Long live Scooter!

When I was in high school, I made a deal with my parents. (I can’t take credit for this wonderful idea – I stole it from a friend – but it served me well nonetheless.)

The deal was if I could earn at least half of college tuition in scholarships, they would help me buy myself a car. If I could earn a full ride, they would buy me a car.

Well, in the end, my dad bought himself a car my senior year of high school and then got deployed, so I used it while he was gone. Then when I got my full ride, they just figured it would be easier to let me take that car with me to college since I had already formed an emotional attachment to him.

That car, a small Honda Civic affectionately known as “Scooter,” has kept the roads warm between Weakley and Rutherford counties, and eventually Maury County, since 2008. He took me and my college roommate on a spontaneous road-trip through four states one weekend. He carried the Mister and I away from our wedding reception (and through a torrential hail storm five minutes later) and up into the Appalachian Mountains on our honeymoon. He’s been driven by myself, all three of my immediate family members, the Mister and at least two (maybe three) of my college roommates.

I’ve been a long way in that car. He came off the lot with something like 20 miles, and has almost 104,000 miles now.

Then, last Monday, this happened:

IMG_0159 IMG_0160

My poor baby! Scooter and I were blindsided by a Ford F-250 pickup truck last week. The truck tried to pass me in the left lane on a two-lane road with a solid yellow line. I didn’t realize he was there and tried to make a left turn (into my own driveway). You see the result.

Thankfully there were no injuries, although my precious Scooter was in shambles. Everyone has told me, “Cars can be replaced, but you cannot,” and I know that’s true. I am grateful he took the impact instead of me, but I still hurt for him.

The Mister and I have been preparing ourselves to have Geico total him out and write us a check for a replacement vehicle. But guess what? The insurance adjuster came today and HE’S NOT TOTALED!

Scooter is getting a free ride to a body shop tomorrow, and hopefully within the next week or two will come back as good as new.

Long live Scooter! 😀

The Geico guy pointed out today exactly how lucky I (and Scooter) got. I already knew that, had the truck squarely hit the driver’s door, the car would not have absorbed so much of the impact and I would have been seriously injured.

But, he also pointed out, had the truck squarely hit the front tire, Scooter would likely have snapped his front axle and have been totaled out and replaced.


That is apparently the perfect sweet spot for this type of accident – right there on the main support framework between the door and the wheel well. God works in mysterious ways.

So, all in all, pretty good news today. We’ve also got one hour left to hear back on an offer we made on a house…. so we’ll see about that. Maybe my next post will have stereotypical “standing in front of the SOLD sign” photos. 🙂

Happy Thursday!


The Missus (and Scooter)


It’s really not about you.

As the official start of “wedding season” approaches, I thought this would be an appropriate time to share a few thoughts I’ve been carrying around since the Mister and I tied the knot almost four years ago.

(Four years?? Wait a minute, that can’t be right…)

I saw this article on Facebook today and thought it hit the nail on the head. I wish we had registered for fun things we would actually use. I wish my dress had had a Scarlett O’Hara-esque skirt. I wish we had done photos together BEFORE the wedding, tradition or not, so that the Mister and I could have spent the majority of our day together instead of him spending it in a bathroom while I walked from place to place.

Those things are important, and I would suggest them to anyone I know who’s getting married, but there is one more important thing that still nags me to this day.

I don’t know who was there.

Wait… what? What do you mean? How could you not know who was there?

I mean, I was so wrapped up in May 19th being MY day – a day where the Mister and I could do whatever we wanted and ONLY what we wanted and ONLY with the people we thought mattered the most.

We were selfish. (And by “we” I mainly mean myself.) Looking back I can see that now, and it is definitely my biggest regret.

We have all kinds of pictures with our family and our wedding party, but we don’t have any photos with our guests. Those people who weren’t chosen to stand up with us, but who made the trip to see us anyway – sometimes from 12+ hours away.

Three groups still haunt me today.

