Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas Carol

At the Engagement Party in Ryan's hometown (see post below) our friend Kyle decided to rock out to Rudolph. I have to say he really owned it...


Rudolph from Jessica Toland on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas!

And the Parties Begin...

Ryan and I had our first official wedding party this past weekend. Three couples (including us) from Ryan's home town are getting married within the next six months. So a group of Ryan's closest friends got together to host one big shindig in honor of the three couples.

Dee and I (she's the M.O.H.)

Being that the party was the weekend before Christmas I didn't know if many of my friends would be able to come, however, they didn't let me down.

We danced the night away, I may have sang a Janis Joplin song acapela while I was supposed to be making a 'thank you speech', and we laughed a lot!

Can you tell these two are brothers?

Showing off my cool "crown like" head band.

Apparently Lacey wanted a cool head band, as I must have really been rocking it!

I wanted a picture of Ryan and I with the other two couples the party was for, however, this what I ended up with:

... a picture of one person from each couple. That's Nutt on the left and Austin on the right.

Group Picture of the Guys

What was left of the girls at the end of the party!

The party was a huge success! Every one that helped host it really out did themselves. Here's to all the parties to come!! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In the Georgia Dome on the Fifty Yard Line while the Dirty Bird Kick for T'ree

(what song is that from?)

Ryan and I did see the Dirty Birds (Atlanta Falcons) kick for three this past weekend in a game against the New Orleans Saints!

If you are a frequent reader of this blog or if you have ever met Ryan then you are well aware that football is his #2 love in life... (I'm declaring that I'm his #1). In any case, he loves high school football, college football, and even the NFL. I won't even get started on his "man crush" on Peyton Manning (the Colts are his favorite team). I'm just sayin'

Needless to say, Ryan watches all the NFL games on Sunday and Monday nights. I don't love this, but I work with him on it.

Although Ryan loves the NFL he'd never been to a game until this past weekend.

You see my cousin Celinda's boyfriend, Matt purchases season tickets for the Atlanta Falcons... which means he has two tickets to every game (duh). Well, over a few drinks back in October Ryan and I were talking to Celinda and Matt and we decided that we would have to come over to Atlanta for a game before the season ended. So that's what we did this past Sunday. We were able to score two more tickets for a reasonable price so we headed over the GA Dome for a game.

It was so much fun. The atmosphere is intoxicating and if I'm honest here (and I always try to be completely honest with you guys) it made me want to drop it like it was hott (or at least purchase some tighter pants)! The beers were flowing, the jams were pumping, and folks were cheering for their team of choice. I was loving it and so was Ryan.

(you might not be able to tell by the picture, but the photo above is of Reggie Bush after he dropped the ball and then recovered it...  I can only assume he got distracted by thinking of Kim Kardashian's big ole booty.)

The half-time performance was by none other than Atlanta Native, Big Boi, of the rap duo Outkast. Let's just say, "Ain't nobody dope as me- I'm just so fresh and so fresh and so clean, clean."

The game should have been a blow out (according to football talk leading up to the match up) because the Falcons had several key player who were hurt, however, the game was close right until the end. The final score was 26 to 23- with the Saints claiming the victory.

After the game we ventured over to The Varsity (What'll ya have? What'll ya have? What'll ya have?) for chili dogs, fries, and onion rings. It was a great way to top off the day.

A big thanks to Celinda and Matt for graciously hosting us! You two made a little boy's dream come true!

**** Disclaimer- sorry about the picture quality. My camera battery was dead so all pictures via blackberry and iPhone.****

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My New BFF is Pdub

I’m tired this morning, and with good reason. Yesterday two friends, Lacey and Ashley, and I embarked on an adventure to meet Pioneer Woman, also known in real life as Ree Drummond. The day started when the alarm clock went off at 4:45 a.m. We would be driving from Birmingham, AL to Atlanta, GA for Pioneer Woman’s book signing at one of the Borders bookstores. We knew we had to get to the bookstore early in order to obtain a wristband that would put us at the front of the line, as the book signing was at 6:00p.m. Eastern Time. It was vital that we were close to the front of the line due to the fact that we would have to drive back to Birmingham after meeting and embracing Pdub.

