Saturday, September 27, 2014

smalls' chicago bach party

Well well well, wouldn't ya know I didn't get caught up like I wanted. Good news in I'm up to May which was full of fun things like Chicago and EUROPE!! Football has started, so you know I have to recap all the games, and most recently was the Herring family vaca to Alaska! This year's theme, ladies and gents, is traveling. (There was another theme of "hammer every day and night for 93 days in a row", but traveling is much more fun to write about.) 

It honestly still feels like it should be June when in reality, it's just a few days until October which mean winter is coming. I don't even watch that show but all the cool kids say that. Winter mean tons of Christmas orders, so I'm hoping to get caught up on post soon. Blogging reminds me of Creative Memories without the Mrs. Grossman stickers (I WISH I could use those on the blog) because I can never seem to catch up. In fact, my mom was telling me I needed to get back on that horse and finish up my real life actual photo albums, which ended with my 10th grade trip to Canada. I remember buying a whole new album to start the big Europe class trip I took in high school. Poor thing has been sitting on a shelf for 15 years waiting to be filled.. Ok, tangent over. 

So let's get started with Chicago! I'd never been there before this trip, so I was super excited. We went for Rachel's bachelorette party. Rachel was my roommate in college when I lived in the dorms. Naturally two Rachels in one room got very confusing, so we both had nicknames. My name was shortened to Rach H and hers, Rachel Samolovitch, was shortened to Smalls. And that's how she will be referred to until the end of time. 

Smalls, Jackie, Kate, and I flew out of Birmingham on Friday morning. Emily Ann and  Sarah already live in Chicago, so they were going to meet us after work. When we arrived, we dropped our bags at the condo we were staying at, then headed out for some food. After that we explored the city a bit and went to The Signature Room at the 95th. 

All of us in the shot! 

Posing with the bach buttons 

The view from up there was GLORIOUS! 

I could've sat up there forever. Well, forever without any drinks because they were a million dollars each. Ok, just $20. 

We walked around and shopped a bit. We went on the most perfect weather weekend. Jeans with no jacket, warm in the sunshine, cool in the shade kind of weather. 

That night we went out to celebrate the bachelorette! Of course there were party favors, like the pink goblet..

And the "You're killin' me Smalls" coozie, which I was excited to design! 

You should all recognize this quote from the Sandlot.

I didn't take my nice camera to go out, and I didn't get any on my phone! Fail. We went to dinner at a BBQ place that was delish, then went to the bars. There was a hockey game on, so there were tons of people out. We played games at our table and picked flowers all the way home. 

The next day was another beautiful day! We ate lunch at an awesome place, I believe it was called Summer House. It actually felt like summer in there with natural light streaming in and the awesome decor. Of course, I didn't get any pictures. Such a bad photographer on this trip.. 

Until we went to the BEAN! This was one of the main things I wanted to see while we were in Chicago. I loved it. 

Playing tourists getting a reflection pic. 

The weather could not have been better.

Sarah, Emily Ann, Smalls, Kate, Jackie, and moi 

Do you like my giant purse?! I was testing it out in Chicago to see how it would do in Europe holding my nice camera. Spoiler: it worked spectacularly! I wrapped it in a scarf and it didn't get banged up at all. 

Everyone with the entire bean 

Why is this so cool to me? 

This is the view under the bean: 

The excited bride-to-be! 

Bye bean! 

Another art piece in the park

We walked through downtown, and I kept an eye out for Vince Vaughn giving boat tours (The Breakup, anyone?) 

Chicago feels so airy and clean. Emily Ann told us about the polar vortex which I don't think I could've survived, so I will always think of Chicago as it was this weekend :) 

Ladies in the street

We moseyed up to the Terrace at Trump Tower. The views were spectacular! 

Drinks were a bit pricey, but the views made up for it. 

We walked back to the condo after that.

Chicago was full of these red tulips. Beautiful! 

We had pizza and beer at Sarah's condo which was in the same building as our unit. We ended up staying in because we're old Emily Ann's sister was having a baby and we couldn't leave in the middle of the excitement! She was able to listen over FaceTime, and we were glad she was able to "be there" for the birth. After a few brewskies, everyone wanted to take their party pants off and put on pj pants. 

As I said 12,000 times, the weekend was glorious! I saw on fb where some friends went to Chicago a few weekends after this, and it was back to being rainy and cold so I'm glad we went when we did! I can't wait to get back here one day! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

binky's Auburn graduation

My sweet little sissy graduated from Auburn this May! I'm so proud!

Get ready for a million "I've got to turn in my cap and gown right after the ceremony so let's get as many pics as possible in front of Samford Hall" photos! 

Of course I made her do my pose several times. 

Binky didn't pose in front of the Auburn University sign because there were a million people in line. We went over to the less populated wall. 

Inside Samford Hall were the eagles from Toomer's Corner. They were taken down while there was construction on the corner due to the poisoned trees. I told Binky to put her arms up on them because it would look better than just standing there. She disagreed. 

I had to prove how cool it really was..

Maybe not.

Of course we had to take some Christmas card options. 

I got that dress from Ross, if you can believe. They had a ton of Auburn game day options, and I'll be debuting a few more this fall. 

Mom came to join us by this point! 

We found someone to take a couple of pictures of us. 

Auburn grads! 

Dad couldn't make it because he had had eye surgery right before this and was having quite the painful recovery. He also was suppose to look straight down for about 3 weeks to keep his retina from detaching, so I took a lot of pics so he could feel like he was there. I'll spare you about 40 of them because they all pretty much look the same. 

In the beginning, they of course recognized the faculty, students, etc. but they also had all the alumni in the audience stand. As you can image, I had the biggest smile plastered on my face. 

Here's Bink walking across the stage. 

And going to sit down. 

After the ceremony was over, they played the fight song like they always do, and Aubie came out in his little grad gear!

A lot of the fam jam came, including Neanie! 

The Herring's with Neanie

Binky's roommates Caroline and Tom came too! 

Of course we had to celebrate next! 

Had to get some mommy-daughter pics of course.

I just had to show this pic of me and my babies from 6 or so years beforehand in the same spot! I miss this house. 

We continued the celebration and met up with the fam

at Mikata! I hadn't been there in forever! 

My little cousin Andrea turned TWENTY ONE earlier this year. I still think of her as being 10 years old. Naturally we all made a big deal out of her getting a drink. 

So funny! 

Uncle Al told this joke: 

Some people graduated Magna Cum Laude, some Summa Cum Laude, and Binky graduated Oh Thank Laude! 

Hilarious! I had so much fun celebrating with everyone. 

Con-grad-ulations, Binkster!