Tuesday, August 1, 2017

{Review} Nichole Nordeman: Every Mile Mattered


Nichole Nordeman is a contemporary Christian artist who began her career in the late 1990s. She quickly released four records between 1990 and 2005. At that point she took a 10-year hiatus in order to stay home and focus on her family. In 2015 she released her first album in ten years called The Unmaking. And now she has a new album out called Every Mile Mattered

I've enjoyed Nichole's music now for quite a few years. One of my old favorites is Holy. However, she has me with quite a few of her new offerings. I have linked to one below called You're Here. She has a way of crafting words that speak directly to the listener. She authored or co-authored all but one song on the new album. 

She not only writes songs, but she will be releasing a new book called Slow DownShe has a song on the album of a similar name and thoughts. It's written to moms everywhere as a reminder to slow down and enjoy all the wonderful everyday moments with your children. 

As the mom of three boys now ages 13, 16, and almost 21, I love that reminder. I wish I had cherished more of the moments with my boys when they were smaller before it was too late. It seems like yesterday that they were all small and running everywhere. Being a young, tired mom is tough! I remember it well. This is a good reminder to all the young moms out there. I'm sure you are tired of hearing from us, ahem, more seasoned moms to enjoy every moment because it will go by fast. It's true though.

You're here
You're here
The only invitation that you need, is the very air I breathe
You're here
Your're here
I will never be alone
You will be always be my home
'Cause You're here

The album can be purchased either at Amazon, Spotify, or iTunes

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Date Night in Franklin, TN

Downtown Franklin at night

The conference took up not only a lot of Bob's days, but it would include some early mornings (breakfast) and evenings. We took advantage of the time to have some date nights while we were there. Of course, the entire week was a date for us! 

I didn't do a lot on this day. I headed back into Franklin and wondered a tiny bit. I did find a rather large mall. About 10 steps through the door, I was stopped by a very good saleswoman at a kiosk. She tried hard to sell me on some skin care products from Israel. I was able to finally extract myself and just enjoyed walking around and window shopping. I didn't plan to buy a lot on this trip because we had to get it home somehow. Our checked bag had been slightly overweight when we came down so we needed to keep that in mind.


We went out to dinner at Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant in downtown Franklin. Great southern food. And since this is Tennessee and we were close to Nashville, they have live music often at night. We enjoyed listening to Camille Rae during our dinner. She was amazing. As in as good as anything I've ever heard on the radio. 


Low light meant Bob needed a little help to read the menu. 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Downtown Franklin

The circle on the edge of downtown. 

Franklin is a suburb of Nashville. In fact, I realized while planning for this trip that oftentimes people will say Nashville but really mean a suburb of it. We were told the conference was being held in Nashville. It was actually in Franklin. 

The city of Franklin is large, well, compared to where I live in Maine. Franklin has a population between sixty and seventy thousand people. My town? It has between four and five thousand. However, Franklin has done well in preserving its downtown area. I headed there on Monday morning to wander around. 



These trees were fascinating. 
Finally figured out they are magnolia's about halfway through the week. 

Loved the name of the store. I refrained from going in though. 
I love paper goods and knew it would be too much temptation. 

There were historical markers and quaint shops. I wandered in and out and just took in the wonderful spring-like day. After I grabbed some lunch at Chick-Fil-A, I headed out to do some more exploring. We do not have many Chick-Fil-A's in the Northeast. In fact, there is only one in Maine and it's located 2-1/2 hours north of where I live. I am not going to share how often I ate there during the week. It was a lot!

Nearby there is an old factory that has been converted into shopping. The Factory at Franklin. 


Inside the entrance to The Factory.

It was full of neat little shops including a bakery and this guitar store. It was actually closed but I loved the sign on the door!


I spent quite a bit of time wandering a large antique store located there. I always enjoy a good antique shop. I rarely buy anything but the history of the items is enjoyable. 

Ending the day, I did something I have never done before...I went to the movies...alone. I have to say, it was fantastic. I say Hidden Figures and it was absolutely phenomenal. If you haven't seen it, do it! 

While I enjoyed all that Franklin had to offer, my hubby was stuck inside at the conference all day. I'm not sure he minded all that much...

And yes, that is the actual studio and Dave's chair he's sitting in.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Start of a Historical Week


When we were planning for our trip to Tennessee, we had a couple choices as to when to get there. My hubby's conference started with a welcome at the hotel we would be staying in on Sunday night. Most people fly in that day and hit the ground running. Being the not morning person I am, I petitioned to head out on Saturday instead. That would allow us unrushed travel and allow Bob to get some rest before the start of a busy week for him. Thankfully he agreed. I wasn't looking forward to heading to the airport at o'dark thirty Sunday morning. 

This also allowed us to attend church in the "buckle of the Bible belt." We did a little research and opted to try Brentwood Baptist. It's located in a suburb of Nashville, aptly called Brentwood, and it was located between where we were staying in Franklin and Nashville. It was also what one would call a "mega-church." 

This was their main campus, but they also had five other campuses in nearby areas plus other ministries. They have over six thousand people attend each week. It was amazing to see such a large church. There were about a thousand people in the service we attended. They have four services on Sunday morning. 


We opted to attend the "traditional" service which had a full orchestra playing. They also had a full choir (those chairs behind the orchestra were almost full when they came in) and it was all led by two men and two women leading the songs. It was beautiful, powerful, and overwhelming. The minister was also spot on in his teaching. It was a fantastic way to start our week. 

