Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THANKFUL, part 1

Gobble gobble! Who had a good Thanksgiving break? Mine was just right. Lots of family, lots of food, a little football - just right!
I got to Birmingham a little later than planned on Tuesday but was happy just to be there. Last week it was announced that we were all getting one extra day to take to be with our family, a very unexpected blessing. So rather than drive home Wednesday, I got there Tuesday! Five whole days off!

Wednesday, Mom and I ran errands, including a quick trip to see my sister and her husband, who had thoughtfully brought her some lunch, before she got off work and they headed west to stay with his family. It had been more than five weeks since I had seen her or little bumpus mumpus. I got to feel a few good kicks (guess he liked his lunch) while we were there and then we continued about our low key day.

When we got back to the house, it was time for to make my contribution to Thanksgiving: two Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pies. I'll give you a minute to soak that in. My sister always advises me NOT to try new recipes for groups of people or guests: always test them out first, she says. Here's how it usually turns out: I never follow that advice and plan to make the dish anyway. Mid-prep, I always panic for a minute and rue the day I found whatever recipe I am surely ruining. Then, once it's all said and done and I taste the end result, I declare myself the best chef ever. In this case, that cycle did not fail. Cheesecakes are tricky little things. They never look done but you have to turn off the oven anyway. It's nerve-wracking. The caramel was super easy to do but the cheesecake made me all kinds of nervous. My mom finally got me to step away from the oven by taking me to Outback. Oven? What oven?
Thursday, we began the day with a little parade watching before heading out to the first stop of the day. Last Thanksgiving, while we were in DC, my cousin was giving birth to a little baby boy. Of all the days to come early, Tristan decided to make his way into this world the same day as the Iron Bowl. He ended up arriving a little after midnight the following day, but people that know my die-hard Auburn family can appreciate that the nurse had to turn my cousin's in-room TV off to keep her calm! Or maybe it was to keep my uncle calm. Either way, Thanksgiving will now include celebrating little Tristan's birthday and I couldn't be happier. I have only met this little guy twice, once last Christmas and again this summer, but boy did he love his cousin Lindsay. He gave me lots of snuggles and cute little smiles.
Then it was time for cake! He seemed to like the whole cake and icing combo and took his time enjoying every ounce of sugar. He did not seem to like the sink bath that quickly followed.
Later in the evening, when we ran back by their house so Jennie and Jamie could see all of them, he reached for his fun cousin Lindsay as soon as I walked in the door he reached for me. Smitten!

From the party, we headed to see the other side of my family, who were congregating at the lake. After some good food (cough MY CHEESECAKE PIE cough), I joined the men behind the barn and shot clay pigeons. Raise your hand if you got two in a row! Watch the video for proof. I am sad the part where I yelled "PULL!" is not on film but oh well.

It was home for final preparations and then Jennie and Jamie as well as Fred rolled in. We had dinner together and enjoyed Pie Number Two before calling it a day.

Contrary to what I told you a few weeks ago, I did not participate in any Black Friday shopping this year. Sat it out altogether. Once I saw that what was on sale did not interest me in the least (an iPod touch that had the same memory as what I have now), I decided not to even get out. So I slept in Friday before heading out in the pretty weather to help my sister with her Christmas card photo. We got a great one highlighting l'petit chéri and even got a few of the four of us, thanks to that handy timer function:
I followed them home to see the little guy's nursery, which is absolutely adorable. Blue and green and perfect all over. There's still lots to be done, but seeing that crib ready to go made my tiny heart grow three sizes larger. I attempted to help hang curtains but proved no help at all, so I settled in to do what I do best: eat leftovers and watch TV.

I briefly went back to my mom's house, only to hop back in her car to go to dinner and movie with J & J. We saw Tower Heist and I loved it. It was off to bed quickly thereafter because the next day...


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This time last year, I was in DC! They day before Thanksgiving, my mom, my sister her mother-in-law and I were out running final pre-holiday errands, including loading up the trunk with Georgetown Cupcakes and picking up one small Honeybaked Ham.

Have you ever seen what kind of line is outside the Honeybaked Ham store the day before Thanksgiving? Even though you should have called and reserved your ham, you still have to wait in line to pick it up. And that line made Walmart on a Sunday look like a cake walk. It was so bad that there were policemen patrolling the parking lot and store. Yes, law enforcement was needed to keep order.

