Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Things I learned at Christmas time...

So I survived the Smoky Mountains and I've lived to tell the tale. I don't have any pictures to show you guys (yet) as my camera battery died during Christmas and I cannot find the battery charger anywhere. I hope it will turn up soon.

Here are a few things I learned over the Christmas Holiday with all the family fun:

1. My mom and Betsy should not be allowed into any Walgreens unsupervised. They should also not be allowed to ride in the car together after they leave said Walgreens.

2. Snow on Christmas Day is super fun!

3. Snow the day you are trying to leave and pack up the car and get your car out of the driveway isn't super fun.

4. Parker looks ADORABLE in her Christmas sweater. Lulu looks like she got an invite to a Bad Christmas Sweater party.

5. Lulu was able to survive a rough Christmas with an annoying little cousin pestering her the entire time (Parker). I feel empathy with her as I spent many Christmases with an annoying little cousin (Em) and an annoying little sister (Betsy) pestering me. Including this Christmas. Ha!

6. Betsy does NOT like sleeping in a loft on an uncomfortable bed.

7. Nicholas and I can have a really good 8-hour drive-- we have lots of fun together!!

8. Parker does NOT prefer my dad's company to mine. She merely tolerates him. Anything evidence to the contrary is false.

9. I spent WAY too much time wrapping my gifts this year. Everyone complained at how my presents made all the other ones look inferior. Especially my presents that were wrapped in the Belk bag with the receipt still in it.

10. Geno's pizza has changed ownership and is not as good as it used to be. Super sad.

But the main thing I learned is:

My family is AWESOME. Even despite all the chuckling and fussing that went on, I love them more than anything and wouldn't change them for the world. I have the best time with them, doing nothing or everything at all. I love them so much it hurts. And sometimes, I dislike them so much it hurts, but they are the best part of me and I adore each one of them! I'm lucky!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just call me Betsy...

We had a great time in NOLA this weekend and the pictures will soon follow. However, I have a much larger problem at this time:

So I guess you've all been laughing at me behind my back these last few weeks and possibly even months, right? Last week's blog background mea culpa was bad enough but this week I'm ready to crawl into a hole and not come out for a while. I can only imagine the giggles and gossip that's been going on here lately. "Did you see her?" "Can you imagine?" "How brave of her to show her face".

My hair is two different lengths. One side is about an inch longer than the other side. I just noticed it, in the courthouse bathroom. So I've taken this picture to show everyone. Its humiliating. Plus, I'm not sure I've ever taken a picture of myself in the mirror of a public restroom. Yet another humiliating thing to check off today's list. Also? I am wearing just a white t-shirt, but before you tsk, tsk that a white t-shirt isn't very professional, let me interject that I am also wearing a long graige (gray-beige, the hot new color) sweater. But for purposes of the picture, I took it off.

I also tried to straighten my hair as long as possible and tilt my head a bunch of different ways to make sure I wasn't imagining the hair lengths. I'm not. I officially have two different lengths of hair on the sides of my head.

It reminds me of my sweet sister, who, many years ago, chopped her hair off. Super short. It took a LONG time to grow back. It was Christmastime, and our family had been in the Smoky Mountains for the holidays. My dad and Betsy came home a bit earlier than me and my mom. I don't know where Nicholas was. I'm guessing we didn't leave him up there, but I have no idea who he was with that this time. We get home, and we go see Dad and Betsy. Dad is acting a bit funny and Betsy is wearing a light blue ski cap, which were all the rage then. Dad then tells my mom that "Betsy cut her hair" and my mom freaks out and orders Betsy out of her room and to take off the ski cap. Betsy's hair is GONE. She had long, beautiful, past-her-shoulders hair. And now its this strange bowl-shaped haircut above her ears. My mom was FURIOUS. It was hilarious. I loved it when Betsy got in trouble!!

So my blog post has come full circle. Our family is headed back to the Smoky Mountains for Christmas. Parker, Nicholas and I leave first thing in the morning and the rest of the family will follow at various times. I'm so very excited. This year I've not been so much in the Christmas spirit and I've barely gotten much Christmas decorating or shopping done, and at this point, if its not done, its not getting done. I'm chalking this Christmas up to life getting in the way, but rest assured, next year I will be back in full force, so don't worry your pretty little reader heads. But this year I'm throwing in the towel and heading to the mountains. And I'm SUPER excited. Most of you know that my family went to the mountains for many years during junior high, high school and college, but after college, and my grandparents passing away, we stopped going. I've been two times since then, but not before Christmas, so it was different.

Most of my families' traditions are wrapped up in the mountains. We've spent the last 8 or so years having Christmas and going, "well, if we were in the mountains right now, we'd be going to Cade's Cove... or getting hot chocolate at that cute little shop... or eating at the Dixie Stampede... but since we aren't, we are sitting around looking at each other like idiots and watching CSI:Miami reruns." So, this year, we are BACK!! Watch out Gatlinburg! We plan to do lots of shopping, lots of eating, lots of nothing, Dixie Stampeding, ice skating, ziplining (new this year for us!) and certainly arguing.

