Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Love: Soaking It In and Giving It Out {Julia's 13th Birthday}

{Yes, I am still playing catch up.  Julia just walked through, saw the pictures I was choosing and stated the obvious, which kids seems to do often, "You are JUST NOW writing about my birthday?"  I had no answer but "yes".}

Words fall short in too many of life’s experiences and the response of asking my friends to help me to celebrate Julia’s 13th birthday this winter was one of those.  They all came.  They all brought words of love and wisdom and encouragement and blessing for her.  And it was very humbling.  For both of us.

 I regret not getting a picture of everyone who came that day but here are a few of them!  {I can't thank you ladies enough!}

As a parent, I want to make these milestones meaningful and sometimes this can be done within our family but as our kids get older, I realize the need- and benefit-  to bring more people in.  Our kids need to see the benefit of having close friends, living in community and being loved as a family by other people.  The investment and the fruit is invaluable.  We all win.  We are all challenged.  We are better people because of these friends.  My kids have richer hearts by having been loved on by our families and friends.

That particular morning I was a bit frazzled for some reason.  I think a few different circles of friends were colliding and maybe I was too distracted with the occasion to make that an easy transition for everyone.   Looking back, I felt like an observer that morning and not much of an engager which I regret, but Julia took it all in.  As much as she could.  And that’s the most important.

There were such soul feeding words spoken to her and over her that it was difficult to contain it all in our hearts and minds.  We recorded most everyone and have many words written or typed out.  She still has all of the cards and papers in a special place in her room and I know she pulls them out from time to time.  I pray she will find them life giving and purposefully directional throughout the years— and that the truths will blow in from the Spirit as different circumstances surround her.

Jeff snuck in at the end {is "snuck" a word?} and made us all cry.  If there is a daddy who delights in his daughter, this is him.

On a lighter note—

After school on Friday of that week, we picked up all of the girls in her class and took them to M.L. Phillips Elementary School where she and her friends hosted a party for some of the girls in the after school program.  Now, this was fun.  I brought the party food and they did the rest.  They brought nail polish, make up, hair toys {requested by the lady in charge of the program}—- and then they went to work making these little girls feel pampered and special.   I was so impressed with each girl in her class.  Not one hung back but each one engaged the girls and did a super job.  I was very proud of them.

Then we all came back to our house!

I’ve never had this many girls in my house at once.  I really think their favorite part was giving the gifts and watching her open them.  I loved getting to know some of them better— and their parents as they came to pick up.

The next morning, Julia and I left for a day together— making our first stop— doughnuts.  And since this isn’t a normal stop for us, I called my friend TJ to ask her where the closest one was.  Crazy but she was on her way to get doughnuts with her daughter and Atlee— two of Julia’s oldest friends.  AND I had the letter with me that TJ had written to her after she was born because I was planning on reading it to Julia sometime that day, but it was turning out way better than I had planned.

So over glazed, sprinkles, blueberry, cinnamon twist doughnuts and bad coffee, TJ read her beautiful letter to Julia for the first time.  I loved that two sweet friends were there to hear it- hear some of Julia’s story as told by TJ. It was the perfect way to begin the day she was born 13 years earlier.

Maybe Julia’s highlight of the day was getting an Instagram account on our “family iPhone”.  So here is her first post.

She and I enjoyed a day together giving her a chance to spend some of her birthday money.

I gave Julia a ring of mine that day with two {very} small diamonds to remind her of the birthday letter I wrote to her -- “Kindness and Truth”-- a physical reminder of two very important virtues.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
{in her case, her finger}
Write them on the tablet of your heart.  Proverbs 3:3

How I pray for this to be true-- of myself and of my sweet daughter.  It was a super week of special people, meaningful words and loads of fun.  And I didn't even write up her weekend away with her Daddy!  Later?!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pericope No. 14 The First Half of 2105 That I Couldn't Keep Up With

Summer is in FULL swing and I am still reminiscing.  I am wondering if finishing this will settle my mind and fool me into thinking I am caught up!  I am game for trying, so...... here we go.  

We snuck off after Christmas to put some things on the calendar before time slipped away.  Always fun to get off with this guy. Thankful for him.

We started the year off right with a trip to the rodeo at the Stock Show.  Working ranches competed in this one and we saw real cowboys competing by doing their every day jobs.

