Entries from July 2015

No Longer My First Rodeo

Monday, July 27, 2015

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As a former vegetarian it is pretty something that I find myself looking forward to going to rodeos. Changing perspectives and shifting interests are just part of the deal in living I’m finding. Gotta try on different hats, or lipsticks or personalities before you find the ones that fits best for the moment.

Maybe 7 years from now I’ll roll my eyes at this time when I searched for rodeos to go to, looked at the horses and wanted to learn how to race around barrels, watch young men get thrown from large bulls. Right now though, right now I’m not rolling my eyes at all. At this stage, in this chapter, with this invisible cowboy hat and these real cowgirl boots, I find myself thoroughly enjoying the rodeo.

Maury County Rodeo was my second, but in some ways it was another first. Under the night sky I parked by trucks with horses tied outside their trailers. I walked around in the dirt watching families and packs of tweens and teens circling the food carts and then heading back to the packed stands. There was a feel to it, outside in the warm air, bugs hovering, smells of funnel cake and horse sweat.

I’m glad I went through my vegetarian stage, I’m glad I’m going though this possible phase. I have no clue what my perspective will be in five years, but I know for now, I love the rodeo.


About Nashville

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Nine months in, this is what I have learned about Nashville thus far…

Each street has at least three names, one of which might be a number. Confusing? Yes.

Nashville is very much about music, and while it has a lot of country spots, it’s not as country as I thought it would be.

There are very few line dancing bars, the ones we do have are as follows:
Wild Horse: very family friendly, they bank on tourism
Whiskey Dix: outside of city center about 35-40 minutes, college bar for the most part, two rooms, country and hip hop, free cover for ladies before 10pm AND free long necks until 11
Silverados: Underneath a bridge about 20 minutes from city center, not in the best neighborhood BUT they play older country until about 10:30 and then they mix some hip hop/pop in, $8 cover and free long necks until 11

Broadway will either dazzle or repel you. Give it some time, a portion of your money (they thrive with tourism) take a drink or two, and you won’t be able to help but love it at least a little.

McKay’s is where you want to be for used books and music.

Finding people originally from Nashville in the city proper is like finding a unicorn, so many transplants here.

There are traffic lights that do the normal, red yellow green thing but then at certain times of the day they just flash yellow. This is not the same as flashing red. I’m sorry to the person behind me.

Yellow to red lights here mean “just a couple more please”, not slow down and stop now.

The HOV/Carpool lane can be used by all except for the hours between 4-6. That one really blew my mind.

Nashville and Portland, Oregon share a lot, and I mean a lot of similarities in the styles and hang out spots of younger generations. There’s a significant show of man buns/long hair, beards, somewhat tight pants, skinny bodies, frayed shirts, microbreweries, coffee shops, thick framed glasses, fedoras and somewhat fancy shoes. Not going to lie, I was looking more for cowboy boots, flannel, baseball caps and two steppin venues. I’m not completely out of luck, just less options than previously anticipated.

Speaking of two steppin… there isn’t much of that happening even at the country bars listed above! They have other partner dances that they seem to prefer more.

It gets cold. I mean, if you’re from a  snowing state, then… no, it doesn’t get cold.  But if  your from the West Coast… it gets cold. It also gets hot. It’s summer and I’m sometimes melting.

Sometimes it does snow, and that one inch might even stick, but it’ll melt by afternoon. Enjoy it, make muddy snowmen, take pictures, breathe it in, and then let it go. Appreciate that you don’t have to shovel anything.

***Then live through icepocolypse 2015 where Nashville was shut down for 2 days and only got up and running completely after about 6 when one to two inches of ice and snow came down and the temperatures didn’t reach above 35.

It’s humid, constantly. I don’t think this is a bad thing, I wish it helped the static that is often present in my hair during winter, but alas it does not.

Being just about 29, single, never married and with no children is not as normal here as it is in San Diego. Being 29, married with children is totally normal and expected here. Never seen so many young parents in my life. Welcome to the South. I want to note that I am not judging negatively on this, at all. I just happen to feel behind sometimes when out on the weekend.

