Friday, December 31, 2010

Stocking Stuffers

We've always had a tradition of opening just one little present on Christmas Eve in my family...and in the past it's always been new PJ's for us girls....but this year Daddy and I decided to throw a curve ball in the mix. Check it out.... They were so thrown off because we threw gifts at them in the middle of the day Christmas Eve, while they were in the middle of wrapping fact I think they were almost frustrated!
I will cherish their faces, and these pictures, forever! (And thank goodness they didnt shake the boxes too much!)
Jessie and Mama were so in shock it took minutes, literally, before they even took their pups out of the box! HA!
CUE: How much is that doggy in the window..RUFF RUFF...the one with the waggidy tail?!
Yes, Mama, he is for real.
I LOVE this picture of Mama and her baby. Love at first site.
I believe she's melting here. Him too.
After watching the pups for a week, and struggling to keep a secret!, it was easy to learn their personalities and decide which pups would go to who. Mama got the calm little guy who wants to snuggle all day....perfect buddy for her LMN and Law&Order marathons. Jessie got "biggun" as Jeff called him, he's non-stop, and wants to play all the time. Jessie is going to have a ball. He's like a labrador squished in a 2lb Maltese pup.
See, told ya, Mama's is pooped after 5 minutes of excitement. And she's so fine with that. (Not pictured is Jessie's pup ripping all the ribbons off the boxes.)
Girl pic with their boys.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas TREES!

It's no secret Christmas is my favorite holiday. And one of my favorite things is all those twinkly lights! On trees, that is....not necessarily the icicles on houses, or the blow-up snowman waving at me in yards....but hey, tis' the season! Which is why people laugh when they see a tree in nearly every room in my house! And I love it, so laugh if you must! There's the "big tree" of course, in the den, which is real, because the smell when I come home from work makes me smile. It's the one plant I keep alive. Thank God it's only for thirty days. I can kill a cactus, people. The owl tree. AKD gave me my first beautiful white owl in college, it's always the first I hang! Ironically, you gave me the last I hung this year too! The Auburn tree, who sadly is lacking in orange and blue ribbon, because I cannot find any suitable. I used to "roll" this tree in TP.... I am now trying to find a more grown-up way to dress this puppy. My only tree with colored lights, appropriately orange and blue. And poor Jeff was even tortured (and was pleased with the end result) of his themed tree this year...his Outdoor tree. Thank you Cabelas, for making 20 gauge shotgun shell lights. Men everywhere are a little less pained by stringing them on trees, as they are not searching for the shorts in those tangled white lights we do not roll back up correctly. But I get this tree infatuation honestly, yall. It's my mama's fault. Welcome to my childhood home: The Radko tree, in the big den. We do not touch this one. Here's my room, note: I have the most beautiful cherry four-post bed inherited from my great-aunt. And of course accordinating blue tree to match. Mom, my tree is the best, hands down. Jessie has a tree too, and is not to shabby. (Mine, note, is still prettier.) A random patriotic (Republican) tree. Just cause. And Dad's own tree, it's waaay girly in our house. It's in the "duck den." See, he's definitely made this room his own, his one room in the house. God love him. So maybe I'll be back next year with even another tree to show you!! I'm really wanting to do a tree with the really big colored bulbs (like you TT!)....but who knows where that would go?! Until then I'll be sad to take these down! But like my mama says, it's bad luck to keep your trees up past New Years so watch your clocks! Merry Christmas to you and all your trees!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Staple for Me

My annual Make-A-Wish Christmas Party!!
I get so excited to see all the faces of my wish kids that I've worked with through the years, and the new ones I'm just getting to know, as we celebrate together our own special Christmas wishes! Here's a recap in pictures, and as always, thank you, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, to the volunteers, and those who donated their time and funding to make events like this possible. You have imprinted my life, these families lives, and our community's spirit!
Best Wishes, and Merry Christmas to you too!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Graduate

