Friday, September 30, 2011

14 years ago today. . .

. . .standing on a bridge at the top of a waterfall in North Georgia,
I said YES!
Amicalola Falls
Happy Engagement Day, D!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

We got Molly a new bed. 
I think she likes it.
 Well, maybe not the pillow part. . .

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

7:00 PM
Friday Night
After the first week of Kindergarten.
Poor Baby.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


We were in Germany.  David was at work.  At the time, he worked in downtown Mannheim and he wore civilian clothes.  He was the only American Military person who worked in his office.  I was at home in our stairwell apartment.  We lived on the second floor.  Our housing area was open.  And we did not have to show an ID to enter.  There were no guards at the gate.  There was no gate. 

I loved the time difference because I could watch the Today show live broadcast on AFN (the Armed Forces Network), but it didn't start until 1 o'clock in the afternoon.  It was a normal, beautiful Tuesday afternoon in Germany.

Katie Couric interrupted a story to inform us that a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center.  I thought, just like everyone that someone must have fallen asleep of had a heart attack.  It was sad, sure.  I was a tragedy, of course.  But it had to be an accident, right?

They changed the course of the show and began broadcasting live views of the tower that had been hit.  There was smoke.  And everyone was speculating about what could have happened.  As the talked, the screen was still on the live shot.  I was still watching when the second plane came into view and hit the second tower.  At that point, like everyone else in the world, I knew this was big.  I called David.  I called Momma.  And my best friend Tonya came straight to my apartment.  And along with a friend of hers from home, we were glued to the television all day and all night.  Pretty quickly, the American Military switched our security status to Delta.  This hadn't happened since David commissioned.  They started closing the streets to protect us.  There was even  brief talk of evacuating dependents.  We had no idea what was going to happen next.

In the days that followed, I was in awe of the outpouring of support that the Germans.  They placed candles and flowers at the edges of the post, at the newly formed gates.  They had services of remembrance.  They were truly heartbroken for all Americans that day.  And while I missed being on American soil with my fellow Americans, we were safe in Mannheim with our wonderful German friends and neighbors. 

I will never forget how it felt.  I will never forget the images that I could not stop watching flash across my television screen all day and all night from more than 4,000 miles away.  Or being in the post chapel holding candles with all of the other Americans who were with us in Germany.  The feelings of helplessness and sadness and grief and fear and anger that were mixed with pride and patriotism and adoration of all of the heroes that emerged.

And I will always be so grateful to our men and women in uniform who have been fighting back ever since. 

Below is a copy of the text of the address that President Bush gave on September 11, 2001.  In my opinion, these words capture the feelings that we all felt on that day; the feelings that we all still feel today, 10 years later.  May God Bless everyone affected by the horrible acts of September 11.  May God Bless all our military who continue to protect us and our freedoms.  And may God Bless America.

Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge -- huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil -- the very worst of human nature -- and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baby Steps

I love the way our district eases you into school.  I am not a rip the band-aid off kind of girl.  I always slowly peel it off, so the way they do things works for me.  We had an orientation last week for Kindergarten Parents Only.  We got to sit in their chairs and hear all about what to expect from the upcoming, milestone year.  Spencer and I were both THRILLED to find that he will have the same teacher for Kindergarten that Jessa had.

The next little step is the partial First Day of School. 
I got up extra early to make first day of school pancakes.  I borrowed an idea from an old friend, Jill who made special pancakes for her kids first day of school:
Jessa's: a "2" for 2nd grade.
Spencer's: a "K" for Kindergarten.

Jessa came running in at 6:15.  She was fully dressed with socks and shoes.  Her hair was brushed and pulled back into a ponytail.  She scared me half to death because I did not know anyone else was even up!  She was ready for her breakfast and to get this first day started.

David was headed out to catch a flight, but he was happy to pose for a quick pic.

Spencer was a little slower to wake up:

My patient children posed for the traditional Mommy pictures.

And then we were off. 
One more picture before we headed in:

I settled into the cafeteria for some PTO business.  And in pretty short order, Jessa was ready to get the show in the road.  We dropped Jessa off in the line to go to her class.  They discourage parents from going to the classes of the older kiddos, and she was more than ready to GO!
I mean just look at her:
Ready to take on the world, or at least 2nd grade.

On to the next baby step, Kindergarten Meet and Greet.
Spencer got to follow instructions to find his locker.

And his seat at his table, oh by the way, at the yellow table.

He wrote his name and drew a picture, per the instructions.

I am sure you can tell, it's a castle.

We found his mailbox, his lunch card, the behavior cards. 
And the last thing was a final check-in with his teacher.

What a fun baby step!

I loved being at THEIR school with them on the first day.
The excitement in the air was palpable.

Spencer had an OK time, but he was not happy that he had to leave with me.
He can't wait until tomorrow when he gets to stay.
The. Whole. Day. 
And eat lunch in the cafeteria.
And ride the bus.

At least they will be together. . .


Monday, September 5, 2011

Twas the night before school. . .

I cannot believe that tomorrow is the first day of school for us.  I mean, I know that I shouldn't be shocked.  We had a crazy long summer this year.  (We did the math and we were 1 day short of Phineas and Ferb's 104 days of summer vacation)  But I am still not sure if I am ready.

Of course, it may have a little something to do with my Spencer starting Kindergarten.  Think that may have something to do with it??

Tonight, we had tacos for a special supper to celebrate back to school.  We got Cold Stone Creamery for dessert.  We loaded new backpacks with new school supplies and placed them by the door.  We chose the perfect outfits to wear.  We read stories - my favorite was "Twas the Night Before Kindergarten" (hence the title of this post).  David came up and told them both good night and wished them luck because unfortunately he will be headed TDY just before we have to head to school.

I tucked in my brand new 2nd Grader first.

She has been out of bed about 46 times because she is too excited to sleep. 
She cannot wait to see her friends. 
And she is not happy that I am driving her tomorrow instead of letting her ride the bus.
Oh and she already told Spencer that she will sit with him on the bus so he won't be lonely.

And then I tucked in my brand new Kindergartner.

He says he is excited but not nervous. 
And he makes fun of me if I even pretend to get choked up about my baby going to school. 
He cannot wait to finally get to go to "Jessa's School."
And riding the bus after tomorrow is going to be so much cooler than the "Mom Van."

I guess I better get to sleep since I have to get up crazy early to make back to school pancakes.
And so a new year begins. . .