Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy 40th to You, Mary!

Today you are 40 years old - but believe me when I say that you don't look a day over, oh, say, 25 or so.


Do you know that I still remember the very first time I met you?  In Ann Parke's basement - I was there to keep a very young Will and Spencer (before Sam and Beeen!) and the two of you were off to do something-or-other.  But I remember rounding the corner of the lime green wall down there to see you crouched down telling a very nervous Will that you were going out with A.P. but that he got to stay and play with Spencer and his "friend" Becca.  And the rest, as they say, is history. :)

Will instantly became the most congenial child I'd ever met, and he still his.  That kid cracks me up all the time - he's like talking to an adult.  And, I remember meeting Ben for the first time, too.  I didn't know if I was allowed to pick him up out of that baby papasan seat (gosh he was maybe 4 days old?), and you leaned around the corner and out of the kitchen with the green light and said 'Becca, pick me up and feel how heavy I am!' and I was instantly in love.  Your boys are such a perfect reflection of your sweet, genuine spirit.

I could never tell you all that I have learned from you since we became friends.  I surely hope you know how much I look up to you.  Like with so many folks, I started out as 'Becca the babysitter' and have turned into part of the family.  I have never taken this lightly, and I think of y'all the same way. 

You have taken me into the fold of one of the things that you are most passionate about and helped me develop it as one of my own passions, too.  It has been such an honor to remember your dear, sweet Thomas with you and dive head-first with you - and John - into so many of the organizations and causes that make life maybe just a little bit easier for families who lose their precious children, or have very sick children, and are going through the very toughest battles they will ever face.  You've always gladly taken me by the hand for this, and I am forever grateful for it.
(...even if we do get lost in Greensboro and yell back at the navigation woman in the car when she gets more and more perturbed that she has to tell us that she is "recalculating".)

And really, HOW many times have we been asked if we are sisters?  How many times have I been called Mary, or have you been called by my name?  I consider this nothing but pure flattery, to have folks mistake me for you. 

Thank you.  Thank you for being one of my dearest, closest friends.  For being my sounding board so often; for being on the short list of people I call when I really need to talk to someone about something.  Thank you for letting me love your boys SO fiercely and letting them be such a huge part of my life and always always trusting me with them.  I would lay in front of a bus for them, and I mean that.  Thank you for ALL that I have learned about life and love and motherhood and friendship from you. 

You are one of the strongest, kindest, most dedicated, most loyal people I will ever know.  If you'd told me in that basement playroom that day years ago that I'd just met someone who would, in just a few years time, be someone that I would soon consider such a dear friend and 'big sister' all rolled into one, I would have probably said "nah, just babysitting for a few hours, that's all".  But, as it is often said, everything happens for a reason.  And I am so glad it does.

Happy Birthday, Mary!  I love you!

Monday, August 16, 2010

God Bless America

It's almost time for some college football.  Or at least it is according to my front door.  I've been waiting to put this thing up forever.  I couldn't wait any longer - today was the day.

In other news...

A sweet friend of mine headed off to start her freshman year at NC State this past weekend.  Oh, what I wouldn't give...  I loved every last single solitary moment I spent at that place.

She had the expected butterflies and usual uncertainties that come with going off to school.  You're excited out of your mind and absolutely scared to death all at one time.  I decided a little Red & White love was in order.  Plus, I got to break out the paint pens, which I have to do every now and then to keep true to myself.  Ta-Da! 

Happy Monday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Laney the Bride

About 6 weeks ago my cousin, Laney, got married and gave us another chance to get together for a big family celebration this year.  (We had a big time - we'll have it no other way in this crowd!)  In addition to being thrilled to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, Laney also asked me if I would take her bridal portrait photos.  Of course!  So, back in May, Elizabeth and I headed up to Linville, NC for a "session" on the grounds of Grandfather Golf & Country Club.  How do I get so lucky with these locations?

As we were heading up the mountain a crystal blue, wide open, sunny sky gradually gave way to an overcast one. Perfect. :)  BUT, not five minutes (and I am not even lying) after we got inside from the photos, the BOTTOM dropped out. I mean it was raining up, down and sideways, with those huge summertime raindrops that make splats the size of tennis balls when they hit the ground. There are still times that it terrifies me to think about what would have happened if I had pulled her further from the clubhouse for "just a few more quick shots" and been out there even a few minutes longer. Dear me... Not to worry though, we were safe! Enjoy a few shots!

I love that the flowers behind her are purple.  DEFINITELY her color.  Perfect!

Her dress was just gorgeous.  She stopped golfers on the course in their tracks!

Mercy I love some flowers that are just dripping with "southernness"...

Love the water behind her in this one...

Grandfather Mountain in the distance - see the swinging bridge?

The bridges all over the lake on the golf course are wonderful photo spots.

There was just enough pre-storm breeze for a perfect little flutter of her veil.

This one ended up being the official portrait.  LOVE it.

This one is my personal favorite of her.  As someone who grew up with Laney so closely, this one just "looks like her", as my mother would say.  And she just looks so happy. :)

Congratulations, Laney & Nathan!  I love you!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Conversation with a 4-year-old...

I got to bring Sam home with me for a while the other night after the triplets' birthday party. 
Here was part of our conversation in the car:

Me: Did you have fun buddy?
Sam: Yes, that was a fun party.
Me: Well I know the girls were glad you were there. 
        Gabby was so excited when she saw you.  She loves you.
Sam: They all do, Becca.

[John Mayer & Taylor Swift's "Half of My Heart" starts on my stereo.]

Sam: Gosh Becca. You have this song in your car, too?
Me: I sure do - who else has it?
Sam: Just every old girl I know.

Wonderful.  Lucky for him he's so darn cute.