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The Road to 15 starts tomorrow!  I teared up watching this video.  We won the National Championship the season after I graduated from UA.  Ever since then, I have worn our 2009 National Championship jersey with Mark Ingram’s number 22 on it.  Tomorrow, I retire that one for my new 2011 National Championship jersey with Trent Richardson’s number 3.  As I did with my last one, I will wear this jersey every game until we earn National Championship #15!!  A precious roommate of mine from college posted on my Instagram photo of my new jersey the other day saying “I hope you’re not too attached to that jersey.  The Road to #15 starts Saturday!”  She couldn’t be more right!!!

I know it burns my Daddy to read this, but I am PROUD to be a graduate of the University of Alabama. Tomorrow at 5 p.m. I will be glued to our TV cheering on my team as they open against Michigan!  It kills me that they’re playing in Dallas and I won’t be there, but I’ll still be beaming with pride from Oregon!

My UA Championship Jerseys. The one on the right I will be sporting until we win National Championship #15!

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!!

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I ran across Volunteer Traditions on Facebook a few weeks ago.  I fell in love.  Easy for me to do with UA or Southern attire, but none the less, I fell in love.

The tshirts I bought us say “Fall means football in the South”.  I bought the white with maroon text for William and the grey with crimson text for me.  One of these days I’ll take a picture of us both in them–we’ll be cute. 🙂  I also got both of us koozies.  I think I like them because they’re so subtle.  They’re a shout out of state pride but not too overbearing.  The koozies have the Alabama and Mississippi state flags in the outline of the state itself.  I ordered the navy one for William just because I liked it, but it was pointed out to me that it was an Ole Miss koozie (which I didn’t think about) and William wasn’t too happy about that.  Luckily, the amazing folks at Volunteer Traditions threw a red one into our order which is much more MSU than the navy!  (Whew.  Crisis averted.)

Our tshirts! ‘Fall means football in the South’ Sure does, sure does.

Mississippi koozies, Alabama koozies, and my Alabama koozies they threw in for me!

I will also say that I called them to ask about sizing on the tshirts and I have never talked to nicer people.  They were SUPER helpful and we chatted a bit about which SEC schools we’d gone to, etc. etc.  They have a cool story too, if you’re interested you should take a look.  Even though I didn’t grow up in Alabama, my family is from there and so is half of my heritage (my momma’s side o-the-family) so I am always MORE than proud to represent AL wherever I am.  It helps that I went to UA for school…but regardless, I love me some Alabama.

I’ve got my eyes on this grey hat next.  I have two UA caps, both crimson, so I’m needing one that isn’t a shade of red!  Check out Volunteer Traditions, the Bryants are so happy to support them!!!!!

I’ve got my eyes on this next!

Invitation to our BCS National Championship watching party!

The last time Alabama was in the BCS National Championship game, 2009, we were living in Austin, TX and I wanted SO badly to go to the game.  It was in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl and I tried so hard to get us tickets.  I actually thought I had snagged us some at one point but it turned out to be too good to be true.  We hosted some friends over at our house to watch the game and I swore up and down that the next time we were in the Championship game, I would be there.  Little did I know that it would be a short 2 years later and we would be living on the other side of the country.

Needless to say, we weren’t able to make it to the game this year either.  It was in New Orleans and I’m quite sure I was one of the ONLY ones that wasn’t there out of my college friends (that is an exaggeration but it’s almost true).  I was glad the game was so close to UA because it makes for easy traveling for the fan base.  And though I was very sad we weren’t going to be able to afford to get there, I planned a BCS National Championship watching party at our house to make up for it!

Roll Tide!

I pulled out a lot of my Alabama memorabilia for the dining room table.  I wore my jersey from the last championship and invited over all my Junior League girls (luckily they are mostly SEC fans and NONE from LSU so they were all pulling for Bama!)  We had a few other friends join us as well that are football fans though it’s hard to find SEC fans out here in Oregon!

Even my sweet husband was able to make it for the second half–he’s juggling graduate school, teaching, free lance work, etc.  He’s a busy bee!  But he came in at the beginning of half time, changed into his Bama shirt and was ready to cheer on the Tide for the second half of the game!!

So incredibly thankful for this girl and her husband!
I made two fans of Yellow Hammers out of these ladies.

