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…NEVER forget…

September 11, 2011…10 years later…

TODAY…

As many others have commented and contemplated upon the tragic events that occurred in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon, I have found myself  thinking of nothing but the same today.  It’s a hard feeling to shake.  The utter shock and disbelief that our country, our FREE country could be subjected to such an outrageous and devastating tragedy still reigns true till this day, 10 years after first hearing the news.  The hows and whys that were muttered by millions replay in my head as I begin to think of what my eyes stared at on the television and ears heard on the radio stations.  I, among others, stood in disbelief as each report broke over the sound waves. The trademark skyline, no longer pictures the World Trade Center… The world changed that day…Everything
just stopped.

For me, not much has changed in 10 years.  The shock and disbelief still linger on, but are intermingled with sadness, anger and pride in the present day.

After watching several documentaries in recent days and reading reports and articles, I am taken right back to that initial moment 10 years ago when the world STOPPED…   Overflowing with emotion, I sit and watch and relive the horrific scenes and emotions.  Still seemingly fresh wounds ever after time has transpired since the actual events occurred.  Here are my thoughts and tidbits about the day’s happenings on September 11, 2001 as well as my thoughts today.

Never Forget

HOW could this happen????

I still find myself asking this question.  How could something so devastating occur…How can so many people have lost their lives without a chance of escaping…How so many individuals gave of their own lives so freely while trying to save those trapped, hurt and afraid.

The fear that took over me, was something I had never experienced previously.  Staring at the images on the television have not gotten any easier.  As I sit here watching all of the coverage today, the chills down my spine and tears down my cheeks are as fresh and real as they were in 2001.  The emotional response that my body endured 10 years ago is still ever-present in today’s thoughts and experiences.  I was fortunate to not have any loved ones directly involved in the attacks or collapses or rescue efforts…yet I was still affected so strongly.  The outpouring of emotions I went through during those initial moments were inexplicable.  We as a Nation, were in shock..disbelief…angered…mourning… No matter where you were or who you were, you stopped what you were doing and watched, listened, cried and prayed…

…Sadness…

The sadness I experienced in 2001 is the much the same as the sadness I experienced today.  The sheer fact that the event occurred and that lives were lost saddens me.  The loss of so many lives saddens me still.  Sadness for many reasons… lives of innocent people were lost that day; lives of children, parents, firefighters, policemen, rescue personnel.  People were minding their own, going about their day-to-day when their world stopped and ended without them even so much as getting the opportunity to say good-bye or defend themselves.  Their lives were taken by sick, tormented individuals.

I think my sadness lies deepest with the families that were torn apart by the ruthless actions the terrorists carried out.  Children losing a parent… Unborn children having lost a parent… Wives losing husbands… Husbands losing wives… Parents losing children… SO many lives ended… THE WORLD JUST STOPPED on 9/11.  Eventually, many of us started to “pick up the pieces” and get our emotions in check, resuming our normal, day-to-day routines.  The families directly effected by that days events would never be the same.  Their normal, day – to – day just got ripped right out from under them.  The healing process is a long and hard road that so many had to embark upon much too soon…

…ANGER…

The fact that a group of individuals could be so ruthless as to carry out the events that occurred, sickens me beyond belief.  I hold such anger that there are such disturbed, evil individuals walking the same planet as me.  Anger that so many lives were lost, loves lost, breaths stopped.

So many lives were changed without warning, without care that I just simply get angry.  There is no further explanation I can provide.  I have such disdain for those whom orchestrated and carried out the terrorist attacks that occurred on 9.11.01.

…Pride…

One nation, indivisible…If ever there was anything good to occur out of these attacks this would be it.  Americans took pride in our country.  We banded together, stood strong and supported each other.  We came together to aid those directly affected by loss or injury.  We took pride in ourselves, in our rescue personnel. Words of encouragement were shared, patriotism abounded immediately.  Flags flying, hymns blaring.  Sadly it took something so tragic to help us exhibit such pride in our nation so freely.  Americans spoke out of their pride.  Americans stood behind each other.  We became ONE NATION in support of all those lives lost and loved.

I take pride in the fact that so many individuals displayed such heroic actions on that day and coming days afterwards.  The individuals aboard the hijacked flight that crashed near Somerset, PA come to mind first when thinking of heroic actions of that day. Their strength and endurance, ambition and selflessness amazed me.  The rescue personnel that so freely risked their lives or gave their lives during the rescue efforts at Ground Zero,  are the epitome of heroes.

