March 28, 2013

Geocaching and Easter's up to me

Isn't this a cool picture? My dear husband took it and doctored it up. You can see our daughter longing to be outside with the flowers and sunshine. Spring is lifting our spirits and making us get outside to enjoy the weather! 

We've started geocaching this week. We're a little late catching on, but it's something fun we can do as a family that gets us outside and feels like a treasure hunt. We're excited to find more! There are tons in our area. 

Easter is coming up and we are having a low-key family lunch to celebrate. This year, for the very first time, I will be the sole chef of a holiday meal! I'm so excited. My mother and father-in-law went on vacation this week and they won't be back until late Saturday night. So I'll be making our feast and saving the day. NBD.

Make sure you pick up a Lebanon Democrat, Oak Ridge Observer, or Smithville Review next week. I'm starting a series on training my daughter with the same techniques used to train dolphins and whales. Weird, for sure.


March 18, 2013

Experiences in the Noog

That guy I've been married to for 3 years and I had a lovely mini-vacation this weekend. In fact, we went to celebrate the general success of our marriage, which has gone rather well (we think). In the spirit of our conflicting love of roughing it and comfort, we decided to camp out our first night in Chattanooga and lie in the lap of luxury the second night.

We dropped our adorable daughter off with her grandparents, loaded up our car, and bought Java Monsters. These beverages are road trip staples for us. The soundtrack for our trip was Radiohead's OK Computer on repeat. We were unable to turn it off as we were in a state of mutual musical appreciation.

After being shamelessly tourist-y at the scenic overlook...

This is the stream that ran in front of our tent!
We drove the rest of the way and found our campsite.                       

Unfortunately, this is the trash that littered the rocks leading down to it.

But it was no big deal, because we were able to get a good night's sleep. Oh wait, no we weren't. There were ATVs and trucks roaming around until the wee hours of the morning. And it was cold. And my sleeping bag wasn't zipped. But that's my fault.

So, we didn't have an amazing experience at the Raccoon Mountain campground, but we did enjoy ourselves. We got to go hiking, loved the stream being so close, and enjoyed the cleanliness of the rest of the campground. The staff was pretty pleasant.


We checked out Craven's House, which turned out to be a highlight of our trip! The grounds are rich with history and the beauty was truly incredible. Being high above the city, with giant monuments and old houses covered in ivy is almost surreal.

History nerds.
Now, maybe you think we planned this trip willy-nilly. That we didn't plan, check on prices, and budget accordingly. I believe that any person with the internet has no excuse for staying in sub-par establishments. It's so easy to check sites like and make sure others have had good experiences there. 

That's exactly how we found Sky Harbor Bavarian Inn, and we couldn't have found a better place to stay. This Inn is nestled on Lookout Mountain and is famous for its incredible panoramic views of the river and city of Chattanooga.
Like this.

And it only gets better at night!

The city lights sparkle on the river, and you can see it all from the icing-on-the-cake jacuzzi in the sitting room.

Check out the cool fairy-tale-esque hillside below our balcony!

 Our balcony--complete with rocking chairs and blankets--was HUGE!

We felt like valued guests at Sky Harbor Bavarian Inn. Patsy was a pleasure to do business with, and we were totally impressed by the bottle of champagne left for us by the jacuzzi! What a perfect, classy touch for this off-the-beaten path destination. We decided we would love to come back and stay here again--the only thing we would change? We'd never leave the room. 

Until next time!

March 6, 2013

Hate mail and last week's Mother, Interrupted column

This article was run in The Lebanon Democrat, Smithville Review, and Oak Ridge Observer. In fact, it stirred up some interest and a little bit of controversy (by that, I mean 1 person told me they hated it). Here's an excerpt from the kind email I received from an anti-stay-at-home-mom in response to this article:

"Stay at home moms make this choice for various reasons.  In many cases, it may be simply because they don't want to be out in the working world dealing with the everyday stresses and demands of a career plus all that's waiting to be done after work.  Some  manage to convince their husbands and in-laws  that it's in the best interest of their child for mom to be at home in her pajamas eating P&J. . .Or, maybe you are grooming her to wear pajamas all day and grow up to be a stay at home mom.  Don't misunderstand, if a mom wants and can stay at home, that's great but it's the pity party and whining that I find repulsive and see those women as weak and unproductive. I will clarify below."

So, if it inspired such passion from that reader, there's a chance you'll like it. Read on!

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