I plan to blog as much as possible over the next few days, so you readers won't miss out on any of the fun!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A taste of what's to come...

This weekend I'm in New Orleans with Emilee and Parker visiting Penny! We are having a fabulous time and I have spent way too much money. I intended to buy lots of Christmas presents but as of yet, Parker is the only one I've bought anything for. She's going to love her gifts! I promise to post lots of pictures of everything soon, but for now, here are some teaser tidbits:

- We were invited to go caroling with Cousin Eddie.
- Cafe Du Monde is not busy at 2:30 in the morning.
- Neither is Magazine Street.
- Hot buttered rum is disgusting, no matter how much you stir it.
- 22 year old Marines don't know where the Ritz-Carlton is.

I'll be posting pictures when I get back home this week. We are getting ready now for our 9:30 reservations at Commander's Palace, and tomorrow we are eating at Mr. B's for brunch (my favorite!) and then shopping until its time for Christmas caroling at Jackson Square! Love New Orleans!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My mind is mush...

So its the end of my first official trial all by myself. I'm exhausted. My brain hurts. I feel like I did on the way to Tennessee with my friend Katherine in the passenger seat after the Mississippi Bar. "Stay between the straight little lines. Hold onto the this wheel thing in front of me. Try not to say anything because it won't make sense. Look straight ahead. Don't look anywhere else because you only have one brain cell left and its best not to distract it." I'm mush.

I'll admit I did have a bit of help-- the attorney whose office I use in Decatur came over for a few minutes this morning and he did make some objections and basically try to harass the prosecution as best he could. Its not a great case, so any harassment of the prosecution is a win for us.

I'll talk more about this when its over, but I will say, there is nothing more exhausting and exhilarating that spending an entire day with an entire case resting on your shoulders to remind you why you love this job (if in fact, you do love this job. The jury is still out on this issue of fact.)-- I'm feeling more like myself than I have in a really, really long time-- I'm feeling confident and super super proud of myself for getting to this point. This trial hasn't been perfect and its not over yet, and we probably won't win-- but its been a metaphor for what's going on in my life right now-- I'm still standing and will still be standing after all is said and done tomorrow. And I'm standing proud-- I've not (yet) fallen, or bungled my words, or made a fool of myself, and I've even gotten some compliments and won a few of my arguments, and possibly even impressed some people. So, I consider this a win. I'm super proud of myself and anxious to do more of this kind of work. And to see where this next year is going to lead me! I'm getting back to myself! Slowly but surely. Don't call me shirley.

Also, on an unrelated note, the Mayor took me to eat at the Mexican restaurant tonight (I don't recall the name of it. I know its not el Charro, but that's what I'm going to call it. Oxford friends will recall that as a throwback to all the other Mexican places there.) After all the fun of last night's Lion's Club party, I wasn't sure I could handle anymore excitement. Boy was I wrong. The place was packed and I think it had something to do with the mariachi band playing. The three guys were kind enough to play "Crazy" by Patsy Cline for my dad and I. No, we didn't request it. According to the lead singer/violin player, it was a romantic song for a "nice couple". Yeah, me and my dad. Great. And no, he didn't sing it in Spanish. So we, the "nice couple" could understand the words. Thanks, buddy. And yes, the place was packed with at least 6 tables of people we knew who thought the entire thing was hilarious. That's how rumors get started...

Monday, December 13, 2010


I totally just realized what an awful blogging faux pas I've been committing-- I still had a Fall themed background. How embarrassing. I'm humiliated. I just hope you guys can forgive me. Its fixed now.

Now that you've forgive me for being such a blogging imbecile, I'm going to switch gears and make you super jealous of me. Tonight I attended the Lion's Club Area Christmas Party. Yep, you read that correct-- not just the Newton Lions Club, but the "Area" party. Which includes Decatur, Union and, wait for it... Collinsville. I can feel the jealousy through the computer screen. I went with the Mayor, and he wore a teal green with white striped shirt and a red sweater vest. He's really into sweater vests (and, to answer your question, yes, that is the same outfit he wore last night to church at FBC, Laurel. And no, it didn't match any better then.)

Note to blog readers-- the only people who will really understand this next paragraph will be my mom and Betsy and Nicholas. They truly "get" the Lions Club. This is for them.

We got to sit with fellow Newton Lions Joel Nelson and Joe Clay from Newton County Bank and Joel's lovely wife Vickie. It was a long night. We were the second-to-last table to get in line for food, and we retaliated by stealing the desserts from some other Newton Lions. We had desserts-- we were just bored. Lion Al Wooly sat behind us and we believe he ate the last bit of roast beef before we got in line. It got ugly after that. Laughing Louis Foley kept getting tickled on the other side of the room and was fined a couple times. My lemon meringue pie was actually coconut and I had to steal some potato from dad to get that nasty taste out of my mouth! The best part was the doorprizes. Both dad and I won-- pictured below.

One prize is a "Land Surveyors & Assay Office" figurine from The Americana Collection. The other prize was a small live green Christmas tree. Unfortunately for everyone, the pictures I took won't upload. I really hate you cannot see the figurine. Its totally going on my desk. Stop by and see sometime. Oh and it came with a writing pen from Milling Funeral Home. Jealous?

