Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life Lately

Y'all.  Three months. It's been THREE MONTHS since I last posted. That's definitely a record, but it's no surprise since my blogging has been sporadic the past year. I'll say it then and I'll say it now: my blog isn't dead. I may not post a couple of times a week like I used to (I have no idea how I used to have time to do that), but you should be able to come here every few months and see some new stuff. I think I still have somewhere on the sidebar where you can sign up to receive an email when a new post has gone up. I honestly have no idea if that button still exists/works, but it's worth a try. 

Do I have time to post today? Not really. But we're home today because of projected snow. And while I could certainly be grading, cleaning, planning, etc., this blog of mine needed some long-overdue attention. I got up this morning with a goal of updating it, and I will meet that goal today.

Anyhoo, life has certainly been happening the past few months, and, as usual, I've broken it down into various posts. Read as you please. 

My Dad
Alabama Football
M Turned Six
And a Whole Lot More 

I hope you and your family are well!


My Dad

This blog has served as my "memory book" for over six years, and not once did it cross my mind that I'd one day have to write about the death of a parent.  On Saturday, December 20, my dad passed away unexpectedly. 

It has been two months, and I admit -- I'm still somewhat in a state of disbelief. The week it happened was a blur. I felt like I was having a complete out-of-body experience as I watched everyone around me process it in their own ways. I was quick to assure everyone that I was okay.  And I really was, because to me, there was no way my hilarious, always laughing, always joking dad who we were JUST WITH for Morgan's birthday, was gone.  Sure, I'd had tiny, sporadic moments of reality at night (they were always at night), but when the sun rose, it felt like a dream again.

Gradually and naturally, it is becoming a reality, though -- a heartbreak that is indescribable, and a reality I'm still not sure how to process. But along with it, I have become so grateful for time I had with my dad, and for the love he had for my sisters and me.

Anyone who knew knew my dad knows the he LOVED HIS GIRLS.

But no one knew that more than my sisters and me. Our Dad loved us like crazy, and even occasionally showed his crazy. 

This picture of my baby sister and her boyfriend at the time (now husband) is a perfect display of it.

And Dad made sure we knew we were loved. He would call and leave me crazy voice messages about how I never answer my phone (he knew me well), but he always started his messages with "Hey, baby" and ended them with "Love you." Every single message. In fact, I still have over 20 of them on my phone.

And boy, did a new type of love come when I had M -- and when my oldest little sister had her baby boy. He loved his grandbabies

Up in a jungle gym entertaining his "itty bitty."

I took these pictures one day he and my stepmom drove to Birmingham to spend some time with M. I'm so glad I did.  She will always have these, and she can always see how much he loved her.

And many times we'd go to Atlanta, he and my stepmom would keep M while DK and I would go do grownup stuff with friends.

And he loved every minute of it. 

It reminds me so much of my time with him as a child -- summers and holidays.

I would joke with him that now that Morgan was here, he didn't care if he spent time with me - ha! He would be very quick to correct me and tell me that he still gets giddy when he's getting ready to see his "first born," as he always called me.

My dad's memorial service was PERFECT. You're not supposed to cry at these things. While that's much easier said than done, I laughed soooooo much as well. So many people got up and talked about how my dad had an impact on them. Everyone talked about his jokes (he was always crackin'), but they also talked about how he showed a much tender side of himself -- like always offering his home to family/friends who needed it, and always bragging about his girls. It showed me that my dad was a lot of things to a lot of people, and I could not have been more proud. I left my dad's service feeling a sense of peace and love, and I am so grateful to the many family and friends who were kind enough to get up and share their love for Dad. 

I am also grateful to the family and friends of mine who called, texted, dropped everything to be with me, sent cards, traveled with me to Atlanta those days, checked in on me often, attended the memorial service, etc. and made sure that I knew they were there if I needed it. You guys have NO CLUE how grateful I am for that. I needed it, and I didn't even know it.

Today, while I'm heartbroken and probably will be for a long time, I'm also just THANKFUL. I had 32 years with my dad --  many people don't get that. And in those 32 years, my dad loved me and told me OFTEN how proud of me he was. He gave me two beautiful sisters and a sweet stepmom.

My daughter got a chance to know her Big Daddy, and is at an age where she will remember him. He was proud of her, too, and bragged on her just like he used to brag on me.  I will never, ever let her forget how much he loved her.

