Our yard is lovely.  Well....to me at least.  It's not manicured and trimmed with big beds and pretty flowers and there is not the perfect, squishy carpet grass (that's what I used to call it when I was a kid), but it totally covered in trees (for a yard in a neighborhood at least).  I mean, there are a lot of trees.  Which means at this time of year - the leaves.  Eye yeye yeye the leaves!  They are everywhere!  They are a foot thick and covering every surface.  My garage is buried in leaves, my walkway is buried in leaves, my back doorstep is buried in leaves.  And to tell you the truth, there is no reason to do anything about it at this point because in 12.7 seconds the wind will blow and it will look just the same all over again.  But we have some neighbors who, bless their hearts, are rueing the day we ever moved in next door.  They are nice neighbors.  The wife is very friendly and the husband delivered bell peppers from their garden to the whole neighborhood this summer, but they are, for lack of a better steryotypial judgement, OCD a little bit.   At least they look that way when I am silently judging them from my yard.  Their house took a longer than usual time to build because they wanted it perfect and more reinforced than a normal house.  The yard is perfect, the flowers are perfect, the garden is perfect.  There is never a stick that fell down from a tree on the ground longer than a few hours.  And honestly, I hope you don't think I am talking about them negatively - I am just saying that if they are daylight then we are dark.  Black and white.  Could not be more different from one another.  We have toys in the yard.  For the past two seasons our garden has been waist high in weeds.   It's stick-a-palooza out there man.  We are the poster children for deferred maintenance.  And while our two acre yard is a foot deep in leaves, their's is spotless.  I was getting out of my car Sunday afternoon to find him mowing and mulching between the trees in the woods beside their house.  The woods people.  He was mowing the woods.  But anyhoos, my point is, our poor neighbors probably hate our guts because we don't rake our leaves and they all blow on to their perfectly and obsessively manicured yard right next door - causing them to have to mow and mulch obsessively.  In the woods no less.  Dude - he was mowing the woods.

    So because we are yard lame-os who ruin our neighbor's lives with our leaves, we decided to do something about it this weekend.

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We hired this wonderful girl Leslie to rake the whole yard.
    SIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!  We piled them up and jumped in them, throwing caution to the wind and leaving sticks and toys laying around everywhere.

   (warning - the following are photos of my super cute family unit plus my daddy who came for a visit and some of our sweet college kids who stopped by because they moved away and miss us.  If you do not want to see that, then you should move along)
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First we moved the trampoline over to the giant pile and the boys jumped big time.
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But if you know my daddy at all then you know he was terribly nervous that someone was going to get hurt. Then when Turnanator did a cannonball and hit his rear hard on the ground, we listened and moved the trampoline.
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"Sheeeeese" (that's baby for cheese) p.s. - what is up with that kid's hair?
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Didn't take long at our house before a football game broke out. I was recruited to play, but then I was quickly kicked off the team for repeatedly complaining about being improperly brazziered and repeatedly forgetting if I was on offense or defense.
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I am totally going to let you believe that my sweet angel boy caught that pass and scored a touchdown.
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Here is Destruct-o-girl having a large time in the swing because Wo'in (Robbin) was being awesome and pushing her really really high. Wheeeeeeeeeeee! (p.p.s. this was when the hairbow was still able to be located and not buried under a pile of leaves. and that is eczema on the cutie face. it's a right of passage in our family. if you are one of Aaron's kids then you have to have a couple of righteous bouts with the stuff before you can grow up. it will go away one day. I hope.
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Sitting in the leaves with Grandaddy. Priceless.
    Now brace yourselves for what you are about to see, but at first we thought we just had a pile of leaves in our yard.  Turns out there was a monster.  A terrible, awful, scary, leaf monster.  It was heinous.
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Oh wait - maybe I mean it was handsome. Yeah......I definitely mean it was handsome.
 
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photo taken from National Geographic website
    I was 20 years old, and a student at Mississippi State University.  I had a 9:00 class that Tuesday morning, Microbiology with Dr. Downs in Hand Biological Sciences building's large auditorium.  I hopped in my white Toyota Corrolla to leave for class and I couldn't turn the radio to a station that didn't have news.  It didn't take me but a second to realize that it was Peter Jennings' voice I was hearing, and obviously something very, very serious was going on.  As I got to campus I just sat in my car and listened until the last possible second before class, and when I got there everyone was abuzz.  Dr. Downs came in and said, "we're not going to be here but a few minutes today.  There's some fires going on upstairs that I've got to get back to".  (his office was up there and had a tv)  As soon as he let us go I skipped my next class and rushed home to park myself in front of the tv.  My roommate and I just sat there the rest of the day amazed and scared.  I remember bawling when they showed flags hanging all over New York and America, bawling when I heard the details, bawling when I heard about the last phone calls by the passengers of the plane in Pennsylvania.  Aaron called me and told me he loved me.  We were still basically kids with no idea how to processes that day.  

    Today they were playing nonstop footage from that day on a local radio station, and Super G asked me what was going on.  Strangely enough I couldn't even explain it to him without bawling again, 10 years later. 

    Isn't is amazing how much truth is in the statement "we'll never forget"?
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