Tuesday, September 28, 2010
1. Football: ROLL TIDE!! We count down the days all spring and summer until the start of football season comes! Football means long weekends with our "football friends"--those friends that we only get to see in the fall at games. It means pigging out on tailgate food. It means getting to scream and jump up and down and not have people look at you like you are crazy. It means new game day dresses--the more houndstooth, the better. It means road trips to away games with best friends. It means camaraderie.
2. Cool weather: While I absolutely HATE to be cold (and Forrest HATES to be hot), I am glad for a little break from the scorching heat we've been experiencing. When it gets cool enough outside, we get to turn off the air and open the windows to let in the crisp cool air (thereby saving us money and making the cats happy, as they love to sit in the opened window sill). It makes walks with the dogs SO much more enjoyable (although, we didn't have them last fall, my walk/run/being dragged by Sonny last night was much more pleasant than it was a few weeks ago). We even like to eat dinner outside on the deck when the weather is nice. We also get to put the comforter back on the bed (we take it off when it gets too hot), AND I'm excited because we have a new fluffy duvet that I"m going to put under the comforter when it gets really cold outside, but that will be another post! Cool weather also means I get to start wearing cardigans again and my cute jackets AND my boots, which I haven't thought about since probably February!
3. Fall TV: Hooray for television!! Last week was premiere week and I'm glad to be back in the groove of keeping up with my shows! Currently set on the Bailey's DVR:
Nick Saban Show (post game review by the coach himself, and he is usually angry about something)
Keeping up with the Kardashians (yes, muy embarrassing)
Dancing with the Stars!!
Dancing with the Stars, the results
GLEE!! (I'm a Gleek and proud of it!)
Modern Family-last years best comedy!
30 Rock (mainly just Forrest watches this one
The Office (again, this is Forrest's)
Parks and Recreation
Jersey Shore (again, embarrassing, but I can't get enough)
Alabama game (whether we attend or not, we record it so we can watch the good parts again on Sunday)
4. School (REALLY?): Actually school starts back for Forrest in JULY (sinful, I know) but he really enjoys it! Not only does he have great teachers and classmates, but this semester he is in the clinic and doing rotations every week. He has his own patients and is learning and practicing so much! Anyone want to become a patient at UAB School of Dentistry?? If so, give us a shout and he'll sign you up!
5. Fall foods: Chili, soup, oh my!! The fall opens up a whole new realm of foods for us, because let's face it, who wants to eat a bowl of hot soup in the summer? Also, we usually start having pumpkin and banana bread in the fall, and it is the perfect time to start drinking hot chocolate and apple cider!! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! While many of our favorite summer frozen treats get put on the back burner, we always have something warm to replace them with! The start of Fall also means that THANKSGIVING is right around the corner, and who can resist Thanksgiving foods?? NOT US! :)
6. Getting ready for CHRISTMAS!! The Bailey's LOVE Christmas! I had a blast decorating for Christmas at our house last year and can't wait to do it again with all of my newly acquired decorations, purchased for 1/2 price or less in January. (Gotta love a great deal!) I love figuring out what gifts we are going to get for our family, AND I love making our Christmast card! (I have a super cute idea for this year!) I'm sure I'll have another post about our family's Christmas traditions!
|Our present for baby Puckett! Roll Tide!!|
We managed to find an empty table and we sat for hours eating, drinking, and catching up with each other! I had the Pasticcho, kind of like a Greek lasagna, and Forrest had a lamb gyro. We also got some baklava and loukoumathes, which are kind of like little doughnut holes covered in honey and cinnamon. Forrest has been waiting 2 years for those little doughnuts, and I think they were worth the wait!!
|Pigging out at the Greek fest!|
|Joseph got cut out of the group picture, so we took one of just him!|
|Forrest and Jay showing off their Greek pride|
Saturday was the first Saturday in 3 weeks that we have not gone to the Alabama football game, and it was actually kind of nice to be able to sleep late and not have to worry about being somewhere early. We were able to finally get some work done around the house and Forrest even took Sonny on a hike. We watched the game at my parent's with a bunch of friends and OMIGOSH it was too stressful!! I got so frustrated I had to leave the party and watch it upstairs. However, once I got upstairs, we started doing MUCH better and so I had to stay there to ensure a win! :) Everyone in the house was screaming and yelling like crazy people, as Alabama waited until the very end to beat Arkansas! Whew---I felt like I had played in that game by the time it was all said and done! After the game we hung around and had hot dogs and chili (yes, even though it was 90 degrees outside) AND birthday cake for my mom!
