New York City from Statue Ferry, 1995

September 11, 2001…

That day will forever be etched into my memory.

It was my second year in Pennsylvania. I was on my way to North Hills Elementary School to prepare for my day of teaching 5th grade. For some reason I called my parents from the car. My commute was all of 10 minutes and I don’t think I had ever called them for an early morning chat before, but I did on this day. I had no reason to call, but we talked for a few minutes, said ‘I love you’ and ended the call.

I remember it being a beautiful day. The sun was shining. My class was happy. Our morning was productive. The kids went out for recess and that is when my day changed from beautiful to ugly.  A fellow teacher came running into my room with her hand covering her mouth saying, “Oh my God, New York City is under attack.” ….she hustled to my TV and switched on the news. Utter disbelief. This could not be real. We watched for only a few minutes before our principal told us to bring the kids inside.

Moments later I was staring into the eyes of 24 fifth graders, trying to hold back the tears as I told them something terrible had happened in NYC. They had questions and I had no answers. Fortunately we were scheduled for a half day so I encouraged them all to watch the news with their parents and promised them we would talk about it in the morning.

Once the building was kid-free, we teachers gathered in front of the television and watched in horror as our country was being attacked.  We were due in meetings, but our principal told us all to go home. You see, we were only an hour away from Washington DC, and not far from where Flight 93 went down. Tensions were high, fear was out of control. I got in my car and drove home. I was scared. I wanted to talk to Jeremy. He was doing surgery that day at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. He was not answering his phone. I called again and again.  No answer. I called my parents and sat in front of the television, frozen.  Jeremy finally called. I took a deep breath and told him to please hurry home. I did not want to be alone another minute.

My life changed that morning as did each and every true American. My heart was broken for the  lives lost, families torn apart and sense of security that was crushed. The toughest part for me was trying to explain it to my fifth grade friends for the days, weeks and months after. I’m not sure if I helped them get through it or not, but I know I will never forget that class and the discussions we had that year.

New York City is a place I love. I have been numerous times and plan to devote a blog (or two) to the Big Apple. It is full of wonderful people who stood up to the terrorists and persevered. I cannot begin to imagine their grief, but I shared in their pain and offered up many prayers on their behalf.


My folks on our family trip, 1993.



Myself and a friend on my first trip to the city without my dad, 1995.



Go ahead and chuckle at my fashion choices for that day of sightseeing in 1995. It was summer, stripes were in…oh how I wish I still had those gold sandals! Apparently I have been rocking the cross body purse approach for some time! And please, take a moment to truly appreciate my friends ‘construction’ boots!

Jeremy and I spent a few days in the city just last month (celebrating our 10 year anniversary!). This trip included a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I cried. I shook my head. I said a few bad words. We left in silence. The memorial is perfect. The museum is a beautiful building of respect for those who lost their lives. Put it on your bucket list. Take your kids when they are old enough to appreciate it. Visit NYC for it is still an amazing place filled with strong, beautiful, brave people.


A small pat of the 9/11 Memorial.



A support beam from one of the towers.

We all have our own story to share about September 11, 2001.  I encourage you to share it today. With a friend. With your child. With a stranger. Keep it alive. Keep it important. Learn a name of a victim and pray for their family. I chose Kenneth Basnicki. HIs name was the first name I noticed as I came upon the Memorial for Tower One.


The new skyline, again, taken from the Statue Ferry, 2014.


God Bless America!

P.S…..several hours before taking this post live I had lunch with some of my fave girlfriends. Naturally the conversation turned to today. We shared our “where were we” moments. Each memory was vivid and real as they should be. So glad I get to call those ladies my friends.

Live Creatively…




Greetings friends!

Well, I have finally made this whole blog thing a reality.  Find a comfy seat or park your car and let me tell you how ‘Mathis Style’ came to life….

If you know me, you know I love to chat. With friends, my sweet family, random kids on planes, cashiers at checkouts, strangers at restaurants, pretty much anyone who makes eye contact with me! I often find myself in mini conversations with loads of people throughout the day and I love it. Yes, it takes me about an hour to leave a party and my kids always seem to squeeze in an extra 15-20 minutes of playtime when I pick them up because their mama is chatty.  Luckily, this does not seem to faze my husband as he is guilty too!

In addition to being a chatty one, I really do love to write and tell stories. As I took a stroll down memory lane I realized that I have always been writing….diaries, scrapbooks, letters, journals, cards, lists (sometimes just so I can cross things off), emails, a cancer site for my dad, poetry….I even liked the creative writing assignments in college and these days I am a big fan of texting; thank you to that techy person! And yes, texting counts as writing!

People ask me a lot of questions. I must have one of those faces that draws people in…or it could be because I stare. I tend to stare a lot. I am intrigued with people! Thank goodness for dark sunglasses!  Seriously, I love sharing ideas, comparing notes, swapping stories, getting advice; I love interacting with people! I am that person who wants to know where you bought your adorable shoes (so I can get a matching pair), how you manage to work all day and get a meal on the table, what did you buy your husband for Christmas…anything and everything is fair game!

It was Jeremy’s (my hubby) idea for me to start this blog. For years he has overheard me share my ideas and chat with people about so many different topics. He has some amazing ideas on where this may lead and I am excited to see if he is right (if he is I will probably have to make a banner for the yard or something)! My sisters from other misters have been my cheerleaders, saying “about time” and they promised they would read it, my kids are convinced this blog will make them famous and my folks (you will hear lots about them) are beyond encouraging as they have been all of my 29+ years. The + may or may not represent more than 10…

What am a I going to blog about? All things Mathis! Hence the name, MATHIS STYLE. Big shout out to R.K. and A.N. for supplying me with the name! I believe the name was a result of a friendly dig, but nonetheless I loved it as soon as I heard it, it was perfect.

You will hear about my travels; yep I can recommend a restaurant in the Grand Canyon, how to get into the Magic Kingdom before anyone else and a fun glass shop in Prague as my husband and I are complete airport junkies.

I will share my fantastic flea market finds as I am truly in my happy place when I am rooting through someone else’s treasures. Someone who shares my living quarters may refer to these treasures as junk, but I refuse to throw that said person under the bus (for now).

If I am not hosting a party I am probably planning my next one…you will hear all the ins and outs of my parties whether you want to or not!

Organizing ‘stuff’ is a passion addiction of mine. I have a knack for finding the perfect bin/box/bag to house everyday items and make it look kinda cute along the way. I will share all, well most of my secrets! A girl has to have some secrets.

Giving back is important to me. As a family we try really hard to help others…there are lots of ways to do this and I feel passionately about instilling this trait into my kids. Big or small it can be done.

And, of course you will read about my team. I would not be able to “get through this thing called life” without them because well, “life, it means forever and that’s a mighty long time” and who wants to tackle life on their own, right?! They are an awesome team, you’ll see!

So, in honor of Labor Day month (why should it only get one day?) I am launching my Labor of Love. I hope you stick around for the ride, it may be bumpy at times, but we will figure it out together. Come on, admit it, life would be boring without the bumps, right? “Let’s go crazy!”  (I will not apologize for my continued love for Prince, so don’t ask!)

Live Creatively,


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