Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Bailey style!!! I started decorating the Monday before Thanksgiving and we still have more to go, but here is what I have done so far!
Cute new trees for the living room

How cute is this??

I LOVE getting to use my Christmas serving ware. I had this wine station set up at the piano party.

I usually have magnolia coming out of the pitcher

I did this new this year! LOVE IT! The little green stars light up!

My one "girly" Christmas section. Forrest was actually impressed with my ability to hang garland with thumbtacks.

View down the kitchen. I think my table looks pretty great with the red chargers behind the china!

Pet Stockings! I moved them to the den this year because I anticipate moving the tree. We shall see!!

Thanksgiving Week

Prepare yourselves for a very long post!!! We had such a great week and I don't want to forget a minute of it!! It all started Tuesday night when my brother came home from ATL. We went to my mom's to eat pizza and hang out with him for a while. Then on Wednesday while I was at work Forrest and Roy played in their annual "Turkey Bowl" touch football game. Oh I get SO nervous when they do this. I mean, I don't really believe that they are all that safe when they are out there!! :) I know they had a lot of fun though!!
Thursday, of course, was the big day: Thanksgiving!!! Who doesn't love Thanksgiving?? It is all about eating, spending time with family, and thinking about all that you have to be thankful for---doesn't get much better than that!! I was in charge of the deviled eggs this year, which was STRESSFUL because my Aunt Susan's mom usually makes them and they are AMAZING. I had lots to live up to!! When I volunteered to take them over it was only because I wanted to use my cute deviled egg dish, but didn't realize what pressure I had brought upon myself!! ALSO new this year was that the Baileys spent their Thanksgiving with us at my parents'!! It was so nice to have both families together, and while it was sad not to see Mrs. Bailey's family in Selma like we usually do, it was kind of nice to spend the whole day together without being rushed. We will make it up at Christmas, though!!! Davis also brought his mentee from the Community College, Chris, to experience his first Thanksgiving. He is from Ghana and has already attend his first college football party with us a few weeks ago so we were delighted to host him for Thanksgiving!!!Over all, the day was just fantastic!!! The food was delicious (my eggs were ok--they needed to be a little creamier, I think) and of course so was the fellowship.  Once Forrest and I left to go home, I was dead set on taking a Thanksgiving nap, but he convinced me to take a "quick walk" around the neighborhood. This walk was NOT so quick, but it was super fun because we ended up running into our new neighbors and walked with them. We really haven't had time to get to know them which is a shame so we were so happy to get to hang out with them. They are both doctors from India and have invited us over for Indian food! I have NO spice tolerance so this should be interesting!!! Our street is really becoming so much fun. We have lots of young neighbors that we love and of course, we have all of the crazy neighborhood dogs to keep us company!! Speaking of, we also hosted Sullivan, our neighbor's Golden, all of Thanksgiving week while they were out of town. He really missed his family a lot and kept going to their house and barking to be let in, but after a while, he got used to being a Bailey. He even made friends with Stella!! 
After our walk, Forrest had a surprise for me: he had rented The Godfather. Now, my brother and Forrest make fun of me because I haven't seen the majority of the movies they deem as "must watches" and the Godfather was at the top of their list. I have to say, minus the horse head and all the bloody parts, I loved it. My mother's family is Italian (looking at me you would never know, though) and I LOVED all of the Italian traditions and references they included. Plus, most of the actors looked like they belonged in my mother's family!! :)
Friday was also a fun fun day!!! Forrest played golf with Roy and our friends Gusty Gulas and Daniel LeBlanc, which I got to straighten the house and get ready for our annual Old Piano Party!!! (Do you think I got the raw end of that deal!!). For the past 3 years we have had some of our "college" friends over for dinner after Thanksgiving since most of them are from Gadsden. I say "college" because we knew almost all of them before college too! Last year was the first year we had our piano and after dinner Jay went to check it out and it turned into an all night sing along, thus earning the party the name "Old Fashioned Piano Party". Jay and Claire and Katie and Gusty were able to come this year and we feasted on pork tenderloin, beer mac and cheese, salad, beer bread (an apparent theme in the meal), and a delicious pumpkin dump cake made my Katie. Also Claire brought an adorable and delicious cheese ball! After dinner we were eager to get to the singing portion of the evening. Jay's ability to play ANY song by ear did not disappoint. We started off getting him to play some AOII songs, since Claire, Katie, and I are all sorority sisters. It was so funny to hear us blasting "The Rose" at the top of our lungs (other AOII's, you would have been proud!!). We sang everything fro Adele to Counting Crows to TV theme songs. Finally, at about 12:45, everyone realized it was late and we called it a night!! Once everyone was out the door Forrest and I started cleaning up. While he was doing dishes I went around collecting glasses and wine bottles---7 wine bottles later, I understood why we had all become such marvelous singers!!! What a fun fun night!!!