|Mom's birthday cake! I got the stadium shaped cake pan for Christmas and Kacie at our office was kind enough to decorate it for me! Isn't is adorable ?! (The lines on the field shifted when I was driving it up the mountain to her house--oops!)|
|This shows a little bit of the side of the cake. Kacie was SO detailed!|
Before Forrest and I went home we stopped at Tom and Frances' to watch the end of the Auburn game. We hadn't been to the Banks' to hang out in so long so it was nice to catch up!
On Sunday I got up and drove to Birmingham to go to my grandparents' church before picking up Katie to go see Legally Blonde, the musical. The Mass times at OLS were much better considering the time of the show and allowed me to sleep an extra hour! :) Katie and I were in the 2nd to back row in the theater but we LOVED the play!! (They even had a real dog as Bruiser--I figured it would be fake!)
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Walk down memory lane: the day I passed the bar, April 30, 2009. My dad already had cards printed for me, and Forrest came from school and took me to lunch!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The next week we reviewed the skills we learned and also learned how to take the BCD (the backpack type thing that holds your air tank and other good stuff) off and put it back on under water and how to know if you are out of air (which means the teacher TURNED OFF OUR AIR while we were under water and we had to breathe until we ran out, at which point he turned it back on). We both had the hang of it after these 2 classes! I even turned a flip under water with all of my gear on, which weighed about 40 lbs! I was so glad that I got over myself and tried something new. Forrest is so adventurous and I am usually a creature of my comfort zone, but he always encourages me to try something new and we always have such a great time!! Hopefully in the future we can get certified and start taking Scuba trips!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Even though it was night it was cool to pass so many colleges on the way-GA Tech, UGA, Clemson, and eventually UNC Chapel Hill and finally Duke! We got their SUPER late but we had a great time along the way! We stayed in the Cambria Suites and we all agree that their beds are the most comfortable hotel beds we have ever been privileged to sleep on!
On Saturday we got up ready to face the Blue Devils, except that I had left my game day shirt AND game day purse at home! How this was even possible, I don't know, because I usually don't unpack any game day stuff from my suitcase so the purse at least should have been in there already! Silly, I know. Anyway, we headed over to campus for lunch and a look around. Campus was beautiful! I felt like I was in England, or at least in a Harry Potter movie! The buildings were beautiful and there was lots of wide open, green spaces and trees. We saw the beautiful "chapel", which is the largest "chapel" in the world, although, I think they could get away with calling it a church. It is a non-denominational church open for students and the public. We couldn't go in because they were having 3 weddings there that day! I couldn't fathom this---3 weddings on a game day?? When Alabama is on your campus?? I guess Duke really IS a basketball school!
We ate some lunch outside and we started to notice lots and lots of students walking around in crazy outfits. I assumed this was for some fraternity party, as there was one blasting right across the street with oddly dresses party goers. I finally just asked someone what they were doing and they said "tailgating". Really? Tailgating? Apparently, the Duke students dress up in weird outfits and go party in a students only parking lot before, during, and after the game. I didn't really see these crazies in the stadium, though. When I say crazy, I mean wild and a little bit scandalous! We saw lots of girls in tutus or short petticoats with only panties on underneath! We also saw 2 girls dressed like Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke from the Dukes of Hazard, complete with inappropriately short shorts! It was definitely an experience!
In the midst of all of the craziness, I was trying to sell some tix for a friend. I totally would have made a sell had Justin not been so cheap!
Ahhh---now that is a girl who knows how to dress for a football game! I was so excited to run into Ellen, one of my bffs that I never see because she is in law school at UVA
We did get to go into Cameron Indoor, where the Duke basketball team plays! Mason, on of the players, was in the lobby. He was SO tall! The outside of the arena looks like the rest of the campus. My sister described it as "the castle". Inside, the seats are all above the court and you look down onto it. Apparently, we just missed Coach K walking across the court before we got there! It was very cool to be able to see it AND it was very nice to sit in the air conditioning for a while!
