Here She Was

Victoria July 28, 1998

At this time 11 years ago, I still had no idea if I was about to meet Victoria or Thad. We were of the infuriating couple ilk who did not find out if they are having a boy or a girl. This trend is coming back I’ve noticed as of late, but in 1998 we were among the few and the annoying. It was especially irksome as we attended a church where 15 baby boys had come into the world over the previous 3 years without even one hint of a girl. So. Imagine the chagrine when we did not find out the gender of our first child, nor did we release the name choices prior to her birth.

Tony was the hard core “Can’t Find Out Before the Baby is Born” one. I had more than one nightmare that the ultrasound tech told me the sex of our unborn child, and I knew FOR A FACT I wouldn’t be able to keep it from Tony for the rest of my pregnancy. We would not have kept the names secret, except we had chosen Thaddaeus as a boy name, and we knew there would be NO END of commenting on the moniker. Now all we hear is, “What a COOL name.” At the time of Thad’s birth it was more like, “What?” “Why did you add the extra letters?” “Where did you find THAT name?” “Do you REALLY expect him to be able to spell that?” To answer all of those questions, we had one simple mouth-shutting answer. It’s a Biblical name–an apostle– and the spelling is the original Greek. By the way, he spells his name just fine.

But 11 years ago we were standing on the precipice of still not knowing exactly whom I’d been trying to bring into the world for the past 15 hours. As it turns out, it was our daughter. The photo is the one we took when I finally got to see her about 5 hours after she was born. I’ve written before about all the scary things that happened before and after this photo was taken, but this is the newborn picture I love the most. She is just hours old, yet she has on her face a look of concentration and understanding that surprises me to this day. That furrow in her brow is still there when she concentrates. . .the little upturned lip–still there–the piercing gaze–still there. All of it is still there in the girl that is moving at lightning speed toward adolescence. Despite our best efforts against society in trying to let her be a little girl, she is, indeed, moving away from that time in her life. We still have a little while left, but each moment of each day brings longer legs, growing opinions, a few more eye rolls, more maturity, more responsibility, a fraying of the apron strings.

She is an amazement, this girl of mine. From the moment I knew I was carrying her to the moment I managed to bring her into this world she was ONLY mine. Now I have to share her with the universe. . .and sometimes that is hard. . .but I am thankful that I still see traces of the baby I held in my arms that night. I am even more thankful that God trusted me enough to let me be her mother. We gave her gifts today–a digital camera, a figurine, some food erasers, some days of the week socks–tokens of our love for her and our knowledge of what she likes. But SHE is a gift every, single day.

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Birthday Girl

Victoria turns 11 on Monday. We had her slumber/birthday party on Friday night. . .here are a few pictures of the event.

Goody Bags awaiting girls

Goody Bags awaiting girls

Slumber Party cake and Birthday Girl

Slumber Party cake and Birthday Girl

Closeup:  I forgot the Teddy Graham Teddy Bears

Closeup: I forgot the Teddy Graham Teddy Bears

One little brother who got to swim, eat, and watch movies with the girls.

One little brother who got to swim, eat, and watch movies with the girls.

Home. . .and then gone. . .

We got back from a week at Camp Red Oak Springs at about 1:15 yesterday afternoon. We ate, then we came home where I immediately got INTO the shower and then INTO bed and stayed there until about 8:45 last night. I got BACK into bed after church this morning and plan on heading back there again in a couple of hours.

Tomorrow we leave to go to see my mom in Louisiana, so I will regail you with wonderful stories of camp and sweat and red bugs and jokes that you will not finde even remotely funny since “you had to be there” at another time.

Off to camp.

So I’m off to camp tomorrow a.m. Will be back next Saturday. Tony is getting the kids on the bus Sunday after church and holding down the fort while we’re gone. Summer is dwindling away, but it has been a great one!!!

Looky what I got!!!

So here is our “new-to-us” car. Got it today. I LOVE it!!!! It has a CD player. (We are so excited.) The air conditioner works BEAUTIFULLY, and the cruise control works PERIOD. Despite it’s small size, I can fit SEVEN (7) people in it as there is a MAGICAL 3rd row of seats AND as long as we don’t have to carry any stuff . Not only that, but I would have taken any color car for the low mileage this one had (5,300) and it’s young age (2008), but THIS is the color car I’ve wanted since 1991. I’m a happy, happy girl.

New Camera 003_640x480

New Camera 004_640x480

And I obviously took photos of it with a digital camera which arrived at my house yesterday!!! So glad to have one again. It’s way more camera than I know how to use. . .YET. But I’ll figure it out.

SLR1192NK

AND here is a real, live photo of my name thingy I made to go on our mantle. Cost all of $7 for the frames and $3 for a can of black spray paint.

New Camera 001_640x480

Please do not judge my sad, forlorn mantle. It is a work in progress.

New Camera 002_640x480

I love where I live.

Just got home from the dedication of a new park in Small Town, Texas. There was free watermelon–water slide moonwalks–no less than THREE prayers offered–a color guard made up of veterans from three wars–Johnny Lee sang the national anthem (then took off to the bar down the highway to sing “Lookin’ for Love” 1,000 times I guess)–saw a few beers but no one was drunk–only heard one curse word and that was from a teenaged boy–no one honked their horns in frustration as all 1,000 or so of us waited our turn to get onto the two lane road with one lane going east and the other west–and the only thing I saw on the ground in the way of trash were some watermelon rinds. The fireworks were beautiful. I cried as the color guard posted the colors. Hats were removed for the pledge and EVERYONE said it. Happy Independence Day to you.