Well now the fun is over and I'm back at the office preparing for tomorrow. Wishing I was home in my comfy bed with my sweet Parker girl. However, I'm listening to KLOVE and pouring over jury lists while eating Twizzlers. My life's not always as glamorous as it was earlier tonight.

Bible Reading for today...

Proverbs 18:24
There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

I love this verse-- it lodges in my head a lot of the time and reminds me of how really awesome my friends are. Its kinda unbelievable how I've managed to make so many great friends-- friends who are willing to stick by me when I'm in trouble, to laugh with me when I'm down, and to tell me honestly when I'm making mad decisions. Many avid readers who see me regularly will know that this year, and specifically, this semester (yes, I'm still on a semester timeline. I've been ridiculed about that a whole heck of a lot here lately, by my "friends" natch. I'm afraid I won't be able to drop that habit anytime soon!) will know that it hasn't been the best year for me. I've been pretty down (and not just about how awful Ole Miss football was this year!) here lately, and I've had a hard time turning things around. Still working on that. I'm not ready to go into details on the blog yet, but I'll be glad to share with anyone over a nice cold DC. However, I am willing to share some of the amazing things I've learned here recently. As one super fabulous friend pointed out, when all is said and done, and I'm looking back on this point in my life (hopefully, from some exotic locale somewhere with a bank account full of money and a designer purse for every hour of the day), I won't think about the bad decisions or tears, but I'll think about what I learned about myself, and more importantly, at least for purposes of this blog, what I've learned about my friends.

First of all, I've learned my friends are the only readers of this blog. Not a shocker there, but I've had a dozen people tell me lately that they need more updates on the blog! Now, you can turn that into a commentary on the state of those people's lives if you want, but I'm satisfied knowing that at least a couple people care that I've not been updating! I promise to do better!!!

Even better, I've learned that my friends are the best people in the world. They really are. You'll never convince me otherwise. And if you are reading this blog now, its a good bet that I'm putting you into this category! So YOU are one of the best people in the world!! Congratulations! A certificate will be in the mail shortly!!

I love the Proverbs verse above because its so very true (as opposed to all those other Bible verses that aren't true, I suppose). I'm working on more Bible memorization because I find it helps me to focus my mind where it should be instead of thinking and overthinking the situation at hand. This is a verse I don't have to commit to memory because its already there. Plus, its super easy to remember. I also appreciate that the website where I got this particular version included an "alphabetical" translation.

"A brother but closer come comes companions friend friends is man many may of ruin sticks than there to too who"

I'd like to buy a steak dinner for any reader who can come up with a logical reason why you'd ever need such a thing. Useless, but funny.

Ok, enough rambling. I've decided that I'm going to be spotlighting a fabulous friend of mine on this blog-- for as long as it takes to go through all of them!! There are lots!!! And I'll list all the great things about her/him and my favorite memories! I was going to start today but now this post has gotten quite long and I've got an embezzlement trial starting tomorrow that I'm working on. Plus, and I know this will make a lot of you jealous, I'm accompanying the Mayor to the Lion's Club Christmas Party tonight at ECCC. Yeah, my life's that fabulous. Rumor has it that all the ladies get gifts. I'd like to think my gift would be just getting to go and spend time with this "special" group of the community, but that wouldn't be true. I better get a good gift.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Life Lessons, Big Checks, and Midnight Showings...

Today I was able to go with two of my Junior Auxiliary friends over to Waynesboro, Mississippi, where we accepted a $2,000.00 grant from Jarden Consumer Services. They make warming blankets (Sunbeam, Oster, Mr. Coffee, and CrockPot are some of their brands), so I was able to give a big thank you to all the people who've kept my toes warm over the year. You know I love my electric blanket and heating pad. I have my heating pad on my feet even as I type!

Laurel Junior Auxiliary had applied for the grant a few weeks ago, and I was one of the people who helped write it. It was really fun and really nice to meet all those great people. The employees voluntarily take out money from each of their paychecks throughout the year and then vote on different organizations to receive the grant money. Isn't that a wonderful thing, to have people giving up their money to help others?

I also learned a tough life lesson today. Its really been a lesson-in-the-works for quite some time now, but God certainly answered my doubts on this one in a huge way. I like to think of myself as a kind-hearted person-- I think everyone is a good person, deep down, and that all anyone needs is ton be loved or to experience true friendship. I guess its because I've been super blessed in the friendship department. And I also have a really good first instinct about people. I've only ever been wrong once-- someone I worked with a long time ago. Its a gift, really, and I pride myself on listening to my instincts about people. And I've learned that its a dangerous game to ignore those instincts. But some people are just people you should avoid. They aren't going to do anything in your life but bring you down. I've been lucky that I've gotten this far in life without coming into close contact with someone like that, but alas, my lucky streak has ended. I praise God for showing me this lesson before the situation got worse and I hope I won't forget it the next time I come across someone like this. All I can do now is move along with my pretty great life and try to forget what happened.

