Sometimes dad forgets…

By Becky Andrews

There’s an episode of “The Golden Girls” where Sophia befriends a man on the boardwalk in the Miami town the show takes place. In a pivotal scene, her new friend becomes confused and frustrated. Later, Sophia learns that he has Alzheimer’s Disease. I remember watching this episode years ago and thinking how sad it was, but that’s it. I couldn’t relate. I didn’t get it. Now I do.

Above: My dad, Ralph and his favorite child; Becky. (C’mon! I had to add that!)

My dad has a great story. He was an Italian Yankee who moved down south to attend college on a football scholarship at Western Carolina University. That’s where he met my mom. “Italian Yankee” was my grandmother’s nickname for him. (Actually, the real nickname she had for him was inappropriate.)  She didn’t care for him when she met him for the first time. She hated him when he moved her only daughter and only grandson to Tennessee after he and mom graduated. That’s another story altogether.

Dad was hardworking. While he wasn’t perfect, he loved his wife and kids with fierce devotion. He was strict and protective and funny and loving and strict and strict and suspicious. Suspicious mostly of his teenage children. We were guilty until proven innocent. In fact, all teenagers were guilty until proven innocent.

In 2012, dad got the diagnosis. First, his specialist thought it was Lewy Body dementia. After more tests, they settled on vascular dementia. It didn’t matter what they called it. Each one shared the same sad ending. We knew life for all of us would never be the same.

The worst day was when he realized what was happening. “I think I know what’s wrong with me, but I don’t want to talk about it, ok?” So, we didn’t.

Most of the time he was perfectly fine. We would even think the doctors were wrong. Then he would tell a story about how he stopped a “stick up” in the Kroger parking lot at 3 am or give a detailed account of his trip to Hawaii the week before. Even going so far as trying to find the slides he took while visiting. Guys, he’s never been to Hawaii. He’s still fine. Most of the time he handles his normal with cool indifference.

Last week, dad fell at home. I was with him. In fact, he fell on the kitchen floor that I had just mopped. It was kind of my fault. For the few minutes it took to get him up, I must have told him “I’m so sorry” 100 times. I even started to cry. He finally said, “Stop it with the ‘sorrys!’ Help me get up! Why are you crying?! I’m the one that fell!” We went to the ER, and dad was fine. No broken bones. No stitches. Nothing.

If you have cared for anyone living with progressive dementia, you know that it’s the hiccups in daily routines that create the perfect environment for an incident. The incident results in your loved one traveling a little bit further down the rabbit hole.

Four days after the fall, dad called. I knew this tone of voice. He was nervous.

Dad- “I think I’ve hurt my neighbor’s feelings. We just passed each other, and he didn’t say anything.”
Me- “Why do you think you hurt his feelings?”
Dad- “We were talking at the morning coffee, and he kept talking over me. I think I said something like, ‘Jesus, do you ever shut up?!’”
A phrase, I must admit, I’ve wanted to say to my dad on a few occasions.
Me- “Do you think maybe you had a dream? Dreams can feel real sometimes. It happens to everyone.”
Dad- “You’ve had dreams where you’ve told my neighbor to ‘shut the hell up!’”?
Me- “No, I’ve had bad dreams that seemed very real. It bothers me even after waking up.”
Dad- “I don’t think this was a dream, Becky. I don’t ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

I called his neighbor to check. He reassured me that nothing happened. He did tell me that dad had asked him the same question a couple of weeks ago. This sweet man, who has become one of dad’s closest friends, even stopped by later that day  to check on us.

The following morning, dad told me about the dream again. To him, it was real. He was adamant. I told him we talked to his neighbor and he said nothing happened. Dad’s facial expression went from confusion to sadness. Where he didn’t recognize the difference between a dream and reality, he did silently acknowledge that whatever has been taking pieces of him, isn’t finished. He let his head drop, defeated. Those are the heartbreaking moments.

Later, I was flipping through the channels and stopped on “Nik at Nite” where I caught the end of that episode of “The Golden Girls” I mentioned earlier. Sophia looks at her daughter Dorothy and says, “People think if you live to be my age, you should be grateful just to be alive. That’s not how it works. You need a reason to get up in the morning and sometimes when you find one; life can turn around and spit in your face.” Now I get what she meant.

