Wednesday, October 30, 2013

High School

I thought he was super cute. We were from neighboring towns and both taught Social- which, around here, is a rite of passage. Learning how to ballroom dance once a week was something everyone did. Few children of Hometown do not know how to fox trot, waltz, tango, or yes- even Polka.

I can polka.

Secretly, it's a lot of fun. The tango is sexy, but the polka is fun.

We Amos Moses.
We dip, twirl, and wear white gloves.
We attend the Spring Cotillion at the end of the year and our poor parents suffer through watching the masses move in a circle over and over again.
We wear dance cards. No lie.

It's a part of who we are down here and it's lovely.

I digress...

He was super cute. I was in Cotillion and was wearing a white dress when we, literally, ran into each other in the lower halls of the Civic Center. He was in tails. What's not handsome about a boy in tails? He had dark hair and was much taller than I was. He asked me if my name was Wife.

A coy response from me with both a wink and half smile.

It was sassy. I smiled, took three steps backwards before turning with a rustle of crinoline and ran to meet my partner for our presentation. The spotlight was heading our way.

Standing forty feet apart at a separate entrance to the dance floor, he was waiting to present his partner and glanced my way.

He winked.
I blushed.

Turns out two could play coy.

After the Spring Dance and the presentation, the director hosted a party for the Cotillion classes of 1997 and 1998-- us. We all piled in our cars, with the guys shucking their tails for the ride and the girls sitting on each other in the backseat, pushing down the petticoats as we tried our best to not get our dress caught in the doors as they closed.

My partner cut the music up and we headed back up the hill to the Hometown Country Club from the Civic Center as the music played and we sang along. We were 16 and, according to the lyrics of songs, we were young and free.

It was one of those perfect nights when you don't realize how privileged you are, and yet- trust that this is a great life. Because it is.

I ran into him again at the party after dinner. He asked me to dance and held out his hand.

I blushed again.

He put his hand on my back and firmly took my hand in his and lead me in a waltz. It was terribly romantic to be so very innocent. We moved through a sequence of turns and a quick lift that we were all taught a few weeks prior.

It was then that I realized I didn't know his name.


Paul and I would date for a year in high school- which, in high school years, might as well be an eternity. He was kind. His parents were fun. He lived 45 minutes away up a two-lane highway.

I would drive up there to see him on a Friday sometimes and we would get in his new Honda Accord and drive the strip. Don't laugh, it's what you did in Smalltown. From the Dairy Queen, down 2.3 miles to the Huddle House- a round about and back again. We'd listen to music with the windows rolled down, change out who was riding in which car and occasionally stop in the park and talk. It was all very fun, very old school, and very much like nothing we did in Hometown.

He gave me his high school ring.

He asked me to prom.

He told me where he was going to college next year and wanted to me to go with him. This was getting serious. And I was not ready for serious.

I broke up with him.

We would run into each other a few more times over the coming years- during college. I think we tried to be friends, but that is something we both knew wouldn't work. "Serious" was not in my repertoire at that time. I lost track of him a long time ago and really have not given much thought to him along the way.

A few weeks ago, mom sent a box home with me of high school things she wanted out of her house.

"I am done being your storage room. You have a house. You have a family. You have no more excuses. I'm going to start sending you home with your stuff. Do with it what you want."

She was right. I took the box home and opened it up.

There was a Corona bottle from a beach trip with some girls. It was filled with sand and sat in a kookie.
There was a Mother's Binder from when I made my debut that lovely Thanksgiving weekend right before I turned 21.
A stack of pictures, and notes we passed in class.
A trophy for the Spirit Award from middle school-- when one has no athletic ability, but one has heart-- one gets an award created for them, the Spirit Award.
A beach ball from another beach trip.
A football from my high school homecoming game.
A day planner (this was before iPhones) with my class assignments and social calendar.

And an envelope with handwriting I didn't recognize.

I opened it up and I found myself looking at a 17 year old girl who was on the arm of a tall handsome boy.

