Monday, November 30, 2009

time to get a'shopping

Thanksgiving down, and Christmas up next.

Just over 3 weeks until Christmas is here.  Seriously, time does fly.  And it flies faster and faster every year.

Daniel, Jackson, Tyson, and I spent Thanksgiving at the beach with Mamski, Dad, Sis, Paul, and Carolyn.  We all had a wonderful time.  It was nice to have the parents together swapping stories.  It's moments like those that I have learned to cherish more and more as I grow older. 

I think I gained at least 5 pounds while we were there.  We ate non-stop.  For Thanksgiving dinner, we ended up with 8 or 9 different desserts.  That's no lie either.  I loved them all.

We were able to get our Christmas card picture made as well.  We tried something different this year since we were at the beach.  I haven't studied all of the pics yet, but there looked like a few good ones.  Stay tuned for the pricture winner...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Why is it that people love to ignore history?  All of my life, especially in school, I have learned that history repeats itself.  Whether its with the stock market, economy, wars, or rulers/presidents, there's no denying that the repetition of history is part of the circle of life. 

This Iron Bowl Friday Auburn has the opportunity to keep the "circle of life" going.  There's a lot of history stacked against the Tide beating Auburn this year.  Yes, they have a good team, but just read the facts.  I believe history will be faithful in its repetition in 2009.  Below are 2 more emails that I received from Tiger Rags.  I don't know about you, but it has me pumped up for game time!  WDE!  DWWD!

On November 27th, 2009, Black Friday will take on new meaning here on the Plains. It's a day that signifies 20 years since Alabama first came to Auburn for the Iron Bowl back in 1989. After many Alabama fans and athletic staff members agreed that Alabama would never play Auburn on the Plains, it finally happened in 1989. Since then, the Tigers lead the series 11-9 overall, holding a 7-2 advantage in Jordan-Hare Stadium and even a 4-1 record on Alabama's home turf.
When Alabama made their first trip to Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium on December 2nd, 1989, they entered with 10 wins, no losses and were ranked #2 in the nation. They left with 10 wins, 1 loss and an ORANGE and BLUE stain on an otherwise perfect record.
The Alabama Crimson Tide made their second visit to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 1993 following their 1992 National Championship and back-to-back down years for the Auburn Tigers. Alabama was coached by the popular and successful Gene Stallings while Auburn welcomed new head man Terry Bowden to his first Iron Bowl. Alabama entered the game 8-1-1 having lost to LSU and tied Tennessee earlier in the season. Alabama packed up their 21-1-1 record from the past two seasons and headed to the Plains for what now would be a regular trip for the Tide.

-from Tiger Rags email

Here's another...

The Alabama Crimson Tide made their second visit to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 1993 following their 1992 National Championship and back-to-back down years for the Auburn Tigers. Alabama was coached by the popular and successful Gene Stallings while Auburn welcomed new head man Terry Bowden to his first Iron Bowl. Alabama entered the game 8-1-1 having lost to LSU and tied Tennessee earlier in the season. Alabama packed up their 21-1-1 record from the past two seasons and headed to the Plains for what now would be a regular trip for the Tide.

Terry Bowden’s first season on the Plains certainly surpassed expectations after Pat Dye stepped down as head coach following a five-win season in 1992. Auburn entered the game 10-0 with only the defending National Champions standing in their way. After falling behind 14-5 early, the Tigers backup quarterback Patrick Nix stepped in and threw a 35 yard touchdown pass to Frank Sanders and the SEC’s leading rusher James Bostic rumbled for a 70 yard touchdown to seal the Crimson Tide’s fate in a 22-14 Auburn win.

In 2009, Alabama will likely bring a two season record of 23-2 into the 1:30pm “Black Friday” kickoff in Jordan-Hare. Like in 1993, Auburn is coming off a five-win season. Once again, Auburn is introducing a new coaching staff to their first Iron Bowl while Alabama will be coached by the popular and successful Nick Saban. Chizik will not take a 10-0 record into the game like Bowden, but he is entering with a new offensive scheme, one of the SEC’s top rushers and a stadium full of supporters who echo the Auburn creed’s “I Believe in Auburn…”

Alabama shut-out the Tigers 17-0 in Coach Dye’s last game in 1992 and 36-0 in Coach Tuberville’s last game in 2008. The 1993 Tigers followed up the shut-out with a 22-14 win over the Tide. The 2009 Tigers have a score to settle as well.

