Thursday, March 27, 2014

christmas 2013

Well I couldn't really skip over Christmas, now could I? I had several pics from the family and friends gatherings, so I decided it needed to be written about, this being my scrapbook and all.. 

We had a second annual Dothan Girls in Bham Christmas Party! This year was held at Abby's house. We were down a few, Virginia moved to North Carolina for med school, and Ragan was in Bham, but unable to attend. I think I glazed over last year's get together, but Jenny announced to us that she was prego. Naturally this year her precious baby boy Quinn attended the party! 

Abby, Katie, Quinn, Jensen, Jenny, Caroline

There were lots of good ornaments this year! This was one of the favorites: 

Another fav was this light-up tree in a glass ornament. Jenny agrees it was great! 

All the ladies! The boys sat in the kitchen while we played dirty santa for the ornament swap.

Jensen, Jenny, Abby, Caroline, me, Brittany, Katie, and baby Quinn

Abby had the ornament Virginia made for us all last year on her tree, a glass ornament filled with gold painted peanuts! I still have mine as well, and I love it! 

This was the ornament I won this year. It may also be the one I brought… I'm really terrible at playing dirty santa, and I usually bring what I want so I can pick it once my number comes up. 

Like last year, Binky came to help me package up and ship orders in Birmingham. Of course she brought my niecey pup, Possum: 

Cotton is always thrilled when Possum comes to town.. 

After several days of string art-ing, I finally got to go home. I finished stringing on the 23rd, and didn't get to go Christmas shopping until the 24th. Oopsie! Next year, I will be sure to buy everyone's gifts in October to prevent this from happening again.. 

When I got into town, I went to Caroline's house for a get together with some of our high school friends. If you recall, Caroline is one of my BFFs and I rode with her out to Colorado when she moved to Denver back in 2012. 

Caroline, Kathryn, Andrea (with baby #3!), Katie, and me

Now with all the boys. Top: Deavours, Seaborn, Caroline, Doug, Katie, me, Daniel, Bradley, Brad
Bottom: Kathryn, Chris, Andrea, and Binky

The girls doing our best "Jensen" poses since she wasn't able to be with us. (Jens does a pose in almost every pic she's in, so we had to honor that in this shot haha)

I had so much fun catching up with everybody! 

The next day was the 24th.  Neanie stays with us on Christmas Eve as a Herring family tradition, so Santa visits her at our house. 

Dad also does Santa at the house, although he is very picky on what he actually takes with him back to the lake haha! 

The best ma a girl could ask for! 

Thrilled with his Civil War book! 

Neanie modeling her fancy blue scarf. 

Bink and Possum

If you recall from a past post, Cotton won't pose for pictures. She immediately lays down. I think she thinks you're going to give her a belly rub. 

I finally got her sitting up straight and held her head for a shot. She was thrilled.

After we opened our gifts, Binky and I got into our own Christmas spirit with Andre..

Later we gave Possum a cape.

She loved it!

 We had what I call "Big Family Christmas" a few days after the 25th. It's where all the aunts, uncles, and cousins come to celebrate, which is my favorite thing of the holidays! 

Baby Daegan was there! Isn't he precious?!? This was at my aunt's house before we did the big dinner and gift swap.

When my cousin, his auntie, got out her phone, he automatically started saying "CHEEEEESSEE" with his sweet smile. 

Here he is at the big gift swap.

WAY too much excitement! 

He'll learn soon enough how much of a rowdy bunch we are. Not so much rowdy as loud.. 

Here Shelley, currently at Auburn, tries to touch Brother, currently at Alabama, with the AU pillow. Aunt Robin tries to sympathize with Brother, although we all know she's an Auburn fan. 

Ashley, Walker (Terrell's bf), Terrell, and Binky demonstrate how we open gifts. With wine. 

Neanie is basically the queen of Christmas and gets all the gifts! 

Daegan was still overcome with excitement when he received the rocking horse.

All the boys got these garden markers, which we all agreed looked like mustaches, so naturally we made them pose. 

Aunt Terri got all the cousins these knitted hats, and since Brother and Shelley's were their respective school colors, we had to take a pic with the pillow again.. 

Brother was thrilled. 

Of course we all had to pose with the hats

For some reason, Brother and I took a "shortest and tallest" pic. Hilarious!

Neanie with the bb, her great-grandson! She loves him so! 

Pretty soon, we started Dirty Santa. Everyone who is 18 and up gets to play. Like an idiot, I told Binky what I got, and she opened it. We all know I buy what I want so I hope to open it and get to take it with me. It was this awesome leaf blower/leaf vacuum. 

Carrie opened this fry daddy with some oil and pickles to make some fried pickles for all of us. Spoiler alert, I ended up with it! 

Andrea opened a Google Chromecast! 

Binky had a gift card at some point. And wine teeth. 

Ma got a jigsaw and was super pumped (are we related or what?!). 

Once it was all over, it was time to rest..

After all, we had a big California trip coming up :) 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

sec championship 2013 game

Just a couple more football posts to get through, then it will be all caught up! Well, caught up on football. I have a couple more things that need blogging about, like the new pup pup! 

