Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 Years Ago

I can't believe it's been eleven years since "that day that will live in infamy" occurred. Every year at this time, I wake early in the morning. It's as if my body knows what day it is. I roll over in bed, and I hold my husband tight and fight tears of gratitude. Sometimes, I squeeze so hard, he grunts in protest, but I am happy to hear that sound. It means he's here. It means we're still together.

Eleven years ago marks the day that Ty was scheduled to come home from his first TDY (temporary duty) with the Air Force. He had been in Boston for a week and Tristan, Samantha, and I were excited to have him home again. I had dropped Tristan off at school and I was cleaning the house, preparing for Ty's homecoming. I had an Ace of Base CD cranked up and was dusting, scrubbing, and vacuuming like a madwoman.

The phone rang, so I turned the CD player off. It was my neighbor, Nancy, who had become my surrogate mom since I was so far away from mine. She worked at Tristan's school, so I assumed that he needed something. She said, "Are you watching the TV?" I said, "No, I've got my music on. What's up?" She then asked me if I was sitting down. I thought she was being funny. She said, "A plane flying out of Boston just flew into the World Trade Center." I told her that wasn't funny. I still thought she was joking, not that she would be that cruel, it's just that I couldn't comprehend something like that happening. She told me she was serious and told me to turn on the TV. She then said, "I can't leave right away, but somebody will be at your house within 5 minutes. I'll get there as soon as I can!"

Before I knew it, my living room was full of women, most of whom I didn't know. But it didn't matter. I wasn't really aware of what was going on around me. My eyes were glued to the screen. At some point, Nancy showed up. She sat beside me on the couch and help my hand while I watched the chaos on the TV and silently cried. I know that during that time, I called my mom, needing to dial over and over as the circuits were crammed with people trying to call their loved ones. I remember sobbing to her about the planes in NYC and her not understanding why I was quite so upset until I screamed, "I don't know where Ty is!!!" Then she got it and we cried together. I made several calls to people in Ty's squadron, but nobody had any information for me. Tristan was at school, so I didn't need to worry about him, but somebody must have fed Samantha and changed her diaper. For at least two hours, the world stopped for me. I will be forever grateful to those women I didn't know, and especially Nancy for calling them to my side to be my ministering angels.

If I were a good storyteller, I could tell you the exact time that the call came in, but I guess I'm not. All I know is, the phone rang, I answered it, and there, like the sound of an answered prayer, Ty's voice was on the other end of the line. I sobbed, "Oh! Thank God!" and dissolved into tears. I could hear Ty crying on the other end as well. I never though it was possible for one, single day to be the worst day of my life and the best day of my life, all in a matter of hours! But the moment I heard Ty's resonant voice, saying my name, all was right with the world again. At least for that moment in time.

His plane had been diverted to Youngstown, Ohio. The pilot was told to LAND. THE. PLANE. NOW. No exceptions. Nobody knew what was going on, but with hindsight, Ty is certain that if he had looked out his window, he would have seen a loaded fighter jet or two, ready to make sure they went down one way or another! We were unable to afford a cell phone at the time, so Ty had to stand in line behind dozens of other people at the phone banks at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport anxious to call their families. Ty had to dial several times to get through to us. By the time Ty and his traveling companions had had a chance to let their families know they were okay, every rental car in the area was rented. With the all the planes grounded and all the cars gone, Ty and his three travel companions ended up in a crappy hotel in Podunk Youngstown. 

The next few days are a blur. This is what I remember: Ty's squadron really stepped up to the plate to support my little family during this stressful time. One of his flight brothers came to babysit while one of his flight sisters took me out on a "date". (We saw "The Others") I yelled at the TV a lot and cried a lot. Tristan became obsessed with drawing dragons and dinosaurs attacking skyscrapers. I kept my kids as close to me as possible. They slept in bed with me. The only reason Tristan was allowed to go back to school was because Nancy was there. She gave me a sense of security. I also remember that the base was CRAZY! We had always been at threat level A, maybe B once or twice. When I needed to get on base, I could slow down, maybe stop briefly, but the SP would tap my card and let me pass. After 9/11, we were at threat level D. There were military vehicles parked at all gates. On top of every vehicle were huge guns, pointed at the cars queued up at the gate. The SP's were also heavily armed. Every car was stopped so that the SP's could swipe mirrors under it and the dogs could sniff it for explosives. Cars were lined up for miles outside the gate. It took a minimum of 2 hours to get on base! On the flight line, jets were lined up all the way down the tarmac. Instead of the light planes I was used to seeing, these jets had full payloads. It was surreal.

