Sunday, December 26, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

Now I realize that Christmas is not about receiving but about giving. With that being said, I wanted to share some awesome gifts that I did receive this year that I am super excited about. Thank you to all my friends and family for giving me such awesome and thoughtful gifts. I love them all!

-InStyler Rotater Hair Iron. Okay, so I once laughed at the funny infomercials thinking of how there is no way this thing works. But, if you know me well, you realize I like to research things before buying, eating, etc. So I did for this item-and the reviews were great. And I agree! I LOVE this thing. It has cut down my hair styling time and is so easy and makes my hair look great. I don't have to style it at all other than using this Iron. It rocks! I can straighten it or curl my hair in just a few minutes. Goodbye straightening iron!

-A fossil watch from Matt's dad and step-mom. I used to wear a watch all the time and for some reason I haven't in a few years. I am so excited to use my new watch and I love this classic and stylish design.

-New grey suede "booties" (or short boots) from my father and some skinny jeans from GAP (from Matt) with stirrups. Yes, you have heard that right! Jeans with stirrups. And yes, I realize that is so 80s and laughable, but, my friends, you will not see the stirrups because I will wear them with one of the several pairs of boots I own. If you have ever worn your skinny jeans tucked into your boots you will may realize what a pain in the you-know-what it can be when your jeans bunch up around the ankles or rise up out of the jeans (bunch at the knees). So this should be an instant fix without giving away that my jeans are actually stirrups. And the booties are super cute and stylish and I can't wait to wear them soon!

-A gift certificate to the spa from Matt's dad and step-mom-Thankyouthankyouthankyou!! Wohoo! My aching back and neck also thankyou.

-Sharper Image Stainless Steel Stick Blender from Matts mom. This thing blends, chops, and mixes so easily. You can just stick in it a bowl or glass to mix or blend. So easy! No need to get out tons of pieces to put together in order to make a smoothie or to mix anything. Just stick this item in the mix and hit power!

-A new Brighton charm bracelet from Nick and Megan. I have never had a charm bracelet and am excited to start collecting charms. To start the bracelet off they got me a Georgia peach charm. How thoughtful!

-A BUNCH of new clothes from Matt, my dad and step-mom. Thanks to them I will be lookin' good in 2011.

-An awesome embroidered beach towel from my mom. This thing rocks! It has a pocket to hold it onto the top of the beach chair to prevent it from sliding down. It also has two small pockets on the sides by where your arms will be to put in your suntan lotion, phone, etc. And it's pink!

-An embroidered wine carrier from Phoenix. I have been eying these things forever and am so glad to have one. And its orange and navy! War Eagle!

Okay, I have to draw the line here because I could keep going on and on and on. I was so blessed to receive so many amazing gifts. I hope the ones we gave made people as happy as I am! The biggest gift I probably received though I haven't mentioned yet. It is....(drum roll please)....

A trip to New Orleans for my birthday in April from my sweet and wonderful husband! He knows just how much I love New Orleans and what an awesome surprise that was! I can not wait!!

Merry Christmas!

Sorry I have been MIA lately--we have been so busy with the Christmas holidays! Two weeks ago, we went home to spend the weekend with my family for the holidays. This was the first year I was away from my family for Christmas, but luckily I was able to go home and have a "mock" Christmas with them all. Friday, December 17th was my brother Jason's 30th birthday so we met up with him at my mothers' and went to eat. My cousin Emily and her friend Regina also came into town and visited us, along with her twin Liz who lives in Atlanta. So we had a good time catching up with them while spending time with my brother for his birthday. We always do breakfast with my family on Christmas day so we did this that Saturday in Atlanta. We then opened gifts together as if it were Christmas day. That night, we went to my fathers house and had a big dinner with my dad, step mom, brothers, and wives. We were able to open presents and spend some good time with them.

*This is a new tradition the guys started this year at my dads house on Christmas. Shots of tequila! This past week was a blur because I only worked Monday through Wednesday, so I had to rush around all day trying to get a weeks worth of work done in 3 days. I did enjoy being lazy and staying home Thursday and Friday though, so the hard work was worth it! Friday night was Christmas Eve and we spent it with Matt's step-mothers' family. This was the first year they had a talent/skit contest. Matt's dad came up with the idea of dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". We got together during the week and practiced the dance. It ended up turning out great- we were all in sync and all the other family members seemed to get a big kick out of it. Too bad we didn't win though!
*Matt and I before leaving for the party on Christmas Eve

Christmas morning started off with a large breakfast at Matt's dad and step-mom's house. I brought one of my family traditions "Nana Bread" to share with his family. We later shared presents and enjoyed time together. This year we were blessed with a wonderful surprise of SNOW!! It was beautiful! What a true blessing for us on the most special day of the year--I feel we received a blessing from the big man himself yesterday! After breakfast and presents, we headed to Matt's mothers home. We opened gifts with her and ate a late lunch/early dinner. It was great! We were exhausted by 4pm and headed back to the house to relax and spend some time alone on Christmas night.