TEN years ago….

WHERE I WAS and WHAT I was doing…

Seems like it was centuries ago at times…then again it seems like it was just yesterday.  I was 23 years old.  Had already graduated from college and was enjoying my job at Kennywood.  I was part of a group that worked at the Amusement Park in the offseason, wrapping things up for the current season and getting things situated for the following season.  We did odds and ends such as taking inventory, tagging merchandise, and restocking items.

One seemingly ordinary day, us girls were up in the gift shop in Lost Kennywood doing inventory.  One of my friends was upstairs folding shirts, another counting something else.  I was sitting outside, on a milk crate, counting key chains.  They looked like bouncy balls, were yellow and had the trademark Kennywood arrow on them.  The exact item bares no significance to the days events, I just find it interesting that I can remember those details of something that occurred 10 years ago and I can’t remember if I turned my flat-iron off when I leave for work on a daily basis these days, but that’s neither here nor there.

The radio was blasting…given the time of day, had we been in the warehouse, Howard Stern would have been on.  But I can almost guarantee that since it was just us girls in the gift shop, we probably had B94 on.  My friend, folding shirts upstairs yelled down that something happened in New York…we didn’t think much of it, but as she continued to listen and share and more reports kept coming over the radio, our world just STOPPED.

…TODAY…

Today I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a citizen of this great nation.  Albeit a nation that has seen such horrific tragedy, our nation came together on that day.  We came together in support, strength and prayer.  I continue to keep those whose lives were lost close to my heart, their families in my prayers.  I continue to pray for those who are haunted by their memories of that day. The heroes who risk their lives everyday to keep us safe will forever be honored.

  I am thankful for those who defend our country so that I can maintain the freedoms that make our country the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Our world stopped 10 years ago…we continue on.  Honor those who defend us.  Remember those who died for us.  Cherish those with us.

How were you affected?  Where were you at that very moment???

Relay for Life: Honor & Remember; Love & Belonging

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Today I’ll be spending much of my time at the local Relay for Life stretching long into the night…

Remembering those I have lost to the ugly and scary reality that is cancer.

Honoring those that have fought the good fight and prevailed over the ugly monster.

It’s a bitter-sweet celebration for me…

As I remember my step-dad, 2 uncles, and 3 friends who lost their battle…  I honor an uncle, 2 aunts and 1 friend who are alive and survived.  (You can read a little about some of these lovely people here.)  To read a little more about remembrance, learning and growth check out my post Time + Healing = Acceptance.

Take not one moment in this life for granted.

Tell those you love, you love them often.

Remind those you appreciate, you cherish them often.

Relish in each breath you breathe on this beautiful Earth.

So I leave you with two songs… One a cover of “In My Life” by Dave Matthews and the second, “Fix You” by Coldplay.

In My Life is pretty self-explanatory… it helps me to honor and remember those in my life both in the now and those who are no longer walking alongside me.  I’ve posted this song here several times, but it’s just one that I can’t live without.

The first time I heard Fix You, was at the Relay for Life in 2009 during the remembrance lap.  Completely moving and emotional moment that will forever be etched in my mind.

For any one that has fought and lost their battle to cancer… you are remembered.

For those who are survivors… warriors against the beat… I honor you.

How has cancer affected your life?  Have you lost someone close to you?  Survivor stories?

Related Links

A Book and It’s Influence

Trouble Finding the Words

Happy Anniversary… A year of blogging!

It’s my one year “blog”-iversary today!!! On June 12, 2010 I wrote The Bits ‘N Pieces, which was my very first blog post!  Was it really a year ago already?!?

During these last 12 months Maggie Mae’s Days has seen…

  • 115 Blog posts
  • 7,851 views
  • 30 subscribers
  • 782 comments/pingbacks
While pleased and overwhelmed by those numbers, none of that matters to me in the least.
What matters is all that has changed and how much I’ve grown during that time span.  My blog has helped to fine tune my writing and share my life with all of you.  Writing on my blog helped me deal with and rationalize all the ups and downs and anything and everything in between. Sharing with you has helped me to work through some tough times without anyone holding or passing judgement. I’ve become more confident in sharing my thoughts, views and opinions and have learned to accept compliments and criticisms much more gracefully.
I’ve come to know so many WONDERFULLY AMAZING people through writing this blog; each of whom has  provided support, comfort, smiles and laughter through their own words on their blogs as well as in the words they shared with me personally.  Through comments, personal emails, tweets and Facebook messages I’ve received support and reassurance. I want to thank my blogging friends…I am so blessed to have met you and come to know you through our sharing of words.  There are some that I consider to be true friends even though we’ve never physically met.
You’ve walked with me through the adoption of B-Shane;
you’ve helped me through it all, the tough stuff remembering those gone before me;
you’ve supported me during the loss of my grandma;