So we parked the car a block away at CVS, got in line and waited... and waited... and finally made it into the store to pick up the small, bone-in, spiral cut ham.

We helped ourselves to the samples while waiting in yet another line to purchase the ham, then headed outside. I don't know what made me think to do it, but as we walked by the long, long line and saw one lady rushing through the parking lot, intent written all over her face, I spied an opportunity. I shouted to her "They are all out of ham, we got the last one!"

Heads turned. Fists clenched. My family burst out laughing. "WHAT?!" she exclaimed as she stopped dead in her tracks.

"We got the last one! They are all out!" I repeated.

Before the lady could accost me or steal our ham, I told her I was kidding and they had plenty of ham for her. Despite her visible relief, it was clear that she did not think this dialogue was 1/10th as funny as my mom, sister and I did. "Yeah, Happy Thanksgiving." she muttered as she continued towards the store.

In an instant, I knew I had stumbled onto something amazing. The next person we passed in the parking lot: "They're all out of ham; we got the last one!" This gentleman also was indignant. "WHAT!?" "Just kidding, sir! Happy Thanksgiving!" I don't remember what he said as he stalked off but it wasn't laughter.

I was ready to spend the next hour outside that Honeybaked Ham store, telling people they were out of ham but my family feared for our safety so they made me leave. But, you are reading this and have some free time today, I encourage you to go to your local Honeybaked Ham and tell the herd of ham hopefuls that they are S.O.L. It will be the funniest thing you do all holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Christmas came early, kids:
Actually Christmas did not come so much as the rain did. And came. And came again. It rained yesterday, rained today and will rain again tomorrow. When I leave work tonight I expect to pass animals filing by two by two.

True to my word, I finally bit the bullet and marched into our new Nordstrom yesterday and pulled the trigger. Relax, I had done my homework on these puppies. I was confident in my purchase. And walking to work has never been so much fun. I practically danced my way here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Can I complain for one second? Just one second on this topic and I won’t mention it again.

Walking to work SUCKS. I can think of about four days total that I got here and wasn’t sweating. It’s been hot as hades until about last Monday. Walking to to work in the heat = sweating when I get here. Then it got cold for basically a week, requiring use of my cute yellow coat, which means guess what? Sweating when I get here. My walk, which is slightly longer than everyone else’s since I walk from home not the off-site garage, is just long enough to work up a sweat no matter the temperature, my clothing or my pace.

I can deal with sweaty. Definitely not my preferred look but I can make do. Windblown? Also not my favorite look but I can make do.


If I wanted to walk to work in the rain and be all cute and metro about things, I would move to New York City. I cannot deal with it. Today when I woke up and heard the rain, I seriously contemplated calling a cab. This was on top of my idea yesterday of just calling in sick and staying home altogether (didn’t do it).

My only rain shoes are Crocs and that’s another whole post in and of itself. But I bit the bullet and wore them in today, after nearly ruining my new boots yesterday trying to get home in one soggy piece. But don’t forget that crocs have holes! I’ve been here for three hours and my feet are STILL drying off. You know what? I hope I get sick. I could use the down time.

My North Face jacket and my cute little Old Navy pink and giraffe print umbrella are not cutting the mustard. This weekend, I’m going to buy an umbrella the size of a dining room table and some rain boots so thick you’d need a drill bit to get through them. I may even buy a poncho for good measure. Or maybe I should just man up and get one of these:

A raincoat, waterproof trousers and umbrella in one. Yes, I think I need one of those. If you're driving downtown and you see me crossing the street in a black Hazmat suit, don't worry, we're not under attack! It's just raining!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Remember this cute little thing from more than a year ago? Well, he's back! With a second video, a book AND a TV show!

This shell guy is like 800 times cuter than that hermit crab I used to own.

Friday, November 11, 2011


It appears I have established a new Christmas tradition:

Christmas Eve service followed by Christmas PJs photo followed by unwrapping Beyoncé’s newest DVD!

