The End.

The End of high school football that is. It was a hard season but a good one. Lots of memories were made & I wanted to share some of the season through pictures.

Every away game we loaded up the "party bus" aka Mom & Dad's suburban and headed out of town. Because we are 1A classification our away games were REALLY far away! So, we would leave around 3 or 4 Friday afternoon and head towards the game but first we always stopped to eat and that was one of the best parts of Friday Night Football! The Food!

We ate some Zaxby's, some Cracker Barrel but Hancock's BBQ by far had the most character!

They had all sorts of adorable decorations. You know, your usual washboards & pig kettles!

And I mean, who doesn't need a huge snake over the mantel in your restaurant??

And the layout of their eating establishment was umm..rather...interesting? This is a teeny, tiny hallway that you have to venture down to get to the bathrooms! It was a little creepy!

But regardless of their decorating choices or restaurant layout, their catfish and ribs were yummy, as you can see from the happy customers there!

Here's a pic of our group eating at a Golden Rule BBQ before the last game of the season (hmmm, BBQ seems to be a theme):

One fun factor of football is family. Football brings family together. Every Friday night for the past 10 weeks have been spent with my family and it's been awesome! We even had our sweet, sweet extended family come to watch some games!
Me & Mom showin' love for the boys at the first game of the season!

Anna came in town for a few games too! So fun to have our sissy with us!

Girls cousins cheering on the Eagles on homecoming night!

Grandma & Pocker came all the way from Huntsville for Senior Night/Last home game!

My cousin Elisabeth & me!

Dad, Mom & David on Senior Night!

A really cool thing about this football season is that David & Stephen were both playing varsity!

There were also the memorable moments:

 On the first play of the Eagles first home game of the season they played with only 10 men on the field to honor their teammate, Mical:

And the greatest moment of the season for me (& AW & Mom & Dad) was during the last home game of the season David threw a TD pass to Stephen in the endzone and it was so amazing!

In the end, it was a great season. A lot of lessons were learned, a lot of battles were fought hard & long and a lot of lifelong bonds were formed (& a lot of yummy food was eaten). I love being an Eagles fan & I love the Eagles! Way to play guys! I love you! 

Well it's turn and face the Stars and Stripes
It's fighting back them butterflies
It's call it in the air, alright yes sir we want the ball
And it's knocking heads and talking trash
It's slinging mud and dirt and grass
It's I got your number, I got your back when your back's against the wall
You mess with one man you got us all
The boys of fall
-Kenny Chesney's "Boys of Fall" 


Beer Bottle Craft!

That's right ladies, this is a craft your hubby will be happy to help you with =)

Step One:
Buy New Castle Beer

Step Two (the part hubby will want to help with):
Drink the beer, enjoy it & then rinse the bottle & peel the label!

(I just peeled as much as I could and then ran it under hot water & used a scrub brush to get the rest off)

Step Three:
I can't exactly remember why but back in the spring I was on a jewelry-making kick. It was a short kick that lasted less than 24 hours, if I remember correctly.

In other words, jewelry-making is not my forte.

I was reading crafty blogs this morning and saw one where a woman used old glass jars. But she attached a bobby pin to it and it was cute but not exactly what I wanted to do. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my bottles.

(Last night was sushi, beer & Friends on dvd night)

I decided to pull out a lot of my crafting stuff in hopes of inspiration coming to me. I also put on my favorite "inspirational" music (Amy Grant's "Hymns for the Journey") and got to crafting!

Back to my earlier point about how I can't make jewelry; well, I had purchased some beads and stretchy string and whatnot in hopes of making something beautiful. Little did I realize it would turn out beautiful just not in the form I had originally imagined!

I took some of the black stretchy string, string some beads on at random intervals and used a glue stick to fasten the beads to the bottle. I just continued this process until I decided it looked finished.

Here's a pic:

I'm not quite sure what I'll use this bottle for although I probably will use it on our porch somehow. I might use some wire and add it to my wind chime collection...I'll let ya know what I do.

