Monday, October 28, 2013

Best Anniversary Date Ever with Michael Buble

Wow!  This past week was one of the best weeks EVER!  Seriously!  It is one of those where you replay it in your head over and over again.   Honestly, I wish I could have a rewind button to do it all over again.  So, Wednesday Russ and I headed to Nashville to see Michael Buble in concert.  We almost decided not to go, since we will be going to New York City next month, but at the last minute decided that it was a good excuse to celebrate our third anniversary.  This anniversary and year of marriage has been by far the best and it was definitely worth celebrating in a big way.  When we finally decided to go, all the reasonably priced tickets had been taken, and we were left with the choice of the expensive tickets on the floor in the back of the arena or cheap tickets in the nose-bleed section.  Michael Buble is my absolute favorite singer and Russ loves him too, so we finally just decided to bite the bullet and fork out the mulah for the floor seats.  We went to see Michael Buble when we were only 17 before he was really popular.  It was my first "real" concert and we had the best time.  We were just a few rows away from the front of the stage and I could still swear to you Michael stared at me the whole time (we are on a first name basis now... I might even start calling him Mike! haha).  At the time I thought I was way too young for him, but now seeing that his wife is practically my same age, I know Michael was for sure crushing on me. ;) Looking back now, I have no idea why I even hesitated about buying tickets for this concert. It was the third and, hands down, the best of the three.  

We were so excited! Russ took off work until Monday, so this was like a mini-vacation.

First stop was at the Opry Mills Mall and we were starving so, of course, we went to The Rainforest Cafe.  I could blame it on being the first restaurant as we entered the door, but actually it was totally planned.  I always go to the Rainforest Cafe when I go to Disney World (its tradition) so since I am having "Disney Withdrawals" (it is a real disease for me) my hubby planned for us to eat here.  He knows me so well!  We had fun and shared the steak and shrimp. 

Then we went shopping!  I scored a beautiful scarf from the JCrew Factory, which I actually wore to the concert that night.  We got a few other things and then headed over to our hotel to check in.

Just look how happy he is! He is practically skipping back to the car after checking in!
We stayed at the Sheraton Music City Hotel.  It was beautiful and, most importantly, very clean.  They were actually checking our room when we walked in to make sure it was up to standards.  The bed was comfortable and the hotel was close to everything.  

top: Pleione Mixed Media Roll Sleeve Top from Nordstrom (This top is a MUST HAVE shirt according to Pinterest Told Me To and I totally agree with her!)
Scarf: Jcrew Factory
Jeans: Loft
Watch: Michael Kors
Shoes: Nurture (old)

After freshing up at the hotel we went and did some more shopping at the Green Hills Mall and then headed over for some dinner near the Bridgestone Arena where the concert was at.  We ate at Demo's Restaurant. It is a little italian place within walking distance to the arena and it was absolutely delicious.  Russ could not have picked a better place to eat.  The atmosphere and pricing were great as well!  Plus, there was no wait! However, right after we sat down, the people started pouring in and the wait quickly became an hour long.  That is just another reason why our Nashville trip was the best!  I loved it when the waiter told us that everyone else in the restaurant was there to see Michael Buble too.  It just made me that much more excited to see him.

When we got in the arena, we kept showing our tickets to the people who are supposed to show you where to sit and they kept saying, "Oh! The B Stage!"  I had no idea what that meant and just chalked it up to meaning that they were impressed we were on the floor.  But to our surprise, there was a tiny stage all around our seats and the sound/video guys were behind us.  It still took it a little bit to register until I realized that Michael Buble would be on that stage at some point.  I seriously had to go pee multiple times before the show started because I was so excited!

The view from our seats.  (The lighting made my pictures purplish pink.)

Naturally Seven warming up for Michael! They warmed up for him at the other two concerts as well. They are amazing!

Before he came out on stage.

I could listen to him everyday! But actually I already do! 

And then it was all a blur... After he got up close I totally freaked out.  I never thought I would be one of those girls (the crying, screaming, jumping, holding their hands up kind of concert girls), but I was and it was the best!

And then THIS happened! Mr. Buble held my hand!  Not a slap, but held my hand and sang to me! What song... I couldn't tell ya... I think I went into shock a little that he was staring at me.  I still can't believe it and didn't wash my hand until later the next day (and that was accidental!).  

