Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random Goodness

Ok, I've got some more awesome things to share with you guys. In case you are new to this blog, from time to time I like to share some of my personal favorites. I do not get anything free for writing these reviews, quite honestly...I think most of them never even know I have eaten there, shopped there, etc.

My friend Kelly, mama to Nathan (Mary Elizabeth's future husband), is an awesome crafter and made the most adorable dress for M.E. for her birthday. She has now decided to start sewing again and is selling her items on etsy. The best part? All the money she raises from her sewing will go towards their second adoption. I'm hoping they adopt a girl so Joshua can also have an arranged marriage and heck, we could save some money and have a double wedding. A girl can dream right? Click on her name above for a link to her blog where she is also giving away an adorable dress to help bring more traffic and awareness to her site. I'm hoping I win!

Do you love cupcakes? Honestly, I'm normally not a big fan of cake period but when I heard my friends Rebecca and Elizabeth were making up some yummy cupcakes and selling them at Papaboo's in Greenbrier, well...I had to try one. Sunday we got the chance and I've been talking about that cupcake all week (lemon raspberry). It was AMAZING! These suckers are so good and so cheap ($1.50 a cupcake) that you will begin to feel your car drive itself to PapaBoo's and buy cupcakes. We are having some friends over for dinner tomorrow night, so I found myself back in Greenbrier today to get cupcakes for dessert tomorrow night. I can't wait to see all these adult faces light up when they see these masterpieces! Check out Liz and Rebecca's site HERE for a daily flavor menu and go buy you some cupcakes. Hey, you might even want some pizza while your there!

If you are in Gallatin, TN and are looking for a new place to dine, you MUST check out Granberry's on the square. This quaint little deli features hot and cold sandwiches, soups, chips, and awesome drinks (most in the old time glass bottles). Angie V. and I checked it out and both gave it a huge THUMBS UP! My favorite was their white bean soup, it was TO DIE FOR! The atmosphere is awesome, staff is super nice and laid back, and overall service was great. I love a good locally owned restaurant and I promise you will not regret a trip to Granberry's! I can't wait to go back.

Last but not least, if you find yourself in a pickle and need to sell your home OR if you know of someone who has an estate to auction, you MUST call Ray Carman at Gene Carman Realty. Although I was sick as a dog on Saturday, I wanted to spend the day with my hubby and he was already committed to working with Ray at his auction in Gallatin. I LOVE working auctions (even when I feel like crap) and it was nice to sit back and watch Ray and his family not only sell a farm and all the personal property, but I got to watch them witness to not only the family, but to every person there. Ray and his family sprinkled in so many examples of Christ's love throughout the day and I was honestly proud to be representing his team. He is thorough and works his butt off...he spent over 6 weeks alone at this farm preparing for the auction. You are going to pay commission when you buy or sell a home and I feel like Ray earns every penny.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Consignment Woes

I probably shouldn't put this out there. I've dealt with horrible migraines all week on top of some yucky sinus stuff, so I'm sure that is helping with the fact that this email I received today honestly just makes me want to rock in a corner and cry. I am putting this out there because my hope is that anyone reading this will think long and hard before you are ugly to someone who runs a business. I know I have had times where I want to rip someone a new one, but it feels differently when you are on the opposite end.

Today I received an email from someone accusing me of being dishonest, a thief, and many other things. She was upset about something that happened at the consignment sale and honestly, I was just floored at how she came at me like a bull in a china shop. She and I have been emailing back and forth over the course of this week and I could tell she was getting more and more frustrated with me because I wasn't giving her the answer she wanted. I won't go into more specifics for privacy sake, but I will say that I work my rump off to make sure that 100% of my consignors are happy and I will do anything I can (within reason) to make sure that people are satisfied with the customer service they receive and their overall perception of Encores North. The last thing I expected to be accused of was being dishonest and a thief. Do I make mistakes? Yes. Absolutely. You Betcha. BUT I am more than willing to admit our mistakes and make them right. I guess that's why this email came as such a shock especially when in this instance, we didn't make a mistake.

So, I'll leave it at that. I learned some valuable lessons today:

1. THINK and PRAY about what I type before I type it and certainly before I send it.
2. Put myself in the other person's shoes before I send something that could be read as ugly.
3. Consider that I might have made a mistake before automatically assuming that it is another person's fault.
4. Treat others the way I want to be treated. I hope I never make someone feel the way I felt while reading that email today. From now on, I hope to remember that moment when I am ready to rip someone else a new one.
5. Don't read email while I have a migraine.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


When we first started the process of adopting, we knew we would be open to race and some medical issues. For us, it was a non issue and although we knew it would make our family a little "different", well, let's face it....we've always been a tad on the weird side.

In true Brea fashion, I began devouring anything I could get my hands on to read about transracial adoption. I searched the internet and joined sites about adopting transracially, african american culture and traditions, etc. That's when I met Sarah. Come to find out, she lives here in Nashville and adopted a beautiful little girl Bella. She was so great to me, answering any and all questions I had about Bethany Christian Services and what it was like to be a transracial family in Nashville. Her smile is contagious and her willingness to be an open book to our family made me feel more confident about the journey we were embarking on.

After we adopted Mary Elizabeth, Bethany has a huge fundraiser each year called the new friends dinner. I was so excited to see Sarah and tell her our news and sure enough, as I walked into the hotel lobby she was the first person I saw. She was so excited for us and it was so neat to tell my "adoption mentor" our exciting news.

The reason I am typing this all out is because Sarah has breast cancer that has now spread into stage 4 cancer in her lungs. She is scared and yet her attitude through her sickness has been amazing. You can't help but listen to her and hear God speak through her. One of her latest updates on facebook said "I'm not scared of dying. I'm scared of how much of Bella's life I may miss....." She finds out this Friday, September 19 if the cancer has spread to other parts of her body including her brain and I am asking all of you that read this to lift her family up. Her husband's name is Dave and I can't imagine how hard all of this is on him as well.

So, if you don't mind, join me in praying for this beautiful family. Our God is a God that can move mountains and if he wants to heal Sarah, he can do it. Her webite is HERE and I'm sure she would love some positive encouragement there as well (you can leave messages on this board)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Weekend Getaway

Tomorrow will be a very emotional day for me. Tomorrow morning, my mom and dad are taking Joshua and I to the airport where we will board a plane for Houston. We are going to visit his birthmom and this will be the first time she has seen him since he was 4 days old.

As I type, he is WIDE awake at 10pm at night. It's like he knows he has a big day ahead tomorrow. I would by lying if I didn't admit that I am a nervous wreck. I remember she and I sitting in the hospital guessing how big he would be at this visit. We both decided he would be 13 lbs. We were both wrong. He's about 16 lbs with a head full of hair and a personality to boot! He goes from completely happy to completely insane when he gets hungry. He laughs out loud, is trying so hard to roll his big booty over, and loves his toes.

I wonder what his mom will think when she sees him. Will she regret her decision to place Joshua with us? Will she feel like she made the right decision? I personally can't wait to see her beautiful face.

Jonathan flies down tomorrow night and we will drive to Dallas where we will meet up with our friends for a leadership conference for RLC. I'm excited to see our friends Russ, Angel, Sam and Wendy and to meet all the other faces that make up the inner workings of RLC. We are there until Monday while the troops watch the rest of our children here at our home. I am so thankful to our family and our babysitters who are helping us make this trip possible.

I'm sure I'll do an update from Houston with details of our visit, but in the mean time, say a prayer for Joshua and I tomorrow during our travels and our visit. I'm sure it will be an emotional day for all!