I've also learned that some people are just crappy people. I heard the Grinch Christmas song today (yes, I'm already listening to Christmas music, though not full-time, haters). And it occurred to me that there are lots of "life grinches"-- people who just suck. Some of these lyrics are very applicable to people, even when its not Christmas time! I hope that if any of my dear readers have people like these in their life, they will avoid them with every single breath! I don't like to think that God made bad people, and I know that God loves everyone, and therefore, so should I. But the Bible is littered with "bad guys" so its not like they are new or anything.

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel.
Mr. Grinch.

You're a bad banana
With a greasy black peel.

You're a monster, Mr. Grinch.
Your heart's an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders,
You've got garlic in your soul.
Mr. Grinch.

I wouldn't touch you, with a
thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch.
You have termites in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a seasick crocodile.
Mr. Grinch.

Given the choice between the two of you
I'd take the seasick crockodile.

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch.
You're a nasty, wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk.
Mr. Grinch.

The three words that best describe you, are as follows, and I quote:

You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch.
You're the king of sinful sots.
Your heart's a dead tomato splotched
With moldy purple spots,
Mr. Grinch.

Your soul is an apalling dump heap overflowing
with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable
rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.

You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch.
With a nauseaus super-naus.
You're a crooked jerky jockey
And you drive a crooked hoss.
Mr. Grinch.

You're a three decker saurkraut and toadstool sandwich
With arsenic sauce!

Now that my soul-cleaning is done for the year, I'm getting to the better part of my day-- tonight I'm heading to HARRY POTTER!!!! Emilee and Mallory and I have tickets for the 12:02 show! Its going to be so wonderful! I love love love Harry Potter-- those books are so creative and so interesting and its like the characters are my brothers and sisters and I'm just so darn proud of them!!! I love you dear Blog-readers and I am sorry for my above ranting. Probably most of you already knew that lesson, but I'm a slow-learner and I abhor change, so it takes me a bit longer. Don't bother to call me early in the morning! I'll be napping cause its going to be a late night! Nothing like Harry and friends to cheer me up!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Life is full of interuptions and complications...

Love Actually is my most favorite holiday film. My second most favorite holiday film is "Christmas Comes to Willow Creek", starring the Duke brothers themselves, Tom Wopat and John Schneider.

I have this 1987 classic on VHS, complete with the original commercials-- taped by my granddaddy years and years ago, and given to me years later! I LOVE it! What's not to love about two brothers and one teenagers taking a truck full of gifts and supplies to a fledgling Alaskan town-- stopping along the way to fall in love, gamble in Reno, deliver a baby and meet an angel. Why are you still reading this and not on-line buying this movie right now????!!! Its the best!!!

Back to the point of my post. Love Actually. Best. Holiday. Movie. Ever. Perhaps Best Movie Ever. Certainly best cast ever! Everyone good is in this movie! It came out when I was in law school and it reminds me of a wonderful time in my life and its one of the only movies I remember watching in the theater three times (in Tupelo, nonetheless!) I love it-- I love thinking about how many different ideas of love are out there-- romantic, familial, friendship, all different types. I'm really lucky to have lots of people I love in my life (all you readers!!!!)

Last night Emilee and I had a "Date Night" and watched Love Actually in order to get in the Christmas spirit! After reading my previous blog about the Paula Deen Creamy, Dreamy Spinach and Bacon dip, Em pointed out that its not a good idea to make a new recipe for a ton of people without trying it first! Being the wonderful cousin she is, Em graciously offered to be my guinea pig and let me make the dip for her last night. I did and it was WONDERFUL!!!!!! Its a totally fantastic recipe-- it smelled so good while it was cooking that I could barely stand to wait for the timer!

Doesn't that look fine? And we used a big ole spoon to get that stuff-- as Em says, "we weren't playing!".

We ate it with corn chips and it was all we ate-- but it was a great meal! We even forgot to make the homemade hot chocolate that Em loves!

I hope that last night was the beginning of a fabulous holiday season! Em and I both love Christmas and I think this year, more so than in the past, we really want to be able to relax and enjoy this time of year, and I believe we both deserve a really fabulous Christmas. And Christmas is all about being honest and being with the people you love. I'm super blessed to have great people surrounding me, and I'm lucky that they can see me and my life much more clearly than I can. If only I'd listen to them!! So, I'll close this post by being honest about how great a person my dear cousin Em is-- she's more than a cousin to me, and I'm so proud of how wonderful and fantastic a person she is and has become. She's so incredibly strong and she's my person to lean on when I'm not so strong! I love you, Em...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beatles, NOLA and My Penny...

Last Friday, right about lunch, I got a text message from my friend Penny, saying she has free tickets to the Beatles Tribute Broadway Musical, Rain, in New Orleans. I've posted about my love of that city and my love only grows stronger with time! Like I've said before, I never really cared for NOLA as I was growing up, when we took field trips to the Aquarium and places like that. I've been a few times as an "adult" and didn't really warm to the city those times either. But since my friend Penny moved down there two and a half years ago (wow, time flies!), I've really enjoyed exploring the city, and I only wish I could go down more often!

