The bride needs an assistant, or two.Β 

Shew, it’s been awhile.. life most definitely gets in the way of blogging. Let’s talk weddings. The single most dreamed about even in every little girl’s life. This weekend we had the pleasure of helping with a gorgeous wedding at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. If y’all haven’t visited, it’s a must see. The grounds are gorgeous! 😍😍

CCC offers a ton of different wedding services. Melanie & Aaron asked that we do day-of coordination services. If you future brides have not considered having a day-of assistant, you definitely need to. Of all the services we offer, I feel like this one is the most important. 
Your wedding day is busy. For you, your party, your family, your guests. It’s impossible to both enjoy your day, and try to coordinate all of the details. A bridal assistant or coordinator will be your behind the scenes person. Ensuring every decoration is just right. Snapping a few candid photos. Getting vendors where they need to be. Calming down bridezillas. Making last minute decisions. Being a voice of reason when there’s  a disagreement. Bribing flower girls, running last minute errands​, handling payments, filling in spots that would’ve otherwise been a catastrophe. A good assistant has any emergency item you could imagine at a moment’s notice- everything from floral tape to bug spray. Your sanity is worth it’s weight in gold. 

Although it’s easier to be a coordinator for the entire planning process, it’s not impossible for us to come in on the last day and make things happen.  Typically, we will meet several days before, to discuss your plan. Then, we’ll attend rehearsal, and be at your beckon call for your entire wedding day. 

Do yourselves a favor, and find an amazing coordinator. ❀

Check out our Instagram or Facebook for more wedding photos. πŸ™‚ 


Why I Didn’t March.Β 

Let’s talk about feminism. Defined:the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. Am I for equal rights? Sure I am. I think everyone should be treated equally, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political party and Anything else you can think of. Bottom line is, work hard (if you’re able) and don’t be an asshole. 

I don’t like to spew my opinion on politics & religion, because I wasn’t raised to do so. I think that the world was a better place when we all had the good sense to mind our own business. 

Between our own idiocy and the bias of the media riling us up, we have become so divided that I honestly wonder if we will ever get our shit back together again.  

Here’s what I do know, because we live in such a fabulous country, we are afforded freedom of speech, and a right to a peaceful protest. Do I want to throw on a vagina hat and walk a mile? Hell no, I don’t even want to walk across the room to get a blanket when I’m cold. Ya know why? Because I’m tired.

 This week alone I’ve ran my household, my grandfather’s household, dealt with my grandmother’s estate, actively participated in a moving job, painted several rooms,  ran two businesses, and managed to make it to all of my kid’s sports practices.  Honestly, I could use a little less equality and a little more Netflix. 

Do I respect the ladies that decided to do so? You bet I do. If they made a speech that made them look ridiculous, that’s their right as an American. Do I agree with them? Maybe on some of their agendas, but not on their delivery. 
Do I believe that men and women are equal? Yes, I believe we have the same constitutional rights, that are for the most part fair. However, there are many areas that need some work: pay scale (almost there), parental rights (men are screwed in this dept), and military draft (equality is equality, ladies). Those are just three that come to mind. 

Men and women are inherently different though, and that’s something that we should embrace. Can I drive a U-Haul? You bet I can. Can my husband do it better? You’re damn Skippy. Can he turn on the washing machine? Yes, but sorting the laundry is not his forte. This may be different for any given couple, and that’s okay too. Point is, anything my husband can do, I can do too, and vice-versa. 

Anyway. I didn’t March on Saturday, because: 

  1. I don’t have time (or the desire) to watch the news, so I didn’t even know about the march. 
  2. I don’t even know what they were marching about.  From what I have read, it’s everything from anti- Trump to wage equality. 
  3.  I was doing man-work.  For my business. That I started. At a job that I lined up. That paid not only me & my husband, but a handful of others that needed the cash in our crap economy. 
  4. Had I been not busy, I likely would still have not marched, because I’m lazy. 
  5. Lastly, I didn’t March because it’s counter productive. If you want to make a change- you don’t scribble out a sign and walk in the street. You organize, you set goals, and you work your ass off to achieve them.

