Friday, December 23, 2011

10 years ago today

When you are a kid, you never think about your loved ones not being there.  It's almost impossible to think about them being removed from this world, because they have always been there.  You spend your Saturdays playing in the backyard constantly looking up at their backporch to see if one of them would come out.  When they would, you would wave and hope there wouldn't be many questions.  There was something about answering 20 questions about school/elementary school boyfriends/life in general that wasn't too appealing espcially on a Saturday. 

And those mid-summer/mid-winter visits next door were the worst. Their house was either hotter than blazes or colder than the artic. It was non-stop talking about something that Sis and I couldn't understand. Most of it probably was about Auburn, football, or Auburn football.  At the age of 7, I wasn't too interested in football talk.  Not appealing...

Something else not appealing:  pulling up to the bus stop in the afternoons looking to see if he was standing there to (yep, you guessed it) ask 20 questions and chit-chat for 5 minutes.  Did he not understand?  We were ready to get home to our snacks and cartoons.  We couldn't miss The Rescue Rangers or Saved by the Bell reruns.  We were on a strict afternoon schedule before homework had to be done.  We didn't have 5 minutes to spare. 

Now I would give up a lifetime of tv just to have 5 more minutes with him....

My first grandparent to pass away was my father's father.  We called him Popa, but our (older) cousins called him Granddaddy.  My dad is the baby of 3 with a brother 17 years older than him and a sister (who passed away in 1996 from leukemia) 11 years older than him.  Needless to say, Sissy and I grew up on my dad's side without cousins around our age.  Popa and my grandmother, Winnie, lived next door to us.  Or rather we lived next door to them since we bought part of their land in the late '80s to build a house. 

Growing up, Popa always wanted to see/talk to Sis and me.  There was nothing about our lives that he didn't want to know about.  Sadly and shamefully, we didn't pay him the time of day he deserved.  It was a huge inconvenience to stop and talk.  I think that is what I feel so guilty about now. 

November 2001 Popa had surgery.  Honestly, I can't even remember what type of surgery it was because it was so minor that everything was sure to be alright.  I mean how life-threatening could a little surgery be to someone who was 83 and in tip-top shape?  Well, the surgery itself was fine, but it was the sponge that was left inside of him that began the downward spiral.  When we found out about the sponge, we initally thought something the size of a dish-washing sponge.  After much questioning, the sponge was the size of a foot by foot (12" x 12').  Someone in the O.R. was not doing their job because all utensils and equipment had to be accounted for before he was sewn up.  It's odd to think that the sponge was causing factor of what was to come.  He developed pneumonia in one lung and then the other.  He wasn't getting any better.  He was put in the ICU.  How life-threatening could this little surgery be?

I will never forget the call:  Sunday, December 23rd roughly 5pm.  Dad called Sis and me to meet him and Mom at the hospital, because he wasn't expected to make it much longer.  No way, I thought.  There is no way!  It was just a sponge!

There was a whole room full of us there:  cousins, my uncle, Mom, Dad, Sissy, my old youth minister, and others.  We gathered around his bed and watched him breathe his last breath around 6:30pm on December 23rd, less than 2 days before Christmas. 

I was a senior in high school and thought about my graduation without him.  In early September, I was accepted to Auburn, which I was able to share with him.  Popa was the biggest Auburn fan I knew (even bigger than my dad which is hard to believe if you know him) and I knew he was proud of my accomplishment.  I think my degree from Auburn was my gift to him.  I still regret my actions of ignoring him and not spending more time with him.  Being a kid, you don't think about what the future holds, or who it doesn't hold.

Today on the 10th anniversary of his passing, I remember all of the good times we had.  I wish I had more time, but that time will come again.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

dear 17 year old me

It will haunt me for the rest of my life. Why did I do such an irresponsible act? Why did I feel like I needed to look a certain way in order to be beautiful? I knew the consequences and shrugged them off. Then it hit...

I was a junior in high school (yep, just 17) when I went to the dermatologist for the first time. I was going for 2 reasons: acne and a large mole removal on my mid-back. I don't remember much about the visit other than Mom's main concern was my acne. It was bad (and still is as far as being an adult). After trying every known acne-prevention product, nothing seemed to work so it was time to call in the professionals.

As I was lifting up my shirt for the doctor to see my mid-back, he noticed a place on my lower back. He said that was the one that needed to be removed, but could remove the other as well. Both were sent out for testing. The mole that the doctor found had precancerous cells. Surgery had to be done immediately to remove the roots and surrounding cells. The surgery wasn't too bad, but they did have to give me a double dose of shots to numb my back. And my dad had to sit down because he got queezy watching. He was there holding my hand. I had about 10 or so blue stitches that prohibited me from bending over. If I did, I would have ripped my skin. That scenario didn't sound pleasing so I did not bend over once during the number of weeks that I had stitches.

A few days later the results from my precancerous cell removal surgery came in: they had successfully removed all of it. But I was under strict orders to lather up the sunscreen and beware of tanning beds for the rest of my life. Did I listen? No. Every bride must be tan at their wedding. Bad mistake...

This past week I went to my 2nd dermatologist appointment specifically for a full body checking. And I had another mole removed, but this time from my stomach. The doctor also measured some on my back. That night I was following my cleaning instructions and I took off the band-aid to find another belly button: a gross one at that. My biopsy spot was at least 3 times bigger than my removed mole and the hole was deep. All I could think about was that I hoped the doctor had removed all abnormal cells, because I couldn't go through another cutting. Thankfully God is looking out for me, because the results were as good as they could be. No additional cutting is necessary, but there is a 10% chance that it could return as cancer. I will go back for periodic check-ups.