*All of us "kids" at Matts dad and step-mom's

*Us with Matts mom on Christmas day

*Megan and I enjoying the snow

We had a very wonderful Christmas with many great surprises, but I truly think the most fantastic part is being able to spend time with loved ones and letting them know how much they mean to you. To think of what Jesus has done for us and how we are blessed is such a wonderful and powerful gift in itself. I hope everyone had a great Christmas as well!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

We had a great and busy weekend! We started it off Friday at Matt's work party in Mountain Brook at a doctor that he works withs home. It was a beautiful house and we had a lot of fun. I was glad to finally be able to put faces with names from the co-workers I have often heard about. Afterwards, we went to my work party which was at WorkPlay, a really nice venue here in Birmingham. It was interesting to see co-workers let loose and have a good time outside of work. We didn't stay long there though, because we had another big day the following day.

Saturday we went to Matt's mothers house for a family Christmas party. It was great to see family members who we often don't get to see. After the family party, we headed to our friends Meredith and Ben's house for their annual Christmas party. Every year we have a different theme and this years was pajamas. It was hilarious to see everyone in their pj's and it was comfortable!! Here are some pics from the evening:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Books to read for even non-readers

I am a bookworm. Nerd. There, I have said it. It took me a long time to admit it but I can now be proud and say I love to read. A lot. Ever since I was very young, since elementary school I have read. I had bookshelves in my room growing up that were overflowing with Sweet Valley Twins and Babysitters Club and Ghosebumps books. I remember staying up late on New Years Eve as a child reading a book. During college I was too busy with school and you know, partying, to read often, but after graduating I found myself itching to start reading again. So here I am as an adult being an avid reader, again. I am the proud owner of a Nook, Barnes and Nobles version of a ebook reader (like Kindle). I also like to frequent the thrift stores to find cheap good books as well. And for Christmas, there is nothing more than I love to give than a book. I think there is nothing more personal than picking out a book you think would inspire/entertain/educate/etc. and giving it to a loved one. The problem is that a lot of people say they don't like to read. I say to that you "non-readers" must not have read a good book. Because once you have begun a good book, you can't put it down and often find your mind wandering back to the story. You feel sadness when you reach the last page because you will no longer spend time with the characters that you have grown to love. With that being said, I would like to give some "non-readers" and fellow bookworms some great book recommendations. I have read probably hundreds of books in the last year or two so I feel I have pretty good say when I say these books are amazing.

1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. -I thought this book sounded weird being about a young adult joining the circus in the early 1900's. It ended up being amazing. Great. Funny. Romantic. Ironic. And, apparently the folks in Hollywood loved it too because they are making a movie based on it. Don't wait until the movie comes out, read the book. I promise you'll love it.

2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett-Again, I thought this book didn't sound great. It's based on women in the south during the 60's who have African American "help" working in their homes. I LOVED it. It is touching, hilarious, and really gives you insight as to how life was like during this time for those who were working in the homes during and after the civil rights era.

3. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton-Great mystery about a young girl during the early 1900's who was separated from her family and later tries to find them. It's not only about this woman, but her ancestors, children, and grandchildren. It has romance and mystery and I had a hard time putting it down. A must read.

4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer- Kind of weird that this whole book is composed of letters based around an author living in Europe during and after WWII and the German invasion. She begins corresponding and eventually visiting the people on the island of Guernsey and learning of how they lived during the German Occupation. It's funny, cute, easy to read, and educating.

5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoseeini-This book is not for the faint of heart or beginners. This is a very deep, touching book based on two young boys living in Afghanistan and their lives being affected by the change in political power and the Taliban. It even sounds boring as I type this but it is not at all and I just could not leave this off my list. It is a great, powerful, and sad story and is definitely a great read. Be prepared with your Kleenex's while reading though.

AUsome weekend

We had a wonderful weekend! We started off Friday by both Matt and I getting off early and going to lunch and then off to complete our Christmas shopping. We are actually about done with Christmas shopping now! After shopping, we picked out our Christmas tree and took it home to decorate. It was such a great Friday night, we both had our pajamas on by 7pm, had the Christmas movie "Love Actually" playing while we decorated the tree and the house, and wrapped presents. It was just the perfect day/night to put us in the Christmas spirit.