-from Tiger Rags email

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I believe in Auburn and love it

Not only does this week mark another great American holiday, Thanksgiving, but it is the week of the Iron Bowl.  Living in Alabama, Thanksgiving tends to get overlooked.  Families turn on each other.  Brothers are enemies.  Friends become strangers.  Houses are divided.  Yep, nothing like the good ol' Iron Bowl to bring out the school spirit in people. 

I was asked today if (under any circumstance...including if it benefits Auburn) I would ever cheer for Alabama.  My answer was...always will be...and will never stray from "no".  For some reason that was shocking and somehow I should explain my answer.  With all of the "tolerance" in the world, do I really have to define/explain/defend why I stand firmly behind my decision to support my alma mater by cheering against its biggest rival?  I don't think so, but if that leaves you unsatisfied, please read the story below.  I received the below story from the Tiger Rags store, where I am a member of their email newsletters.  I plan on posting a couple of more Tiger Rags emails over the next couple of days.  It's funny how history can repeat itself.

In 1971, Coach Shug Jordan’s Auburn football team had a 9-1 season that ended with a 31-7 loss at the hands of Alabama at Legion Field in Birmingham. The next year, Auburn lost 13 players to graduation and the NFL (including the Sullivan-to-Beasley combination), so most experts didn’t expect much from the Tigers in 1972. Aside from a hiccup against LSU in Baton Rouge, the Tigers roared through the 1972 schedule and were 8-1 heading into the annual meeting with Alabama on December 2nd.

Prior to the game, Alabama coach Bear Bryant was quoted saying “I’d rather beat that cow college than beat Texas 10 times.” (Alabama was playing Texas in the Cotton Bowl in January). Presumably, Coach Bryant referred to Auburn as the “cow college” based on its agricultural background.

Alabama was undefeated and ranked #2 in the nation coming into the game and raced out to a 16-0 lead by the 4th quarter. Auburn placekicker Gardner Jett put a field goal on the board midway through the final frame and left the game in the hands of a capable defense from that point on. A Tiger walk-on, Bill Newton, and defensive back David Langner stole the show from that point forward. Newton blocked two Alabama punts that were scooped up by David Langner. He ran both blocked punts in for Auburn touchdowns to give the Tigers a 17-16 victory over the mighty, and heavily favored, Alabama Crimson Tide in a game now known, as Punt Bama Punt.

After the game, Coach Bryant regretted his comment and said he would never refer to Auburn as a cow college ever again. (We're not sure why his faithful followers haven't followed his lead.)

The 1972 Auburn football team is often referred to as “The Amazins” after their impressive season that included a 24-3 victory over Colorado in the Gator Bowl in December.

-from Tiger Rags email

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the makings of a new Leslie

2009 has been the year of fixing the "broken down" Leslie.  At 25 I am literally falling apart, and I have discovered just how fragile I really am.  Seriously, am I 25 or 85?  My body might not have a clue with all of the problems that I have had.

In the middle of the year, I thought I was going to have shoulder surgery since I could not lift my left arm without screaming and crying.  I had never had so much pain shoot through my body before.  Driving, taking a shower, and putting on/taking off clothes, were things that I could hardly do without lifting/rotating my left arm.  It's amazing just how much you use your left shoulder throughout the day. 

I remember waking up in the middle of the night laying on my back with my left arm over my head.  I bursted into tears as I tried to lower it...s.l.o.w.l.y.  I woke Daniel to have him get me an ice pack because it was throbbing.  ugh.  It makes my eyes water just thinking about that horrible night.

Thanks to my husband's suggestion, he took me to the chiropractor.  After my 10 weeks of rehab, I have been great ever since.  If you have never been to a chiropractor before, I HIGHLY suggest that you go.  You have never known what great feels like until you are adjusted and popped.  It's like your individual  vertebrae is floating on a cloud.