It’s been one week since he fell and it’s the third morning in a row that he hasn’t mentioned the dream. He’s back to working out at the gym. He’s back to writing down everything he eats. He’s back to calling me ten times in the morning and night to make sure I’m not texting and driving. He’s back to telling me the dark lipstick I wear “looks like something a prostitute would wear.” He’s back to being a dad again. I’m so glad that’s something that is proving hard to forget.

There’s my dad. He’s pretty cool. He knows it too. 


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Thank you Blake Leonard

By Angel Kane

So most Sundays, I sit and write my articles. The columns Becky and I pen are not Pulitzer Prize-winning prose but just something meant for fun and fluff.

This week our middle child finally decided on her college of choice. My article was going to be all about our Zoe. It was going to be light, maybe funny and probably a little sad too, because whenever I think of my children flying the coop, I become melancholy.

But this morning as I grabbed my coffee and sat at my computer to begin to compose my column, my fingers aimlessly first scrolled through Facebook. And there, in one of the photos, I ran across a photo of Blake Leonard. Blake is the son of Leah and Daniel Leonard. Leah was my very first friend when I moved to Lebanon. We were neighbors. Little Blake was their first born. We shared birthday parties and backyard plastic pool parties. I have photos of Blake and Zoe, from many a Halloween, when we would walk the neighborhood together.

We moved across town when they were both in elementary school, so like all things do, certain things came to an end. But Leah and I have remained friends. She is one of those people that I can always count on and while we don’t see each other often, when we do, it’s like time stopped.

But I digress, so there was Blake on FB. Leah had posted a photo of him from his Navy boot camp graduation. I hit “like” and scrolled on past.

But then, a minute later another photo popped up of Blake dressed in his finest navy attire proudly standing for a photo. He looked so grown up. So strong. I stopped at the photo and clicked to enlarge it. Then enlarged it some more. He looked a little different than I remembered. He had purpose in his eyes.

And while Zoe picking a college is a big deal in our little life. The fact that Blake Leonard has joined the Navy is a big deal in all our lives. Our Zoe going off to college is bittersweet, but our daughter will be a phone call and a two-hour drive away. And while we are unbelievably proud of all she is accomplishing, I am 100 times as proud of Blake. And 100 times as proud of his parents.

Blake Leonard is doing something momentous. Blake Leonard is committing himself to our country. Blake Leonard is going to protect my life, your rights, our world. He has endured basic training, which in and of itself, is a mighty feat. And at some point soon will be on a navy ship, out in a vast ocean, defending our shores and, oftentimes, shores that seem to have very little do with us but in reality have everything to do with us. His parents, grandparents and entire family are no doubt enduring sleepless nights and overwhelming fear and yet they let him go. Bravery like theirs is something I don’t know that I have myself. While my Zoe will be tucked in her dorm room bed, Blake will be across the world ensuring she wakes up the next morning to the same world that existed when she went to sleep the night before.

So today, on this Sunday, when I should have gone to church but instead got up late and am sipping on my, now, lukewarm coffee, trying to compose a light and funny article, today, I pray for both Blake and Zoe. I pray the good Lord will watch over Blake and continue to give him the courage, wisdom and determination he needs for his chosen path. And I pray Zoe will use her college days to grow into a productive citizen. I pray she will use her talents to make our world a better place.

I pray most of all though, that she will thank Blake Leonard. I pray she will thank Blake and the Blakes that came before him, the Blakes that are with him now and the Blakes that come after him. Because without the Blake Leonard’s of this world, Zoe Kane would not have the blessings that now await her.


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The other ‘F’ word…

By Becky Andrews

When my youngest child was six- months old, my little sister came for a visit. One of her many visits
trekking from the northwest to Tennessee that summer. That was the last summer we had we our mom.

When I picked her up from the airport, she asked how I was doing. “I’m fine,” I responded.
With a laugh, she said, “When I started labor and delivery rotation in nursing school, one of my
professors told us that fine is just an acronym for Frustrated Insecure Neurotic Exhausted.”

I don’t like to brag, but I WAS NAILING IT! FINE was my jam.

So every time someone says, “I’m fine” that’s what I think of.  Maybe it’s just easier to say what we think
someone wants to hear instead of going into a 30-minute rant about how life stinks sometimes.

With social media pages that showcase photographic evidence of how fabulous life is, it’s no wonder no
one wants to reveal those warts. If we tell the truth about our less than perfect life, kids, jobs, in-laws,
we then become what we fear most…human. If you are anything other than fine, you’ve failed at this.
Whatever this is.

