Our 1st Mom & Daughter Road Trip

Untitled design-4This past weekend we found our selves on a spur of the moment road trip to Mobile, AL. My best friend from college’s father had passed away and I made the drive to spend time with her and her family. Trevor had to work, so my daughter and I loaded up and we headed out Friday morning (yes, on the 4th of July. Love and friendship know no holiday) at 4:45 a.m. and headed for Mobile. We arrived around 10 a.m., stayed all weekend, and headed home Sunday morning around 11 a.m. It was good to see her and a family that I love dearly, but I truly hated the circumstances. Her entire family, even relatives I had never met before, made my daughter and I perfectly at home. The first night we stayed with her aunt and uncle because they had a daughter the same age as mine. Then the second night we stayed at my friends to get a full nights rest before driving back. We just hung out with the family and went with their queues on the comfort and healing process. I am truly thankful I was able to be there for her! Saturday there were a few hours when the family just needed to take care of some things, so my daughter and I made the 30 minute drive over to Dauphin Island and got in some much needed Mom and Daughter time. It was definitely not what we had foreseen for our holiday weekend, but with the given circumstances I would not have wanted to spend it any other way.

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4:45 a.m. Friday getting ready to leave the driveway.

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Excited that we get to spend a little quality time together on our first road trip!

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FINALLY went back to sleep. She stayed awake from the time we got in the car until almost Montgomery!!

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She was awake by the time we got to Mobile, and was excited about the bridges. šŸ™‚

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She finally got to meet my best friend’s “little sister”. She enjoyed their entire family! She now has a pepaw and second mimi and a few more aunts and uncles šŸ˜‰

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My best friend’s younger cousins. She said they were her best friends.

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We were still able to celebrate a little with her family.(Check out those shoes. We can travel 5.5 hours from home and my child will still manage to find the dress up diva shoes to play in.)

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Saturday we did give them a little time to take care of things and headed over to Dauphin Island. She LOVES the ocean and beach. I also think I found the spot for our family vacation next summer! I had never been either.

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Sand, sun, ocean, and cheetos. What more could a girl need? šŸ˜‰

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Of course we went hunting for sea shells, too.

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She has got this figured out!!

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We stopped in Prattville for gas and lunch on our way home Sunday. She proceeded to roll her window down and let me know she likes for the wind to blow in her hair. Ha! (I locked the windows after that šŸ˜‰ )

 

I hope you spent your holiday weekend with your loved ones and had a great time!

 

Mother’s Day 2014

I hope all of the wonderful mothers out there had a fabulous Mother’s Day this year. We had a real laid back style weekend and it was perfect. Saturday we got up and just headed to ride around and do whatever. We ended up eating at Buffalo Wild Wings and window shopping around Academy for a while. Isn’t that real lady like? Sounds like Father’s Day to me. Ha! Maybe that’s why he loves me so much. (; Then I laid around outside and got some sun. Whoa, where do days like that come from? I wish I could pull the “it’s Mother’s Day weekend” excuse more than once a year.

Sunday we woke up and had eggs, breakfast potatoes, and mango. (YUM!) And of course that was my breakfast decision, the other troopers would have been good with cereal and toaster strudels. We were rushing around talking about getting ready for church when Man of the House suddenly decided, hey how about I take you hiking. Huh? I was getting ready for church. Then I thought about how it would be nice to spend a little time off the grid with them so we switched clothing gears, psyched our daughter out about the waterfall, and off we went. It was the best time.

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FIRST WE WENT TO BRUSHY LAKE. IT IS A CAMP GROUNDS AREA WITH A LARGE FISHING DOCK, SHORT HIKING TRAIL, AND MAN MADE WATERFALL. THERE WERE NAMES ALL OVER THE DOCK FROM YEARS PAST, SO HEY WHY NOT JOIN IN. LOOK FOR US NEXT TIME YOU GO (;

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WATERFALL AT BRUSHY LAKE. THIS PICTURE SUMS UP TWO THINGS: MY CHILD’S PERSONALITY AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP.

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ON A HIKING TRAIL AT BRUSHY LAKE. USED OUR DAUGHTER AS OUR PHOTOGRAPHER.

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IF YOU CROSS OVER THE FENCE BY THE WATERFALL AND HEAD UP INTO THE WOODS, THERE IS A TRAIL THAT LEADS YOU TO THIS. HERE DADDY IS TEACHING THE FIRST EVER ROCK SKIPPING LESSON. (;

There wasn’t much more hiking available at Brushy Lake, it is more for camping and picnics. So after about an hour we moved on to the other side of the mountain to the Sipsey Picnic area. It has miles and miles of hiking trails, natural waterfalls, and caves. FYI all state park caves are closed at this time to prevent some disease in bats?

