Friday, June 25, 2010

Strange Things Are Happening

            Never let it be said that Nashville is a city without quirks.  In fact, this city is rich with the unusual, the unique, and the down right weird.  Don’t get me wrong, it is one of the things that I adore about Nashville but I have seen a few things around my neighborhood over the past couple of days that have made me stop and wonder “What were they thinking?!”
Man on a super tall bike.  Funny thing is, he is not the only person I have seen since I've lived in Nashville who is riding a bike that is freaking huge.  Apparently, there is a bike brigade of sorts that builds these bizarre contraptions and rides them around town just for kicks.  Weird.

These purple stairs have been parked at the dead end of my street for the past week.  Not gonna lie, last night as I was taking an evening walk with some girlfriends I climbed to the top of them and belted out a little show-tune.  I imagine myself on Broadway at least 3-4 times a week.  But regardless of the smile that these random purple stairs bring to my face every morning on my walk to school...they are weird.

Nashville is also home to the world's smallest art gallery.  Not kidding.

This is weird.  'Nuff said.

What weird things are happening around your town?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Morning Y'all!

So it’s been one of those days…already.  Do you ever have those days when nothing seems to be going your way?  When you wake up on the right side of the bed but everything in your world seems to be pushing you over to the dreaded “wrong side”?  Well, that is how my morning has been thus far.  Until a few minutes ago that is.  The morning started off like any other with my alarm blaring in my ear right around 6:15am.  Ugh.  Feeling exhausted and still a little delirious in my sleepy state, I padded down to the kitchen and made myself some coffee.  Which I then poured onto my cereal.  Damnit.  This seems like a very strange thing to do but since I have become a grad school grandma and my dependence on caffeine is bordering on the need for a little celebrity rehab, I am basically brain-dead until I have had a cup of coffee.  As a result, I pull this little coffee-on-the-cereal trick more often than I would like to admit. 

Next in the series of events on this best morning ever, came the seemingly ever present bug-with-a-bajillion-legs in the shower.  Nearly gave this girl a heart attack.  But never fear…I smashed that sucker to death with a flip-flop and proceeded to shower in the dark, scary basement shower.  At least there were no killer bugs down there!  Okay, so in the grand scheme of things this morning wasn’t all that bad but I may or may not be a little bit of a drama queen who tends to blow a thing or two out of proportion.  Nah…I never do that! ;-)

But regardless of my less than ideal morning, I literally just received an email that my first client of the morning has been canceled and I am not needed in the clinic until 10am.  Guess it’s not such a bad morning after all!  So I am back in pj’s enjoying my coffee and cereal (not in the same bowl), and some celebrity gossip in the warm Tennessee sunshine!

Okay, so I know my toes look gross but I wanted y'all to feel like you were right here with me!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Little Things

             Settling in for a long night of studying craniofacial anomalies and the very cute barista at Fido presented me with this:
Nothing like a little lovin' in your coffee to brighten your day, er, night!

Time for a Change

            I love a chance to redecorate.  Even when I was little I would beg my mom to help me rearrange the furniture in my room far too often for her liking.  This may be surprising to some of you loyal blog stalkers because I have made it abundantly clear that I am a creature of habit.  However, I don’t like to get stuck in a rut and when the rest of my life seems to be spinning out of control I like to straighten up and rearrange a little. 

            So I am very excited about the chance to totally redo my room when I move into my new house…aka the brothel…in 6 weeks.  That’s right, despite finding my adorable townhouse after an exhausting search last Spring I have decided to move again.  I was offered a room in a charming old house just a block away and my rent will be half of what I pay now.  Needless to say I jumped at the chance!  The house is adorable…complete with front porch and balcony off of my room.  I die.  And though some might be wary of moving into a house with 7 girls due to the sheer overload of estrogen (not to mention the fact that it is technically illegal in the state of Tennessee to have that many non-related females living in one house), I am giddy at the thought being surrounded by that many friends 24/7.

            Here is what I am thinking for the new room.  Keep in mind I am on a grad school grandma budget so some of the staples will have to stay but as an HGTV addict you can be certain I have some “design on a dime” ideas tucked up my sleeve.
The room gets tons of sunlight in the morning so curtains are a the pattern on these!

