...and it's my lovely niece, Jackie! She is turning 23!!
I love you girl and don't tell you often enough just how proud I am of you. It warms my heart to be able to call you "niece".
I awoke this morning thinking of you on your special day. Even though you are oh so far away, I always feel you close in my heart.
One of the memories that floated through my cloudy mind this a.m. was about the time we went to get DONUTS!! (Need I say more Miss Jackie? I bet you are giggling already.) When Jackie and I are together or even just on line chatting, we only need to say the following phrase in a nasally, nerd voice to get us both LOL. "Are you an economist or something?" I know folks, it isn't the least bit funny to you, but I know Jackie giggled when she read it! Am I right dear niece, am I right??? For the rest of you, it's just one of those times when you HAD TO BE THERE! On the way home from that incident with the donuts and economist remark, we laughed so hard, we almost had to pull off the road. Well, I almost had to pull off the road, since I, thankfully, was the one driving! We all know how Jackie is behind the wheel of a vehicle! Too much of your mom's DNA there girl. Anyhoose, the tears and laughter were such an impediment to my driving, it was kind of scary crossing that bridge over the Hillsborough River!
I also started reminiscing about all the concerts we went to together and how excited and starry eyed you would get afterwards, waiting for autographs or photos with the performers. Of course, I was just as excited as you ever were, maybe more so! Fun times, those were!
Remember all the Sunday naps we tried to take together? I could drift off to sleep so easily but you, oh no, your mind wouldn't shut down for even one minute.
I used to love your visits to my bedside when I was on bedrest for most of my pregnancy with Shane. It was the highlight of my day, but I think I've failed telling you that. I have photos of you and some of the cousins and the Josh's all circled around my bed, some of you on the bed with me, entertaining me. It really helped to break up my long, boring days. I was so glad my bedrest fell at a time when you all were here in the states on furlough.
Some of my most favorite memories though are of our time in Mexico together! You were my baby! Agustin insisted on taking you on just about every date with us. He couldn't stand it when we would leave the house, and see and hear you in the living room window, crying after us. So many times he would rush back inside to ask your parents if you could come along. Remember, you were only 12 months old or so!
One memory that still brings tears to my eyes, is from the week or so before I married. It was such an emotional time, as we were putting last details together on my wedding, entertaining guests from the states who had flown down for the big day, and your parents were packing and making arrangements to return to the United States for a couple of months before moving on to Venezuela. I asked your dad if you could start sleeping with me in my bed for that last week before my wedding. I'd go to bed and just hug you and cry into your soft baby hair, as I thought about having to say good bye to you so soon. You all were going to head to Mexico City right after my wedding. You see, I knew I wouldn't see you after I returned from my honeymoon, so I was wanting to hold you and talk with you and spend every moment with you that was possible. You were 18 months old and you performed so well in my wedding as the Jr. Flower Girl! We all think you stole the show away from me, the BRIDE!!
OH my, I'm sorry I just grew so sentimental! This day is supposed to be all about you, not me! LOL
I know your hubby has made it possible for you to enjoy your special day. God bless you my love, as you continue to become that Proverbs 31 lady you so desire to be. You are such a blessing to know.
If anyone reading this would like to pop on over to Jackie's blog and leave her a birthday greeting, simply click HERE
CAUTION: Nauseating amount of photos to follow!
Your Uncle Agustin's sarcasm and wit always draws a big ol' laugh out of you!
(This was taken right after Grandpa performed your private, family, wedding ceremony.)
Do you remember the time we drove out to Uncle Johnny's work site with Uncle Chilo and my mom in law? It wasn't long after this that Uncle Johnny fell from a high column here at this same site, to the ground and broke his arm.
This was another birthday of yours. I think you were turning 13 and your parents were out of town, but your dad, being the great guy that he is, sent you a bouquet of flowers. Also, do you see the back of my little Shaney Pooh behind you?