Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baby Barnes Profile by JILL

Baby Barnes

I think this is my favorite picture, so far anyway!

Boy or Girl? Your Predictions


Will we be the proud parents of a baby Boy or Girl? Jill and I know what we'll be having, but most of you don't, so make your predictions here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

bAbY bARnEs

bAbY bARnEs
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

That's right folks, we now know if we'll be having a baby boy or girl in a few months. Jill had her ultrasound yesterday afternoon where we got to see our little wiggling bundle of joy for the first time. Based on measurements and such, the baby is 18 weeks along and on schedule for his/her December 23rd debut. It's even more surreal now that I got to see the images from the ultrasound. As I told Jill, the hard part for me (not like I do much else) is patiently awaiting the arrival. We're just so excited. And for you family out there, you must wait to find out if it'll be a boy or girl until Jill and I make an appearance in person. Tampa family, we'll see you next weekend. Georgia family, we'll see you in two weeks. Then you can start buying all that stuff you're going to shower our kid with! :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Night @ Hotel Preston

Hotel Preston
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

Well, we're spending tonight at Hotel Preston (Jill's workplace) thanks to our townhome's A/C officially not working. We've dealt with the issues for 3 times in 3 weeks, and unfortunately the next visit our repair guy can make is Friday. At least I'll be a hop, skip and short drive across I-40 to work tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weekend in Birmingham

Toby vs. Mr. Ducky
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

Our visit to Birmingham was better than I hoped as Jill and I got to see many familiar faces over the weekend. We started it all off by visiting The Melting Pot on 280 where we both worked like crazy for a couple of months before making the move to Nashville. The food was awesome, of course, and it was nice seeing a couple of old coworkers including my two bartenders. At least there's some consistency, right. Anyways, all was good after the 3 hour fondue extravaganza and we headed back to crash on the semi-deflating air mattress for some needed sleep.

Saturday was a really, really long day as we knew it would be. Jill and I went out to Patton Creek for a little shopping, including a stop at the Auburn Gear store. I managed to grab a hat & shirt to freshen up my gear for the upcoming football season that will be here very soon. By the way, I'm going nuts in anticipation about the upcoming season. I can't get enough of college football blogs, podcasts and preseason predictions.

So, we eventually managed to get back to G&D's before everyone began showing up for Mr. G's birthday pool party. Jill threw on her prego bathing suit, I adorned my board shorts, and Toby...well, he just showed up ready for some fun. The weather was unbelievably hot as most summer days tend to be in Birmingham, which made me wonder why the pool was so darn cold (81 degrees). Regardless, we played some water volleyball and Toby got to deflate a beach ball while getting used to the water temp. I did manage to snap some shots of Toby playing with Jill where she would toss it to him and he would knock it right back to her. It seemed like he was trying to catch it, but couldn't fit it in his mouth resulting in a quick snout punch back to Jill.

Toby Plays Ball

Later on more and more people showed up (some I knew), and eventually I made way to the grill to take on the night's grilling duties. Burgers & chicken (guess for who???), yum! We finished up dinner and the party proceeded downstairs for drinking games, karaoke and other shenanigans, and since Jill and I weren't really crazy about all that stuff we just hung out on the back deck chatting. Before midnight Jill was headed for dreamland, and I headed that way a little bit later. And despite the loud karaoke going on into the late night, we got some sleep.

Sunday was nice because we made our way back to Mountaintop Church, our former church, for the first time since our move to Nashville. I was suprised by seeing Kevin, the media director, beginning the service by singing a themed song in his best semi-country accent, which is funny because he's not country and he never sang while we were there. Anyways, the service was good and we got to stop and chat with a few people from the past. Each time we had to hear, "so you're moving back" and of course we replied each time with, "um, nope we're just visiting." Honestly, though, the church and people are probably one of the things I miss most about our former lives there. Good times.

After church we grabbed BBQ at Jim N' Nicks, went back to G&D's to pack, and then headed back up I-65. Jill got in touch with her good friend, Emily, who lives in Huntsville so we stopped there to see her since they hadn't seen each other in a while. And yes Kristi, I thought about you guys, but figured we'll catch you guys next time. Anyways, I was pretty much traveled-out by time we got home, but we survived the weekend. Woohoo!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Music Monday: Coldplay - Violet Hill

Wow, it's actually been 3 years since Coldplay put out an album, but so far I'm very impressed with it. There's always more meaning behind their music than most artists, which is one of the reasons I appreciate their style. Since I don't have time to blog about this past weekend right now, I figured I'd stick with the Music Monday routine by showing the music video for Violet Hill. Enjoy!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Traveling to Birmingham...

Birmingham Skyline from Vulcan
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

Jill and I are headed down to Birmingham this evening to spend time with Garrett and Danitza since it's Mr. G's big birthday. This is our first time back to our former city since we packed up our old house and moved everything to Nashville last November. It's got a special place in both of our hearts because we got back together there, got engaged atop the Vulcan statue, and of course we were married @ the Ross Bridge Resort. It did take some time for the area to grow on us, but we found a lot of comfort in our renovated house, awesome church and many friends there. Still part of me does hold a grudge against the city for a few things, and that may just be because of the whole "losing my job and having to completely move" situation. Regardless, we're better off now living in Nashville despite still missing those friends, our church and even our old home.

The celebrations begin Saturday...and last pretty much all day Saturday. I'll attempt to turn a darker shade of pale hanging out at G&D's pool, and Jill will get to enjoy some lounging time herself. And just maybe I'll be able to snap a few photos while in town. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This Innocent Face by JILL

Tuesday night was Matt's last softball game of the season (and not a game too soon after his injury last week!)

