"You know I like my chicken fried"

I am a southern girl - therefore, I like anything fried.

My mom and sister made an impromptu trip to Durham this weekend.  They decided on Thursday night to come up and we had a lot of fun.  We ate all kinds of junk food, watched the Olympics, and just had lots of girl time...and Ryan got to catch up on video games with the boys at  Matt & Wes'.  That made two weekends in a row that we got to enjoy family in town, lots of junk food, Olympics, etc... because Ryan's parents came up last weekend and we had a lot of fun with them here as well.

Anyways, back to my love for all things fried.  Mmmm...we even made home-made french fries on Saturday night.  I do love anything fried. 

What I don't love, however, is my hair fried.  And that is also something that happened this weekend...

I wish I had a picture for you, but all of the pictures...and videos...are on my sister's camera (and she left this afternoon) and my camera battery is currently dead, so those pics will just have to wait, but...

back to my hair.

So, this whole newlywed thing has put Ryan and I on a tight budget and it's just painful to shell out $150 for a cut and color, so I let my mom put her cosmetology license to good use last summer and foil and cut my hair.  Granted, she had gotten her cosmetology license 25 years ago and never did hair other than cutting ours as kids, but oh well.  She talked to our hair lady, Carolyn, (who's awesome by the way...she did my hair for my wedding) who gave her all the info on what exact color she uses on my hair and how she divides up the sections and foils at certain angles, etc, basically the run down so mom could do it herself.  So upon arriving home to GA late on a Friday night last May (yes, May...that was the last time my hair has been touched by color or scissors...horrible, I know!), my mom and I stayed up til the wee hours of the morning with her slowly and carefully foiling my hair. turned out awesome!  Looked just as good as it does when I pay sweet Carolyn $150 to do it, so I was super excited to know that from now on, mom can just do my touch-ups and I can put that $150 towards groceries or something more "essential" than hair.  She also cut it and layered it really well too. 

So, here's how my hair turned out - this is a picture from the very next day, a random one, but the only one I have from that trip home with my fresh cut and color that shows my hair.  My niece Abigail is the sweet baby girl I'm holding, who was quite miserable in this little mandatory life-vest by the way...

So, since it's now been 10 months since my last touch-up and my mom and sister came up for the weekend, I had them bring all the hair stuff so we could do my hair while they were here.  My mom did it by herself last time, but my sister has been working at Carolyn's shop some lately trying to learn the ins-and-outs of hair and is planning to attend the Paul Mitchell school either this fall or after going to college first (major life decision still to be determined) to ultimately do hair.  So she's observed Carolyn doing lots of foils lately, so this would be a fun little experiment. 

So, they attacked my hair yesterday.  I sat down in front of the movie "Into the Blue" and they went to foiling my head for the next two hours.  Jamie finished up the last row of foils on the top left side of my head and then sent me under the "heater".  So after about 5 minutes under the heater, the left side of my head started to burn.  I don't know if it was that the foil got hot and was hurting me or if the chemicals had gotten on my head or what.  Jamie came to check my hair when I started to yelp and looked slightly alarmed as she said "uhhh....i think it's blond enough.  let's get these off".  That's weird though because normally I'm under the heater for longer than that, but whatever they say.  They seemed a little worried that it might be a little too blond.  I was thinking oh well, at least spring is around the corner... lol.

So, mom takes a peek and confirms that we should get these foils off, that somehow my hair looks a little "too" blond.  So we all go to town picking foil off my head into the sink and then starts Jamie's nervous laughter, followed by looks of panic on my mom's face.  I couldn't see what they were seeing, but I knew something wasn't quite right. 

As they rinsed the product from my hair, Jamie could hardly contain her nervous laughter...or hysterics by this point and my mom just put her head in her hands on the counter.  All I could do was laugh with Jamie and wait to see what had happened. 

It turns out my hair is now a bright shade of yellow/orange in some places, really blond in others, and still kinda dark with little blond streaks in yet other places.

Think Vienna from the Bachelor - that shade of bleach yellow blond.  That's me now, except it's not all over my head, just concentrated in a very thick mohawk like stripe slightly off-centered to the left going down my head.  Another thing...since they didn't color down the entire strands of hair, just covered the roots, the color is concentrated on the top half of my hair and maintained its natural blond looking on the bottom half. It's a mess.

My poor mother just looked sick.  She just kept saying, "What will we do when Ryan comes back?  What will he say when he sees what we've done to your hair?".  My poor mother.  Then ensued the "I think that was your section" banter back and forth between them, haha! Although I will say...I'm pretty sure it was Jamie's section.  I think I'll wait until she actually GOES to Paul Mitchell school before I let her touch my hair again. 