So, when Penny called, it only took a few minutes for me to "get a wild hair" and decide to head down there! Penny and I got all dressed up and went to a place called Slice-- its on St. Charles and I've noticed it many times, so I was excited to get to try it!

It was yummy! We split the bruschetta, and I had a slice of the salmon/capers pizza and the prosciutto/mozzarella. It was yummy. I forgot my camera so I don't have pictures!

Next we headed to the theater for the Beatles Musical. Free tickets!! We had a great time and I really enjoyed the musical-- I didn't get to take many pictures, so this is a small picture from the website. The band came out, all decked out in their Beatles outfits and sang some fabulous music! I hate to admit it but Penny and I didn't know all their music, but we had a great time dancing around with all the old people in the audience!

The next morning, we hit up a fun diner on Magazine Street.

Slim Goodies is ALWAYS super packed which is one reason we really wanted to go-- obviously its a pretty good place! We got there just in time and I've decided it is a fabulous new place for us to try when I'm down there! Here are some pictures:

Its got a cool diner atmosphere and the walls are covered in polaroid pictures of customers!

Here I am, contemplating the meaning of life and what to eat for breakfast (there were a LOT of choices and too many choices overwhelm me!!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A clearer picture...

It is my understanding that some people don't really think that today's monster roach confrontation was that big of a deal. I believe those cynical people don't really understand the details of the situation (heh, "the situation"!). So, I've taken it upon myself to "recreate" the moment so you can all get a better idea.

The pumpkin head is my head and the little orange guy is the monster roach. This way you can see exactly how close we were to each other. Parker refused to be in the picture. She thought the lighting wasn't very flattering.

Parker > Lassie

So this morning, just a few minutes ago, Parker saved my life. It was horrible, terrible, awful. Picture it- Mississippi, 10:00 a.m., sitting on my couch, eating cold pizza for breakfast (Its Veterans Day, don't judge me-- J. Dawn Carr Law Office is closed!!), watching America's Next Top Model. Parker is, as usual, begging for food and I, like a good mom, am rewarding her with lots of scraps.

Suddenly, something catches her attention, out of the corner of her eye. She moves to the side. Looks up to the back of the couch. I, sensing something is wrong (since Parker and I are so attuned to each other), turn as well. And that's when I see it. Mere inches from my shoulder.

A HUGE ROACH. I'm not sure if it was an FR (Flying Roach, as we call it at the Carr House). I jumped up, throwing the blanket, the clicker, my phone in all different directions. Parker jumps up, I jump up, I start screaming and dancing around like an idiot. I HATE roaches. And to think this roach was was crawling AWAY from me, so it had been EVEN closer. I cannot explain the dread and disgust in my mind, even now, much later. Its a nightmare.

Luckily, I have finely honed reflexes and I was able to grab a show and kill this monster before it got away. I keep feeling phantom roaches all over me and I had to run around and scream for a few minutes afterward. I'm pretty sure Parker thought I was ridiculous!!!

This is the dead roach...


My new lucky shoe...

Readers, this isn't the first time I've had a horrible brush with a monster like this. When I first moved to Laurel, I lived with my Aunt Ju for a few months till I found an apartment. I lived in her attic bedroom, which is a super cute room with twin beds pushed against the wall. The sloping ceiling comes right above the beds, but it was perfect for me since I'm short!!

I'd seen several roaches in the attic but I'd kept my composure and killed them. No amount of begging my mean old aunt for an exterminator visit would warm her cold heart.

One night, I'm sleeping comfortably in my twin bed, and all the sudden, I feel something on my face. I brush it off, thinking it is my imagination, and I decide to get up, go downstairs to the bathroom. I come back upstairs and I cannot shake this strange feeling, so I turn on the light. And there, sitting on my pillow, right next to where my head had just been, was a huge FR. The same FR, I will go to my grave believing, had dropped onto my FACE just seconds before.

Instead of panicking, I merely screamed, jumped around, grabbed my cell and my sleep machine and ran downstairs and slept on the couch. My wicked Aunt didn't even care, and after a couple nights of sleeping on the couch, she told me I couldn't even do that anymore, it was messing up her couch and that I had to go back upstairs to my roach room. She's freaking evil. She never even offered to call an exterminator for me! I'm pretty sure when she has a bad day, this is the story she thinks of to cheer herself up.

So, dear readers, I hope your morning was better than mine. But luckily, I have the sweetest, most brave girl in the world, watching over me!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Its the most wonderful time of the year...

Its come to my attention that this blog didn't post earlier this week when I originally wrote it-- so here it is-- better late than never!!!

Hey readers! I'm busy at work today, but I'm taking time out of my busy schedule to update! Things have been busy these last couple weeks and I cannot really explain how positive and upbeat I am feeling about the upcoming weeks and months! I'm so incredibly blessed to have lots of friends and family who love me and treat me wonderfully and care about me-- I'm a lucky girl! I forget to tell you guys that sometimes, but you all mean the world to me. I'm so blessed that I can tell you guys all the stupid things I do, and, when you finish laughing hysterically at my idiot decisions, you still love me. Of course, this message is only for readers of this blog, so if you are my friend and you are NOT a blog reader, you'll never know how much you mean to me and how much I love you. And you are a total loser for not reading my blog. As Barney Stinson would say, its gotten a lot better.