Holy Snarks. I found the prom pictures from the prom Paul took me to over 15 years ago.

But, there was not just one prom picture....

There were several.

Like 2 5x7s and 8 wallets.

What am I going to do with this lovely batch of pictures? It seemed too good to throw away and yet I had no use for them. Frame?

"Honey- check it out. Here I am, sixteen years ago with another dude. Yeah, that scarf coordinates with my Jessica McClintock dress. It was cool at the time."

And eight wallets? Not four. Eight. Ten pictures of me with a diamond barrette in my hair and dye to match shoes. What in the world am I going to do with these?

I found nine envelopes.
I found nine stamps.
I found nine notecards.
I found a pen.

I wrote nine notes and dropped nine pictures in the mail to nine friends across the country.

Days passed and I was sitting on myself to not call them and see if they got their mail.

I giggled and patted myself on the back at my creativity.

My friends are more creative than me though--

One found a frame and it is sitting on her guest room bedside table.
One has it on a cork board at work and asked why I was holding a centerpiece.
Two have it on the fridge.
One asked me if that was the largest corsage she had ever seen. I responded that, no, it was just a really small casket spread.
Two have promises that it will be something lovely next time I see them at their house.
One's husband asked "who that was" and did not understand why I sent his wife an almost 20 year old prom picture.

And then they started sending me pictures of their prom pictures in return. Guess they did not get the super deluxe package like I did. Must have had bad dates.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good Morning?

Some mornings, it's hard to get out of bed. When Husband is on call, the head cold has set in, the kids didn't sleep... it's hard when LMC be-bops into your bedroom at 6:15 with the whispers of a child asking if she can please get in bed with you.

Part of me wants to say, "NO! Get the **#% back in your bed," but, that other side- that loving mom side that knows children are only children for so long whisper, "Go TT and grab your pillow." (read: too tired to argue)

She kindly obeys, grabs her pillow and pulls herself up into that warm oasis with her ice cold toes and curly hair and insists on sharing both your space and your pillow.

And then you know, you just know, there will be no more shut-eye for this day-- the Monday.

Admitting defeat around 7:30, I send her on her way to pick out clothes and start her day. Bennie is in her crib with her bottle whining, but not yet crying. It's Monday. Seems like every morning starts out as Monday. And this Monday, would truly be Monday.

Stumbling and bleary eyed, I made my way into the yellow bathroom with curses to those that thought yellow tile would be a good color to see first thing every morning. Suddenly, I hate the color yellow. Oh, this head cold- please subside. Looking at my hair, I admit defeat and start the shower. A shower will turn this early morning around.

And it does.

I can breath.
I am clean.
I brush my teeth in the shower-- something I love to do but save for special occasions.
I can't find my razor, but three out of four ain't bad.

It's quiet with the hot water running and I cannot hear those whines of the four year old or the intermittent cries of the ten month old. Slowly, the bleariness washes down the drain with the soap and the toothpaste.

I step out of the shower and shake off like a puppy out of the pond, wondering why I didn't grab my towel. It is 62 degrees in this house and I am naked. Naked, like birthday suit naked. Naked like jay bird naked.


I cut off the shower and there is a moment of silence before I start to hear the chaos outside my silent, steamy shower sanctuary.

My mother is screaming in her panic voice, "WIFE!"

(Why is my mother screaming at me... in my house. ohmygod, LMC killed Bennie. How'd she know before me?)

The alarm... wait, is that the house alarm going off?

LMC screaming.
Bennie screaming.

The alarm... blaring.

My father, guns blazing- literally- calling for me.

Like Rainman, I scream the code to cut off the alarm.

"Hi?" with timidity from behind the door, I squeak.

They are in my bedroom and I am peeking out from the bathroom, asking mom for that towel hanging on that door behind her. Still naked-naked.

She's holding LMC who has on a skirt and no shirt. Bennie has her jammies over her head and hitting my mother with her empty bottle, both crying. Dad is asking me if I'm okay.

"Yep, fine. Good morning?"

"Who's in there? The police are on their way!"

