Monday, September 26, 2011

This Makes My Heart Smile!

Birmingham's 33/40 did a story on my grandfather last week and I got to see it today. I can't even begin to describe this man, Bob, as my brother and I call him. He is the heart and soul of our big family and is one of my heroes! This video just makes my heart smile! :)

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, slows him down! He is such an inspiration and is one of the sweetest people in the whole world!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Relaxing Vacation

We left Gainesville on Sunday morning and headed to Gulf Shores to spend another week. Our week consisted of sea food, sunbathing, sleeping, and lots of down time! We just enjoyed the peace and quiet! We have decided that the week after Labor Day is the time to go to the beach! There is NOBODY there! The beach is basically empty, condos are cheaper, and there are NO crowds, anywhere! It was AMAZING!

Our week was really nothing exciting...which is exactly how we wanted it. Since it was low-key, we really didn't take any pictures. I did snap a few of the beach one afternoon so I'll leave you with those!

Wish I was still there! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vacation Day 2 - Game Day!

Saturday we met up with the family for Game Day! We started out with lunch at Cody's, which was really good and a really neat place! We hung out there and finished watching the Auburn game and headed back to the hotel room to watch some of the Bama game.
Later that afternoon we headed to the stadium and I snapped a few pictures. "The Swamp" is a very dated stadium, but they have added to the front to give it an update and make it a little more modern.

Statues of their 3 Heisman Trophy winners - Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow
No offense to any Florida fans, but I was really expecting more in "the swamp." It has a strange lay-out and is terribly cramped. Though the university has done much updating to the outside, the inside still seems extremely dated.
Last year when UAB travelled to Knoxville, the Blazers gave the Vols a run for their money. Against Florida, NOT so much! The game started out competitive but got ugly rather quickly. However, Nolen did have one completed pass for 24 yards (he actually had another completed pass but it was negated by a penalty)

This pic was taken by my aunt and uncle who had their camera at the game (I was taking pics with my phone). We love #85!
I love seeing new places and new stadiums (especially the SEC teams); however, I probably won't make an effort to visit "the Swamp" again! We are glad we went and enjoyed watching the Blazers, even though it didn't end pretty!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

The night of Monday, September 10, 2001, I went to bed with no worries! I had just started my junior year of college at Jacksonville State University, living in a cute apartment that I had just decorated, living with a couple of sweet girls. My biggest worries were how many words I had to write in my latest essay and how many more maths I had to take to graduate! Little did I know that the next day, the world as I had known it for 20 years was going to change and never be the same!

I woke up on Tuesday, September 11th, like any other week day. I always set my alarm for around 7 (even though many days I didn't actually get up at that girl, remember?) I was a student majoring in Communications and MANY days our professors would give us pop quizzes on current events in the media (I guess they thought that Communication majors needed to be up on current events, ha!) so most mornings I would watch and listen to The Today Show while I got ready. On this particular morning, I was sitting on my bed eating my breakfast listening to Matt Lauer with breaking news of a plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers in New York City. As he discussed the news, the infamous shot was shown of the black smoke and the gaping hole in the tower. I remember thinking, "Who flew a plane into the World Trade Center? How could you not see the towers?"

As Matt Lauer continued to talk and try to get answers from eye witnesses, the camera stayed on the horrific scene. As I sat and watched, I saw another plane really close to the WTC and I remember thinking, "Should that plane be that close?" As I sat on my bed looking at the TV, the second plane hit the second tower. I sat in silence and in disbelief! This could NOT be happening - not in MY lifetime, not in MY country!!

I sat, for what seemed like an eternity but was actually only a few minutes, just trying to process the events that were unfolding in front of me! I was the only person awake in my apartment and I didn't want to be alone so I decided to wake up my roommate Holly. She and I sat on our couch, watching the news coverage and shaking our heads. We could not step away from the TV. As we continued to watch, the scenes became even more horrific! We listened as news broke of the plane crashing into the Pentagon, as well as the one crashing in Pennsylvania. We both called our families, terrified that basically the world was ending!

I had been lucky enough to travel to New York City in 1999 with my graduating senior high school class. While in NYC, we visited the World Trade Center and visited the "Top of the World" as their tour to the top was called. I remember that day vividly because I was SO impressed with those buildings! Being from a small town, NYC was amazing enough but the Twin Towers intrigued me! I remember being so impressed that the people that worked there had a MALL at work! You have to love the mindset of an 18-year-old! :)

I remember the events of 911 as if they were just yesterday! The days that followed 911 were so world was now a scary place to live! I remember laying in my bed for many nights after that horrific day and I wasn't able to sleep. I would just lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering what kind of world this had become! It was such a confusing time for me but also the most patriotic time in my 20 years! I remember this country becoming so UNITED! We were so determined, so united, and so loving towards each other. What was such a horrendous tragedy turned this country into a whirlwind of patriotism! We BELIEVED in this country and we BELIEVED in each other!!!

As we reflect on the horrific events of 9-11, we need to remember how united we became! We need to be reminded of what's important and how BLESSED we are to live in this great nation!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vacation is Here!!

Our vacation FINALLY got here!! We decided a few months ago that we wanted to go Gainesville for the Florida/UAB game. You may remember, my cousin Nolen plays for UAB and last year we headed to Knoxville to see the Blazers take on the Vols. This year we really wanted to make the trip to watch them against the Florida Gators. Since that was the plan, we just pushed back our beach vacation to the week after our Gainesville trip.