Ty was fortunate to snag one of the flights on the 14th when air travel resumed. I spent the entire day jittery and on edge. I hated the idea of Ty getting on another plane, but I wanted him home so bad it hurt! Flight schedules were basically just a suggestion, what with all the delays and heightened security. He was supposed to be home in the early afternoon, but the sun had set, kids tucked into bed, and my nerves rubbed raw from waiting before I heard the car pull up outside. I flung front door open and flew into my husband's arms. I have never been so happy to see him in my life! I didn't want to let him go. Ever. 

Every year at this time, my heart gains 100 lbs. It is so heavy with the sense of loss that accompanies this day of infamy. So many lives were lost that day, and our world will never be the same. At the same time, I am filled with a sense of pride for our awesome country. As a nation, we truly pulled together at that horrendous time. We gathered in churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques to pray and support one another. We stood in lines at blood banks to donate that life saving gift. People readily thanked soldiers, fire fighters, and police officers, giving them the recognition they have always deserved. Everywhere you looked, you saw flags at half-mast, people dressed in red, white, and blue, and flags tied around trees. The terrorists did not win. They did not cause us to cower in fear and crumble to pieces. Quite the contrary, they united us in a way that we hadn't been for decades! I am so proud of our country. I am proud of my friends and family who have valiantly served the United States. I am proud of ALL those who put their lives on the line for us every day.

May God continue to bless this miracle country!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

That Got Me Thinking

So, the other day, I was riding in the car with someone I love and respect very much. I can't remember what the topic was, but this person replied, "Well, it's because you feel you always have to be right." I was not insulted or hurt, it was said in the most loving way possible. But, it got me thinking, do I always have to be right?
Here's what I think: I don't always have to be right, but I do want people to understand why I feel the way I do about things. I don't really care if people agree with me, but I like to be understood. I think it's my mom's fault. She always taught me to try to see every side of a situation and everybody's point of view. Whether it's about religion, politics, or favorite restaurants, she told me I should try to understand why people feel the way they do. Maybe that's why I enjoy Jodi Picoult books. I don't always agree with the subject matter she tackles, but by the time I'm through with the story, I get why "the other side" believes their angle.
I don't always "get it", but I do try very hard to understand. Then, my sense of fairness kicks in, and I get frustrated when I fell like the other person isn't even trying to see my point of view. My heart says, "Hey, I'm trying to understand your side, why can't you try to see mine?" Then I start to try harder to get them to understand. I can get why people might get the impression that I have to be right.
There is a song by Depeche Mode that says it very well:

Somebody, by Depeche Mode

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who'll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She'll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She'll hear me out
And won't easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she'll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me


I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought
With every breath
Someone who'll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don't want to be tied
To anyone's strings
I'm carefully trying to steer clear of
Those things
But when I'm asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I'll get away with it
And in a place like this
I'll get away with it

Anyway, I was just thinking...

