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My Cycling Log

2014-01-12 20:06:11 961

This has been the best Thanks-Chrisma-NewYear ever. The Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving was awesome. I smoked a turkey and ham and also made turkey-au-vin. Nearly froze to death during the game but I stuck it out to the very end to see Bo Wallace do his trademark move, #wallacing.

December started with my birthday and the San Antonio trip. Then my Christmas vacation time started after work on Friday the 20th. I managed to use one of my vacation days to get all of my tools in the utility room straightened up. Emily was off for Christmas Eve and Day. We let Eliza Jo open one present on Christmas Eve and then the rest on Christmas morning. She is pretty good at opening presents but sometimes gets bored if she cannot get them open fast enough. I cooked Christmas lunch for us and Emily's parents on Christmas afternoon after Emily's mom got off from the hospital. Eliza Jo had a great time opening more presents from them. We spent a few days in Natchez that weekend and Eliza Jo got to open even more presents. Drove back to Starkville on Sunday and packed again for the Liberty Bowl. I spent Monday with Eliza Jo and took her out to Maben in the afternoon. After Emily got off work we headed up to Memphis, had a wonderful Wendys meal in Grenada, and finally met up at the Sheraton with Brandi and Ben pretty late. We got up late on New Year's Eve morning, caught the trolley, and ate way too much food at Blues City Cafe on Beale. Afterward, we walked back to the hotel and caught the shuttle to the game. That was the best $16 I have ever spent; $8 each, round trip. We got by all of the beer vendors and made it to our seats. We were looking right down at the 32 yard line from row 29. The entertainment was weird. Lots of girls in pageant dresses and guys in military dress uniforms parading about. Rice's band was tiny, horrible, and sad. The FMB was the best part of the pregame. Then the Sestis made it in right before kickoff. The game ended up being a scorefest for MSU so it was wonderful. We were all freezing before the end of the game but Emily and I stuck it out because we knew we would have to wait on the shuttle. As soon as the clock got to 0:00, we headed to the bus. Back at the hotel we met up with Wilson, Daniel, and some of the Garretts' friends and caught the trolley back down toward Beale to eat at the Flying Saucer where we rang in the New Year. On New Year's Day, Emily and I headed south; stopping for a luxurious Waffle House breakfast in Horn Lake and to pick up her grandmother in Independance. We finally got to pick up Eliza Jo in Maben. Then on the 2nd, Eliza Jo and I headed back out to Maben and I did some clearing on the land. I had a very quiet day back at the office on the 3rd, and then spent another day out at the land on the 4th.

Last week was my first whole week back at work and I still took two days off. On Thursday, Bobby and I headed down to the COG campgrounds in Jackson to work the Focus Conference. Jeremy thought we were going to show up late that night so we gave him a good surprise. It was a busy afternoon. I helped a little with the sound and light setups but my main project was computer/projection. I managed to balance two projectors on pieces of foam board on top of vertical trusses using wedges cut from the foam board to rear-project correctly onto two side screens. Late that night, we met the wives and Eliza Jo at Cheddar's. It was ok. There was a lot more setup to do on Friday. Service started Friday night and the rest of the weekend went by in a blur. I spent my time running the projectors and music while Emily and Eliza Jo sold tshirts. Eddie James' performances were ok. Joel Talley was a great speaker and gave two awesome sermons. He is such a dynamic speaker that it made it impossible to keep up with on the few slides I made for him. One of my favorite parts was Todd Tilghman's music performance with the good ole native Mississippi performers. Jeremy smoked the place out with a fog machine and Bradley's light show was amazing. It was a late night last night after everything was done. We got some supper and then took down most of the borrowed equipment. I got in bed right before 1AM and was back there turning things on a little after 7 this morning. This morning's service was great even as low key as it was. After it wrapped up, we cleaned up some more and then headed out. We met up with the Palmertrees at 5 Guys so that Emily could get her burger fix. Drove on home and have spent the rest of the day unpacking with a short break for a 2 mile run with the new running stroller. Life is so good.

2013-12-25 22:34:27 960

The second week of December was wonderful. I turned the big 32 on Tuesday. To celebrate, we had the Garraways over for fondue. I tried a new to me cheese combo of real Gruyere and Kroger Swiss and it turned out pretty good. We had pork tenderloin, loads of vegetables, and toasted bread to dip. Finished things up with a chocolate fondue for dessert.

