Super 6 BLING for Auburn Gymnastics

Check out the BLING we got!

A few weeks ago the 2014-2015 Auburn gymnastics team I was on was recognized on the field before the Ole Miss vs. Auburn Football game for being the first Auburn gymnastics team in 22 years to make it to the NCAA national championship AND the Super 6 competition.
It was a great experience to be recognized on the field and wave to the 87,000 fans who attended the game.
We also got some cool BLING too.

NCAA national championship SUPER 6 BLING

Here is a link to an article written by about our Memorable year! Article

We also had the best videographer and photographer in the world, Andrew Aaron, create this special video to capture our night at Super 6.  It is a night that I will never forget. I will always remember being in that atmosphere, being so unbelievably tired but so excited to kick some bootay. I got to end my gymnastics career on the best note possible, I hit all my routines that night at Super 6 and the night before at prelims. The entire team was so happy we had a party in the confetti on the floor. Some parent commented, “I’ve never seen a team so happy to get sixth before.” We didn’t care how we placed, we were all just glad to be there and be able to represent Auburn and break yet another record.

super 6 team
Super 6 team after receiving their BLING

I will 100% miss these people with my entire heart, but I will not miss beating my body up for the sport that I love. The 2014-2015 Auburn Softball team was recognized the next week and their BLING was huuuuuge. They were the SEC champions so their rings were very very pretty.

I can’t wait to see what the 2015-2016 team will do!


TED Talk : “I am enough”

TED Talk

This is by far the thing I needed the most right now.
This TED talk by Brene Brown is all about vulnerability and her “research and storytelling.”
I have struggled and struggled with my emotions and have numbed them and told myself I don’t need to feel these things. THEN it all comes to a head and I breakdown (or have a “spiritual awakening”) and all the emotions come out and I used to see this as me being broken or wrong. BUT that’s not what it is, it’s just me being human and vulnerable and that is OK!

If you have ever struggled with emotions or feeling like you’re not enough watch this video. It will help.

I posted this on my other blog, but I felt I needed to post it here too. EVERYONE should see this Ted Talk

Alaskan Adventure

I, like most post-grads, love traveling. I am currently visiting Fred in Alaska, where he used to work before getting laid off. Alaska is actually not a terrible place to visit. If you enjoy the great outdoors I would 100% suggest visiting. I, myself, am more of a city girl, but have found some enjoyment in this nature state.
So here is an update on my Alaskan Adventure so far.
The other day Fred and I went to the Snow Goose restaurant and Sleeping lady Brewery.

drinking glass
snow goose restaurant glass

This is a picture of the glass that Fred didn’t let me “borrow” from the restaurant.
But we did have some DELICIOUS nachos and Alaskan chowder. Honestly some of the best food I’ve had. The nachos had grilled chicken, IPA cheddar sauce, pico and lime sour cream. The chowder was like a New England clam chowder with alaskan fresh and smoked salmon, clams, corn and bacon.

alaskan chowder
alaskan chowder

for the rest of the post visit my personal blog site.

2015 Summer Gymnastics Camp |Auburn|

Hey guys!
Check out my other blog where I wrote about the 2015 Summer Gymnastics Camp at Auburn University. Here is a snippet, but to see the whole post visit If The Crown Fits .

“So this past week I coached at Auburn Gymnastics summer camps. We had the elite camp from Sunday to Wednesday, then the day camp on Thursday and Friday.

My work actually started on Thursday the week before. I was helping put together the campers bags. It was just problem after problem that day.
We could only find powerade lanyards so we started putting those together. BUT Auburn is a gatorade school so we had to go back through and redo those lanyards.
We then realized the labels were printed wrong, so the tshirts and leotards we were putting in the bags were the wrong sizes. So the next day we had to go back through and fix all of those. Mind you we were OVER half way done with all of them.
We decided to call it a day after we realized the bags were wrong ha.

