I’ve debated whether or not to share this…but I’ve determined to go ahead. My hometown and my brother-in-law will be making a television debut this Sunday night (9 pm central time) on TLC’s new reality series, Bama Belles.


Why have I debated sharing?! you must wonder. I love Josh (and Jana is great–one of the girls on the show who I knew in Dothan), but I am terrified of what kind of spin TLC is going to try and put on a place that I love. When one of the two promotional videos is about lawn mower racing and men without teeth…you have to be a little leery.

The other promo video shows my very handsome brother-in-law, who is indeed a “real live cowboy!” But something about the way they call him that in the clip, makes me cringe. Josh was recently voted PCA (did anybody else know that stood for Professional Cowboy Association?) rookie of the year for steer wrestling–or Bulldoggin’ as they call it. It’s a serious sport and he has an amazing talent for it–VIDEO (Obviously, all those are not him. You can pick him out by his white cowboy hat or big hair :)). As long as they show him for what he is–a talented, tough, intelligent and multi-faceted guy…

As long as I’m able to laugh at our Dothan red-neck side… No matter what it should be entertaining, and they shot several scenes at Jeremiah’s family farm. My homesick heart can’t wait to see that at least.


Second, my camera. I am so flattered by the emails I’ve gotten lately, asking for my photography/camera advice. I love to take pictures, and I feel like the creative gift I’ve always envied (painting, which I can not do AT ALL) is partially (very partially) granted to me when I capture just the right shot. However, while I love to take pictures, I know VERY VERY little about the craft.
When I first got my DSLR a little over a year ago, Darby gave me some quick lessons on ISO and made the suggestion that I get pictures in natural light as much as possible and rarely turn on my flash. I only use a flash if its pitch dark, and I think that is wonderful advice. My friend Bryan, who is a top-knotch professional photographer and lived across the street from me in Birmingham, tried to give me a few pointers, but to be honest, they all went right over my head. For some reason, camera lingo baffles me.

My camera is a Nikon D3000. My Dad has the nicer D90, but I honestly like mine better. I find it more user friendly (they make it work for the dummies they know will buy them), and it is slightly smaller (so it fits better in my hands and feels less awkward to shoot). My lens is a Tamron 28-75mm, F/2.8 that Jeremiah’s Mom gave me for my birthday. It is great for low-light pictures.

I do edit all the pictures I put on the blog. I use Aperture now, but for a long time I just used iPhoto on my Mac and before that a rando program that came with my PC. I think that editing makes a HUGE difference, but all I usually do is add (or occasionally take away) exposure, contrast, and saturation and you can do that with basically all editing programs (I think).
Lastly, I want you all to notice the Cranberry salad in the foreground of the picture of all of us at Thanksgiving dinner. I meant to point this out in the last post and Darby recently reminded me.
T-dinner all

The recipe is hers, and it is delicious but I was not at a congealed salad kind of Thanksgiving. I had never been to a Thanksgiving where something congealed and filled with festive cranberries was not appropriate, but the sight of my Tupperware gleaming on the crystal filled table, still makes me want to crawl underneath the table. Our hostess, in an attempt to be kind, put my salad in a place of honor on the table (all the other food was on a side table in earthenware beautifuls). During the pictures and the prayer, all I wanted to do was snatch it back off the table and hide it. Oh well, it looked a bit ridiculous, but it’s yummy taste made up for it.

I meant to spend five minutes on this post. What happened?!

12 Responses to “A Television Show and Some Questions Answered”

  1. Konie says:

    Abby the last part about your salad made me laugh out loud!!!!! And YES….I'll be tuned in to BAMA BELLES on Sunday night! p.s. I bought me a "charlie brown" christmas tree today:) I'll send you a pic:) We all love your tree and you may have started a tradition :))

  2. Jamie Willow says:

    I'm new to your blog, I laughed when you said "For some reason, camera lingo baffles me." because I feel the same way. I am learning but it is the lingo that really gets me.

    funny about your salad. ah well, some of the best memories and funniest ones come from moments like those 🙂 perfection is over rated!

