Monday, February 28, 2011

trying to be a winner :)

I am not a person who wins things... toys at carnivals, the lottery, radio contests... BUT, I am going to try and try again... this time, I am trying to win TWO sets of Spring Units for my classroom. Recently, I have discovered teaching blogs and I am a little obsessed - especially with Cara at The First Grade Parade and with Abby at The Inspired Apple - anyways, Cara is having a giveaway along with Jodie at Fun in First and I am trying to win :) I got an extra entry because I blogged about the giveaway!! Wish me luck. I will let you know if I win!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

our own little Chance

Remember this movie?

Well, I do - because Granny was such a dog/cat lover, we were all lovers of this movie and watched it (on VHS) on a regular basis... this morning, while Cotton and I were out for our morning walk, I realized that he reminds me of one of the dogs from this movie... not the wise Shadow, but Chance - the one with his tail stuck in the air like he could attack a squirrel at any given moment... that's Cotton :) The point this morning when it hit me was when Cotton was chasing the birds (knowing that he could NEVER catch them) - I remembered a scene (it has been like ten years since I have watched this movie), but Chance chases some animal (maybe a porcupine... seems like I remember some bristles in his fur) with as much passion as Cotton chased those birds with all morning.

Our family talks about it all the time but we don't know what we would do without him. He is hilarious- from the jumps to go outside to Daddy feeding him a "Cotton Dog" every morning and night, he just provides entertainment for all. Maybe one day he will be wise like Shadow but in all reality, he is probably going to stay just like Chance- forever a kid :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

my 23rd

my 23rd birthday was this past Saturday (the 19th) - and can I just say that I am truly blessed beyond measure. On Friday, I was treated to lunch by my best friend, Kaley and her mom at the bakery. It was delicious :) and I had my first piece of cake... caramel - yummy! That day at school, we had parent/teacher conferences so we had no children - it was a peaceful day at the UWACS and I got a lot done schoolwise and in our classroom. The girls at work surprised me with some gifts after lunch - a summer sweater that I immediately put on, and an Alabama tervis tumbler. Kaley gave me a great picture frame with a quote about being friends on it :) can't wait to add some pictures and hang it up! I spent the afternoon with my precious nephew Rhett and little cousin Cole playing outside. That night, we had a birthday dinner at the Country Club. I was super excited this year because Daniel was able to celebrate my birthday with us - he is usually working :( the whole gang was there - even Amanda and Rhett... Dinner was great and I was surprised with a yummy Red Velvet cake made by Laura Booker. I guess I was so excited about cutting the cake, we didn't get a good picture but you get the point...

Saturday, my actual birthday, was perfect :) Daniel woke me up early to give me my present - Costas sunglasses...

I am $5 sunglasses girl so this was a BIG surprise! I got some good use out of them that day because the ENTIRE day was spent on the Tombigbee. And by the time the day was over, my eyes looked like this...

We (Daniel, Me, Morgan, Sara, and Tyler) put in the river at about 10:15 a.m. We rode in creeks, stopped on sand bars, and even had a picnic lunch in one creek. The day was gorgeous and I could not imagine spending my birthday in a better way!

We arrived at Bobby's Fish Camp where we spent the night in their river cabins. I must say that we were all surprised how nice the cabins were :)

and did I mention how much I love having Sara around... having been the only girl around all these boys for most of my life has been fun but it is now MORE fun to have another girl on these trips... and like I said in the last post, she is up for anything :)

We enjoyed a yummy supper and retreated to bed at about 8: 30 - it had been a long day. The ride back Sunday morning was just as pretty and the day was completed with Hardees breakfast!

My 23rd year is already off to a great start. I finish my online class next Saturday - which makes me three hours closer to graduation :)

Friday, February 18, 2011


Remember my post yesterday about how ready I am to be through with school... well, I am almost through with my online class and have been working all morning on a project... so I am taking a break - to blog... about quail hunting... again :) Daniel got to come this time and I was so excited. I love spending time outdoors with him and it was a BEAUTIFUL day!

Daniel and Morgan peering over the banks of the Tombigbee to look for the one that got away. The drop-off is very high and all we could see was a little quail strutting around :) I am sure he was laughing at us!

Let me preface the below pictures by bragging on Sara - she really is the best girlfriend in the world. Morgan is super lucky to have her because when I say she will do anything with him, I mean anything. Whether it is waking up at 4 am to go duck hunting on 19 degree weather or learning to hunt quail, she is a trooper. I love the below picture how everyone else is up and ready and she is totally non-chalant about shooting!

and she ALWAYS has her lip gloss ;)

and my really cool picture last week... this is how it turned out this week :( Maybe next time...

and last but not least... the crew - Rosie, Sage, Daniel, Morgan, Sara, and Gauner

This weekend, our outdoor adventures will not have us on the banks of the river but right in the middle of it. Tomorrow, we are traveling south by boat to eat at Bobby's Fish Camp, "rough-it" in one of the cabins, and visit the Wildlife Refuge to see if we spot any alligators... more pictures and a post to come :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A low point...

