Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grand Theft Auto: Grayson

Tuesday Morning

As I do every school morning, I heard the door close as Hadrian left the apartment for school. A few minutes later, I heard her come back in and announce "mom, my car has been stolen." Huh?! What?!

Again, huh?! What?! It took me a while to wake up and absorb what I was hearing. This couldn't be real. Not happening!! I am dreaming, right?! Someone pinch me please.

This required action!! I jumped up out of bed and threw on some clothes before I went out with Hadrian and stared at the empty parking space. Sure enough, Hadrian's car was gone. GONE. Not there. NADA. No car. Not where she parked it the night before. I kept trying to kick my brain in gear and think what really could have happened here?! But, it wasn't kicking in gear.

I have to admit I was looking around the parking lot making sure the car hadn't rolled somewhere. And, I had to think of all the possibilities that could have happened IF Hadrian had possibly had one of her blonde moments.

I told Hadrian I would drive her to school and then I would "deal" with it. So, on the way to school, I am interrogating my youngest . . . did you owe somebody money? . . . . who have you pissed off? . . . . . you are not involved in drugs, are you?!!!

Wow. The things that ran through my mind! Then, I asked if this wasn't possibly some goofy butt senior prank?!!! Of course, she is saying, NO, MOM!! None of the above!!

So, Hadrian and I were trying to absorb the loss at hand. Her car, which is not so great, but it is a car . . . that runs . . . and gets her where she needs to go. And, we knew we didn't have the money to replace this car!! All of her school books were in there . . . probably $500 or more to replace them. Her school binder was in the car . . . irreplaceable! She had just put gas in her car - of course! And, she had $15 cash in her console. None of this sounds so bad . . . but, when you can't replace these things, it is worse than bad.

So, I got home, and the fun begins . . . calls to Gwinnett County Police Department, calls to the apartment complex office, text messages to the sisters and dad, phone calls to the grandparents, talking to all of the neighbors, meeting with the apartment police, calls to insurance agent, etc. etc. etc. And, of course, texting Hadrian constantly with updates while she was surely paying full attention in class. ; ) As soon as I picked her up from school, she had to file her own police report since she is the vehicle owner.

About 5 p.m., Hadrian got the phone call from the police department. They had located her car!! Yes!! Yeah!! Yay!! So, even though we couldn't get cash out of the bank in time to pick up the car that night, Hadrian and I took off to Lilburn to check out the car. She felt better seeing it and just knowing that it was still in one piece. And, she was at least allowed to get her stuff out for school the next day! I am not sure how long Hadrian's teachers were willing to accept the "my homework was stolen" excuse. ; )

Wednesday morning, we retrieved the car . . . thanks to her Pa and Babelle who gave Hadrian the money to get it out of captivity.

Without going into the details of what happened, who did it and why, where the car was found, etc., let me just say that Hadrian is just a little bit freaked out. Management from the apartment complex sent someone out immediately to change our locks so Hadrian can sleep at night! The person who stole and made a copy of her car key probably copied her apartment key as well.

I cut and pasted the following quote from a blog I was reading:

Waltraud Carter blogged about being robbed:

If you have never been in this situation – and I hope you haven’t and never will be – it is the most intense and sickening feeling I have ever had! You feel so violated, powerless, and helpless! And you go through all those emotions, ranging from being angry to being mad, or sad or scared or helpless, and everything in between.

Thanks to Hadrian's sisters who helped us get through the day and brought Hadrian SO much comfort. It is great that Haley watches SO much CSI . . . as she assured me . . . she has GOT this. Haley and Austin have got us covered and protected from any future incidents. And, Hannah prayed so hard that I am sure this is why the car was recovered in the first place. : )

Sometimes we just have to wonder why things happen. I sometimes look at Hadrian and wonder how much more one kid can take. But, she continues to hang tough. She has a couple of guy friends who tell her that she is their hero. She just keeps getting knocked down and getting back up!

She is my hero as well. Without a doubt.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lucy Lip Ring

Many of you have probably read my blog in the past and know that my youngest, Hadrian, has a "thing" for piercings. I have blogged about our trips to the tattoo parlor before. Well, since that blog, we have made at least two more trips to that wonderful place that fascinates me. It fascinates me because this place is always SO busy! And, just FYI, the Georgia law has recently changed. Any minor has to show their original birth certificate with the seal on it before they are allowed to be serviced. We found this out the hard way when we showed up without it!

The latest piercing that Hadrian just HAD to have was in her lip (which is actually a tiny bit below her lip). She had her belly button pierced a while back. Well, her latest piercing, the lip, took place about a month ago. Things were progressing along like normal, and I had not particularly given this hole in her lip a second thought. Hadrian went to the store and got a new piece of jewelry, and she put it in her lip on Wednesday night. She showed it to me, and asked if I liked it. It was a tiny little diamond - cute enough.

Well, when she woke up yesterday morning, you couldn't see the diamond. The jewelry had disappeared into her lip - no longer to be seen. She and Cory, her boyfriend, tried and tried to get the jewelry out of her lip with no luck. So, I called the tattoo parlor to see if they could take a look at it. Of course, they took a look and did everything they could to get the jewelry out of her lip. No success at the tattoo parlor, either.

So, last night, here we go to Eastside Medical to the emergency room to get this piece of jewelry cut out of her lip. So, I started calling Hadrian "Lucy Lip Ring" when I realized we were definitely in a dilemma! It is better to laugh and make fun of the situation as opposed to crying, I suppose. It was a very proud moment as a mother when I wrote the cause of her visit on the emergency room form - "jewelry stuck in lip." I definitely laughed out loud when I handed over the clipboard at the window. Only Hadrian could get herself into such a predicament.

Seriously, Hadrian felt really badly about causing the trip to the emergency room. It wasn't like we needed to be home packing up to move or anything! ; ) But, she was a brave girl getting the shot in her lip and getting this thing cut out. This was a first for Dr. Jolle in the ER. He had to be amused. After a round of antibiotics, Hadrian should be as good as new!

Again, let me say, only Hadrian. She makes life worth living.