Because I was no where NEAR the game, I felt I needed to bring Alabama to my friends here.  I made Yellow Hammers and they were a huge hit!  In case you don’t know, Yellow Hammers are the drink that is served at Gallettes, a bar on the Strip, on game days.  I only had one of my classic Gallettes cups here in Oregon with me but I did have a bunch of Alabama styrofoam cups for everyone’s drinking pleasure.  And if you’re curious the recipe, shoot me a message and I’ll give it to you!

photo-21
Watching the game…at a commercial…
I whipped out a bunch of my Alabama memorabilia for the tables-cape!
Alabama ‘A’ cupcakes made by Ashley and her sister Jamie!

I had all sorts of treats for us to eat as well as taco soup for dinner.  AND Caitlin came through for us and made her fantastic corn bread and everyone was SO glad to see it!  (it’s amazing!)

Some fantastic ladies!
Miss Casey and I and our cups! Glad that Ole Miss grad was able to come cheer on my team! She’s so gracious!
Me and Miss Anna! (yet another wonderful JLP friend!)

Overall it was a wonderful evening filled with wonderful company and an even MORE wonderful outcome to the game (sorry to any LSU fans out there)!  I may or may not have cried at the end of the game.  And like each week, our victory was topped off with a phone call from my Mimi.  We talk after every Bama win and she and I were both in tears this year.  What a sweet victory and end to a wonderful season.  14 National titles.  You can’t beat that!  I am convinced that no one but fellow Southerners will understand how much a football victory can mean to you and your family.  And I don’t expect anyone to understand why it brings me to tears.  But it does.

Today and ALWAYS I am PROUD to be an alumna of the University of Alabama.  Even though my daddy considers it a somewhat inferior school, UA gave me 4 of the BEST years of my life.  ROLL TIDE ROLL!

–And as one more side note, if you are a Bama fan, you know THIS win was special because Nick Saban was grinning from ear to ear!

The whole gang who came to cheer on my Tide! (and Lonny who chose to wear an LSU jersey to make me mad! Ha!)
My amazing wristbands from Mr. Lonny Hurley!

Denny Chimes on A-Day game

I was lucky enough to have gotten to spend this past weekend in one of my favorite places on earth.  TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA!  Home of the University of Alabama (where I went to college) and some of my favorite memories.  This past weekend was our annual spring game, called the A-Day game.  My cousin, Zack is looking at UA for college and I had the privilege of showing him around campus for the weekend.  I got to see wonderful old friends, spend time with my cousin and his dad, went on an amazing tour of the best stadium in college football…and well I need a weekend to recover from my weekend.

Precious, precious girls who let me sleep on their couch for the weekend! PPL!

Texarkana Represent! The one and only Lyd who hung out with me this weekend...dry sockets and all!

Wonderful friends--Hannah, Julie, and Lydia

I know most people have fond memories from college, but mine are especially precious to me.  When I was 18 I thought it was the best idea in the world to move 9 hours away from home.  Though it was difficult at times, I have to give my 18 year old self some props.  Hands down one of the best decisions I have ever made.  If nothing else, meeting these girls pictured in this post was worth every minute of homesickness I had.  They were my family for 4 years and I don’t know where I’d be without them.

SUS! Another Texarkana survivor and one of my favorite girls ever!

One of my best friends (and bridesmaid in my wedding), Hannah, now has a big fancy job with Crimson Tide Sports Marketing.  Her office is INSIDE of Bryant-Denny Stadium and she hooked us up with an amazing tour of the stadium.  My uncle even stole some Coca-Cola from Coach Saban’s fridge!

Bryant-Denny Stadium

The Walk of Champions from inside Bryant-Denny. You can see Coach Sabans statue still wrapped up and a guard sitting next to it awaiting its reveal before Saturdays game!

Here are some of the other statues of the other famous UA coaches to have brought home a National Championship.

Coach Gene Stallings, National Champions 1992. You can see the space reserved for Coach Saban in the background.

The Man, The Legend, Coach Bear Bryant (strong last name)

Coach Nick Sabans statue revealed last Saturday before the A-Day game.

Hannah and I inside the stadium

Bryant-Denny Stadium

We had to take a classic Bear Bryant picture.  They had just finished painting the “ALABAMA” in the end zone when we took this so I now have some white paint on the heel of my cowboy boots.  Ah well.