I went ahead and washed it and started to dry it to see if that helped.  But that aforementioned yellow/orange section right in the front of my hair started to get all tangly and knotted under the heat.  So I stopped and ran a brush through find that my hair was breaking off in sizzled pieces.  That's when I finally started to get a tad bit nervous.  I'm ok with crazy colored hair for a day until I can get a professional to fix it, but FRIED HAIR??!?!?!  I've always had healthy hair has never been DAMAGED! So I decided to let it air dry. (and I will say that after it dried, it smoothed out and I don't think that it is damaged at all.)

About that time, Ryan and Matt walked in...and their mouths fell slightly open and their eyes slightly bulged at the sight of me.  And then they just referred to me as "the floozy from the street" for the rest of the weekend. was at that point that my poor mom's hand just went to her mouth and she had to walk out of the room.  Bless her heart.  It's just hair. It can be fixed.  But you could just see the guilt on her face - I should have prefaced this whole story by telling you that Mom is not crazy about doing my hair because she doesn't do hair (the May experience had been her first ever attempt at coloring with foil) and is scared of being responsible if it ever turned out not how I wanted it, but I had talked her into doing it. 

Anyways, lucky for me, salon's are closed on Sunday and Monday, so I did go to church with my hair lookin' like a floozy this morning and I will have to sit through my department meeting tomorrow before I can get my color, uh...."adjusted". 

Also lucky for me though, my personal stylist happened to be on hand this morning.  Jamie just manipulated my hair into a funky little style to hide the skunk-like stripe as much as she could  and I'll just have to do my best to imitate the 'do for work tomorrow I guess.    

I really think the whole thing is funny.  I mean I was never the rebel that would put a bold yellow stripe in my hair, so we'll just call this my "rebel yellow streak" hair-dying phase. :)  I'm just getting it out of my system.  My poor mom feels so bad about the whole thing and she will read this, so Mom, just know that I wrote about this because of how funny the incident was and that I am not worried about my hair. It will look fine on Tuesday! :)


Where it all started for us...

Valentine's Day will always be special for Ryan and I.  This is our 8th together (where does time go?!) and every year on February 14th, we celebrate our first and favorite Valentine's day (V'Day 2002) - where it all started for us.

A lot of you know our story, but on Kelly's Korner, people were sharing favorite Valentine's Day memories and not only did I think it would be fun to join in with mine, but I also thought it would be a good excuse to write out "our story". It's a little long, but it's a fun one!

It all started in 10th grade...I was the "new" girl to Buford High School, having just transferred from a small Christian school along with my younger brother, Matt, who was in 8th grade at Buford Middle and Kyler Case, a close family friend who transferred at the same time as us.  I'd never cheered before, but tried out with two other new girls in a make-up tryout and after making it, had to attend picture day for the football program along with the entire cheerleading squad and football team.  Picture Day was a couple days before school started so I went not knowing anyone, but meeting everyone at once that day.

Afterwards, I waited on Kyler in the field house because his mom was picking both of us up. While I waited, Coach Wood, the Football Coach and Athletic Director (and my future father-in-law...little did I know) who had taken my parents, Matt, and me on our tour of Buford back in the spring, walked up and started talking to me, asking how I was liking it so far and if I had met a lot of people in my grade that day.  I remembered he had told me he had a son on the football team that time we'd first met him, but thought he'd said his son was a Senior.  As we were talking, his spitting image walked around the corner from the locker room and Coach Wood introduced me to his son, Ryan, who he said was a sophomore and might be in some of my classes.  We talked just briefly before we left, but I left thinking he was really cute and really really nice.

The next day, I saw him again at open house and we talked for just a couple minutes as we found our lockers and then made our way to a covered dish dinner with the rest of the football players and cheerleaders.  A lot of the football players were cute...and flirty...but something stood out to me about Ryan.  He was very level-headed and mature and I could tell he was respected by the other guys on the team.  I left that night excited about my first day at Buford the next day and on the ride home, I asked my parents... "You know who I could see myself liking?"  And my mom turned around and looked at me with a smile and said "Ryan Wood".

