Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who Dat?!

Holy Cow! I had so much fun with the Mister this past weekend! He took me to the Saints vs. Rams game in New Orleans, and it was hands down the best sporting event that I have ever been to. Yeahhh, I know, I've only been to maybe 5 games in my life, but that's just because sports and me have never really seen eye to eye. But seriously, the pure love, devotion, and pride of the Saints fans for their team was truly inspiring.

Before the game begins there is this moment where one of the Saints walks onto the field and stands in the middle of the fleur-de-lis. At this point the whole stadium is absolutely silent. I mean you could honestly hear a pin drop... Absolute silence. Then as he bends down and touches the fleur-de-lis the crowd erupts into the Saint's chant which goes as follows:
"Who dat?! Who dat?! Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints?! Who dat?!"
They then repeat that a couple times. I really wish I had gotten it on tape because it was intense. I have never seen anything like it. It honestly took my breathe away. By far my most favorite moment of the game. Oh yeah... And it didn't hurt that the Saints beat the Rams. :)
Chris and I in front of the Super Dome.
Go Saints!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Sweet relief. That's all I feel right now. Relief. Our first Thanksgiving away from home couldn't have been better. All the preparation and work that went into it was so worth it. And I love that this day wasn't the effort of only one person but of everybody in the house.
Our Thanksgiving Day menu consisted of:
Prime Rib (prepared by Chris)
Lobster Tails (Chris and Vince)
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (Vince)
Stuffing (Ashley)
Clover Rolls (Daneile)

Making these dinner rolls is what worried me the most, but they turned out so good and with the homemade jam, I could have skipped dessert all together. So yummy and pretty too.

Strawberry Jam (Daneile)
Deviled Eggs (Daneile)

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole (Daneile)
Cranberry Sauce (Ashley)
Pumpkin Pie (Ashley)
Ashley made the most beautiful homemade pumpkin pie ever.
Apple Pies (Daneile and Ashley)

The spread.
Dinner was perfect. There was 7 of us total and we couldn't get over how good everything was.

I am so Thankful for days like today, days that open my eyes and make me realize how blessed I truly am.
I amThankful for the love of our family and friends,
for the opportunity that we have to be here in Alabama,
so Thankful that Chris and I both have jobs and steady incomes when so many people do not,
Thankful for the food in our cupboards,
for the roof over our heads,
for the companionship of our pets, Twinkee and Marlo,
Thankful for the gospel in our lives,
and for the incredible members here in our ward,
I'm Thankful that I have goals and dreams, they keep me moving forward,
Thankful for our trials, they have truly made us stronger,
and I'm Thankful for my sweet husband, I love that man and don't know where I would be without him,
I'm Thankful for all our many adventures, we have truly lived an amazing life thus far,
I'm Thankful for my bed that's calling my name. It's been a long day.
Good Night.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Man Date

Last Sunday Chris and his friend Jake took a dude's trip down to New Orleans to watch the Saints defeat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Dome.
When I asked what some of the highlights of the day were this was their reply:
  • They had amazing seats. They were one row from the field and got to see views like this.
  • An unexpected Seahawks fan showed up. It's hard to tell from the picture but that's Will Ferrell. That story basically goes like this... Initially he ignored the crowd and his fans, that made the crowd mad so they decided to start heckling him by screaming his past characters names at him (Frank the Tank, Ron Burgundy, and so on). And finally he looked up at the crowd. That's all they wanted. Mission complete.
  • Only having one row separating them from the Saint's Cheerleaders. (Jake's biggest highlight).
  • Getting to experience the intense admiration and devotion of the Saints Fans. I guess it's pretty insane.
  • Watching the Saints win.
  • And last but not least, after the game they went to a celebration dinner at the all too delicious restaurant, Deanies, in the French Quarter.
What a day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Aww... I have finally did something that has intimidated me for years. Something that I have always wanted to do but have never gathered the nerve because it has always seemed so daunting and complicated. I, with the help and assistance of my sister Ashley, have made an apple pie from scratch. Crust and everything. I couldn't be more satisfied with our little pie and Chris was so proud of me. It was so cute. He insisted on taking a picture of me with it and even commented that it was blog worthy. So here it is.

My pride and joy. It tasted as good as it looks and believe me when I say that. I don't even really like pie ;)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love being scared. I always have. So Chris indulges me with midnight scary movie premieres, lets me watch endless Sy-Fy channel movies (no matter how corny they may be), and even volunteers to take me to at least one haunted house. Is it his thing... not really, but I know that he is slowly starting to get into it.

No Halloween would be complete with out a pumpkin carving party.
I made a big pot of chili, had a warm pan of peach cobbler ready with a side of cool vanilla ice cream, and away we went bringing our pumpkins to life.
Chris is coming up with something good.
Even little Mya got in on the action. Although she was more interested in coloring the back of her pumpkin then she was in Dora.
Our completed pumpkins. So spooky.

Chris did a bunch of stuff on his pumpkin. Ghosts, a spooky tree, a moon, but the big show stopper was the Saints, Fleur-de-lis. GO SAINTS!!
I, on the other hand, kept it a little bit more traditional. Don't get scared.