Saturday was a big day for us. Our Auburn Tigers played the University of South Carolina's Gamecocks in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. If we won this game, we would be headed to Glendale, Arizona for the National Championship. I felt pretty confident going into the game but by the end of the first half I felt very confident! It ended up being a great game for the Auburn family, as we won 56-17. War Eagle! This will be the first time Auburn has gone to the National Championship since 1957. We watched the game at our friends' Allen and Amanda's house and had a great time watching with many of our Auburn friends.

After the game we headed to the Grayson Valley Country Club to celebrate our friend Daniel's 30th birthday. They rented out the Country Club and had a DJ, a catered buffet, and a bar-all you need for a good time! We had a lot of fun!

Sunday we went Christmas shopping with Matt's dad and step-mom Debbie at the Galleria and later went to dinner. I love Christmas and I love to shop so obviously shopping at Christmastime is so much fun to me. We had a great day and evening with Bob and Debbie and were so grateful for all they did and have done for us!

We've got another big weekend coming up with 4, yes you read that right--4, Christmas parties. Stay tuned for pictures and updates!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours was. It started out Wed. afternoon we left Birmingham and headed to Atlanta. We spent Wednesday evening in with my mom in our pj's watching movies (note to my 4 readers-Sex and the City 2 is looonnnggg and not so great). Here is a picture of ALL 4 dogs that were at my mom's house, from left to right-- our dogs Max and Gracie, my mom's dog Aubie, and my cousin's dog Vinnie. They had a blast hanging out together all weekend!

Thursday was the big day and we first headed to my aunt Luannes house. Now, you don't get the name Luanne and not be an amazing cook. Same goes with my aunt Cheryl and cousin Tina. We had so much food it was exciting and overwhelming at the same time! It was great to eat and see all of my family, since last Thanksgiving we were in Birmingham and I wasn't able to see them. After leaving Luanne's we headed to my momite's (grandmothers) house. We were so stuffed we weren't able to eat there but did sit at the table and enjoyed the company while they ate. It was great to see my aunt Brenda, Uncle Mike, and cousin Kathleen, who had come in from West Palm Beach, Florida. I missed them last year also. We had a great day visiting everyone and once again I realized how much we have to be thankful for!

Friday was the other big day, better known as the Iron Bowl. My Auburn Tigers sure gave me a scare during the first half but I kept the faith and sure enough we pulled out a win! We had a lot of fun watching the game with my Georgia Bulldog dad and step-mother, but they were good sports and rooted for Auburn. Now we have the SEC championship game and hopefully we will be headed to Glendale, Arizona to WIN the national championship!

Saturday Matt, mom, and I went shopping. Later that night we went and stayed with our good friends Bobby and Amanda who I have known forever. It was great to stay with them and spend time not only with them, but their little ones as well. They have 2 beautiful kids, Reece and Avery and I hate that we don't get to see them often.

We headed back Sunday early and were able to get up some of the Christmas decorations. I've included a picture of our table all decorated. We are planning to get our tree this upcoming weekend so the house will be complete. Oh, how I love the holidays!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am so Thankful for...

1. My husband-I always hear people talking about how hard marriage is and I always think to myself I must be missing something (or not!). I have Seriously, I feel like we get better and better all the time. He makes me laugh, is supportive, thoughtful, caring, oh yeah, and HOT!! ;) I am blessed to be his wife.

2. My family-I was sooo blessed to have been given the best and most supportive family ever. Every single member of my family is amazing and I know I can turn to them if I need to. I have also been blessed to have amazing in-laws as well and couldn't of picked em' even better!

2. My friends-I have so many great friends that I don't even know where to start. We have this amazing little group of friends-it's so perfect. The boys are all best buddies and the girls are all best friends. We love our girls night and thanks to the #1 on my list, I am always able to go out with the girls. But not just with my friends here, I have some awesome friends who live out of state and I know I can just pick up the phone to have their support and friendship.

3. My job-I have not only a pretty good paying job, but a pretty great boss, pretty great hours, and a pretty fun workday. I get to hang out with kids all day watching movies, playing games, coloring, and talking. I truly feel that I make a difference in others' lives and for that I am thankful. I also have some really fun, laid-back, and supportive co-workers also!

4. My new car-As you may have noticed I recently got a new car and LOVE it. Although it sucked to get it (car accident), I am really enjoying driving my new car.

5. My house-Which is perfect, I love it because it's small, cozy, and affordable. I want to live there as long as we possibly can.

