In case you’re wondering why this blog has been light lately, it’s because I can’t even keep up with life, let alone writing and photo-editing and video and all the fun but time-intensive things that go along with running a site. It’s all good—GREAT even, don’t get me wrong—but life these days is exhausting, and I’m hanging on through October when our work travel slows significantly. I spent 12 nights in August away from home, and yet it feels like 31. Is anyone else wondering where the Sam Hill summer went? Case in point: I finally scheduled an afternoon off work for both of us to slip in our one and only pool day for the summer last week … only to find out the pools in our area are already closed (womp womp).
But there’s a silver lining! We’ve cleared our schedule for a couple months at the end of the year and the beginning of next to get caught up with life, as I eluded to in my last monthly update. I love everything we’re doing right now, but I look forward to a breather and being creatively recharged—even if it means the inevitable: WINTER IS COMING. Until then, I’m going to soak up every 95-degree day we have left and listen to “So Long Sweet Summer” on repeat.
August looked like this for us:
We installed our second community mural. This one was inspired by the Greetings Tour murals we’ve photographed across the US, and we commissioned Nashville muralist Mobē (with assistance from Folek) to do it. We flew back from a trip around midnight one night, they were already there setting up, then they finished it the following day. IN. ONE. DAY. It blew our minds!
We even made another time-lapse of the process. If you missed the Magnolia Mural time-lapse, you can see it here.
We spent a week in Lisbon, then the Azores. I have so much to write about Portugal, which remains one of our favorite places in the world, and I plan to do that as soon as time permits. I will say this, though: 11 days was in no way enough to really dive in and enjoy Lisbon and the Azores. Next time, I’d like 11 days more, please!
We went to Boise! The Western states will forever hold a piece of my heart, and Idaho is just about as wholesome and beautiful as they come. On our first trip there in 2011, we spent a few days in Coeur d’Alene; this time, we kicked it in Boise for four nights and fell in love with the Capital City. A full itinerary post is on the docket for next week!
I went to see Taylor Swift once more. Good Lord, y’all, that girl can perform. Fourth TSwift show, best one yet—and I highly encourage you to go to the Reputation Stadium Tour if it breezes through your town. Your mind will be blown by the sheer production value. I almost lost it when Faith and Tim came out onstage to sing (what else?) “Tim McGraw” with Taylor toward the end of the show, too. By far the best part of the night, though, was when an incredibly kind musician texted me halfway through the show and offered me his snake pit tickets! I’m never going to sit in seats again after that life-altering experience.
We took on several new video projects. The evolution of Odinn Media is that we’ve forayed into video marketing, and it’s fun learning a new skill after primarily working as a writer and photographer for the last decade and change. I’m taking Premiere editing lessons now with a very talented cinematographer and hope to have some fun new stuff to show off in the future. This current project has had us outside a lot capturing content in our area, and last week we got to go out with a couple of rad wakeboarders as they flipped and spun all around us.
My niece is six months old! How on Earth did that happen? Charlotte Rose is a perfect happy chunk, all rolls and giggles, and I love every minute I get to spend with her. She’s sitting up and eating solid foods, and it’s hard to remember a time when she was this tiny.
We got out on the lake a second time this month. Another work project, of course, but this time to paddleboard Center Hill Lake with Ella. Here’s to hoping we have many mild mornings in September and October to take the SUPs out before it gets too chilly!
We taught a workshop for the state. Another evolution of our business has been more teaching opportunities; I have several speaking gigs on the docket for this fall, and we now have the Portugal and Tennessee workshops behind us, so I’m naturally thinking of how we can implement more of this in our 2019 schedule. For this one, SVV and I used our destination marketing background to teach a pair of one-day workshops on iPhoneography and other tourism tricks to chambers, CVBs across Tennessee. What a fun and rewarding experience that was! Bonus: Lebanon has a very pretty mural on its square that I couldn’t wait to photograph—and many of our students did, as well. Everyone loves a good mural, am I right?
We’re currently in Florence, Alabama. Remember when we spent a weekend down in the Shoals two years ago? Well, we’re back—this time for a tourism content project. I just love it here, and it’s a nice, relaxing project after a summer of chaos! You can check out what you’ve missed so far via my Instagram Stories.
We went to a Beyonce concert—or attempted to at least. Have you ever spent $250 for a concert only to arrive and find that security had locked down all the entrances but one and wasn’t letting a soul in? Well, such was the case of attempting to attend our one and only concert at Vanderbilt Stadium. If you’re tempted to buy tickets for a future Vandy event, go ahead and save yourself the $250 and don’t do it. If you missed my social media rant, don’t worry, News Channel 5, Channel 4 and Fox 17 pulled alllll the Tweets in the most embarrassing stunt Vanderbilt has pulled yet: allowing a concert then not having any security equipped to handle said show. And no we never got in either, nor has Ticketmaster called me (or any of the thousands also stuck on the outside) back for that matter. Vanderbilt also has chosen to ignore this whole PR disaster in hopes it will just go away (not gonna happen, Vandy, but good try!).
I broke my big toe. Five weeks later, I’m finally on the mend, but it was pretty brutal at the time. And my own fault, too. I fell down a flight of stairs while summoning a Lyft on my phone and landed toe-down on a slab of marble. OUCH is right. I’d post a photo simply because it’s impressive, but feet photos are just plain gross, y’all. That’ll teach me to text and walk!
SVV separated a couple of ribs. But he says it was worth it for the glory of being back on a wakeboard! And he definitely looked good out there, too
One of our favorite long-term clients had budget cuts. Which means our project went bye-bye, along with one of our best anchor clients. It’s a bummer after two years of working really hard on that concept, but also a bit of a relief as it should free us up in the winter to work on a handful of projects we’ve been shelving for far too long due to a lack of time and mental bandwidth.
So August may have very well been the busiest month to date! September has me traveling to Knoxville, the Smokies, Austin and North Carolina, the latter for my sister’s 30th birthday, as well as some big work projects scattered between; it’s likely to be another sleepless month, filled with people and places that bring me joy, so I can hardly complain about that!
How did August shake out in your corner of the Internet?
All of my past monthly highlights can be found here.