College World Series-Ole Miss wins!

Brought to you by special guest and longtime best friend of Luci’s, Courtney Burrow. This past weekend was one I will never forget! As unexpected competitors, the Ole Miss Rebels played in the College World Series…and WON! The Rebels’ journey to National Champions was a wild one and so was our spontaneous trip to Omaha.

that 7:45 pre-sunburn glow

After the Rebels beat Arkansas on Thursday, Luci, Lyncyn, and I immediately started planning our roadtrip to Omaha, more than eager to cheer on the Rebs to victory. Knowing the championship games were best 2 out of 3, we decided to take our chances and purchase tickets for Sunday’s game. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. We took a chance with no regrets…other than not wearing sunscreen. Here’s how our road to Omaha went…

Piling into Luci’s car, we left Birmingham at 7:45 am on Saturday morning with a 10 hour drive ahead of us to Kansas City, MO. Luci was excited about driving her first time through Arkansas until it felt like we were in the state of Arkansas for 4 too many hours. By the time it hit 6 pm, we became literal road Rebs while driving through Missouri and streamed the first game on Luci’s phone. In the best timing possible, we made it to a Mexican restaurant in Kansas City to finish watching the incredible first game. Back-to-back-to-back home-runs had us screaming at the restaurant’s bar TV. We then headed to our hotel in Overland Park, KS and were more than excited to get to sleep before the big game on Sunday in Omaha.

Road Rebs (shoutout to Luci’s new pop socket, Verizon and Youtube TV)
Our reactions to the back-to-back-to-back homers that would put the Rebels in the series lead 1-0.

Sunday morning at 7 am, I drove the 3 hours to our final destination, Omaha, NE. Our timing to Omaha was perfect giving us the opportunity to park and eat brunch at a local restaurant, Jams. After a couple wrong turns, we walked our way to Charles Schwab Field and met a huge crowd of Ole Miss fans at a local bar, Blatts, across the street from the stadium.

Blatt’s before the game

At 2 pm, it was game time. We found our seats high up under the scorching sun behind 3rd base. The first 7 innings were quite stressful for all three of us due to bad calls, overturned plays, close scores, and singeing skin from the sun. After Oklahoma’s score was overturned, Gonzalez hit a home-run, and OU’s catcher had a couple mess-ups, we were about ready to storm the field as National Champions. The long journey there and journey ahead all became worth it in the 8th and 9th inning as the Rebels secured the National Championship.

After the hugging and cheering had died down, we made our way back to Blatts for a victory drink and food. Morale was high and it was evidential that everyone in Omaha could not be more proud to be Ole Miss Rebels. We couldn’t get over it and kept saying it out loud to make sure it was true: “We’re national champions.” We had heard that Omaha was known for steak and ice cream, since we were already spending an arm and a leg to get to Omaha, we opted to try out the ice cream places instead of the steak houses. After we left Blatt’s, we went to TED AND WALLY’S ice cream place. It was adorable and off the beaten path, so it was not too crowded.

After a good nights sleep in Omaha (shoutout to the Hurst Family), we made our way on the long journey back to Birmingham, Monday morning at 7 am. On our roadtrip home, we were coming back with full hearts and burnt skin, had crossed off some new states (Arkansas {Luci only}, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska) and had big smiles, still pinching ourselves that we were National Champions. We did take an alternate route home in order to prevent driving across the ENTIRE state of Arkansas again. After we stopped for gas a couple times, potty breaks, lunch in Springfield, Missouri (shoutout to Makenna) and dinner in Tupelo, MS we made it back to Birmingham around 10:30 pm.

The whole weekend felt like a dream waking up in Birmingham one morning, Kansas the next, and Omaha the next. Thank you to the Lord for our safety in travel, Luci for planning and being our hype woman, and the Ole Miss Rebels baseball team for an unforgettable experience watching them win the College World Series. The atmosphere in Charles Schwab and Omaha was unlike anything else and left us feeling proud all weekend to be Ole Miss Rebels. Hotty Toddy!!

