Monday, January 10, 2022

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Last Wednesday at 1:36am my paternal Grandmother passed away. She was the strongest woman I know besides my own mother. Her husband died when she was 52 years old and she spent her remaining years being a businesswoman, philanthropist and family keeper-together-er.

She took me and my girl cousin to Europe when I was 10. Just the three of us. It was an amazing trip and I will never forget vacillating between amazement and thinking it was perfectly normal to be looking out on the Swiss Alps. Two years later she took all four grandkids out west. It was a wonderfully hilarious trip.

We had a long time to prepare her death. She was 94 for heaven's sake. She lived an amazingly full life and the last thing she wanted was to wither away in a bed. Nevertheless, when I was told she was close to passing I became so sad. Helpless to stop the inevitable. It was her time.

On February 26th, 2014 I was given an amazing gift. It is one that I will never forget. I was able to hold her in her last moments. And then be with her, praying, as the final arrangements were made to retrieve her.

My children adored her. They would tell her endless stories about school and their friends. Things they never talked about ("what did you do today?" "oh, nothing") were shared between them like an exciting tale not to be missed. They drew pictures for her. Constantly. She in turn sent them cards and notes and asked about what each one was doing.

My brother and I were very close to her. Growing up we spent a lot of time with her in Josephine, AL.

She taught me to never settle. She always said that education is so important and that we must never stop learning. She also taught me to help those in need. Seek out people who need us. We are God's hands here on earth. She spoke her mind. No matter what. I envy her for that.

She is the only grandparent I have known in my adult life. There is something about a relationship as it moves from being taken care of to friend to caretaker that bonds you eternally.

I will miss you Grandmom. Every day.

Her Obituary:
Long, Full Life Ends for Helen Weekley Wood. Helen Odeel (Weekley) Wood, born in Rabun, Alabama August 24, 1920, died on February 26th, 2014 in Spanish Fort. She was a member of many civic and church organizations and active in Baldwin and Mobile Counties where she lived her whole life. Born to Clifford Woodrow and Lillian (Reuter) Weekley, she was one of five children. Her high school days were divided between Robertsdale and Fruitdale, where she graduated. She was a member of the basketball team, Beta Club and was Salutatorian of her class. After graduation, she attended Huffstattler Business College in Mobile and was first employed by the Mobile Press Register. She later worked several bookkeeping jobs at the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company during World War II. Helen met George Raymond Wood in Mobile and they were married in Biloxi on August 10, 1945. She worked with Raymond in his electrical contracting business (G.R. Wood & Co., Inc.) in Mobile for many years. They also enjoyed boating together with family and friends in the power cruiser Raymond designed and built (featured in Motor Boating magazine). He was a decorated teacher of Advanced Piloting as a volunteer (11th Merit Mark) for the Power Squadron, where Helen also earned a certificate in "Seamanship, Piloting and Small Boat Handling". Raymond passed away in 1972. Helen continued to develop the land they loved on Perdido Bay in Josephine. Faith was prominent in Helen's life. She served in a number of roles in multiple churches locally. While living in Josephine, Alabama, she led a youth choir at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Elberta that performed on radio, at the town Christmas tree lighting and a joint Easter Sunrise Service with Foley Lutheran Church. She was Secretary-Treasurer of the Gulf States Lutheran Missionary League (two years) and worked in Vacation Bible School. Helen joined the Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church in 1966. Her many activities included being Treasurer of the Women of the Church (15 years) and of the District (two years). She donated funds and oversaw the building of the church parking lot, renovated the church kitchen, furnished the pastor's office, among other projects. She received the Honorary Life Membership from the Women of the Church in 1997. Philanthropy and community service were important to Helen. In 1949, she was one of five women who canvassed the community to gain support for a natural gas system from the City of Fairhope, resulting in the project's success and a donation to the United Methodist Church Sanctuary Fund. Mr. & Mrs. Wood donated waterfront property on Perdido Bay in 1953 to the Lutheran Layman's League, leading to the founding of the Camp Dixie, Inc. center – an outdoor ministry for youth. She was instrumental in getting two boat ramps built in 2001 in Josephine Park. In Fairhope, Helen was active in the P.T.A., was a home room mother and a Cub Scout Leader. She was quick to assist those in need on a number of occasions. Helen was active in community service, as was her family.  Her brother-in-law Jim Gaston, Sr. and her uncle Clyde Weekley served together for sixteen years on the Baldwin County Commission. She helped her communities in many ways. Helen supported the repair of the Fruitdale High School (1995-2003), in honor of which her portrait hangs in the Washington County "Hall of Fame" in the Chatom court house. In 2001, Helen donated 7.4 acres of waterfront property near Dog River on Mobile Bay. The State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the City of Mobile developed it, naming it the Helen W. Wood Park in her honor. Helen loved to travel, having visited over fifty countries globally. And, she involved her beloved grandchildren in the process, taking her grandsons to Kenya (1989), her granddaughters to the European Alpine countries (1991), and the whole group on a tour of the parks and canyons of the western U.S. (1993). She is survived by her sisters, Mrs. Bernice Weekley Brandon of Mobile, Mrs. Carol Weekley Thomas of Greensboro, NC, and her brother Charles Fields of Mobile. Her children are her daughter, Evelyn L. (Bob) Young of Fairhope and her son Norman E. (Victoria) Wood of Mobile. She has four grandchildren: Daniel Raymond Young of Washington, DC; Mary Helen Young (Matt Short) of London, England; Norman Staples (Dr. Nancy) Wood of Mobile, and Jessica Kimbrough Wood (Kevin) Garrison of Birmingham, Alabama – all of whom she was very proud. There are four great-grandchildren and numerous other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her husband, George Raymond, her sister Laura Weekley, and her brother Clifford Woodrow Weekley. A private, family service is planned with burial in Fairhope Memorial Gardens March 1st, 2014. Rev. Bert Tuggle of Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church will preside. Arrangements are by Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Home & Crematory of Fairhope. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

School Days...

