Lots of cliche lines…

“Bloom where you are planted,” “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence,” “love the life you live,” “you are here for a reason,” and on and on….So why all of the cliche lines? Because they hold weight. Because they are true. Because they are keys to happiness. Because they are, in other words, God’s word…”Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. It’s all about being joyful in all seasons, circumstances and situations in your life. Now, don’t confuse joy for happiness. There is a difference. Learn it. Don’t forget it. Joy is being thankful to God them rough all circumstances, good or bad. It is holy, it is a spiritual mindset. Happiness is fleeting. It can come and go like passing butterflies. It is earthly. Happiness is an emotion, joy is the state for your heart and spirituality. Things can make you happy…a delicious meal, that cute new pair of shoes you have been eyeing for months, finding a $20 bill you left in your coat pocket last winter…all happy things, but not made of joy. Seeing God in a tiny baby, even if that baby wakes you from sleep 3 times a night and you are dog tired. Praising God when you get a flat tire on the side of the interstate and had to spend $300 on a new tire (that you would have rather saved or spent elsewhere) because you didn’t have a blowout in the interstate and wreck. Seeing Gods work in all of the little things, the sad things, the heartbreaking, tragic things. And on the flip side…seeing Gods work in all things beautiful and happy. See…there is the difference. You can have joy in happiness and sadness. With both sides of that emotional coin, there is still joy. 

Through my life I have struggled with seasons of unhappiness. Let’s face it, we all do and we always will. It’s a harsh reality. But that’s life. (Sore but the truth hurts). In the past I wasn’t happy with a group of friends I associated myself with, I wasn’t happy because I had a job I didn’t like but had to have to pay the bills, I got in over my head in certain situations, I wanted to hurry up the season of my life to get onto the next, seemingly better future. I wasn’t happy in a relationship I was in, I struggled with my self image (picking out every little flaw I had), I questioned my future, and at times I veered off of a path to a deeper relationship with the Lord. Why? Why all of these things along the way, from time to time, in my past 30 years? Did I have life all wrong? In a sense, yes. Do I have it all figured out now? Hahaha…I laugh at the thought of possibly having it all together. It seems so foreign to me. 

In the age of social media, all I see are perfect pictures, tiny snap shots, of people’s perfect life. Hahaha…that makes me laugh to even write that. Who has a perfect life? NO ONE!!! Again, I repeat NO ONE!!! It may seem that way on Instagram (will you even know what Instagram is when you are old enough to read this?). These perfectly styled photos that have taken time to set up and arrange, no telling how many shots were taken to get the “perfect one” and how long it took them to edit them in their photo editing apps. Whew…exhausting just thinking about it. Yes, the images can be inspirational…they can give you goals to aspire to. They can help inspire artwork or help you hone your craft. They can teach you new things about the world or open your eyes to new corners of our magnificent globe. Images from others can break your heart for a ministry God calls you to, or can help inspire a walk of people. Social media can be a fantastic inspirational tool and can be used to further the kingdom of God. But there is a flip side. It can be hurtful and negative. Not just from someone on the other side of keyboard spewing hateful words (that’s a whole other topic), but those “perfect images” can fill your heart and mind with self doubt. Now I’m not just limiting this to social media. Self doubt can creep in from anywhere. It can even be conjured up by you, in your own mind. Self doubt is the worse. 

So why all of the corny cliche lines? Because the grass ISN’T greener on the other side. RECOGNIZE THAT! What is its grass that is only green seasonally, for only a short time and then it’s dead. What if it’s Astro turf? Fake, plastic and nothing natural, soft, living or evolving? What if it’s high maintenance grass? Requiring it to be cut, fertilized and maintained more than your own grass. Wouldn’t you get burnt out on that grass? What if it is a sensitive, fragile species of grass that one wrong move could kill it all? What if it is grass that is like the tree in the Garden of Eden that bears forbidden fruit? Beautiful and tasty for a time, but if partaken on by you, can cast you out for a lifetime of hard labor? 

What about your own grass? What about the grass on your side of the fence? What about the grass under your own feet? Have you watered it? Fertilized it? worked hard to make it grow lush and green? Isn’t your grass enough? Bear with me here…but hasn’t the Lord given you the grass under your feet for a reason? Simply, yes. You are meant to be where you are in your life for a reason. The more years you accumulate the more you can look back on life and see, in hindsight, the reason you were where you were and for what purpose you were there…which leads me to me next point…to bloom where you are planted. 

