Meet Shelby + Amber!

This dynamic duo will surprise you!

While most older dogs (small ones especially) seem to get a bad rep – you know, being cranky and all – these two are simply too chill for that. I mean, except for the occasional bird daring to invade their yard, these two are quiet and wonderful companions. They keep their barking to a minimal and the snuggles they give? You. cannot. imagine.

“– and we are ready, willing, and more than able to binge with you on that latest Netflix series (especially if you have bones for snacking on and a blanket for us to burrow in). We also happen to believe that two is better than one, and since you have two hands, well… this whole petting thing is gonna work out just fine.”

– Agape Animal Rescue

So let’s meet our furry little companions, shall we?


The Shelbinator. No really, it’s just Shelby

Well, hey there!

I’m Shelby! I’m super sweet. I’m the little sister that is easy going and certainly not shy like my big sister. I love my cuddles with Amber but I also love binge watching Netflix with my human. Preferably with my sister on the other side of your lap of course. I just like to know she’s there.

I think my face says it all in this picture, actually. I’m just waiting to show someone how much fun I am and that I’m such a happy girl. I’d love to live out my days with my best sister and my best human. Would you like that, too?

Oh hey! Here’s my sister!


Hi. I’m Amber.

Hello. How are you?

Hi there. My name is Amber like my sister Shelby told you. She’s a fun one, that girl. I am too but I’m a bit more shy than her. I think we make a great duo, you know? A yin and yang thing. I’m a little bit older than Shelby, a good 3 years if I’m not mistaken. (I don’t always get these human years of yours)

Now, a little surprise about me. I’m shy and all that, but just watch me when I get really happy. My Agape humans tell me that I burst with playfulness (especially with my favorite toys) and that it’s the funniest thing you’ll see! So I guess I’ll take their word for it! You’ll just have to come see it for yourself.

Well, thanks for meeting us! We hope you get the chance to talk to our Agape humans to see about taking us home. We love you already!


Aren’t these two adorable?!

For a little more info on the pups, visit them HERE.

If you’d like to fill out the adoption form, click HERE

Need more info? email them here: adopt@agaperescue.org


Thank you, Lovelies ❤

Revamp!

Very excited for the revamp of The Nashville Wife! Still working on it but if you have any tips, certainly comment below with ideas! I’m looking for a new picture for my main page and my about page so if you have ideas on what kind of pictures they should be, holla!

Also working on a few blogs coming out!

– finishing my blog on budgeting

– a blog on Meal Planning

– a completed blog on shopping with a #brokenbaby

– and a couple more saved in drafts as well 😊

Stay tuned and shout out your thoughts!

For Me, The Bedroom. For You?

I don’t know about you but as a blogger, I really need a place that is my happy place. A place where dimensions fade and reality warps. A place where there are no interruptions and I can travel to anywhere I need to be.

I need a place of warmth and sunshine. Bright colors that invite you to stay a while. Clean air and soothing sounds.

For me? Believe it or not, this is my bedroom. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but I made it to be the most wonderful place in my house. It’s just the right amount of sun, the right amount of warmth and the colors… oh, man. I wish I could rent it out for others to enjoy…

(haha – as if I would SHARE!! ♥ ) Continue reading For Me, The Bedroom. For You?

…The Nashville Mom (part VI): The Finale

Photo Credit: Travel & Leisure

Well, here we are for the last time!

Welcome back!

To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about. And now it is coming to an end. 😦

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.

In case you have missed any, we started back on May 14th, 2018 with The Nashville Mom series. Here are all the blogs leading up to this one:

(1) – The Nashville Life through the eyes of The Nashville Wife

(2) – When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (Part I)

(3) – …The Nashville Mom (part II): a blog for Brave Women with Adult Issues

(4) – …The Nashville Mom (Part III): Dreams & Goals (embrace, prepare)

(5) – …The Nashville Mom (part IV): Advice for SAHMs in a New City

(6) – …The Nashville Mom (part V): Becoming a stronger version of yourself through community and connections with others.


Quick Recap

We ended last week with Part V, talking about making connections and nurturing those connections; loving ourselves and in turn loving others. We talked about how to not feel isolated and alone…

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I have been in Nashville now for 4 years this September. I still feel isolated and alone at times, especially being a SAHM. I have often wondered if this feeling will ever go away considering my personality type (aka I love to work and get out!) and I’m honestly not sure if it will.

I learned a while ago now that I had a decision to make: what made me happier? Staying at home with my son and no longer working or working (part-time or full-time) and seeing him half the time? There were obviously pros and cons and I decided to be a full-time SAHM. I chose the isolation. I chose to make that isolation as small as possible and, it seems, so have the rest of these women!

