Zack and I are in the Birmingham Airport, on our way to Roma! We’ll be celebrating our second year of marriage on June 9, which is just crazy. Here’s a picture of us just taken here at the airport (we’re very excited and sleep-deprived), and a picture from our wedding day.
Hopefully I’ll be able to do some updating while we’re away, otherwise, see you in a couple weeks!
I just can’t enough!! I love retro kitchens the way Alabamians love SEC football! This is from an old issue of Home Companion magazine that I found at a flea mall last week. I could kiss it. Painted floors, vintage furniture, open shelving, collections…what is not l-o-v-e?
(Sorry for the horrible scan…you’d think working for a magazine would enable me to somehow, someway, make a decent scan…)
Don’t forget that the reason you’re off work on Monday is because of Memorial Day!!
I come from a family of soldiers. My father was a Navy coreman in Vietnam, my uncle and father-in-law were in the Air Force and served in Vietnam, my little cousin is in the National Guard, and my grandfather was career Army and was in WWII, Korea (were he spent 3 years as a POW), and Vietnam. I couldn’t be more proud of any of them. My grandfather has, among many other decorations, 3 purple hearts and 2 silver stars (which is just second-highest award you can get, besides the Medal of Honor). Needless to say, I don’t take this holiday lightly. The men and women who have sacrificed themselves for the well-being of American lives deserve this day of remembrance, but they also deserve our constant honor and respect. If you see a Veteran or member of military while you’re out and about this weekend, just stop and say thanks! Doesn’t matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on, we can all agree that these people are heroes.
Two weeks ago I had the absolute honor and privilege of being a Guardian on an Honor Flight trip. Honor Flight is an organization that flies WWII veterans up to Washington DC for the day so they can see their memorial, which wasn’t completed until 2004—60 years after the war ended. I spent the whole day listening to the incredible stories that my Veterans told me. Mr. Thompson was an Navy engineer on a destroyer in the Pacific, who also shot down NINE kamikazes. Mr. Crumley was also in the Navy and served in the Pacific. He was the soldier who ferried other soldiers from the ship to the shore. It’s a miracle he survived because those men who did that were often unarmed and basically sitting ducks. Again, needless to say, they were amazing men who did amazing things that I can’t even fathom in this day and age. Here’s a few pictures of this unforgettable day.
If you have a friend or family member who is a WWII Veteran and would like to participate on this trip, please check out the Honor Flight website. My mother-in-law, Pam Nichols, is the co-director of the Birmingham chapter, and I’m so proud of her. She has given up countless hours of time and energy for this worthwhile cause. Way to go Pam!
Upon arriving at the Baltimore Airport, about 30 active duty military were there to greet the veterans. Here are Mr. Thompson and Mr. Crumley, and then there’s me, crying my eyes out.
There were a lot of tourist at the memorial that day, despite the rain. At one point a Japanese tourist walked up to Mr. Crumley, shook his hand, and thanked him for everything he did and told him he was a hero. I think it left us both a little speechless! A few minutes after that this boy asked Mr. Thompson for his autograph!
Amy and Pam with Congressman Davis, part of the group shot that showed the 104 veterans who participated that day. Once they got lined up in front of the Alabama pillar, every tourist there clapped and whistled for them. It was so, so cool
Me and my awesome Veterans at the memorial…
The WWII Memorial is nestled in the middle of the Washington Mall, right between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It has two pillars on each end: the Atlantic and Pacific, each with pools in front of them that have the major battles of each theater carved into them. Along each side are 56 pillars, one for each state and territory that assisted in the war effort. The bottom photo shows the wall of stars, where there are over 400 gold stars, each representing 1,000 fallen soldiers.
We also went the Iwo Jima Memorial, and being the granddaughter of a man who served in the Pacific, I loved this. They say that there are 6 soldiers in this statue, but there are 13 hands: one extra representing the hand of God. Around the monument is the name of every major battle and war America has ever fought, starting with the American Revolution. The detail on this is unbelievable. The inscription says “Uncommon Valor Was a Common Virtue.” How awesome is that? It’s awesome.
When we got back to Birmingham, there was a huge welcoming party for them. The families of the veterans were all there waving flags and holding posters. A military color guard was there, as well as a bag pipest. It was overwhelming for me, and I can’t imagine what the veterans must have been thinking. I’m so glad that they could have this day that was for them and no one else. They deserve so much more, but I’m so glad that Honor Flight is in place so they can see how much their sacrifice means to us all!