Mmmm, beer bread!

Claire's adorable cheese ball!!! Isn't she talented?

Ridiculous mess I made in the kitchen--not my best day!

Christmas trees and wine bottles--very nice

Katie and Jay trying to work on some Disney songs
On Saturday, obviously, we slept REALLY late!!! However, there was no rest for the weary--it was IRON BOWL day!!! I whipped up some fundamiddles cupcakes (because as Claire would say "they have icing INSIDE them") and we headed over to Jay's to watch the game with him and Claire, Lauren, Patrick and Anna, Justin and Farrah, and our sweet new friends the Le Blancs, who brought precious baby Eloise!!! All of us non-parents were concerned that a baby would not adjust well to our group, considering we were going to be screaming at the tv the whole time. Well, she was fantastic!!! She slept the whole time and didn't mind us cheering or passing her around. I can safely say she is definitely a football baby!!! The whole afternoon was super fun, especially because we creamed Auburn!! Hooray---that never gets old!! Because we won, now we are probably heading to the National Championship to have a rematch against LSU!! Who would have thought? (Well, my dad did. After LSU beat us he kept saying everyone else would lose and we would have a rematch and all of us thought he was crazy. Who's laughing now??) Of course, I am DYING to go to the game, not only because it will be amazing, but because it is right around my BIRTHDAY and you all know how much I love celebrating my birthday!!! We shall see!!!! After the game we had hamburgers and hot dogs with my parents and Justin and Farrah before crashing!!!
Sunday---yes, there is MORE!!! Sunday after church (we got to bring up the gifts!) we went to my grandparents' in Birmingham for our Ross family Thanksgiving. We of course had WAY WAY WAY too much food, but can there ever really be too much Thanksgiving food? Too much equals leftovers (which we've eaten off of all week!) We love going there to celebrate because all of my Birmingham aunts, uncles, and cousins come and it is one big, crazy, Italian family Thanksgiving (with turkey AND spaghetti--although not together).  We also get to draw names for Christmas presents, which I always look forward to! This year was extra special because we got to go see Stevie and Melissa's new house!! Oh it is SO huge and awesome! I can't wait to see it all set up at Christmas.
Whew! Are you tired after reading that?? I am, but I also feel very very blessed to have been able to spend so much time with the people that mean the most to me! It was also just nice to have Forrest in the same city as me, all day long!!! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Birthday Weekend!

This weekend was packed with fun, starting Thursday. My dad celebrated his 55 birthday that day, and I am a little sad to say that we didn't really get to do much for him on his actual. Mom and I went to my cousin Sara's pageant and OMG was she not gorgeous???

Ignore me, I look awful


I made her show her shoes---now I'm thinking I need to borrow those beauties!
The real celebration was planned for Saturday in Tuscaloosa for Bama's last home game of the season. My brother was coming into town for the game with Laura and since his birthday is the 20th and my dad's was the 17th, we celebrated with them both. I went by myself (well, with Ruffles) because Forrest was doing a bike ride with Davis, but even so, it was a nice day and even nicer to get to be with the fam for such a fun occasion! We spent time in the stadium club and then went into the stadium early to watch Senior Day. We were so excited to cheer on our Gadsden boy, Jerrell Harris. He has been a great player and I hope we get to see him in the NFL soon!!

Ruff is game ready!!
Celebrating Roy's bday, Stadium Club style
(Don't you think it is unfair that I am the shortest, yet oldest??)

