Saturday, May 27, 2017

Soul 2 Soul World Tour with Tim & Faith

Spent last evening with my best friend watching two of our favorite people; Husband and wife, each other's best friend, power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for their Soul 2 Soul World Tour here in Portland, Ore. at the Moda Center.

Couldn't believe we even got to go, as tickets were originally way too pricey for our wallet but they just happened to fall RIGHT into my lap the night prior to the show. 

I grew up watching these two artists. I remember when they both started their careers in country music, releasing their first singles on the radio. I have always wanted to see them live and I'm so blessed that I got to do with my own best friend.
Opening the Show
Faith's "The Lucky One"

Tim's "I Like It, I Love It"
Me, "My Best Friend," and My Cousin B-Fray

Tim's "Shotgun Rider"
Duet "It's Your Love"

Their new song, "Break First"

Faith's "Stronger"


Duet "Angry All the Time"

Tim's "Real Good Man"

Faith's "Wild One"

 Thank you Tim and Faith for an excuse to have an intimate, fun date night out with my own best friend! Love you both and thank you for always making such great music to share with the world!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

All American Comeback Kid

Sargent Appling has been home for two years now and I am so glad that Baby Girl has had the time to spend with her Daddy.

Now for those of you who don't know, Sargent has been on two deployments throughout Baby Girl's short 8 years of life. His first was when he did his first tour in Iraq - when Baby Girl was only 6 months old. He was gone for about 3 years and when he came back, she was almost 3 and a half years old. His second tour, this time in Afghanistan, started when she was about 5 years old and he came home a year later, in May 2015.

Even though he and I are no longer together and hadn't been since his first tour, it was still one of the hardest times in my life. Watching Baby Girl miss her Daddy when he was away, especially during his second tour was heartbreaking. The first tour was a little easier, since she was so little and too young to realize anything that was happening.

This time, in his most recent deployment, she just couldn't understand it. She understood when I had talks with her about it, but being so little, she would forget and find herself misunderstanding again. I often, more often than not - found myself explaining how she has a Daddy who is different than other Daddies because he has a very special job. She knew his job was different, but she struggled at times, especially when she saw friends, cousins, etc with their daddies and only wanted hers with her as well. She would cry and even beg for me to call him, or tell him to come over so she could see him...

Again. Heartbreaking.

The struggles and sacrifice that military families go through is some of the hardest things to get through, especially when the soldier is on a deployment. You find yourself worrying a little more. Watching the news a little more. Reading the newspaper a little more. Crying, especially when that "Letters from Home" by John Michael Montgomery or "If You're Reading This" by Tim McGraw song comes on the radio. And every chance you get, whether its Memorial Day or Fourth of July or not, you find yourself honoring this great land of ours a hell of a lot more because you know the man or woman you and your family care for so much is risking their lives far away fighting for it.

That man or woman is someone's son or daughter. Someone's brother or sister. Someone's husband or wife. Someone's nephew or niece. A little someone's daddy or mommy.

This country is the land of the free because of the brave. The flag that stands for freedom and flies in the wind doesn't fly because the wind blows it. It flies because somewhere, far away and away from home, a military member took his last breath defending it. The risks that Sargent took and how he physically sacrificed his body and physical health for our freedoms.

No one wants their relative to leave, especially to fight a battle so dangerous. The feelings of denial knowing there's war going on and your son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife, nephew or niece, daddy or mommy - got the call. Telling them "You come back safe to me" when you know its a promise that cannot be kept. Its like time is a bargain that cannot be reasoned with. Offering up your most prized possession so they don't go is like giving the military your other most prized possession (your soldier).

Wondering where they're at, if they're being safe. If they're laughing. If they're waiting in line to call. All those things are so unbelievably nerve wrecking - especially when you have small children. "Where's Daddy?" and just telling them "Daddy's on a special mission right now, but he'll call us when he can and come home after some more time passes," when in the back of your mind, you can't guarantee it and you're wondering if they really will and you think back to when they were hugging you goodbye and saying "This is what I'm for - what I was trained to do."