I want to challenge everyone to go to the dermalogist for a full body checkup. Skin cancer can pop up without warning. I was a 17 year old who was diagnosed with precancerous cells. Ten years later I am a young adult with continued skin problems and my later years don't look promising. Tanning beds are NOT safe. I will NEVER use a tanning bed again and will only be spray tanned in the future. Please know the facts and myths about tanning. Also use sunscreen with at least an SPF 30. Beauty in your younger years will quickly turn into wrinkles, leather skin, and sun spots in your later years. Please watch the video below. It changed my life.

Dear 16-Year-Old Me YouTube Video

Saturday, October 8, 2011

3 years

On Tuesday, October 4th Daniel and I celebrated 3 years of marriage.  It has truly been a blessing being married to such a thoughtful and caring man.  Not every day is a walk in the park, but that is the beauty of a marriage.  Some days are challenging, but most are rewarding.  I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.  I love you, Daniel Henry Todd.

October 4, 2008

October 1, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

no pictures, please

Back in August, I shared my determination for shedding some weight.  I am happy to inform you that my first goal (of minus 7 pounds) has become a reality.  HELLO, WEDDING WEIGHT!  Yes, that's right.  I am at a weight I haven't been at since March 2009 (post-wedding).  Yay, me!

Now for the ultimate goal:  minus 10 more pounds to be back at my senior in high school weight.  I still think I am crazy to want to be that small again, but if I am losing, then I better shoot high. 

Furthermore, I wish that I had taken pictures before this process.  Not like I would have posted for the world to see, but just for my satisfaction.  If I know myself like I think that I do, then I wouldn't have been as motivated as I have been with those pics.  The secret is no pictures, please.

As my weight loss journey continues, I will keep you informed....

Thanks for all of the support!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge

Well, he did it.  And I couldn't be more proud of him.  Daniel set a goal and followed through with it.  More surprising than accomplishing his first goal, he is actually setting another goal and working hard towards it.

A couple of months ago, Daniel told me that he wanted to compete in a 5k race.  I thought he was joking, because he comes up with ideas all the time and they fade within a week.  He was determined to prove me wrong.  Boy, did he.

The morning of Saturday, September 24th was a chilly one especially waking up at the buttcrack of dawn.  He got ready with great excitement while I tried to put on eyeliner half awake.  I am sad to say that this race was the first time I had made it into Oak Mountain State Park (that I can remember).  It was a beautiful setting for Daniel's first race.  So many people are awake and dressed before 8AM on Saturdays as the park was pretty packed.  Shocking to me that people get up so early on the weekends. 

People from all walks of life, young and old, black and white, male and female, assembled for this great race.  Proudly my husband stood as one of them.  He might not have finished first, but he sure didn't finish last.  He finished in the middle and I am so proud.  He was able to follow through with one of his goals.  He is currently working on his next upcoming 5k in December.  I have started the running process as well, but I have no plans of competing.

Enjoy the moments captured that morning....

Daniel's serious race face

I was so proud of him!

Jane came out to support as well!  Thanks, Jane!

Daniel and his best friend, Scott.
Both did amazing in the race.

All of the runners and walkers for The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge

Starting the race...

finishing strong at 32:56 minutes

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years of change and a lifetime of never forgetting

Ten years ago today, America changed forever.  It wasn't by choice and (I like to believe even though there are conspiracies galore) no one saw it coming.  Many have given all.  What have you given?

I will always remember that day and exactly what I was doing.  I will never forget how I felt.  I encourage you to relive my 9/11 story as I told it 2 years ago.  What were you doing that day?  What have you done differently since?  Have you thanked those who have given so much in order to protect our freedom?

May we NEVER forget.  God bless America.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A-U-B. Way to be!

All of these years I believe I have been lying by saying spring is my favorite season.  uh, no.  Fall has got to be my favorite season. There is cooler weather and FOOTBALL SEASON!  Since attending an SEC school, my love of football has multiplied since I was a wee lad.  My favorite part of football season while in college was Friday afternoons.  Whether I was living in the dorm or in the apartment, the routine was always the same.  The windows were up, the tunes were on, and I was in my element cleaning the place.  Life didn't get any better than that until later that night when we got dressed up and we out.  ah, memories...

Every year I am trying to celebrate my Auburn traditions by making a craft of some sort before the season starts.  Last year it was making "AU" shirts for the Brindley girls:  Sis, Mom, and me.

Mom's shirt

Sis and my shirt

So this year I decided to try my creative painting side and make 3 Auburn paintings (one for each of the Brindley girls).  Special thanks to Mom's neighbor, Brenda, for the hardwood floor samples.  I wouldn't have been able to make this project without her!  And I must say they turned out pretty cute especially for free-hand painting each one.  I call them Auburn Aubie Art.  Take a peek...

painting for Mom and me

another view of the painting for Mom and me

painting for Sis

another view of the painting for Sis

I think Mom and Sis are currently looking for ribbon in order to add a bow.  Updates to come....

The projects didn't end there.  Not only did I make 3 paintings, but I managed to find a set of navy placemats and turned them into this...

my homemade AU placemats
(Special thanks to my husband for buying me the plates.  I love him!)

