Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two women, two guitars, two mics, one great evening.

This past Friday, we had a wonderful opportunity to get out of the house for an evening.  There was a band – the Indigo Girls – playing in Knoxville.

It was a reunion of sorts for Bryon.  He first saw them at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver way back in 1989 and has been a fan ever since.  Twenty years later, it was at the historic Bijou Theater - built in 1817 which makes it the fourth oldest building in Knoxville.

The great part about their Knoxville show was how much it was stripped down.  The stage was completely empty with the exception of two microphone stands and a small set of speakers.  No drums.  No bass.  No keyboard.  They (the two “girls” that make up the Indigo Girls – Amy and Emily) came out on the stage carrying two guitars.  The music began.  Beautiful music that made you want to sing along with wonderful words filled with emotion.  All from two little guitars and two lovely voices.

And the played and played and sang and sang in the old historic theater.  It was music that makes you feel good with words that touch your heart.  We clapped and cheered and cheered and clapped – not just from the enjoyment of the music, but also because of the fascination that it all came from two little guitars and two women with extraordinary talent.

 

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The Indigo Girls – live at the Bijou Theater!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vols win!

Last night, Lane Kiffin and the Tennessee Volunteers took the field once again.  The weather had been less than cooperative all day dumping several inches of rain on the field before the rain stopped (just before kickoff!).  But considering that we have people that get PhD’s taking care of that field – it was in remarkable condition!  Even more remarkable – it looked as good at the end of the game as it did at the beginning…

The Vols were taking on Ohio University.  No – NOT Ohio State.  Ohio University.  There was some expectations of another 60+ whipping a la Western Kentucky.  But alas, the game was much closer than comfortable.  If it weren’t for a few key plays (like our defense getting an interception and running it back for a touchdown) – the mighty Wildcats of Ohio might have pulled off the upset.  But in the end we were victorious, 34 to 23.  Not an impressive win – but we will take it.

And speaking of impressive – what about those Hoosiers!  If you didn’t see the game, you need to flip over to SportsCenter right now and watch the highlights.  They played Michigan down to the wire.  Indiana had the lead all the way up to the fourth quarter.  Michigan scored a touchdown with 2 1/2 minutes to go to take a 3 point lead and ended up winning 36 to 33.  Man!  That was CLOSE!  The Hoosiers certainly looked better on the field than the Vols did.  We need to try and get a non-conference game scheduled!!!!!

And on a completely different note – today starts week 30 of the pregnancy!  Ten short weeks to go.  That means it’s time for the countdown!  70 bottles of beer on the wall.  70 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around. 

To be continued…………………

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baby Update!

Finally!  It’s a baby update!

So – the third trimester is well underway.  The biggest change so far (besides getting bigger!) is that we visit the OB every other week now.  That means that we’ve been to the doctor a couple of times since the last baby update.

They have performed another 1 hour glucose test.  The blood sugar came back as 104!  That would be a great number for non-pregnant people.  It’s a FANTASTIC number for someone who is 29 weeks pregnant.  So good, in fact, that the doctor has said there will be no more glucose testing!  WOOT!  No more horrible orange drink!!!

And of course they check blood pressure every visit.  Last visit is was 102 over 69.  Again – great numbers for non-pregnant people but FANTASTIC numbers for someone who is 29 weeks pregnant.

But what about Mike?  He is doing just fine in his little baby cocoon.  He is weighing in at just under 3 pounds!  And he is CERTAINLY enjoying kicking his momma. 

We tried twice to get a 3D/4D ultrasound.  For those of you who might not be familiar – click here to see what the pictures look like.  They are really cool and we were really excited to be able to “see” baby Mike.

Unfortunately – we couldn’t get the 3D/4D images.  It seems like the biggest reason was the placenta getting in the way.  It was causing the 3D/4D images to appear “watery” and not nearly as clear as those pictures in the link above.

But we were not disappointed at all!  The first attempt we saw Mike with both of his feet folded up over his head.  It was a very interesting view!  And we were able to confirm once again that he his indeed a boy.  In the second ultrasound, he still had one foot over his head and the other one was folded underneath him like he was sitting on it.  And this ultrasound was particularly interesting – the tech had zoomed in on his chest and you could see it rising and falling while he was practicing his breathing!  And overall, he was particularly active.  It was very interesting to see him move on the monitor while feeling him move!  That was great…

And for those of you counting down – 73 bottles of beer on the wall.  73 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around.  To be continued!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another football update

Week three of the NCAA football season has come and gone.  This week was tough for Tennessee football.  A new coach.  A new offense.  A new defense.  It’s like having a brand new team with all of the same players.

So nobody expected to run the table this season.  And if you asked most folks – they would say that they would be happy if the Vols won more than they lost and were at least competitive in the “big” games.