Hearing "If You're Reading This" by Tim McGraw killed me. It was a song I just couldn't listen to. The reality and emotion in it just would send me over the edge. If and when something would happen to Sargent and had to see a medic for severe injuries, we would have to wait for DAYS to hear an update. I didn't want anything bad to happen to him. I didn't want to have to tell my little girl something serious happened to her Daddy. I didn't want the lyrics to this song to be our family's reality.

Through many prayers and our strong faith in God and His power, Sargent made it home. He received the Purple Heart for his services and was one of the four Oregon soldiers to earn it.

**The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name President to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 05, 1917, with the United States military.**

"All American Comeback Kid" tributed the feelings and thoughts of anxiety of losing someone overseas in our family for me. America's Veterans will always have my full support and a special place in my heart. Anyone who knows me or our family knows how much this country means to me and how much I care about those who did, who are or who are planning on serving. I can't imagine the families grief and pain for their soldiers not returning home.

Here we are two years later and Baby Girl has built a great relationship with her Daddy and she is definitely Daddy's little girl.

I remember how heartbroken she was when she missed him and he wasn't here to see her all the time but when he got home, on American soil again, it was like the two of them just picked up where they left off. She saw him and they just ran to each other and she jumped into his arms. I remember how heartwarming it was to see her have her Daddy back. Her happiness and her little self was now complete.

Her hero was home and a little girl's first hero is ALWAYS... Her Daddy.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Almost Heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River

Well life is old here, older than the trees - Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze.

Country roads took me home, to the place that I belong. I've made a home for myself, my country boy and my little girl. We all survived our first month in our new place - physically, mentally, emotionally and financially! Whoop!

Our first month was full of unpacking and getting things in cupboards, decorations on the walls, etc. Country Boy and I pulled an all nighter our first night in the place and got the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom and bathrooms all set up. Never again will that happen! No rest was gained and I had a migraine all weekend long from moving out of Mom and Dad's then into our own place and continuously unpacking.

We celebrated our first holiday 10 days later and got each other Valentine's. A few weeks later, Country Boy and I celebrated Christmas all over again as we finally got to go to the Blake Shelton Stickin It to Country Concert. I had bought him tickets for Christmas that costed me a bunch but we got the stage side experience.

A few weeks later I ventured into a purchase that changed my life. The beautiful, blonde wife of one of my managers at work has a business in a product called Lipsense. Well, months prior, she had added me into her Facebook group to follow her business and order products. Well I never tried the product or made an order until one day she had a color that I couldn't let get away. I said "What the hell, I'll order that!"

I ordered, received and tried. HOLY AMAZEBALLS! I couldn't not love this product more. I loved it so much that I hosted an online party with the beautiful blonde and I successfully sold a bunch of products. Most importantly, I had the best time doing it! It was so fun and so easy to share something so fun and great that I wanted to spread the love.

I spread the love so much that I can happily say that I am my own business owner of my own Lipsense business entitled Luscious Lips by Samantha Leigh. I've been at it for two months now and even had my first event last week! It was super fun!

Well, with extra funds coming in to pay bills, the Country Boy and I have gotten things we have had on our bucket lists. We have added wheels and tires, suspension and exhaust to our vehicles (because we are the biggest car mod kinda people we love projects). We have gotten the things we've wanted for our home, we have gone on fun little adventures with the little one to my hometown and done what we like when it so suits us.

I must say, its nice to not have to "beg, steal or borrow" lol. Its the greatest accomplishment to be able to have a gorgeous and healthy little girl that keeps me going to be the best woman and mommy to her in the world all tucked in her bed and dreaming away while I lay in mine with a damn good man by my side that I get to call mine everyday when I wake up that loves me more than words can say is the greatest joy. Love going to sleep every night with all my blessings counted and my heart so full.

I have the best family I could ever ask for and a nice house to go home to at the end of a busy day, and a good car that gets me from Point A to Point B.

My country roads that took me home to where I really belong and I thank God for that daily.