On the Jumbotron with his mom and Coach Saban

Davis posing for the camera during their ride
I left the game after half time (we were beating GA Southern but we looked terrible so I left earlier than planned) so I could get home for dinner at the Bailey's. They were doing a big Italian themed send off dinner for Uncle Tommy and Aunt Karen and I didn't want to miss it! While dinner was delicious, the highlight of the night was getting to see baby Brooks! OMG--he didn't look like the same baby to me! He has grown SO much!! We spent the most of the night watching football and after it was all said and done, we realized Bama would definitely be back in the number 2 spot! We just have to win one more game and we should be on our way to the National Championship!! Hooray!! Fingers crossed!!! With all the football going on, I totally forgot to take pics!!
Sunday was a lazy but fun day for us. After church, we went to the Bailey's again for lunch. I left to get some shopping done and even met Mom at the Peppermint Pony for their open house. I LOVE Christmas open houses, probably because of the cider, but I also LOVE seeing all the fun Christmas decor!! Forrest spent the day working on the headboard he is making us. I won't say anything more than that---it is going to be so cool when he finishes and I promise I will post pictures!! We also had dinner with my parents and we celebrated Dad's birthday with him. All in all it was such a fun weekend full of family. Now we are geared up for Thanksgiving this Thursday! Woohoo!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Last Week and Weekend

More catch up from me!! Here is a run down of this past week, which was anything but slow for the Baileys!
On Monday night I got to go meet sweet Eloise LeBlanc, the brand new baby of our friends Shannon and Daniel. She was absolutely gorgeous and slept in my arms while Shannon and I caught up. I was surprised to see how attentive her 3 dogs were to the baby and how protective they seemed!!

I was busy the rest of the week preparing for the Etowah County Bar Seminar. Lawyers have to get continuing legal education hours and this seminar is GREAT, because otherwise we'd all have to go to Birmingham or Montgomery, etc for our hours. Everyone loves this so it is a pretty big endeavor. My dad is the Bar VP so technically he is in charge of it, but I ended up handling everything from last minute registrations, getting the speakers' papers copied and bound, and ordering everyone's specific lunch order. I was running around crazy Tuesday and Wednesday trying to get ready!! Thursday was the big day and I must say it went over very well! I had nearly 100 in attendance! The best part of the day (other than the reception at the end--woohoo!) was that we took a picture of all of the attorneys in the Etowah County Bar. There were so many and it was very cool to see everyone together!

After the seminar and reception I dashed to pick up Farrah and we went to meet our friend Kelly's new baby girl, Ansley Kate! OMG she was too sweet and adorable. AK's big sister, Parker Grace, was so cute and showed us all of her toys. I let her wear my necklace and she kept saying "I gorgeous". Melt my heart! After saying good bye Farrah and I went back to my house for sangria and a little girl time. Even though she lives across the street, I don't see her as much as I would like, and we had been missing each other!! Such a fun night!!

Friday, 11/11/11, was Veterans Day. I didn't have the day off of work but my mom did, and she wanted to shop, so of course, I convinced my dad that I needed to go too! We had SO much fun! We got to have lunch with my Aunt Fran at Firebirds (amazing salads!) and got to see my grandparents as well. She got some good finds and I got some adorable new shoes. Hooray!! That night we went to eat at Old Mexico with our Young Marrieds group. I love hanging out with this group more and more!! We had the BEST time and stayed til they were practically kicking us out!! Can't wait until our Christmas Party next month!!

On Saturday, while I slept late, Forrest played touch football with some guy friends and then went to Duck Springs to work on the head board he is making for me! Yay!! I went to Carol's Avon party, a highlight of the year!! She always has the best snacks and lots of cool bargains! I always stock up and this year was no exception. I have to mention that her cheesy bacon pull apart bread was absolutely DE-LISH!!
After church we went to my parents' to watch the Bama v. MSU game. We did NOT look that great so I was pouty the entire game and Forrest even gave up and started watching Oregon v. Stanford (GO DUCKS)!! It is sad, but I have had to cheer for the Ducks 2 years in a row. Oh well. We had a big crowd and great food, so despite the lack luster game (at least we won), it was a fun night!!

