I’m an East Tennessee girl…which may not mean anything to most people, but it means a lot to me. It means I grew up in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains; got my first fishing rod when I was three; played mud football on Sundays after church; sat as a child in Neyland Stadium listening to 100,000 people sing Rocky Top; lived in a home next to a field of cows; and went on more than one date to a lake, pond, river, or mountain trail when I was in high school. And although I’m now a spoiled city girl within five minutes of a Target, movie theater, Publix, and lots of good eats…the mountains will always be my home.
I stayed in East Tennessee for college at my family’s alma mater, Carson-Newman. My college years were spent playing intramurals, studying pre-med, loving on high school kids as a Young Life leader, finding ways to have fun in a tiny college town, and exploring the mountains of TN and NC. But most importantly, I met and fell in love with a preppy, persistent, and extremely energetic golfer named Andy. Even though the boy didn’t own a pair of jeans when we met (pleated khakis all the way), he’s now a Carhartt and camo Crocs wearin’ outdoorsman who rocks polka-dotted socks with his fancy weekday business attire.
Andy and I tied the knot in 2004 and moved to Nashville, TN. A week after our wedding, I started physical therapy school at Belmont University. We thought we might be here a few years and then head back east, but we both fell in love with Music City. We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of adventures over the past 10 years and have gotten to explore cities and mountains all over the country. But our biggest adventure began in 2011 with the birth of our blonde-headed, blue-eyed sweet and spunky little Ellie (my Ellie Bean)…who has brought more laughter, smiles, and joy to our lives than I knew possible.
Even though my family and friends inspire me to live a life of joy and contentment, I am easily distracted by the failures, messes, and disappointments that are encountered almost daily. Hopefully this project will not only help me ::picture happiness::, but also live it. After all, I only get one shot at this life…why not make it a ::happy:: one.