I have had a blast decorating for Christmas this year.
Love that you can see our Christmas stockings hanging in this picture...
And my new favorite thing is this old door. It was going to be a coffee table until it was deemed too fragile to cut. So we propped it up until we could decide what to do with it. There it has stayed and for now we have decided to leave it and display our Christmas cards.
Last Saturday was the Calhoun County Fly In, here at the airport. It's pretty cool that the kids get free airplane rides. Laney was passenger #600 for her pilot. Apparently, it's a pretty big deal.
This was also Morgan's first plane ride. She was beyond excited. She was too young last year and was mad that her sisters got to fly and not her. Madison opted out this year. She endured last year and seemed to have the attitude she had done it once, and that was enough!
Here, Mo's settling in.
Laney's loving the fact she's riding in a garnet and gold plane!
There they go!
Madison and I stayed home and cleaned house, so we missed all the fun and excitement.
Ralph then took the girls by my Grandma's to take care of a few things and while there Morgan got stung by wasp. She had at least 6 places where she was hit. Ralph and Laney thought a snake had gotten her the way she was screaming, but alas it was just a nest of them she had stirred up.
"It was the best and worst day ever!" was what Morgan called it.
By Sunday evening I could tell she was having a reaction to her stings. Her leg was twice the size it should be and hot to the touch, so Monday found us heading up to the Doctor.
This is how Morgan wanted to dress.
I do not know where the child gets her sense of dress - definitely not from me!
My children were too young to remember that day. Our oldest, Madison was 18 months, Laney was 2 months old and Morgan would not be born until 2003. Two of them watched it, but will not remember and were not aware of what went on that day. The terms, "Ground Zero" and "9/11" are a part of their vocabulary. Those terms, have always been a part of their vocabulary. They do not know the world without this, and here we are, a decade from that day. It is still unfathomable that something like this could happen, by choice, caused by human beings against other human beings.
Today, I write so that my girls will know what they were doing that day. That day, from my perspective....
Tuesday morning, it begins early, as usual per our energetic 18 month old. There is so much to get done today. Doctor's appointment. Packing for a trip to Florida for Ralph's sister's wedding. Mom's birthday is in 3 days. Making sure there are enough diapers for the 18 month old and our 2 month old. My to-do list may get the better of me today.
Where am I going to find all the energy to get this all done?
OK, focus Michelle, you've got to get yourself and the two little ones ready to head out the door for your appointment. How is this going to work taking both of them for my appointment? Oh well, it has to be done and Ralph's gone to a meeting in Colquitt. It is always fun keeping Madison occupied and entertained in a waiting room.
You can do this, Michelle.
Zipping around, breakfast is done, 45 minutes before I need to leave. I might actually be on time. "Today" show is playing in the background. Interesting, they are reporting a small plane has flow into one of the Twin Towers. How did that happen? The sky is clear and beautiful there. That's weird.
For some reason, I feel compelled to call Ralph on his cell. I tell him that they are reporting a plane has hit the World Trade Center. It can't be due to bad weather, the skies are so brilliantly blue there. He is busy and not quiet sure why I am giving him a news report. Oddly, I do not know why I felt the need to call and tell him. It just seems like important news to share.
Focus, Michelle, you've got to change Laney and get her dressed.
Half listening to the TV, Matt Lauer and Al Roker are talking. I'm listening to them try to figure out how this plane has hit this building. Then Al Roker says, "Oh my God, the other one has been hit."
The world around me seems to stop. In an instant, with one comment, I know the world has changed forever. I feel the panic begin to swell. These are not accidents. There is just no way. Not two planes. Not two buildings, a few minutes a part. I do not want to leave to go to the Doctor. I want to stay, not move, be glued to the TV. Ralph calls and tells me to go. The panicky feeling is growing, not subsiding. Are there more? Who would do this? I am hurriedly getting the girls strapped in their car seats, trying to stay focused on the task at hand, but I don't. I realize half way to my appointment Laney is simply sitting in her car seat, she is not buckled in. I pull over on the by-pass and buckle my 2 month old in.
I am sitting in the waiting room. Everyone but Madison is subdued and quiet. The nurse calls me back and as she is taking my vitals and weight I hear the other nurses conversation. They are saying a building in Washington DC has been hit and there is a possibility that another plane has gone down. All flights are being grounded.
