Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Even more partying...

At my new job, paternity's the word.  Seriously.  Its the word.  We are all about paternity.  We want to get as many kids with father's as possible.  And get those father's to pay child support!  We have all sorts of cases we are to file, but paternity is the "big push"-- we have been trying to get a statewide paternity rate of 90%-- some counties made this goal a long time ago, and other counties (ahem, Hinds) probably never will.  Our deadline is the end of September and its something that's always in the back of our minds.  I personally love having goals like this and every single time I get a paternity order signed by the judge, I love taking it to Ginni (the supervisor) and getting her to enter it into the computer.  I love checking each week to see the steady, albeit slow, progress.  Coahoma County is a great county but they didn't have a full-time attorney or supervisor there for a long time and, as to be expected, a lot of things feel through the cracks.  So Ginni and I are trying really hard to get things back into shape and she especially, has done a great job. 

So, we've been talking about this 90% paternity rate ever since I got here.  And finally, a few weeks ago, we did it!  Sooner than our deadline too!  We were all so happy!  Our office had decided to celebrate by going to the Stone Pony (local pizza place).  In one of my conversations with the Chancery Clerk Ed Peacock, I'd told him all about our goal and how hard the workers were trying to get there and about our little "Reward".  And he said that when we made our goal, he'd treat us to lunch at the Stone Pony!  Isn't that awesome?  He's so super nice. 
Once we met our goal, we were all about taking him up on his offer, but we decided to order in since otherwise, someone would be left at the office answering the phones.  In yet another example of how I've turned into my mother, I took lots of pictures and made everyone smile (between rolling their eyes at me).  I love this office and, its my opinion that if you have to work with people, you might as well enjoy it as best you can.  So I'm all for some office bonding.  This was a good example. 
The proof is in the pudding...

 Doretha, Fran and Jerome.  Doretha and I have bonded over this 90% thing-- she would come into my office all the time and tell me how much our percentage went up!

 Our supervisor, Ginni.  She posed for this picture just like this!  And then she said "this better not go on your blog!".  Whoops, sorry, Ginni!

A couple other of my co-workers didn't get their pictures taken.  And Vanessa was sick that day, which was so sad since Stone Pony was her idea to begin with!  But Ginni and I made it up to her the next week and the three of us ordered Stone Pony again and sat in my office and ate.  Seriously, I'm such a good person to work with that I will literally try to make other people happy by ordering pizza and eating it with them.  I really try to put other people first, you know.  Don't you all wish you worked with me!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday Party Fun!

A couple weeks ago, I headed home to Newton to attend a VIP (Very Important Party).  This VIP had its own VIP (Very Important Person)-- Gatlin Rose!

First off, one of my most favorite houses in Newton County-- the Rose House!  Sonji Thomas Rose is a friend from high school and I adore her in so many ways!   You've met her previously here and here.  She's married now (Clay) and has two great kids (Gatlin and Bentley)-- and this family is quite possibly one of my most favorite families ever!  I love them!  I love going to their house, hanging out, watching random movies, playing with the kids, and just being with them.  I love that they let me be a part of their family!

This was Gatlin's 7th Birthday Party, which is hard to believe since I'm almost positive that about three weeks ago, he was 3 years old, but time flies when you are a cute kid and Gatlin's the cutest!  The theme is John Deere-- Gatlin loves all sorts of machinery, especially John Deere.  He sometimes gets to go to work with his daddy, who is in the lumber business, and he is so smart about all the different vehicles.  See?  I don't even know the proper terminology-- machines?  vehicles? big things?  But Gatlin does-- he can name the make, models, and purposes of every single large item that, to me, just looks like a big machine. 

First things first- figuring out how to put the decorations together.  Obviously, it was easier said than done since it took both me and Sonji's mom to figure out how to do it!  But we came through in the end!

This was my gift-- and we used it as a centerpiece which was fun!

Rose birthday parties are known for their good cakes-- they don't play!  We've had carousels, tractors, and now logging trucks.  Lots of fun!

The piece de' resistance-- a huge water slide that looks all sorts of fun, although yours truly did not participate or even consider participating.  There are much more fun things to do at a birthday party than helping a 30-year old woman get into the ambulance when she breaks her leg trying to slide down a large inflatable. 

The birthday boy Gatlin and his uncle Tim Bounds.  Tim and I went to high school together and now he's married to Sonji's sister Kim.  Its good to get to see them when I come hang out.
Gatlin (plaid shorts) and some unknown (to me) child.  I'm sure someone knew who he was, or else the word of the super slides had gotten out to the local kids.  Right after this picture was taken, I told Gatlin that I was so glad to see him.  To which he replied, "I'm so glad to see you Aunt Jess."  Wow.  I wasn't able to get a picture of my melted heart on the patio, but you'll have to take my word for it.  He is the sweetest child ever!

