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Friday, July 1, 2011
I wish I could show you a blog post full of pictures and fun stories from the day set aside to honor the best daddy I know. But, all of our activities that were planned came to a screeching halt when I received a text from our nursery coordinator during church saying Micah had fever. It all went downhill from there. We ended up leaving church and heading to the after hours clinic with Micah. From there we went to a different clinic for me. By the time we finally got home, we put Micah to bed, I got in bed and Dan "celebrated" his day with his favorite 4 year old. I'm glad we don't wait until holidays to let Dan know just how wonderful we think he is!!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I was going for ONE cute picture of the boys in their matching shirts. Now that Micah is mobile, that is getting increasingly MORE difficult. And, whenever Max is around, all he wants to do is watch him. So, getting him to look at the camera usually involves me holding Max up next to the camera. (Which, btw, Max just LOVES!)
If that doesn't work, I put him down and try to get him close enough to the boys so he can be in the picture also. This terrifies him because he knows that inevitably, one of his ears will be pulled.
And, every now and then, the planets align and I actually end up with one picture that I really, really like!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I walked into the kitchen the other day to find Jonah laughing hysterically as he fed Puffs to Micah. He held them just long enough to make Micah's little mouth hang open until he finally grabbed Jonah's hand. Jonah thought it was so funny. I stood and watched from behind for a minute or two then ran to grab my camera for a video. As usual, nothing is as funny once you attempt to capture it on film but I think you'll get the idea. Please notice how sincere and genuine Jonah's laugh is. Nothing in the world could have made him happier or been as funny to him as that moment was. So precious! (Be sure to scroll down and watch the video!)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Have you ever gotten something in the mail that totally takes you by surprise and brings you to tears? Well, I got a gift like that yesterday and need to tell you about it. But, in order to explain the gift, I have to give you a little history.
Most blog readers know that my daddy died in January of 2006. I was pregnant with Jonah. I was so sad that he would never know his first grandson but so happy he was finally free of pain. While his death was heart wrenching, it was joyous also because of his faith in Jesus. Because of that, he was made whole and no longer had to suffer on this earth.
If you don't personally know me or know my family, then you probably don't know that I was a daddy's girl. I had my dad TOTALLY wrapped around my little finger. I could convince him to do things that no one else could. Our personalities were so much alike. The two of us together drove my mother crazy! We were jokesters. We were buddies. I was his only little girl. He was pretty smitten with me and the feeling was very mutual.
My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, had surgery to remove a lung, came through surgery fine but developed AARDS, spent 6 weeks in a coma in bed 16 at Baptist hospital then another 6 months in the hospital at Baptist and then rehab at Methodist Rehab. He had to learn to do everything all over again. Initially, he was like an infant. With lots of diligence, stamina and determination, he did learn to walk, talk and eat again on his own. Through fabulous OT's, PT's and Doctors, he regained some sort of life again although he was never the same Jerry that had surgery that March day in 2004.
When he was in the hospital for those 6+ months, I put over 20,000 miles on my car. I drove 4 hours round trip 3-5 days per week. I worked until mid-afternoon, drove the 2 hours to see him at the 6 pm visitation in ICU, stayed there so my mom could go home for a couple of hours to get things, saw him again at the 8 pm visitation then drove two hours back home to Vidalia for work the next morning. My boss was AMAZING to me during that time and gave me so much freedom to be with and help my dad. In the two years that he recovered, I spent lots of time with him. And, when I couldn't make the trip, I talked to him on the phone...A LOT! Each time I got in my car, I called him. It didn't matter if I was going 2 minutes or 25 minutes. We talked the entire time. We were close. I miss him. He would love my boys. He would love this blog. It would be the highlight of his day.
Well, fast forward several years later to just a few months ago. Someone made a very cruel statement that infuriated me. They had the nerve to tell Dan in an email that "I understand Nicki had little relationship or respect for her Father until his death bed." To say I was furious is an understatement. There is NOTHING further from the truth. I immediately called my mother and she was horrified. She could not believe anyone would have the nerve to make such an untrue statement about a relationship between my daddy and myself. Especially when they had no firsthand knowledge of that. Word began to spread through my family about this statement and they all called with the same response as my mother. Seriously, tears were shed over this and it caused me (and much of my family) incredible sadness. Not because I questioned it or even gave it a second thought, but because someone would be so hurtful to bring my dead father into a discussion that he could not defend. And trust me, he would have LOTS to say about the accusation of our lack of relationship!!!