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Sipsey River Entrance

 

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THE FIRST WATERFALL THAT WE CAME ACROSS. I SWEAR WHEN I WAS A CHILD IT FLOWED HARDER THAN THAT. OR MAYBE IT IS ALL PERSPECTIVE.

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SHE WANTED TO SEE THE WATERFALL, BUT NOT GET TOO CLOSE…

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IN EVERY PICTURE. WHY. HAHA HERE WE ARE STANDING INSIDE A “CAVE” ON THE SIDE OF A ROCK WALL. SHE KEPT SAYING WE WERE ON AN ADVENTURE.

 

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BY BIRTH AND FOR LEGAL PURPOSES, MY DAUGHTER AND I ARE BOTH REGISTERED NATIVE AMERICAN ECHOTA CHEROKEE INDIANS. SHE MAY LOOK A LOT LESS LIKE AN INDIAN THAN I DO, BUT I KNOW ONE THING, THIS CHILD CAN MOVE THROUGH SOME TRAILS AND WOODS! AS YOU CAN SEE, THE TRAILS WERE MERELY THERE FROM YEARS OF BEING WALKED, NOT PAVED LIKE THE ONES AT BRUSHY LAKE. WE STRUGGLED TO KEEP UP WITH HER THE SECOND HALF OF THE HIKE AT SIPSEY. SO I TAUGHT HER TO SAY “I’M A NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN.” IT COMES OUT “I’M A NA-MERICAN INDIAN” HAHA!

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THIS IS A RANDOM WATERFALL THAT WE FOUND ABOUT 2 MILES IN. WE TURNED AROUND ABOUT THIS TIME. THE CAVES WERE CLOSED AND LITTLE MISS ADVENTUROUS WOULD HAVE PROBABLY SAW IT AS ANOTHER ADVENTURE TO GO ON. NO ONE WANTS TO FIGHT A STURDY 3 YEAR OLD OUT OF THE WOODS AND DEPRIVE HER OF AN ADVENTURE. HA!

 

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THIS WAS THE LAST PICTURE I TOOK OF THE DAY AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT IT IS ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITES. WE WERE HEADED BACK OUT OF THE SIPSEY TRAILS AND LIL MISS NA-MERICAN INDIAN HAD FINALLY GOTTEN TIRED. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND IT WAS NICE TO BE ALONE WITH MY FAMILY IN THE QUIET. JUST US. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ME.

It was an unplanned Mother’s Day. And it put us behind schedule for visiting with our own mother’s and grandmother’s but it was totally worth it. At our last stop of the day, my maternal grandmother brushed it aside when I tried to apologize for it being so late and tell her how our plans had changed and she said, “well, you’re grown now and this was your Mother’s Day too. You can do whatever you want.” Hm. Now I know where parts of my personality come from…

How was Mother’s Day for you this year? Whether it was planned out, busy, spontaneous, or uneventful, I hope that it was perfect for you!

 

And while typing this, I realize I knocked another item off of my Birthday Bucket List: to go hiking. Even better! (;

 

Birthday Bucketlist: Try a new Food

Quiche

Okay, is it fair to put a quiche in here as “try a new food”? I mean, I have tried everything used in the quiche I’ve tried lately, just never together and never as a quiche. Like the ham and Swiss or the spinach and mushroom. I’ve decided though, a quiche itself was new for me. And it was A-Ma-ZING! A local bakery offers a quiche of the day which comes with a hot fluffy crescent roll and a “taste of fall salad.” I may or may not have had the quiche special twice in one week. If you are ever in the Decatur area, find All Wright Bakery during the week before 2 p.m. and try their Quiche Special!

swiss-chard-quicheThis is not my exact dish, but it is exactly what my mushroom and swiss quiche looked like when I picked it up.
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Gyro

For the record (and in displaying my southern ignorance in all its glory).. I learned after eating this that it was pronounced “euro” NOT guy-roe. HA. Regardless, I love them. A new restaurant has opened up one street over from where I work. I have never tried Greek food and this was a great first impression. A gyro consists of meat that is roasted over a vertical spit. I could actually see this in the restaurant I visited. I found that interesting and cool enough. I went pretty basic with the first visit, just to be on the safe side. I did not want to end up hating it and have to buy lunch twice. Everything was great. I even loved the sauce they provide, even though I ate it with the fries and it might have possibly been intended for the gyro.

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52313383eca59.preview-300This is the Gyro Uno location in Decatur, AL now!

