Thursday thoughts

So, you’re probably wondering, “what the heck?” because I haven’t posted in a few days. I mean, I food prepped, made a new recipe, have a wine review to share and everything, but….

I just didn’t have it in me.

I got the call from my mom on Sunday morning. I knew it as soon as the phone rang.


She didn’t want a service so there won’t be one. My mom just wants us to come up in a couple of weeks and my sister to come down so we can hang out, eat, drink, and talk about grandma.


She wanted to be cremated so my mom is honoring that. She won’t be buried with/next to my step-grandpa (whom I only know as grandpa and I’m so lucky to have had him!) because he’s buried next to his first wife. She won’t be buried next to my mom’s dad (he died when I was little so I never knew him) because there’s apparently no room (honestly, I’m not sure what that even means but I don’t really care to ask). She wants to be buried – although, seeing as she’s being cremated, buried isn’t the right word. She’s going to be in an above-ground memorial – at a cemetery in Michigan that she thought was pretty. My mom can’t remember the name of it but my uncle is going to take care of it. I don’t know if there will even be a ceremony, formal or not, when she finally goes there.

For the record, Michigan isn’t random – that’s where she lived before she moved in permanently with my mom and dad and large amounts of family still live there, including my uncle, her son, my mother’s brother. *inside joke*


So, because there’s family there, I guess technically she won’t be “alone” but she won’t be in the same place as my grandpa and she won’t be in the same place as any other family that’s buried in Michigan. But, the thought of her being by herself makes me very, very, very sad.

As you know, I went up there the weekend prior to help out. I had some great moments with her where she was her normal, sassy, lucid self before she just wasn’t. I’m so blessed to have had those moments – and she knows how much I loved her, she seemed a little calmer when I was holding her, helping out – but I feel so guilty for not being there this past weekend.


My aunt and uncle happened to be visiting and I had a hair appointment that I had actually rescheduled so I COULD go up that weekend.  I briefly thought about going up this past Saturday after my appointment but I decided not to because I didn’t want to stress my mom out by adding another person into the mix. I had considered going up on Sunday after my aunt and uncle left and taking Monday off of work but hadn’t officially made up my mind.

My sister sent me a random text on Saturday night with just the words, “going to see grandma.”

I feel like I should have gone.


My sailor reminded me, because he truly is a smart, smart man, that I WAS just up there and I had that time with her and didn’t have to “share” her. That always was my preference. Selfish? Maybe a little but it’s hard to chat or just sit and be with a ton of people around (read: my nieces and nephew – whom I love very, very much but take up a lot of energy) demanding attention. #sorrynotsorry

Today was the first day I could speak about her without crying or mostly feeling like I was going to vomit. I even laughed a little. I’ll tell you the story.

I went to heat up my lunch (leftover grilled chicken & sweet taters) and someone was already using the microwave so I waited. I asked her what she was having and she said “rice, vegetables, and some leftover low-fat mushroom soup.” Ugh. Mushrooms. I told her that she had me until she said mushrooms and she was surprised to learn that I didn’t like them. Especially since I eat so many vegetables! I informed her that I was not a big fan of Brussels sprouts and lima beans either. Turns out her husband and I have similar tastes. He’s obviously very intelligent. Anyway, she pushed on the Brussels sprouts – “Not even roasted? A little crunchy? Have you ever roasted them yourself?”

Well, actually, yes. Yes, I have. Last year, as a matter of fact. For my grandmother’s birthday. I even ate one.  I went home just to see her and I was in charge of the meal.  I asked her what she wanted for dinner and she said she didn’t know. I told her to think about it and write it down and I would go grocery shopping. You should have seen my face when I saw her list. Brussels sprouts? Seriously? Yuck. Lol

It made me laugh to remember my despair when I saw those two little words, one with the capital letter.

It made me laugh to remember the look on her face because she knew my feelings about those little green balls of blechiness. #badgrandma

It made me smile to remember how much she actually liked my Brussels sprouts.

I’m really, really going to miss her.

Scan Pic

– jennifer

Five on Friday – the YouTube edition

Hi there!

Happy Friday!



It’s been a long week at work and with my foot injury, I’m more of a Grumpy Cat right now but I sure am glad it’s Friday.

Even though I can’t run, I still plan on enjoying my weekend. I’m heading up to see my G-ma.


She’s the bomb-diggity. 🙂

In an attempt to stay happy (and keep my mind off my foot owie), I want to share a few videos I’ve been enjoying lately.

