Monday, January 31, 2011

concert going fool

Some concerts are better than others. Obviously. I have my favorites. Favorites because of the people I was with, because of things that happened while I was there, or just because I love the music. I love hearing songs that take me back to a concert I've been to and make me smile because of the memories made at the show.
I need to start putting some of those memories down, keeping track of the people I have seen.. I forget too much. I need to remember!

I have seen Paul McCartney 4 times. Once when I was younger in Atlanta with my family. Then three times since the summer of 2009. My favorite concert OF ALL TIME was when I saw him August 15th, 2009 at Piedmond Park. I was with my 2 sisters, my mom, my niece, 3 cousins and an aunt. We met in Atlanta that afternoon and waited for the doors to open.. not thinking we would get close, and ended up FRONT ROW. We paid the general admission price and were FRONT ROW. Of course once we got up there we didn't move the rest of the day. We waited HOURS up there, would take turns going to get waters (it was outside in Atlanta in August.. KILLER HOT), going to the bathroom, etc. People were passing out from heat exhaustion, they started handing out waters and ice to people on the front rows. There were people behind us for as far as we could see. I think I read somewhere about 40,000 people were there. The Script opened for him, which was good.. then there he was. SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY! Just the most awesome show. Most. Awesome. Show. He played for about three hours, I screamed, sang and danced the night away with some of my favorite people all around me. JUST THE BEST! Towards the end, it started raining, rained through a few songs and he kept right on going, so we were then soaking wet and freezing. Just awesome. So awesome that we decided to road trip it to Texas for his Wednesday show in Dallas, TX. Which was awesome too. It didn't compare to the Atlanta show because it lacked the killer hot day, the rain then cold night, the first time seeing him in years, etc. BUT, the Texas show was awesome in it's own way. He still rocked the stadium, we drove out to Texas and back in like 3 days, just .. whoooooo. I saw him in July of 2010 with my mom and David in Charlotte. That was an experience for sure.. got in a nice little argument with the people behind me trying to tell me to sit down, hmmm no. Not ruining my night! David's made fun of me for seeing Paul back in 2009.. but of course, all 3 of us loved it.

I am going to go ahead and put Ringo right here, because that was awesome too. I saw him the same month I saw Paul- July 2010. It was Ringo and his All-Star Band which includes... a bunch of people. Didn't really know what to expect but it was some of Ringo's solo hits, Beatles music, and then the ASB members performed hits from their careers too. Awesome. Another outdoor concert with the same group from the August Paul concert the year before =)

The Tin Roof in Columbia. December 2010.. with David! Engagement night.. Jason Michael Carroll :)

The rest will mostly be listed who I saw, who I was with, when and where they were.. in no particular order.

--The Crawfish Boil. Greenville May 2009. I only went to night #2 because I had Relay For Life the night of the first show- which means I didn't sleep at all before the show. Eric, Casey, John, Zech & Katie.. There were I think 6 bands that night, I remember seeing Candlebox, Hinder, Theory of a Deadman and 3 Doors Down.
--Late 2009/Early 2010, Coyotes in Augusta. Jason Michael Carroll, Chris Young & Bomshell. Really chill concert with David. Started my love for JMC's hottest voice.
--May 2010, JBA. Carrie Underwood, Sons of Sylvia & Craig Morgan. Why not? A concert in Augusta, something for me and David to do.. Craig Morgan may have been her "opener" but he was easily the best of the night.
--Bi-Lo Center, Greenville January 2010. Jason Aldean. I don't remember if Eric Church or Luke Bryan opened for him at this show. Eric, Josh and Kori.. her first concert EVER!
--JBA, February 2010. Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan or Eric Church with David. Thumbs up.
--Carnival of Madness, Simpsonville SC July 2010. The line-up was 10 Years, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle & Shinedown.. with Eric, Casey, Jen & John. Fun night with fun people at an outdoor show.
--Two different Rock Fore Dough Concerts. Augusta. 2009 with my sister and her husband, Katie & Jeff. Zac Brown Band, Hootie and Darius Rucker solo stuff. FREEZING outside! The other one was a few years back, with my brother in-law, Chris, Kathy and Stephen. Came home from school on overnights to go.. Better Than Ezra, Collective Soul and Hootie. Got so sick.
--Aiken SC, winter 2009. Casting Crowns and Matt Redman with my mom.
--December 2009, Augusta. Mark Harris Christmas concert with Ashley.
--JBA, June 2010. Cavo, Lifehouse, Daughtry with David. Lifehouse was my fave!
--Birmingham, Alabama. February 2010. Mom, 2 cousins, sisters and my niece. Eric Clapton. Awesome.
--I have seen the BSB twice.. once in Atlanta with my sisters & niece and once at the HOB in Myrtle Beach. Nelly opened in Atlanta (embarrassing!) and Nick kept checking me out at the HOB. Just sayin.
--I have been seen a tribute band for Bon Jovi, Journey annndd The Beatles. Of course I wish they weren't tributes and the real thing. SIGH. (Though I did see Bon Jovi when I was little.. too little to remember!)
--American Idol Tour in Charlotte August 2010 with David. Super chill outdoor concert.
--November 2010, JBA with Ashley.. the guitar pull! An acoustic show with Easton Corbin, Montgomery Gentry, The Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean and Vince Gill. Fun night.. ended watching a big ole fight break out on the floor =)