Ok, enough of my rambling on and on about my wonderful friends and family.

Here are some things going on in my life.

Laurel Junior Auxiliary-- we have a lot going on in the coming weeks and I'm really looking forward to most of it! This Friday, we have the Very Special Arts Festival-- it is in conjunction with the Lauren Rogers Museum Guild and the Arts League and its so wonderful. Its a huge arts and crafts festival for children with special needs. Ellisville State School brings a lot of children, but kids come from all over South Mississippi and they really enjoy it. I think it is my favorite part of being an LJA member. Its just really uplifting, and reminds me how incredibly lucky I am and how important it is to give back to people in any way I can. I don't have a ton of money to donate (or really ANY money!) and I don't necessarily have a ton of special skills wherein I could make beautiful toys out of spiderwebs, duct tape and glitter, or nurse a person back to health or anything. I'm not even totally sure of what my special skills are. But I can hand children chalk and let them make a humongous mural on the wall, and then, at the end, sweep up all of the chalk from the floor. Even I can handle that and I can laugh when the kids laugh and hold back tears when I see how much fun they are having. I mean, even I can handle that!

We also have the Fall Social coming up next Tuesday-- my Provisional class and I will be doing all the cooking for this rather large get together of all past and current members. Yes, to be clear, that means if you are a past or current member of LJA and are planning to attend next week, you should avoid the Creamy, Dreamy, Spinach, Onion and Bacon Dip. Cause I'm making it. This is what is should look like. Its a Paula Deen recipe so it literally has a pound of bacon and 3 packages cream cheese (yuck!) and mayonnaise. So it's low-fat.

Also, in typing that last sentence, I've just realized that MAYONNAISE has two "N"'s. Is that right? I've always spelled it "mayonaise". Although, to be honest, I'm not sure I can ever remember typing or spelling it. So, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Ugh. Its gross.

Ok, with that totally random, unimportant last thought, I'm signing off. There is work to do.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Its November, folks...

So, its November. Um, somewhere, in my mind, its really like the end of August-- I've been in a fog the last few months, apparently, and it just doesn't seem like its November already. I'm finally coming out of my fog and realizing its getting cold, my winter clothes are still packed up, and I've not even thought about Christmas shopping!! But, this is my favorite time of the year and I fully intend to enjoy every last second of it!

A couple weekends ago, Mom, Aunt Ju and Emilee and I went to Mitchell Farms, in Collins, Ms, about 20 minutes from Laurel. We had a fabulous time!! I'm just now getting around to posting pictures but its more of a Thanksgiving-y thing than a Halloween thing, so I'm still safe.

I'd never been to Mitchell Farms before but apparently it is THE place to head during this time of the year! There is a petting zoo, corn maze, riding tour, cotton patch, corn jump for kids, food, and all sorts of other stuff, especially for kids! We had a great time, even without any kids!

We had to buy tickets, but I don't know how much they were-- ask Mom! But with the ticket, you got a free pumpkin!

Sweet cousins:

Mean moms who took off in their car and left their sweet daughters to try to find the place themselves and laughed maniacally when we missed the turn (since we'd had no idea where this place was!):

We took a tour of the whole farm-- we got to going pretty fast at one point:

The corn maze-- I'm totally isolated here-- I felt like I was at Ron's house in Harry Potter, hiding from Bellatrix LeStrange. No, actually, the corn maze, which was a great idea, was a bit of a letdown-- it was so dry and dusty and you could pretty much see everyone around you. Em is ahead of me, right around that bend, so I wasn't really alone!

There was a really pretty cotton patch! Em was impressed with my knowledge of the cotton gin and Eli Whitney. Thanks, 9th grade Mississippi History!

Em carrying two pumpkins back to the car-- it was a long, tough walk. We thought we could make it without a cart, but by the time we got to the car, we were about exhausted! Its hard carrying two big ole pumpkins!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sumo Wrestling, Psycho Birds and Creepy Pumpkins

I've already posted today (twice!) but I'm making up for lost time, lucky readers. Picture this-- its Friday night, I'm watching America's Next Top Model and relaxing after a terribly long week. Mom and I are discussing decorations and food for the Grove tomorrow (philosophical differences keep rearing their ugly head-- do we use Halloween decorations which will clearly clash with the usual reb/blue/Ole Miss/Colonel Reb decorations? Or ignore the Holiday altogether in an effort to keep the tablescape uniform? Again, reasons why I don't sleep well at night.)

Then a knock at the door and my cousin Em (fav!) and our friend Mal come right on in. I'm glad to see them, especially Mal since I've not seen her in forever and she's lots of fun (not that Em's not fun, but I see her all the time! Including, tomorrow morning at 7:40!). We are catching up and Mal's loving on Parker and noting her new cute haircut, when the door opens and someone else comes in. Its a totally fabulous Friday night surprise:

Its out of control. Aunt Ju and Lo (avid readers will remember Lo from Betsy and Peter's visit back during the summer. She's a part of the family!)!! Lo lives a couple houses away from mine, but alas, they did not walk but drove instead. However, my joy was not deterred. I literally jumped up and down I was laughing so very hard.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place...