Roger Waters

You’ve learned about my love of music, music, music and more music;
You got to see my most favorite things and read through 100 random facts about me;
You’ve watched as I’ve crossed off items on the list , cheered me on through kitchen drama and my return to running, while helping me to refocus when I’ve lost my way.
Through it all I’ve learned that no matter how difficult the days may get, the promise of better days is ever-present; It’s up to me to recognize and acknowledge what I’m presented with and make the best of any and every situation.
Some numbers that DO matter from the last 12 months…
  • Nephew #4 was born only 10 days after I began my blog
  • Nephew #5 will be born exactly 1 month away from today
  • I’ve been to 6 concerts
  • I’ve participated in 5 craft shows
  • Been to 2 weddings
  • My car celebrated it’s 1st birthday
  • I turned 32 and will soon be 33 next month
  • I ran in my first 5k
I really don’t know what made me decide to start this blog since I’ve been writing for as long as I remember.  I don’t know how long I will continue to write on this blog since you just never know what will happen when.  What I do know is, I will continue writing as long as I am able to.  I will continue to write and share with you whenever I can… I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and sharing of myself with you.  I hope that you’ve enjoyed stopping by and that maybe I made you smile, made you laugh or share a tear.  All I ask is that you take a piece of me with you just as I do each and everyday.
I’ve truly enjoyed the journey that Maggie Mae’s Days has taken me on throughout these last 12 months.  Who knows where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing this time NEXT year?!?  I hope that I’ll still be writing and sharing here so that I can look back and reflect just as I have today.  This has been such a rewarding and uplifting experience thus far… I can only imagine the places it will take me and the people I’ll meet in the coming year. Thank you for joining me and coming back for more…
Be sure to check out the hyper-links in case you missed any of those posts!  And if you get a chance, check out my favorite blogging friends!  They’re the BEST of what’s around with out a doubt!
XOXOXO

Computer Medix

Well, I know you’ve all been VERY worried about my computer situation… I mean you’ve all probably been losing sleep over it haven’t you?

Ha ha… Alright, maybe you haven’t, but for a little while there I was!

I am extremely happy to report that my laptop was saved as was ALL of my data…

All my pictures,  documents, fonts and even my music were salvaged from my laptop…. Oh, Happy day!!!!!!

Actually, last Monday was the happy day that I got my laptop back along with all of  its contents…just haven’t had a chance to blog about it!

A little shop close to home was recommended to me by several people so I checked  ’em out.  They guarantee lower prices than larger competitors and upon a lengthy conversation with the fella at the shop, I felt safe leaving my baby in their hands.

Fixing my precious laptop was no easy task for these guys at all.  Although they were able to remove the virus completely, they had never seen this particular virus do as much damage as it had to my laptop.  It damaged Windows itself so a complete factory restore was needed.

Here we come to save the day!!!

All of my precious jewels were safely transferred from the hard drive to an external hard drive for safe keeping.  PHEW!!! Crisis averted!!!

While I am very happy to have my laptop back along with all the data, I still haven’t had a chance to transfer info back over or reinstall programs.  I have promised myself I won’t use it until I get new anti-virus software installed and time just hasn’t permitted as of yet.

A HUGE thank you to the fellas at Computer Medix for saving my stuff and figuring the problems out!  A big thanks to my dad for helping out with the cost of the repairs too.

I am so relieved to have everything in my possession again… You don’t realize just how much you use it until you don’t have it!

I will say I’ve learned a couple of lessons in the process…

1.) Have up to date anti-virus installed on your laptop/pc.

2.) Facebook is the harboring of more ill will than gossip and rumors… Many of these virus are embedded within Facebook by hackers and can infect your computer without even clicking on anything, just by logging in.

3.) BACK UP YOUR data!!!!!  For now I have everything on an external hard drive, but they also recommended storing it via an online server so that if something happens (fire, flood, etc.) your data will still be accessible through any internet connection not just on a piece of hardware that can be destroyed.

4.) Don’t depend on technology for everything.  Too many of us live by our smartphones and computers…. Try reading a book (an actual paper copy versus an electronic copy).  Try writing a letter to someone (remember…. pen, paper and stamps?) instead of emailing and texts.  How did we become so dependant on technology?  Remember the days when we didn’t have it?  I barely do!!!