As if I am being held at gun point in my shower, apparently by a toothbrush.

Mom hands me a towel and says again the police are on their way. I close the door and start to find clothes when Office Rollins knocks on the door.


"Yes, just a moment," -Where are my undies?! - "Just a second, I'm trying to find my shirt," -How do I have drawers full of clothes and at this moment I can only find underwear... where is a pair of pants? ANY PANTS?

"M'am? I need to see you. Please open this door now."

"Yes, I'm coming-- I just don't have a stitch of clothes on." This could not have happened two children and forty pounds ago. No, it had to happen now. Today.

"M'am is there anyone in there with you? Are you safe? I have a report of a glass break in there."

"Yes, totally safe- no glass break, just me and my 87 pair of socks and no shirt...... Found it, hold on-- I'm coming."


The door flings open, the cold air pouring in. My parents still standing there, looking at me as if I had snakes coming out of my ears. I had just gotten out of the shower and had not brushed my hair- how does your hair look when that happens? So, maybe a snake or two.

"Officer Rollins, what a pleasant surprise..."

"Are you safe?"

"Yes sir. I'm sorry."

He starts to inspect the house.

My father looks at me, "Don't downplay this. Are you safe? Did anything happen?"

"Yes. Totally safe."

Father and Officer Rollins start walking the house. My bedroom sliding glass door is hanging a bit precariously on the slides and it has dawned on my that my house was locked, my alarm was set and yet... my parents were in my bedroom. They got a call this morning from the alarm company reporting of a glass break in the master bathroom. They broke in to hear two screaming children and no sign of their daughter. Must have been a sight.

Mom tells me the G-U-N is under the covers, so don't be surprised.
(Mom, you can say "gun" in front of LMC)
Next, the G-U-N is on the fridge. Tell Husband, so he isn't surprised.
(Can't you take it with you? I'm leaving and apparently, can't lock the house until Husband gets home)
They are going to the hospital-- and guns aren't allowed there.

They are, however, allowed in my house, early in the morning. All for the safety of your children.

Turns out, that shower that blocked the sounds of the screaming children also blocked the sounds of the alarm and my parents breaking into my house.

Good morning?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bennie's Room

Okay, the rooms get less and less done as we get farther and farther to the back of the house. This is just a fact of life. I don't have enough artwork and really don't want to throw stuff up willy-nilly, nor do I want to go up to my eyeballs in debt getting this home complete.

We live with a formica backsplash. It works. My eye twitches when I look at it, but it works. There needs to be landscaping, but we will get there. I hope.

Bennie's room is pink. Pink-pink, like blush and bashful kind of pink. She will probably hate having anything pink until she is 25 (like her mother) kind of pink. She can't talk yet. If she can't talk, she can't have a vote. House rules.

Bennie's clothes are hanging in a neat row in her walk-in closet (because every baby needs a walk-in closet). Because she can't make a wreck of her clothes yet, they hang in a color-ordered pattern. LMC has three dresses haphazardly dangling on two hangers. The differences between infants and toddlers...

I found a fun fabric the other day and pretended that I had crazy-mad sewing skills. Wanting to complete the project and lacking the necessary tools, the window treatment was mounted to a piece of our hardwoods that did not get used.  Husband hung it post-call one afternoon. A window treatment was born.

When MIL came in town last week, top of the list was painting Bennie's chandelier. Second was painting LMC's. These light fixtures came out of our yellow master bathroom. MIL painted Bennie's with pink accents and LMC's with purple accents. She used glass paint and made them look perfect for where they hang.

Recycled chairs that were a "gift" once blue nagahyde ...naugahide naugahyde are now girly and pink. Husband made me a stool and sweet Mr. Carpenter covered it for me to make it look like they were a set. Mr. Carpenter was my secret ace in the hole for dirt-cheap reupholstery. He died last year and I am sad for more than one reason. How sad? He recovered those two chairs for $200, TOTAL.