After he sang, the hearts started falling and I was totally mushy for my sweet husband who talked me into buying tickets to see our favorite singer.  I love him so much and even though I joke around about loving me some Michael Buble, I love me some Russ Swafford 100 times more!

The rest of the week was filled with birthday celebrations for my wonderful Madre and spending time with family.  It was a wonderful week. 



Sunday, October 27, 2013

God is good

God is so good.  I am so blessed and thankful for all He has given me.  Russ and I spent the day at home today in Knoxville.  I miss my family and being at my Mamaw's for lunch, but it is so nice when it is just the two of us enjoying the home we have made together.  

We have found a church that I think we are ready to call home, which means no more visiting other churches.  Yay!  We are excited to get involved and find other christian couples who share our love for the Lord.  After church, we went by Starbucks and I got a Pumpkin Spice Latte before going by the store real quick.  I had my PSL drank before we even got out! Yum!  For brunch, I made biscuits, homestyle gravy, chocolate gravy (Russ' fav from his Gig), peas (random but I was craving them), fried chicken, and eggs sunny-side-up.  It hit the spot!  I got to talk to my best friend, Ashley, in Hawaii, and Russ worked outside on the deck.  We went to use some coupons in Ulta and The Yankee Candle Store then ate at Abuelo's for dinner.  I love days like this with my love at our home sweet home.



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall Harvest Festivities

I LOVE Fall Harvest!  I am not sure when I actually started loving the Fall time or when I started calling it "Fall Harvest" but have been obsessed with it for many years now.  I can't wait to get out the pumpkin scented candles, buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte, wear cozy sweaters, and all those Fall Harvest traditions.  Plus, it reminds me that Christmas is coming soon! And between you and me, I have been listening to Christmas music since the end of September haha!  I reserve it for only when I'm in the saddest of moods (aka doing homework).  It just puts me in a good mood and with the majority of my Christmas music being Michael Buble, who wouldn't get in a good mood?!  Speaking of that, Russ and I are going to see him in concert in Nashville next week for a late anniversary gift.  We have been listening to him since he first started becoming famous.  We have been to two of his concerts and absolutely LOVE his shows!  It is worth every penny!  With Russ' love for Frank Sinatra and my love, for well, Michael, it makes for one happy couple!  I can't wait!  

We have been crazy busy in The Swafford household lately.  And as always I haven't gotten to blog like I would have liked to, so I guess I will just go through what all we have been up to.

Russ turned the BIG 25 last month!  He has accomplished so much at such a young age and I couldn't be prouder of the man he has become.  His mom has a birthday close to his so they shared a birthday cake at their Sunday birthday lunch at Gigs (Russ' grandmother).

On the same day we went to watch Beauty and the Beast at the Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga with my family for my sister-in-law's birthday, which is also in September.  We both are crazy about Beauty and the Beast and I think we secretly both wish we could work at Disney as Belle.  It was an interesting show! There were parts that I don't think I would want my child to see haha but it was still fun to watch!  

I'm not sure why this picture turned purple, but it is still pretty.  "Belle" did a great job!

I went to Kentucky to visit Frontier University and Wendover Big House for a clinical for school.  It was a beautiful day in the Kentucky mountains, but ended with everyone catching the stomach bug! Yuck!

After going through three pairs of dress shoes, Russ finally found some he liked enough to keep!  And thank goodness because our cat Bentley fell in love with the shoebox they came in.  He is way too big for the box, but somehow squeezes in.  He has been obsessed with this box now for almost a month.  It sits in our living room floor and gets in it all the time.  It is too cute for words!

I woke up to these beauties on our three year anniversary! Russ is so thoughtful and sweet.  

That day we went and saw Russ' Pap for the last time.  He had not been doing well and we knew he wouldn't make it much longer.  Everyone says Russ is just like him.  I guess you can say I never got to meet the "real" Pap due to him having a stroke during a surgery for his Parkinson's years before Russ and I got together.  He was a hardworking, faithful, Godly man.  I am proud of the example he set for his family and he will be greatly missed.  Him and Gig had just celebrated their anniversary the day after ours.  They had been together 53 years!  I hope Russ and I have a lifetime of happiness like they did.

