So today is my birthday.  I plan to start off the day with my very first yoga lession – I’m very excited!  Then I’ll be going out with my handsome husband and doing whatever I feel like that does not involve sitting in front of the computer.  YAY!  (This is me doing cartwheels if I could!)

When you’ve had as many birthdays as I’ve had, I think it gets a bit harder to figure out anything you could possibly want for your birthday.  Today, I think I just want rest and relaxation.  There is one thing though that is always on my long term wish list but I’m having the hardest time figuring out how to go about it.  I need your help! 

 To help illustrate, I’ve dug out some of my old photo class work from college.  That’s right!  I sifted through my NEGATIVES and old hand-printed work made with REAL film and chemicals in a darkroom!  Wow – I would love to say those were the days but digital is so much nicer to me!

Even in my teens, I loved old rusty stuff


This was perhaps my favorite shot from Black and White class – Technically it’s not great but it’s very rustic Tennessee to me…


Ok, here’s the one to illustrate my request.  I don’t know what the assignment was but I have all of these pictures of my feet in different places (back when I painted my toenails blue – yikes!)  Zero in on those feet because I seriously heart foot tatoos and I’ve wanted one for the longest!  The problem is that I can’t think of what to get.


I want something that has some sort of meaning to me so that when I’m 60, I’ll still want it around.  It will also be pretty small – probably no bigger than a half-dollar coin although I could be convinced otherwise.  I just don’t see myself as a big tatoo kind of gal.  I’ve thought about doing something with my heritage maybe?  I’m primarily Irish-German-Norwegian and totally Southern.  My spiritual life is something I feel pretty private about so I don’t think I’d be big on religious symbols unless it was something really artistic and obscure – that could be cool.  Art has always been a big part of my life so it could incorporate that in some way.  I also like tatoos that commemorate milestones.  

So what do you think?  Any ideas?  Do you have a tatoo?  What were your thoughts/motivation when you got yours?  I need inspiration because I want to go through with this oh so badly!  I want to still like the tatoo when I’m 60 – not going to finally get it!  Any thoughts, good vibes, and overall idea-sharing would be lovely! 

 Maybe I will spend my birthday watching old episodes of Miami and LA Ink!  Just watching gives me the ink addiction…this could be dangerous…. 

Thanks for your help!

 – Mel


  1. Tim on December 13, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Happy Birthday!

  2. mary crow on December 13, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Happy Birthday my sweet friend!!
    I have one around my ankle. I got it when I was about 38 and I have to say that I would not do it again. I don’t hate it enough to consider having it removed….. but …… I regret it. I know how it feels to really want one though!!!
    Good luck and have a wonderful day!

  3. K. Crafton on December 13, 2007 at 11:23 am


    I got a tatoo one of my first weekends at college. I spent so much time trying to figure out what symbol I wanted. What I ended up with was something simple that reminded me of a certain time in my life….and that means so much more to me than the actual design. I hope you find something that you love!

  4. sean on December 13, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Happy Birthday, wife! I honestly can’t understand why you’re still searching for a tattoo idea, after I told you about my vision of tattooing half of a dragon on me, half on you, and we can stand next to each other and jump around, making its wings flap, breathe fire, and spiked tail thrash about! Think EPIC. By the way–anyone reading this… that idea is SO (c)2007 Sean. Although, if you do it, just send me some photos and I’ll be happy.

  5. mel on December 13, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks Tim! :) Mary – I like your tatoo! You should too! Sean says I should get a skin colored tatoo. This is just something I have to do! And Honey – the dragon thing ain’t gonna happen. Sorry. Kate and Kate – Thanks for your input ladies! I definitely want something that means something to me personally which is why I’m looking for inspiration. Maybe someone can say something that will hit me just right? Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! Now I’m off to REALLY stay away from the computer all day! :)

  6. Kate Mefford from Juxtapose Photography on December 13, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Ditto to what the first poster said. Plus, even though I designed it and sort of still like the design, it reminds me that if I ever feel ashamed of it that I am not being authentic as a person. It’s just a very personal thing and I think you have to be the one to figure out the meaning of it all! Good Luck!

  7. Missy on December 13, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Happy Birthday, Mel!! Well, I just talked to you and Sean on the phone. I think the dragon tattoo idea…interesting. I do think you should get a tattoo, just go somewhere clean and nice OR go to Miami or LA Ink. Yay! That would get some more business for ya. I would get a tattoo if I did not have a terrible needle FEAR! I might get my nose pierced though. We’ll see. Get something simple. You have never been a frills kind of gal, but ya know…some symbol of what you do, or what you love. Think of something you have always admired or loved that you will still love when you are an old granny and your grandkids ask you “What is that wrinkly thing on Grammy’s foot?” Hehe. Does that help? Don’t get a portrait of Sean though. If your feet ever got wrinkly, it may make Sean look bad. I am done rambling now. The End.