After the game went back to the hotel to shower and change before heading to Nana's for dinner. Our friends Mrs. Joy and Don Rhea met us for dinner and we couldn't have been a merrier group! Don and Joy told us all kinds of fun stories that kept us laughing all night! Also, Forrest and I found out at dinner that our friends Joseph and Lauren Puckett are expecting their first baby! I am BEYOND excited for them and can't wait to see baby Puckett in April!! The food at Nana's was DELICIOUS! Forrest and I had veal meatballs and gnochi for an appetizer, duck (me) and tuna (Forrest) for our entres and homemade ginger ice cream for dessert! Everything was amazing--I highly recommend!! When we were about to leave were heard screams and groans from the bar area, so we rushed in just in time to see the end of the Auburn v. Clemson game. While watching, Justin got to meet the chef, who had ties to Gadsden, believe it or not! It was a perfect way to cap off a great day!!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer!
Forrest and his new gameday pal, Emily Ann
2nd victory photo of the season! I hope was have many more!
Arrrgggh! Ready to attack the catfish!
The week leading up to the game was packed with activities every night! On Tuesday we had book club at Villa Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant in town. It was so much fun to take a load off with the girls! We also had a new girl come that I am excited to get to know! Our "club" is very inclusive and that is what makes it so much fun! On Wednesday we had a SCUBA lesson, and get ready for a whole post on that amazing experience! Thursday we celebrated our friend Mark's birthday with dinner at the Courtyard. On Friday night, I packed Justin, Farrah, Jonathan, Denise, Forrest and I into my dad's Suburban (yes, I drove that monster) and drove them all to Canyon Grill in GA for dinner. We had the GREATEST time singing and talking and laughing all the way there. We of course had to stop at a gas station right over the GA line for lotto tix! Forrest and I had no luck, sadly, but we all decided that if one of us wins the big one we will get a skybox at Bryant Denny for the group! :) Dinner was absolutely amazing! Everyone had been there except Forrest and I and we were blown away! Forrest got the "Slash and Burn" catfish, their specialty. What a dish! Check out this monster below!
Me, Farrah, and Denise
The next morning we picked up mom and dad in their own car and headed down to Tuscaloosa full of excitement. On top of the fact that the game was such a great match up, several of Forrest's fraternity brothers that we never see were going to be in town, AND my grandparents were coming. My granddaddy hasn't been in Bryant Denny Stadium since the late 70's and my Uncle Joey got them tickets in the ZONE! I wanted to be there and experience their excitement!! We had a great time "housegating" at my sister's before the game and then headed over to the quad to the Helton's tent. The Helton's are our friend Wesley's parents and they throw an amazing tailgate for all of the big home games. We are so grateful to be invited and to have them as friends! After hanging with the Heltons we navigated through the tightly packed tents to visit Edward and some more Lambda Chis. I have NEVER seen the quad so packed! We had to walk through other people's tents to get to where we were going, and the walking on the sidewalks felt like driving in stop and go traffic! Craziness! All of this just added to the excitement of the gameday! While at Edward's tent, it started to sprinkle and I high-tailed it to the AOII house to stay dry. Unfortunately, the bottom fell out before I got there so I was a wet mess when I arrived! At the house I caught up with some friends and met my grandparents, who were awestruck at the entire experience! Forrest came and met me (he was dry!) and my parents at the house and we all walked into the Stadium Club together. On our way, we ran into Dr. Thomas and Mr. Earl, two of the men on the mission trip to Costa Rica with us last February. It was great to see them again and I wish we had more time to catch up with them. I will have to do a post on Costa Rica when I get a minute, as it was a life changing experience!
Before the game, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden were honored on the field with Coach Saban. It was so neat to see both of these legends at one time, and on Coach Bryant's birthday, no less! It was also September 11, and honestly, singing the National Anthem at a game has never meant so much to me. I can't believe that it has been 9 years since that day. I was a senior in high school, sitting in Calculus class, for goodness sake, and here I am today. I was glad that even though the game was so legendary, the significance of the date was respected as well.