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Morbid Mind

Tomorrow, I will be going to my 4th funeral in less than a year. The first was a bittersweet goodbye to a woman who had been fighting Cancer for the past several years. All while trying to help her husband with Parkinson's Disease and raise 4 daughters under the age of 19. While I mourned for her family and their loss, I felt such a relief knowing that her pain was finally over. It was also amazing to watch her family and to see their strength with their knowledge and understanding of the Plan of Salvation! The next was for Ty's Grandma. While I was sad for the loss of her in our lives, she had been missing her wonderful husband for over 10 years. I still smile and get a little teary-eyed when I think of their reunion in Heaven! The third was for a young friend of my son's. 13 years old. It was completely unexpected. She died in a tragic boating accident. The one I'm going tomorrow is one I am still trying to digest. He was an old friend from my high school days. We went to different schools, but through a mutual friend, I met this great guy and we hung out as a group a lot, doing everything from hitting semi-local dance clubs to his introducing me to the Highlander movie to watching the 4th of July fireworks in a hotel room full of other kids. We lost touch after his mission, but I still thought about him from time to time. I loved hearing through mutual friends about all his travels. His death is senseless to me and I just don't understand. I hurt for him and what he must have been going through. I hurt for his family who is left behind to pick up the pieces. However, my testimony of Heavenly Father's Plan has grown through each of these good-byes. I know that everything will be taken care of according to His will and that we have nothing to fear. I know that the questions I have now, the whys and why nows will be answered when I return to my Heavenly Home. So, for that, I am truly thankful.
All of these good-byes have also got me thinking about other things. Weird things. Things I wonder if other people think about. It's also got me thinking about my funeral. I know, weird, right? But, I think Ty has gotten used to sentences that start with, "When I die..." Now, before anybody gets panicky, I don't plan on dying for a VERY long time, so this is not a cry for help. It's just the way my morbid mind works. So, here's my list:
1st~ my brother, who is in Germany serving in the USAF can't make it to our friend's funeral tomorrow for obvious reasons. So, he asked me to order some flowers to show the family that he is in their thoughts. I began searching for the perfect arrangement and found something out. Flowers are WICKED EXPENSIVE!!! I always knew that I didn't want a lot of flowers at my funeral, but now I'm sure of it. I don't want people to spend their hard-earned money on something that will be pretty for a few days and then end up in a compost heap. I always thought that potted plants would be a nice alternative for people who really feel that flowers are what you're supposed to give at a funeral, but after watching my mother in law and her sisters trying to find homes for the plethora of plants sent to Grandma Tolman, my mind has changed on that part. (Plus, I have never been able to keep a plant alive in my life. Wouldn't it be kind of silly to expect be to be able to after?) So, I hope that if people wish to "honor my memory" or let my family know they are thinking about us or anything like that, I hope that they will make a donation to their favorite charity. Whether it's St Jude's Children's hospital, or Save the Whales, or the Humane Society, or whatever, as long as it's something they care about, then that's the PERFECT way to show respect!
2nd~ Anybody who knows me knows I don't do well sitting still. I don't want some somber wake with people milling around looking sad. I want the music pumping. And I'm not talking about "appropriate" organ music from the hymnal or "funeral director's handbook" or whatever it is they use. In fact, just bring my iPod and a dock and I'll be happy!
3rd~ This one is related to the 2nd. Don't be mopey! Laugh, dang it! Tell happy stories. Remember the good times. Laugh Laugh Laugh!!!
4th~ I guess this could have gone with #1, but for decorations, instead of tons of flowers everywhere, 2-3 pretty arrangements will be great. Then, display things I love. Photo albums of my kids growing up. My Mama Leach's quilt. The yo-yo quilt my mom made for My wedding to Ty. Beautiful artwork. Some of my favorite books. Stuff like that.
5th~ I LOVE the Mexican tradition of "Día de Muertos", but Ty has already put the nix on that one, so I guess I lose there.
However, 4 out of 5 ain't bad!
So, there you have it: the ingredients to Jennifer's Perfect Funeral! It's not that I don't think that traditional funerals are bad in any way. They're just not me. I've always marched to a different drummer and I plan on marching that way all the way into my Father's arms! So, in 50 or 60 years when you're at my Perfect Funeral, know that it's exactly the way I wanted it. Oh, and have some yummy funeral potatoes for me!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SNC Concert

