September 11: 20 Years Later

It’s been 20 years.

Twenty years since I dropped my oldest daughter off for school and drove home with our other three little ones.

Kennesaw Mountain Field of Flags: one for each person killed on 9/11/2001 plus 13 extra at half mast for the Marines, Sailor & Soldier killed in Kabul two weeks ago.

Twenty years since I heard the breaking news of a plane flying into Tower one of the World Trade Center as we were just minutes from our house.

Twenty years since I rushed into the house and turned on the news only to watch in horror as a plane flew into Tower Two on live TV.

Twenty years since the stories of hijacked planes rang in my ears as I hugged my three little ones.

Twenty years since a plane crashed into the Pentagon.

Twenty years since brave men and women stopped a plane from crashing into another target, but lost their lives in a field in Pennsylvania.

Twenty years since I checked my oldest out of school.

Twenty years since I called my husband nonstop while he was working out of town on a construction project. He didn’t know and I begged him to come home.

Twenty years since my daddy opened the doors of the church building and brought the community together for hours of prayer for lives lost, our nation, our government.

Twenty years since we held hands and hugged necks of strangers in our community because we were all shocked, saddened and confused.

Twenty years and my heart breaks for these families and our nation now as much as it did then. It doesn’t seem that long, yet here we are.

A lot has happened in twenty years. My babies are grown. They remember. They’ll always remember, just as I do. That day impacted their lives forever and helped mold them into the young adults they are today. They grew up in a different world than I did. We talked a lot about how the world changed after 9/11. As I said, we have not forgotten.

Unfortunately many of our nation have forgotten and we are not very United. I do not feel very secure and do not trust our government. 9/11 was tragic, but I miss 9/12.

Do you remember?

10 Things September

September has arrived and is barreling through like a freight train! I need it to slow down just a little as we are entering into my favorite season of the year and I want to enjoy every moment as much as possible. Not only do we get to celebrate the end of summer and begin decorating for autumn, I’m doing a wedding cake (its been quite a while) in just a few days, and we are just six weeks away from the arrival of our first grandbaby.

So many exciting things coming up for sure.

But, lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. First, we must enjoy September and here are ten things on my to-do list for the season.

1 – It’s not to late at all to Visit a Flower farm. Did you know 80% of American flowers are imported? It’s time we quit shopping for out of season florals and support our local flower farms. Recently I spent time at Posie Fields in Roswell and enjoyed every last minute of seeing this local flower farm in action. If you aren’t a fan of dirt and bugs, check out you local Saturday farmers market. You are sure to find a local grower there!

2 – Celebrate the end of summer with a delightful girl’s luncheon. My girlfriend Tami, recently hosted a lovely nautical themed luncheon on Lake Lanier. Decorate the table and choose food to fit your theme. If you don’t have time to “do it all” consider hiring out one or more of your party elements. Royal Tea Picnics is a local business here in Atlanta who will create the perfect scene for your next dinner. Time with friends is precious and should be treated special.

Royal Tea Parties did a fabulous job on the table decor!

3 – Attend a 9/11 Memorial near you. This year marks 20 years since our country was violently attacked by terrorists killing thousands and sending us into a war that ended with tragedies as well. We should never forget and take time to honor those who were killed or gave themselves in sacrifice. From diginified memorials to climbing stairs as many of our first responders did that day, there are plenty of ways to “Remember” the anniversary.

Kennesaw Mountain Field of Flags honoring those killed on 9/11

4 – Take a late summer hike. Get outside. It’s good for your health, both physically and mentally. Here in metro-Atlanta I love going over to Kennesaw Mountain or Sweetwater Creek to hit a trail, but my favorite trail in at Foster Falls SP in Sequatchie,Tennessee.

Beautiful Foster Falls State Park

5 – Indulge in pumpkin spice. Yes, I am one of those girls, but y’all I really do love all things pumpkin! Whether you hit up Starbucks for a cold brew or whip up you own at home, take time to savor and enjoy. Add a pumpkin cupcake or muffin for an even more delightful treat.

If you want to make your own pumpkin spice coffee check out my recipe here.

6 – Decorate for fall. Go all out with mums and pumpkins and wreaths and witches hats…. Decorate to match you home or just have fun and keep it whimsical. There are no rules to decorating for holidays; just have fun & give the neighbors reason to talk.

7 – Tis the season for the county fairs to begin! Load up and head out for an evening of rides, exhibits, and competitions while celebrating summer’s end.

Gwinnett, Georgia County Fair

8 – If you want something bigger than the county fair, head down to Walt Disney World and Epcot for the Food & Wine Festival. Purchase a gift card to make life easier (cashless and touch-free) and enjoy delectable tastes from Around the World throughout the park! You might find a new taste you enjoy or inspiration to be creative in your own kitchen.

