Monday, November 30, 2009

I was going to blog about Thanksgiving and post some pictures, but I don't feel like it today, so that will wait. I have a heavy heart today. My home congregation is mourning the loss of one of our own, and I am now sitting here trying to find peace and understanding in a world full of chaos and pain.

I will always remember Misty as an energetic camp counselor, a beautiful smile on a Sunday morning, a loving wife and daughter, and a devoted mom. She was truly a beautiful person loved by everyone.

For those that read this blog, I ask you to please pray for the Ezell and George families.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain..." Rev. 21:4

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Notes

Yes its yet another post from me in the last two weeks, rejoice!

Anyway, here are a few random notes from the mind of someone bored to tears in stats class...

1) Swine Flu stinks!! I don't remember having the flu ever before and still don't plan on ever getting any flu shots. I'll take the odds of 1 year of flu vs. 26 years of no shots.

2) UK has to, I repeat, has to beat Tennessee this weekend, it has been 24 years, we have won 3 SEC games on the road this year, please please please Cats win this one at home and break the nations longest losing streak!

3) The season long Cali-party has begun for Wildcat Nation and I could not be happier. Its so nice watching teams that play up tempo, like each other and are the dominant squads that UK fans are used to!

4) Tonight begins our 4 states in 5 days Thanksgiving Tour. I'm sure Ann with make a great recap post when we are done but I will say I am really looking forward to seeing all the family and friends we will be getting to hang out with over the next few days.

5) It is November the 24th and it is still warm enough here for Andrea and I to sleep with the windows open to cool the room - ridiculous. In fact the other night it was too warm and we actually had to run the AC for a bit.

6) Warning: Joke Ahead... If you see a Louisville fan on a bike why should you swerve to miss him? It could be your bike!

7) Things I'm sure my 7 year old self would never have thought would be on his older self's Christmas list: Food Processor, Chef's Knife, Paring Knife, etc

8) Things my 7 year old self probably wouldn't be surprised would be on his older self's Christmas list: HD Cables for Wii, 32" LCD TV for the bedroom, Another set of the Lego Police Station that Benjamin broke after I had just finished setting it up on my 8th birthday.

9) Lexi Gruber Grace Hardison (our dog) would win the best dog in world title hands down.

10) Apparently it is possible to use a black trash bag in place of a car window for 4 months with no ill-effects. And yes Mom and Dad I know you have asked me to go get it fixed numerous times, I just have not gotten around to it yet.

11) My wife will make a wonderful, speaking from personal experience she is going to do an awesome job in her chosen profession!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone, Go Big Blue!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Swine WHO?

H1N1 hit the Hardison household with force this past Wed. Matthew had been experiencing a pretty nasty cough starting on Monday/Tuesday. I urged him to go to the doctor, but in his usual manly fashion, he wouldn't go. Wednesday came around and he felt worse, so as soon as we got home from school/work, I made him take his temperature... Needless to say, I was not surprised he was febrile (he had a fever). It was at this point, that I feared and expected the worst. We immediately called Amit (the MD PhD in his lab) to phone in some Tamiflu (which only works in the first 48 hours), and I headed to Wal-Mart to gear up with supplies, mainly Tylenol and fluids, plus the biggest can of Lysol I could find.

Thankfully the Tamiflu kicked into gear fairly fast. The highest his fever ever got was 102.5 early Thursday morning. Of course it didn't hurt that he had his own personal nurse to oversee his recovery. Really the only nursey thing I did was check to make sure his lungs were clear to make sure it wasn't pneumonia (Benj had it the week before). Either way, we kicked swine flu's tail. He was feeling much better Friday, almost 100% on Saturday. Today he is at work, regardless of his hypochondriac boss who psychosomatically has every virus for at least 30 minutes when he hears someone else is sick.

I had everyone at church on Sunday pray that I would not end up getting it as well. I informed Matthew that I would have a "come apart" if I couldn't go to Cinci to see my famiy for T-giving. I was popping Vitamins and drinking orange juice like a kid eating candy. So...as Thanksgiving comes around this week, I am super thankful for a healthy husband. Bring on that turkey!