Sunday was a day I had been needing so badly!! I slept late and didn't get out of bed until after lunch (which I ate IN bed). We did have to take our old mattress to the lake, but that was fun because we got to take the dogs and they enjoyed running around for a while. We borrowed Uncle John's truck so when we returned it, we had Sonny in the car with us and were excited to see him interact with their dog, Mac (we dropped Ruffles at home--she is no fan of Mac!) . They had the BEST time running around and chasing the ball. They are going to be best buddies this summer!!

Monday will be forever referred to as "Snake-Gate 2011" and there is no need to talk about that any more.

On Tuesday I got to go to a lady's luncheon at my grandmother's church in Birmingham. My Aunt Fran throws it and I go every year. They have a really fun teacup auction (I didn't win anything--boo) and great food, but most importantly I love getting to spend some time with my Birmingham family!! The entertainment was provided by 2 Hot Tamales (lady singers), and they told us they were the "Goldberg, 800-600-6014" jingle singers! Crazy! I also had Sardis Court last night and a Service Guild meeting so I still have been running around wild this week. Forrest is back at school, counting the days until Christmas break! Tonight we are hosting Uncle Tommy and Aunt Karen for dinner, but before that I get to go meet my friend Kate's new baby boy, Xavier!! How much fun!! Now that I am caught up, I will get back on track with my posting. Hope you all have a great week!!

Catch up

I have had a few people ask me why I haven't posted in a while. Well, honestly I had nothing good to say about the first weekend in November (we will get to that) and so I didn't say anything at all!!  :) After that weekend I have just been so busy at work that I haven't had posting time (which it is always good to be busy at work). Anyway, here in my very favorite form (bullet points, yay!!)  Is a quick recap to get you up to speed!! (It will actually probably be long and I have very few pics…I am warning you in advance!!
* Monday October 31: Halloween! We did not make a big deal out of Halloween this year. In fact, we really did nothing! We never get trick or treaters so I don't decorate or buy candy, although this year Farrah's nephew came and one of the ladies at my office, Cathie, brought her grandson so I bought them cookies. Now, they told me in advance they were coming so I was prepared…otherwise I would have had nothing! After the last one left I took a shower and Forrest went to get himself a Frosty. I usually would have gone but I was too cold for one so I stayed. Bad idea. I had forgotten to turn off the porch light (although no uninvited people ever come so it seemed unnecessary) and when I got out I heard kids at my door. They were ringing the door bell which doesn't work, but then I heard their parent telling them to knock louder! The dogs went crazy and then I had to go with my wet hair and tell them I didn't have candy! I was so sad that I didn't have anything for them but kind of annoyed that they came after 8 to a non trick or treat neighborhood, AND that their parent made them continue knocking. Anyway, I learned my lesson and will be prepared next time!  Sorry kids! I owe you!

* This week was also Forrest's fall break and boy did he deserve it!! He got in some good relaxation time as well as some much needed yard work. We even got to go to lunch one day and breakfast another!

* On Thursday my office called to tell me my uncle was sick and the judge wouldn't continue his case and I had to do it for him. Blind, basically. I had to try half of a case (they had done the other half a few months ago) that I knew nothing about on my own. It was crazy but I think I did ok!! I had time to get familiar with the facts and just dove right in. The sweet client even brought me a present the next day!!

* We were also invited to eat at the Smith's house that week. Julie is a dentist and Lance is a lawyer so we have a lot in common!! They are amazing cooks and made Italian pot roast and risotto and even let me "brulee" the creme brulee. We had a great time hanging out and seeing their lovely new home and meeting their precious baby boy Henry!

*This was also the lead up week to the Gadsden service guild rummage sale, our group's largest fundraiser. In addition to working my shifts, I got to be on 2 morning radio shows. I was nervous at first but ended up loving it! Forrest got to hear me on Friday and said I was excellent!!  :)

* Saturday we went to ttown for the game. We lost. It sucked. We got home at 3am. That sucked too. That is all I have to say about that.

