Farewell Sister Brisco

23 years, that’s how long Sister Brisco has been a part of my life. She’s known me since diapers. Literally. And I can honestly say, she’s had a HUGE part in molding me into the person I am today.

Saundra Brisco (Sis. B) has been in children’s ministry for 50 years. She stared in ministry when she was just 16 years old. This past Sunday, we celebrated her 23 years of ministry at my home church, Montgomery First. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, I didn’t think this day would ever come— Sis. Brisco is retiring. Of course, you can’t leave us until we throw you one over the top Farewell reception complete with over a thousand balloons, bagel bites and a slit walking clown.

As a child I remember Saturday morning Easter egg hunts, parents night out, spring break trips to Butts Mills Farm and even Kids Camp. I remember the first solo she gave me in a baseball themed program. I thought I was hot stuff in my white and red baseball tee. I even remember the time she had me dress up like a toy soldier and glued fake side burns on my cheeks for Christmas. Ouch! We’ve made lots of memories through out the years, Too many to count. But through those memories have come a lot of teachable moments.

If there is one thing that I would have to classify as ‘The Biggest Thing Sister Brisco Has Taught Me” it would be: How to Love People. I’ve had the privilege of serving under her ministry, working side by side with her week after week. We’ve even traveled the world together and I can honestly say she’s the same person in Montgomery, Alabama as she was in South Africa, Ecuador and Guatemala. Her heart for kids is something special. I can vividly remember standing outside a elementary school in South Africa in 2009, dusty dirt roads, kids running around who haven’t eaten in days, showered in probably weeks, but it didn’t matter. She saw someone who needed love, and that’s what she gave them. Wether it was a hug, prayer or even a smile– She could’ve cared less about what their background was, the color of their skin or how well dressed they where or what they smelled like. She once  said to me “Evan, Happiness comes when we learn to love others.” Talk about ah-ha moment, in the middle of Africa at that. I’ll never forget it. Today I find myself loving on those who are in need, who may be different from others and it’s credited to her and the values she spoke into me at an early age.

Speaking of traveling together, boy have we done our fair share together. From Kids Crusades, field trips and overseas adventure we’ve been side by side. I LOVE telling people about the time Sis. B decided to wear white pants on our 16 hour flight back to the states from South Africa and spilled diet coke on them 45 minutes in our flight—she had a bing brown stain for hours. Or the time we were in the Canary Islands and she didn’t like the tuna casserole the sweet church ladies offered her, so she pretended to eat it and threw it in the bushes. They saw her plate was empty so, they brought her more. You know what she did next, she threw it in the bushes again, and they brought her, yet another round. We laughed for hours. I could go on and on with stories, life lessons and memories we’ve shared but I’ll save those for my trip to visit you at the beach.

Sunday night I overhead people saying “It’s bitter sweet. We hate to see her go.”, but I say it’s all sweet and no bitter. We’ve laughed together, cried together even hooted and hollered. We’ve done life together but For now, I suppose two inadequate words will have to do: Thank you. Thank you for accepting me, loving me, teaching me, laughing with me, and most importantly praying for me. Thank You for being an inspiration not only to me, but those in our church, our city, our state and even the world. I won’t say “Goodbye”, I’ll just say “Until we meet again.”. I Love You Sister Brisco.

The Ultimate Tailgate Party

After months and months of waiting, the wait finally over. Football season is here! If you’re from the South you know just how big of a deal college football is. As most of you know, I could care less about football. I still don’t fully understand how the game is played. But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t stop me from throwing one heck of a tailgate party.

Last week I was invited on WSFA’s Alabama Live for a quick segment on how to plan the Ultimate Tailgate Party. If you missed it, you can watch it HERE. We could talk all day long about how to throw a party, but some many people are visual learners like myself, so I decided to style a mock tailgate party. I called my friend Lauren at Milly Photography to capture it all.  2016-09-25_0007 When planning any event, wedding or party there are always a few MUST-HAVES. A tailgate party is no exception. We’ve come up with 3 things that are essential for any tailgate party. The first, You can’t have the proper tailgate party without Entertainment. Wether that’s a game of corn hole, tossing the football on the lawn or cranking up the music. It’s a must! 2016-09-26_0001 Next, you can’t have a tailgate party without you team spirit. Bring you shakers, table clothes, flags and foam fingers. It certainly adds to the festive table decor.  2016-09-25_0002 2016-09-25_0016 2016-09-25_0001 I’m the type of person that will spend extra money on fancy paper plates or cute striped straws, but I’ll buy a cheap lawn chair to save a few bucks. I’m a party planner, don’t judge me! That’s exactly what I did here– We picked up a $6.00 chair from Wal-Mart instead of purchasing one of those fancy $50.00 legit team chairs. I found these inexpensive pillows from the “Dollar Spot” at Target and with a little iron on transfer, I created a custom pillow for under $10.00. Super easy! ANYONE can do it.  2016-09-25_0014 Last but not least. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to throw a tailgate party without the proper food and drink. BBQ sliders, wings and chicken fingers are a few of my favorite easy pick-up foods. But I was recently introduced to a quick and easy sausage dip that is TO DIE FOR. You HAVE to try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Sausage Dip

(2) 8 Ounce Cream Cheese | 1 Cup Sour Cream | 2 Cups grated cheddar cheese | 1lb of Ground Sausage | 1 can of Diced Green Chiles

*Brown and drain sausage. Mix with all other ingredients. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

If you choose to wash it down with a cocktail, we suggest doing it with a little team spirit, of course. Our friend and one of our favorite past brides, Jean helped us round up a few recipes that are sure to impress your tailgating guests. For the Auburn Fan….

