Perspective · Uncategorized

9/11

I remember exactly what I was doing.

I was a freshman in college. Ford Hall Room 208. My bed was lofted. My roommate Angeline’s bed was perpendicular to mine under the loft.

I had Intro to Engineering as my first class that morning.

My alarm clock went off. I didn’t snooze it. That was something we had discussed as “forbidden” after our first week of cohabitating. Actually, Ang (best friend) threatened to “punch you (me) in the face if you don’t stop that snoozing s**t. Don’t set it if you don’t plan on getting up.” (We are real with each other like that.)

She had already left for a 7:30am class across campus.

The sun was shining in our east window thru the blinds. The cinder block walls were painted a cream color. I felt for my glasses. I turned on our dorm room television. I like noise while I get ready.

The first plane had hit the World Trade Center a few minutes earlier. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. The reporters weren’t sure what was going on either. At this point it was just a News Special Report.  I sat with my legs hanging off the loft. Still wrapped up in my turquoise and green comforter.

We have a family friend who I consider an uncle. He’s a pilot. I immediately tried to confirm with family that he wasn’t flying with that airline.

I remember looking at the clock. I had to get dressed for class. The professor took attendance as part of the grade. I checked my email to see if he had cancelled class. I needed to know what was going on in NYC. Surely he would cancel class!

As I was pulling on my pants, the second plane hit. I recall sitting on the floor next to her bed. This wasn’t an accident.

This wasn’t an accident.

This wasn’t an accident.

The news showed things falling from the buildings. Not things – PEOPLE. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends.

I cried, completely stunned by what I was witnessing LIVE on television.

I had to leave for class. I threw my backpack on and hiked across campus to Fiedler Hall. Worthless class. What was going on?

When I returned to my room after class, I learned that two more flights had crashed- into the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania. I was glued to the news for the remainder of the day.

The bright blue sky was dotted with only white clouds. No jet trails. Just clouds.

The rescue efforts. The fear. Sadness.

But in all this, the nation pulled together. People prayed. We held vigils. We made contact with those around us to comfort, support, and provide kindness.

9/11/2001. I will never forget.

9/11/2001 Timeline.

Jen & Jon (2)
We were young and naïve. Just figuring the world out when 9/11/2001 happened.

 

Family · Perspective

Valentine’s Day

We’ve rolled into February. On January 30, I nearly had an anxiety attack looking at the schedule for this month. I fended it off with a quick two mile run after I dropped the kids off at school. Just. Breathe.

February – Groundhog Day Treats at School – Two Saturday mornings of basketball – My 6m Check-Up at the Neurologist which requires 15hrs of driving roundtrip for 30 minutes in the clinic- Wedding in Fayetteville, AR – Trip for work to Orlando, FL – Kids – Work – Carpool…

And Valentine’s Day?

freshpaint-0-2017-02-03-01-51-18

I’m being bombarded by ads of women in sexy lingerie and gifts shaped like hearts while sappy songs about mushy smushy love serenade me on the radio. Bleh.

I’m truly happy for people who love Valentine’s Day. It’s never really been our thing. Even when we were still dating we didn’t really DO Valentine’s Day. I did not marry this man who I love passionately for his level of romance.

College Valentine’s Day on year 3 of dating (2004) – Wendy’s d2zedifh1n0ecqk4Drive Thru, couch at the Hartford St. rental house, Cops on TV. Nothing says romance quite like a $0.99 carton of chicken nuggets! Mushy type of love? Not so much. It does make a humorous story that made me roll my eyes then and makes me smile now.

In my younger adolescent years, I dreamed of getting flowers just “because’ but I found that not really a reality. I’m not excited about gifts.

I thought I wanted a guy to go to Rom-Com movies with me. Honestly, my sisters and girlfriends are better company for that!

And if I’m being honest, I don’t really like things that are heart-shaped for myself. I’ll draw that shape all over pictures for my kids, but for me, nah.

a2wmmq8lkmf0c

In my reality, what I enjoy is a spontaneous night out – even if it is just for groceries and dinner sans kids. I won’t go into intimate details – the world wide web isn’t a private place to talk – but suffice it to say, I don’t need to be showered with extra love on 1 out of 365 days. We pay attention to each other and work through our less-than-stellar moments. He’s my best friend and I’m his. We enjoy being together.

94dcab05fa2e3fd30096ef9eef0a7ed0

Will I get a card for Valentine’s Day? Maybe. It’ll be signed from him and the kids. I’ll get each of the kids a shiny helium-filled balloon for the day because those things are special moments for my kids. I might even drape myself in something ridiculous that sits in places that are inappropriate to talk about… or I might not. I’m doubtful that the date on the calendar will be the key red or green light for my husband. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be over-the-top or actually, any different than any other day.

After writing this all out, I’m going to drop Valentine’s Day from my list of stresses and concerns this year.

I’m choosing to focus on all the other days we have together and I’ll treat Valentine’s Day as just another day on the calendar. I’m sure I’ll channel surf right on past the mushy songs. I usually do. I’ll bypass the chocolates and ignore the air brushed awkward looking women in weird contorted positions wearing nothing but underwires and v-strings (Yes Vicky’s Secret… I saw that ad).

We’ll likely eat at home with our kids that night and talk and laugh about the day. We’ll address the issues as they come. As friends, husband and wife, parents and as a family, we will keep it simple. It works for us.