So on Friday as we get ready to re pack the bags we realized some of the dorm keys were missing or we had put them on the wrong lanyard. But the keys all look the same. So it was impossible to fix the problem. It ended up only being the dorm moms and their kids keys we mixed up, so it was fine.

The elite camp was for older girls or girls who have competed gymnastics before.
On Sunday, I got there early and helped set out the bags for the campers that contained a leotard and a tshirt, if they ordered them, a water bottle and their lanyard with their dorm key if they were staying the night. We opened the doors early so there were only a few big rushes of people which mad the “check-in” process a lot easier than years past……”

To check out the rest of the post about the 2015 Summer Gymnastics Camp at Auburn visit If The Crown Fits.

New Blog! “If the Crown Fits”

Hello All!

I have recently created a new blog called “If the Crown Fits” it can be found here! Please check it out. I will be keeping it updated more than this blog. I will eventually link in from my digital resume and portfolio website, but for now it has to be separate.

If you have anything you want me to write about let me know and I will get to it!

Picture of crown for new blog
New Blog

Auburn Gymnastics Season Preview

With the pre-season winding down and winter break coming up, Auburn gymnastics is gearing up for the exciting season that lies ahead.

On Monday, Dec. 1, the Tigers held their third annual preview meet to prepare for competition season. This year’s meet was set up differently than years past, however, but the goals were similar. The goals were for the girls to get out on the competition floor and throw as many of the skills they hope to compete as possible and to get accustomed to the equipment.

“This year we had teams set up differently, we wanted the girls who could possibly compete on that event to compete,” head coach Jeff Graba said. “So at a home meet the girls start on vault, and the girls who could compete on vault would start on vault, but not necessarily rotate in Olympic order.”

The girls also needed to get accustomed to the arena and competing in front of a crowd, instead of just in the gym. The coaches weren’t concerned with hit ratios focused on seeing how each girl operated under pressure.

Senior Megan Walker believes the preview meet served it purpose of getting out in front of the fans and testing new skills in the arena.

“It was nice to be back in the arena,” Walker said. “We went out there and reminded ourselves we have the ability to be a great team.”

Graba also agreed the meet served it purpose and it was predictable, which is good. He could see improvements from the girls, but when nerves popped up old bad habits creped back in.

“The upperclassmen who have been there before went out and tried to improve upon last years routines,” Graba said. “But we never really know if the training in practice will transfer over to a meet until we are in the meet.”

Freshmen Sarah Garcia experienced her first preview meet this year alongside her fellow freshmen; Abby Milliet, Blake Jones, Brooke Bray, Cara Stricklin and Kennedy Finister. She wasn’t as nervous as should thought she would be, but the nerves were still there

“I didn’t get nervous on bars until I was doing my last skill,” Garcia said. “I got to the high bar in my handstand and thought ‘I better make it to my feet’.”

Graba believes after the preview meet, the girls are now going into this season more confident and prepared. The girls hit more routines at the preview and showed fans, and themselves, that all their hard work during pre-season is paying off.

“Practices at this point are mundane,” Walker said. “Which is a good thing because that means we are doing our job and getting comfortable and confident with our routines.”

Boring practices are actually a good thing according to Graba and the girls. Boring means predictable and that is good for gymnastics. The girls and coaches know strengths and weaknesses of the team and at practice they can concentrate on improving even more on strengths and minimizing weaknesses. This also means working on the little things.

“We have to perfect pointing our toes and our landings,” Garcia. “This helps us get back any tenths we can and that can help us get better scores.”

The little things like landings and finishes can make or break a team and can decide if a team will make it to Nationals or not. So the girls have been perfecting every little thing to put them in the best position to make it to nationals.

“We are focusing on landings, presentation and finesse,” Walker said. “We want to get every little tenth back that we can because that is what separates the good from the great.”

With the team only loosing one gymnast last year and gaining six, the team has more depth this year. But the returners weren’t going to just sit back and rely on the freshmen. Each girl that competed last year has improved on at least one thing to help the team.