Hold on, because the crafting isn't over just yet!  Mom even got in the spirit of crafting for football season and made me this for our front door...

My very own Auburn wreath.  I LOVE it!

Stay tuned for next year's Auburn craft.  Who even knows what that will be...  And maybe Sis will get in on the crafting action.  eh, or not.

War Damn Eagle!

Monday, August 1, 2011


It's not completely unrealistic.  I was once that before and actually saw myself differently at the time.  Looking back I see where I want to be...


For once in my life, let me be content with my weight.  Back in the day, I wasn't dissatisfied, but I didn't feel thin.  Looking back at high school pictures, I was thin...even sickly looking compared to where I am now.  I am just 15 pounds heavier which doesn't sound like too heck of a lot considering my senior year of high school started 10 years ago.  (10 years!?  10 year reunion is coming up!)  <~~~you can see my motivation, or at least part of it.

Minus 15 pounds in my ultimate goal.  My more attainable goal is my wedding weight, which is minus 7 pounds.  Now that is more realistic.  I can live with that.  I need to be thankful that I am just complaining about an extra 7 pounds since our wedding (almost 3 years ago).  It could be worse.  Plus I have already lost an additional 7 pounds since Christmas 2009.  It's hard not to pack on the pounds when I am married to a man who loves sweets and will eat at all times of the day and night.  I have always been a "social eater".  If someone is eating, I feel compelled to eat with them. 

I also think to myself:  "If they are eating pizza/brownies at midnight and can be thin, then I can too."  Being around Sissy during food time is always bad for me.  She is always hungry throughout the day and eats all the time.  Her secret to being thin?  not exercising like you would think.  It's called eat until you are full and always save room for dessert.  WHAT?  Stop eating when you are full?  Are you CRAZY?  I always eat until I am miserable.  There is no enjoying the digestion of my meals.  Plus I always eat the rest of Sissy's meal since she "wastes" it.  But is it really considered "waste" if she is forgoing those extra calories? 

Being thin just to be thin isn't my only reason for losing weight.  My migraines are getting out of control as of recently.  Not out of control as in they are occurring every day, but it is getting harder to pinpoint the cause.  Yes, stress will always be a reason since I am a high-strung person, but I am not high-strung 100% of the time.  After some research, I think my diet has a lot to do with it.  It is a fact that I eat a lot of junk and carbs.  I love bread, pasta, and eggos. 

Here's my plan:  Workout 4-5 days a week at least 20 minutes.  Eat less bread, pasta, and eggos.  Focus more on vegetables and fruit.  I even discovered some great healthy recipes.  One of them is my new favorite dish:  eggplant lasagna.  I think I like it because it is super easy to make and you can toss in all kinds of veggies.  delicious!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

picture update

I haven't been doing a good job with my blog updating.  To make up for lost time, this entry will strictly be pictures of our previous months' adventures with captions.  Enjoy!

Turning 27: my mini self photoshoot
with my 26th birthday present, Barkley

with Daniel's 26th birthday present, Tyson

self portrait of my 27th year

Girls' Beach Weekend
Mom bought me a cake for a post-birthday celebration.

the cookie cake.  It was delicious if I actually liked cookie cakes.

with Bentley, Mom's new dog

Happy Easter

Happy Mother's Day
Sissy, Mom, and me

Sissy, Jane, Granmolli, Mom, and me

Billy Bowlegs Celebration
After catching lots of beads, Daniel got a kiss from a winch.  This might be his favorite pic ever.

Farley's 2nd Birthday Tea Party
Picture with the birthday girl, Farley, who turned 2. 
Whitney, Farley, and me

July 4th Beach Trip
Guess who wanted a birthday cake just like mine.

posing before going on the town aka Harbor Walk Village

We saw Jason Castro in concert!

Dad won the covetted Putt Putt National Championship Trophy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

ellebeeTee giveaway!

ellebeeTee Originals is having a giveaway:  $25 store credit to one lucky follower.  The shop is still new so your chances of winning are great.

Check out the website for the official rules.  Hurry!  The giveaway ends Saturday at midnight.  The winner will be announced Sunday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

what really matters

How long has it been since my last substatial update?  a month, or 2, or 3?  Anyhow, no matter. 

Last weekend Daniel and I traveled up to Grayson Valley to visit Dad for the day. 

Our goals: 
Daniel:  Help Dad paint the exterior of the house.
Me:  Clean out childhood and college items and memories.

Frankly, I think Daniel got the easy task.  I mean it was close to 100 degrees outside and he had to avoid wasps and mosquitos, but still.  He didn't have to really think to paint.  I had to really think about what was important to me in order to keep.  Unfortunately for me, the lack of space in our attic dictates just how many items can be important to me.  Considering I find all of our year round decorations to be extremely important along with a few of Daniel's items, we just don't have much more room in the attic.  Now before you start thinking that we have an entire attic full of tubs, don't.  According to Daniel (I have never been in the attic before because I freak to go up the unstable ladder to see for myself), we need to purchase more plywood to extend our attic.  So our small area in the attic we have is almost maxed out. 

There were 2 things to consider while I cleaned out:  what is really important to me and remember limited space. 

So I began my quest.  I shuffled through some old school papers that Mom had placed on the hearth.  And I found some interesting items.  First up, a newspaper clipping from the 7th grade (circa de 1997ish).  Check out this classic photo

7th graders across Jefferson County were honored at Bartow Arena for high scholastic honors.  That is me with my big foot and poofy bangs.  Next to me is Blake Burdett, who eventually became my bf that year and the next.  Much later in 2008, he was a part of my wedding party.  ha!

