Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My List of Thanks....in 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 girl...you 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!!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another Wish Come True, Mon!

Emmaline has had a tough year, so when Make-A-Wish came to her and asked her what her BIGGEST WISH was, she didn't hestitate to tell us she wanted the heck outta dodge....and to go on a Jamaican Cruise!! Now that's what I'm talking about, girlfriend!
Emma's favorite restuarant is the Olive Garden so we did our best to have an Italian/Jamaican send-off party with all the island flare, with a bottomless bowl of salad and endless breadsticks! Yum-o!
Of course everyone had their own flip flop drinking straws, and our centerpeice is our amazing "cruiseship" themed cake from you know where, Cbus Corner Bakery. The one and only.
(Sidebar: You are aware, btw, they never let us pay one penny for a cake for MAW, not even for Evening of Wishes, when they fed 100 people, they love us so much, and we are so humbled by hearts so big.) Olive Garden had big hearts too that night. They fed all of us, and charged us NADA. Yep, NADA...our bill was over $100, we had 2 waiters the whole time, actually about 6 total, including 2 managers....we tend to draw a crowd.....and they even gave Emma an adorable green frog. We appropriated named him, Olive.
And this is Emma. In her Jamaican hat. Could she BE ANY CUTER?!?!?
A family shot. This super fun dad on the left here hosts a kinda-a-big-deal haunted house each year. I mean, LOTS of volunteers, blood, sweet, and tears involved in this thing. In the past, it's always been free admission. This year he charged, or accepted donations, and all the proceeds he donated to Make-A-Wish! Good people, plain ol' good people I tell ya.
Emma opened her hot new beachbag we gave her for her cruise, full of goodies...like her must-have head bands, waterproof camera, FIVE pair of flipflips in all the hot colors, her MAW tshirt (the wish kids wear this so magic things will happen to them!), and other fun things!
Olive modeling Emma's new flips....
Emma and her family get back the weekend after Thanksgiving from their cruise, and I can't wait to hear all about it! I know she had a blast, while we're all stuck here working our tails off! Have so much fun Emma, and BEST WISHES!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why I Love Owls and Auburn Tigers

First the hoots.
Pledging Chi Omega, something I wasn't so sure about on bid night when we were thrown in a room with 58 strangers and a sleeping bag, has now given me my favorite memories from college, friends I will grow old with, an annual weekend I count down to months in advance, inside jokes I can't even remember but still wet my drawers laughing at, and a eye...boy, have I got that eye...for the OWL. :)
So I was super excited when some pledge sisters of mine put together a little reunion tailgate for the AU vs. UGA game! I think Darby here was one of the instigators of this reunion, and I'm super pumped she was! It was so good to see everyone, though it certainly didnt last long enough. It never does!!
I'm not really sure what's going on with Erika (yep, Darby's twin) here. Especially the cowboy-boot-toe-pop she's displaying. I can only imagine she is so thrilled to see me, as I was her. She lives at the beach now, and is an oh-so-famous interior designer now, and is way too busy to live in the same dorm room with me anymore. Huh.
These girls are my faves ever. Sadly, we are missing a few staples who couldn't make it down, but OOC 2011 is right around the corner!! Clearly, even years after graduation....something in this photograph still smells like trouble....
After the reunion with my Chi O girlies was over, it was over to my home tailgate with my usual lovely ladies. Now this is what Auburn football is about to me, these girls, this tailgate, all that food, the TVs blaring (and the guys screaming at it), and now babies crawling around in their cute AU bubbles! It doesnt get any better.
I do love being an Auburn Tiger, and all that ORANGE!
There is nothing better than football, food, tailgating, the fall, my friends, my family, orange and blue shakers, the Plains.....
Where the Eagle Soars, and Tigers Roar, and Plainsmen Aint So Plain!!!
I suppose that's why come Christmas time I will have my appropriate Auburn and owl trees up loud and proud!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Evening of Wishes

