Friday, September 11, 2009

Where were you?

I can't believe it's been 8 years. I remember it like it was yesterday. I can vividly recall, down to the shoelaces, what I wore that day.

I was in art class when the secretary came over the loudspeaker to give us a message from the principal: New York City had been attacked and we were to turn on the TVs and watch the news. We all stared at each other in horror and disbelief. Attacked? Was the city demolished? Up in flames? The TV came on. One building had a plume of smoke billowing out of it. Oh, that doesn't look so bad. Then they showed the plane crashing into it. Oh, my God.

Surely that must've been an accident, a horrible mistake. Who could do such a thing? But 2 planes in the matter of a few minutes was no accident. One of the freshman girls at our table looked at Lynnette and me with panic in her face. "They're not gonna come here, are they?" she said. "Oh, no, honey," Lynnette said. "They're just in New York."

And then they hit the Pentagon.

That was the moment we knew it was bigger than we thought.

The bell rang and I moved to my next class, history. We sat in sober silence, trying to process what was happening. I'll never forget what Mr. Bachrik said to us: You're watching history. They're gonna put this in the books your kids read.

If we talked at all, it was in hushed tones...until the first tower fell. I will never, not to my dying day, forget the horror I felt as I watched people plummet like rag dolls from the top of that inferno to escape the hell that was blazing inside. We cried then. I cry every time I think about it. I'm crying now.

And then the news broke into a local station. I believe it was Channel 6 in Johnstown. The reporter said that there was another plane hijacked and it had crashed in Shanksville. Pennsylvania. Less than 60 miles from where we sat.

Every eye in the room swung to Mr. Bachrik. You're the authority figure, we silently said. Tell us what to do. He stared helplessly back at us and shook his head, as if to say "I can't."

Shortly after that point classes started dwindling as frantic parents began pulling their kids out of school. No one knew what was happening, what fresh hell would hit or when, and everyone just wanted to be home with their families.

I later found out that another local Pittsburgh station mistakenly reported that Flight 93 had been hijacked out of Pittsburgh, thereby fueling even more panic. My mom was washing the windows in the living room when my grandmother called her to tell her the first plane had hit. Oh, what a horrible accident, she thought. A few minutes later she called her again.
Di, she said. Another plane hit.
That's when everyone knew it wasn't an accident. That's when my mom turned on the news. When they hit the Pentagon, she started getting anxious. When Flight 93 went down, she grabbed the keys to my pap's truck and booked it to the schools.

She picked me up first. I was headed to lunch and was coming down the hallway as she walked through the door. I've never been so glad to see my mom in my life. I'm not ashamed to say I started crying and threw myself into her arms. It didn't matter if you were 16 or 76, everyone wanted their mom that day.

My youngest brother was still in elementary school, which is a half mile up the road from the high school, so we picked him up next. We took my cousin too. The little ones didn't really know what was going on. When we got to the middle school to pick up my other brother, sister, and cousin, they were scared. How do you explain such an inexplicable evil to children when you don't even understand it yourself?

My entire family gathered at my grandparents'. For the rest of the day we stared, entranced, at cable news. There was so much information they had to run a scrolling ticker across the bottom of the screen.

It was so surreal to sit outside on that beautiful, clear, sunshiny day and not see one single plane fly overhead. Not to see one car drive past. To try to fathom how anyone could conceive and then execute such an inconceivable, despicable act.

But it was also surreal to see how this country rallied around itself. The brave men and women who offered themselves up in service. The passengers on a doomed flight with nothing else to lose who said, Let's roll. The thousands of ordinary citizens who organized blood drives, food drives, clothing drives. The country that, once brought to its knees, got back on its feet. And the everlasting spirit and determination that makes this country what it is.

God bless America.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Few Random Thoughts

We started watching Glee last night...I think Daniel likes it more than he pretends to. He was all triumphantly "I told you so" when the chorus teacher's bitchy wife's pregnancy turned out to be fake.

Australian Wipeout is way more intense than American Wipeout. I'm not talking about the obstacles--I mean the contestants. I have never been so visually assaulted in my entire life. I sat there for a good five minutes with an expression of shock and horror frozen onto my face. Does no one Down Under own a full-length pair of shorts?

I can't believe Maddie is going to be a year old in a few weeks. She's learning so much...walking, talking, etc; and I can't help but think what am I gonna do when she starts asking questions I don't know the answer to? Daniel makes fun of me for not knowing where Iowa is. (For some reason I thought it was much more south and east than it actually is.) Having a kid is a huge responsibility. You need to be a walking encyclopedia. Of course once they turn 11 or 12 everything you say is stupid to them anyway...I think that window is rapidly shrinking. My luck, Maddie will be giving me that "Mom, you're an idiot" look by age 5.