Don't worry.  I definitely kept this clipping because I want to laugh about it in the future when I rediscover it again.  I love refinding things like that. 

After looking over some pre-SAT/pre-ACT test results and still realizing that I am a TERRIBLE test taker, I moved to the basement where the real fun was.  I went through a small stack of items from both childhood and college years.  Why was I hoarding coloring books and my 4th grade subject notebooks?  bye-bye.  And let's face it:  back in the day, Sunday School artwork was no where near the calibar of school artwork.  So bye-bye Jesus and the little children artwork that was half-colored.  Don't judge me because I threw away my Jesus artwork, because I did keep all of my Bibles since birth.  I have my pink baby New Testament Bible, purple Precious Moments children's Bible, and hardback Teen Study Bible.  My navy College Bible and navy "adult" Bible are kicking it at the house already. 

The above were easy toss outs, but the hard part came when I moved to the play area, which is under the front porch.  That is where Sis and I played house.  We couldn't play Barbies in there because it was too narrow and cluttered.  And our Barbies lived in mansions so we needed much more room for that.  In the play area, mounds of stuffed animals could be found.  And we LOVED our stuffed animals.  Too bad we let them get all gross and let rats poop on them.  So bye-bye to my Cabbage Patch Kid, Pinky.  Bye-bye to Sissy's Care Bears.  Bye-bye to My Buddy, who we dressed up in real kid clothes and diapers.  Bye-bye Teddy Ruxpin.  It was a hard moment to let them go.  But when I realized that I was wearing gloves to protect my hands from germs and the grossness, then I didn't feel so bad.  No one can take the memories of those toys away from me.  And isn't that what really matters?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Christmas at ellebeeTee

from ellebeeTee Originals blog:

I have always loved the holiday season. Christmas is by far my most favorite holiday. I think it is my favorite from all of my fond childhood memories. ahh, memories. And I can't wait for Christmas this year.

Because I am so impatient, I decided to celebrate early! ellebeeTee Originals is having a 20% off sale this weekend. And yes, that is an extra 20% off the already low sale prices. Use the code MERRY at the checkout.

Don't wait too long because the sale ends Sunday evening.

and details coming soon about the July 6th giveaway!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

the streets of Tuscaloosa: my April 27th story

My April 27th story is no where near as graphic/exciting/dangerous as the ones who lived it.  I felt like I needed to share as to not forget the ones who experienced and continue to experience the aftermath.

April 27, 2011 will forever be etched in my brain just like September 11, 2001.  However, there was no attack to our nation on our soil, but mother nature destroyed thousands of lives along with killing a few hundred across my state.  Let me start at the beginning...

Close to a week before the 27th, our area meteorologists had warned of the weather severity on that day.  Friday, April 15th had been a bad enough day for Alabama already.  Luckily I was at the beach that day when a handful of tornadoes swept across the state.  On the evening of the 26th, Daniel warned me of how bad the weather might be the following day.  He was watching the nightly news when the meteorologist was talking about the next day's forecast and just how bad it would get.  He had never seen the weather read anything like that before and cautioned all viewers to be prepared for the next day's weather.  Two rounds were headed this way....

Daniel and I were woken up between 5-5:15AM by the hollowing of wind and rain the next morning.  We turned on the tv to see there were possible tornadoes/straight-line winds just minutes north of our house.  Thankfully we dodged the bullet even though it sounded terrible outside.  On the way to work (in Tuscaloosa), I noticed every other tree was snapped along I-20/59.  When I reached the Mercedes plant, there was at least a dozen trees down laying across the interstate.  Multiple trees were down in the median along with light poles.  I didn't realize just how bad straight-line winds could be.

As the day progressed, I watched footage of James Spann on UStream.  I saw the Cullman tornado touchdown and decided it was time for me to leave.  I gathered my stuff to leave at 2:30 and this and that started to come up.  At 3:10, I finally told my boss, Jolly, that I was leaving.  The winds were really picking up and I needed to get home.  He joked around saying that it was going to be fine and gave me a hard time for leaving.  I told him that I wasn't going to stick around to find out. 

It wasn't long after I got home when a couple of tornadoes made their way towards Tuscaloosa.  Then we saw it.  James Spann was freaking out.  I was praying that no one was still at the plant.  The biggest tornado I have ever seen started ripping its way down 35th Street (where I work).  All we could do was watch in awe as the mile wide twister created complete havoc through Tuscaloosa.  I began pacing and hoping that Jolly didn't have a team there still working.  I texted him to make sure everyone was fine.  It wasn't for another couple of hours before I got a repsonse that all was okay.  I had no idea what that meant until I got a call from my co-worker, Greg, later that evening.  Our plant suffered damage:  a few buildings were gone along with our fence.  Debris was everywhere.  Considering that Waste Management across the street from us was completely destroyed and every business up the street from us was nothing but rubble, we were pretty lucky.

I later found out that Jolly along with another man were still at the office when the tornado traveled behind our plant and office building.  He says that he immediately felt the pressure and his ears popped.  He ran to the back and looked at the window.  And he saw it.  He saw the debris and felt the concrete office building shaking.  Then it passed.  Businesses just blocks up the street from our workplace were completely destroyed.  I didn't make it back down to Tuscaloosa until Friday (2 days after the tornadoes hit).  The damage was unlike anything I had ever seen.  Skeletons of buildings were still standing along with pencil trees.  There was no way to find landmarks or to even know where you were standing in the middle of the destruction. 