An old high school friend and her sister that I hadn’t seen in more than six years came. I didn’t expect them to care that much, but they came all the way from Knoxville to see me get married. They pulled me aside and congratulated me and probably wanted a picture, but I greeted them quickly and moved on. I haven’t seen them since and don’t expect to ever see them again. I could have gotten a picture.

A group of the Mister’s friends from the university judging team where there too. They stood in a huddle in the lobby for most of the reception, waiting to catch us for a photo. I was so busy hurrying back and forth, checking off the list of must-do things, that I didn’t even realize that’s what they wanted. We have pictures of the whole group at other weddings, but not at ours. I had other things to do.

Third, and worst, I feel, were an aunt and uncle who traveled from out-of-state to be there. I saw them waiting in the hall as we left for photos and, to be honest, I didn’t recognize them at first. We don’t see that branch of the family much, so I didn’t know who they were until I had passed by. I waved when they did, but I didn’t stop. I figured they would wait until we returned. After all, it was all about us.

I didn’t know they had started their 12+ hour drive in the middle of the night, arrived just in time for the ceremony and were leaving as soon as I passed them to head home. They weren’t there when we came back from taking photos. I haven’t seen them since. All I can think about when that moment passes through my mind is that they made a mind-numbing 12-hour drive through the mountains, and I didn’t even stop to acknowledge them. I don’t know that that horrible feeling will ever go away.

So I say all of that to say this to all the brides and grooms and hopefuls out there: your wedding day is not really about you.

Let me say that again.

Your wedding day is not really about you.

Sure, it’s the day you start a new life joined to your husband or wife, and it’s a huge commitment. You should put effort into making the festivities reflect who you are and who your spouse is and who you will be together. But really, when it comes down to it, you will be just as married at the end of the day as you would have been if you’d gone to the county courthouse in your pajamas.

What it’s really about is the people who love you and who have made an effort to be there and witness such a happy occasion in your life. It’s about those people who have had your wedding invitation on the refrigerator for months; those people who spent weeks making handmade gifts that you’ll probably never use, but that you appreciate anyway; it’s about the people who fill all those delicate matchstick chairs and sit in the uncomfortable sunshine to see your smiling face and hear your “I do’s.”

Because without them, you would be standing in an empty room (probably not even decorated, since I’m sure they helped with that too).

So don’t get wrapped up in the check list. Stop to take pictures with the people who are there. Make them part of the memory and let them share in your joy. They want pictures to remember the day you got married just as much as you do. Don’t take that away from them.

Thank them, not just for coming but for being a presence in your lives. Even if you don’t know all the guests from your spouse’s side of the hall – take pictures with them too. They might not be important to you, but you are important to them or else they wouldn’t be there.

If you look through your guestbook years down the road and didn’t even know most of those people were there, you did something wrong.

But if the cake cutting was a little off schedule, and maybe you didn’t throw the garter or blow the bubbles, but you have an album full of photos with the people who loved you most on the happiest day of your life, that is something you won’t ever regret.

Our Soundtrack – A letter to singles everywhere

I was flipping through the CD collection in my car over the weekend, and I came across a disc I had forgotten exists.

“Our Soundtrack.”

I put this mix together while in an old relationship and had forgotten it was still in the case with the others. Popping it into the player, I recognized some of the songs because they are still popular today, while others I’m completely rediscovering. I’m sure I painstakingly assembled this collection with an exact reason for each track selected. I’m sure it took me days, maybe even weeks, to decide on the final list. But to tell you the truth… I don’t remember what those reasons were.

There are only two songs of the 14 that I can relate to a specific event in that relationship, but the others are just music.

When I made that CD I was either 16 or 17, chasing a guy that I had to beg to love me at every step. Don’t get me wrong, we were wonderful friends and I cherish the many good times we had together, but I was also convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was going to spend my life with him (if only I could make him see that).

