So, no blogging for me for a few days but I am sure there will be many fun pictures to share and stories to tell when we get home.
The finger painting took place over the weekend.
Natalie adores her father, and rightfully so. He sacrifices so much to provide for our family. He works hard, he works a lot, he is dedicated to what he does but he is even more dedicated to us. He loves playing with her. He is VERY patient with her. He teaches her. She squeals with delight when he comes home. "My Daddy, my Daddy!" When he is not here she wants to know where he is. When he is not at home she often answers her own question with "My Daddy at work!" Kim works very odd hours and is often not home until the wee hours of the morning. Because of this, the boy likes to sleep-in. I am trying to become more gracious in recognizing his need for sleep but Natalie is not there yet. I often take her downstairs in the morning, in tears because she wants her daddy. When he comes downstairs she run to greet him screaming "You did wake-up!" Some mornings she is pitiful enough that she gets him out of bed with minimal sleep because he can't resist "Daddy, come play with me?" She begs to ride in his car, the old 2000 "Nasty Neon" (as I like to call it). The car is old, the a/c don't work, it makes strange noises but she loves it because it is daddy's car.
Kim adores Natalie, and rightfully so. She is a neat kid,if I do say so myself.
I was complaining about my second-place-position in Natalie's eyes to my mom the other night and she simply said "It's no fun is it!" (FYI, my mom and have have a wonderful relationship) I instantly knew what she was meaning. My Dad and I have an amazing relationship. I love my Dad so much. He is my hero. Even when he is grumpy. My Dad's opinion of me and my decisions means a lot to me. I want my Dad to be proud of me and he is. I am proud of him too. He has worked very hard for our family. He has worked hard to succeed in life and he has.
So, to the two most important Dads in my life, Happy Father's Day! I love you and am so proud of you! You do a wonderful job of loving and supporting your wife and children. What else could a woman want?
One of my first crazy memories with them was a sleep-over at Lindsay's house. In the middle of the night they decided that they needed to go to the bathroom but had managed to lock themselves out of the bathroom so they were going through Lindsay's cabinets trying to find a cup to pee in. I kid you not, I cannot make this stuff up. Lindsay and I heard them searching through the cabinets, they explained what they were doing and Lindsay and I made them go pee outside , no worries, Lindsay lived in the country.
They grew from strange middle school creatures into fun high school kids. We still had lots of sleep-overs, went to football games, still studied the Bible and still talked about life. Life that was getting more interesting. We talked about boys, friends, parents. These girls trusted me. I love these girls!
They were some of the first people to visit me after I had Natalie. The night before I moved they asked to come hangout with me, do you know how much that meant to me. These girls knew how much I loved them and would miss them. Again, we talked about life. This time we were talking about the hard choices of high school and the hard consequences. We talked about how hard it is to be a Christian in today's world. I hope Lindsay and I gave them some wise council.
I have only seem then a couple of times this year on visits to Winston. I miss them tons. I am so sad to have missed this year in their lives. I am proud of the women that those awkward preteens have turned into!
Emily and Carly, I love you!
Today with a little bit of planning and a little bit of thought about my sweet girl, we made it to Target with no incidents and all came out happy (no, I did not bribe her with a toy, but I thought about it!).
She was once a teacher but now is a full-time flower farmer. She has a huge piece of property, several barns, three horses, two potbelly pigs (Wilbur and Petunia), and lots of flowers. When we arrived it was evident that this was a low-key operation. She had several old buckets, pitchers and Styrofoam cups for you to cut your flowers into. She also provided the clippers, etc. She explained to us that we could walk through the fields, pick the flowers that we wanted to and just leave our money in the cup (an old, plastic, cup) when we were finished (we could make our own change, etc.). She explained that a bouquet of flowers should cost between 6 and 10 dollars and that buckets of flowers were from 25-30 dollars. She did not monitor what you were leaving with, she just trusted you to leave the money that you should. She was not going to weigh the flowers or anything thing like that, she just wanted what was fair based on the pricing that she explained. Now, let me assure you that she could have been making a lot more money on this operation! She is running this farm in the wealthiest county in the country. People have money here and are not afraid to spend it (although they are probably afraid of the bugs and dirt involved in picking your own flowers). Clearly, becoming wealthy was not this women's goal. She was happy to be able to grow her flowers and be on her farm. I admire her! I admire her life! She is doing what makes her happy and is living simply! I think we can all learn so much from that.
Enjoying a day off last November!
I am not going to lie, part of the joy in my mom being here is that she helps me with Natalie. It is so nice to have someone else here who delights in playing with my little girl. When my mom is here I am definitely second in Natalie's world. She loves her Mimi! She prefers for Mimi to give her a bath and put her to bed. Who am I to deny my mom and Natalie that time together? She prefers for Mimi to play with her and Mommie to clean-up. Again, who am I? She prefers for Mimi to push her stroller. I get so much more mental and physical space to myself when my mom is here, I love it!
When my mom is here I also get to spend nearly 24 hours a day with one of my dearest friends. We are already planning her next trip up and I can't wait! The only thing that could make it better is if Dad comes too!