A few weeks later I drove through the main part of Tuscaloosa that was hardest hit (but who's to say that everywhere in Tuscaloosa wasn't hardest hit?  Devastation was everywhere.).  I drove down 15th Street (aka University) to the intersection of McFarland.  There was nothing.  Nothing but debris and damage.  Debris and damage everywhere.  Those poor people who experienced the wrath of the tornado.  I can't even imagine living through or dying in a tornado of that magnitude. 

Tornados have a different meaning to me now.  Don't get me wrong I was always terrified of their possibilities.  I guess growing up I always knew that their destruction could reach unfathomable levels of destruction, but I never knew just how bad until I drove through the streets of Tuscaloosa.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

getting back on the bandwagon...for a split second

alright.  so I am behind MAJORLY on my updating.  still LOTS happening, which is the reason for the tardiness.  maybe one day I will be able to "ketchup".

until that day comes, my shop (y'know ellebeeTee Originals) is hosting a summer long sale.  it's gonna be HOT!  if you want the scoop and I know you do, then check out the ellebeeTee Originals blog for the event of the summer! 

and don't forget to follow the ellebeeTee Originals blog either.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

busy times and HONORing our troops

yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know it has been a while, but I have a good reason...seriously.  Remember the April 27th killer tornadoes?  Well, I have been reliving it every day since it happened.  How?  I work in Tuscaloosa and feel its affects every week day of my life.  It is gruesome, depressing, and humbling.  Please continue to pray for everything involved.  It will take years to rebuild what was destroyed in a few seconds.  More to come on that dreadful day in a later post...

In the meantime, head over to my shop for the biggest sale thus far!!  30% off everything!  Just use code:  HONOR at the check out.  You can read the blog post from ellebeeTee Originals  below....
Then go buy something!!!!!

Via ellebeeTee Originals:

In celebration of Memorial Day, ellebeeTee Originals is having the biggest of all biggest sales. Use discount code HONOR to receive 30% off everything in the LBT Store. You can choose from a yarn wreath, Hair Blooms, or even the newest item: Bloom Bows. All are available 30% off!

The best part of this special celebration is that 50% of all proceeds will go to my brother-in-law's FRG Unit Fund (more specifically the 720 EOD Unit FRG Fund). Josh is currently serving "overseas", defending our freedom by disarming one bomb at a time. It's not easy but someone has to do it. You can read more about my contribution to his unit and by buying an item from the "Justice Sacrifice Patriot" line (aka JSP line).

my brother-in-law, Josh

Justice Sacrifice Patriot wreath

Justice Sacrifice Patriot Hair Blooms

HONOR can be used to receive 30% off your entire order from now until Monday, May 30th

(Memorial Day).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Amy Cornwell Jewelry-$50 GC TODAY ONLY!

I am IN LOVE with some new jewelry:  Amy Cornwell Jewelry.  Her design is simple, elegant, and vintage.  Those are my favorite descriptive words when it comes to jewelry.

Check out the Captured Necklace.  How bad do I want this necklace?  REALLY bad!  And what about the True Love Ring?  LOVE it too! 

Today ONLY over at The Bird's Party Blog, there is a $50 gift card up for grabs!!!!!  I want it so bad that you have no idea.  The details are here so check it out and leave some comments.  If you aren't crazy about her jewelry, then leave comments any way and try to win the $50 gift card for me. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

3 from 30

I don't know why "3 from 30" scares me so bad.  I guess it's mainly because I don't feel like I should be 27 years of age.  I still see myself as a 16/17 year old living at home with Mom, Dad, and Sissy.  Those days are far from over now.  I have been living on my own for a few years now and paying my own bills since graduating from college in 2006.  Still it feels like time is at a stand still even though the clock keeps ticking.

My 27th birthday turned out to be a great one.  Daniel always makes my birthdays so special.  He even puts up with my week-long celebration.

with my special cake and bday flowers from Daniel

Thanks to everyone who made and always makes my birthdays something to remember especially Daniel.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

the return of Cowgirl Leslie Cyrus

I've got it BAD as Usher would say.  Spring fever is here.  I am in the mood to redecorate, shop, and lay out.  Today isn't helping at all since it has been stormy especially yesterday.  Thankfully Daniel and I were able to get out of the house yesterday afternoon/evening before the next wave of tornadoes came through.  We hit up Old Navy, which was like a mini-shopping spree for me.  I was able to find my Easter outfit.  yay!  Now to find some shoes...

Last weekend we went to Nashville to visit Daniel's sisters, Leah and Katie.  Leah just recently bought a 1950s style house and has completely remodeled the inside and is working on the out.  It is very precious if I do say so myself.  She has a blog of her home makeover adventures

We had a big time in Nashville.  It has been a while since I have been up there not on work or to visit my aunt who was in the hospital for leukmeia.  In fact, I haven't been there in my adult life at all...just for fun.  It was beautiful weather which fueled the spring fever even more. 