Did I plan on moving back to my hometown (Bossier City) after college? NO! NOW WAY! I was on a fast track out of here! I thought the grass was greener in Dallas. I had my own plan. Turns out, that other grass on the other side of the fence was filled with a terrible recession, job loss, no money, and who knows what else what have come from it. The Lord kept me here for a reason…to meet Daddy. And even after we met, I still planned to move away, until I feel in love and only wanted to be where he was. So since God planted me here, I decided to stop sulking about it (because I still wasn’t happy about it) and bloom! Now, I am still working on blooming, I think you re-bloom continuously though each season of your life, but how amazing it is to recognize my purpose where I am and seize the day! I am LOVING The life I live, even if I couldn’t have imagined it for myself. There are probably bigger and better things out there some people might think, but they are not bigger and better for me. The Lord has called me to this mission field now, here in Bossier City and with my babies and husband. There is no greater work I could do unless God would make those provisions for me. I know that if I were to follow a plan not set before me by the Lord, it would not cultivate a lush, green grass and it certainly wouldn’t glorify Him. 

My prayer for you, my kiddos, is to joyfully love every season in your life. Know that in both the valleys and mountain tops of your life, joy can be found! Being happy and content with yourself is key. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to better yourself, pushing yourself to go further, and learning new things, but do not get tangled up in the need to be someone you are not or who someone else tells you that you need to be. Recognize, cultivate, and use your God given talents! He chose you for those talents for a reason! And be joyfully blooming in your own grass!!! 

With my whole heart,

Mommy

Hayley-isms

You are so funny and miss personality these days. You keep us laughing all the time with dancing around, playing and the things you say. I try and make not of all of the funny things you say. Here are some from lately. 

“Nufting” for nothing 

“Um, I dunt know” with finger on your cheek

“Panny-tail” pony tail

Making up your own language. 

“Body” for booty 

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Screaming it over and over again when I made you get back in bed during nap time

“I wanna be nice”- when you get in trouble you say this so you can get out of time out or not get a spanking 

“Ipe-ad” for iPad 

You like to say “Awwww…just what I always wanted!” and one day you said it as you picked up bras in Target. Haha!!!

Saying "Awe! What I've always wanted!" Haha!
Saying “Awe! What I’ve always wanted!” Haha!

“Wast year” (last year). You say that for everything that has happen, even if it was yesterday or earlier that day. “I did dat wast year” or “I wore dat wast year”

“Cheeza-louis-a” what you say so be goofy and smile. You smile really big, kick your hip out and throw out your hand to the side. It is so cute!!!

“Watch me” about 100000000 times a day. 

You LOVE to play hide and seek, play outside, ride your bike, paint and watch the iPad. 

We love to hear you talk and hear all of the new things you come up with. You are such a joy in our lives! 

2016…so far

Valentines Day- Presents, Cards and “tweet-heart” footprints for grandparents, and a Valentines party at Mother’s Day Out.

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Mardi Gras- We left Will with Grammie and PawPaw (b/c you are too young) and took Hayley to see the parade. We went to a friends house on the parade route and then went to watch the parade. Hayley even got a light saber prize and caught lots of beads!

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Dance- Hayley: You love dance so much! You love to dance not only at dance class but all arounf the house all of the time!

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Aunt Dee’s baby shower and Samuel arriving- Mommy flew to Houston to throw Dee a baby shower and left you two at home with Daddy. Baby Samuel arrived March 3, 2016!

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Your favoite things: Hide and seek, sweets, ipad, playing kitchen, playing outside, picnics, danceing, blocks, riding bike (mommy ran over the bicycle Santa brought, but we got you a new one).

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Growig up so fast with your little legs crossed.
Growig up so fast with your little legs crossed.
You love to make tents
You love to make tents

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You love puzzles
You love puzzles
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Hide and Seek
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Doing crafts- making a pinecone bird feeder
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Doing crafts- making a pinecone bird feeder
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Jumping in puddles is your favorite!
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You love to make tents!

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Singing (kari jobe, you are not alone)-Remind e to show you the video one day!

soccer shots- you play soccer at Mother’s Day Out and you love it!

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T-Ball- we signed up for t-ball…it isnt your favorite thing to do. You are not very aggressive and could care less about going to run after the ball. But you LOVE to run so you get excited about running bases!

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Aunt Adrian visiting- Aunt Adrian came to visit in January!

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Peppa Pig Live- Hayley I took you to see Peppa Pig Live with your friends. You loved it!

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Mommy’s art (drawing and painiting…lately)

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Hayley had a dental check-up

3 year old dental checkup
3 year old dental checkup

Swimming lessons- Hayley took swim lessons at the begining of the year but we decided to withdraw until the summer because we had so much going on)

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Hayley- you have been getting up duing your nap and takingout all of your clothes and laying them all out on the floor. You are trouble!

