Sunday, July 31, 2011

Birthdays, Friends, & Daisy

Does anybody else feel like the summer has flown by since July 4th? June was such a long, relaxing month - I think we watched the entire third season of Castle on Hulu and went on long walks every evening. Then since the 4th it seems we have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off. But I'm not complaining  - 99% of it has all been lots of fun.

This past week Doc and I both celebrated our birthdays, I had a final exam, we bought a new (to us) 4Runner during a super quick trip to Memphis, I went to the Neshoba County Fair for an afternoon (pictures of EM and horse races coming soon!) and our wonderful friends from home, Daniel and Rhetta, came to visit. We had lots of fun showing them our favorite things about Jackson and catching up on each other's lives. They have to come back soon though and bring their precious son Parker.

Doc has already named his new car Daisy. Honey the Honda approves.

Rhetta and I saw this cute idea in a store in Highland Village - how cute would that be for a child's birthday banner?

I'm in love with this painting at The Outlet - a clearing house for a wholesale home accessory company.

Also at The Outlet. I love that the cushion and pillow are made out of what feels like burlap. I bought some huge coffee bags for $2 from a coffee shop downtown a few months ago and have been trying to decide what to do with them, and I think this would look great on the front porch chairs.

I'm having serious buyer's regret for not buying this lamp yesterday (also at The Outlet). It was $134 dollars and later in the day we saw glass lamps like this at Anthropologie and Ethan Allen for $498 and $519. I may have to go back for it!

It's fun getting to show off your town - Rhetta remarked how friendly everyone in Jackson is and it really is something Doc and I have noticed. We are now looking forward to one more week of work and then a week on the coast.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Happy Birthday West

My youngest cousin on my Givens side turns 14 today! The same age I turned about four hours after he was born! That kinda makes me feel old because it doesn't seem like that long ago. A few of my favorite West memories:

- While we were all in the hospital waiting for him to arrive, Sis, Warren, Ivy and I would buy one gummy bear at a time from the cafeteria. They were not very happy with us by the time we ran out of money. Granddaddy had forgotten his wallet and on the way back to Senatobia we stopped at the Taco Bell in Southaven and all split one soft taco!

- The day he came home from the hospital Net and Granddaddy had taken Sis, Thomas and I to Lake Sardis to ski with Dr. E and her crew. Granddaddy was in a hurry (which was very unusual) for us to get back to town because West would be coming home. I guess he had driven his car down to Sardis because we were all with Net in her car and following him back. We never caught up to his car. Now if you knew my grandfather, you know that he had two speeds - slow and slower!

- West was about four when Doc and I started dating. One day we were over at Net and Granddaddy's visiting and West walks in, glares at Doc and says, "Net, that boy's here again." They soon bonded though because Doc would give West more attention than anybody else at family gatherings.

- On our wedding day he told me I was the prettiest thing he had ever seen. I cried! (But, really, who's surprised by that?)

- He is growing like a weed. In our family, your first big milestone as a teenager is when you get taller than Net. West passed her about two years ago!

Christmas 2004

Christmas 2006

Christmas 2010

July 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Witt's Baseball Game

If anyone out there in blogland has noticed an improvement in my photos this week it's because my office got a new amazing camera and I'm learning how to use it. I went to Witt's baseball game earlier this week and got these shots. I give all credit to the great camera - it's a Cannon EOS 7D and has lots of big lenses - and probably costs more than anything I own. But I don't think I'm ever going to be able to go back to my old point-and-shoot Coolpix. It's like buying really good frozen pizza, once you have the good stuff you can't go back to the .89 cent store brand.

Keeping his eye on the ball!

Ready for anything!

Katelyn entertaining herself - I've always wondered how people got those great mid-air shots. Now I know. Remember those public service announcments on NBC that came on during Saturday morning cartoons that ended with the little rainbow and "The more you know." That's what I feel like with this new camera.

 Running to check out her picture on the camera. It's amazing to think she will never put a roll of film in a camera or try to keep up with negatives for reprints!

Great hit Witt!

I love this kid and can't believe he is going to be in Kindergarten this year! 


Please say a prayer for our dear friends Crady and Brad and their son, Cooper. Cooper was born last August with a developmental delay and has recently been diagnosed with infantile spasms. Today, he is having a g tube put in. Since he began taking seizure medicines, he has been eating less and sleeping more. He is not gaining enough weight and has gotten dehydrated. Today's surgery will make it easier for him to get the right nutrients. His surgery is in Little Rock at 9:45 a.m. My heart is heavy for them, but I know God has great plans for Cooper that are for His glory. Please keep this sweet family in your prayers!

