Friday, December 23, 2011

U is for Pre-Christmas Update {and a Little Holiday Sarcasm!}

Merry Christmas, family and friends! This year, for Christmas, I am gifting you all... wait for it... more information about my baby! You can thank me next time you see me, and please, no unnecessary gifts in return.

As you can see from this photo of Audrey smiling on Santa's lap, she is really enjoying the holiday season. She's digging the lights and the jingle bells and the egg nog we've been substituting for breast milk. I also have a hunch that she's going to explode with enthusiasm for all the wrapping paper great stuff we got her on Christmas morning!

She's actually enjoying everything much more now that she can sit up on her own for endless amounts of time and roll around at will. Her palate also is quite refined - she's inhaling everything we give her on a spoon and that includes these new foods: peaches, a zucchini-apple-carrot combo that looks like dirty applesauce, and butternut squash. She'll even down the peas I made if I hide them in something else and take in some icky prune juice when things get tough down below.

She's talking up a storm. Especially when she's in the car. Lot's of nonsense about the upcoming primaries and whether that Newt guy is a real contender or just floating on celebrity and a big mouth. I try to tell her that politics should be kept private, but she's all "Mom, it's my First Amendment right, blah, blah, dadaahaa." Maybe I've been overdoing it on the NPR and complaints about the Occupy movement? Nah.

I have no idea how tall she is or how much she weighs except that she is taller and heavier than at her 6 month appointment back in November. She's even taller (I think) than her older cousin, Chloe. She's moving into 9 month clothes and I'm pumped. We were both getting sick of those 6 month duds and are ready for a new wardrobe. I'm hoping for some good post-holiday sales at Carters and Baby Gap.

Hmm, what else to report? Not much, I guess, other than that Audrey is the one light bulb in our house that hasn't burned out in the last couple of months and the one light fixture we are not interested in replacing. She's awesome. We love her more every day. I cannot even remember my life without her. But, let's be honest, I can't even really remember my life yesterday. I will leave you with some favorites from the last couple of months:


 





And now for the non-sarcastic portion of this post:

Merry Christmas, everyone!
May your home be filled with as much joy and laughter this holiday season as you can stand.
Thank you for indulging me, as always, by reading my blog.

Love,
Kato

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sisterhood: Part III

Whatever you do they will love you; even if they don't love you they are connected to you till you die.  You can be boring and tedious with sisters, whereas you have to put on a good face with friends.  ~Deborah Moggach

My sister friend Jamie doesn't need more sisters. She has three already. And they keep her life full and busy with all of their business and battles. Their life as sisters is kind of like a war where the foe keeps changing so that you never know who you're fighting, much less why. When one battle ends, they get over it and move on. But only until the next battle begins. They bicker and fight, like I imagine all sisters do. But they also love and defend one another tirelessly. Even when they are mad as hell at one another, they show up and do the right thing for one another and for the family as a whole. 

Jamie is the same way with her friends. And then some. I'm pretty sure it's because of her sisters.

She is honest and sentimental. This is a trait her sisters might tease, but she is these things in spite of them. She has a memory (and tanning ability) I'd give my left cerebellum for. I think both are a part of her a self-defense mechanism to protect herself from evil sisters/skin cancer. Whatever. She's witty and smart. Again, self-defense. Or genetics. Her dad is both, too. 

Like a sister, she's always in it for the long haul. {When we were freshmen in college, I sent Jamie an old fashioned letter of sorts, telling her that I would be marrying Blake and that she could be in the wedding. I was of course (kind of ) teasing at the time, but when the first part of that letter came true, I was just lucky that Jamie was still in my life to fulfil the second part and remind me of that letter I'd written so many years before.}
 
Like a sister, She's there when everyone else has gone home. {This past summer, when I was home on maternity leave with Audrey, there were a few times when Blake had to work overnight or late at the hospital. Jamie timed her visits so that I wouldn't be home alone during those nights. And when she visited, unlike some other visitors, she didn't expect anything. She was content to just be with me and watch me do exactly what I needed to do - nurse Audrey and sit on my butt and do nothing. It was perfect. I loved her being there and loved watching her love my baby.}

So, while she may not see it or agree with me on this, Jamie is a more beautiful person because of her sisters. She is who she is because of her sisters. She is a better friend to me because of her sisters. She is a sister to her sisters even when they don't deserve it and she is a friend to me even when I don't deserve it. That's why she is a sister I never had.