I don't know if this is everyone or not.. I don't remember. I am sure I will be driving down the road or getting ready one morning soon and hear a song and say "oh yeahhhhhhhhh! i saw them!".. That's how it usually goes.

Friday, January 28, 2011

cancer cannot

My mom enclosed this little card inside a card she sent me this past week. No, I do not have cancer, but I have known too many who have and decided to volunteer with the American Cancer Society 3 years ago- which has become one of the most rewarding things I think you could ever do, if you have been touched by cancer.
I do believe that what this card says is true, as long as you keep the right perspective: that God is in control of ALL things. Like I said, I have never had cancer, I haven't had to go through what TOO many of you or your loved ones have had to endure to survive for just one more day, much less beat the awful disease. But with the right perspective, I believe that cancer cannot..

"Cancer is so limited... It cannot cripple LOVE. It cannot shatter HOPE. It cannot corrode FAITH. It cannot destroy PEACE. It cannot kill FRIENDSHIP. It cannot surpress MEMORIES. It cannot silence COURAGE. It cannot invade the SOUL. It cannot steal ETERNAL LIFE. It cannot conquer the SPIRIT."
(author unknown)

I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5

You can check out my Relay For Life page by going to the link below. From there you can navigate to more information on the ACS or Relay For Life, find out how to get involved, or make a donation in honor of or in memory of someone who has battled cancer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