Crady is keeping her blog updated:

Sis, Elizabeth Magee, Me, Crady and Cooper when EM was about a week old.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Prayers for Norway

Norway has always held a special place in my heart. My grandparents lived and worked as missionaries in Norway, outside of Oslo, for 10 years in the 1950s-60s. My mom was born there and her three older siblings spent a large majority of their childhood there. When we visited Norway in 1998 we ate at the restaurant where Mama Jean and Papa Carrel told their four children that they would be leaving Norway and moving to Texas. Mom, at age seven, stood up and gave a very heart-warming speech on how Norway was her country and the Norwegians were her people. Then she refused to speak English for awhile! During our summer visit to Norway, Sis, Thomas and I became good friends with her childhood friends' children. Thomas even picked up a good bit of Norwegian after he spent two days sick in front of the TV. We all left with a special place for Norway in our hearts.

It has been very sobering to see the images of such terrible sadness and violence on the news in such a peaceful and beautiful country.

God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46:1-3,7)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"The Help" Belhaven Photo Tour

My little neighborhood is getting some major publicity these days with the premier of The Help only a few days away. It happens to be opening in Madison on my birthday! But the tickets are $100 and so I think I'll be waiting a little while. The Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation has put together a great self-guided tour through the neighborhood of places mentioned in the book. The PDF can be found here:

But for those of you not in our little corner of the world, here's my tour based on the above:

McDades Market No. 14

McDades Market No. 14 (formerly Jitney Jungle) began as a local grocery store in 1919 by the Holman and McCarty families. This market has been made famous by both Eudora Welty and Willie Morris--making it Mississippi's most literary supermarket!

"See, Miss Leefolt, she dress up nice ever day. Always got her makeup on, got a carport, double-door Frigidaire with built-in icebox."

I imagine I have very rarely gone into McDades with makeup on--it's usually on Sunday morning for the paper and sausage, or while I'm walking in the afternoon to grab whatever I need for dinner.

North State Street

North State Street (Hwy 51). It kinda amazes me that I get on the same street every morning on my way to work and if I just followed it north for long enough I'd end up in the middle of Senatobia. This picture is of City View - home to Laura and Thomas. The building is art deco in style and was around during the era of The Help. 

Fairview Inn

"I was thinking next year we might do a Gone With the Wind theme for the Benefit," Hilly says, "maybe rent the ol Fairview Manison." The Fairview looks exactly like something from Gone With the Wind and houses Sophia's Restaurant - one of my favorite places to eat in Jakson. It also a really fun places for parties or wedding receptions.

Bailey Magnet High School

This building reminds me of a Soviet prison, but it's apparently won all sorts of architecture awards. In The Help era it was the junior high school for Belhaven. "My favorite photograph is of the three of us (Hilly, Elizabeth and Skeeter) sitting in the football stands in junior high, all jammed together, shoulder to shoulder."

Myrtle Street

This is my friend Ashley's house (well it was until about a month ago when they moved, but I'm still in denial about that). It's a great example of the houses on Myrtle Street. It's where the evil Hilly supposedly lived. Ashley strongly identified with Skeeter's character in her determination to do what she thought was right and not exactly caring about being popular.

1123 Pinehurst Street

"When Kathryn was born, Demetrie, dressed in her white, starched uniform, carried the baby from the hospital after our five-day stay, leading me and a host of our family a our home." This is Kathryn Stockett's parent's home on Pinehurst Street when she was born. She spent the first two months of her life as a neighbor to Eudora Welty - no wonder she grew up to be a writer!

What did you think of the book? I met Kathryn Stockett when she came to Millsaps' Arts & Lecture series. I really liked talking to her behind the stage, but I felt her talk had a little bit too much of a PR-prepped feel.

Overall, I loved the book--the characters just came to life and I loved reading about my grocery store and knowing exactly where Myrtle Street is located. It was one of those books that you just couldn't quit thinking about. Sandra, my black friend from work, and I read it together and it was really interesting getting her take on things. For instance, she asked me if there really were girls at Ole Miss looking for a MRS degree (yes) and she taught me about CP time. I'm usually the only white person in the room that laughs when that's mentioned!

Here's the trailer:

For pictures of me stalking Emma Stone when the movie was being filmed in Fondren, click here. There's a great interview that Southern Living did with Kathryn Stockett in the August issue.

Monday, July 25, 2011

EM's Big Day, Sunflowers & Old Friends

Good morning! We packed so much into Sunday that my head is still spinning on Monday morning. We spent Saturday night in Net's upstairs room. It's the room that my dad and uncle shared growing up and they still have a bunch of old crap that's fun to look at in there. When we both woke up at 4 a.m., Doc informed me that he knows where my snoring comes from - we could clearly hear Net and Aunt Renie snoozing away downstairs!