“We are a better team this year because the girls have all gotten better on something weather that be big or little,” Graba said. “Each girl wants to make themselves an option on at least one event.”

Even the girls on the team agree with Graba. They know they still have more work to do, but all their hard work during pre-season is definitely paying off with more sticks at this years’ preview meet than before.

“I may be a bit biased, but the senior class stands out in my mind,” Walker said. “We know this is our last year to make a mark on this program so we want to do everything we can to make this team better.”

No competition season is a cakewalk for any team in the SEC, and the Auburn tigers are no exception. The second meet of the year the tigers face defending national champions, the Florida gators, in the first live SEC broadcast meet of the year. And that is just the beginning of the season. Once March rolls around the schedule kicks up a notch. With an away meet Friday, March 6 the tigers then fly to Birmingham, Ala. to compete against Alabama Sunday, March 8 then the tiger face North Carolina at home Friday, March 13 and then the next Friday the tigers go to the SEC championship meet.

“The month of March will be a hard month since we have some many meets in such a short time,” Garcia said. “SECs will also be difficult since there are so many teams.”

There are many exciting things to look forward to this season for the tigers. From new routines to new girls there are quite a few reasons to see the tigers live in action at the Auburn Arena.

“Every year we have beat more and more records so I am excited to see how much we can live up to our potential again this year,” Graba said. “I’m excited to see how high we can push the bar this year.”

Tips for a Happy Holiday Food Prep

It’s that time of year again, where the weather becomes colder, your family gathers to celebrate and delicious food is always around. However, there are times when the food doesn’t turn out so delicious or the fire department has to be called. To be sure that doesn’t happen to you Regional Extension Agent for food safety, preparation and preservation Amelia Mitchell has a few tips to keep the smoke detectors from going off.

  1. Plan Ahead- Decide your menu as far ahead of time as possible, and then make a shopping list from the recipes you will use for your menu.
  1. Use Fewer Side Dishes- Everyone loves side dishes, but you don’t need to make everything possible for a small party. All you really need is a dressing dish, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and a salad.
  1. Have Guests Bring a Covered Dish- Make sure to share the workload so it’s easier on everyone and leaves you more time to spend with your family.
  1. Read the Recipes Thoroughly- If you don’t take the time to read the recipes you could find out halfway through preparation your recipe needs hours of marinating before going in the oven.
  1. Make Sure to Measure and Substitute Correctly- Dry ingredients are measured in a metal or plastic cup so you can mound them then level off for the correct amount. Wet ingredients or liquids should be measured in a clear glass or plastic cup with marking on the side so you see it at eye level to be sure you are hitting the mark. If your cake recipe calls for large eggs and all you have are jumbo eggs, it could mean the difference between a light and lovely cake and a gross, eggy one.
  1. Thaw Your Turkey Correctly- Allow at least 24 hours for thawing in the refrigerator for every five pounds of meat you are planning to cook. And NEVER THAW MEAT ON THE COUNTER, it can cause bacteria to grow and someone to get sick.
  1. Don’t Stack Leftover Containers- If you do it traps the heat in and you want your food to get cooled down as quickly as possible.

If you remember these tips around the holiday season you and your family will be a lot happier. And you can spend more time with family instead of stressing about if that weird smell is smoke or not.


Social Media Release

(This is a proof of concept to illustrate the creation of a social media release. This is not an actual release.)

The Iron Bowl of Gymnastics Chalks Up and Moves to Birmingham

Pitch: The Auburn and Alabama gymnastics teams will meet and complete for the first time at a neutral site in Birmingham, Ala., for the Iron Bowl of gymnastics.

Fast Facts:

  • Will be held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena, March 8, 2015 at 3 p.m.
  • The teams will go head to head for the first time at a neutral site on podiums, which are normally only used for championship meets.
  • The two teams have been competing against each other for over 33 years with Alabama beating the tigers in 108 of those meetings.

