Thirteen years ago today, our oldest daughter was born.
We now have a teenager in the house.
It feels like December 30th, 2006 was yesterday.
I was in my first teaching job. I ended up on bed rest for blood pressure issues. On December 29th, I had taken my blood pressure and it was high. I tried all the home remedies to get it to come down, but it wouldn't work. The doctor suggested I come in and soon after that, we were headed to the hospital to be induced. By 1:00 the next morning, she was here.
She used to wear athletic shorts and a tank top when at all possible. She's growing up now though and chooses a dress or skirt often. She still prefers to be working out or playing basketball, hunting or throwing a softball around.
Harlee is the best big sister. She and the other girls have their "sibling moments", but she wants peace and happiness for them both more than anything else.
She is a great cousin and a good friend. She is mature beyond her years in many ways.
Harlee loves Jesus and loves others.
I'm having a hard time believing that our little freckled-face firstborn is 13, but we're trying to enjoy every second we have her in the house.
There are hard days and there are wonderful days.
As I read yesterday -- the best part of parenting is watching your children grow up...and the hardest part of parenting is watching your children grow up.
I thank God for my Harlee-girl and pray that His Will is done through her.
Reminiscing at the farmhouse this morning,
Yesterday, my Harlee-girl and I spent the day together.
She slept in while I got my morning routine finished, then I woke her up to head to the school.
I had a few things I needed to get organized before staff and students came back today.
After a few hours in my office, we grabbed some lunch and went to get pedicures...the last little treat for her 12th birthday.
She decided on a manicure and I got my toes done.
When we were finished, there was time for her to spend a gift card that she got for Christmas and to pick up my WalMart grocery order, before heading to get our eyebrows waxed and my hair cut.
Here’s a little before & after of the eyebrows...her first experience having them waxed!
I took off my tennis shoes and peeled off my socks...or tried to.
But they were STUCK to my big toes.
“Oh no. This is not good.” I thought.
Sure enough...my toes had not been dry when I put my socks and shoes back on at the nail salon.
No worries though...I think they’re fine.
Just a little added texture.
I can be going through life just fine and in one quick moment, the memories flood my mind.
It can be a pile of muskmelon or cantaloupe.
Having to pull over on the highway to let a John Deere tractor through.
Or seeing an old man in Key overalls.
Today would have been my Grandpa's 90th birthday.
We lost him in March of 2010.
In some ways, it seems like forever ago.
And in some ways, it seems like yesterday.
When Gerold came along, we played many-a-tennis-ball-baseball game in the back yard.
We took tractor rides during planting and combine rides during harvest.
We went upstairs to get board games out of the small corner storage room and spent many evenings watching MASH from cots on the living room when we spent the night.
We fished with Grandpa and my cousin Brad and when the cousins came from Tennessee, we had picnics in the back of Grandpa's S-10 out in the driveway.
I can still feel his tshirts that I used as a nightgown when I stayed the night.
This was supposed to be a checkup.
Sure, I was full-term and sure, Claire's head was NOT small.
I had expected to leave that appointment, do a little shopping, grab some Starbucks and go home to snuggle my Harlee-girl for a few more days.
But that just wouldn't be Claire's style, now would it?
Claire Bear did things her own way then and she does things her own way now.
She is precious and kind and beautiful.
She is independent and stubborn and smart.
She has what we call "second child syndrome".
She often learns things the hard way.
She loves others with her whole entire heart.
She would rather wear a dress and high heels than shorts and a tshirt, yet she's not afraid to get her hands dirty working hard inside or out.
Our life wouldn't be complete without our sweet, sweet Claire Bear.
Happy 9th Birthday, sweet girl. ❤️