And Saturday was certainly a BIG game.  Number one ranked Florida.  That’s tough.  And adding fuel to the fire was some “motivational” quotes from Coach Kiffen.  The one that was played the most was during the press conference when it was announced that he was the new head coach back in December.  He was looking forward to the Vol Walk.  He was looking forward to running through the “T”.  And he was looking forward to singing Rocky Top all night long when we beat Florida.

Ouch!  The press had a field day with that last week!  Especially with Florida being number one and the Vols being unranked.  “Florida is going to kill them.”  “Coach Meyer won’t let off the accelerator all day.” 

And indeed – the bookies thought the same thing.  The last I saw – Florida was favored to win by 29 1/2 points.  Everyone expected us to leave Gainesville with our head hung low.

So how did it turn out? 

We did indeed chalk another one up in the “L” column.  But they only won by 10 points – 23 to 13.  Our defense looked good – holding back an extremely high powered offense.  And the Florida defense hadn’t allowed a touchdown since sometime last year – until they played us that is!

So we may have started the season out 1 and 2.  But we all are excited about the prospects of the rest of the season!

And for those of you patiently waiting for a baby update – your wait is nearly over!  I know – I know.  It’s been two weeks since a baby update.  but we have a Dr. appointment this afternoon and we’ll fill you in on all the latest news…

And the countdown continues!  75 bottles of beer on the wall.  75 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around.  To be continued!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

UT Football and the Lane Kiffen sequel

This past Saturday, UT and the “Lane Train” took on their first BCS team of the year.  UCLA.  The Bruins.   Not exactly a BCS powerhouse – but they did beat us last year so there was an element of revenge.

However, that would not prove to be enough.  Unfortunately, our quarterback fumbled a snap and then threw three interceptions in a row.  And against any BCS team, if you turn the ball of FOUR times, you’ve got a pretty good chance at chalking one up in the “L” column.

So my take on it is – week one was the week for all of the Coach Lane Kiffen fans (or CLK or the “Lane Train”).  An excellent outing.  A “see – I told you so” performance.  Week two is for all of the Phillip Fulmer fans.  Proof that not all of the pieces are in place.  A “see – I told you the grass isn’t always greener” performance.

The true test is coming up. Since the “downfall” of Alabama football – the biggest rivalry in the SEC East has been UT and Florida.  And this year they are playing in the swamp against a VERY good Florida team.  We’ll see how things look when the Lane Train pulls out of Gainsville…

And which side of the fence am I sitting on?  Am I a “sorry to see Fulmer go” person?  Have I been drinking the “Kiffen Kool-Aid”?  Actually – I’m neither.  I enjoy seeing the football team win and I’m disappointed when they lose.

But I’m REALLY excited when I look and see the the MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM has only SEVEN WEEKS until they start exhibition play!  WOOOOT WOOOOT!!!!!

And speaking of countdowns – 82 bottles of beer on the wall.  82 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around……

To be continued!!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Celebrating another milestone

This weekend marks the end of an era.  Ok – maybe it’s not quite that monumental.  But it does mark the end of the second trimester!

Twelve short weeks until baby Mike comes out to play.  It’s unbelievable how quickly the pregnancy is progressing!  It seems like just yesterday that the HPT came back positive!  And it’s absolutely amazing (a miracle really) at how easy the pregnancy has been.  Mikey has been taking it easy on his mamma.

So it seems that you are supposed to celebrate every time a monumental occasion occurs.  So what do you do to celebrate the beginning of the third trimester? 

Well – why not turn back the clock 25 years!

So we loaded up in the car and headed out to the Rick Springfield concert!  And we certainly had a lot of fun.  Even Mike was dancing around!  Rick certainly gets around good for an old guy.  He even sang songs out in the audience.  Not on a small stage out in the crowd – but actually standing on the seats and jumping from row to row while everybody was grabbing on to him. 

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Rick Springfield live in Knoxville!

 

Not too bad for a guy that’s 60!  That’s right sixty years old.  We both hope that we are that energetic when we are 60!  Here’s our new goal – to be 60 and riding our bikes mo 60 mile rides.  I’m pretty sure we can do it!!!

And now the countdown continues.  Tomorrow officially starts the 28th week with a mere 12 weeks to go (ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh).  So strike up the band and sing along.  85 bottles of beer on the wall.  85 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around. 

To be continued…

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The most common question…

When we first announced that we were going to have a baby, we got a lot of interesting questions.  Most of them involved strange cravings (nope – haven’t had any) or morning sickness (is it still called “morning” sickness in the afternoon?).  Recently, the questions have began to focus on one central theme.  “Have you registered yet?”

We have recently been “practicing”.  We’ve both been to “Babies-R-Us” several times over the last few months and it seems that all we could do is walk around the super-sized store and say “Hey – look at this thing-a-ma-bob.  I wonder if we’ll need one of these?”

We began to realize that this was a daunting task.