Over the next couple of months, Ryan and I spent our mornings in the back hall sitting on the floor with the early crowd of kids because we got to school so early.  He rode in with his dad to work and my dad dropped me off on his way to work, so we were always early and killed the time sitting on the floor talking.  Meanwhile, my interest in him grew, but I couldn't tell how he felt.  I didn't admit to liking him, but I guess some people started to pick up on the fact that we were getting to know each other and a couple girls told me not to waste my time on Ryan Wood.  Several girls had been interested in him, but apparently he was too focused on football to notice or give a thought to being in a relationship at that time.  So I purposefully didn't get my hopes up and meanwhile, almost went out instead with one of the two other guys that were more aggressive with their interests and a lot more flirty (both of which ended up being in our wedding).  It came down though to me thinking I didn't want to date just anyone and I really liked Ryan...and even though I never would have been one to make the first move or call him or express interest in him, I guess I did have some kind of hope that even though he hadn't dated the other girls, MAYBE I'd be the lucky one.

After some time, people started to pick up on the idea of us dating...including his football coaches, and started the whole "will y'all just start dating already" stuff.  Guys on the team would ask him about it in the locker room and he played it cool and never gave them answers to any of their questions.  Meanwhile, those guys would come up to me and tell me "Oh, he's going to ask you out.  I heard he's just waiting til you turn 16 to ask you".  Then, my birthday came and went.  Then it was "Well, really I think he's waiting til his birthday so it's not weird that you're 16 and he's still 15" (our birthdays are only 13 days apart).  Then, nothing.  At that point, I was thinking nothing was ever going to happen - he must not be interested and I kept talking myself into not getting my hopes up - even though I really liked him at that point.  So when those guys kept trying to pry and find out what he was thinking with still no answers, they started saying "He must be waiting for Valentine's Day".  Even a couple of the coaches started giving him a hard time saying "what are you waiting for - you two are perfect together"

So, the day before Valentines Day, after Ryan and I had gone through the lunch line and then gone our separate ways with our lunch trays like we did every day...he to the football player table, and me to the table with the rest of our class, I went back to grab a fork.  When I did, Coach Simpson, one of the coaches who has known Ryan his whole life said, "Erin, I have a great idea.  Tomorrow, you and Ryan are going to sit at this table right here all by yourselves and have Valentines lunch together!".  I laughed and was like no way, that's not going to happen, but he kept convincing me it was a good idea and kept asking me if I'd do it if he set it up, finally saying, "well, if Ryan agrees to it, would you?".  So I said, "fine, because I know Ryan would not agree to that anyways."  Then I walked away laughing at Coach Simpson's tactics.  Ha, even the coaches were trying to push things along now.

Sure enough though, just a few minutes later, I saw Coach Simpson and his buddy Coach Snell (another coach that had known Ryan since he was a kid) over at the football players table talking to Ryan.  All the guys were laughing and some of them were looking my way and Coach Simpson made eye contact with me and just grinned and said "yep". And then I saw him go over and talk to the lunchroom lady, pointing to the table he had said we should eat at.  Ryan looked over at me from the football player's table and just grinned.

After lunch when we met up out in the hall while waiting for the bell to ring before heading to our next classes, I asked him if he had agreed to Coach Simpson's idea and he put his arm around me and grinned and said "I sure did - he said you agreed first though!". 

So, the next day on Valentine's Day, Ryan arrived in the back hall with a rose for me, which Mrs. Maltbie our math teacher gladly put in a vase and kept in her room all day for me.  Then we went about our classes.  I had somehow forgotten about Coach Simpson's plan or just didn't think it was going to actually happen...until I started hearing about it from people in all my different classes.  In 2nd period, a couple guys were like, "Hope you're excited about your Valentine's lunch today because Coach Simpson sure had us making table decorations for it instead of lifting weights during his weight-training class this morning".  A couple senior guys told me the same thing between classes.  I was thinking, "oh no, what has this turned into?".  Then again, in 5th period, the class right before lunch, a couple other football guys, Darius and Drew, started asking if I was ready for lunch with big ole' grins on their face.  So as soon as the bell rang, I headed to lunch not knowing what to expect.  As soon as I walked in, everyone was looking at me like they had been waiting for me to walk in.  I walked by the senior's table and they were all watching me - it was like the whole school knew about mine and Ryan's "Valentine's lunch date".  I looked over to the table Coach Simpson had suggested and it was decked out in Valentine's decor - a dozen red roses, heart confetti, stuffed bears, etc..., but no Ryan, who always beat me to lunch because his class was a lot closer than mine.  I walked up and Coach Simpson pulled out the chair for me and told me he had sent Ryan through the lunch line to get our lunches, so I waited awkwardly at the table while everyone in the lunch line went grinning by me.