Last Friday, Ty took me on one of the best dates ever! We got all dressed up (Samantha chose my outfit) and went out to dinner.
We went to The Cellar for a nice dinner without the kids. We went all out on the dinner, too: appetizer, entree, AND dessert! The bruschetta was unlike any we'd had before. Instead of diced tomatoes, basil, and a little olive oil, it was caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and blue cheese! We had to let go of our pre-conceived notions of bruschetta, but it was sooo good! Ty's salmon was served with a grain we had never seen before. Quinoa. (Pronounced keen wah) It was so pretty and tasted pretty good too. I'm gonna have to find some ways to incorporate it into our meal plans!
Then it was time for the main event! We headed downtown to the Colonial Theater for the Straight No Chaser concert. I was positively giddy with excitement! Ty kept threatening to take me home if I didn't calm down. (Yeah, right! Like he could have dragged me away!) We perused the souvenir table, but I already have both their Christmas albums. I fell in love with a pink t-shirt, but they only had small and medium, and they ran really small. I have been tempted every day since to order it from their website, but with Christmas coming, I don't think that's a very good idea. *sigh*
We had great seats; only 8 from the front!
The boys finally came out and the fun began. They were so funny and you could tell that they really enjoy what they do. (I am going to try to upload some video, but it's my first time doing that and I'm not sure what I'm doing!) It was cool, because after their first song, Jerome Collins came out and made an announcement. He said that as we may know, they were discovered because of a Youtube video clip. So he encouraged us to take pictures and videos and to feel free to post them on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else we saw fit. So I recorded several! They sang several of their "classics" from Youtube and others I've never heard them do before. I especially liked the Lady Gaga medley, the Billie Jean/That Girl is Poison mash-up, Chicken Fried, and Fix You. I really hope they come back to Idaho Falls again. I'll be first in line for tickets!!! The crowd loved them, too, and they did two encores.
Afterward, the guys came out to the lobby for an autograph line. I was mildly annoyed with the woman in line in front of me. She was obviously drunk and thought she was the center of the group's world. She proposed to Michael, kissed several of the guys, and spoke very loudly. The guys would politely talk to her and then try to turn their attention to the next person in line (me.) Well, she was having none of that. She'd just lean in front of me and talk over me. so, I didn't get a chance to talk to most of them. I could have been a brat about it, but I just let it slide. Here I am talking to Ryan. Our blurry hands are preparing to high-5 in this picture.
It was a great night. I was so wired when we got home, it took over 3 hours for me to calm down enough to sleep! I have an awesome husband! I am crossing my fingers for next year!
Here is the video I uploaded. I think. I can't tell if it will play or not. I'm sorry for the poor quality. It was dark in the theater, and my phone won't let me zoom in on video. I was going to post more, but it takes FOR-E-VER to upload! This one is the Lady Gaga medley. Watch the dancing. It's hilarious!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our New Toy

After all the fun we had at Banks Lake, Ty's been itching to get a boat of his own. He watched eBay, scoured internet sites, and even checked out local dealers. One day, he found a deal he just couldn't pass up. So, a few Saturdays ago, Ty took a day trip up to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to pick up his dream boat.
It was FAR from a dream trip, however. He left at about 5am so he could get up there around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. He met with Adam Olinger from Olinger Marine. Soon enough, the deal was done and Ty was on his way home. He should have been home around 10 or 11, but about 50 minutes outside of Butte, MT, one of the tires on the trailer blew out. That would have been okay, since Ty had a spare, but the weight of the boat forced the air out of the other tire on that side when the first tire died. Ty was able to limp off at the next exit at Gold Creek. Gotta love USAA's roadside assistance. They sent somebody out, but the closest tow truck with a flatbed big enough for the boat and trailer was 2 hours away. Ty took out his flashlight and puttered around the boat, tidied up his truck, and looked at the stars. At the time, the Chilean miners were still trapped 2,300 feet below the Earth's surface. He decided that he was blessed to be "trapped" in a place where he could still see the sky and would soon be home. By the time they got the boat and trailer to Helena where the tires could be repaired, it was almost 2am! The tire guy offered to mount the new tires then and there, but Ty said, "No I'm tired and you all deserve some sleep. Let's just take care of it in the morning." He checked into his hotel at 2:15. Poor guy. Luckily, the hotel had some phone chargers in lost and found, so he was able to recharge his phone. Ty was on his way down to breakfast at 7am when the most awesome Frank Kolar from Kolar Tire & Auto called to say the tires were mounted and he was all set! Then, Frank only charged $30 a tire and didn't charge labor!!!
Finally, at about 2:30 Sunday afternoon, Ty and the new boat rolled into our driveway. The following pictures capture the joy that ensued...
Samantha's the King of the World! (Or Queen, as the case may be.)
Zachary is very excited.
This is Tristan and Zachary's favorite place to sit.
You can see the sides where the wake bar goes up, but it is down in all these pictures for the trip. Then, we removed at all together for winter storage, so I guess you'll have to wait til next year to see that.
I like the detailed stitching that matches the artwork on the sides of the boat.
So, we got the dream boat in October. Ty and I dropped it in Blacktail on Columbus Day, just so we could say we did. It was cold and raining, but we went boating, dangit! Then we went out again the following Friday afternoon so we could take the kids. We were all wearing coats and hats and shivering, but we plugged in my iPod and tore around the lake with the music blaring! Now, the boat has been winterized and it is waiting peacefully for next Spring when it will have the chance to play again!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Banks Lake 2010 (Long post, but worth it!)

