Archive | July, 2012

Brighter Than the Sun…

23 Jul

Happy birthday, my sweet Ella Kate!

5 years ago, you made my life a million times better than I ever thought it could be.  Being your mommy is absolutely my favorite thing ever, the best job I’ve ever had.

At 5 years old, you are so smart, sweet, silly, funny, stubborn, inquisitive & kind.  You are so full of love!  You love your sister to pieces, even when she is being a snot to you.  You are always trying to make her feel better when she is sad (or pretending to be sad).  You love your friends, teachers, kids you meet on the playground…everyone.  You even have a love for St. Louis that I didn’t know was possible in such a young kid.  Of course, first in your heart is probably Disney World…and oh-how-excited you will be when you find out about our September trip!

Your mind is always turning!  You come up with the most interesting questions, which has made me use my brain in so many new ways trying to come up with honest, understandable answers.  You are so insightful, too.  Sometimes you can make the jump between what I’m explaining & what you really want to know without any help.  I love that you are so curious about everything from the extinction of dinosaurs to how cement trucks work to the importance of being truthful “in your heart”.

You have developed a love for performing.  We always knew it was there, since you dance & sing all day long at home.  But it has blossomed this past year as you have gotten to take part in 2 musicals.  Even though you like to make up your own songs & dances, you worked so hard to learn everything for Peter Pan & Oliver.  You always make us so proud of your effort & work ethic.  Who knows if you will stick with this forever, but it has been a blast (exhausting at times, too) watching you perform.

You are beginning to read & do math!  You love to ask people addition problems & then solve them yourself.  You are starting to learn subtraction, too.  And you know that anything multiplied by 0 is 0 & anything multiplied by 1 is that number.  Writing words & sentences has become so fun for you!  You even wrote a letter to Ariel (with some help) & got a cool postcard in return.  I’m sure that by Christmas you’ll be reading books by yourself!

You recently learned how to pump yourself on the swings, which you love!  You can swing and swing and swing!  One day you were on the swing for so long that you got blisters on your little hands.  It’s so fun to watch how excited & proud you are to be able to pump.

Your imagination is always going full steam; I love hearing your stories & listening to the games you play with your dolls & animals.  They always seem to be off on some adventure or figuring out how to save someone who is in distress.  Definitely a girl who loves fairy tales & happily-ever-afters!

The past year has gone by so quickly.  Every day I wish for a “pause life” button so I can just soak up every little thing about you.  You are so pretty & I just love gazing into your lovely blue eyes, just wondering what your dreams are, what you are thinking about.  You are still so snuggly & such a sweetheart.  And yet you are growing in to a perfect young lady right before my eyes.  You definitely look like a “kid” now; no more baby in you!

Even though I’m not ready for you to grow up, it is a fantastic journey.  5 years have been the blink of an eye, and yet what was I doing before then?  You are so loved, my sweet girl.  Thank you for making me a mommy & giving me such purpose.  You are bound to do great things, both this year & in your lifetime. I am ready to go on this adventure with you!

Happy 5th birthday, my girl.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me…

6 Jul

We have to say goodbye to our dog today.  I’m trying to type this all out now because I know I won’t be able to talk about it for a while afterwards.

Abby has been our crazy pooch for the past 9 1/2 years.  We have had lots of trials & tribulations with her, but in the end, she has been an awesome dog & we are all sad to let her go.

But she is sick.  Canine lymphoma was a shock for us in April.  We knew that we couldn’t & wouldn’t pay for extensive chemotherapy, so we knew her time would be short.  Though the past few months have been frustrating at times (as a result of the medication she’s been on), it has been so great to be able to ease into this goodbye.

And her time has come today.  She does not want to eat anymore.  She is having a lot of trouble moving around.  It is clear that her life is nearing it’s end whether we help her or not; we just want her to be in the least pain possible for the shortest amount of time.

The most difficult part of this whole process has been trying to explain everything to Ella.  Ella & Abby are best buds.  From the moment we brought Ella home from the hospital, Abby has been by Ella’s side.  Always gentle, protective, sweet.  Abby has sat through Ella decorating her & dressing her up, tripping on her, etc.  She has been nothing but patient with the girls; we could not have asked for a better pet.

We have tried to be as open & honest with Ella as possible about this whole process.  Talking about death in any capacity with a child is difficult no matter what, but trying to find the balance between being honest & protecting her little heart has been quite a task.  She’s asked a lot of questions, and not just about Abby dying, but other animals & people, too.  I think she understands, at least for the most part.  She doesn’t want Abby to die, but she also doesn’t want Abby to be sick.  I told her that sometimes it is difficult to make the right choice.

She told me her heart is sad.

She gave Abby a hug.

And then she asked if we could get a hamster.

Thanks for being such a great dog, Abby.  You will be missed so much.

Steady As We Go…

3 Jul

July 2, 2005.

Dave & I got married!  It was a wonderful, whirlwind day that I feels both so close and so long ago.  I know that 7 years is not a particularly long time in the scheme of the marriages of our parents and grandparents (and even some of our siblings!) but I am happy to say that it has been an incredible 7 years.

It is funny to look back at the past 11 years & see how much each of us has grown.  We have grown as individuals, as a couple & as parents, & for that I am grateful.  I know a lot of young marriages don’t survive so I am happy that we have been able to grow together.  We have both developed new interests & hobbies, made new friends & discovered new things about ourselves.  All I can hope for is that we continue to do so.

Of course, Ella & Audrey have been such a catalyst in helping us develop as adults.  It has been quite a journey so far & I know we as parents have so much more ahead.  I hope our girls can learn from our marriage as much as we have learned from our parents & grandparents.  It is so important to have such great examples of strong relationships!  And at this point, I am also thankful that neither of our children is old enough (or exposed enough) to experience the reality TV frenzy & such things as Kim Kardashian’s ‘marriage’.  Hopefully by the time Ella & Audrey encounter these media blitzes, they will have enough role modeling from their family & friends to know how to build real relationships!

It is also funny to look at our wedding pictures, even just 7 years out.  To see who was there, who is no longer with us, how different people look now (including us!).  It was a truly lovely day.  I can’t remember everything about it because everything happened so fast!  At least to me.  Sometimes people tell me stories now about something that happened at our wedding & I just say “Really??”  I know there were a few mishaps here & there, but overall, it was such a perfect day that led to such a beautiful marriage.

Yesterday we celebrated our 7th anniversary in a very low-key manner.  Dave had to work, so the girls & I went swimming with friends.  We all went out to dinner at the most fabulous barbeque place of all, Pappy’s Smokehouse.  Then we went to Family Night at the Webster Groves carnival.  Ella was so happy to get a ride bracelet.  Audrey loved the little rides, too, even though she wanted to ride everything big.  We had funnel cake, too.

I think it was our best anniversary yet.  Even though our day ended with exhausted, whiny kids & wiped out, broke parents, we made family memories that are so priceless.