At some point during this last weekend my sister asked me when I had gotten so soft, and I knew exactly why she asked me that question. People, my darn emotions are running crazy through my poor little body and my composure, well if you see it please invite it to return. I can't keep my act together for all of a second before I'm crying--and that goes for a talk at church, a cute cousin moment and, of course, the American Idol finale. BTW--I haven't watched American Idol all year so it's not like I was somehow emotionally invested, but something about seeing a car being given away put me over the edge. Cue the water works. And if I'm crying in American Idol, you just don't want to see me when a Hallmark commercial comes on, or when a park ranger gives my little loves a Big Gulp full of fish food at the fish hatchery--have mercy. During Sam and Louis's wedding I had to hold my breath because I knew if I opened my mouth, it was not going to be pretty. I determined that passing out was a much better alternative to chimpanzee noises. And maybe crying during the ceremony was understandable, but how about when the waiters came out dancing to Beauty and the Beast's "Be Our Guest"? I don't have to worry about dry eyes, that's for sure.
So her question got me thinking, when did I become such a softy? That's not really my thing, you know. I'm tough, I'm strong, I'm capable. But lately, I'm also a little bit weepy. The last year has done it to me, mostly in the form of an embryo with a special heart. Things I used to brush off now touch me, like I feel them deep in my body and soul touch me. I wonder if the job of that baby with a special heart was to change mine, to soften me, to balance my strength with grace, to open my eyes to goodness in the world that one person and one heart cannot quite handle on its own. And when that heart inside my chest is bursting with love and gratitude and goodness it just pours out my eyes for others to share. It's beautiful when you think of it like that, isn't it? Telling myself I'm sharing the love is a lot better for my self-esteem than telling myself I'm a cry-baby, that's for sure!
So forgive me for including too many pictures of too many special moments from this last weekend, but I just can't help it. And even though I'm not going to tell you about every experience, just assume if it's posted here than my heart was full and my eyes were wet. Again!
T and Kai Kai giving each other loves in the garden.
Everett picking fresh blackberries in Mema's garden at Pepa's house ;) Pepa loves that this is the first grandchild that gives him ownership of the house!
I couldn't help but buy little treats for this sweet girl every time I went to the store. On this specific trip, I bought her lots of jewelry including these clip-on earrings (that she kept on the whole evening). I also bought her the sweetest little mint polka dot swimsuit!
My sister through Kai and Avery a birthday party and the kids all had a blast! She did a great job!
Noni did face painting (which turned out to be hand painting) and the kids were thrilled. This was Evie's bee, which he has asked me to recreate every day since.
Bless my soul, look at that girl! My cute Avers with her glasses, phone and earrings. Seriously? The cuteness is unbearable!
LaRue girl cousins (minus Elle--we missed her!) And no, I didn't boss everyone around at the wedding like they said I used to do when we were kids.
Me and Ashy with our LaRue aunts--Terri and Michelle.
I already mentioned that the nice park ranger gave the boys huge cups full of fish food and that my heart melted into a puddle on the spot. They had so much fun feeding those fish!
Just a random "because I love her so darn much" kind of picture!
Dad and Louis waiting for the bride. Dad married them and, as always, did a fantastic job. He's such a gifted speaker.
James got to walk Noni down the aisle.
Such the sweetest little ring bearer and flower girl! My dad had ring pops for them at the front of the aisle!
The new Mr. and Mrs. Kissane! Her dress was ridiculously beautiful.
Aunt Terri made us go sit on this rock for a photo op...and I'm sure glad she did. Love it!
Mr. Kai taking pics of Miss Kenzie.
Me and my lovey.
This was Jim's advice to the bride and groom, courtesy of the killers.
My mom and her girls!