How’s the new baby?
“He’s perfect. A gift from God. I don’t know what we did before he/she was here. I feel complete. I was
made to nurse. Bloody nipples be damned! My baby is going to be a genius because of me.”
That’s wonderful! How are you?
“Me? I’m fine. I get to watch the sun rise and set and rise and set. I can’t remember the last time I
showered, but I’ve discovered that a baby wipe shower works great in a pinch. I’m totally fine.”

I’ve perfected the art of being fine since having children. I was fine when our oldest didn’t want to learn
his letters in preschool. I was fine when he didn’t get invited to a friend’s birthday party in first grade
(This is a lie. I’ll never get over that.) I was fine when he started high school. I was fine when he started
driving and dating. I was fine when he made stupid teenager mistakes that left my gut steaming with
worry. I was fine when he experienced his first heartbreak. I was fine when he graduated from high school. I was fine when he went on his first road trip with friends without REAL adult supervision. I was fine when he came home from that unsupervised trip with something pierced! (That’s a lie. I was pissed. He was smart enough to remove “the ring” before coming home, but still stupid enough to let a friend post it on Instagram.) I was fine when we moved him into his college dorm. I’m fine now even though I have no idea if he’s washed his sheets since we moved him into that dorm more than six months ago. I’m fine not knowing or having any control over what he’s doing while away from my admittedly overbearing, watchful eye. I’ve been the walking embodiment of FRUSTRATED INSECURE NEUROTIC EXHAUSTED more times than I’d like to admit. And I’m sure I will feel the sting of that acronym with my youngest who will begin high school in a few short months. Today I am fine. Really!

For now, I’m done with the “How are you” questions. Common sense and a little life experience prove
that you are probably not fine if you just lost a parent or a job or if you just had a baby eight days ago or
your oldest child only came home from college THREE TIMES DURING HIS FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE! You are entitled to feel all those inconvenient, complicated emotions that go hand in hand with being human.
You know, the ones that are left out of our Snap Chat stories. Because even if things aren’t really “fine” now, it will be eventually. But don’t get too cocky when things are going well. And don’t say, “My kid would never…” As soon as you utter those words, little Kevin might be headed home with some shiny new
hardware on his nipple!

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Beauty and wellness from the inside out IS WHAT YOUR BODY KNEADS

Written by Becky Andrews

Photography by Jana Pastors

When the announcement came that Hamilton Springs would be the location for a new train station within a mixed-use development, Julie Wilson and Heather Hull who own and operate Body Kneads, Etc., decided they wanted to be on the ground level.  So, it’s no surprise that we met the mother-daughter duo on the ground level of their newly expanded storefront inside the development’s first commercial space. “The timing was perfect for us. We had outgrown our previous space on West Main Street, and because of the vision that the Bell Family has for the development, we couldn’t say no.” Julie says with a laugh.

Since opening in 2010 Body Kneads offered a full sensory spa experience for customers. Their new
location allows them to expand their business model which now includes a specialty Coffee Shop and Deli and a boutique fitness facility.


The mission was simple according to Julie. “Our goal is to create an all-inclusive environment where both
Wilson County residents and spa customers feel welcome.” Julie and Heather say, their friend and interior designer, Meleia Bell exceeded their expectations with the design by preserving the comfort and intimacy from their previous location and combining that with an elegant, modern look without pretense. The
pair credit graphic designer Deirdre Smith of Madejasmile Graphics with their branding and building signage.

Body Kneads Coffee Company With a combined 60 years of experience in operations and food industry management, Julie and her husband Glenn wanted to bring a healthy option for dining as well as a great cup of coffee to visitors. Customers will be treated to fresh roasted coffee from Bongo Java. The menu also includes a selection of fresh salads, wraps, paninis, sandwiches, and soups. As well as fruit, yogurt, protein
shakes, and assorted muffins. In the coming weeks and months, specialty beers and wine will be on the menu. “

*On a side note, I ordered the yogurt with fresh fruit and chicken salad wrap and OMG, both were delicious. The yogurt is served in a glass container that customers can take with them and bring back for a discount on their next order.”