While at the chiropractor, they took some x-rays to see what the shoulder problem was (which turned out to be a pinched nerve), and they found something else (of course).  The curvature of my neck is backwards and it puts a lot of pressure on the base of my neck and shoulders.  Because of this increased pressure, I have migraines.  (eureka!)  Finally, an explanation on why I have migraines other than the typical causes that neurologists have given me in the past (lack of sleep, certain foods/drinks, stress).  I must say that I have had about 2 migraines since going to the chiropractor (which is about one every 2 months).  I will take it!  I had gotten to where I had one every month, but one every other month is great!  (You have to remember this is coming from the girl who had 1 to 2 migraines per week in college.  Umm, yeah...not fun.)

My previous ordeal dealt with my ingrown toenail.  (You can relive that memory here.  There's no need to document that experience twice.)  Just an update on the toe:  it's pretty much healed.  I am so thankful to be able to walk on my right big toe again.

This brings me to my latest problem:  receeding gums on my lower front 2 teeth.  I noticed it earlier in the year when my teeth started hurting.  It got so bad that I was having to put orajel and pop pain pills just to go to sleep.  After doing the dentist's suggestions for 6 months (using a soft toothbrush, don't brush hard, use sensitive toothpaste), I told him that it wasn't working and the gums were still receeding.  He referred me to a periodontist (gum doctor) to see about having a gum graft done.  (a what?!  scary.) 

My consultation with Dr. Kent was yesterday.  She did recommend a gum graft on my lower front 2 teeth (ugh great).  They would get the gum from a donor bank (like as in a dead person?!! yes), and donated gum would be stripped of anything living like blood cells and vessels.  She prefers using a donor bank to limit the procedure to just one instead of two.  She said in the past they would use existing gum from the top pallette of the patient.  Then the roof of their mouth would hurt worse in healing and have more problems later on than if they just used a donor.  Hey, sounds good to me...kinda creepy, but could it get worse?  After having the procedure done, she reassured me that it would cure my problem and prevent more recession in that area in the future.  I am pretty sure that I am waiting until after the first of the year to have it done.  The healing period is about 6 weeks, but I won't be down for that long. 

With all of my problems and cures, it's like I am becoming a new, better Leslie.  I have cost us a lot of money this year, but thank goodness for health/dental insurance (until univeral health care takes over). 
-left shoulder pain:  cured!
-migraines:  more cured than they have ever been
-ingrown toenail:  healed
-gum recession:  will be cured in 2010

I better live for a long time after all of my repairs.  Ü

Friday, November 13, 2009

time? it goes fast.

On New Year's Day 2010, it will be 3 years since the above picture was taken.  I remember this trip very well.  It was the first time that Daniel went with me down to the beach house.  We had only been "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend for less than a week.  Mom asked Daniel the 2nd night we were there if he was in love with me.  It's funny how mothers know things before the rest of us do.  Her inkling was right.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do I have abnormal memories of my childhood Christmas decorating days?

The holidays is my absolute favorite time of year (despite what some people think according to my fb personal quiz.  It's not my birthday although that is also a joyous time of year.).  My favorite part of the Christmas season is all the memories I have of when I was younger.  I LOVED getting out the Christmas decorations.  That might be in my top 5 days throughout the year.

We would spend the entire day in our pajamas.  (SOLD!)  Any day that lets me be in my pj's all day is always a good day.  As much as I love getting ready, I have really grown to love being lazy at home.  The older I get the more I appreciate it.  There's nothing like being at home all day and relaxing either by cleaning, organizing, sleeping, and/or watching tv espcially after having to get up and ready during the week to work. 