The crib, ohhhh, the crib. I love the crib. It's wrought iron and beautiful. I bought it for LMC the second I saw it. A friend bought the same crib, with a similar budget. While I opted to hang every-single-article-of-clothing, to hide the fact she didn't have a dresser, she had all of her first born's clothes in stacks lining the floor. Different answers to the same problem -- how to live on love?

And that's Bennie's room. It is soft and sweet, just like she is. Not right now, of course- she hasn't napped today, but yesterday-- yesterday she was soft and sweet.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pink Bath

Come on down the long hall to the back of the house. The pink bathroom with double sinks sits as a beacon of femininity for our two daughters. I have mentioned before that all of my homes have had pink baths. 

My first pink bath was in Milledgeville and I went totally '50s in it with a pink water pitcher and basin mounted on the wall. My second pink bath was in my condo and was a teeny tiny half bath- It had a hand towel and a candle. No decor. Now my third pink bath... that one was awesome. I convinced Husband on one of his few days off to tape the walls and paint chocolate brown stripes. We were newly weds. He has since learned better. I had three brown bud vases and a brown damask shower curtain. Husband built a beautiful frame and mounted it to the big mirror on the wall. A brown monogram on ecru Irish linen hand towels completed the room and the pink tile was merely a blip accenting the loveliness. We washed dishes in that sink after parties and washed babies after messes and diapers. I loved that pink bath.

And now we have our fourth pink bathroom and are over it. I am tired of being creative and was ready to take a sledge hammer to it. Husband showed me the budget and voted me down. I stamped my feet. All he had to do was point to the bottom line with one question, "Where is it going to come from?"


My Viking kitchen appliances look an awful lot like the French drains in the backyard and my landscaping looks almost identical to those beautiful new windows in the living and dining room. 

What do you do though, right? 

This is something that I am getting used to.

First, a disclaimer-- it's hard to take good pictures in a bathroom. It's really hard to take good pictures in a bathroom of a bathroom. This is me asking for forgiveness. 

Disclaimer aside, we replaced the light fixtures that everyone told me not to replace. I heard more than once that they were, "Easily $800 a piece and are juh-ssss-tah gore-ja-sas" (that would be 'just gorgeous' if you can't read Southern). Guess what? I didn't like them. I liked them well enough, and I liked them outside of the pink bathroom- but in the pink bathroom ... with the pink tile... and the pink countertop... notsomuch. So, I pulled them off the wall and found these $237 light fixtures (um, that would be e-a-c-h) for $43. SCHWING! I love a bargain!

The shower curtain has grosgrain ribbon in a horizontal stripe and it screams preppy-mcPrepster to me. I had dreams of making a matching trash can with grosgrain ribbon and a glue gun, but I burned myself one too many times trying to make some bows for LMC and that idea got tossed out the window with the bows and the band-aid wrappers.

We updated the sinks and faucets and threw out those old pink sinks that reminded me of the dyed-to-match wedding shoes. My dad tried to tell me that I should save them for another project. I told him that I still had two yellow sinks and a tan sink if I needed colorful sinks in the future. I could see his little mouse on his little wheelie spinning as he thought about coming back and hijacking them off the trash pile. 

He didn't. 

Both me and Mom thanked him.

We still need a window treatment and I am holding out for a piece of art to hang over our pink throne.  But for now, it works.

Some things never change.

 Don't you worry, though-- we still have the pink toilet. That sucker isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I told Husband we will be replacing the yellow toilet before we replace the pink one.

I draw the line. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013


If someone out there can hang wallpaper for a song and a dance, allow me to strum my guitar and find my tap shoes. I was put on this earth to do many things-- make beautiful babies, collect an obnoxious amount of knowledge on sterling flatware, drink wine, hang pictures, catch fish-- you get the idea.

I was not put on this earth to hang wallpaper.

My father was put on this earth to hang wallpaper. He has, however, retired from that business and his paper hanging days are over.

My MIL was put on this earth to hang wallpaper. She is damn good at it, too. Her paper hanging days aren't over yet, thanktheSweetLord. They came in town last week to a list for her three deep:

- Paint the chandelier
- Paint the other chandelier
- Hang wallpaper

LMC added one thing:

- Buy me "My Little Pony" shoes.