The New Piercing

Hadrian and her boyfriend, Cory

Yes, he has something in his lip, as well!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Update

It has been a really long time since my last blog! Alot of things have happened since then, and I probably will not remember half of it. But, I will do my best to update what the Plott's have been up to! Life has been challenging, but I am hoping for better days very soon!!

My divorce was final on June 28th. I will make no comments about this except that it is over. And, I chose to leave my last name as Plott. It just seems easier since I have kids with the same last name. Let me just say that divorce court is an interesting place. ; )

Hadrian has been a very busy girl hanging out with her friends and her boyfriend. She is back to work part-time at KFC. She has spent a week in Florida, and she has been spending a lot of time at the pool and the lake. And, Hadrian had her senior pictures made at the high school. We only did these so her picture will be in the yearbook, but she will have her "real" senior pictures done soon with the same photographer who did Haley's and Hannah's.

Hannah came home from Argentina and hit the ground running right into summer school. She has proclaimed how hard it is to study in the summer! Hannah is working 2 days a week at the Gwinnett County Schools warehouse. This is either her third or fourth summer working there, and they always work with her schedule. So, between her full load of classes and work, she barely comes up for air.

Haley has been at home this summer looking for jobs. Of course, she was hoping to find a teaching job with Houston County schools, but she just accepted a preschool teaching position today. She was in that proverbial rock and a hard place where she didn't know whether to keep waiting for the teaching position she wanted or to take a job that was offered to her. With the economy and the effect this is having on public school teachers, she decided this may not be a good year to wait around for that teaching position that may never open up. So, now she has committed to the preschool position just to assure that she will have a job. Those student loans are coming due! : ( And, she will still be doing her soccer training/coaching as well. Haley was offered the assistant coaching position for the girls soccer team at a new high school opening this fall! So, she will be going in a million directions this next year!

I just finished up a typing class at Central Gwinnett. This is a community school class which I have been teaching for about 25 years now. I am off this week, and we start another class next week. My youth class had the sweetest kids ever! They made me really miss my kids being that age.

The most difficult thing I am dealing with right now is the fact that I have to move again. We moved into this rental house last May/June, and we were told we could stay here until Hadrian graduates from high school. So, we should have been set. Well, I just got notification that the builder who we are renting our house from has given the house back to the bank. So, I am dealing with another foreclosure. Two in two years!

Bryan and I went to court this morning (another very interesting day), and I have until next weekend to pack up and move my entire house. They will give me $500 if we get out by next Friday night. The house will be auctioned on Monday, July 19th, and they want the weekend to get it ready for people to look at. They are holding the auction right here in the neighborhood. There are only 16 houses in this neighborhood, and 8 of the houses became rental properties when the builder couldn't sell them. All eight houses will be auctioned, so there are eight families scrambling for other housing options. Ugh!! So, starting tonight, I will be packing like a maniac. Nine days to move everything. Can I do this? Hmmmmmm.

On a more fun note, the girls and I have really enjoyed watching the World Cup this summer! And, the girls and I went to Blairsville for the 4th of July weekend. We had wonderful family time! The annual picnic was fantastic and fun!!

At Babelle and Pa's house
4th of July Weekend

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Boot Camp Casualty

Many of you know I signed up for "Get In Shape" Boot Camp. I think I told everybody I know simply so I would have some accountability. The more people who knew, the more likely I would be too embarrassed to quit!

Since I am going through a divorce, and the winter has been really rough, I desperately needed to jump start my body and get in shape. Also, I wanted to regain my focus mentally by doing something that would be a challenge. I knew boot camp would require discipline just for me to get out of bed every morning at 4:30! I don't do mornings. ;)

I made it through the first week fine. It was hard, but I made it! Yay! Then came the second week. Well, on Monday, I was running with weights, and I felt something pop in my knee. It seemed to be fine. On Tuesday, we had to do something our trainers called "house of pain." We had to do a lot of sideways and backward stuff. My legs were really hurting after training, and this is the first day I felt like I was crawling back in the house when I got home. Ouch. LOL. I made it through Wednesday fine. Then, Thursday, we ran the whole training session. We had to do suicides, and my knees would hurt so badly when I would try to lean over to touch the line that I couldn't do it! So, of course, I got yelled at, but I told Dell that I couldn't physically get there. By Thursday night, I was dying!!! Oh, my gosh!!!

Well, it helps having a sports medicine specialist in the family! Joy's son, Daniel, is a licensed sports trainer (correct me, Dan, if I didn't get this right!) To say the least, he knows a lot about sports injuries. And, I think he is dead on with the diagnosis of patellar tendonitis. The cause of patellar tendonitis is doing too much work too soon. My knees totally rebelled. My dominant right knee definitely hurts the worst, but my left knee hurts, too.

I may be misquoting Dan here, but he told me something to the effect of "I might have been too old for all of this running, etc. and basically, "what was I thinking?" LOL And, Dan, I totally agree with you and am now wondering the same thing! ; )

So, here I sit on the sofa in excruciating pain. I have been miserable today! The pain has gotten gradually worse since Thursday night. I am icing and taking ibuprofen, but I am wondering how long it will take for me to be able to walk around the house without reeling in pain! I have a new understanding for people who have bad knees!

I made it through nine days of boot camp, and I actually arrived early all nine days! That is a miracle in itself! But, my body wouldn't let me do any more. That really stinks, and I am disappointed that I am sidelined and can't finish right now. Now, it is just one day at a time with the rest and recovery. : (

About boot camp:

The trainer in the video was my trainer, Dell. He was a drill sergeant in the army for 26 years. One thing I thought was funny about boot camp was that they made us run from our cars all the way to the spot where we would warm up. And, after boot camp, we had to run all the way back to our cars even though we were dead tired! And, they held our car keys during the training session. So, we couldn't escape without them knowing! LOL

On a more positive note, I had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend in Blairsville! Family time is always the best time! :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Haley's Bridal Shower at the Lake

Haley had a bridal shower on Sunday. Yes, I am aware that she is already married, but we are doing things a little bit backwards! Things are working out well, and Haley is still getting to do all of the things she missed out on before the wedding. Her wonderful friend, Michelle, whom I call Magnificent Michelle, hosted a shower for Haley and invited all of their college friends. So, it was basically a Macon State shower!

