Saturday, February 28, 2009

Frosty the Snowman

Exactly one week after my dad said that we wouldn't have anymore 40 degree days this winter, it snowed. Here's a few pictures:

Knox running in the snow. He is still not a fan.

Knox and I by our snowman

Fred and Knox by our snowman

Neither Fred nor I had built a snowman in years. We couldn't remember how to roll snow. Sad.

Although I am not a big fan of snow or cold weather, today was fun! Fred and I were like little kids. After we built our snowman, we had a snowball fight. No pictures were taken of that because they wouldn't have been too flattering.

I do hope that this is the last of the cold weather and snow. I am ready for 80 degrees and sunny!

Friday, February 27, 2009

God's Gifts

Thank you to everyone who responded to my last blog entry. It's so funny to hear you all say to keep some of my clothing items for maternity/post-maternity. I was just thinking about that!

Typically when a couple gets married, the next question out of friends and family members mouths is "When are you going to have babies?" Fred's mom has even started knitting a baby blanket. Before Fred and I were married we agreed that we did not want to have children immediately, but that we did want to start a family before we both turned 30.

Fred turned 27 in November and I turned 26 in December. We've since started discussing children more. A lot of our friends are having babies. For some reason, everywhere I look, there are "baby" things. Baby this, baby that, baby, baby, baby. I am starting to wonder if it's just me or if things like this happen to women in their mid to late 20's?

Fred and I still aren't planning on starting a family anytime soon, but sometimes we do discuss what we'd name these future children. It's fun. We certainly don't want to have a baby when we're still not sure about the future of our jobs, but it is God's plan and in His time we will be parents. But for now, we're Mommy and Daddy to Knox and I can wear my "skinny" clothes! :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Out with the Old

Day two of my spring cleaning event was successful. It's amazing how much trash a house can gather over one year.

There are two closets that I cannot bring myself to clean out, my summer and winter closets. I am too afraid to get rid of my "fat" clothes because I feel like I may need them again. I don't want to ever fit back into my jeans, but for some reason, I can't part with them.

A girl I worked with told me that if I ever wanted to get rid of some clothes she would take them. She is a single mother and I know she would wear them and they would help her, but I can't get up the courage to go through them and bag them up for her. I have one more week before I see her and I know that she needs them more than I do.

Perhaps getting rid of the "fat" clothes would help me maintain the 30+ pounds that I've lost. I don't even know why I am holding on to them. I don't have any sort of sentimental attachment to them. I think it's time to get rid of the old me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning has come a bit early around the Smithwick household. Today I decided that some of our closets, drawers, and cabinets needed to be cleaned out. Fred and I are coming up on our one year anniversary and I needed to get rid of the 10,000 Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift bags and 5,000 white tissue paper sheets.

I am also sorting through all of my shower pictures, wedding cards, etc. I want to make a scrapbook one day to show our children our wedding.

I am not nearly done cleaning, but I hope to clean out the remainder of the closets tomorrow or Friday. There are so many gift boxes and things that are still around from our wedding and they need to go.

I have got to learn to be more organized and not to keep everything. Does anyone else have this problem?

Fred and I have had a lot of time to do things around the house. Last week, Fred mulched our front, back and side yards. He also put down rocks so that Knox couldn't crawl under the fence. And today he put up a fence board to keep Knox inside our gate. These are things that needed to be done a year ago, but we just didn't have the time.

I need to give something up for Lent, but I can't think of anything. Does anyone have any good ideas?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Come and Knock on My Door

Today the doorbell rang and it was the real estate agent who works in my neighborhood for my builder. He asked if Fred and I would be interested in FREE pizza next Tuesday. My immediate reaction was, "What's the catch?" But, there's no catch, just customer appreciation. Each Magnolia Homes household will receive two Papa John's pizzas. How awesome is that?!

Karen and Reggie Garner are wonderful people! If you ever need a builder, they are the best. Check out Magnolia Homes!

I am just so excited because next Tuesday night's dinner is on Magnolia! Who doesn't love free stuff?

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Ok

Our little boy is growing up! Fred and I took Knox for his last round of puppy shots today. He weighed 5.3 lbs. and got a good check-up. He cried when Carr (aka Dr. Kelsey) gave him his shots, but he was such a brave, little boy. I gave him his heartworm medicine and he thought it was a treat for being such a good boy.

It was hard enough watching him squirm and cry. I can only imagine what it would be like with a baby.

