Best of Year 24

Last week Aubrey put me on the spot and asked me what was my favorite THREE things about being twenty-four. A lot can happen in a year and I had one fabulous year. I narrowed it down, but didn’t quite make it to only three.

1. Christian was born. Sandra brought a second good looking baby boy into the world and asked me to have a permanent place in his life as his godmother.

Christian Born

2. JMO moved to New York in my 23rd year, in my 24th year he returned home.

Welcome Home JMO

3. I had the opportunity to drive from Orlando to San Antonio with a few stops in the middle with my brother. He named this trip, THE SOUTHEAST SHUFFLE.

Mike and I - Southeast Shuffle

4. I quit my job and started down a new path.

Week one of my 25th year is off to a pretty good start; I am excited to see where my path takes me in the last fifty-one weeks of my 25th year.

*Thanks Aubrey for having me to do some reflecting.

Quarter Century Old

Last Sunday, I turned 25. JMO and I went out to lunch and then went to the zoo. It was glorious, I took a million pictures and thought I was a zoo-ographer. I think I should pick up a second career photographing zoo animals. We were greatly entertained by watching the animals interact and watching children bang on their cages and the children’s fathers helping them throw candy in for the orangutan.

When we were leaving the zoo I sent Leah a text message to see if she want to show me her vacation pictures over some pizza. I told JMO I wanted to go home to get my coupon for the pizza, and he agreed. When I opened the door, my favorite people yelled SURPRISE! It was shocking, because I was only here for a coupon and all of these people were at my house and I was sweaty and stinky from spending a day outside at the zoo. Sandra cooked, Leah and Aubrey decorated, Christine and Justin baked a cake, and JMO had kept his secret. I can’t say how lucky I feel to have these people in my life.

Meg's 25th Surprise!

My birthday was truly special and memorable. Thank you girls and boys, I love you guys. (Boys are busy watching football during this photograph.)

OMG – Taylor Hicks??

My dear friend Michelle invited me to share her birthday gift with her last night, tickets to Grease. I love a show and was absolutely thrilled to be asked. Upon our arrival there was a life size cut out of Taylor Hicks that claimed we could meet him! We thought this was hilarious and kicked ourselves in the butts for not taking a photograph with the cardboard version of the man. Apparently Mr. Hicks now travels with Grease. The show started and I asked Michelle, “Which one is he?” and she consulted the Playbill. This consultation revealed that Mr. Hicks would only be on stage for ONE song – Beauty School Dropout. This idea was hysterical as well, because everything involving Taylor was incredibly comical last night.

When Taylor Hicks finally came on stage, he descended from the ceiling in an ice cream cone. At first we could not decide if Taylor would even get out of the cone, because he was belted in. Slowly the cone came down and he undid he cone seatbelt and sang to dear Frenchie. Frenchie exclaimed, mid song, “I voted for you!” Really?? At this point Michelle and I were lucky there was no floor space, because we would have been rolling in the aisles in hysterics.

Taylor once again appeared on stage after all the cast had bowed to botch the words of the theme. THEN came back at the very end to play his new single for the audience and plug his show at the Warehouse Live on Monday. The entire audience was looking around, because when has anyone EVER seen a performance after a musical? The audience was in awe while Michelle and I were (yet again) in hysterics.

Michelle and Meg @ Grease!

After the show we decided we had no where else to be, so we needed to get in line to meet the man, only to prove that it had happened. First we scoped out the line and hilarity from the balcony. We talked to strangers about how strange his appearance was.


Ladies love Taylor. The line was entirely ladies. So how many of these people only came to see Grease because of him? And how many of these people are just American Idol fans who just wanted to have a picture with one? The whole thing was fascinating. We wound up going down and trying to take pictures with our IPhones and I attempted to Tweet Taylor’s picture. We did not stand in the line because you had to buy Merchandise to do so and well that wasn’t going to happen.

Grease was also adorable, it was just overshadowed by the ridiculousness that was Taylor Hick’s involvement in the show. Thank you Michelle for inviting me, I had a blast!


Emily is pretty

Today is the 15th anniversary of the birth of Emily Claire Pickert. The night she was born Michael and I went to the neighbor’s house and slept. The next day my dad took us to meet our sister. We have pictures of the three of us in the hospital in one chair for a staged new baby/new family picture. Michael and I did not understand the way in which this baby was going to change everything. I was 10 and Michael was 7, Emily might as well have been raised by different parents her life was so different. Michael and I moved every 2-3 years and our sister has been in San Antonio since the first grade. Her idea of “change” is being asked to clean up the crap that has accumulated on her floor.

Michael always picked on her, probably passing down my cruelties. Emily is athletic and spends most of her time playing volleyball and Michael and I never seemed to succeed at any sport. We rode bikes and she’s never owned one. We spent our entire summers at local pools and Emily goes to athletic camps. Due to the differences in our ages, I almost never get what is cool or hip just 10 years after I was 15 (it does change rather quickly). For a family that talks as much as ours, Emily and I have had difficulties finding common ground to discuss in the past. We were going through high school and college while she was in elementary and middle. The things any of us wanted to talk about, ourselves, never seemed to interest the other sibling.

As Emily ages, the gap is beginning to close. I am impressed and intrigued by the person she is becoming. She still isn’t like me. Emily is competitive and smart and doesn’t fool with same girlish drama I always seemed to find myself in. Emily has a sense of self that I envy. I could not be more proud of Emily and I’m excited to be a growing part of her life. She now lets me into her world in a way that didn’t seem possible at the age of 10 when I held her in my arms. Emily’s impact on my life long ago meant taking my mother’s time and energy. Now I see a young woman who will always impact my life because she will always be part of it, always sharing her triumphs and struggles. So thanks Mom and Dad, for giving Michael and I a sister, it was a good idea.