Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lori Anne

November 17th is a very special day in our family.  On November 17th in Alamogordo, New Mexico  many years ago, our lives changed forever.
Prior to November 17th, we knew we were going to be parents and we probably felt that we'd be pretty good ones but what I was unprepared for was how head over heels in love I would be with this beautiful creature from the moment I laid eyes on her and that I'd feel this way about her for the rest of my life.
Before we even left Holloman AFB hospital, I knew that our lives would never be the same again and we didn't want them to be.  I remember telling my mother on the telephone that I didn't know I could love anything or anyone this much. 
Today this beautiful girl is a very important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller family.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.  From the beginning, she was quirky and fun (and that has never changed).

 She has always loved animals and animals have always like her too.
And she loved her little sister from the first moment she met her and that has never changed either.

She was a sweet little girl who thoughtfully rubbed her daddy's eyes when he looked tired and carried the tiniest speck she found on the floor to the waste basket.   She has always loved a good party - especially hers - another thing that's never changed.

And she's hard working and resourceful.  She figured out how to fix her broken clothes dryer.

Removed lots of wallpaper when updating their family room.
And has never shrunk from even the most challenging or unpleasant tasks - like cleaning our koi pond
or doing the hard part of preparing meat loaf.  LOL

She has a great eye for decorating, make-up, and hair styling (which she practiced on her niece, Amber).
Later on, Amber would return the favor.
Lori embraced motherhood with love and kindness and enthusiasm.  She was devoted and conscientious and handled the many challenges of motherhood with humor and wisdom.

She's a wonderful, sweet, and thoughtful daughter.
And a devoted and loving wife to her husband, Marcus.

 I could obviously go on and on about Lori but pretty soon my story becomes about everybody else - like how lucky we all are to have her in our family.
And how she'd do anything for any of us.
And what a joy and a blessing she is to be around.
We were truly blessed the day that God chose us to be her family and I'm grateful every day.  So Lori, I'm sorry your birthday post is so late but, as you know, there was a family emergency and we were needed elsewhere.  And, as we know, you are the person who understands.  Happy Birthday, Lori, even though it's late, it couldn't be more heartfelt or filled with love.  We're hoping the upcoming year brings you great happiness and everything your heart desires.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ryan Matthew

Today is Ryan's 23rd birthday.
Ryan is our oldest grandson and our second grandchild.
He's an important part of this large family.
And a very important part of this smaller family.
A little while ago I conducted his birthday interview with him via telephone since he lives far away in Nebraska.  Here's how it went.
Happy Birthday, Ryan!  Thanks!
Are you having a good day?  Yep, a nice relaxing day.  It's a little cloudy here but nice which puts me in a really good mood especially with all these good birthday wishes coming in.
Do you have anything special planned?  Uh yeah, Alex and I are going to go see the new James Bond movie tonight.  There's a theater right by us that does dinner with the movie .  You just go a little early and order your food and eat dinner while you watch the movie.  
Are you currently going to school?  Yep I'm doing my gen ed at Metro right now.
What is your field of study?  I'm doing criminal justice and political science.
I hope that's not as boring as it sounds.  It's really hard.  It's not as objective as say high school but it does keep me open minded.
I know you umpired during the summer.  Is that over for now?  Yep, I did a few Fall games but that's about it.  In the summer I'm always umpiring which I really love.  And next year I'm supposed to start doing some high school and varsity so that will be cool.
What do you like best about umpiring?  It's got to be just watching the kids have a good time.  I can relate because I know how much fun baseball was for me when I was younger.  
What didn't you like so much?  The parents that think they know everything and the parents hollering out from the crowd, along with over zealous coaches.  Sometimes you just have to let the kids play ball.  I get a lot of flak just because I'm younger and the older coaches try to take advantage of that but I've finally learned that you have to put your foot down and be assertive.  You have to let them know that you're the man in charge.
Are you working now?  I'm working as often as I can doing deliveries for Jimmy John's. 
I hope you don't drive like some of the Jimmy John's delivery guys around here!  Oh believe me I don't drive recklessly.  If you're late making a delivery because you got a ticket, you're fired!
Where do you see yourself five years from now?  Five years from now?  Hopefully working a job in the criminal justice field and saving my money for law school.
Are you looking forward to the holidays in Gulf Shores?  Oh yes absolutely!  I can't wait!  It's always when November hits that everybody starts thinking about it and getting eager.
What do you like best about that?  Being around everybody.  Of course, it helps that's it's nice outside and everybody's always in a good mood.
And are you single now or in a relationship?  In a relationship.  Her name is Alex Brown.
How did you meet?  We met through a friend from school.  I was visiting him and she was there. Once he introduced us, we hit it off right away and talked for hours.  That was about 7 or 8 months ago and we officially became exclusive around June.
Is there anything else you could share about yourself that we didn't cover.  I don't know I'm not that interesting.
I'm really looking forward to seeing everybody over Christmas break.  Well, you're definitely a family guy.  Yeah, I miss all my cousins.  And I think everybody will love Alex.  She's excited too.  We're both saving up for it which is another reason I'm working at JJ's - to save money for Christmas.
Anything else?  Well I really am excited for the future.  I'm looking forward to being done with school and getting on with my life.  
What's your favorite color?  Blue.  Is that Cubbie blue?  What did you think of their season? It was a lot of fun. Is Alex a Cub fan?  She is now.   She bought a Cubs hat while we were in Chicago just before the season ended.  Oh that's right!  You went to a Pirates game!  Yes, we had biked 8 miles from downtown to Wrigleyville because I wanted to go to a bar around the ballpark and hang out during the game but the scalpers had tickets for $40 and we couldn't pass them up!  We had a great time!
And of course, there's lots more to add about Ryan.  He's smart, sincere, kind, and helpful.  He loves to have a good time and he really is family-oriented.   He's sensitive, understanding, athletic, and just plain awesome.  We could not ask for a finer grandson.  So Happy Birthday, Ryan!  I hope it's your best one ever but not half as great as the many, many more to come.!