Body Kneads Boutique Fitness This is Heather’s baby. Hull, who has always had a passion for wellness, fitness and working out, wanted to offer clients space that would provide an environment that would make it possible to meet all their wellness goals. “By focusing on group exercise and specializing in women’s personal training and nutritional counseling, our unique approach offers a personal style that allows everyone to feel part of a community,” Hull says.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, Hull wants to make the gym fun and educational. She also
wanted the space to serve as a safe zone for teenage girls to participate in fitness classes, nutrition education, and group discussion. “Being fit physically and mentally are not mutually exclusive. The earlier you learn about the connection of the two, the better.”


Whether you need a specialty facial, massage, pedicure, acupuncture, a weight loss plan, a cup of coffee, a
healthy option for breakfast or lunch, or need to blow off steam in a BARRE class, Body Kneads, Etc. is a one stop shop for all things healthy. Julie and Heather are quick to add that it takes a village to bring the best to Wilson County. “We are humbled to have an amazing, very talented, dedicated staff who believes in what we are doing as much as we do!” Julie continues, “The community has blessed us beyond measure by supporting Heather and I and helping us grow our business over the past eight years into what it is today. We love this town.”
*mention this article to receive a free cup of coffee or tea at Body Kneads Coffee Co. AND a complimentary
group fitness class.

Heather is a board certified LNMT Licensed Neuromuscular Massage Therapist, MTPT Myofascial Trigger
Point Therapist and as well as a certified personal trainer.

Julie is a board certified LNMT Licensed Neuromuscular Massage Therapist, MTPT Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist.

Kenneth Fletcher, L. Ac, RN-Acupuncturist.

Ann Perry, RN-Weight Loss and Health Coach.

For more information on the services offered, visit their new location at 1050 Hamilton Station Blvd. Suite
201 or visit their website

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Inspiration found…keep your weight loss goals in check with help from Inspire Weight Loss

Written by Becky Andrews


Enough time has passed that most of us have probably fallen off the diet wagon we so passionately dedicated ourselves to after January 1st. It turns out there’s a doable program right here in Wilson County. President and CEO of Inspire Weight Loss in Mt Juliet Dr. Jason Burchard says it’s not just diet and exercise that hold the key to weight satisfaction. “A hormone imbalance can affect the way that your body regulates your weight and how long you can maintain weight loss.” Burchard continues, “before a patient begins our program we conduct a full blood panel to check all hormone levels.”

Above: Dr. Jason Burchard prepares for his next patient in his busy Mt Juliet office.

Because hormone production diminishes with age, Dr. Burchard believes his weight loss program not only helps patients lose weight but also helps maintain that weight loss. “We’ve all been there. You lose 20
pounds and six months later, it’s back with five more friends. So now you have 25 pounds to lose. It’s frustrating. And it’s a waste of money.”

For that reason, Burchard wanted to create a program that would fit each individual lifestyle. After re-
viewing test results with patients, one of three Inspire certified health coaches work to create a custom
all-inclusive program for individual patients. While every patient is different, each program includes three essential components.

1. What foods help you burn fat more efficiently.
2. Portion control.  Since many of us (me especially) guess at correct portions, we are often doubling or tripling what we should be eating.
3. The timing in which we eat. “Giving the body enough time to get into fat burning mode by balancing intermittent fasting with making sure you are also eating often enough within the right time frame.” Burchard continues, “This keeps your body from going into starvation mode.”

In addition to following a meal plan, patients can also opt to receive prescription HCG shots. HCG signals the body to break up and metabolize its stored fat.

Below: By offering specialty food items that can easily be included in your new meal plan, Inspire Weight Loss makes meeting your weight loss goal a little easier.

According to Burchard, if you’re considering hormone replacement, bioidentical hormones is the way to go. Unlike non-bioidentical hormones (such as birth control pills or synthetic estrogens like Prempro or
Premarin), bioidenticals have the same effect on the body as the ones produced naturally and are much
safer than synthetics. If you’re ready to make your weight loss successful, call Inspire Medical Weight Loss today. They will also work with you to create realistic weight loss goals and devise a plan to achieve them. After starting a natural hormone replacement program, your physician will continually monitor and reevaluate your hormone levels to ensure that they are maintained at their optimum balance for long-lasting health and vitality.

Above: Seeing is believing. Inspired Weight Loss client Steve Bradley shed 40 pounds on the program.

Visit in person, online or call the professionals at Inspire Medical Weight Loss today!

