Encouragement

I have been so blessed during this difficult time with great friends and loving family. From constant phone calls and texts of faith to watching the kids and helping me with house projects, I have been covered in peaceful reassurance.

My former co-worker, Miss Betty Smith, treated Mason and me to an early dinner recently. She also came with pockets full of goodies for the kids. This is amazing picture of both of these sweet souls.

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My sweet friend Katie sent me the most beautiful package. The card made me cry, and I have been wearing the bracelet every day. It has Jeremiah 29:11 etched on the silver cross– a constant reminder to me that God is in control and has great plans for me and the kids.

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Then, on the very day I was going to call and ask to borrow the book back I recently lent Tanya, I had it waiting on me with a card of encouragement. She addressed the card to “Rebecca Bandy,” letting me know that my identity has not changed. She is right, and I am reclaiming my name, because my family is good and kind and generous. I am proud of them and who they have raised me to be.

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Pumpkin Patch 2014

I never remember us having pumpkin patches in Hilliard growing up, so I get really excited for Fall in Tallahassee, even if it usually is still a million degrees outside.

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A few weeks ago, after church, we went and gathered our pumpkins. We had a blast running around and choosing the perfect ones to bring home. To my surprise, the kids wanted the smaller ones, so we bought a bunch of them.

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The kids are at such fun ages! I love that they know and understand holidays and get excited. It really is a precious time in their lives.

I love sharing all of the magic with them. I mean, just look at their faces!

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I tried so hard to get them to dress as Charlie Brown and Lucy this year for Halloween. Wouldn’t they be perfect? It does happen to be on constant replay around our house, and they love and laugh at Snoopy just like I did when I was a kid. Their joy reminds me that life is good!

Bryce Thornton, WW2 Veteran

I cannot say enough about the Tallahassee American Legion. My friend and Legion member, Mrs. Joan Taylor, is so fantastic about pairing veterans up with my classroom.

My US History students read Unbroken as an independent project this nine weeks. Our closing assignment was a WW2-style book talk, and the students were asked to dress in costume and bring in period recipes. We had spam, ration packs, beef jerky, jello, apple pie and lots of family heirloom baked goods.

As a surprise, I contacted Mrs. Taylor and my friend Mr. Joe West of Vet Events Tally and, with very short notice, they put me in touch with a World War 2 veteran to come in and speak. The kids were so excited when Mr. Bryce Thornton walked in the room.

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Here is our spread. The kids really did a great job of getting into the spirit of the period. We are going to be seeing the movie together in January.

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Mr. Thornton was amazing. He was so gracious and kind. He took time to tell his story, answer questions and take photos with the students. He shared with me afterwards that he still suffers an emotional toll when he speaks about the war. Can you imagine how hard it has been for all of our vets living their lives with these horrors?

I was able to take a couple of clips of Mr. Thornton’s story. I am proud to know the America hero of the Greatest Generation.

Lost Love {Opportunities}

I read this blog a while back, then just read it again post-separation. I think it is eerily correct, and Mike and I failed at just about every one of them. Actually, we did fail at all of them, and that makes me devastatingly sad. I was particularly bad at forgiving past mistakes and moving forward. We are historians, literally. We both dwelled in the past, and it sucked a lot of energy out of us.

One thing struck me, though, and that is #10. It says you should ask your partner to make a list of ten things that make him or her feel loved and memorize it. It dawned on me that it has been so long since I really thought about being passionately loved myself, and that is pathetic. If I have not thought of it, then neither did he and vice versa. We were just going through the motions of a very busy life. It’s like that scene in Gone With the Wind when Scarlett is calling in her pain and anguish for Rhett but no one understands her, and he is standing at the door yearning to be called and feels rejected when he’s not. So frustrating!

I may never have the chance to be loved again by Mike or anyone else, but I want to be ready if an opportunity comes so that I can then be mutually as attentive.

It is harder than it should be to think this through. I feel so low and unworthy; but here are the things that make me really feel loved.

1. Praying together
2. Long, romantic dinners
3. Do you know what I wish most? That Mike and I would have laid together and talked more, like friends. Just talked. I am yearning for that in my life one day.
4. Washing my car and checking the tires
5. Making sure I have spending money
6. Reading a book and discussing it with me
7. Taking me to the movies and snuggling
8. Having my hair washed and combed
9. Fresh flowers
10. Being supportive of my career— like really supportive. I want to make someone proud again.

Genetics

I don’t look very much Iike my immediate family {although my maternal cousin Robin and I look more alike the older I get}. I think the blonde, fair/pinkish skin runs on my Daddy’s side, the Moxleys. {Hello skin cancer!!!} My first cousins, Stacy and Sheila, and their daughters, Kristen and Deanna, all have the same coloring. My Dad’s cousin, Diane, and her daughter Mandy do too.

Last year or so, I virtually “met” another Moxley family member through my blog. Christina is the granddaughter of my Bomba’s Uncle Click Moxley, which would make her my second cousin, once removed, if I did the math right. Uncle Click was very special to me. For years, he and Aunt Jodie were my pen pals, and they shared much of their genealogical records with me.

Christina is much younger than I, but looking through her photos, I was struck by our similar features. We are certainly not twins, but I definitely think you can tell we are kin.

I hope she doesn’t kill me for posting this!

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A Little Family Fun at the Tallahassee Museum

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Zip-lining at the Tallahassee Museum was on our Summer Bucket List, but we never made it over to try it. Aunt Angie and Uncle Travis visiting recently to check on us was perfect excuse to give it a go.

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I knew from our friends that Mason could do the children’s zip-line, but I did not know if Miss Julia was big enough. She was! It was a little expensive, but it was worth it for a special treat. And the price allowed them to go through the course twice.

Mason figured the course out pretty quickly. He’s super balanced and coordinated. Miss Julia took her time, but she stuck with it and did a great job.

The best part was watching them glide through the air onto the small sand pile. Adorable!

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Afterwards, we had lunch, then walked through the boardwalk to see the animals. It was really fun, and I think Aunt Angie and Uncle Travis enjoyed the day. My favorite part is always going through the old farm buildings. I really like this picture I snapped of a very tired Miss Julia. It looks like she is straight out of Depression-era Appalachia.

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Blessed Beyond Measure

Carlesia.

This girl came into my class my first year “back” teaching and made it her purpose to drive me insane. Only I would not let her; and I would not accept anything short of the best from her. Somehow, our two identically large personalities bonded and she became like a daughter to me. I love her.

She is now the outstanding Mommy of sweet and handsome baby Legend, and I could not be more proud. She brought him to see me recently, and he stole my heart.

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Is Legend not the cutest baby ever?!?!

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