Love you, Jamers.
Kato

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A post I'm pretty proud of

has been joyfully donated to another blogger.

My college friend, Kady, just welcomed her second child - a precious little girl named Josie. And even though she's still managed to keep up the good work on her family blog, she asked me and a few other bloggers to help her with the content while she was adjusting to a fuller house. The technical term is "guest post" and this is my first one! Another step forward in upping my blogginess.

Kady specifically asked us to write about raising daughters. I happily obliged and pecked out a little number that I'm very proud of on a topic that's important to me... self-esteem and how to give it to my little girl. Check it out here!

Thank you, Kady, for the opportunity! Can't wait to meet little Josie!

Kate

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sisterhood: Part II

Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer Louise Gl├╝ck

I met my best friend Maggie when we were both freshmen at St. Ursula Academy in Cincinnati, trying out for the high school soccer team. She wore Adidas. I wore knock-offs. I also wore rec-specs. Only for one day. But still. She will never let me for get that. I also had a big mouth and a horrid temper. She will never let me forget that either. She still teases me to this day about my 14-year-old-quirks and antics. But all this time, she's loved me in spite them and any new ones I've developed!

Since we met, we've been teammates, classmates, running-mates, running partners, partners in crime. We've been housemates, punching bags, and walking buddies. We've been the best person in each other's wedding and even when we didn't have much in common or even get along very well, we've always been best friends. Mostly because even though Maggie sees my flaws and judges them, she does it in the most loving way and exactly how I need her to so I can be a better person. I can only hope that I'm a mirror for her the way she is for me.

In high school and the years that have followed, Maggie has always been an artist. Not just in her career as a graphic designer or the art she creates, but in life. In the way she carries herself. The way she talks. The way she treats and loves people. She is one of the most passionate, compassionate, loyal, and honest people I know. Everything she does, she does it with thought and grace. The way she reacted when I told her that I was pregnant and due on her wedding weekend is just one example - she suggested she'd change her wedding date. Of course, that ended up not being necessary! Mission accomplished, remember?

If you know me and you know Maggie, you know which of us is which. Without question, without a shadow of a doubt, without hesitation... you know...

Maggie is the dancer. And I am the watcher. But, when I'm not doing my part as the watcher and I'm off doing something ridiculous, she is the watcher. She's as good at watching as she is at dancing.

And that is why she is a sister I never had.


Anything you want...
Anything you need...
Anything at all...
Baby, you've got it!

Kate

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thank you, and you, and you...

Thanksgiving, like many special days and events in my life, is bittersweet. The sweet is obvious. The bitter, though, that's more complicated. Thanksgiving was always the holiday that our family celebrated at our house, with my mom spearheading the event. Thanksgiving was also usually a dual celebration, as my mom's birthday always fell during the same week.

My mom would have been 57 today.

But she's not. And as I remember her today and wish that she were still here to celebrate holidays and every day with us, it can feel ridiculous to give thanks. Impossible to appreciate anything when there is so much to be sad about.

But, it is possible. It was possible for my mom. And, that's how she tried to raise me. That's how she did raise me - to give thanks always. Even in the days following her death, when my sadness was the deepest, I spouted thanks. Thanks to those who rushed to be by my side. Thanks to those who sent flowers and cards. Thanks to the emergency responders. Thanks to the courts. Thanks to those who still, five years later, asked about how I'm doing without my mom. And in giving thanks, I found, and still find, hope.


This year, I have more to be thankful for than ever. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful baby girl who is the light of my life, a funny puppy who loves me no matter what, a generous and kind extended family, a job that challenges and rewards me, friends new and old, a roof over my head, good health... the list goes on and on.

This holiday season, in honor of my mom, it is my goal to give thanks daily. Thanks to those people in my life who deserve it and to God who makes all things possible. So, thank you for reading.

Kate

Thursday, November 17, 2011

262,800

That's about how many minutes old Audrey is today. (For those of you who can't do math without a calculator, that's 6 months.)

She's pretty excited about how big she's getting...

           Two months ago... 

A few days ago...

 UNREAL.
And oh, so much fun!