151 Adams Lane Suite 18, Mt Juliet, TN 37122 • (615) 453-8999 •

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‘Here’s to Strong Women – May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.’

Written by Amanda Crowell

Once upon a time in the last year of the last century, there were two moms of two little girls, both of whom
were two years old. Both moms were fairly new lawyers who had ended up in Wilson County after marrying Wilson County boys whom they met while attending school in their own hometowns.

The moms first met at their local Bar Association luncheon in Lebanon. After a brief conversation, they learned that they were both practicing law with part-time schedules, and their little girls were attending the same daycare on the same three days each week. It didn’t take long to discover that Angel was the mom
of little Madison that my Maggie was always talking about –our little girls were best friends!

Top photo:  Amanda’s daughter, Maggie (left) and Angel’s daughter, Madison at their kindergarten graduation in 2003. 

Bottom photo: Maggie and Madison shortly after Madison’s high school graduation in 2015.

Fast forward twenty plus years, and Angel and I are engaged in something we never dreamed of that day when we first met. After more children and many years of practice, three years ago we joined forces to create our own law firm, Kane & Crowell Family Law Center.

Housed in a historic Victorian building built in the late 1800’s, the office has been transformed over the last century from a family home to a doctor’s office, to a dress shop, to a church building and finally into our law office. Today each room is filled with the everyday hubbub of lawyers, paralegals and law clerks taking care of clients and running to the courthouse, conveniently located right across the street.


Back when we first started practicing law, like many women we were determined to have it all. Raising children, working in a demanding field and trying to find a balance between the two. We laugh now because back then, we were known as the “part-time” lawyers because we often worked around our children’s school schedules. It sure didn’t feel like part-time when we were sitting at our dining room tables preparing for
court after putting the kids to bed! But at the time, very few others were doing it our way so it was nice to have someone as a sounding board who was facing similar struggles.

As the years passed, we went from part-time lawyers to each managing our own large, family law practices. And as Madison and Maggie graduated from high-school and our other children seemed to need us less, the decision was made to come together and build a different type of law firm.

The office of Kane & Crowell is family oriented, both in our areas of practice as well as how we choose to
manage our team. A team that now consists of another attorney with three children of her own, three paralegals, a law clerk, receptionist, and bookkeeper.

And plans are in the works for more growth. We practice what we preach in that family comes first. We chose to distinguish our practice as a family law center because family law is what we know and
what we do best. Every family is likely to find itself in need of legal services in the area of family law at some point.

Our practice encompasses beginning of life issues such as parentage and adoption actions to mid-life issues such as divorce, custody, and child support, to end of life issues such as probate and elder law. Along the way, everyone needs a good Last Will and Testament and the appropriate powers of attorney. We take care of these family needs on a daily basis.

People often ask if we represent more men or women, and it is impossible to say. We represent our clients,
whoever they may be, and we strive to represent them with excellence. We have a wonderful, experienced staff who are crucial to the success of our business. The staff can empathize with our clients in that they or their children have often been in the same need of legal services as our clients find themselves.
We are a small office – predominantly of women–and we strive to maintain a family atmosphere. Angel and I know the importance of balancing work and family, and we try to accommodate the family needs of our employees just as our prior employers did for us. Many of our staff members leave early to pick up kids or attend school events and every Friday one team member takes a half-day. Practicing law can be demanding
and we are mindful of that so we strive to ensure our team likes coming to work– spa days, office lunches and holiday parties to enjoy a good laugh are a must!

A business partnership is a lot like a marriage—you need to share the same values and goals, but it is best if
you bring different strengths to bear in the operating of the business. Angel and I took a series of personality tests when we first joined forces to work on this new business model and found that
although we had thought we were a lot alike, our strengths were actually different from each other and were complementary to each other. Being aware of this and understanding our different personality types helps us work better together. I could paint a rosy picture of two friends going into business together
and living happily ever after, but truth be told, business relationships require lots of communication and compromise.

At the end of the day, friendship and shared goals can be the glue that holds it all together. The practice of law is stressful. Family law is especially stressful for all involved. Having a business partner who is equally experienced and who walks the same legal paths as I do allows us to bounce ideas off of each other and
commiserate when things get difficult. Two heads are definitely better than one.
In a couple more decades, I hope that we can look back and say that we accomplished something good together and that families in Middle Tennessee were better for our having put our heads together to build a family law practice. For these two moms, there have been many blessings along the way.
Our little girls are now in their third year of college and becoming strong young women in their own right. And yes, they are still close friends despite having gone to different schools since first grade.
Last year, Madison visited Maggie on campus for a weekend despite the seven-hour drive. Our husbands are also good friends. The Kane and Crowell bonds of friendship, whether formed in daycare or over a professional luncheon, are sure to endure.

