One of a Kind

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She was a grandmother many times over when we met and I was just a bit older than her oldest grandchild. I was the woman her son had chosen to spend the rest of his life with and I’m sure I wasn’t anything like what she dreamed of for her precious baby boy. Yet she never made me feel like anything less than royalty. She welcomed me into the family with open loving arms and acted like I was just what she always wanted for Tim. She taught me many things in life, but the best lesson she ever taught me was how to be an amazing mother-in-law.

If you know Ruth Reeve, you know she is one of a kind and an extra special person. She has more friends than you can count and any one of them would concur on what an amazing and caring person she is. Today is her 92nd birthday and I’m thankful for all the birthdays I’ve seen her celebrate. Icepocalypse 2014 is keeping us from being with her today but I feel certain she will be well celebrated.

So heres to you Ruth Reeve, world class mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and if I can be half as wonderful a mother-in-law as you, I will feel like the biggest success in the world.

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Then I Met The General…

Col Robert & Ellen Edmonson; Jeannine and Walter Wilson with Tim and I;

Top: Robert & Ellen Edmonson; Bottom: Jeannine and Walter Wilson with Tim and I;

So I was talking with the General… you know General Patterson at Fort Gordon. Oh you don’t know him?? Well, I didn’t either until Sunday. Our dear friends Robert and Ellen Edmonson (Colonel Robert Edmonson that is!) had a New Year’s party on Sunday afternoon and gracious invited us along with another couple to be a part of a time honored military tradition where Robert entertained all the officers he commands. Now you guys may not know this, but that was a huge deal because we were the only non-military couples there. WHAT?!?!?! (yes, once again it is good to be me.)

You know I love to read but you may not know I also love to learn about new things and the military world is definitely new to me. It is so fascinating to see inside that world because of all the traditions and protocols that I find totally foreign. When you are invited to a military get together, if the invite says 1:00, your bottom better be standing at the door at one minute til. Not like the civilian world where if you’re on time you’re too early (which by the way is a pet peeve of mine… if I ask you to be here at 1:00, be here at 1:00, K?) It was fascinating to learn what all the medals and ribbons on their uniforms meant. Y’all, I’m so thankful these men and women volunteer to defend our country (yes, never forget they VOLUNTEERED.) I looked around that room many times and was almost overwhelmed with thankfulness at what these people were willing to do for me and you.

The party was in full swing when Robert walked over and said, “Want to meet the General?” Uh, YES PLEASE!! I mean, didn’t the General want to meet me?!? (I kid, I kid!) Tim and I followed him into the other room where he introduced us to General Patterson. Naturally, he was extremely kind and seemed truly interested in us and our family. I was impressed with everything about him especially the way he truly engaged in the conversation we were having. (I would tell you what we talked about but then I’d have to kill you…)

People, there is a reason we have such a stellar military. If you knew Robert and the other fine men and women we met Sunday, you would realize that we are being defended by some of the most incredible people in the world. (And don’t forget their spouses who also sacrifice greatly for us.) So, the next time you see someone in uniform, don’t forget to thank them for all they do. You can also tell them General Patterson’s friend Wendy says hello!!

Say Hi To My Mom For Me!

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There is nothing worse than uncertainty… the phone call that says there may be a problem with your mom but they won’t know until they run a test in the morning. What to do? Drive across the state to sit and wait just in case? Or stay home in hopes that it is nothing. It’s especially troubling when you’re also packing your son to leave in two days for a semester abroad and you are torn. Go be with your mom or stay and get your son off? It’s not a fun or easy decision…it’s one that no one wants to make.

I’ve always been close to my mom, especially since we share a lot of similarities not the least of which is a tremendous love for reading and the beach (and yes, reading at the beach is HEAVEN to both of us!!) My boys will tell you that she is the best cook in the world and that her hoe cakes are the greatest food known to man. My mom never meets a stranger and shares Tim’s love of talking to people. I cannot even begin to count the number of times we’ve been in line at a store and my mom will start a conversation with a total stranger… yes a TOTAL STRANGER people!!

