*** This Post Is Long – And Not To Much About Health/Nutrition ***
On Thursday, Cooper (my fiance), my brother and I left to go to Nashville for a long weekend. You see, since February, Coop has been applying for jobs EVERYWHERE! So many that we have seriously considered moving now to Texas, Chicago, Washington D.C., California and Minnesota. And after this weekend, Nashville holds my heart. Between the southern hospitality and the weather (not this last weekend but in general), I came back to Michigan yesterday but my heart is most definitely still in Nashville.
We got into Nashville on Thursday and after getting settled in our room, headed to the downtown area. The streets were closed off for a 4th of July celebration and as we walked around and experienced the people, I was close to speechless. Honestly, I was overwhelmed at first. I wasn’t sure if I liked what I was seeing/experiencing. I became totally flabbergasted when the National Anthem was played and without any instruction, without a single cue from police or someone over a loud speaker, everyone stopped walking, faced the area of town where their flags (country, state and city) were and placed their hand over their heart. As I looked around I saw something I’ve never experienced. Strangers, with their hats by their sides and their hands on their chest displayed reverence for the history of this country and respect for it’s leaders as well as each other.
There was no party lines at that point, no such things as racism, and definitely no class segregation. Instead, just people… who belong to a country and who belonged to each other.
Please don’t misunderstand me as someone who thinks perfection is Nashville, I know they have issues there just like the rest of the world. However, the entire time I was in Nashville I experienced individuals who respected “Country”. It was refreshing and heart warming.
On Friday morning, I woke up and went to the gym/fitness room in our hotel – which by the way was beautiful, and I had a really good interval run. It was also during that 40 minutes that I had a bit of a heart to heart with God over this moving stuff. Since Al and I got engaged about 6 weeks ago, life has not stopped. We have been all over the place, do all kinds of things and preparing ultimately for him to move out of state. And I honestly haven’t had much time to just sit and process everything that has been going on.
I’m going to be getting married. Coop is going to graduate with his Master’s Degree and me with my Bachelor’s. He will be moving out of state and we will only see each other every other month or so. Once we are married, I’ll be leaving all that I know and love and plunge into a new city. I’ll be there without a job and without any friends/people I know.
Although it is all overwhelming and slightly scary, in that 40 minutes I spent on the treadmill… I found a new joy and peace about everything. Sure enough we made it to a small downtown area right out side of Nashville that day and I truly fell in love. I also spent some money – shopping therapy always helps settle my heart a bit.
The stores in downtown Franklin were perfect, they looked like they came right out of a movie and had the most precious things in them.
Whenever we go places, Coop always wants to get me a “prize” – to remember the trip. Well I had been looking for a medium to large neutral bag with simple and classy details to it… while in one of the stores I found it! And when I went to look at the price tag I got a bit nervous however, this seemed to be priced very reasonably.
You can’t quite see it from this picture but this bag has small gold studs on the side of the bag going up each side of the seam. It also has the smallest tinge of pink in the coloring. I’m so glad that I waited on getting a good summer staple bag because this one really is the perfect one.
While in another store (Heart and Hands) I was able to snag these 2 mini antique tea pots. You see, my brother who came with us has a very pregnant wife at home. This is their first baby and they are expecting a girl in the next few weeks. My sister-in-law collects tea pots, so when I came across these, I knew they were perfect for my sweet niece. She can collect tea pots just like her beautiful momma and these ones would have a story to go along with them!
Now I have to stop here and tell you that traveling with men is so very different than shopping with women. I dragged my brother and Coop in and out of every store in that downtown area. And I was so thankful that they didn’t make a sound. In fact, they would just walk away in all the stores, look at things and then as I would emerge from the back myself after looking at all of the beautiful things each one had, they would just be waiting so patiently at the front. This on top of the fact that I didn’t have to share bathroom time with either of them…. well I think I may opt to traveling with brothers, cousins, uncles, ect. much more often.
The last store I went to, I promised the guys I would be in and out in now time. I was looking for a gift for Coop’s sister and had yet to find something that was “her”. So popped into a store and upon entering saw a wall display that said something along the lines of… “We believe in fashion that changes the world” and then listed a scripture verse. Now please understand where I live… DETROIT… we don’t have anything like that here. And ask anyone who knows me, I’m a sucker for a good charity. After asking a woman in the store a few questions, I learned that this store is charity based. In fact, the only had items in their store that would bring profits to local and not so local charities. They also had a prayer wall, yes a prayer wall! They encouraged – NOT PUSHED – their customers to write on small tags a prayer that they may have on their heart and to then leave it hanging on the wall. After the morning talk I had with God, this was the perfect opportunity for me to write down a prayer for mine and Cooper’s future along with another for my sweet little niece to be.
And sure enough, despite promising the guys that I would be out in just a few minutes… they came pouring into the store as I was checking out. Below is what I snagged at this store and it was definitely my favorite store I went into while in Nashville. You can find their products as well as more information about the store at philanthropyfashion.com
The picture on the right is the gift I grabbed for Cooper’s sister, and the left is a candle I got for my home desk. I love the color purple and this smells wonderful!
I’m really excited to see where God places Cooper and myself for the next few years. I’m also really excited to possibly be living somewhere that has more outdoor activities to engage in throughout the year as well as more farmers markets, fresh produce and friendlier people.