  8. Courtney Davis on December 13, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Happy Birthday Mel!!! You should definitely think about this tatoo thing, don’t just go do it without thought, I have my Nanaws initals (EML) on the inside of my right ankle below the bone (on my foot) I love it and I loved her sooo, it is my daily reminder of how special she was to me. In your case however, make it about the lovely art that you create on a daily basis, I instantly had a vision of a camera lense with an “all seeing eye” looking through, maybe that is way tooo much of a reminder of your job, but you are sooo good at it and I know you love it… so why not pay tribute to something that has proivded such joy in your life. Merry Christmas!!!!

  9. Whitney Carlson on December 14, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Happy Birthday!!! I’ve been planning a tattoo for a while now for a big one on my back and can’t wait! Most of my friends have tattoos and they all say its rather addicting, so be prepared to have more than one! I guess my suggestion would be to have a symbol/image that is classic and has already stood the test of time. I love tattoos with old imagery, old symbols, and I think it can help keep from them becoming dated. Can’t wait to hear what you decide on!

  10. mel on December 14, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for all of the birthday wishes everyone! I’ve been on facebook, myspace, and email morning getting back to everyone. I feel very loved. :) Missy – you are so right – I do need to keep in basic and no Sean face on my foot – check! Courtney – I love that you have your grandmother’s initials! I’ve thought about doing something having to do with my grandfather but I can’t think of what. I’m thinking something more abstractly related to art or an overall mindset is more me. Thanks! Hey Whitney! I’m lovin the idea of the old designs! Where can I find stuff like that? I love all things vintage and I think that might point me in the right direction. We should schedule a big tatoo and piercing party! Everyone is welcome! haha!

  11. david&kimi baxter on December 14, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    happy happy birthday from all of us to you we wish it was our birthday so we could party too, hey!!!!!! how bout’ something gaelic? ooooh, or a viking with seans face! i do like his dragon idea tho:) whatever you choose i’m sure it’ll be awesome like you!

  12. Melanie Watson on December 14, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    who doesn’t like rusty stuff?!?! I like the old photos. Beats my old photos of lizards and eels. As for tattoos… look at some Celtic designs. The tree of life is cool… don’t know if it will fit on your foot though. Celtic knotting is always lovely. I used to want some sort of Celtic knot or a crop circle design. Those definitely beat my old drawing of two dolphins in the shape of a heart!!! Thank God they don’t let 16 year olds walk in and get tattooed or I would be taking sandpaper to my skin right now!! :D

  13. sean on December 14, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    +1 for the dragon. Keep it real, Baxters

  14. Diana on December 15, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    Happy Birthday! (a little belated!) I got a tattoo about five summers ago and still love it! I was one of those girls who got a small butterfly on her hip (great place if you want it hidden most of the time). Actually got it done at Queen of Hearts on Nolensville lol — can’t complain, the guy was great. ANYWAYS, a suggestion for you is an M shaped like a heart. Looks really cool when done right. Would be nice since your first and last initials are both M!

  15. esm on December 15, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Happy Birthday precious one. Tatoo fads come and go, skin is forever.

  16. sean on December 16, 2007 at 3:04 am

    Dragons are forever. Ok, not really. But I felt compelled to say it. +1 for the skin thing from me… …Unless you want to get the dragon with me.

  17. mel on December 17, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Thanks everybody! I love all of the suggestions! Yes, even the remarks that this is a bad idea. I appreciate that you care. :) I feel much closer to coming up with something great!

  18. Eddie Bojorquez (Studio 512) on December 17, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    If you do get a tatoo, get something really small. You have nice toes. Oh, and happy birthday!

  19. Bradford on December 18, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Go for the dragon…

    … or better yet… me dropping the RoyBomb on the dragon…

  20. jessica on December 18, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    happy birthday! :) i got my first tattoo a year and a half ago for my 29th birthday… the year before i turned 30… i was determined to have the best year (and i did!)… i thought about what i wanted for a long time because i wanted something that i wouldn’t regret, that i would look back on and remember my 20’s and also something that really meant something to me… i ended up getting the phrase “alis volat propriis” on my wrist, and it means “she flies with her own wings.” i am still in love with it. so i say go for it :)

  21. mel on December 18, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Ah well thanks Eddie :) Brad, you and Sean and your crazy dragons and Roy D Muffler – I seriously don’t know what to do with you guys! Jessica – I love love love that!! Can I just copy yours – only on my foot? ;)

  22. Nashville Photography on December 28, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Nashville Photography is great, i love to shoot weddings, great pic’s

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