Sanford and Luci post-game celebrating the Rebs
1952.5 miles! The Best Experience! #HottyToddy
nothing like a mid-game amazon order of aloe…..

Washington DC June 2022 🇺🇸

Great 4 day weekend in DC! The first day we went to Rasika Indian for lunch! We enjoyed the naan, Chicken Tilka Masala, Lamb Biryani and homemade chutney. For dinner we sat at the bar at Carusos Grocery. It is located next to The Roost-which is a cool food hall and gathering place. It is fairly new classic Italian restaurant. It’s hard to get a reservation so we were happy to sit at the bar. We started off with their version of queso, then a RAVOLI ALLA GENOVESE. It was delicious ! And leftovers so good the next day for lunch . We enjoyed the cheesecake with strawberry sauce for dessert.

The Roost
Lamb Biryani at Rasika

Friday I walked my son to work then walked around the Capitol and Supreme Court. 🇺🇸

Friday we went to my sisters country club in Alexandria and had lunch, sat by pool and I played tennis with my nephew. Friday night we went to the rooftop of my sons and daughter-in-laws apartment before dinner.

Rooftop pool at The Crossing

Dinner at El Bebe.

We enjoyed Compass Coffee after walking around the Farmers Mkt Saturday morning . We also went to rooftop pool during the day.

Before dinner on Saturday we went to my nieces townhouse in DelRay for appetizers and social hour. That night we went to Ada’s on the River in Old Town Virginia. It is in the new riverfront area which is very nice. Highly recommend!

Cute Mississippi/Ole Miss friends in DC
Another fun birthday celebration! Delicious cake!

Sunday we went to the Old Presbyterian Meeting House. It is over 200 years old. George Washingtons funeral was here. My nephew was elected junior deacon.

So proud!

We shopped around Old Town after eating lunch at Riverbend and shopping at Top It Off.


Catie and Cossars Memphis wedding

Nephew Cossar married darling Memphis girl Catie Wilcheck

San Antonio wedding

BFF Beth’s daughter Indies wedding festivities

San Antonio wedding

Fun wedding in San Antonio at the St Anthony hotel!

We enjoyed many local eateries in San Antonio. Paesanos on the river walk was delicious! Sit outside if possible. The shrimp Paesanos is their most popular item and it was wonderful! The salads are very fresh and a perfect size.

We also explored The Pearl. It dates back to the 1880s and has apartments, restaurants,boutiques and a green space. We loved Bakery Lorraine for lunch. The lunch special of soup And sandwich was perfect. I got the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie for dessert and my sister got cheesecake and they both were outstanding! I think they are also famous for their homemade macaroons. We also checked out the Hotel Emma. It is a historical 146 room hotel on the riverfront.

We helped with the bridal brunch. It was lovely and the girls enjoyed themselves.

The wedding itself was so fun! The wedding was very special and the cocktail hour before the reception was very festive. The seated dinner was excellent! The food and service were delicious and the band was a blast!

Cake with bridal pulls at the bridal brunch

Cute idea of decorating cookies at bridal brunch

Welcome boxes
Hotel St Anthony
Outside Mi Tierra Cafe (Tex-Mex)
Bakery Lorraine

Lake Tahoe~Resort at Squaw Creek ~January 2022

Beautiful! We loved it! We had never been to that part of the country. You fly into Reno ( We used Rodney Perry with AllStar Transportation to get us from the airport to the resort.He also ran an errand one day for me by going to the ATT store to get me a charger-Highly recommend!) The drive from the airport is about an hour southeast to the Resort at Squaw Creek. The resort is at the ski mountain which is now called Palisades. Lake Tahoe is half in Nevada and half California. It’s the second deepest freshwater lake in the US. It is in between Reno and the ski mountain. Kinda… We explored all around there.. Tahoe City and Truckee and the Olympic Village. The 1960 Winter Olympics were held there.