Ty's sister, Keirra and her husband, Duff invited us to go to Banks Lake with them this Summer for their annual family free-for-all. To be honest, I was a little nervous because we don't know a soul in Duff's family (We met his parents at their wedding and again at their first child's blessing, but that's it!) and I thought it would be awkward. I shouldn't have worried. Duff's family is an amazing group of people with a way of making everybody feel like family!Duff's family have been going to Banks Lake, Washington for something like 25 years. They bring their boats, water skiing stuff, tents, food, and lots of energy. Then they find an awesome beach, set up their stuff, and let the fun begin. This year, there were about 25-30 people there.
One of the traditions is to go cliff diving. Being terrified of heights as I am, this prospect did NOT appeal to me, however, several of the others were more than ready to go. Tristan, of course, was one of the first in line. There is a cliff that is about 10 feet high, but that wasn't good enough for Tristan. He had to go for the 30 foot cliff.
As you can see, he is fearless. Since he didn't tuck his arms in, he was also a little red and sore on the underside of his arms!
Like I said, Duff has been going to Banks Lake for years and is pretty dang good at anything to do with a boat and the water. Here he is showing us how to wake board. Check out the air he's getting! (Besides being impressed with Duff's skills, I had to include this picture cuz it demonstrates what a GREAT sports photographer I am! LOL)
Tristan and Ty both tried next and did great. Tristan got up on his first pull and Ty got up on his second. They were naturals. I, however, was not. I tried again and again and each time, I ended up down before I was up. I swear I drank half the lake! Tristan insists I crashed at least 20 times, but I think it was closer to 12 or 15. Either way, I did NOT get up on the first day! I got up 2 days later, but of course, I didn't bring the camera along. So, no pictures. Keirra took one with Duff's Blackberry, but I don't know how to get it off my phone yet. (When I figure out that little feat, I'll post them!)
On the second day, we went to a place Keirra calls "Clay Beach". The shore is full of clay deposits. We had tons of fun molding it into shapes and smearing it all over our bodies. Our very own spa mud treatment.
Ty decided his head wasn't nearly big enough, so he crafted himself a new one. He was joking that if his hair started to grow back, he was gonna patent the stuff!
Here is our group with our war paint. (Don't we look ferocious?)

Zachary tried his hand at knee boarding. He did great getting up, but then he would get nervous and yell for us to stop. You can see the distress on his face in this picture. We couldn't figure out why he was freaking out because he seemed to be doing so well. We found out on the last day that he didn't understand how the life vest worked. He thought that if he crashed, he would drown! Poor kid. Ty took some time with him, demonstrating how it would make him pop to the surface, but that was on the last day we were there, so he didn't get a chance to go again with his new found knowledge.
Duff's dad (Dan) borrowed a party barge from a friend of his and he took us all over in it. Over to the cliffs for cliff diving, to clay beach for mud bathes and clay fights. And he used the sound system to play music for us. He's the DJ for youth dances where they live, so he had a great selection of music. All the littleies climbed on top of the barge for some dancing while he "spun" some tunes. For a while, the kids booed anything that wasn't Michael Jackson, but eventually they just danced. Lucy and Greta go to the dances Dan DJs, so they were teaching the kids some of the line dances they do.
Samantha loved going knee boarding. She thought she was pretty hot stuff. She even got good enough to splash the other person she was boarding with and to go over the wake and back. She wanted to go any time she got the chance.
Tristan liked knee boarding, too. He became pretty good friends with one of Keirra's nephews, Hunter. They went out quite a bit, too. Hunter has been doing this for years, so he was really good at it. Going back and forth across the wake and splashing Tristan every chance he got. You could tell that it was irritating Tristan that he couldn't figure out how to splash him back. Finally he got the hang of it though, then it was all bets off. See him leaning to spray Hunter?
Ty has always wanted to try slalom and he decided this was the time. Duff warned him that it's the hardest form of water skiing to learn, especially for a 200 lb man, but Ty was undeterred. Look at that cheesy grin!
He attempted several times, but this was as close as he got. He just couldn't get his position right. He had to push through so much water, it was constantly in his face. I love how his cheek looks like it got punched in this shot. That's how hard the water was hitting him! On his 4th or 5th attempt, he felt something pop in his rib cage. Then, on his next try, that spot hurt like a mother bear, so he had to call it quits. I was concerned that he might have separated a rib or broke one or something. We watched really close, but no bruising ever appeared. It's a month later though, and he still has twinges of pain. I guess he won't be slaloming any time soon!
This is my niece, Lily. She is quite the little sportswoman! She will try anything and is usually great at whatever she does. I love her "game face" in this picture. She's so into it!
Zachary liked to use the inner-tube as a relaxing spot. He could chill out as long as he wanted and then, jump right back into the water.
Just had to show off my niece, Bella. Unlike my kids, she'd flash a brilliant smile every time I pointed the camera at her!
Everybody but our family was going home on the last day. (They only had a 4 hour drive, as opposed to our 9 hour one!) Nobody wanted to sit in the car that long covered in lake water, sunscreen, sand, and sweat, so the lake became the bathtub. Everybody lathered up and cleaned off. Of course, there had to be a water fight. What fun would it be without one? Here are Samantha, Carter, Lucy, and Emma covered in suds. They were having the time of their lives.
Thursday was our day to come home. But we had to stop for the obligatory pictures at Grand Coulee Dam. We were gonna go on the dam tour (the kids loved saying that!) but Ty's ribs were really bothering him, so we decided to forgo that little excursion until a later trip.
We had so much fun for those 4 days. I hope we behaved well enough to be invited back again in the future!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Baby Girl

