Gratitude

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Family

I just came back from a week-long trip to Florida. Intended to be a business trip, my boss gave me the blessing to make it a personal one as well. I have over a dozen first cousins (my Dad being the oldest of 10 children) in Jacksonville, Florida; I haven’t seen most of them in over 10 years! They were kids when I last saw them and now many of them are college grads, in their career, homeowners, parents, etc. Even though I only had a few days with my cousins, we were able to build amazing memories together that make me smile or giggle when I think about them. Truly, truly grateful for these amazing people I call my cousins and my family. I miss them so much. :(

My Little Belieber

A few years ago, when Ella was only 2 (and already a huge JB fan), she had the opportunity to attend his concert. Unfortunately, she was feeling under the weather and I just didn’t think she was well enough, or even old enough, to enter into the pandemonium that is known to all as “Bieber Fever”.

I thought maybe she’ll grow out of her love for Justin Bieber, perhaps she will like a new artist…but no. She has been a loyal fan for the past 3 or so years! So I decided to make it a goal for myself to take her to a Justin Bieber concert and make this a special memory for her.

It happened last Saturday – I seriously stayed home all day to save all my energy for what we were getting ourselves into that night. From the moment she opened the surprise package with the tickets inside to the moment JB himself stepped onto the stage, she was ecstatic, and I found myself just watching the excitement on her face and really relishing that moment.

Ready for her very first concert experience

Ready for her very first concert experience

Ella and Mommy

Ella and Mommy

Her official 2013 concert tour shirt

Her official 2013 concert tour shirt

Popcorn...of course!

Popcorn…of course!

JB on stage!

JB on stage!

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Dedicated to Aubreigh

Those who know me know that music is my therapy. When I run out of ways and words to express myself, I end up putting on my headphones to tune out the world and fill my head with music. Many times, I would hear the perfect song with the perfect lyrics, that express how I was feeling at that very moment in time.

I am a huge Corinne Bailey Rae fan – I dedicate her song “Butterfly” to my eldest daughter who I love very much. When I heard this song, the lyrics were so sweet and so touching, that I almost started crying at my desk (I know, hot mess). I pray that one day she can listen to this song and be reminded of her Dad and me, and how much we love her. She recently graduated from high school so it’s been a very emotional time, and I’ve been thinking about her a lot. This one is for you, Nini <3

Gratitude

I am so grateful to have the same 3 wonderful friends who have been there with me through teenage years to adult years, heartaches, happiness, uncertainty, career changes, marriage, and motherhood. They are amazing women and every time we get together we relive our memories, listen to each other’s stories, and support each other through whatever stressors are in our life at the moment. Today, I was reminded of just how special these ladies are to me and my family. The enormous amount of support, love and understanding I felt from them today filled my heart. I am lucky and I do not take these friendships for granted. I only pray and hope that each of my kids will be blessed with the same gift of love, loyalty and friendship. <3

Phoebe

It’s been awhile, I know. I’ve had my hands full, mostly with my new bundle of joy, Phoebe Kaleah. She arrived on August 8, 2012 and changed my world forever. Phoebe looks just like her Daddy! She’s a little over two months now and is smiling and cooing a lot!

Phoebe, I am so excited to see you change every day and always wonder what kind of person you’re going to grow up to be, what kind of personality you’re going to have, what kind of food you’re going to like and dislike, and what excites you in life! You have made me so happy and proud to be your Mommy. I love you so very, very much.

Proud MOMent

Yesterday was my baby girl’s very first dance show. I was hoping and praying that she would not have the same stage fright her Mommy (eh-hem…me) had during a piano recital many moons ago. Thankfully, she pulled through like a champ and let her inner dance-diva shine through! I am so proud of her beyond words. It was especially meaningful to have both sets of grandparents there too.

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Ella’s Rock Star Birthday

Last Saturday, we celebrated my little girl’s 4th birthday, in true rock star fashion. Complete with a concert ticket invitation, VIP badges for the kids to wear, microphone cupcakes, swag bags with a CD of Ella’s favorite songs and a photo booth featuring Justin Bieber himself, my little rock star had a blast! I had fun planning every detail of her party but what a challenge it is when you’re 6 months pregnant!

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On the back of these badges, the kids were instructed to do FOUR rock star activities: take pictures with the “papparazzi” (photo booth), create their own “bling” (bracelet craft), “pick” up their guitar (each kid got an inflatable guitar to keep), and finally “sing” Happy Birthday to Ella which happened during cake. For each activity, they received a star sticker and when they completed all four activities, they received a swag bag.

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The birthday girl blowing out her candles!

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The rock star changed outfits…

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In her first outfit, holding her guitar.

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The invitation…

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The microphone cupcakes (well, I tried).

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The photo booth – Ella and her friends using the rock star props!

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The swag bag had a t-shirt that read “I Partied Like a Rock Star at Ella’s 4th Birthday”, stickers, pop rocks and a customized CD filled with Ella’s favorite music.

Ella, I hope you had an amazing 4th birthday – you seemed to have a wonderful time with all of your friends and cousins. It was so nice to see you playing, laughing and dancing all day into the night. You’re growing up so fast and I just hope that this party is just another special memory that you’ll keep forever and ever. I love you so much, Big Girl! Thank you for filling my heart with so much joy and love.

-Mommy

Ella’s First Trip to Hawaii

Last month, the Hubby and I took our little Ella on her first trip to Hawaii. It was the first time she had ever been on a plane (and she did a great job). It was the perfect opportunity to give Ella our undivided attention before her baby sister arrives. I look back at that vacation and smile every time knowing that we were able to share something special with her that she can have all to her own. Here are some pictures from our trip.

Ella, I hope you enjoyed your first trip to Hawaii. You were a very good traveler and I’m very proud of you, Big Girl! I smile thinking about the excitement on your face during every part of the trip – from riding on the plane, to playing in the water, to trying Bubbies ice cream. You didn’t complain about all the walking and even when it rained, you told me “It’s ok if it rains, Mommy. It just means there’s more water in the pool.”  : )You even showed your appreciation as soon as we landed by holding mine and Daddy’s hands and telling us “Thank you Mommy and Daddy for taking me to Hawaii.” I love you and I am so glad we have this special vacation to call our own forever…

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