Last weekend I spent in Tallahassee with my family....for a very special day! After a long, hard road my sister graduated with her MASTERS in MUSIC THERAPY!! FSU is apparently the MECA of places to be trained in Music Therapy, and of course my brilliant sister got in, and was trained by the best; did her intership at the best of hospitals at Tallahassee Memorial and is now employed by the Mobile School District. I have learned over the past few years what amazing healing powers music can do, in the hands of the right people. Jessie has those, voice. And with her guitar, violin, drums, etc. in tow...she will now affect the lives of countless children with special needs in Mobile. I could NOT be any more proud!! So we started Saturday off in the Tallahassee Civic Center with this crowd, Jessie sat in the front with all the cool kids with "big gurl" degrees!
When she walked across the stage, shook hands with the Prez, and headed off...the QUEEN of Music Therapy, Jessie's mentor, her idol, Dr. Stanley, got up from her seat on stage and walked around the crowd to hug her...just her, and sat back down. This was something special, I tell ya. If I've heard her name once, I've heard it a thousand times. Like, even before she got to FSU. Dr. Stanley rocks the music world, and basically founded this program. And she loves MY sister. How 'bout them apples.
After the ceremony, family shots were in order. Though the sun was blinding, our smiles could not be bigger.
When you graduate with a Masters, you wear a "hood," and its in the appropriate color of your school...the school of Music just happens to be PINK! How fun!! Inside the hood is striped with the colors of your alma mater, which is why hers is garnet and gold for FSU. I personally think she should have a little orange and blue up under her robe somewhere too, for our TIGERS!
After our pics, she had to turn her flattering (haha) little robe and hood in....which she was none to happy about. Jessie was actually trying to barter with this lady to keep her pink hood. Which apparently cost around $250, what?!!? So we settled for a tassle.
Saturday afternoon was spent packing up her apartment, bittersweet but exciting, as we joked she became a graduate, employed, and homeless all in one day! Congrats jessie!
With one final "SEE YA!!!!!" to her apartment, we kissed Tally goodbye, and the caravan began to behind her.....and nothing but wide open spaces ahead!
Congratulations one more time, sister, I love you so much, and I'm so very very proud of you!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My List of Pictures.

My beautiful mama, and her health. You are priceless to me. And now, so is your liver. :) For you I am thankful.
My tall, handsome Daddy. (like the best one EVER). He's oh so wise. Like an owl! HA! So thankful for you!!
My sassy sister. Who wants to grow up and be just like me. Oh wait....swap that. She rocks my world. So thankful for you! (Oh and that you were a know I told Mama if you were a boy, I'd through you in the holly bushes, right?)
Jeff, I'm thankful for you. You make me happy when skies are grey. My grandparents, oh so thankful!! If you ever came with me in college to visit Mimi, you know she cooks a mean meal, and sends us back with some serious leftovers! (Or if you've left your car in front of her house when we're beach bound....heaven help you if you BLOCKED the mailman!)
My grandmother is the definition of Strength. Courage. Resilience. Faith. And the greatest of these, LOVE.
My cousins. On the "Nick side." We're missing one, Nikki, in Birmingham, who's AH-mazingly talented. She's like, the newest curator for the Bham Museum of Art. WHOA! Her brother, who is 2 years younger than me, passed away in February. It makes me even more thankful for the time, be it brief or extended, that I spend with my cousins.
My "Simpson cousins." First, why do I look so short? Uncle Pat and Daddy are 6'4" and 6'5", all I got was a measily 5'8" out of that (which I used to think was impressive.) But 'round these parts, my beautiful cousins and sister tower over me at 5'10"...and well, Hunter...sheesh! I am thankful for you people, to the moon and back, for your height, and your hearts.
Robbie! My oldest, and first friend ever! My godparent's son, my "Bubba!" And on Thanksgiving, this guy turned 30! I am thankful for you, your family, fourwheelers, hunting with our daddies, sharing grandparents, afternoon snacks, puppies, Christmas, and secrets! You will always be my best buddy!
And last but not least, how can I not be thankful for Mr. Cameron Newton, Coach Chizik, and the Auburn TIGERS! WDE!!! I am so grateful for so many things, for so many people, that seem to be the glue that keep me together, put the smile on my face, keep that good ol' gut laugh coming! I love my life, and I'm learning more everyday to have faith, be patience, humble, graceful, and live it one day at a time. (Just please remember I am a work in progress!!)