LET'S DO THE NUMBERS
  • Weighs 15lbs (43rd percentile) and is 27.75 inches long (off the chart).
  • Outgrown all of her 3 months clothes and is stretching the 6 month stuff too. Today, she wore a 12 month onesie and "toddler" sized socks to daycare.
  • Rolling over front to back and back to front and sleeping on her tummy some nights.
  • Can sit up on her own for a few minutes if she wants to (though she seems to prefer falling onto her side and laughing about it).
  • Eating (and loving) rice cereal, applesauce, smashed bananas, and mashed sweet potatoes. Next on the menu is avocado, peas and peaches. All (except the rice cereal) homemade, thank-you-very-much.
  • We're still into breastfeeding, which I'm super duper proud of, and the freezer is bursting at the seems with frozen milk. I promised myself (and Audrey) that I'd give it six months. Now that six months is here, I'm not really ready to stop just yet. So, we'll keep at it a little longer.
  • Tonight, we're going to turn up the sound machine, turn down the monitor, don the earplugs and try to let her cry-it-out so we can end the 3am feeding. I think I'm going to miss that time with her. But I'm going to appreciate the extra sleep. I think that she ultimately will too.
Oh, one other important number? 125. That's me, in lbs, this morning, back at my pre-pregnancy weight.

Holla.

Kate

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sisterhood: Part I

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much
not ourselves - a special kind of double. 
Toni Morrison 

{In no particular order, I will be writing posts in honor of my best friends, the sisters I never had.}

Well, we did it! Lauren and I completed the Monumental Half Marathon in Indianapolis in 2 hours and 21 minutes last Saturday. Not my best time, but not my worst. It was, however, Lauren's best time. It was actually her first time completing 13.1. Every few minutes after we passed the 10 mile marker, she reminded me "now THIS is as far as I've ever run." It was cool to share "a first" and each step of the race with her.

Still smiling after our joint marathon!
We've shared a lot of firsts and a lot of steps over the years. We've been friends since high school. We were teammates on the JV and varsity soccer teams. We hung out together on the weekends. We were classmates in things like chemistry (which I would have failed without her) and AP bio (which I think I aced on my own). We sat in the front row of Mr. Dauner's history class and without even trying, wrapped him around our little fingers. We had each other's backs and vowed to never let a boy interfere with that. We were student council co-presidents our senior year. We told one another when we were wrong. (Well, she told me when I was wrong. She's rarely, if ever, wrong.) We were roommates for two years while I was in law school and she in med school at UC. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and most recently, agreed to run a half marathon with me and become Audrey's godmother. We have plans, big plans, for the firsts we will share and the steps we will take together in the future.
  

Lauren is many things I'm not. I'm many things that she's not. The things I'm not, she is. The things she's not, I am. That's why our friendship works. That's why she is a sister I never had.

Kate



Monday, October 31, 2011

Running {myself into the ground}

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday. I had a bee in my bonnet. A bone to pick. Anxiety. Anger. Frustration. Not at any one or any thing in particular. I just had them. And as those things usually do, they found their way out of my mouth in the form of accusations and blame directed at my sweet husband for no good reason.

So, after I vented my frustrations and abused my husband's Sunday morning, I bundled up and fled the house for a a run. Not just any run. A 10-miler. The last long run before next Saturday's Monumental Half Marathon. Before I got out of the car, I texted Blake that I was sorry and that I would "be in a better mood in 10 miles." Well, 10 miles later, I was certainly in a different mood. And against all odds, it was better.

As I set off on the Monon, I felt horrible. I felt guilty about being mean to Blake. I felt bad for leaving him home to clean the house and care for Audrey and Toby while I got to exercise. I felt anxious about whatever it was I was feeling anxious about. I felt the stiff new strap of my $$$ new sports bra digging into my shoulders. I felt the seam of my sock rubbing my little toe. I felt cold. I felt defeated and I had barely even started. I wasn't sure I'd finish and I wasn't sure how I'd explain that to my long-distance training partner and race buddy, Lauren.

I told myself that after a mile or so, I'd feel better. That I'd settle in. Well, I didn't. The nagging bra strap didn't improve until I took it off and totally rearranged the settings (in a stinky port-o-let, mind you). The sock didn't stop rubbing until I took it off and turned it inside out. I couldn't warm up because I had to keep stopping. Uggh. Finally, at the 2.5 mile marker, I started to feel better. Some good tunes were coming up on my iPod, my hands warmed up enough to take off my gloves. The bra was feeling worth all the $$$ I spent on it.  The sun was coming out. I thought to myself over and over again: "Okay, you can do this. You will do this. Just one foot it front of the other."

