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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Daddy

Robert Earl Johnson:

June 15, 1944- February 17, 2009

Well, as most of you already know, my dad passed away unexpectedly almost two weeks ago. He had had some chronic health issues for years, but it was definitely unexpected. I actually had this written about a week ago, but was waiting to try to find some pictures I wanted to post. I still haven't found them, so I figured I'd just post it now, and post the pictures as soon as I find them.
I've written tributes on this blog to each of my children, my husband and even my dogs. So now I want to take the opportunity to write a tribute to one of the most important people in my life ever.

My Dad was truly one of the best people ever. He worked harder than any person I've ever met all for his family. He was the least selfish, most loving man I've ever known.

He grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida from the time he was around 6 months old up until he had had his 3rd child. He was the third of four children and grew up with very little money. If I remember correctly, he started work at the very young age of around 8. He began delivering papers and never stopped working for the rest of his life. From there he took varying jobs one of which included working at the fishing dock there in Tampa Bay. He LOVED to fish. It was always one of his most favorite things to do. :) Ultimately, he took a job with Southern Bell Company, later known as Bellsouth and now a part of AT&T, and worked there for over 27 years. Through that job, he was able to put himself through college all while getting married and starting a family with my mother. Through his hard work and determination, he graduated from Jacksonville State University and continued his education with a masters degree from Georgia State University.

I always thought that was such an accomplishment. Due to his hard work, he enabled me to go to college without the worry of having to pay my own way. I can't have even imagined trying to accomplish that now even with the ease of student loans and whatnot. So imagine how difficult it must have been to do it back then, while working full-time and taking care of a family. That was one of the things I admired most about him.

After my two older brothers and sister was born, my parents moved from Tampa, FL to Lawrenceville, GA. Myself and my younger brother were not part of the plan, but they somehow managed to raise 5 children. :)

My dad did work his way up the corporate ladder over the years to the point that he was an Executive at Bellsouth. But, another great thing about him was that honestly, he could have been one of the VPs or CEOs had he wanted to. He could have put in more time at work and really established himself within the business, but he was too certain to make a commitment to each of his children. Of all things in life, he loved us and my mother the most. He missed only 3 of my brother Bob's sporting events, and that included his wrestling matches, football games, and baseball games. My other brothers, Todd and James, also participated in sports and he didn't miss any of those, either.

My sister and I spent our time in gymnastics, ballet, and cheerleading, things he honestly cared nothing about, but he went to all of our programs as well, because he wanted to be there for us. And what was great is that he continued that support and dedication as a grandparent with all of his 11 grandchildren as well.

I remember last May he attended Gracie's ballet recital. She was in the like 10th group out of 14 before the intermission. He and Cooper sat next to each other and though one was 63 and one was 5, you would have never been able to tell the difference by their actions! :) Both of them set there continuously asking, "Where's Gracie? When is she coming on?" Then once she was finally on stage, both of them watched intently, enjoying every moment of seeing her up on stage all dolled up and so proud of her. And then the moment she exited stage left, "Ok, let's go!" My mother and I were both whispering to them, "NO!" You can't get up in the middle of the concert and just leave! ha ha! :) Finally, intermission came and we were able to go get Gracie. As soon as my Dad saw her, he exclaimed quite frankly how she was definitely the best girl in her class. This was done of course right in front of all the other girls! :) He didn't care. He really thought she was great and felt she should know it!

He was an extremely humble man. He never really had the need for stuff. He always drove beat up trucks or cars without the headliner in them. He had this gray truck that he called “The Gray Ghost” that he would drive me to school in and it embarrassed me so much! :) But he would just laugh. He wore suits for so many years at work that you couldn’t get him in one for anything other than each of our weddings. Otherwise the best you got was a polo and some khakis or most of the time a flannel jacket and a t-shirt and dickies! :)

He was a big man that would come across as scary if you didn’t know him. But in reality, he was just a big teddy bear! :) He had this problem where he just couldn’t say no. Sometimes that was a good thing, and sometimes maybe not such a good thing, but all he wanted was for us to be happy! When I was a senior in high school, Adam was attending his first year in college and we were doing the long-distance thing. Well, back then that meant long-distance phone calls as well. Once, after seeing the horrendous phone bill I’m sure, he asked me if it was necessary for me to call him EVERY night. I said yes of course, and that was the end of the conversation. :)

He also had this tendency to get upset when we were upset. One day in high school I returned home from spending the afternoon with my mother picking out a prom dress for me to wear to the upcoming prom with my boyfriend Billy. Well, right after I got home that afternoon, Billy came over to promptly break up with me on my front porch! We were sitting there as I was crying and Billy was trying to smooth things over when my Dad came home from work. He asked what was wrong, and I explained to him in front of Billy about how we were breaking up. My dad's immediate response to each of our faces was, "Good. He's no good for you anyways!" Of course I was mortified even further and ticked off that he wasn't "understanding" of my hurt feelings. But I realize now of course that he did understand. He understood that that would happen many more times before any of it really meant anything.