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Yall love to play at your grandparents house!

 

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We took a trip to the Cypress Park petting Zoo and playground with friends!

 

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Watching the peacocks
Watching the peacocks

 

Hayley LOVES Mother’s Day Out! You have the best teacher this year too! You love to go and play with all of your friends!

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A trip to the candy store

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You two love each other! (even if you dont always act like it)

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Will- 11 Months

11 months!!! What a huge month it has been! So many milestones! 

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The biggest milestone is that you are crawling! You are in the move! You started physical therapy and it is helping so much! You are also going from laying down to sitting up on your own. Big stuff! 

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The people working with you are physical therapy are great! You do okay most of the time but you definitely let them know when you have had enough. 

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You have 6 teeth! Yes, 6! They all popped in at once. And because you are getting more teeth with at giving you some soft finger foods to practice eating (like bananas, strawberries, teething biscuits, etc). You love your food! 

Oh, and with your new teeth, you bite…hard! You like to bite my arm and leave bruises. 

Bruises from Will's "Love Bites"
Bruises from Will’s “Love Bites”

You are holding your bottle more and holding your baby food pouches too. 

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Good news! We got you into see a pediatric sleep specialist in Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital. The doctor was very thorough with you, looking you over, listening to us and reviewing your sleep study and she told us with the utmost confidence that you do not have any issues with sleep apnea!!!! After months and months of worrying, sleepless nights and lots of prayers, we have peace of mind! Praise the Lord!  

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Bad news, you had RSV and your first emergency room visit. The day of Hayley’s birthday you were extremely fussy and we were afraid you didn’t feel very good and you started coughing. The next day (Sunday) you started running a fever when you woke up from your nap (103.6!) We decided at about 7 that night to take you to the ER to get tested for the flu. Turns out it wasn’t the flu (thank goodness) but you had RSV (a bad respiratory infection). You were coughing so much, runny nose, fever and just downright pitiful looking for about a week. I did absolutely everything I could to keep Hayley from getting sick too. I lysolsd everything multiple times, diffused thieves, made Hayley stay away from you and we washed out hands constantly. Luckily she stayed well but Grammie wasn’t so lucky. She held you a lot during Hayleys birthday party and unfortunately caught it too . But you are much better now and I am so glad! 

You are such a big boy!!! You are in or about the 95th percentile in height, weight, and head size. 

You got to play in the pool for the first time and you LOVE to splash!

You love to be in your walker (or scootabout as we call it). You have started terrorizing your sister in it (running up to her pulling her hair and her clothes), terrorizing Dixie (running other while she is eating) and terrorizing my kitchen (opening cabinets and pulling out anything you can get your hands on). You even play bumper cars with your sister in the driveway. You are ALL boy!!! 

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And you are a mommas boy! You LOVE for me to hold you! If I put you down, you scream. If I walk through the room and don’t pick you up or you can see me and I’m not paying attention, you loose your mind! You are going to be stuck to me like Velcro! 

You are growing like a weed and we love watching all of the new milestones you make!

Love Always,

Mommy 

Yippie! Hayley is three!!!

Sweet Hayley Bug,

Happy Birthday to my precious jewel of a daughter! How did you turn 3 over night? It seems just like yesterday we were surprised and overjoyed when you came into this world! What a miracle, blessing and complete joy you have been these past 3 years! You are the sweetest, most sensitive, tender hearted, caring, funny, energetic, super smart, dramatic and stunningly beautiful little girl! You have completely stolen our hearts from the moment we met you and we praise the Lord every day for allowing you to be ours. We are so proud of the little girl you have become and (although I wish you could stay little forever) I am excited to see what the future hold for you. I pray for your and your future every day. I pray for you to have a soft heart for the Lord and the missions her calls you to. I pray for your confidence in yourself, your beauty and your abilities, but to always have a humble attitude. I pray for the talents the Lord has blessed you with. May you recognize them, develop them and use them for God’s glory. I pray for your salvation and that you will have a heart bursting for the Lord. I pray for you to be fearless and follow your dreams. I pray for a Godly man for your future. I pray you will always love and accept everyone (all of Gods people) and show them Gods love through your charity and actions. I know you will be an amazing child and woman as you grow older, because you are already and incredible three year old! 

Three years ago on the day you were born.
Three years ago on the day you were born.

Here are some (ok a lot…i cant help myself) of your 3 year old pictures that mommy took. You are so beautiful and miss personality! We just love you so much! 