Michelle's family owns a big farm, and they have a lake house that they use just for entertaining. (How nice!) Well, the road to the lake house washed out, so we all had to drive through the cow pasture to get there! It was so fun! Hadrian loves cows, so she was thrilled with the whole situation. And, I was busy dodging gigantic cow patties while driving through the pasture! : )

We came to the end of the pasture, and there was a sign telling us where to park. And, then, we had a golf cart to take us down through the woods and to the lake house. What an adventure! It was actually really cool, and it is a beautiful place!!

Driving through the cow pasture!

There were obviously cows everywhere!

This was the end of the pasture where we left our cars.

A load of guests coming in to the shower!

Haley and Hadrian

The other sister couldn't make it because she had other plans - in Argentina!

Haley received a lot of wonderful gifts for her new married life!

And, the food was scrumptious!!

And, after it was over, we all golf-carted back up the hill!

Michelle is driving Haley back to her car.

The shower was a huge success! Magnificent Michelle did her normal "magnificent" job! And, it was a whole lot of fun. I am glad Hadrian and I got to be there. Earlier on Sunday, we met Haley at church for graduate recognition. It was a very special day for Haley, and it was great to share the day with her!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hannah to Argentina!

Thursday night I dropped Hannah off at the airport to fly to Argentina! Our world traveler is at it again! She is the only one in the family with a passport, and she uses it often! This is her longest trip yet with her being gone for a month.

She was really tired after two tough finals on the same day, and then she had to start packing and getting everything done before she left. She was running around like a maniac for two days, but she was finally ready to go! We zoomed straight to the airport with no traffic (yay!) and I dropped her off with her luggage. She was worried her suitcase was too heavy (over 50 pounds), but she called me as soon as she weighed in, and it was 49 pounds! (yay, again!) She had no trouble getting through security, and made it to the gate an hour before takeoff. Perfect. Hannah was flying with a buddy pass, so you never even know if you will get on the plane. She and I could tell you horrid stories about sleeping in airports, but that is a whole different blog. But, she called when she boarded the plane and told me she got a first class seat! (Another yay!) She slept a lot through the night, and the next morning, she woke up in Argentina! : )

I have talked to her more than I talk to her when she is home! We have learned the beauty of skype! Hannah is studying abroad so she will be taking a class studying about Argentina's government for three weeks. She will be staying in a dorm/hotel with other students while she is officially taking her class. But, Hannah loves to submerge herself in other cultures, so she wanted to stay with a family and get a genuine feel for what it is like to live in Argentina. So, she thought of a soccer friend who is going to college here, but he is from Argentina. So, she contacted Marcos, and he hooked Hannah up with his family, and they invited her to stay with them for as long as she wants! Cool!!

This nice family met Hannah at the airport holding up their little sign with Hannah's name on it! (I've always wanted to do that)! So, she found them, and they took her home with them! They live right in the city in a victorian apartment, and when I talk to Hannah on Skype, I can even hear the horns honking and the sound of traffic. She said it kept her awake the first night because it was so loud all night!

It is fall season (winter next month) in Argentina, so she had to pack warm clothing. She has gone sightseeing, and the first night, she ate dinner at the pool hall connected to the apartment building. She said it looked like a typical American bar with pool tables. But, the twist is they all speak Spanish. Hannah said they were speaking spanish but they were playing American music! And, no, they do not understand the words! Apparently, they like the "Black Eyed Peas" in Argentina the same as Americans do!

Last night, Marcos' sister invited Hannah to a bachelorette party. Hannah said they got together and ate, and about 3 a.m. they all decided to go dancing. They stayed at the club until 5 a.m. and they were continuing the party, but Hannah told them she needed to go to bed. So, she went to bed, and she said the rest of the girls stayed together and continued the party all day today as well! They probably think American girls are real party poopers! ; )

Marcos is going home to Argentina for his summer college break, and they will be picking him up at the airport early in the morning. There might be a slight problem when he gets home since Hannah is sleeping in his bed! lol

She will be staying with Marcos' family for another whole week before moving on to the school for her class.

And, I have to add that Hannah made her usual straight A's at Georgia State University spring semester. She finishes her junior year with a perfect 4.0 average. And, since she is studying in Argentina, she will complete the requirement to get her international business certificate along with her sports marketing degree. I am amazed at how much she has accomplished in her 21 years! If only I had half of her drive and determination . . . . speaking of drive and determination, I hope I make it through my first day of boot camp in the morning! I have to get up at 4 a.m. so adios!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Haley's College Graduation

My oldest baby girl, Haley, graduated from college Friday morning! She now has a dual degree in early childhood and special education. I am SO very proud of her!

I hope I don't embarrass Haley by saying this, but school has not always been easy for her. She has always struggled with math, and we have jokingly said that she is genetically challenged and her brain rejects anything mathematical. And, her first grade teacher called me one day and told me that she thought Haley suffered from "test anxiety." Her teacher said she would go over material with Haley and was sure Haley knew the material, but when it was presented to her as a test, Haley would get nervous and go completely blank. So, to make a long story short, Haley then started going to another room for her tests where she got to eat snacks while she was thinking, walk around the room, or do whatever she needed to do to relax herself. This made me laugh that she was allowed to do this, but it seemed to work. I was thinking she would never get over her test anxiety if she was getting this kind of treatment! (lol) And, even though testing did get better for Haley, taking tests were always a concern for her.

I fully believe that my children were created by God and were made just the way God wanted them to be! But, when Haley was growing up, I know that she felt "less than smart" sometimes. She struggled with school more than her sisters, and I know she noticed that. And, sometimes, I would wonder why she was wired this way, and what could we do to make things easier for her? But, Haley always worked very hard and did her very best. She was a smart girl but just had to work hard to get good grades. And, I knew that even in a class that was difficult for her, she was giving her best effort. That was all any parent could ever ask for!