There is one Trader Joe’s. It’s in the worst traffic area of Nashville (in my humble opinion) otherwise known as Green Hills. Don’t go around 1:30-2 when school is getting out if you’re going south after, you’ll end up eating your snacks before you get home.

There are no Starbucks in East Nash.

Potholes can be filled and back again within what seems like a week. After the snow is a rousing game of dodge the pothole on any given road!

Luke Bryan does go out to eat with his family as does Alan Jackson… both go to a restaurant I worked at when I first moved here. Definitely one of the highlights of working there. I. talked. to. Luke. Bryan. I thought I wasn’t a fan girl. I was wrong.

If you go to Broadway and find someone cute, chances are they are not from here. Stick with Demonbreun or Midtown for a few more locals.

Nashville is growing like crazy, traffic is starting to take after San Diego rush hour, mostly because there are fewer lanes here and so. many. people.

I’d be lying if I said I was in love with Nashville. I’m not. I like it well enough, but am I convinced that this is my forever place? No. Maybe I just haven’t found my part yet, I’m not sure. But I’m going to keep trying and exploring.


Instagram Love

Monday, July 20, 2015

Can you tell what I’ve been dreaming of lately? It’s no secret that I left a little bit of my heart in Montana, well it’s pretty fair to say I leave a little bit of my heart just about everywhere I travel, but Montana got a little more than the fair share. Now all I can think about are horses and wide open space, curious cows, mountains, trees, pups and big blue skies. I can’t tell if following these ‘gramers makes me happy or a twinge melancholy. Either way, I can’t stop scrollin through their feeds.

@diehardcowboy /// @campingwithdogs /// @thethriftstorecowboy
@loki_toki /// @lakarinakarina /// @ranchlands
@christopheramat /// @peonyo /// @mattcohenphoto
@sarahollenbeckmt /// @owlfaceowlface /// @loki_toki
@ranchlands /// @thriftstorecowboy/// @giselaphoto


Showing Up to the Page

Thursday, July 16, 2015

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Tonight Danielle of Sometimes Sweet wrote a post about Falling (Back) In Love With Blogging  and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

See, I’ve been wondering why it’s such a struggle for me to show up here. I love this space, I love this blog, I love writing and sharing and reading posts of other people doing the same. And yet, day after day I put off writing, I think, nah I shouldn’t write about that, I think I’ll do it later. I promise it’s not you, dear space, dear readers, dear friends, I promise it is me.

I love reading about other people’s lives, I love reading their trials and tribulations, their glances at everyday beauty. I love reading success stories and books suggestions and top 10 tips for (although at the same time I get irked at any post that has a number in the title), I love watching kids grow up on their mom’s blogs… gosh is that weird? I guess it kind of is, but I love it none the less. I cry while reading beautiful birth stories, I laugh with (not at) when reading awkward moments that writers are brave enough to share… their wins I get to share a little piece of, their losses I mourn a little too.

So why do I keep myself from the page, if I so appreciate what others share, why do I stop myself from sharing. Well, I’m sure I could go on answering that question for just about ever… but the truth is, probably, most of all, that I’m scared. I’m scared of the blank page and all that writing makes me feel. I’m scared of the voice that pops up in my head telling me to stay small and that I couldn’t possibly create something as awesome as the blogs I absolutely love.

I realize now, while typing this, that in doing so I’m letting the demon win. I’m letting that voice, that nay-sayer, stay safer, control me.

I’ve been thinking so hard for so many years about what is my dream job, what the heck do I love to do. And I come back to things like reading, writing, taking pictures, collecting images and thoughts and sharing all of those things. I’ve put so much pressure on it though, and in different times during those three years I’ve put so much frickin pressure on each of those things that I really enjoy. And that pressure, to blog on a schedule, to write the best post, to eventually be able to do this as a job, all those expectations leave little room in my mind for trial and error. And then I just don’t even find it fun anymore.

But I want to fall back in love with blogging. I want to get excited about showing up here. I want to share the awesome articles I’ve read online, the instagram users that I just can’t get enough of, the adventures I have around town.