As I hear this, my one thought, "Has the whole world gone mad?"
Now we are sitting in the exam room, waiting on the doctor. This seems so trivial when it is apparent the world is falling apart. He comes in, goes over my blood work. Tells me to quit drinking sweet tea, eating fried foods and lose another 15 lbs. I sit and just nod my head. I do not even defend the fact that I have a 2 month old in a car seat right beside me, that I have given birth to, after I gained over 90 lbs. while carrying. The 15lbs. are insignificant. Thousands have died today, for what reason?
The rest of the day is spent in front of the TV. Watching as people jump from a burning building. Seeing the Tower's fall. Eyes glued to it. Mind not comprehending what the eyes are seeing. Heart is breaking for all those lost. Worry and fear have sunk their claws in deep. Even as this day has changed life in so many ways, in so many others it has stayed the same. My girls still need to be fed, changed, rested and loved. Simple things and reminders that life is here in front of me and it does go on.
That day, I did hold my children tighter, tell my husband I loved him and made a choice that fear would not rule our lives. I want my girls to know that even though evil was meant that day, the stories of simple acts of kindness and huge acts of heroism are what need to be remembered about that day.
There is no way to explain to children why 9/11 happened in a way they can comprehend. Children inherently want to believe the best in people. Ten years later, I still can not comprehend what happened. But I am a firm believer in studying history so as not to repeat it.
May our children grow up in love, tolerance and acceptance....
It's funny how certain sounds, smells or seasons can trigger memories from the past. For me, the smell of freshly dug peanuts takes me back to elementary school. When my dad held passes to attend the local high school football games. He and I would go every Friday night that they played at home. I always associate the smell of peanuts with high school football.
Along those same lines, I also associate the hum of peanut dryers with cooler weather. Growing up we lived less than a half mile from the Altha Farmer's Co-op Peanut Mill. Farmers would haul their wagons, loaded with peanuts to the mill and there the wagons would be hooked up to dryers. During Fall, I would fall asleep with my windows open, listening to the hum of those dryers. Of course, then I would wake up with a stuffy nose and sore throat. Fall allergies, more memories.
Irish Spring soap makes me think of my great-uncle James. He lived in Cocoa Beach and we would visit him at least once a year. I loved going to his house for the simple fact he had stairs! I loved climbing and playing on those stairs. He always kept everyone around him in stitches. When we would be walking in a department store and pass a mannequin, he would stop, face it and say, "Hello, dummy." To a five year old, you couldn't get more hysterical than that line. He always smelled like Irish Spring.
This week the road in front of our house was resurfaced. On the way to pick up the girls from school I had the windows down, and the smell hit me. That hot asphalt smell. I breathed deeply. It was the smell of my Papa's shirt. He worked so many years with the asphalt company, it almost was just an ingrained part of him. I cannot smell fresh asphalt and not think of him. And so, with that smell, it brought back a flood of sweet memories and a touch of sadness that his steady presence is not here.
This week I am thankful for the little things that trigger the small things in life we tend to forget. The precious memories that are so wonderful to recall.
For those who have made an imprint on our lives...
Driving into town this week I noticed a tree that stood out. I noticed it for a couple of reasons, one it reminded me fall is soon approaching. The other reason was it obviously stood out because of it's color.
Gold surrounded by a sea of green.
It caused me to pause and ponder a conversation I recently had with one of our girls. There was an incident at school where a person in authority made a comment to the effect, that my daughter had humiliated her by choosing to read a book. Long story short, my daughter did not realize that it was not the book she was supposed to be reading and she was the one who ended up being humiliated.
I found myself telling my daughter not to stick out in this class, so as not to draw attention to herself.
That's not right.
Why shouldn't she stand out?
I do want her to stand out, for being a leader.
For making wise choices.
For working hard.
For showing initiative.
For admitting when she's wrong.
For not being a part of the crowd.
So, I told her I was wrong. I told her it was ok to stand out.
Be golden in a sea of green.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." ~Oscar Wilde
There were several great guesses, but no one guessed this....
Yes, it was close up shot of Christmas garland.
Yes, I've already started preparing & buying Christmas decorations. Besides, this was on sale at Hobby Lobby.
You realize it's kind of bad though, when you run into friends at Hobby Lobby and they start laughing. They had seen my buggy, but not me and were saying to each other, they couldn't believe someone was already buying Christmas stuff.