And then, just as I was starting to convince myself that the mantra was true. Wham. No, it was more like a: scuffle, "%$&%*", ouch, waaah. I tripped, most likely over my own two feet, and hit the ground knee and then hands first.

As I rolled over and lay on my back - sprawled out on the Monon, checking to make sure nothing was broken - I looked up at the blue sky through the leaves and branches. "Why, God?" There was of course no audible answer. Tears streamed down my cold cheeks as I picked myself up and looked around. There was no one in sight. Just me, my bleeding, gravel-packed palms and throbbing knee. I debated what to do. Turn around and shamefully head back to my car? Or plug on and do the whole damn 10 I had set out to do?

I hobbled a few steps to see how things felt. Not good. But not terrible. So I set off north, determined to at least make it to the 86th Street Taco Bell to wash my hands out. Once I got that far, I figured I could make it two more miles north and then another 5 back to the car. Long story short, I did the whole 10 miles. My hands and wrists hurt so bad that I could barely turn the steering wheel on the way home. And the shower did not help the road rash on the various other parts of my body.  Today, I am stiff all over, and not just from running. But, I felt good. I do feel good.

Yesterday, I woke up ungrateful and behaved in an unloving way towards the person I love the most. And I got what I deserved - a little smacking around and a painful reminder that I can't take anyone or anything for granted. Not even the ability to put one foot in front of the other.

Kate

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect: A Nice Person in a Nice Person's Body

I've always thought of myself as a nice person. As a faithful person. As an honest person. A moral, trustworthy, conscientious person. But sometimes I'm a nice person trapped in a mean person's mind, heart, mouth, and body. Since I became a mom, my nice has been nicer and my mean, well, it's actually been meaner. I could blame hormones or lack of sleep for the extremes. I could blame my fierce desire to protect Audrey for the rage that takes over my gut in response to all things that threaten her (the barking dog, the guy driving too fast down our street, the neighbors' chickens). But, excuses are for lazy idiots. And, I will not make excuses (any more) for setting a poor example for my daughter.

I will be a nice person. And it will take practice and deliberate intention.

A few weeks ago, I read this blog post about doing nice things: O My Family - Friendly Friday,  and thought to myself, "Kate, you are so blessed - you should do more nice things for people."  Okay. I didn't exactly think that.  But, the post did sit in the back of my mind for a few days and I debated doing something nice so that I could blog about it and post it on O My Family. Then, I thought that doing something nice for that purpose alone was not actually nice, but self-serving. So, I split the difference and did something nice but didn't write about it or link it up. But now, O My Family is smacking its readers around and challenging us to seriously do something nice AND blog about it. See how she does it gently right here. So fine. I'll do it. Not because I need to share what I did. But because maybe, like O My Family did for me, it will encourage you to do something nice too. 

What I did:  I never, I mean never, give change to homeless people on the street. I maybe give a smile. But, usually, even if my hand is in my pocket clutching wads of cash, I just walk. on. by.  I have two excuses for dismissing the homless' cries for help. #1 - The person claiming to be homeless may not actually be homeless. Maybe they just don't want to get a job. Maybe they just want to drink or do drugs all day. Maybe they are lazy. Maybe they are a bad person and that's why they don't have a family to live with. #2 - If I give the money in my pocket to a reputable organization instead, then I know that it's going to be used for people who "really need it." But let's be honest, I rarely ever give the money to any organization, much less a reputable one.

Well, the other week, I was walking to Panera downtown to buy lunch. I passed no fewer than 3 people, sitting on the ground with signs and cups in hand. I started repeating excuses #1 and #2 to myself.  But then, as the sun shone down on me and my clean clothes and my new shoes and my trendy purse full of cash money and a jazzy cell phone featuring photos of my adorable baby, funny puppy, and handsome husband, it dawned on me: "Kate. These people are sitting on the dirty ground in a busy city. They have cardboard signs and plastic cups full of nickles and dimes. They are asking for your help. You can give them a little bit of what they are asking for and it won't affect your happiness or wealth one stinkin bit. Who are you to judge if they 'really need it'?" That last part got me. I'm not here to judge (though I do it on a regular basis). So instead of judging the sign-toters and choosing to ignore them, I judged their signs. The last one, held by a young woman strategically sitting outside of Panera, asked specifically for food. She likes muffins and lemonade. She told me this as I handed her a muffin and a lemonade.