After a long night of travels, we arrived around 11:30 to midnight.  We got a quick tour of the house and went to bed.  Saturday we got up and ate at the Pancake Pantry.  delicious!  Special thanks to Katie for our meal.  She graciously paid for lunch with money from her very first "big girl" pacycheck.  Yay for being a college grad with an awesome job!

with Daniel at the Pancake Pantry.  03.19.11

Daniel waited in line for over an hour while the girls went to all of the boutiques.  I think that was my favorite part.  We don't have those types of shops close to my house so it was nice to see what was in style.  Speaking of style, everyone up there was very fashionable and trendy.  I hardly saw a person without some kind of tattooing.  I guess for once I am in style.  Too bad I don't display my tattoo on a regular basis.  That might be a little inappropriate and gross. 

After hitting up some antique shops and an afternoon nap, that evening we ate dinner at Whiskey Kitchen.  It was good too.  We walked around downtown Nashville for a bit visiting the country-style shops.  We had to get a picture of the Wildhorse Saloon since that is all my dad ever talks about when you mention Nashville to him.
for you, Dad

Then we hit it big time.  We found a boot store with an awesome deal:  buy 1 pair, get 2 free.  uh, what?!  Yes!  I didn't have any intention of getting a pair of boots.  Not that it isn't my style, but it isn't my style very maybe once in a blue moon kind of style.  And what do you know...Daniel found a pair that he really liked.  So I had to find me a pair which I did with ease.  After a discussion with his sisters about splitting the bill with them or not, we all decided that we were collectively leaving the store with 6 pairs of boots between the 4 of us.  Daniel looked for a second pair to round out our 3.  Sucks (sorry, Jane) for him, because he didn't find one.  Guess who has 2 pairs of cowgirl boots now.  That's right!  Cowgirl Leslie Cyrus. 

(Who is Cowgirl Leslie Cyrus you might ask.  It's me from about the 3rd grade, I guess.  Sis and I had vivid imaginations growing up.  Don't even ask about playing Colonial Bank as Leslie Jones {married to Chipper Jones} and Sissy Miller {married to Mark Miller, lead singer of Sawyer Brown}.  In elementary school I was in love with Billy Ray Cyrus and wanted to marry him.  Therefore the name Leslie Cyrus came about.  Then I went through a cowgirl stage during one summer.  I found a leather fringe "cowgirl" purse that was my mom's eons ago.  I dressed up as a cowgirl, traveling through town {aka the house}.  I remember very specificly one summer day eating lunch as Cowgirl Leslie Cyrus.  Mom {aka a kind stranger} had taken me into her lovely home for a nice meal {aka a sandwich}.  When I left, I left a note for her thanking her for the meal signed by Cowgirl Leslie Cyrus.  I think she still has the note today.  I like to bring my alias back every now and then just to relive the old days.)

I will be stylin' now.

I know that Sis can't wait until my beach trip mid-April to hit up the Block in my new boots.  :)

And Barkley had to try on Daniel's boot yesterday.  She wants to be a cowgirl just like her mommy.

Cowgirl Barkley Cyrus

Hopefully we can hit Nash-Vegas up again real soon.  I want to take Sis up there.  She would have a blast!

Thanks, Leah and Katie, for a fun-filled weekend that flew by too fast.

Friday, March 25, 2011

only begun

One year ago today feels like an eternity ago.  It was the best and worst day.  Nothing is scarier than thinking your life is going to end, but knowing that it has only begun....especially with a new addition to the family.

Barkley has brought great times to our family.  It actually feels complete having 3 dogs.  It's weird to say that, but it does.  I can't imagine not having each one of our precious dog children.  Our house would extremely quiet and boring without them here.




Sunday, March 6, 2011

the silence is broken

My current post at ellebeeTee Originals blog is too important not to share.  I hope you will join me in supporting our military.  Freedom is not free, and millions of families sacrifice their loved ones being at home so you can be free.  Please enjoy the blog entry below from ellebeeTee Originals:

For a long time I have felt like I needed to help out. What could I do to show my support? I want to give, but it is hard to send hundreds of dollars. Times are tough. If there was a way that I could make something and show my support and give, then I could make that work. And it came to me: the Justice Sacrifice Patriot Wreath (also known as the "JSP" wreath).

Some of your may or may not know that my brother-in-law is currently serving our country. He is in the 720 EOD unit which is currently deployed. His job is to disarm bombs, not one of the safest jobs in the miliary in the least. He is awesome at what he does.

Then there is my sister. She is awesome at being his support system. She has never lived anywhere but at home and when they married, she had to move close to halfway around the world to Mannheim, Germany to be with him. Is that dedication/love or what?

This is how my thought process started. I mean I am related to "awesomeness". Here I am living in the good ol' Alabama being an average citizen. What could I do to help them out? What could I do to help out his unit? What could I do help out the men and women who currently give their life for you and me every day just so we can have our freedom? That's when I thought of making a military line: a wreath and Hair Blooms. It's not much, but it is more than just sitting at home taking advantage of being an American. The "JSP" line honors my brother-in-law, Josh, and his unit.

Justice Sacrifice Patriot "JSP" Hair Blooms

Justice Sacrifice Patriot "JSP" Wreath

Half of every sale from the "JSP" line will go directly to the 720 EOD Unit FRG Fund. This fund is set up to directly support these soldiers and their families. My sister told me a heartbreaking story about how thousands of dollars were supposed to be raised last year for the fund, but the events (ie bake sales, etc) never happened for whatever the reason. Their unit is without most of the needed funds. I hope you will help me support the 720 EOD Unit by purchasing an item (or 2) from the military "JSP" line.

If you would like to contribute any other way to the 720 EOD Unit, please contact me at info{at}lbtoriginals{dot}com.