First day we did a little snow shoeing after getting our skis rented for the next day. Then we ate at Fireside Pizza in the village. We recommend the Thai Chicken pizza.

Coffee from coffee shop in the Village.
Snow shoeing in the meadow which is also a golf course.

Next day sking. We skied our way across the mountain toward High Camp. Up at High Camp there is an Olympic museum and an ice skating rink! We ate lunch up there at The Granite Bistro. There is an aerial tram that you can take or just ski there. We did both. It’s at 8200 elevation. Here are a Few sking pics! We ate dinner that night at Garwoods and I’m still thinking about the hot salted breadsticks with whipped butter on the table!

The next day Jimmy skied with Matt and his kids and Francy and I explored Tahoe City. It is a tiny town on the Lake. We happened upon a local poke bowl hole in the wall place for lunch called Blue Fish . After that As we were walking around we stopped in Mountain Slice for ice cream. It was delicious. Nice local place,. The homemade pizza smelled amazing .

Jimmy, Matt, Brooke, Will and Kyndel at lunch on a ski break

Next day I went snowshoeing with 2 guides from The Resort. It was the Lake Shirley hike. It’s a 3 mile hike. I’m not sure how far we went but we we gone about 2.5 hours. We saw a lot of beautiful waterfalls. We were hiking up the back of High Camp.

The beginning
The ending!

The last night we ate at Six Peaks. It was located in the hotel lobby and was 5 star dining! Everything was delicious!

Disney🚢 Cruise🚢 2022

I got invited to go on a Disney cruise with my sisters! We all love to travel and rarely get to travel together so this was so fun!

My youngest sister has been on 4 other Disney cruises before this and has been talking about them for years! She was lucky enough to get us on the concierge level of the Disney Dream. We got cancelled once due to covid but it was all good in the end because we got to go this past week (Feb 28-March 4). Leaving out of Port Canavel was a breeze as compared to what I have heard about the Miami port customs and debarking process. I highly recommend getting on the concierge level if you are able to.

The first night we ate at Animator’s Palace. It is called “state of the art” dinner show. It was delicious. We met our waiters and waitstaff who would be with us all week. Ibrahim and Deddy were great!

First stop was Nassau. We (our group of 5 -my 2 sisters and 2 friends) decided to not get off and just hang out on the boat. There are so many things to do that we all had a blast. We all took advantage of the spa and I did pilates. We loved playing the trivia games, 80s music games, of course BINGO. That night we had reservations at Remy. Remy has French-inspired menu of superior seasonal ingredients —the most luxurious dining experience onboard. It costs extra to go but is worth it! I can only compare it to when we ate at the French Laundry in Napa Valley 20+ years ago. The chef is a 3-Michelin-starred chef and it was amazing! The meal itself lasted almost 3 hours. Remy—the character from the hit Disney·Pixar film Ratatouille—appears in artful ways throughout the restaurant’s design. We also saw the fireworks that night and that was fun. Disney is the only cruise line to do fireworks. I also watched Beauty and the Beast and it was like a Broadway musical.

The second day was stopping at Disney’s Castaway Cay which is Disneys private island. It used to be owned by Pablo Escobar and has a landing runway right in the middle of the island. I signed up for yoga on the beach. It is beautiful and we loved our cabana. I highly recommend getting a cabana if at all possible. Apparently if you’re concierge level you have a better chance but you have to sign up at midnight on the night they become available. The lunch on the island is really a meat lovers feast.. Hot dogs, Burgers, Brisket, Salmon, Steaks and Jerk chicken, plus soft serve ice cream, fruits and cookies. That night we ate in the Enchanted Garden restaurant. This was pirates night – which is a thing on a Disney cruise. This night we went to trivia then Karaoke. It was fun! My youngest sister did Karaoke to her favorite Billy Eilish tune! Dominque (who we had befriended throughout the week) was her backup singer and dancer.

