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.