Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another Very Happy Birthday Indeed

Well, another birthday has passed. I can't believe that I am 26. Seriously time... slow down! This year was a little calmer than others, but that didn't stop me from having the best time possible. Once again I got spoiled by birthday wishes, cards showing up the whole week, presents, and birthday wishes coming true. Chris spoiled me by taking me to my favorite food spots and letting me fill up on my favorites. Does anybody else have their life revolve around food? Well, mine does and I don't mind one bit. Enjoy the simple things, right? Don't worry, I do.

All I wanted this year was to go to the ocean, and Chris saw to it that my wish came true. We and everybody else that we know down here packed up for a relaxing afternoon spent enjoying the warmth of the sand and the coolness of the water. The waves were very active so we all had a fun time playing in those and then we moved the party to the sand for some games of frisbee and football. So much fun and such a great way to ring in a birthday. After that we headed back to the house where Chris whipped up some mini sliders for everyone and then presented me with the cutest little birthday cake I have ever seen.

He knows my love for anything cupcake and made this little gem for me all by himself. I mean come on.... how sweet is that? Love that boy.

Quick fact..... this is the first time in all my 26 years of living that I have had a chocolate cake on my birthday. I am not a chocolate person, but for some reason I was craving one and that's what I got. So good and seriously.... is there anything better than cream cheese frosting?

Haha, Chris took me shopping for my birthday and since I picked out what I got I had just hung them in my closet, but I guess he felt bad that I didn't have anything to open so he threw them in a Target bag, hanger and all. Thanks babe!

Enjoying some birthday cards and a root beer float.

Hmmm, what did I wish for this year?

Guess we are just going to have to wait to see.

Mardi Gras

Don't get scared... I promise there was no chest baring from Chris or myself (and we never saw anyone else's either), lets just get that out in the open from the start. Living up north I never fully comprehended all that encompassed Mardi Gras. It's HUGE here, actually it's more than HUGE. I can't even explain the magnitude of what this holiday means to the people of the South. It is such a big deal that businesses consider this a paid holiday for their employees. Businesses and schools all over the cities here close down for the day. People and their organizations take the year to prepare for the festivities that last for about a week or more. I still don't really know all that Mardi Gras is suppose to represent, but this is what I was able to take from it. Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday) was a celebration that originated in France and was brought over here by the French settlers. The first celebrations here in the US actually happened in Mobile and it is something that they are very proud of. From the elaborate floats a dozen or so people throw trinkets, food, beads, stuffed animals, small toys, anything really, out to the crowd. This is suppose to symbolize ridding yourselves of food and extravagance in order to prepare for Lent. So begins the 40 days of fasting, starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter. Like I said I am not 100% on those facts this is just what I had picked up from a sweet old lady and her family.

What I do know, is that Chris and I had so much fun. We were able to catch two parades this season. The first being in the small town next to ours. We were lucky enough to stumble upon a group of people in our ward and had a great time with them, they did emphasize that while we lived here we had to experience Mardi Gras, New Orleans style. They said there is nothing like it and it's not all that the media plays it out to be. We'll see, just the two we went to here were pretty overwhelming. But anyway...... this is Mardi Gras, Fairhope, AL style.

As you can see, Fairhope's floats had a music theme going on. The floats were amazing.

Then all you had to do was raise your hands and catch whatever was thrown your way.

Chris, catching me some goods.

It's very important to keep your eyes up. Some things they throw off those floats are not soft. I got hit in the head with a jumbo thing of beads and it hurt so bad. It seriously brought tears to my eyes. And the sad thing is somebody stole those beads from me :(.

I know it's hard to look past these two faces ;), but check out the hands in the back ground. It was insane.

We walked away from our first Mardi Gras parade with enough stuff to open up our own dollar store. I wish that I had taken a picture of the amount of beads I had hanging around my neck. I had so many that my neck was sore the next day from all the weight.

Next up was the final Mardi Gras parade in Mobile. It was crazy. Within 10 minutes of being there we are quietly standing around waiting for the parade to begin when out of nowhere I get hit from behind by a girl that probably weighed around 200 lbs. I was seriously being crushed by this lady while trying to hold back Mya's stroller that she was standing in front of so that she didn't get trampled over, while trying to scream to my brother to grab Mya. So confused as to what was going on and why this lady was trying to hurt me I managed to turn around and at that same time I here somebody say gun and just as I hear that I see a man holding up is shirt threatening somebody else with the gun that he had stashed in his pants. Then it registered that the woman crushing me wasn't trying to hurt me..... people were scattering to get away. My brother had seen the same thing and with Mya in his arms he was off with Ashley right behind him. I looked and Chris and Jake were so confused because they had no idea what was going on and all I could do was yell, "Chris move! There's a gun!" Like I said before it was just a threat and nobody got hurt. But we booked it and went to a much less hostile place that a nice police man just happened to be standing by. It was intense.

I will title this picture "What Just Happened?" This picture was taken about 10 minutes after the scare. Haha! Nobody looks like they are having fun anymore. Aww, to be a kid again. Look at that girl. She had no idea what just happened.

Well, we pushed on and found a much nicer spot, next to a sweet family with kids, we also got some funnel cakes, and some hand dipped corndogs. Funny how food always seems to make things better.

Ms. Mya all ready for the parade to begin.

Our first Mardi Gras was just a teensy bit scary but mostly amazing. We walked away with a new experience or two to talk about and got to really be a part of the culture that the people here take such deep pride in. Loved it and look forward to next year.

An Apology

Wow. I can't believe how bad I have gotten at this whole blogging thing lately. Honestly, most of the time I view it as a chore and it takes all my will to force myself to sit down and actually write something. I love love love to read other people's blogs though and have no problem staying on top of that, so please carry on and continue doing what you do. My being absent for so long has been for good reason and to put it simply both Chris and I have been busy busy busy. Half the time I feel like a zombie, wake up, get ready, then off to face the day and all that it feels like throwing at us, try to come up with something edible for dinner, lose myself in one of my weekly shows to relax, then off to sleep, just to start all over again the next day. It's been a rough couple of months, but hopefully with all the hard work and long hours Chris and I have been putting in we will soon start to see the fruits of our labors. But, the point is I am sitting here now and I want you to know that we are alive and well. We miss you all terribly and think about each of you often. Just a couple of shout outs...... Kelsie, again thank you for that DVD that you had sent us (I'm sure you know which one I am referring to). It seriously brought a much needed laugh to us when things were getting just a little too serious around here.... it meant so much. Melissa, thank you for staying so on top of things and keeping your blog updated. I love to see sweet Maddux and how big he is getting. Mom, thanks for the long chats on the phone and the little texts I receive from you letting me know what's up in your part of the country. I have to apologize, I know I am absolutely horrible at keeping in contact with people. I don't like Facebook, I am horrible at sending out emails, weeks can go by before I think to actually call somebody, and I rarely leave comments on blogs. But I do like to write letters, you know the old fashion way, so don't be surprised if you see one of those in your mail box. I am really going to put an effort into trying to stay in contact with everybody. Again we love and miss you all. Now I must go and actually blog about something. Loves!