My parents came up Wednesday evening so that they could baby and house sit for us. Emily and I got partially packed before we went to bed. Eliza Jo decided to wake up at 1AM and not go down again until 3:30 so it was a fun night. We got up Thursday morning, finished packing, and made it to GTR to catch a 10:40 flight out. This is the latest we have ever flown out of GTR. We are usually catching the first flight out. Our Atlanta layover was so short that we did not have time to get anything to eat after I had us walk to the wrong gate. Made it to SAT and Cory was right on schedule to meet us at the door as we came out. Cory gave us the grand driving tour of Stone Oak. We stopped by CVS to see Sarah at work but had to leave when she got a patient. So we headed to the Waldroup mansion to wait on Sarah to get done with work. After a bit she showed up and we headed to the Knife and Fork Gastropub. Apparently you can fry any meat and put it on a waffle; we had their fried oysters on a waffle as an appetizer. I had the brisket rice which was huge and Emily had the tomato bisque and fancy grilled cheese. We finished the meal off with a round of skeeball and I beat Cory 200-100.

On Friday we got a late start and watched Out of the Furnace at the Alamo Drafthouse. Being able to order real food while watching a movie is amazing. Later that afternoon we headed downtown to the Alamo. The Alamo closed right when we got inside so we headed toward the Riverwalk. It rained a little bit and was really misty on the Riverwalk. The walk was worth it to see all of the Christmas lights. From there we went to Propaganda Palace. That place has every conceivable type of used media from original NES cartridges, to classic records, to laser disks, to freaking Star Wars radio specials on cassette tape. Then we headed to Bliss for supper. It made a great birthday meal for Cory and I. Started with a cheese and cured meat plate. I got the red snapper which was topped with fried oysters and came with seafood risotto. Emily got the scallops, Cory got the rabbit, and Sarah had the duck with foie gras. Everything was super excellent. We had a piece of pecan pie for dessert and got to have a candle for our birthdays!

On Saturday we got up and headed to Gruene to eat at the Gristmill. There was entirely too much food. Being a "German" part of Texas, I got the sausage plate. It was wonderful. After we ate, we checked out the dance hall and bought some stuff in the general store. Then we headed farther up the road to the outlets for the girls to shop. After too much shopping we headed back downtown to La Gloria for some awesome tacos. Walked across the way to Arcade Midtown Kitchen for supper. What was on the menu did not matter once I learned one of the specials was a ribeye steak oscar. It was so good. First time I have ever had it served with loose crab meat instead of a fried crab cake.

Sunday was a sad day because Emily and I had to head home. We were certainly ready to get back to Eliza Jo though. After getting everything packed up we said goodbye to the Waldroup Mansion. We then headed to Dough Pizzeria. We were there at 20 til opening time at noon. We were not the first people there. It was a strange location. This is the only San Antonio meal that we had in a strip mall. We were in the first 10 or so people to make it in at noon and Cory got us seated at the pizza bar. I have never been so close to a wood fired oven so it was really neat to watch. Everything was amazing. The motz on the appetizer was great. The salad full of olives was great and I do not even like olives usually. Then the four of us split two pizzas. It was excellent for that style of pizza. I am still a fan of a full of meat, Chicago deep dish as the winning "pizza" style. From Dough, we headed to the airport right up the road. It was an ok airport experience; I got body scanned. The upgraded, with displays, 757 felt smaller than the one we were on from ATL to SAT. My knees were firmly in the seat in front of me. At least I got to watch Elf for free. At ATL, we landed at A and caught the train to D. We had a nice meal at BWW while lots of football was on. After supper we headed to our gate in D to see that it had changed to the C 50's. We walked to C on the moving sidewalk and our gate had changed to the C 30's. It was freezing cold at GTR when we landed. The poor RAV4 was sluggish on starting, but I got it running before our luggage came in. We made it home and Eliza Jo was very happy to see us. It was a great trip. Would do again.