Whoa. That summer went by fast. The kiddos and I had SO much fun this summer. I was really nervous about having everyone home all summer and trying to entertain 4 kiddos at different stages. Luckily, we were never low on ideas of things to do. We went to the zoo a ton and made the rounds to all the different playgrounds in the Birmingham area. A few things we did:
1) Went to Fort Morgan for Memorial Day. Kevin was able to join us and it was so much fun. This was our first experience with Fort Morgan and it is awesome. Such a low key and lovely place. Thanks to my momma for inviting us!
2) Hung out with the Wellings for a MONTH! That was awesome. The kiddos forgot for 4 weeks that their favorite girlfriends had moved to Texas.
3) Went to Mobile for a week. Moseley was able to do Art Camp for 2 weeks so when we went to pick him up we just stayed for the week. We got to catch up with friends and family.
4) Lilly Marie turned ONE! What???? I know. We missed her whole first year. Honestly, there was no other way because life with these 4 kiddos is plain nutty (in a wonderful way, of course).

School starts for Moseley next Monday (August 19th). First grade is the big time!! Last week I was really sad about everyone going back to school. This week, God came down into my children's hearts and made them turn into monsters of crazy so that I would be thankful that school was starting. True story.

The younger three start school the following Tuesday (August 27th). I will actually be able to grocery shop alone and get my hair cut on Tuesdays!! I am very excited about that. I will miss these sweet babies but our household might just fall apart if I can't get a few hours a week alone :)


Thursday, July 5, 2012

One week to go!

In one week from right now I will be at the hospital preparing to have our fourth (and final!) baby. I thought I would be sad to see the "last" pregnancy come to a close but I can honestly say I am not. This has been the longest and hottest pregnancy of all of them. I know God had a plan when he "surprised" us with this sweet baby sister but I think His bigger plan was to make me SURE I never wanted to be pregnant again. The peace that comes with knowing you are done ;)

Moseley and Chambers are eager to meet Lilly Marie. They both have clear and definite ideas of what their roles will be. They also both call her different nicknames. Moseley says, "'sister' is his and I can have Roe." Gee thanks, someone must have told him that Roe will have to potty train at some point ;) Chambers was mad we had the bassinet set up in our room. He was under the impression that "baby girl" was going to sleep with him.

Roe has no idea what is going on. I actually feel terrible for him. He is still such a baby. I just pray that we give him the love/attention a 21 month old deserves after Lilly Marie is born.

I am also a tad nervous about the surgery part. I never have been really but since this is my fourth c-section I am really hoping to heal as well as the other times. I had also hoped that IF, down the road, we had decided to have a fourth, I would have had a little more time to heal. Best laid plans and all...

We are so excited to welcome this little life changer into our world of boys. Which, by the way, doesn't just include us. The boy thing is a family wide phenom. Kevin has a brother (no sisters), I have a brother (no sisters). My Aunt only has a son and we have only godsons! Our lives are boy to the max and we love it. This little girl will certainly change our lives.

As much as I am ready to have this girl right now I am thankful for the next 6 days of prep.

And as Kevin says, enjoy it now because once she is born, "she is all mine!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 22, 2012

And we're back!

Ok here is where I promise to be a better blogger... Wait for it... Nope, not gonna happen. Oh well ;) I will try to update more often but my life is crazy busy these days so that is really all I can say.

An update on the boys...

Moseley just turned 5 and is helpful and smart and in a wonderful stage. He also can read which blows my mind! He starts Kindergarten in the fall which is both exciting and very sad. This is the official start to his 13 yrs of lower education and then who knows how many of higher. Did I mention he is helpful? It is essential to the function of our household and I am grateful!

Chambers is three. That should explain a lot but in case it doesn't I will expand. He is adorable. He is inquisitive. He is smart and he is THREEVIL! He uses his manners a lot and flashes his dimple which makes me melt. Then two seconds later he has smashed his brothers ice block that took all night to freeze. It drives me nuts. It really confuses someone who likes consistency! But I love him to pieces and can't imagine living in a quiet, calm world where he doesn't exist.

Roe is a sweet little baby. Yes, he is 20 months and so should be closing in on 2 but he isn't. He still wobbles when he walks. He signs more than talks. He is very, very babyish. I like to think his stability and verbal skills will improve with his tubes being put in. I actually don't care if they do. I like him being my baby. I like holding him. I am now realizing just how short the boys babyhood really is and I just want to drag is out.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Aquarium of the Americas

Today, we headed to New Orleans for the day. We hit up the Aquarium which the boys loved! Then we drove over to Magazine Street to shop and eat. We ate at La Petite Grocery. The crabmeat beignet, iceberg wedge, and gnocchi was fantastic! We then went shopping. Mignon Faget is always a fun place to go. We hit up Orient Expressed as well. We ended at Perlis where I got a seersucker dress. It was a wonderful day and the boys were so sweet. Thanks for the great day, Big Norm and Vic!

Victoria, Chambers and Big Norm watching the fish.

Moseley (& his new iguana) and Big Norm walking down Magazine St.