Back to what I was saying before I daydreamed about being at home in my pj's.  (pure bliss, people!)  We would spend the entire day in our pj's listening to classic Christmas cd's such as Vince Gill, 'N Sync, and The Carpenters.  Mom would go to the basement and gather which boxes had the decorations in them.  Dad would be outside basically the entire day either doing yardwork and/or putting up the outside decorations.  If Dad was putting up the outside decorations (wreaths on the windows, garland on the porch, and white lights everywhere), then either Sis or I would have to help him.  Sissy typically would help Dad outside since I love being indoors and I was the designated duster.  I had to dust every piece of furniture just like any other Saturday chore day.  After dusting, Mom would turn the living room upside down rearranging for the tree.  The blinds on the front window would be up and I can still see Mom standing in the middle of the furniture with her hands on her hips.  She always did her best thinking with her hands on her hips. 

Once she figured out how the furniture would be arranged, I had to make sure that it was precisely correct/perfect.  You know that we Brindleys are perfectionists.  I even recall Mom having the piano rolled over her toe in the midst of moving the furniture around.  It's never fun to see your mom crying because she is in so much pain.

With the new living room layout, we were able to get out/bring in the tree.  We started out with a fake tree.  Then they decided a real tree from Marvin's is the best deal.  After a few years of doing that, they bought another fake tree.  I loved going to Marvin's and staying in the freezing cold.  I always liked a certain tree that we never seemed to get.  Oh well.  Mom would say, "Leslie, our ceilings are not that tall.  The tree will look bigger in the house."  Too bad she was right.  The tiny Charlie Brown tree that we ended up buying always turned into the Elf tree.  In the early years, Dad would put the lights around the tree.  As the years went by, Sis and I got that job.  I would hold the strand as she ever so OCD-like placed the strand on the branches.  The ornaments were a great part of tree decorating.  My favorite ornament was my "Baby's First Christmas".  It is way cuter and prettier than Sissy's.  I think she was secretly jealous of how beautiful it is.

After decorating the living room, dining room, and kitchen, we finally could decorate our rooms!  That was my VERY favorite part of decorating!  I loved getting out all of our Christmas stuffed animals:  Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fonzo the bear, Rodney, Randy, Rhonda, Ramona (reindeer), and other various plushed items.  Every night I would sleep with every single one of them with my ceramic Christmas tree and window candle lit.  One time I remember laying underneath the lit Christmas tree with all of my animals.  If I could completely fit under the tree again, I would do it in a heartbeat.

I know you had Randy, Rhonda, Randy, and Ramona as a small child.

This has me thinking:  I really miss these guys.  I might try to bid on some on eBay.  Or if you are thinking of getting me something special this year, this would work.  I might even kiss you on the mouth since I would be so excited!

Monday, November 9, 2009

too early?

Is it ever too early to start listening to Christmas music?  It is close to the middle of November and the temperatures are still topping the mid-60s to lower-70s during the day.  Maybe if I start listening to Christmas music while at work (like I have done today), then the weather will drop and the days will go by a little faster.  Now, there's no need for the days to start flying by since I am about a third done with Christmas shopping.  I was doing good there for a minute.  Then I had to make a decision:  do I pay the bills, or buy Christmas gifts?  Too bad for the Christmas gifts because the bills won.  (Just a hint:  the bills ALWAYS win.)

See, I am a very weird person.  I actually like paying bills.  There's nothing better than pay day and sitting down and paying the bills.  It makes me feel like a grown-up.  I haven't always had the desire to pay my own bills until I was in college.  I hated living 2 hours away and still being under the parents.  My minimun wage, 15 hour a week job couldn't come close to supporting me.  That was just enough for groceries and "fun" money.  I always told myself that I would NEVER, EVER in a MILLION years complain about having to pay for my own bills.  In fact, I welcomed it with open arms because I am an excllent manager of money.  You should ask Daniel.  I completely transformed his more ways that one.  (hehe)

I am so anxious for December to be here that I am "patiently" waiting to decorate the house.  Daniel isn't too keen on decorating before we leave for the beach for Thanksgiving, but I am slowly talking him into it.  I think it would really help and make me feel good to at least have the inside decorated (or mostly decorated) before our trip.  Sis and I have done that many times in the past.  Sis, remember that one year when we didn't tell Dad that we were decorating the house before the beach trip and he came back from T'giving with the house completely decorated?  aww, that was fun.

So no objections to my Christmas decorating/listening to Christmas music idea?  okay, good.  Then that settles it.  Novemeber 9th is not too early.

