Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Postcard from Finland...

I received a postcard from Hanna in Finland yesterday. According to her note, she chose the dog and her pup in honor of me expecting my own baby soon.
I think this is a beautiful postcard.
Sorry I haven't been great about posting on the blog... I'm working on four freelance stories and trying to keep all my plates in the air. I feel very fortunate to have all of this work, but it's keeping me busy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My postcards...

I've received four postcards thus far from my new hobby though Postcrossing.com. I've sent out nine now so I'm still expecting more to come through the mail in the next few weeks.
I wanted to share the ones I've received... but Savannah helping me with the scanner this morning meant I didn't get a chance to scan in a few of the neat stamps that came along with them.
The first postcard was sent to me from Steffi in Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany. It looks like it would be a wonderful place to visit ... very old world!
The second postcard was sent from Elkka in Vammale, Finland, and it shows this cute child peeking through a hole in the wood. She accented the back of the card with two "stickers" of butterflies. This one was very cute.
These two postcards were here when we arrived home on Monday... things have been so crazy around here that I haven't had time to post them.
The third and fourth cards came this week...
The third postcard was sent from Lajcsak in Serbia and it shows an old world scene that I think is very nice.
And the final postcard came from Veronica in the good old USA... she lives in Ohio and shared with me a postcard from a place where she used to take her children. She said Linesville Spillway has been a popular place for people to come feed the ducks, but now officials want to ban the practice.
I hope to share more postcards as they come in... it's neat to see different parts of the world from your mailbox.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mom and Dad Fitzgerald's Vow Renewal

Mom and Dad Fitzgerald asked their four children to stand up with them Sunday as they renewed their wedding vows. While many other family members were taking photos (and my daughter was chattering in the background while a cousin held her) I taped the short ceremony so that Mom and Dad could see it for themselves.
Luckily I didn't fall over while I was taping (or after).

Monday, September 22, 2008

More pictures from the party...

Here are a few more of the pictures we took yesterday... 

1. A picture of the whole family: (from left to right) - Pat, Sharon, Dad, Mom, Kathy and Ralph.
2. The cake - which originally had a 50th anniversary topper, but we replaced it with the topper Mom and Dad used at their wedding 50 years ago (and Erin and Joe used at their wedding last year). It was great cake!
3. Savannah kept running over to the next door neighbors',  The Webbs, to see their dog, Maggie. She loved looking at "doggie", but she would never get too close.
4. Pat, the accordion player, could certainly play some great tunes.
5. I love this shot of Pat and his sisters as they were standing in a group shot of the cousins... there were several people taking this photo (and I hope to get one from Uncle Don because I think most people were looking his way), but I caught this candid photo of the three of them and had to share.

Mom and Dad's party...

We had a wonderful time at Mom and Dad Fitzgerald's 50th anniversary party yesterday. I got a chance to meet many of Pat's cousins (who he hasn't seen in years)... everyone was so happy to celebrate with Mom and Dad and they had a wonderful day.
I'm going to post my favorite pictures and I'm hoping Uncle Don and some of the cousins will share some of their pictures with me... because I'm sure they got many more great shots than I did.
Savannah was wearing a dress that her Grammy made more than 24 years ago for Cousin Erin... and it has been passed along to each of the five granddaughters. We're hoping to get some professional pictures taken of Savannah before we put the dress away and save it for the first great-granddaughter to wear in the future.
Here are the first five... 

1. Daddy and Savannah pose in the kitchen before the party begins... Savannah will be passed from person to person before the day is over.
2. Savannah and her Grammy pose in the kitchen before guests started to arrive.
3. Cousin Erin holds Savannah while we listen to Pat, the accordion player we hired to play for the party. He sat outside for three hours and played a variety of tunes (his picture will be up later - and probably before you see these).
4. Savannah dancing to the music... she just clapped and danced around while people were arriving. You can see Cousin Erin's foot in the picture... five of us got spa pedicures and manicures on Saturday (Thanks again Mom!).
5. Pat poses with his siblings: (from left to right): Pat, Sharon, Kathy and Ralph.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Fitzgeralds - 50 Years Together

This is a video I created for Mom and Dad Fitzgerald's 50th wedding anniversary. We're all in Virginia Beach to celebrate their big day with them.
The song is "Pretty Amazing Grace" by Neil Diamond. I'll be posting pictures from their party in the next few days.
Happy Golden Anniversary Mom and Dad... we hope you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our trip to see the fishies....

We took Savannah to the Virginia Aquarium today to see the fish and other sea life. We had a great time and wore Savannah out!!! She fell asleep on the way to the aquarium and then conked out again on the way back to Grammy and Papa's house.
We saw all  types of fish, along with otters, sea horses and other creatures from the sea. We also got to see workers feed the birds that have been rescued and placed in the park.
Here are several pictures from our trip... I have a little video to upload later for you to see.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Savannah's first haircut...