Several weeks passed after this email to my husband and it was still on my mind. My initial response was to attack back but I know better than that. You can't fight fire with fire. You can't change the mind of someone who chooses to believe foolishly. So, instead, I internalized it. One day, I was talking to a dear, dear friend from Jackson. She spent lots of time around my dad and I. She spent time in our home with us. She went out to eat with us. She was in my wedding. She saw my daddy give me away to Dan. She visited him in the hospital. She knew our relationship well. She too, was beyond upset about the words spoken about me and my daddy because she knew otherwise and because she know how wounded I was. So, just yesterday, when I pulled into my driveway, I saw a big yellow package leaned against my front door. I opened it to find this painting.
Part of the note said "I painted this after our last conversation. You told me about the comment made about your not being close to you Dad and I was hurt for you. Anyway, I knew you both and there just couldn't be a better daughter. I could clearly see how much you loved each other. People can be so careless with their words. Now when you look at this, I want you to remember the TRUTH!"
Is that not the most precious thing ever? It makes me cry every time I look at it. What a sweet reminder from a friend I haven't seen in so long but knows me so well. I'm not sure yet where it will hang, but you can be sure it will be a place I will see every day!
Jonah wanted to do another blog post today. Keep in mind, I type exactly what he says as he says it. So, here goes...
Jonah loves everybody in Mississippi and Vidalia. Jonah loves his friends in Florida too. Jonah loves Playdoh. Mommy, some of my playdoh is dried out but I still have playdoh that is not dry. Okay? Wait, don't write that. I want that to be for us. Okay? Micah loves his brother. Hmm... Jonah loves MiMi and MaMaw and Gigi and Zoo-Zoo and I can't tell you all the names of people I love. There are a lot. What are you typing Mommy? When after this message is done, we will send it to all the people so they can read it because they will love it. I've been watching TV and eating my breakfast. The best breakfast I have ever had is fruit loops except that Pops made gooder breakfast. Why didn't I have Fruit Loops today? Max is crazy. Max is black. I like swimming and it is fun but I have to have an earplug because I have an ear ache. My ear doesn't hurt but there is a hole in there. Do you remember that? You should remember that. I have a hole in my ear. School is fun. I'm going to a new school and I will have new friends. And a new lunchbox. Mommy, what's for lunch? I'm hungry!
Me: Jonah, you need to go blow your nose.
Well, I blew it yesterday. Why do I have to blow my nose when you tell me to? I don't like doing things with my nose when you tell me to. Can we find an old picture of me to show all the peoples?
I am a baby in that picture. I have a white shirt on. Ok, I don't want to do this anymore. But, I want one more word. When I am sick, God helps me feel better. That is my last word. Tell everybody what I said now, okay.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Grab a cup of coffee and settle in because if you look at all of these pictures and read all of the words, you will be here a long time. We had a nice little beach vacation and rather than breaking the post up into different days, I'm giving it to you all at once. So, here goes...
Back at the end of May/first of June, our family was blessed by some friends with the use of their condo on the beach. They offered it to us for a few days then realized they didn't have renters for the first two weeks of June so let us stay the entire time. The condo is only 23 miles from our house so Dan just kept working while the boys and I "vacationed."
Due to obligations at the church, Dan wasn't going to be able to join us until a few days into our time there. So, Miss Mandy met us on our way down and followed us there to hang out with us. Unfortunately, it rained our first day there so we spent lots of time inside.
Late in the afternoon, it quit raining so we loaded the boys into the wagon and took off around the resort to check things out. We even let Micah have his first glimpse of the beach.
After our stroll around the resort, we realized the sun was finally peeking through so we went back to the room to change clothes so we could head to the pool.
I'm so glad Mandy was there to help me. Getting two boys and all the gear downstairs alone would have been more than difficult. She was a huge help to me and my boys love her so much so it was a win/win. (Oh, and I love her too!) :-)
After some time at the pool. we decided to hit the beach for a little while. There was no one out there so we had free reign. I wanted a few pictures of the boys together since it was Micah's first time there but Jonah was WAY more interested in going to play than he was in posing for pictures for his momma!
He finally jumped up to go play in the waves and poor Micah just toppled over. This began his dislike of the beach. It didn't get much better from this point.
We decided Micah's mood would improve at the pool so we headed back that way. We were right. He had a blast in that water. I'm sure happy I have a water baby.
The time at the beach and pool WORE this little boy out. He was dead tired. After his bath, he grabbed Lammy and his Elmo blanket and vegged out on the couch. Micah slept over four hours. It was very apparent that water wears my boys out!
After a rest time, we pulled out some of the fun crafts I brought. Jonah started with paper plate crafts. It was poor planning on my part to not factor in the wind from the ocean while doing crafts on the balcony. It made the crafts quite difficult.
After struggling to keep the wind from blowing everything away, we decided to forgo plans of crafting on the balcony and just go for ice cream instead. The boys were already in pajamas but loaded them up anyway and headed out. Nothing like breaking the norms when you are on vacation.
