Women’s Day 

I love a tradition. I spent the morning at the Sanderson Farms Championship Women’s Day. This was my third year getting to emcee the luncheon, and it’s one of my favorite days each year. 

Sanderson Farms started in Laurel. Every year it seems a caravan of people from my hometown come to Jackson. It’s fun too see high school classmates, moms of old friends and especially my dear kindergarten teacher, Kathy Sanderson. It’s possible she taught hundreds of 5 year olds in Laurel. But in my memories she’s always talking, so sweetly, just to me. Don’t all good teachers make you feel that way? 

This year Ali Wentworth, wife of George Stephanopoulos and talented actress and writer in her own right, was the speaker. She is hilarious. Like the friend everyone needs who isn’t afraid to say exactly what she’s thinking. Just walking the line between funny and offensive;) 

The goal of this laughing and lunching is to raise money for Batson Children’s Hospital– more than $1.1 million last year.

It’s an honor to be a tiny part of this incredible week in Jackson. 

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Pumpkins and Princesses, Witches and Werewolves

When I was three, I won the costume contest at St. John’s Day School’s Fall Festival. I know this because my mother reminds me every year. She made the clown costume that clinched the prize, and I’m relatively certain it is one of her proudest accomplishments. (Seriously.) 

I say that to say- I know costume contests are a big deal. Partly for the little witches and warlocks and Harry Potters. Mostly for the moms, dads and crafty grandparents whose time, sweat and money made those tiny costumes. 

Tonight I judged the McWillie Elementary costume and pumpkin contests. 

Brutal!! I could see my mother’s face in the eyes of all of those parents who stayed up all night getting their little one’s outfit ready. I wanted to give every parent and every child a trophy. But I could pick just one winner. A tiny Raggedy Ann. 

She looked about 3. Not quite sure what all the fuss was about. Reluctant to accept her grand prize. The best kind of winner. 

She probably won’t remember this night years from now. But her mother will:) 

Pumpkin Patch

I accompanied Hartley on her first field trip today:) Her school went to the Ag Museum for a hayride, cookies, play time and, the grand finale, picking a pumpkin.

I know enough about my child to know she was not going to be interested in slowly strolling around the museum grounds. So I wore my running shoes. Wise choice.

Girlfriend *raced* around the ag museum…spotting chickens, petting the cotton gin, inspecting an ant 🐜, taking off after students from an elementary school…

It was a great chance to meet some of the other moms of kids at her school. But not so much to talk to them:) I think I started two dozen conversations abruptly ended when my 16 month old decided it was time to race off to a new exhibit:)

I love her curiosity, independence and confidence. I love that she surveyed the pumpkin patch quickly, hoisted up her favorite and off we went. On to a new adventure. There’s so much world to explore. 

Reunion

Tonight Keegan joined me on the night side of the news:) I’m excited for her- because sleep is not overrated. And I’m excited for me- because I’ve missed her! 

I’m lucky. I’ve gotten to sit next to a string of talented people for nearly 10 years. Tammy, Ryan, Stephanie, Travell, Sharita…I’ve learned something from each one. 

People always ask what some of these folks are *really* like…as if they can’t possibly be what you see on screen. 

Well, Keegan is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever known. I think that’s why she seems to make (and keep) friends wherever she goes. She’s funny, focused,  not afraid to tell it like it is and if the news business hadn’t worked out- she’d make one heck of a makeup artist. 

But I’m glad it did:) 

Table for Two and a Half

I love eating out. It started when I was a kid.  Dinners at Shoney’s or Western Sizzlin’. As a teenager I’d leave the Laurel High School campus (not exactly legally) for a run to Chik Fil A or McAllister’s. In college, Sundays meant long late brunches at Clydes and J. Paul’s in Georgetown. 

Now—make it Mexican, Hibachi, Burgers and Blues or Babalu, Broadstreet, Bravo or The Manship—I’ve met very few restaurants I didn’t like. 

There’s something exciting about eating around a lot of other people. Choosing anything you want off a menu. And not having to clean up the kitchen:) 

If it didn’t get so expensive and often unhealthy (big portions 😍), I’d like do nothing but eat out.

Hartley, thank goodness, also loves a restaurant. Give her a high chair, some people to watch and, i possible, macaroni and cheese and my girl is good to go. 

Table for two and half, please:)

Hartley and Daddy at Sunday Lunch

Hartley’s First Fair

We took Hartley to the fair today. I had visions of the three of us laughing on the carousel, sharing a corn dog, watching as Hartley gingerly petted a goat. 

None of this happened.

It was hot. Hot as ten hells hot. So I felt like we were on borrowed time the moment my fair skinned baby’s stroller touched the pavement:)

We rode the carousel, but I’m pretty sure the operator, bored after a week and a half of this, pressed “warp speed” just to see what would happen.  Baby and I were hanging on for dear life. 

I was a little ride weary after that experience so Matt decided to burn some of our tickets on the Ring of Fire. One of his favorites in his younger days. But this time as a 40 year old lawyer he was acutely aware of the disconcerting sound of a few rickety bolts:)

We were so uncomfortably hot that we skipped the food altogether and made a beeline for the petting zoo…

….where Hartley petted nothing:) The sea of aggressive goats and tiny humans was a lot for my little nugget. And for me:) We gave the animals a quick look and decided to call it a fair. 

Later tonight…we walked over to the Belhaven campus to burn 20 minutes before bedtime. I let her get out of her pink car and just run. On the sidewalk. In the grass. Picking up acorns. Doing the exact opposite of whatever I asked. That was the biggest hit of the day:)

I shouldn’t be surprised at this by now. As a mom, you carefully plan all these elaborate firsts, and it ends up being the spontaneous no-big-deal moments that actually make their day💕