  3. Lauren says:

    Hi Abby, I just found your blog through Darby's blog. I hope they don't talk too bad about Dothan on the show – – too close to my hometown of Troy…and my grandparents live in Dothan and well, Dothan is just a great town! Anyway, I love photography too – trying to teach myself and I am learning that it sure does take some practice! And I know that cranberry salad is delish – I made it last year when I saw the recipe on Darby's blog. Who cares if it doesn't go with the decor? Like you said, the taste makes up for that! 🙂

  4. Darby says:

    hahahhah I am dying laughing at the salad bowl… i'm with you though… it only stood out a little bit! 🙂 and you know I didn't think you needed to give me credit for it? I just thought it was amusing that there was NO food on the entire table except that big bowl of cranberry salad! i was convinced y'all had wine and cranberry salad for thanksgiving and everyone was fighting over the bathroom 4 hours later! i'm cracking up. ok, as for the show… we'll tune in! maybe you can send me a reminder text? 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well that feller Andy Warhol said somethin about folks gettin 15 minutes of fame –well the state of Alabama has been making headlines of late and now and now i say the It girl —u know Alexa Chung– well she is headed to Alabama with her PBS tv show Thrifting in America– the new york times newspaper recently ran an article with more details. I'm not worried — folks in Alabama may charm the pants off her –can I say that here?? is that something a Bama Belle would say???? probably not JK thats just kidding but not about Alex Chung it is true but where in Alabama I don't know– read the article on line soon u may be amused

  6. Rhett, Megan, Claire, Ford & Gus says:

    Now I feel even worse knowing that we have the same camera and your photos are so much better than mine. Maybe I need that lens? Or someone to explain the ISO thing to me! I didn't notice the tupperware because I was so captivated by the waterford! I enjoy following your time in Washington!

  7. Katie says:

    Okay Abby…long time reader here. Rarely comment but as I've mentioned before, we know lots of the same people and I'm from Eufaula(born in Dothan because Eufaula doesn't birth babies and we probably wouldn't want them to!), but I was tuned in tonight to Bama Belles. Your BIL Josh handled himself like a pro and it looks like it might get a little catty on there according to the previews so I can't wait to see how it all unfolds! That's so exciting for him (I think?!)! Happy things are going well for you guys out there and, as always, I do love following your journey. Saw you once at McWane with an old friend of mine(she's not old, but you know what I mean) Lindsey, but I was too scared to come up and intro myself! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the show…do share.

  8. Courtney says:

    Hi Abby, I'm new to your blog. Popped over from a link on Darbys Blog. I've really enjoyed reading through your older posts. My husband is in his last year of Ortho. Residency and we moved from West Virginia to NYC so some of your posts have been a glimpse into my past and how I felt after moving to NY. Randomly enough we are heading to Birmingham for his fellowship year and I'm starting to get those anxious nervous thoughts again because now NY is home and I can't imagine what it's going to be like to start someplace new yet again and for just a year. I hope your family continues to enjoy your time in Washington state. Your pictures are beautiful! Best of luck to you guys as your journey continues!

  9. Anonymous says:

    OMG where did that Hen Party on Bama Belles enroll in their required hunter education course prior to obtaining an Alabama hunting license?? Now that footage would have been far more interesting as well as educational— just think of all the folks running to sign up for these classes because they want to be a card carrying licensed hunter in Alabama BTW my breakfast in the wonderful Euafala Waffle House had me next to a booth of camo clad men at 10 am –i can only imagine they spent the early early morning in a blind

  10. Allison says:

    Just wanted to say "hello" from one bama girl to another:) I found your blog through Darby. I am from Decatur and 2 of my 3 sisters live in Birmingham now.

    I love your pictures! Oh, and I also love your tree:)

  11. Madigan says:

    Hi Abby, new reader to your blog. You and your family are so precious and reading back through your older posts, your love of the Lord shine through! What an inspiration you are to readers like me! I was wondering how your lovely daughters were named 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    Abby, Hello I love your blog. Your girls are beautiful. I know you are enjoyiny every minute with them. I love being a stay at home mother. (Sabrina—Whitney's Mississippi cousin)

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