Recent notes on life:

1. Ed offered Matthew a 1 year post doc hoping that we would stay around for a year while I start Nurse Practitioner school (and get instate tuition, the difference from instate to out of state being about $400 an hour). I think Ed is not ready to let Matthew leave ;)

2. Matthew has started applying for other post docs/ jobs. Keep us in your prayers!

3. I have 2 more tests left until I am officially in my 4th and worst semester. yikes!

4. I read today in a magazine at the gym that the 5 best places for great hair include: Santa Barbera, San Francisco, and San Diego. So... when people came to visit us, not only would they be visiting somewhere awesome, but your hair would apparently look fabulous for the length of your stay. What's not to love?

5. Ashley texted me today and said, "I just drove by a Christmas tree lot, and I almost burst into tears". Come on Mom and Dad. What's more important, the physical health of one child or the emotional health of another?

6. I am super pumped about leaving for Lex/Cinci tomorrow night!

7. Iron Bowl is Friday. Roll Tide?!

8. Glee... The best new show in a very long time. The music is incredible. If you love showtunes, which let's be honest, who doesn't?.... you will appreciate this...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Matthew, Lexi, and I made the trip to Nashvegas this past weekend to catch up with the fam, enjoy the UK Vandy game, and hang out with friends. Why is it that the weekends are so short? I am thoroughly looking forward to Thanksgiving break so that I can enjoy doing absolutely nothing for a couple of days except stuff my face full of cheesy, caserolley goodness. Not to mention the sweets...

This brings me to my first point. It should be a Law that no one can even talk about Christmas until Thanksgiving has had it's turn. Let's all give Thanksgiving the respect it deserves, if you can't respect the holiday itself, at least respect Black Friday and all the amazing deals.... Call me Scrooge if you will, but I fully intend on not breaking out a single Christmas decoration until my tummy is full of up on L-Tryptophan. And if I hear another bad remake of "Carol of the Bells" walking through Wal-Mart, I may scream. Please don't butcher one of my favorite Christmas songs. Otherwise it may repress my wonderful memories of the song from Home Alone.

Please don't be fooled. I LOVE Christmas. I'm a sucker for any holiday that brings family together... and of course the food helps. I charge you to find another person who loves holidays and traditions more than this girl. Take a peak into our weekend conversation and see why:

Mom: "Girls, Dad and I need to tell you that we won't be able to get a live tree this year, because little Matthew's allergies are just getting too bad to have one in the house."
(Pause for the silence of utter devastation)

Ashley: "Can't he just get allergy shots every day for the month of December?"

Me: "I mean seriously, couldn't we just up his meds for a couple of weeks?"

I know, I know. The perfect picture of compassion. Apparently mom and dad have decided on "Going Rogue" (ha, get it) this year. Mom also thought it might help if we put up two trees this year, one in the living room and one in the keeping room to make up for our loss. How does two fake trees = 1 gloriously smelling live tree? Answer.... it DOESN'T!

All that to say. I'm a Holiday kind of girl. Please enjoy the pics of our weekend!

Before heading to the big game...
Thanks Dad for the seats!
Look who we ran into!
We were able to go see Matthew's grandmother (Nannie) after church on Sunday.
Sunday night, we had our small group Thanksgiving pot-luck
Most of our group...a few couples missing.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

If Heaven is Perfect There Will be A Food Court

So here is a shock for our readers of this blog...Matthew is posting for the second time in 6 months! I know, I know, call the papers, or the blogs or whatever people actually read these days. Well my wife and I have switched roles for the night - she is on the floor with the heating pad under her back and I am posting on the blog.

So since there have been no huge life alterations or major events this will be a "from the mind of Matthew" themed epistle. Regular readers of the blog, or anyone who has spent 10 minutes with us will realize that Ann and I are food-o-philes (or food snobs, whichever). We have been known to be eating one meal and spend the whole time talking about a meal we have had in the past or are planning on cooking/eating in the future. So I am going to compile a list of the best places to eat in the cities that I have lived/visited/spent a decent amount of time in.


#1 First place in my heart, and stomach - Cheddar's, aka the Casual Cafe, also my former employer.
Probably where I spent the most time in high school outside of school and home. No place has a better selection of food for the best prices than C's. I recommend the Ribs and Tenders, and definitely finish with a Cookie Monster (a diet buster but well worth it!

#2 Joe Balogna's - another place that Ann has mentioned in the blog before but the best pizza you can get in LexVegas, it doesnt hurt that it has close ties with UK Basketball and sits in a cool location - inside an old church.

#3 Hunan's - a hole in the wall Chinese restaurant on Southland drive right near our old house. I'd recommend the Kung Pao chicken but for those of you who don't like spicy stuff their cashew chicken is really good too!

