I remember


This day always bums me out a bit.  Well me, and the rest of America.  12 years ago today was a day I’ll never forget.  It just so happens the three days before that is a day I’ll never forget either.

Yep folks, I got married three days before 9/11.  Which means my where were you on 9/11 story happens right smack in the middle of our honeymoon.  The world had come to a screetching halt and we had to put on a happy face to squeeze every last dime out of our Caribbean cruise and overpriced day excursion in Cozumel.

It was 9:30 a.m. when the Captain came on for his usual morning announcements, except his tone was somber and he told us today was a sad day for America and to turn on our TVs and he would be back momentarily to brief us on what he knew.

We turned on our TV to CNN to watch the first tower burning inexplicably while the newscasters tried to guess what happened.  Seconds later my new husband and I watched the second plane fly into the second tower on live TV.  It still makes me nauseous to this day to remember that feeling.  We watched in horror like everyone else that day when the Captain came back on to tell us we’d all been background checked and cleared.  After an hour or so of watching the coverage, we stumbled shell-shocked out of our room to attempt to enjoy our day.  It was a somber excursion to a beach in which I remember only wanting to talk about what was going on back in the real world.  A couple attempting to relax next to us shakily shared that the husband worked in one of the buildings next door to the World Trade Center and he’d be at work if he hadn’t taken this vacation.

People needed a release on our ship and I think either that night or the next day they organized a memorial service for anyone who wanted to join.  So many people were tied to people near or in the towers, trying to connect back home.  Most were like me, just numb by how one minute it’s a normal Tuesday morning, and the next you’re not sure what’s happening in this world and if you can ever go back to normal.

It took me two days to realize CNN had never gone to commercial.  It wasn’t until we got home that we realized the entire nation had pretty much stopped in its entirety.  Cell phones were around, but not with the coverage as we know today and it didn’t even occur to me to call home to tell our family we were fine.    Internet was not quite yet the go to source it is today and charged for access which was limited while at sea anyways.  My cousin who was a travel planner and organized our trip frantically made back up arrangements for us to rent a car to drive back to Ohio from Miami in the event we could not fly out as planned the following Saturday.

It took forever to get for every single person to be cleared by the FBI to step foot off the ship.  We were corralled out of our rooms in the morning and sat on various decks for 3 hours listening to conspiracy theorists, tall tales and hearsay being flung around the common areas like poo.  The cruise line offered half off stays for the next week because so many people had cancelled for the following week.

Ultimately, we did make it home uneventfully.  We rolled into Miami Airport on a shuttle bus, past heavily armed military units, bomb-sniffing dogs and people with mirrors checking under cars for bombs.  Security was crazy high.  Airports were eerily quiet and somber.  The plane ride was even more quiet.  You knew how tense everyone was when everyone cheered as we landed safely in Detroit.  Cheered.  NO ONE cheers when they land in Detroit.

We made it home and Monday returned to our lives.  We’re still married happily and have two kids who have yet to know of that day.  Fortunately, they’ll never have quite the same feeling about it as their dad and me.  I just hope they don’t ever have a Where Were You When story in their lifetimes.

Party Planner

Who wouldn't want to make this kid smile?
Who wouldn’t want to make this kid smile?

I am FREAKING out. I have NO time to be putting together a birthday party for my 7 year old! I want this to be EPIC. But not so epic that we set the bar too high for next year and not enough to put us in debt. But, I want my little boy to be thrilled about his big day.

I just spent around $50 on favor gift bags that if the parents of the kids invited are like me, they will slowly but surely throw each and every crap toy away when said joys of life are looking the other way.

We got a bouncy house to compliment the pool, which will hopefully be warm. The pool, not the bouncy house, because that would be gross. I will hope and pray no one breaks an arm or cracks their head doing something only 7 year old boys can think up.

I am filling up water balloons, because frankly, I’m an idiot and will enjoy picking up balloon fragments for the next three weeks. (I initially used the words “rubber pieces,” but I thought that was a poor word choice.)

I will have to listen to Harlem Shake and Gangham Style no less than 35 times in a two hour period.

I will have roughly 24 kids underfoot, 80% of them boys. Who are all approximately 7 years old. I think I will install a urinal in the garage so as to avoid the puddles of pee I will inevitably find behind my toilet in our one and only bathroom. I’ll have to stock up on toilet paper and soap that’s for sure. HA! Not likely. I am not sure boys know what either of those things are.

Cool part is if we survive this one, we get to do it all again in 3 weeks for my daughter who will be turning 5, who will want no less than the most awesome party ever. If I don’t figure out how to get unicorns to show up, I am so dead to her. It’s our own fault really. Christmastime makes us really randy, so two September birthdays it is. Up until this point we’ve had them together and for family only, but they are now two very different animals, ahem kids, and we had to give them their own parties and not punish them for our Christmas/New Year’s fertility successes.

Do you think she'll buy it?
Do you think she’ll buy it?

Positive points: Cookie cake. Crazy presents and a little boy who will be super excited to see a RC helicopter in the pile. A kiddo who will have the best time and entertain some hopefully long-term friends. Worth it right? I think so.

Wish me luck. If you see me on Saturday, just know I will be at least one Xanax deep. That reminds me, I need to get that prescription filled again. I wonder if they prescribe it in bulk?