My room already has a beach-y theme (despite the fact that I am completely landlocked here in Nashvegas) so I think these prints would look great on the wall.

Scatter these babies around the room to tie in the blue from the new curtains?

Love these beach-inspired throw pillows

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hug Your Dad

Happy Father's Day to this handsome man!  Wish I could be home to celebrate you!

Just Your Typical Friday Night...

            So how did you spend your Friday night?  Did you go somewhere fabulous for dinner?  Did you go out on the town, drink too much, and dance until your feet hurt?  Same.  Oh wait...just kidding.  I stayed home and built a model of the human larynx.  I wish that this was a joke.  But in fact, it is reality.  For our voice disorders course, my classmates and I were charged with the impossible task of reconstructing the larynx out of household objects.  On Thursday we will bring our models to class where we will have a one-on-one, face-to-face test with our professor who will quiz us on each of the individual muscles, ligaments, cartilages, and bones along with each of their functions.  Sounds thrilling, huh?
The supplies.  Okay so I'm kidding with the wine...sort of.

The finished product.  Pretty impressive if I do say so myself.  If you would like one of these babies for a birthday gift or to put on your mantle I can churn them out for a very reasonable fee.

So if you have ever wondered what your larynx looks like, (because I know you all have), this is it!  Though this larynx is far prettier than the ones have I seen in real life, you get the idea. 

Yep, that is what the vocal folds look like.  All sparkly and colorful :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Special Goodbye

            This past weekend was quite the whirlwind.  But in a good way.  My last few days on Maplewood Ave. were filled with family, fun, and gorgeous (but HOT) weather.  Though my weekend at home was certainly busy, I made sure to soak up all of my favorite things about our house.  The fact that I can hear the Wayne Elementary School intercom from my bedroom window…my window seat…and my cozy, comfortable big bed (Katie and I will be sharing a room with twin beds come this July)…just to name a few.  

            The party on Saturday night was fabulous and ended with a kids beer pong game on the patio table with Mama Ball even stepping in for a guest shot.  I never thought I’d see the day!!  But I think my favorite part of the weekend was the family dinner on Saturday night, during which we told old stories and favorite memories of our time growing up in the house.  And the family photo shoot that followed dinner, complete with an unpredictable self-timer and a sudden rainstorm, was pretty hysterical too!

Maplewood Goodbye Party
With the boys
Love my seeeester
Girlfriends celebrating with sparklers :-)
Mom and Dad with the Craig's and Valerie's beautiful painting of our house!
We're so pretty I can't even stand it!

Okay, that's a little better.

All packed up...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Home Again!

           This weekend marks the end of an era. So much so that in order to appropriately celebrate this momentous occasion I have ventured back up north for the weekend. Yes, I was just here. Yes, I just road-tripped 14+ hours back to Nashville. And yes, I was just whining about how much work I have to get done. Needless to say, this is not the best time for me to get out of town. But this weekend is the very last time that all six members of the Ball Family will be at 837 Maplewood together…ever. Tear. We moved into this house a few months before I was born and have been here ever since. With four kids, three dogs, 11 hamsters, and three full house renovations…this place has seen a lot of life and is filled with a heck of a lot of memories. As my brother Scott says, we are in the walls of this place. No but really…I think we may have lost a few hamsters in the walls back in the day when Katie and I had hamsters that mated. Which is a whole other story. But seriously. I love this house so much and am going to be really sad come Monday morning when I have to leave it for the very last time. I plan on taking my doorknob with me (like Mattie did in Father of the Bride II) and hitting the white picket fence on way out just for good measure. Lord knows how many times people have done that!

Note the broken fence post...
            But in reality, a house is just that. A house. And this one is special because of the people inside it rather than the walls around it. And lucky for me, I have five people that go with me wherever I go, whether in reality or spirit, so I think I’ll be just fine.

            In the meantime my family and I, along with a bunch of good friends, will be celebrating the fabulous 24 years spent in this house with one last big bash on Saturday night. I think a game of run the bases and a fire pit are in order…just for old time’s sake :-) Pictures to come!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


            When I was at Wake, my friends and I cherished a little time known as orientation or syllabus week.  This was the first week of the semester where classes consisted of little more than a quick once over of the attendance list and a brief run through of the syllabus.  The rest of the week was filled with Chi O sisterhood and more frat parties than we could pencil into our newly purchased day planners.  How quickly times have changed.  
Flashback to orientation week of years past...