The third day was “at sea”. We really just hung out in the ocean all day. We could see Florida from a far distance. I went to pilates and tried to find the Friends of Bill W meeting. My middle sister and our 2 friends went to Palo for a brunch. It is super fancy like Remy and delicious. We “sunbathed” on the deck in the adult only section. The regular pool is huge and always has a big screen of Disney movies playing. We loved our dinner at The Enchanted Garden that night and then went to more 80s music trivia and The Silent Disco. It was very fun!

Friday was the last day. We went to breakfast at the Royal Palace and then packed up. We might have been the last to leave the boat. Customs was super easy and efficient. My time on the Disney Dream was fun and full of great memories. The older we get, the more we appreciate traveling with family and taking time to make memories. I enjoyed traveling with my sisters!

Our story about alcoholism(and Alanon!)

Exactly 9 years (March 2010) ago my husband and I had a “talk”. I didn’t know what was going on but I knew we couldn’t continue living like this. I made an appointment with a counselor at our church. My husband had been drinking nightly by himself for years. I had no idea we were living in active alcoholism. We both didn’t know the first thing about this disease. He wasn’t happy I was going to the church counselor. BUT He agreed to come to the appointment the next week and the ball started rolling! We met weekly individually and separately for 2 months . The counselor was very wise and had my husband evaluate his drinking and come up with the idea he needs to do “something”. After many different scenarios he finally had him say he could/would try to only drink one drink a night. Well that sounded great to everyone but didn’t pan out. The very wise counselor knew it wouldn’t . When we realized that wasn’t working we went into action. His brothers were now on our team. My husband thought they were NOT on his team but they were. My husband was very paranoid at this time. His brothers were super helpful and got him to a “detox” . The professional staff there ( at Pine Grove) after a few days recommended 90 days of inpatient. My husband didn’t think so! So he left! We tried regrouping and meeting again daily with the counselor. Finally (3 days later) after an unplanned and unthought-out Intervention, we ( hours and hours and hours later) got him to admit he’d go to inpatient treatment. It wasn’t a good night. I had his Dad come over and sleep on the couch. My husband was extremely depressed.

His 2 brothers,2 friends and our 3 sons were at the “intervention “. Like I said it wasn’t planned but God had it figured out. This is one of the many things that happened in this journey where God answered prayers we didn’t even pray!

The next morning he didn’t want to get out of bed. He said he felt like he was going to his funeral. Our children were all around (12th,10th,7th and 6th grades). One of my sons came into the bedroom and wrote down bible verses for him to take with him.

We finally got in the car to head south! A good friend drove him in his car. That was one of our compromises..he could have his car even though he couldn’t drive it while he was there. His brothers and I drove behind them . It felt very gloomy and dark and dreary. My stomach was in knots. The few people and family who knew were praying back in Jackson.

We dropped him off . It wasn’t fun at all. He was VERY depressed and mad 😡!

Well he stayed and bought in! It took about 45 days for for him to really realize he needed to be there! He stayed 45 more! There were MANY moments where God went before us! We knew he was in this trial with us but time and time again he proved that to us! One was having his TL (Therapuric leave) timed where he could be at his oldest sons high school graduation. He missed a lot while he was gone. One uncle took our daughter to the daddy daughter dance at Cotillion. Another son had a high ankle sprain in high school basketball. All grandparents and aunts and uncles came to my oldest sons senior party. This would be his first season not coaching our youngest son in baseball. Many people stepped in with carpooling, grocery shopping and bringing meals! Our church really was at a lost as what to do. He was a church officer and wrote most of the preachers from rehab. He thought they would want him to “step down” from his position. My husband realized our church needed to be better prepared for this type of “problem”. He started working on that as soon as he got home. I’m attaching 2 different forums where he spoke at church. He has spoken at other churches and and told his story at AA speaker meetings. I’m very proud of him. He’s very open to telling anyone anytime his story. He says it helps him as much as it helps the person who needs help or guidance.