I still had another bottle but didn't want to do the same thing even though I liked the final product.
I had a black tank top that has gotten too small so I cut off the black, lace straps and tied it around the bottle. I have a really pretty pendant from my beads & jewels collection so I just looped it in with the lace and voila!

The best part is, I didn't use any adhesive so if I get tired of it I can just take it apart and use all of the pieces for another project!

I added a flower for the final touch & decided that for now it belongs on my coffee table!

Take a look:


The Wilder Side of Artie's Life

I love our little dog, Artie. We have a million nicknames for him: Art-Art, Artimus, Cuteness McScrufferson, Skittles, Gus...sometimes we just call him whatever comes to mind.

We spoil him rotten. And believe me, sometimes he acts rotten, but we just love him so much.

Can you tell we don't have children yet?

Some of you may have seen the picture that I posted of him in his football costume, for those that haven't seen here they are:

Because we are a house divided (I'm UA / AW's AU) Artie will never wear one team's logo without the other but because we both love football I decided this was the perfect costume for our little Artie!

When we first got him someone told me that his wiry hair was perfect for some pet grooming products that add color to your dog's hair. I thought this would be so adorable since his scruffy hair goes into a mohawk naturally and it will stay that way all the way down his little body.

I have searched and searched and searched for these alleged pet grooming products. All different pet stores in the greater Birmingham area plus online. Nowhere have I found them.

The other day when I was in the middle of one of my searches a lady at a local pet grooming salon told me that her supervisor just went to the local Sally Beauty Supply and got some stuff to put in her dog's hair to make it pink.

So, I headed straight there and was overwhelmed by all of the coloring products they have. The lady was unsure of the specific brand so I called her back and asked her if there were specific ingredients to stay away from. Amonia was the only one she knew to avoid.

I finally happened upon this stuff, "Beyond the Zone" hair cement with color:

It was the only product that didn't have complicated ingredients nor did it require a 15-20 minute waiting time to let the color "soak in". All I did was "style" Artie's hair and put this colored hair cement on the tips! It was really easy and safe and the results were so fun!

Look how stinkin' cute that pup is!

The best part is it just washes out! So easy! Please let me know if you try this on your pooch! They have all different colors too! We may try green next! 


The Gospel in a Cake

One of the most affecting things I learned while in college was that there is evidence of the gospel everywhere. It shows up in every aspect of life no matter how obvious and grand or how seemingly small and discreet.

Afterall we are commanded in 1 Corinthians 10:31-- "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Every single thing is for God's glory.
Well, tomorrow is AW's 26th birthday and Saturday morning we celebrated by having brunch with friends. It was wonderful! We are so blessed with great friends!

I decided that for brunch I would make some carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing. YUMMY! Carrot cake is a wonderful fall dessert and AW's birthday has given me an excuse to bake, bake, bake!

I got up early on Saturday morning after a late evening of football to get to work. I found a seemingly simple recipe online and had all the necessary ingredients. But apparantly you can't use a regular cake recipe to make cupcakes...or maybe you can...either way, the first batch went WAY wrong.

So, I decided to use the remaining batter and divide it between to round cake pans and just bake the batter that way. I figured the cakes would turn out a little flat, looking more like torte than cake but maybe it would all work out.

The morning progressed and time got ahead of me and the cakes looked weird and had a weird top layer to them. I didn't have time to fix them for brunch so I just left them. After brunch we went to Oxford for our annual family reunion and had a great time hanging out, eating food and watching football. We got home late and I looked at my poor carrot "cakes" and just left them in the pans. I was a little discouraged, I must admit.

The next morning our plans were unexpectedly changed so we decided to go back to O-town for round 2 of the family reunion! Well, I suppose I woke up with a renewed spirit because I was determined that the carrot cake would not go to waste. Also, as AW can attest, I have a hard time letting things go and this is just physical evidence of that trait =)

So, I made the cream cheese icing hoping that some kind of idea would come to me. Any idea. AW suggested I crumble up the cake and that sounded fine except that left me unsure of how to incorporate the yummy cream cheese icing I had just made so I took one of the cakes and crumbled it up and dumped the pieces into the mixing bowl with the icing and mixed the cake pieces and icing all together.

