The moment is etched into my memory in such vivid detail that all I have to do is close my eyes and I’m there. I feel the box on my lap, I smell the chocolate, I hear a gasp turn to a sob. I simultaneously turn and open my eyes, see her drape over her beautiful, heart shaped box of valentine chocolates and lock a questioning gaze with my brother. This is when I knew. I knew that Stella would forever be engraved in the heart and life of our family...Stella would stay...
Weeks before, in the middle of January, I was sticking around town because the basketball girls had to watch film. Yep, I played basketball...lol, not very well, but I was on the team. I walked into the room knowing I was way too early, would probably have the room to myself, and have a few moments to chill-long before smartphones. As soon as I rounded the door facing, I saw the back of her head. I didn’t really know her. She was new to our school, new to our community, new to me...and I’m still pretty shy and quiet at this point. She was a Senior and I was a Junior. She was a wranglers and ropers style girl, and I was a penny loafer without socks kinda girl. But I had heard a little of her story, my heart was compelling me to make a little small talk...we had time. Somehow I got the nerve to ask her if she wanted to go get a shake or something. She gave me, “no money,” in a short and bitter tone. Amazingly I didn’t shrink back, but said in my cheeriest voice, “my treat.”
We drove around, dragging Main with our shakes in hand, making small talk, getting to know one another. Then I asked if it was true...was she living out of her car... she answered yes and told me a little of her story. She told it in such a light hearted way, that it almost made me believe that she was perfectly fine and capable with this new condition she found herself in. I remember laughing, I remember driving and listening, I remember getting out of the car and her thanking me for the shake.
I went home and told my parents Stella’s story. Without hesitation, they both said she could and should stay with us for as long as she needed. I knew they would open our home...it wasn’t the first time they had done this...I wasn’t surprised. For some reason, I can’t recall how we told her that our home was open to her, but I remember being on the basketball court, dribbling a ball, saddling up next to her, asking what she had decided. Surely there was more to the conversation that this, “I cuss.” I remember looking into her eyes for a long moment with confused compassion. Was she turning down a roof over her head because??? I then laughed and said, “we’ve heard cussing in our home before.” What in the world was going through that red head of hers? “I just thought you should know...before...” Was this her yes? It was!
She moved in just days before Valentines Day. Mom and Daddy always tried to make a big deal for us on special occasions. This was no different. Mom says that she scrambled to find a matching heart shaped box of chocolates...that’s just how she rolls🥰 They sat us down in the living room - Stella later shared that she thought we were in trouble...lol. Bless her heart...”close your eyes...” Jerry and I knew we were getting something for Valentines Day. We closed our eyes with a smile, but she thought my parents had changed their mind. Her heart was serious and poised for the ball to drop on her stay, when the only thing dropped onto her lap was a box of chocolates. “Open your eyes,” my parents said with excitement. Jerry and I knew long before we even sat down what was about to commence, but Stella didn’t know. Stella was so surprised...surprised to the point of tears and inaudible expressions of joy. We were all moved to tears that day, hugging and reassuring. This is when I knew...we all knew. God had given us the sweet gift of Stella...Stella would stay...in our hearts and lives forever...sealed with a box of chocolates...
Y’all have a beautiful Valentines Day
Do you remember sitting around the table when you were a kid, listening to the adults telling and retelling old family stories, laughing and reminiscing? Maybe you weren’t that kid...I was. I always loved hearing the stories...I still do... What is it about family reunions, Christmas gatherings, birthday celebrations that make us want to crack open the photo books, reminisce and share old stories? Memories of days gone by...I love listening to people’s stories. I think...no, I know I get this from my mom. It’s my sweet Momma’s birthday and as always, I have to share a story or two...It’s this thing I do...you too?