I’ll admit that the alarm was snoozed a few times so we didn’t actually get on the road until about 6:30, but we made up some time on the drive over because we missed the rush hour traffic in Atlanta.

Our GPS lead us astray when we actually arrived in Atlanta. We ended up in Chamblee and when the GPS said, “Arriving at Destination” we were on an old street with a few random office buildings. It was not our “destination.” This overwhelmed us a bit because we needed to be there when the doors of the Borders Bookstore opened… so I grabbed my blackberry, googled the bookstore, and proceeded to call for directions. A lady named, Lilly, answered the phone and told me that she didn’t not know how to tell us to get there because no one drives to work- they take the MARTA (train). She also explained to us that they had had a rather large crowed waiting for wristbands for the book signing when they first opened. That really put the pressure on us to find the bookstore. Time was ticking and we were meandering through some place called, Chamblee. Eventually, we located the correct destination and raced inside.

We were met by a thin man with a booming voice; he was sitting at a small table awaiting the arrival of anyone looking for a wristband to meet The Pioneer Woman. He informed us that we would be in first 100 people to meet the Ree. At this point in the day it was 9:30a.m. (Eastern Time) so we had several hours (like eight) to kill until the 6:00pm meet and greet.

We decided to head over to the Lenox Mall, which was just down the street. I called up our friend, Hayden, that lives in Atlanta and planned a lunch date. At 12:00 we met her and several of her friends for lunch at The Lenox Grill, which, I’ll be honest here, included a few mimosas.

After lunch, in an attempt to pass the time, we headed to the movie theater to see The Blindside. [Side note- GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It was so good. It brought a tear to my eye. It’s a great story]

The movie was over around 3:30 so we killed a few more hours window-shopping at Tiffany’s, Sak’s, Tory Burch, Jimmy Choo, and the likes.

Eventually, it was go time! We had to head back to Borders because the lady the whole day was based around was about to arrive. It was exciting. We got to the bookstore and freshened up a bit. We had to look good for Pioneer Woman- I mean, we could end up on her blog!

Right at 6:00 she arrived! The crowd went wild (or as wild as one would expect in a bookstore). I was eating it up.

She said hello to the crowd and quickly began signing her cookbooks.

As we waited in line we discussed what we would say once it was our one-on-one time with her. It felt a bit crazy to be meeting someone I know seemingly everything about, and she does not even know I exist. For a fleeting moment, it felt a bit stalkerish. However, I pushed right past that thought and applied more lip-gloss because it was GO TIME. Our number was up and we were ready.

Lacey and I were were ready. Armed with our cookbooks and eager for our turn!

Lacey went first. She was a little nervous. Her hands were sweating, but she politely wiped them off before shaking hands with Ree. Lacey's always thinking of others...

I was up next. My heart was beating fast… I was about to embrace Pioneer Woman. I wanted to invite myself to the ranch. I wanted to tell her I love Mike. I wanted to tell her that even though I’m getting married in May I have a huge crush on her husband- Chaps do it for me too, Pdub!

Once I was with her all I said was, “Hey! I’m Jessica. I love your blog. It’s great!” Not exactly everything I wanted to say, but still so much fun!

We then took a picture together. For the picture I leaned down and put my arm around her. During the picture I thought… Oh no, I think this might have been a little too close… so after the picture I apologized for getting in her personal space. She politely told me she has four kids and personal space doesn’t exist for her. We both laughed and she signed my cookbook.

(She's so pretty. She looks like she's just turned 30. She was trendy and thin and everything I want to be at 40!)

Ashley was up next. Ree told her that she favored Jenny Garth. What a compliment!

After the meet and greet with Ree, we moved on down to where her best friend, Hyacinth, and her sister, Betsy (or Wetsy if you are familiar with the Pdub's blog), were sitting. They gave us each a Pioneer Woman T-shirt and chatted with us for a bit. They were both so sweet. Hyacinth told us we looked younger than most of Pdub’s loyal followers. I proceeded to tell her that I was getting married and Pdub’s cookbook was going to come in handy since I was going to be cooking supper more often (or at least that’s what Ryan thinks).