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Teams to remember, play in December

Written by Jeff and Stacey Cherry

Photos by Stacey Cherry

Champions are made at Tucker Stadium on the Tennessee Tech campus in Cookeville, Tennessee. High school football state championships are the dream and pre-season goal of every successful high school
football team. It takes a desire and commitment to excellence, day in and day out, to be able to board that bus to Cookeville come December. It takes a belief in oneself and a commitment to fight for the man beside you.

The Commanders’ 2016 season ended in Jackson, Tennessee with a 42-14 loss to the University School of Jackson. The long bus ride home left the boys with a feeling they could not forget. The following Monday the work began to prepare for the historic season ahead. This Commander Squad was led by twelve seniors known as the “Dirty Dozen.” This group defined their leadership during their off-season preparation followed by their play on the field.

They genuinely love each other and that love and mutual respect for each other and the game was contagious. Stonewall Solutions, LLC, owned by retired Navy SEAL Jason Kuhn, came to the campus in July and put the team through three classroom hours of training followed by a full afternoon of “drills” designed to develop a selfless effort and relentless desire to succeed. After the telephone polls were hoisted, the tractor tires flipped and the water training was concluded, it was clear to see that this Commander squad believed that they had what it took to be Champs.

They began to define their roles with positive thoughts like Relentless Effort; Aggressive Action; Everything Earned; Thrive on Adversity, and It Pays to be a Winner.

After a come from behind win on the Creekbank in Trousdale County in week two and another come from behind win at DCA in week five, Commander fans became excited at the prospects of running the table. After trailing the entire semi-final game against Nashville Christian School, the resilient Commanders imposed their will in a dramatic finish, punching their ticket to the championship game. The 2017 Commanders will always be known for their perfect season. A season achieved because they worked together as a complete team. Every man stepped up and did his job for the betterment of the team – Teamwork makes the Dreamwork. They have etched their legacy on FCS football with a dream season, culminating by hoisting the coveted gold ball. They will not be soon forgotten. After all, “teams to remember play in December.”

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Full-Time, Full-Service and Fierce… From Empty Nest To MAKING A REAL-ESTATEMENT

Written by Becky Andrews

Photos by John Brown Photography

If you were to follow her around on any given day, remember one thing; be prepared to keep up. “Some days can be pretty laid back, and that makes it easy to catch up on paperwork at the office, but that’s the exception, not the…hold on; I need to grab this.” This is the first of many phone calls and office intercom pages for Anita Tate during our conversation. Anita is the owner and Principal Broker at Century 21 West Main Realty & Auction in Lebanon. She’s busy, but on an overcast winter afternoon, the exception happened, so she was able to sit down and share her story.
In the more than two decades she’s been in the real estate business–nearly 13 years as owner of her own real estate firm–Anita has sold upwards of 100 million dollars in real estate, helped shape legislation to protect buyers, sellers, and agents, taught continuing education classes, and baked more cookies, cakes, and casseroles for clients than she can count. She learned early on in her career that attitude is the key to success. “As the owner of a company, when you make the biggest commitment, work the hardest and run the fastest–your energy becomes contagious, and everyone around you is inspired to double down and make it happen.”


ABOVE: Anita cuts up with Rick Bell as they survey progress inside a space at the new Hamilton Springs mixed-use development. Rick and his brother Jack Bell are the developers while Anita is the listing agent on the project.

The road from her childhood in Madison, Tennessee has been filled with twists and turns. “My father died when I was 14 years-old, so my mother was left to raise me and my sisters by herself.” Anita continues, “We had to do our part around the house. Nothing was just given to us, and I’m so thankful for that. I think it’s rare these days that parents expect kids to do their share in a household.” It was her experience growing up the youngest of five girls, that she became accustomed to a busy environment. So, when her only child, Lesli left for college, and the hum of teenage activity fell silent, she found herself searching for something to fill that space. “You could say my real estate career started out of boredom, something to keep me busy while I adapted to becoming an empty nester.
After I got my real estate license, the first house I purchased was in the college town where Lesli lived. She and her husband, Trent had just married, so that house turned into our first flip. Lesli and Trent did 99% of the work themselves.”