I think Haley was a sophomore in college when she decided she wanted to become a teacher. She has worked really hard in a very difficult education program at Macon State. She received glowing reviews by her professors when she was evaluated in the classroom. One of her evaluators told her she was "born to be a teacher!" Wow. How cool is it to find out what you were truly born to do!? When Haley told me this, I thought back to her classroom struggles.

I now see that when Haley has her own student who doesn't "get" math, she will truly know that it is not lack of effort but lack of understanding. Or when a child struggles with "test anxiety," Haley will see this and be able to say "I was just like you when I was your age." Sometimes kids just need someone to make a connection and accept them just the way they are. And, Haley does this with kids! With her living in Warner Robins, she will be teaching a lot of military kids. Military kids come with challenges because they move a lot. Or, these kids have emotional issues and sadness when daddy or mommy get deployed. Haley will be a very patient, kind, and kindred soul for these kids. And, I see God's calling on her life to be used in this way.

When I watched Haley walk across the stage and receive her diploma, I felt very proud of her accomplishment. But, I also felt amazed by what she has to offer the world. God has a plan and a purpose. And, Haley was created for His plan and purpose. During the times when Haley was struggling in school, God was preparing her to teach kids who will be struggling in school. But Haley has always given her best effort, and I think she will expect her students to give their best efforts as well. She will be a magnificent teacher! And, even better, she is an amazingly sweet and wonderful person!

I am thankful that Haley's sisters and I were able to share in her special day!

Hannah, Me (Mom), Hadrian, Haley, and her husband, Austin

My Girls - Hannah, Hadrian, and Haley

Me and Haley! : )

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Part 2 - Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome

Well, Hadrian has been resting her legs for about three weeks now. She doesn't feel that resting is doing her one bit of good. So, we were hoping to get a second opinion from a doctor who might be a little bit more aggressive with treatment.

Friday, we saw Dr. Cullen with Georgia Sports Medicine. He told us that for Hadrian to rest for six weeks waiting to see if there is any improvement is a total waste of time (which we were feeling!) He said after six weeks of rest, there would be an absolute zero chance of seeing improvement. He said after resting her legs for six months, there might be a twenty percent chance of seeing improvement. But, Hadrian is in a time crunch. Next year is her senior year. Waiting around doesn't do her a bit of good since she wants to try to rehabilitate back to play club and high school soccer again.

Dr. Cullen totally agreed with Dr. Traub on the diagnosis of the "dreaded" compartment syndrome. He was so sure that he didn't feel the need to put Hadrian through the testing which is very painful in itself. So, yay for that! He said that all of her muscle compartments are involved which means more extensive surgery and a bigger incision. And, he thinks she needs to have surgery right away. Ok! This is what Hadrian wanted to hear!

So, the surgery date is April 29! She will have surgery on a Thursday, and must stay home for ten days. After ten days, she should be able to walk on crutches and get back to school. Dr. Cullen told Hadrian that this will not be a pleasant experience, and there is a risk of cutting nerves during surgery which could cause problems later. But, the chances for a full recovery are 80 percent. Eighty percent, hhmmmm. Not perfect, but Hadrian wants to take the chance. Really, what choice does she have?

They will cut both her legs like the picture shows. They cut into some muscle, so therefore, it can be very painful after the surgery. Hadrian is just really glad she will be asleep! : ) I am wondering if we can keep her asleep for the ten days following surgery! ; )

So, we will be preparing for surgery! I will move Hadrian's stuff to our guest bedroom downstairs, and she will be busy getting things in order at school so she won't fall too far behind. There is never a good time to fit in a surgery, but we will just have to make it work. I think we are ready to just dive in and get it over with! We will keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome

Ever since high school soccer season started this spring, Hadrian has been having excruciating pain in her lower legs. I kept listening to her compaints, and kept thinking hhhmmmm. Ok, Hadrian. I took her seriously, but at the same time, I am thinking these are some really weird symptoms you are having! I was hoping her legs might just heal on their own. You know, one of those miracle cures where it just suddenly all feels better! The sports trainer at school has been working with her. She has been getting stretched, and pulled, and massaged, and taped and iced all through the day at school. All by our young, amazingly cute, sports trainer. It has been making me wonder if she wasn't somehow enjoying this pain!? : )

But, watching her play soccer has just about been too much for me. Grayson was playing Parkview (biggest game of our season!) and Hadrian played so hard - all the while dying!! I could tell every single minute of the game was pure torture because her legs were hurting so very badly, but she played right through the pain. And, she played amazingly well. What a girl! I love her for being such a trooper!!

Well, we had an appointment scheduled yesterday with the sports doctor. The PA first came in and checked her out, and he said he had seen this problem only once before in a girl who had sickle cell anemia. And, since Hadrian doesn't have sickle cell anemia, he wasn't sure if he was correct with his diagnosis, so he went to get the real doctor.

Well, Dr. Traub agreed with the PA, but he wanted to test Hadrian. She had to run until the pain started (which took all of 2 minutes), and then he checked her again. He said her legs were so swollen on the inside after two minutes of running that there was no doubt in his mind that she has the dreaded compartment syndrome. Usually, making this diagnosis is very difficult. It usually takes test after test after test, and they usually stick needles with measuring instruments in your legs to check the pressure in the compartments. But, Hadrian didn't need any of the tests! The reason this is so hard to diagnose is because the legs look perfectly normal on the outside but they swell on the inside. But, it is good we got a definitive diagnosis immediately so we know what we are dealing with here.

Since this is such an uncommon condition, let me explain. Muscles are enclosed within a tight tissue called a fascia. Normally, the fascia has enough extra room to allow the muscle to function without a problem. With Hadrian, her fascia is too tight, and it constricts the muscle during activity. This stops the blood flow to the muscle. The lack of blood flow causes ischemia which is the same phenomenon as a heart attack. So, just as a heart attack causes chest pain, this lack of blood flow in the legs causes severe leg pain.

So, Hadrian has to completely rest her legs for six weeks while taking anti-inflammatories. We will see if this helps. If not, we move on to surgery which is called a fasciotomy. Dr. Traub thinks he has performed two of these in his entire 14 year career. Seriously?!

