Thursday, September 6, 2012

Labor Day with my favorite troops

This weekend was so very special.  I guess I said that the last post too, didn't I?  I suppose that means I'm lucky to make such special memories with the people I love as often as I do. 

 After Saturday entertaining friends for the ballgame at Jeff's (War Eagle anyway!), Jeff and I met up with mom, dad, Mimi, and PawPaw at the National Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning.  If you haven't been, it's brand new, and amazing!  If you have a family member who was in the military, it's definitely worth the road trip. 

I say I spent Labor Day with my favorite troops and I did.  Did you know Jeff was in the Navy?  He was a submariner, and a Veteran of the Gulf War.  My dad served in the Army National Guard for 25 years, and retired a Major when I was in high school.

But PawPaw was the star of the show on Monday.  Dad had concocted a plan months ago, and brought them to the museum this weekend to surprise them with it!
 The National Infantry Museum has a Walk of Honor, and you can have a paver dedicated to your loved one here, for it to forever to laid in their honor.
Not until we pulled PawPaw away from exhibits and sat him in a front row seat, did Mimi grab a program and say "Honey, your name's in here!"  The light came, and a sweet grin crossed his face.  Over 100 pavers were dedicated, and the speaker chose to highlight a few of the stories he'd seen of families who'd written of the servicemen the pavers were dedicated to.  Of those 3 stories of the 100 dedicated, my grandfather's story was told to the crowd.  Of how Albert Nicometo was the son of Italian immigrants, who grew up in New York.  Of how, like his big brothers, he wanted to join the military to serve the country who saved his family.  Of how this man fought in the Korean War, and came home and married his wife of 60 years.  Of how he's a husband, a father, a grandfather, a patriot, a soldier, a friend, and an American. 
 This picture makes me smile so.  PawPaw is so proud, he would barely look at my camera, for looking at his name in the marble, amoungst all the others who have served our country. 

Mimi....on the other hand....had a hard time getting over to the grass because she refused to step on the names!  She said it seemed like a grave and it creeped her out!  I reminded her PawPaw was living and breathing right beside her, but to no avail, so she wobbled right over it!
 Touching his name....
It was another amazing memory for the records books, friends.  A very special day. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

60 Years Together!

Last weekend was so special!  We celebrated my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary!

At their request, all they wanted was for all the family to pile up at their house in Montgomery, the same place, the same time.  With our busy schedules, this seems to be nearly impossible sometimes, but with the promise of her Italian homemade sauce.....we came running!!
We came from all over Georgia, Alabama, and Florida for this special day!  And if my sister and I are involved, as with the rest of the Nick's, things are always normal....
But we clean up well when we want to!  ;)

Just look how precious they are!  Both 82 years old, together after 60 years, in amazing health!  They work those boats in Bolixi like professionals!  And you couldn't compete with their garden, Mimi's canning skills, and PawPaw can spend a whole day on our hunting property on 4-wheelers and hold his own!

What can I say about these two?  PawPaw, son of Italian immigrants (youngest of TWELVE), born and raised in Oakfield, NY, joined the Army and made his way south.  Mimi, youngest of NINE, borned and raised in Sweetwater, AL, stayed close to home.  Their paths crossed, and at 22, Mimi took a bus to New OR-leans, and PawPaw HITCH-HICKED to meet her, where they wed the next day at a local lawyers office!  The rest as they say, is history.  Sweet, precious history.

Mimi and PawPaw and their offspring, each so special to me in their own way (especially my sweet mama!)
Here are us grandkids, minus Sarah and Josh who were tied up with college activities.  And I know my angel cousins Levin and Nathan had their arms around us all the way from Heaven. 

Along with our feast of BBQ and pasta (it goes perfect together, trust me) there was this beautiful wedding cake....along with four other cakes that left us worthless for the afternoon!

And where there's a wedding/anniversary know we gotta do this!

Outside fun in the afternoon led to some quick shots with Jeffrey by my photog sister--so grateful for them, they turned out pretty good!  And at least now I know what to wear when I go running in the dark of night....can we say highlighter NEON!
A final group shot of all us, surrounding our Mimi and PawPaw, filled by 60 years of love, ended the day perfectly.  It's been a rough few years for this family.  But if I know anything about a Nicometo, it's that we're tough as tails, we walk it and talk it, and love with all the passion that Celano, Italy and Sweetwater, Alabama passed from my grandparents on to me.  And I proudly will pass it on.
So with that, my sweet grandparents, congratulations on 60 amazing years, I'll see yall later, and Ciao!  XOXO