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Friday, January 22, 2016

Getting current with Lindsay

Since my blogging skills have been,ah hem, lacking for a good while, I'm going to try and do a brief update on each of the kids. Doing big picture here, people. With a family of 6, there is almost always something going on, activity to go to or things to celebrate. The good news is I'm present and enjoying every one of these moments. The bad news is I'm not popping on here to chronicle these events. I'm trying to do better. Baby steps.

This fall, Lindsay had her Senior photos completed. Our good friend, Adam Wray, did us the honors of capturing Lindsay. After talking with Lindsay and Adam, we decided to shoot in Downtown Nashville. Lindsay literally stopped traffic.

As you can see, the results were fantastic! A great blend of street/urban and some natural settings. 

True beauty- Class of 2016

The girls at home also managed to attended our first University of Tennessee football game this fall. It was a campus visit for both Lindsay and Courtney.

They scored some free T-shirts and we also heard the Rocky Top song no less than a few hundred times that day. It was almost painful to admit, but that song/chorus is quite catchy!

We sported our Orange for the big game.

Lindsay also ran as Vice President of the United States this year.
Not quite ready to run the country, but she was equipped to run for her Honors Government class.

We celebrated Lindsay's 18th Birthday

For her Birthday party, we held a painting class at our house.

Beautiful sunflowers resulted from the party,

In early December, we had a big (to us) it was really quite small production crew come to our home to film Lindsay, John and myself. Lindsay getting her microphone on. It was  amazing to see just how much work goes into setting up for a basic interview filming.

Watching Lindsay during her interview. I was sitting in a small back entrance but careful to be out of her line of site so I wouldn't make her nervous.

Lindsay and all but one of the crew members. The 2 ladies on the left(and one not pictured) flew all the way from New York for this interview.

Then Lindsay received BIG NEWS!

She was accepted to University of Tennessee, Knoxville! This was the university that she was hoping to be accepted to and she was overjoyed to get this letter. Looking forward to Lindsay's last semester of high school and savoring every last moment of her at home.

Hoping to update more of the Apedaile kids very soon.

Monday, January 11, 2016

9/11 Memorial and Museum

Going to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum was one of the top items that Lindsay requested that she be able to visit on her trip. This was our first visit there despite having been to NYC one time for me and a few times for John prior to this trip.

Going to the site proved to be an emotional and life changing experience. While most of what is here on the site is deeply sorrowful, horrible and unthinkable, it is a place that I can't recommend more for everyone to visit. It's hard to put into words, but I left that day being reminded of what our country went through, is still fighting with acts of terrorism and the strong sense of community and patriotism NYC and our nation experienced.

Even though Lindsay was alive when the attacks occurred, she was very young. This was something that deeply touched her. Seeing things first hand she had only seen in textbooks, on television or told by John or I came to life and brought a new meaning/understanding.

The Freedom Tower

Majestic, beautiful and touching the clouds. We explored the Memorial Plaza while we waited for our turn to go inside the Museum.

Looking across the reflection pool towards the upper right center is the 9/11 Museum building.

While bustling with people from all over the country and world, there was a somber reverence in the air.

Each area of the two memorial pools held the names of the victims- all grouped together by event. The Twin Towers, each of the Flights,First Responders and Pentagon.

All of the names were cut out and illuminated with lights below.

Scattered through the names, we would encounter a flower, note or American Flag placed inside the name on the memorial. It would immediately bring it back just how it continues to impact people every single day.

Despite what this represents and historically what took place on this very spot, it was absolutely beautiful. Done SO WELL.

We didn't have any idea of what to expect, but it quickly became moments of being brought back to that day, but with such a new awareness. Due to just wanting to experience everything fully as well as out of respect of what this museum contained, I didn't take many photos.
Above this is the area we entered where most of the exhibits were- the lower level of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

There were so many items that much of the world identifies or is familiar with from the 9/11 attacks on display. This was the Fire Engine that sat outside the World Trade Center buildings that was mangled after the buildings collapsed. There were displays with stories, videos, audio recordings and photos from 2001.

The  National 9/11 American Flag, Originally flown at the Twin Towers, the tattered flag was restored by touring the U.S. and restored by Americans from all 50 states by patching it from other damaged flags.  Truly beautiful.

This interactive screen was where visitors could write messages.

After a few moments, the message would appear on a large world map. Scattered though the map we would occasionally see sentiments from children or spouses expressing how they missed their loved one killed in the attacks. It was so heart wrenching to see those pop up knowing people directly impacted were just feet away.
Nighttime brought a simple glow to the memorial pools.

Freedom Tower at Night

This massive wall in the museum is clearly one that caused all to stop and pause for a long time. The 2,983 squares represents the victims from the 9/11 as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The squares are blue as to capture the shades of the perfectly clear blue sky on the morning of 9/11. The quote, "No Day Shall Erase You From The Memory Of Time"- Virgil was created from the steel from the World Trade Center. Behind the concrete walls lies the remains of the victims that were not able to be removed.

We Shall Never Forget

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Empire State Building

 The iconic Empire State Building. It was so much fun to go to the 86th floor observation deck of this beauty. We started off our day here and we found that was the perfect time to go. We had minimal lines to wait for our turn up, but it was easy to see that during peak season that could easily be a several hour wait.

It was amazing to see all of the photography of the building, photos depicting how it was built, the history and even an audio tour. Since the crowds hadn't really formed, we walked right through those areas, so my photos were limited.

As soon as you enter one of the most familiar walls of the Empire State building that has been featured in many movies. 

John, Lindsay and myself immediately started quoting lines from Elf where Buddy was entering the building trying to reach his father. It was so cool to see in person scenes from some of the movies I've watched over and over.

Stunning medallion in the floor. The entire building looked to be in such great shape and so clean- doesn't look like 4 million people visit it every year.

We we arrived to the top it was just quiet, beautiful views of the city. Freedom tower and the Statue of Liberty on the right greeted us.

If we stuck our heads through the gate, there were some great views of the streets.

Like this

Just seeing the Freedom tower in the distance started to bring about emotions of the magnitude of what happened here  nearly 15 years ago. We would be visiting the Memorial later that day.

The Hudson river

It was so peaceful just to look across the city.

Lindsay absolutely loved the Empire State building

John and I enjoying our time with the birthday girl

Daddy & daughter

The windy side of the building!

View towards Central Park

Chrysler building in the distance

Once again, the wind made for some fun moments with my hair,

Lindsay taking advantage of the birds eye view

Buildings for days

One of my favorite photos of Lindsay and I on the trip

We had fun exploring the shop after we descended from the observation deck. It was so cute listening to some of the staff telling children that they had gorilla souvenirs because one helped to build the Empire State Building. Seeing the little ones eyes get so big was priceless!

A few photos before we left. Of course we started quoting Elf again- LOL.

It looks like John was posing for another photographer here- ha ha!

A kind tourist offered to take our photo- LOVE!