2013-12-09 21:46:24 959

After labor day, we had our second beach trip with Eliza Jo. Emily, Eliza Jo, and I left on Thursday night and drove to the Hampton Inn in Saraland, just north of Mobile. We all got some rest and had a wonderful free breakfast. From there, we headed to good ole Foley so Emily could go spend some money. It was really hot at the outlet mall and Eliza Jo was not having all that much fun after a few hours. We left from the outlet and tried out the Foley Beach Express. It was a winner and got us to Perdido Key quickly. We picked up the keys to our condo right down the road from the condo tower. Like 100 feet down the road. I headed across the big bridge to the Publix to get some groceries. I love nice grocery stores with lots of stuff. The really fun part is locating things. I managed to find everything that I needed. I checked out and swiped my Delta HHonors card. Then the checker asked me to swipe it again. It was denied. So I tried my Citi. Denied again. The checker started giving me a spiel about Florida fraud and banks and tourists and stuff. So I ran my bank card with PIN and it ran through just like it should. By the time I got to the car, I had a text from Citi that I could reply to that would confirm the activity. By the time I made it back to the condo, Amex had sent an email with a number to an automated system to verify my last purchases. I am still shocked that this happened after all of the states, including Florida, and countries I have used my cards in. Also by the time I made it back, Emily's parents had made it in. We went to the Oyster Bar to eat. It was wonderful. I had the best shrimp and grits ever. Afterward we went back to the condo to get plenty of sleep.

5:30am came quickly Saturday morning. Emily, her dad, and I headed to the Southwind Marina to go fishing on the Emerald Coast. After loading up on the boat, the three of us had a great trip out riding on the bow. At the first fishing spot stop, I realized that the pole assigned to me, the first on the starboard side, had no hooks. As Emily and Mr Joe cast away, I just got to watch at I tried to flag down the first mate. He set me up with a pole and had Emily and Mr Joe shift toward the bow. I loaded up both hooks with a couple squid rings and dropped it to the bottom. After it hit, I cranked a few times to get the bait off the bottom and I got a bite. Suddenly it was much more than a bite as more line got pulled off of my reel. The first mate realized I had a pretty good bite and had everyone on the starbord side pull up. Whatever it was was trying to pull my arm off. The mate assumed it was a shark because we were baiting with squid parts. After fifteen or so minutes, I finally saw a silvery thing swimming back and forth. I got the fish up to the surface and the mate gaffed it to get it aboard. It was huge. I held it up for some pictures and the mate told me that it was an amberjack. He estimated its size at 25-30 pounds. He put it on ice and we all went about fishing. We ended up catching a ton of snapper.

It is now December and I have yet to post this. I still have a freezer full of fish!

2013-09-16 19:27:35 958

I wrote this about a month ago and forgot to put it into the database:

Eliza Jo is one year old as of Friday!

Emiy did a great job planning the birthday party. She had been trying out different baked goods for a month. We both took Friday off and I took Eliza Jo to Rachel's so that Emily could start baking. My parents got up here by early afternoon so I went and picked EJ back up. After a bit we headed out to Mathiston to get her first birthday photoshoot done. Got back home and EJ played with my parents for a while Emily baked some more. I smoked a pork loin, mixed up some baked beans, and made lemonade for the first time. Late that afternoon, we set up at the Patriot's Park pavillion. Emily did a great job with the decorations. Everything tied in with the baked goods. Everyone showed up around five and we had a great time with way, way too much food. Eliza Jo put on a great show when she opened her presents. After a while we headed back to the house and cleaned things up. Eliza Jo spent the evening playing with her new toys. She was so wired, we could not get her to go to sleep until after ten. We did make up a new sport, chasing EJ across the bed is loads of fun. When she makes it to the footboard, she picks herself up and lungest backwards. She is going to be walking any day now.

2013-08-05 22:26:32 957

Vegas was loads of fun. Emily's AANP conference was there in late June. We dropped off Eliza Jo in Maben with the grandparents on a Sunday afternoon and headed toward Memphis. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southaven. We flew out of Memphis because it was a direct flight. Landed in Vegas at 10AM and got to our rental car, a brand new convertible Mustang. Headed to the Hoover dam and stopped at In-N-Out on the way. I loved it. Emily still votes for Five Guys. Dropped the top after we ate. Ten miles down the interstate we put it back up. It was way way too hot in Nevada for a convertible in June. What were we thinking? Driving up to the Hoover dam was a lot of fun because the desert and hills make it very interesting. The Hoover dam area was an oven. We did not get to do the dam tour because the elevators were broken. I really wanted to see the powerhouse. Maybe next time. From there we headed up to the train tunnel trailhead a few miles from the dam. We made the best decision ever not to try to walk to the first tunnel because of the heat. From there we drove up the western edge of lake Mead and got plenty of good landscape pictures. Then we headed back into town. I took us toward downtown on the interstate so that we could experience a lot of Las Vegas Boulevard. It was bumper to bumper traffic all of the way down to the Palazzo. Our original plan was to have the top down all of the way down LV Blvd but we decided we would rather not cook. Because we had an Avis rental, when we got to the hotel, we were able to return the car by leaving it with the valet. Emily played the 'tip the clerk' game at check in and we ended up with a corner suite a few floors short of the top of the Palazzo. The suite was literally almost half the square footage of our house. From there we went exploring to get Emily checked into the conference. We were exhausted so we ate at Sushi Samba which was very close to the elevators to the room. It was ok.