I know you’ve heard me say this before, but goodness time slips by so quickly! How can it be December already? How can it be Christmas time...the end of 2018...Eden’s second birthday?!?!😯 What?!?! How can our sweet little Eden be turning two? She states it so sweet and clearly. There’s no mistaking what she’s saying when she replies to her daddy’s question, “Eden, how old will you be on your birthday?” With clear confidence, in case we are unsure, she proclaims, “two.” Oh my...it’s going so fast! I knew it would. I have experience in this area, so I preach to myself and anyone who will listen...enjoy this stage, this season...before you know it, it will be over...life is such a precious gift full of twist and turns, highs and lows...you know😉...you’re doing it too...😉
Happy Birthday sweet Kass! You are our sunshine & roses daughter...there’s always a sweet smile on your face😊💗 Kassity means happy and clever...& this you are. You walk into the room & brighten everyone’s day😃 We got to watch Kass grow up. Her sweet family is from Blanchard as well. She is our youngest daughter in law/love, married to our youngest son Tucker. As I’ve said before, God has truly blessed us with the most precious daughters, added by marriage to our sons! She & Tucker have been friends since they were in elementary school...
I read an article in a magazine not long ago where the author shared a family tradition that was so sweet. In her family, instead of giving cards filled with loving thoughts, each person stands and shares a few of their favorite things about the Birthday boy/girl. There’s something so powerful about this...don’t you think? There’s something powerful about putting it out there for all to hear and see how much someone means to you. I love this idea! After reading it I thought goodness...we need to do this...then I realized that I’ve kinda been doing this with my birthday blogs. I love sharing stories about my family and sharing stories about those I love most on their birthday seems like a natural fit. I love letting people know how much they mean to me...
I will never for get that day. I was all of seven or eight, up in a mimosa tree in the back yard with my friend Ginger. We were living in a small community in western Oklahoma. We had not lived in this house very long - I would say less than a year. My mind is fuzzy with the time line, but there are a few things that are etched in my mind and this is one of them.
I am so thankful for this man...my man...man of God...the man that God so sweetly blessed me with to travel through this life. I’ve been so blessed with spending almost 37 years-5 years dating and going on 32 years of marriage-with this sweet guy. Now before you get this idea in your head of near perfection, let me be honest...lots of mistakes, grave mistakes-mostly on my part-have been made, but Darren always gallantly takes blame as well. Being a Daddy’s girl, raising boys who have grown into amazing men, having lots of incredible men in our family & getting to work with some of the best men in our industry, I can still say this man...well, he is the bestestest...lol!..I love making up words...I’m thankful for my man😊 It’s his birthday today and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share a little about one of the most incredible men I have ever had the sweet privilege to know, of whom I get to call mine and I am his😊
Life is so funny, isn’t it? I mean, it goes by so fast! I can’t believe summer is almost over and I just celebrated my 52nd birthday...I can’t believe Darren and I are about to celebrate 32 years of marriage😊...I can’t believe our oldest son is turning 28....what?!?! When did this happen? How does life go by so fast? How?!?
Darren & I are driving back from the lake this Memorial weekend, taking the long way, just to see one last glimpse, the water looks soft as the evening light dances on its ripples and edges, and we are already talking about when our next trip back could be. If you’ve read any of my posts, you already know I’m pretty sentimental and reflective. I was thinking about this earlier, while we were still on the water, as to how, when still and soft, a body of water is reflective of light and the scenery around it. As always Darren & I start remembering and recounting when... we have so many sweet memories getting to hang out at the lake with our family...perhaps I’ll get to share some fun stories another time. This evening I find myself thinking, smiling and reminiscing about fun Kolby stories...
It is our oldest daughters birthday and before you say, “wait a minute...” Yes, you are right. Technically speaking, she is our oldest daughter in law. That being said, she is ours because God saw fit for her to fall in love and marry our oldest son, Will. For this and for her, we are truly grateful. While I have been so very blessed with three incredible young women who married our sons, whom we call our daughters, she is our first😊
I am a simple and ordinary girl who loves to share meaningful stories about the extraordinary people and blessings, the sweet everyday happenings that make me smile. I hope you all have a beautiful day!