6. My health-Gotta be thankful for being healthy at a time when there are millions of others who are not. If I ever start to complain about anything minor, I need to remind myself how much worse it could be. I try to take care of myself with the choices I make when eating and by trying to stay physically active and fit because I don't want my health to turn bad.

These are just a few of the hundreds of things I am thankful for. Every day I realize how blessed I am and thank God for what he has done for me in my life. That is not something I take for granted! I hope you all realize how blessed you are and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Painting and Partyin'

We have had a busy weekend!! It started out Friday when we had a girls/guys night. My friend Andrea had a girls party at her house while the guys went to our friend Ty's house for a bonfire. We later joined up with them at the bonfire and had a blast hanging out together by the fire. It ended up being a late night but it was well worth it!

Saturday morning we got up and began what turned into 8 straight hours of painting. We painted our living room and hallway, which was NOT fun-- but in the end we love the outcome! I've put a few pictures on here to show the new color-take heed that these are from my iPhone so they are of not so great quality. The previous color was a basic beige-brown color that the rest of the house is painted (other than the kitchen which we have also re-painted).

Saturday night we went to a wedding shower for it our friends' Stefan and Jessie. It was a great shower but we were so exhausted from the painting all day that we ended up only staying a couple hours. We came home early and passed out!

Today we got up early and went to church and lunch with Matt's dad and step mother. We did some shopping at Target and have been relaxing at home since. Overall, it's been a great weekend and of course has gone by way too fast! I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week!! We are looking forward to coming home to Atlanta to celebrate the holiday with my family.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shutterfly Rocks!

And here's why, they are giving away 50 free holiday cards for bloggers! I have been using Shutterfly for years and have always been able to count on the great quality from their photo products. Not only is it a great site to put up photos and share with friends and family, but it allows you and them to purchase directly from their site and have the pictures or products at your door within days. I have always been amazed by the speed and efficiency of using and purchasing products and pictures from their site. We actually used their website to design our invitations to our wedding reception (which many of you received) and we also designed and made hardcover photo books from our wedding which was perfect Christmas gifts for our parents. They have great gift ideas such as calendars, story cards, and books.

Shutterfly always has great discount and deals going on and this one is by far my favorite! If you are a blogger, Shutterfly is now offering bloggers 50 free holiday cards, just click here for more information.

Here are some of the cute cards they have, but I'm not going to show you what ours will look like just yet!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nick + Megan Wedding

This past Thursday we headed to St. Petersburg, Florida to attend my brother in law, Nick's wedding. Unfortunately, the weather turned out to be very cold and windy, but we made the best of it and had a blast. The wedding was beautiful and we had so much fun hanging out with family and friends. Congrats to Nick and Megan! Here are some pics from the weekend:

First dance
All of my besties from left to right: Maria, Phoenix, Amanda, Mere, Angela, and myself
Matt and I by the sunset

The amazing resort the wedding was at, the Don Cesar

Bride to be and her father before the wedding

Megan and I the night before the wedding

At rehearsal dinner, which was fantastic! It was at this restaurant called Patrick's-a must go to when in St. Pete!
Megan and her mother

Mere and I

The first day we were there it rained all day. The rain stopped briefly and this is us on the beach

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


In case you have been living under a rock, this past weekend was Halloween. We celebrated the holiday this Saturday night at our friend OJ and Phoenix's house. It was a blast! Here are some pics of everyone all dressed up:

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Ride

The sad part about my car accident is that my car was paid off and I didn't have a payment. The good part of my wreck other than the fact that I was okay, is that I got to get a new car! After being at the mercy of my husbands schedule and having him drop me off and pick me up from work (ugh, he works longer hours than I usually do) we quickly realized that we needed to car shop ASAP. I was pretty bummed because I really don't love many cars other than Honda Accords and some luxury cars which as a smart consumer I knew I shouldn't/couldn't afford. We began the car hunt pretty quickly looking at Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, and Mazdas. I quickly knew that a Honda Accord was what I wanted. Thanks to the suggestion of our good friend Chad, we decided to check out Carmax. Prior to going to Carmax we didn't know much about them other than they advertise how they are different from the other car dealerships. Well, they are so right! We were amazed at how laid back the people were, letting us browse at our discretion and actually having the no-haggle (they really don't/won't haggle!) price on the vehicles. The process of test driving the car was quick, as they have the keys on the car in a lock-box and so you don't have to wait on the salesman to go find them which was very convenient. Once we test drove the car we liked, it took maybe a total of 30 minutes to do the paperwork and we were out of there with a brand new car! Of course I went with a Honda Accord and we love it!! I look forward to driving now! I really would recommend going to Carmax to buy a used car if you are in the market. They truly are different than other dealerships.

