Thursday, May 12, 2016

Eric's Birthday Surprise

Well friends, I did it. I actually pulled it off and surprised my sweet husband for his birthday!

Shortly after the New Year began, Eric and I were talking about how we'd like to visit Nashville once or twice a year. We left behind some incredible friends, and the city is generally just an awesome place. It didn't take long to decide what I wanted to get Eric for his 33rd birthday: A surprise trip back to Nashville. I booked our flights, hotel and car back in January, let our friends know we were coming, asked my folks to babysit the cutest little boy around, planned fake events in Orange County so Eric wouldn't suspect we were leaving, and slowly pieced together a very fun trip for the best man I know.

Wednesday, May 4th:
It was only my 3rd day at my new job, so I dropped Cooper off at daycare, worked until 1:30 PM and waited for my parents to arrive at our house. We ran a few errands, and when Eric got home, we went to dinner with our friends to El Adobe. At this point, I don't think he knew anything. We slept on the aerobed that night (poorly, I might add), and Eric went to bed thinking he would have to go to work the following morning. (He also thought he had a playing lesson with his golf teacher during his lunch break, that he was playing a round with my Dad on Saturday, and a few other *fake* things, again, just to throw him off.) His boss at work, his golf teacher... pretty much everyone was in on this.

Thursday, May 5th:
After a night of little to no sleep, Cooper came downstairs chipper and ready to play at 6:30 AM. My folks, Coop, Eric, and I sat around and chatted / played for a bit, but I was about to burst and couldn't wait any longer. I had Cooper hand a gift to his Dadoo, saying that it was time sensitive so it was okay he was opening it a week early. He read Coop's card, and opened a darling luggage tag "Coop" made for him on Shutterfly.

Then I handed him my card (also made on Shutterfly)...

... and a piece of paper rolled up. He thought it was just our Dodger / Mets tickets for May 12th, but when he unrolled it, this is what he read:

He was highly confused, and his exhaustion didn't help. I told him I already packed our suitcase; all he had to do was get ready and we were off to celebrate! I didn't tell him where yet, though. After 2 hours of getting ready (I gave him a new Travis Mathew outfit for the trip) and playing with Cooper, we took off to... SAN DIEGO... where he thought we were staying. The fact that the Mets were playing the Padres and his favorite breweries are there really helped sell it.

We hit up his favorite brewery for lunch...

...and I acted as if we were headed to the next brewery... but as we drove past airport parking, he said, "Wouldn't it be funny if like... we were getting on an airplane today?" Perfect timing. So I said, "We are! We're going to Nashville!" He said the only thing that would have shocked him more, is if I had said I wanted a divorce... lol. (Side note: I *super* don't.) We parked our car and took off for Nashville.


We landed, got our lovely puke yellow color rental, went to Edley's for dinner...

...and checked into our hotel, The Hutton. Somehow we got the top floor, corner room, overlooking downtown Nashville. It was stunningly beautiful.

Friday, May 6th:
We woke up, and I handed Eric another gift (2 golf outfits, and a bathing suit). Then we headed to The Factory in Franklin where we met with our old marriage counselor and friend, Dr. Ramon Presson. He's such a good man, and also, hilarious. We shared 5 Daughters Doughnuts, Honest Coffee, and good stories.

On our way to our next stop, we drove by our old house and reminisced. It looked exactly the same, and I think we both missed it a little bit.

We drove to our buddy Ryan's songwriting office and dropped off a doughnut, then went to Eric's old company, Raven, for lunch with his old co-workers. It seemed like he had a great time, and it was so nice of them to have us.

After that, we headed to The Hermitage where Eric had a playing lesson with his old golf teacher. (I ran to Opry Mills while he played.) I picked him up, and we headed back to The Hutton for a little R&R before the night's events began. (I packed this day full!) That night, we went to the Nashville Sounds game with our friends, and while I didn't feel 100%, it was a lot of fun. After the game, we watched fireworks, and headed to The Flying Saucer for a bit to chat more with our buddies.

Saturday, May 7th: 
Note to self: Don't make a tee time for 7:50 AM when you're on vacation. Lesson learned. Haha!

Our balls nearly touched on one of the holes. 
I got a 41 :), and Eric got a legit 41. Haha! 
But it was very fun, and we weren't too tired to enjoy ourselves. The coffees from Star Bagel certainly helped. It also helped that the weather was incredible. We played 9 holes together at McCabe Golf Course, and I'm pleased to say that I actually had a lot of fun! I told Eric, "Oh man... I think I have to buy clubs now." After our round, we drove to our favorite jewelry store to get our wedding rings (etc.) cleaned. Eric also mentioned he wanted to take me around Aliso Viejo for Mother's Day to pick out a new jewelry store... but since we were there, he bought me my Mother's Day gift at Genesis Diamonds. Isn't it gorgeous?

