You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2008.

What a title, eh?  It’s almost too much goodness compressed into a single line.  So, because we are so stoked about all that is happening, let me start at the end and work my way back through our activities to last weekend, instead of going the other way around.

Wes and Laura Blaylock of Deas Vail.

So, here’s the big stuff.  Monday night was the back to school bash at Trevecca Nazarene University here in Nashville.  And a man by the name of Jon Foreman, as well as a new band called Deas Veil, played.  I’d found the concert randomly a couple weeks ago, and passed the link on to Jeff, feeling pretty sure that he’d want to go.  As soon as tickets went on sale, he snatched up four.  He invited our friend Joe from CTI who just moved down here and lives across the grass and parking lot from us (literally), and we took a good friend from church, Vince.

About a week ago, I was in the living room reading or something, and Jeff was in the other room on his computer.  Out of nowhere, he screamed my name as loud as possible with as much emotion as anyone could muster.  I thought he’d cut his hand off or something.  How you can do that while being on the computer, I had no idea.  But when your name is screamed like mine was, millions of thoughts run through your head and you try to prepare yourself for the worst.

But when I walked in, Jeff’s eyes were huge and he was frantically beckoning me to the computer. Opened, on his screen, was an email from a Trevecca rep saying that we had won the opportunity to attend the meet and greet with Jon Foreman and Deas Veil!  So, Monday night we went to the concert and to the meet and greet.  We ended up talking the most to Andy, Deas Vail’s guitar player.  What a great guy.  And to add to his greatness, he filled us in on an exciting event coming soon…

HOUSE OF HEROES IS HAVING THEIR CD RELEASE PARTY IN NASHVILLE ON SEPT 17TH! Ah!  And what’s icing on the cake is that Deas Vail is going to be there too!

House of Heroes with Flat Stanley!

Man, Jeff and I LOVE House of Heroes.  We were introduced to them our senior year of college at a little festival called Agape Fest, a Christian music festival put on by Greenville College.  Being from Illinois, we’ve been freqeunters of Agape.  House of Heroes was this band we knew nothing about but fell in love with as soon as we heard them play.  At the time, there were just three guys standing on the stage and all kinds of awesome music coming out of the speakers.  After that, they seemed to kind of fall of the face of the earth for a little bit.  Even when I made a return visit to Agape (without Jeff) the year after college, they were on the line up, but we were told they backed out.  What a sad day it was for me… until I was standing there in the dusk, waiting for a band to come on stage, when I recognized House of Heroes standing there!  Sa-weet.  Even though they didn’t have any new music, I was just glad to hear them again.  Jeff nor I made it to Agape the year after that (2007), but we did make it back this year (which is when we first heard of Deas Veil).  And guess who was there!   Flat Stanley even got to meet them this time (see who else Flat Stanley met at Agape 2008 and GMA Week)!  And they proceeded to tell us that they did have an album coming out this fall (finally!) but just didn’t know when.  So happy day, and added bonus, at the meet and greet on Monday when Andy told us the album was coming out in like two weeks!

Anyway, so on to the concert.  Deas Vail is SOOOO amazing live.  Their music is so great.  Their first album, All the Houses Look the Same, is somewhat piano rock (which I love, being a pianist myself) and is just so full.  It’s one of those albums that you question, just a little bit, if the songs can be pulled off as good live.  Have no fear, because Deas Vail sure can.  Personally, I think they sounded better live, if that’s even possible.

Jon Foreman

And of course, there was Jon Foreman.   Enough said.  He did a couple Switchfoot songs (Dare You to Move and Only Hope among them), but his set was almost entirely comprised of his EP stuff.  It was him, his cellist Keith, and a percussionist Aaron (I can’t remember his last name!).  This percussionist, wow.  This guy produced so much sound with just his bare hands, a couple drums and brushes!  All I can say is they should bottle up the show and sell it for the big bucks.  It’d totally be worth it.  Even Jon’s country songs (and I despise country) are very amusing and totally worth listening to over and over. 



Anyway, as for other things that have happened (not like you really care at this point), Jeff planned a wonderful surprise date night for us Friday night in which we had appetizers at Centennial Park (a must-see if you are ever in Nashville), “dinner” at Cabanas (fyi:  the lobster mac & cheese is not a meal in and of itself, even if it is $10.99), and then yummy chocolate dessert and flowers and FuFu Berry Jones soda(one of my favorites!) were waiting for us when we got home.  And Saturday we spent some time at Provident’s company picnic at the Nashville Sounds game, where Brandon Heath played a show beforehand.  Sunday we had our first church service in the new building, Centennial High School, and it was different but will be a great change!  In all, it was just a great, relaxing weekend in which the two of us got to spend lots of time together and just chill.  Which is wonderful considering we’ve been gone so much and been so stinking busy.

How cool it is to live in Nashville…

Other perspectives on meeting Jon Foreman:
Jeff part one and two
Joe before and after

Atop the Westin Hotel in Atlanta, GA, in the Sun Dial Restaurant.

Atop the Westin Hotel in the Sun Dial Restaurant.

I work for Adventures In Missions (AIM), a short-term missions organization.  AIM is based in Gainesville, Georgia.  For the past two years, I’ve visited the ministry’s international base on and off at least every other month for training camps, meetings, and random visits.  In all of this time, Ashley has never been down on a visit with me to Georgia.

This past weekend, that all changed.

After spending the previous week at AIM for a World Race training camp, I returned to my bride awaiting me in Nashville and spent the next week back at home.  After work on Thursday, we packed up the car, grabbed some snacks for the road, and headed back down to Georgia for a weekend of fun, relaxation, and creating new memories.