I was supposed to go to a dinner with my Memphis ADPi Alumnae Association, but it was cancelled; so, I ran to the store and picked up a few things to make dinner for just Fred and me. It was really nice to spend the majority of the day with him. We don't get to do it as much as I would like, but with this time off, we'll have more opportunities.

I spent my first day of being "laid off" working. What's up with that? We had some orders that needed to be cancelled; so, guess who they called. I also have a three hour corporate phone call tomorrow afternoon; so, it'll be another day of working.

We got word today that our facility north of Memphis (where Fred and I are based out of) will be closed again next week. Our other two facilities are scheduled to re-open next week. This probably means that Fred will be off again and I will be working since the other two are open. It's just still so scary.

Thank you again for continuing to pray for us. We truly appreciate the kinds words and passages to get us through this time. This too shall pass!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Live Like You Were Dying

Hopefully this week will bring some answers to our family and many others. We will find out Tuesday if our facility north of Memphis will open next week. And some of the big bosses are meeting my dad and his business partners this week to tour our facilities near Nashville, TN and southern Georgia. We hope to have some answer by Friday on which facilities will remain open and which ones will close. I pray that this will be a week for answers and that we'll know what the next step will be.

I am still trusting in the Lord to help us through this time. Fred and I are both off of work this week. I'm a little bit jealous because our friend, Mason, left for vacation in Jamaica today. I wish I was there spending my week off. He's staying at the same resort we stayed at in December.

Today at church, we installed our new pastor, Rev. Nathan Tircuit. We had several visiting pastors there for the installation. The pastor who gave the sermon really touched me today. He preached on Romans 12:1-5. His sermon was about loving and living like you were dying. He even quoted the Tim McGraw song, "Live Like You Were Dying". How would your daily life be different if you knew you only had a week or a month to live?

It really made me think about our work situation and I can't worry about it. I have to give that up to God and enjoy the time that I do get to spend with Fred, Knox and the rest of my family. I am so blessed. God tells us that if we fail, he will always be our Savior. Jesus Christ died to take away all of our sins. For that, I am eternally grateful.

When I was in middle school, high school and college, my family and I attended Bellevue Baptist Church. My grandparents attended St. Andrews Presbyterian Church of America. When we had to put my grandmother in an Alzheimer's assisted living home, my parents and I started going to St. Andrews with my grandfather. I came to enjoy the sermons. When Fred and I were dating, he would come with me. Before we were married, Fred and I decided to join the church. We were also married at St. Andrews.

Well, for some reason, I got it in my head at Bellevue that pastors were "holier than thou". But, our new pastor, Nathan, and our old pastor, Wayne, and our old assistant pastor, Doug, taught me that the "holier than thou" mess was untrue. I've come to learn that these men are just that, "men". My new pastor has a Facebook page and he loves to hunt. He has a beautiful family, including a daughter named Caroline. This church has been a real eye-opener for me and it's true, we're all equal.

Tonight we are going to dinner at my great-aunt's house for the monthly Billingsley dinner. Neither one of my grandfather's brothers and their wives had any children; so, they are like other sets of grandparents to me. It should be a good time! It's so wonderful to be a part of a small, loving family.

Please continue to pray for us and those who are in the same boat. Thank you for your prayers. They've really helped us thus far and we are so grateful for friends like you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jazz It Off

This week, I hit a milestone at Jazzercise. I attended my 25th class of the year. At my center, they put your name on the wall and announce it in front of the class. It's a big deal.

Twenty-five classes may not seem like an accomplishment, but last year, it took me until October to hit 25 classes. Jazzercise tries to encourage their students to reach 150 classes. For the first time in three years, this goal is actually attainable.

I used to be one of those "seasonal" students. I'd come for a while and then stop, but after seeing the results of eating better and exercising last year, I made a commitment to myself to go more and to work harder.

I found some pictures from college last week and I can't believe how I let myself go. I gained the "freshman 15" almost every year. My face was fat, belly big and my double-chin was not attractive. I can't believe that I didn't see the weight on me then. I regret not being more physically active and trying to eat better when I was in college. I've made a commitment never to let myself go again and Jazzercise will help me stick to it.

For those of you who think Jazzercise is your mom's 1980's workout routine, you are so wrong! The routines are to today's music and they're really fun! I like to think that my center has some of the best instructors in the Memphis area. I encourage everyone to check it out. Click on the picture below to access the Jazzercise website:
Jazz It Off is a weight-loss program that Jazzercise is currently doing. We have a "biggest loser" of the week at my center. :)

My center, located in the Wolfchase area, has their own website. It is

I am very fortunate to have an amazing support system. My mom is a fellow Jazzerciser and she pushes me to do better. Now, she doesn't work and she can get about 250 classes a year, but it makes me want to try to get somewhere in her range. Maybe one day!

