Monday, September 1, 2008

A dorky picture and a story

Today was the kickoff for the Tennessee football season! We celebrated by of course watching the Tennessee Vs. UCLA game. I wanted to have our picture taken in front of our Tennessee flag. I know, I know, geeky. But there's actually a special little story behind that flag.

For a while I worked at a little childrens boutique called Happi Names. I painted and monogrammed on anything you can imagine. That was absolutely the best job I have ever had. I started there after I turned 18, right when Tyler and I were just engaged, I worked at Happi Names up until after we were married and we had to leave town for the Navy. My boss, and the owner of the store, was the sweetest and kindest little southern woman you have ever met. Her name was Linda and her life consisted of three things: God, Her family, and Tennessee football. I worked there for about a year and a half and over that short period of time Linda and I developed a great friendship. I now have a very deep respect for her. It was usually just us two in that little corner store all day and all night long. We would spend that time talking and swapping funny stories, and on Saturdays during football season, you better believe she had the Tennessee game playing on the radio in the back. She taught me a lot during that time and even convinced me that some things in my life were wrong and that I needed to measure my priorities and straighten myself up. I truly think that God put Miss Linda in my life for a reason, I started this job during a shaky time with my family, I was your standard know-it-all 18 year old and I was going against everything my parents had taught me since childhood. During a time of confusion and rebellion, Miss Linda showed me how I was going about things all wrong. The funny thing is, she didn't even try to show me, and she probably didn't even realize it, but just by being the good christian lady that she was, she showed me exactly what I wanted to become. And the path I was on was NOT the right one.

Shortly after starting this job Tyler and I got married. Shortly after that, Tyler joined the Navy. I was a mess to say the least. I had lived almost my entire life in Tennessee and as far as I could see, I would be growing old and raising our children in the Smoky Mountains. Wellll...I went from my small hometown in the south, to the big city of less than 6 months. I still remember the day Tyler told me he had joined the Navy, I went to work that day and I was hysterical. I cried and I cried and I cried some more. Things were just not going the way I had planned. (but when do they ever?) Miss Linda's husband is retired Army, so she knew exactly what I was in for, she bought me a coke and a candy bar and told me I could sit in the back, fix my make-up and I could come out whenever I was ready. When it came time for me to quit my job, pack up my belongings and head to the Windy City, she gave me this Tennessee flag, she told me to be sure and fly it high up there in the North. And I did. So far this flag has flown at our house in Chicago, Northern Virginia, and now Hawaii. Who knows where it will fly next!

Wow...NOT a good look for me. Remind me to never wear that tank top by itself again. It was hot outside today though, just taking this picture made me break a sweat. You can't tell in the pic. But Isabella is sporting her orange hairbow, she was trying her hardest to arch her back out of Tyler's arms.


*G* said...

How dorky! But beautiful you are in your 'T' orange accessories. :) Auntie GG

Brittainy said...

who won?? Aunt B.

Lovie said...

Like your story. I feel like I should Linda a thank-you card.:)And here I was thinking you were just gettin' smart all on your own...

Cheryl said...


I was so excited to finally get your blog address. I have spent the last two days reading when I can and today I figured out how to write.
I am totally awed, amazed, delighted and blown away by your creativity and writing ability. I have no doubt that you can do anything you set your mind to.

I enjoy seeing the pictures of you and Tyler as much as Isabella (perfect name). John & I miss you, even though I don't write. I am sure it is hard to live so far away from family. Take one day at a time and remember that- You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Can't see what you put up next.

Aunt Cheryl

MaryCatherine said...

Aww Cheryl I am so happy that you enjoy my blog! it makes me so happy to know that both sides of the family are able to keep up with Isabella even though we're so far away! We miss ya'll too, we're just itching to get home, I'm counting the days until Christmas leave :) Thank you so much for all of the sweet things you said, you make me blush!