Hayley is 3-4 Hayley is 3-5 Hayley is 3-6 Hayley is 3-19 Hayley is 3-28 Hayley is 3-37 Hayley is 3-51 Hayley is 3-54 Hayley is 3-61 Hayley is 3-76 Hayley is 3-91 Hayley is 3-95 Hayley is 3-115 Hayley is 3-117 Hayley is 3-119 Hayley is 3-124 Hayley is 3-125 Hayley is 3-128 Hayley is 3-129 Hayley is 3-133 Hayley is 3-135 Hayley is 3-138 Hayley is 3-141 Hayley is 3-152 Hayley is 3-154 Hayley is 3-155

We kicked off your birthday celebration a little early. Gappy and Grandma will be out of town on your birthday so They came over a few days before your birthday and brought you your present. They got your a set of golf clubs, practice balls, golf glove and gold hat! Gappy loves to play golf and now you can go play with him!

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The day before your birthday (Friday) you had a little birthday party at school. I made some cookies for you and your class and they all sang you happy birthday. 

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You got your birthday present a day early. Daddy and PawPaw worked for a couple of days to build you a big swingset/playhouse. You loved it! You play on it all of the time! You were so excited!

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We woke you up Saturday morning by  throwing balloons in your bed (you cried) and then you had a Minnie Mouse pancakes, eggs and beacon (or steakon as you call it ). 

I am 3!
I am 3!
Birthday breakfast with Minnie Mouse Pancakes!
Birthday breakfast with Minnie Mouse Pancakes!

Then we got ready for your birthday party at Altitude! We had a great time jumping with all of your friends! We jumped for about an hour and then we went to eat pizza, sing you happy birthday and eat your birthday cake (that mommy made). Next you opened presents and then your friends got to take home cookies I made as a party favor to match your party. You had such a great time! 

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It was a special day not only because r was your birthday, but because your great grandparents were able to come and celebrate with you. This is so special because not many people have their great grandparents and they made a special trip to come here just for you. 

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Later that day we went to Grammie and PawPaws to swim, play, eat a steak dinner and have more cake! 

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Your birthday was a special day full of fun and joy celebrating the one and only YOU!!! We love you more than we can ever say! Happy 3rd birthday baby girl! No matter how old you are, you will always be my baby!

We love you! 

Mommy 

Here comes Peter Cotton Tail! Easter 2016

Happy Easter! We have had several celebrations this week! 

First, Hayley had her Easter egg hunt and party at Mother’s Day out. I came to help hide eggs for her and her 12 class friends to come find. Hayley, you walked off the elevator and saw me and was so excited and then you hurried to hunt eggs! You were so excited and you pitched a fit after because I wouldn’t let you eat all of your candy in your eggs all at once. But after we all went back to your little classroom and had chicken nuggets, cheese sticks and Easter cookies for your party. It was fun! 

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Hayley: On Friday (Good Friday and my birthday) we all got together with your friends at the park for a picnic pizza lunch and to dye Easter eggs and do an Easter egg hunt. You loved stun. The eggs “all the pretty colors” and cracking the eggs before you dyed them so they made “all the shapes” (the crackle surface of the egg). Y’all ran around the park finding the eggs we hid. You had a blast!

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Saturday morning we went to the Easter Eggstravaganza at church on Freedom fields. There were bouncy houses and balloon animals. Hayley got to run out on the field (with what seemed to be like 1000 other children) and pick up eggs. There were so many kids and you only got a few eggs, but you didn’t care because you got candy in them. Will had fun just riding in the stroller looking at everything and everyone. Hayley even got to meet the Easter bunny! 

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This was the best picture I could get before the Egg hunt
This was the best picture I could get before the Egg hunt

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Sunday morning y’all woke up to Easter baskets that the Easter bunny brought! Then we all went to Easter service at church (Hayley and Will went to tiny town) and then we all went to eat at 2Johns for brunch. After brunch, Hayley went to Grammie and PawPaws to play and Will came home to nap. After Hayley came home Gappy and Grandma came over with more Easter prizes and I set up an Alphabet Easter egg hunt in the backyard for Hayley. You loved this! We did it about 10 times! Ha! 

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It was a great few days worshiping the one and only risen King! He is ALIVE! Always remember that Jesus died on the cross for YOU so that you may be forgiven and spend eternity with him when you accept him as your Savior. That is my ultimate prayer for you my children! I love you both so much! 

Mommy 

The Big Three-O!

