The Year In Pictures!

Children’s Hospital patient at 34 years young!

Queenie & Mary at Mary's Wedding!

My Godmother, Mary Ann & I at the Arch!

Sarah, Stu & Rebecca at VA Tech!

Melissa & Taylor and I on the Riverwalk in San Antonio

Mom, Lauren and Dad at the ACHA Walk

My heart after cardiac ablation!

Ava & Aunt Lolo

Patrick & Lauren at Thanksgiving!

Happy New Year from all of us to all of YOU!

Happy New Year!  Celebrate Safely & HAVE FUN!!!

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The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things…

but…here’s my rendition of the Ten Best “Things” in 2011:

10.  Four words:  March Madness & Go Blue!

9.  Rockin’ The Red for Jackson & following his stories of success & progress at http://thedundonsnest.blogspot.com


8.  The multiple visits to San Antonio to see old clients, new friends & to experience Wurstfest!

7.  Road tripping at Easter with Stu to Radford to see Sarah & Rebecca  with a fun-filled side visit to Virginia Tech.

6.  A visit to my Godmother in Saint Louis made super fun with relaxation time, a birthday party & a Cardinals game!

5.  Getting out of Children’s Hospital after 7 days! 
 (Hmmm, similar to #5 on 2010 top 10 list?!)

4.  Participating with my parents in the Adult Congenital Heart Association‘s Walk for the first time AND being the top fundraiser (with 4 days notice)! The 2012 ACHA Congenital Heart Walk is May 5 – Give now, join my team, Smitty’s Steppers, and mark your calendar to walk with us!

3.  Trips:  A fun wedding weekend in Warwick, NY with one of mom’s best girlfriends, Mary, marrying the “man on fire!” and Great Wolf Lodge with Mom, Dan, Peg, Matt, Misty, Madison & Ava Elisabeth!

2.  Good health – by way of saying farewell to some parts and repairing others repeatedly!

1. Love from Friends. Love from Family. Family & Friends.  I wouldn’t have made it thru 2011 without any of you!

Remembering My Friend, Judy!

It’s been a sad and difficult week to be an Alexandrian.

I think we are all living and walking around surrounded by a huge cloud of disbelief.

See, Alexandria’s finest (tho that still sounds so cliché) passed away on Monday morning.

Here it is Friday and tonight MANY will gather to mourn together in person, finally, and celebrate our friend, Judy.

Since I am out of town and unable to attend “the festivities,” I feel the need to take my in-flight time to write.

It will be “old home week” there at Everly Wheatley tonight and I would be lying if I did not mention that is where I want to be. Circumstances won’t allow for me to be there this evening or tomorrow at 4 p.m. in what is guaranteed to be a standing-room-only Del Ray United Methodist Church to celebrate Judy’s life a little more.

I wanted a venue in which to share my Judy story that was not a Facebook post or comment, so I’m using my blog to do so and hope that that will suffice. I know Judy was a reader of my blog and I think she would like this shout out!

My mother swears I met Judy at an Alexandria Democratic Committee meeting, but I feel like it was at a fancy dinner or fundraiser somewhere in the City. Either way, I definitely remember the intro. It went like this:

“Lauren, come over here you’ve got to meet Judy Lowe.”

“Judy, this is my daughter, Lauren, she just bought a condo in Del Ray!”

“Oh I know it, I could tell she was your daughter right away!”

That’s it, that’s all that matters. Then and there – I met her. Period. From then on I was a different person because I knew Judy Lowe and guess what? She loved me from the second she met me and I knew it!

This had to have been around 2002 so, since time flies when you’re having fun, that means I have known and loved and been loved by Judy for nine fabulous years!

I could probably write for days sharing my Judy stories, but I won’t. I will try to put just some quickly right here.

The morning after Sheriff Dana Lawhorne won the election, November 9, 2005, Judy called me and said, “come over here, I have something for you.” You don’t tell Judy no and so I went. Up the familiar front stairs I marched on West Mount Ida. Larry got the dog settled down (everyone there is always so happy to see me!) and Judy said “come sit next to me on the couch here, I have something for you.” Quickly followed by, “Larry, hand me that Staples bag on the table.” “Staples bag,” I thought, “what am I in for, exactly?”

Out of the bag Judy handed me an Easy Button. We both started cracking up. She says, “hit it,” so I did!

It says, “That was easy” and she said, “Wasn’t that easy?”

She meant beating Bill Cleveland and running Dana’s campaign in general! Too funny! She is the cutest and LOVED a good Democratic victory as much as I did!

I should stop there but I cannot. So many of my friends and I have such good Judy memories and quips and quotes!

Once upon a time Mom and Ruth and Stu and I volunteered to drive Judy to an event, a Democratic fundraiser in Crystal City. So for those of you from here, you know we went from Del Ray to Crystal City. Not a big deal, right? Wrong! Stu and I were in the back seat about to wet our pants we were laughing so hard overhearing Judy try to tell my mom how to get there!

“Get out of this lane, you’ll end up at the airport!”

“Put your turn signal on!”

“Slow down, this lane ends!”

I could go on, but I’ll stop, we’d be here all day!

Judy goes on, though. We will never ever forget her. Not when we’re on Monroe Avenue, not when we see someone without his or her turn signal, or windshield wipers or headlights on, not when we drive up West Mount Ida, never, “I just know it.”

I love you, Judy. I wish I got to tell you that once more.

Judy’s obituary & details for remembrances is here:

http://www.everlywheatleyfuneralhome.com/obituaries/tribute.html?url=http://stei-24561.tributes.com/show/Judith-Utterback-Lowe-92863059