Have I mentioned that my best friend Kaley and I are in pretty much all of the same classes? Did I also tell you that it has been this way for three years now? And did I mention that I am the dorky one... the one who always knows what is going on and most of the time has it completed before time...

With all of that said, did I also mention that this is my LAST semester of Graduate school and that I am counting down the days (79)? Because last night, I hit a low point... sitting in the middle of my class, I heard the instructions, knew we were supposed to group ourselves, got in my group, and was totally lost. Not the kind of lost that I could fake but the kind where I had NO clue what was going on... and to make matters worse, Kaley did... she quickly told me what to do and, her exact words, "this is really a low point for you isn't it? You had no clue what was going on and I did..." - thanks for pointing that out Kaley, you're the BEST! haha - in all reality, I am just glad to have her there to keep me sane most of the time and I do my best to keep us on track although I am slacking these days...

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Humbling Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day... the day that I used to hate... with a passion. However, for the past three years, I have had the most wonderful Valentine in the world. Daniel really is the greatest guy in the world. This Valentine's was one that was humbling and made me realize how truly blessed I am to have him.

Daniel's sister Lori and niece Reese were coming in from Phoenix for the weekend so we knew he would have to come home this weekend. We had dinner in Meridian on Friday night and did a little more quail hunting on Saturday. The plan for Sunday was to go to church and then head to Daniel's house (in Vance) so we could go out to eat (BBQ Nachos at Dreamland) exchange gifts, and get to see eachother for a few minutes on Valentine's morning. Long story short, on the way to Daniel's (he was following me), we pulled over in York where he told me he was not feeling well. He got something to drink and we traveled on. By about the Knoxville exit, he called and said he HAD to go on home that he was not feeling well... At this point, I will admit that I was mad. In my head, I was thinking, suck it up, it's Valentine's Day - so selfish of me and I have already apoligized to Daniel for even thinking that way. When we got home, he rested for a few minutes and decided we would try to go again. We made it about 8 miles and I told him to just stop, I could tell he was miserable but he was willing to try for me... we stopped and got some milk and went back home. I ended up eating mac and cheese by myself while he spent most of the afternoon in the bathroom sick as a dog. He was so pitiful - sick and still trying to make me happy. We ended up driving to Tuscaloosa to go to the ER but it was packed so we went back home. He went to bed and said he felt much better after resting... this morning, he was still feeling sick and when I left he was heading to the doctor. He was apoligizing for "ruining" my Valentine's - it was then that I realized when someone, like Daniel, treats you like a princess everyday of the year, Valentine's Day is really just another day.

And he gives the best gifts... If anyone around me ever mentions a massage, I am the first to say "ooooooooohhhhhhh, that would be so nice" - Daniel, like always, remembered and that is what I got yesterday, a one hour massage, a manicure, and a pedicure from Gilda's in Tuscaloosa. I can't wait. He is really that thoughtful every day of the year... Oh, and the best part was yet to come. When I walked in school this morning, there were half a dozen red roses up front for me.

I know that even though he was sick this morning, he took the time to order me flowers because he knew it would make me happy. Daniel is the epitome of unselfish love - and I am thankful to have him today and everyday :)

And last but not least... my kiddos - when I walked in this morning, my desk was overflowing with Valentine's gifts from my students and their parents. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful class and a great first teaching experience!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday K-Dawg

This is Kaley...

- tomorrow is her birthday (but I have outside plans and could possible forgeto to post). Anyways, it's her 23rd birthday. Which excites me becuase that means mine is in seven eight days. Kaley and I grew up 45 minutes down the road from eachother - but never met until we were freshmen - I should mention here that we were creepy Facebook friends prior to ever meeting face to face... weird :) Anyways, I will say we met at the orientation party and leave it at that... From then on, we were casual friends until that fateful summer class - EE 300 - when we became inseparable. From that point on, I think we have taken about twenty (maybe more) classes together... and we get REALLY sad when we are not together. We graduated undergraduate together and will both finish our Master's degrees in May, 2011. Oh yeah, and we teach together. Our doors are literally five steps apart. I would like to say we leave our doors open and chat it up all day but in reality, we give each other looks in the hall that say it all and we rarely get to visit - three and four year olds seem to need a little supervision :)

Anyways, it's your birthday so I feel the need to post my top ten memories and things I love about you:

10. the time in Biology when you (a) when the teacher asked if there was any other names we went by - you told me to tell her C-Dawg and I almost peed my pants... on the first day AND (b) dressed up like a gumball machine - and won 25 bonus points :) still jealous!

9. your family - especially Tam and Kins - and Jay on the dancefloor... enough said!

8. the night me, you, wesley, blake, and ty rode around - lots of funny memories from that night... and some cute pictures....