Coach Paul Bear Bryant

Look familiar?!

We think were cool. Ha!

For the rest of the weekend, I just spent time with old friends which is about the best thing you can do in Tuscaloosa.  So many things have changed so it’s a little weird being there and being unfamiliar with the local hangouts, but somethings have stayed the same just the way I like them!

Some of my dearest friends in Birmingham, Rachel, Jana, and Katie Mac.

One of my Pi Phi little sisters took a break from CPA studying to come hug my neck! Love her!

Precious sorority sisters at the NEW Innisfree!

Another favorite friend of mine!!

Mary Catherine who has the best head of hair Ive ever seen in my life!

I’ll leave you with this picture.  This is what the Alabama football players see as they walk out of their locker room heading out onto the field in Bryant-Denny stadium.  There is nothing else to say but THIS. IS. ALABAMA. FOOTBALL.

This. Is. Alabama. Football.

Roll Tide Roll!

Bryant Denny Stadium- Tuscaloosa, AL

Oh man do I love football season.  We’ve been doing a lot of football watching around the Bryant house so I thought I’d share some of it with you.  The above picture is of Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL home of The University of Alabama Crimson Tide (where I went to college).  This stadium is probably in my top 5 favorite places I’ve ever been. Call it lame, call it cool, call it whatever you want…I LOVE Alabama Football!  Our stadium was just expanded again and now holds a staggering 101,821 people making it the fifth largest stadium in the nation.  Let me tell you one thing–it is LOUD in there.

Davis-Wade Stadium- Starkville, MS

Here is another place that I love.  This is Davis-Wade Stadium in Starkville, MS home of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (where Mr. Fancy Pants went to college). Both State and Alabama are SEC schools so we have some friendly rivalry going on in our house from time to time.  Avey has become a really big football fan and demanded new game day gear for this football season.  So we bought him new collars and jerseys for both Alabama and Mississippi State.  I’d venture to say he’s the one that’s fancy now!

Avey's Alabama and Mississippi State football jerseys

Avey's Game Day collars. Yes they're engraved with his deets on the back. Just in case he gets too excited about a game and runs out the front door.

Avey dons his gear during each game which ultimately means he changes clothes a lot on Saturdays.  It’s ok though because he’s a true fan.

The Fancy Pants family in our MSU gear during the MSU/LSU game. MSU ALMOST had a win that game!

These pictures were yesterday during the Alabama/Florida game.  Avey may look upset in these pictures and you may think, “Hum, it’s probably because you put a DOG’S football jersey on a cat.”  I encourage you NOT to jump to that conclusion my friends.  He was just really into the game and was not in a picture taking mood.  But we had to capture the moment so he got over it.

Avey and his Alabama collar

Here are Avey and I during the 4th quarter when I decided to take pictures. Mr. Fancy Pants and Avey were not amused with my timing. In my defense, it was during a time out.

Man oh man do we love some football here!  A few weeks ago we flew to Mississippi to see all of William’s college buddies and went to an MSU game.  I’ll post about that soon!  In the meantime… ROLL TIDE ROLL and GO DAWGS!

Drum roll please…I can finally post the last part of my ‘Favorite Things’ because #4 arrived in the mail from my parents’ house in Texarkana, TX on Saturday.  Not sure what took it so long getting here, but it just prolonged the suspense!  Looking back at the other posts, coupled with this one, I didn’t want these to be in any particular order (i.e. #1 is my most favorite and #15 my least favorite of the favorites).  So, take these as the last 5 rather than the top 5.  With one exception.  #1.  It’s legit my favorite.

Here goes!  Enjoy!

5.  Official University of Alabama Football Jersey

#22 Mark Ingram the 75th winner of the Heisman Trophy and the first from the University of Alabama.