Aunt Sharon gave Savannah her first haircut yesterday. 
Savannah was cursed with my curly, fine hair and the bangs had grown into her eyes. 
It was time for a haircut.
We went to visit Aunt Debbie and the three of us went over to Sharon's... she had a client in the shampoo basin when we got there and Savannah watched the woman get her hair cut, blowdried and styled... it was the quietest I've seen her in a long time.
When the lady left it was Savannah's turn... and she did great until Aunt Sharon brought the scissors at her hair. Before it was over, Aunt Debbie was holding onto her and I had put down the camera to calm her down. She wasn't screaming, but she was certainly scared.
Here are a few of the pictures... I forgot my camera so Debbie was kind enough to let me use hers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

No Humpty Dumpty...

Yesterday, Savannah decided she had to go outside while her Daddy cleaned out our cars...  and in most yards that wouldn't be a problem. But anyone who knows our driveway realizes that the last place Savannah needs to be is walking around on the steep incline that leads to our house.
I shot a few pictures of Savannah while she stomped around and called out "Doggie"... she had apparently spotted a dog walking on the road while I had stepped inside the house.
Before we knew it she was walking down the driveway... and the louder Pat yelled, the faster she decided to go. I could't chase after her because the last thing I need is to fall down our driveway so it was up to Pat to get her... and she fell before he reached her.
She got a little "road rash" on her arm, but I think it hurt her pride more than anything... and it will be the last time she gets to walk around outside for a while.

"Cousin" Isabella...

I had to "borrow" (OK, steal from my friends, Mike and Suze's blog) this picture of their 18-month-old daughter, Isabella because I thought it was so beautiful.
Suze and Isabella are visiting family in Brazil this month so Mike is all alone... and I'm sure eating plenty of frozen pizzas and other "bachelor foods."
Isabella and Savannah haven't gotten the chance to meet yet, but I'm sure they'll be fast friends when they do because they seem to be very much alike.
I love the light captured in this picture... and it gives me hope that one day soon Savannah will enjoy having her picture taken again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Who does she look like?

I was talking to an old friend the other day and she told me how much Savannah looks like me. It's funny because I think she looks a lot like her Daddy. 
Savannah and I were sitting here tonight looking through photos of my Daddy... who passed away three months ago today. Among those pictures I found one of me and my sister that must have been taken when I was around a year old.
I decided that I would put them on my blog and let you decide... she does have my hair... but she has her Daddy's mouth (among many other things).

Friday, September 12, 2008


My friend, Megan, recently  posted on her blog about a new hobby of exchanging postcards... and that she has started getting postcards from people around the world.
I thought it was a nice idea so I checked out the site ... www.postcrossing.com ... and decided I would give it a try. You have to send out postcards (up to five at a time) and once the person gets the card and posts your identification number than someone in the system gets your address to send you a postcard.
On Monday, I mailed out five postcards... to the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Norway. I'm sending postcards I collected during my travels... so a few people got New York City postcards while others got one with Elvis on them from my trip to Memphis.
I got emails today saying that two of my five postcards have arrived at their destinations.
I can't wait to see what kind of postcards I get in the weeks ahead... I'll certainly be posting them on my blog.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 - Eight years later

I remember exactly where I was when the Twin Towers came down and the Pentagon was hit on Sept. 11, 2001. My Mama and I were in downtown Atlanta at the driver's license division of the Georgia Department of Transportation.
I remember calling my office that morning because I needed to get in touch with a co-worker and discovering a plane had slammed into one of the towers. I was on the phone with Charlie when a plane flew into the Pentagon.
 In the course of a few hours, everything we thought about the United States being a "safe haven" against terrorism was gone.
Planes were grounded and life as we knew it ceased to exist... I was just six weeks from my first plane ride so you can imagine how nervous I was!
I remember driving home and calling my editor to see if they wanted me to come in and help with the coverage... my paper was working on a special section that would come out that afternoon. I took Mama home and then went into my office... because no journalist worth their salt would want to miss the biggest news story of their career.
In the days that followed, we found locals who were worried about friends and family who worked in the Towers or the Pentagon. I would later interview firefighters who were in the Twin Towers that day and watched as their "brothers" walked in and never walked out again.
I've read stories in the New York Times  and the Washington Post this week about survivors and widows who spoke about the challenges of healing and moving on.
We as a nation continue to do the same... heal from the loss of innocence that occurred that day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Peanut butter face...

Savannah gets her love of peanut butter from me... her Daddy hates anything to do with peanut butter and most other nuts.
Last night, I gave her part of a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit for dinner... and her face was so cute I had to capture a few pictures.
The first was taken as she stood by our front door and looked out at Maggie (who loves to "hide" from Savannah by going outdoors) and the second is a freshly scrubbed Savannah "hiding" from her Mama's camera!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Looking forward to vacation...

This time next week, we'll be getting ready to go on vacation in Virginia Beach. We're planning to spend a few days at Mom and Dad Fitzgerald's and then go to a hotel near the bay for the weekend. 
The highlight of the trip will be celebrating Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary on Sept. 21. They're planning to renew their vows in front of a small group of family and friends and we're looking forward to sharing that with them.
We also hope to spend a little time at the water and take Savannah to the Virginia Aquarium to see the fish and other sea life. It will probably be the last real vacation we have for a while because with the baby coming there won't be much time for that in the near future.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving...

