Monday, February 23, 2009

A Hero in the Family

My older brother, TJ (you know, the one with the two adorable children) has officially taken on the role of a Firefighter. He worked his first shift the day before little Clinton was born and is super excited about this blessing and opportunity to serve his community. We are all extremely proud of him for assuming yet another noble position that requires such courage, strength, sacrifice and dedication. In honor of his new career, I’d like to present :

Creation of the Firefighter

When the Lord was creating Firefighters, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one".

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specifications on this person? Firefighters have to be able to go for hours fighting fires or tending to a person that the usual every day person would never touch, while putting in the back of their mind the circumstances. They have to be able to move at a second's notice and not think twice of what they are about to do, no matter what the danger. They have to be in top physical condition at all times, running on half-eaten meals, and they must have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pair of way."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "It's the three pairs of eyes Firefighters need to have."

"That's on a standard model?" Asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through the fire and where they and their fellow Firefighters should fight the fire next. Another pair here in the side of the head to see their fellow Firefighter and keep them safe. And another pair of eyes in the front so that they can look for victims caught in the fire that need their help."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "Rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can carry a 250 pound man down a flight of stairs and to safety from a burning building, and can feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the Firefighter very slowly, "Can it think?"

"You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the elements of a hundred fires; and can recite procedures in their sleep that are needed to care for a person until they reach the hospital. And all the while they have to keep their wits about themselves. This Firefighter also has a phenomenal personal control. They can deal with a scene full of pain and hurt, coaxing a child's mother into letting go of the child so that they can care for the child in need. And still they rarely get the recognition for a job well done from anybody, other than from fellow Firefighters."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Firefighter. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "Lord, it's a tear.""What is the tear for?" asked the angel.

"It's a tear from bottled up emotions for fallen comrades. A tear for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American Flag. It's a tear for all the pain and suffering they have encountered. And it's a tear for their commitment to caring for and saving lives of their fellowman!"

"What a wonderful feature Lord, you're a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber and said, "I didn't put it there."

-author unknown

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Niece and Nephew

As you know, our family had an addition this past week. I haven't been able to post more about our new Clinton Joseph, because Brad and I have been in Illinois visiting the little guy! We left Nashville straight from work (which may have been useless since we sat in rush hour traffic for an hour getting out of town) and headed directly to the hospital. We visited TJ, Jennie, and baby Clinton in the hospital Friday night when he was just a day old. They were able to come home Saturday afternoon.

"Clinton" gave Rachel a new Cabbage Patch baby and stroller upon his arrival, which she loved. At first, Rachel wasn't quite sure about the new baby. She was surprised every time he moved, blinked, cried, etc. because her "babies" don't do any thing like that. She switched up calling him "Baby," "Bruddol," and "Tintin," but it wasn't too long before she added the "My" before any of those names, which I perceived as an acceptance into the family.

We had such a great time visiting with the Metcalfs, and I think they enjoyed having us there, as well. We were able to occupy Rachel while Jennie tended to the newborn, along with assisting in some of the more mundane but never-ending household duties such as meals and laundry. I don't want to say that it was necessarily good experience for having children, but it at least allowed us to witness and participate a little in the life. (I mean, I knew newborns would wake up all night long, but who knew that toddlers would wake up so early AND need to eat breakfast??)

Brad was the master at getting Clinton to sleep. When no one else could calm him down (and Jennie couldn't keep her eyes open any longer), Brad endured over an hour of holding him away from his body and rocking him back and forth as if in a swing. The minute Brad thought Clinton was sound asleep, and thus granting the permission to cease the arm-tiring duty, Clinton would wake up and start to cry. Yep, it's time to bring that baby-swing out of the storage and give it a nice cleaning. It will be put to much use.

Here's a little eye-candy for ya.
If you just have to see (a lot) more pictures of my adorable Niece and Nephew, check out the whole album.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Look how wonderful my husband is! He had a fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements sent to my office today with a note that says, "You can't eat flowers... hope you like it. Love!" It was filled with strawberries (many chocolate-covered), heart-shaped pineapple pieces in different sizes, grapes, and melon balls. Not only was it gorgeous, but I couldn't believe how much fruit was on this thing! Nearly the entire office ate some, and we still have tons of strawberries left! AND, furthermore, it was quite possibly the very best fruit I've ever had. It was so incredibly juicy that I had to lean way over napkin with every bite! On top of all that, there was an additional box of giant chocolate-covered strawberries that came separately! (We'll have to save those for later....) Yep, I have the greatest husband in the whole world. Sure do...
I love you, Baby!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm Another Aunt!

