Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sweet Bella and Her Beautiful Mama...

Let's start at the beginning... In the summer of 1999 I had just finished high school and headed to Lake Champion in NY to do Work Crew for Young Life. I had gotten into Tennessee and was STILL waiting to hear from UNC. While I was there I met a girl on Summer Staff, Molly, who was from Knoxville and went to UT. I made sure to at least get to know her a little because a) there was the potential Knoxville connection if I ened up there and b) she seemed like a total hoot.

Sure enough, didn't get into Carolina (whatever, Go Pack), which I found out while I was there, so the Tennessee connection was an even bigger deal. And Molly was even more of a scream the more I got to know her. My time in Knoxville was short-lived, but Molly was great. She helped get me through some crazy times, whether she knew it or not, just through kindness and prayer and being a friend. Unfortunately, my leaving town meant us losing touch.

Never fear, because God is way too cool and I don't believe in coincidences. Fast forward to summer of 2004. Ellen goes to Windy Gap to intern for the summer and calls me the first day. "You'll never guess who my bunkmate and our camp nurse is this summer. Molly - from Knoxville. Marks, right? - we totally just figured out that we both know you. Small world!" Ellen and Molly became frick and frack that summer and it opened the door for me to reconnect with Molly. We even got to be in Elle and Terry's wedding together in 2007. Yay God.

Okay, so anyway....when the earthquake hit Haiti a little over a month ago Molly felt an overwhelming calling. She needed to get down there to help (medically) and maybe do more. And boy did she - long story short is that a week and a half ago she brought home the cutest dang toddler I've ever met in my life, Bella. Bella was an orphan and when Molly met her and saw the shape she was in, knew she was to bring her home. She fought a hard fight and won, and brought this angel home to take care of her.
The Bruces and I headed to see them in Knoxville this past weekend (with a car FULL of amazing gifts from AMAZING families in Winston) and Aunt Becca had the TIME OF HER LIFE with Bella and Emerson and all of their respective parents.
Bella has gone from a weak, sick, pitiful little girl to a giggling, singing, eating like a horse child in no time. Seeing Molly with her makes you feel like there are some things in the world that really are just RIGHT. The joy that Bella finds in the tiniest things really makes you stop and think, because you know it's just more than a baby finding fun in something silly. It's a child who has truly never seen such things or known such love and attention and care. My heart felt like it was going to explode all weekend and has been sad to have left ever since Sunday.Emerson. You are about the cutest little peanut on the face of the earth. Seriously.With 2 of my very favorite moms. :)Sweet Bella sent me flowers at work after we got back. Melt me!Molly, I am so darn proud of you that if I could crawl up on my roof and shout it without getting hurt I totally would. You are truly a hero. To Bella and to all of us. I love you big and huge and always. And Bella, Aunt Becca loves you something fierce. Forever.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just Keep Shoveling...

That's a line from Father of the Bride, folks. When Franck Eggelhoffer and his assistant Howard Weinstein are clearing the snow from the front walk at the Banks house before Annie Banks becomes Annie Banks McKenzie.

It is also what I have jokingly said to my dear father who has come over every darn time it has snowed to dig me out of the bowl that I live in. I am not saying we live in Alaska, but NC hasn't seen 3 snows before Valentine's Day in I don't know how long...and we are currently getting more as I type. And oh now I MISS my Ford Explorer from high school and college, even if it did nearly ruin a Spring Break trip to DC one year because of a silly broken seatbelt (Katie Mulder do you still read this blog?). The Honda just can't hang in the snow and ice.

But, the snow has luckily come for the most part on weekends, so it has been playtime. I live near many of my favorites and a great place to sled, so that's what we've done!

Mary with Will & Ben!The Vivster - loving it and oh-so-stylish at the same time.
Doubled up with Ella Bear and Maggie Moose!This eager watching would make you think Nora couldn't wait to go out in it...She HATED it. But what a precious little snow angel she was anyway - as long as someone was holding her and she wasn't "TUCK! (Stuck!)" in the snow!Happy Snow Days!