After such a sad week of deaths and sickness (Freddie from my hometown church and neighbor to my mamaw passed unexpectedly, as well.  Plus, my uncle Jimmy had a heart attack, which required a quadruple bypass), we visited family and went to celebrate Luke and Liam's first birthday party!  I can't believe they are one already.  I can remember Laura wanting a baby so badly and not being able to get pregnant.  We used to work together and I would pray that she would get pregnant.  I can still remember the day that she told me she was expecting twins!  They are so cute and I was so happy to get to see my old friends.

I also got to see sweet baby Hadley!! Oh how happy I am to see the miracles performed in that baby.  I am amazed at God's grace.  I love this picture of all of us.  Brooke on the left used to be my manager and is now a nurse on a labor and delivery floor.  We are all around babies one way or another! 

We also went to see my little cousin Zayne, who is five, play football.  They were so cute and there are so many memories from cheering on that field growing up.  All my family came out and supported him and he loved the attention.  

I visited with my Mr. Kitty (my first born).  I miss this cat so much!  I think he has become my replacement at my parents' house.  He is spoiled rotten for sure!

We also went to my Granny's and celebrated my dad's birthday.  

And this weekend we are staying in Knoxville, because our gas bill just can't handle anymore trips going "home."  Today was the BIG UT game and Russ works all the home games.  He couldn't get me in today so I got to stay home and watch the game on our tiny TV, while he was out meeting celebs and watching the game from the Chancellor's Box.  Lucky!  -Yes, that is Martin from Duck Dynasty.  We love the wholesome values the show has and usually watch it every week.  I am so happy Russ got to meet someone from the show.   Russ even left the game early to watch the ending with me on our tiny TV and to our surprise, WE WON!! WOO HOO! GO VOLS! It is so much fun living in Rocky Top Tennessee!



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Three Years Down and Forever To Go!

Today marks three years since Russ and I said our "I do's."  The first year was really hard, the second year was pretty tough too, and this past year has actually been really great!  Russ and I had a wonderful relationship before marriage and I just thought it would continue as usual after we got married.  However, if I was being honest, I would tell you that it didn't.  There were many new stressors after we got married and we saw sides of each other that we never had before (both good and bad).  And although there have definitely been some down points in our marriage, I can also remember many great times in our marriage!  Wonderful moments that I will treasure forever.  We have taken many trips like our honeymoon to Atlantis in the Bahamas, to Hawaii to visit my best friend, to Disney World (a few times actually and Russ just did that to please me since I'm a Disney World junkie), to the beach, to Charleston, SC... We love traveling together, because we waited so long to actually be able to take trips by ourselves.  We had never spent the night together until our wedding night. I'm so thankful now that we waited because it makes our vacations together that much more special.  I just did not realize the change that marriage brought on.  Change can be hard, even wanted change, I have found out.  I am just so thankful that we have stuck through these past three years together.  We are so in love and we are truly happy.  I can't imagine being married to anyone else.  He is truly my one and only.  The biggest thing that I have learned in our marriage is the true meaning of love.  Russ and I have grown into adults since being married.  I believe adulthood is putting others first and doing what is right even when you don't feel like it.  Russ and I put God first in our marriage and each other second.  (Not ourselves, not our parents, not our friends but each other).  And someday, when the time comes to start a family we will put our marriage before our children.  Many people do not believe that, but since we were both raised in a home without divorce, we realize the importance of marriage and children.  It is a gift you can give your kids like no other and I am so thankful I did not have to deal with that growing up.  Russ and I give each other one hundred percent.  I might not want to do something he wants to do or vise versa, but we do it because we love that person so much.  It is easy to say you will put your husband or wife before yourself, but actually doing it is a whole other thing.  It is human nature to be selfish and to give only when you get something in return, but that is not how God wants us to be.  My favorite passage in the Bible is the one in Corinthians about love.  In fact, I kept a poster with those verses displayed on my bedroom wall growing up.  Although, I loved the passage I don't think I actually got it until I became a married woman.  Now, I totally get it, and now I know what true love is.  I thought I loved Russ when we were in sixth grade, I thought I loved him when we were 16, and when we got engaged, and of course on our wedding day... But no. I did not, at least not true love. True love is something I have learned and worked at for three years.  And I hope someday that I will look back on this post and think to myself that I did not know what love is then either... I hope our love continues to grow and God will continue to show me how great true, selfless love can be.

“Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”  

Happy Anniversary my love! I truly love loving you!