Monday, February 28, 2011

just had to

Have you checked out the blogs that I follow lately?  You haven't?  Well, let me take this time to tell you that you REALLY need to check out Peggy Ann Design.  She is having this C-R-A-Z-Y giveaway in honor of her birthday, that in reality won't be happening until next year but she is celebrating today.  She is a leap year baby.

A LOT of good posts have been posted about the giveaways, which end Wednesday at midnight.  PLUS the best news of all is that ellebeeTee Originals will be featured and have a giveaway!  yay!

So check out Peggy Ann Design and get to commenting.  Be sure you check out her store too.  It is fabulous!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

getting it over

Why do I hate it so much?  I dread doing it.  I always have and always will.  It is the worst part of the new year.  ugh, tax season!

This year is the latest that I have waited to file for taxes.  I know that it is just the end of February and I have a whole month and half left.  However, I like getting it over 

In previous years, my co-workers and I would have races to see who could file their taxes the fastest.  I mean we got down to the minutes, because as soon as Valmont sent our W-2 forms it was on!  You know as soon as we got home we were plugging away numbers and looking to see what time we clicked "file".  I think the "highest" ranking I ever got in our work tax race was tied at third place.  We also played the "who got more back" game.  I never won those since I didn't (and still don't) have kids.  Were we lame?  Probably.  Nerdy?  uh, yes.  But there's no arguing that this definitely gave us motivation to get our taxes filed and returned in a hurry.

And I can't lie when I say that I am glad that my co-workers motivated me to to file my taxes.  It made it kinda fun and less painful.  So a HUGE thanks to Whitney, Lisa, Greg, Ed, and Jason for giving me the motivation to file my taxes over 2 months before they were even due. 

(and I miss those good ol days at V-N.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

because I can

Have you been to ellebeeTee Originals lately?  As in today?  There's a lot happening over there.  Ideas GALORE are being birthed.  (a little gross...probably.)  Well, what I am trying to say is that a lot of new ideas are being created and hopefully executed this week!  I have already posted and blogged about the newest wreath designs.  There is also a new hair accessory line called Hair Blooms.  Get over to ellebeeTee Originals to check out the latest products and blog posts.

And I know I said I would talk about our personal lives/happenings on this site, but it is my blog.  I felt the need to comment about the exciting times happening in the business.

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

my pre-season ritual

The start (or should I say before the birth) of every new season (ie spring and fall) I buy a new purse.  Always.  And.  Forever.  This is how it is.  So there shouldn't be any "big" surprises (at least to Daniel) that I am getting a new purse somewhere around February/March and August/September. 

Just finding the RIGHT purse is never an easy task.  I find myself saying this a lot:  "I like the style, but if only it was in another color..."  Or how about this phrase "I like the color(s), but if it only was a little bigger".  I can pretty much find something wrong with just about any purse to talk myself out of buying it.  I always know when I have met "the purse of the season".  Daniel says that I get REALLY excited and a special "glow" comes over me.  I guess he must know firsthand since that is how I am every time that I see him.  (I know...gag...gross...barf.)  But all I can say to that is ;) 

Anyways back to my purse of the Spring/Summer 2011 seasons.  This might be the first time in the HISTORY when I really like TWO (yes, 2) purses.  Take a gander......

Purse #1
Meet Juicy Couture Dots Tote.  It's hard to tell but it is pink (not red) (not in one MILLION years red) polka dots.  It's very flrty, fresh, and fun.  Kinda like me  (again, I know gag, gross, barf.)  I love it's simple style and shiny texture.  It is very neutral even with the tan straps.  Another great thing is how big it is.  It is definitely the bigger of the 2 and the bigger the better.  (That's what she said.)  These days if I can't carry an umbrella with ease inside my purse with all of the crap, then it just isn't making the cut.

Purse #2
Meet Fossil Key-Per Shopper.  I actually own this EXACT style purse except in fallish colors.  I absolutely fell IN LOVE with this style.  It does have a slight drawback:  it looks really roomy, but it is hard to fit all that I have PLUS an umbrella.  I really love this print/pattern as well.  It is very neutral and yet not really.  It does have a nice "new" feature" from my current Fossil style:  the zipper on the front.  Now that is nice.  Plus I know my wallet will match since it is salmon-colored.  :) 

So I need your help...Which one should I get? 

Friday, February 11, 2011

June 10, 1994 to January 15, 2011: 16.5 years of great doggie living

Saturday, January 15, 2011 is a day that I will never forget.  It is the day that I knew would be coming for some time now and always dreaded its arrival.  Whenever my dad called, I always prepared myself for the sad words., the words that would change my adult life.  What words are those?  "Bandit passed away."

You might find it silly that I have let a dog take a position of a person in my life.  The truth is that Bandit was more than a dog.  He was my little "miracle" brother.  I could go on and on about him and our memories together, but there just isn't enough time unless you have the next 16.5 years free to listen.

Bandit was born Friday, June 10th, 1994.  I will never forget the morning of Saturday, the 11th.  That morning Mom, Sis, and I were standing in the kitchen after I got up (so it was probably more like lunchtime instead of the morning) when Mom gave us the news.  She said, "Something happened to Webby." 