Well, there is never a dull moment around our house. Always something happening, or in this case, not happening. No soccer for six weeks?! What will we do?!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Busy Week for the Plott's

This is everybody who was at the wedding!
Including pastor, sound man, and a dear sweet family (the Jackson's) who helped Haley with the entire wedding! Haley's best friend from high school was there (Amanda), and her best friend from college (Magnificent Michelle). Bryan and me and Austin's family!

The Newly Weds!!

Haley is ready to walk down the isle!!

Marriage License

The wedding was absolutely beautiful! Haley and I, and a few others, went to the church about 1 p.m. on Friday. We decorated and set everything up. Then, it was time to get ready! We all got dressed in the Bridal Room, and we were ready for pictures at 6 p.m. Well, Haley's dad, Bryan, was running late getting there, so the photographer did as many pictures as she could before hand, but we held off on family pictures until after the wedding. The wedding was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Bryan called and told us he had been stuck in horrible traffic near the Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was race weekend, and he had not allowed extra time for that! So, late he was!! He didn't get to the wedding until after 7:30, and he still had to change clothes. The wedding started about 7:45 - finally! whew!

Haley had been so calm until her dad was late, and then she started stressing a bit. But, we calmed her down and assured her everybody would stay as long as it took to see this wedding take place. Austin didn't see Haley on Friday until she walked down the isle in her beautiful dress. And, she had something old (old handkerchief from a family friend), something new (her dress), something borrowed (earrings from her friend, Michelle) and something blue (garter). It was the perfect wedding for Haley and Austin! And, they left Saturday night for Las Vegas. I am still in Warner Robins house sitting, but I will be leaving this afternoon. The newlyweds are having a great time and will be home on Wednesday.

I don't think I followed up with Hadrian's DECA competition. She finished 8th in the state. She was very disappointed that she didn't make it to nationals, but I think it is amazing to finish in the top ten in the state!! There are so many kids that get weeded out in county and regional competitions that it is amazing to even make it to the state competition. And, she is only a junior, so she can compete again next year if she chooses. Hadrian said the DECA competition is by far the most intense and amazing thing she has ever done! She was pumped just to make it through it! There were written tests, memorization, two presentations, and of course, being drilled by different panels of judges about her marketing plan. She said the judges seemed really impressed, so that is why she was hopeful about going to nationals. But, I am thrilled for her because this is such an amazing accomplishment! Hannah said that after her DECA competitions, public speaking became SO much easier. Presentations in college are a breeze after going through that!

Hannah is finally on her way to Haiti! If you are on facebook, you have been following the updates. But, I have some dear friends who read my blog that are not on facebook. So, sorry if this is a repeat! Hannah's group arrived at the airport early (5 a.m.) on Saturday morning. Their direct flight into Haiti was delayed due to mechanical problems with the plane. And, after waiting for about two hours, the announcement was made that the mechanics considered the plane "unsafe" to fly, so the flight was cancelled. Well, thank you Lord that they did not take off in a plane that had major issues!! But, there was not another flight scheduled for Haiti until Wednesday! So, they were scrambling for an alternate plan.

The group came home from the airport on Saturday, spent the night at home, and left extremely early for the airport again on Sunday morning! This time they got on a plane, flew into Miami, and had plans to catch a connecting flight to the Dominican Republic from Miami. Well, they get to Miami, and the airlines (American Airlines) cancelled the flight to the Dominican for no apparent reason. So, they spent the entire day and night in Miami.

Around 10 a.m. this morning, Hannah called and said they were finally boarding a plane to fly into the Dominican Republic. When they landed in the Dominican, they will be taking a bus ride to a smaller airport in the Dominican. And, then they will be taking a little plane, called the turtle, over to Haiti. They should finally be in Haiti around 5 p.m. today. I just hope the traveling goes smoothly today!!! They are already two days late getting there! But, we are trusting that God is in control and He knows best about the details of this trip!

So, these are our family updates for now. More to follow soon! : )

Sunday, February 28, 2010

From Plott to Walker

Big News from the Plott House!!!

HALEY IS GETTING MARRIED . . . . . . . . . ON FRIDAY NIGHT! You may ask why have I not shared this wonderful news before now? Well, it is because I have only known this piece of wonderful news for a really short time! I received a call from Haley, and she told me she had really big news. She and Austin were getting married . . . in 16 days! After I picked myself up off the floor, she proceeded to tell me they were getting married at the church, with their pastor, with only family in attendance. They are having a real wedding, complete with wedding attire, bouquets, unity candle, photographer, etc. and the only people who will be there will be her dad and I. Austin's parents will be there along with his brother. And, Haley's true friend, the magnificent Michelle, will be there as a friend and as the wedding helper!

Haley and Austin seem really excited. They had already planned a trip to Las Vegas the following week for spring break, so now the Vegas vacation will actually be a honeymoon. I thought it would be a fun idea for them to just get married in Vegas, but that idea was vetoed (ha). They didn't want a Vegas wedding, so they are getting married the Friday night before they leave on Saturday. Haley has soccer teams to coach on Saturday before they can actually leave. They are fitting this in around all of their regular commitments. Hannah will not be able to be there because she will be flying out to Haiti early Saturday morning, and Hadrian has a big high school soccer game on Friday night. So, even Haley's sisters cannot be there!

There will be pictures and a videotape of the "I do's." So, I will post some things as soon as I can after the big moment!

There are reasons that the wedding is happening this way, and they all make perfect sense. In fact, I think Haley and Austin have come up with the absolute perfect wedding plan! Without disclosing the situations that have led to this (Haley can share if she wants to), I must say that Haley and I have talked about how we are really at peace with doing the wedding this way. It is not what either of us had envisioned for her wedding day, but we know it is the right thing to do at this point in time. Haley and Austin will celebrate with friends at a later date.

So, I am the mother of the bride. My firstborn child is marrying. And, I know she has found the right mate. If I could handpick Haley's husband, Austin would be it. He is truly her completer and has the qualities I feel she needs for balance in her life. So, what a true blessing it is to feel good about the decisions Haley is making! I couldn't be happier for these two kids!!