Anita purchased and flipped one more property before Lesli and Trent decided to move to Lebanon. Not
long after they started a family of their own.
The side hustle of flipping properties coupled with an unapparelled dedication to assisting buyers and sellers, eventually lead to Anita being recognized as one of Middle Tennessee’s most respected, highest selling and hardest working agents in the industry. But she’s quick to point out that her success is a team effort. “I work with some amazing agents every single day in my office. Plus, I have the bonus of working with Lesli who has been a licensed real estate agent for 15 years. Because we are family, it makes it a natural fit to work together.” Anita continues, “There’s no one else I’d rather work so closely with than her.”
Lesli and Trent are responsible for giving Anita the title she cherishes most; Gammy to 17-year-old Talor and
8-year-old Jake. “I can’t get enough of those two! I loved being a mom to Lesli and still do, but being a gammy…it’s totally different.”

Below: Anita and her husband John pose with their grandaughter Talor, grandson Jake, Lesli and Lesli’s husband Trent.

When she’s not assisting buyers, sellers or mentoring affiliate brokers, or volunteering for local non-profit
organizations like Wings Over Wilson* you can most likely find Anita in the kitchen. “I love to cook. Baking is
something that is very therapeutic, but it’s also been an excellent way to spend time with Lesli and my grandkids. It’s something we can do together without the expectation of anything besides what we are cooking. I’ve discovered that this time together creates a relaxed environment where conversation just kind of happens. That’s the good stuff.” 2018 is filled with adventure for Anita and her family. In fact, she will no doubt experience a little Deja Vu as she looks on while Lesli helps Talor prepare to leave home for college in
the fall. “Talor will graduate in May. College is next. ”She trails off and looks towards her daughter’s office across the hall then adds, “It won’t be easy for Lesli. That’s life though. Getting to the good stuff is never easy.”


1. She’s been married to Dr. John Tate for 15 years.

2. She has two grandchildren; Talor, 17 and Jake, 8.

3. She obtained her realtor license in 1995.

4. She opened her own brokerage in 2005.

5. 2014 Realtor of the Year, Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors.

6. 2017 President EMTAR.

7. Professional designations- GRI, SRES, ABR, and CBR and is a State of Tennessee licensed auctioneer.

* Wings over Wilson is a faith-based women’s charity group that helps support needs inside Wilson County.

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She’s doin’ it!

By Becky Andrews

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or perhaps not on social media, you’ve probably heard her commentary on everything from CrossFit to sick kids. She’s Heather Land or you may know her as the “I ain’t doin’ it” lady whose hilarious commentary has gone viral. It all started in September when on a whim she sent her friends a short video of what she really thought of CrossFit. That video, enhanced with a clever Snap Chat filter, has garnered more than 20 million views and caught the attention of some pretty big names in entertainment like country music superstar Miranda Lambert. A few weeks and additional videos later, organizations from across the country began reaching out because they wanted this funny lady to entertain at upcoming events.
It’s been nearly six months since that first post. Since then, Heather and her two children moved to Wilson County.
Even though she’s got a very busy tour schedule and kid schedule, she made some time to sit down with Wilson Living and answer a few questions, so we could get to know our new neighbor a little better.


Where are you from originally?
“I’m from Milan, in West Tennessee. After I graduated from high school in 1994, I hopped around a little bit and
eventually wound up in Pensacola, Florida and started classes at a bible college. That’s where I met my ex-husband.”
How long were you married?
“We were married for almost 15 years. We were in ministry for a long time. I was a worship leader and he was a youth pastor. We worked at a church in West Texas for 10 years. After our tenure in Texas, we moved to Colorado Springs where I wrote and produced an album. I started homeschooling my kids at that time too. After some international travel with the church, the bottom fell out of my marriage. And here we are.”
Going through a divorce is hard enough, but as leaders in your church, did that make it even harder?
“It’s hard when you’re in ministry. I don’t know if it’s people from the outside or ourselves that hold unrealistic expectations. Probably both. Your are held to a standard and we just couldn’t meet the standard.”
What was the standard?
“I think in my mind it was perfection. How stupid is that? You know the American Dream. You have it all together.
I think that’s part of the problem too. We appear to have it all together on the outside…”