Our life has drastically changed in last 9 years. I try my best to live one day at a time. I’m full of empathy for the alcoholic/addict/alanon who hasn’t found recovery. I’ve learned a lot in Alanon and open AA meetings. I’ve learned to stay in my own hoola hoop and stay in my lane! I’ve learned to work on me. That’s all I can control!

We are planning our oldest sons wedding(4/2019) now. One of my husbands “things/thoughts” he had on the way to rehab was “How will I do a toast at our children’s weddings?” ” I’m going to be gone on my birthday ” etc.

I understand God plans and He knows everything but it’s awful hard while you’re in the middle of it! God loves those he gives trials too! I’ve realized I need to just go through them and not around it or under it. James 1:2 was a verse I had to really ponder! Let Go Let God was also super important.. saying that helped me remember to hand everything over to God!

I visited every weekend and took the children some. We wrote letters. They were special. We had been living life on separate roads but now are on the same road walking side by side. A lot of times we’ve felt God was so close to us he was riding our shoulders. God restored our life and Marriage! I also could attend church sometimes with him while he was there . The rehab took them to a “rock-n-roll” Baptist church and we really enjoyed it. I realized that it doesn’t matter what your worship looks like as long as you’re worshipping.

While at rehab there were lots of crazy things happening all the time. I was juggling a lot at home. When he got a call home he had a lot of stories to tell about all that was going on there. I wish he had written a book. There were some bizarre things happening at rehab.

He now goes to ALOT of meetings a week. I go to a few also . They are so helpful! I am amazed how good I feel when I leave a meeting. Mostly other people’s problems are way worse than mine. It puts things in perspective. Alcoholism is a family disease.

When we used to hear that someone went to rehab we immediately thought bad. Now when we hear that we are thrilled! It means the person is getting better! They are getting help! Rehab/Treatment is good!

Another thing that has helped me is talking about it. It gets it out of your head and takes the power away! Also my husband likes to say the aa community was so anonymous that he didn’t know here was a way out!  Because of that he shares his story all the time and is willing to talk to anyone anytime.  He is not anonymous.

Steamboat Colorado 2021

Steamboat 2021

Hiking around Steamboat

Going out west is always a fun vacation! Here are some hiking highlights.. These are some great places to hike with beautiful views.. hiking Hahn’s Peak, hiking Pearl Lake and hiking Fish Creek Falls. Hahn’s Peak is very hard..straight up with lots of switch backs but worth it! ( I didn’t make it to very top) The elevation goes from 8200 to 10800. I could hardly breathe! We hiked around Pearl Lake and to Fish Creek Falls. They are both about 1 mile round trip and relatively flat..

Favorite places to eat

Our favorite restaurants in Steamboat.. Creekside Cafe for brunch or lunch. Try to get a table outside by the creek. Ore House is a great steak house. Salt and Lime is delicious Tex mex . If the weather is nice get a table on the roof. Winonas is delicious for breakfast or lunch. The downtown Farmers Mkt is 3-4 blocks long along the river on Yampa street. It’s on Saturdays 8-2 I think, Highly recommend! Hahns Peak Roadhouse is just like it sounds! Fun local pool hall/restaurant. On The way to Hahn’s peak on CR 129 you pass by Clark Colorado where The Home ranch is and The Clark store. The Clark store is definitely a must stop. We flew into Eagle CO and drove to Edwards, CO for lunch. We loved Hovis and Harrison which is a cafe, bakery and market!

The Steamboat rodeo is a very American family activity. The cowgirl going slow around the arena with the American flag is the most patriotic thing! 🇺🇸 Below is a video! There is saddle bronc riding, cowgirl barrel racing, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling,bareback riding and junior and pee wee events. The announcer explains every event. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. My son is interested in the team roping.

“America the Beautiful “ 🇺🇸

Horseback Riding on the Continental Divide 🤠🐎

VRBO information We stayed in a VRBO on the side of town where my son lives. It’s a brand new neighborhood with brand new houses and we loved it!