*side note: I am not saying anything regarding whether or not deciding to choose isolation verses working is right or wrong. There IS no right or wrong. Everyone has to decide for themselves and for their family what is best. 🙂 

So how does one that chooses this way of life in Nashville (or ANY city really) go about making the isolation smaller?

Let’s see what these other Nashville Moms have to say about this. Let’s finish out the last of this series by creating a community and helping each other to grow out of our loneliness.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #6

 “What did you do to make Nashville feel like home?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“I loved Nashville from the beginning, so that wasn’t hard.  I don’t know that I did anything super specific, other than just get out and enjoy the city- Cheekwood, the zoo, The Frist, whatever.  Nashville has SO much to offer!

Bonus: One other thing, although you didn’t ask- get financial ducks in a row.  Starting out a music career isn’t as financially stable as a lot of other jobs, and sometimes requires some financial investment.  The last thing you need in a new town with a brand new career is money fights.  Get your debt under control, have some savings in the bank, and talk OFTEN about your money, where it’s coming from, and where it’s going.”

– Martyne Palmer

“Still in the process. We are currently renting a hotel room until we find jobs and housing.”

– Heather Abbott Burback

“I’m not sure it’ll ever be “home” but it’s a good place for now. It’s inexpensive, quality of life is better because we have more disposable income. It’s cheaper here to pursue our dreams and save then move somewhere we really love then struggle somewhere else financially and never be fulfilled.”

– Allison Klein

“Again. Friends. They are my family now.”

My follow up question: Did you guys explore the city together? Find new places to hang out with each other? It’s so much easier with someone else, isn’t it? lol

“We have done quite a bit of exploring. We mostly go where other people recommend. We actually ended up moving to Mount Juliet because my husband tours with Charlie Daniels often. He’s pretty much the only person we knew before moving here so that’s why we chose this particular town. Charlie lives here, too. We love it here so much. We never imagined that Nashville would be where we settle down. But even if something happened and Scott stopped playing music for some reason, I’m pretty sure we would stay..”

– Vicki Mason Brown

“The primary thing that has helped me to not feel alone or isolated is joining the Nashville Moms Facebook Group.  I have found one SAHM that lives in my area so we can schedule play dates. I would love more SAHM friends but with working and watching my little guy I am pretty complete having the one friend to call on days that we are home alone all day.  We go to the Cornerstone indoor playground about once a week and occasionally on the weekends we find other activities.

I absolutely love Nashville! My husband is much happier here and is finally finding the musician connections he has always wanted.  We feel like people in Nashville are much more understanding of the musician lifestyle and that it is treated more like a career and less like a hobby.  Since my husband is much happier and I have found my own small place here we are truly happy.  We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. 

In conclusion, it is definitely hard to get settled but its totally worth it.  You have the same issues in any city with making friends and adjusting to being a couple with a child but if the ultimate goal is music you can find your place and make your own happiness!”

– Jamie Angsten 

 


 

 

Copy of ...people in Nashville are much more understanding of the musician lifestyle that it is treated more like a career less like a hobby.To those that are married or in a relationship, I feel like when either of you are getting to do something you love and like Jamie said, it’s taken seriously, that in and of itself creates community. Because there are so many others doing the same thing and wanting to always be around others who share their passion. You can actually find that connection, that lack of isolation, in the passion of your significant other. Basically what I’m trying to say is it doesn’t have to be in your circle that you find your isolation getting smaller. You can unite with those in someone else’s circle to find that connection, too.

Even better? You can find life and friendship and communion in BOTH circles.

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To the ladies who helped me with this blog, it has been an HONOR sharing your thoughts. This has been a fantastic project for me and I really hope it’s reached others as well.

Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!

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Photo Credit: Working Mother

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I am in counseling and I am Okay. I am Okay and I am in counseling. There’s no right or wrong in that.

Okay. To jump RIGHT IN…

I have been going to counseling for quite a while now. I had an 8 month break (mostly due to Eric touring) and have recently gone back again. I won’t sugar coat it – it’s hard but it’s so incredibly rewarding, refreshing & it’s a game changer. I’m going to write a future blog post about why I’m going but today? I just wanted to touch on my session… So here goes…

Yesterday I paid someone to make me cry and here is what i learned:

(1) I am okay. Just me. The way I am.

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Please note: this is not me saying you are HEALTHY just the way you are. But YOU…just you (your personality, your quirks… what makes you “you”)

…You are OKAY! You are not a bad, terrible person.

It is important for us to strive to be the healthiest version of “you” that you can be

(I think if I type “you” one more time, my computer might blow up.)