I'm not sure where to begin with this. I've started this post 10 times already. If I had actually pulled my own camera out I could just show you all the pictures from the night, but as it is I was so nervous I didn't even have my own camera! All of us who love Make-A-Wish so dearly, and love meeting wish kids all the time, decided it was time for a MAJOR fundraiser. We have smaller ones in Columbus here and there periodically, but we wanted something fun and different! Cue...An Evening of Wishes.... We have planned and planned, and begged and pleaded, and cried and sweat and probably even bled a little....to make this thing come together. It has taken an army of volunteers, one helluva of Board, and an amazing community I'm proud to know supports us and wants to help grant more wishes!! (Because let's face it, putting a nice evening together, with NO budget ain't easy people!) First off I should mention the venue....Columbus Botanical Garden.... A 100 year old farmhouse, with a beautiful garden backdrop, the perfect place for an indoor/outdoor par-tay. Especially when mother nature declares it still be summertime in November. That is, up until MY PARTY DAY. And temps drop 20 degrees in a week. And Jeff calls every rental place in town for the last tent and heaters around (because Callaway Gardens is also hosting Steeplechase this same weekend, and every chair, tent, table, and fork practically is at Callaway to watch horses run in a circle!) But we got that tent! And those heaters, and my dear ANGEL of a friend Brandi who sniffed and coughed and sucked on cough drops all day, helped me string twinkly lights all over that thing to make is sparkle. By the time the sun was set and lights were on, there was no doubt wishes were coming true that night under all those stars! This is Brandi, who I owe a GRANDE margarita to still for all her help, her hubby Capp, who I think had fun with his $10 bottomless cup that night!! :), and Jeff, words cannot express all you did to make this come together, to keep me together through this. Thank you, love you, oh, and most importantly, thanks for holding me steady on that ladder....on top of that table....as I hung those lights.... Gosh, you're cute. xoxo Our guest speakers for the Evening of Wishes were Lauren and Jake....WISH KIDS themselves! Who better to tell us about how impactful Make-A-Wish can be?! Jake made us laugh, Lauren made us cry....they both have my hearts. I must mention when it came to who was speaking first (who cares apparently what I print in a program!)....these clowns decided to rock-paper-scissors it out to decide! After a rediciously good dinner from Burt's Butcher Shop (thanks Burt!!) of steaks made to order, man please!, our guests hit up the silent auction set up inside. I've participated in my share of auctions, but never ran one. With lots of advice, we put it together, and suprisingly pulled that thing off! We had trips to the beach, oil portraits, Disney on Ice tickets, a date night (with dinner out, play tickets, wine, and a limo ride!), jewelry, and more! And yes, Dad...you're brilliant. Definitely the biggest ticket item of the night was our "Barrel of WISH Spirits!!" This little ol' wheelbarrow full of an assortment of liquor and wine had the guys hovering til the whistle was blown. I WON'T MENTION which guy ended up with this item, ahem, ahem.... (all for charity, Jenn, all for charity....) Remember my post about the Paint your Wish Day! All the paintings from that event were auctioned off, every one of them!! Some for $200! Lots of people hung out around the heaters outside and listened to the band (who unfortunately lost their electronics when the timer to the outdoor sprinklers went off and fried it!!!). This gal singing has just signed a record deal in Nashville....big things are going to happen for this 16-year-old soon, she was amazing! Listen out for Rachel Farley! We sold $10 bottomless cups, which were a huge hit, and served as their "drink ticket" for the whole evening, as well as raffle ticket too....prior to buying the cups, we'd written numbers on the bottom of all of them, so as raffle numbers were drawn they just checked their cup! It was a great way to kill two birds with one stone, and everyone left with an awesome insulated cup designed especially for the evening! Here are my fabulous volunteers from Best Buy selling our cups at the door! There are so many people to thank, like my "Best Buy Bouncers" as I called them, and the TGIFridays bartenders who came and bartended for free, and Don Jones for donating all the alcohol (cause that always makes writing checks easier!), Nosegay Florist for our AMAZING table arrangements, and Betsy and Jeff for ALL that yall did, and Terri and Bill Floyd (Terri, you are a lifesaver, truly), and ....well, I could list every sponsor and in-kind donor there was, but we'd be here all day! But believe me, I'd impress the socks off of ya! So I'll just give you pics of who one cutest couple awards instead....tehehehe. I want to tell you every little detail, but the bottom line is WE PULLED IT OFF! We had a great turn out, despite cold temps, and other events going on, and raised so much money for a great cause!! Oh wait, you want to know how much? At our very first Evening of Wishes?? Ok, fine, twist my arm, I'll tell you....though the checks, amazingly, are still coming in...it appears we have raised...... $14,000!!! That's a lot of wishes come true!!!