Honorable mentions: Rio Bravos (no longer in business but remember how good those fajitas were Scott?), Red Hot and Blue (BBQ), Ramsey's, and many more!


#1 Baja Burrito - a Lipscomb legend, and now with a hand location in the food court. You are guaranteed to see someone you know there, even if you are stopping through from Birmingham on your way to Lex-town. I always get the fish tacos but you can't go wrong with the chicken burrito or tacos!

#2 The Coop - aka McCallister's - the only negative is its proximity to Vanderbilt (boo 'Dores) but other than that you couldn't beat the chicken fingers with a stick! I recommend the Honey Bee (sweet with a kick!)

#3 Demos' - steak, Italian, creme brule, great bread and a unique sweet tea you make yourself. Its also downtown so its a great location. If my wife was writing this she would tell you to get a steak with a side of blackened chicken pasta (it's really good!)

Honorable mentions: J Alexander's (one of the only chain restaurants we like), Flemings (one of our favorites, but a little out of the normal weekend our price range so it didn't make the list), and Ruson's (delicious sushi!)


#1 No place higher in affordability, taste for money and frequency of visits - Acapulco's! A great Mexican restaurant that has a student-budget friendly 2-for-1 entree Wednesday deal. The chimichanga is deliciouso!

#2 Che Fon Fon - the bistro side of Highland's Bar and Grill that is a perfect nicer date place for the Hardison's at 417 Oaks drive! Surprisingly one of the best burgers ever and a trout that is awesome!

#3 Becky's/Lucy's/Milo's/The J Clyde - a four way tie for third, sandwhiches, burgers, chicken, you can get it all at these places and will not be dissapointed!

Honorable mentions: Bonefish(I know it's a chain, but it's seafood at it's finest, especially the Bang Bang Shrimp, am I right Vicki?), Buffalo Wild Wings (Asian zing anyone?), Surin (great sushi and Thai), Amore/Brio (great Italian!!)


#1 The Crab Trap - one of my favorite dates with Ann and one I talk about a lot, she looked beautiful, the food was delicious and its in Florida, come on how can you beat it?!?

#1a The Broken Egg Cafe - get the Eggs Blackstone - it will change your life!! english muffin, grilled tomatoes, paoched egg, hollandaise sauce, and crispy bacon. Quick, wipe the drool off before you fry your keyboard! Thank the good Lord that we now have a Broken Egg in Bham now!

#3 The Donut hole - all dessert but look who is writing the post, are you surprised?


#1 The place with the greatest sandwich in the entire world - Malibu kitchen, I would sell a kidney to have a location closer than 2000 miles away...not my kidney but some kidney from somewhere! Roasted turkey, lettuce, warm brie, cranberry marmalade on rosemary bread, incredible!

There are several other places that would be worthy of this list but I am sure I have bored enough! Till next time happy eating!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our recent life in pictures

We've had so much going on lately, so as opposed to boring you with a long recap. I decided this was a better idea! Enjoy!

I forgot to include my pic with Paula Deen from my girl's trip post. Hey Y'all!

This was before the most incredible dinner that Matthew's parent's treated us to while they were in Bham at Cafe Dupont.. unfortunately this is the only pic we took the weekend they were here.. Woops! I promise I'll take more at T-giving!

This is the most common site at our apartment. Geoff and Lexi taking an after dinner nap.

A couple of weeks ago Geoff invited us to his dad's birthday party at the Moeck family compound. Abby and me.

Same party.

We had golf cart races through the woods. Something I would never let my children do.

She always has to nap right on top of my head.

Pumpkin carving three days before Halloween.

Apparently the only thing Matthew and I excel at is mooching. We got free tickets to the Auburn/Ole Miss game this past Sat. So fun! Abby and me at the tailgate.

War Eagle! Watch the video below.

The Eagle flies around the stadium right before each game. Pretty cool.

We have now made it to two more SEC stadiums this fall. For Free! Now Matthew needs to come to Oxford and I need to make it to Neyland and we will be even.

Abby was so glad that the game lasted for so long :)

Thankfully, if we got bored, Charlie Brown was there for extra entertainment.

"Emergency" ponchos to the rescue!
That should pretty much catch everyone up on Team Hardison recent happenings. Happy November! I made my first fall pot of chili last night, I don't care that the high was 68 yesterday. I'm so over this Bham weather.