So, Friday night, I will be in Warner Robbins at my daughter's wedding! This still just hasn't quite sunk in yet. But, let me just say, that this has been the most stress-free wedding I could have ever imagined. I can just show up and savor the moment. How truly cool is that!??!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

State Competition

Hadrian is heading downtown Atlanta tomorrow for the State DECA competition. She and her group will be presenting their marketing plan for a local restaurant in Grayson. This is a fantastic accomplishment to make it to the state level! Hadrian is following in Hannah's footsteps. Hannah made it to the state level and then advanced to the national competition when she was in high school.

Grayson High School has an amazing marketing program under the direction of Mr. Bob O'Keefe. Hannah took sports marketing in high school which got her involved in DECA. Through DECA, Hannah gained valuable marketing and business skills along with leadership and community service. Now, a few years later, Hannah has gone back to her sports marketing roots and has decided for this to be her major in college. I have mentioned before that Hannah is doing an internship now for the Gwinnett Gladiators and is loving it! She is now getting to drive the big Zamboni and shooting tee shirts to the fans! I want to do that!! How cool!

Well, Hannah has never left the Grayson DECA program. Even after she graduated from high school, she still volunteers with this group. She helps the kids prepare/tweak their presentations for competitions. And, she was recently a judge at the County DECA competition. Mr. O'Keefe asked Hannah to travel to the state competition tomorrow and help out. After re-arranging her schedule, Hannah will be there! She will coach the kids on things they must do to impress the judges! Being that Hadrian is in the competition, I am glad Hannah will be there. Hannah will make sure Hadrian is focused and doesn't miss her presentation time. lol

Hadrian is taking fashion marketing this year at school. Her power point/marketing presentation was picked to be the "one" to show each day at school advertising Prom Faire. Prom Faire is a group that sells prom dresses. I am so proud of Hadrian on this wonderful accomplishment! : ) Very impressive!

Anyway, I wish Hadrian and Hannah the best of luck tomorrow at the State DECA competition! Getting past the nerves is half the battle! It is a very scary thing stepping on that stage with a panel full of judges staring you down! So, I will be praying for Hadrian to remain calm so she can do her thing! And, it is a good thing I won't be there. I would be too nervous to watch!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy 17th Birthday Hadrian!

My third child, yes, my baby daughter, is turning 17 today! Somehow it just doesn't seem possible. She is the kid who jumps in my bed and says she is going to snuggle with her mom tonight! And, I say yay!! And, then she wants to be tickled from head to toe. I love the "tickle my brain" please! She is the kid who sleeps with her cell phone in her hand and I swear, she text messages all through the night. She surely can't be conscious while she is doing this!

There is just never a dull moment with Hadrian. You never know what she will want or do next!

I received this text message from her while she was at school today. Copying exactly:

Pick me up at three thirty. With my kfc clothes. Shirt. Black jacket. Name tag. Hat. Pants. I have my black belt. Socks-ankle. Shoes. Please. Oh, and bring a little towel. Wash cloth.

A little bit later:

Oh, and dry my pants for fifteen minutes.

And, a little bit later:

And, face wash. There's some orange stuff in my bathroom.

I am just shaking my head thinking seriously??!! So, what do I do but gather up everything she needs and am sitting in the parking lot at 3:30!

Or, it is the text that says the foreign exchange student did the funniest thing!

Or, it is the text that says "I hate school. Please check me out!"

Or, I feel sick. Please bring medicine.

And, on and on. All through the day. You just never know what is coming next from her!

But, she brings so much joy and laughter to me! And, her sisters love the little twisted sister to pieces! The baby of the entire family for SO many years, the baby of all the grandchildren, MY baby, is seventeen today! Unbelievable!!

I thank God every day for her! : )

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hannah to Haiti

Hannah has been planning her spring break week for a good while now. Last year, Hannah and her good friend, Leslie, went to Florida together for spring break. This year, Leslie is attending college in Hawaii. So, the spring break plan for this year was for Hannah to fly to Hawaii and spend the week with Leslie. Hawaii!! Wow!! I have been feeling so excited for Hannah to be able to spend her spring break week in such a glorious place! How often do you have a friend living in Hawaii and have an apartment to live in for a week? Hannah worked at Belk over Christmas break to earn the money to buy her airline ticket. The plans were made, the airline ticket was almost purchased, and Hannah was getting geared up for a wonderful week!

Then, the earthquake happened in Haiti. Obviously, devastating!!

Hannah came to me and said, "mom, instead of going to Hawaii, I want to go to Haiti and spend the week doing what I can to help the people there." I said, "seriously, Hannah?" But, I know Hannah has a heart for mission work and she has a genuine desire to help other people. So, I am really not surprised that this is how she wants to spend her spring break. She spoke to Leslie about her change of plans, and of course, Leslie is excited about her trip to Haiti as well.

Hannah has formed a group on facebook, so please join her group!

A few people have asked me if I am not worried because it seems really dangerous in Haiti right now. But, I have to trust that God will show His favor and protect this group that will be ministering to hurting people in His name. And, I know that Hannah is doing something she loves and desires to do.

So, off to Haiti she will go!

Hannah finished her fall semester at Georgia State by making her usual ho-hum straight A's. And, she has some really exciting things coming up this semester! She is now planning a month to study abroad in Argentina! I am sure I will be posting blogs about that!

Hannah is majoring in sports marketing, and she will be starting an internship this week with the Gwinnett Gladiators! She will be working the rest of the home games, so if anyone goes to support the Gladiators, look for Hannah!

Hannah has also been volunteering her time with the DECA club at Grayson High School. She just chaperoned a retreat this past weekend, and she was a judge this week for the regional DECA competition. DECA was a very important part of Hannah's high school experience as she went to National competition her senior year.

Hannah is an amazing young lady, and I am so proud of her! Please keep her in your prayers for her trip to Haiti from March 6-12th.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Day with Alaina

Yesterday, Hannah and I were allowed to babysit sweet little Alaina! So, in hopes that we might someday be asked to babysit again, we wanted to prove that we are worthy to take on the job! Hannah forfeited a day of study to hang out with her little cousin, and for those of you that know Hannah, you know that she wouldn't do that for just anybody.