I would not recommend thinking along the lines of “well, i’m okay. Just me the way I am, like you said” and leave it at that. Like I said, You ARE okay but its not good for anyone to stay where they’re at, especially if you’re not emotionally healthy. With that, however, you don’t want to obsess about constantly being a “better version” of yourself because that can lead to thinking the current you isn’t enough. *sigh* It can get out of hand very quickly. Did that even make sense? Well anyways…

(2) I am my own person. I am not a replica of anyone.

To look this good.

Those of us that are easily swayed, we can turn into other people without ever realizing it. Losing our true self and being none-the-wiser. You are your own person. You have your own personality. You can be like others, parts of your parents and your siblings and relatives…similar to friends… but you are YOU.

If you are a “mini-me” of someone else, that is absolutely fine! Embrace that! But don’t forget that you are not them. You are still you and nothing someone has done or will do can determine who you really are. They certainly cannot determine what you can or cannot do, either.

What am I saying here? If you are just like someone else… this could be a friend or relative… and you see traits in them that you see in yourself that you don’t like.. then remember that you are not a mold. You are not confined to the way that person behaves. You…are….you. Make something of that. Be different. Be healthier. 

(3) I have to stand up for the way I feel.

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Basically, don’t be a people-pleaser (no matter who you’re trying to please).

Feel your feelings and express them.

Caution:

 

You still have to think everything through. This is definitely me not “giving permission” to react and say “well she told me to express my feelings as I felt them.” Well yes, sure… but try not to react on impulse. 🙂 Trust me.. this is the pot calling the kettle black – believe you me!!!

It’s hard, but try not to lash out emotionally and then say “well you said to feel and express as they are. To not judge them and accept what you feel.” You are correct. Accept your feelings as they are… that you feel “that way” and its okay that you do. However, mull it over before reacting. Think of all the various sides. Think of other perspectives and be sure that what you feel is something that you want to share. And then if and when you’re ready to share? Be confident. THIS is you, the healthy side of you. This is how you feel and no one should judge you for that. No one should make you feel small or like you’re a bother to them because you feel that way. Speak up for yourself but with love and grace to others.

(4) I am allowed to be proud of myself.

Untitled Design 7.pngI am someone who naturally likes who I am and is proud of what I have accomplished in all aspects of life. However I am also very practical. I think in black and white with intense logical conclusions. Sometimes if I learn something and apply it, I think “well, thats just the way it is. You learn something and then you apply it.” But sometimes what I don’t see is how fast I apply it or that maybe its a very hard challenge that most people aren’t successful with. So I should be PROUD. So I am learning to affirm that in myself.

My husband – Eric Barfield – gave me a great example. It’s like how baseball players practice all their life, constantly training. So when they hit a homerun, it’s no surprise that they shrug it off like it’s no big deal, meanwhile we’re in the stands acting like we’re about to go to war, charging into battle like an amazon warrior.

So with that said, I want to say to myself…

Sarah, I am proud that you were able to overcome this life-altering….game changing challenge

(*insert evil grinning emoji* – are you dying to know what that is?!?! I’ll go into it more in another blog… stay tuned!)

(5) I am not a bad person

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Sometimes the way we think of ourselves, the way others make us feel or the doubts we have in our abilities make us feel like we are not good people. Like we’re flawed (and we are) but that it’s all our fault and because we can’t be perfect 24/7… we are bad.

If you’re like me (an 8 on the Enneagram… again, something I’ll go into later) you feel like you can control ANYTHING (Hitler was an 8 lol). When you can’t “buck up” and fix yourself, its very, very hard. You feel like a failure and a bad person.

But. You. Are. Not….

 

So let me just say this: counseling is hard. You face some extremely tough emotions. But it’s far harder to live in a world where you don’t know yourself. You don’t know why you feel the way you do, you don’t know why you can’t change and you don’t know why you’re hurting. Sometimes? You don’t even KNOW you’re hurting. That is just not the way to live this life. If you can afford it, I cannot recommend counseling enough.

You are not weak if you go. You are not pathetic. You are not stupid. You are not worthless…

PS: if you try it and you don’t like it, consider trying another counselor before you give up. Not every counselor fits you! You have to try and find someone who works with you and your personality – someone who GETS you. Don’t quit…

Last & Final (very important) note:

I do not judge you if you do or do not go to counseling.
Do I think it’s wonderful? YES.
Do I think it can make you a healthier version of yourself? YES.
But I know that it can get very expensive (most will help you out and let you pay based on your income). I know that it’s very hard to get to a place where you’re willing to face your demons.