After today, I am at 29 Jazzercise classes. I am on my way to getting my name moved into the 50 classes group!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In God's Hands

I am scared to death. I just got word yesterday that our 3rd largest plant would be shutting down next week; so, that means that I am unemployed next week. Fred went to the unemployment agency this morning to file and I will be going on Monday. From the lack of orders, it looks like March will be similar to February or worse. Our parent company keeps asking my dad for plans to "save the company", but no plan is ever followed through or set in stone because things keep changing so rapidly. I believe that it's worse not knowing anything.

I have to give it up to God. I can't change anything. I can only continue to pray and ask for God's guidance and know that He is in control of everything.

My great-grandmother used to say that worrying was a sin. And I do not want to sin, but it's hard. God knows my heart and my desires. He will

I would appreciate it if everyone would continue to pray for us. I will continue to pray for those who are in a similar situation. I hope than none of you ever find yourselves in this type of situation.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dog Tired

Since the facility I work at is closed this week, I get the opportunity to work from home. I am really enjoying it. I actually think that I am more productive. Right now, I am just so thankful to have a job this week and I am hopefully going to get to work some next week. Fred is unemployed this week and next week. He will be making his first trip to the unemployment office tomorrow. :( Eventhough Fred makes more money than me, it's better that I work since our insurance comes out of my check. Please continue to pray for us during these hard times.

The house has been very quiet over the past few days. Since Fred's mom broke her ankle, he's been spending some time over there this week. I think they're having a "Harry Potter" marathon and I am so glad that I am not there! He took Knox over there today and it's been so quiet around the house without him. I miss the little fellow.

I did manage to run to Bed, Bath, and Beyond today to return a towel that I was going to use for our bathroom scheme. Since I was in there, I decided to browse through their picture section in hopes to find pictures of dachshunds and low and behold there were two! They were prints from Mary Lynn Blasutta. I was so excited and bought them! Here's one of them:

Fred hasn't been at home all day; so, I don't know what his reaction will be about such girly pictures, but they do have dachshunds. I doubt he'll even notice that they're there.

I do need two or three more; so, I might have to venture to other BBB's to look. Let me know if any of you find any! :)

I am also enjoying working from home because I get to spend more time with my mom. I've been able to go to Jazzercise with her in the mornings and run errands with her. The woman has the life! I did 3 Jazzercise classes (2 Body Sculpting and 1 regular Jazzercise) with her today and I am sore. Ouch! My mom is in better shape than me! We also had lunch with my dad and that was nice because we haven't had a meal with just the three of us in a long time. I love my parents very much and I am so blessed! I just hope I can keep up with my mom over the next week and a half.

With Fred and Knox still at Fred's parents, I think I am going to relax and watch "The Young and the Restless"! Nights just don't get much better than that!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Dog House

I spent the majority of my day working from home today, but I managed to make a run to one of my favorite places, Old Time Pottery.

Our house is decorated for the most part, but I was not fully satisfied with the arrangement of pictures. Our bedroom desperately needed a picture to hang over our bed.

Today was my lucky day and my creative juices were flowing! I found a picture to hang over our bed and I found a picture that I had been so desperately wanting. I bought the pictures and they were 50% off! When I got home, I started moving pictures around immediately.

I decided that the dachshund oil painting, that I wanted, needed to go in our Master Bathroom. Since Knox spends a lot of time in our bathroom, it should make him feel at home. Below is the picture:

If you know my mom or me, you know how much we love dachshunds. My mom has her office and laundry room dedicated to dachshunds; so, you know I had to make one of my rooms "dachshund friendly". My mom even has curtains with dachshunds on them. Yes, we're nuts!

I've spent the majority of the evening looking up dachshund drawings and paintings online. I've found so many and I can't wait to start ordering and decorating. I just know that Fred is just as excited as I am, not! I even came across a dachshund pillow stitch-it kit. Since I'll be unemployed next week, I was looking for something to do, but they're sold out.

I really like this picture by Mary Lynn Blasutta because I think it looks like Fred and me, but Fred doesn't seem to really like it.