Webby Gail was our first ever dog.  We got her in '87 or '88 as a small pup.  Sis and I were TERRIFIED of dogs before Webby came along.  Mom even tells the story of how we (Mom, Sis, and I) were getting loaded up in the car to go somewhere one day.  I think Sis was still a baby so I would have been around 2 years old.  Some how or another as I was walking to the car, I became surrounded by 3 large dogs all barking and growling at me.  Mom said that she was pretty much panicked and I was crying.  Ever since that moment, Mom said that I have been deathly afraid of dogs.  Until Webby....

I miss her too.  I hope one day to do a post about her and Rocky, our other "backside" (aka backyard) dog.  Rocky was part lab and rottweiler and would never hurt a flea.  Well, except for that one time that he almost killed Bandit by picking him up by his throat and slinging him around.  Yeah, not a good Bandit memory of him running up the house with blood gushing out of his throat onto his white chest.  scary...

And moving on... Back to "Something has happened to Webby."  Sis said, "She is DEAD!"  But I knew better.  I could feel it.  I quickly said, "No, she had PUPPIES!"  And she did.  We started asking a MILLION and one questions about the puppies like where they were and could we see them and how many there were and could we hold them and could we keep one?  The list goes on...

This was Webby's second litter.  She had 2 puppies in her first litter when I was in the first grade:  one boy and one girl.  "My" puppy was the boy and "Sissy's" was the girl.  We didn't keep them, but those were the specific ones that we played with.  So Sis had told me the next time Webby had pups that she wanted a boy one, which was fine by me because WEBBY HAD PUPPIES!

Bandit was the only boy out of 3 in Webby's second litter and apparently he was a miracle.  The morning of the 10th when Dad found Webby and her puppies he placed them in the pen by the red barn behind our house.  He called Popa (his dad, who lived next door to us) and instructed him to "get rid" of any puppies that needed to be "gotten rid of".  After finishing his task, he called Dad at work and told him that there were 2 girl pups left.  After work Dad went down to see Webby and her precious little girls only to find there were 3 puppies instead of 2.  And there was 1 boy with 2 girl pups.  How did this happen?  Did Webby hide Bandit from Popa's prowl?  Did she know he was a special dog from the beginning?  We aren't 100% sure how Popa missed Bandit, because he was sure that 2 girls remained.  Just like any other protective parents, it wasn't for se-eh-veral years later (like I am talking about 10+) until Mom and Dad told us the story of Bandit's miraclous escape from Popa Huell's death grip.  Sis and I were shocked beyond belief to hear of Bandit's survival.  He truly was a miracle dog.

Almost 16 and a half years (that's close to 2/3 of my life!) Bandit has always been around.  I had just completed my 4th grade year at Chalkville Elementary when Bandit was born.  I always think back to the year (or so) after Bandit was born.  I was in the 6th grade and Mom and Dad announced that we would have another brother or sister.  He or she would be arriving in March.  (The reason I can remember that is because I would lose my spot as being the first birthday of the year in my family.  And I wasn't too happy about it.)  I can't really remember the time frame...probably a month or so...Mom lost the child.  It was a devastating and emotional time in the Brindley household.  I still think about "what might have been".  For some reason I have always had a gut feeling that if the child was alive today, I would have a younger brother.  I can't see myself with another sister so I guess that is why I feel that way.  And for that very reason, I have felt like Bandit has been my "lost" little brother.  Bandit was close to the same age as the other child would have been.  It's weird to think this way, but Bandit represents more than a dog to me.  He represents my little brother (or sister) who is in heaven.

Bandit was always a cheerful dog.  He loved playing with his toys especially rolling his ball back and forth to you.  He was very smart because he made that game up by himself.  One day he started nudging his tennis ball towards me.  So I rolled it back to him.  He could play for about 5 minutes as long as you said "Roll it".  He was quite the barker too.  Boy, did he ever have some pipes on him.  He barked at and for anything and everything:  for table scraps, if he needed to go out, if he saw another animal, if he heard something, if he was playing, etc, etc, and etc.  Sis claims that I was the one to teach him to bark, but I just taught him to associate the word "speak" to his bark.  Sadly, that was the only trick Bandit knew:  speak, Bandit.

Bandit met many family and friends over his lifetime.  He was loved by all who had the chance to know him.  His last few years were his toughest, but I am so glad that I have over half of my lifetime (as of right now) to remember the happy memories of Bandit. 

Aww, the sweet head.  Bandit had lots of nicknames including sweet head.  Look at his cute curls.
Football Season 2003

me with Bandit
Football Season 2003

Bandit on my 21st birthday!
He was wearing his "happy birthday" bandana.  He was always wearing a bandana.
"Was he wearing a bandana?"

Christmas 2007
He was shivering so Sis and I covered him up.  He loved to snuggle.

The first Christmas card with all 3 dogs:  Paris, Jackson, and Bandit.
Christmas 2006 

Dad was Bandit's favorite person ever.  They were the best of friends.
Christmas 2007

Celebrating Christmas and our engagement with the sweet head.  Secretly Bandit loved Daniel too and all of the pickin' that Daniel did to him as well.
Christmas 2007

Sis and Bandit
Easter 2008

The last picture I took with Bandit
Christmas 2008

Move-in weekend in our first home and guess who came to help paint.
May 2009

The last picture that I have of Bandit.  He loved wearing his bandanas, especially wearing shirts.  This hoodie (that I bought him from the AU Bookstore) was one of his favorites.
Football Season 2009

RIP Bandit Coco Nuts Brindley. I will miss you always and forever. Thank you for being the best little brother that God gave me.