Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Fair 2016

The Fair is an annual event that is always much anticipated for Austin's family and mine. Once upon a time, I got SUPER excited about the fair. I spent my fair days sleeping and the nights a lot like this..
I didn't even realize that life went on outside of the Neshoba County Fairgrounds. Something about being at the fairgrounds makes you forget that real life is happening out there. I guess that is what so many people love about it.

The first time I ever missed any part of the fair was back in my college years whenever I was taking a summer class at MSU.  I thought it was the end of the world that I missed Fri-DAY and made it in on Friday night.  From what I remember, I skipped the majority of the next week.
I think we took these pictures after my Friday evening arrival during the Fair of 2011.

Since then, I obviously enjoy the fair, but I also semi-participate in life outside the gate. Last year, the fair was a little off for me and Austin because we were doing what we could to help get our house ready by September 19th (our wedding day) and.... priorities.  Last year's fair looked a lot like this...
We were both really excited to have some time off this year to enjoy the fair and spend uninterrupted time with the people we love.  On Friday night, we took family pictures at the Byrd's. I took the opportunity to get a few pictures of me and Austin.

Friday after our picture, Ally Byrd wanted to walk with me and Austin down to the rodeo, and that she did.  Afterwards, we took her to the camper to visit with my family, back to the midway to Allen and Jamie to ride and play games, and we rounded out the night with a short visit to the pavilion where Southbound was playing. The next morning, Tiffany asked her if she danced and she said, "I was almost about to fall asleep."

I went to the flea market with the Dowell's on Saturday, and took no pictures.  #bloggerfail
Mattie Kate walked with me and Austin to the rodeo on Saturday night and we laid low since we were planning to make it to Sunday School on Sunday.  By laid low, I mean we went to bed at midnight. On Sunday, we came home for Sunday School and church and spent Sunday night at home. Bandit and Daisy were super excited to see us.  They have my heart!

Austin and I both worked on Monday, and went back to the fairgrounds Monday afternoon.  We kidnapped Joy and took her to the camper for a little while.
Mattie went to the pageant with me, and afterwards we hit the midway.  We found Ally Byrd and they had a lot of fun! After we left Ally, I bought some tickets and rode with Mattie until the SeaRay made me sick.  There is a first time for everything!  After I got nauseated, she did the trampoline, picked up some ducks and we called it a night!

We worked again on Tuesday and made it back in time to hear Donald Trump, Jr speak at the grandstand.  It was HOT.

These two formed a sweet little friendship.  Instead of Mattie Kate, Ally says Mattie Cake and it is the cutest!  On Tuesday night, we found ourselves back on the Midway!  Austin wanted Mattie to ride with him on the bumper cars, but she refused.

We enjoyed the rest of the week off from work. We stayed up late, played cards on the porch, danced at the pavilion, watched the horse races and went to see Jana Kramer and the Charlie Daniels Band.  As we were watching the fireworks on the last Friday night, I got in my feelings about what a special place the fair is for so many people.  With all of the bad stuff going on in the world, it's nice to just escape to a place like the fairgrounds where life slows down and everybody spends time with the ones they love. The Fair is different than it once was for me, but I think I'll always love the tradition. I'm thankful for the memories I've made on the fairgrounds, new and old.  Until next year!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Baby Wilbanks

Tonight after work, Austin and I went to Ariel and Matt's Gender Reveal party for Baby Wilbanks! It's a.... GIRL!  We are so excited for these two.  I know they are going to be the very best parents!

I hope to see Kelby Jade in dance class in four or so years! ;)
It's fun celebrating life events with these two!  Congratulations, Ariel & Matt!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bandit & Daisy

Back in November, my daddy's squirrel dog, Gabby, gave birth to five puppies. They're half fiest and half Austrailian shepherd- some would say mutts. Gabby isn't your typical squirrel dog.  Here is the queen herself...

I am not all about newborn animals, but as the puppies got bigger and cuter, Austin and I discussed the possibility of making one our own! We threw the idea of a pet back and forth and started making plans to get one. I remember sending Austin a random message while I was at work one day that said, "Could I possibly talk you into getting two dogs?"  He responded, "We'll see."  Since he didn't respond with a "no way", I knew then we would get two dogs.  I thought it would be a good idea to have two so that they could entertain each other, and I didn't feel so obligated to entertain one.  Animals need friends, too.

Austin went ahead and got a pen setup for them in the backyard, and we went on the afternoon of January 31st to pick them out.  I knew I wanted the long haired one because I thought he was the cutest.  I had already named him Bandit.  I liked the sound of Bandit Byrd.  Austin just randomly took a pick & we didn't name Daisy until we had gotten her home. 

Our first family photo in the driveway after we picked them out. 
Their first picture at their new home.

We grew to love them rather quickly.  At first, they stayed in the pen a lot.  I would get up super early to let them out in the mornings, stay outside and play with them for a little while, put them back up and then get ready for work.  I was scared to let them stay outside alone because I didn't want their tiny selves to get in the road.  Keep in mind, we don't really have traffic where we live.  If two cars passed in one morning, that would be busy.  #overprotectivemom 

After I realized they weren't going to die if I left them out alone, we moved onto letting them out to play by themselves while I got ready for work.  After I was ready, I would come outside and race to the pen in hopes that they wouldn't jump all over me.  They would usually follow me right into the pen, then I would hop out real quick and lock them up.  They would get back out for awhile when we got home from work.

