Thursday, December 15, 2016

Happy 7th Birthday, Beautiful Bella Ann

Dear Bella,
I kissed you goodnight for the last time tonight as a 6 year old.  I came downstairs and worked on my last few continuing education hours to renew my RN license.  I need to go get you and your sister's Christmas gifts out of my car, but the house is silent and I don't want to wake anyone.  Now I am writing you a birthday love note. I have written you and Lucy one every year on your birthdays so far.  Our lives are so busy.  I do try to shield the chaos and how overwhelmed I get from you and Lucy.  I know sometimes you see it and you try to help me.  You say, "mama, go sit down.  I will finish dinner and clean up."  We compromise and do it together.  Teamwork makes the dream work. Tomorrow during your last day of school, you'll have your 1st grade Christmas party.  I have some cupcakes to  share with your class to celebrate your birthday also. The following day, we are going to ride the Polar Express for the 1st time and then have our slumber party at Mimi and Pops and that next morning have a big breakfast and exchange gifts.  So much goodness is slammed in the next few days.  It'll be awesome.  

This year for your birthday, you had a small, friend-birthday-party a couple weekends ago.  You and I decided on the theme: Bella's Crafty Christmas Birthday Party.  We giggled at how long the name of your party was.  It was fun!  You mostly invited friends from your school, you all made 2 adorable ornaments that we picked out together from Pinterest.  Tomorrow night, we are meeting with our family after school/work at a restaurant to celebrate again!  Daddy and I got you a bookshelf in your room.  For over a year, your books were piled up in a laundry basket in the corner.  I knew you needed a better bookshelf, so we went shopping.  You picked one out at the local antique store.  We came home and told daddy, the next weekend it was loaded up in the back of his truck and carried up the stairs and now sits beautifully in your bedroom.  It's filled with books and toys.  I love it!  

Over the last year I have often thought, "what if this is the last time that I carry you to bed?" your legs hang almost to my knees and it is not easy carrying you up those stairs when you are sleeping. But I don't want it to be the last time, so I carry you again and again. You have changed and grown up quite a bit from 6 to now 7 years old!  You've lost almost all of your baby teeth.  You are growing so tall.  

This summer you were in the Sylacauga Community Playhouse's Tarzan play.  You practiced 3 nights/week for 9 weeks. You really enjoyed it. You chose to skip peewee cheerleading this football season.  However, you are back in gymnastics and are doing really well. If you keep working hard, I know you will move up to pre-team and maybe even be on the team.  This summer we also got a boat of our own.  We went almost every single weekend until after Labor Day.  We had a blast!  We would get up Saturday morning, load up the picnic basket, towels and our lake bag and be in the water by about 9-10am!  If we weren't camping then we would get back home usually after 10pm, shower, sleep then do it all again the next day.  

This summer we also got our 1st family pet.  Daddy and I knew one day we wanted you girls to grow up with a beloved pet, like we both had when we were growing up.  We agreed that this was the year.  We discussed and cautiously decided on a breed.  We wanted a German shepherd.  Daddy grew up with a German shepherd mix dog, named Roxie.   She was a total sweet heart.  I loved her just as much as daddy.  We talked closely with a breeder and decided to go meet her.  That morning, I told you and Lucy our puppy plans for the 1st time.  You girls were so excited!!!  You ran and told Mimi, "this afternoon, we are going to look at a SHERMAN PEPPER!"  We laughed When we saw her dark markings on her face  we knew she was coming home with us and would be named "Pepper".  She's an inside dog.  There have been frustrating days raising this puppy, but we know she will grow up to be your and Lucy's close companion.  She will be our camping and lake buddy.  

You also got a new baby cousin this year!  Sweet Grayson was born on August 8th!

You are doing good in school.  You have a great group of friends in your grade!  We talk often about being friends with everyone!  In the 1st grade you don't need 1 "best friend", it is better to have 100 great friends instead.  You enjoy math and tell us for Christmas, you want a science kit.  We have a few fun science projects in our near future!  You write daddy, Lucy and me sweet notes almost every day!  You sneak them on our pillow or bathroom, where we will find them.  Your little heart is so full of love.  

Bella, you are such a blessing to our family.  I love you so much and I am so grateful for you!  I hope today, tomorrow and all the days after that are filled with faith in God, love, family, peace and joy.  

I love you,

Just a normal summer weekend for us, having a wonderful time!

Family days on the boat on Lake Martin

You and some of your cousins on Grayson's BIRTHday 8/8/16

meeting Gray

Tarzan play!  7/17/2016


Bringing Pepper Epperson home!

This was our last weekend on the lake this year.

Pepper and I came to pick you up from school one day.  I couldn't figure out who was more excited!  

This was in a photo booth during our family beach trip!  We have fun no matter where we are!

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Happy 5th Birthday, my lovely Lucy!

Dear Lovely Lucy,
Today you turned 5 years old. I made muffins and put a candle in one and sang happy birthday to you as I woke you up this morning.  I often make you promise me that you'll always be my baby, no matter how old you are.  You always promise me that you will. I say, don't ever be mean to me like some teenagers act toward their mama.  You respond, "Oh mama, no!  Never!"  I am going to hold you to that when you become a teenager. I am finding truth to the saying "The days are long, but the years are short."  As a mommy to you and your sister, a wife and working hard to make sure we make a good living...I am often exhausted at the end of each day.  I love that you want to snuggle me.  You definitely bring light to my day.  Daddy chose your name perfectly.  Lucy means light.  You bring light to our family!  You are witty and funny!  You are so silly and sweet and tender hearted.  Your hair is still as untamed and wild.  You started gymnastics this year.  You have so much fun.  The beam is your favorite and you think the bars are hard, but you love swinging from them.  We bought a boat this year and spent almost every single weekend at Lake Martin this summer.  That's where you learned to swim.  No swimmies, no life jacket.  We also welcomed a puppy into our family this year.  Bella told Mimi and Pops that we were going to get a "Sherman Pepper", really she's a German Shepard   It was so cute, we decided to name her Pepper.  Pepper Epperson.  You like to play with her, even if she is still in her biting, puppy phase that drives us all crazy. This is your last year at Ms Betty's.  Next year you start big school with Bella!  Your daddy and I think you are already very smart.  I sure do love you fiercely.  I am so thankful for our days together. 

I love you,

helping daddy with his shaving cream

dress up + music + card playing=fun family night!
planting seeds at the beginning of spring

Photo booth fun at the beach

laughing with daddy during a gymnastics meet

Easter 2016

Easter 2016

Lake baby!

you sign this heart and the "I love you" sign all the time!

I adore those sweet smiles!

July 4th, 2016  Watching the sunset on Lake Martin before the Fireworks show

Jumping off our boat

Halloween 2016.  You were Mal from The Decedents 

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