My older brother, TJ, and his wife, Jennie, just had their first baby boy, this morning! He was brought into this world at 7:48 AM and is 20 inches long, 7 lbs 9 oz.! He was delivered via C-section, and both mommy and baby are doing great. They haven't revealed his name, yet (yep, they're THOSE people), but I know it will be perfect!

Rachel, their firstborn who is almost two, is so excited that her "Baby bwuddol has come to pway!"

**UPDATE** TJ and Jennie chose to name him after their maternal granddads - Clinton Joseph Metcalf. How very precious!

Also, Rachel has grown a little possessive of her parents, notifying everybody that "This is MY daddy," and "This is MY mommy!" We'll see how the transition from an only child goes!

These pictures aren't that great. They're taken with a cell phone and are pretty fuzzy, but you can still tell how precious he is!

Sweet Home Alabama

A couple of weekends ago, Brad and I had the opportunity to travel down to Opelika, Alabama to visit Corey and Jenny. We had an incredible time visiting with our old college friends, as well as visiting Auburn University, which is right around the corner.

Late Saturday morning, after an appropriate sleep-in, we crashed the Golden Corral buffet. We timed our brunch just perfectly so that we were able to enjoy the breakfast buffet, but also overlapped the switch to the lunch menu. So, once we were done with our breakfast plates of pancakes, biscuits and gravy, etc., we were able to make a second trip up to the buffet to grab mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and southern vegetables. That Corral never knew what hit 'em!

Once we were sufficiently filled, we went to the Auburn vs. Vanderbilt basketball game. Even though our Nashville roots begged us to root for Vandy, we simply could not resist the call of the War Eagle. Brad and I both decked ourselves out in Auburn attire and waved the orange and blue shakers. It was a close game, but Vandy pulled ahead in the end. And despite our hoops and hollers for the Tigers, we were secretely a little pleased to see Nashville grab another win.

A few things became apparent during this game: First of all, Brad has decided that it is his goal to buy a t-shirt from every college in America. Auburn, check. Secondly, our lack of a college sports team affiliation was glaring. We've decided to put a few college teams in a hat and draw one out. The winner will be Our Team, and we'll be crazy for them and even bring our kids up to love them, as well. I believe we've narrowed the applicants down to four: Vanderbilt, Auburn, Alabama and Ole Miss. We'll see who will earn our dedication.

After the game, we walked down to Toomers Corner and enjoyed some signature, hand squeezed lemonade at Toomers Drugstore. I loved this little place. It felt very old school with the diner and drugstore feel. I must not have been the only person that loved it, because the place sure was packed!

Toomers Drugstore is located on the Auburn square, and this corner ("Toomers Corner," named for the drugstore, of course) if known for its toilet paper. Yep, it's toilet paper. Apparently, a long time ago, before everybody had TV's and access to the latest sports news, Toomers would listen to the Auburn away games in their drugstore. If the college won, they would notify the town by "decorating" the corner with TP. Now it's just tradition to roll the corner after every win. The police not only overlook the misdemeanor, they facilitate it by blocking off traffic after particularly important games! Even though Auburn lost to Vandy that day, there were still remnants from the previous weekend's win for us to witness.

What's a great trip with old friends without a few prime photo ops? We stopped by The Auburn Sign and snapped a few perfect pictures. We also got a great one of the boys in the Library, which has basically become Corey's second home throughout his grad school adventure.

To follow with our tradition, we ate at the Brick Oven Pizza place that evening, just like we had during our previous vist to AL. After devouring their incredible bruschetta, each couple split a perfectly baked calzone. Yum! After dinner, we went back to their place to veg out and spend time with our pups. Chester and Jackson were very pleased to have some unsupervised time to visit with each other again, but they managed to clean up the mess from the doggy party and put the Wii away before we got back home. The rest of the night was spent listening to various Christian artists on their laptop. Believe me, Corey and Jenny have quite an extensive musical library. Brad and I came home with two new burned CD's.

We had such a great time visiting with old friends. We can't let it go this long again before our next reunion!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Chester!

Today is Chester's 3rd birthday. In dog years, he turns 21, which is a pretty big deal. So naturally, we were compelled to commemorate this momentous occasion with some birthday festivities. We had a small celebration with our college friends, Jay and Amy, last night. However, it was not nearly as extravagant as his First Birthday Party (which Jay and Amy also attended). We had a much smaller cake and no streamers, balloons, or party favors. But after all, he is 21 now, and much too mature for such childish parties.