rigby's surgery

What better way to start off my posts for 2011! The year started just as crazy as it ended. Our guests left, Christmas decorations started (and I say started because it took a good part of January to get them all down & organized in tubs and put in the attic) coming down.. and Rigby got sick.
 David takes care of the doggies in the morning: let's Rigby out, gives him his AM meds when he's on them (which with this poor puppy has been most of the time we have had him), feeds him, feeds Jude, and puts Rigby back in the bed until I get up to let him out for the day. January 3rd, a Monday, I had a text when I got up telling me that Rigby had gotten sick that night/morning in his bed but that it was cleaned up in there and his bed was in the garage. Of course a few red flags went off because off all his issues, but he was acting fine with me, ate some, drank and went out to play with Jude. I brought him in around 3 to feed him and within the hour he threw up twice. Little strange.. especially because he was playing fine outside most of the day. He went and laid down sometime around 4 in his "room" and didn't come back out until the next day. He threw up a total of 6 or 7 times by Monday night. In two of his throw ups, there was plastic from toys, rope from toys, and a piece of water hose. (Jude HAD an old hose he liked to drag around the yard and woods, apparently Rigby thought it was a snack). I tried to give him ice cubes (which are his treats because of his food allergies).. he wouldn't take any. He wouldn't drink, he wouldn't really eat. I called the emergency vet, completely freaking out, and they told me to keep an eye on him, but not to try to feed him or give him any more water until his stomach had completely calmed down and to call back if things didn't improve. Funny thing, the place I called Monday night is the place that he had his surgery Thursday night, not at his regular vet.
I took him to the vet Tuesday morning. He was up, eating, drinking, and playing. He practically ran into the vet office (he has been there so much they are his friends :)). They suggested X-rays and some medicine to help calm his stomach but I declined because he seemed to be acting better. We figured he had thrown up everything that was causing him to be sick and he'd be fine in a day or two. We scheduled a follow-up appointment for Friday morning. Little did we know that this was just the beginning to, honestly, one of the longest weeks of my life.
He was more himself Tuesday than any other day, but still wasn't acting quite right. I attributed that to throwing up so much the night before and kind of let it go. Kept him inside the rest of the day, we had to monitor his poop to make sure it wasn't getting too soft so he couldn't go out in the back with Jude. By Tuesday night he was laying on his blanket and not moving. Wednesday, he did not get up at all, except to go poop. We had to get up throughout the night to let him out because his diarrhea had gotten so bad, he was constantly having to be let out. He was eating, but not as much because we had cut his food way back. Sometimes he would drink, other times we found ourselves forcing water down his throat with a medicine dropper.
By Thursday morning, David and I were both really struggling. Exhausted. Hadn't slept through a night without getting up, more than once since Sunday night. And constant care since Tuesday morning for him. Worried. Not really knowing what to do because of the costs of the x-rays and the potential of it being a waste of money with nothing being in there. I had the little boy I keep, Tripp, that day but luckily David was off. I took Rigby out to potty and saw basically, straight blood come out. That settled that. David took Tripp with him to run an errand and I took Rigby back to the vet. They of course suggested X-Rays, bloodwork, organ functioning tests (he had to be on steroids for about a month due to another issue, which is bad for his liver apparently), urinalysis, etc. David got there and we decided to go on with the plan of treatment they suggested. He had to stay at the vet all day getting pumped full of fluids- hoping that it would help push whatever was still in his stomach out. The X-Rays did show that was still a foreign object in there and we were trying to avoid surgery at this point. We left him there and went to get some lunch and to pick up Tripp's brother from school. When we went back to pick up Rigby I got a phone call as we were pulling in that his condition had worsened and that they suggested emergency surgery immediately.
Of course at this point, I am a mess. David and the vet are both trying to calm me down, and we are trying to decide what to do about Rigby. While we were there talking to the Dr about options, he actually threw up another piece of plastic. In my mind, well good, it's all cleared out he should be fine. But the Dr didn't think so and suggested taking him to the emergency care clinic. They brought him out to me and he was just so pitiful. He had drool hanging out of his mouth (yes, he's a bulldog but he doesn't ever have drool just hanging out of his mouth).. and there was a constant drip of blood out the other end.
We got him to the ER clinic and talked to the Dr there. He re-did the X-Rays and there was another piece of something in his belly, down near where it would move into the intestines, except it was way too big. He suggested more fluids to see if it would pass, though he wasn't hopeful because of the size and said he would wait a couple hours but that was it because his intestines were concerning to him. I guess normally the intestines have a smooth appearance along the outside, but Rigby's had a ruffled look to them. He was concerned about tissue damage if blood flow was getting cut off to those spots, which would cause an even bigger issue. After almost having a heart attack about the costs of the operation, we ok'ed it. I did feel better at this office. The Dr seemed very confident and had actually done the exact same surgery to his dog twice before.
His partial obstruction had become a full obstruction and they operated late Thursday night. I got a call about 1 o'clock Friday morning that he had come through the surgery and they had a removed a very large, hard plastic from his stomach. It would not have been able to pass through, or been thrown up because of the size, so we made the right choice. :) I went to visit him Friday morning in the hospital and he looked just pitiful but by Friday night when David and I went back to visit he was becoming more himself. He is on a special diet because of his allergies so that was a hassle in itself, they wanted to feed him wet food but his food is only available in dry. Thankfully, that issue got resolved with my freak out attitude, a few phone calls and his Dr at UGA. He did eat a little wet food which was a huge concern, but we didn't have any issues with it, THANK THE LORD! Friday night we were able to take him outside for fresh air and to stretch a little bit. He was trying to run around the parking lot, went and sat by my car and David's truck, he was ready to leave.. but had one more night of observation to go. We picked him up Saturday morning and brought him home.. for another lonnnnnnnnnnnnngggg 2 weeks.
He had to take 9 pills a day, wasn't allowed to be running or jumping, couldn't go outside with Jude and play, etc. Now this may seem like no big deal to some of you with dogs. But you try keeping a 65 pound, 7 month old, energetic (when he wants to be) puppy entertained inside your house for 2 straight weeks and you will change your mind.Oh, and remember the pills, that you can't put in any special "treat" for him to eat. He is so used to pills he knows what they are and spits them straight out of his mouth.  And of course it snowed and got icey everywhere during that time, so my special little puppy wants to run in it and slide on his stitched up belly all over the yard. GOOD TIMES.
Poor Jude lost a lot of toys throughout everything, stuff that he was fine with having in the backyard to play with, clearly Rigby wasn't so we had to trash some of his favorite things. I think he'd rather have Rigby out there with him though :)
I didn't know you could love animals as much as I love my boys. It was a very, very hard 3 weeks, and that feeling of helplessness when we didn't know what was wrong or how to fix it is one of the worst in the world. I know my puppies aren't actual babies, but right now they are MY babies :)
This post is much longer than most that I will post I am sure. If I already had a blog it would've been easier to have it broken down throughout the actual time it was all going on. But here's the story, the actually, believe it or not, condensed version.
2011 started off crazy, and not the greatest. BUT, I am thankful for David loving the boys too, and knowing how much I love them and being willing to do what we needed to do to help Rigby get better.


