Friday, August 26, 2011

Ranger School Class 08-11

After graduation from Basic, Airborne and RIP and after a
Ranger proves himself and is selected, comes Ranger School!
We met at Victory Pond this morning...
 To see the Ranger School Class of 08-11 graduate!
 All he's ever talked about is getting his tab...
 And, today is the day that happens!
 It takes me a minute, but I can always pick out my Ranger from the crowd!
(Hint... Second row from bottom, 3rd Ranger in from left)

His team leader was there to see him graduate too!
Of the 130+ graduated, only three are from Regiment!
This is such a huge accomplishment. However...
What is even better than how proud we are of
him is seeing just how proud he is of himself!
And, he deserves and has earned the right to be Very proud! 
After graduation, when we arrived back at his
barracks, Ranger told us that with the addition
of his tab, his uniform is now complete...
 Congratulations, Ranger!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Biltmore Butterflies!

After mom and dad left, and while I hid under the covers all day...
Army dad was busy hanging the stained glass Butterfly that
mom and I picked up at one of the gift shops at Biltmore
She really wanted a large one too, but mom was worried about how to get it
home. So I surprised her with a smaller, more carry-on friendly version for
her birthday. However, the real surprise will come later this week, when
the big one she liked the most will be delivered to her at home! It was
not easy, but I managed to distract her to pull off a sneaky moment!
I love it, and I know mom will be thinking of me every time she sees her
butterfly in the window just like I'm thinking of her when I look at mine!

I miss you already!

And just like that...
My shopping buddy, gym partner and Best friend...
And, my big bowl of happiness... 
Pulled out of the driveway, and went away!

Tonight I will take my usual 5:30PM spin class but it won't be the same or nearly as much fun because my mom will be missing from the front row. My dad carried Bing and snuggled with him so much that I'm afraid it's going to take him a whole week to figure out how to get around on his own four paws again. Sigh...

They've been gone less than an hour and already I miss them so very much. I am grateful to have today off... Let's me cry my eyes out in peace.

This is going to be a crazy week of adjustments and highs and lows for all of us. Mom and dad are on their way back to Atlanta now for their flight home tomorrow morning while Army dad and I are packing up for our 11th trip down to Ft. Benning - This time, to see our Ranger graduate from Ranger School.

A week of extreme happiness and uncontrollable tears. Then more happiness, and more tears.

But you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world... Because all this heartache means I have people to love and people in my life that love me back.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

We do Birthdays right!

After mass this morning, shopping and dinner at Bonefish...
There was Cake!
And matching Cupcakes!
And wishes made!
All to Celebrate my wonderful mom on her special day!
William and Julie joined us for the party...
And, a happy-time was had by all!
I have loved having my parents visit...The only problem I have
with them is that they always have to leave me and go back home!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is your Special day and I am...
So happy you're here to Celebrate with us. Look! I kept
that 70-number off the cake, just like you suggested!
Last night, Mom hopped on the mower. Army dad doesn't let anyone touch
his lawn tractor... At least that's what I'm always telling him is the rule!
Funny... Until mom used it, I didn't know there was a turbo feature!
 She mowed the back yard in half the time it usually takes!
I hope I'm riding the mower at her age. Not really... But you know what I mean!
Well done, Mom!
You look like a pro, which means you should trade in that
postage stamp back yard at home and move here immediately! 
Because one thing's for sure... 
Our yard has Never looked better!
Happy, Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I chose The Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate
for dinner to celebrate Mom's 70th birthday! 
I wanted it to be a very special meal experience
Because my parents certainly...
Deserve it!
We began with a champagne toast, the Lemon poached shrimp cocktail, Heirloom
tomatoes and Estate garden salad. Then mom and dad chose the Atlantic Halibut... 
While the man I love chose the pork tenderloin, featured on the menu as
Chef Boyer's winning dish from the 2010 Western North Carolina Chef's
Challenge competition. You can read more about that event here 
After our attendant described the Surf and Turf special, I agreed to make it
my dish because you-know-who said he was dying for a bite of filet and
a scallop to go along with his pork tenderloin. And, as you can plainly
see, the scallop disappeared before I could even snap a photo! 
Unfortunately, my steak and baked potato was delivered severely
over-cooked. And, when the replacement filet arrived bleeding, I
decided to forgo my dinner and just enjoy this evening with...
Which of course, was a triumph no Chef could deliver!
I do want to thank Chef for the dessert he sent out, and the Staff
at The Dining Room because their service was impeccable!
Happy Birthday, Mom!
 Thank you for being here to Celebrate your special day with us!