Tag Archives: memories

Five Favorite Moments: Vacationing While Growing Up

The other night, my family got to talking about family memories, specifically vacations on a frugal budget. While the stories were mostly memories about how my Grandma made vacations (and life) special on essentially one income to raise seven kids, I have to say that my Mom and Dad made some amazing memory magic of their own, too. You see, my dad is a pastor. Not sure if you know, but that’s not up there with the income of a doctor or lawyer…or most other folks. We had some amazing times, though, and I figured I’d share five of my favorite moments vacationing while growing up. keep reading

Dr. King’s Speech: In Dad’s Eye’s

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed a nation with his “I Have a Dream” speech. As you know, our family is living that dream. Our dad (Pop Pop) was there for the March on Washington–he and his Dad rode a bus from Harlem to D.C. We asked him some questions about the day, and are so glad to be able to hear his recollection of this moment in our history. He was 24 years old at the time.  keep reading

Four Years

The last photo of us as (just) friends

Last night Greg and I celebrated a joyous four years of togetherness (let’s forget that one night he said he wanted to “just be friends and let’s slow down” followed by my not talking to him for 3 days, ahem). The hallowed BBQ night followed by a week of realizing I was moving away and these feelings were real.

Four years later, we are so glad we took that chance on each other and look forward to many more beautiful years together. Time sure does fly when you are in love.

(If you’re wondering where we celebrated, we took the kids to Subway…the place we first ate together as a couple. Corny, but oh so sweet.)

Bittersweet Rememories

Today is a bitter day for me personally, so I am sending some fun memories of the past week out into the interwebs for your enjoyment. These things make me smile, something I need on a bad memory day like today.

Holding Hands.
‘lil Man acted all shy when first approached by Michelle taking his “two” photos. By mid-shoot, he was demanding, “hand, hold my hand” as he led her through the Aviary, showing her his favorite place in Pittsburgh.

Cuddle Buggin’.
When both kids were little, the best way for them to fall asleep was on Mama’s chest cuddled up. ‘lil Man and I haven’t been feeling great the past few days, so it was no surprise when he asked to sleep like this in the middle of the night last night. So precious.

Every time we pass a Wendy’s, the kids demand nuggets. Imagine the pain when they had to pass two Wendy’s twice last night with no stopping for nuggets. After 8 times (at dinner time, nonetheless) Greg gave in and got them nuggets following a chant passing a McDonald’s today. You can’t win ‘em all—their love for spinach, tomatoes, beets, and mangoes make up for this.

Grammie rubs my arm.
When I was relaxing on the couch, telling the kids I didn’t feel well, Arianna laid down besideme,rubbed my arm and told me to feel better “because that’swhat Grammie does”. That mademe feel a million timesbetter,atleast in that moment.

Fire Alarms.
We were mid-way through the Aviarywhen thefirealarmswent offand thebuilding began to evacuate. It was the calmest exit I have ever seen from a building, feeling very much like a school fire drill. In the days since, it’s all Arianna can talk about—we escaped the fire at the Aviary! (Note, there really wasn’t a fire, as far as we know.)

How 2012 Rocked

As we settle down from all the holiday rushing around, I thought it would be fun to list the “best of” and “worst of” in 2012. Overall, this was a great year, but as any family would, it has had UPS and DOWNS!

Let’s get the “Worst Of” going!

