Friday, July 27, 2012

Camp Out

We braved the heat and went camping a few weeks ago. We went to Cedars of Lebanon and that campground is so woodsy that the heat wasn't all that bad since we were in the shade. We went with our friends Ian and Amanda and their girls. Mark and I don't have a tent so we borrowed a 2-man tent and whew it was a bit tight but we made it work. :)  We had a great time making s'mores and playing with flash lights! Next time we'll be a bit more prepared but for the first time I think we managed.

Home Sweet Home

The cooks

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Salt Lake City

I attended a trade show for work in Salt Lake City back in June. Walking down the streets one day I noticed this piano....
It was just sitting on the sidewalk, waiting for someone to play it. I thought it was strange but went on about my business.

The next day I saw another one...

This made me think they were placed there for a reason so I had to look it up. How cool is this? The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art placed these pianos on the streets for people to play! They were all over the city!

I only saw 4 out of the 10 there. If I'd had more time I would have for sure made my rounds to see them ALL! 

And then on my way here.......
 to have one (ok maybe I had two) of these........
I saw this last one....
and finally someone was actually playing it. I was tempted several times to break out some Yankee Doodle but I held back.

Salt Lake City is much smaller than I thought and very quiet. There was never much going on, kind of strange but glad I got to see the pianos and experience the Kouing Amans (thanks to Tori Spelling)!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Daddy's Little Girl

When I wrote about my mom about a month ago I mentioned I was a huge daddy's girl and's true! He always says God gave him just what he ordered. I'm pretty much a spitting image of him, sometimes Mark is thankful for that and other times not so much. :)  What can I say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I was also breech when I was born so dad also says I've been a pain in the butt since day one, jokingly of course (or at least I think so). As with my mom, I'm so very thankful for my dad and our relationship. I have so many memories of us doing different things growing up and here are just a few.

  • My dad and brother have always played softball/baseball. We traveled all over to watch them play.
  • Dad used to be a drug dealer, ok not really. He used to transport medication from here to Wartburg (I think that's what he did, I can't remember specifics) for a local drug store but we had ridden with him that night, it was raining and it was late. I remember him getting a speeding ticket. I thought it was the worst thing evenr!
  • I went to work with dad one day when he worked for Patterson's Appliances. We visited several houses while he installed/serviced appliances. This was also the day he taught me the best way to eat a Hardee's biscuit and gravy.
  • Dad's a contractor so he always had odd jobs. We were working at Sherry Hill's house and we found a snake on her carport. Of course, I was freaking out.
  • When dad worked for TDOT, I always remember him working during the snow and driving that big orange truck to the house a few times.
  • We used to skip hand-in-hand from the front doors of our church to the car on Sundays.
  • We danced our first dance to My Girl during my 16th birthday party.
  • One day we rode our bikes from Ingles to TDOT (you Rockwood people know what I'm talking about). My bike had a basket and I insisted carrying a $20 bill of mine in it while we rode. Dad told me I shouldn't that it may fall out but I did anyway. Well when we got to TDOT it wasn't in the basket, I had lost it, just as dad warned me. Oh, he was so mad.
  • When I was at Roane State, dad took over the Rockwood Girls City League Softball program. We went to the Ridge View ball fields most nights during the week. He was the head honcho and I kept the books for most games.
  • I used to run errands with dad on most Saturdays. We would always go to the bank and I remember looking forward to seeing the tellers so I could get my sucker or gum!
  • He taught me to swim by throwing me into the pool or making me go down the slide and figure out how to get to the other side. Oh I would just scream.
Dad is a very special man. I'm so lucky to have grown up with both parents and also that my parents are still each other. You don't hear of that often anymore but that's something Mark and I both are very proud of.

And now, just a few reasons why I'm so thankful for daddy,
  • He's so likeable
  • He's never met a stranger (mom hasn't either, so this part was easy when God made me)
  • He's smart with money (probably because he was poor growing up but it's definitely taught me to be a little tight)
  • I love that he's funny! He can pretty much make a joke and/or laugh about anything.
  • He's a man of God and has taught me the love of my heavenly Father by being my earthly father
  • He would do anything for anyone, he has such a serving heart
  • He is still active - plays ball better at 60 than the young'uns and runs faster than they do too! (I'm determined to one day make him participate in the Senior Olympics)
  • He taught us right from wrong
  • My mom is still his high school sweetheart
  • He's so smart - he knows so much about houses, cars, yardwork, life and well just about everything (except maybe how to use a computer)!
  • He and Mark have a great relationship - Dad calls him his best son-in-law (umm, he's his only son-in-law, but that's not the point :) I see alot of my dad in Mark - that's probably part of the reason I married him.
  • He gave me his red hair and freckles.
  • He always teaches me to do my best. If I made a B or C in school, if at least I gave it my all and tried my best, he was proud.
  • He was such a present father. He was at my softball games, watched me cheer, graduation, church events, dragon boat races, you name it.
  • He's an awesome Grandad and I can't wait for my kids to one day meet him.
  • He loves chocolate and sweet tea (he only drinks it with EVERY meal)
  • He taught me independence and fearlessness (we'll both try anything at least once)
  • There's nothing this man can't fix!
  • He's so thoughtful! He's thinking about other people all the time. If he sees someone selling peanut butter on the side of the road and he knows you LOVE peanut butter he'll stop to buy some, not only to help them out but also to brighten your day. Always thinking of others.
These are just a few of the reasons I'm so thankful to call Terry Stooksbury my daddy! Thanks dad!