We woke up at 3:30AM Tuesday morning. Our Grand Canyon pickup with Papillon tours was to be at 4:20AM. The short bus got to us a right around 4:40. It took us to a full size bus at another hotel and then we headed to Boulder City. The airport there was really neat because it is so small. Everyone was assigned a color code to be called to get on their airplane. When we were called to board, we realized that we were the only Americans on our flight. The rest of the plane was filled with a group from India that was on a two month tour of the US. We were assigned the back two seats. In a DHC-3 Otter, the back two seats are awesome because they are just a pair of jump seats on the back wall. The rest of the plane is in a 1-2 seat configuration. The inflight entertainment via headphones telling us about what we were flying over was wonderful. We got great views of the Hoover dam on the flight. We landed and had to wait for a while in the little terminal. They assigned us to a helicopter group that consisted of us, one of the guys from India, and an employee who was getting a ride to the bottom. The helicopter trip down was amazing. I was worried about feeling queasy in the copter, but it was way more stable feeling that I could have imagined. It was absolutely gorgeous and I managed to video the entire ride down. At the bottom, we walked down a surprisingly rugged trail to get to the boat ramp. There, a Native American took us for a ride on the Colorado. Once again we were the only American passengers along with members of the huge Indian tour. Emily and I were rather entertained by the direct questions the Indians asked the Native American skipper. From the boat, we climbed back up the trail to the staging area for the helicopters. We saw several groups come in and had a good laugh at one poor girl who had showed up in stripper heels to try to make it down to the boats. Eventually it was our turn to head back up and we had another amazing helicopter ride. We headed back to the terminal and caught the big bus to Guano Point. We skipped Eagle Point entirely because we had no interest in the skywalk. Guano Point was awesome! It really sticks out into the canyon. There were no safety fences anywhere so we got some great pictures. We walked out to the abandoned cable house and then came back toward the bus stop to have lunch. It wasn't gourmet, but we were starving so the BBQ beef meal was great. Plus there were pretty decent views for our meal. You know, since we were sitting right on the edge of the freaking Grand Canyon. We caught the bus back to the terminal and after a little wait we were back on the plane. The return trip was a whole lot more turbulent and it made me feel bad but I survived. There was a short wait in Boulder City and then a shuttle took us back to the hotel. We were back in the room right at 1PM!!! I am so glad that we sprung for the flight version of the trip rather than the bus version. It saved us at least eight hours of travel time. After some recovery time in the room, we headed out to Gordon Ramsay's Pub and Grill, where the food was great and the service was horrible, and finished the night at Terry Fator's show.

After those epic few days, the rest of the trip is a blur of things that we did around Emily's class schedule. For most of the time she was in class, I was exploring. On Wednesday we ate the Bacchanal Buffet for lunch and we hurt ourselves. Bad. That night we went to Fremont to see the old casinos and lights.

On Thursday we ate lunch at Solaro, Wolfgang Puck's place at our hotel pool complex. We started the evening at the Goretorium because I had a Groupon. The actors picked on Emily so I had a wonderful time. After the experience as a whole, it is not surprising that they filed for chapter 11 in early July. We at at Ramsay's burger place, BurGR afterward. It was a thirty minute wait in line that was worth it for the parmesan fries. My blue burger was awesome and Emily got plenty of cheese on her cheeseburger. Then we headed to the Bellagio to check out the gardens and the chocolate fountain before seeing Cirque du Soleil O.

On Friday we ate lunch at Morel's Steakhouse in the front of our hotel complex. I had a croque monsieur for the first time and it was wonderful. Emily had a steak and fries that was not as good as my sandwich but she still loved it. I headed to the Atomic Testing museum while she was in class. It was just ok. Would not do again. We spent the evening checking out things on the southern end of the strip. We both ordered half salads at the PBR Bar and Grill and still had too much food.