We’ve all seen those “street style” blogs and love them. Here’s a book I found called What I Wore Today that compiles the best of the best (and no doubt worst of the worst; street style can be a little garish) for you and gives you a nice a coffee table-worthy conversation starter. I would love to do this, either with what I wear or what I eat, but I think any readers I might have would get tired of looking at my trusty 4-year-old dELiA*s jeans or my beloved grilled cheese sandwiches!
Buy it this book here!
Kamin got hitched! Her wedding was the most beautiful ever. You might remember this post from a few weeks back; here’s a photo of the hairpiece I made for Kamin to wear during her reception. She wore it like a princess!
Congratulations to this wonderful couple! Love you both! To see more of Kamin and Corey’s photos by the amazing Jessica Messer, click here!
Last week my big sis had us all over for a Mother’s Day grillout. Ryan made perhaps the best burger I have ever had and I brought along this Strawberry Shortcake that I got out of last spring’s Taste of the South (recipe developed by the ever-amazing Chantel Lambeth). The shortcake biscuit has cinnamon and finely chopped walnuts in it….oh my, it was good!
Happy Mother’s Day to my own sweet mother, Teresa Ann, and to my big sis Melissa! Love you guys!
Mattie (Melissa’s daughter and cutest niece ever) loved it too!
OK so in mere 26 days I will be on my way to Italy. Two weeks going from North to South, East to West. I’m so excited that I don’t know what to do…except for blog! I never really got around to blogging about my weekend trip to Rome back in January anyway! We might have only been there for 3 days, but I got a lifetime of experience from it. So here’s a quick post about the highlights of the highlights, plus some silly stuff thrown in.
One of the most iconic things in the world: the Colosseum. This was one of the first things we saw, and I was positively giddy to behold such a thing, as the picture clearly shows:
I might not have seen any rock stars or actors in the Eternal City, but I DID see the Pope, and he threw down a blessing to me! How much more rock star do you get than the POPE?!
After the blessing, we toured St. Peters. I was in there for HOURS. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen; I swear I was this close to converting to Catholicism (alas, I’m still a Presbemethodist, Zack). Again, see the giddyness:
Michelangelo’s Pieta. It actually took my breath away from a second. Need I say more?
One more from St. Peter’s: I just had to snap a quick one of this crazy-looking woman. That hair! Apparently it’s a popular choice for middle-aged women in Europe, as I saw this quite a few times:
What is it with Italians and their signage? Noticed this last time I was there back in 2002 as well.
“Mi scusi, but I’m looking for the toilet bookstore?”
How hard is it to find a decent translator? Teresa Ann and I giggled about this one allover the Castel Sant’Angelo and no doubt gave Italians another reason to dislike Americans. We might have been using bad Italian accents while we read it out loud though…
Sorry farmers and girls I graduated high school with, but if you are wearing your overalls, don’t even think about touring St. Peters. They are forbidden.
Capitoline Hill—one of the seven hills of Rome, and probably to most prominent. It’s also called the Wedding Cake, which you know I love. If you look at the last entry I posted, this is where the Vespa scene begins.
A couple other interesting things is that off to the right of this picture (can’t see it) is where Mussolini’s office was located. Gross. Stupid fascist. Also, if you took any semblance of an art history class in school, you’ll recognize the famous piece of art that’s front and center as the the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius. This is the replica of course, but it’s said that the real one (which is just next door in the Capitoline Museum) was clad in gold and will turn into gold again on Judgement Day. Oooooh…
Again, if you’re into art history, here’s Trajan’s Column at sunset. And here’s Teresa translating some Latin off of it.
Can someone please explain to me why plumbing and electricity in Italy are so ludicrious? They are. In our hotel room, we had to actually plug our keycard into the wall so the power would stay on. Our shower was a mere hole in floor with a curtain around it, yet we had a towel warmer. Ludicrous.
Here’s a couple more things I love that are rampant in Italy: gelato and boys. Haha! Zack, please disregard this. This guy was dressed up in a costume outside the Pantheon and I just had to take a picture with him. I mean, an Italian guy walks up to you, tells you your bella, tries to get you to go to the opera he’s promoting, and you’re not supposed to take a giggly picture with him? Come on.
This gelato was from one of 7 gelateria trips Mom and I made over our 3 days there. No exaggerating. This was a double-scoop of Nutella.
Thanks SO MUCH to my amazing mother, Teresa Ann, without whom neither of these unbelievable trips would be possible!
Roma, I bid you adieu until we meet again in June. You will always have my heart!! *double cheek kiss*
(view from atop the Castel Sant’Angelo)