 Lots of presents--

Time to open the presents as Mrs. Barbara (Clay's mom) supervises.  

Any of you who know me know that I go to a lot of kid's birthday parties.  Sometimes I even know the kids.  Other times I just heard there was going to be cake.  But I am practically an expert on kid's parties.  And one thing that I've learned, from this party in particular, is that the older the kids are, the louder they are when the presents are being opened.  Most of the kids' whose parties I am invited, are younger than Gatlin, and of course, there are presents that are opened there as well, but its usually quieter and less chaotic.  But not these guys-- there were some serious "ooohhs and ahhhhss" going on-- with every present, they got louder and louder.  As the designated "person-who-holds-the-cards-and-money" (PWHTCAM), I had a unique vantage point and was able to join in on some of the oohhhs and aaahhhs.  It was lots of fun!

The aftermath:

And last, but not least-- Bentley (left) and Anna (right).

Bentley is Gatlin's little sister and Anna is my friend Becky's daughter.  I've watched these girls grow up and love them so much!  Aren't they both so pretty!!!
It was a fun weekend and I'm so glad I got to come!  I stayed after the party wound down and got in some coloring time with Bentley while I got in some catching up time with her mother.  It was a great party!  I cannot wait for next year.  On second thought, I totally can-- Gatlin is growing up WAY too fast!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just a Swanging...

Part Three...

After the disappointing loss last weekend, my friends were ready to head home, and they packed up really fast.  I helped them pack up, and then headed to my parent's tent to help them pack up.  This is NOT the most fun part of the game.  No matter what the score is.  Usually, we are tired and everyone is ready to go home, and of course, the game is a reflection on everyone's mood.  But also the long drive ahead is on people's mind and having to load the car is never fun.  This was no exception.  But we got everything loaded up and I made the forever long trek back to the car.  Its never fun to walk back to your car alone.  While carrying things.  Its times like these that make me wish I could afford a butler.  But, this particular walk across campus was even less fun because every 3 minutes, and I'm NOT kidding, someone was calling me.  So I'd stop, put my stuff down (including my "vintage purse" that's straps broke about 2 minutes after I left the house that morning.  So I was literally carrying it in both hands.  I looked like a grandma.).  Calling to check to see where I was.  Calling to see where I was now.  Calling to see when I'd be back to my car.  Calling to see if I was safe walking to my car (which, yes, I was safe.  Walking.  But, stopping here in the middle of a sidewalk isn't quite as safe).  It was rather annoying.

But I finally made it back to my friends and we had a great time sitting around, listening to football games and talking about totally random stuff.  It was, as it usually is, with this crew, a really good time.

Sunday morning, I woke up and ate a yummy breakfast that David had made for us.  I told you how nice he was here.  After my tummy was full, I crawled back into the bed with Katherine and then Courtney laid on the foot of the bed and we all talked and laughed till we cried.  These are probably my favorite moments-- right before we all have to leave and go back to our respective lives, and we are tired and exhausted from the fun weekend, but we get to sit around and laugh at all the things that happened that weekend and discuss things (and people!).  Honestly, some of my favorite memories involved these two girls, hanging out, within nothing exciting going on, just the three of us, talking and laughing.

After we said our goodbyes, I headed over to my brother, Nick's house, to pick up Parker.  She's spent the night with her Uncle Nick, something she isn't really crazy about.  He's a bit mean to her and he doesn't let her roll all over the bed, or take up the entire mattress, so she's not a huge fan.  But he is super sweet to allow her to stay and she does, mostly, like him.  I went over to the house and it was a messy, rainy day.  We sat outside on the porch and drank coffee and watched the rain, like grownups.  I guess we both are really grownups.  Its hard to believe!  We had a great time, talking, laughing-- discussing the family, the football game, Ole Miss, friends, Parker, etc.  We sat out there for a couple hours.  It was a good time with my great brother!

Finally, Parker and I headed home.  But not before a stop at what has become our Sunday afternoon tradition in Oxford-- Abner's to-go.  Yum!!!   

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Forward Rebels...

Part two of my fun weekend....

As Katherine so kindly reminded me in the comments here, my Hotty Toddy Saturday last week began with David singing the fight song to get everyone in the mood.  Also to drive everyone crazy probably.  I'd actually repressed this memory until I read the comments.  But she's right.  Now that Ole Miss doesn't have flags to wave, songs to sway to, or the original mascot, we've started singing the fight song for school spirit.  No one really knows the fight song, except, obviously, David.  He is kind enough to sing it to us while we are asleep in hopes that it will seep into our dreams and we will learn it that way. 