On Sunday, we were EXHAUSTED! We got up early and left at 8 so we could be home in time to go to 10:30 Mass. Forrest worked on a project all afternoon and I slept for 3 solid hours before dragging myself to the grocery store and forcing my little arms to clean the house! Now we are looking forward to another fun week and I hope you are too! ROLL TIDE!!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
On Saturday, I was DETERMINED to be well because it was the first Bama game of the season and there was no way I was going to miss it! Forrest, Ruffles, and I met my mom and dad at 9 am to get on the road to Ttown (Sonny stayed with the Baileys). We got fired up listening to ESPN radio all the way down the interestate. Ruffles was super excited about her first Bama experience, can't you tell?
I had purchased her some "game day finery" back in August to get her ready for football season (that, and she needed an new collar and I wanted her to have a harness because she is bad to pull her head out of her collar on walks). Here she is not too pleased with her pink and white houndstooth harness, as it smashes her curls!
On gamedays, we hang out at my sister's house (which used to be my house). Everyone that comes to park there brings food and we have a big tailgate (well, housegate, as Justin Hayes says) before and after the game. I LOVE gamedays because you never know who you will see! This particular weekend, we were lucky enough to see TONS of friends! My roomie Molly came to eat lunch with us before going to babysit for Kirby Smart's (yes, that Kirby Smart) kids during the game.
We also got to hang out with the Pucketts. Lauren and Joseph went to high school with Forrest and I and Joseph and Forrest were fraternity brothers. They, like us, were high school sweethearts that ended up getting married! We love getting to see them, and since they are in Birmingham now, it is more special when we do get to see them! They came and met us at MMM's and then we walked together to the Lambda Chi house, where unfortunately, we were too old to know anyone that was there.
Outside of Lambda Chi
Forrest, Jess, Zach, and Joseph
We were able to meet up with some other Lambda Chi's on the quad though! Not only did we get to see Bradley and Laurie at their tailgate (Forrest will be in their wedding in May!) but we ran into Jess and Brittany (Forrest will be in their wedding in June) and Zach and Kelley! What a nice day full of reunions!
What a lovely day for a football game!
Next we made a stop at the AOII house to see my Aunt Fran who is the interim house mother right now. She has done a GREAT job at the house! Look at these cute letters that she had put up in the back yard! They were the Bid Day letters that matched the new girls' jerseys! So cute! The AOII back yard backs up to the stadium so it is imperative that it looks cute! :)
After making the rounds, we went to the Stadium Club, a new party room in the newly renovated end zone of the stadium. My dad got Forrest and I passes to it for every game and we could not be more grateful! The stadium club has tvs playing lots of football games and comfy chairs for watching them, and TONS of food! They had fresh hamburgers and hot dogs, wings, fries, a ceasar salad bar, regular salad bar with fruit and cheese, dessert bar, and much more! You could also get soft drinks and they have a "pouring" room where you can bring in "adult" drinks. We had a great time in the Club before the game AND during half time!
Ice sculpture in the Stadium Club
It was SO exciting to be back in the stadium after the big National Championship win! The new expansion makes the stadium look fabulous! I got so pumped up watching the opening videos and it was so fun to be able to scream and cheer again! I also really enjoyed being able to watch the game and not be stressed out for once!
After the big win, we went back to the house and watched the UNC v. LSU game with everyone before I crashed!
Ruffles snoozing all the way home!
On Sunday morning we went to Mass at St. Francis, the on campus church, where Coach Saban attends (and where he was on Sunday morning!). After chuch we had our ritual Taco Casa lunch before heading home to Gadsden! As you can tell, we were all so tired from such a jam-packed weekend!
If this doesn't sound like enough fun, yesterday for Labor Day my friend Rachel and I went up to our lake house for a little rest and relaxation, not to mention sun! The weather was PERFECT and we had a great time chatting and catching up and just having some girl time. When I got back to town I picked up Forrest (he had to stay behind from the lake to work on a project--he is so disciplined!) and we went to my parents' for Labor Day dinner-ribs, baked beans, potato salad, corn on the cob, and brownies. We had a plan to go to bed early but that was shot to pieces because we ended up getting hooked to the Boise St. VT game and watched it until it was over. I would like to say that we will get caught up on some sleep this week, but again, we have so many fun things going on that we won't be worried about missing a few zzzzz's!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Cows love Bama
Ella, the future tailgater