November 4, 2011


Need some breathtaking, soul-searching, jaw-dropping music in your life?  Try Lori McKenna’s “Lorraine.”  The entire album is unbelievable  and it is permanately on my all-time list of favorites.  

Here’s a clip of Lori in the studio:

Sean had the honor of going on a short tour with Lori earlier this year, and she is as unique and special as she is talented.  Miraculously, all of Sean’s siblings (and myself) found ourselves at a show with Sean and Lori in Atlanta, and Lori seamlessly fell into the loud, sometimes inappropriate, hilarious McConnell banter.  But, now that I’ve given myself backhanded props for hanging out with this amazing artist, I’ll do it just one more time by saying Sean sings harmonies on track #2, “The Most.” 

Alright, I’m done.   Enjoy the music!


November 3, 2011

Giveaway Alert!!!

You may have seen me mention Brittany HERE and HERE.  Brittany (also referred to as BS, for her initials) is a super talented artist.  When Brittany found out we were adopting, she combined my love for globes and chalkboards and made me this:

Today, she has started her own blog of art/life/DIY goodness and she is offering an amazing giveaway.  See these amazing chalkboard mason jars?

They could be yours!  Just go over to her new blog, Buttons, Birds, and BS and click follow. Then in the comments section say I sent you there :)  Then, if you know someone who would want these fabulous wonders send them there too and have them click "follow" and write your name in the comments section. (She explains it a lot better on her blog.)  Go check it out!

mae mae

The Time I Cut My Finger Off...

Last week I answered Mama Kat's writing prompt and made a list of 22 things I had done. You can see that list HERE. This week I'm answering her prompt again by taking one of those 22 things and elaborating.

I chose #2... "The time I cut my finger off and they sewed it back on."

So here goes

The time I cut my finger off, I looked something like this:

Coincidentally, I had just broken my arm falling off of a crazy "on-the-loose" mule... but that's another story.  On this day, I was running late to school and as I trotted in with a book bag twice the size of my body, I had a feeling someone was behind me.  Being a courteous southern gal, I flung open the large metal doors and put my hand behind me to hold it for the next person.  Unfortunately, my eyes were playing tricks on me and nobody was actually there, and when I put my hand back to hold the door, it slipped into the open hinges... and then the heavy metal door slammed shut.

When I realized my hand was stuck, I yanked it out. Thus, causing the sever.  Having just lost a nail from the slamming of my pinky in the car door, I told myself, "It's OKAY.  Don't get upset.  We've gone through this before... your nail is going to turn black and then it will fall off... no biggie."  But then I looked down and all I saw was RED.  Frightened, I began running to my second grade classroom to get help, but I was quickly interfered by another teacher.  She grabbed me by the arm and rushed me to the school clinic.  She asked me if my mom was near and I told her she had just left, but that she had one of those super nifty bag phones... Miraculously, for the first time in my life I remembered the number.  As the teacher spoke with my mom, someone wrapped my finger in paper towels, and my principal carried me in his arms to my mother's car.

As I sat in my mom's car about to drive to the hospital, I said, "Mommy?  Am I going to still have a finger?"  She carefully unwrapped the paper towels, wrapped it back up and said, "I don't know honey. I don't know."  I was so appreciative of her honesty. I would rather be prepared for a missing finger than be surprised by it's absence and shriek in horror, "But my mommy said I would always have all my fingers!"  

After that... things go blurry.  I remember bandaging and cleaning and stinging and bandaging and cleaning and stinging and bandaging and cleaning and stinging ... for the next few months. Don't forget I also had a broken arm in a sling that year to tend to as well. Also, I was repetitively constipated... but that's another story.

Let's just say it was a year to be proud of. I remember kids whispering, "That's the girl who cut off her finger." and then I'd turn and say, "And broke my arm on a mule too!" and then I'd look at them like this:

As in, "Take that suckas. I've gone to battle and lived to tell about it. Where are your glory scars?"

Long story short, they sewed my finger back on and everything healed.  All in all,  it's a great conversation starter... and for that, I'd cut my finger off any day.  Just kidding.  But seriously...

November 2, 2011

TOP 20

(I dropped the ball on October oops.)
Click HERE to check out November and December’s list of awesomeness.


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November 1, 2011

A Ray...

Meet Ashley Ray

Ashley is an amazing singer/songwriter whom I have the honor of calling my dear friend. According to one source, “She may have a cute little doll face, a soft, unassuming demeanor, but don’t let that fool ya. Ashley Ray is not quite America’s sweetheart. Take the fiercely competitive streak that comes out if you try and beat her at darts, or the way she’s perfectly at home in dive bars where she can more than handle her half of the bucket of beer. She’s a former cheerleader who just might kick your ass if you bring that up.”

I can attest to the fact that all of the above statement is 100% true. Ashley is one of the most talented, feisty, and passionate women I know.

I first heard of Ashley when we moved to Nashville.  Numerous people told me to look up her music and prepare my mind to be blown away. For a while, “Ashley Ray” was the voice behind the music I listened to on the stereo. Then, through some strike of fate we ended up in the same circle of friends. As I heard stories of her country upbringing, her sister’s ability to kill a coyote with one shot (in her bathrobe), and her ability to hold her own on the road with a bunch of dudes, I decided we had to be friends.  My plan worked and today I’m truly blessed to have this awesome lady in my life.

Ashley is not only an incredible artist, but she is also an amazing advocate for the people she loves and the causes that are dear to her heart. Three years ago Ashley’s mom was diagnosed with 3 different kinds of breast cancer.  After seeing the struggles and pain her mother endured, Ashley decided to do what she could to fight this terrible disease.

Today, Ashley is an advocate for breast cancer research and works hard to raise money for the cure.  Every year Ashley puts a team together for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure called, “A Ray of Hope.”  Last year I had the honor of walking with the team and watching Ashley’s incredible mama walk through the survivor’s line and meet Ashley and her amazing sister on the other side.  

This Saturday, I had the honor of walking it again. It's always so moving to see thousands of people show up in support of such an important cause.  They are always excited, passionate, and dedicated to finding a cure. My own sweet grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and the older I get the more women I know who are battling this devastating disease. After watching countless survivors run through the survivor line (to be given roses by perfect strangers), I was reminded of the power of encouragement and the difference one's support can truly make.

Thanks A Ray for putting the team together and for letting us join you in celebrating your mother's courage, strength, and good-health!

You can learn more about the Susan G. Komen Foundation HERE and more about Ashley Ray HERE.


October 31, 2011

Costume Party!

Saturday's Halloween party was a blast!  Last second, Sean and I decided to go as nerds. Free + easy + comfortable = my kind of costume. I wish you could see Sean's shoes in these pictures...(Imagine pants 4 inches too short, white socks, and old-man loafers.)  Here are some pics of the party:


Can't wait until next year!  

mae mae