Rabbit

I saved this one for last because I didn’t want to scare you away. Ha. Man of the House is very self sufficient and likes to use a pellet gun to shoot rabbits, dove, etc. (He also hunts, fishes, and bowfishes.) I made the mistake of letting him know that I had NEVER eaten rabbit. I’m not sure it had ever became an option during my childhood? We always had deer meat, or venison, plus store bought chicken and our own beef and pork. I wasn’t sure how I felt about eating an animal close enough to the ground to be similar to the rodent family. Okay, kidding, I do not consider rabbits a part of the rodent family, but still. We have cooked rabbit for dinner as of last night. I had printed 4 different recipe choices so that we could decide what we really preferred. Man of the House wanted Rabbit Stew, but I just couldn’t go for stringy rabbit the first time. We used a recipe that had the fewest ingredients. 1 whole rabbit, 1/3 cup of honey, mustard, salt, pepper, butter. (I substituted the butter with Coconut Oil so that it wouldn’t be so greasy.) We added extras of both the honey and mustard until the sauce tasted how we wanted. It baked for an hour at 350 degrees. I’ll admit, I was too much of a chicken to try one of the thighs. But I did eat a piece of the tenderloin and it was alright. Not my favorite dish ever, just reminded me of dark meat chicken. It just felt so thick trying to chew it up, or maybe that was me being paranoid. Either way, I definitely tried a new food with this dish! And can attest to the fact that if something gets real crazy here in America, I will not starve. Unless the rabbits are all gone. Not sure where I could go from there. Ha!

First Ever Rabbit REcipe

So, I am just trucking right along marking things off of my Birthday Bucket List. Yay me!

How about you? Are you getting some yearly Bucket List things done now that we are a quarter of a way into 2014? Are you trying new foods as well? Share them with me so that I can try them as well if I have yet to do so!

Birthday Bucketlist: Take Blog Followers to Over 50

Thankyou

I cannot believe that this is already being marked off of the list! I currently have 51 followers and it is still 7 months until my birthday (and only 2.5 weeks after posting the 24 Before 24) ! So maybe before then I can even reach 100! We shall see (;

Thank you to everyone who has already followed! I make an effort to try and follow everyone back so that I can see what you’re up to in your little world.

Have a great rest of your week and great weekend!

Snowmageddon 2014 in Alabama

Okay, so I have always thought, “I like to get snow every now and then.” Correction: I like the thought of getting snow and I like it when it snows ONE inch, then melts by the next day. When we REALLY get snow, I’ve learned that I actually hate it. I hate having to drive in it. As southerners, we just aren’t accustomed to these weather conditions. Other than play in our yards, we do not know how to function in winter storms, and that was proven as a fact last week when it snowed on February 11th and 13th in North Alabama.

Honestly, we all thought that the 11th was bad when it snowed maybe 1.5″, but at least it had melted by noon.

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khloe snow angel

As you can tell there wasn’t even enough snow to cover the ground when our daughter wanted to make a snow angel. We had so much fun, though! It was too powdery for a snowman, but we used the snow on our cars and patio table to make snow balls and had a snow ball fight. By mid-day it was all gone, and we were looking at normal Alabama winter conditions.

Tuesday brought cold, cold, COLD rain in the early morning. By noon, however, it had turned to sleet. I left work early that day just to avoid icy roads and crazy drivers. I pulled in my driveway around 3 p.m. as it started to snow. When it started snowing, it literally NEVER STOPPED until after 11 p.m. I was a little disappointed at first. The ground was so wet from all of the rain, that nothing was sticking. But as the temperature dropped, things started to change. The first picture is when it finally started to stick to the leaves and grass around 3:45.

sticking2-12-14This second picture was around 5 p.m.! That’s how much snow we had gotten total the day before!

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Here we are at 9 p.m. As you can see, snow was still coming down hard. It continued for another TWO HOURS. I seriously don’t remember getting this much snow in North Alabama. I’ve heard stories, but I was either too little to remember or not born yet. That’s how often it happens. My sidewalk is almost invisible! Our driveway had already been that way for a while.

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I also got to mark something off of my 24 Before 24! Making homemade ice cream! When I put that on the list, I thought this would enable me to make an excuse for purchasing an ice cream maker this summer! Well, we made SNOW CREAM! We didn’t have any condensed milk, so we made do with a bowl of snow from our patio table, milk, sugar and vanilla flavoring. Then we crushed up some Butterfingers and added them, making it like a Blizzard! (:

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We spent Thursday morning taking turns between playing in the snow, breakfast break, and warm up breaks.

Below is what too much snow can do on a poor pine tree that isn’t accustomed to 4-6″ of snow!

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My daughter thought the snow was so amazing. (:

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Below is my sad attempt at a snow angel. Ha!

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Of course, later in the morning I had to drag myself to work. I hate driving in icy conditions, and when 6 inches of snow has fell, even with roads grated, people lose their common sense. (Then again, people tend to do that when it sprinkles in July. They suddenly forget how to drive.) But it was definitely worth a few hours of fun with my family!! My daughter sometimes runs to the door and says, “No! We’ll never get to see the snow again!” I promise her there might be more next winter, but I am silently thinking, I don’t want anymore like that for a year or two! Ha!