Foolish me thought, "How hard can this be? It's paper, for Pete's sake. Not only that, it's supposed to be easy paper as it is fake wallpaper."

Long story short, you can tell the pieces that MIL hung and the pieces I hung.

MIL: 1
Wife: 0

Let's talk about this fake wallpaper, though. It's pretty cool. Embracing the pink tile, I decided to find a wallpaper that was both cute and girly. It didn't matter what it cost as it would be cheaper than ripping out the Pepto-Bismol pink and laying Carrera marble in a herringbone pattern. Dreams aside, I found Tempaper.

Remember LMC's little bathroom in the old apartment with those farm animals? (It's safe to say that I have improved on my picture taking skills...) I loved those little guys and had fun with them. In the end, they were so easy to pull off and throw away. That's the worst part about wallpaper- the end. When you finally admit you are sick of whatever pattern you have or that it is outdated, like fruit in the kitchen- why did anyone ever think that was a good idea? And then another six months goes by because you do not want to start that task. The pulling of paper in tiny pieces that makes profanity sound tame with the sputters coming out of that pretty mouth.

Husband and Wife promised each other that all of our homes would be wallpaper free because that task is arduous and it, flat out, sucks.

I digress....

Knowing that vinyl stickers were out there,  I figured that there had to be wallpaper along the same lines. After research on the WWW and discovering quite a few patterns that were, ahem, ugly- one looked like it came from a brothel in the wild west. I fell in love with our little elephants and thought it would be a perfect pair for our Pepto-Heaven bathroom for our pink little girls.

I bought it. I paid retail. I didn't even shop around. $92 after taxes and shipping a roll. The bathroom took every single bit of two rolls. $184.... and then I found it on Amazon for half price. Curses! But, it's done and I am pleased.

And even more pleased that at the end of it's run, I can pull it off as easily as my MIL hung it. That's something I can get behind.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Wondering why I stopped posting about the house? The other rooms aren't done. The kitchen is almost done. So very close. We have decided on the backsplash and are ordering it next week. Once that comes in, you will get to see it in all it's glory. The only thing left to do is update those 1967 double ovens. Know what I discovered? Double ovens ain't cheap. Even cheap ones ain't cheap. They are not a real popular scratch and dent item either. So, you get to see the double ovens.

And the leather finish countertops. What's not to be excited about?

As I sit and type, Bennie finally fell asleep and I have fabric in front of my computer waiting to be sewn together. She will have a window treatment besides the Roman shades I finally put up in her room after our last, ahem, incident. LMC will have window treatments, too-- with fun little white baubles for fringe. After that, other then hanging a few pictures on Bennie's walls (and moving a dresser in there once we get our furniture), finding a white shag carpet for LMC's- their rooms will be done.

I ordered new light fixtures and wallpaper for the pink bath. Knowing how much Husband detests the pink bath and how he has resolved himself to the lovely shade of Pepto-Bismol, I am rallying behind him and running with the pink. Pink and green wallpaper has been ordered that Husband has been assured he will not have to install. It's on me. He will have to build me a frame for the mirror, but he doesn't know that yet.

The living room will probably be the next thing after that. The sofa needs new upholstery. I had to return the other and am on the hunt for fabric I love... at a steal. A serious steal, because there will be nothing cheap about the cost of reupholstering that beautiful piece. Currently, it sits in our garage. Husband is allergic to cats and a tabby once resided amongst the pillows. No need to bring that sneeze machine inside just yet.

At some point, we will need to order master bedroom furniture and a master bedroom bed. At some point, we will need to fix our back bathroom with the busted tile. After those two things happen, and we put some more money back in the bank- only then will we talk about ripping out the canary yellow bathroom that is the master bath.

This house is 3800 square feet... on one floor. The portable phone can't go from one end of the house to the other without getting scratchy. The Internet needs a booster. It takes a good twelve seconds running to get from one end of the house to the other. Bennie can scream in the playroom and cannot be heard in the master bedroom. Like Rome, it can't be done in a day.

