Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baby Blue!

A few weeks ago (yes, another late post), my Columbus girlfriends and I hosted a baby shower at my house for our sweet friend Ashley Clements. Little Hobbs is due in just a little over a month. I cannot wait to meet this little man!! Ashley ( and Hobbs in the polka dots) and her hostesses!
Now, Ashley is a Southern Girl, through and through, and though she's a die-hard Georgia Bulldog, I love her anyway! So nothing was more fittin' for her shower than a true Southern Ladies Luncheon with her all her favorite cookin' (catered of course, I would NEVER torture her without calling my grandmothers in for assistance!) served on the fine china! So we dined on fried chicken, black-eyed peas, green beens, mac-n-cheese, and sweet tea of course!
And for dessert, the finest cupcakes in town from my fave, Columbus Corner Bakery!!
After all that eating it was time to grab a seat on the couch (or stool, or table, or floor...I still cant figure out how we got 30+ in my little crib) and open presents! And oh boy, were there presents! Mr. Hobbs has quite the fan club already!!

OOC Baby...Here We Come!

Or for the uninformed...Out Of Control! I actually laugh now when I say that, because our "OOC" Weekends with my college girlfriends are just a tad bit different now that our OOC days in college! :o) Nevertheless, our annual reunion is something we all look forward to, so much so this date is planned at least 6 months out! And I swear we start a countdown 30 days away! And I think it does feel pretty good to see our girlfriends and get away from work and hubbies and babies for the weekend and get a little OOC!
This year the name drawn from the hat was Jess'. So its her turn to play hostess in Decatur, and all eight of us will be crashing her casa this weekend!! Three more days, Girls! Can't freakin' wait!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Year Older...I, Mean, Wiser...

Well, actually it was yesterday....but my computer was in rehab. So I request a pass for the belated wishes for my padre.
So let me just say--if you dont know this man....meet him. Meet him now. He is the most kind hearted, funny, tender, wise, patient, loving, supportive person I know. And he's one heck of a duck hunter too!
Did you know I have friends from high school that still keep in touch with this guy? They would come over and chat with him even when I wasnt there. His advice has stretched the miles. His support could rebuild bridges. His laugh could fill a room. He really is the coolest guy I know.
He's crazy in love with my mom (AKA Sweetin') and after over 33 years together will still make late night Walmart runs for last minute teacher supplies or Marshmellow food.
He is patient with my precious but slightly dramatic graduate school sister, Jessie (AKA Baby Girl) listening to the woes of college life and pinching pennies in the great city of Tallahassee while singing her little heart out while bleeding dad's wallet dry....
And then there's me...(AKA Punkin Head) who until recently was somewhat normal I think.... But now added a whole new level of stress to their lives. Suddenly the kid who graduated, got a job, got married, has taken two steps back (well, that's just a phrase, just one I guess--I still have my job). And like always, my Dad stepped in like a ROCK.
So, Daddy (AKA "TDH"), on your birthday, ENJOY yourselfand KNOW that we love you to pieces!

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's Good to Be Back.

I am now a Georgia Peach. I don't know what that means, or if I care, but I suppose it's now official. I moved from my old house over 3 months ago in AL the 6 miles across the Chattahoochee into GA, but have yet to obtain the proper documentation and release AL as home sweet home. After waiting over 3 hours at the one location in Columbus you can obtain a driver's license, I have now become a legal resident of the State of Georgia. My Georgia State Farm Insurance was putting the pressure on thick, seeing as how they're insuring someone without their state's license and all....I suppose I should invest in car tags next.
But I'm not sure it was the state seal or that l-o-v-e-ly picture that caused me to tear up at the DMV last week in front of every...let's say, in front of everything Columbus had to offer that day....in line around me as they handed me my new identification card. It was my name, Jennifer Leigh Simpson. The lady behind the counter said, 'Ma'am please check all the information to make sure it's correct now.' I looked: my new home address, which several months later I'm still getting used to--check. Organ donor-check. Blue eyes, brown hair-check, check. Weight:big fat lie-check. Oh yeah, and my new (old) name. Don't get me wrong, it's been the plan all along to go back to it, but there's been one thing or another that's held me back, that's stalled me. Selling our old house, buying my new one, taxes, but finally after almost a year, finally, it's time. And looking at it, finally on something official, made me smile. And cry.
I'm in a new chapter, but it's so comforting to have something familiar there. Even if it is just my name. And if it means walking out of a DMV crying like a idiot, I'll take it.
I called my dad, because in a weird way, I felt like I had accomplished something, whether it was finally marking something off my to-do list, or if deep down it was a little more complicated than that, to share the news. 'Daddy, I'm official,' is what i told him, realizing I didnt make much sense, and then went on to tell him, I'm sure dramatically, my story of the 3 hour wait with all the characters at the DMW. I could feel him smiling on the other end. I expected my dad, always the levelheaded, mature, man of logic and reason within a house of 3 crazy, animated women, to reply with a comment on how this is good for me, another step in the right direction, in healing, in moving on, and go on to tell me I need to go to my HR person at work next and get things started there....surprised me. He laughed through the phone, and said 'Well, it's about time! Welcome home, Punkin Head. It's good to have you back."
If I could have spoken at that moment, I would have said: Thanks, Daddy, it's good to be back.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Good Times, Great Friends!