Trying to be a nice person in a nice person's body,
Kate

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quick Update

Audrey had her 4 month appointment this past week! 

She was not the littlest baby in the waiting room this time.  She oooh'ed and coo'ed and put her toys in her mouth.  She tried rolling over (still unsuccessfully) on the table.  She smiled and laughed at us as we played with her and waited for Dr. M.  She hiccuped, like she always does after a laughing fit. She covered her face with the sheet of paper covering the table and tried to eat it.  She got two shots and wailed for only a minute before returning to her happy self.

She weighed in at 13lbs and 7oz (50th percentile), measured 26 and 1/4 inches (97th percentile!!!) and her head size is in the 75th percentile.  Blake keeps saying "big brains, big brains!" 

We were instructed that:
  • She can and should sleep at least 10 hours at night without needing anything.  This means the dreaded let her cry.  We're supposed to let her cry for 15 minutes, go in and comfort her (but not pick her up or give her a pacifier), and then let her cry for 20 minutes, and so on, until she falls asleep.  I'm having a hard time with this.  A really hard time.  For one, I don't like hearing her cry.  It makes my heart hurt.  For two, it's so easy to fix her crying with a quick snack, that I'm up, at it, and back to bed in fewer than 15 minutes.  But, in the long run, I know she needs to learn.  So tonight will be the night.  Or tomorrow night.
  • At 5 months, we can start feeding her rice cereal.  "Real" food!  I put together the highchair (though she can't sit up in it yet) and am going to wash the spoons and little bowls soon! Dr. M. said its not really for nutrition, but for practice... the real stuff will start at 6 months!
  • We are to still work on tummy time but also start practicing sitting up!  She's almost got this down already!

Okay, so this wasn't as quick as I thought it would be.  BUT, I did knock out TWO difficult letters in one post.  Success.

Kate

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Letter to My Pretty Baby

Dear Audrey,

Since the minute you were born, we've heard a gazillion times how pretty you are.  Of course, we agree.  It's a parent's right to believe, and express, how perfect they think their children are.  We exercise this right.  We think you are the cutest darn baby we have ever seen.  We think your long hair is amazing.  Your laugh is worth all the money in the world.  Your smile melts our hearts.  Your Darth Vadar voice, it, my dear, is hilarious.  When people comment on how oh, so pretty you are, I feel happy and proud and blessed to have such a pretty baby.

But I also feel scared.

I'm scared that you will grow up and only be oh, so pretty.  I'm scared that you will hear those words more than any other and that your self-esteem will be based upon them.  I'm scared that you will seek compliments but never learn how to give them.  I'm scared that you will put your time and energy into being pretty, staying pretty, getting prettier, rather than into other talents or endeavors.  I'm scared that if you are as pretty as a young woman as you are now, people will judge you by your cover and not by your mind or heart.

Of course, as your parent, it will be my job to make sure that these fears do not become reality.  It will be my job especially, as your mother, to teach you that you are only as beautiful as you are on the inside and that intelligence, kindness, loyalty, humor and hard work are worth far far more than being oh, so pretty.  It will be your father's job to convince you to respect yourself, to never sell yourself short, and that you are  lovable and deserve to be loved - by men and women alike - no matter what. 

I don't know whether your dad and I are fully capable of doing all these things.  Only time will tell.  But, I do promise you this, we will do our very very best to nurture and encourage ALL of your talents so that you can be a well-rounded person.  You will always be my pretty baby. But, I can't wait for you to become my smart, kind, loyal, funny and hard-working baby, too.

Love you,
Mom

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Calling in the favors and a bit of love from John Denver

Since I started this blog almost a year ago, it has been viewed 11,725 times. 
Just yesterday, it was viewed 90 times. 
The most popular post?  The one on Maggie's wedding with 521 views.
The next most popular?  A is for Audrey and Out of the Kettle with 198 and 194 views, respectively.
Facebook has referred 3,177 views and Google 522.
My friend Kady's blog, Our Becker Blog, has spurred nearly 400 visits.  (Thanks, Beckers!)

