Monday, March 10, 2008

Someone has a birthday today...

...and it's my lovely niece, Jackie! She is turning 23!!
You and me right after your small, private, family wedding ceremony. I was so happy to have been able to attend since I wasn't able to go to your elegant wedding in Venezuela.

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.
Happy Birthday!
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!

Jackie with Scott Fowler after a Cathedral concert.

Precious angel!

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.)

I've always loved this photo of you, Jackie. Josh and Jewell are adorable as well, but I think the photographer captured your animation. You look as though you are so proud of your two younger siblings. I also think you look as though you are about to speak to anybody who sees this photo.

Mopping Venezuelan style!

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.

You (behind the pulpit), leading games for our Father's Day program at church. We had so much fun that day and all the men and boys had such a wonderful time.

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?

You with your mom and I in our front yard in Mexico. I think we were on our way to Sunday morning worship. Look at those adorable legs. They remind me of Miss Elena's.

Here's proof that you tried to steal the show away from me!! LOL The older flower girl is Berenice, Agustin's sister who recently graduated from law school. My, I'm getting old!

Yep, that's you getting all the smiles and warm comments as we left the ceremony.

Is this what you would call a "BAD HAIR DAY"? On the back of this photo, your mom wrote, "Jackie, after a rough night. She likes sleeping in Clint's shirts."

SO darling!

Easter, 1987, at Grandma's house in Logan, W.Va.

Here you are holding your cousin, Josh Rios. Ha, I'd like to see you do that now!


Jackie said...

So so so so sweet! Thank you for the lovely post, you made me sound great! LOL! :-0
Love you so much, miss you a ton, can't wait to see you in June and I will let you hug and cry into Abbie's hair all you want...(that's if she has hair by then!) "Big kiss, little kiss...lots of little hugs, Really Big kiss..." for you economist you!

Pat said...

What a tribute...

Accolades are due to this phenomenal lady!!

(Wouldn't we give her a PARTY if she were here???)

Kimberly said...

Pam, This was a beautiful post!

Jungle Mom said...

You made me cry!

Penless Thoughts said...

Great pictures. You can tell you are very proud of Jackie and I know she is blessed to have you for her Aunt.

Happymama said...

Mercy! You know my parents are from Logan County, right??

I can see where Jackie would steal the show at the wedding. You must admit she was a cutie pie in that dress (which I LOVED by the way)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACKIE! Sounds like you have one Aunt who thinks the world of you.


Pat said...

I did not see the pics before---amazing how Elena looks like Jackie!!

Pam, you may have married your"hot tamale" but he got one "hot gringa"!!!

Love your postings...

Rebecca said...

How wonderful to have such a great relationship with your niece! How special! How sweet! I love the pics too. Thanks for including them.

Janie said...

What a sweet post! Loved all the pictures!

Candy :) said...

Its so nice that you are so close to your niece and that you think of her on her birthday! I dont have any Aunts like that, not one that would think of me first thing in the morning on my birthday. I have one Aunt (my Aunt Pam -LOL funny her name is Pam) that calls to wish me a Happy birthday every year but she always gets my actual birth date mixed up and calls days early or days late LOL But I do love and appreciate that she does remember and think of me even if it is late or early LOL
Its my husbands bday today too! This is the 3rd person I heard of in blogworld that has a bday today :)

Missy said...

You can see pictures, sorry it took so long. I have been sick since 2/21.

Jungle Mom said...

happy mama!!! We must be related!!!!

Pam said...

Jungle Mom - Oh Yes, Happymama and I have discovered many similarities and think we were separated at birth. For instance, her dad also went to BJU, they're from WVA, she homeschools, yadda yadda yadda! There's more!