Alabama vs. Auburn Gymnastics highlights 2014

Junior Brittany Webster on floor

logo for auburn vs alabama gymnastics meet


  • “This will be the meet of the year,” Senior at Auburn University Megan Walker said. “We always love competing against bama because all of our fans understand this is a big meet and this year we get to compete on podium which is always fun.”
  • “This meet will benefit both programs in a positive way,” said Jennifer Rowland, assistant gymnastics coach at Auburn University. “It is always a close meet and drives fans to the competition so both programs profit from ticket sales.”
  • “I’m excited we’re able to use this competition to help benefit Camp Smile-A-Mile and the Ronald McDonald House Charities,” said Jeff Graba, Head Gymnastics Coach at Auburn University. “The Ronald McDonald House is very dear to my wife and I, as we basically lived at one for a while when my youngest daughter was born. Being able to help these charities, and at the same time compete in one of the best gymnastics competitions in the country, is a terrific opportunity for our young team!”
  • “We are so excited to add an extra meet to our schedule this year and return to the BJCC to face the Auburn Tigers,” said Dana Duckworth, Head Gymnastics Coach at the University of Alabama. “The support and passion we experienced last year in Birmingham at both the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Championships was amazing and I can’t wait for this year’s team to have the chance to experience that environment.”
  • “We are thrilled to host this event,” said Michael Jones, head event coordinator at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena. “This will help us prepare to host large format gymnastics meets and other events in the future.”

Relevant Links:

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FAWN program benefits youth

While Alabama isn’t the concrete jungle New York City might be,  many middle school students in Alabama still don’t know about the diverse terrain that surrounds them.

FAWN station
Tree measurement station

Alabama 4-H adopted the Forestry Awareness Week Now program, FAWN, to teach young people about the world around them. FAWN’s goal is to open the eyes of youth in Alabama to the forest environment.

“The program originated in Louisiana and had its Alabama debut in Morgan County in May 1994,” Warren Griffith, Fayette county Extension coordinator said. “The forest commission wanted to get information out to students about the forest and how it benefits us.”

In Pickens County, Extension Coordinator Patti Presley-Fuller is one of the people in charge of FAWN for her county. She meets once a quarter with local foresters, state and federal agencies and local residents to plan the educational programs and activities for FAWN.

“We split the students into six groups and have six stations for them to go to,” Presley-Fuller said. “They spend 20 minutes at each station talking about  various forest topics.”

The stations and topics differ from county to county, but the overall idea is the same–explain the forest environment. In Pickens County, students learn about about foliage, pelts and furs, safety tips, forest management and other topics at the stations. A favorite station for the students is the tree identification station, where they find leaves and match them to the tree they came from. The Alabama Forestry Commission also makes an appearance with their bulldozer and talks to students about fire prevention.​

Come Celebrate Traditions at Syrup Sopping Day

Celebrate the local traditions of Loachapoka, Ala. on Oct. 18 at Syrup Sopping Day, featuring biscuits, syrup, homemade items, traditional crafts and many other things to see and do.

Every year when the fall weather rolls in, close to 20,000 people from all over the country also roll into the small town of Loachapoka for flaky soft biscuits and sweet gooey syrup.

Since 1972, the local Ruritan Club, the Lee County Historical Society and the Ladies Improvement Club have put on this sticky event in coordination with the historical fair to celebrate the history of Loachapoka and to raise money for the town. Syrup Sopping Day started out with mostly locals, but has grown tremendously in its 42 years.

“It began in the ’70s and got really big really fast,” Loachapoka resident George Rowell said. “The Ladies Improvement Club originally made the biscuits, but the event was so big they had to hire Hardees to help out.”

There is more to Syrup Sopping Day than just gooey syrup and buttery biscuits. The Historical Fair goes on right across the street as well. There are crafts, booths set up for vendors, handmade items from looms and many other things to showcase the history and traditions of the area.

To read more visit

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