Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bittersweet...but, mostly sweet.

Technically this post should probably be entitled..."A Year of Firsts: This Week's Episode: Father's Day", but I just felt that the title above is truly what I felt about this next milestone in our family's life together.

Most of you that read this probably know that my dad passed away my senior year of high school, 10 years ago this November. It was hard in more ways than I can say and some days are still better than others. My journey of grieving will never truly be over--and I've come to accept that. We shared many things...personality traits, eyebrows, conversations, and occasionally a day in June. My birthday is June 21 and every so often it falls on Father's Day.

As anyone who has lost someone knows, each holiday brings a bit of apprehension. Thoughts of...What will this day be like without them? Will I be sad? Is it okay to be happy? What would they be doing? This Father's day brought with it some of that same bitter, but also an overwhelming since of sweetness.
I got to celebrate my husband and the amazing father and man he is. (How lucky I am that he chose me to be his wife.)
I got to celebrate my daughter for making him a daddy.
I got to celebrate her Oupa and Papa.
I got to celebrate the memory of my father in my little girl's baby blue eyes.

The day started with a cup of coffee in the mug I made my daddy when I was 3. I imagined him enjoying it with me, helping me prepare breakfast.

Got to love the little kid drawings!

It continued with chocolate chip waffles, the new daddy picking out the little bug's outfit for the day....

Making her love music already ;)

house church, and some lovely swimming topped off with a good 'ole South African braai with the family. (The good 'ole is the Okie touch)

When these two smile at each other, my heart melts.

Such wonderful memories with such special men. Adam, my rock, my best friend, and my dream for a prince in reality...Bobby, the gentle and loyal Papa, his love for us just oozes...and Jeremy, the wise and loving Oupa, who, with his generous spirit is one of the biggest softies I know. ;)

And, even though my daddy was not with us physically, I know he was I said before, in my daughter's baby blues. The same baby blues I prayed for when I found out I was pregnant with her. Those eyes are a constant reminder that he is always there to celebrate with us. And that makes the bitter taste all the sweeter.

I love you, daddy and I know that you would love Mackenzie and her daddy too!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Year of Firsts: This week's episode: The Zoo!

I have always loved the zoo...there is something so special about seeing animals close up and being able to interact with them in some way. I have so many fond memories from zoos as I've grown up. Here are a few:

- Patting a hippo's tongue
- Touching a starfish
- Dolphin shows
- The baby elephant Raja at the St. Louis Zoo
- Penguins in Tulsa
- The baby panda in San Diego
- and then there are the giraffes...

I have had a slight obsession with giraffes since I can remember. It used to be because they were so tall and I was so not, but now it is because they are so unique, beautiful, and hilarious all at the same time. Adam put it best when he said that we know the Lord has a sense of humor just by looking at them. ;) I mean, just look at them for a minute and you can't help but laugh.

These creatures were a must see every time I went to the zoo. I would make my mom take me there until she got smart enough at one point to make them our first stop-- otherwise they ended up being the last and by that point I was not a happy camper. Tired, cranky, and with sore feet/legs...the perfect combo for a small child and the zoo.

But this trip to the zoo was extra special. It was a first not only for Mackenzie, but the first time that Adam and I have actually been to the OKC Zoo together. (Can you believe it--almost 10 years together and not a single trip to the zoo?? I couldn't). We were more excited than her (she slept through most of it)...but here are some of our memories that we can tell her about when she's older.

- You saw the giraffes near the beginning just like mommy used to.
-Mommy tried to get over her slight fear of birds and make a lorikeet land on her finger-- the lorikeet then proceeded to bite mommy's finger instead of land on it.

They seem so sweet and innocent-- don't they?

- Mommy nursed you in the cat house (so many adventures in this area that I never thought I would have)
-Daddy helped change you in the said cat house.

- Daddy videotaped you watching the new baby elephant play with her mommy in the water. (she is only about a month younger than you!)

- You survived the Oklahoma heat on what we thought was going to be a cloudy morning. (Not a cloud in the sky when we arrived)

All in all...a successful family trip to the zoo!

Can't wait to make many more zoo memories with our little bug!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Waiting in Hope.

"We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." - Psalm 33:20-22


This verse has been posted on our refrigerator since the 2008-2009 school year when a friend of mine, Scheryl Wood passed it along from our good friend Kerri Grigor. She said that she thought it really spoke to our life and what we were going through as we anticipated our whole married life ahead of us -- but specifically, Adam's job situation. Little did we know what this truly meant to our lives in every aspect.

It has been 3 long years of interviews, part time positions, a job in banking, and a chance at experience this semester to get Adam to where he is now. Recently this fall, we thought our waiting was over. He got a job at a middle school program when I was pregnant with Mackenzie. We thought that we had arrived and that things would be easier for a few years with him in a secure job situation...

Every teacher is hired on a temporary contract - it doesn't matter who you are. In fact, when I got hired, my personnel superintendent said that I could be the President of the United States applying for a job and I would still be on a temporary contract with the district. So, Adam left his two jobs (banking and a part-time band position) to pursue this full time director job. With our baby girl on the way, he needed to take this leap for our family.

Then May came and Adam had to reinterview for his job. Unfortunately, his district decided to go in a different direction and Adam did not get rehired. We cried. We held our baby girl close. But- for some reason we were at peace. We knew that what we were waiting for would come soon. We knew that the Lord did not give us our sweet one at the time he did if we could not provide for her.

and then...the waiting paid off.

Adam got a new job within two weeks. A job that he wouldn't have been able to get without the other interviews, the experience, and every other bump in the road. He will be working with people he has worked with before, students he has worked with before, and he couldn't be happier. Sure, he will miss where he was-but, he looks forward to where he is going.

Since 2008 we have been waiting for so many things...
our wedding day
a home
a baby
financial peace
a job

And the Lord provided. And we wait in hope to see what he is preparing us to receive next.

What are you waiting for??
The Lord will provide.