But on the inside?
“Everything’s a mess. No one can keep up that act. I think some looked at me and thought, “How can you minister
to other people when you are fractured?” If we love the Lord, we minister out of our brokenness. That’s what I’m
doing. I don’t consider myself broken emotionally, but my marriage was broken. And that seems to be doing me and the people around me more good than when I was ever pretending like I had it all together.”
How did you make the leap from Heather to the “I ain’t doin’ it lady”?
“I had tried CrossFit in the past and I think one day I had noticed one too many “CrossFit Check-ins” so I decided to record a video. I sent it to a group of my girlfriends and they said I should post it online. I mean if you can check-in every time your feet hit that Cross-Fit mat, I should be able to give my thoughts on why I can’t do it. It was all in good fun. I remember posting it and going to a meeting at church. Three hours later it had been shared 15,000 times.”
Your fanbase is huge. What do you think the appeal is for your fans?
“That’s weird to hear. “My fans”? I have fans? Anyway, I think it’s honesty. It’s very freeing to be yourself. It’s less
exhausting. When you become who you were meant to be, you discover that the only person holding you back was
the old you. I know for me, I love when someone is honest enough to show their brokenness; people who will look at your wounds and say, “I’ve been there too. But guess what? We’re going to be ok. That’s all we need in this world. To know we’re not alone.”
Tell us what’s next for you? Also, how can our readers keep up with you?
“I’ve got a pretty busy tour schedule. We’ve also got some exciting things in the works. The best place to keep up with me is on social media. On Facebook @iaintdoinit or my YouTube Channel @Iaintdoinit

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Trending in 2018

By Elizabeth Scruggs

Few years and seasons always bring new design trends, and 2018 is no exception. But before looking at what’s to
come, it’s important to define the difference between a fad and a trend. A fad is more of a short-lived craze, whereas a trend has longer staying power, usually a decade or so.

From 1999- 2009, brown was the hot interior color – specifically more of a chocolate brown- because of the
Tuscan trend in interiors. During that time, each year there was a color of the moment to pair with brown. Remember the marriage of brown and blue? Every store and shelter magazine was showing it in accessories
and linens. A year or so later, pink was the color du jour, but brown remained dominant- it was the trend- the other colors were just fads.

Entering the new decade of 2010, the trend of gray began to emerge. But remember what I said above about trends? They only last around a decade, so if you’ve not jumped on the gray train just yet- hold on to your paint brush.

Last fall I traveled to the design mega-center of the world; High Point, North Carolina. Twice a year, designers, makers, furniture companies and design celebrities descend on this small town to share what’s upand-coming in the industry. It is the place where trends are introduced and companies vie to get the attention of every buyer in attendance. There is SO much in High Point, but here are several recurring themes I saw in the showrooms. Some of these have been around a year or so already, while others were new. Which will become trends and which will be only a fad? Only time will tell.

70’s revival 
Several of the showrooms’ styles were reminiscent of this decade. From rope, sisal, and rattan accessories-
to large lampshades and sleeklined case goods, I felt as if I traveled back to my childhood.

Back to Nature
Many, if not all the showrooms, were showing natural accessories and those found in nature. Branches and foliage were everywhere, and rocks and geodes were in abundance. Although I don’t get too trendy, I loved the colors and interest of this coffee table!

Blue and White/ Chinoiserie
The color combination of blue and white is classic, but we’ve been seen quite a resurgence of its popularity. But with that color combo has come a renewed love of chinoiserie and of campaign style furniture.

Someone asked me the other day in reference to plumbing fixtures if gold was “really coming back in style??” Yes, the metals are back. But think champagne brass, or brushed brass- not the “builder’s brass” of the nineties. For about two years now we’ve seen the warmer metals coming, but gold was in full force at High Point this fall, along
with lots of copper.

Warmer Neutral Colors
While there were still plenty of showrooms with cool whites and grays, there were many showing warmer neutrals, and warmer colors. Looking forward, I feel we will see the new trending colorways for interiors leaning warmer, and brighter.

This month I’m heading to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando for the KBIS Design Blog Tour for Modenus. Our group of 24 design bloggers and industry influencers from the U.S., Canada, and Europe has a full four-day itinerary with all the top names in the kitchen and bath industry. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook
to see what’s trending in kitchen and bath, and get the first look at all the new products coming to market!

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