There are things our mothers always tell us that never leave our minds even after they are no longer with us.
My mom always told me that everything was better when I was there. That experiences were more fun and that she enjoyed herself more. That I brought something to the atmosphere like no one else could do in her world. She always made me feel so good about myself.
And then yesterday, Bella, Luke, and I played cards. Bella has recently learned Old Maid and Crazy Eights and Go Fish. Coming from a family whose core includes playing games, it melts my heart to see how much Bella loves to play. As we played, Bella kept cracking Luke and I up. She is wonderfully expressive, and the way she would squeal when someone took took the old maid from her or when she had just the right card to play, made Luke and I laugh so hard. She got excited about everything. She laughed hard. She played well. She was kind.
After I finally stopped laughing at one of her squeals, it came out naturally. “Bella, you make everything so much fun. It is always so much more fun when you are around.” And then I actually heard myself. I heard my mom in myself. And I remembered how my mom made me feel. But in that moment I was also aware of how my mom must have felt. I had to take a pause to feel this. To feel how much I adore this treasure of a child. How amazing I think she is. How terribly proud of her I am. How my life is 1000 times better with her in it. How she makes me laugh. How she teaches me new things. How she helps me know my mom better even five and a half years after her death.
I could go on and on here about how I adore Bella. When I asked God for a daughter, I never imagined that He would bless me with one so great. My life with her is better than I ever knew could exist. And on January 30th, she turned four. In the week before her birthday, out of the blue she would squeal and clap and shout “I am going to be four!” Oh to be excited about getting older!
At one of her three recent birthday celebrations, she received cowgirl boots. As grandma Lisa and I were sitting on the couch visiting, Bella was enjoying her new boots. Once she noticed me taking her picture, she came alive with a variety of unprompted poses. All these photos were taken within a minute and ten seconds of each other! She is a natural…
Grandma Lisa arrived with a party hat she made for Bella as well as a Tinkerbell cake and fairy wings. She knows how to bring a party!
We have a local favorite place to go called Stabby’s Cafe (awesome breakfasts!), and we went there for a birthday breakfast. Bella and Abe were both sick and tired and it was not what we had hoped for, but fun nonetheless. Abe did not want to cooperate for the camera, and two seconds after I took the shot of him creating a fork/glass tower, he flung his fork across the table and spilled Bella’s entire glass of juice everywhere, making us the restaurant favorites. This parenting thing is a piece of cake…
Our final party of the weekend and Bella requested a princess cake (of course!)…
I know it is a lot of images of my Bella, but sometimes I have just got to be an over-proud mom who wants to show off her kids! Thanks for hanging in there with me.:)