I love my old man. I miss my old man. His love for us is still alive and well in our hearts. Nothing or no one could ever take it away. And I'm at peace knowing that that's exactly what he would want. 

Alabama Football

Y'all already know our fall was all about Alabama Football. And boy was it a season to remember!

It didn't end with a national championship win, but we were the SEC Champs, and one of the first teams to make the College Football Playoffs -- and with a quarterback you couldn't help but absolutely love. So proud of Blake Sims and this team!

This year I went into more games than normal because our cousin T had knee surgery during the season. That means I was able to go into the game many times on "his" ticket. (There's a hilarious story -- and video -- behind the reason for the knee surgery. Poor T. Thanks for the tickets this season, though!)

These are lots of random pics from the season. 

Some of you have been to my in-laws' tailgate before. THE BEST.  Music. Laughs. Dancing. Lots of food. Lots of fun. Lots of visitors. Some we don't even know who just want to hangout for a bit - ha!

Like this guy.

Anyone who's ever been to a Kimble Tailgate knows this guy right here is a NUT. He's become known as our "DJ." Sometimes people stop and watch him in action -- some even taking out their phones and recording his shenanigans. An absolute nut, y'all. And if you're from the other team, it's best you keep walking and try not to make eye contact. Hahaha!

Celebrating after winning one night. Look at my child right there celebrating, too.

With my man.

With my best friend. 

With my ball of energy.

With Cousin J.

With her friend, N.

With my Mama.

And my sister-in-law.

My peeps.

With Cousin H.

Celebrating after another game. My child again.

Here are a few pics from some of the games.

vs. Auburn with my sister-in-law, N.

vs. Mississippi State

SEC Championship with my sister-in-law, A, and friend, C.

DK and my sister-in-law went to Baton Rouge for the LSU game. I've only been to an away LSU game once, and those fans are CRAZY. They had fun, though, and ate GOOD.

After the SEC Championship game.

We went to New Orleans for the playoff game and brought in the new year on Bourbon Street. The game is not a sweet memory, so no pics of that will go here! We did do some fun things there, so I'll post those. 

This kid is excited because she's on her way to RIDE THE TRAIN to New Orleans.

My sweet in-laws decided to take the train to New Orleans (for M, of course). She had a blast!

Peeking out the windows before they pulled off (you can see if you look closely - ha!).

DK, my mom, our cousin, and I drove over a day or two later. M did plenty of kid stuff while she was there. My in-laws texted me pics, but I can't find them in my phone/messages anywhere. Here are a few we took when we got there:

Feeding the stingray.

I have a picture of her on this same frog back from when Bama won the national championship a few years ago

With her Memaw.

My cousin C was there a few days, and we met up for a hot minute.

We ate at Dooky Chase's as we were leaving NOLA.

It was an incrediblllllle season. Roll Tide!

Stuff I Talk About

2011 30 day shred age update AKA animals anniversary appreciation aquarium around the house art museum Atlanta baby/toddler sleep issues baking bama football beach birthday birthday party blog awards blog buddies blogher books camping causes celebrations celebrities cheer days childhood children's museum children's theater Christmas christmas card class reunion college days concert conference cousins crafts dance date night dating days deals decluttering dentist Disney dk easter engagement facebook faith fall fun family family fun fashion father's day favorite blogs field trip field trips football friday flashback friends fun event funny pic Gaylord Opryland genealogy girl scouts goals god grad school grateful graves' disease Halloween health holidays Hollywood honeymoon instagram Iron Bowl key west kindermusik learning letter to my daughter library Los Angeles m me miami mlk day morgan is three museum Nashville national championship game natural hair nature new look new orleans New Years nyc out on the town parks parties phone fun pinterest play days at home playdate playground action pregnancy professional development Race for the Cure raleigh ramblings reading Recipes relay for life school program shows singing skating snow soccer social networking sorority spring break spring fun stress summer summer fun summer reading summer to do list teacher life technical difficulties terrible twos Thanksgiving the girls the park theme park thomas and friends three thyroid tragedy trains traveling tricycle trips twitter valentine's day video walk for autism water play we love being outside wedding wordless wednesday work wrapup Yo Gabba Gabba zoo
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