  • Getting stuck in Kansas City Airport on July Fourth with little to no idea of when we’d leave, and eventually missing out on our evening plans and fireworks.
  • Customer Service from Toys R Us while trying to get a working toy. Bottom line, defective products should not be on the shelves. All I needed was three batteries, but instead, I lost my mind and drove across the city to find the same toy with the same defect on the shelf and talked to an agent who really could care less if I never shopped there again. Well, guess what. Hrm. Worse yet? He could care less about the freaking lantern. 
  • The HTC Rezound. Admittedly, I LOVED this phone. It really was one of my favorite things, but I was paying for 4G and only able to be on 3G in order to get work e-mail. Then, when Hurricane Sandy hit, it decided it would no longer sync to corporate email except on wifi. Two handsets and lots of visits to Verizon later, I got a new phone that works just fine.
  • Driving through West Virginia in August (construction season) and not arriving in Conway. Traffic pushed our time back about 3 hours longer than I wanted to be driving and 2 hours short of our destination, so we pulled off the highway and searched for a hotel that did not exist. When we found it, I was in line with a hooker behind me at the walk up night window. Marvelous.
  • Our hotel in Kansas City with dirty sheets and no AC on some of the hottest days of the summer. Customer service from the hotel and booking site were not all the great, either, unfortunately.
  • My sprained knee/MCL and pulled hamstring. This put a damper on summer and exercise.
  • Getting stung by a jellyfish—never fun!
  • The Steelers. The Pirates. The (lack of) Penguins. Me finishing last in the RPL against Greg taking 3rd. Sports were just sore subjects this year.
  • keep reading

    Cherishing Moments


    Earlier this evening, I posted about a book on finding happiness. I really don’t want to write about yesterday’s tragedy, but there are so many people in grief, shock, and pain over the horrible events in Newton, CT. There are so many people who I am sure are trying to find happiness this weekend. Last night, I fell asleep with tears in my eyes, happy that I was blessed with one more day with my precious family.

    Today, we cherished moments together (more to come on that soon), but as I was blogging, the kids were putting on a Christmas carol show with their “school”. My heavy heart was immediately lifted as the kids sang “Jingle Bells” over and over with their snowman friends (just one of my Christmas reminders that some of those who leave us really do live on). Perhaps this moment will warm your heart, too. Enjoy.

    A Month Ago


    In the last month, ‘lil Miss A has…

    * Gained almost 2 pounds, every ounce of it in height. 3T pants are loose on the waist but as short on her ankles as petite pants are on me. Hello, 4T and belts.

    * Been in need of a haircut, but I held off due to her 4 pics. Now, her hair is a good 2 inches longer. Our baldy has turned into a rapunzel. She apparently prefers her side bangs, I need to convince her a trim is ok.

    * Learned that A closes on top and isn’t the same as H. She’s also mastered the ABC tracing app and learned how to write ‘lil Man’s name and either stole a friend’s paper or learned how to write his name. I talked to get about lying, stealing, and how that conflicts what Jesus would do, she said “He knows the truff”, k?

    * She’s struggled with being an old three and not being in the class with her old friends, but is learning to make do.

    * Taught ‘lil Man how to say “God is good” before chowing down.

    * Fallen in love with the Pirates, even if their season us pretty much a bust. Tonight she asked for one more game before the season is over, but that’s a no…Mama isn’t giving up the games with Daddy!

    * Grown so much since this picture, taken exactly one month ago.

    Pieces of the Past


    Tonight, I stepped inside a place I haven’t been for almost 18 years. Not too much has changed with the exception of the people and the food. And the couch. The couch where Mr. Rogers or Mr. McFeeley and I would sit and swap stories is gone. And the smell of sticky buns no longer fills the air.

    Tonight, I joined my new work team for a planning meeting at a place where many memories of my childhood were made. Running through the orchard, finding wild mushrooms, being pulled in a wagon, throwing toys in the huge kettle, pretending to make butter in the churn, staring at porcelain dolls. But most importantly, bonding with my family and making memories with my Great Grandma.

    Tonight, I hope I made her proud with how far I’ve come.


    Tonight I dined at Emilia’s Garden which used to be the Friendship Garden Tea Room, my Great Grandmother’s restaurant. Things haven’t changed too much, but the fare is a bit different–it is now Italian food. Everything looked amazing, and everything I tasted (chicken pepperoni soup then tortellini) was 8 steps beyond amazing. I suggest this one goes in your “date night” idea book. Yum!