Here is the link to my Carmax owner website which has pictures of my new ride!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A sad story about a girl and her car

There was a girl who was driving in the rain one morning on her way to work. It began raining so hard that she had to lean in to see through the windshield as the rain pelted down onto it. She became nervous and silently thanked herself for having gotten her tires rotated and balanced as well as her oil changed in the car the previous day. Luckily though, the rain began to lighten up and eventually stopped. A few miles down the road the girl was about to pass through a traffic light. Suddenly, the light turned yellow. The girl realized that due to the wet roads, quickly hitting the brakes to stop for the light may cause her car to skid or even hydroplane-- potentially causing a wreck. At the last minute, she decided that she must continue forward under the yellow light.

In an instant, she saw the blue minivan turning in front of her. It was like slow motion-the van pulling out in front of her car. The girl immediately slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the van and attempted to steer to the right hoping to miss it. Instead, within an instant, her car slammed into the side of the van creating a loud squealing than slamming sound. The girls mind raced. There was smoke all in the car and she couldn't get the car to turn off. Her hands were shaking. The airbags had deployed, thankfully she thought. She felt her face and looked for any injuries on herself. She then grabbed her bag and phone and made her way out of the car. She ran to the van to see a large black woman yelling "my babies! my babies!" The girl asked "are your kids okay? are you okay?!". The woman ignored the girl. The girl then picked up her phone and called 911 to report the accident. She was shaking and her heart was pounding. She kept wondering whose fault this was or how it could have been avoided. After calling 911 and her husband the girl realized that everyone was okay. The lady she hit as well as her "babies" were fine. The other woman began to talk on her phone. The girl suddenly realized her wrists were hurting and her face was in throbbing. She felt her nose and realized it may be broken. Her thoughts were racing as quickly as her heart was. She willed herself to remain as calm as possible and not cry.

Soon, the sirens wailed in the background as the firetrucks, ambulance, and police made their way to the scene. They made a parimeter with their cars and trucks to block off traffic. They got out of their vehicles to find the black woman hollering as if she suddenly were in pain. They immediately came to her to assess her injuries (which the girl noted had been none prior to the emergency responders' arrival) and began to pull the stretcher out of the ambulance. They placed her on the stretcher and into the ambulance. The "babies" that were in her car turned out to be 3 young children, under the age of 4 who were not in the appropriate car seats. Only 1 of the 3 was in a car seat, and that was the baby, who was in a car seat that was not appropriate for the age of the baby. The lady also informed the police that her van was new, therefore she did not have any car insurance.

Another car pulled onto the scene and a young black man with long dreads and colorful clothing got out of his car. His pants were sagging low as he walked towards the wreck. The "babies" were his children, as he was the other drivers' son. He parked in the middle of the road and the police officers yelled for him to move his car before another wreck happened. He ran and picked up the 3 children without even checking on his mother in the ambulance and left as quickly as he came. A few minutes later another car came screetching down the road. The driver was continuously honking the horn and stopped his car in the middle of the intersection. He began to run into the road towards the wreck yelling. He was still wearing his telemarker headseat and looking frantic as he searches for his wife, who is the woman in the ambulance. The police and firefighters become aggitated at this man's careless behavior. They begin yelling for him to get back into his car and pull into a neably parking lot. Instead he drives off.

The girls husband arrives and she immediatly begins to feel her heart slow down and she slighty relaxes some. The police talk with her and her husband obtaining the details of the accident and informing her that a tow truck is on the way to pick up her car. He gives her the okay that she can now leave. She and her husband walk away with their backs turned against the terrible crash and event that has just happened. Though the cars and debris are removed from the sight of the crash, the memory will remain with the girl about that terrible rainy morning.

So, as most of you all know, this story is about me Wednesday morning. Thankfully, I am fine and though my nose is fractured, it doesn't look so and will heal on its own. My car is currently in the shop and is most likely going to be deemed totalled. Though this wreck was scary and terrible, I have been overwhelmed by the caring and concern shown by my friends, family, co-workers, and even Matts' co-workers. I am so lucky to be alive and okay, and to have the support that I do. I wake up (most-haha!) every day happy and I now realize why I am always such a happy person-because the amazing people in my life!

Here are a few photos of the wreck and my car:

Monday, October 25, 2010

War Cam Eagle!