We headed out early Thursday morning and got to Gainesville late in the afternoon. We rode around the UF campus and ate at Chipotle. I REALLY wish we would get one of those in Huntsville! It was YUMMY!

Friday we woke up and looked for some things to do. There's not a WHOLE lot in Gainesville to do - well, lots of nature trails...but anyway! :) If you know us, you know our all-time favorite place to go is Disney World. We haven't gone since 2009 and it's killing us! (We are going to try to make a trip in January or February) So, we decided to head to Downtown Disney! It's about 2 hours south of Gainesville and it was a pretty easy trip.

We can now say we went in 2011! (We have been to WDW every other year since we got married and we were due this year - this year has been kind of crazy so we didn't get to go)

Proof we were there! :)
We started off at Cookes of Dublin to split a fried Snickers bar!!! We LOVE these!
The Lego store has some new displays and are in the process of building more. I thought this one was cute!
Since it was a last minute trip, we didn't make reservations to eat anywhere. We had dinner at Rainforest Cafe.
And of course, I had to stop in at the candy store and pick up some of my favorites!
After Downtown Disney, we stopped off at the Premium Outlets in Orlando. I forgot to pack my tennis shoes and after a LONG day of walking at Downtown Disney, flip flops were just not going to cut it for another day of walking for the football game. Needless to say, I'm now the proud new owner of some new shoes! ha!

It was a FUN day and I'm really glad that Rob talked me into going to Downtown Disney! Of course, now we just REALLY want to go back! :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fave Flip-Flops

A few weeks ago, I was reading on a blog where people were RAVING about some kind of yoga mat flip-flops! As a HUGE flip-flop fan, I'm always on the lookout for the best flip-flops but I HATE spending a lot on them...let's be honest, how ridiculous do expensive flip flops seem?? Anyway, I decided to scope these "miracle" flip flops out!

I found them in a few stores but since it was so late in the season, they were picked over and never had my size. I finally found a pair in a store in Birmingham during a trip there a few weeks ago. I decided on a black pair and let me just say, I haven't looked back! ha! These Sanuk flip flops run about $27 and trust me, peeps, they are worth EVERY penny! They are A-MAZ-ING!!! I wear them all the time! I'm hoping when we go to the beach I can find some more (maybe even on sale - fingers crossed) because I want a pair in every color! (except the Tennessee Vols orange - I can do without that color! Ha)

Seriously, if you are looking for a comfy flip-flop, you need to try the Sanuk yoga mat ones! You can thank me later!

Sanuk does make a lot of other shoes and I'm anxious to try more on to see if they can compete with the yoga mat flops!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Apples, Cast Iron Skillets, and BBQ

On Sunday, we decided to go on a day-trip with our friends Matt and Stephanie. Since the weather was a little "iffy," thanks to Tropical Storm Lee, we decided to drive the opposite direction and head north.

We started out heading to Crow Mountain Orchard, in Fackler, Alabama. This place seems like it's out in the middle of nowhere but they seriously have the best apples ever. Since we went a little early in the season, they only had about 3 or 4 kinds to choose from, but hopefully we will make another run later in October when they have lots more. We ended up getting a bag of McIntosh. Yummo! **Be sure to check out their website because they have lots of good recipes!

After the orchard, we headed to South Pittsburg Tennessee to visit the Lodge Cast Iron Store. Rob has been wanting a cast iron skillet so we picked one up while we were there. This is our second trip to this store and I love looking at all of their stuff. They have one room that is nothing but clearance. Most of the items have some type of imperfection so they can't sell them at full price. We got a 10-inch cast iron skillet for $11 because it has a TINY little indention on one of its sides. For $11, that little mark won't bother me a bit! :)

Can't wait for Rob to make some cornbread! :)
After the Lodge Store, we headed north to Chattanooga for lunch. Sticky Fingers is one of our favorite restaurants and since Matt and Stephanie had never eaten there, we decided to introduce them.

I forgot to take a picture of the building so this picture is courtesy of Sticky Fingers website.
Here are a few pictures from our yummy lunch!

We all tried the different sauces and each of us preferred a different one. My favorite is the Memphis Original! I need to find some at the grocery store and make some BBQ at home!
It was a fun day with good friends! So glad we got out yesterday because today has been rainy and nasty! Tropical Storm Lee finally caught up to us and it's just not worth it to get out in this. Needless to say, we have enjoyed a day inside, laying around. I have done a few things to get ready for VACAY - COMING SOON! :)

It's a Dog's Life!

I'm pretty sure our dogs have the most fabulous life! As you can tell from these pictures, they have NO cares! :)

Buster likes to burrow (as do most dachshunds) so he always wants to be under a pillow or buried under a blanket. He will work forever to get it "just right."

Seriously, could they be any more relaxed?

Every afternoon they sit and watch out the window, waiting on Rob to get home.

Buster never looks comfortable to me, but apparently he is!
These two are never far apart from each other.
Since we don't have kids yet, these are our babies! Our neighbor had an 8-year-old German Shepard, Roxie, that died recently of an apparent heart attack (she was Buster's girlfriend). :) Buster just turned 9 and Roxie's death reminded me that these dogs won't be around forever... it makes me sad to think about! We just love these three! :)