Ava

Ava’s Awesome Antics #27

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2014-10-20 18.03.21Today, on what would have been April’s and my 13th Wedding Anniversary, the girls and I were at the cemetery visiting with April.

All and all, we were all doing pretty good emotionally.

As she sometimes does, when it’s time to go, Ava continued to sit in front of her mom’s grave marker.

What she did next sent tears flowing down my cheeks.

She reached her little hand forward and touched the picture of her mom.

Then she brought her fingers up to her lips and kissed them.

Then she reached them back down and pressed them on her mom’s picture.

A moment later she looked up at me and said, “I gave mommy a kiss.”

It was all I could do to muster up a, “That’s great baby.  I know she really appreciates it.”

Ava walked off to the car and I had to walk the other direction for a bit to get my emotions in check.

It was such a beautiful gesture.

I miss April being around and beyond my own selfish desire to see her, I miss her interacting with the girls.

But I am thankful for the mom that she was, the memories we have, and the influence she is on our lives.

We are blessed.  Isaiah 41:10

Ava’s Awesome Antics #26

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This afternoon, our nanny, Kayleigh, informed me that Ava was having a sad moment today because she was missing her mom.

I went and cuddled on Ava for a bit and asked her what was going on.

She said, “I miss mommy and I love her so much.”

What she said next, though, had me in tears.

She said, “I wish she would come down so I can see her again.”

And as I responded, “Me too.”

She concluded with, “But that’s okay because she’s in heaven and that’s a better place.”

The wisdom of my 6-year-old amazes me.  I am thankful for her and for how God is working in her life during this time.

Memories of Mom #35

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Dearest Emi and Ava,

Front CameraYesterday was the first Arkansas Razorback home game of 2014!  And what an exciting day!

You know, since 2003, your mom and I went to just about every Razorbacks football home game.  It was kind of “our thing”.

Your mom wasn’t always a football fan, but there was something about the roar of the crowd at Razorback Stadium and the excitement in the air that made her fall in love with the Razorbacks.  I’ve always been a football fan, so it wasn’t as much of a stretch for me.

But it became something that we did together, every year.  It was kind of a tradition.

We didn’t tailgate a lot, but spent the time together just enjoying each other’s company and talking about how we thought the team would do, or how they did after the game.

Photo Sep 06, 2 57 02 PMWin or lose, we were always there and always cheering on the Hogs!

Your mom and I had this thing – whether at a live game or watching the Razorbacks on TV, we would always high five after every touch down, extra point, and/or field goal.  Of course, extra awesome plays got a double high five or better!  But we did this EVERY time – without fail.

When I was thinking about this season, I knew it was going to be harder for me because I was missing my football buddy.  Who was I going to slap high five with?  Some random stranger?

Nope, I resolved that its time to start a new tradition.

Instead of your mom and I, it’s now YOU and ME.

As we’ve already talked, I’m going to alternate taking you two to games this year.

Photo Sep 06, 2 06 39 PMI also resolved, that like other holidays and events, Razorback football is going to be a joyful time!  Your mom would have wanted it that way.

So Ava, you were first up for the game on September 6, 2014.

And boy oh boy you were up for it!

Your little legs walked all the way from Lot 56 to the stadium until I swooped you up on to my shoulders.

You cheered!  You danced!  You ate a hot dog and nachos!  And you did the crazy little movements to songs that the student section was doing!  I loved it!  You were an awesome football buddy!

Photo Sep 06, 2 31 47 PMBest of all…..you slapped me high five after every touchdown, extra point and field goal!!  And there were a lot of them on this day when they beat Nicholls State 73-7.

I was so happy!  Our old tradition, slightly modified to new tradition is underway!

I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season holds!  And I can’t wait to spend the time with you two!

While I hope that you fall in love with the Arkansas Razorbacks like your mom and I did, my deeper hope is that you two develop love for some team that you can root and cheer on with others throughout your years.  Have fun at sporting events!  Be a good sport!  And soak in the energy and experience!  #WPS!

I love you both!

~Dad

Photo Sep 06, 2 58 38 PM

Ava’s Awesome Antics #25

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On the drive to school this morning we were looking at the sunrise that was laced with clouds and Ava exclaimed, “It’s like a whirlpool in the sky!”

Love seeing through the eyes of a child.

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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Ava’s Awesome Antics #24

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Ava WINS!

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.

Ava’s Awesome Antics #23

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While working out tonight, Ava (6) comes over and starts to work out along side of me.  Cute, right?

As I’m struggling through Shawn T yelling at me to get my lunges and squats lower, I look over and Ava is knocking out some burpees.

Pretty soon, it’s not Shawn T yelling at me anymore, Ava is yelling, “C’mon Dad!”

Then to make it worse, while sweat was pouring off my face and I was groaning, I hear her loudly yell “100! I did 100 burpees Dad!” and then she joined back into my routine.

If I ever had an ego before, it was completely gone when my 6-year old finished the workout with me and said, “That was easy.”