Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Daughter Donut Date

You never know when they are going to happen:  those days when everything seems to go right.  When the stars must be aligned, and you are blessed with all things good and beautiful.

This was one of those days.

It began with waking up to chirping birds, warm-ish temperatures and clear blue skies. 

On this particular day, Lucy woke up and came into my room, and I suggested heading to 'Conk Park' (more on that in a moment) for a daughter donut date. 

If only we could all be so easily pleased.  The screams of excitement were palpable. 

Lucy and I discovered this park last year and we immediately fell in love with it. One of its many appealing features is all the hugely established black walnut trees. When we were last there, it was windy and these beautiful trees were dropping their nuts in an almost rhythmic and predictable way.  We decided to call it "Conk" Park because we figured it was only a matter of time before one of these big black walnuts fell and "conked" us on the head.  Hence,"Conk Park" was born.

There is just something to be said about those first days of spring, when things are just starting to bud, the air smells so fresh, and you feel that deep thaw down to your bones.  You soak in all the details of the sun and flowers and chirping birds.

And you watch your daughter, frolicking....

And playing peek-a-boo with the birds....

And you realize how blessed you are.

When Lucy was just a baby, a friend gave me a tiny little bud vase.  She said that it was for the times when Lucy would come in from playing outside, and give me that delicately picked bouquet of dandelions.

At the time, I didn't realize just how right--- and thoughtful--- my friend was in giving me this gift. 

What I know now is that  this vase has been used more times than I can count.

I guess little girls are just naturally drawn to picking flowers for their mamas.



I recognize that these seamless days are rare and fleeting. 

And not to be taken for granted.

On this day, I didn't take it for granted.   I soaked it all in.

There is something about the unplanned and simple things. 

I realize this all sounds a bit sentimental.

I cannot lie in saying that the quickly-approaching, inevitable days of full time school is not far from my daily thoughts.  In fact, it weighs on my mind often.

It is probably because of this that I am cherishing these simple moments just a bit more right now.

And I wonder, did I take these moments for granted too much when she was younger?

I sure do love this girl.

I look at these pictures and realize how grown up she is.

The memories from this day,  of hunting down woodpeckers.....

And riding bikes......

And picking more flowers.....

with her tiny fingers......

to put in a tiny bud vase......

will never be forgotten.

And always be cherished.

Thank you God, for these days of unforgettable perfection.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Easter Joy

Look who came to visit us Easter weekend!

I can think of many reasons to be joyful on Easter, with the most important being our risen Savior.  But I would have to say having Papa with us comes in a close second.

Reading and talking about the Bible......

"Papa and Peanuts" :

"Papa and Puzzles" :

"Papa and 'Paas' "  :
(Easter egg dying that is)

This is our third year dying eggs with Lucy's BFF Abby.  It is a tradition her mom and I have come to treasure.  I think Papa really enjoyed being a part of it. 

The girls remained their silly selves.....

It was a wet rainy day, so I surprised them with their egg hunt indoors this year.

This was right before they got started. 

Don't you wish you could just bottle this excitement for daily ingestion?

This is one of my favorite pictures. 

It speaks for itself......

And look who else joined us a bit later in the weekend?

Lucy was over the moon having her cousin Vince with us.

Vincent has grown into a mature, pleasant, kind, responsible young man.  What joy it brings to my heart to see him like this, and to watch his transformation into the man God intended for him to be.

I treasure that Lucy has this relationship.

True to any family gathering, there was a lot of passionate discussion going on.  

It is in the Italian/Irish blood.

Lucy was quite patient throughout these discussions.  Here she is raising her hand to speak, with her request being simply: "When can we go outside for the Easter egg hunt? I am ready NOW."

Let the hunt begin!

I love looking at these pictures, and witnessing the joy of family being together.

It makes me pause, and think of my Mom; oh, how she would have enjoyed this.  

But I also pause and remember, she helped create this.

Here Papa is helping Lucy find one of the eggs.

A beautiful day spent with wonderful people......

Vincent and Lucy, in some virtual world together......

What could be better than the Easter bunny bringing a bubble gun?

More passionate discussions.... This time after Easter dinner.

I wish I could take credit for this, but I cannot.   It's all Servattis, a local gem of a bakery. I couldn't resist when I saw it. 

I almost didn't want to cut it, it looked so cute.

Let me tell you, it tasted just as delicious as it looked.  

I hope that your Easter was filled with as much joy and happiness as mine.