Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vacation week: Post 1 - Visit with the great-grandparents!

This past week we went to visit my grandparents and parents and go to mine and Allison's 10 year high school class reunion. Over the next couple of days, I am going to be posting about our trip. There were too many pictures (surprise, surprise!) so I'm breaking up the blogs per day...or maybe i'll split each day into two posts because of all the pictures. Just kidding! So, onto the day with Bella's great-grandparents. Of course, there are alot of pictures because I absolutely adore my grandparents. So, I couldn't pick my favorite since they were all so sweet! Love you Grandmother and Seymour! And, thanks for letting us stay with you.

This cutie-pa-tutie (isn't that face hysterical! "Uh, hi mom. Whatcha doin?") is wearing my grandmother's (Bella's great-grandmother's) crochet jacket that was hers when she was a baby. It was beautiful! And, the "bouncer" was my Uncle Steves who is OLLLLDDDDDD! (Just kidding Uncle Steveo). I put "bouncer" in quotes because we tried to bounce in it but it would barely move. It was funny watching Bella try though.

Here we are playing with grandmother!
Such a ham!
I love this picture!

Seymour (aka. granddaddy and Bella's great-granddaddy) took Bella out on her first golf cart ride around the farm. Granddaddy's workin' that red hat! Here she is trying to jump out!
I think she loves him as much as I do!
I couldn't get her to look at me to get a picture because she was STARING at Seymour!

"Great Grandaddy, you letting me drive? Wooo! Don't tell mommy!"
Awww, sweet faces!
Granddaddy was holding Bella and gently bouncing his leg...and this is what she did - nearly went to sleep! She must love how comfy he is and how much I love his big strong hands.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First swim

We went to our friends' house last week for a swim and meet-the-family party. Bella wasn't quite sure what to think at the beginning but she soon warmed up to the idea! She enjoys splashing in the bathtub so I was hoping she would like the pool as much. Alan (our friend and my fabulouso boss) had his twin nieces in town and one of our other friend had her twin girls at the party. And those twin girls are BEAUTIFUL with big blue eyes and sweet faces. They are about the same age as Bella so we all enjoyed our time in the pool together. And, of course Bella had to wear her super cute hula skirt and sandals given to her by Connie Crow.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day - Beware, tears full steam ahead!

Happy Father's Day! I am extremely thankful for Mike and his role as Bella's dad. And, for my dad, Mike's dad, and our grandfathers for their role in my life. So, beware. This post is full of photos and tears...since I cried going through the pictures and writing this. Thank you to the fathers mentioned in this post for showing us the reality of a father's love and how that loves helps me understand the Fatherhood of God.

Last year we were preparing to be parents and we were celebrating Mike's first Father's Day. But, this year is so different (certainly in a good way). Bella is here and all smiles and happiness. She was absolutely precious this morning at church. She sang and screamed (in a happy way) and cooed and laughed while we sang and even when we weren't singing. Mike gave a fantastic sermon (maybe his best yet in my opinion) of the joy and reality of being able to call God Abba, Father - like Jesus did in his most stressful moment in the garden before he was killed. Mike held Bella through a part of his sermon when he was talking about this part of the Sermon on the Mount: "For if your children ask you for bread will you give them a stone, which may look like bread, but which they cannot eat? And if they ask for a fish to eat, will you give them something that will make them sick? And do you not think that if you are willing to give good things to your children when they ask, your Father in heaven will be willing to give you what you need, if you ask him?” As you can imagine, it was such a sweet moment and the congregation LOVED it! Mike, I can not tell you how immensely thankful I am for you and your love for me and now Bella. One of the best joys in my life is watching you with your little girl. I know you will continue to be a fantastic dad to her. This year for Father's day Bella "bought" a card and mommy paid for it. "We" picked out a card with Nemo on the front because Nemo has HUGE eyes and a HUGE smile...remind you of someone? Yes, me too, namely Bella. This morning before church I dressed Bella and handed her the card to give to her daddy. What did she do? She "kissed" it with slobbers and drool(aka. chewed all over it). A slobber-filled card is the best, right?! And, her shirt said "I love Daddy".

Now onto some of my favorite pics of Bella and her daddy. Yes, there are alot! I couldn't pick. Imagine that...

Some of the two biggest memories in my life are walking down the aisle with my dad (laughing and hanging onto one another and smiling and laughing and saying "Is this real?" to eachother) and when I saw his face the first time he came into the room to see Bella. His face, the tear filled eyes, his hand covering his mouth while he laughed-gasped, and his smile will forever be one of my favorite moments of her birth. Those of you who know me know I LOVE my daddeo. He is the only one in my life who calls me "Emi", he taught me that saying "I can't" and "no" were not in my vocabulary (hence, my go-get-it idealistic attitude), he exemplifies a gentle yet strong spirit, he gave me a love for nature and peace and love, and remains a role model for me. Daddeo, words can not express how much I love you and thank you for who have been and continue to be for me. I am honored to still be your little girl! And, I am excited that Bella gets to know you as Granddad and learn from you what I learned from you. He got the first smile like this from Bella. Love this one!!!

Bella and I napping with daddeo/Granddad
Tommy, I know that not all daughter-in-laws luck out and get great father-in-laws. But, I sure did! Seeing your face the day you all saw Bella for the first time always makes me smile! You raised a fantastic son (I might be biased...) and I know many of his qualities I and others admire he got from you. I certainly have enjoyed being family with you over the past 7+ years and look forward to many more - and look forward to continue giving you a hard time! Remember, i'm your crazy daughter-in-law!

And, now onto our grandfathers and Bella's great-grandfathers.

PawPaw, we love you and can't wait to see you again. I am so thankful that God gave me another grandfather when I married Mike. Thanks for welcoming me in the family, even when you pull my hair as we hug hello or goodbye.

Seymour, I have always loved putting my hand in your huge hands and watching mine disappear. Thank you for the strength and stability and love in those hands and your heart. Some of my favorite memories growing up are with you and grandmother when we were camping (even when we threw dirt when you told us not too - it was Allison's fault - no Cybil's fault - ok, it was all of ours) or when you flooded the back yard for us to "swim" in. Thank you for the memories and many more to come. I look forward to flooded backyards and dirt pies at your house with Bella. I love you!
Grandpa Hogue, I miss you and can't wait to see you again. I love your sweet smile and hugs and shoulder to lean on. I miss walking with you through your neighborhood or sitting with you by the fire in your sunroom. I love remembering you saying, "Oh, granddaughter" and then hugging me. I love you and am very thankful for you!

And, to PawPaw Smith. I never had the privilege of meeting you but from what Michael says about you and the influence you had on him, you were a great man and continue to have a role in his life. Thank you for being a father and a grandfather who left such a legacy with your children and grandchildren.
And, this is what Bella is doing right now with her daddy. "Napping" - or at least daddy is trying to nap. Bella is slobber-kissing and playing! Happy Father's Day indeed!