We decided to spend Black Friday with scores of other families at Stone Mountain. Hard to describe what it is, but definitely enchanting at Christmas time. The focal point is the stone carving in the mountain...but there are so many other fun things to do than just marvel the mountain. We took a gondola ride to the top where we could look out and see the downtown skyline among other beautiful sites below. We saw a few Christmas musical shows, rode the scenic railway, saw a 20 minute clip of Polar Express in 4D (the 4th dimension being snow falling, water spraying your face and wind blowing your hair). The boys saw Santa and Mrs. Claus in a short little parade and we got unlimited hot chocolate! There were over 2 million lights on display and no picture can ever do it justice...it felt like a magical place after dark. I am certain Grandpa Dave and Grandma Susie had just as much as the boys did...and Kurt and I too!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Blake said it was "thankful day" today...I said "shouldn't we be thankful every day?" We should. We really should. But I guess we all could use that reminder sometimes. Hard to believe a year has passed and within this single, short year so many wonderful and so many heartwrenching moments have occurred.
This time last year we were enjoying a Thanksgiving feast with our wonderful neighbors, the Slyter's. (Sidenote -- This was also the moment I was introduced to the most awesome video game ever and decided we had to finally break down and purchase a Wii since there was no chance of Nintendo developing Just Dance 2 for a Nintendo 64 circa 2000). Shortly thereafter we embraced the loss of Kurt's brother Adam. We think of him always and desperately wish he were still on this Earth. And then there was Georgia. Georgia, sweet Georgia. Which I have reminded myself numerous times today that this time last year we had snow on the ground, blizzard like winds and ice cold beer on the deck! Today was sunny and in the mid-60's. I think we made a good choice...one of THE most difficult ones I have ever made, but nonetheless we are happy, healthy and enjoying our new life. I am extremely grateful for all the wonderful friendships we forged during that chapter in our life. I am so thankful that we have been able to start planting our roots here and life is beginning to feel normal. Blake started Kindergarten this year, Luke is potty trained and sleeps in a big boy bed and Molly is relishing in her fenced in back yard! We have been so fortunate to have had the friendship of the Steinemann's to help us acclimate to Georgia...and the Home Depot. Very thankful to have Uncle Dave and Uncle Randy in our lives and for keeping Kurt on the tennis court. We are very grateful for some of the new friendships we are building and the fun we have when together. And I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see one of my oldest and dearest friends and pickup a conversation we started 20+ years ago and it's like we haven't missed a beat!
We have been blessed this year with many reminders of what is important in life. A few weekends ago we met the Hooten family at Fort Benning as Jill and Ross finished a 1/2 marathon in honor of fallen soldiers. We were so proud of their accomplishment. There were some soliders there that day 5 weeks into Basic. I was boldly reminded of how thankful I am that I can live my life freely and sleep at night knowing I am protected by some of the bravest men and women on this Earth.
And tonight I sit here, stuffed from eating 2 pieces of pie because I was out of will power, thankful to have the company of Grandpa Dave and Grandma Susie with us this week. We have so much to be thankful for this year...and no doubt, we will have many blessings and life lessons to be thankful for next year. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now rest up...retail is my life so I would be remiss to not say "get out there and shop!"