Betsy took our picture with Ree's camera (hopefully for the blog) and we said our goodbyes.

Overall, it was a great way to spend a day out of the office. We shopped, ate two great meals, watched a great movie and to top it all off we met Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. It was everything we expected and more! What a day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesdays with Harley- The Charlie Edition

This was supposed to be a post of sweet pictures of Harley and Charlie in front of the Christmas tree, however, Harley would not cooperate for the picture so we had to take a few of just sweet Charlie.

I wish you could tell from the pictrue how big Charlie has gotten. He's huge and only six  months old. He dominates Harley.

Here's a picture of one of my many attempts to get Harley to pose with Charlie...

I'm just sayin'- If one was doing what he was supposed to be... the other was not. This is just one of many bad shots... They just weren't in the Christmas Spirit... but I love them all the same.

Thanksgiving Vacation (sort of)

Wow… I feel like Thanksgiving is supposed to be the one holiday that does not require much more than eating big and taking it easy. Not so much the style for our Thanksgiving. Between Ryan and myself, we had four Thanksgiving Dinners to attend and on top of that everyone was in town for the holiday, so when we weren’t hanging with the fam we were hitting the town with friends.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving we packed up our tailgating gear and headed to Auburn, AL for the Iron Bowl. No shopping for us- we had bigger fish to fry. For those of you not from Alabama the Iron Bowl is the big football rivalry between to two SEC Colleges in the state, Auburn University (whoo hoo) and the University of Alabama.
We had several hours to tailgate prior to the game, which, as always, was a lot of fun!

Then it was game time. I won’t recap the game, but Auburn dominated the #2 team in the nation for the majority of the game, but couldn’t hold on the lead in the last quarter. According to Ryan, a loss is a loss and it doesn’t matter what the team did during the game- it’s the outcome that matters…and I quote “there is no such thing as a moral victory- we lost and that’s that.”

So the game didn’t turn out quite like we would have liked, but it was a great holiday weekend all the same. We got to spend some good quality time with both family and friends. We were on the go the entire break... I now need a vaction to recover from my holiday vaction!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New to the Farm

We have a new member at our Family Farm. We have two donkeys that live at our farm. We originally purchased the male donkey, known as Eddie Murphy, to protect the cattle from coyotes and whatnot. However, he was lonely so we answered in a big way and gave him a companion, if you will. We purchased a little lady donkey we like to refer to as, Mel B. (at least that what I call her).

Side note: for those of you unsure about the names, let me explain... Eddie Murphy was the voice of "Donkey" in the movie, Shrek. In real life Mel B., former member of The Spice Girls is Eddie Murphy's baby's mama... It's the only thing that made sense to me.

Well, the two jackasses got together and created this little guy (or girl- I'm not sure of the sex of the new donkey):

We are positive that Eddie Murphy is indeed the baby daddy in this situation, as Eddie and Mel. B. were pretty candid in their love and affection for one another.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cracked me UP!

This made me laugh out loud at my desk to the point that several people asked me what was going on. Enjoy!


It's taken a bit longer this year for fall to show its colors, but it finally got here. I love fall, as do many others, for this reason.

We had beautiful weather this past weekend, which required that we get outside and enjoy the day. So we headed down to the Fish Camp for an afternoon of watching football and night around a campfire.

The boys getting ready for a serious game of horseshoes.

I caught a rare moment of love between teammates.

Ryan and I babysat sweet Maggie again this weekend. She loved spending the day outside...

But loved all the attention she got from the boys even more...

The rest of the evening was spent around the campfire.

Can't complain about a fun weekend with good friends and great weather.

*Please note I also worked pretty hard on increasing the curb appeal at Ryan's- a post is sure to come. Please check in later this week!

The DC Sniper

What do I have in common with the ‘DC Sniper’? Virtually nothing, however, we did travel along the same path back in 2002.

Let me start from the beginning. In September of 2002 a liquor store clerk was killed during a robbery in Montgomery, AL. This was tragic, however, certain parts of Montgomery are not the safest places so one would assume that some cracked out person needed some money and the robbery went bad. Little did we know this was the start of what would be days of media coverage and fear due to an unknown sniper.