Bottom line is.. regardless of who the president is, or where you go to church, or who you lay down next to tonight, we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!  So love your neighbor, and serve your community, and work hard to make your corner of the world the very best it can be. ❀

Y’all ain’t gonna like this….

Three years ago, I sat at my desk, at a job that I hated. Sure, it was a state job, with decent benefits and a 401k, but I. Was. Miserable. 

There, I said it. I despised my new boss, my changed responsibility, and definitely the rules of the food stamp program that I had to abide by. My husband was working a sixty hour week, we had any and everything our little hearts desired… nice vehicles, vacations, name brand toilet paper, and we hadn’t cashed in our change jar in years. 

It took the death of my father to wake my ass up. Life is soooo very short. Our kids are both in school, our family members are aging, and here we are spending all of our time chasing a buck for two free weeks a year. 

That’s not what led me to write today….sorry if I’m ADD…Coal is my inspiration of the day. I just finished an article about Obama mentioning Pikeville, KY specifically when discussing rural areas progressing economically….and if you don’t have a minute, you may wanna stop here. I’ve got a lot to say, and it’s likely gonna be a big run-on sentence…with commas & dot-dot-dots. (I love me some dot-dot-dots…😂)

I was born and raised right here in Coal Country. Lived here until I went to college, I know more coal miners than you could even imagine. I suppose though, I never truly thought about their job until someone I loved spent his days inside a mountain.

 I headed downstate to college right out of high school, and it was the best call I could’ve made. I don’t care where you’re from, when it’s time for you to go to college-y’all need to get the hell outta wherever you are and learn about life, yourself, the world. I had big plans to leave Pike County in my past- until I had kids. There was nowhere I would rather be. It’s wonderful to have family and friends (that are just like family) to help you raise them. I can send them to school and not have to worry, I know their teachers, their friends parents, their coaches. It’s amazing. Really. 

Back to the point. The hubs and I move “home”. I get a decent job with the state, but it takes him a minute to find a good job. He tried the cookie factory and hated it (although the pay ain’t bad), and eventually landed a job as a mechanic for a coal-prep plant. He started as a contractor, got hired on permanent, and received plenty of on the job training. Pay was about $5/hr more than he was used to when we lived in the city, and it was union. The job was sometimes tough, but he got to put his handyman skills to work, and he loved it. 

Everyone knows that companies don’t like unions, so they were one of the first to get laid off… fortunately, he was transferred to another nearby plant and was able to retain a job, but as an equipment operator… about a day into this and he was bored out of his mind- he made the hardest decision I think he will ever make: he chose to go underground. I hated the idea, but I’m all for making your own choices, so here we go. Vacation days given up to get his card, he gets the job, and a $10/hr raise.  Yep. A twenty something with little college is making $30ish bucks an hour. That’s insane.

 Keep in mind that this same job is ready and available to a fresh outta high school kid.. I mean with overtime you’re looking at a $100k job with two weeks of training. That’s damn good money. That my friends, is what the majority of men are used to here in the coalfields. 

Let’s talk about what it’s like. Great pay, great benefits, paid vacay and bonuses…but here’s the best part- you work at least 10 hours a day, sometimes more, and usually 6 days a week. 

 Your day starts, if you’re lucky, with your wife packing your dinner bucket-literally a hard plastic tacklebox or toolbox so their food wouldn’t get smashed. I packed a many. Double bag the sandwich so the coal dust doesn’t get in, extra drinks, snack cakes, chips, paper towels (for “shitter” paper, except there’s no shitter), various medicine, inhaler for breathing, always some extras-because you know you’re working extra, and an “I love you” note just in case.  It doesn’t stop there. My miner (like most) kept a picture of his family inside his hat, double layered his socks, taped up his boots, strapped on his 30 pound belt with his rescuer (in case they aren’t getting air), light (because that’s literally their only source), and I can’t even remember what else. I hated it, and I’m sure he did too. 