This weekend was awesome! And mainly it was because my Auburn Tigers are #1, not only in my heart, but in the BCS ratings as well! I have been trying not to get to cocky or arrogant about how well Auburn's football team is playing this year, but in doing so I have limited my excitement and enthusiasm for our season. Well, no longer! I am soo proud of Auburn and how far we have come since last year. It was very difficult to see our team have a not-so-great season last year, while on top of that, have a strong punch in the gut to see our rivals Bama win the National Championship. We have suffered through the "Bamer" fans bragging on Mark Ingram and Sabanation and blah, blah, blah. Well Bamers, we have Cam Newton who is amazing and-- an awesome team altogether! We are not perfect and still have many games to play, but for now I'm going to celebrate how great we are doing and being on the top right now! I know a lot can happen in the next few weeks, and I pray it gets better and better for Auburn, but no matter what happens-- it sure does feel great to be an Auburn Tiger right now!

War Eagle!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Waiting for Superman

I recently learned of a documentary that is being shown in certain cities called "Waiting for Superman". After hearing that this was focused on children in America and our education system, I thought that I really didn't have a strong need to watch this since I, a.)am not in school b.) don't have a child, and c.) therefore don't have a child in school. Stupid me to think that! Once I started hearing more and more about this documentary the more I want to see it. Of course since I live in Alabam-er we don't get any breakthrough documentaries showing in our theatres. Luckily though Oprah did a 2 show special on this and I feel that this is a subject all citizens of our society should be aware of whether we are in school, have a child in school, or not.

Basically the premise of this documentary is that the American education school system is failing our children. There are millions of children in school who aren't being taught correctly, being looked over, and forgotten. There are tons of children who want to learn but are being failed by the teachers and our system. HUGE disclaimer here--there are TONS of great teachers who are doing an awesome job, and this is not about you. The problem is the teachers and faculty who are not so great and don't care about the students. In some states there is a lottery system to get into so-called "good" schools. I saw clips of families shouting and crying with joy after their child was selected to attend these schools, and others bursting in tears when their child was not. One woman stated how she knew her son (who was maybe 6) getting into the "good" school would make the difference of him going to college or jail. Wow. That really strikes home and makes the Social Worker in me upset. Why should a child have to win a lottery to get a good education?

Another problem discussed is putting children into different programs or tracks such as a vocational degree, college prep degree, advanced placement degree, etc. The problem they pose with this is that unless there is a specialized problem such as a disorder or mental deficit, shouldn't we expect all of our students to be knowledgeable about the concepts taught in school? To say, oh well you just want this type of degree so we won't make you learn more. Does this sound okay to anybody? It doesn't to me. I believe you live up to the goals you set for yourself. This starts with the education system and carries on to our lives. If we set high goals and expectations for children as students, then they learn they should strive to meet them-- and have teachers who are supportive and helpful to get them there. They then learn that in life to set high goals for themselves and that when the going gets hard they must continue to push on and to try harder. Instead, we are basically giving up on students learning concepts that may be marked "too difficult" and showing them that they are not worth trying for? No one truly believes that they can do better? What type of message does that send to children and teens? Give up on yourself doing anything difficult, it just isn't worth it, or can't/won't happen?

Before I step off my soapbox of this subject I want to give you a few facts I learned. This is what really started the spark in me to be interested in this subject and think of how this subject doesn't directly affect me but soon will. Our nation is now ranked #26 out of 30 countries with our students test scores in math and science. Almost dead last. We used to be on top! This is the first time the younger generation will be LESS knowledgeable than the one before it. What will happen to our country and our future? America is one of, if not, the leading country with our power, intelligence, and business. Will this continue with our education system working the way that it is now? John Legend says he believes the fight for reform within our school system is going to be this generations' civil-rights movement. I agree that it is something we all should look into and fight for not just for our future childs'/generations' sake, but for our country as well. If I get the chance to see this documentary I certainly will, and recommend you do so as well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What's been going on

We have been pretty busy lately! Last weekend we went to Atlanta to hang out with my family and relax. We arrived Friday evening around 7:30. My mom recently moved and this was our first time to check out her new place. We love it! My mom has an amazing knack at decorating and it seems like she makes everywhere she lives seem to feel homey and comfortable. This new place is no exception. We went to a nearby (as in across the street walking) pizza place Friday night and enjoyed some amazing food and a few drinks. After, we walked home and ended up heading to be early.

Saturday we did a little shopping (thankfully for Matt I didn't find anything to purchase!) and came home to watch the Bama vs. South Carolina game. Around half-time of the game we headed to my dad's house to watch the 2nd half and watch our Auburn Tigers play. We grilled out and had a great time.