Camping in Pensacola

Last weekend Chris took me on our annual camping trip. It's a strange thing going camping in the middle of October, but the weather couldn't have been more perfect. The site we camped on was actually where a house once stood on the banks of this river, but then when Hurricane Ivan came through it destroyed the house. All that's left is a foundation and the docks out on the water. The land belongs to a friend of a guy that works with Chris. They said its a great place to camp so we took them up on their offer to let us use the land.
When we got there the first thing we did was go take a look at the water to see if it was swimable. It was swimable... if you didn't mind getting your feet snapped off by an alligator. Well... I'm sure it wasn't that bad, but the water was jet black, and there was no way I could muster the courage to just jump in. So that was a little disappointing, but we still made the most out of our camping trip.
Chris and I set up camp and while he got the fire going, I prepared our tin foil dinners of baby red potatoes and salmon. It was delicious. We stayed up late that night, talked, made s'mores, and listened to the sounds of the wildlife around us. It was so loud. Raccoons getting into fights, something getting in the water and making splashing noises (an Alligator?), ducks quacking, and fishes jumping out of the water. Somehow, we slept good that night, huddled up in our sleeping bags, and managed to even sleep in till about 9:30. That's amazing, because when I camp I am usually up at the crack of dawn.

The next day my brother and his family came up to spend the day with us. It was hot that day so we tried to stay as far away from the fire as possible and just stared at the water that we couldn't get into. It was torture to be so close to water and not be able to get in. But we made our own fun. We played a couple rounds of this dice game called Toss Up, and then even brought our inner kids out and played a few games of hide and seek. So much fun! I must say that I am an amazing hider.
Then as night slowly started to fall we prepared another delicious tin foil dinner (Chris and I seriously have a talent for tin foil dinners) and sat around the campfire talking about ghosts. The scenery was fitting, the Spanish moss hung from the nearby oak trees creating a good backdrop for such a discussion.
Twinkee, our little camper, she hated all but about 10 minutes of the whole trip. She does not enjoy roughing it.
A lot of the animal noise we were hearing was coming from this area. This is all that's left of the dock the hurricane took.

It was a fun time, but I always look forward to getting back home and taking an actual shower and sleeping in my bed.

*** Something I forgot to mention... Chris and I got attacked by bugs. When I say attacked, I mean even bug repellent couldn't keep them at bay. We didn't realize how severe the damage was until we got back home. I fortunately wore pants the majority of the time, but Chris wore shorts and got the worst. He counted over 100 bites on his legs alone. I felt so bad for him. The itch was so irritating. I never want to experience that again and I couldn't even imagine how he was feeling.

A Little of This and A Little of That

I can't believe that it is fall already. It doesn't feel like fall here at all. While other parts of this country get to experience the leaves changing colors and significantly cooler temperatures and in some places even snow, us here in Southern Alabama get to experience nothing of the sort. The only indication that we have reached the fall season is the temperatures have decided to go down to a beautiful mid 80 degrees and that all the stores have decided to bring out their holiday decor. The weather has been perfect, but I have to admit that I do miss the transition from sweaters to jackets to coats.

Life has been so good for Chris and I. The last couple months we have really pushed ourselves to work harder than we have ever worked and we are finally starting to see the fruits of our labors. Its been exhausting but so rewarding and we have finally started to reach that point to where we feel like we can start breathing a little easier. I love my husband so much. I admire his hard work and perseverance. No matter how difficult things may have gotten, he has always remained optimistic in achieving his goals and has never wavered from them. He is such an example to me to never give up on hopes and dreams no matter how hard things may get. He has taught me so much and I fall more in love with him everyday. He is truly an amazing man and I am thankful that he is all mine. (Just thought I'd share :))

But with all the mushy stuff aside now... I mean, don't get me wrong... Yeah, Chris and I have been working hard, but we have also embraced those opportunities to go out and have a little fun too.

The beaches finally reopened after the oil got cleaned up and was deemed clean enough to swim in. We didn't waste anytime going back. We missed it so much. The day was going perfect... Perfect weather, perfect water, perfect company, but as we were playing in the waves and splashing around I suddenly had a little voice in my head tell me to look down. At first I couldn't tell what my eyes were trying to focus in on. Then all of a sudden the slimy, clear, bluish, purplish blob sharpened and I screamed out loud, JELLYFISH!!!! It was terrifying. It wasn't even a foot away from me! I have never ran out of water so fast in my life and the feeling of sand beneath my feet has never been more welcomed. So... Yeah... I may have overreacted, because it wasn't like a swarm of jellyfish, it was just one about the size of a basketball. But I partially blame my reaction to the fact that maybe a week before I watched the documentary on the Discovery Channel about "Killer Jellyfish" and it may have had a bigger impact on me than I originally thought. So anyway, as I'm on land yelling at Chris to get out of the water he's in there TOUCHING the slimy thing! I couldn't believe it! He was actually disappointed that I didn't let it sting me! He said it would have made an awesome story, and then I said, "No thanks, but please, help yourself." I eventually did get back in the water, but I was a little more cautious of my surroundings. Ugh, I just gave myself chills again.