I am a proud graduate of the University of Alabama.  How I ended up there is not that exciting of a story but it was the perfect place for me for college.  I loved every minute of my 3 1/2 years there.  I grew up in Texas so I have long known a Southerners love for football.  I grew up in a household with a father that loves the Arkansas Razorbacks and loathes the University of Texas (the hatred dates back to when both schools were in the Southwestern Conference, which also included Baylor University, my parents’ alma mater, though football is not Baylor’s forte).  Slightly unrelated, I’m convinced by dad cannot fully enjoy himself when he comes to visit us solely because he knows that UT’s campus is a few miles away. Ha!  Anyway, I have always loved SEC football (and yes, it is the best conference in the nation), but I didn’t understand love for football until I went to Alabama.  Those people know their football.  When I went to school there, I didn’t bleed Crimson, didn’t know the fight song, didn’t know the players for that matter…4 minutes in Bryant-Denny Stadium changed that.  You can’t help but be a fan.  The school spirit and love for Alabama’s deep football tradition is contagious.  That was all it took.  A dear friend that I met in my first weeks at Alabama sat with me during the first game and taught me the fight song and at the end of my first game I was screaming “Rammer Jammer”.

The official jersey of the 2010 BCS National Championship

Yes, I'm legit. Merry Christmas to me from Mr. Fancy Pants! The best gift EVER!

Needless to say, I was thrilled that Alabama made it to the National Championship last season and probably would’ve given my first born child for the chance to go to the game had I had the opportunity!  Not really, but I would’ve thought about it. Mr. Fancy Pants gave me this official National Championship jersey for Christmas last year before the game.  I think I was one of 2 people in Austin, TX cheering on the Crimson Tide on the evening of the game (the other being my roommate from my freshman year of college who also lives in Austin).  This fantastic jersey is Mark Ingram’s number, 22.  Ingram was the 75th winner of the Heisman Trophy and the first winner ever from the University of Alabama.  I watched his acceptance speech in Mighty Fine Burgers in Austin, TX and yes, I cried.  The rest of the restaurant was mad–in their burnt orange.

No offense to any of my UT fan friends (Mr. Fancy Pants and I actually are Texas fans, we are from Texas you know–except when they play Alabama), but it was a great year to be an Alabama fan.  And I’m so happy to have this jersey to commemorate it!  Roll Tide Roll!

4.  Wood carving of our initials inspired by our “save the dates”

Mr. and Mrs. Fancy Pants' Save the Dates

One of my favorite things about Mr. Fancy Pants and my wedding was our Save the Dates.  Our dear friend, Beverly Hayman-Polen (a fellow graphic design student at Mississippi State with Mr. Fancy Pants) designed our lovely Save the Dates for us. Bev now lives in Jackson, MS with her husband Neil and is the Artistic Director for Libby Story & Company. She is amazingly talented and creative and I love what she came up with for us.  As you can tell from the picture, she drew a tree on right side of the card with a heart including our initials.  Hanging from the branch was a little brown bag that held two cards, one with the wedding date information, the other with the hotel information.  We got so many compliments on these and with good reason–just look at how amazing they are!!!  Check out Bev’s website!

Cards that fit inside the bag on our Save the Dates

Save the Dates designed by Beverly Hayman-Polen

What makes these even more special to Mr. Fancy Pants and I is a gift that was given to us by Dr. Randy Brown.  Dr. B is Mr. Fancy Pant’s best friend Ryan’s dad. Mr. Fancy Pants and Ryan grew up together and were pretty much inseparable for the majority of their adolescent life.   Some of my best memories are with those two kiddos.  William and Ryan were Eagle Scouts together, and Dr. B was Troop 16’s leader (not sure the “official name” though I probably should know).  Dr. B and his wife are very special people to Mr. Fancy Pants and I and also to Mr. Fancy Pants’s whole family.  They through a party for us and some of our friends before we got married and that night Dr. B gave us this wood carving that he did for us–inspired by our Save the Dates.

Wood carving by Dr. B inspired by our Save the Dates

Detail of the intricate wood carving

This beautiful piece of art now hangs in our home.  It is a constant reminder of our engagement, wedding, and of a very special man.  I know I’ve written about this before, but it doesn’t get more personal or special than a gift that comes from the heart. Dr. B’s wood working is incredible and we’re honored to have such a personal piece made by him to keep forever!

The back of Dr. B's wood carving-a sweet note to us.