I am very excited about my dachshund bathroom and I'll post pictures when it's complete.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First. Finest. Forever.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I know I did. I got Jessica Simpson/Rascal Flatt's tickets, Valentine's stuff on sale at Target, Moe's Southwest Grill and that was just around noon. Last night, Fred took me to Rain, for a wonderful sushi dinner, and then to see "He's Just Not That Into You". It was a great movie! I loved the book and I think every single female out there should read the book and see the movie! :)

As you know, Fred and I spent last week working in Nashville, Georgia. On Friday, we headed home to Memphis. We decided to go home on the interstate; so, I asked if we could stop by Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. This college is the birthplace to my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. My mom and I asked about 5 different people where the fountain was before we actually found it. No one knew anything about it and I think this one man tried to run away from me when I was asking him.

Once my mom spotted the fountain, I was able to take some pictures. Please don't look at my clothes or hair. I was prepared for an 11 hour drive home.

Alpha Delta Pi fountain

Wesleyan College - birthplace of Alpha Delta Pi

The Adelphean - the first secret society for women

Alpha Delta Pi - founded May 15, 1851

I really enjoyed seeing where Alpha Delta Pi was established. The sorority is a large part of my life and it brought me so many of my close friends. I am so thankful that we were able to stop for photo ops.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks, our jobs are still in question and Fred's mom fell yesterday and broke her ankle in two places.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

♥ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

It only seems appropriate to complete a "Marriage Survey" for Valentine's Day! I'll write more about our trip to Georgia later!

1. When was your engagement: August 27, 2007.
2. When is your anniversary: April 5, 2008.
3. How long have you known your spouse: since July 2006.
4. How long did you date/court before you were engaged: Our first date was on Thanksgiving 2006; so, 9 months.
5. Where did you meet your spouse for the first time: We met at a housewarming party in Oakland, Tennessee. He was there with one of my friends from high school.
6. What is your spouse's full name: Fred Barksdale Smithwick IV
7. Do you have any children yet: not yet.
8. How many: none yet.
9. Do you have any house pets: yes, Knox Barksdale Smithwick - short-haired, miniature dachshund.
10. Do you own a house or rent: OWN!!!
11. Do you live in the country or town/city: suburbs, outside of Memphis.
12. What is one of your favorite activities together: watching television or movies, eating Buffalo Wild Wings, and just staying home and relaxing. We're "home-bodies"!
13. Do you have a favorite vacation spot: Hawaii and Jamaica
14. How many siblings (including in-laws): 1 sister-in-law, Sara
15. What church do you attend: St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in America
16. Is this the church you were married in: yes.
17. What town is your current address: Lakeland, Tennessee.
18. Do you work or stay at home: I work for the time being.
19. Where did you honeymoon: Kauai Island of Hawaii
20: Leave a piece of marriage advice: Never go to bed angry! Always think of the other person!

This has been one of my best Valentine's ever! I got tickets to go and see Rascal Flatts and Jessica Simpson! :) Time to go and get ready...Fred is taking me for sushi and to see "He's Just Not That Into You", but this boy is into me!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

Today was the first time that Fred and I actually got to spend some "alone" time together since arriving in Georgia. We drove 10 hours with my dad, mom, grandfather, their dog (Willie) and Knox. We've been eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with them. And our evenings consist of us hanging out in the living room watching television. It sounds a little "Leave It to Beaver" -ish.

I love my family dearly, but it was nice to be alone together.

I had to go to lunch a little early since I had to give a presentation to some folks in California. Fred and I had lunch at one of my faves, MiMi's Market Cafe and then Fred took me across the street to get some ice cream (such a nice husband). We sat outside, ate our ice cream, and talked about the future. It was quite enjoyable. It was like something in a Norman Rockwell painting. Sometimes, it's nice to enjoy a little alone time with your spouse.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Georgia on My Mind

Fred and I are working from our manufacturing plant in Nashville, Georgia this week. Also known as "City of Dogwoods". Population: 4,824! It's a small town with that southern charm.

Usually, my mom and I are greeted with "Y'all ain't from around here are y'all?" or "Are y'all from AT-lanta?", but after coming here so much over the past couple of years, we've become "those women from Memphis".

Ironically, Nashville, Georgia has some of the best shopping. I am always able to buy designer jeans and shoes at cheaper prices. I managed to get 2 pair of Seven for All Mankind jeans for 60% off yesterday as well as a pair of Yellow Box shoes for $15. As I like to say, "I saved Fred money"!

