Wednesday, August 31, 2011

R&R and a Broke Wing....

Welcome to paradise.  I didn't think last weekend would ever get here.  I have been looking forward to getting away with Jeff for so long, and the way our schedules are, especially Jeff's, leaving for a whole weekend, much less taking a WHOLE day off work, and him not working on a Saturday too, is next to impossible.  I don't even think he gets how much I look forward to it (especially considering I had to remind him of the trip coming up, he is a guy right? ;). 

He's perfectly content to sit on the back porch all the time, and for the most part I am too, but I feel like I've been through the wringer lately.  We've been through the wringer actually, and an escape from reality, and even that back porch, is what we needed.  And this gorgeous place was definitely not the bach porch, but the 21st balcony of a pimped out condo!  We were definitely spoiled!
This is pretty much what we did all weekend, and I didn't even get my camera out past Friday.  We laid out in our beach bum chairs, under our tee-niny umbrella that was a total after-thought we bought last minute at Publix when we got there that didnt cover our left shoulders.(And yes, for you straining to see, that is a tat on my man....but I promise it's better that what was there before.) We read books and drank frosty beverages, we put our toes in the sand swam in the beautiful gulf and dodged mean ol' jelly fish.  Oh, and if I'm being honest, there was an Indian couple beside us that Jeff very kindly walked over to and tried to buy there GIANT umbrella from as they packed which they replied in better English than he spoke, "No thanks, but you can go to Home Depot and get one.  We got ours in Nashville."  Boo--ya!  I'm sure they're like brain surgeons at Vanderbilt or something!
My oh so darling cousin Rachael who just graduated from Florida and is back home in Destin came to play with us one day, and we had a blast catching up as usual! 
And don't be fooled by the grey hairs on my love's head....he's a child.  And an aggrevating one at that!  He fed these stupid seagulls for a solid 20 minutes until all my chips were gone!  When he went for the nutter butters, I put my foot down!  I believe that was the point also when this lovely couple a few feet away from us said "when they poop on us, we're coming for you!"  I was mortified!  At that time we had no clue who they were, but ironically, by the next day, we had floated in the water enough with them, and swapped supplies from our coolers, we ended up taking them to dinner with us at Nick's, my family's restaurant down there!  Clearly, we don't meet a stranger!
This would be the only proof that the two of us took a trip together this summer.   And of course, we're sunburned, waterlogged, tired, and there's a crazy sushi chef in the background.  I'm giving up on documenting.
Well, except this, Jeff definitely documented this of course.  So I'll explain the best I can.  And briefly.  We went to the beach.  We ate seafood.  We got a tan.  And I broke my wing.  The end.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wishes are for the YOUNG and OLD!

Last week was full of wishes, which make my heart full!  First off was getting a little bag of goodies together for a precious girl I've had the privilege of meeting....

This big smile belongs to Crystal.  When I got the call from the MAW office that there was a "rush wish" in Columbus, well, that's something I certainly rearrange my schedule for.  They're exactly what you think, at the top of our priority list, at their doctor's request.  But my mind has learned to completely ignore the future (as much as possible) and make this present moment as precious, and PERFECT, as possible!!  Do not be impressed, there is nothing easy about it.  But making her big day, or trip, amazing, makes it so worth it.
 When I met Crystal and asked what her biggest wish in the whole wide world would be she said "I want to meet Ms. Brenda."  This one I hadn't heard, yall.  So her Grandma elaborated.  And melted my heart.  Ms. Brenda has a Christian tv show called "Kids Time" that Crystal watches every week.  I asked Crystal what she loves so much about Ms. Brenda and Kids Time, and what she'd like to do if she met her, and she so innocently replied "I want to read Bible verses with her and pet her dog."  Gimme a break.  What an angel!

So that's what Crystal is doing.  Yesterday she and her family flew to St. Louis where Kids Time is taped.  She will stay on the Studio Campus, Ms. Brenda is taking them to her favorite restaurant one night for a one-on-one dinner (Surprise!), she will not only meet her on set but be part of a recorded show (Surprise!), read Bible verses, and I bet she'll even get to pet that dog!  Ms. Brenda is so excited to meet her too, and has a costume made especially for her.  I cannot wait for them to get home and tell us all about it.  Ms. Brenda just might be my new favorite celebrity wish!

Best "wishes" sweet Crystal!  You have no idea how much you light up a room, and always will!
Next wish on the agenda for the week was for the older....but still young at heart!  My dear PawPaw turned 81, though he's claiming 41 this year!  Could he be any more handsome?! 

My family spent the day in Montgomery doing major yard work at his house, partly because it needed it, and partly because we want him to stay off the ladders and mower!  We hung shutters, trimmed bushes, and planted roses.  We were a hot mess by the end of the day, but we had a happy PawPaw and that made all the blood and sweat worth it!

Mama and Daddy brought the coveted coconut cake, his favorite, we sang, and celebrated a man who I am so proud to call my PawPaw. 

I can't exactly tell you why he had a hold of my pony tail in this picture....but it was his day....and I'd just about let him get away with anything. This man has my heart.

I hope his birthday WISH came true too, and we have many more celebrations to come! Love you PawPaw! Happy Happy!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Charlie Daniels granted a WISH, yall!

Here are the top 5 things I love this week:
1. Charlie Daniels
2.  Make-A-Wish Foundation
3. Fiddles
4. BIG hearts
5.  Reeses peanut butter cups

Ok, so maybe Reeses have absolutely nothing to do with this post....but my tummy is growling and I might just give up on that New Year's Resolution....