This was the job he chose. He laid down on a man-trip twice a day everyday with his brothers, to ride 45 minutes one way INTO the earth to earn a payday. He worked for hours every day bent over because be wouldn’t fit in his workspace. No contact with the outside world, nothing but his crew, his bucket, and the middle of a mountain.  You know what else he had? Uncertainty. Never knowing if someone would make a mistake, never knowing if the air quality was actually up to par, never knowing if his family was okay, never knowing if he would wake up to a job tomorrow.

As much as I hated my job, I hated his ten thousand times more. 

I constantly searched for other work, contemplated moving, talked going back to college- the keyword here is me. Not him. You know what he did in his free time? Ate dinner and slept, occasionally played with the kids or washed his truck.  

In the meantime, changes came for me. I decided to open a business. Somehow, against the odds, it worked. Fast forward a year into the endeavor, we had our bills straight, and we are considering kicking the mines to the curb. But, not before they pulled it out from under our feet. That’s the thing about a non-union mine, you’re expendable.

While I’m on this big-ass soapbox…Yes, I agree that the EPA has ruined a many a mine, but coal is and always will be a variable market. This is not the first time it’s been driven to the ground, and it certainly won’t be the last. In addition, there’s plenty of blame to place on mis-managed companies. Yet, we hang onto promises and hopes. For years we have been given a coal severance tax. What is that? It’s literally a royalty on a non-renewable resource. Wanna know what it should’ve been used for? Expanding industry and infrastructure in our area. Wanna know why it wasn’t? Because the politicians were paid off by the coal companies to not bring in any workforce competition (instead it lined pockets). Draw your own conclusions.  One more soapbox item….Coal miners (mine included) have a very hard time accepting a job after coal, it’s hard to change that 100k mindset, and local options at even half of this salary are few and far between. 

I suppose what I’m getting at, is inspiration, and broadening horizons. I don’t just want a better life for me and my family. I want it for everyone. 

I can’t say that I love coal, I’ve seen first hand what it does to men, our land, and our community. Sure, it’s made a good living for a lot of people, but where has it really left us? Can we all just stop with the blame game and the wait for someone to wave a magic wand over us? We are the only ones who can truly change our lives. 

Pikeville, KY has done a great job of turning a coal town around.  It’s an amazing small town.  I wish, instead of beating a dead horse, the surrounding people would wake up. Wake up and realize that by relying on coal for so many years, and never seeing a bigger picture, how crippled we truly are. I wish we could all look at how drugs, poverty, entitlement and laziness has taken over our little corner of the world. Most of all though, I wish that I could fix it, and stop waking up every day just wanting to run away… 


I swear, his arms feel like home…

Chris Hackney and I have been together for twelve years. Long years. Almost like dog years. 🐕 We are the perfect example of fire and gasoline. Stubborn, hot tempered, passionate people who refuse to break… Regardless of how much the other one tries to get them to. 

I don’t know that a day goes by that we aren’t fighting about something, but we are always quick to make-up. I couldn’t even tell you what most of our tiffs were over. 

Now I’m lying next to him in bed, he’s tickling me in his sleep and I realize that I could not ask for a better man. He is perfect, even if he is mean as hell. 

He has proven this time and time again, but as you get older, you get wiser, and perspective becomes much clearer. 

The last week of my life has been one of the hardest I recall. My granny, my person, passed away. For six days we could do nothing but watch as the inevitable came to pass. He was there. Holding her hand. Checking on my grandpa. Sleeping beside me in a hospital chair. Doing all of our housework. Being a single mom. He calmed my soul when my nerves were shot. Fed me when he knew I hadn’t eaten. Today he stood by my family as we chose her arrangements, and didn’t hesitate to help dig her final resting place. Now he’s sleeping in the “you’ll be sorry” Trump t-shirt she had made for her T-Man. 

When you’re young and in love you think you have it all. For us lucky ones, we do end up with just that. I love you, Chris Hackney, crossing guard sash and all. 


