engaged

19250_102234259806044_4460089_nSometimes in life, you find that something is just meant to be. This is a story of just that…something that was meant to be. A while back, my niece Lacey Stevens introduced her brother, Garrett Stevens to a friend of hers, Kayla Smiley. That was the first step in a journey that for Garrett and Kayla would lead to happily ever after. They became engaged in a romantic setting in the Big Horn Mountains, with the involvement of her family, in which Garrett popped the question on the top of a hill while the fmily was taking pictures. Kayla had no idea. Good job Garrett.

For the rest of the family, this relationship has been a bit unusual, in that Kayla lived right next door to our mom’s house. I suppose that many people would feel like that could be a bit awkward, but not Kayla and Garrett. In fact, it was there that Kayla’s true self was shown to all of us. Kayla is a very caring person. She gives of herself easily, and that was exactly what we needed at that time in our lives. During Mom’s last couple of years, there were a times when an ambulance had to be called, because she was having some occasional bronchial issues. That is such a stressful thing for the children, especially when one child, in this case, my sister, Cheryl Masterson had to be there by herself at the time the ambulance needed to be called. Kayla, the instant she heard the ambulance, came right over to see what she could do to help, and if for no other reason, just to be there and be supportive to me sister, my mom, and to me as well. If you have never been in the position of needing to call an ambulance for your parent, you simply can’t know how devastating that feels. You find yourself forced to watch the proceedings, and there is nothing you can do to help. All too often, the emergency workers are so focused on their patient…as it should be, but they have no Garrett & Kaylatime to see you standing there quietly falling apart. Kayla…and Garrett too, while they were as worried as we were, came to support us as we went through this horrible ordeal. That is a kindness that can never be forgotten, much less repaid.

We knew that Garrett had found a gem of a girl, and so when he called to say they were engaged, it was with much joy that we congratulated them. They are both such sweet, loving people, and I know that their life together will be blessed in so many ways. God will repay their kindness with joy and love for years to come. I am so excited for them. Today is Kayla’s birthday. Kayla we just don’t know what we would do without you in our lives. Happy birthday Kayla!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Ashley Coral EighmyOne year ago today…on her birthday, my niece, Ashley found herself in labor with her first child. While her daughter, Reagan would not arrive until the next day, it would still be a day that would herald a change in her life. That birthday…her 22nd…would be the last day before she became a mother. The last day before her precious little girl would come in and change everything. It is hard to imagine what it is going to be like to be someone’s mother…until it happens to you. We all think we have an idea, but we don’t…not until that little teeny life comes and wraps it’s tiny little fingers around your heart, and you find yourself totally smitten. You can’t imagine the love you feel until you feel it for yourself.

For some time, even before she and my nephew, Eric got engaged, Ashley wanted nothing more than to be his wife, and later, the mother of his children. They became pregnant just 6 months after their marriage, and the excitement of their growing family filled all of us with joy. It had been a number of years since we had a new baby in the family, and it would be Jennifer’s first grandchild. It was an exciting time. I had hoped that Ashley would have the baby on her birthday, and I thought maybe I had picked it. Reagan wasn’t quite ready…but she was just a dream away. So, Ashley’s birthday remained her own, and the birth of her daughter would have to wait for the Just A Dream Awaynext day. For one more day, Ashley would be a young wife, but not yet a mother.

Much has changed over this past year. Reagan is almost one…but that is tomorrow’s story. Ashley has been a wonderful mom, and has had a wonderful first year of motherhood. She and Eric and her parents have been remodeling the house that they bought to start their little family in. They are working hard to finish it, while enjoying their time with Reagan and with the horses her parents keep on their land next door. The year has been a busy one, and also one filled with dreams and their becoming reality. Ashley calls it building the dream, and so it is, but this day belongs to her. Today is Ashley’s birthday. Happy birthday Ashley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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