I better not get too far in my blogging without putting up my engagement story. I haven't written it out really, except in a few text messages, skimping on details, so here goes.

December 2, 2010 - David took off work early to come home and get me to go see Jason Michael Carroll. A little background on JMC and why we were going to see him in the first place: last year (either late 2009 or early 2010) we went to see him at Coyotes in Augusta, but were really going because I wanted to see Chris Young and we had free tickets. I knew a few JMC songs but just had a whatever attitude about him, he was good but not a fave or anything. HOWEVER, as SOON as I heard him start to sing that night, my whatever attitude changed. Instant favorite country singer, and one of my all time favorite voices. LOVED his voice, one those, can be twangy, but doesn't have to be.. soooooo deep, then not deep all in the same breath.. ahhhh. Anyways, so then I became a bigger fan. The place we saw him wasn't a big place, so it was real personable, though I didn't care to try and get up close at the time. I ended up putting him on my Ipod and listened quite often after that. So, that's the background on my love for JMC.

I noticed this past fall that he was going to be in Columbia early December and then in Atlanta late December. We knew that late December wasn't going to work with David's work schedule, so we kind of planned on the Columbia date. Then, I decided we shouldn't go, had other stuff going on, no big deal. David ended up saying he really wanted to go, tickets were super cheap because it was a restaurant (The Tin Roof, similiar to Wild Wings). So, we went. Of course I got grumpy about something before we left and said we just didn't have to go then. I don't remember what it was, but I swear, stuff like that always happens in engagement stories :) We got there in plenty of time to eat and sit and chat. The place started filling up around the time we were done eating and the opener was on the stage. We went ahead up so that we didn't get stuck in the back of the place when Jason Michael Carroll actually came out. When he was finished the place cleared out for people to go get more drinks and to go out to smoke.. so we scooted right on up to front and center. There was actually a row of people in front of us, sometimes two deep, mostly not though. I could have reached out and touched him, so we were close enough for me. He came out and socialized for a few and then started singing. It was a really chill acoustic show, but still peppy and a lot of fun. He is a really good crowd pleaser- makes sure to make eye-contact, smile at you.. you know, the stuff that girls love :) I guess David was waiting all night for him to sing "Livin' Our Love Song", I had no idea. Hahaha. So anyways, the very last song that he sang that night, was the song David was waiting for. He started it and I was getting my camera out to record some of it and I felt David moving around behind me. Then I saw him talking to some, kind of intoxicated girls beside him, so I turned around to give attitude about him bumping into me and figured he was telling them to move..which he was, because as soon as I turned around he got down on one knee and grabbed my hands. Everything gets kind of fuzzy for me there. The girls, and then everyone else around me were shrieking and screaming with excitement and I was just standing there with my mouth open I think. I do remember that when he went to go down on one knee, I was like "nooo, don't do that!". I'm more of the have everything planned out type, and I was just too shocked. Anyways. He said some stuff, slid the ring on my finger and picked me up over the crowd. I just stood there, completely oblivious to JMC singing and everyone freaking out around us. After he finished the song, one of the guitar players told him that David just proposed so from the stage he announced it, asked what I said, congratulated us, etc.. and everyone went crazy with high fives, applauses and congratulations.

That was the last song that he sang and he hung around afterwards. We met him and talked with him for a minute, got our picture made and another congratulations. :)
I stayed pretty quiet on the way home, David was worried I was trying to think of a way to give the ring back. BUT, don't worry, I still have it! I had no idea he was planning the engagement, which is surprising. I usually try to figure things out and be fully aware of what's going on. He got me :)