Okay, so yesterday, I poured through old photo albums finding the perfect pictures, only to find that my scanner isn't working. So, I gave up on that and tried to go online just to tell you all about my baby and the Internet was down due to a fire up on the hill! So, I gave up. Now I have Internet, but this tribute is a day late. Sorry Baby Girl!
Eleven years ago, my baby girl was born. She was 6 weeks early, so she was very tiny, only 5 pounds, 6 ounces. She was so weak that she couldn't suck, so she quickly lost weight until she was a mere 4 pounds 15 ounces. But still, she was huge compared to the other babies in the NICU. That's why the nurses all called her, "The Queen of the NICU." We named her "Samantha Elizabeth Jones" and the joke was that her name was bigger than she was! Samantha was breathing on her own, but needed an oxygen tent for the first couple days and then a cannula for days after that. (I have a picture to show this, but like I said, the scanner is ganked up.) Even connected to a million tubes and wires, she was a beautiful baby. Everybody told me how beautiful she was. Of course, I hadn't seen or held her yet. She couldn't come out of the NICU and nobody thought to take me to her. Finally, when she was over 24 hours old, a nurse found me sobbing in my room and asked what was wrong. I blubbered that I hadn't even held my baby yet and she immediately got me scrubbed and gowned so I could meet my Samantha. When the nurse placed my sweet baby in my arms, it was like an electric shot went through me. There was an instant connection. She turned her head, opened her eyes, and I swear she knew exactly who I was. I couldn't get enough!The next days were bittersweet, as I could spend my days with my new angel, but then I had to leave her there when I went home. I had a great ward family, though, and they stepped in to help. Two young women would come over and play with Tristan (who was only 2 1/2) so I could go spend time with my baby. Other sisters brought in meals since I was always at the hospital until dinner time. My mom would bring Tristan in for short visits. He loved his baby sister, but want' impressed with all the scrubbing that had to go on before he could see her. He wasn't too sure about the cap and gown either. But he loved to hold her and give her kisses. I will always remember the first time he saw her. She was still in the little warmer bed, so she had no clothes on, just a diaper. I said, "There's your baby sister. Isn't she pretty?" He looked at her in awe and solemnly nodded. Then he pointed at her umbilical stump, crinkled his nose, and said, "Ew, gwoss!" I laughed out loud and promised that it wouldn't be there forever.We were warned that Samantha would probably have to stay in the hospital until her due date, but she was strong enough to go home after only 9 days. It was scary to bring her home. So many rules. I had to set the alarm so I could wake her every 2 hours to eat because she was still too little to wake herself. I kept a bottle of Germ-X antibac sanitizer right by the door and everybody who came through the door was required to use it. But it was so worth it to have her home with us. Samantha has been a true blessing in my life. She is thoughtful, kind, smart, and I could go on and on. Repeatedly, I have been told by her teachers that she is the most thoughtful child in her class. If she sees a child being left alone or who is sad, she is the first to go to them and draw them into her circle. She loves making new friends. She has always loved music. When she was a baby, she used to hum herself to sleep. When she grew older, she'd demand song after song as lullabies. "Sing Bird" (Hush Little Baby) "Sing Jesus" (I am a Child of God) until we'd finally say no more. She's always singing something. She is my biggest helper, always ready to lend a hand around the house. And she (almost) never complains. I love her so much and I am so thankful that she was sent to our family. I don't know what I'd do without her. She is my angel!
Happy Birthday Baby!!!