It kind of looked like vomit.

Now, I really wasn't sure what to do...

I decided to use my square casserole dish and put a layer of the throw-up looking icing mix on the bottom and then crumble the other cake still in the pan. While I was working I was thinking about how Jesus had taken my life (a messed up carrot cake) and made it into something purposeful. Wow! 

I love those moments when the Lord really opens my eyes to Himself and I see what he has done for me.

What a gift these little earthly pictures of the gospel are! Jeremiah 18:6 -- "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

Well, it ended up being a layer of the icing mix, layer of crumbled cake, layer of icing mix and a top layer of crumbled cake.

Presentation is a MAJOR part of food so I used some leftover scrapbook paper from previous mod-podging projects and made a cutsie little sign for my dessert and called it "Carrot Cake Crumble with a cream cheese filling".

Afterall, "cream cheese filling" sounds much better than "vomit-looking-icing-mix".

We arrived at the reunion with dish in hand and set it out with all of the other "real" desserts.

The final word was that carrot cake crumble was pretty good and tasted just like regular carrot cake with cream cheese icing. YAY!

Here's a pic of my "presentation":

Here's an encouraging thought for today:
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" -- Phillipians 1:6


Buttermilk Pecan Chicken


Warning: If you are on a diet do not read any further!


Ok, well I warned you...

Buttermilk chicken is delicious, delectable, divine and down-right scrumptious!

I love the library. Yes, the library. I've even had someone call AW & I "library-lovin' fools", I think that was Hillery, thanks friend =)

Here's the thing, we don't have cable and we're ok with that, obviously, but sometimes you just wanta "veg out". Now, we did buy some rabbit ears so we get the big network channels so we can watch the news and SVU and The Office and whatnot. Because those are the only programs we really care about (besides football, DUH!), cable just seems like a waste of money for our family.

But before we had the rabbit ears and our new t.v. we would go to the library multiple times a week to borrow dvd's! It's awesome! FREE! FREE! FREE! Plus the Hoover Library has just about everything and if they don't you can request it & they'll order it!

And do I need to even talk about all of the amazing books at the library? No, I don't, because we all know that is what the library is all about. Thank you Ben Franklin!

So, one evening on our trip to the library I got a couple of cook books to copy down some new recipes. I had kind of been recycling my standard go-to recipes a bit too much and I didn't want AW to get too burnt out on spaghetti, tacos, etc...

In a Southern Living book, I found a great recipe for "Buttermilk Picnic Chicken". I copied it down but had yet to use because it calls for a lot of ingredients. And they are ingredients that I don't have and can't see using for anything else so it wasn't a priority recipe. But then I was watching the Today Show one morning and they had someone on there who made a very simplified version of the SL recipe.

I decided I didn't want to over-complicate it nor did I want to over-simplify it so I just kind of did my own version and you can do your own version too based on what you have lying around!

I let two, thawed chicken breasts soak in buttermilk for about 2-3 hours (*in the fridge*)
(You can let it soak for as short as 1 hour or as long as 8 hours)

I then preheated the oven to 350

I then took some fresh pecans and ground them up in the blender

Next, I mixed the breading consisting of: the pecans, fine bread crumbs, garlic salt and seasoning salt (you can also add paprika or any other "stuff" you like...there's a lot of freedom in this part of the recipe!)

I then let the excess buttermilk drip off the chicken and thickly coated it in the breading mix

I placed both chicken breasts on a cookie sheet covered with foil and drizzled the coated chicken with melted butter. LOTS of melted butter!

It bakes for an hour in the oven

It really was so super yummy! Next time I'm going to have to make 4 pieces of chicken because we tore it up!
Here's a pic of the final product:



The Most Awkward Situation of My Life

No, my title is not an exaggeration. You may remember the second most awkward situation of my life but this story I am about to share truly is the most awkward situation of my life to date. Enjoy.

