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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Love Letter Part II

Dear Gabriella,

Today is a special day.  It is your birthday.  You are turning 3 and I'm wondering where theses 3 years have gone.  There are so many things I find myself wanting to say to you, advice on life that is, but then I stop myself because, for goodness sake, you are only 3. 

Yesterday, after Daddy assembled the bouncer for your party, we made our way inside.  You cheered, "Girls only!"  At first (because Mommy is a worry wart about safety), I made us bounce on opposite sides because I didn't want to accidentally fall on you, but you bounced your way over, and asked me to hold your hands.  How could I refuse?

Now, because you are only 3, you will probably never ever remember this, but...
We bounced. 
And bounced.
And bounced.
And Mommy let her guard down just a little and we bounced really high... 
So high my hat flew off!
Then, you threw your hat off and said you wanted to be just like me.
I thought to myself, Don't limit yourself to who I am.  You will be so much more.
We laughed and rolled around.
You bounced around until you could bounce no more and then you bounced right into my arms.
We rested. 
I could feel the beating of your little heart and it reminded me of the occasion when you first noticed that your heart beats.  Since then, you frequently stop to let Daddy or me know that your heart is beating.

On this, your 3rd birthday, my heart beats for you, GG.  I adore you.  I admire you.  I love you.  And I sure do hope you can see it and feel it in the time we spend together.  Time that has never been taken for granted.  When I am old and look back on my life, one regret I know I won't have is spending so much time with you.  Time that has been permanently etched into my heart because it defines much of who I am.  If only you knew...

So, as you like to say, "Cheers!"

To another year of life.
With you.


11/29/2009 12:12 pm

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's My List, Too

I've been so eager to share about my and Rick's trip to South Bend.  For those of you that don't know, Rick has been a fan of Notre Dame football since he was a little boy and, up until last weekend, had never been to a game or visited the campus.  This was one of those trips on his bucket list.
As our trip approached, I could tell Rick's excitement was mounting.  He wasn't sleeping well and he was watching prerecorded games to all hours of the night and early in the morning.  There is no way my love for Notre Dame football could even touch his.  You see, I am a fan by association.  I have come to appreciate the team because Rick does.  Everything I know about Notre Dame football is because Rick told me, showed me, or yelled it during an intense moment during a game.  When everyone in our area is getting ready to cheer on the home team, Rick is preparing for the fighting Irish.  He's wearing combinations of blue, gold, and green.

When the opportunity presented itself to go to a game, I jumped on it....Rick pounced on it!  I can't remember anything (other than the birth of our children) that has had Rick pacing with excitement through the night. It's hard not to start to love something that someone around you loves when they love it so much.  Does that make sense?  In so many ways, I started to feel like this was a trip on my own bucket list.  

Well, fast forward through the 6 hour car ride we spent laughing as the heater came on and off every time we hit a bump in the road.  Fast forward through the toll roads, pep rally, trumpets and rain.  Fast forward through me accidentally standing in the middle of the marching band as they walked to the stadium.  Fast forward through tailgating with new friends.

When it is time for the game, Rick and I were both saying how much fun we had had and we hadn't even seen the Irish step on the field yet.  Little did we know we were about to see the game of our lives!!

It was into the SECOND overtime and Notre Dame had just missed a field goal.  All Pittsburgh had to do was get that ball through the uprights and a game that had been going on for nearly 5 hours was about to be over.  We were actually sitting in the end zone where the Pittsburgh kicker was kicking.  You know how you watch football on TV and you see all of the crazy fans moving their arms in the end zone like it is ever going to make a difference?  That was us!  We were jumping and screaming and waving our arms like our lives depended on it.  Pittsburgh's kicker kicked and it was....
The refs made that cross with their arms and everyone went wild!  I was high-fiving everyone around me, hugging the lady next to me who was eating apples and granola bars the whole game, screaming at the top of my lungs so that everyone around us knew, "That was because of us!  That was because of us!"

It was in that moment of comradery with complete strangers, holding onto Rick's arm jumping up and down, that I realized...

Rick's not the only one that crossed something off his list.
I did, too.

His bucket list of things to do, his list for life...
It's my list, too.

Isn't that the way it is when you love someone?  You take on the hopes, dreams, and desires of their heart and make them your own. I know to most people, it's just a football game.
Not to Rick, though.
Not to me.

Last weekend, I saw God in the old, wooden stadium benches that held my feet as I stood to cheer on my husband's favorite team.  It's my favorite team, too.