One morning I was either running late or it was raining, and Mama Jim texted me and told me she would put the dogs up after I left.  She did that for a few days, and it became our routine.  This went on for awhile and it got to where she wouldn't put them in their pen until later in the afternoon.  Lucky dogs!

Eventually, we started letting them out when we get up and putting them in the pen when we go to bed.  So now they sleep in their pen, and that's about it.  They have a good little routine.  Austin usually leaves before me in the mornings, and whenever I leave (most of the time before I leave), they head up the hill to Mama Jim and Daddy Jim's house.  They don't come home until we get home from work.  One of my favorite parts of the day is watching them fly down the hill after I pull in at home in the evenings.  I especially love when they catch air jumping the ditch between Mama Jim's house and ours.  It is the cutest!

I know they get a lot of love even when we aren't home.  Austin jokes that they go to Mama Jim's to get a biscuit for breakfast after we leave.  They help Daddy Jim build fence and count cows.  I think they love the country life! 

They really are the sweetest, and we love them BIG!  Austin and I are constantly narrating their lives. I'm pretty sure we know what they would say if they could talk.  Just yesterday, I was going to take them on a 4-wheeler ride, and I couldn't get the 4 wheeler to crank.  Austin saw what was going on from a distance because he was on the tractor in the pasture. When he got home he said, "Bandit said to tell you that he is pissed because you couldn't get the 4-wheeler to crank." 

Sometimes we leave them out of their pen at night when it's raining and they sleep on the rug at the back door.  One time this happened, and we stood at the back door looking out the window at them for some 5 minutes.  We were just watching them sleep.  It was in that moment that I realized we were really crazy about these two fur babies. 

They are each so different in their own little ways.  Daisy is timid and she always thinks she is in trouble with Austin.  She tinkles whenever he gets onto her or whenever she hasn't seen us in awhile and she's excited.  She lays on her back constantly because she wants her tummy scratched, and she will paw at you to get your attention. She is needy.
Bandit really loves life!  He is so lovable and loves to lick my face!  He could care less about fetch and always lets Daisy do the work.  He will run straight into the pen at night while his sister rolls over on her back being defiant. He is also better at "shaking" than Daisy Mae.

We have so much fun with Bandit Boo and Daisy Mae and I hope I'm posting about them for a long time to come!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dance Convention

For years now, my mom and I have participated in DTU (Dance Teachers United) workshops three times a year to get new ideas and material to bring back to the dance studio.  It is quite refreshing and helps to keep things from getting "stale" at the studio.  We attend conventions in February, November and July.  Sometimes we don't make the summer convention since it's always in Biloxi & lasts longer than the other two. 

My mom doesn't commit to anything until the last minute.  Toward the end of last week, she decided we would leave for Biloxi on Friday evening for the summer convention!  My daddy was planning to make the trip with us.  His mission for the trip was to try to find some shrimp to buy and bring back to cook at the fair next week. This would obviously leave him a lot of free time to entertain himself while we were at convention.

I got off at 4:00 on Friday afternoon to go home and pack my stuff up.  Mama had texted me a few times to see when I would be ready, so I tried not to waste too much time getting my things together.  Austin had gotten home a little early to cut the grass and get his hair cut.  Without much persuading, he agreed to make the trip with us within minutes of me leaving the house.  This made me a super happy wife.  By the way, it still feels super weird to say wife and husband!!  And sometimes when I call myself Lacy Byrd- that's just really weird too!

We got to the McMurry residence around 5:30 or so, and Mama Jim and Daddy Jim were there.  We visited for a little bit, looked at mom's newly laid bedroom floor and started to put our stuff in the Expedition.  Around 6:15 or so, we were all in the vehicle and finally ready to go. Daddy was driving.  He went to crank the vehicle, and there were no keys.  Mom ran back inside to see if she could find them.  About thirty minutes in, I realized the keys were really nowhere to be found.  We ransacked the house and Austin even went to Mama Jim's house to see if she happened to leave with them!  (She wouldn't answer her phone.)

After about an hour of looking, we gave up and moved all of our luggage to daddy's vehicle.

Let me also add that this set of keys mom lost was her extra set.  The original set got lost during the chaos of dance recital.  They're probably in a box somewhere at the studio, because during recital- everything is in a box.  The problem was no longer how we were going to get to Biloxi, but rather the fact that she had NO keys to her vehicle. 
Around 7:30, we gave up looking and everybody got in the truck except daddy.  When he was walking to the driver's side, about to open his door to the truck, he looked down to find the keys laying behind a saw on the carport.  WHAT the WHAT.  Nobody has any idea how they got there.  Daddy thinks maybe he put them in the window seal and a cat knocked them onto the ground behind the saw.  So, he blamed it on one of the 25 cats that reside at the McMurry residence.  (If anyone is looking for a cat- they have a one stop shop. Various ages and colors available)  We moved our stuff back to the Expedition and got on the road.