The wrestlers decided to sit down and stay a while:

Em and I even took a whirl with the wrestlers:

And of course, me and Sweet Parker-- she left the room after a while-- I'm guessing we kinda freaked her out!

We laughed and laughed and laughed. Aunt Ju recounted the recent bird attack at her house with Lo and Mal, and I danced to the broken pumpkin song (I can't explain-- you'll have to come see in person!)

We had the best time-- it seems like way too long since we've all been together. I've been a little busy and a lot distracted these last couple weeks for many different reasons, so I really enjoyed getting back to who I am-- someone who loves to enjoy the people around them, who loves to laugh, who loves being around people who love her!! I so needed to sit around with some of the people I love and laugh until my head hurt! It was amazing and an absolutely fantastic way to end a long week! Hope you enjoy these pictures as well! Now off to bed with visions of a Rebel win tomorrow!!!

I've not got the hang of this blog thing yet...

I've just posted a blog about my DisneyWorld trip-- it was started right after I got back but I just now finished it and its apparently posted before my more recent posts. So, scroll down and read it! If you don't I'll come to your house and make you listen to the story behind every single one of my hundreds of pictures. I'm dead serious.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

So I've not put up my Disney pictures (I tried a while back and the pictures wouldn't upload and I'm not known for my patience). Still working on that, and I've not posted very often since I've gotten back cause I've been in a bit of a funk. But hopefully that is over now! I've actually been quite flattered by all the people fussing at me to get my blog back up and running! Thanks you guys-- your Christmas gifts will be especially fabulous this year!!

I did a Facebook quiz today and I'm anxious to see what people think about the accuracy of this. Anyone have any thoughts about this:

You are observant, cooperative, informative, and expressive. You are greatly concerned with the health and welfare of those under your care and you are the nurturer of established social institutions such as businesses, churches, social clubs, and schools. You are the most sociable of the Guardians (SJ's) and you strive to provide friendly social service. You spend a lot of your energy making sure social functions are successful, traditions are upheld, and the needs of others are met.

You are an excellent master of ceremonies or chairperson of social events. Highly cooperative, you are very capable of maintaining teamwork among your workers. You are attentive to details of the goods and services you provide. During social events, you are often able to remember your guests' names after one introduction, and you may appear to be aware of what everyone has been doing.

You are friendly, outgoing, and gregarious. You love to talk and you can become quite agitated when you are isolated from others. You are fascinated about news concerning your friends, neighbors, and local community. You will often strike up conversations with strangers and will talk about anything that comes to mind. If someone wants to know what has been going on in the community, you are often happy to provide the details.

You may be the most sympathetic of the role variants as you are highly sensitive to the feelings of others. This sensitivity can leave you self-conscious as you care about what others think of you. You are affectionate and you feel a need to be loved in return. You can be easily crushed by criticism directed towards you and you strongly desire to be appreciated for who you are and for the service you provide to others.

Famous Providers include William Howard Taft, Dave Thomas, Barbara Walters, and Sam Walton.

I'm especially intrigued by the William Howard Taft reference-- I mean, I've always dreamed of being just like the guy, but now, it seems like my dreams have come true. Me and WHT-- love that guy!!

In other news, here are some things I'm looking forward to:

1. The Grove for the Ole Miss-Auburn game-- it seems like its been a long time since a game and even longer since a game when everyone I love attended. Now, my Katie and David won't be there, but Em and even Betsy will be!! Yay!! I miss the Grove food and seeing everyone and I really miss winning ballgames. I doubt that'll happen this week, but you never know...

2. Getting back on meds-- many of you know I take my crazy pills (to keep me from going crazy) but I've been off them for a long time (don't really have a good reason, just not a lot of extra money) and I'm headed back to the doctor this week ($75.00 no-insurance charge be darned) to get my prescription refilled. I think everyone can breathe a collective sigh of relief. And if you breathe quietly, and after I'm back on my pills, I won't bite your collective heads off.

3. Parade of Flags at FBC-- its in less than 2 weeks and I've spent a lot of time and energy trying to organize it this year. The past two years I was "in charge" though in name only-- other, older women did most of the heavy lifting since I'd never participated or even watched a Parade. This year, though, its just me. And since our Children's Minister Joan has been busy with a lot of other things (church building moving and renovation, an early Parade that comes right after Trunk or Treat), I'm basically trying to do as much as I can for her. The costumes are finally coming together and I've been working on the script today. I'm really excited!!!

4. Trunk or Treat-- I'm dressing up as Esther. Its Joan's idea and I think it will be a good one. I'm actually really looking forward to it. I mean, I get to dress up as a Queen!! How fun??!! And while I'd like to pretend what I look like on the outside doesn't really matter, I do hope people think I make a pretty, or at least, decent Queen, and don't wonder why I am wearing a Halloween costume that's totally misrepresentative of what I look like! I hope I get a couple compliments at least! Y'all know how insecure I am!