Next up... The "GULF SHORES ANNUAL SHRIMP FESTIVAL!!!!" I was so excited for this. I talked about it for weeks, and didn't leave it up for discussion, we were going. It was so much fun. We ate:
Alligator on a Stick
Crawfish Pies
Jumbo Grilled Shrimp
Fried Shrimp
and Cajun Pistols

Weirdly, the Shrimp dishes were a little disappointing, but the Cajun Pistols made up for all that. This delicious little concoction was a mixture of shrimp, crawfish, and crab in a sort of cheese sauce all baked into these little rolls. They were absolutely scrumptious. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. Totally worth the trip alone.

Well, that's it. Our last couple months in a nutshell. We have just been living life and loving every minute of it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our First Visitor

Over a month ago my Mom blessed us with her presence and was officially crowned our very first visitor. She has taken a "vacation" of sorts in almost every place that we have lived so we knew it was only a matter of time before she came knocking on our door here in the dirty south.

She flew into New Orleans, on the 4th of July, and Chris and I couldn't have been more excited to play tour guide in one of our favorite cities. So off we went to explore the city that we love oh so much...

You can't start your day off without breakfast, so we took her to the famous Cafe Du Monde for some authentic beignets.
From the horse drawn carriages lining the streets, to the jazz duo on the corner playing some upbeat patriotic music on their tuba and trumpet, the atmosphere couldn't have been more perfect while we ate our little french donuts. While we were sitting there we started to experience some sporadic rain showers and figured that our best bet was to head over to the aquarium to escape the rain and the impending heat. So off we set for a nice little walk along the Mississippi River when out of no where buckets of rain starting pouring out of the sky. So we had no choice but to sprint in a desperate search to find shelter. When we finally came to a covered awning we were all laughing so hard... I love moments like that. So there we stayed until the rain slowly let up and we decided to continue our journey on the banks of the Mississippi towards our destination.

Next stop...
I cannot remember what was so intriguing about this small exhibit. It must have been good to draw in this crowd.
The aquarium doesn't necessarily have the cultural aspects that you would expect to find in New Orleans, but when the weather isn't being so friendly it's a great retreat.
So once we left the aquarium we all grabbed a quick bite to eat for lunch, and then decided to split up. My Aunt Robin was in New Orleans at the same time we were for a work conference, and sadly she was tied up in meetings the majority of the day we were there but she kindly gave us a key to her hotel room, and while my brother and Ashley went back to put their daughter down for a nap, Chris, my Mom, and myself decided to explore the streets of the Big Easy.

We walked the beautiful grounds of the St. Louis Cathedral,
strolled through the French Market,
and this is where we talked my Mom into trying alligator. It was in sausage form so it hid a lot of the texture and flavor of the meat, but I was still proud of her.

And then we wandered through the streets of the French Quarter.
A short time later after the rain clouds had moved on and the heat of the day started taking its toll on us, we too decided to head back to the hotel for a little rest before dinner.

That night my Mom treated us to a spectacular dinner at a restaurant, that was recommended by my Aunt, in the French Quarter. It was so authentic and good, that it has had Chris and I dreaming of it ever since. After dinner, we were finally able to meet up with my Aunt and her friend Sherry and get ready for the firework show over the Mississippi. Her hotel opened up its top floor and allowed people to watch the show from there.
Now just imagine that darkness has descended and the lights of the French Quarter below are all aglow, and that two barges slowly make there way down the Mighty Mississippi and stop, and suddenly your eyes are feasting upon two spectacular and simultaneous firework shows. That is the way we celebrated our Country's Birthday. It was incredible.

A little while later we had to say goodbye to my Aunt and head back home so that we could be refreshed for the activities that awaited us the next day.

The next day we decided to take my Mom to see the ocean. The key word there being "see." With the oil having washed up on the shores about a month back the water wasn't safe to swim in. That was the first time that Chris and I had been back in a while and we were amazed to see that the cleaning crews had cleaned the oil off the sand, but there were still chemicals in the water that could be very harmful to your health, so "No Swimming!" It's always a relaxing experience to just sit on the beach or play in the sand so we still enjoyed ourselves.
Over the course of the next few days I had to return to work, so my brother and his wife took over as tour guide and showed her some of our favorite spots. But when night fell and after dinner all our game faces came on. We had many laughs over our games of Uno, Skipbo, and Life.
There are two things I have to comment on about this picture. (1) Ashley has a scary game face. And (2) I think I caught Chris cheating.
The last night that my Mom was going to be in Alabama we treated her to our favorite local BBQ joint down by the bay. Moe's.
And after dinner we went down the street and caught a beautiful sunset over the Bay. It was a perfect sunset on her last night there.
The next night we had to say our goodbyes to her, but since she was flying out of New Orleans we had one more dinner and enjoyed dessert at Cafe Du Monde.

We had so much fun with her here and enjoyed showing her the new place we get to call home. If I know her I'm sure she's already planning her next visit, and we already have some new things to show her.
Thanks for the visit and come back anytime. Love you Mom!