This post is long overdue, but yall know me. I'm a last minute shopper, I'm late to all meetings (even the ones I call), I put my makeup on in the car, and I post two weeks late. So sue me.
Two of my best, and oldest, friends in the whole wide world, Leah Justice Allen and Shea Snider try to get together for a girls trip annually. Football season already seems like forever ago, and not soon enough, so we need a little R&R to break up the downtime.
So last (last) Friday afternoon I hopped in my car and headed to Mobile to Leah's as Shea hopped on a plane in DC and ascended in the same direction. (I'm assuming Leah was probably pacing the floor in anticipation.) Once we all arrived and hugs were swapped and bags were dropped, we found a comfy spot on the front porch and spent who knows how long out there chatting await. I wish I had a picture of Leah's house and street because it is the most comfortable, laid back, friendly neighborhood I've ever seen. Literally, where everybody knows your name. Anyway, I'm off track....of course I get hungry, so LJA takes us to this great restaurant (Shea--not need to confirm or deny), The Bakery Cafe.
After dinner, we resume our places on the porch and allow the boys (LJA's hubby Brian and buddy Todd Lecour) to join in girl talk...which they l-o-v-e-d) until way too late.
The next morning it was up early to cold showers (and the pilot light being out), bags back in the car, a bagel on the go, and we were off to New Orleans!!
We all have been to New Orleans for our share of bacherolette parties, and love the city, the food, and the shopping, so we were looking forward to some time there a little more slow paced, of course more good food, and checking out more of one of our favorite cities.
We checked into the W Hotel, and I fell in love. It was absolutely beautiful and they treated us like royalty. I was especially fond of it because their theme "W" led to signs everywhere saying "What is your wish?" And yall know how much I love the Make A Wish Foundation so everytime I see the words I take a picture and I try to buy whatever it is! So I will probaby be staying at W's from here on out!
We checked in, grabbed some fruity concoctions and soaked up the sun for a while out by the pool before heading out on the town.

Though we may not be the most proficient at reading maps, we managed to chase down a street car, and eventually get it to stop somewhere in the Garden District where we got to see some beautiful homes. Mostly locals live around this area and its a place I've never really been to, so we walked around the most beautiful homes.

Dinner at Emeril's was fantastic...once we got over the giggles from looking at a 100 page wine list. I believe the exact words to the waiter were "We're just going with hard liquor tonight, sir."

And what's a trio of cute girls to do after blowing 300 bucks on a fabulous dinner, you ask....well, there's just one thing of course.... when the lights are flashing, the machines must be cashing, right?!?!

WRONG. But just the same, lots of fun as as always! But after a few hours of "max bets" and no "big spins"....we realize its time we pack it up and walk back to the W...for some more girltalk outside in the courtyard, til waaay too late once again. How I wish I could stop time and make that weekend last just a couple more days. Every minute of it was so much fun, I love these girls to pieces. I hope they know that sometimes they are just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday morning we rolled out of bed and as we bid farewell to our beloved New Orleans, we brunched at Court of the Two Sisters...and brunched...brunched. That's right, three delicious plates of the the most fabulous fruits, and homemade hashbrowns, grits, omelets, biscuits, and desserts you can imagine. I dont think I ate again until Tuesday.After brunch, it was packing the car, BOOOO, and hitting the road. A short trip later we were in Gulfport to do a little outlet shopping and then dropping Shea off at the airport (BOOO again). An hour later we're at Leah's and more hugs were swapped an bags were dropped and before I knew it the weekend was over and I was on my way back to Georgia. So long R&R, and my precious friends. Come see me soon!