 I want to fall back in love with it, I want being here and writing for butwewillstay, my blog child, to be fun, and exciting. I don’t know exactly what that looks like it practice, but I’m working on figuring it out. Because at the end of the day, you can’t stop me from writing, taking pictures, and sharing. It’s just what I do.



Monday, July 13, 2015

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How do I even start my story about Montana? With a sigh? With a tear? Maybe a little of both and a hint of a smile. Montana. It started May 1st, I met a man (off of Tinder) who was here visiting, recording an album. I didn’t think much of it before we met, and the plan to meet wasn’t set in stone. It was my favorite, non committal type of plan, if we’re both in the same place at the same time, then we’ll meet. No expectations, no pressure.

We ended up at the same place, at the same time. I had met a few of my out of town friends in the busiest most touristy part of town but they weren’t able to stay long and so I had some options of people to meet up with next. I sent a message and went to one of my favorite bars right off of Broadway. It shares it’s name with a movie, there’s no cover for females and if you’re brave (or just really liquored up) you have a platform to dance on. It was but a quarter of an hour at most before I got the text of arrival, I turn around and there he was, looking better than the pictures I had swiped right on. It was a moment, one of those where things just click, where there’s no one else in the room, where there’s a straight path from you to them. That moment turned into a full night of picking songs at that favorite place, of trying to beat the crowd and find somewhere to partner dance, of feeling like a queen walking around with her real deal cowboy date. He bought me a rose from a guy in the street, and I didn’t stop him. We walked the pedestrian bridge and laughed about all sorts of things. There was a moment a second too late where I wondered if he had just been about to kiss me, and then so many second after trying to recreate that space so it might happen.

There was an adventure out to the Parthenon at 2:30am because it wasn’t time to go home yet, home meant him leaving in the morning and I wasn’t ready. We walked around, we hid from possible cop cars, and another of those moments, but still mostly friendly banter. Then back to the parking lot where his car was, trading opinions on country music, and then him saying it was time to dance, right there, music playing from the car. Laughing because dancing on an unkept parking lot surface is so much different than wood floors. Talking and talking about nothing and everything because it wasn’t time to go but we weren’t ready to make the move forward. And then finally calling it, him walking me to my car, me getting in and just looking at him, and then getting back out. A goodnight kiss that was everything it needed to be and nothing more.

An amazing first date.

Go through then, a montage of daily text messages and then moving up to phone calls. Questions, questions, questions about past, present and future. The work of getting to know someone. The frustrations and limitations of work schedules and distances. He living in Texas, a place I had left my ex because of distance almost a year before. An attempt from him to come back here and then the invitation for me visit on his trip back home. A state I had never been in, but had been thinking about going to… Montana.

Two weeks later I was on a plane, ticket paid for, feeling once again quite like a queen in cowgirl boots. Antsy for hours at a time and then I arrived, in that small airport of Missoula. I walked out of the airport to a sky that I’m sure I’ll never forget. Quiet, calm, spotted with clouds, mountains in the distance with frames of trees. He picked me up in a diesel truck and off we went. We drove for over an hour, windows down, my hand out taking it all in. The sky, the mountains, the trees, the wide open spaces, the small towns with small shops and then more sky, mountains, trees and wide open spaces. So much space to breathe.

The four days passed slow and fast, a blur of pups running up to the truck as we came up the dirt road, the room that was ours, horseback rides up a mountain, off trails, curious cows and a horse that needed shoes. Riding in a rusted truck seatbelts off, the shooting of guns in an open field and nights on his friends’ porch. There was a night where he played and sang some of his songs while the puppy kept me warm, curled up on my lap, I could have stayed there for a very, very long time. There were chickens and pigs and talks of hay and curiosities about farm life answered. And that view, the big sky, mountains framed with trees, it held me attention completely.

It ended too soon, I would given a lot to stay just a few more days. I left with tears rolling down my face, kicking and screaming on the inside. I took a chance, I pushed my boundaries and regardless of the tears that may be in my eyes right now, I am very glad I did. It was everything I wanted it to be while it was. Montana and the man left some big shoes to fill.


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