1) Bet you Didn't Know Brian Was a Fisherman
He didn't know either until my dad invited him along on an Alaskan fishing adventure. I'll never forget him looking up YouTube videos the week he was leaving... How To Catch a Salmon.
2) Babies Make Road Trips Harder.
Way harder. Cause if she's not happy, she's not very quiet about it.
3) Showing Your Kids a Piece of Your History Makes You Feel Old.
Also, it's fulfilling. I got to show my kids Swiss Days this year. I thought it would be a remarkable, beautiful experience... but turns out that the kids weren't so in love with walking around in the heat looking at a bunch of craft booths. Whowouldathought?
4) I Missed the Pastel Memo on the Family Picture Notice
But with so many beautiful faces all looking in the same direction AND happy? I don't really notice all that much.
When the rest of the family jumped in I felt like I blended much better.
These people are the world to me. Watching a family grow and work to figure out differences, sacrifice for the good of others, and show love regardless of any bristles that inevitably prick us from time to time is beautiful to me. Families are such a perfect platform to learn and grow - and I recognize that I am so blessed to have a great one that, above all else, is centered on Christ and on love (which, mostly, are the same thing). I love them with my whole heart.
5) Goodbyes With Smiles are my Favorites
Years ago it used to be that our goodbyes were sprinkled with tears. Because it meant that someone was getting on an airplane and traveling back across the country - generally without another solid plan of when we were going to see each other again. But since we moved to Vegas, most of our goodbyes are said with smiles and waves and a believable sentiment of 'see you soon'. I like these much better.
6) She Stops People Cold in Their Tracks
I think it's those eyes. I watch people watch her and, ironically, I seem quite invisible to her admirers for a time. They stop in their tracks and poke the people next to them to point out this beautiful baby. I smile at them, but they don't seem to see me. Occasionally their eyes flit up towards mine and they shyly smile and turn around when they see that I'm watching them. I wish that weren't the case. "I think she's beautiful, too!" I want to say. "Come closer and she'll smile for you," I want to offer. "Do you know that watching you watch her makes my day?" But they're not interested in an adult interaction. They just want to stare at something beautiful for a second.
And I get that. I respect that. I'm happy she sparkles the world.
7) Preschool is Happening For This One
Don't let the shielded smile fool you. He's ecstatic... just look at his eyes.
8) Ridiculous Puffy Outfits Deserve a Quick Photo Shoot
She just looked so perfect there on my white bed with all that light flooding in through the window.
I'm not sure all that lace is very comfortable for her, but she doesn't seem to mind too much, and she certainly is beautiful in it.
And, see the bear? It was her present from Brian's Alaska fishing trip. And when she puts it in her mouth all the black fur comes off and gives her a beard. It's kind of disgusting. But also it's soft... so...
9) Learning To Write Your Name Can Be Frustrating
After attempting to write that 'm' up there in the middle of his name he sat back to look at it and said, "Oh. Oops. I accidentally dwew a keh-wut." Those dang carrots show up at all the wrong times.
10) Bed-Headed Snuggles are the Best
But Eliza doesn't seem too convinced. There's a lot of love coming from Timothy's heart... but Eliza knows all too well that sometimes that love is a bit unbridled.
11) This Girl Can Do Anything
And she knows it, too. Not in an I'm Better Than You kind of way, but in a Why Not Me kind of way. She's been in choir for all of a month now and when word came that there was an honor choir audition happening in downtown Las Vegas she thought, well why not? If I'm being honest, I was a bit more reserved and anxious about it. I gently discouraged her from trying because I wasn't quite sure she was ready for an audition of this level and I wasn't quite sure how she would handle a rejection if not. But she was sure, so once I saw that I would not swing her determination, I hopped on the support wagon and helped her prepare.
I wasn't able to see her audition because it was behind closed doors, but she came back excited and days later we found out that she made it. I was so stinkin' proud of her. And in the middle of all that pride and love, I harbored a little uncomfortable pit in my stomach and I realized that if I had succeeded in discouraging her from trying, the blame of her missing this opportunity would have rested solely on my shoulders. And, what's worse, neither of us would probably have ever known. How many times have I done that before? I decided right then and there that I never want to be the one to hold my children back - even in the good intention of protecting them from pain. If I have to choose a way to err in this, I want to err by cheering too hard and encouraging them too much, and then helping them deal with the disappointment when things don't go their way. I want them to know that I believe in them. Always.