Monday, May 25, 2009


this weekend has been a complete and total blur. we have been swept up in a frenzy of activity that has given us time with friends for dinner, weddings with a reception floating down the potomac at sunset (yes, it did not suck), a korea reunion bbq (really just a time for a bunch of us living in the area to come together and recap our time in korea...unanimously agreeing on 2 things...smelled like sewage and had great opportunities for retail therapy) and of course some family time. i havent until this moment had the time to even think about this day. this one small day that gives us a 3 day weekend and 4 day work week. a day that inevitably gives millions of people a reason to come together and grill out. grab a boat and head to the lake. sip margaritas and sleep in one extra day or catch up on yard work and chillax with the family. im a fan of 3 day weekends and of holidays in general. i love the extra time allowed for relaxing (or not) with family and friends. but, theres a part of me that longs to just sit and reflect on this day. this day that means so much to so many. it is a day of great significance. a day to remember and memorialize the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our country and helping so many others along the way.

today, while we were surrounded with great friends and fabulous food, where the laughter of kids on a slip and slide permeated the air around us, there was a family laying their 26 year old daughter to rest in st. louis. she was tragically killed in afghanistan this past week, a young woman courageously leading her troops in the midst of loneliness and danger. we only know of her story because she was stationed with patricks brother in hawaii and he had the privilege of working with her. her sacrifice (like the sacrifice of most) went largely unnoticed by the vast majority of the country. im not implying that we as a nation should know the names and stories of all of these heroes, i just wish we would thank them appropriately for their sacrifice. a parade will not soothe the pain of the loved ones left behind, a folded flag will not comfort the half of the heart now alone, kind words from a grateful nation will not heal the wounds of a child longing for one more moment with their dad. but, we can simply remember. we can choose to not forget that while we exist minute to minute consumed by nothing more than our own existence, there are people bravely giving their lives for strangers just as thousands of men and women have done before them. it is awe inspiring. i am completely captivated by their stories and cant help but feel honored to even live in a country that produces these kinds of men and women.

when my dad was here visiting last month we made our way to the vietnam wall and then to the korean war memorial. we spent some time in a light rain on a gray day waiting for my dad to find the names of friends he had lost during his tour in vietnam. we listened closely as he retold a story i had never heard about men ive never known with families ive never met. i could barely breathe as i imagined my hero as a young man leaving my mom behind to face the most difficult of circumstances a world away. i know of no greater man than my dad. he possesses a bold courage, an unwavering integrity, an unabashed love for my mom, his family, his God and his country. he is everything i think of when i think of the word hero. he is the kind of man who is such a natural leader that he instinctively makes others better when they are around him. we took pictures of the korean war memorial to send to my grandfather who left my grandma for years to serve his country. i realized as i was snapping pics and preparing a note to send with them that i had never thanked him. i thank the lady who bags my groceries, the guy holding the door at the bank, the pharmacist filling my script, but id never thanked this man who gave so much. so, we did. gk drew a picture and i finally after all these years thanked him for serving his country with honor and for leaving a legacy of service for my dad to follow. i realized that for all the years id spent focusing on his shortcomings, id completely overlooked the fact that he had a huge hand in raising the greatest man ive ever known and id never thanked him for any of it. ive been so horribly short sighted and overly critical that i failed to ever recognize that my dad is my hero not in spite of my grandfather, but because of him. i am so thankful that God, in His mercy and goodness let me thank him now in the living years for his service and sacrifice.

so i dont know what to do with this 3 day weekend, this bonus day after sunday to fill up with additional social commitments, but i do know that at the end of this day i am simply left remembering and reflecting and realizing how unbelievably thankful i am for the thousands who have given so much. and to my cannot possibly know the depth of my gratitude, love and respect. thank you for your service and your friendship.

Friday, May 15, 2009


i know ive been lazy and neglecting the blog...its not for lack of want or material, its merely a lack of time issue. the precious minutes that i usually carve out for my therapy on this site have been spent reading (how ive missed it!!) and napping (which btw has become so rare, im not even that good at it anymore). however, this week we were able to sneak down for a quick visit with good friends who happen to live in a colonial paradise just outside of williamsburg. we thought we would cram in one final trip before they move south to alabama in a few short weeks. how quickly and easily i forget the fun and convenience of guests who choose to visit right at the peak of a stressful move...yes, i have become that friend.

within the hour we arrived, gk managed to lose the battle with her top button and pee right next to the toilet while jack peed through his diaper for the first time in months. finally after getting the little people bathed and quietly in bed (no small feat when they are sharing a room and the oldest is convinced that no bedtime routine is complete without a minimum of 10 questions and the little one is desperately trying to cut his first teeth) i came downstairs to see patrick enjoying a relaxing conversation, glass of wine and none other than a brookstone shiatsu massager on his back. (this is not to imply he wasnt helpful...he had just beat me back downstairs by a mere 5 minutes and while i was amazed at how quickly he managed to assume the 'happy and relaxed' position, i knew that with the same determination i, too, could achieve the same euphoria within moments).

once the shiatsu massager was available (guilted from his hands no less) i positioned it right between my shoulder blades and located the on switch. let the stress melt away and the relaxation begin. listen, this thing is no substitute for a great massage, but the two round balls applying strong pressure in a circular motion on my shoulders was pretty darn nice. for almost 2 whole minutes. this would be a good time to mention that im growing my hair out for locks of is annoyingly long...even longer than usual and while im tempted on a daily basis to cut it myself, i am committed to doing this locks thing with a close friend whose mama is battling breast cancer these days.

so just as i was beginning to enjoy this shoulder massage i felt a slight tug on my hair. the slight tug grew into a strong pull and within seconds my hair was being wrapped around the balls of the massager. i yelled S*** do you turn this thing off?? patrick, all relaxed and what not, jumped over to where i was and attempted to locate the off switch. thankfully, he momentarily did before accidentally pushing it too far which merely changed the direction of the rotation. at this point my hair was wrapped so tightly around the balls that they were at my scalp and i was straight up panicked. jason (co owner of the torture device) ran over and turned it off. i had not been this relaxed since the moment before my epidural took effect and i began to wonder if i was going to be cutting my hair off at the scalp. this would be another good time to mention that rayna, (primary owner of torture device) is an incredible photographer who so kindly was planning on shooting some family pics the following day. perfect. newly shaven head just 15 hours before professional pics. jason began to try and extract mangled mane while i lay still with shiatsu massage securely attached to my head. are you kidding me?? who does this kind of crap really happen to? pat assisted with 'oohs' and 'ahhs' and 'oh crap, katie, that looks really bad' while jason continued to try and extract all 16 inches of hair from this thing that i now felt had actually attempted to take my life and could only get to my hair.

jason suggested we try and disassemble the killer balls and set my thoroughly relaxed self free. with a little gentle pulling (similar to some beach tug of war) the balls were removed and i was FREE. i was a tangled and tense mess, but i was at least finally separate from the device that moments earlier had made a noteworthy attempt on my life. within a couple of minutes i, too, was in possession of a glass of wine enjoying a fabulous conversation that consisted of no less than five references to how thankful i was to be free of the shiatsu massager. jason, thank you again for saving my life.