfast.

We started off the day at Notre Dame. Certain parts of it reminded me of the National Cathedral in D.C. We didn’t pay the 3 euros to rent an audioguide, so we learned the history that was translated into English.


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Holy water


I asked him if his Catholic heart felt right at home!

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Pictures (mine anyway) don’t do justice to how beautiful this place really is. You weren’t allowed to use a flash inside, so most of those shots are too dark. But the elaborate details that cover the entire church were gorgeous. It amazes me that things like this were built before modern machinery and technology were available.  I wouldn’t have wanted to be the poor sucker who had to install the stain glass windows or detail the ceiling on whatever qualified as a ladder back in the day!