Wednesday, December 26, 2012

To My Friend Nicole

You know how sometimes you meet someone and it just automatically clicks? It's like you just see something in that other person's eyes and think, "I like her. We could really get into some trouble together."

That happened to me about 10 years ago. It was during my freshman year of college at what was then Troy State University. I had just pledged a sorority and was trying my best to make friends with people that I hadn't grown up with. It was raining, or at least had been raining, and we bonded over a mudhole in a sister's driveway.

Her name was Nicole Baize, and I liked her instantly. Anyone who was willing to slip n'slide into a puddle of mud just because was someone I wanted to call "friend".

If memory serves, and sometimes it's a little blurry from that era of my life, we then decided to take an impromptu trip to the beach. And we've been rocking and rolling ever since!

From then on, we were inseparable and quickly moved in together. It was common knowledge around campus that you wouldn't find one of us without the other. We were a package deal, although there is some debate as to who was the leader and who was the sidekick.

Like good friends do, we were there for each other in all types of situations. We hosted a couple of mean keg parties together. We spent quite a bit of time at the "Creek Donk Lodge" in Elba, AL. We saw the sun come up on way too many occasions. There were too many nights to count that we spent lying in her bed talking about stupid boys and their stupid ways. And then there were the nights we talked about the good boys and their good ways.

I literally can't remember all the times we've laughed until we cried. To this day I can't even listen to "Welcome to the Jungle" or "I Wanna Kiss You All Over" without thinking of her. And no matter how fabulous they make fraternity row, no house can ever top our nights spent at the Pi Kappa Phi house off campus.

We have grown up and grown closer in lots of ways since those wild college days. We've been in each other's weddings. We've welcomed children into the world. We've called each other for decorating, shoe purchasing, and first birthday party advice. We've cried together again through a lost parent, fights with husbands, and scary job situations. And yet somehow, through it all, we still remain the constants in each other's lives.

I'm so glad we rolled in that mud puddle all those years ago. And I'm so glad you decided to be my roommate! Those years spend living down the hall from you were some of the best of my life. Our friendship has changed, deepened, grown, and strengthened over all these years, and I realize today more than ever how truly blessed I am to have you in my life!

I pray that one day when Charlotte goes over to college she finds a friend like you. Someone to take care of her, laugh with her, cry with her, and most of all...someone who isn't afraid to jump in that mud puddle just because.

Monday, December 10, 2012

All Partied Out

I absolutely love this time of year. People are nicer, homes and businesses are prettier, and things just smell better in general. They don't call it "the most wonderful time of the year" for nothing!

One of the best things about the holiday season is the parties. I must admit, I love any excuse to dress up and be festive, but holiday parties are just the best. Everyone, even adults, just seem more excited and happy. I'm not sure if it's because of the impending surprises under the tree, the promise of the new year ahead, or the wonderous celebration of Jesus's birth. For me, it's a combination of all those things as well as the time to spend with family and friends I seldom see.

Pardon all this cheese.....It's just a joyous time of the year!

Friday night we had our annual Progressive Dinner on our street. It's definitely one of the best nights to live in Midtown, more specifically on N. Reed. We start with the cocktail course, then move along to a different house for each course (cocktails, appetizers, dinner, and dessert). I love the Progressive Dinner because it's a lot more intimate than the street party so everyone gets a chance to know each other a little better.

The food ain't too shabby, either.

And I consider this year a HUGE success for two reasons: A) I did not have to host anything at my house and 2.) I did not end the evening in the middle of the street in my bathrobe trying to help clean up the last course.

Saturday night we had H's work party at The Battlehouse. I LOVE this hotel! I always feel a little extra fancy going to a party here, even if it is only 5 minutes from my house. The party was really nice with great food and nice coworkers. I really enjoyed meeting all of the folks my husband talks about so much. They all seemed to think pretty highly of him, too, so that's always a nice little bonus.

My parents were in town to watch Charlotte while we maintained our social calendars, and I think they all had a great time, too! I feel like I say this a lot, but it just can't be said enough that I am THE LUCKIEST gal in the world to have such wonderful parents who have in turn become such wonderful grandparents. I never expected any different, but it's such a blessing in our lives.

They took her to the Bass Pro Shop, where she learned to drive an ATV and apparently discovered a deep love for waterfalls. Totally my child. Charlotte is absolutely smitten with her PawPaw now so everyone else basically just disappears as background noise when he's around.

Sorry Mom - you know you'll come back in style as she starts wanting you to buy her things! I have a feeling she will be like me so her love can be bought. Haha!