5.)  Sometimes, you get what you pay for…. Yes my laptop was on the inexpensive side; it also cost about half as much to repair it when it is not even 2 years old.  Had a purchased a Mac, yes I would have spent a bit more at the onset, but probably wouldn’t have had the problems I encountered.

So there’s my story… My pictures, documents and MUSIC are all safe and sound.  A happily ever after in my book!

THE END….

Leaving my mark…

I often wonder if the path I’m walking along is where I’m meant to be….

If the choices I’ve made are the “RIGHT” ones….

I’ve done a lot and seen a lot in a bit over 32 years.  I’ve held several jobs… I’ve been in relationships… I’ve made and lost friends… I’ve moved… started new adventures… 

“… I want to be remembered as the girl who always smiles even when her heart is broken, and the one that could always brighten up your day even if she couldn’t brighten her own…”  -Author unknown

But, there are days I sit back and wonder if I am doing enough. 

 Am I leaving my mark in the world???

How am I going to be remembered one day?

I’m not sure what people would say… I’m not sure I want to ask either to be honest…

I do know that I want to be remembered for many things….

I want to be remembered as a strong, caring, thoughtful individual having taken care of myself and stood strong in the toughest of circumstances while caring and respecting myself and others…Thinking of others before myself when necessary and distinguishing when it is appropriate to think of myself first.

I want to be remembered as a good daughter, sister, aunt, friend and some day wife and mother… putting family first before all else and providing for them unconditionally. Sharing of our happys and sads right along with each other no matter the situation or circumstance.

I want to be remembered as a woman of many talents having explored my creative outlets to my fullest desires… From my home decor items to writing to someday hopefully photography and who knows what else.

I want to have made an impact on someone’s life; my influence having changed a person for the better whether through mentoring, teaching or just sharing of myself in one way or another.  I want to be remembered as a positive influence… shaping and changing someone’s path for the better…

I want to be remembered for my love of life… for embracing all that comes my way and everyone that crosses my path.  Not quick to pass judgement and accepting of all.

I want to be remembered as a good person, an honest and trustworthy person.  One who speaks honestly and with tact; saying what one needs to hear in a way most appropriate for the given situation.  I DON’T want to be remembered for saying negative or ill-mannered things to others.  I want to be remembered for earning and maintaining trusts… 

I want to be remembered as a determined and ambitious woman… Not afraid to embark on new endeavors and try new things… Realistic enough, though to maintain a proper vision of what is appropriate, necessary and well, realistic.  Remembered for not just setting goals but achieving them…

I want to be remembered for grace in my heart… for acknowledging when I am wrong while accepting and acknowledging my faults… Making right when needed and trying my best.  Having the grace to fail with dignity and the pride to celebrate even the smallest of successes.

Is this accurate to what others would say??? I’m really not sure to be honest…  But, I do know that I need to appreciate all that I have and all that I do while I can.  You never know what life has in store for you.  Things can always change in the matter of moments… If you were to leave today, would you be happy with the mark you’ve left? 

I’m not sure that I am 100% happy with the mark I’m leaving, so I am going to try… try to right the wrongs; try to continue along my path and see where it takes me…. keeping mind all along the way, what my actions, words and thoughts could do or lead to…  Being more aware of all that I interact with…

I’ve got some work to do… At least I can acknowledge it and am planning on making an effort…

Focusing a bit more on the mark I am leaving… 

What would you say???  Are these accurate or wayyyyyyy off point?  Tell me!  I wanna know; can’t fix anything unless I know it’s broken! 

Are you leaving a mark?  How do you want to be remembered?

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens….

These are a few of my favorite things…..

Well, Ok…. Not really BUT….

 I wanted to share with you some of my MOST favorite things in the world!

The little things that make me, well ME!

Outside of the things you’ve learned through my writing… Not the ideas or thoughts I share… Not the songs that inspire topics for discussion… none of that.

The actual THINGS that bring me joy in my everyday life from hobbies to relaxation to at home comforts.  Let me clarify though; I am NOT a materialistic individual as those closest to me can attest to.  I love a good bargain when I find one and hold on to things way past their time.  I find joy in repurposing items.  I know that true happiness does not and cannot truly come from things.  Happiness does come from within and above.  BUT we all have comforts that help us to be the person we are.  The things that bring a smile to your face or warm your heart daily.