Aubie Palmer Cocktail:

1.5 Old Forester Bourbon  | 1.5 Lemonade | Top off w/ Milos Sweet Tea

2016-09-26_0002 and of course, we can’t leave the Alabama fan out. A yummy fruity drink fits them properly, I think.

Yellowhammer Cocktail:

3/4 oz. White Rum | 3/4 oz. Coconut Rum | 1/2 oz. amaretto | 2 oz. orange juice | 2 oz. pineapple juice

2016-09-26_0003 and for those that choose to have a classic game soda, barqs glass bottle root beer will hit the spot.  2016-09-25_0008 2016-09-25_0005 After all those yummy eats and drinks, you have to have a quick sweet treat before entering the stadium. We stopped by Liger’s bakery for those. You can’t go wrong with THE BEST petite fours in town. Their also famous for those mint thumbprint cookies, too, but my personal fave….the Iced Sugar Cookies.  2016-09-25_0012 2016-09-26_0004 As promised on WSFA’s Alabama Live, I’m giving away a pair of tickets to the AUBURN vs. ALABAMA A&M Homecoming game. It’s super easy to win– all you have to do is comment this post. We’ll select a winner Saturday, October 8th. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. A for making this giveaway possible.  2016-09-25_0009 HUGE thanks to Joyce Hubbard for letting us borrow her Auburn Orange truck. It was PERFECT! And of course, my Granny. Those Liger’s goodies wouldn’t have brought themselves. You’re the BEST!

Humbled

Yesterday, I did something that I typically wouldn’t do. Something that most would’ve considered out ordinary for me. I left my blog camera’s at home and told very few people what my plans for Wednesday afternoon actually were.

Why?

Because I wanted to do this for myself. Most of you are probably thinking I spent my day at the spa or shoe shopping but I didn’t. I volunteered at a local nursing home. I didn’t do it for publicity. I didn’t do it because a family member is a resident. I did it because I saw a need.  2015-12-02_0002 Mrs. Alberta Woodson has been volunteering at 6 different nursing homes and rehab facilities in our city for years. Residents look forward to seeing her walk through the doors each year for their annual Christmas Party. She leaves not detail untouched. Showering each resident with gift after gift. They don’t get just a candy cane– Mrs. Woodson does it up right. Wether it’s 40 patients or 200 they all go back to their rooms with an arm full of goodies.  Lotion, shampoo, socks, fruit baskets, cologne and they even get a few new clothes.

I’ll be honest with you though, I was unsure of what I was getting into. I hate hospitals and nursing homes. I don’t know what it is but it just freaks me out.  But I left South Haven nursing home yesterday  afternoon a better person that I walked in.

2015-12-02_0001 Thanksgiving has come and gone but the spirt of the holiday keeps on giving. I stepped outside to grab some extra cookies out of the car and when I walked back in I will forever remember the minute I stepped foot in the cafeteria. Nurses, volunteers and residents were gathered around  a boom box singing an old hymn. You couldn’t wiped the smile from my face. It was something I’ll hold in my heart forever.

Thankfulness is a choice and when we choose to be thankful our emotions have no reason but to be exude joy. It can be the smallest act of kindness, but when it’s given out of gratitude it’s bigger than we imagine.

As American’s we sometimes get so caught up in our bubble that we forget about everyday life around us. Wednesday was a day that I needed. A day that took me back to reality and made me realize a life isn’t so bad after all.

Thank You Mrs. Alberta Woodson has a servants heart and obeying the call that was placed on your life years ago. I was honored to be a part and look forward to Monday.

 

Alabama vs. LSU

As most of you know I went to my VERY FIRST College football game a few weeks back. (Click Here to see previous post) I guess I couldn’t get enough and decided it wasn’t too soon to go again. We didn’t go to just any game, we went to the rivalry game of the year.. AL/LSU. It was CRAZY. Pouring rain and all.

If you’ve every been to an Alabama game at Bryant Denny Stadium you know it’s part tradition to go to the walk of champions. So we started my second adventure in T-Town there. 2015-11-13_0004 Of course you can’t go to a game without tailgating. It might be my new favorite thing. Y’all know I LOVE a good party. Free Food and Drinks. SIGN ME UP. I called one of my Favorite past clients, Mother of the Bride and told her I was in town and wanted to stop by. She treated us right. Thanks Mrs. Donna for having us.  2015-11-13_0005 Obligatory panoramic stadium photo. 2015-11-13_0008 Roll Tide America. I’ve learned all the chants and cheers and I’m a pro at shaking that Shaker.   2015-11-13_0007 Ok. If you personally know this usher, please send him my thanks. His dance skills were impeccable during half time. I think I will forever have that image imbedded in my brain. Andrew kept nudging me throughout the game… “Look the Usher”. His choreographer routine to UpTown Funk was my favorite. #Hilarious  2015-11-13_0009 Number 1, folks. Andrew was like a kid in a candy store after the win. He was hyped up the rest of the evening (his vocal skills on the ride home were on point). Alabama killed LSU. 30-16. Thanks AGB for putting up with my shenanigans. I would’t have wanted to experience the game with anyone else. You da best! #biffles 2015-11-13_0010 You knew it was coming….You asked for it!! Here it is folks. Part 2 of #EGCdoescollegefootball Share, Share, Share.