Friday, November 6, 2009

things that rock and some that don't even come close

In an effort to keep up with the latest peer pressures of my high school classmates (yes, I know that high school was over 7 years ago, but it still happens!), I have decided to make a list of things that rock and some that don't for the mom job website.  This website can turn a boring, laughless day into a great one.  (And I totally mean it, Amanda!)

things that rock:
-anything and everything Vera Bradley.  If you have read at least one of my blog entries, then you would already know this.
-light 280 on a Friday at lunch.  Traffic on 280 today at lunch time was extremely light.  It was almost spooky.
-PB&J sandwiches.  These have come to be a work lunch favorite.  I have steered clear of them for the past 20 years since that is ALL I fed as a small child...well, at least it seemed like it was.

things that don't:
-Friday afternoons that seem to drag on forever.  Friday afternoons are THE worst part of the week and always seem to drag longer than any other part of the week.  bleh.
-waking up early on the weekend in order to be responsible.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the best day for me to sleep in.  Will I this weekend?  uh, no.  I have to get up early and take care of my car (ie. oil change, alignment, and rotation and balanced).  The place closes at 2 and it's in Trussville, which is a 45 minute drive from our house.  double bleh.  You might ask why I can't go somewhere closer to my house to have this work done.  And I will answer you with this:  I really like this REALLY do!  (duh)  So much so, that I will drive 45 minutes AND get up early on a Saturday to have them work on it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Year of Marital Bliss

After one year of marital bliss, Daniel and I celebrated our one year anniversary the first weekend in October.  I can't decide if it feels like it has been a long or speedy year.  I will have to say both for these facts: 
*Long, because I feel like I have known Daniel all my life.  We just click, and he knows me WAY better than I thought anyone much so that it's scary.
*Speedy, because it seems like yesterday we were planning the wedding.  I do NOT miss those days at all and they don't feel like they were over a year ago.

To celebrate our fantastic year, we were able to spend an evening at Ross Bridge Resort.  A HUGE thanks to Dad for babysitting Jackson and Tyson!

The view from our balcony was incredible!  Daniel REALLY wanted to play golf.  Too bad there wasn't enough time or money for that.

As part of my gift, Daniel gave me a gift certificate to the Vera Bradley store.  As soon as we got to Ross Bridge and changed clothes, we decided we had just enough time for me to spend it.  (See my new purse.)  After a quick 30 minutes at the VB store (and it was quick), we headed to The Melting Pot for dinner.  I was a little nervous and not sure what to expect, but Daniel assured me that it was great food.  I had heard how expensive it is, but never knew the food was THAT good!  It was my most incredible meal that I have had in a long time.  I certainly didn't prepare myself for just how much food we would get.  We had four courses:  #1 spinach and artichoke dip, #2 salad, #3 main meal, #4 oreo/marshmellow chocolate.  Of course everything but the salad was fonadu.

I believe the above picture was right after I thought I was going to vomit from stuffing my face.

Afterwards we headed back to the resort to watch the rest of the Auburn/Tennessee game.  Daniel popped the bubbly just like he did the year prior.

And we raised our glasses to salute our first year of marriage.  Daniel told me "Here's to one down and three more to go."  Hmm...he tries too hard to be a comedian.

Daniel sipped and I inhaled the champagne while watching the rest of the game.  I passed out during the 4th quarter after I nearly jinxed us by saying that Auburn would win their game this year as opposed to last.  (On our wedding day, Auburn lost to Vanderbilt.  It was a sad ride from the airport to the resort on our wedding night.)  When I finally woke back up Daniel asked if I had been sleeping and in my drunken state I simply replied, "sometimes".

Sunday after check out, we went to The Egg and I in Hoover.  Honestly it really wasn't all that great.  It reminded me of IHOP only a lot smaller and tighter.  We headed back home to relieve Dad of his dog duties and brought out our wedding cake.  I wasn't 100% sure just how good it was going to taste, but surprisingly it was still semi-moist.

And as Daniel said, "Here's to one down, and three more to go!"  May we have many more anniversaries to come.