So we gathered up input from lots of moms (and thanks for all of it – feel free to keep it coming!).  And then we contacted our “secret weapon”.  Allison, the nearly super-human quad mom with mom powers beyond our comprehension or understanding, agreed to accompany us on our registry adventure. 

Without her help, I’m sure that we would have never known about “baby safe feeder” (which is a great way for baby Mike to get some fresh fruits without the choking hazard!) or that we should add some “lap pads” to the list so that when changing a particularly messy diaper we can lay the lap pad down over the changing pad (or whatever surface we might be using) and if the diaper spills a little it gets on the pad (much easier to throw in the washer) instead of the changing pad!

And a special thanks to Jim as well.  He spent the evening wrangling four three-year-olds so that Allison could help us out.  That is certainly not a small feat!

So the list is there.  There’s about a gazillion things on it.  I wonder where it will all fit!  Feel free to check it out.  Just go to Babies-R-Us (either the store or online).  It is under both of our names.

And for those of you on the countdown – 87 bottles of beer on the wall.  87 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around.  To be continued…

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Visitors!

Labor Day Weekend.  The unofficial end of summer.  Some think it’s a sad time – especially the kids that have to go back to school.  But for us – anytime you get a paid day off, it’s reason to celebrate.

And what a better way to celebrate than to do it with family!  Bryon’s dad, sister (Tracey), niece (5 month old Kylie) and nephew (Treylan) made the trek from Evansville down to K-town for a little visit.  They even brought the dog (Macy) so that Izzy and Foxy could join in the visitation fun!

We hade a great time.  Saturday, we watched the football game (how can you have a bad time when the Vols win?).  After the game, we let Treylan loose on the Wii.  Bowling, boxing, baseball, driving, carnival games, even some Guitar Hero Metallica.  How cool is it to see Trey jamming to “To whom the bell tolls”?  It was an awesome evening.

Sunday, we made the trip to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.  There was a slight drizzle in the air.  We figured that most of the out-of-towners would have drove in Friday night or Saturday and that the light rain would keep any locals from driving down.  So we didn’t take the “super secret back way” – which is shorter when traffic is heavy, but longer if it’s not.

Oops – traffic was heavy!  But all was good.  After all – what’s the difference between sitting around the living room and sitting together in traffic?  We still had lots of time to visit!

We finally made it to the aquarium.  Trey and Kylie had a marvelous time.  Trey was so amazed with all of the fish, he could hardly decide what to see first!  I don’t think we could pin him down to one favorite thing – but he certainly liked the shark tunnel, picking up the horseshoe crabs, petting the stingrays (oh – and don’t forget the piranha's and the king crabs and the giant catfish and the jellyfish and the blow fish and the………)

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Treylan and Aunt Darlene visit the giant Catfish

Kylie Jo was simply on sensory overload!  There was so many moving colors and lights and sounds and people that her big baby eye peepers were looking all over the place.  The absolute best part for her was at the very end.  Passing through the gift shop, Tracey decided to buy Kylie a souvenir “pink stuffed stingray”.  She gave it to Kylie and her eyes popped open and she broke out into that big toothless baby grin.  It was as good as gold.

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Kylie meets her stingray!

 

After all of the excitement of the aquarium, we ate some dinner at the Apple Barn.  If you’ve never been then you need to go.  And if you have been – then you know that even with an appetite as big as what we had, we still brought food home!  It was delicious as usual!

So it was a wonderful visit.  We only hope that they come back to see us soon!!!!!!

…and for those of you counting – 88 bottles of beer on the wall.  88 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around.  To be continued…

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Vols are UNDEFEATED!

Ok.  So it was only their first game of the season.  But give me a minute to make my case and you’ll see why everybody around here is so excited!

First – the football team was miserable last year.  The were last in the COUNTRY (and yes – I mean the United States – not Paraguay) in the percentage of drives that ended in a “three and out”.  That’s sad enough.  But they also finished up last year with a 5 and 7 record.  They only won 3 SEC games.  They lost to Wyoming on homecoming day for goodness sake!  I could go on and on, but you get the point.  Besides – you should study the past, learn from it, and move forward.  Not wallow in your own self misery.  So moving forward…

This year, we’ve got a new coach.  Actually a bunch of new coaches.  Everybody has been walking around on pins and needles for weeks wondering how they would do.  Not to mention that Tennessee hasn’t won a season opener since 2006 (UGH!).

So today we found out.  They came out of the gates looking good and finished up with a 63 to 7 win!  And they played good!  Not great – but good enough to have the biggest season opening win since they beat UNLV in 1996.

So indeed.  Undefeated.  The best starting record in three years.  It finally feels good to say - “It’s football time in Tennessee”!!!!

And for those of you counting down - “92 bottles of beer on the wall.  92 bottles of beer.  Take one down.  Pass it around…”.  To be continued…