Thursday, March 31, 2011

Behind the Memories: Part One

Behind the Memories

I came upon some old photos while cleaning in my art room and I thought putting them into a blog post, looking back on all these fond memories would be a wonderful little project for tonight!

The first day of school for my sweetest sisters after a long and wonderful summer…

Behind the Memory:
If I didn't have a class or wasn't working, I tried to greet them off the bus during the week. This day I was working. I really wanted to be there so I had picked up these happy balloons and tied them to soda bottles. I asked my parents to line them up at the end of the driveway to greet them as the bus dropped them off. I miss them. I miss days like that.

A day for memories to be made…

Behind the Memory:
I had just turned three years old. We were on our (nearly) annual trip to Florida with my Grandparents around the March birthdays. I don't clearly remember what this place was, but I just say "Silver Springs" when I refer to it. I guess it was some sort of small zoo. It had a glass bottomed boat and you were able to feed the animals. I have slight, but fond, memories from that trip. I actually remember walking over this bridge (or maybe there was more than one there) and with one hand firmly holding each of my grandparents' hands doing one, two, three, weeeeeee! We rode the glass bottomed boat and I remember loving the creatures below. We saw a peacock and I fed the giraffes… there was a baby too. I am pretty sure this is where my fascination and love for giraffes and peacocks began. :) Though these are just vague memories, I am so thankful I have them.

I wish I could remember…
Behind the Memory:
This was the evening of my Aunt and Uncle's Wedding. The wedding I was a flower girl at. Their reception was at a nice restaurant overlooking the water in a nearby town I grew up in. Being that I was just a mere two years old, I am sure it had been a long day for me. My godmother has me out on one of the docks at sunset. I wish I could remember this memory. I wonder what she said to me? She has a very calming presence about her. I love her dearly and knowing what my time spent with her and the conversations we have shared during my lifetime, I know this was a wonderful little moment for the two Mary Anne's (we are both Mary Anne). If only these moments could be clearly remembered.

My first birthday…with them…

Behind the Memory:
This was my first birthday to share with my sisters. Birthdays have never been the same since this day. I love sharing birthday celebrations with these girlies. And now there's a fourth little one to share in on the celebrations too… she's not really all that little anymore though. Their faces are priceless (in pic one). Irm is a little lady (to my right)… as she is today. Ine with her hands out! And Nade, that face I just want to go back to this day and squeeze each of them with a ton of love! Look at those two with their snazzy sunglasses! What cuties. That was the first birthday cake Nahida made for me. I remember it vividly. It is my favorite cake… ever! Oh FYI - They didn't know much English at all at this point. They probably thought my birthday festivities along with the Happy Birthday Song was quite interesting!!

And the hand-me-downs begin

Behind the Memory:
Just a little note, I LOVED hand-me-downs growing up. I was an only child so they came from my neighbors. Oh I thought they were the coolest clothes coming from all the older girls. :) This is when they began. In the first picture (May 1986) I was only a couple of months old when Katie was wearing this beautiful Easter coat. Doesn't she look absolutely adorable?! What a little lady! A few years later, in March of 1986, it was my turn to wear this pretty blue coat. Katie was my very first friend and is still my dear friend to this day. Though we don't share hand-me-downs anymore, I will always treasure these sweet little outfits that we shared. (The last picture is of us together when we were little. I adored her... and still do.)

The beginning of the giggles and lollipop adventures...

Behind the Memory:
Ines is to my right. Nade is on my lap and Irm is on my left. This picture was taken within the first few weeks they arrived in the States! (The date on the picture is waaayyy off - years off) They couldn't speak much English yet and I couldn't speak much Bosnian yet, so there was lots of smiles and giggles... and little lollipops. They would sit on my lap and smile at me and giggle like sweet little girls and I would give them little lollipops. I had just had surgery (in my mouth - wisdom teeth gone wrong) and so I had little Dum-Dum pops to suck on...and share with them! I loved those first few weeks/months. It was a time I will remember forever. :) Ah, those little faces.

She tells me she remembers this day....

Behind the Memory:
This was the day Merima was born... the littlest sister. She tells me she remembers that day, when we first came up to the hospital. Boy, what a memory that girl has, huh!? ;) Shhh... don't tell her, but I think what she remembers is all the pictures we have shown her since then. I guess in a way she does remember it all. I love my sweet little Meemsy... all four of them really! :) We all look so young!