This girl turned 13.  I will be writing about how we rang in the "teenage-hood" at our house-- at some point.  Here with her yellow roses from her Uncle Blake.....

I really loved watching her improve so much in her ballet skills this year.  Grateful she still gets to take from Mrs. Dean-- and Webster.

Off to D-Now weekend in Dallas with small group leaders from Watermark

Celebrating Jeff's birthday ALL day-- we started at AF+B for brunch.

Good food, Mexican food, tortilla chips-- easy his love language.  I don't mind obliging him at all.

TCU opening night- (NOW we know, they are in OMAHA!!)  Go Frogs!!

Superior Plus rating at the Sonatina Festival- so proud.

Helping friends with school projects-- they are always happy to help with getting in front of the camera.

Crazy amount of love from Papa this Valentines Day!  We STILL have YUMMY cookies in the freezer!!

So thankful for Emily's presence in our home-- we LOVE THIS GIRL.  She blesses us.  (She also plays Battleship.)

And then we had some snow....

And more snow....

And more....

And then when we couldn't stand it any longer, we HAD to get out and get some exercise! 

And take a zillion kids to the movies....

Three rounds of wrestling started around here somewhere.  It's guaranteed to make Julia and me laugh.

Meet my NEW BEST FRIEND-- "Captain Jack".  I love him.  {So does Gabriel because now he gets to spend a lot more time inside.}

We are bona-fide city dwellers-- no country roads to practice these driving skills.  This country girl Momma is finding that huge parking lots work just fine.

We spend Spring Break in Rockport, TX again and had a SUPER time again-- thanks, Mary Ellen and Alan!! {This trip needs a write up too!}

I completely enjoyed these women from Bible Study this year-- these fresh faces-- some just starting jobs, marriages and families.  They were a JOY to be with on Thursday nights! {The thumbs up are for our Arianne who had TWINS this day!}

So WE LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!!!  Remey and Kollin stopped by on a random Saturday to reveal some Very Fun News.  Baby Terrell due in October.  Can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Just realizing God has given us SO many people to love and love this group, we do!!  Our Foundation Group is such a blessing in our lives-- newly marrieds we get to be with every other week for 18 months!!  This lake trip was a game changer for all of us.  Love you guys.

End of year things began---- crossed legs, so serious at the Sports banquet.  BASKETBALL team here-- B had a game right after.  B got the "Marksman" award.  {He's a good shot.}

Sweet friends coming to B's ball games-- making things fun!  Sour spray-- WHAT is that stuff?!?

Easter 2015!!  LOOK at my daughter-- getting so tall.

Easter traditions at Bourland

Celebrating lots of friends this day-- but Isabella in particular with her CHARACTER and ACADEMIC achievements at school.

Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of ACF-- such sweet memories of serving in this church for several years.

And this happened after that service above at ACF-- broken pinkie and TOO MANY doctor appointments at end of school!!

Cooks-- you guys were FANTASTIC!!

Small group fun

We love watching our friends play sports especially when a cast keeps you from playing your own!  {Branson-- HOW are you towering over all of us?!?}

In April, we went to catch some of the last of my nephew's college games and getting to see Jason {my niece's beau} was an added bonus.  Nephew's games got rained out and Jason came through with getting B the position as BATBOY for the double header.  Cloud 1009

I got more time with this one than I ever get.  I am so proud of the sweet one she is.

And of course, she took the family smart phone to school the day I was gone-- and wore my necklace.... ; )

Really fun 7th grade class--

We took these cute girls to the Tour de Compadres-- NeedtoBreathe, Ben Rector, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors and Colony House.  What an amazing concert.  So glad they have good taste in music!!

Said goodbye to a terrific leader {Women's Bible Study}- Antoinette.  We are forever grateful of the example you set for us.


Mrs. Cox's sewing girls saying goodbye at her funeral.  What a legacy this woman has left.  She led a FRUITFUL life.

Enter Summer Scarlett Sanders into our home.  They are a pair.

Remey-- you cannot get ONE YEAR OLDER.  HOW are you 30?!?!  Love you.

Mother's Day.  Grateful.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow {no comment on the woman in pink}

Sleeping Beauty and my beauty.

Friends are the best.  And Nanas are too.  Thanks for coming!!

And then, my friends, my kids took their finals and we got out of town as fast as we could!!!