Since we had a couple of hours to kill until wake up time, I went through the trunk that belonged to Granddaddy's mother. I've been through it before, but it's been a long time. I found the scrapbook Granddaddy's mother made for him when he was two years old! It's precious and such a tangible example of a mother's love.

We left for Memphis right at 7 a.m. and still somehow almost managed to be late for the service that started at 8:15. Poor Doc had three directionally-challenged back seat drivers in the car. I said an extra prayer of thanks for him during church! Oliver wouldn't let me take photos during the service so here's the only picture I got of them at Second Presbyterian.

My favorite part about the church service was the congregation sang "Jesus Loves the Little Children" as the families processed out of the sanctuary.

Afterwards we went to brunch at their house. Sis, Mom, Net, Poppy, and Dot had fixed: breakfast casserole, cheese grits, ham and biscuits, cheese wafers, fresh fruit, coffee cake and banana nut bread.

Elizabeth Magee's gown is the same one that Sis was baptised in as a baby. Aunt Bubba bought an antique christening gown in Natchez, but when there were two babies instead of the expected one, Mammy and Net made this one to match the original gown.

My sweet brother and sister! When we were little and would fuss, Mom would also say that friends come and go, but your siblings will be there for your whole life. I'm so grateful that we are all not just siblings, but real friends.

The nicest thing about early church is a long Sunday afternoon. Doc took a nap and I went for a quick swim before going to Rhetta's for a jewelry show. Then we went to Cottonville to visit with our sweet friends Lindsey and Levi and meet their so cute son, Wyatt. They have been serving in India for the last two years as missionaries and we haven't seen them since January 2009! When Levi walked in the door and saw us he and Doc both started shouting (as always) and they scared poor Wyatt!

These two guys have been the very best of friends since they were little. I don't think either of them stopped grinning or laughing the whole time we were there. At one point in their childhoods, their parents stopped letting them play together because one, or both of them, would always end up in the emergency room. They love to tell how they got their scars doing each (seemingly brillant) activity.

As much as we loved seeing his parents, this little boy was the highlight of our visit. Wyatt was born in January and is already a yogo guru. Lindsey says that Indians are very into baby stretching and massage and their neighbors have shown them what to do. I was so impressed!

Sunflower field in Strayhorn. Dove season will be here before we know it!

Of course, we ended up staying later than we intended and didn't get home until 9 p.m. We walked in to find dog poop in the living room, pee in the kitchen and somehow we'd left the fridge door open and everything in the freezer and fridge was ruined. The good news is I'm starting the week off with freshly mopped floors and a very clean refrigerator. Welcome back to real life!

More photos:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Memphis Farmers Market

Ivy took me to the Memphis Farmers Market on South Main on Saturday morning. I was blown away by how wonderful it was! And Ivy knew every single one of the vendors. She's been working for a farm in Senatobia this summer picking and selling Japanese sweet corn (it was developed as a dessert corn to in the 1990s in Japan) and it's absolutely the best corn I've ever tasted. Next year I'm going to be on my game and stock my freezer!

What I bought: black angus T-bones, ground beef, and short ribs from Neola Farms in Tipton County that have been aged 21 days; a pound of sausage; a dozen eggs; and some roasted red pepper hummas from the lady who owns the 20/20 Diner (she was a trip and we discussed how we had improved Giada's green pea pesto recipe--she added crushed red peppers and I added Tabasco!). There were also lots of fresh fruits, veggies and flowers but I was limited to things that could home in my cooler. 

It was so fun to see Ivy "in her element" as Net would say. Ivy and I decided that farmers market people are like horse people, in general, they're just nice folks.

Afterwards, we went to visit this cute little thing - look at her gripping that bottle! She gave us the biggest smiles I have ever seen!

Sis, Ivy and I had lunch at Cheffies Cafe that's in their neighborhood. I had an amazing tuscon chicken pressed sandwich and pomegranate green tea. Then we hit up Whole Foods where I, impressively, didn't wreck my grocery budget for the week! Yay for me! We spent the afternoon floating to lala land in the pool and visiting with Net and Aunt Renie.

Mama Jean and Papa Carrel are also here and we had a wonderful supper that Mom, MJ, and Laura cooked - shrimp casserole, salad and corn bread.

And just because this is probably the only picture that exists of Net's mean-as-hell cat:

Look at that glare! I was afraid she was about to attack my iPhone. Net and Jan have a mutual agreement to ignore one another as much as possible. West named her Jan when she showed up a few years ago. As-in the first half of Net's name, Janet. We are really original with our pet names in this family!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finally Friday and Espresso Granitas

This sweet little thing is getting baptised this Sunday at Second Pres in Memphis. I absolutely cannot wait, but I know between all her great-grandmothers - Mama Jean, Net and Oliver's grandmother, Poppy; plus her grandmothers, Siggi and Biscuit - I may just have to steal her away. I'm planning on wearing flats so I can out run them.  