And, now that Alaina is crying after her mommy, hopefully Sarah can see that Alaina was just fine while she was gone.

We made sure she was well fed!

Aunt Becky changed all the diapers. It was my lucky day! No poopy ones!

Hannah allowed Alaina to body surf on the table. We are not sure her parents allow this. but they were not there, so . . . . once won't hurt!

Hannah swinging Alaina!

Alaina seriously loved the blinds! Don't worry! We didn't allow her to tear them up!

Alaina loved Hannah's glasses. So, Hannah let her wear them. We are sure there is no permanent damage to her eyes.

Alaina showed us her new trick! She is seriously thinking about doing some crawling!

Hannah has it figured out! When the baby sleeps, she sleeps!

Aunt Becky and Alaina had some seriously fun bonding time!!

And, this is the most scrumptious dessert ever! This is Sarah's specialty, and she made it just for her babysitters! If this is how she pays her babysitters, hey, we are in! Just call us anytime! : )

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Piercing

A few weeks ago, Hadrian announced to me that it was time for a new piercing. And, I am thinking surely not! Just how many holes does any one girl need in her ear? Well, she decided on a Friday night that she wanted the piercing done that night. So, I am working in the house, and the longer I work, the more she pouts. It had to be done that night! And, being the wonderful mother that I am, I gave in to her pouting episode, and stopped what I was doing. So, we both get in the car, and we are off to the tattoo parlor!

On the way, I am telling her that I don't care if her ear falls off, she is not to whine or complain to me about any pain. And, I was not going to watch the torture, either! I had witnessed all of her other piercings, one painful little pierce at a time. But, I was not going to watch this one because this one surely had to hurt like no other!

Well, we drove to a reputable tattoo parlor. I know it is reputable because we used to pass it every day, and they always had business out the kazoo. So, I figured it must be a good place; otherwise, they would have no customers, right? On the way, I am telling Hadrian that I surely hoped I didn't see anyone I knew because this is just normally not my scene.

We get there, Hadrian discusses with them what she wants to do, and I sign my life away because they surely can't puncture underaged kids without parental permission! While we are doing this, I was trying to ignore the screams coming from a room in the back.

I told them that Hadrian had to come just that night to get her piercing and couldn't wait. And, they told me that this is normal. That once you get it in your mind that you want a piercing, you have to do it right away or the feeling goes away and you lose your nerve. So, it was perfectly normal for her to force me to come that very night. Oh, so there is a psychological side to getting piercings. I wasn't aware!

We get done with all of this, and I turn around only to see someone I know! How nice that we bumped into each other at the tattoo parlor! Tom was there to get more ink, but I had to assure him that I wasn't getting any ink. This was Hadrian's deal!

So, I settle into watching tv and watched the streams of people coming through the door. I discovered that tattoo parlors are really busy on a Friday night! They must make some serious money in that place!

Well, Hadrian went back alone, and she finally came back out with her new piercing! We loved the guy who did her piercing. He was very knowledgeable and had a great personality. And, he told me he knew just the right place to pierce so he wouldn't hit a nerve that could cause serious damage. Seriously?! He tells me this after the piercing? But, if anyone needs a good piercer, we highly recommend this guy!

I had to stop by Kohl's on the way home, and all the way there, Hadrian is telling me she thinks her ear is filling up with blood. Well, isn't it convenient that Kohl's now has the makeup department and they just happened to have a stash of Q-tips sitting on the counter. So, while I am looking at the jewelry, Hadrian is standing in Kohl's swabbing massive amounts of blood out of her ear right in the midst of Christmas shoppers. Gross! I was truly hoping that no one caught on that she was with me. : )

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Amazing Transformation

I write this post out of love for my youngest daughter. I have to say that she is absolutely perfect just the way she is. But, the way she is can be a bit frustrating at times. Just ask her sisters! And, keep in mind that she is the baby of the bunch and a whole 4 1/2 years younger than Hannah.

Well, Hadrian walks into the house, and leaves a trail. Her shoes fly off and go just wherever they land. She drops her school books, her purse, her keys, and whatever else she has with her. There is never any rhyme or reason to where she might drop or throw her stuff. We have found things in the darndest places. And, she can never find things, either! I have always said that if her body parts were not attached, we would surely be in trouble. I can't tell you how many phone calls I have received through the years saying "Mom, can you bring my ??" Just fill in the blank. And, I would always take whatever she had forgotten to the school because I surely wouldn't want her to suffer. : )

Not only this, but her room has been filled with science projects. We find her food wrappers and popsicle sticks all over the house. I think you get the picture. Her sister, Hannah, who is Miss Totally Neat has tried to tell her all about the error of her ways, but that has always gone in one ear and out the other. Hannah just cleans up after her and goes on. This totally makes Hadrian become much more responsible! : )

Well, Hadrian announced during the summer that she was going to find a job. After her sisters stopped laughing and telling her that there is no way she could work, and go to school, and play club soccer, and keep up with her homework, and fit in her extremely busy social life, she did just what she wanted to do and found a job! It took a few months with the job market, but she finally landed her first job at KFC. Yes, this is Kentucky Fried Chicken. I am thinking to myself that she will be lucky to make it a month before she declares she hates it and decides that it is too much work.

Well, let me just say, that Hadrian is not only working 20 hours a week, but she is doing it with absolute brilliance. She is earning her gas money and her own spending money. She has been there almost 6 months, and is doing a fantastic job! The district managers recently stood outside at the drive thru menu and listened to her take orders for a while without her knowing. And, the managers told her she is a wonderful representative of KFC and gave a great first impression to customers! You go girl! : )

Not only the new job, but Hadrian started a new club soccer team at the same time. Her coach literally runs them to death. She would have soccer practice three nights a week (driving an hour each way), and they would always run 4 or more miles each night. Exhausting. She lost about 15 pounds through soccer season from all the running. But, she is lean and mean, let me say.

And, then we still had to do schoolwork and homework. I figured her grades would tell the real tale about taking on a job. But, I got her first semester report card today, and she maintained all A's and B's while taking honors classes. Woo Hoo! She has a 3.5 gpa which is fantastic considering how much she really hates to study.