I don’t think I will be able to wait a full month for this one when it comes out. She was in her second trimester when she did these four shows! #STARPOWER

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Well I did not come home with a CMA award. But I did come home with an official CMA program and a really fun memory of my first ever live awards show! From start to finish, it was an exciting evening for any fan of country music. I, being a SUPER-fan of country music, had the best time ever. Many many thanks to this guy for the ticket! I am so grateful!
We were told we had to be in our seats at 6:30, in time for the pre-show awards ceremony. That went by really quickly then we watched with eagle eyes for the stars to scurry to their seats minutes and seconds before the live telecast at 7 pm. If you know me at all, you know I have incredibly poor eyesight, even with my -8.5 lenses in, so I was doing good just to tell which were the men and which were the women. Jay was pretty accurate in picking out who was who ("That's Sugarland." "Looks like the Band Perry to me." "Tim and Faith, obviously." etc.) except I did spot Taylor Swift in her really big dress.

We had made our predictions in advance so in between all of the performances, it was fun to see who was gonna win our bet of a home-cooked meal. Out of 12 categories, we only picked the same winner for three of them. I knew I had it in me and sure enough, I won!

My favorite performances were Zac Brown Band's "Georgia On My Mind", Rascal Flatts + Natasha's "Easy", the Lionel Richie medley, Carrie and Brad's "Remind Me" and Sugarland's duet with Matt Nathanson to "Run." I was so happy Miranda and Blake won again!

Click in the photos to see my cute little labels of which stars are sitting where. Were you watching? What was your favorite part?

Monday, November 07, 2011


What do Carrie, Taylor, Miranda and I all have in common?


Yes, that's right, still years away from my first nomination, I will turn industry heads and attend the Country Music Awards this Wednesday night. Considering the red carpet is set up on the street right in front of my building, I will not say I won't try to sneak onto that too, but I'm definitely getting into the show. Ticket and all! In the words of Reba, here's your one chance Fancy, don't let me down!

I'm waiting for Martina or Sara to invite me over to do hair and nails and makeup but the call has not come just yet. But, just like every girl would, I have started thinking about what I will wear.

If I had unlimited funds and overnight shipping, I would definitely rock one of these fun sparkly dresses from Piperlime.com: which is your favorite?
That last one would look better with tights I think. But not boots, otherwise no one would be able to tell me and this girl apart:

Anyway. I'm so excited! CMYaaaaaaay!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Ugh. I want to find a cave and move into it. Things are so hectic right now. I feel like I am on a merry-go-round of chaos and I would like to exit the ride but the conductor won’t stop it just for me because the music is still playing and the other kids are having a ball so I just have to maintain my death grip onto this scary horse with a pole coming out of its head while my relatives take pictures of my crying face as I pass them like clockwork every 45 seconds until the music stops and I can safely exit the ride.

In other news.

Kate and I had a BLAST in Atlanta this past weekend to see Young and Yeezy, or JayZ and Kanye, as they are more commonly known. I mean, a BLAST. Everytime I leave a concert (see: JT, Kanye 2008, Paul McCartney, etc) I declare it the best concert I have ever been to. But, I think this really actually truly WAS. Think how many hits the two have between them. Then think about how many songs they have been on together that weren’t on their recent album. Then, think of all the songs that were on it. And that’s what we heard. The set list reads like an Entertainment Weekly Top 38 Rap Songs of the past 25 years. Everyone has asked and the answer is YES, Beyonce was there. She was backstage the night we went, but was out in full force for the evening before (they did two shows in Atlanta – one Friday, one Saturday). Here’s a rough video of her from the back jamming out to her boo. And don’t worry, that’s exactly how I dance too.

So, until I tell you otherwise, let’s just go ahead and pencil that one down as best concert ever. I started a Word document on my laptop recently of all the concerts and tours I have been to in my life. I know I’ll wanna remember this stuff when I can't look it up on Wikipedia anymore because they had to shut down after years and years of everyone ignoring their CEO’s plea for donations at the top of the page when I’m old and gray. So far top five in NO particular order are this show, Paul McCartney’s On the Run show in July 2010, Kanye West’s Glow in the Dark in May 2008, U2’s 360 in July 2011, Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveShow in March 2007. Oh wait. Can I do Top 6? Elton John and Billy Joel’s Face to Face tour in May 2009.

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