Around that same time my mom and grandmother were planning a trip to Virginia to visit long lost friends from back in the day. Eventually they convinced me to join them and in October of 2002 we embarked on a road trip.

We had our route mapped out. We would travel along I-85 through Atlanta and on through The Carolinas and then would hop on to I-95 in Virginia to finish out the day. It was going to be a long haul, a little more than 11 hours, so we had packed snacks to eat along the way. We planned to stop at a rest area here and there to stretch and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

We had no idea that we were traveling along the same route as a crazed sniper. We weren’t listening to the radio for “breaking news updates”- we were listen to a romance novel on CD, because that’s how we roll. Hell, I drove a good bit of the trip may have cut off that infamous blue caprice that the sniper was traveling in a time or two. Who knows?

When we arrived at our hotel we finally realized what was going on. Innocent bystanders were being killed in the Virginia area along I-95… someone reading a book on bench, someone waiting for the bus, someone innocently pumping gas. It’s just a blessing that the sniper didn’t stop off at rest area and shoot three innocent ladies from Alabama who had simply stopped to stretch and have a snack.

It is a coincidence that my mom, grandmother and I traveled along the same path from Alabama to Virginia and had no idea that we were ever in harms way, but neither did lady who was reading her book, or the man pumping gas. No one should have to be fearful of being shot while on a family vacation, or while doing his or her day-to-day tasks. However, in today’s times you don’t know what could be lurking around the next corner or in the blue caprice that you may or may not have cut off…. and that’s the scariest part of the world we live in.

Today the ‘DC Sniper’ is scheduled to be executed. I can only hope that this bring some closure to the families of his victims.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Our Weekend in a Nutshell:

This weekend was a lot of fun. Friday night consisted of sushi and cocktails (this is the way to my heart) in Auburn followed up by a visit to one of our old college haunts, Sky Bar.

Saturday morning Ryan and I went to the Auburn v. Ole Miss game. It was a great game. Auburn won (whoo hooo), but I had few issues. First, I told Ryan not to worry about getting any cash at the ATM because I was prepared, however,  when we got in the stadium and ordered our hot dogs and drinks it turned out my cash had fallen out of my pocket. So I had to tell the guy working the concession stands that we couldn't afford our hot dogs or drinks... It made me really sad. But then I remembered that one of my coworkers had given me $40 to pick her up something from the jewelry store and I had tucked it away in the side pocket of my purse... So I was able to use the cash, which was a life saver because Ryan and I hadn't eaten anything all day.

After all the issues at the concession stands we finally made it to our seats. I sat my drink down to wipe off the seat and a rude man knocked my drink over and didn't even apologize!  To top it off I got mustard on my jacket and jeans, but the stadium hot dog was worth all the nonsense.

Also note, Ryan and I made it on the JumboTron (big screen) during the second quarter. I had been joking about it during the first half and when I saw the camera coming our way... I quickly fluffed my hair and insisted that Ryan wave with me. I may or may not have knocked small children out of the way... for a moment on the big screen...(ha)

After the game several of us were sitting around watching football and began talking about Halloween, as it was October 31. One thing lead to another and we ended up at Harper Hill Church; "one of the most haunted places in the state of Alabama" according whoever makes that type decision...

picture from website...

As we ventured to the haunted church we told scary stories. By the time we arrived at the church I was too scared to get out of the car (I'm a sissy). I attempted to snap a picture, but it didn't turn out. I can only assume that a ghost didn't want his or her picture taken.

Sunday I wrapped up the weekend at my cousin's second birthday party.

Kylee, the birthday girl and sweet Cooper lending a helping hand. Please note Kylee's boots- this was our gift to her... I think she really liked them!

Oh- and just to let you know... Ryan and I made our first big purchase 'together' as we bought a 42 inch flat screen TV. Let me just say, it has really enhanced our television viewing. My only fear is that it will take Ryan's obsession with football to entirely different level (and not one that I would like).

Overall, I would venture to say that we had a great weekend! Hope you did too!
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