To honor his age, we ordered some pizza - what else would a 21-year-old prefer? (Or his 25-year-old parents?... wait a minute, I just realized that we are nearly the same age! Wow, your "children" really do grow up fast!) Since it's close to Valentine's Day, Papa John's is offering heart-shaped pizzas. Could there be anything more awesome?? Nope. We totally ordered two, and loved them. You may notice that they are uncut. Daddy John didn't want to damage the integrity of the love shape, so he graciously allowed us to do our own slicing - after a few pictures, of course!

Well, you can't turn 21 without the alcoholic rite of passage. As you can see from our Birthday Card remarks, we encouraged him to be responsible. He took heed (as well as took after his parents), and snubbed the beer altogether. Actually, he even ignored the giant cupcake, as well. All he cared about were those doggy bones! He got a package of six different bones of different shapes and sizes. We dumped them out for him on the floor, allowing him to choose which particular bone he preferred. At first, he was only interested in the baggie they came in. Honestly, why do we buy kids (aka, dogs) gifts, when all they want is the packaging? We let him attack the plastic for a while, before we decided that might not be such a great idea. With the bag our of sight and out of mind, he proceeded to "test" each bone, painstakingly scrutinizing them individually before he settled on the doughnut-shaped one. Brad said that his uncle, Officer Mehaffey, should be very proud that Chester wants to become a Cop, too. (Just for clarification, Matthew, Brad said that, not Mindy.) He chewed on that doughnut bone all night long. I do believe that he was sufficiently satisfied with his birthday gifts.I can't believe my baby is 21, or even 3, for that matter. My how time flies. Happy Birthday, Chester!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Surprise Concert

A couple of months ago, as Brad and I were talking about nothing in particular, I mentioned that I generally prefer the anticipation of an event over the surprise of it. His immediate response was, "Oh, then I guess I should tell you now that we're doing something January 29th." Huh? That came out of no where. Would he have ever told me that if I hadn't made my comment? He refused to give any details away, regardless of my attempts to convince him that that was still a surprise. He claimed I could enjoy the anticipation of a surprise - the best of both worlds. He won on a technicality.

The months passed, and I nearly forgot about my little surprise. (If I had known what to look forward to, maybe I would have remembered it...) But once the week of the 29th came along, he admitted that we were going to The Exit/In, a local music venue, to watch one of our favorite obscure artists, Brett Dennen, in concert. I was super excited, and really surprised. Brett was the reason that Brad and I went to the Brendan James concert a few months back, and we loved it. I knew this would be just as great.

Brad's best friend from forever, Alex, and his girlfriend, Amber, joined us for the evening. Before the show began, all of us went to Mellow Mushroom for some delicious pizza and calzones. When it was time, we walked across the street to the Exit/In and waited in line to enter the venue. We were a little nervous I wouldn't pass the ID test since I don't look anything like "Bride Mindy" anymore, and I haven't had a new license made since the week after our wedding. Luckily, they aren't too worried about terrorist activity, because I got right through.

The concert was really great. But, Brett Dennen is kind of weird. He's 6'5" with bright red wild hair. He reminded me very much of Shrek, and he danced really silly-like; just lifting his shoulders up and down a lot. We laughed the whole time. It was so much fun. Sadly, however, the batteries of my camera died after I had taken a picture of the venue sign, so I don't have a single picture of the actual concert. Sad Day. But anyway, if you've never heard him before, I recommend giving Brett Dennen a chance. He has a very distinct and unique style, though, so you will most likely either really like him, or really not like him. Here are the few pictures I was able to capture of the evening before the death of the batteries.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I believe a couple of apologies are in order. First of all, I'm sorry if I misled any of you with my last post. I am not pregnant. I didn't mean to imply that I was, simply that I have a bad case of baby fever. Believe me, I have been sufficiently reprimanded for this misunderstanding.

Second, I'm sorry that I haven't posted much lately. I work at an accounting firm, and Busy Season is upon us now that tax deadlines are quickly approaching. Also, we are in the process of finding a new home to rent once our apartment lease expires at the end of March. As a result, I'm spending every spare second at work doing internet research on realty listings in the area. On top of all that, life in general has been ultra busy lately, as Brad and I tend to keep our social calendars filled to the brim. Basically, I haven't had time to blog on or off the job. I'm sorry for leaving you all hanging. (Which I'm sure you are, because I know each of you just lives for my next post!)

But, don't fret. With this busy life comes ample blog material, fully equipped with great photo documentaries. I may be a little behind on each event, but you'll hear about my random experiences sooner or later. Hopefully, you'll get a few more posts before April 15th. Hopefully, I'll survive until April 15th. We'll see.
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