9 – I’m loving Bath & Body Works Sweater Weather candle. It’s still fairly hot in Georgia, but when I light a couple of candles and fix a cup of tea … I feel fall in the air!

10 – Lastly, take time for tea (or coffee). We stress ourselves out so easily with busyness, news, and the like so take time to unwind, gather your thoughts and relax. I’m loving Tevana’s Lavender Citrus tea. Add a little fresh lavender and honey to your cup and curl up with a good book. No one can take away your stress but yourself. Take time to do things to create peace in your life.

I found my Tevana at our local Ingles … and for a delightful read, pick up a copy of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life by Marta McDowell

What is on you agenda for September? Let me know in the comments!

McCray’s Tavern East Cobb; A Review

Last weekend Tammie and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner out in Marietta at McCray’s Tavern and Pour House. Since moving to the northwest-side of Atlanta over the summer I’ve not been out much to see what all the area has to offer, so I was excited to go to dinner… and who doesn’t love a girlfriend’s night out?!

This was not my first visit to McCray’s; they have four locations throughout metro Atlanta and I have eaten (and thoroughly enjoyed my visit) at the location in Lawrenceville. McCray’s East Cobb is brand new, braving the coronapocalypse to open this year!

With a new chef on board, McCray’s is showcasing a modern twist on old tavern fare with a new menu, exciting original cocktails and local craft beers. McCray’s has also reached out to local sources for beef, chicken and even bringing in seafood from the Gulf for the freshest and tastiest of menus.

McCray’s East Cobb creates a modern but inviting atmosphere and is family friendly. If you want to catch the latest televised sporting event, McCray’s has you covered with flat screen tv’s conveniently placed where everyone can watch! Our server was delightful and the food was absolutely delicious!

For appetizers Tammie enjoyed a grilled shrimp salad while I savored the tuna tartare.

For our entrees Tammie tackled the double cut pork chop with mashed potatoes and green beans.

I went with traditional tavern fare and enjoyed the “Tavern Dip” (prime rib, horseradish cream, caramelized onions and au jus) and fries.

We were so satisfied … ok, we were stuffed … with just dinner, but enjoyed dessert anyway; splitting the Creme Brûlée with berries.

McCray’s East Cobb will definitely be a restaurant I’ll return to in the future, and soon, as they are hosting Sips & Stogies on October 22!  Audley says make reservations, so I’m looking forward to date night as well! You can make your own reservation for Sips & Stogies by clicking here.

If you’re on the northwest side of Atlanta, or just passing through looking for good food in a welcoming environment, definitely visit McCray’s!

Make a reservation at 404-800-3553 and check out McCray’s today!

4880 Lower Roswell Road, Ste 850

Marietta, Georgia 30968

Holiday in the Park at 6 Flags Over Georgia

Nothing says “BRING ON CHRISTMAS” like family time, twinkle lights, Christmas carols, and tree lightening ceremonies! Entering its sixth year, 6 Flags Over Georgia is celebrating the season with all the above plus rides galore with their annual Holiday in the Park celebration. Bring out the family for an evening of festive fun throughout the whole season! You’ll want to make it a tradition to keep year after year!

Madeline and I ventured out to the park for media day last week and had such a fantastic time strolling through the park under twinkle lights, listening to the wonderful sounds of the season, munching on s’mores, and letting our inner children out for a fun mother/daughter evening!

Christmas always makes me feel young, but diving into the season truly brings out my childlike spirit.

With a variety of shows from the comedy of Bad Bob Humbug to the “Step Into Christmas” musical revue at the Crystal Pistol, s’mores pits scattered around the park, themed light displays all around (including a tunnel with lights dancing to the music), carolers and a tree lighting at the main entrance there is something to bring out the Clark Griswald in us all!

Here’s a peak at some of the fun we enjoyed in the park.

 

The festive Crystal Pistol theater

Mrs Claus at the North Pole entrance

It’s a peachy Christmas season here in Georgia!

As you can see, Holiday in the Park offers something for everyone in the family no matter what your age!

“Holiday in the Park is the Southeast’s premier holiday experience and is a family tradition for all to see and enjoy,” said Park President Dan Kaetzel. “Nowhere else will you experience all the magic of the holiday season with more than 30 thrilling rides, enchanting shows, the mouthwatering flavors of the season and of course a visit to the North Pole to see Santa Claus. It’s the perfect time of year to gather family and visit our extraordinary park.”

Holiday in the Park operates on select days now through January 5, 2020.

Six Flags Over Georgia

275 Riverside Pkwy

Austell, GA 30168