Fun at a Funeral?Β 

There it is. I said it. Funerals need to stop with the solemnity. We are all sad, we are all going to miss our loved one… But this is not the opportunity to present hellfire & brimstone, it is also not the time to look at the body and inevitably say “he/she looks so good”, it is a time to gather, fellowship, and celebrate the one who is no longer with us. 

I have been to many funerals over the years. Military. Public Figures. Religious. Non- Religious. Rich. Poor. Young. Old. Cremated. Open casket. Closed Casket. Celebrations of life, and everything in between. I find them unbelievably interesting. 

I suppose, before I go on, I should note that I am not religious. For many years I was, for many more I questioned everything, and finally I settled. Regardless of your creed, death is certain for all of us. It is a law, not a tragedy. I believe in multiple dimensions, other worlds if you will, and I believe that our souls are forever bound even if our bodies are not. 

Back to the point… Our funeral is our last bodily goodbye to our loved ones. Over the years, funerals (IMO) have become more relaxed. You see less structure, and more stories. You hear laughter, see slideshows, and feel a sense of belonging. Families may be getting together for the first time in years. Although the circumstances aren’t ideal, it is always nice to see those familiar faces. 

Tonight, I visited the wake of my great uncle. At 89 years old, he went on from this world. He was a pillar of our small community and served as sheriff for more years than I have been alive. Sure, it’s sad that he is gone, but he lived an amazing life. The wake was somewhat formal, with many uniformed deputies, but the mood was light. Old friends talking, stories being told, smiles and hugs all around.

 I sat with my grandmother and we talked a little about everything. A few years ago when my dad passed (her last living child) she asked me to take photos at the service.  At the time I thought she had went off the deep end, but three years later I am glad that I did. I cherish those as much as I do photos of my kids. It marked an important part of my life, of his life. I happened to look up tonight as they were beginning the Casket Watch, and I have to say it was humbling experience. I was blessed to have known this man. Proud of his service to our country and our community. I knew I had to preserve this memory. For myself. For my children. 

A funeral is not a day in a lifetime, it is remembering a lifetime in a day. 


Being a (Sports) Mom Sucks.Β 

I make a living by fixing things. Organizing garages, freshening a room with a coat of paint, cleaning the unthinkable, decorating homes to look like the cover of Good Housekeeping. Give me a project, and I will shine. 

Parenting, however, is hard for a fixer. It’s easy to fix a broken toy, or a scraped knee, or even a splinter in the foot (next time, we will just go straight to the emergency room). Heartbreaks, disappointment, feeling inadequate, these are the tough ones. 

For those of you just tuning in, Chris and I have two boys. CJ (9) and Ty (8) who are a year and six days apart. It’s like having twins. Only better. They’re both smart, and athletic, and different as day & night. It is so hard to be a parent- especially during sports season. 

When they’re babies and toddlers you do everything you can to keep them safe and happy. Lif is just a series of breaking up fights over toys & video games. Good times, y’all. 

Then they start playing sports, and getting involved in extra curriculars, and before you know it, one is better at this or that than the other. Sure you have good years, when they are on separate teams and you are running to two separate practices, two separate games, and just trying to stay sane. 

Then the stars magically align, and your little darlings are on one team, one schedule, and you actually get to cook dinner occasionally. Bliss. Until one gets more playing time, or a higher score, or more tackles. Good lord, here we are again. 

If this isn’t enough, you have all the parent drama. Here are the basic types of sports parents.. and sure I’m a little bit of all of them. 

