Thursday, June 30, 2011

feelin' hot hot hot

I absolutely cannot believe I am typing up a post about my niece's first dance recital. I can think back to my first dance recital. I believe I was 5 or 6 years old. It was patriotic-themed and I wore a sailor hat to boot. That would actually be very appropriate for this weekend, but unfortunately, I haven't a clue where that might be.

But that's not what this is about. This post is about Haylee Grace and her very first full-on performance. She has been in dance classes since last fall and has really enjoyed them (no surprise there). When I heard several months ago that her song was "Ole Ole Ole Ole...feelin' hot hot hot" and then subsequently saw the neon awesomeness that was her costume, I couldn't wait to attend the spring show.

She was as cool as a cucumber prior to her big debut. Thankfully, I managed to get a great pic with her before her "Toddlers and Tiaras-esque" makeover (you will see what I mean). Check out that costume.

Her performance lasted maybe 60-70 seconds at most, but you would not believe how emotional I got. I think I was just overwhelmed with the incomprehensible reality that it was my sister's child up there on wasn't sister was the parent and I was the aunt. I was certainly not expecting the onslaught of tears that I choked back as I grinned from ear to ear.

After her big debut, we made sure to take about 850 pictures to properly document the momentous occasion. As you can observe in the photos below, a woman with a very heavy hand caked about 8 layers too many of blush, eye shadow and lipstick on our sweet little 4-year-old. I was very taken aback when I first saw her, but luckily, she hasn't requested the look since.

The proud parents also gave their little star a bouquet of beautiful flowers which she absolutely loved. She wanted to carry them around everywhere and proudly displayed them in the pic below.

All in all, it was such a wonderful day and I was thrilled to be able to be a part of Haylee's first recital. I look forward to attending many more performances.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Meredith's 2nd Birthday Fiesta

It's been almost a month since we celebrated our little Mere-bear's 2nd birthday, but I wanted to make sure it received proper documentation. Since she not only loves, but closely resembles the back-pack wearing, Spanish-speaking Dora, it was highly appropriate for her to have a Dora-themed birthday party. It was quite the fiesta with all the standards: guacamole, seven-layer dip, chips, black bean & corn dip, salsa and our favorite punch.

Despite the balmy (i.e. crazy hot) temperatures, we spent a lot of time outside with the highlight being the pinata. Some of the "big kids" got in on the action and I can honestly say that a weekly pinata whack might be very therapeutic.

The cake was pretty much a carbon-copy of Haylee's 3rd birthday cake and Meredith loved it so much, she had to get a sneak peak and dove in a little early (notice the icing around her name).

The rest of the day was spent opening presents, grazing on all the yummy snacks and watching Veggie Tales. I can't believe it's already been two years since our little Senorita was born. I still marvel at the fact that I have a dark-hair, dark-eyed niece, but she's perfect in every way and I absolutely love the stark difference. She is a wild one, loves to dance and can be tough to wrangle, but it makes the times she wants to get in your lap and snuggle that much sweeter.

I look forward to this next year in your life, Meredith Hope, and pray for Jesus to be near to you every day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

a proper perspective

“'You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,' said Aslan. 'And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.'”
C.S. Lewis

The quote above is from The Chronicles of Narnia (if you haven't read them, do it) and I can think of no better way to state the perspective we should hold regarding our status as humans created by an all-powerful God. It should destroy false humility and self-condemnation while at the same time put in place the haughty, boastful and self-sufficient.

We were created in His image, descendants of the very first created man and woman. For those with their head down low, rise up and walk in the knowledge that you are a divine creation with infinite worth. For those on the other end of the coin, feeling like we are products of our hard work, somehow above those around us, take heed. We are descendants of sinners who were deceived by the father of lies and thought they could obtain the knowledge of God. Walk in humility knowing that every single breath is a gift from the Father and it is "not by might, nor by power, but by His spirit" that we move, breath and have life.

Be content.

Monday, June 6, 2011

you make me happy when skies are Gray.

A few weeks ago (or has it already been over a month now), I had the joyous pleasure of helping host a baby shower for my dear friend, Kori and her sweet baby boy, Gray Smith. Since Gray was born premature, he had to spend his first month in the NICU and we were helping her get stocked up in the meantime.

I must preface these pictures by being 100% honest in that I did not help at all with the decoration. As you can see, the other hosts did a bang-up job carrying the zoo animal theme throughout and I loved it all.

Since Kori has a serious sweet tooth (it's no wonder we bonded quickly back in high school), the food was all things sugar. There were hello dollies, mini brownies, red velvet cupcakes, gooey bars, thumbprint cookies, mini root beer floats, candies of all kinds, not to mention the adorable tiered cake, delightful blackberry wine cake and chocolate fountain.

Once we had fallen into a diabetic coma, it was time for presents and there was enough loot to keep the new mommy busy for a solid two hours (or quite possibly, more than that). Not only did she get a ton of essentials from her registry (including some hot new items on the market that I had never seen before), she also received some of the cutest little boy clothes I've ever laid eyes on. Kori's friends and family truly outdid themselves and my heart was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love showered (no pun intended) on her and Gray.

It was such a joyful occasion as we celebrated the miracle of Gray's life and the blessing he has already been for Kori, Jon and all who know them. I was so honored to be able to contribute to such a beautiful day.