Over the two+ years that I tried to make that relationship work, I had so many adults smile their all-knowing smiles and tell me that I was too young to possibly have any idea what love was. They all told me that when I got older I would look back and realize that my childish infatuation wasn’t love at all. Well, I’m older now, and I still have to disagree. I hate when the older generation tells the younger that it doesn’t know what love is, and I hope I never laugh at my children and say those same things. I believe, even now, that I was in love at the time. I was in love with all the heart that I had at 17. It wasn’t reciprocated, and it wasn’t meant to be, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real on my end.

It also doesn’t mean it was the kind of love to last forever – not all love does. One of the most important things that relationship, and that boy, taught me is that love isn’t meant to be something you work for. Yes, you have to work on it constantly, feed it and help it grow every day, but it’s not something you should have to grovel for, collect scraps for. I never had much luck with boyfriends in high school or in college; I think I killed the potential by trying too hard. (That mixed CD, for example, probably wasn’t a good idea.) But all those failures only taught me what an amazing thing it was to meet the man who is now my husband and be able to have an easy conversation, not feeling like I had to be constantly witty, not being bothered by the fact that my hair hadn’t been washed in two days. If I hadn’t had that first sort of relationship, I may not have recognized how special the second was – and still is.

So this is what I want any unmarried person who might be reading this to know: You don’t know what your future holds, and if it doesn’t hold that guy or that girl you’ve been trying to catch for years, then that’s ok. Because you know what? There’s a reason for that. Love can be real in many forms, but love is only lasting if you didn’t have to beg and plead for it in the first place. If you have to come up with a list of reasons why that person should want to be with you, then you are better off waiting for someone who knows those reasons on their own. I promise; I’ve made those lists and had those arguments and I can tell you that it’s so much better knowing you were enough all on your own.

I don’t have a CD of mine and the Mister’s soundtrack, but if I did, it would include the sound of canoe paddles splashing in the Duck River as we go backwards through the rapids; the excited bark of our dog as she chases him through the backyard; and probably my laughter as he threatens to put ice cubes down the back of my shirt. It would also have arguments and door slamming and the angry rev of an engine. It’s been put together on the fly – as life happens on its own. It’s not painstakingly assembled, and it’s not labeled with perfect sharpie hearts and swirls. It’s made from real life – real love and real mistakes – and it’s so much better that way.

The future prepares us for who we will be, but the past has made us who we are.

It’s been a long, hard week at the Nut House. We are excited about the adventure ahead, but unfortunately that involved leaving behind a lot of the people, places and things that have helped us both come into our own these past few years.

I had originally planned for this to be a long, sappy post – a tribute to all the most important people and places in our lives – but no matter how hard I work to find the perfect words, I know I will never be able to properly describe and thank all those people I hate to be leaving behind. The friends who have built us up in hard times and been there to laugh and cry with us through everything; the coworkers who gave us our first chances out in the real world and always believed in our abilities; the places where memories were made, promises kept and new beginnings started… I could never do it all justice.

So after loading up our first married home (it somehow took five hours to load the uhaul trailer and three vehicles crammed to the brim), sorting our belongings three times for storage, having two complete emotional breakdowns and one last long, exhausting trip back to Middle Tennessee, we are finally (almost) ready to start this next leg of our journey. We spend this week with the Mister’s family and next week with mine, and then we leave.

**On that note, the Mister did find out today that he has been moved up to be a regular first semester student, instead of having to take the vet prep program first! So we’re saving thousands of dollars in private loans, three months on the island and lots of extra headache, so that’s the good news in all of this.**

Martin will never be the same again, but the memories we’ve made and the people we’ve known there will continue to shape us and the choices we make through the rest of our lives.

In the words of one of my favorite Broadway plays:
“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn, and we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them, and we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true. But I know I’m who I am today because I knew you…

It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime, so let me say before we part, so much of me is made from what I learned from you. You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend…

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better, but, because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
“For Good,” Wicked