Friday, October 4, 2013


LMC learned to sing a new song...

My country is a Veeee.
Sweet land of Libby.
Of Dee I sing.
Land where daaaa da daaaaa
Land where daaaaaaaa da daaaaaaa
Let freedom ring

She also likes to sing her blessing (she knows the other one, but she prefers this one)

God our mother
oh wait, I messed up
God our fodder
God our fodder
We thank you
We thank you
For our many  Bwessings
For our many  Bwessings
you have to say ah-ah-men twice because that's how the prayer goes.

She talks about Mary. She knows that Mary is the mother of God and she really likes to put a blanket over her head and hold it under her chin. She walks around the house saying, "Hey Mom! I look like Mary. Did you know Mary is the mother of God?"

She talks about Gee-Zus. She loves Gee-Zus. Whenever she gets asked to do something, "Me and Gee-Zus" are usually who accomplished the task. Gee-Zus is like having an imaginary friend... but with a conscience and a moral compass.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Game Day

The children are at school. Husband is on call. The lawn service is blowing off the driveway. The dining room table is a mess of genealogical stuff. The kitchen has a sink full of dirty dishes-- and yet, I wonder where they come from as I have not cooked in three days. I'm perusing fabric for the sofa that needs to be recovered. Music plays.

I have sat at my computer and typed, erased, and typed again about returning to my alma mater up the two lane highway last weekend with Brother. We went to The Biggest Game of the year and sat in his lovely club level seats while we cheered on the Dawgs. We wore our red. We ate fried chicken and boiled peanuts. We enjoyed the luscious day. It was, by far, the most memorable game.

More memorable than playing LSU back in 2004 and getting the ball to the one yard line directly in front of our seats.
More memorable than the SEC championship in New Orleans.
More memorable than when the students tore down the goal posts and ripped up the hedges within our sanctuary.

Saturday was a bucket of little things that added up to something amazing. Brother and Wife were at the game, as if we were twelve years younger with the world waiting for us at the bay of graduation. We headed up the highway, in and out of small towns, and parked in his usual parking lot, amongst his usual friends.

Wanting to take our time and not exacerbate Brother's situation (read: we didn't want him to have a seizure), he and I left to toddle towards the stadium about thirty minutes before kickoff. I used the excuse that I have never seen kick-off. Truthfully, I never have. Did you know that we sing our alma mater before the game? I didn't. Lesson learned. Amongst the sea of red clad fans carrying beers and flasks, we slowly made our way through the gates and felt that rush of sun and youth as we crossed into this place of worship, change, and life. The stadium where Brother graduated, where the Dawgs play, where we move forward, and mascots buried -- we were within her hallowed gates ready to cheer.

Turning left, we ask an usher where the elevator is and he said, "See those 1,543 stairs? Yeah, climb those bad boys and there's an elevator to take you the last 14 steps where you will land at club level." Actually, he didn't say that. But, that's what he should have said. We looked at those steps as Mount Everest and hope for a better answer. We walk through the tunnel and into the sunlight, hoping that there has to be another way. We stop two cops and ask where the elevator is.

"Hi. My brother had a stroke last year and we need to get to the club level. Where's the nearest elevator?"

The cops point across the Sahara Desert and a million miles to the other side of the stadium. That's where the elevator was. Ouch. No where on this side without climbing those 2,433 steps. We slowly start to work. The Red Sea parted (literally) and we slowly chugged along as the band started playing. Brother turned around and said, "You know, with the band playing- it really makes this walk nice." A breeze picked up and I said a Thank You to the Guy in the Sky, both for the breeze and to be here in this moment.

Getting to the other side, we ask another guard, "Where's the nearest elevator? My brother had a stroke and we need to get to club level."

Here's where it gets interesting.

A set of directions, a wave behind the gate and we were.... in no man's land.

Slowly, we start walking in the direction we were told to find the elevator. We pass patrol cars and massive piles of dirt, not to mention everyone had badges that we did not. I look over to my right and 20 yards away was Willie!