We stayed with our good friends the Goodes (notice the play on words).  Jerry, Heather, Anna, and Sophie all came to our wedding in January, and I’ve grown pretty close to the family in the past year or so, so it only seemed natural to spend most of our weekend in their company.  Plus, they did provide us a free place to stay for our honeymoon AND… they have a boat 🙂 (Ashley’s addition there! 🙂 ).

You get a free bottle of Coke at the end of your tour!

You get a free bottle of Coke at the end of your tour!

We woke up early the next morning to a day full of introducing Ashley to all things AIM and doing some serious Atlanta sight-seeing.  We spent our morning going to the Biscuit Shoppe (a Gainesville exclusive), checked out the renovations being made at the AIM office, and introduced Ashley to a ton of people she had never before met.

In the afternoon, we made it to downtown Atlanta in record timing to eat lunch atop the Westin Hotel in a local eatery called the Sun Dial Restaurant.  As we ate our meals, the whole restaurant slowly spun in a circle so that we could see the whole city.  After lunch, we made our way over to the World of Coca-Cola, where we got to learn all about the origin of the famous soda.  They even gave us the “behind the scenes” look at how a vending machine works.  My favorite part was tasting the 64 different flavors of Coca-Cola products from all around the world.  Try the “Beverly”!


We spent Friday evening hanging out with our friends Jerry and Heather over a delicious pizza dinner.

A bitter-tasting cola that they drink in Italy.

A bitter-tasting cola that they drink in Italy. Not sure why they do though...

Saturday morning, we slept in, wiped the “sleep” out of our eyes, and helped Jerry get his motorboat ready before the rest of the family woke up.

After lunch, we went out on the boat, where I got to show my sweet skills on the tube.  This included tubing with no hands, riding on my knees and standing up, but not successfully getting onto the tube the first try… or the second.  Ashley and I even did a ride around the lake together.

Around 4:30, we rushed back to the house, showered, and changed in time for the dinner guests to arrive.  More friends showed up:  my boss Seth Barnes and his wife Karen and daughter Leah, their three friends from Peru, AIM’s IT Director Mike Price and his wife Amy, along with ourselves and the Goode family, of course.

We had an amazing Indian dinner, thanks to Heather’s outstanding cooking.  This was Ashley’s first time eating curry.  To my surprise, she actually liked it.  The evening was full of stories, jokes, brainstorms, and all-around great fellowship.

Sunday, we had a family breakfast of eggs and bacon, said farewell to the Goodes, and headed over to visit the Barnes family for an hour or so.  After that, we hit the road for home with the obligatory stop in a podunk Tennessee town for the cheapest gas around.

Sipping our Dr. Pepper and Sun Drop out of glass bottles, we pulled into Nashville before dark, bringing a perfect ending to a fun and adventurous weekend.  We really are blessed.

The Goode Family on their boat.

 Thank you to the Goode Family for their hospitality and friendship!

The past week was quite busy.  Jeff was in Georgia Monday through Friday, visiting AIM.  The World Race training camp for the October 2008 team was going on.  So, he was down there to help out with that.  And when he wasn’t helping, he was taking advantage of as much face-to-face time he could get with people in the office that he works closely with.  I also finished up my last Thursday night Bible study with the Community Bible Study girls.  We did a Beth Moore study, “The Patriarchs.”  It was quite good – – very informative, challenging and just a great time of fellowship with some amazing women.  I recommend it to any female out there, and those that have done more than one of her studies would recommend all of them!

While Jeff was gone, I did some cleaning (like I usually try to do)… well more like organizing this time.  This time, the only room I got to do, though, was the bedroom.  Why?  Well, because Tuesday I came home to a flooded dining room.

Yep, a flood.  It was a quiet, sneaky thing.  I walked into the apartment on Tuesday afternoon, everything looking as I’d left it that morning.  I walked through the dining room on my way to the kitchen, but squish…  I heard a noise, and my feet were suddenly cold and wet.  I turned, and there I saw a wet footprint in the carpet.  “That’s not suppose to be there”  came out of my mouth.  Then I thought about it for a second… “Oh no, not again…” 

I pulled the table chair away, and there were four wet circles where the legs had stood. Yep, the dining room was flooded again.

“Again?” you might ask.  Yes, again.  You see, this same time last year (ironic?), the apartment above had a water heater malfunction.  For an entire day (at least 24 hours.. not sure how long it took us – – the four of us apartments below that got flooded along with the upstairs apartment – – to notice what was happening) the water had ran through their broken water heater, down into my utility closet, and onto my dining room floor.  Silly me had heard water running the afternoon before, but I thought it was the dishwasher.  Then that morning, I’d heard water running again, but I thought it was their shower.  After I had gotten out of my shower, though, the sound just didn’t quite make sense.  I walked into the dining room, discovered the carpet was soaked, opened up my utility closet, and it was raining in the closet!  Turns out their water heater had busted. 

So now, one year later, our water heater suffered the same fate.  When the maintenance man pulled it out of the closet, the back seal was busted open.  I asked how that happens, and he said these little guys (the water heater is only a couple feet tall, it’s not the full size kind) just don’t last but a few years.  So it was just its time.  After he replaced it, in walked the carpet guy.  He sucked up the water, pulled out the nasty carpet pads, and left me a big fan to dry out the carpet for two days.  I finally had an empty house at 10:00 that night.

Then two days later, while I was at work, someone came back, put down new carpet pads, and supposedly reattached the carpet.  However, when I got home, I discovered the carpet was tacked down (where it was even tacked down at all) very poorly in between the kitchen and dining room and by the cabinets.  So after Jeff got home last weekend, he called the apartment office on Monday and had a guy come do it while someone was there.  I can’t believe the things people try to get away with!

But when things like this happen, it’s always nice to not have it be your problem to fix … OR pay for!