Twenty-five years ago today, our first grandbaby was born and she was truly a grand baby. She never met a heart she didn't steal and there wasn't a member of this family that wasn't wrapped around her tiny, sweet little finger.
Today, in addition to being a wonderful daughter and granddaughter, she's a wife and a mother. And she's just as beautiful and just as sweet as the day she was born. What a blessing she has been to our family! (Note. Some of my pictures were taken during a photo shoot set up by Beth Fletcher Photography)
A little while ago, I spoke with her on the phone to wish her a happy birthday and to conduct a little phone interview. Here's how it went:
Happy Birthday, Amber. Are you having a good day? Yes. Very good.
Have you done anything special so far? Yes, Chris got off work early and when the kids woke up this morning, Jack had a card for me under his pillow that Chris got for me last night. Jack had signed all the kids names all by himself and they surprised me with that.
Does it feel any different to be 25? I think I feel old..er. I think 25 is the official adult year and now I'm not young anymore.
Do you have any special plans for the day? We're going out to eat to one of my favorite restaurants, Texas Roadhouse, with Chris' mom and grandma.
Tell me about when you met Chris. Was it love at first sight? Yes, it definitely was.
How soon did you know he was the one? Pretty much right away. I had been out with an acquaintance of his a couple of times and we went to Chris' house and I was instantly attracted and instantly knew he was the one. I remember the first night that I saw him, I went back to my mom's and they were asking how my night was and I said, "oh good. We went to his friend Chris' house", and I started smiling real big and they were like "Amber, who's Chris?" And I kind of told them that I did think he was really cute and after seeing him a couple more times I finally had to tell him and it turned out that he felt exactly the same way about me.
It appears that motherhood really agrees with you because you are so good at it. Do you find it challenging to care for so many who are so young? Yes! It's very stressful at times and it often feels like I'm running a daycare business. It's also very loud...especially when I'm on the phone.
And do you suspect that it's easier having them close together? Or was that your plan because you felt it was best for the kids? I thought it would be better both ways. Better for the kids because they'll all be close and hopefully good friends. And easier for us because we'd be younger when they're little and they'd grow up together and be out of diapers and those baby stages together. Then it will be easier to do things as a family.
Do you feel like you're a 'natural'? I think.... I don't want to say yes.....I would say that having experience helping with my younger cousins made it easier. And I've always loved kids.
Do you have any special goals or plans for the coming year? Well, I started the C25K so I hope to run my first 5K in the fall with my mom and Jeremy and Jenna. And I hope to get down to my goal weight and be healthier.
How might you feel different now that you're 25 than say when you were 20? Do you have a different outlook on life? I've definitely grown up and matured a lot. Before I had kids I never really thought about the future and consequences. Now that I have kids I always think about how everything I do affects them. I want to be around and healthy for as long as I can for them. And for Chris.
You are such a talented singer. Do you think you might ever pursue any type of musical career? No I think that once I hit puberty my voice disappeared. It's not bueno.
Back to the c25K. Do you enjoy running? Yes, I find it relieves stress, it's a break, and it's becoming easier and better the more I do it. It's really not a chore anymore. I'm finding that I look forward to it instead of dreading it like I used to.
Do you like to cook? Not so much. I'm not the best cook but someday I'd definitely like to learn to be better. I think it will be easier when the kids are bigger and I have more time to dedicate to recipes and cooking. What's your favorite meal to prepare? I actually like making my meatloaf recipe and, it sounds lame but I like to make burgers. And, I like to make your chili recipe.
If you had the opportunity to go back to school, would you do it? Yes! I think I definitely want to do that once all the kids are in school all day. And what career field would you be interested in? I really have no idea. I think that's one of the things that would hold me back because I'm really not sure. I might be interested in being a CNA and working in a home-type setting or maybe a nursing home. I know people say it's bad or nasty work but I don't think I'd mind that. I really like old people and I have since I was really, really young. My mom says that from the time I was a toddler, I'd never walk by an elderly person without stopping to talk to them.
How did you like growing up in such a large family? I loved it and that's the reason I wanted to have a big family. I love that we're all so close and we get along so well together. I've always felt my aunts and uncles were more like siblings to me. And I love that.
What can you tell us about yourself that most people don't know? I don't really love animals anymore. At least not my own. I do love other people's though and I do love my cat, Sylvester. Which is odd because I've always loved dogs - at least until I had 4 kids.
Also, I've recently lost 8 pounds, I like to watch reality shows, and I love to sing to my kids and they all sing with me. It's funny because I sing old songs and now my kids know songs like Telephone Man, Brand New Key, and the Unicorn song. And they always remind me of you when I sing them because you always played them for me.
And that pretty much concluded our very fun interview. Amber is always fun and cheerful and loving.
It makes me happy to hear that she sings songs to her kids that remind her of me. What could be sweeter. But that's the way she is and always has been - loving, sweet, considerate, helpful, and all-around wonderful. Amber's been a blessing to this family since the day she was born. We're so happy she's part of our family and we're wishing her the best birthday EVER!!!