Toby Up Close

Our A/C was out, so I left Toby with his freedom downstairs since it's cooler. When we got home 4 hours later...

I opened the door to find a chewed through box of cake mix on our dining room floor! I continued on into the kitchen, where another chewed cake mix box was found. Yes, the powdered cake mix left quite a mess, but of course that wasn't even the worst part! Our 'high tech' trashcan had been turned over and all the trash was EVERYWHERE! Needless to say, Toby will get NO freedom in the future!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Music Monday Presents: Wild Sweet Orange

What will soon become a tradition, today I present Birmingham-based group Wild Sweet Orange. The song is "Ten Dead Dogs," which is definitely a unique name, but I'm sure you'll find it as hauntingly beautiful as I did. These guys are on the verge of launching a new album the end of this month ("We Have Cause to Be Uneasy"), and this is one of the songs that can be found on it. They actually just performed on Letterman last week, which had to be cool.

Living in the Music City has really motivated me to support more of these up-and-coming singers/groups since Jill and I work side by side with many already. If you like these guys music as much as I do, please support them by purchasing their record via iTunes or anywhere else it can be found. Special thanks to BTM for introducing me to Wild Sweet Orange's music!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Riverfront of Nashville

Riverfront of Nashville
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

I went on an evening photowalk along the riverfront last night to try out my new Sigma 17-70mm lens. So far, I'm pleased with the results!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Share the Music

Thanks to NoiseTrade (a music share website to promote the music via free downloads or contributions), I'm now listening to the album, "Throwing Punches In the Dark" by Matthew Perryman Jones. He's a local Nashville singer-songwriter that I somewhat remember coming across occasionally in the past while we were in Birmingham thanks to "Reg's Coffee House" radio show. I'm in my "support local small-time music" mood, so enjoy this video of one of his songs.

Wikipedia Bio

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stuck on the Couch by JILL

Stuck on the Couch
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

Literally, Matt is stuck on the couch! It took him at least 5 minutes to get off the couch. I found such humor in this, and had to photograph the moment.

How did this happen? Matt had another 'eventful' softball game last night, thus making today the best/worst recovery day, to date! I was impressed, Matt kept his sliding and diving to a minimum. Unfortunately, although Matt did score runs, aid in RBIs and even had two homers, the Griffin Jammers still lost all THREE games. I was happy, no new scrapes!

The fun really began at home. Matt heard a pop and then couldn't move his neck. Upon much moaning and groaning, we slowly got Matt into bed to ice his neck. It wasn't pretty. We were at the chiropractor first thing this morning. Doc said the x-ray showed Matt's 2nd vertebrae was rotated at a 45 degree angle and was pinching a nerve. He was able to do some ice therapy and pop his neck back into place. He's taking it easy today with ice and a neck brace.

I'm hoping he will start feeling better soon...I'm only going to be home for another few hours until I have to go into work. Gotta love Recovery Wednesday!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Back from Tampa

Jill & Me @ Salt Rock Grill
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

Oh man, that wake up alarm came way too early this morning (4:45 est). After a nice 1 hour and 30 minute flight (arrived early), Jill headed to pick up Toby from his weekend pet resort while I trekked over to work. The work day is almost over and we're heading out to NYPD Pizza for dinner with Justin, Sherry and the boys this evening. As for blogging about this weekend...I think I'm just going to let a few photos share our fun.

As always, we love going down to Tampa to see family and friends because it's not a frequent trip these days. With the future Barnes kid soon to arrive in December, I want to make sure he/she gets to see the family as often as we can make the trip. Same thing for making the trip down to Georgia. It's just budgeting the traveling that makes it a little tough. We'll see how things work out, but as always God will provide so no need to worry about that stuff. Anyways, look for photos from the trip shortly...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Relaxing on the Dock

Relaxing on the Dock
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

Hello from Odessa (Tampa). It's the 4th of July, and we've managed to squeeze in cooking out, fireworks (a little cause parking/traffic in Channelside was nuts), and some relaxing time with family. Hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We're headed to Tampa for the 4th...

Tampa Skyline in December
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

With the extended 4th of July weekend almost here, we'll be catching a flight this afternoon down to Tampa so we can spend some time with Jill's side of the family. It's been quite a while since our last visit, and now Jill is beginning to show that prego belly more, it should be fun seeing everyone. Nothing wrong with a few days in sunny Florida, especially for the pigment challenges such as me. We'll probably do some cooking out at the lake, watch a little fireworks and even meet up with the grandparents for coffee at the corner Shell station down the road. Anyways, have a Happy & Safe 4th of July, everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I laughed so hard I cried...

Alright, so I know I'm a bit weird, but nothing like BTM (one of my Flickr buddies). Am I just really tired, or does anyone else find this so funny it makes you cry?

Geared Up!

Current Gear
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

So, I continue to build upon my photography addiction day by day, and yesterday was a big step. I received my new $400 lens, the Sigma 17-70mm. Over the past 2 months I've absolutely worn my 50mm out, using it for every situation possible (since it wass the only lens I owned). Now, I will have zoom range from a basic wide angle to a macro. After just a few trial shots, I already know this is going to be a fun lens.

The plan is that all of this is not just for fun. I've taken photography seriously over the last year or so, and really plan to start promoting my photos and skills in hopes of landing occasional gigs. With Jill soon to be a stay-at-home mom, I'd love to use this hobby to bring in some extra dough. I did just sell one of my shots to a map company this week, which is a good start. Anyways, here's my current gear:

- Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC
- Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II
- Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi