A Rainy Day With Thomas.

On Monday morning, nine out of ten Facebook Statuses in my feed were bemoaning a flooded basement, a flooded back yard, a flooded street, or a flooded everything.

Sunday was slightly moist around here.

And of course, that would be the day we had picked out to visit Thomas the Train.

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It was the last day he was to be in Birmingham, so we couldn’t change our minds.

But Thomas was a non-negotiable – rain or worse. Because Noah has asked to return, nearly on a daily basis, since last year’s visit. It is pretty much his crowning achievement from the age of two.

“I REMEMBER riding on Thomas!!”, he said, at least a dozen times, as if he knew he shouldn’t actually be able to remember things from being two. “I REMEMBER getting the bracelet!!”

…because red Paper Bracelets are the best part of any event.

The rain did not lessen the palpability of Noah’s ecstasy.

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Nothing could.

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Thomas had gotten some work done since last year, and actually had a moving mouth and eyes, and cheeks so soft and realistic that when they moved, they looked rather eerily like we were in the cartoon. Making me wonder why no one has bought a small island and turned it into a Sodor Theme Park.

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We skipped all of the other rather wet Thomas-y activities and went immediately to the awning to wait for our ride, which didn’t seem to upset the children at all.

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And, thanks to the rain, the train was nearly all ours.

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Noah got some quality time with the Conductor,

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And after spending much time silently staring,

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From every angle,

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Being as still as he’s been for at least a month,

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He rewarded me for making his dreams come true by making my dreams come true – and actually looking in the general(ish) direction of my camera for a whole. Thirty. Seconds.

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Noah on Thomas


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He even let me see a quick glimpse of his true excitement,

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And wanted to take a train selfie.

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We all left calling it a success,

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And now begins another 365 days of the question, “Is it time to go see Thomas yet?”

An Hour With the Horizon.

We made it home, carefully, yesterday afternoon.

One of the most glorious moments in Eufaula was the sunset Wednesday night. In fact, our cottage had a perfect sunset and sunrise view – so I’m already planning a return visit.

But Wednesday night. The snow on the beach had faded, but was still dazzlingly covering the yard. The ice, snow, beach combination was something that South Alabama doesn’t get to experience…ever.

I don’t often have the opportunity to observe a single sunset through its entire process, but since the kids were happily playing, I witnessed this one from beginning to end, reminding me why I’ve so deeply fallen in love with this magical time of day. The dramatic contortions that the sky goes through is exhilarating in a way that’s hard to explain without seeing the whole process. So, here are twenty shots sixty-five minutes, all from my iPhone, using ProHDR as my camera, and with very few post-shot edits.

4:43

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4:45

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4:47 – the sun reflecting in one of the many frozen puddles.

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4:50

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4:55 – Noah was screaming “I’m running! IN THE SNOW!!”

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4:56 – Snow running is quickly exhausting.

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4:57 – Beach reeds – I’m thinking this was probably their first experience with ice.

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4:59 – Ali, looking for treasures.

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5:01

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5:02

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5:05

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5:06

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5:07 – It was as if the earth completely segregated, for just a minute, into warm and cool sides.

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5:08

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5:09 – They were probably kicking goose poo.

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5:12, one minute prior to official sunset – Noah moved on me and left his ghost behind.

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5:27

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5:28 – Rorschach skies – but way more colorful.

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5:29 – I had to wade out in the water myself – you know, to check the angle.

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5:48 – the last peeks of color are always the softest.

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Everyone needs to give a sunset an hour of their time. Regularly.

It’s Fashion, Y’all. Gameday Fashion.

I wasn’t going to post one this year.

I know, I know – it’s tradition.

But I live-tweeted it instead on a particularly fun gameday, and I thought that was good enough.

Apparently it was not.

I had people who missed it. Or wanted it all again. And some that even said “it’s all they wanted for Christmas.”

Weirdos.

I am not one to let people down, regardless of how bonkers their requests are, or how disappointed most fans may be that Alabama is “just” playing in the Sugar Bowl tonight.

(When I was a kid I pictured a gigantic bowl full of sugar with dozens of tiny football players running through it like maggots. Everyone else did too, right?)

At any rate, I present to you: The 2013 Collection of Gameday Sightings.

And those sightings were not limited to humans – even the Wall-Es in attendance got dressed up real nice.

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(Who brings their bulldozer tailgating with them?? The same people who name their kids Krimson Tyde, if I had to guess.)

But aside from heavy machinery outfitting, It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be gameday-appropriate. Sometimes it might even cost suspiciously too little.

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Don’t expect those boots to make it in AND out of the stadium before unraveling.

But shoes were a big deal this year – after all, they can make or break the cohesion of your look.

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Shoes can also be useful in identifying your body if you get caught up in a stadium trample.

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Shoes can keep the flow of your outfit going from your hips to your toes,

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And shoes always set off the sexiness of your jeans.

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Oh. And did I mention how much Toms loves Alabama Football? Because they do.
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But remember – the walk to the stadium is long and tedious. Although team colors are important, comfort is much more so.

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But if you just can’t find that perfect pair of gameday shoes, you can always wear them on your chest.

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Legwear is also vital to consider on gameday.

Or rather, the lack of legwear.

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Because it’s Alabama, where pants are always optional.

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Even in boot + knee sock weather.

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But that’s okay. Because God approves of all forms of Alabama Fandom.

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And He doesn’t mind AT ALL when His favorite football team’s fans take his Holy Scriptures and turn them into cheers.

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(But perhaps this is why he gave Auburn all the sunsets and sunrises.)

But God isn’t the only notable Alabama fan.

On gameday, you can spot Johnny Depp and Zach Galifianakis,

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random dudes that find Flora-Bama wife-beaters to be perfect Alabama attire,

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And Vin Diesel. Wearing HexBug-sized Houndstooth.

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So clearly, like Stacy’s Mom we’ve got it going on.

Also, we have overalls and we know how to use them. We’ll do stripes.

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We can rock Houndstooth up one leg and down the other.

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We can even do random farm animals and make it look awesome.

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WE EVEN HAVE MONOGRAM KIOSKS ON OUR SIDE, PEOPLE.

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When monograms are for us, who can be against us?

Hurting our chances of winning, however, is the fact that we believe leggings can be pants.

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And that we assume chevron can be worn vertically. While straddling a chain fence.

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But our ability to successfully layer houndstooth and houndstooth TOTALLY makes up for that.

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And, just like at any social occasion, you run the risk of showing up dressed just like your best friend. Or twin sister. Whatever.IMG_3269

To mitigate that possibility, just show up to the game in your bathrobe.

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Or, if you prefer, in Mom Jeans or custom-shredded leggings.

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And if you want your Mom Jeans to be your own dirty little secret, there are festive solutions for that, too.

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But we must always remember.

ALWAYS REMEMBER, people.

LSU Fans are weirder than Alabama fans.

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Thank God for LSU.

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