Today's Throwback Thursday memory is so vivid to me even though I was only in Kindergarten. Growing up we only had one car, so when I was in Kindergarten, Dad would come home at lunch time to pick me up and take me to school and then I rode the bus home. Everyday I would sit with my backpack on ready to go! I loved it because it was just me and him in the car. Well, one day he got caught up at work and wasn't able to come get me. So I missed school. I was DEVASTATED. With all of the dramatic nonsense we have been experiencing at our house these days, I can only imagine the mess my Mom had on her hands with me that day! I remember her putting me in the bathtub to try to calm me down and I just laid in the tub and cried. I must have thought that he had forgotten me forever or something. When he came home that afternoon, I wouldn't talk to him and I would imagine it was several days before I became his friend again. That was the only time I think I missed school the entire year!
I posted this picture on Instagram a few weeks ago and realized that I have done a terrible job of keeping up with this pregnancy on the blog! I am now 33 weeks and counting! This sweet girl will be here before we know it! So here are the "highlights": We chose a name a while ago that we all really love. Her name will be Nora Kate. We had intended to call her Nora, but Olive says the full name everytime and I love how it sounds, so I think we will call her by her full name. And not just when she is in trouble! :) My first name is Nora and I am named after my great grandmother Katie Nora, so we thought it was very fitting to use the name. It was my Dad's grandma and I think it is a great way to link her to him since she will never meet him. This pregnancy has been very similar in some ways to Olive and very different at the same time. For the most part, after 20 weeks, I have felt great! I am so grateful for that! Recently I have started sleeping terribly and that doesn't exactly make me feel great, but I don't feel awful, so I will take it! Nora Kate has been measuring within a fingernail of Olive's measurements at the same point in pregnancy each time so we will see how big she is! We have reorganized their closet and have gotten all of Nora Kate's clothes washed and put where they belong. Stephen and I can't believe Olive actually wore clothes so small! Now we just need to start mentally preparing for having a newborn again. We can't wait to meet her!
I LOVE Valentine's Day. I remember hating it as a kid and spending lots of time stressing when addressing my class Valentines because I didn't want to accidentally give some boy the impression that I liked him! That would be tragic! But since I have been married and especially since having Olive, I have love love loved the love holiday! I think it is important for those we love to know it all the time and I do my best to make sure that is true, but something about dedicated 14 whole days to making them feel super special is so fun! For Olive we put a little sign on her closet door that said "We love so many things about Olive!" and each day we would add a characteristic or trait to a sticky heart and she would get to put it by the sign. She LOVED this. Every day she would say "Let's read my hearts!" and we would read aloud all of the things we love about her. I hope she still appreciates this when she is in the awkward years! Ha!
My Dad and sister used to tease me that cheesy was my middle name and I am fine with that! Especially when it comes to February! I made little tags for Stephen and left them places for him to find. Some of them had little treats that matched the card, some were just found. I hope he knows how much I appreciate him!
Olive is very into arts and crafts these days and she was pumped to make Valentines for just about anyone she saw! She made special little love bugs for Honey and Mica and mailed one to baby Luke for his first Valentine's day. And we made special bubble Valentines for her class.
On Valentine's Day we had a special festive lunch complete with a heart sandwich with pink sprinkles and a pink milkshake. I love this girl to pieces!
We got to spend a little time in the afternoon with my sweet cousin Rhonda and her husband Charles who were in town for the Thunder/Heat game that night. We met them at Pinkitzel downtown and enjoyed a yummy cupcake. When we got home, Daddy had surprises for us! He had gotten beautiful flowers for Olive and I and a bunch of balloons for little miss! She was so excited! We decorated the dining room with all of the balloons. Stephen said it kind of resembled a junior high dance. I prefer to call it Cupid's Wonderland. We ate a special supper as a family and enjoyed being together.
I hope that you felt the love on Valentines day too!
1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love.
Olive's school had a Valentines program the Monday night before Valentines day. It was absolutely precious! Her class sang "Jesus Loves Me", "I Am Going To Mail Myself to You" and "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands". She was so excited to perform her songs!
A little nervous before getting on stage...
She did such a great job! Uncle Isaac videoed, but we are having trouble getting them from his phone to my computer, so I will post those when we figure it out.
Her whole entourage was there to see her and she couldn't have been more excited!
Today's Throwback Thursday is one of those memories that really tells a lot about my Dad and his fun loving personality. My Dad was known for being fairly ornery. When I was in high school, we
had sort of declared a battle of the sexes. There was a lot of vandalism tee peeing and car nonsense that went on. My Dad was working for a company
that would receive large machine part shipments, all packaged in
gigantic boxes filled with packing peanuts. After hearing about this
little war we having for weeks, Dad brought home 2 trash bags filled
with packing peanuts. We used these to fill the bed of a truck of one of
the "enemies". They were a mess! As soon as he pulled out of the parking lot, it looked like it was snowing out of the back of his truck! I think if you were to look closely around 42nd and
Peniel, you will probably still find packing peanuts! Thankful that my Dad was involved enough to help us pull off some pretty fun pranks!
Last Saturday, the Norman Parks and Rec Department hosted the 14th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance. Technically this event is for daughters ages 4 and up, but Stephen wanted to take her last year and we decided against it, but he HAD to take her this year! What a lucky little princess to have a Daddy that wants to do special things with her! She was so excited and had been talking about "the ball" for weeks.