This little angel turned 5 months old on Wednesday - it's almost time for her HALF birthday. YAY!

In other news, my parents have been here visiting. Dad had some meetings in town yesterday so Mom and I went to Babalu's for lunch. The hostess recognized me as soon as we walked in - I may go there too much. Laura and T came over for supper and we grilled the red snapper that Doc caught a few weeks ago. For dessert I made these Espresso Granitas (only 170 calories per serving):

My chilled wine glasses were a little too big so I just did one layer instead of two. I brewed decafe coffee so we'd all be able to sleep. It took a little bit longer to freeze than the recipe said, but that may have been because it's about 104 degrees outside. Obviously, I was about halfway finished before I remembered to take a picture!

If any of you out there in blogland also read my sister's blog, you'll notice that the top picture of EM is the same, but mine looks much better (I snagged it from her blog this morning). I cropped the photo using this free, online website that is much easier than Photoshop! Go to

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Do Declare

My dear womb-to-tomb friend Elise (who you may remember from our fabulous weekend in December) surprised everyone the other day by posting that she was married on Facebook.


My first thought was that this was some social experiment for a class and she was measuring the reactions and responses. So I sent her a text.

Me: Just saw fb did you really get married?
Elise: YES!! Are u dying?
Me: OMG. Yes dying!
Elise: Met him in the MBA program 7 weeks ago. Broke it off with [boyfriend] and knew IMMEDIATELY Stan was "the one."

Then I called her. She answered laughing. She is so, so happy and that makes me so, so happy for her (and Mr. Stacey!). When you know, you know. Both sets of my grandparents and my parents met and married within six months, and they have all enjoyed long, happy marriages. If we'd been a little older (and not in high school) when we began dating, I'm sure Doc and I would have married within six months.

So in honor of this very joyous union, I've composed a few facts about my dear friend that Mr. Stacey may not yet know about his blushing bride. 

1. She may now be into running, but Elise's first athletic talents were displayed on the diamond behind the Senatobia FBC as the star pitcher, and probably the only pitcher, for the Mighty Methodists softball team. She really loves to hear “We want a pitcher not a glass of water.” I won’t reveal how old I was before I “got” what my dad - our coach - meant by that.

2. As founder/president of The Cleanup Club of Senatobia she wrote our pledge of service (that sounds suspiciously like the Pledge of Allegiance) and led our fundraising efforts (consisting of selling cookies to Mrs. Frances Perkins) to buy office supplies at Northwest Office Supply Store. Really, we were way ahead of our time in taking care of the environment and being green.

3. Somewhere in her parents’ house are VHS tapes of the plays that Elise made-up, directed, and starred in with Sis and me acting out supporting roles. I guess this is what we did when it was too cold or rainy and we couldn't live in the swimming pool with our my little ponies. Our rendition of the Three Little Pigs was particularly impressive to our audience (i.e. her mama and daddy).

Best wishes to the happy couple!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lanterns Lanterns on the Wall

A few years ago Sis bought these iron and glass lanterns at Fincher's in Greenwood. Well she never found a place for them and so passed them on to me. I've had them for over a year and have been trying to figure out where to hang them. My first choice was in the dining room, but we have plaster walls and the lanterns are pretty heavy, and I'm very nervous about cracks. I've heard plaster is expensive to repair and I really don't want to find out firsthand. When she was here Net suggested I hang them outside on the concrete wall that boards our patio. Perfect! So Doc and is his brother, Jason, hug them up for me the other night.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cake

Nearly everytime I'm home alone I watch Steel Magnolias. Why do I have to be alone? Because I cry like a baby? Because I can say the lines along with the characters (which is not annoying at all). Nope. It's because a certain husband can't stand any sentimental movie where the leading female character dies. Just can't handle it. Movies where thousands are annihilated by war or aliens or aliens waging war on all mankind, however, he's fine with. Men. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Anyway, my favorite scences are those in Truvy's beauty parlor. At one point Clairee asks Truvy (played by Dolly Parton) for her Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa cake recipe.

“Oh hell, Clairee, you don’t need a recipe. It’s just a cup of flour, a cup of sugar and a cup of fruit cocktail WITH the syrup, stir and bake in a hot oven ‘til golden brown and bubbly. I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness.”

So I was so excited to see on the PW blog today where she's made the "Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cake": I'm going to have to try it soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fishy Fish

Doc on his fishing trip off the Gulf Coast a few weeks ago with a friend from pharmacy school. They caught red snapper (I'm guessing those are the pinkish colored ones) and cobia. I'm not a huge fan of fish but we've had fun cooking these!