A little buried under winter tires and Christmas planning!!

I’m still here, and I am sorry that I haven’t been posting regularly.  We have had a very stressful and busy last month due to Chief’s job and as of last Wednesday, the stress was taken care of.  I am very relieved, but honestly did not realize how stressed I was until that day.  Now that life is returning to normal again, I am very tired and trying to play catch up – hence, not a lot of time for blogging!!  I hope to be back to regular blogging by this Friday – for T.G.I.C.F. 🙂  I have two projects coming up that are very exciting for me and a little daunting at the same time.  I trust you all are well and I look forward to “chatting” again with you soon.  May you have a blessed week!

I think "Santa" needs to smile a bit, don't you think?? 🙂 My three sweet boys - the three reasons blogging has been at a minimum. Love them!!

Beast fiends that don’t amount to a bill of heans

Doesn’t Mrs. Lemon have the most beautiful smile??

No, I haven’t lost my mind 🙂  I have a dear friend, Mrs. Lemon (check out her blog on the right hand side, she will alternately make you laugh and push you to think.  She’s good!).  Anyway, Mrs. Lemon and I met when we went to the same college in Saint Louis, MO.  We were freshman together and she lived down the hall and around the corner.  Perfect distance for two lonely souls a little out of their league in a new city.  Our second year, Mrs. Lemon and I moved to a different dorm and lived in side-by-side rooms.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many of my memories include Mrs. Lemon.  We were, and still are, kindred spirits, despite many miles between us.  Mrs. Lemon and I actually haven’t seen each other in person since May 1999.  It is one of my goals in life to see her again in “real life”, but until then I am so glad for Facebook, blogs, texting, email and excellent long-distance plans.  Mrs. Lemon is actually the person who has encouraged me to blog over and over, and I finally took her advice 🙂

pre-Mrs. Lemon (L) & pre-Mrs. Pilot (R), circa 1997 ... let's not discuss the 90's hair and clothes, okay?

Anyway, I have been going through files from my old computer and I came across a Word document containing journalling for a mini scrapbook that I had plans to make for her.  Too often we wait until it is too late to let our loved and cherished friends know how we feel about them.  I have no idea when the scrapbook will ever get made, so I wanted to share the journalling that I have planned for her.  Our friendship is a testament to the fact that there truly are friends out there that will be lasting friendship, despite many challenges.  And I want to thank you Mrs. Lemon for being such a big part of my life.  You DO amount to more than a bill of heans and I hope that we will always be beast fiends!  Love ya 🙂

So studious!

 “Friends make memories … the heart preserves them.”

Thank you Mrs. Lemon for all the wild memories – milk & noses do not mix, cookie dough helps you study, breadsticks really can feed you, and so, so many more!

“Friendships begin because, even without words, we understand how someone feels.”

Thank you Mrs. Lemon for encouraging me to step outside my homesickness and shyness to become friends with you – if it weren’t for you, I’d probably still be shy!

“How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way.”

Thank you Mrs. Lemon for being an unexpected blessing from my decision to move to Saint Louis – you truly were a blessing!  And for continuing to be a friend, no matter how far we both have moved.

“A friend is one who understands our faults, yet finds our virtues!”

Thank you Mrs. Lemon for loving me in spite of myself!  And for teaching me, through your friendship, to love myself – the good and the bad!

My word, we were young!

“A friend laughs with you, but a best friend cries with you.”

Thank you Mrs. Lemon for not being a “fair weather” friend.  Thank you for the memories of laughter and also for the memories of tears shared.  Thank you, my dear “beast fiend”!

“A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often – just to save it from drying out completely.”

Thank you Mrs. Lemon for melted peanut butter M&M’s to brighten up my summer, calls in Illinois when I thought, inside, that I was at the end of my rope, and Downey Ball wedding bells to brighten a lonely day in New York.  I am glad that our friendship has survived everything that 13 years has sent it.

“A good book is like an old friend.”

Thank you Mrs. Lemon for becoming an old friend – the more you read good books, the better they become, and the more I know you, the more cherished you become to me.

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.”

Thank you Mrs. Lemon for leaving footprints on my heart.

One of the last times we were together in person, and one of my all-time favorite pictures!

Let someone you love truly know how you feel about them.  Don’t waste time waiting for the “perfect time”.  We all want to know that we are loved, by someone.

 *  Since I am awful at remembering where I get things, I have no idea who to credit with these quotes.  All I know is that they were all written by bright, insightful people.

May I never forget.

November 11th.  May I never forget the significance of this day. 

The older I get, the more appreciative I am of the sacrifice given by our soldiers, past and present.  My paternal grandfather is a World War II veteran and I am so proud of his efforts.  Seeing him standing tall and proud in his navy blazer with his medals on, I often wonder what thoughts are going through his mind.  Is he remembering the friends that he lost during the war; the loss of his carefree, teenage years?  Or is he remembering the things he gained.  His marriage to my Grammie.  The knowledge that he fought to keep this country free so that his children could grow up and be who and what they chose to be.  May I never forget to be proud of my Grampie’s service.

Last week Captain, Engineer and I were going through the drive-through at Tim’s.  Two cadets were selling poppies to the customers and Captain announced that he would like one.  I rolled his window down for him to purchase his poppy sticker.  The next question was “What is this flower for, Momma?”  Such a simple question, such a huge answer.  How do I tell him that it means that we will never forget that a Momma like me lost her son or daughter in a war somewhere?  So, I told him that it means that we are very proud of our soldiers and that we wear it to honor them.  May I never forget to wear my poppy and remember why I wear it, each November.

I remember watching the motorcade pass with a fallen soldier from my community.  I was very pregnant with Captain and I remember sitting in the car with my hand on my belly feeling Captain’s strong kicks, watching the car pass that carried the body of another Momma’s boy.  I remember wondering if she knew how very proud we are of what her son offered for our country.  May I never forget that each soldier is someone’s son or daughter.

A dear friend, from college, is now a Chaplain with the US Army and is currently on assignment in Afghanistan.  I am so proud of him and his dedication to the religious health of his soldiers.  I am so proud of his wife, for her love and support of him and his career choice.  Today, as every day, I am proud of both of them.  May I never forget that every soldier has a family that pays a price, as well.

May I always remember why I pause at 11 o’clock on November 11th.  To honor those who gave of their time, their youth and possibly their lives.  So that I would have the choice to do as I wish at 11 o’clock on November 11th.  May I always remember.