Daddy and his Princess
Our sweet friends Emma and Audrey came over with their Daddies before the dance to take pictures. The Mommies laughed about how silly we were and what would we be like at prom?
I am so thankful Olive has such precious friends to share these memories with! These three ladies were ready to get their groove on!
My sweet friend Erin spotted these pics on the Daily Oklahoman's website and forwarded it along. I loved getting to see some of the actual dancing that went on. We think these must have been taken while Audrey had taken a snack break :( Olive and Emma bustin' a move!
In classic dramatic fashion...the caption on the picture alluded to the fact that she couldn't remember the dance moves! Ha!
And my FAVORITE picture of the evening! How sweet is this?
Here is a little video of our dancing princesses in action...
We have been on a long, hard journey for the last 5 and a half years. A journey that has taken us to the lowest of lows and kept us in those lows for a long time. Just when a peak would happen and we would begin the uphill walk, something else would knock us back down. Obviously, Olive coming into our world has made all of this more bearable, but it hasn't made the true pain go away. If there is one thing I have learned over this journey, it is that grief stinks. It really does. You always hear "everyone grieves differently and you have to respect their right to do so." I can tell you that YES, everyone grieves very differently and something that I know to be true for myself is that I grieve very differently for each person I have lost. We have attended over 20 funerals in the last 5 years of people who we knew well and loved and we have been shaken by each individual loss. The strange thing for me is that I have been more open about my grief for the people who I wasn't as close to. I guess it easier that way because the pain doesn't hurt as deeply.
The one who was the absolute closest to my heart is the one I have not even begun to deal with and unfortunately my "way of grieving" means I seldom even talk about him. I think about him daily, but I rarely share memories or talk about him out loud and I have decided that needs to change. I think it will help me begin some sort of "grieving process" and maybe just maybe start to regain my faith that God doesn't enjoy seeing me struggle. I have decided to participate in this whole "Throwback Thursday" thing, but I am doing it a little differently. I am going to share a memory of my Dad every Thursday. Those that know me well, know that I am much better at writing out my feelings than saying them. So maybe this is how I can admit how much I miss him and how bad it hurts for him to not be here with us anymore. I decided to do it in this space on our blog because I feel like if I commit to it and tell someone I am going to do it, then I will be more likely to stick with it. So here goes, the first Dano Throwback Thursday memory and even with a love theme since it is Valentine's Day... When we were little the Michael Bolton song "When A Man Loves A Woman" was super popular and being the Magic 104.1 listening family that we were, we heard it a lot, especially in the car. But for some reason, Mica and I decided to change the words to say "When a man loves a woman, they smoochie together!" Which we found HYSTERICAL. Dad would get so tickled at us singing this and would always join in on our little song recreation. Mom would smile and roll her eyes at all of us which just caused the three of us to sing louder and more silly until she would laugh. Apparently Mica has been reliving her 104.1 days at work lately and sent me a recording of the song on the radio just this week. Looking back, I so appreciate my Dad for letting us know that it was okay to be silly and for being silly right along with us.
Olive's Works in Progress performance at her dance studio was a couple of weeks ago. We were so excited to have the opportunity to watch her dance again and to see if she had figured out how to pay attention a little better! :) Her studio puts on this performance in their studio and invites parents of several classes at a time so that the dancers can get a little taste of performing in front of an audience before the big recital in June. Our little dancer really wanted new pink tights like her friend Cameran's before the performance!
We could tell she was overwhelmed when she walked in and there were so many people, but she found us and gave us a big wave and smile before they started their dance.
At one point in the song, the second row is supposed to go forward. Only one little girl remembered, the rest of them waited until the first row started moving and then they all went too. It was hysterical.
Time for tapping to "I'm a Little Teapot"
We were so proud of our little dancer and can't wait for her recital in June!
I have a lot of random phone pictures that I thought I could just lump together as an "End of January" recap. We had a lot of beautiful weather in January and got to do a little scooting!
Donuts with Dads at school! Bola got to go too for Show and Tell day.
For my birthday, Honey and Mica took Olive and I to get pedicures. This was Olive's first time to have her nails painted by someone other than me. She was a little nervous, but got super excited when the lady put a flower on her fingernail!
We were so excited to celebrate sweet Lil's birthday and met Cinderella too!
This was the first time she had her face painted!
My sweet family made me a delicious cake to celebrate with beautiful candles!
Silly girl decided she wanted to wear this out of the house to run errands one day.
We had a fun day at the Science Museum with our sweet friends Eleanor and Lorelei.
Olive had crazy hair day at school and she LOVED having so many bows in her hair!
Stephen and I were married in December of 2004. We met through a very persistent friend who insisted that if we met, we would get married. Sure enough, he was right and 7 months later we said I do! In the years since, we have suffered great loss but are learning daily to rely on God and each other, knowing that we can rise to use tragedy for good! We welcomed Olive Kay into the world in August of 2009 and our lives haven't been the same since! She is a firecracker and makes every day worth waking up for! On her 3rd birthday, we found out we were going to be blessed with another little one. Nora Kate joined our family in April of 2013 and has brought even more joy into our lives! We can't wait for the adventures we will have with the two of them.