Anyway....So if you'll remember, the most amazing thing happened recently.  Charlie Daniels himself approached our local Board and wanted to do something special for MAW.  SO...he signed one of his very own fiddles and sent it our way!  We've been selling tickets to raffle that puppy off ever since, and on Monday we tossed all those tickets in a big ol' bowl.
And I rounded up some of the cutest WISH Lauren here.  Who's like a kid sister to me now.  And not so much a kid, but a beautiful almost 21 year old young lady who just started Nursing School!  And is in REMISSION from cancer.  Whoop Whoop!!  God is SO Good!
And my main squeeze Jake, who was my date for the evening.  I'm definitely not SpongeBob, but I do know he loves me too.  He's stolen my heart for sure!
Jake and Lauren met up with with rest of the Columbus Board at Country's BBQ for dinner Monday night for the big reveal.  These people are from all ends of the community:  construction, banking, medical, radio, civic center, military....we're reaching everybody we can!  And they give their valuable time to sell raffle tickets, and find sponsorships, and plan fundraisers, and support the cause that has stolen my heart.  (And we're always recruiting more, you interested?? ;)
So Jeff, who's on the Board, and by far my biggest supporter, has fallen in love with these kids and Make-A-Wish as much as I have.  In fact, Robinson Paving has now "adopted" the Make-A-Wish Foundation so to speak, as their philanthropy of choice.   All the guys have been so supportive in granting wishes. I am forever grateful.

But I must say here, around Jeff's office, the fiddle raffle might have been the biggest hit so far.  Everyone wanted this thing.  But none more than my guy.  He bought 75 flippin' tickets.  He was licking his chops to open this case at dinner and look at the fiddle he just knew would soon be hanging in his pool room.

So before Jeff tried to bribe Jake (oh, wait...that did happen)...the bowl was raised and our youngest wish kid dug deep for a winner!
Jake took his sweet time reading out the lucky golden ticket, might I add.
And though I am so happy the ever-funny Robert Wolford won, and for his gracious support of Make-A-Wish, I couldn't help put double over laughing at my love and putting on his best smile which I can read straight through to mean "wellI'llbedamn" face after realizing all that money and all those tickets and all those odds.  Yet no fiddle.  hehehehehe
So with that, we called Robert Wolford and congratulated him on his big win and thanked him for his support.  And we wrapped up dinner and said our goodbyes.  I did have to pry Jake away from Lauren, I won't lie....  I love that my wish kids are like family, to me and each other. 
And then this cute guy I know drove my date Jake home because it was a school night and he had to write his spelling words four times each.  And Lauren apparently had a hot date (who she brought with her to dinner for me to check out!).  Only Lauren cut me at the knees when she texted and said (and I quote) "Jenn!  I'm bring the nurse to dinner!  I'm so excited for you to meet Logan! You have to give me your opinion after.  Don't say anything embarrassing ok!"  Wow.  I feel so old suddenly.  I've said those same words TO MY PARENTS!!! want to know the best part about these sweet faces?  We raised enough money off those little $5 raffle tickets to grant a wish for another sweet face just like it.  Jeff and I rushed home and dumped out the kitty and counted a total of $2,875!

Did you hear me people??    $2,875 thanks to Charlie Daniels.  A fiddle.  Big Hearts.  For Make-A-Wish.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Talk About A Handful!

Last weekend I went to Mobile to see some of the most special people in my world!  My precious friend Leah has a new bundle of joy, Caroline Ann Allen, who graced us with her presence a month early, and at 3 weeks old is a woppin' 7 pounds now!  (Which is tee-tiny for me considering my mom gave birth to 9 and 10 pound babies!)

She is the best baby, mostly sleeping now, but when she was awake, was so curious looking all over the room.  I love this angel so much already!  Needless to say, she is a welcome SURPRISE to the Allen household! 

And I say surprise, because she joins a big brother and sister who are just 15 months old!!  Mary Miller and Hayes might be the funniest and cutest little people I know!  

First off, I instantly bond with MM because we have similar thighs....

And though I'm not built lean and mean like my buddy Hayes, my heart melts when he lets me cuddle with him.

By the way, that would be a little leftover mac-n-cheese on Hayes from The Hungry Owl in Mobile, where we ate for lunch.  I just know Leah picked this place with me in mind?  ;)  EVERYTHING was owl-tastic!  I even tried to buy a planter from the waiter  (who we're pretty sure was high) but it didn't happen.  This restaurant was featured on Man Vs. Food, and for good reason...everything was great!  So, I give it 5 HOOTS!

Casey Lassiter, Lindsey Knight and I came down for one last weekend in Mobile before the Allen's send the PODS up north.  Let me give you a run down of how much less full your calendar will seem after you peek into their lives right now.... So they have Caroline at 36 weeks, twins turn 15 months, sell and move out of their Mobile house, one week after baby #3 arrives they temporarily move into mother-in-laws (that's with twins and a newborn and everything that didn't fit into 2 PODS!) the next fews weeks, they will transfer furniture, then family into new home in Homewood...WHEW!  I'm dizzy.  And have been so impressed with how cool and calm they are about it all!  They juggle babies, phone calls, diapers, and carseats like champs!

Mary Miller loves giving kisses to the baaaby.
 Sweet sisters.  (If you're curious, Hayes could care less....)

 I'm afraid I might have spooked her with the flash!  But she was so alert for so long while we were there!  Must've been all the girl talk....she didn't want to miss any gossip, of course!

All us girls, with all them babies!  What a handful! And I honestly couldn't think of better parents for these precious little people.  Congrats Leah and Brian, love you both!!