After the Iron Bowl, everyone had a mere 6 days to scramble around and find tickets and hotels for the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Alabama fans, along with just about everyone else in the country, thought UA would be playing, so several of them already had tickets and hotels. Thank goodness my ma is as fanatical as I am and got us some tickets. Our opponent was determined the night of the iron bowl, and it was down to a couple of teams, but Missouri pulled through. Mom and I discussed that we didn't really know much about Missouri. They came into the SEC in 2012, really stunk their first season (just like AU did that year) and made their way to the SEC Championship game for the 2013 season (a shock like Auburn's season). They were #5 coming in to the game, and Auburn was #3. 

Binky ended up going with her roommate Caroline and her parents, so it was just me and mom in a hotel room. Well, just us and some string art (since Christmas was near, I had lots of orders to fill. That wasn't going to stop me seeing my tigers!). We went to dinner on Friday night at Ruth's Chris, and the entire restaurant was full of Auburn fans. We overheard people discussing their superstitions. Some guy was leaving, and his friend shouted "you better wear what you wore last Saturday!". Ma and I both had our own superstitions. You know the regular ones for me: lucky panties, lucky dress/pants, lucky face tat, lucky shaker. Mom had not changed her nail polish color for weeks. I had not taken off nor reapplied my toe nail polish since the Texas A&M game. I was not ashamed of my chipped minty nails!

Saturday, we met up with Binky, Caroline, and her fam. We went to the food court in the CNN building near the Georgia Dome. I've been here in the past for SEC Championship games, and it was PACKED! We noticed there were, no joke, 90% Auburn fans, 5% Missouri fans, and 5% bama fans. It appeared Missouri people didn't want to travel all the way to Georgia (understandable), whereas Atlanta is just a couple of hours from Auburn. It also appeared some bama fans just came on the Atlanta anyways. Hilarious to see them dressed up in their crimson amongst the sea of orange and blue. 

We all discussed how we were unsure about this game. No one really had a feeling if we would win or lose. Caroline told us her dad felt the same way until Friday night. He brought one beer from home to drink in the hotel that night, and it was a Magic Hat #9. If you drink these, you know they have a little message in the lid. His said: Gus loves it. Say whaaa? If that wasn't a sign, I don't know what is! (Gus Malzahn is our head coach, by the way)

After we ate and drank some beer in the food court, we moseyed over to the Georgia Dome. We saw tons of people we knew, so naturally I took that as another sign.

We found Emily as we were trying to finish off our beer to walk inside.

Emily, Caroline, Binky, and me

Inside the dome! This is when they were calling out the line up. Chris Davis got the biggest cheer! 

The band spelling Auburn

The team running out! 

Tradition continued with getting a pic with the Woods, or rather just Kate (Brett took the pic). We ran into each other on the way to the bathroom!

The game was a bit stressful at first. The score went back and forth, but towards the end, we jumped ahead by a couple of touchdowns. Tre Mason was a BEAST and broke the record of the most rushing yards by a player in the SEC Championship game. Then..

We won! 

Not sure why I didn't wait until the clock ran down to get a pic..

Confetti came down!

Ma and I got our celebratory pic

Aubie had on his angel costume and was making confetti-angels on the field.

Tre Mason!

After the game, it was time to celebrate and cross our fingers for some losses. We went to the Biergarten (it might've been called something else) which was in walking distance from the Dome. 

What's that all a-boot? 

Since we were #3, there were two others ahead of us: Florida State and Ohio State. We needed one of them to lose to ensure we made it to the National Championship game. FSU won their game, and we crossed our fingers for Michigan State to beat Ohio St. We sat at a table inside and watched the game nervously along with several other Auburn fans in the restaurant/bar. 

As soon as they lost, the entire restaurant erupted. It was nuts! We jumped up and down, ran around the restaurant, high fixed strangers, took shots, called dad and told him we were going to Cali, etc. etc. We started a chant that got the whole establishment involved. As soon as this girl got off the table, I jumped up and started it up again: when I say Pasa, you say Dena! Pasa! DENA! Pasa! DENA! When I saw War Damn, you say Eagle! War Damn! EAGLE! War Damn! EAGLE! 

Uncontainable excitement!

I was getting texts from people about finding flights, booking hotels, etc. for California. Mom and I headed back to our hotel shortly after to find flights for the Herring clan. 

Not sure where Binky was for the excitement pics. Oops.

On the way back, we ran into Ben Leard! He was quarterback for Auburn back in the day. He was super nice and let us get a pic. Not sure why mom was throwing up a #2.. (foreshadowing?) 

We decided once we got back to the hotel, we were gonna have a drink at the bar. Well, low and behold, they had closed! RUDE! Luckily, there was a group of Auburn people who had their own booze. They so nicely offered us some, so we sat with them discussing the amazingness of this season. 

This is one of the only pics I got of that part of the night: 

If I remember right, this guy's grandma made him this scarf, and it was lucky. Gah, I love Auburn fans! None of us knew each other, but we had a good time talking about our school and football. Half of the people in the bar had already booked flights, so ma and I hightailed it up to the room to check out what was available! 

Naturally, we made an IKEA run before we left on Sunday. It was one of the faster trips since I had to get back and finish Christmas orders. I was so excited for January!