Yet, I only have 14 followers that are not me!  So, unless each of my followers has visited this blog 8,375 times each (which would be 161 visits per week per follower) since I started this thing, I have to assume that I have more followers than I have followers.  Do you follow?

The favor?  Follow me!  Just hit "join this site" and then hit "follow this blog."  If you are, for some odd reason, embarrassed to follow me publicly, do it privately.

Why?  Because.  Uncle Kracker says so. 



Plus, having only 14 followers is like having only 3 friends on Facebook.  That kind of stat would cause anyone to wonder "why am I even doing this?"  I mean, I will continue to write this blog for my family, for myself, for posterity, and for my 14 followers no matter what.  But, I'd sure feel a lot better about myself if the 14 could grow to say 28, or 128.  Or more.

Why else?  Because I'm competitive and like to win.  The blogs I follow and admire the most have between 1500 and 2700 followers.  I'm not going to get too big for my britches here and think that I can achieve those kind of stats overnight - they are reserved for full-time, paid bloggers, with potty-mouths, depression, and all sorts of problems that I'm thankful not to have.  BUT, I can certainly do better than 15. 

Oh, you have an excuse?  You don't know how to become a follower? I don't buy it.  Given that 3,177 of my views have come from Facebook, I know that most of my readers are at least savvy enough to hit the two buttons and fill in the minimal info required to follow me.

You want to know what's in it for you?  I don't exactly have any benefits to give that you aren't already receiving, but in the future, if I can get enough followers, I will work on things like a more sophisticated template and design of the blog and a feature that will send updates to followers via email.  Also, if there is a good following, the blog can become a good place for dialogue among followers on topics that matter (and topics that don't).  If and when those good things happen, I encourage you to not be a free-luncher.  Pay the free price and just follow me now.

And if you need more convincing, or you are a Kappa Kappa Gamma and want to feel nostalgic about the good old days, this should do it.


Please and thank you.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Opportunities for Optimism - Life Rocks

Every situation is an opportunity for optimism. 
Even the worst things give us a chance to make the best of things. 
If we choose to, we can smile through tears. 
We can learn from adversity. 
We can find peace amidst chaos. 
I repeat, every situation is an opportunity for optimism.
Life can rock us or we can rock it.

Proof that it's better to rock it.

Audrey and Great Grandma - rocking in the oldest rocking chair in America.
Audrey and Wolverine - rocking in the bluest Lay-Z-Boy in America.

Cousin Chloe - rocking the coolest Colts hardhat in America.

Audrey - rocking the cutest knit hat in America.

Audrey at three months - not rocking, but eating her zebra.

Me and Lauren - rocking the year of the 30th birthday.

Me and Audrey - rocking the Bjorn.

Audrey - not so sure about the jumperoo, but she will learn soon, it rocks.

Audrey - rocking the sultry pose.

Me and Audrey - rocking the new sling.

Me being a mom. Ultimate proof that life rocks.
Rock on.
Kate

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Ago Tomorrow

Folks older than me regularly date themselves by saying things like
"I remember where I was when I heard that JFK was assassinated."


"I remember exactly what I was doing when I learned about Martin Luther King, Jr."

"I dropped whatever I was holding when they told me that John Lennon was dead."

Of course, I don't have those memories. 
I don't remember any of those things. 
No one in my generation does.
 I couldn't. 
We couldn't.

But we remember 9/11.

And we will never forget it.

I will forever date myself by saying it
I know exactly where I was that Tuesday morning.
I was a sophomore at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
I was waking up in the cold dorm at Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
My roommates were stirring and the showers were all running.
I checked my email in my pajamas.
From: Mom
I love you.
Say a prayer for the people of NYC.
It didn't take long for me to decipher the cryptic email.
But I believed it must have been an accident.
I went to class.
Race Relations in America.
Our professor drove in from Bloomington and apparently hadn't heard the news.
He carried on class as usual, though angry about why only half of us were there.
The other half were members of POSSE.
From New York.
"Professor, we need to turn on the TV."
"What channel?"
"It doesn't matter."
There was a second plane. And a third. And a fourth.
The first tower had fallen.
Our hearts and sense of security with it.

Ten years later, I still get teary-eyed listening to NPR accounts of that day
and the heroes we lost.

Rest in peace Twin Towers
and the ordinary and extraordinary people who lost their lives
ten years ago tomorrow.