Summertime

I’m really dropping the ball with the blogging lately, as my mom so gently informed me. Sorry guys! It’s been pretty busy. Softball games and babysitting, but I like it that way. My sister graduated from high school earlier in the week, and it has made me incredibly nostalgic while making me feel incredibly old.

The devastation in Moore, Okla. left me just as heartbroken as it did the rest of the country. It was painful to watch, understanding some of the pain that community feels after such a disaster. I still have the occasional tornado dream even two years later, and they have been brought back this week. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this time. You can prevail. You will prevail.

My wonderful friend, and former professor, who experienced a more first-hand experience with the tornado, wrote an op-ed piece for the city. It was originally in the Christian Science Monitor, but has been picked up by other online news outlets. (Meredith, if you’re reading this, I think this comes 360 degrees, and you should restart the Upbeat blog. 🙂 )

Things will be slowing down very quickly though. The last day of school is tomorrow, then it’s summer! I leave for the beach next Wednesday and won’t be back for 10 days. I love the beach, but I feel confident there will be more sand in my bed than on the beach when it’s all said and done. Until again, happy almost summer!

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Last week, Chipotle opened a new location on The Strip. Thanks to awesome friends Savanna and Caleb, Tara and I quickly headed there to get free Chipotle!

 

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Tara officially asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. We’re just a little over a year away from the wedding, which leaves plenty of time for planning and fun! 

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After covering high school softball the weekend before last, I got the pleasure of covering the NCAA softball regional in Tuscaloosa. After covering Alabama all season long in 2012, it was so fun to be back in my home away from home, even if it was for another school. 

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Baby sister’s high school graduation. It was perfect weather, which is all you can ask for in late May in Alabama. 

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Cooper is a sweet kitten that loves him some naps. I don’t know what I’m going to do to be away from him for 10 days. My family might want to kill him while cat-sitting. 

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Busy, busy

Hi all! I am so incredibly sorry that it has been so long since I blogged. It’s felt weird, but I have been so busy.

Last week I spent many, many hours at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa. For the first time, Tuscaloosa hosted an AHSAA Softball Regional. Seventy-eight games were played in roughly 48 hours. A four-hour rain delay on Friday made it a difficult day for all teams involved. Some teams didn’t get to start their second game of the day until 11 p.m. and the biggest schools in the state, the 6As, had to wait until 7 a.m. on Saturday.

After the tournament, I attended a couples shower that a bunch of friends hosted for John and Katelin. The countdown is quickly dropping and July will be here soon!

By Sunday, I was exhausted. The severe temperature change that happened on Friday and Saturday confused my allergies and left me sickly. I’ve been sleeping most of days away, just trying to get back up to 100 percent. Despite the sickliness, the busy days are pleasant. I especially enjoy getting the chance to report.

Tuscaloosa hosts another regional this weekend, but for NCAA softball. And again, I get to cover South Carolina Upstate for the Spartanburg Herald Journal. They kick off the regional at 3:30 p.m. After spending so many hours in the press box at Rhoads Stadium last season, I cannot wait to be back there this weekend.

I apologize for the absence, but I hope you’re all getting to do what you love!

4.27.11

Days go by on the calendar with little thought to them generally. We cross them off our monthly calendars. We rip them off our daily calendars. But sometimes dates become more than a day. They become moments. Moments that linger with you forever.

There was 9/11. Many things are still discussed as “pre-9/11” or “post-9/11.” With each phrase comes the understanding that things changed after that day.

Which brings us to today. To many in the nation, 4/27 is just another April day. To those in the Southeast, and those that I specifically think of in Tuscaloosa, it was a day that changed our lives.

It’s difficult to write about such things with the terror that plagued Boston so recently. It’s different when someone chooses to evoke fear from you rather than be the unlucky target of nature. I get that. But alas, it’s the two year anniversary, and I would be remiss not to remember this day. It is my hope that sincerity is not mistaken for something else.

Things have changed in Tuscaloosa since that day. While we knew it would never be the same, the thought never completely wrapped around my head. At the time, Tuscaloosa was strewn about. Places I had frequented for 10 years were flattened and unrecognizable. Twelve percent of the city was destroyed. Forty-three lives.