Finally, Ryan came through the lunch line and sat down at the table with a big smile.  I guess his arrival was the cue because as soon as he sat down, all of the football guys and Coach Simpson and Coach Snell gathered around our table, linked arms, starting swaying and snapping and started singing "I've got sunshiiiiine on a cloudy day.  When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May...".  Ryan stood up and linked up arms with the guys behind him and joined in the snapping, swaying, and singing when they reached the chorus of "My Girl".  He smiled down and sang to me as I turned bright red - my face matched the color of my shirt I was told afterwards.  Some people in the lunchroom joined in singing and at the end, people clapped.  It was so embarrassing, but does make for a great memory after the fact.  I found out later that some teachers let kids who had been in 1st lunch out of class to come see the whole event.

(Thank you to Carrie (Creedle) Wolfe...childhood friend of Ryan's / my high school BFF / my college roommate / my bridesmaid...for snapping this picture to record the moment!  This picture did hang in my locker for the rest of the year.  And this was taken late at lunch when a lot of people had already cleared out, so there were a lot more in there when everything happened.)

After the singing ended, people went about their lunch.  A couple people came over and snapped a picture of us, but after it died down, it was just he and I at the table.  I don't think I was able to eat anything because I didn't know what he was going to do.  After a couple minutes, one of the senior girls walked by and said "So, I guess it's time for the DTR talk then, huh?  Ya know...Defining The Relationship."

Ryan took the prompt after she walked away and began by saying "Well, I wanted to do things on my own time so you didn't think it was because of prompting and prodding of other people, but since we're here with all of this, I guess I'll go ahead and ask you the question I've been wanting to ask you for a while now...".  (ha, sounds like a 10th grade proposal, huh?).  And that's when Ryan asked me to officially be his girlfriend.

Two high school years, four long-distance college years (me at Georgia, him at Duke on a football scholarship), a total of 6 years later and still together, he did ask me to marry him on Sunset Rock in Highlands, NC on December 23, 2007.  And after a year and a half of awesome marriage to this amazing guy, today is our 8th Valentine's Day together!

On our wedding day, as part of my "something old", I carried down the aisle a "my girl" heart candy that someone gave me after lunch that day and I had kept all these years in my "Ryan" box.

Then at our wedding reception, all of the guys who were there that had been a part of the high school cafeteria scene on Valentine's Day 2002 once again serenaded us with a fun rendition.

Here, Joseph is telling the crowd the "background" behind the song, My Girl, that they are about to sing to us.

Joseph and the guys called Coach Simpson in from outside for the song.  He's still pretty proud of his match-making skills. :)

The singing, swaying, and snapping begins...

"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day..."

It was so fun to relive the memory of how our relationship started with so many friends who had either been there in high school or knew the story...

Sing it, Zach!  

And I'm so thankful for such an amazing husband and the fact that at age 24, we've already had 8 fun years together full of special memories.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Hope you've all enjoyed your day with someone special!


The Showdown

So that "tomorrow post" I referred to in my last post was actually code for "next week". I'm sure you've all probably figured out by now that I'm not an every day kind of blogger. :)

Anyways, after our pretty drive around campus last Saturday morning, Ryan and I drove by an empty parking lot that NO ONE had driven on. It was a wide open expanse covered by untouched snow and it was beckoning to Ryan and his beloved SUV. So of course, as soon as Ryan saw it, he looked at me with a grin on his face and said "that parking lot looks way too clean" and turned in.

So we played around a bit and remedied that "clean snow" situation.

We did a few donuts and slid all across the lot...

...slightly left our mark.

Part of the 6-inch snow shelf dislodged itself in the process.  Just goes to show how deep the snow really was...

It was so fun...too bad Matt missed out!

But then...just as we were turning out of the lot to head home, lo and behold, guess who just happened to drive by...  The Three Amigos!  And they said "Hey, what are you guys up to?  That looks like fun".

...and into the parking lot they turned...

And the showdown between the SUV's began.

Introducing The "Hoe":

And Team F-150:

Gentleman, start your engines...

First up, the "Hoe" demonstrates a perfect donut...

Sliding to a stop, he shows the amateurs how it's done.

Up next, Team F-150 assesses the situation and strategizes their plan of entry for donut #1.

On your mark, get set, go!

The driver of the F-150 enters his donut at a perfect angle.

narrowly missing a rock, he kicks up a spray of snow...

...and some mud.

and completes his donut with the skill of an expert.

but wait! he isn't stopping...

he keeps going...

and adds a figure 8 to the end of his run.

The competition is too close to call.  And the lone judge (me) gives them each a perfect 10.
and after both vehicles left their marks and we all felt better about the snow not looking so clean anymore...we all drove to breakfast.