I read a little story in today's Washington Post that got me thinking about future Christmas and birthday gifts for our children. 
It was about a new online program that allows family and friends to take money they would give for gifts and put it in a 529 plan that would save money for college. Although it's only available in a few states right now, they hope to have it available for everyone in the near future.
Parents can set up a fund and invite people to invest in her future instead of buying her a toy and can donate as little as $15 to the fund.
According to the Post, the "state-sponsored 529 plans are the best way to save for college. Not only does your money grow tax-deferred, but distributions escape taxes altogether if they're used for qualified educational expenses."
Pat and I were both the first people in our immediate families to get college degrees (although we chose the lowly-paying profession of journalism - but that is another story!). 
We're hoping our children will make their way to college down the road and what better way to help pay for this than saving a little here and there. 
Savannah has lots of toys and I'm sure she'll get plenty more... but we're planning on starting a 529 plan (and also one for little J.P. when he arrives) that will give people another gift option.

Lesser of two evils...

I apologize for ignoring my blog for the last week, but I've been caught up in the presidential race. 
This is the first time I can honestly say that I've been reading a lot about the election... especially since McCain announced Palin as his running mate. 
I don't think there are many stories in the Washington Post or the New York Times that I haven't read about the race... including hundreds of comments from other voters. Many who are like me and trying to decide how to determine what will make them more satisfied when they leave the voter box in November.
Frankly, I'm not excited about either McCain or Obama... they both have campaign proposals and personal issues about them that scare the heck out of me!  But since there is no hero coming in to save the day in November, I have to make a decision between the two of them.
 I think the biggest thing for me this year is that I've had a child since the last election (and another one on the way)... and it's not just about me. I voted in the last election, but feel like the stakes are much higher because the next President could make decisions that could affect the future for my children.
I've made my decision on who I will vote for in November and I don't expect that to change... I'm not bending over backwards with joy, but I think he is the "lesser of two evils" in my book.
It's going to be a crazy two months until Election Day....

Friday, September 5, 2008

In Mommy's shoes...

I caught Savannah wearing my shoes the other afternoon... but by the time I picked up the camera these were the only shots I could get.
She certainly has a personality all of her own...
Please look away from the damage caused by "Hurricane Savannah"... I end up picking up the living room of toys, debris, etc., almost every night!

Going to see Jimmy...

I'm sorry it took me so long to get this post up, but this has been a crazy, crazy week!
Pat, Erin and I had a wonderful time at the Jimmy Buffett concert. I wish I had gone around and taken some pictures of the characters that were there... there were people wearing all types of hats and some men who were wearing nothing but a hula skirt and a pair of shorts.
We got to the stadium about two hours early after having a nice dinner at Uno Chicago Grill... the next time we'll bring our dinner (Pat did bring some drinks) for the tailgating because everyone was partying it up and having a good time.
The key to the Buffett concert is the hours of partying in the parking lot that goes on before hand... the gates opened at 2 p.m. and the show started at 8 p.m.... so Parrotheads had six good hours to drink and be merry.
And they were partying hard!
I thought we had good seats, but Pat said we would have had better seats had we sat in the lawn section (which was a LOT cheaper). I'm not sure my back would have enjoyed that, but I'm thinking that is probably the way we'll go the next time.
Jimmy came on shortly after 8 p.m. and played for more than two hours... he played a lot of my favorite songs (and Pat knew most of the playlist order since he's been so many times). They didn't play one of the songs I  was hoping for, but you can't have it all.
Here are two pictures I took... I should get Erin to email me one from inside the Nissan Pavilion because I couldn't take my camera inside... Erin had her iPhone.
The first photo was taken before we left... you can see how excited Pat was. I always accuse him of having a "fake smile", but this time it's me who doesn't appear to be happy... I was happy so I guess I can't give him crap anymore about that.
The second one is of the three of us just before we went inside for the concert.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Looking for all Parrotheads...

Tonight is the night I find out what all the excitement is about Jimmy Buffett... one of Pat's favorite musicians. I've liked Buffett for a long time, but it wasn't until I met Pat that I realized what a true fan he is. Pat has been to many concerts (I'm thinking this might be his seventh or eighth) and had every one of his CDs until we sold them on Half.com (but he has them on his iPod now).
Savannah left yesterday to spend the a few days with her Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tom... she didn't even cry when she was driving off. I'm sure she's having a great time, but I know how happy I'll be to have her home with me... I guess you never do stop being a Mama... even when your little ones aren't nearby.
But I digress...
I can't wait to see how crazy it gets tonight... Pat told me to expect the unexpected because the party starts in the parking lot hours before the concert. We're not going to get there too early and we certainly won't be partying up like some of the others will be... no margaritas for me!
Here is a song Jimmy Buffett released after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005... I felt it was appropriate since that area is being affected again today. I'm sure we'll hear this song tonight.