I am so impressed! She also maintained her social life even though her weekends were filled with soccer games and work schedules. She now even has new friends from KFC who she really enjoys hanging out with.

Who is this kid? The totally irresponsible child has turned into an amazingly responsible young lady! What a miracle! : )

But, let me just say that I love Hadrian when she is irresponsible and I love her when she is responsible. She is a gift from God whom I love unconditionally. And, she brings me so much joy!!

And, to be honest, she kind of reminds me of me when I was her age. I am sure my mom remembers more than a few trails through her house as well!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome 2010 Part 4

More Blessings from 2009!

Pa and Babelle have five grandchildren, but the group just keeps growing!
The guys in the back are Daniel, Adam, and Austin
The girls are Stevie, Hadrian, Sarah (holding Alaina), Haley, Hannah
My girls, of course, are Haley, Hannah, and Hadrian
Haley has added Austin to the group!
Hannah and Hadrian do not have a significant other just yet! But, there is still plenty of time for that!!
Joy has Sarah and Daniel
Sarah has added husband Adam and Baby Alaina to the clan!
Daniel is engaged to Stevie - they are getting married in April

Let me just say that all of these kids LOVE each other and enjoy family gatherings SO much! It is always special when they can all be together!


Thanksgiving Day at Joy's House
Four generations
Babelle (mom), Joy, Sarah, and Alaina

I finally found the picture of Pa and Alaina
The first time they met!
Alaina couldn't take her eyes off of her Pa!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome 2010 Part 3

Continuing on with the best blessings of 2009!

I think no one in our family would argue about the greatest blessing of the year! Our sweet Alaina Brooke was born on July 31st! She is now 5 months old! She is absolutely perfect and sweet and beautiful in every way! Our family really needed something of this magnitude this past year to get us excited about life again! My niece, Sarah, had a great delivery, and she and Adam are doing a fantastic job with parenting! They are such a sweet little family unit!

I have to share about the first time Alaina met her great grandpa (my dad). We all thought she might be a bit afraid of him because he is laying down in bed and has oxygen hoses, etc. But, let me say, she looked up at her Pa and smiled, and if she could have talked, she would have given him an ear full! It was almost as if she was telling him that she was SO glad to finally meet her Pa! Alaina and Pa bonded right away and you could tell by Alaina's sweet expression that she was feeling the love for her Pa! It was priceless! You had to be there, but this was a magical moment and definitely one of the highlights of my year!

Alaina is definitely a gift from God to our family! And, what a blessing she is and always will be!
Adam, Sarah, and Alaina Emmett

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome 2010 Part 2

Me, Melinda, Camille, and Mary Clare

I am continuing with my favorite blessings for 2009! There were SO many blessings, I could create blogs for a good while!

I have some really special college friends from my days spent at Berry College. We only get together once or twice a year, but it is always great catching up! This is a picture of us having lunch at Longhorn Steak House just last week.

These ladies are spiritual, smart, and live their lives with integrity and grace. I am honored to know them!

Me with Jane

I went to Brevard College my freshman year of college. I had a wonderful roommate, but neither of us went back to Brevard after that year. We connected for lunch in September near Orlando. This is the first time we had seen each other since 1980! This was really strange because the last time we saw each other we were teenagers, and now we are middle-aged women! This was one of the highlights of my year! : )

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010

Well, the new year has finally arrived! I have been ready to kiss 2009 goodbye for a while now. Even though 2009 was a year full of challenges, I have also had many things to be thankful for!

A few of my favorite blessings for 2009:

I have SO enjoyed reading the blogs of my niece, Sarah, and my friend, Amy. They each have baby girl's who are about the same age, and they are sharing all about their little sweethearts on their blogs. It is easy to get hooked into watching Alaina and Libbi grow and change so quickly! The "Not Me" Mondays are the best! New blog postings always brighten my day!

Spending time with my precious great niece, Alaina, is always a blessing. She is now 5 months old. I could just inhale her! : )

Living with Hadrian is such a joy! She is always loving me and making sure I am happy. And, she expects me to always love her and make sure she is happy, as well! : ) And, sometimes, that takes a lot. (ha) She is definitely one of a kind. But, she makes my days interesting. And, interesting days are a very positive thing when there aren't many positive things going on!

Having Hannah living at home and commuting to Georgia State is a real treat. She is always helpful, and she keeps me in line! She pushes me to keep moving forward even when I don't feel like it. And, I have my own personal laundress! I always put the clothes in the washing machine, and she always moves them along to the dryer and then folds or hangs them when they are dry! And, let me just add that when Hannah folds clothes, they are perfect! If there should ever be a contest for folding clothes, she would win first prize! She saves me from putting a load of clothes in the washer and leaving it sitting in there for days before ever thinking about it again. (I have done this ONLY a few times - ha) How wonderful is it to have help like this?! Hannah is a true blessing.

Even though Haley doesn't live at home, she never forgets about her mom. She is so great to call me every day to check up on things. She is always concerned and lets me know that she cares about me. I miss her very much, but it makes her absence so much easier when she makes the effort to connect! And, it makes me feel much better knowing that her boyfriend, Austin, takes good care of her while she is living in a town without her family. Austin's family has been great to take Haley right in! This eases my mind knowing she is surrounded by good people (and two good dogs - ha). Haley has carried me through this difficult year by allowing me to cry and talk things out with her. She is definitely the caretaker of the family which is a big burden to carry for a 23 year old. What an amazing child!

I have loved every precious moment spent with my mom, dad, sister, and her family! Nothing compares to the love I feel for my family! They are true examples of unconditional love, and I couldn't make it right now without them. I can't even begin to describe how much they have helped me get through the year. And, this past year, they gave and gave and gave so that my girls and I were taken care of. How could anything compare to having a supportive family?

Well, these are just a few of the amazing blessings I have in my life. There has been so much to be thankful for in the midst of the most difficult year of my life! I have many more blessings that I could share about, but these will have to wait!

Welcome 2010!!