He used to ask me and my mom and brothers and sisters if he had an "S" on his shirt, because we thought of him as Superman. He would say, "Good thing these are broad shoulders guys." and laugh! And the reality of it was that in our eyes, he really was Superman. He was our daddy and could handle and fix anything for us.

Daddy, you will always be my superman. I'm not exactly sure what I'll do without those broad shoulders there for me anymore, but I know that you'll still always be there for me whenever I need you. I love you so much, and can't wait until the day in which I get to see you again.

Your Kellye Marie

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tri Your Best Clinic TONIGHT!!

I will be hosting a Training Plan/Strength Training Clinic tonight at the new triathlon store in the Atlanta area, TRI YOUR BEST!!

Wonderful opportunity to meet new training partners in your area, learn about properly planning for your 2009 racing season, learn to incorporate strength training into your swim, bike, run training AND get to check out an AWESOME new store that you should visit!


Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Price of Beauty!

About a week ago, I took Gracie to a dress-up Tea Party! It was sponsored by our neighborhood club, and as soon as I saw the advertisement for it in our monthly newsletter, I knew this was HER kind of thing!

So her and one of her good friends went together and for the price of only $10 this is what we got!!

Royal Manicure- Sprinkles included!

Sparkle Face Art work!


"Highlights"- Pink, Sparkles, Orange, Green... Your choice!
Extra Accessories available!

American Idol 2025!!

And then, a served tea for the dressed up occasion!

Now that is a bargain! Where's mine for $10??? :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Special Delivery!

I'm so excited! My special delivery has arrived!

I have been so fortunate enough to have some sponsorship through Nuun for the 2009 season. I received my first shipment recently, and it's full of great stuff!

Nuun is seriously one of my favorite training tools. Complete hydration that taste REALLY good and has almost no calories! Great for training when you don't need super amounts of calories, like in this base phase, or if you just focus more on short distance racing.

Hydration is so important when training and considering I live in hot as ever Atlanta where the humidity hangs out around 90% each day during the summer, it becomes even more important. This stuff Works!


And I'm still trying to decide on a favorite flavor! Tri-berry is oh so good! I've been very much into Lemon lime lately. Plus, they have Kona Cola, Orange Ginger and Citrus Fruit! Great stuff! Thanks Team Nuun! Looking forward to a long and well hydrated 2009 together!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Groundhog's Day!

Even Rocky can get festive for Groundhog's Day!

Yesterday was Groundhog’s Day, and for people that have been reading my blog for a while, you know that that is actually a holiday in our household!

Adam and I have been together forever it seems now! :) He, being the cute and funny person that he thinks he is, decided to start calling Groundhog’s day his favorite holiday back at the beginning of college sometime. Then me, being the Elementary School Teacher type person, decided to celebrate it!

Though I’d never excluded Adam from Valentine’s Day, it really does have a tendency to focus on the girl in relationships. So… he gets Groundhog’s Day, and I get Valentine’s Day! Works out rather nicely!

I always try to somewhat incorporate the Groundhog’s predictions around his gifts. This year, that darn Groundhog saw his shadow and is predicting more winter. But, I decided the upside of that is that it gives us 6 more weeks to get ready for spring and summer clothing!

We’re both making an effort to get back into the swing of things food and exercise wise. So for this year’s theme… I decided he had 6 more weeks of Workout time to get ready for his Hot Summer Bod!! :)

For Dinner…. I picked up one of his favorite Subs from Firehouse Subs. A much healthier choice than his usual Long John Silver’s pick! What can I say? He’s easy to please! :)

For Dessert…. Nothing cake, cookie, or double chocolate huge dessert this year! Nope, I bought some fresh strawberries and some dark chocolate dipping sauce. It wasn’t completely guilt-free, but the chocolate was dark which is good for you, it wasn’t that bad on the calorie budget, and we threw away the rest so there are no leftovers to haunt us!

Some Red Wine!

And for his gift…. Some new gym shorts so he’ll be looking all “Hot” at the gym while he works out! J And some free weights for us to use at home so even when he can’t make it to the gym in our crazy, busy life, he can still do some strength stuff at home. He does live with a USAT coach and Personal Trainer!

Hope all of you had a wonderful Groundhog’s Day!!