If you’ve seen my A Hungry Runner facebook page, I’m not talking about the video I made. These are far more interesting! 🙂

Betcha didn’t think Weird Al would top the list, did you?

Weird Al is a genius. This is my new theme song.

And on that note….

This guy is hilarious.


Mind. Blown.

What else is there to say?

Oh, a funny cat video! Imagine that! 🙂

That cat is pretty smart. Knows how to get things done. The other cats are slackers. haha!

Dude! That’s MY JAM!!!!!

 Talk to me: What have you been watching on YouTube?



Twelve years ago today, we were living in Maryland.  We had transferred back to the contiguous 48 from Hawaii in April. My sailor had gone off to a school so the Things and I lived with my folks in Virginia for a few months.  We moved into base housing in mid-August ’01 and started unpacking and got Thing 1 ready for 4th grade and Thing 2 ready for Kindergarten (!).

My sailor arrived in Maryland around  September 5th or 6th and we spent the weekend hanging out and unpacking.  No, I hadn’t finished but I got close.  We had planned on heading down to Virginia on Monday, September 10th to pick up our medical records from the clinic in Virginia to transfer to one in Maryland but didn’t head out that day for some reason.  Something came up.

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, my sailor and I were on the Maryland side of Interstate 495 approaching the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.  Traffic was, as usual, bad and we were stuck in it.  We flipped the radio over to WTOP to catch traffic – every 10 minutes – and turned on the CB radio to see if we could hear anybody talking about what, besides too many cars, was the hold-up.

That’s how we heard – over the CB radio.  We cranked up the volume on the radio and started really paying attention.  At 9:03 a.m., the gravity of the situation took hold.  And then we remembered his brother and sister-in-law lived in New York City and brother worked on Wall Street.  Near the towers.

Cell phone calls didn’t go through.

At 9:37 a.m., we were actually ON the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and I looked over to my right.  Smoke had started to rise.  Thick, black plumes.  I remember my thought being, “hm, that’s odd.”

I grew up in Virginia and remember when Air Florida Flight 90 hit the 14th Street Bridge.  I wasn’t a huge fan of bridges after that.  Especially if they were near airports.

All I knew was that smoke from that area involved the airport, the White House, the Pentagon, the 14th Street Bridge.

And then, we heard the conflicting reports that the White House was hit or maybe it was the State Department. Confusion over the airwaves.  And I was stuck on a bridge.  That planes flew over.

Eventually, we learned it was the Pentagon that took the 3rd hit.

I can’t remember when we learned about Flight 93.  At some point, my Sailor turned off the radio because it wasn’t helping us.

I don’t remember how long it took us to actually get over the bridge but once we did, we immediately turned BACK around and crossed back into Maryland to head back home and to pick up the Things from school.

I wanted them next to me.

If you’ve ever been to the DC area, you know that traffic is no joke and things rarely go your way.  Well, that day wasn’t really any different.  Traffic was AWFUL and everybody wanted to go places like RIGHT NOW.  But, even with that, people were letting each other in long lines of traffic and there were sorrowful waves and glances and friendliness between fellow drivers.  I’m not sure how long it took us to make the trip back around but it felt like FOREVER.

We finally made it to the school and, like practically every other parent, retrieved our confused and scared children.  They had been sequestered into the gym and cafeteria for ease of reach when frantic parents came by.

We got home and turned on the television.  It didn’t take too long before we had to turn it off.  The images were too much to see and resee, over and over.  And over.  The Things wanted to play outside.  I wanted to hold them and protect them and keep them next to me.  Eventually, we let them play outside.  They needed the release.  They didn’t understand – we told them bad stuff happened but we couldn’t explain it.  How do you explain that to a 5 year old and a 9 year old?

We lived near Andrews Air Force Base and every time a plane flew over, we (including the neighbors) would rush outside to see if it was one of ours (military plane) or if it was – I don’t know – not.

We finally heard from my sailor’s brother.  He was fine.  He hadn’t gone to work that day.  Blessings.

I saved as many newspapers as I could from that day.  It seemed important to me.  I look at them occasionally – recently, even, as we’re preparing to pack up our house and move again.  Those front page images still burn.  I cry when I see them.  My heart is bandaged but not healed.  It’s stitched, much like a rag doll that’s been mended by a child.

Twelve years have passed and the scars are still fresh.

But, we are strong.  Our children are strong.  Our country is strong.  And we shall never forget.


Where were you when America changed forever?

– jennifer