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

Friday, August 31, 2012

We've got Water Dogs on our Hands!

There's no question I'm a water dog growing up with grandparents having cabins on Lake Martin and Fort Walton, it's in my blood I suppose.  My dream would certainly be to have a home on a lake one day with the constant sound of a screen door slamming with friends and family as they come and go.

But for now.....

A few weekends ago, we enjoyed some time on the lake at the invitation of dear friends, and watching the clowns as they battle it out on the tube. 

Sweet Christian and his mommy
Chrissie took Tori on her first ride on the big tube, and she was so excited to be just like Emmy and Kyle!
But apparently Mr. Jeff was driving too slow for her liking....I cracked up as I looked back to find her little chin propped up on her hand, like she was so over this....Piece o' cake, right Tori!
With the tube deflated, it was time to get down to business.  We had dropped Rich off at his house to get things set up for (what ended up being a delicious) fish fry that night, Chrissie was rocking Christian to sleep with the boat, Jeff began instructions to the clowns on their first ever attempt to kneeboard!  Tori and I became spotters (and photogs, of course).
Kyle and Emmy both got up after just a few tries, and I was so proud of them for not getting frustrated and quitting!  I didn't even try!  Their grins said it all, and I knew they were having a ball.
It was another good day all around (if you know what I'm saying) full of fresh water, pontoons, teenagers, toddlers, best friends, my love, cold beer, fried fish, potato chips, sunshine, laughing, and loving. 
Have mercy, who knew you could love something so much.

The fried fish, of course.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

OOC - The Outtakes....

Let me just keep it real.  We're not all smiles and poses.  But we all do have a camera (or phone) in hand at all times.  You gotta capture everything (see OOC Outtakes 2011).....

I'm not sure if this is 61's "bring on the 1st triemester puking" pose....or a "I'm gonna be sick just thinking about this, as I just left a toddler and 5-month old at home myself!"  But you gotta love her honesty!

And there's no faking THAT look of shock!
And again!

Team 3 and their Game faces.  I think they broke their cup.

AK and TT...thunderstorm wrestling.  Neither stayed dried.  And neither got a trophy.

Handstands are normal 'round these parts.  Though someone needs to work on toe-points.

I learned "instagramming" is too addictive. 
 Here, Oakes is posting a pic, Jess is "hearting" it, and TT is commenting on it. 
In other news, Jess is posting a pic, TT is "hearting" it, and Oakes is commenting on it.

I kid, I kid.

AK:  Blazer, does that cat have fleas, I'm itching?  (But seriously, your bicep is REDIC.)
61:  Are you metering, Jenn?  I'm ready.
Jess:  This sucks.  Hurry up.
Oakes:  Jess, quit pinching me, it's not that bad. 
Ginny:  Should I wear this belt or not, yalllll?
TT:  Seriously, I could've heat-pressed 25 shirts by now.
Rigsby:  I'm really pregnant.
Blazer:  This house will never be the same.
(While in the background I'm trying to figure out how my fat butt will squeeze in that tiny space....)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

OOC Weekend 2012!

It's my favorite time a year again! 

.....Okay--no, I'm not busting out my Christmas decorations...second favorite time of year!  OOC Weekend, baby!!  With these lovely ladies!

A few weeks ago, I packed it up and headed to Florence, AL to meet my 8 college roomies for our annual weekend, one I will cherish each year, because no matter what is going on in our lives, and as busy as we are, things seem to fall right back into place as if we're all pulling up at the McKee House after a long day of class....ready to tap a keg!

Blazer hosted this year at her parent's AH-mazing house on the Tennessee River, where we managed to soak in some sun (and a little summer rain), adult beverages, and all the quality time we could in what always seems to be too short a time.

And what's OOC weekend without a little surprise, right Rigsby??  Looks like the twins will have to share their toys come February! 
Oh, but in true Oakes fashion.....she had a little surprisin' to do of her own....with a NOT EVEN 2 year old baby girl, and a FIVE MONTH old baby boy!  HELLO!!!  We're about to put you and Charlie on seperate floors after this munchkin comes along!
And there's something else that always gives us butterflies around here, and it's the unveiling of our OOC t-shirt that our rocking entrepenuer TT makes us!  Oh yes, we're those people with matching tees!  It's like our after-college date party t-shirts you just gotta have!  Heck, we'll be 70, still saying "OOC, baby!" on our girls weekend, sitting at Cracker Barrell in our matching tshirts! 

 And you're gonna be jealous, you know you are!

We left our accomodations poolside only twice, for a boatride.  And I mean, a BOATRIDE.

Midafternoon things got sneaky....  TT and Anna Kate disappeared.  And came back like this. 

I suppose it was only appropriate on Olympics weekend, right?

We proceeded to have the the most intense game of the "OOOOC Olympics" (note the shirt, love it TT!) of college trivia my memory-challenged brain could handle.  And it was hilarious!  I love that we leave our working, mothering, nurturing, business, budgeting brains at home--and can cut up and have such a silly time together!  And good grief, the questions these girls came up with!! 
And as required, there were winners.  (Though Jess and I demand a RECOUNT!)

Congrats, 61 and Blazer.  Your memory is astounding.
We did actually shower over the weekend, put make up on, and get girly.  Only because Turtle Point Yacht Club required us too, though.  We took a beautiful sunset cruise to dinner, and squeezed in all the last minute gossiping we possibly could before the end of an amzing weekend!

Ladies, I love yall.  What more is there to say.  I love our weekends, our "circle of friends," our inside jokes, I love that distance and time are just words with us.  I love that 14 years ago I walked into a crowded chapter room on bid day panicking, and walked out with yall. 

It must of been that Chimney Rock story that sold you on my normalcy.  ;)  XOXO