Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yeseterday, DH came home from work to find a dead bird in the grass under the basketball hoop. The girls were intrigued but Charlotte was bordering on obsessed. She said, "Call me when dinner is ready. I'm going to look at the birdy."

So while the girls were playing outside today, I didn't think about it when they were talking about the bird. They know not to touch it or anything, right?

Char rang the doorbell and Sarah tried to let her in. She came to me and said, "Mom, Char wants to bring the baby bird in the house."

I bolted to the front door to find Charlotte on the front porch carrying the dead bird by the neck, albeit very lovingly. I immediately told her to drop the bird and come in the house. We washed hands several times and sanitized twice. I changed her clothes and called the pediatrician. Because Char is snuggly and a thumbsucker, my main concern was that she sucked her thumb after touching the bird or tried to smooch it. YUCK!!!

The pediatrician said to wash her hands (check!), change her clothes (check!), and wash her face/neck (check!). So I think we're good, but the thought of her sucking her thumb or kissing that thing--barf!!!!!!

It's never a dull day around the Murphy home.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Girly weekend

Andy is currently on his way to Cleveland for his annual Guys' Weekend with his dad and brothers. His car, the trusty 1995 Ford Escort, isn't quite as trusty as it used to be so I insisted that he find another form of transportation--so he rented a car. He stopped by at lunch to see the girls and say goodbye.

This means that the girls and I are on our own this weekend. So far, our only plans are church and soccer on Sunday. My plan is to have a lazy, relaxing weekend because next week is pretty busy. I cleaned the house today so I don't have to do it for the rest of the weekend and instead of cooking tonight, we drove through Taco Bell and brought dinner home! NO DISHES!! Maybe we'll have a movie night tomorrow or play nail salon or something girly. Who knows what kind of trouble we'll find? :)

We're definitely missing him but we know he's going to have a fun time and come home refreshed and no douht, with lots of funny stories.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another eerie memory

As I was making Sarah's bed today, I had this odd memory. When we honeymooned in Hawaii, one of the most memorable things we did was visit the site of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Might Missouri (the battleship where the war surrender was signed).

While we were there, we talked about how we couldn't imagine an attack on our country and how blessed we felt to live in an America where nothing like that could happen again. We were silenced with awe and wonder at what those men endured on that awful day in the water off of the coast of Oahu. The sunken ships are still visible and the memorial is built over the USS Arizona. The rusty turrets and stacks are frightening, humbling, and devastating.

Little did we know that just over a week later, we'd experience something on a similar scale and watch it unfold. Heartbreaking.

I looked up some of our photos from that day and thought I'd share them.
From the museum on the island, looking out over the water

On the boat ride out to the Arizona. They played an audio piece with commentary from survivors and family members during the 5-minute ride.

The names of those killed on that fateful day. Many of them found their final resting place directly under our feet as we stood there reading.

Part of the ship sticking out of the water is a reminder of how many men met a watery grave

That fateful morning

At 8:48am, the phone rang and startled me from my sleep. We had returned from our honeymoon less than a week before that morning and since I wasn't teaching full-time, I had the privilege of sleeping in some days during the week.

Andy, from his desk, said, "Turn on the TV. You're going to want to see this. Tell me what you see. John said a plane crashed into the World Trade Center."

I'm a news hound so I like to be on top of the latest news developments. I walked out from our apartment bedroom and over to the television. I hadn't grabbed my glasses or contacts so I couldn't see very well. But standing just a few inches from the television, I couldn't have missed that sight and I'll never forget it. Andy's coworker, John, is a small aircraft pilot and it was initially thought that the plane that crashed was a small plane not unlike those that John flies. So we were concerned that a pilot may have made a catastrophic mistake. But as I stared at the amount of thick, black smoke, it quickly became obvious that it was a much larger craft that had smashed into that building.

As I explained it to Andy, he was relating what I was saying to his gathered co-workers, as they couldn't get access to any news websites because of the sheer volume of people trying to get information. I told Andy I'd call him back and we hung up.

I ran to our bedroom and grabbed my glasses because I was having a hard time believing my eyes. Just as I sat back down, the second plane approached and devastated the other tower. I immediately called Andy back and told him that another plane hit the other building--and I knew immediately that this was no accident. I screamed, "What's going on!!???!!" as if someone would hear me and answer.

Mesmerized, I couldn't move all morning. I called Andy to tell him that the first building had fallen and he said that everyone was heading down to the lobby to watch the two televisions tuned to CNN. He said that the lobby area was crammed full of people trying to get a glimpse of what was happening.

Shortly after the second building fell and the crash into the Pentagon, along with other reports of more hijacked planes and car bombs in Washington, the CEO of LexisNexis announced that they were closing for the day and everyone should go home to be with their families. What we didn't know at the time was that some employees of LexisNexis' parent company, Reed-Elsevier, had been killed during these horrific attacks.

Andy called to tell me that he was heading home (after stopping at Best Buy to purchase a new CD that had come out that morning----ugh). When he got there, I hugged him and was so thankful to have him home.

Together, we watched the day's developments and out the window of our third-story apartment, we watched the skies fall silent. We had always enjoyed our great view of downtown and of all of the planes flying in and out of Dayton airport as well as a smaller Moraine airport. For several days, we saw nothing flying and it made for an eerie feeling.

As 3pm approached, I waited for a call from Sylvan Learning Center where I was scheduled to teach that night but the call never came. So I showered, dressed, and left for work. As I drove the 5 miles to work, I encountered only 3 cars, as everyone was elsewhere, captivated by the terror of that day. When I arrived at work, we had only a few students show up and those who did come were picked up early. So it was a wasted few hours and I was happy to come home.

I watched the rescue and recovery efforts over the next weeks and learned about the heroism and valor of seemingly "regular" folks. I was amazed by the hard work and dedication of citizens from all over the country. As I heard the stories of those who were missing and those who had miraculously survived, to say I was moved, touched, or inspired is complete inadequate.

We were so young in our marriage, so young in our lives, and so infantile in our understanding of true valor. Now, as the mother of two beautiful daughters and new baby on the way, as I watch the dedication of the Pentagon Memorial today, I am struck by a new magnitude of understanding. I'm so grateful that my children will simply read about that day in history books and through stories we will tell them. My heart breaks for the parents who, on that day, were sitting with and reassuring their children on those planes, watching the tragedy unfold on television, or received phone calls from children saying goodbye as they readied themselves to sacrifice their lives to prevent further destruction.

Our lives will never be the same. Our children's lives will never be the same. And our country will never be the same. I imagine that that's how the passengers of Flight 93 who fought against the evil of the hijackers would want it to be.

May God's grace comfort those families who suffered losses, those responders who sacrificed so much to save the lives of so many, and those who work tirelessly to prevent further destruction.