Month: May 2014

Memories of Mom #19

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Dearest Emi and Ava,

As I’m thinking about our upcoming vacation, I’m reminded how much your mom loved a good adventure.

IMG_0313One of my (and her) absolute favorites was on our 10th wedding anniversary, when we took a cruise along the western coast of Mexico.  Touristy, but fun, places like Cabo San Lucas and Puerta Vallarta.

On this particular trip, we signed up for an excursion to go zip-lining through the treetops in the jungle.  Your mom was soooo excited to be able to do this.

Although, I will admit that neither of us were expecting the journey we’d take to get there in the first place.  If I remember right, we had to take a speed boat to a little inlet 30 mins from our port, then boarded some military looking transports for a very rocky climb up the mountainside, followed by a ride on the back of a mule up some narrow passages, and finally a hike to the top.  It was quite an ordeal.

Your mom really didn’t like her mule, but I don’t think it liked her either.  It was kind of stubborn and gave her a heck of a time.  I guess they were made for each other.  🙂  Actually she probably handled it better than I would have.

IMG_0263Once we were at the top though…..that’s when the fun began!

Right off the bat we were zipping through the treetops 400′ above the ground.  It was totally insane!  BUT SO MUCH FUN!

Line after line, she was all about flying through the treetops.

The smile and look on your mom’s face was priceless and unforgettable!

The part though that I’m so proud of her for was when she had to rappel a couple times straight off of a platform in the trees without touching anything else.  She had never done that before and totally handled it like a pro.

In fact, she was such a pro, she talked the guy holding the safety rope to go ahead and let me drop my last 20′ in to the water when it was my turn.  I had quite a shock!  And she laughed so hard!  I laughed too, but only after I caught my breath.  Suddenly, I didn’t feel so bad about the problems she was having with her mule anymore.

DocImage000000058I hope that we get the opportunity to do this when you’re older and that you have the same drive for adventure that she did!  It certainly makes life much more dynamic and interesting.  I loved this part of your mom!  And kissing her under a waterfall wasn’t too bad either.  😉  You’ll understand that when you’re older.  Much older.

But just remember, if you try to have the safety guy drop your future husband (or dad) in to the water while rappelling, turnabout will totally be fair play.  😉

I love you!  ~Dad


I’m Officially A Dance Mom (er, Dad)

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About 3 months ago, April talked me in to selling my Suburban.  At first I was completely against it.  Mainly because my ego was in the way and I wanted MY “guy” vehicle.

But in her normal way, she explained to me the logic of selling my car and it actually made sense.

IMG_1703Thanks to some awesome friends that own a car lot, we sold it pretty quickly.

I then had the pleasure of driving April’s GMC Acadia for a while, but honestly – it was too small (didn’t hold enough stuff) AND I felt like a dance mom (no offense to dance moms intended).

So a few weeks ago, I ended up selling April’s Acadia and got a new Suburban.  🙂

Black on black on black.

MUCH more MANLY, looks great, drives great, and hauls all of my stuff.

But what’s one of the first things I do to it?

Photo May 26, 12 23 54 PMI add a sticker to the back with my girls’ Dance Academy on it.

I guess it doesn’t matter what kind of a vehicle I drive….I’m now officially a dance mom (er….dad).


But truth be told, the girls lit up when they saw it on the back!  They were so excited!  AND, it is a great way not to just support them, but to support some awesome women at Kaleidoscope Dance Academy who have been nothing but spectacular with my girls.  I appreciate Laine Harper and her staff more than I can express.

Plus…I really do love watching my girls perform.  Have done it since they were little little.  And will continue to for years to come.



A Dance Dad

Memories of Mom #18

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Dearest Emi and Ava,

Photo Sep 04, 10 45 05 AMToday was an interesting day.  Today was the day that we decided to pack up your mom’s clothes.

Wasn’t quite sure how we’d all respond to this day, but you both handled it like little troopers!

Emi, you may not remember, but the week after your mom passed, you asked me, “What are we going to do with Mom’s clothes?”

I love that your mom and I talked about it and I was able to tell you (like many of my answers to your questions), “You’re mom and I talked about it and this is what we decided….”

It took us several hours, but I appreciate you hanging in there with me.

For the most part, it was good time and we were able to talk about your mom, some of the stories behind some of her clothes, which led to other random stories.  There were lots of laughs!

There were a few times when you two weren’t looking that my emotions got the best of me.   Usually, when I saw something special and it brought back a memory.  It’s been tough seeing her clothes every day, but I think its going to be equally tough now that they’re gone.  One of the things that bothered me the most was that all of her clothes were missing her scent- they just smelled….clean.  Maybe it was for the better, but your mom had this very light flowery fragrance all the time that I loved – and I miss it.

Ava, I think you caught me a couple times and would look at my eyes to see if I was teary or not.  Then you’d just smile without saying anything….and it made it all okay.

DocImage000000046You know it’s funny, in our final days together, your mom and I talked A LOT and one of the things she asked me was not to mad about all of the clothes with tags on them.  And of course, I would never be mad, but I am shocked!  I thought there were a lot before, but now…shocked.  I guess someone is going to benefit from that.

We packed up 7 totes that we’re storing for later and 4 boxes that we took to the Cross Church Compassion Center.  Your mom wanted us to do exactly that – keep things for you for later, some for now (like those funny socks), and donate the rest to others that may have need.

My favorite part about today was that I was able to see the totality of her wardrobe at once.   A couple years ago, someone asked your mom to define “her style” and she said, “simple and elegant”, which I have to agree with.  She wasn’t flashy or flamboyant.  She also wasn’t too plain or dreary.  She fit nicely in to the middle.  She also wasn’t overly concerned about what other people thought.  She was herself and was confident in that.