You are loved. You are cared about. With me, you are SAFE.

Have a good day, lovelies.

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? – Rumi

…The Nashville Mom (part V): Becoming a stronger version of yourself through community and connections with others.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

Welcome back! To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about.

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.


Quick Recap

We ended last week with Part IV, talking about making it happen while giving yourself some grace.

Do your bestI struggle with this one, personally. I have a lot of battles in my head (I promise I’m not crazy.) I see other moms making friends, being outgoing, seemingly living the highlife of being a Nashville Mom. Living the dream.

However, (a) what you see on FB or Instagram is not always what it seems and (b) it doesn’t matter. I just need to do my best and give myself some serious grace. What matters is that my husband is happy, living his dream in this beautiful city. What matters is that my 2-year-old is happy, knowing he’s loved by his family and friends. And for me? I matter. I need to do what makes me happy, too. I need to do what needs to be done, what works for ME, to not feel alone or isolated here… as a musician’s wife… as a  Nashville Mom.

With that said, let’s see what these other Nashville Moms have to say about this.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #5

 “What did you do to not feel so alone and isolated?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“I found girlfriends with no kids that could come hang out at my house.  When the hubby is gone for long stretches and I’m “stuck” at home with the kids, I make the after bedtime hours as fun as I can- game nights, movie nights, whatever.  Bring the party to me!”
– Martyne Palmer

“I still feel that way sometimes but I’m hoping that since we are in a new city we will start to meet new people and find our groove. “
– Heather Abbott Burback

“Made friends, joined Facebook groups, networked, put myself out there, found a job that could get me new friends. I didn’t isolate, I put my son in a great in-home daycare. He is thriving…enrolled him at Waldorf. Just doing as much as I can to make sure [everyone] is getting what they need (including me!)”
– Allison Klein

“I decided I was going to be all-in on making friendships.”

My follow up question: Was this hard for you to do? I’m basically an introvert. Once I meet someone, I am suddenly this extrovert. It’s the getting out of the house, taking that first step that’s hard for me. Did this come naturally for you?

“This really does come naturally for me. I do have some anxiety when it comes to social settings, but like you, once I get there, I’m fine. Of course as women, we tend to worry about what other people think of us not only as women, but also as mothers and wives. But if you find the right people that just love you for who you are, those worries tend to disappear.”
– Vicki Mason Brown

 

“The primary thing that has helped me to not feel alone or isolated is joining the Nashville Moms Facebook Group.”
– Jamie Angsten

(This is a snippet of a larger summary she wrote that I will post in the last of the series.) 

 


I feel like no matter if you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, we all need friends. We all need community.

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As an introvert, I can tell you first hand it’s hard. But with practice, the more you do it, the more comfortable it is to do. It’s so very scary at first to join groups, go meet new people, but when you do? You find that connecting with others that share your story tends to cause our hearts to bloom and our souls to flourish. We grow & become stronger versions of ourselves.

So as hard as it is, go out there! Whether you’re a Nashville Mom or someone that moved to Nashville (or hey – ANY new city!!) for whatever purpose… try and branch out. Start a blog and meet new bloggers! Join a FB group. Find something in your niche and see what happens. Just don’t isolate. Don’t live your life without community. You are wonderful and others should see that… 🙂

I’ll leave you with this…

 

When we love ourselves, we tend to love others.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

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For my Mom on this Mother’s Day.

It is no secret that my mom and I haven’t always had the easiest relationship. Our personalities are so intense, so similar but with just enough differences that made for some challenges over the years. I always loved her, always admired her but we certainly had our share of fights. You might say, “well that’s typical of a mother/daughter relationship.” No, not us. Ours was a little beyond that. 

There is a point to why I’m bringing this up on Mother’s Day. You see, she and I are very close now. We text each other almost daily and multiple times a day at that. She comes from Missouri to visit quite ofter and we love having her here. I couldn’t imagine my life without her and it has been a lifelong journey getting us to this point. 

But we are here. And we are better. 

My mom is a bold woman. She is a confident, hard working, an intense person. She loves so deeply that your pain becomes hers. She never forgets you, never puts you last, never stops looking out for the needs of others.

She endlessly searches for the best parts of herself, never allowing for the worst to shine.

She’ll fight your battles if you need her to. She’ll be your warrior, she’ll be your friend.

She allows her heart to be breakable but her soul is fierce. 

She is the woman who pushes me, trailblazing the path of the person I want to become

She made herself to become the person I admire. 

She endures, ever hoping, always searching, never quitting. 

She is amazing and she is my mom. And I love her.

Happy Mother’s Day.