After church we decided to play tourist. This would be one of the only days Bob would have time to explore Tennessee. Most of his time would be spent doing this...

That's Dave Ramsey up there talking...

After listing out the options, we decided to go check out Andrew Jackson's home - The Hermitage.


The weather was absolutely gorgeous while we were there. It was like a late April - early May day here in Maine. Short sleeves and jeans were quite comfortable. Flowers were beginning to bloom. After all the snow and cold we had left behind, it was balm to our souls.





We waited in line for about an hour to get a tour of inside the house. I always find old homes interesting although I wasn't thrilled with the waiting. 

As part of the admission price, you are given a recording wand that had a wealth of information about the area making it a wonderful self-guided tour. I did use the time I was in line to learn more about the Jackson's and their plantation. 

Unfortunately, like most historical buildings, we couldn't take any photos inside the house itself. Trust me, it was worth the wait...maybe. 



Jackson and his wife, Rachel, are buried here.

The original Hermitage. Quite a bit different isn't it?

Bob and I had a fantastic time exploring the grounds and the out buildings and such. It was a wonderful way to start off our week.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Traveling on a Jet Plane

In February my hubby and I had the opportunity to go to Tennessee for a week. He would be attending a Dave Ramsey Entreleadership conference for business owners. I was tagging along for the ride. 

We haven't been on a plane since 1999. In that year I flew three times. I had never been on a plane before that and I haven't been on one since. We typically drive everywhere. Needless to say a few things have changed since I first rode a plane. Namely 9/11 which has beefed up security and my need for an insulin pump.
I also had no idea what to pack, how much to pack, what I would need or not need. In other words, we both over-packed by a lot especially since I ended up doing laundry one day while we were gone. It was an adventure that was for sure!

Not only do a wear an insulin pump but I also wear a continuous glucose monitor now. Essentially it will measure my glucose level every five minutes and communicate with my pump. It doesn't negate the need to still stick my finger, but it helps me keep tabs on where my levels are going - up or down. This is essential when traveling because one gets busy and forgets to test or doesn't realize levels are trending up or down. 

All the research I did before I left (and yes, I did a lot) didn't really tell me if I could go through security wearing them. I would find one place that said yes and one that said well, it may be okay but it's up to you. Ack!

We flew out of Portland (Maine that is) and when we arrived for our flight we were pretty much the only people there. There was no line at all for the TSA check. (God's provision #1). I also happened to be TSA Pre-Check (God's provision #2). And there were some amazingly helpful agents who helped allay my fears about the body scanner damaging my (extremely expensive) equipment. (God's provision #3). I skipped the x-ray and did the body scanner. I had to have my hands swabbed for explosive residue after going through to ensure my equipment was legit. I'm thankful my first experience flying in over 20 years was so relatively easy!

We had just had two massive snow storms before we left. It's the most snow we've had in a couple of winters. I took this photo just to show the size of the snowbank (it was taller than me - close to six feet tall). I was looking forward to heading south!

We had a layover each way in New York. 

Our flight from Portland to New York was short - less than an hour. The flight attendants literally had about enough time to serve everyone before we were landing. We flew under the clouds as well. I had the window seat and spent most of the time snapping photos of the land.  

                                         
                                         Ski area
                                                                                      Topography in real life


Our flight from New York to Nashville was above the clouds and about two hours total. We both spent the time reading and relaxing, well as much as you can when you are sitting in the back of the plane near the engine. Overall it wasn't a bad flight. 

Tomorrow I'll share about our adventures, day by day. We packed a lot into our week there. Well, hubby spent most of the time learning. I was able to play tourist and loved every minute of it.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Traveling


This year I have found myself traveling to new places. I've flown on a plane (which I hadn't done since 1999). I took a long road trip with my family to areas of the country we had never seen before. And I included a yearly visit to my aunt and uncle at the ocean. And it's only July. And I haven't shared about any of it. And I'm home this long holiday weekend with lots of free time. Fair warning. Lots of photos, posts, and information heading your way. I can't wait to share about our adventures!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

{Review + Giveaway} Out of the Dark by Mandisa


I was recently given the opportunity to review Mandisa's newest album, Out of the Dark. Many may remember her previous hits such as "Overcomer" and "Stronger." She wrote the song "Overcomer" for her friend Lakisha who was in the midst of battling breast cancer. Sadly, Kisha lost her battle. This event sent Mandisa into a tailspin that sent her into a deep depression that lasted for close to three years. 

She shut out her friends and family. Her friends never gave up on her even when she ignored phone calls and visits. 

In "Out of the Dark," Mandisa shares her story of when she was in her depression as well as how she eventually came out of it with help from her friends, but more importantly, God. 

I have the "deluxe edition" album which has a whopping 18 tracks on it. There are a few, however, that aren't actually songs. In fact, track one shares some of the voice mails that Mandisa's friends left for her during her time of depression. 

There are a lot of featured artists on this album as well including TobyMac, Kirk Franklin, Britt Nicole, and Jeremy Camp. 

One of the things I have always loved about Mandisa is her transparency. She shares her heart in this album and it's amazing to see. She holds nothing back about where she was (in a pit of deep despair that almost took her life) and where she is now (a daughter of the one true King). 

One of my favorite songs is track 2, "I'm Still Here." And for anyone who has heard the song "Dear John" should really enjoy track 9 on the new album. 



~Giveaway Information~

Please comment on one thing you like to do to relax. Leave your comment either here on The Berry Patch blog or as a Facebook comment where you see this review. One random winner will be chosen on May 31, 2017. 



Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.