Photo May 24, 8 17 11 PMMy favorite comment today was from you Ava when you said, “I can’t wait til’ I’m older and get to wear some of these.”  Emi, you made similar comment and it made me very happy.  Even better though was as I was finishing this post and walked in to the bedroom and saw both of you wearing your mom’s crazy socks.  Priceless moment. 🙂

So proud of you two and how well you handled everything.  There is no doubt that God granted us His grace for this moment today.

I love you!  ~Dad

Memories of Mom #17

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Dearest Emi and Ava,

Today has been 2 months since your mom went to Heaven.

It’s been encouraging to me to see how well you’ve done today.  Your attitudes are great.  Your understanding of things, while black and white, astounds me.  I think I may have a lot to learn from you.

But it got me thinking….

I remember a conversation that your mom and I had about our “favorite days”.  Meaning – those days that completely stand above and apart from all other days that we looked back on with extreme fondness and that just made us smile every time we talked about them or thought about them.

Of course, our wedding day was one.

Pregnant with Emily Renee – February 25, 2002

The day that both of you were born were a couple others.

But given that we are 2 months past now, I want to tell you about 2 special days that made your mom and I giddy when we thought about them.

They were the days that we found out that your mom was pregnant with each of you.

It brings a smile to my face just to think about it.

Your mom and I were sooooooo happy!  We both wanted children and talked about what it would be like often.  We never really cared about whether it would be girls or boys.  We would be happy with whatever God blessed us with.

Emi – it started with you.  Your mom and I had been married only a few months before ideas of you crept in to our thoughts.   Your mom thought she might be pregnant and confirmed it on February 25, 2002.  We were so overjoyed!  I had just started my new job with Walmart (by three days) and we couldn’t wait until you got here.  It was also a very emotional moment for us filled with tears of joy and then a bunch of discussion about what was next (and how to tell everyone).

April 2007 129
Pregnant with Ava Grace – April 15, 2007

Ava – you came along much later – about 5 years to be exact.  Your mom and I planned for you to be as far apart as you are and it just all happened to work out that way.  We were already in the Hendrix House when we found out about you on April 15, 2007.  We were equally excited and overjoyed by the news!  We were ready for Emi to have a little brother or sister.  This was another highly emotional day – but for great reason!  Pretty soon you would be here with us to make our little family complete!

The thing I remember the most about both of these days is the look in your mom’s eyes.  There was something different on both of those days.   I could absolutely see the life, joy, excitement, and happiness in your mom’s soul.  There was this flash in here eyes of maternal instinct, deep caring, and deep love (one that I now know as that deep love that exists only between mother and child) that appeared.  She was so excited over the mere thought of you!  She was excited over the thought of us as a family!

They were tremendously momentous occasions – filled with happiness and hopes of the future.  We weren’t scared or worried at all.  We looked forward to the days you would be born with complete enthusiasm!

These days are literally two of my favorite moments in time.

One day – when you are pregnant with your own children, I pray that you will have this amazing day of discovery with your husband when you find out.  One that you both will remember and cherish forever!

I love you!  ~Dad

Daddy Daughter Date Night – Shogun Style!

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Emi was gone tonight to her 5th grade overnight field trip, which left perfect opportunity for Ava and I to spend some special time together.

When I asked her where she wanted to go, she immediately responded, “Let’s go to Shogun’s…..without Emi!”  She was referring to Shogun’s Japanese Steakhouse, which just so happens to be one of the girls’ favorite places to eat.  And she knows her sister loves that place…..which means I see a little flaunting and jealousy in the near future.

We went a little earlier than normal and had the place to ourselves.  We got our own private show at the hibachi grill, which Ava thought was awesome!  The wait staff and cook were very good with her.  They even made her her own special “training chopsticks” and then showed me how to make them for the future too.  They brought us lots of little extras, which was nice.

Ava really got in to the “show” more than I’ve seen her before and was making noises right along with the chef.  Maybe it’s because she’s seen it enough times, but she started to get ahead of the chef and tell him what the next trick was before he did it, which was amusing for me.

She also did good trying some different vegetables, shrimp, soup and fried rice tonight, which she hadn’t in the past.  The steak and noodles though were her favorite.

We had a great time!  She brought some steak home for her sister, but I really think that is more to tease her than anything else. 😉

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Emi’s Words of Wisdom #14

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The other night, Emi came in to the kitchen and asked, “Dad, can you dance?”

“I think I can hold my own.”, I quipped back.

Without missing a beat and in all seriousness, she responded, “Have you ever asked anyone that was around you?”

Now that is something I would say!

Ava’s Awesome Antics #24

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Today, Ava (6) went on a field trip to Eureka Pizza with her class to learn how to make pizza.

Later this evening, her and her sister were bantering back and forth about an overnighter that Emi (11) is planning and that Ava desperately wants to go to.

Emi, being a little sarcastic says, “You can’t stay at the house when I have my overnighter.  You’ll have to stay at Eureka Pizza.”

Of course Ava was giving her the “NO!” look!

Emi continuing to tease her little sister and said, “Yep.  You have to sleep there, eat there, brush your teeth there, and even use the bathroom there!”

At which time Ava shouted with all the conviction in the world, “I CAN’T!  THE BATHROOM IS FOR EMPLOYEES ONLY!”

Emi looked at Ava.  Then she looked at me.  She was completely at a loss for words.

Then we all busted out laughing.

How smart Ava is …..and she clearly won the argument.