Story time in his chair...
Behind the Memory:
Unfortunately, I don't have many years of memories of my dear Grandpa, but I do remember him. I remember how he sat in his chair while my Grandma sat in her rocking chair and we just relaxed together at night. Grandpa sat in his chair and I fondly remember him keeping a tiny dish of honey roasted peanuts on the left arm of the chair that he'd munch on over the coarse of the evening. He'd sit there and read us stories (the book he is reading in this picture was my favorite!), read the paper, watch tv, talk with my Grandma... it was his chair and that is a sweet little memory I have of him. 

Remembering their smiles and happiness...
Behind the Memory:
Obviously I am just a few months old here, so I do not have any recollection of this time with Grandma and Grandma. I do know we were up in Vermont staying at my Uncle's cabin at the lake...and I do know it was a happy time. You can tell by the look on their faces. They're really happy. I may not remember this specific moment, but I remember a lot of happiness and sharing many smiles with them, especially my Grandma. Oh, how I miss them!

Tales of the three musketeers...

 Behind the Memory:
We are the three oldest cousins on my Dad's side. Dave is in the middle; he's the oldest. Next comes me and Mike, on the right, is a little younger than me. After myself came Mike and six years after me began the next round of cousins. We came in spurts. :) For a few years, it was just the three of us. We got along pretty well. Sure there were definitely tattle tales and tears at times, but I have so many fun memories with my boy cousins. Now, they are both muuuuccch taller than me and two really great guys. We were in my grandparents backyard in this picture wearing t-shirts from my Dad's landscaping business.

The closest little men I will ever have to brothers...

Behind the Memory:
You've all heard me talk about my sisters, well, did you know I have a bunch of little brothers too?! There's only five here, but that's not all of them. I'll have to dig up a picture of all the kids. When we lived in Maryland there was a family that moved into my Grandma's house (after she passed away) and at the time they had (I think) five little boys. Our families became the closest and dearest of friends. I thank God for their family every day. They are a wonderful family to look up to. When we moved away, one of the worst things to deal with was leaving them. I cried and cried and cried... I still have a hard time with missing this dear family. Now, there's 10 beautiful little kiddos and I love each and every one of them dearly. I'll never forget each day driving up and down our driveway passing their house and all the kids would run to my car to say hello. Even if I was in a rush, I always treasured those moments and think of them quite often. It's those small seemingly not too important moments, that mean the most to me. In this picture we were hanging out in our garage on the new shelves built. Not sure what we were really doing, but I do remember I had a lot of fun with them. And it was a really good excuse to hug my little Joe real tight! Not sure if you can tell in this picture, but I have an incredibly big soft spot for him. :) Oh, to go back to the days when I could see them, hug them and talk to them regularly. Thankfully their sweet Mom writes a blog and keeps everyone updated on the stories of their beautiful family. It's a lifesaver, let me tell ya! It helps me feel like I am still there sometimes.

Happy Birthday my dear girls...

Behind the Memory:

In the first two pictures we are celebrating Irm's birthday. We were actually supposed to be in Disney World that day, but our trip was unexpectedly cut short. My great- Aunt Agnes passed away and we left a couple days earlier than planned. We had a fabulous trip and it was very nice to at least spend a quick morning with her to celebrate her special day. And the last one, is of the twins. Are they cute or what?! I don't remember how old they were here... possibly six. I love birthdays with these chick-a-dees!

I'm so thankful for these photos...

Behind the Memory:
Like I said earlier, I only had a few years with my Grandpa and I am so thankful for the photographs that captured those times together. Even more than that though, I am thankful for the home videos I have of them. It helps me to keep their voices, their laughs, their smiles, their mannerisms clear in my mind and in my heart. Because of those moments captured on video, I am even more grateful for my birthday gift from Mami and Papi. I will now capture moments from the current years and events in my life to look back on in the years to come.

With a hint of a future post, I say good night...
Behind the Memory:
I will post more to this memory hopefully tomorrow or this weekend. But this is exactly what I am going to go do now... Curl up with my blankie covers and lay on the church pew bed.

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