So, up and at 'em.  We get up, and get going and I'm dragging a little bit, so Katherine, David and Crockett head on to the game while I'm still getting ready.  I then load up everything, including the sort-decent-looking-flower-arrangement I'd labored over the night before.  Unfortunately for Mrs. Barbara's floors, my flower pot apparently has a leak and water goes EVERYWHERE.  So, there I am, in my cute blue, pineapple-print dress with my hair just perfect, mopping up the water that is now all over her concrete floors.  I'm sure there is a metaphor for the actual football game in there somewhere.  But I got it all situated and headed onto the game. 

Now I've been going to Ole Miss games for MANY, MANY years.  And for many of those years, I lived in Oxford-- which is especially nice when you are having to wake up early or get home late from ballgames since you live only minutes away.  But its been 5 football seasons since I lived close by and, well, you forget easily.  Being able to stay in Oxford the night before a game, meaning you don't have to wake up at 6 a.m. to get ready and on the road, is AMAZING.  Like, totally wonderful.  I arrive at the Grove with minimal traffic, meet the boys on the side of the Circle to help me unload, find a pretty decent parking spot and am sitting in the tent with my friends in less than 20 minutes.  Wonderful!  All the while, my mom and dad were still a couple hours away, having woken up with the roosters to get going. 

If you've never experience the Grove, then you should totally come to our tent sometime-- its really indescribable.  But its wonderful.  I know people think the Grove, and Ole Miss, are all snobby and pretentious and obnoxious.  And there are arguments to be made for that.  But, the Grove is a home-- its my home, our home.  Come football season, I get to spend time with my friends, some of whom, I've not seen since last football season.  I run into people I've known over the years-- from college, law school, Newton, Laurel, and other places.  I see family members that I rarely see other than Christmas.  I get to sit in a tent, enjoy the breeze (if there is one), eat some good food and relax with some of my favorite people in the world.  One of the more interesting aspects of "Grovin" are the people whom you only know from the Grove.  My family has set up with many different people over the years and in a few different places.  We typically have different neighbors each year. 

But my law school friends have set up in the same place since we started.  And I'm pretty sure we've had these same neighbors since then.  Its a large family and we really only know them from the Grove-- we know their names, their families, their children's names and where they go to school, where they are from, etc.  But its literally like a family reunion at the first game!  These people are our friends-- even though we've never seen them outside the campus of Ole Miss.  We've celebrated with them, drowned our sorrows (especially last year!), shared food and drink, borrow supplies, even helped them guard their tent at time.  And vice versa.  I think its a really neat relationship and its once of the reasons the Grove is such a special place to me. 

This year, I'm really happy to be back in the Grove.  Last year, for obvious reasons, just wasn't the same.  Not only because our team wasn't so great, but also because yours truly wasn't so great.  And it all culminated in a spectacularly bad Egg Bowl.  But this year is, thankfully, a new year.  And while our team apparently won't be much better, I am.  Being in the Grove surrounded by my friends is a wonderful, wonderful place.  Its worth 15 sessions of therapy, I promise.  I also get to see my brother, and my mom and my dad, and sometimes my sister.  Plus, I get to eat really good food.  Honestly, its just about perfect. 

And last weekend was just about perfect.  I had a great time.  I did get a tiny bit stressed out about a few things, and there was one temper tantrum about some tableclothes, but otherwise, it was great.  Unfortunately, the game wasn't.  Fortunately for me, however, I'd left the game at halftime, so in my mind, we totally won.  I ran into a friend after the game, as he was walking, along with 50,000 of his closest friends, with sorrow-filled steps and frowns on their faces.  I told him that in my mind, we'd totally won the game.  He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Good for you, Jess, stay in that happy place.  You are better off than the rest of us."  I think, in so many ways, he was right!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cheap thrills...

Its the little things that make me the happiest! Today I had a delivery while at work. At first I thought Prince Charming had sent me a navy Birkin bag to woo me, or at least a big thing of flowers. No such luck. But, it was a shipment of office supplies that had been back ordered for some time- check out these nifty magnetic file holders! My office isn't big and the 5 filing cabinets take up most of the room. There isn't a great place to organize my filing and I'm determined not to let it get out of control. So I devised a system to match my courtdates. Soon I will make corresponding labels to match my filing cabinet court drawers. It will be super organized and people will gawk at my organization skills. Or at least at the cool clear magnetic holders! Love office supplies!!
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Its the best time of the year...