7. the night of the orientation party when we were like juniors (not quite 21) - we can just leave it at that - we both know how it ended!

6. the way you push me to make As-  if you have called me a dork one time, you have called me one 1,000 times :) but I know you love me and appreciate my dorky-ness more than most people!

5. the looks we get when we are traveling together - I am sure people think we are strange... I mean we are kind of a package deal in the classes, right?

look at all that long hair :)

4. the way you and Ty make fun up me and Daniel for "kissing" when we are on the phone - when ya'll do really silly things, too...

3. our St. Augustine trip - the flight, the food, the trip, paper Courtney, the in depth stories on the beach  - "kids, BUCKLE UP" - it was all too much fun!

2. your desire to see the world amazes me - I am so content to be here and you would move to Africa tomorrow - it inspires me to want to see the world but I think I'll stay close to AL for a little while longer :)

1. ... the way that I am already certain that Lola will be playing with my un-born, un-named children one day - even if we have to travel to Africa or Aliceville for a play date :)

Happy Birthday, K-DAWG : )

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quail Hunt

This past Saturday was a rather cold morning that turned out to be a beautiful day. We Morgan has bird dogs. A German Wirehair named Gauner who is a big baby and absolutely precious, and a shorthair pointer named Rosie who is the prissiest, daintiest dog ever. His dogs are so personable and lovable and they are all funny in their own ways. Since the dogs had not gotten a chance to really "work" this year, we  Morgan planned a quail hunt. The quail are set out in traps and the dogs use their sniffers and skills to find the quail - someone pulls the trap and everyone shoots. I am the official photographer. The dogs are amazing and outdoor pictures are my favorite. Below are a few (of the 300) pictures that I took Saturday. Oh, almost forgot to mention... this was Sara's first quail hunting trip. She also killed one right off the bat  :) I think you will know which picture captured that moment! We are having another hunt this weekend so I am sure there will be a similar post next week... Until then :)

The "Head Hunter" - it really is an obsession!
Girls can work, too - please notice the HOT pink collar!
On a total accident, I caught the shells ejecting from Daddy's gun -
I could not make this shot again in 100 years, but I will be trying this weekend!

Zoomed in as best I could, a little blurry but still a very cool picture!

When we take breaks, we have to put Gauner in the kennel so he will rest and not run wild... This is very typical!

Did I do that?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Regarding the post below...

Once a pageant girl?? Haha- not me BUT my best friend Kaley is, was, and always will be :) so consider it a guest post- In all reality, I borrowed her computer and fsiled to logout before she blogged last night :/ my bad Kaley!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And the Winner is....

Once a pageant girl, always a pageant girl.... At least that seems to be the case for me. As you all well know I LOVE pageants, love them. This is my first year on the Miss UWA committee which means I finally get to do what I love (and what my nerves can handle) and thats the backstage stuff. We had a week and half of late night practices and tonight we crowned Miss UWA 2011.

I say we because due to another "winter storm" in Alabama our emcee for the night Ashley Davis Miss AL 2010 wasn't able to make it. So as you can see from the above picture I took over. At 4:00 this afternoon Jason calls to tell me the news. Of course without any hesitation I said yes. It was a BLAST!

Maegen Moore crowning our new Miss UWA 2011 Claire Findley
As always, my fan club came! Just like the good ole days. And I'm not going to lie it made me miss it. Hey, maybe I'll start back up..... But probably not, I kind of have something else up my sleeve :)

Danielle/Sister/Stylist: who dressed me in 5min flat

Courtney/Personal Assistant

Brittany/ Soon to be pageant girl.... maybe? We hope so!

My number 1 fan! Seriously, he thinks I hung the moon... Why beg to differ?

The icing on the cake tonight was being able to announce the winner. That has been my dream since forever. Yes I even did the cheesy hold out before announcing it. It went a little something like this..... "And your Miss University of West Alabama 2011 is...... I don't know if you guys know this or not but this is something I've always wanted to do. Like all jokes aside, mark it down, chalk it up, put it in the record books and scratch it off the bucket list. (insert fake laugh from the audience)... And the winner is, contestant number 4 Claire Findley!"

Excited to see Claire fulfill her duties throughout her reign she's an outstanding young woman!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Crafting

My obsession has grown... Last week, Amanda and I made a quick JoAnn's trip... where I found the cutest summer fabric- and of course, I had to make Rhett a shirt. JoAnn's had no shirts so I waited until I could make a Hobby Lobby trip and found this cute blue shirt... and then I let the Wonder Under work its magic and here we are with a personalized shirt complete for about $5 - now if I could only learn to stitch around the letters for a more "finished" look.

I also made Sara's nephew (who will make his arrival next month) a hat to wear in the hospital... lucky for him, he has a short name that will fit across this tiny hat :)

And I don't have a picture but I also crafted up Cotton an outfit with his name on it- the outfit is white and it makes him look yellow :(