I feel like I'm so behind on everything. I want Keree to have this awesome summer, full of fun activites but between the work, shows and general life and family drama....I have no time for the fun stuff. We got to see my Brother for a short time today before he headed home to OH. I hate that everytime he comes home he seems so stressed out that he can't enjoy himself. So, I fixed a huge lunch - bratwursts, spatzel casserole and turnip fries. I've eaten spatzel while I lived in Germany, so I was excited to fix it myself. Needless to say, it's so much better in Germany! Otherwise the turnip fries is a twist on traditional fries made with potatoes. They were ok, I will make them again and try adding some seasoning to them instead of just tossing them in light olive oil and parmesan cheese. Before my Brother left, Keree and him played outside. We found this awesome doorway toss on clearance for $1.49. It's perfect to put on our outside flag holder. They spent a good hour seeing how many point they good get, how far they could throw and tossing them from the front and back. For the rest of our day after my Brother left, I worked on business stuff. I know I've said it more than once but there isn't enough hours in the day. When I woke up this morning, I honestly thought about taking Keree and going up to the Memorial Day observance at the family plot (my Dad's side of the family) at the cemetary. It's a little weird to think that it was the first time in 60+ years that our family wasn't represented. I know my Grandpa is looking down on me, shaking his head that I didn't go but right now, I'm just not ready to go up there. Right now, I can't get pass the pain, heartache and disappointment from that entire family. But since it's Memorial Day (aka Decoration Day) , I remember the service members in my life, who I have lost - my Uncle Tootsie who served in the Korean War, my Uncle L'mont (US Army Infantry) who served and was killed in WWII, Uncle Sherman (US Army), Cousin Wayne (US Army) and my love, Dominic (US Navy).
This morning, we got up bright and early to head out for breakfast. My Grandparents were insistent that we join them, even though we had just seen them. My Aunt P joined us and honestly was had a really great time. We sat around talking, joking and laughing. After almost 3 hours, we took a few pictures and said our short goodbyes since we would be seeing each other in about 2 hours for my Cousin's high school graduation. Needless to say, it's amazing that any of us were even going since we just found out we would be able to attend, 2 days ago. So we headed home for a short time before getting on the road to head North (3 counties over). Being that we are the always early type, we got there almost an hour. Which was good because the gymnasium filled up super fast. Between my Mom and I, we saved enough seats for my Grandparents and Aunt. What we didn't know, was my Uncle (aka Grad's Dad) and his wife would be sitting with us too. They all showed up about 10 minutes before the processional started. Thank goodness that the people next to us scooted over to give us more room. While we waited for everything to start, Keree spent her time drawing. Thank goodness she loves to draw and it was so cute that she drew all her Cousins, A was in her cap and gown, C was playing his flute and D was playing his saxophone. Both of the boys are in the school band and played at the graduation. I can't explain how proud I was when I saw A in her cap and gown. Once the ceremony started, it honestly didn't last long, they only had a graduating class of 100. What took the longest was the Special Awards (there was close to 30) and these two girls who gave this painfully long speech and you could hardly understand them because they mumbled. After all that, it was finally time for the Grads to get their diplomas and then it was done. All in all, it lasted a little under an hour. We were able to grab a few pictures (only because we insisted) of Cousin A in her Cap and Gown before heading back to my Uncle E & Aunt L's house. We were going to leave after that because honestly, we weren't made to feel welcomed at all but Keree was getting hungry. I'm actually glad that we stayed, because Keree got to play with her Cousins C & D. They pushed her on the swing, played her video game (leapfrog) and played hide and seek with her. She watched her Cousins climb the tree, play with the kitty cats and examine the baby hawk (luckily wasn't hurt, just stunned) one of the cats caught. Even though there were moments of aggrevation, we were also glad that we went and enjoyed ourselves. And one cool thing, I graduated Pre-school the same year A's Dad, my Uncle E graduated High School. Keree graduated Pre-school this year, the same year that A graduated high school. The picture of Keree wearing A's cap is similar to the picture I have of me wearing Uncle E's cap.
It's hard to believe it's been one year since my Dad passed on. I'm pretty sure that there's only a handful that will remember it was today. Honestly, I'm not even sure my Step-Mom will remember. I have to say this past year has been hard without him. As much as we weren't apart of each other lives over the years....I have found that in all honestly are lives were really intertwined. Keree misses her Grandpa, we talk about him often. We talk about how he liked to play monster with her. She says how silly he was. We talk about how Grandpa liked to pretend to be a vampire when Mommy was little and now I carry on the tradition and pretend to be a vampire and chase her. I think what surprises me most, is how much I miss him still, how many times I stop and just want to pick up the phone and call him but I know he's not there. I think it's even harder to get over losing him because he spent so many years pushing us away, not wanting us around and then in the last year of his life, he wanted us there, he wanted a relationship with us, he enjoyed being around us.
So, Dad, our time with you was way to short and I miss you more than I ever thought I would. Love you forever!
I had really hoped it wouldn't rain today. Keree was terrified that we were going to be hit by another tornado. Honestly, I didn't sleep that well last night either. I kept hearing the screams of those around us. We talked to Keree about how tornados only hit when the weather is just right and that there are certain signs we can look for. Even though honestly, none of them applied to yesterday because I wouldn't have drove right into a tornado like I did. There was no wall cloud, there was nothing that alerted you. I'm just still so thankful that we weren't hurt, that some how God made sure we were safe.
For the last week, we have passed by two fields filled with yellow flowers. Ok, it's really golden rod, but they are just gorgeous! So after picking Keree up from pre-school, we decided to stop for pictures. Shortly after stopping it started to drizzle, but we decided to keep taking pictures. Which honestly it was a good thing we didn't stop. Because by late afternoon, the Farmer who owns the land had cut down all the flowers.