  1. The Matron Saint of Housewifery.   You know her, or maybe you are her, hell I’ve been her. The mom that brings popsicles for the whole team after practice (guilty🙋). She always has extra socks, bandaids, and bottled water. 
  2. The dad who should’ve been the coach, or the ref, or the team owner. He knows it all and knows it loud. At practice, at games, on Facebook. 
  3. Life story mom. Yep, here she comes. Do not make eye contact. Shit. She’s heading our way. This woman has not had an adult conversation all week, and you just got crowned as her temporary bff. She’ll give you a thirty minute (if your lucky) rundown of everything she has thought, done and ate today. Every. Single. Thing. 
  4. Parent who is sure your child isn’t supposed to be on the team they’re on. How much does he weigh? What grade is he in? He’s awfully big for a third grader. Ya know what lady, I feed him steroids every night at bedtime. SMH
  5. Excuse parent. We were late because… we can’t make it when…we need to leave early….I have to work…I can’t help.. blah, blah, blah. Get with it sissy, the rest of us don’t have lives. 
  6. PJ parent. Maybe this one isn’t such a big deal anywhere else, but the trend in our neck of the woods is ridiculous. Seriously. They sell pajamas that look like jeans, invest. And please, brush your teeth & hair. 
  7. Mom who you’ve never seen before. I’m guilty. I don’t go to every single practice. Sometimes I have to work, or shop, or find my center at yoga. But in all seriousness, which kid does she belong to? 
  8. Parent who’s kid didn’t get equal playing time. These are my favorite. They sit there with a stopwatch and a clip board making sure little Johnny got his fair share of clock time. Jeez. #participationtrophy

I’m sure there’s more- y’all weigh in.

Anyway.. I got off topic. Being a sports mom sucks. Hell, being a parent sucks. All you wanna do when your kid feels like he isn’t good enough is go punch someone in the face. Kids are mean, adults are mean. Life is tough.

There comes a point, before you are ready, that you have to let kids feel their pain, and process it, and learn from it. I think at 8 & 9 years old my kids are old enough to deal with bullies and unfairness and life, without (for the most part) my interference. 

My youngest didn’t place at an academic team meet last night- sure I could go whine about it, but you know what? It’s his fault. He didn’t put the study time in. Did it make me hurt for him, sure. Did I tell him it was okay? Not a chance. It’s not okay, he is far too smart to not place. Kids have to learn responsibility, y’all. There is always going to be a consequence for that action. 

When he was told he wouldn’t be playing at a scrimmage, we didn’t stay home, we didn’t call the  coach and whine. We dressed out, and sat on the bench. Guess what? He played – not much, but he played. You are a part of a team no matter how little you play. Take the time to learn the plays, practice, work. If your coach is any kind of coach he (or she) will recognize your efforts. 

I don’t believe in trophies for everyone. I don’t believe in equal playing time.  I believe in giving 110% in everything you do.  I believe in consequences for your actions. I believe in responsibility. I believe in accountability.  I believe everyone is destined for greatness, and if they work hard, they will achieve it. 


I’m just a girl who decided to go for it.Β 

I have had a job for as long as I have been able… I remember going to my Granny’s and washing coffee mugs for cash. I had to have been 6 or 7 years old. At sixteen I got my first “real” job- answering phones at the local pizza place. Since then, I’ve worked fast-food, babysat, hospitals, nursing homes, and finally landed a great job working for the state government. All of these gigs were in addition to school and later kids, and at times, both. 

I am no-nonsense when it comes to working. I am a firm believer in pulling your weight, and taking care of your own. I’m not gonna get all political though- I was raised to not discuss politics, and I wish everyone still abided by those rules. Anyway… I’ve had a ton of bosses. Some nice, some not so much. Many who have inspired me, and a few who were completely incompetent. Love them or hate them, it’s a fact of life. 

There’s always been someone for me to answer to… and honestly, I was sick of it. I pitched my business idea to my family & friends, and met a lot of resistance… “you’ve got a great state job”, “you’ll never make enough money”, “the economy is so bad here”….Blah, blah, blah was all I heard. When I set my mind to something – it’s do or die…and I’m still kickin’. 

I opened the concierge business in January. I eased in, taking a job here and there, working evenings and April, business was good enough for me to give my notice. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s definitely worth it.  My goal was for Chris to be able to quit the coal mines….and in a year’s time – we were both self-employed. We are now proud owners of two thriving businesses in a crap economy, and we have never been happier. 
I want to encourage anyone that is even toying with the idea of opening their own business to go for it. Something will ALWAYS be unfavorable. Tiptoe if you must, but take that step. 

Yes, it’s hectic. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s hard work. But we love every single minute of it. So here’s to the bosses- especially the self-made ones – hope your day was wonderful!!