Yesterday for lunch, we had Subway where every footlong was $5 except for the Philly Steak and double meat ones. Last night we went to the Mexican Restaurant. I don't even know the actual name of the place because the sign on the building just says "Mexican Restaurant." They have some of the best Mexican food around and great service. And today for lunch, we went to MiMi's Cafe. Now, it's not the big city MiMi's that some of you are accustomed to, but it's better. They serve soup, sandwiches, and salads. They're only open for dinner on certain nights of the week. You don't get these types of places just anywhere!

My experience at all of these restaurants have been wonderful, but today's experience takes the cake! I am feeling a bit under the weather; so, I opted for MiMi's French Onion soup and it was phenomenal. It was homemade and much better than Panera's or Bennigan's. It made my day!

I am battling a cold/sinus infection/mild case of the flu. It's miserable, but last night I stopped by Rite Aid and asked the person working behind the pharmacy counter, who I assumed was the pharmacist, what to take and he gave me some medicine that his sister, the pharmacist, recommended. Needless to say, I bought the medicine, but I am not sure it's working. I hope I get over this soon. It would be nice to breathe again.

No word on where we're dining tonight or if we'll venture 30 miles to the larger cities of Valdosta or Tifton. Thank goodness both of these cities have Moe's Southwest Grills. It's beginning to look as though Nashville, GA may be my temporary place of residence over the next few months and I am ok with that. I'll keep you posted if we have to temporarily relocate.

The people here are kind and polite! The service here is exceptional! And working out of this facility is more relaxing than my very own cubicle in Memphis. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Knox's 1st Roadtrip

Go to and vote for Knox to be the 2009 Most Valuable Pet. Knox appreciates your vote!

We're in the big city of Nashville, Georgia this week! The land of peaches and pecans. The people are all so nice here and they have the best little cafe. It's called MiMi's and they have AWESOME sweet potato fries.

Fred and I spent 10 hours in the car yesterday with my parents, grandfather, Willie and Knox. Let me tell you that the third row in the back of a Yukon has zero room, but we made it here safe and sound.

We were a little skeptical since Willie, my parents' long-haired, miniature dachshund, doesn't like Knox. Luckily, when we stopped to eat lunch in Birmingham, we were able to eat outside with both dogs. Dinner was our test. We buckled Knox in the third row and Willie in the front passenger seat. Thankfully no one was injured or eaten.

Fred and I had to come to work today; so, I left Knox sleeping with my grandfather. I just hope that my mom and grandfather can handle Willie and Knox.

I'm not sure how long we'll be here for, but it's a nice break from our normal, daily lives.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'll Be the One

Today is my last day in the office for three weeks. It's very scary. I hope that a miracle happens and we get flooded with orders between now and the first week of March. Keep praying for us and the people we work with.

I recently came across an article on about Nick Carter's drug and alcohol abuse. I read the snip-it that they had online and I am proud of him for turning his life around. He also looks AMAZING!

As you know, I was a HUGE fan of the Backstreet Boys. I attended this "orientation" for high school seniors at USF called "Fantastic Friday". Ironically, my parents and I had made plans to stay through the weekend when one of the local radio stations announced that Nick Carter and Brian Litrell of the Backstreet Boys were going to be hosting a charity basketball game that Saturday. I begged my parents to get tickets and they did. So, the BSB definitely made USF more appealing to me. Ha!

When I was going through sorority rush, this one sorority (I won't tell you which one, but their letters are often mistaken for STD) tried to lure me in with their ties to the BSB. One girl told me about how she followed them around the country and even slept on Nick Carter's floor. Hanging out with the BSB would have been fun, but this girl freaked me out with her psychotic tendencies. To this day, I am still scared of that girl! (She has a blue wig on in the "I'll Be the One" video)

I was watching the "Today Show" this morning and they were talking about the American exchange student on trial for the murder of her roommate in Perugia, Italy. I am very intrigued by this story because I too was an exchange student in Perugia. I spent the summer between my sophomore and junior years in college there. I was lucky enough to room with one of my friends and not some random person. We had an apartment that we shared with other girls from USF unlike two of my other friends who had to live with this crazy, Italian family. It's hard for me to believe that something like this would happen in such a great, little town.

So, I'll stop reminiscing on my college days and focus on my life now. Our one year anniversary is coming up on April 5. It's not that far away and I want to make a resolution to be a better wife in our second year of marriage than I have been in our first. Not that I've been terrible or anything, but there's nothing better than always trying to better yourself.