Seven hundred and thirty days have passed. Tuscaloosa is different now. 15th Street is still much darker at night than it was. Grass grows in many areas where homes once stood.

While the physical makeup of the city has changed, the core of Tuscaloosa has also. We became a community of resolve and hope. One that refuses to bend. Houses have been rebuilt. Stores have reopened. And the heart of Tuscaloosa continues to beat. Stronger than ever before.

A Day

This weekend brought a glimpse of Saturdays in the fall. The football team held its spring scrimmage game on Saturday, bringing thousands of people into Tuscaloosa. While the masses enjoy getting a free glimpse into the 2013 squad, there was much more going on in the sports world. The softball team swept Mississippi State and the baseball team put up a brutal fight against LSU both Saturday and Sunday, losing in 16 innings Saturday and winning Sunday in the 10th inning. The men’s and women’s golf teams each won their respective SEC championship, bringing home even more hardware for an ever expanding case.

With friends in town for the scrimmage, it also gave me the opportunity to enjoy lots of good food and quality time with friends I don’t see very often. The weather was beautiful. Sunny and pleasant. And the same weather promises to return this week. Spring might actually be here now! Have a fabulous weekend!

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I used Savanna’s new Butter London polish, Jasper, and my new Sally Hansen, Pink Blink, to do a little nail art. See? Spring!

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Late night gelato with a complimentary cup.

image_2Cooper enjoys all the sun and fresh air he gets with the windows open now.

TanlgedABC Family aired “Tangled” Sunday afternoon. One of my favorite newer Disney movies.

powerrangersSometimes you find a childhood classic on Netflix and watch it with your friends. It’s morphin’ time! (Maybe this helped in nurturing the love for dinosaurs.)

Back from the break

After a wonderful, relaxing spring break, I’m back! It was the best week. I spent the majority of it in Gulf Shores, Ala. Although it was too cold to go to the beach for most of the week, it was a pleasant getaway from Tuscaloosa. Brett is from Gulf Shores, so we spent the week at his home visiting with his parents and some friends who were also down for the break.

I spent the weekend with friends and family, making the most of the last few days. We celebrated our favorite meteorologist’s birthday Saturday night and spent Easter with my extended family. (Both of those activities involved me eating way more than I should have.)

While the week was perfect, I’m happy to be back and ready to get into a routine. Happy Monday, everybody!

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The temperature never affects the magnificence of the beach.

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We spent an afternoon at The Little Zoo That Could. The different big cats they had were great.

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The Spanish Moss trees line Government Street in Mobile, Alabama makes for one of the most scenic drives.

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The go-karts are a must on every beach trip. I’m quite the champion.

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Fried mushrooms from Bahama Bob’s. They’re a weakness.

Spring Fever

It’s almost spring and you can tell. The trees are in bloom and it’s cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon.

It was a beautiful, almost-spring weekend in Tuscaloosa. I spent a great deal of it at the ballpark, covering the Alabama-Tennessee baseball series for the The Daily Times in Maryville. It’s been so long since I covered an event, and I forgot just how much I loved it.

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The Easter candy consumption was in full force this weekend. Thanks to Savanna for bringing a load of goodies. These bunny gummies might be my new favorite.

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I’ve been reading up on ways to speed up the drying process for nails. I came across the idea that you could put your hand into a bowl of ice water and it would set it immediately. Maybe I did it wrong, but it definitely did not work for me.

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A cool Sunday afternoon at The Joe.

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Spring is just around the corner. The blooms look so pretty.

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Tara is off in Spain for two weeks for school. Have to keep up with her somehow while she’s away.

Diamond Days

It’s been a warm and sunny week in Tuscaloosa, and the weekend is just as promising. We’re currently transitioning from the gridiron to the diamond. I’ll be spending my weekend covering the Alabama-Tennessee baseball series.

I’m so excited to be covering sports again, even if just for the weekend. Between the baseball and warm weather, it’s going to be a wonderful weekend.

BRACKET UPDATE: Things were looking good at first. I had only missed the Mississippi State game. But then Arkansas lost to Vandy last night and now there are quite a few red lines.

Luckily this is just a warm up for the NCAA tournament.

Hope you guys have a fabulous weekend!