Friday, April 24, 2009

We Got High.......

in ALTITUDE that is. Here is a sneak peek of what I have been up to the last few days. We were here on Wednesday. This is just one of the great sites that we saw on the tour up to the mountains. Stephenie, Dad and Mom left yesterday to go home and I stayed behind to work.Got to get ready for a day of classes. Will post more once I get home with many more of the pictures that I have taken.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day of Reflection

This post has been running in my head for the last few days. Last Saturday was a day of many emotions, thoughts, feelings and self discovery. As you will notice by the slide show the military is involved and especially my oldest Nephew Josh.

I was invited to attend the parade that the Town of Hernando put on for the 2-189th Combined Arms Battalion. My first thought was of pride as Josh serves in this Battalion and will be deploying with them. Then I began think about how his Mom and Dad must be feeling sending off their first born to war and how I think I would feel if it were me.

One of the first sights I saw on this clear and pleasant spring day was the American Flag flying high over the Armory where we were to eat lunch. For the first time in a long time I really thought about what the flag meant to me. It symbolizes FREEDOM and many lives lost to maintain this for all of us here in this great country. I realized that I have take this for grant it way too much. As I was snapping pictures many thoughts and emotions began to flood in my heart and head. Watching Dads holding their babies and playing with their children savoring every second of this time knowing that there will be many of these moments lost over the next 13 months. That by the time they will come back some be will be walking, talking, completed another year of school, had a broken heart or two, many first, hurts and there were even some little ones that haven't made their appearance in this world yet and will do so while they are away. Wives getting ready to be Mom and Dad, knowing that they will the only one to handle all of the household responsibilities, making all the choices that will effect their children's lives and not having anyone to help with them. Uncles savoring nieces and nephews and hoping that they remember them when they return. Grandsons sharing moments with their Grandfather hoping that there will be more when they get back. Parents showing pride and hiding the fears that their sons are going off to war. While taking in all these sites I begin to really realize just what all MEN are giving up for ME, so that I can live this life that I live, have the freedoms that I have. It also gave me a wake up call on what is important in life. That you need to speak those unspoken words of love and give those hugs. I learned that there are not words to express the GRATEFULNESS, THANKFULNESS and APPRECIATION I have for each and every one of these men putting their lives on the line for me,my freedom and the memories I get to have with my children in a free county.

I will now share with you a few of the most emotional moments of the day for me: 1) The Color Guard from the fire department, 2) The Bagpipers, 3) The young man that was a Honoree Solider for the day by having his wish granted from Make a Wish, 4) Seeing the troops marching in perfect formation, 5) Hearing Josh's name in the roll call, 5) Watching everyone of these young men stand attention from the first note of the National Anthem and through the Pledge with such great pride, 6) Learning not to judge a book by the cover, meaning that just because they ride motorcycles doesn't mean they don't have pride and respect for this country and soldiers as they stood Honor Guard around the perimeter of the ceremonies.

I challenge everyone that might read my blog to THANK at least one soldier who is serving this GREAT COUNTRY(aka you). Take a few minutes to REALLY think about what they have given up so that you can live the life you live. Then think would you do it for people who you don't know and might not even appreciate it.

I want to take this moment to say THANK YOU JOSH and I LOVE YOU, you will be in my thoughts and prayers over the next 13 months. I want to THANK DREW KING who will be leaving soon to server this County too.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hands of Love

This a photo I took on Saturday at the birthday party. Every once in a while you get that million dollar shot and this is one of them.The hands belong to my friend Renee and the little cutie is her great niece Abby. As you noticed I title the photo Hands of Love and that is for many reasons. As I told Renee last night when I gave her the picture sometimes pictures need a little explaining and this is one of them so that you get the whole meaning of it. The hands in this picture are attached to one of the most LOVING people you will ever meet. The loving look on Abby's face is saying to her Aunt Nene I know you love me more than I can understand at 3 or probably ever will. I am so blessed to have them both in my life.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Stephenie is 16 and full of life. She amazes me each day as I watch her grow in today a wonderful person. She loves life and wants to enjoy every minute of it. Loves her family, friends and herself.

Yesterday was her day and it was all about her for 24 hours.(truth be known it is that way most days). It start at about 6:45 for me getting ready for a Surprise Lunch Party for her.(I am sure that it was not a surprise as she and her 2 friends come home looking cute). With all the actives for the weekend we had to do lunch. There were about 35 people on hand to wish her HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I decorated the dinning room with pink and green, made cheese dip, Grandma got meats and cheese for sandwiches, made a strawberry cake(which she has had strawberry something since the age of 2), soft drinks and you have a party. Susan can over and helped me for about an hour to help me get things together. (yes an hour is a lot time for her,as she really doesn't have time to spare with 3 kids, working full time, house, husband) The first order of business was for Princess Stephenie to receive her Princess Tara, blinking Princess Pin and basket of pamper supplies. Of course even at 16 year old birthday parties you have goodie bags complete with candy, bubbles, pin wheels and water guns. Which were the hit. But when Stephenie decided to squirt Aunt Jessica the fun was on, as Aunt Jessica borrowed a water gun and was out for revenge and got it.(btw we maybe old but we still have a little child in us)

Then it was time for a little shopping with the gift certificates from the local shops here in Arlington.(just love to support the small shops here in town) Back home and ward robe change for the big night out on the town. We all looked cute and my outfit was approved. Hooters here we come for fried dill pickles, wings and crab legs. Someone over heard that is was her birthday and they put her on a chair, gave her a cup for a beck and menus for wings and sang Happy Birthday to her. Off to the mall for desert. Bowling was the next adventure on the list for the night. We went to Billy Hardwicks for Cosmic Bowling and a lot of laughs.

Mommy thoughts on the day: I am so blessed to have been given this WONDERFUL, FUNNY, BEAUTIFUL person. I still wonder where the first 16 years for her life went so quickly. How did she turn in this wonderful young women. My nerves are on edge about the driving. She is a good driver, but has a little bit too much confidence with out much experience. Wonder what the future has in store for her and what opportunities will be out there for her,