This summer I got a part time job at a church working at the daycare. It was a really fun job! I enjoyed the women that I worked with and the kids were great, of course!

At this particular place we were required to wear scrubs however it was only my second week and they were ordering my scrubs with the church name embroidered on the tops so I was just wearing regular clothes. 

Because it was only my second week I was observing with another teacher. Well, there was a child in the class that had to go to the bathroom. Come to find out, this child has to go to the bathroom all the time! 

I took him down the hall to the bathrooms and waited...and waited...and waited...

Finally, I decided to ask if he was ok. No reply. So, I poked my head in to see little feet standing facing the toilet and pants on the floor beside the toilet...NOT GOOD!

Let me say, this child is definitely old enough to go to the bathroom by theirself. Maybe a little assistance is needed when attempting to reach the sink to wash hands but other than that they should be good to go.

Back to the story, I ventured in to see that not only had he removed his shorts but also his underwear as he had partially pooped in his underwear. Also, he had missed the toilet to an extent and there was evidence on the toilet seat, his hands, the stall wall, pretty much everywhere...


Well, because the assisstant director's office was right across the hall I darted over to ask for some help but she wasn't there...So, now what to do...

I certainly could not leave the half naked bewildered child alone to search out some help or to find extra clothes. He was obviously confused and a little unsure of my handling the situation since I was a new teacher.

I decided my only option was to go back in and attempt to clean the mess as best as possible and move on from there.

This is where it gets interesting...

As I turn around to go back into the men's bathroom there is a man dressed in religious garb standing at the door. I notice that he must have to use the restroom but I tell him that I there is poop everywhere and a child and I'll go remove both quickly so that he can come in. 

As I am walking in he too walks in behind me saying, "Oh, I'm a big boy. It won't bother me."


He must just be coming in to wait while I clean up and hey, maybe even help!

 Wrong. As I enter the poop-covered stall with the bewildered child I hear the unzipping of pants followed by urinating.


Yes, I WANTED TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, here I am wiping poop off of the bathroom stall, toilet, floor, child while the stall door is open (because there is no way it will close with me & the confused child both in there) and the pastor is peeing in the next urinal over.

Thankfully, the stall was beside the urinal so there was no way I could see anything! As we were, he began to strike up a conversation.

"What?! Is this really happening? How do I escape? What is he thinking?"....

Why, he is proceeding to tell us a story about how he pooped his pants when he was 7 and he bet the little boy wasn't even 7 yet, so no need to feel bad...

Really? Really?

Yes, really!

Then, another teacher knocks on the door to make sure there are no men in there so she can send her little boys in there. No reply was given by the male who was in the male restroom so I say, "Just a minute" with exasperation and total mortification!

A couple moments later I hear him finally leave and I quickly gather up the poopy cloths and half-naked child and make my quick escape. 

How lovely that there were two teachers, who I didn't know as I was the "new employee", standing there to witness the pastor exiting the restroom followed by me and this dirty child.

Yes, I truly wanted to die. Total embarrassment. 

I returned to the classroom swiftly and told the teacher what had just occurred. Needless to say, she was speechless. I didn't know what to do and she suggested I let the director know just in case it came up.

I did and she died laughing, thankfully. But then she thought it was so hilarious that she would share the tale. And before long everyone knew. Great!

Come to find out he thought I was the child's parent, but how this makes the situation any better or any more justified, I don't know.

At the end of the day, the director asked me to please come back and I hesitantly said I would although I did let her know that I would never be able to see him. Ever. For all of eternity. Never can see him again!

Thankfully, the job this summer turned out great and I really never saw him again! But oh, I will never forget...


Design Update

You may remember when I re-did our entertianment center. Well, at that time I was planning on replacing the hardware on the drawers but time moved on and new hardware moved to the back burner.

Well, yesterday afternoon AW and I went to World Market and found some hardware! Yay!

Here are some pics of the entertainment center officially finally finished!