            You would think by my third semester of grad school I would be used to the overwhelming feeling that results from reading over the syllabus, discovering that you have 138974 assignments due in the next five minutes, and then jumping right into a three hour lecture.  But no.  I still left each of my classes today with the distinct feeling that my head was about to explode.  But I have decided to take a new approach this time.  Instead of sitting here worrying, I am going to get to work.  Estimates on how long this new motivation is going to last?  I give it a week. 

Back in the Swing

          It’s that time again.  The first day of semester 3 of 5.  After this summer I will have officially finished more than half of my grad school education.  Wooohooo!!  Not that I am wishing away time or anything, but it will be really nice to have a paycheck instead of being swallowed up by student loans.  School is school so it can’t be all that thrilling but I do think this semester is going to be great.  Though it will certainly be a challenge to stay focused while the rest of the world is enjoying a somewhat more relaxed summer time, I am excited for new classes and a new clinical placement. 

My placement for the next 2.5 months is at the Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute at Vanderbilt Medical Center.  And don’t let the name fool you.  It may be named after a sorority; however, there will be no date functions or theme parties in the near future.  Instead, I will be working with adults in an outpatient rehab center that serves those individuals with acquired brain injuries.  Many of these patients are recovering from a stroke while others may have experienced accidental head trauma, which resulted in a brain injury.  I am a little nervous since I am used to working with tiny humans rather than full grown ones but I am excited at the prospect of trying something new.  Orientation starts on Thursday so I will be back with a full report very soon!
Picture me here for the next 2.5 months straight...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The First One Bites the Dust

            I have to apologize yet again for being MIA from blogland.  But life has been very full this past week.  Full of fun and friends that I have been savoring as I know that the start of school and stress is quickly approaching.  The big event this past weekend was the wedding of my good friend Coleman from Wake Forest to his fiancĂ©, Sarah.  This, however, was not just any wedding.  Coleman was the first of my WFU friends to tie the knot and man, does this couple know how to throw a party.  Just to give you an idea of what this wedding was like I thought I would provide you with a few stats:
  • 550 wedding guests
  • A cozy rehearsal dinner for 160 people
  • 28 person bridal party
  • Not 1, but 2 eight-person bands
  • 6 open bars

            Needless to say, we had a fabulous time.  The ceremony was beautiful and Sarah and Coleman are pretty much the world’s most perfect couple.  It was so fun to see great friends from college and we all kept comparing the weekend to a classier, more grown-up version of the fraternity beach weekends we loved so much at Wake.  We danced until our feet hurt so badly that we had to be piggybacked home by the boys, found a random apartment complex pool at which we reenacted summer school by our beloved Crown Oaks Pool, and just generally lapsed into our pre-graduation selves, loving every second of it.  Does it get any better than that?
Rehearsal Dinner Dance at the Angus Barn Pavilion

Gorgeous couple dancing at their rehearsal dinner
Chi O's at the Reception...sorry for the poor quality I-phone pics
Fabulous flower arrangements

First dance
More girlfriends at the reception

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Playing Hostess

            One of the best parts of having out of town visitors to your hometown is that you get to do all of the fun tourist-y things that you wouldn’t EVER do on your own because you are a local.  But when your friends are in town you have an obligation to take pictures with giant guitars and Elvis statues, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, and eat such excessive amounts of biscuits and good old Southern soul food that you can’t breathe (right, Ally?).  And that is pretty much what happened this weekend when Ally and Hannah came to visit Nashvegas.  Despite terrible travels for both girls that included buses through Spanish Harlem, gypsy cabs, and multiple rum and cokes consumed solo at the airport bar, the weekend was wonderful!  I showed the girls my city and was happy that they got the full experience.  Which, of course, included a Saturday spent dancing the night away as our heels stuck to the beer soaked Astroturf at Paradise Park while we entertained a group of gentlemen (that term used very loosely) who were in town for a double bachelor party.  Gotta love the charm of the Music City honky-tonk!