Tuscaloosa Trip

Well, as usual, we've been busy! So busy that I can't even hardly get my pictures loaded onto the computer, much less into a blog post. So I apologize for the lack of updates. But blog posts are not as fun without pictures, so when I'm not caught up on pictures, then I just don't blog.  A quick recap: lots of traveling, lots of football, lots of house projects, lots of big decisions (more on that later) and lots of work!  That pretty much sums it up!

A quick recap of our football weekends lately...

We went to Tuscaloosa for the Florida/Bama game a few weeks back and stayed with Ryan's sister Rachel and her family and had a lot of fun with them. I hate to brag, but I'm pretty sure our nephew and nieces are the cutest kids in existence. I mean, just look at them...


And seeing Ryan with those sweet little girls just melts my heart. It has me convinced that he's going to be a really good dad one day (not that I ever doubted that). And I thought it was so cute - but surprising - when Jeff (bro-in-law) asked if we want a girl first or a boy first whenever we have kids (Jeff always asks us random life questions like this lol) and without hesitation, Ryan said "a girl". [I had no idea that he even had a preference]. Needless to say, I think those cute little nieces have won over his heart. :)

They just love him!  Samuel loves Ryan too, but in more of a play with me outside, rough and tumble, guy-to-guy kind of way. The girls though, they just love on him and snuggle up with him.  Ellie Kate in the picture above (top right) kept fighting falling asleep but finally just conked out laying on him.

We had lunch with Samuel at school and played lots of legos throughout the weekend!  

The girls had a dance party after they got all dressed up in their gameday attire.  So cute - check out all of Abigail's moves and facial expressions lol!

But then when she realizes she's the center of attention, her classic "shy face" comes out...


When game time finally rolled around, we headed over to campus and had dinner at the Alpha Chi house (Rachel's sorority) beside the stadium.  I love that tradition and wish UGA did the same thing!  Sorority row at Alabama lines the stadium and on game day, each house hosts a catered meal for all the current girls and their families and guests as well as all of the alumni and their family and guests.  So it's a good way to bump into all kinds of people you went to school with that you might not normally keep in touch with and gives you an excuse to reconnect with all kinds of people.  They just all bump into each other on game days and keep in so much better touch that way.  We saw a lot of the Woods' family friends at the sorority house - I didn't realize they/we had so many Alabama Alpha Chi ties, but being the outsider, I actually knew a lot of people at the house.  Ryan's pastor's wife was one and they were there, a friend of Ryan's and my family from high school is a current one so we saw her there, Jeff's sister was one, so his parents were there, Rachel and Ryan's cousin is a freshman Alpha Chi, so she and Ryan's aunt and uncle were there.  It was so much fun! 

After eating at the house, we went our separate ways.  Us Florida folks over to catch the team getting off the bus and the Bama ones continued visiting at the house.  I was so excited to see TJ - for the first time since he came to Durham for Matt's birthday in July - but goodness gracious, I had to shove like 5 girls off of him to just hug his neck.  As soon as he got off the bus, he spotted us and headed our way.  When he got over to us, this girl standing in front of us thought he was coming for her, so she grabbed him as soon as he was in reaching distance and gave him a big hug...and then I think she realized "oh and sister...that's probably who he was reaching out for" haha.  Then another girl was like "TJ, can I have a kiss?" and when he was reaching over the first girl to hug mom, she just jumps in there and plants one on his cheek.  {Really people?  I'm amazed at how girls are these days....right in front of the kids parents...WHILE he's in the middle of hugging his mother, she asks for a kiss?} As soon as TJ walked away, he texted me and said "who were those girls y'all let in front of you?" LOL.  I know he's cute, but the protective big sister in me came to the surface and I just wanted to be like "back off!"

Another awesome thing about the sorority house is that it is RIGHT. BESIDE. the stadium and Alpha Chi happens to be right by the player family gate for the opposing team too.  So when we were in line, a security lady told me I couldn't bring my zoom lens in.  To say I was annoyed was an understatement - I mean people were taking shuttles to campus from their cars parked miles away...what would I do with the thing if we were parked really far away?  Anyways...beside the point... so I ran over to the Alpha Chi house where Ryan's family was still hanging out and was going to leave it there, but ended up just shoving it down in the bottom of Martha's bag underneath her sweater to sneak it in.  Rebellious I know - but no other stadium has had a problem with it and I really wanted my pictures.  Anyways, I ran it to her and got back in line before we had even reached the ticket table. 

The BAD thing about Alabama though is that they stick their opposing team's family in their newest nosebleed addition of the stadium where you can't even make out the numbers on the players jerseys.  I'm not even kidding either - literally could not tell what their numbers were.  So even with the zoom lens zoomed in all the way, and when the team was at the closest end of the football field, this was as good as the pictures got. 

TJ's #45 in at full back on the right with Trey Burton in at QB.

Clearing the way for Trey...

I can't remember since this was a few weeks ago, but I don't think the ref called it a TD. :(

Gotta include a pic of TJ lined up behind John (Brantley) too.  Now if they'd just put Sam (Robey) in at Center instead of Pouncey, then all three roommates would be lined up behind each other.  Sam at Center, John at QB, TJ at FB. 

Every time I see this picture (taken by Tim Casey), I think it would be such a cool shot if they were all three in at the same time.  It would be the roomie line-up.

Since our trip to Tuscaloosa, we've also been to GA/FL two weekends ago, which was a crazy trip.  We went from Durham to Ponte Vedra, FL to see TJ at the hotel on Friday night, then we went to Jacksonville for the night, then we went to Gainesville after the game to spend Sunday morning with him and get to see his, John's, and Sam's house that we haven't seen in the last year they've lived there, and then BACK to Durham.  All in 48 hours.  Then this past Saturday was a fun Duke win against UVA followed by a shrimp boil with the Banks...and no driving!!  All of which I "plan" to blog about, but am behind on pictures with, so we'll see if it really happens or not :)

And as someone signed their email to me today...

"Happy Hump Day" everyone!


3LittleByrds said...

Erin, sounds like ya'll have been very busy. You were recently in my hometown area jax/ponte vedra beach area is about 30 miles from where I use to live. I think your nieces and nephew are pretty cute too.

Becca said...

What great pictures! :-) You guys are the cutest!

Design A-Peele said...

you really do have precious nieces! I keep it at my desk too!! That will make me think of you when I read it :)