I did run into my sweet friend Chantae, who is Dre Kirpatrick's (#21) sister. My friends Deborah and Jennifer came to visit me too. I'm just sad the game turned out the way it did!
* On Sunday we were exhausted but managed to get to church, lunch at the Bailey's, and dinner at my parents. Then, it was time to get ready for yet another crazy week. More to come!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SNAKES in the basement??

No, that is not a bad movie title, it is true!!! Oh dear gracious where do I begin? Well I went home a little early yesterday to get ready to go to Birmingham with our friends the Smiths. They were picking me up at 4 and we were leaving right away to meet Forrest so I was in a little bit of a hurry when I got home. I went in the basement to get food for Sonny since we would be getting home late and after I shut and locked the door I turned around to see the cats (who were napping upstairs when I got home) sitting very still and staring at something. I was like "oh great, they got another lizard and I am here all by myself and have to catch him--gross!" Every now and then little salamander lizard things get in the basement and the cats chase them and we have to rescue them and put them outside. I am no fan of these lizards but they are harmless and so long as they don't wind up on me, I just want to rescue them from certain death by cat. I was not looking forward to catching him on my own, as that is Forrest's job. We actually had to catch one over the weekend so I was a little annoyed that another fool lizard tried his hand at coming inside so soon! Well as I got closer I thought to myself that it was an awfully big lizard and whoa, maybe it is a snake, but I talked myself out of it because really, why would a snake be in my house. Mind you, the overhead lights are off because the windows are letting in enough light to let me see to get around, but not to see this creature from far away. Well, on my way across the basement, the "lizard" raises his snakey head and I realize that in fact, it is a snake!! AHHHH! Well about that time Brownie hauls off and slaps the snake in the head. Take that!!! Well then snake coils up like a rattle snake and I lose it. I started screaming like a maniac and clapping at the cats to make them run away. I managed to scare Stella upstairs but Brownie wasn't moving from that snake. I had to dive to pick her up (over the snake, might I add) and she was NO happy camper. She scratched my hand and wrist up pretty badly and was fighting me to put her down but I didn't know if it was a poisonous snake or not so I was not taking any chances. I got them safely upstairs and called Forrest (yes, he was an hour away at school but it seemed logical at the time). When he answered I totally lost it--crying, screaming, the works. I hardly remember what he was saying other than "let the cats kill it" (um, no), "just leave it and I'll take care of it when I get home" (super NO) and "why don't you quit crying and call someone---anyone--that can come help you" (BINGO---he is so wise and calm under pressure). He actually called Davis while I called Justin who was unfortunately working in Lincoln and not able to trot across the street to come save me (although, he said he could come straight there and bring his pistol--no thanks). Davis called and said he was on his way and then I figured I better go make sure the snake was in the same place. I had decided I would throw a laundry basket over it to make sure it didn't hide among the stuff down there and was really proud of how brave I was being. Well, snake was not in the same place and I lost it all over again. This time I called my dad and his response was "how big was it" (not important---it is alive) and "well I will call the exterminator" (no time for that). Ugh---well at this point I text Julie and Lance to say I needed extra time because of my unwanted visitor and Julie said the magic words: "Lance is a great snake killer--we are on the way!" HOORAY!!! Well I was muy embarrassed that the Smiths saw my untidy house and disaster of a basement, but I am SOO glad they came to help me! Lance found the snake under the kayak and used a spade to chop its head off (right in front of me--more screaming ensued). By the time he got it cleaned up Davis had arrived (sorry I forgot to call you off the scent, Davis) and he got a good look at it. Turns out, I had a 2 foot long friendly rat snake in the basement. The cats apparently could and would have killed him and were in no danger, but I didn't know that and was not about to leave it up to them. I mean what if he got away from them and took up residence in my house??? Needless to say, I am not very comfortable with going in the basement right now and didn't sleep well last night. Forrest is going to do some snake proofing and hopefully this will be the last time this happens! Luckily, snakes are nothing to him (an inconvenience, like running out of staples, is what he told me) and he isn't scared so he won't be worried and rattling around in the basement trying to figure out where snakey came from. We have no idea how he got in, but so long as no snakes ever try to get in again, I will be ok. (well, sort of)
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