On Saturday we ate MGM's brunch buffet. It was wonderful, though it paled in comparison to Bacchanal. At least it was cheaper. We did the Titanic experience at the Luxor. At this point I have done two Titanic experiences within pyramid structures; one at the Memphis Pyramid, and one at the Luxor pyramid. For supper we decided to keep it close to the hotel and decided on Zeffirino in the canal shops. Best decision ever. Emily ordered the prix fixe and I ordered a grotesque amount of seafood with a side of fresh alfredo pasta. It was so good.

On Sunday we had lunch at the Top of the World, near the top of the Stratosphere tower. It was our second best meal in Vegas other than Zeffirino's. The prixe fixe was wonderful; lobster bisque, filet and crab cake entree, and a fancy dessert while sitting in a spinning resturant way way over the Vegas Strip. From there we headed up to the Mob Museum and had a great time. Checked out Fremont again and then headed back to our hotel. We had supper at I Love Burgers which was right around the corner to the elevator to our room. I loved the garbage fries. The burgers were great too.

Monday morning was early. Dragging our luggage through the casino floor at 5:30AM was weird. The Palazzo desk seemed to take forever because of the slow people in front of us, but we needed the receipt to expense the lodging. We got long hauled by the taxi. I should have cared but I just wanted to get home. Had a layover on the way back in Minneapolis. Of course the plane had a maintenance issue that made us almost two hours late getting into Memphis. From there, it was a race to get back to the girl. I swear she grew a a whole head of hair while we were gone.

My tips for Vegas:
  • Always carry a bottle of water. Bottled water is cheap at Walgreens.
  • Do a flying from Vegas Grand Canyon tour instead of the bus trip to save many hours of travel time.
  • Buy a multi day bus pass and use it. The monorail may be good if you are at a hotel with a station but it was pretty much useless for us at the Palazzo. We did use it one day to get back from the south strip.
  • Sign up for player cards. Total Rewards gets money off at every Harrah's property restaurant. Getting the Grazie at the Palazzo got me a free tshirt and some serious coupons.
  • Get lunch prices. Top of the World at the Stratosphere for lunch is so much cheaper than the dinner price and the daytime view is wonderful. Morel's Steakhouse was great at lunch because it was nearly deserted.
  • Hit buffets at the end of breakfast. Get in line at the Bacchanal buffet at 10:45AM and get the breakfast price and be eating a full lunch a few minutes after 11. Total Rewards card saves a few more dollars!
  • Wear your best walking shoes
  • Do not underestimate the size of the Fashion Show Mall
  • Always carry a bottle of water.


2013-06-15 21:39:50 956

Today is ten years since Emily and I watched Bruce Almighty together.

On June 15, 2003, Emily came over from Hannah's and I cooked her waffles for breakfast. Then she took me to church at Starkville Church of God, and I met her parents for the first time. Afterwards we ate at Oby's with her parents for lunch. Emily and I headed to the movies and we consider that our first date. Then that evening we went back to church and then had Bulldog Deli afterward. It ends up being a wonderful day even though it was a bit stressful as I was experiencing it.

2013-06-15 21:33:36 955

March travel season was epic this year!

Weekend of the 1st was at the Sestis'. Then we headed off the next week on Tuesday night to the Alabama coast. Drove down to Daphney where I had booked us a room on points. Eliza Jo travelled like a champ. We got up, had a good free breakfast at the hotel, and then proceeded to the outlets at Foley. Once we had another new wardrobe for EJ, we headed south, and had some great burgers at City Grill in Gulf Shores. We hit the worst grocery store in the world, Bruno's in Gulf Shores, and then drove out to Fort Morgan. My Garmin was bad and did not direct me to the correct road but we eventually found Garraway. We had a great time on the beach with loads of awesome food to eat. EJ had a wonderful time and was a very good model for all of the pictures she posed for. This was our first seriously laid back beach trip and we loved it. Especially since we were dragging a 7 month old along and everything went to plan, this trip was full of win. On the way back we stopped at the huge craft fair at Fair Hope. It was so big. We ate fair food while sitting in the grass. We managed to buy EJ a wood puzzle so it worked out well. The drive home was wonderfully uneventful.