Welcome to my world…. Come on in… take a peek!

I love, LOVE, LoVe my middle name… Love the story behind it… Love the reminder it serves as each and every day…  LOVE surrounding myself with things bearing my middle name as well. 🙂 

I’m not necessarily a purse girl… I’m more of a tote bag kinda gal.  You’ll never see me spending big bucks on a Coach Purse… BUT, I have a certain weakness for Vera Bradley and basically all tote bags in general. I have more tote bags than a girl should be allowed to have.  Now I will say, MOST of my Vera bags were purchased in the sale section online.  Can’t pass up a good deal on a bag!  The other bag is brandy new to me 🙂  A parent of one of our students made it… Remember yesterday when I said Mandy and I spent forever in Joanns looking for fabric??? This bag would be why!  Super happy with how it turned out and VERY happy with the prints I chose!

I LOVE to read… Although lately I haven’t read much. I’ve read the Twilight Saga and Harry Potter Series at least 4 times each; pretty sure that qualifies me as a dork, but say what you will, doesn’t bother me much at all!  🙂  Super excited about the Blog Book Club I decided to join… April 1st we begin reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch which just so happens to be one of my absolute favorites as I detailed in A Book & it’s Influence!

I LoVe my crackle glass collection… My Aunt and Uncle were the first to introduce me to through their beautiful collection… My collection is quite small, but I love the bright colors and the distinct shapes of each piece.  The greens and blues are my favorites…

I don’t wear tons of jewelry.  I’m a silver, white gold and maybe someday platinum kinda gal.  These are my most favorite pieces that I wear pretty much everyday.  From the Pandora bracelet to the Silpada earrings to the coolest bangle bracelet made out of a spoon, each has its own special character that I find endearing.  Some pieces also have sentimental value as well.

My first set of real dishes!!!  Aren’t they PRETTY?!?!?!?  I’ve had sets of dishes before, but they were either odds and end, mix and match pieces or cheapo college dorm sets.  I have enough for 8 place settings too!  Now I just need to entertain more!

You all know about my love for making home decor… Here are 3 of my absolute most favorite areas in my home.  Each has at least one thing I made.  The quote in the middle piece is one of my favorites and sums up who I am as a whole pretty well… “The future is something we create.”

Reminders of loved ones that are no longer walking the Earth, but guide, guard and protect from above bring me comfort.  The Serenity prayer is something I say every morning… helping to affirm that somethings I can control and those I cannot should be offered to the One that can.   From the quilt my mom made from my step-dad’s clothes to the picture of my grandma in her younger years, I am reminded daily of their influence in my life and their continued presence in my heart always. 

My home wouldn’t be my home without my music… Just a small sampling of the artists who help me breathe, centering me and bringing me back to where I want and need to be.  From happy to sad to everything in between and more, I find music to be simply astoundingly amazing!

I haven’t always been one to wear make up.  I’ve gone through phases over the years in which I’ve not worn a single ounce of make-up to wearing almost nothing to doodling myself up everyday.  I have to admit, I love my make-up and I love the way make-up makes me feel.  You can change-up the color of your eye-shadow or eyeliner and feel like a completely new person.  Thanks to Mandy, I was introduced to Ulta and all that AMAZING store has to offer.  A girl could think she died and went to heaven upon entering Ulta.  Best to leave your wallet at home and enter with only $20! My MOST favorite product would be Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in SIN.  A coat of this on my eyelids BEFORE applying shadow and I am good to go ALL day.  No shadow in the creases at all!  Definitely my make-up must have 🙂 

I never realized just how much nail polish I had until Jessica, another of my besties, came for a visit from Washington State last year.  She’s the one who snapped this picture…. Paint my nails much?  ALL the time during the summer… When I’m being crafty, my nails are better left unpainted.

Ok… LAST “things”…. I promise! 

I have soooooooooo much crafty stuff… From papers to stamps to inks to die cutting machines to paint to punches to anything and everything else imaginable.  Finding decorative yet efficiently functional storage has been QUITE the challenge living in a one bedroom apartment.  But, I think I have utilized the space I have quite efficiently while still looking pretty.  🙂   These two pieces are my favorites… They were both bargain finds as well.  They are home to my Cricut and Sizzix, my ink pads, acrylic blocks, paper 8×8 and smaller, punches, scissors, pens, paper cutters and much, much more.  For me they work perfectly!!! 

 

So there you have it… My FAVORITE things.

 What are a few of your favorite things that make home, home and you, you?