It happened…I’m thirty. I am so longer in my twenties. That’s hard to say. I am thirty. I have always thought thirty was so grown up. In a way I guess it is, so maybe that’s why turning 30 was so hard for me. But why? I am already a very responsible adult, mother of two, going to bed at a reasonable hour, mortgage paying adult. So why? I guess twenties seem so youthful. In your twenties you graduate from college, begin your career, get married, begin having babies, etc. those are all very grown up things, but I guess they are all beginnings. New beginnings. And those things can be scary. Facing new challenges, discovering yourself and your abilities. Maybe I feel hesitant to let that go. I faced all of those challenges head on and I feel like I have done a great job at them, so what’s in store for my thirties? That I cannot answer but I have gotten some great advice about my new decade:

First, your twenties are about finding yourself and your thirties are about being yourself. How exciting is that?! I feel like I did a great job in my twenties discovering who I am. I worked hard to finish a degree that allowed me to be creative, I found the person who God made for me to be my husband, and I became a mom to two amazing children and found my grove as a mother. I deepened my faith in God. I have developed my creative ability. I have discovered new things about myself and worked on the things I didn’t like. So now that I am 30, I can BE these things! I have sought out who I am and worked on who I want to become, so now I can be that person. No, that doesn’t mean I stop searching, learning and working on me, but it comes with a certain relief that I can be more comfortable with who I am and what makes me…me. It feels endowing and exciting just writing that. 

Second, OWN it! Like its a badge of honor. I worked had to get here. I paid my dues. I have made the dumb decisions of my youth that brought me to this new decade of adult hood. When you are younger, people tend to think you don’t know as much, and you probably don’t. It doesn’t mean you are completely incompetent, but you just don’t have as much life experience and those life experiences are valuable. But when someone hears you are 30, they seem to have a different perspective of you. Older, wiser, been there, done that…so I will OWN that! Now, I caret only don’t know everything and k still have a TON of life experiences left to live, but now I can approach them with a different outlook, and that is exciting! 

My 30th birthday was nothing short of amazing! Such a fun, happy, relaxing and beautiful day spent with family and full of love and surprises! I kicked off my birthday the night before by running a race with Kasey, Shena and Kristin. It was the Kingston Elementary glow in the dark 5K. I wanted to run this race so bad and a week before my know swelled up and started hurting. I stayed off of it all week and iced it to get it good enough to run on. It was still swollen and hurting, but I did it anyway! I gave it all I had, ran as fast as I could, and got my best time running and 5th place! I was so proud of myself because I ran against competitive runners and got a great time! 

Bum knee
Bum knee
Swollen knee :(
Swollen knee 🙁

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My birthday was on Good Friday and that morning we all went to breakfast at Strawn’s with Gappy and Grandma so I could have my favorite fluffy buttermilk pancakes! Then daddy watched you kiddos while I went to get a pedicure. When I was done I picked up Hayley and we went to the park with all of our friends to have a pizza lunch, dye and hunt Easter eggs and my friends threw me a little birthday with cupcakes, gifts and everyone sang me happy birthday! Next I took Hayley home and went and got a massage and relaxed! When I was done Grammie and PawPaw were at the house to pick up you kiddos for the night (so mommy and daddy could go out) and they surprised me with a beautiful David Yurman Fleur De Lis bracelet and tulips!

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After they picked up you kiddos it was time for me to get a shower and get ready. Daddy said he was planning a surprise and I didn’t know what it was or where we were going. As I was getting ready he kept rushing me to be ready at 6. He kept coming. Into the bathroom to tell me to hurry. When I was ready I was opening my presents in the kitchen and he pointed to the front window and said “what’s that?”  I turned to look and it was a shuttle bus parked in our driveway. At first I was confused, and then I saw my friends piling out of it and coming to the door. They rang the doorbell and yelled “surprise!” when I opened it. I was shocked! So surprised! I even cried! Your daddy planned for two months to pull this off and it was perfect! I just couldn’t believe it! I hugged everyone and they told me they threw the party at the park to throw me off, and it worked! They were so good at acting like nothing was planned. They asked me for several days “what are we doing for your birthday?” And even asked if we could all get together on Saturday night (the night after since I told them Bill was planning a surprise dinner). They are too good! And your daddy…pretty amazing to be so thoughtful and plan such a special time. Then all twenty something of us all got onto the bus and went to Superior for dinner and the surprises kept coming! I walked in to the most beautifully decorated table for my birthday done by Shena. It was spectacular! We had a great dinner and such a wonderful time. We even went out for a little after. But I made a mistake by wearing high heels that night. By the end of the night my knee was hurting very bad and really swollen. I could barely walk the next day. But it was all worth it!! What a fantastic night!

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I can’t be more thankful for such amazing family and friends and for the Lord blessing me with another year! Here’s to the next thirty years! 

Warning! Lots of Posts!

I am catching up on a lot of posts that I have written but not had a change to post to the blog. I am catching up on all of them so there will be a lot of posts over the next couple of days! Enjoy!