The weekend of the 22nd was Jeremy Gray's bachelor party trip to Houston. We all flew out of JAN. I had Hotwired a minivan but National did not have one. So they put us in a Tahoe. I loved it because I love driving huge vehicles. Seriously though, I hate it. We started out perfectly with breakfast at the Breakfast Klub. In the end it felt like a thrown together trip but we still had a lot of fun and ate a bunch of awesome food. Other than my first trip to Dave and Busters, my favorite part was the food truck festival. I have never had such an epic grilled cheese. Of course I added it with a bacon addon and it was wonderful.

2013-03-07 22:24:20 954

This has been a crazy week. Started out on Saturday morning: kenneled the puupies and dropped EJ off at the Pierces'. Then we headed to wonderful Madison via the brand new Canton Parkway. Fastest route to the Sestis' yet, cuts off several minutes and many redlights. The girls went shopping and Andrew and I went to the Turcotte shooting range. I managed to shoot my revolver twice. This is what happens when I take things apart and put the hammer strut in backwards. We still had a lot of fun shooting Andrew's .22 and 9mm. Then we headed to Fresh Market and picked up some ginormous steaks and organic broccoli. Got back to the house and had a wholesome meal. I ate my entire ribeye. It was wonderful. Later on the girls got back from their lingerie shower for the eventual Christy Gray. Got up on Sunday and had brunch at PF Changs. Emily spent a good while shopping while I warmed up a bench. Had a great conversation with a 71yo man with 6 children and 21 grandchildren. We finished up at the mall with another trip to Fresh Market.

For supper Monday night, I cooked the salmon patties and deviled crabs that we had picked up at Fresh Market. They were very delicious. Tuesday morning I woke up and felt like I had lice. I had scratch marks all over my face and neck. I am not sure if I did this to myself or if it was all rash. I took some benadryl and went to work. By 5 I was in bad shape. I got up Tuesday and took this awesome picture of myself. I did not go to work, instead I headed to Emily's clinic in Maben. Got a shot of dexamethasone and a prescription for more. Makes my first $4 Kroger prescription ever. Yay for 50 fuel points! The meds did not do much for me on Wednesday. By Thursday morning I was in a lot better shape. Now, late on Thursday night, my face is kinda cleared up, but I still have a lot of rash on my torso and legs. I am planning on heading back to work in the morning. The big question is, where did I get this crap from? Emily blames the crab I had even though I have never had an issue with shellfish. I blame the Lone Star Tick I found on my leg 14 days before the rash showed up. Lone Star's do no carry Lyme disease at least. It seems like I suffered from STARI, except that the rash I had was not correct either. Anyway I did not end up with a bacterial infection, just a lot of crazy itchy rash. Emily's diagnosis of a crab shell allergy may be the correct one after all. Who knows.

2012-11-18 22:45:26 953

Last tailgate of 2012 is in the books. Had a super busy week so finally got to make my Kroger trip on Friday night. Emily got busy with a sweet potato casserole and cornbread dressing. I got the truck loaded and started building a meat tree. Then I met Jeremy out at the tailgate spot and unloaded the truck. Jeremy and Jennifer dropped me off at home and I put chicken and waffle kabobs together and also contructed a bacon explosion. At this point it was around 10:30PM so I decided to give up on finishing the meat tree. The turkey breast was finally thawed out so I stuffed a good bit of minced garlic under the skin, put it in a ziplock, and doused it with pineapple juice and a bit of Tony's. I fixed the ham up by rubbing it with mustard and brown sugar. By this point it was pretty late so we finally called it a night.

