There's No Place Like Birmingham

A lot has happened since my last post. We will start with last Saturday when my dear friend Lauren married her sweetheart, Mason. The wedding was absolutely beautiful, the band was outstanding, and Lauren looked stunning. She and Mason currently reside in Seattle, but will be moving to Ithaca, New York this summer. So, many exciting adventures lie ahead for those lovebirds!

They cut the cake with a sword! Impressive.
Sunday afternoon was spent celebrating my beautiful friend Kaitlin. Kaitlin and her fiancĂ© TJ are another AOII-ATO couple, just like John and me.  So, they are obviously some of our favorites! I loved getting to catch up with her and so many of my sweet sisters. I have always loved weddings and showers, but I especially do now since it means that I get to visit with people that I love, but don't get to see near as much as I would like to.

That evening, after church John and I went to Good People Brewing Company for the Yelp games. I have the Yelp app on my phone and had received an email about the free event some time ago. In order to attend, all you had to do was RSVP on their site. There was free Slice pizza, Full Moon BBQ, Good People beer and lots of Yelp swag. There were also lots of prizes up for grabs if you participated in any of the games. Some of the games were more traditional, like corn hole or Jenga, while others were pretty peculiar like ribbon dancing and hip hop hurdles. As most of you know, I am pretty competitive, especially when there are great prizes like Wickles Pickles (an Alabama original and a staple in the Lyles' home)and tickets to the Jazz Cat Ball up for grabs. It also helped that John is pretty athletic and will do just about anything to support my competitiveness. So, after competing and losing in a game of corn hole, John signed up for mini bike racing and ribbon dancing. Although we didn't get any prizes from any of them (I swear that people prepared ahead of time), it was so much fun. We even snagged some free pictures together from the onsite photo booth.

Luckily, aside from a few on-call days, John has been able to have pretty good hours at work. So, we have been taking advantage of the spring-like weather by taking long walks around our neighborhood. Mountain Brook is by far one of my favorite cities and one of the reasons is because of the beautiful one of a kind homes. I have walked around our neighborhood a million times, but I always notice something new each time.

The rest of my time this week was spent at Children's Hospital working with the Tourette Syndrome Clinic. I did some work with it during my time in graduate school, and I'm thrilled to be helping out again! The results I have seen are absolutely incredible and it is such an honor to not only learn from the other therapists, but also from the kids. It definitely was the "wow" of my week. The view from the seventh floor of the Children's deck isn't half bad either.

On Wednesday, I was having a major craving for pizza. Obviously, it's not Whole Life approved, but I've started allowing myself 1 cheat meal a week, if I have to cheat at all. Thankfully, John was up for a cheat meal too and loved the idea of New York Pizza in Homewood. The pizza there is some of the best in town and their menu consists of good old fashioned pizzas and sides. Their speciality pizzas are hearty, fresh, made fresh to order and are all named something New York related. Wednesday we decided to branch out a little and try a new pizza, the Upper East Side (alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, bacon and mushrooms). That paired with a antipasto salad (roast beef, turkey, ham, provolone, mushrooms, roma tomatoes, black olives, lettuce and house olive oil dressing)made for a wonderfully delicious cheat.

Friday night, I allowed myself one more cheat by taking a trip to O'Henry's Coffee in downtown Homewood. John had mentioned a date idea a few weeks ago that involved an A-Z photo shoot around the Birmingham area. The idea is to capture landmarks, buildings, and places of personal importance that start with all letters of the alphabet. I loved the idea and we decided to do it on Saturday, but tackle the pre planning on Friday. So, we set up shop at O'Henry's and racked our brains for a list of places. We also decided to make a spring bucket list while we were in a list-making mood. It included things like having a picnic, geocaching, and fishing. Since we were using so much of our brain power, we HAD to have some homemade strawberry cake and coffee to keep us going. After our list was complete, we continued to sip on our coffee and attempt to fill out the latest crossword in Weld.

Saturday we woke up bright and early to take on the A-Z photo challenge. It was so much fun!! We traveled all around town capturing some of our Birmingham favorites. At one point some man asked if we were advertising or taking up money! I know that it probably did look a little strange to see two people hop around town with a chalkboard in hand, but it was a blast! I like the pictures so much that I plan to make a book of them to have as a keepsake. If you're ever trying to think of a original, fun, and inexpensive date- do the photo challenge! 


There's nothing that I love more than a creative date, especially when I'm not the one who plans it! That along with our low key bucket list coffee date made this one memorable weekend. I couldn't have thought of a better way to wrap up the week. 


  1. What a fun weekend! I love the A-Z date, what a great idea!