3.  Acapulco dishes

Acapulco dish collection

I know I’ve already posted once about these dishes (to refresh your memory, click here), however, these are some of my favorite things.  My mother, grandmother, and I all share a collection of this lovely china made by Villeroy & Boch.  When Mr. Fancy Pants and I got married, I told him that I wasn’t going to be those women who has 16 sets of dishes.  Sadly, I am well on my way.  Entertaining people in our home has quickly become one of my favorite things to do, and I can honestly say that I utilize all of the dishes and serving pieces that we got for wedding gifts (not because they’re needed when entertaining, but because I’m determined to prove to Mr. Fancy Pants that they aren’t a waste of space!)

My Acapulco collection, however, are and will always be my favorite pieces.  They’re unique and colorful and I love my family’s history with them.  They might fall into that category of “what’s beautiful to one is dreadful to another”, but to my Mom, my Mimi, and I, they’re perfectly lovely.

Acapulco bowls & salad plates

2. Family pictures

Wall of Family Photos (Bryants, Sarretts, Woods, Marshes, Brabhams)

I apologize for the quality of these pictures–I’m no photographer and it’s hard to photograph photographs without getting a flash on the glass.  I failed.  Ha!

This has been one of my favorite projects that I’ve worked on since Mr. Fancy Pants and I got married.  My mom had done this in my childhood home and I thought I’d incorporate it into our home as well.  I have collected pictures from William’s and my families, printed them all in black and white, and hung them all together on our guest room wall.  I love the reminder of where we came from and some of the faces on the wall are people that Mr. Fancy Pants and I miss everyday–it’s nice to have a reminder.  I also love the obvious joining of our two families through these old photographs.  Believe it or not, these have been a huge conversation piece for us.  I thought that they’d be generally overlooked by our friends, as most don’t care to hear stories of other people’s families, but they’ve been the topic of conversation during several parties we’ve had here at the apartment.  It’s funny to hear the comments people make–they’re all generally the same which we find comical.  The first is always about the uncanny resemblance that William has to his maternal grandfather (pictured with his wife, bottom row in the middle).  My other favorite comment was by one of my girl friends.  She said, “Who is this handsome man?”.  It was a picture of my mom’s father who I never met.  And yes, he was handsome–my mom looks just like him!

Detail shot of the left side of the wall

Detail shot of the right side of the wall

I love this idea–everyone has these old pictures of their family stuck in drawers and hidden in rooms where people never go–why not put them where people can see them?  I’d like to think that Mr. Fancy Pants and my family members would be honored to be making their debut in our home!

1.  Avey Tare

Meet Mr. Avey Tare

And finally, my #1 favorite thing…granted he’s not really a thing but he’s still my favorite and it’s my list of favorite things so here he is!  The kittiest of kitties…Avey Tare!

He’s pretty much the most handsome cat ever.  Avey has more personality than we know what to do with.  He’s nice to most people…with the exception of Mr. Fancy Pants’ brother Stephen, my dad, our friend Micah, and a few others.  We have no explanation to his reasoning as it appears his least favorite people are some of our favorites.  He just has bad taste apparently.  He loves ice cream, treats, hair rubber bands, and laying on his back with his paws and legs spread out for long periods of time.  We got him in November of 2006 and he lived with Mr. Fancy Pants in Starkville, MS during college.  It was here that he met two of his favorite people in the world, Landon and Julia.  Landon taught him some pretty cool tricks which makes him even more special.  While he lived with William and Landon, he had a tendency to tinkle on things: beds, couches, chairs, etc.  It was a bad time in the lives of all involved.  We think it was his equivalent of bed wetting.  Also, when he had surgery and became a little less of a man, if you know what I mean, he got an infection which also lead to some really nasty things.  All of this earned him the nick name of Mr. Avey Bottom.  Luckily after moving to Austin he’s turned a new leaf and is back to his crazy steller self minus the peeing on things that aren’t his litter box.  Basically he’s the coolest ever.  If you’ve never met him, well you’re missing out.

This is what Mr. Fancy Pants and I call "airing it out". He does this a lot. He's not what you would call a shy being.

Avey getting ready for work. He's not good at his job. He never brings home money--if he's making it, we're not sure what he does with it because he never pays rent.

Avey at Halloween. He was a jester. He loved his costume.

Avey at Christmas with his festive holiday collar.

I’ll leave you with this last image.  I hope you enjoyed my favorite things!

Here are my two favorite boys.

Mr. Fancy Pants and Avey Tare at the park. Yes, the cat is on a least. He needs his exercise.