Got up at 6:30. I dressed Eliza Jo in her maroon romper. The three of us made it to campus right at 8:00. Ben had beat us there from Madison by leaving at 5:45. I warmed up the grill and started cooking the bacon explosion. The heat was low so we had to start more charcoal to finish it. Also toasted the chicken and waffles on the grill. I learned an important lesson about the Kroger chicken. Kroger was out of the precooked strips that I usually get so I went with the "restaurant patties." The problem is that those patties have a slight pickle flavor to them. Not the best thing to accompany waffles and syrup. Other than that snafu, breakfast was great. I had the smoker lit by then and put the turkey on the bottom grate and the ham on the top grate. Shortly after getting the smoker going, we headed into the game. We ran into John Kennedy and then Jeremy Brown as soon as we got into the stadium. The game was rough starting out. Eliza Jo was a doll. Emily held her the first quarter and I took over in the second. Nearing halftime she was waking up and antsy so we got out as soon as the quarter was over. Of course we had to stop to get Emily two bags of boiled peanuts. We headed back to the tailgate where my smoker's charcoal was pretty much cold. I started new charcoal and pretty quickly had the smoker heated back up in the 250 range. Emily and I had Jeremy's TV so we did not miss any of the game. By tailgating north of Scott Field, we were able to hear good things happen about five seconds before we saw them on TV. Poor directv folks would have been another 10-20 seconds behind us. Right as the game finished, my turkey breast clocked in at 160. I took the turkey and ham off, wrapped them in foil, and put them in a dry cooler. Around the same time I got the pans of dressing and sweet potato casserole on the grill to warm up. Everthing turned out so awesome. Emily did a wonderful job with dressing and sweet potatoes. I was really happy with the turkey. It had a really strong garlic flavor on the skin side. The ham was a typical ham and everyone loved it. We finished the day off with pie that Jimmy brought. I was so full. So full.

Today is Emily and my sixth anniversary. I bought us a cast iron fondue set. because the sixth anniversary calls for iron and sugar. I made an awesome cheese fondue for supper. We used toasted Kroger texas toast bread and leftover smoked ham. Then I cleaned up the pot and made a chocolate fondue to count for the sugar. It was great. Yay food!

2012-08-24 00:41:48 952

It has been an awesome last three months. Emily's last trimester was a blast. We are so glad to have it over and have Eliza Jo home!

On August 7th I took off for the afternoon and went with Emily to her last office visit before the birth with Dr Whittle. He set our schedule for the week by telling Emily to come back to the hospital the next evening. We came back to Starkville and had our last meal together as non parents at La Terraza. Spent a fretful Wednesday around the house tidying up. Drove over to West Point a little after 6. We picked up candy at CVS and then went to Dollar General for more candy, a small box, and some tissue paper. Emily used these supplies to put a gift together for the nurses on the short drive to the hospital. We checked in through the ER and got taken to a the same labor and delivery room that we were shown during our birthing class. I left Emily to move the car around the hospital and the nurse let me know that we would have room 23 for the night and after Eliza was born. Getting room 23 was AWESOME because is is the corner suite at the West Point hosptial. We got moved from the first room to room 23 to spend the night. We both slept horribly. At 5AM a nurse came in to get Emily up. She got a shower and we were moved back to the first room. The Pitocin drip got started right at 7AM. Pastor Hank came to visit us around 9 or so. My parents made it up by 11 and Daddy and I went to Wendy's to get some lunch. Afterward I was bad and snuck Emily some Coke and mints even though she was only supposed to get ice. Emily was such a trooper through all of the contractions she was happening. Dr Whittle came in a little after 6PM and gave us the verdict that it was section time. Baby Eliza was facing the wrong way and Emily was not progressing. So that was the scariest thing ever for us. Emily got wheeled away into the OR and I got put into the staging area to put on my scrubs. Sitting there with a mask and hairnet was one of the most stressful waiting rooms of my life. From there I was summoned into the OR and got to sit beside Emily's head. Lucky for me there was a sheet between me and the operating field. Horrible sounds came from the operating field. Dr Whittle told us that he had a smiling baby looking up at him. After a few more minutes he was able to show us a freshly born bloody baby girl at 8:05! She was a screamer. The nurses cleaned up Eliza in a corner of the OR and I stayed with Emily. They brought Eliza over to us and showed her to Emily and I. Then they let me carry her to the nursery. It was awesome! She was so calm. Her eyes were opened and they looked at me the whole time I was carrying her. After I handed her to the nurse, all of our family swarmed the nursery windows. Long after this, I finally realized my mom got a picture of me in the nursery trying to take off my shoe covers. It seemed like forever until Emily got out of recovery. She was so groggy. The nurse pulled Emily's bed up to the nursery window so she could see Eliza. I was so happy to finally see Emily and know that she was OK. At that point it was late Thursday night. Section patients have to spend 48 hours in the hospital. So that would be late Saturday night which made discharge on Sunday morning the earliest possible. So we got to spend two wonderful nights in the hospital. I purchased lots of fast food for Emily and I to eat in West Point. We finally got discharged late on Sunday. Getting home was the greatest thing ever.

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