This is the view looking straight off of our balcony.
This is the view looking to the left. And, if you sit in the chairs, this is the direction you face.
I included this picture just because I'm amazed by it. The zoom on my camera is INCREDIBLE. When I was taking the above picture, I noticed two boats out in the water. They were a LONG way off. You can't even see them in the picture above. But, when I zoomed in, look how close it brought them. That zoom amazes me.
This was our view from the front door of the condo. The picture after this one is the view with the zoom at 1/4 capacity.
After Mandy left the next day, I decided to be brave and take both boys to the pool by myself. (I'm tired all over again just thinking about it as I blog about it!) I wish I had thought to take Micah's raft in order to free my hands but I didn't. Oh well, live and learn. Before we headed downstairs, I took a few pictures of the boys. I had no plans to take my phone or camera with me so I need to document the day before heading out.
Int he midst of our time by the pool, Micah got very sleepy but Jonah was in full play mode. I had no idea what to do. Micah does not nap well in your arms and there was no shade except under the eaves of the cabana. I needed to take him in for a nap but Jonah was playing with several friends and I hated to ruin his fun. So, I put his wagon in the small amount of shade and put all the towels out then laid him down. I patted his back and gently shook the wagon until he fell asleep. Would you believe that baby slept for over two hours?? I tried to recreate the moment when we got back to our condo (so I could take a picture) but he was not having any part of that.
Jonah went to his room to change clothes then I noticed him on the balcony wearing nothing but his Grover Undies. Hee hee!
We decided to work on the paper plate crafts more but we got smart and did it inside instead. That was much easier than battling the wind. Even Micah enjoyed watching his big brother "work."
We spent one day on the beach with our friends, The West family. You've seen them in several blog posts because their little boy Miller and Micah are best friends! Seriously, they are! That sounds funny to say about a 7 month old and 9 month old, but those boys love each other. They smile and grin and giggle when they see each other. And they "talk" to each other like there is something on their minds. Love it. So, I was super excited about them coming over.
Jonah spent the morning helping his daddy take things down to our tent. After all the trips there and back, I'm not so sure a beach trip is an actual vacation. That is a lot of work to get everything ready.
We took a little inflatable pool for Micah and Miller to play in. That was the highlight of Micah's day. The sand was not. He WAS NOT A FAN of the sand.
Jonah, on the other hand, LOVED every minute. He played his little heart out. He jumped waves. He played in the sand. He giggled. He swam. He loved it.
Don't let the next picture fool you. I happened to catch a smile. It did not come natural.
I love the next picture of the two daddies playing with their baby boys in the water. Aja and I both married good men who love their boys. We are so blessed.
I know this next picture is dark but I had to include it because of Jonah's shirt. (And I'm not sure how it ended up here because it is out of order, but anyway) It says SHARK PATROL. Jeff and Cathi gave Jonah this swimsuit and shirt for his birthday last year. I thought it was somewhat ironic that he was wearing a SHARK PATROL shirt right before heading out to New Smyrna Beach, the world's shark bite capital!
Holder, Miller's older brother, loved the beach as much as Jonah. He and Jonah could spend long days on the beach together. I'm just hopeful that Aja will take them since Dave and Dan both hate the beach.
Max joined us at the beach for a few days of our time there. Pets aren't really allowed but since we weren't official renters, but guests of the owners, we were allowed to take him. He had his fair share of Prozac in order to keep him calm. Although, it didn't really work. That dog was so stressed and so yappy.
We (meaning Dan) finally got Micah to go to sleep. He didn't sleep long but it did help him for a little bit. Poor guy. He could go the rest of his life without ever seeing sand again. I'm just glad the little cranky boy got a little rest on his miserable day.
Dan and Jonah went hunting for Jellyfish and caught twelve in their net. Dan looked them up after we got home and these are the non stinging kind. (Nothing like checking that out AFTER you let your 4 year old catch them!) After they caught them all, Jonah got busy burying them in the sand.
It was a long but super fun day. It was a fun day with our family and a fun day with our friends. We feel so very blessed by the people God has placed in our lives. Our boys have friends they love and we have people "doing life" with us. Days like this remind us just how fortunate we are to be blessed with people like Dave and Aja.
During our time at NSB, we ate a local favorite, Boston's Fish House. We still haven't found "THE" place for seafood around here. But, it was good.
I could show you many more pictures except this is all I have. We spent lots of time doing crafts, snuggling with our boys, sitting on the balcony, trying different restaurants, swimming and watching movies. It was a great time for our family even though Dan had to work during the day. Sometimes, a change of scenery, even just 23 miles away, can give you a fresh outlook on life. And, it reminds you just how great your life is.