Mom also possesses great genetics. She looks way younger than she is and always has. It was at my very first wedding shower in 1989 in a receiving line at the front door with my mom and Tim’s mom that I learned firsthand what it’s like to have a beautiful, young looking mom. I was talking with a friend during a lull when a woman walked up to my mom and said, “You MUST be the bride!” I spun around so fast my shoulder pads almost flew out my sleeves! My first instinct was to march over there and firmly say that I was the bride but then I noticed my mom. She’d never looked younger or more beautiful as she was laughing and correcting the kind lady. For many years people asked if my mom was my sister and truth be told, I was flattered for her (and I like to think it bodes well for me too…good genes are hereditary, right?!?!)

So in the midst of all this swirling in my mind about should I stay or should I go (name that band….The Clash), I did what I always do in these situations. I called my mom. I knew I’d be able to tell from her voice how she really was and if I needed to go be with her (which I didn’t and she is totally fine!) Yes, I’m thankful for many things this holiday season but at the very top of my list is that I can still pick up the phone and talk with my mom. So if you’re ever in line at a store and a beautiful brunette old enough to be my mom starts talking to you, say hi to my mom for me!!

So Much To Be Thankful For

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I’ve been married for 24 years and made it this far before having to cook Thanksgiving dinner all by myself. Yep, we’ve always celebrated with family so at most I’ve brought a few sides and pies so this was a big adventure. No, we were not asked to leave the family but all the celebrations were in our hometown of Carrollton this year and with all three boys home we decided to stay here in Augusta so that they could catch up with their friends.

Now the four of you who read this may or may not know that I am a notoriously bad cook. It’s not that I don’t have the intelligence to follow a recipe it’s that I simply don’t pay attention to the details like I should (OOPS!) But this year is going to be the year that I master cooking. And people, so far so good. The food turned out amazing (I swear my family kept raving about how good it was…seriously, I’m not kidding!) Between my mom and google I found easy to follow recipes for everything I fixed from sides to pies to dressing to turkey. I didn’t even freak when Matt’s five friends spent the night… found a breakfast casserole recipe for that!!

Truly it just may have been the best Thanksgiving ever for a lot of different reasons. For the first time, Tim and I decided to live on the boy’s schedule and all I can say is there is nothing like starting a three hour movie at midnight… it helps knowing you can sleep as late as you want the next day. What a week! Of course there was wrestling (told you it would happen), but also tiddly winks, back porch sessions, good food, great conversations, incredible football games and more late night movies than any of us can remember. It’s funny, just when your kids become enjoyable human beings, you ship them off to college. Thank goodness for college breaks!! Now, on to Christmas…

Words To Live By

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It’s Thanksgiving and I realize this is a Christmas picture but I am a poor planner people so can we just go with this one? Thanks.

I’m thankful for many things including family, friends and all of those in our armed services. But I am also reminded of all that I have and often take for granted. Many years ago, my in-laws gave us a simple little quote written in calligraphy on plain white paper. That quote really sums up not only Thanksgiving, but how I should… no, how I WANT to live every day of my life:

THOU, WHO HAS GIVEN SO MUCH TO ME, GIVE ONE THING MORE~

A GRATEFUL HEART.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Freedom Isn’t Free

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(me and my sweet daddy)

Today is Veteran’s Day. A day we say THANK YOU to everyone who has fought to keep this land ours, fought to keep this country a democracy, fought to keep America truly the land of the free and home of the brave.

I am blessed to come from a long line of veterans: my dad, Greg Weber, served in Vietnam; my father-in-law, Tom Reeve, served in WWII; my maternal grandfather, Cecil Boatright, served in WWII; my paternal grandfather, Art Weber served in WWII; my great-uncle, Jerry Hall, served in Vietnam and was career military; my cousin, Chad Harper, served in Operation Desert Storm. I have to include my dear friend, Col. Robert Edmonson, who served in Operation Enduring Freedom, is currently serving as commander of the 35th Signal Brigade at Fort Gordon and who, along with his beautiful wife Ellen, have allowed me to see what military service really looks like.

As the mother of three sons, I am grateful to these men not only for what they did for our country, but also what they have done as role models for my boys. My sons’ heritage is filled with men who know what it means to sacrifice, who do not take freedom for granted and who embody service over self.

My sincerest thanks to every soldier, male or female, along with their families who have served or is currently serving our country. After talking with one of these veteran’s in our family recently, my son looked at me and said, “Mom, just being in his presence makes me want to be a better man.” I think that says it all.