Then we headed to the hotel to get ready for the day. We met our friends JJ and Kristina at Hattie B's and took our lunch to Centennial Park for a nice picnic.

There happened to be a craft fair so we wandered around for a little. Then we went to East Nash for a stop, and then walked around West End. It was a lovely afternoon. After we rested a bit at our hotel (and after grabbing a drink at the hotel bar)...

...we got ready for an awesome meal with our awesome-r friends at 5th & Taylor in Germantown. The food was great, but the company was better.

Some of us headed to South Street for a drink before calling it a night, and then we Uber'ed back to The Hutton.

Sunday, May 8th:
Typically on a vacation sans kiddo you sleep in, right? Not us. Haha! I packed our trip FULL. We went to our old church, Crosspoint, for a great Mother's Day service where I may or may not have cried for most of the sermon...

...and then grabbed a delish breakfast at Red Bicycle with our buddies Ryan and Kaeli (poor Ryan was sick most of our visit). Hate saying goodbye to best friends.

Then we met our friend Paul (a random, awesome surprise) in the cell phone lot of the airport. It just so happened that he needed to go to the airport to get his car, so we got a chance to say hey to him.

I'm so, so glad we got to see MOST of our best friends while we were there, and we'll catch everyone else on our next trip out! After returning the rental, we headed to the gate, boarded the plan... and now, here I am. Reminiscing about an incredibly fun trip... I can't believe I pulled it off. I can't believe it's over. Now onto the next trip... 

Shout-out to Southwest for Coop's awesome note! When we landed... we headed to Mahe to meet my folks and Cooper, and had an amazing dinner, celebrating Eric, and Gigi and me for Mother's Day! It was fun, and delish!

(Side note: I couldn't wait to land and squeeze our little man, Cooper Nash! We FaceTimed a lot, but I wanted hugs and kisses and snuggles and giggles and... everything.)

Now, today... May 12th... I would like to say happy, happiest birthday wishes to you, my sweet, handsome Foo! I hope you had fun on our trip, this week, and tonight at the Dodgers / Mets game, and I hope you realize just how loved you are by everyone... especially by me.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

It's Been A Year

It's been over a year since I last blogged, and it's not because nothing exciting or worthwhile has happened... I think it's because *so* much exciting has happened. I'll try and sum it up quickly.

The biggest news is that we decided to make the leap and move back to California. After flying back and forth and discussing all the pros and cons, Eric and I went for it. There are about a million reasons why we decided to move, but the main ones are family and acting. (Certainly not cost of living.) Eric got an amazing job and he's kicking ass, and I spent the first 5-6 months taking acting workshops and classes and spending time with Cooper, which was such a tremendous blessing. Coop had surgery (tonsillectomy, adenoid removal and tube removal) to help with his PFAPA, and hasn't had an episode since. Can you believe it? No more fevers every 4-6 weeks. What a relief! Our place got broken into about a month or so after moving in, and while whoever took some of our things, the thing that bothered us most is that we were in the townhouse, asleep when it happened. Since then, however, it's been okay. We love living in southern Orange County, and definitely take advantage of being closer to family. I recently got a job (as in last week) doing social media for a small digital marketing agency in Laguna Beach, and Cooper started at his new Preschool. Life is going by quickly... but we're sure enjoying every moment with each other.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Personal Journey: Here Goes... Everything

Raise your hand if you have a "Motivation" or "Inspiration" board on Pinterest. You can't see me, but my hand is super raised right now. I believe I actually have two: this one and this one. I think we can all agree that it's easy to pin these things and say they inspire you... but have you ever put your money where your pin is? 

Well, with regard to this pin... I actually am. 

Eric and I talked in detail about what life for the fam would be like if I took time to - really - go after what I want to do with my life, and his support, encouragement and faith in me was crazy touching. I was the one who was scared, shaky and anxious... but insanely excited.  

A month+ ago, when I was still worried and on the fence for many reasons, he sent me this...

... And I couldn't have felt more loved or inspired. With his support, I am *pumped* to say that I am really going for it. I will work with my wonderful agent in Nashville, AND have just signed with a stellar agency in Los Angeles (with the help of an incredible friend)! 

Here goes... everything.

So let me ask you this question by *anonymous*... What would you do if you knew you could not fail? DO IT!


Closing Notes: It's also helpful that this will provide me more time to be there for Cooper when he's ill, which as I've mentioned, is about every 4-6 weeks. It was getting tough to manage work life + family life with allllll of that. 