Seat warmer time! I turned it on yesterday morning when the temp was about 55. And its stayed on. Its about this time every year that I turn it on and leave it!! Its my ode to fall- I'm keeping that seat warmer on even at lunch when its 95 degrees. Take that summer!!
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Labor for the Weary...

Labor Day has come and gone and all I'm left with are the memories.  But good memories!

The main reason last week was so sad was because I'd left Parker with my dad last week when I went to visit.  So all week, I was all alone and sad.  To be fair, it wasn't much difference from when she is normally here-- I still talked to her, told her about my day, asked her if she was the sweetest girl, told her she was the prettiest girl and said a million times how much I loved her.  The main difference was that normally she ignores me; this time, she didn't hear me.  Also, I was no longer the crazy neighborhood lady who talks to her dog- instead, I was the crazy neighborhood lady who talks to herself.  The benefits are pretty much the same. 

Last week I spent most of the week planning for the Ole Miss football game on Saturday.  Anyone who things going to an Ole Miss game requires making some ham sandwiches and icing down some DC's the night before has obviously never been.  It takes a village people.  A big village, full of Southern women who sit around and discuss the grilled v. friend chicken nugget ratio, the perfect platter for that new cheese dip recipe, shades of red, the effect of the weather on our choice of shoes, the perfect amount of diet cokes and waters, and timing of cooking your food at home before the game that morning.  For those of you who are rolling your eyes at this, you were obviously not on the phone with me all of last week when these actual topics were discussed. 

Friday after work, I headed to Oxford where I picked up Obys for dinner for myself, Nicholas and his roommate Dillon.  Remember them?  They set up our tents in the Grove on Friday night, which, for all pre-home-game Friday nights, and this, first game one in particular, involves hanging out in the Grove with 500 of your closest friends, saving the spot for your tent.   I used to do this in college and in law school and there were different rules and procedures then.  Now, the people bring computers, frisbees, friends, and games to play or sit on top of the overturned trash cans waiting for 9 p.m., when they go get the tents from their vehicles and unload.  This blogger lasted about 30 minutes before she was bored to death, and glad to hear from her friends who were in town. 

I headed over to stay with Katherine and David (and David's son Crockett) at David's mother, Mrs. Barbara's house (who was lucky enough to miss the game since she was on a European cruise!).  I was glad to see my friends, and to see Crockett, whom I haven't seen in a really long time.  He seemed glad to see me as well-- when I got out of the car, he came and said, very brightly, "Hey Miss Mindy!!".  I said, "umm, try again."  And then he said, "Miss Courtney?".   Keep trying, kiddo.  Eventually, he got my name right, but not before he'd tried pretty much every name in the book.  I eventually forgave him. 

Once I'd gotten over the gladness of being so important to Crockett, I settled in to a fun night with my friends-- we stayed up way too late and had way too much fun.  Unfortunately, the fun stopped pretty early the next morning when I had to wake up and realized it was a BAD idea to stay up till 3 a.m. talking when I had to get up at 7 a.m. for a full day of tailgating!  I wrote this big, long blog describing my entire weekend, and then, poof, it was gone and didn't save correctly.  I think that was for the best- now, I can divide my weekend up.  So I will end here and head to bed!  Night, Night readers!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tiredest girls...

Parker and I are exhausted from our fun weekend! We got home from Oxford about 4 and we've laid around all day. I laid on the couch and put her on my stomach and she has barely moved the entire day! She's so tired from all the fun! I'm about to head to bed, but more details to come from this weekend!
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hotty Toddy

I am at the first Ole Miss Rebels football game of the season! This will probably be the only picture I take because I left my camera in Cleveland! However, this game has been so fun already and it just started! I love my Rebels but last year, for various reasons, was a tough season. And not just because Ole Miss lost a lot! So this season I am optomistic and enjoying myself as best as possible! Honestly, there isn't a much better day for me than hanging with my friends, eating good food, seeing old friends and watching the game with my daddy! Pretty much my idea of a perfect weekend! Plus its overcast and not too hot!
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm a gal on a budget...

Last night, at Kroger, I literally spent an entire minute in the paper goods aisle contemplating which package of toothpicks to buy. As I am currently financially embarrassed, I had to forgo the fancy, colored ones. But I debated about the flat v. round for entirely too long considering the $.04 price difference. I decided the splurge and get the more expensive ones! I think the people at the Grove this weekend eating my bacon wrapped pineapple will really appreciate this.Take that Extreme Couponers-- Those extra four pennies felt good in my pocket!  That is, till I dropped my wallet and they fell out onto the ground and I decided it wasn't worth it to bend over to pick them up. 
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