"Brother! Look! There's um... umm..... Duck Dynasty! Duck Dynasty! That guy! Oh... Come on! WILLIE! There's Willie!

"Shhh.... Wife, we aren't even supposed to be here."

Willie turns around-- because my whispering reverberated off the walls and not because I have no idea how to whisper. He waves. We, like pale 65 year old tourists in black knee high socks and flip flops wave back.

After a trip to the cleanest bathroom I have ever seen at a college football game, passing by the locker rooms, we find the elevator and head up. We dismount and head out a second gate-- to run into Vince Dooley.

"Brother! There's Dooley!" (this time I didn't need to whisper, it was crowded)

People were shaking his hand and congratulating him as he walked by, and directly into the men's room.

Seems he has to go just like everyone else.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

His Name Starts With "A"

His name starts with "A" and we talk about him all the time. "An-Ew" as he is called on this blog was a big part of our four year old's life when we lived in DC. Sometimes, we write letters back and forth with the children dictating what to write and the mother copying verbatim those crucial words that one wants to share with the other, now that we live states away instead of blocks.

"An-Ew" is in the monkey class at his new school. His brother is in a different class and his sister is in the puppy class. LMC tells me this on repeat. She asks questions about him, too. 

"Do you think An-Ew misses me?"
"I know he does."
"Yeah, he does. I miss him, too. He's my DC best buddy. Niece is my Hometown best buddy, but he's my real best buddy. So is Niece. Does JF go to school with An-Ew?"
"He does."
"And Baby Julia?"
"She does, too."

When we say our prayers at night, it starts with me saying, "Now I lay me..."

"Down to sweep. I play the Lord my soul to take. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord Myyyy Soullll toooooo TAKE! AMEN! AMEN! I have to say two Amens. God Bless Mama Bits, Daddy Bits, An-Ew, JF, Baby Julia, Princess Rapunzel, chicken nuggets, Niece, Nephew, Fluttershy, anddddd Daddy."

"Anybody else you want to pray for?"
"Mama Bits?"
"You can pray for her twice, she probably needs it.... Anybody else {cough, cough}?"
"Nope, that's it."
"Good enough for me. I love you. Sweet dreams, sweet potato."

"Sweet dreams, Mommy! Tonight, I will dream about An-Ew and ... do you remember that day we went to the park and.... [insert a memory here]?"
"I do. It was a good day, wasn't it?"
"Yes, it was. Tomorrow, we send him a letter?"
"You bet."

Today, we pulled out our fall tree and cut leaves out of construction paper. We decorated those leaves with glitter, paint, crayons, and permanent markers before hanging them.

"You remember that day in Washington DC when you and me and An-Ew make turkeys out of our hands and hung them on our tree?"
"I do remember. That was fun, wasn't it?"
"It was. I miss An-Ew."
"I do, too. I miss Mama Bits, JF and Baby Julia."


Looking for the glitter, I found a letter made out of pipe cleaners. LMC see it, grabs it and says, "This is the first one we hang on the tree. It's an "A" for An-Ew. I hang it right here, next to the red because his favorite color is red....." .... runs to the tree, climbs on the counter, and hangs the precious "A" first.....

"An-Ew is in the monkey class. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. His favorite color is red. He likes marshmallows. He runs super fast...." She continues to ramble off facts about her long lost friend as she continues to hang her creations. 

She has seen pictures of Zoe on Facebook and said, "Hey! There's Zoe! Remember Zoe? And Miss RP?" We often get asked to call Zoe and tell her "Hello," which we happily oblige.
She has seen letters, pictures, and emails from Caleb and cannot wait to see him at the beach again soon. She talks about Baby Andy, Miss Jessica and 'Misser' Justin. 
She remembers tall Elizabeth and Janey Boo Boo. She references them when we talk about strawberries.
She remembers her friends. She misses them terribly. I can relate. But she met her An-Ew first and loved her An-Ew first. And best. 

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