I'm going to be able to focus on all the things I want to be better at in life, and be the best me: wife, mom, artist, daughter, sister, friend, employee... etc. I'm really, very excited about what's ahead!  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Personal Journey: Important Announcement

Coming soon to a computer near you... an announcement. Likely in a month.

(And no, this is not a pregnancy announcement. Cooper Nash is our only babe for the time being. And, trust us, he's plenty. He's a lot of work... but it sure is one of the best. jobs. ever. He's amazing, brilliant, so full of excitement, and so much more! We are so blessed.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Please Vote for #CooperNash

Would you please do me and my sweet boy a favor? Please vote for #CooperNash in the Gerber Photo Search! He and his baby blues need to be discovered, don't you agree?

Entry ID: 309662
Milestone: Toddler 2+

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Merci. Danke. Gracias. Arigato. Tesekk├╝r ederim. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Guess I Forgot I Have A Blog

As Cooper says, "Oopie doopie." I don't think I forgot I have a blog, I think I just...well, sh*t. I just didn't write. Life is nuts. Time kinda just, disappears.

I don't know where to begin, really. After all, it's been 247 days since my last entry. How do you feel about bullet points? I feel great about them. (Especially since Cooper is due up from his nap aaaany minute now.)

  • I am still acting. My agent is great, and I've landed a few minor gigs... but am praying for something bigger. Something that could be a game changer... Or at least something that will give me a little more momentum. This industry is tough, but I love it. 
  • Speaking of work, I still work at (and really enjoy) South Central Digital. Check us out:  
  • Cooper is TWO now. Yes, two. I can't believe it. Well, I can really, because he has ca-razy mood swings (yes, like his mother). He's brilliant, can count to twelve, can spell his name, loves to build things (legos, trains, etc.), loves cars (pretending to drive real cars, and also toys), loves the water, and is crazy for his DaDoo. Yes, he still loves golf, and his current favorite movies and TV shows are: Monsters U, Frozen, Planes, Doc, Jake, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. 
  • Eric is still working (and doing amazing) at Raven. He golfs as often as he can, and loves being with Cooper (and me). 
  • Eric and I went on a vacation to Montego Bay while my folks watched Coop. It was heaven. We stayed at Secret's St. James, met some lovely people, relaxed with each other, drank and ate to our heart's content... and we even upgraded ourselves to first class on our flights. It's now officially the only way I will travel. Got that, Eric? ;)
  • I finally got curtains for our living room. Okay, I know that doesn't sound thrilling, but I swear you guys, I am super excited. Our house feels like a home now.
  • We are going home ("home" is California) for the holidays, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I *might* have already started my Christmas shopping. 
I am sure there are about a million things that I missed, and it's probably stuff that's more interesting than what I've randomly selected to mention above, but... for now... that is all. I will return, and it won't take me as long. As Cooper says, "See soon." 

My brother got hitched, y'all. Great, great day. The hubs sure scrubs up nicely, eh?

Fight on, Little Coop!

I sure love my handsome date.

At the 2nd Happiest Place On Earth... Golfsmith.

He's TWO! Man, we have great friends and family. Thank you all.

Coop and DaDoo. At Golfsmith. Again. ;) 
A recent commercial.

Coop was featured, too! Gotta love my baby star.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Personal Journey: Lights, Camera, Take Action

As many of you know, in 2013 I made the decision to follow and try again to reach my forever-dream of being an actress. I decided to take action instead of just wishing it could happen, and and hopeful for what lies ahead. (And yes, I am still singing, too.)

I got reinstated in SAG / AFTRA. I'm officially a profesh actor, kids.
I got myself a highly recommended agent. She accepted Cooper Nash as talent as well - he's just too cute to not share with the world. I think she's awesome, and have big plans for us this year!
I booked the first audition I attended: Cooper and I will be very minorly featured in an upcoming Bubba Sparxx / Rodney Atkins music video called "Right." Not bad for my first audition back in the scene.
I have been to 2 additional auditions thus far, which I did not get. I was bummed but it's all part of it.
I had some pictures taken by a seriously awesome photographer (and make-up by a very talented chick) for an updated headshot and misc. photos (and will be doing a re-shoot because I am far too hard on myself, but can't wait to take and see them).

So while I don't have New Year Resolutions, per se, I do have goals.

In 2014 I will... 

  1. Stop being so hard on myself. I am who I am, and I need to take pride in that.
  2. On that note: Work out, eat right, make healthy decisions, take care of myself, etc. 
  3. Book a regional and national gig. ::Fingers crossed::
  4. Be an excellent wife and mother. 
  5. See family as often as possible.
  6. Save up:  For our future, for emergencies, and for some fun (vacations, and other things that are 'spensive).  
Then, from there, sky's the limit...Right? 