Now, I'm a true Auburn fan. It began just out of high school when I went to Camp War Eagle for 3 days where new incoming Auburn students stay in the dorms, learn Auburn traditions, go to the stadium to learn and practice Auburn cheers and fight songs, and bask in the Auburn way of life. Since that weekend, I have felt part of the Auburn family and am 100% loyal to that family and school. Therefore, as an Auburn fan, I despise The University of Alabama, as they are our rivals. So, when the undefeated since 2008, former National Champs lost this past weekend to South Carolina (whom we already have beat this season) I was elated! I love my friends who have made the mishap of going to, or loving UA, however, I think they must understand that with my love for Auburn comes my hatred for UA (not them, though, of course!). So needless to say, I was in an awesome mood Saturday night. Until that is, my Tigers gave me a heart attack by having such a close game with Kentucky. Thankfully, I believe in Auburn and love it, and they pulled through with a win to make our season a 6-0 record so far. I must admit my anxiety about this upcoming weeks game against Arkansas, but I will keep the faith and believe in my team.

Sunday, we headed back to Birmingham around lunchtime. I'm pretty sure I mentioned in the past about my broken camera mishaps and I'm happy to report that this issue was resolved finally yesterday at Best Buy when my camera was replaced with a new and improved model. So, though it was sad to see my old camera break and not to have it for a couple weeks, it worked out well when Best Buy gave me a newer and better model. Thanks Best Buy! Last night we relaxed and watched some of our favorite shows (the Amazing Race, Undercover Boss).

Today is exciting for me because after work, Matt and I are going to Williams Orchard, a place in Springville, Al to pick out our pumpkin, some Mums, and hopefully some fresh fruits and vegetables. We are also having dinner with some of our best friends as well so hopefully it will be a great night!
Happy Monday everyone! Oh and to those who are off today, happy day off! (you suck! ;) )

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why I love FALL

Fall is one of my favorite seasons and I wanted to compile a list of why I love this season. Here are a few:

1. Football. Nothing like getting together with your best friends and watching Auburn football. Or even going to the wonderful town of Auburn, Alabama and tailgating prior to attending the game. Oh yeah, and I LOVE tailgating food! Every Saturday morning I try to think of a great dip or dessert to bring to wherever we are watching the game.

2. Weather. Nothing is better than the crisp breeze you feel during a beautiful Fall day. And I love being able to turn the a.c. off and open the windows.

3. Colors. I love watching the beautiful colors the trees turn during the Fall. The oranges, fiery reds, browns, and yellows are so amazing.

4. Food. There is nothing like cooking a pot of soup or stew and sitting on the couch snuggled up with your loved ones and eating it. And, it's also time for pumpkin pies, which are one of my favorites!

5. Holidays. Fall has two holidays that are both on my favorites list-Halloween and Thanksgiving. Halloween is so much fun, to decorate for and dress up for. I love candy, scary stuff, and dressing up. What a perfect holiday. And Thanksgiving, which warms my heart to even think of. Getting together with my family who I rarely get to see and enjoying THE BEST food ever. Ahh I can't wait!

6. Decorations. Last year I made an Autumn wreath and was so excited to get it out this year and put it up. I already have some neat Autumn themed decorations up around the house and would love to get more. I'm always keeping my eyes posted for more! I love to buy large Mums in bright colors to put on the front doorstep by some pumpkins. I think it looks so pretty!

7. Traditions. Everyone has different traditions but I'm sure most are similar. Carving a pumpkin is one that we always do. Matt and I always go together to pick out the best and most perfect pumpkin we can find and get home and decorate it. I usually make Brunswick Stew and pumpkin pie the night we carve the pumpkin.

8. Dress. I love to wear boots, scarves, sweaters, and light jackets and Fall is the time to start pulling these out.

So these are just a few of the reasons why I love this season. I'm trying to enjoy each day as it comes, as the seasons usually fly by. Fall is such a great time of warmth, traditions, and time to spend with family. Happy Fall to you all!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Megan's Bachelorette Bash

This past Friday night several good friends and I went out to celebrate my soon to be sister-in-law Megan's looming end to her single hood- her bachelorette party! Our boys all went to Philadelphia, Mississippi to lose, I mean gamble their money away so we took advantage of being single for the evening and had a night out on the town.

We started at this neat restaurant/bar called Rogue Tavern in downtown Birmingham. It has a really neat atmosphere and great food. There was a band playing and I think the staff at Rogue thought it would be an easy persuasion to give us all free shots to dance with the band. And they were right! As we started to talk about moving to another venue, the bartenders kept giving us free drinks to stay a little longer so we did. After awhile though, we decided to move on.