I came across one of my college friend's blogs (I know I said no more college stuff in this blog, but I lied) and she was writing about this website:

It's a start for me. Everyday, they'll send you a "tip" on how you can be a better wife. She claims that some of the tips are a bit cheesy, but most of the time they're really good. I'm going to try it out for a few weeks and see.

This weekend is supposed to be in the 60's and sunny. I am very excited about that! Fred, Knox and I are driving 10 hours to Georgia on Monday to work for two weeks. I should have some stories from spending two weeks in the small town of Nashville, Georgia (not Tennessee). Valentine's ought to be a blast!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Momma Said "Knox" You Out!

Since Fred and I don't have any human children yet, I just have to brag on our furry child, Knox. He's 3 months old and he's grown so much! He's adorable and I just love him so much!

Knox and his favorite toy, PeeWee

Knox playing with PeeWee

Knox wishing that I would stop taking pictures of him

Knox looks like a real dachshund in his bed

Fred displaying Knox's length

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Say A Little Prayer for You, Me, and Everyone Else

Things are not looking good for the marine industry. Fred and I just got word yesterday that the facility that we work at will be closed for the next three weeks. Thankfully, we are going to the facility in Georgia next week; so, we'll only be off without pay for two weeks. This is a very difficult time.

Our company was started by my dad and his business partner almost 20 years ago. It's become like a brother or sister to me over the years. I've seen all of the blood, sweat and tears that my dad and his business partner have put into this company and it's hard to see all of the walls slowly crumbling down.

I am thankful that we were purchased a year and a half ago by a publicly traded company. Who knows where we would be if they hadn't bought us?

I am really scared for my job, Fred's job, and my dad's job. This is truly our family business. We've had to lay off hundreds of people over the last couple of months and it's devastating. I just don't see it getting better. I'm not sure that we've hit rock bottom.

Please say a prayer for us and those other's who have lost their jobs or fear that their jobs are in jeopardy. We can only look to God in these types of cases.

On a happier note, I was asked by one of my cousins to write my other cousin a letter of encouragement for her upcoming mission trip to Columbia. I feel so honored to be asked to be a part of this amazing experience in her life. I don't know if I could ever travel to a foreign country and try to lead other's to Christ. I am so proud of her and I pray that these people see the "light" inside of her and are led to Jesus Christ. Please say a prayer for her and her team as they travel to Columbia next week.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Walk This Way

Click here to see the entire halftime show: 2001 Super Bowl Halftime Show

As I am sure everyone knows, this year's Super Bowl was held in Tampa, Florida. Well, eight years ago, the Super Bowl was in Tampa, Florida and I was a freshman at the University of South Florida. *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige and Nelly were some of music's hottest performers and they were part of the halftime show.

My sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, decided to get a group together to be a part of the halftime show and of course I was there. We actually had to try out and we made it!

We spent the entire week before the Super Bowl practicing how to run out onto the field and scream and act like fools. Sunday rolled around and we were told to wear the brightest things we had; so, I wore a yellow tank top, teal leather jacket and jeans, but I had a pink poster board with black letters that said, "Walk This Way". (thanks to Amanda Mason McFadden for the sign)

As we were getting to run out, I looked over to my right and saw Nelly standing there. I remember thinking, "He's so little." The music started and we ran out onto the field and I pushed my way to the front and screamed my little head off. It was an amazing experience and the best part about it was that my sign made it on television. It was a remarkable experience and one that I will never forget.

This was a time in my life when I thought I was Britney Spears and I thought Lance Bass was a heterosexual male who was going to fall in love with me at the Super Bowl and we'd live happily ever after. Who was I kidding?!

That entire week, we'd gotten the VIP treatment. They gave us tickets to the infamous "Rock N Jock" flag-football game. Erica Bravata and I sat on the front row and yes, we were on television. We were allowed to go into the ESPN Fun Zone, but just because you're in the halftime show, it doesn't mean that you actually get tickets to the game. We sat on Hillsborough County school buses and listened to the game.

Fast forward eight years later, I was at my parents' house partaking in our annual Super Bowl tradition of making Rotel and ordering pizza. Although it wasn't Justin, Britney and Nelly, I spent the evening with the people I love the most.

Tampa is an awesome city and with all of the coverage, it made me a little sad. I miss the delicious food at The Columbia and I miss all of the great times with friends. Tampa is preparing for the Gasparilla festivities and those parades are always fun! I guess I will have to live vicariously through my friend's photographs. To all of my Tampa friends, I miss you and love you!

I am a little bummed that the Arizona Cardinals didn't win. It would have been a great Cinderella story.