What are your goals, and how are you taking action? 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Personal Journey: Be - YOU - Tiful

Write. Erase. Re-write. Erase. Write.

The first sentence is always the most difficult. Here we go...

What is "perfect" or "beautiful," anyway? 

This is a post I've wanted to write for years, but haven't. Why?
  • Shame? No, I don't think so. Well, maybe there's a little of that...
  • Making sure I'm responsible with my words while hopefully eloquently and thoughtfully getting my point across...sure, that's more of a focus... 
  • But honestly, hopefully this will be an experience that will release me from being trapped inside my issues...maybe one day I will learn to like, even love, myself?
Here's the truth: I consider myself fat and ugly, full of flaws. 

Please excuse me for cutting to the chase and being so blunt... but now that that's out there, I shall begin my post.

I was listening to The Bert Show on the radio a few weeks ago, and the main host was talking about how his 6 year old son was commended for telling the teacher when a fellow girl student was "shamed for being fat." My heart broke. 6 years old. On the one hand, you want your children to be healthy. On the other, you don't want them living with body image issues for the rest of their lives so it's very important to be mindful. Fellow listeners called in saying that children in grades as low as kindergarten - KINDERGARTEN - were experiencing the same thing. Another caller said that when she was young, she too was shamed. To this day, she remembers and relives the pain. I feel you, sister. Some things stick with you, and for some reason the bad stuff usually the overshadows the good...I don't know why that is
Middle School can be an interesting, challenging, and yet... really fun time. Most of this part of my life was great, I'm sure, but one of the most prominent memories I have is about a guy who was my "boyfriend" who told me I needed liposuction. As if having braces and going through puberty wasn't enough, I got to add in the fact that I was apparently fat. Wonderful. 
Then came High School. Truly, I had a great time in High School, but was pretty seriously emotionally damaged, and am still dealing with it today. When I "fell in love" with my high school sweetheart, I tried (and failed) to be perfect because that is what he expected. I wanted more than anything to be what he wanted me to be - to make sure he would love me, be happy, and of course proud to be my boyfriend. When dieting and exercise weren't enough, I suffered through multiple eating disorders that no one knew about. Unaware that I went to extremely unhealthy lengths to try and be perfect, he decided it would be a good idea to make a list all of my physical flaws, which I saw regularly. (Guys, here's a tip: Not.A.Good.Idea.) Further more, he would openly share these line items with me. What's  even worse...? I listened. I listened for 5 years.

Some (not all) of these line items included...
  • I was a 10, but I'd be an 11 if I got breast implants. (I almost got them.)
  • I should go to a tanning bed because it made me look thinner. Tan fat is apparently more attractive than pale fat. (I did this.)
  • Working out once a day wasn't cutting it, so I should try twice a day. Weight fluctuation was not acceptable. (I did this.)
  • Acrylic nails made me look more polished and put together. (I had them, even though I could barely afford food. Priorities, people.) 
  • I should bleach my teeth because - my smile was one of my best features. (I did this.) 
...the list continued on...and on...

To this day, I still see this list in my head. 

He wanted a trophy and while I tried, I never felt like I was good enough. For numerous reasons, including but not limited to his high expectations of me and the pressure I put on myself, we didn't last. He did marry, and his wife seems lovely. They have 2 kids, one of which is a girl. I hope he's more careful with her.
In college, I majored in acting and minored in dance - and the number of thin, gorgeous, brilliant women around me was mind-blowing. Post-college, I was an actor and a singer waitress, and my insecurities continued to grow and grow. I believe I lived on Diet Coke alone for a few years... but I was still never enough. 
Life continued on.  I dated, I sang, I acted, I worked, I moved many times, I got engaged and broke up with a man who was anything but right for me (overall good guy though), then proceeded to meet, fall in love with and marry the man I'd always prayed for, had a son who God graciously gifted to me, and more. So much more. While I have been blessed with a crazy amount of good times... I have recently had a revelation:  I have never really fully believed in myself. 

Here I am. Continuing to live with my fear of not being pretty, thin, or even smart enough, even though my husband (the most wonderful, supportive man on planet Earth) tells me every day that I am. Bless him.

The difference between THEN and NOW is...I WANT to change.

So the question is... How do you overcome a lifetime of insecurity? Furthermore, and maybe more importantly,  how does society stop putting all of this crazy pressure on girls and women to be perfect? Because the truth is...perfection isn't perfect at all. The truth is...we are all made differently, and that is crazy beautiful.

Maybe the key is to find something uniquely beautiful in someone and focus your attention on that, instead of actively looking for a flaw. In turn, flaws won't exist because all you'll see is BEAUTY.