Next stop was the bar called "Above" which is literally above, or on the roof of the Redmont Hotel in Downtown Birmingham. It overlooks the city and was really neat. I have heard it can get very crowded but we were lucky and had plenty of room that night. We danced on the roof and mingled in the bar. After Above we lost a few soldiers of our party (huge THANKS to my friend Amanda who was a champ and took care of our sick friend who will remain nameless ;) ), the bride-to-be, her good friend Elena, Phoenix, and I ended up continuing on to Nano Funks.

Nano Funks was a blast and we danced the night away. We didn't end up getting home until 5:30 am and needless to say I was SICK the next day. Ugh! It was worth it in the end though and I think the bride-to-be sure had a great time which is what matters the most!

Due to an unfortunate accident in Auburn a few weeks ago, I currently don't have a camera (hopefully will be getting a new one ASAP). So instead of taking pictures, I wrote down funny quotes we said through out the night. Some are hilarious, and some are just plain silly. Without further ado, here they are:

-This is a good dressing for dinner (as we are in the car not talking about food at all)
-I wouldn't have his babies but I'd have sex with him (talking about a famous celebrity crush)
-She's sutcher in a hurry
-If you put a bag over our waiters face he'd be hot
-I just don't want to throw up in the taxi (which happened to 3 of us-including the bride!)
-Filter. Off.
-I need a beat. Let's get some rap!
-Is that a challenge? Cuz I like it!
-Anyone in a minivan...I will drink down.
-Oh! They're in a mommy mobile!
-Oh is that a snuggie? I thought it was a large jacket!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I know I'm getting older when...

-I'm in bed by 9pm on a weeknight and on the weekends I "sleep in" until 8:30

-I no longer watch "The Real World"

-I wear pearl earrings regularly instead of large hoops

-I often think the TV or music is turned up too loud. "It's hurting my ears!"

-I will have my I.D. ready to show my birth date when purchasing alcohol and the cashier says "I don't need it."

-I used to go out to the bars around 11pm. now I have stayed out late if I was out until 11pm

-I haven't been to Waffle house or Krystal in over a year

-Grocery shopping is fun

-When I check my friends' Facebook pictures instead of the crazy weekend party pictures its of their babies and children

-I get excited to decorate the house for different seasons or holidays

-I don't wear skinny pants or neon clothes

-There was no "emo" type when I was in school

-I make references back to when I was in school

-I don't know who Gucci Man is. Or if I even spelled that right.

-I'd rather wear flats than heels

-When I meet someone in a bar who thinks 23 is "old". Not that I'm even near 23 anymore!

-I look back on all the fun and crazy stuff I did and still think my life is only getting better and better

What about you? What makes you realize that you are getting older?

Monday, September 20, 2010

What an AUsome time!

This weekend we headed to the great plains also known as Auburn, Alabama. Most of my friends and I graduated and left Auburn in 2005 and we only get to come back about 1 time a year so it's always amazing to visit and see what has changed, and boy has Auburn changed! The town has gotten much larger and has added so many new places and buildings and businesses. They now have a transit system which runs specifically at night to take people from their homes to the bars. I can't even imagine how great this would have been when we were there!

We left Friday straight from work and made it to our old stomping grounds around 6ish. We met up with several of our friends and had dinner and then later went out to hit the local bar scene.We decided to ride the transit downtown Friday night and it was so nice to not have to worry about who's driving and finding parking places, etc. Most of the bars have changed or aren't there anymore that were once around when I was a student but I was very happy to see that one bar hadn't changed named Bourbon Street. We headed there Friday night and had a blast. We felt like young college kids until we'd meet people and a.) they had no clue a ring on your left hand means your married and/or b.) we'd try to explain we were older and they would guess our age at 23, which really? Do they believe 23 is old!? It was still a blast and we got to see a girl fight on the transit ride home which was pretty hilarious. The poor driver just acted like nothing happened as the girls are rolling around on the bus fighting. Guess he probably sees a whole lot of stuff that late at night!

Saturday we got up bright and early to tailgate. We headed to our friends Tiffany and Keith's family tailgate which was awesome. They have been tailgating a very long time and I think they really have it down! It was tailgating at it's finest. They had a huge tent, plenty of chairs, games to play, a TV, and food. It was great to see Tiffany and Keith who currently live in Oklahoma, and meet their baby Sawyer who is precious! We also got to see some other great friends we hadn't seen in awhile as well. The game started at 6 and boy was it a nerve racking game! Auburn played terrible for the first half but came back the second half looking like a new team. Luckily though, we won in overtime!

We headed back to Birmingham Sunday morning and I had to attend my soon to be sister-in-law Megan's bridal tea. It was very nice and I hope she had a great time. She got some great presents and had a good turnout!