christmas recital

This is a bit overdue, but I was so thankful to be able to be home for the holidays this year for more than 2 days. It was wonderful. And because of that, I was able to attend my nieces' Christmas dance recital. They did a pretty terrific job if I do say so myself (being that I am their incredibly biased aunt and all). I got a seat right beside Tate, a good view, and an hour and a half of Christmas music, Christmas costumes, dancing and festivity. What could be better?

Please try to enjoy these pictures as much as I have. They're helping to keep me in a bit of the Christmas spirit on these cold, gloomy, dreary, freezing, miserable January days we've been having in New York City.

yes, that's a deer wearing a cowboy hat.

And yes, I think Brendan is as scared as he looks. Welcome to Boligee, my friend: the place of many childhood memories and fun times. And the home to the bustling population of 369 people.

We took Brendan to see my dad's hunting camphouse after my birthday dinner in Livingston, AL. He might have been in shock, I can't tell for sure. I know one thing: he was excited about the "carpet" in the camphouse being the astroturf straight from Bryant Denny Stadium, home of the Crimson Tide. I think that secured him a bed there next time he visits. 

to you and yours.

Thankful to be home with my family in Alabama today. And to have my health. And to have such a wonderful community of friends and "NY family." And for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And for my mom's dressing and green bean casserole.

May you remember all your blessings today and thank the One from whom all blessings flow.

a blast.

I had so much fun with my family this weekend while my brother and niece were visiting from Alabama. (Much) more to come later! Too bad they couldn't visit for an entire week instead...

she's on her way!

[ waiting on a delayed connecting flight in Chicago last night ]

My 11-yr old niece is going to be in the Big Apple this weekend! She and her dad have already made their way to New Jersey as of last night. I can't wait for all of the fun things we have planned, which may or may not include a trip to the Crayola factory in Pennsylvania...

a happy birthday to a special lady:


I won't tell you how old she is, but I do know she's older than 26. This is a picture of her on her birthday in 2010, celebrating New York-New Jersey style (that's why she looks so excited)! I wish we could do it again, but there's always next year. Happy birthday, Mom!

little girls in the big city

I can't believe it's been a month since I had these little surprise visitors visit me in New York. We had a fun (short) day, and I hope that they weren't too worn out or scarred to come visit again soon. As I was reminiscing about them being here, I wanted to share some adorable pictures that were too cute to miss. Thanks for braving the city with these two, Mom! I loved having all 3 of you visit.

McKay's I [heart] NY shirt: so perfect.

We found Minnie & Mickey in Times Square!

cute sisters.

All the M&M's they could imagine...

Of course I took them to Shake Shack.
...and, the American Girl store.

Dinner at Carmines.

my rehearsal dinner speech

Rose Lynn and I have a pretty special friendship. We met on our sorority bid day at Auburn, yet we had no idea how much history we already had. As we were taking in all of the bid day festivities and looking around as nervous freshman at 54 other girls we barely knew, her dad spotted my mom in the crowd gathered in front of Mollie Hollifield Hall. Mr. Mike, Rose's dad, recognized my mom from 20+ years before. He recognized her because some 20 years earlier, my dad was Mr. Mike's high school football coach, long before the thought of either of us had entered anyone's mind. My parents had 3 small kids when my dad was a high school football coach, and Rose's dad never knew I came along because he was a senior in high school the year he played football for my dad. (Can you imagine his surprise when he realized his high school football coach had a daughter the same age as his?!) The rest of the story of our friendship is pretty much history. Rose and I spent spring breaks together, ate 85% of our meals together in college, and drove identical cars at Auburn. Once, she drove me home, 3 hours to Tuscaloosa, so that I wouldn't miss my niece's pajama birthday party. I had stayed up all night the night before finishing a final project, and could barely keep my eyes open to walk, much less drive. We really formed more of a sister bond than a friend bond. I feel like she's as much a part of my family as I am hers. She's visited at least once each year I've been in New York, gotten me through many emotional breakdowns - in New York and in college - and was the best darn Chemistry tutor I've ever had. Meanwhile, I was helplessly watching as she studied endless hours during her time in pharmacy school, and anxiously waiting for her next unbelievable story from the life of a real-life pharmacist. And now...she's married. With a husband.

Oh. My.

And oh my, what a fun weekend the wedding was! I finally have more pictures to share (that aren't from my iphone) that I'll post in the next few days. I thought it was only appropriate to give the full background of how special this girl is to me before I shared the details of her wedding. Plus, this is what I meant to say in my toast to her at her rehearsal dinner. But I was too busy holding back tears to say any of this. Or anything at all, for that matter.