5. Getting out my winter clothes. Yes, its still 80 degrees outside during the day, but its chilly at night and anyone who knows me knows I'm always cold! I've already started wearing sweaters in the office and socks to bed at night. Soon, my fingers will freeze and they won't thaw out till March. I love my winter clothes. And yes, for all you haters, my Uggs will still be in the rotation. I love them. They are comfy. They are warm. I've had them longer than anyone I know and I will continue to have them long after you people stop wearing your Toms. Its true love, not some casual dating thing. And, yes, to all who are wondering, I WILL still be wearing my blue Uggs that my dear Katie so graciously bought me off the sale rack at TJ Maxx a couple years ago. In fact, I wore them this morning while walking Parker. Be jealous.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

So, I'm finally back from DisneyWorld!!

I know all my avid readers are glad I'm back from my DisneyWorld trip! I've actually been back for a long time, but it seemed that as soon as I got back, lots of stuff started happening and I'm just now getting caught up! I'm glad to be back to, but it was one of the most fun vacations I've ever had! I was absolutely obnoxious about taking pictures, so I'll have a lot to post about at a later date. Today I'm going to post a little bit and then get back to being a bum. I'm also planning to clean the kitchen and do a bit of work, so we'll see how that goes. Its just good to be home with the beautiful weather we've had and knowing Fall is finally here! These next three months are the best three months of any year, at least to me, so I'm looking forward to good things happening for me and those I love.

So, now to get back to what I know you're all DYING to hear about--- HARRY POTTER!!! I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on my vacation and it was absolutely worth the extra money I spent! I had the best time! I went by myself since the other girls had to head on home but that didn't bother me a bit. Here are some of the pictures from my trip-- a random sampling, if you will. Since its my blog, I'll be posting in detail, of course, many other pictures I took, and since its your life, you don't have to read those posts. But for now....

Our trip was a "Girls Trip" with 4 other women-- Allison, Lesley, Shelby and Sonya. I was a bit apprehensive about this trip because I only knew Allison pretty well, Lesley somewhat and had only recently met Shelby and Sonya, AFTER this trip was planned! And traveling can be stressful anyway, so I was a bit nervous-- but it was all for naught as we got along wonderfully! I really had a blast and hope they did too! I love these girls!!

Friday, Shelby and I headed down to Destin where Allison, Lesley, their families and two other couples had been at the beach all week. Lesley cooked spaghetti and we had a good time relaxing before out 5:45 a.m. departure. Here we are fixing our plates (you can see the steam off the spaghetti pot! We were concerned because we'd heard there was celery in this recipe, but it turned out delicious!) Thats Shelby in the light blue, Allison in the dark blue and Lesley's husband, Eric.

Here are Wyatt, Gracie and Campbell. Wyatt and Campbell are Lesley's children, and I met that that evening- but they were so cute! And adorable Gracie (Allison's daughter) has been in my class at church before and she is just about the most precious thing I've ever met! Love Gracie!

First Day - Epcot!!

Back to Earth after a 3D Space Mission to Mars:

Second Day - Magic Kingdom - obviously they knew I was coming because they decorated for my favorite season-- coincidence? I think not!

Shelby and Allison on tram ride from parking lot:

Visited Minnie's house but she wasn't there. Girl has good taste though!

The next day we went to Hollywood studios where we rode the Tower of Terror-- TWICE! It was so fun and we barely had to wait! The second time, Sonya was brave enough to hold her hands above her head, but yours truly never let go of her death grip on the seat!

Lots of stuff we did that week required 3D glasses:

A soldier guarding the super cool Toy Story ride!

At Hollywood studios:

Beauty and the Beast was the most fun!

We ate at the Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios-- the best Cobb Salad! My favorite meal of the week! After we ate, the rain came down:

We took refuge at the American Idol Experience Finals!

Later that night we hit Downtown Disney where I proceeded to spend way too much money on souvenirs (most of which I've not even unpacked!) in just a few minutes. I spent the rest of the time people watching. These Lego tourists were apparently fascinated by me and kept trying to take my picture. As Betsy would say, paparazzi. It comes with being a VIP.

Allison and I at Epcot

Lady who made the coolest animals out of candy. Unfortunately, we didn't get to taste or even buy any, but it was still neat!!

Since I was a Disney newbie (I'd been before but it was years ago-- like Nicholas was a toddler!), my girls were very nice and let me pick what we would do and they took good care of me!! And at the end of the week, I was brave enough to venture a ride on the monorail all by myself!!! They were so proud of their grown up little girl!!

And finally, the most important thing I bought on the trip-- the best $5 I've ever spent-- to keep me semi-dry the day it poured in Epcot!

Now dear readers, rest assured, this is simply a random smattering of my pictures from my trip-- I still have literally hundreds more to show you! Lucky you!!! From time to time, I might add some more pictures and expand on my trip, but for now, this is all the time I have (lucky you!). However, there will be more about my Harry Potter visit!!