Why is 99% of our town the poster for rural small-town Americana--old ladies digging in their flowerbeds, people reading on porch swings, little league-- and the other 1% is living across the street from us-- selling drugs, living off the govt., beating their wives, disturbing the peace, and basically living like they're auditioning for "COPS"?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Finding Neverland

The house is quiet...for the moment. So far today I've got the living room vacuumed, the kitchen and game room swept and mopped, and a painting hung in Maddie's room. I need to clean both bathrooms and vacuum the upstairs but Maddie is napping so it'll have to wait until she wakes up. Not only would the vacuum wake her up but even if I didn't have to vacuum I still can't clean without blasting the stereo.

Today I'm cleaning to a mix...heavily sprinkled with Michael Jackson. I still can't believe he's dead; it was so unexpected. It's bizarre to think that someone I grew up listening to could be gone. I remember being about 5 and running next door to my aunt's house, begging her to crank up her stereo. "Bad" was my favorite album. We would bounce around the living room, me dragging my feet across her carpet, trying to moonwalk.

As I got older, I more fully appreciated the musical genius that he was. Many a Halloween party and bar trip were spent trying to do the "Thriller" dance.

Thus far, most of the tributes and rememberances seem to be focusing on that genius, the entertainer, and not the scandals and eccentricities that came to a forefront briefly in the late 90s. And I think that's appropriate; when it comes down to it I believe Michael was still a sad, lonely little boy desperate for his father's approval and acceptance.

I hope he found his Neverland.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Some more Maddie-ness

I can't believe Maddie's almost 9 months already... I guess time flies when you're chasing around a teething shrieking laughing drooling babbling giggling bundle of pure joy.

Chillin' with the Easter bunny. They're likethis.First time in a swing.

She's this happy all the time.

Can I help you?


At Bella's 1st birthday party.

Another gorg session from Tabi.My little hambone.
Why, yes, I *do* have the prettiest baby in the world.
Fairy bum :)Who's a rockstar?
Rub a dub dub, 2 kittehs in a tub.Nice hair.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I haz a husband!

So we got married on May 9th...and it was perfect. Not in the fairy-tale, big white dress, baby animals helped me get dressed sort of way; more like a oh crap I forgot my bouquet, eh who cares, omg where's the marriage license, phew you found it, don't my Chucks look fabulous sort of way. Our relationship is anything but conventional, so why on earth should our wedding be? He's everything I ever wanted and didn't know I needed so badly.
The day itself was pretty much a blur, but we got some great pictures and I'm glad it's over and we're settling into domestic life. (Hah, who ever thought that I would be "domestic"? But I am, I swear, I cook and clean and do laundry and everything!)
So, pictures...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wedding craziness

44 days out and the last big thing that needs done is food. We're meeting a potential caterer on Friday, providing neither one of us has the bird flu. We had one lined up but she never called me back...and this new one would be $4 cheaper per person, which will save us over $800. I'm freaking out slightly since I wanted to start addressing and mailing invitations today...and I can't find my address book. The last time I saw it was when we took it to Sis and Greg's to get their family's addresses, so maybe it's in the car.
Pops and Lisa got married last night, and even though I felt like (and probably looked like) death I went anyway. I'm glad I did. It was just a short ceremony at Sea-Jay, but they are so happy and so in love that it was really special. Granted, the officiant looked like Don Vito, and they literally played "Endless Love" before the ceremony, but overall it was very nice. Dinner at Eat n Park and a free piece of pie later, I was very happy to get back home and collapse into bed. And of course I left my camera in my purse, at Daniel's, so I have no pictures. Boo.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A not-so-brief history of Maddie:or, the story so far




The beginning.


Madeline Reese 9/30/08
9 lbs, 4 oz.
20.5 inches


8 days old

Copyright Photos by Tabi

Copyright Photos by Tabi

Copyright Photos by Tabi

Doncha?

She's an angry elf.

Little punkin

I love my mummy.



Oh, see how happy she is to be wearing her costume.


You wish your kid was this cool.


Such a lady.


Meeting Daddy's cousin Aubriella


At Uncle Josh and Aunt Colleen's

What a face


After a tubby

Family portrait


Not so holly jolly


Santa's Little Helper



So excited about Horton!


Go Stillers!


Maddie's first Winter's Halo show


Not ornery at all.


The Queen of Drool


Gangsta babeh

First taste of veggies







Who's a rockstar?