Tweet, Tweet

And no, I'm talking about day Mark and I pulled up in the driveway and I noticed one of our bushes had all this trash in it. I didn't think anything of it and he pulled it all out and threw it away. Well the next it was there again! We finally noticed there were a bird's nest.....with eggs. We were able to show the boys when they were visiting and I'm been following them ever since, waiting on them to hatch.

They finally did and I tried my very best to get pictures, hoping the mother would attack me. It was a close call but I managed. I've been able to watch them grow and just the other day I noticed they were gone. They grow up so fast.

Jump, Jump

Bradley, Casey, Drew, Alex, Mom and Dad came up Father's Day weekend. We had originally planned to go to Peek-a-boo Playhouse in Franklin then dinner. Well we went to Franklin alright, only to find the place closed, like shut down. So we had to find something else to do and it was getting late in the day. We stumbled across Pump It Up bounce house. The boys had a blast, and well we all did! The had a rock climbing wall and several bouncers.

Saturday the girls went to Harper's shower then we grilled out and spent time together celebrating our great dad! I just love it when they visit!

Welcoming Harper Blair

My friend, Laura, just had a sweet baby girl but first we had to shower her with lots of love and PINK before she arrived. 

This was very much a Pinterest insprired shower!

 Look all of those gifts - Nina did a great job with our display!

All of our preggo girls! We had lots of belly there that day!

Hmm, which one of these is NOT like the others?? 
I sure was trying but didn't quite have the belly like the others.
Nor do I have a baby growing inside of me.

Some of the proud family of Harper Blair!

Hostesses with the Mostestes!

And now....................introducing Harper Blair Bargatze!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Small Town Life

Several weeks ago we lost a high school classmate, friend, teammate and brother. Being from a small town and graduating with only about 69 people, you can imagine how close we were. Even though some of us lost touch after high school and college, it was nice to see us all come together again. We had our 10 year high school reunion last fall and it was unfortunate we were all brought back together again so soon under such different circumstances. It was still so nice to see everyone come together and support each other and this family that we all grew up with.

You don't really think about being from a small town when you're young, it's just home. But if that's where you've been your whole life, you don't really know anything different. Sure you may be bummed out that we only had Rocky Top, Subway and WalMart but really we didn't have it so bad. We skipped school to attend the grand opening of WalMart for crying outloud, you couldn't do that in the big city! :)

Then you start to meet several new people and several conversations go something like this:
New Person: So where are you from?
You: Rockwood
New Person: Where is that?
You: Oh it's a small town right outside of Knoxville. I'm not surprised you've never heard of it.
Then the conversations continues to go on about something else.

So even though several people may not have heard of Rockwood, TN where Friday Night Lights really does exist, I sure am proud of back where I come from, I'm an old Tennessean!

Wee Ball

Drew started wee ball this year. We only got to see one game and it was picture day so it was a good day to be there! :)  Hopefully next year we'll be able to see more. He started getting really good towards the end of the season. I hope he doesn't lose his mad skills!

Oh and he was so excited about getting his trophy at the end of the season! Good job, Drew!

Wine Country Event

So we ended up staying at The Westin Verasa Napa. It was a great hotel, relatively new, big spacious rooms, accommodating staff and delicious food.

We had two groups throughout the week. One group that met Monday - Wednesday and the other that met Wednesday - Friday. I had planned some great evening activities for us as well. We had great dinners at Fish Story and Ristorante Allegria. I would highly recommend the halibut and salmon at Fish Story. The oysters were ok but really small, one order will not do!

Being in Napa and all we HAD to tour some wineries. We started with Silver Oak Cellars. This tour was GREAT and it had everything to do with our guide. He was the best, and of course now I forget his name. He's been there for years and so knew all the history and had a great sense of humor.

We then had dinner at Silverado Vineyards. This winery sits on a hill overlooking the beautiful vineyards. This winery is also owned by part of the Walt Disney family so that was pretty cool. The winery had everything decorated so beautifully and the Westin catered a delicious meal!

For our second group we started at Silverado with a tour and tasting and then ended at Pine Ridge Vineyards for dinner. We had a great reception outside and then toured the caves, where we actually had dinner too.

Now I can mark Eating Dinner in a Cave off my bucket list! :)

We also did a wine blending activity at the hotel. We divided into teams and learned all the tricks from a sommelier and mad our own wine!