We stopped for "supper" in Meridian at Burger King and arrived in Ocean Springs at around 11:30pm.  We had not booked a place to stay for the night.  We thought we would just stay at the first decent place we saw.  BIG mistake.  Everything in Ocean Springs was booked... except a Ramada Inn that looked like it hadn't had a renovation in some 35 years.  For a whopping $70, we got the only room left in Ocean Springs.  I am super glad Austin and Daddy were with us, because we otherwise would have felt unsafe!  After we got settled down and I was starting to doze off, I heard daddy mumble, "these pillows aren't worth a crap."

I don't recall ever staying in a room so outdated.  Mom said I have always been on the upper side of things, but that was bad.  Like really bad.  We got up early enough Saturday morning to make it to the convention center in Biloxi at 9:00am.  The guys goal for the day was to find us ANYwhere else to stay Saturday night.  They came and got us for lunch at 12:00, and all they had found was one room with two queen beds for $180 at something like the Hampton.  Daddy said that was too much, but I think at this point he was wishing he had taken it.  I called around to all of the cool places.  I was all about staying at the Hard Rock, the Beau Rivage or the new Margaritaville.  No luck there.  I called and found a place in Gulfport that had one room available.  After we ate at Cane's, we got dropped back off at convention and the guys headed to Gulfport to check the place out.  An hour later they arrived and decided it was way too far.  They came back to get us from convention at 3:00 when we were done and took us to the Super 8!!  It was even worse than the Ramada.  There were dirty towels behind the bathroom door, sand in the tub and the floor near the bathroom was wet.  We found out why whenever I used the sink and water started to drip on my feet. 

We got dressed and went to the outlet mall in Gulfport to shop for daddy, per my mom's request.  I took a picture of them shopping, which was quite comical in itself.

Mom's response to my picture taking was- "Lacy.  I really do not want to make your blog."  Are you kidding me?  You're my mom.  You'll make the blog.  They had a Disney store at the outlet and I could feel the magic the minute I stepped in it!! OMG- I loveeee a Disney store.

I didn't buy a thing, but I could've hung out there all night.  Austin's response to the Disney store was to take a picture of a stuffed Mickey on his snapchat and add a gun to his head.... So there's that.

After shopping, we made our way back to the coastline to eat at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co.  We ate our fair share of seafood and mom and I shared a yummy dessert.

We got back to the room around 10:00, got in our not so comfortable beds and rested up for day two of convention.When we got picked up after convention was over, the vehicle was starting to smell like the raw shrimp they had picked up on Saturday, and I spent a lot of the time on the way home like this...

It was gross, and we opened the rear windows to try to let some of the smell out. Although the picture below has Qdoba in the background, we stopped to eat at Applebee's in Hattiesburg to round out an eventful weekend of family fun and dancing!

When we got home, we loved on our fur babies, watered the plants and found ourselves super grateful for our home and especially our bed.

On a side note, we really enjoyed convention and look forward to using some of the new things we learned. Also, I am sore from the minimal dancing I participated in.  #grandmastatus

Monday, July 18, 2016

Junior Miss

Anybody who knows me knows that Junior Miss (now known as DYW)  has been a part of my life since I can remember.  If it were up to me, it would still be Junior Miss.  Just saying.  My mom choreographed the Leake County program for years, and I can remember going to practices with her whenever I was just a little girl! Mom would choreograph and I would help her demonstrate.  I remember really looking up to the contestants and I always picked a favorite.  A few of them sent me thank you cards after the program was over one year, and I more than likely still have them somewhere!

I choreographed the Leake County program for a few years without mom, and let it go this past year.  I went through this phase of feeling like I couldn't give 100% to anything because I was trying to do everything.  That's when I decided to bow out gracefully. 

So that's a little of my history with DYW. 

We probably wouldn't have missed it anyway, but mom and I attended the local program this year because Hailey Jamison participated.  Hailey has danced at the studio for years, and we love her!  We went to show our support, and she WON!  She didn't dance because she plays the piano well, and it is hard to beat a piano player. Here we are pictured with Hailey after her big win at the Leake County program!

I also went to the state program in Meridian last Thursday night to cheer her on!  I decided at the last minute that I would go and asked Erica to tag along with me!  Hailey did a superb job of representing Leake County, and Erica and I had a fun time!

I think anybody who goes through the program and gives it all they have is better for it.  I know I came out of it knowing a lot more about myself than I knew before.  It also helped me with stuff like calling and making a dentist appointment on my own! Haha.

Just for kicks- here's a little throw back to when I participated all the way back in 2006!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

that time I started a blog

Starting a blog has been on my to do list all summer, and I finally got around to making it happen. I think there is more to this than I thought. I'm going to need to look into making this a little cuter!

Once upon a time, I scrapbooked. I love looking back on the fruits of my labor, but I just don't have the time to scrapbook that I used to. I hope I can use this blog as a less time consuming alternative to scrapbooking.

Austin and I will soon be married for a whole year and I am sad to say we have only taken a handful of pictures over the last twelve months. I hope to change that in the next twelve!

If you would like to follow along with my ramblings, come back soon! :)