My niece, Lacey Steves in the youngest of the three children of my sister, Alena Stevens and her husband Mike. Maybe because she is the youngest, and maybe because they have similar personalities, but for whatever reason, Lacey and Alena were and still are very close. They are, as her sister, Michelle Miller says, “Two peas in a pod.” Lacey was always a mommy’s girl, and her siblings, Michelle and Garrett never let her live that down. These days, I’m sure it doesn’t bother Lacey one bit, but as a kid, things were different…and yet she couldn’t help the closeness she felt to her mom.
Lacey, being “the baby” got ganged up on by Michelle and Garrett quite a bit…as siblings will do. They didn’t mean anything by it, but sometimes older siblings don’t want to have the “baby” hanging around. One day, Michelle and Garrett were playing in the basement…building a “pillow fort” and Lacey wanted to play too. They didn’t want to let her in, so they started chasing her away. Lacey took off running. She screamed “MOMMY” (like she “always” did, per Michelle) and then under her breath and to herself, she said “get a pillow.” It was such a funny thing to say, and to me…like that little note to herself out loud that she could fight us off with a pillow. I thought maybe it was like her single moment of bravery against her older siblings, but Michelle saw is as “self-preservation.” Lacey’s aunt, Caryl Reed, rather thought that Lacey had decided to take a stand against her siblings, and a pillow was her weapon of choice…at the moment anyway. I suppose that none of us really know what Lacey was thinking at that moment. For all we know she was thinking, “Steal a pillow and the fort will be ruined!!” Whatever the case may be, being the youngest is not for the faint of heart. Time changes all things. As kids grow up, sibling rivalries and those little tiffs melt into the past, as life-long friendships replace the childhood voices. While “Get a Pillow” is a funny story, it has certainly not defined Lacey’s life, except for her closeness to her mom.
These days, Lacey is a successful business owner and cosmetologist. In July 2021, Lacey left The Salon at Ulta Beauty, where she had been the manager, and set out on a new venture. She decided to open her own salon, called Luxlou Beauty Salon. When it comes to cosmetics and haircare, Lacey is a true artist. Her salon is located at the La Bottega Gallery Suites in Casper, Wyoming. The first six months of her salon have been amazing. Her clients have followed her to her new salon, because they love her work, and truly wouldn’t trust anyone else with their hair, or makeup for their special events. Not only do her clients trust her, but they depend on her. Lacey has truly come into her own, and we are so proud of her. Today is Lacey’s birthday. Happy birthday Lacey!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
I love seeing the funny ways many babies and toddlers fall asleep, because they are so uninhibited. They get tired and they just nod off in whatever place or position they are in at that moment. Sometimes they have been fighting the whole thing for a while, and sometimes you don’t really want them to fall asleep…just yet. You hope they will stay awake long enough to finish dinner, because you know that if they don’t eat enough, they probably won’t sleep long, and a hungry baby wakes up grouchy!
One of the funniest ways kids fall asleep is when they are eating. Sometimes their face is covered with food bits, and they have a complete mess all around them. Sometimes, they are just about to put their face right into that dinner, and it doesn’t matter to them, because they are just too tired to care. And, when you think about it, does food on a baby’s face really bother them anyway.
Babies are so funny. They are out trying new things…keeping themselves running, or crawling, all the time, and before you know it they simply drop from exhaustion. That is not unusual by itself, but it is the way they drop that usually brings a laugh. They might have their little butt in the air, or be lying over a pillow, that is under their back instead of their head. They might snuggle up to the dog or a favorite toy, or they might be face first in their dinner plate.
One of the funniest sleeping moments with most babies is when they have nodded off in their windup swing, with their little head hanging down on their chest, and then you go to wind up the swing again. They jump the minute you start to wind it up, their head flies up, eyes partway open, but the baby is not really awake. You are trying not to laugh, because you really don’t want to wake the baby up, and that was the reason you were winding the swing up anyway, right.
Yes, sleeping babies can be very funny. For most of us a sleeping baby can also be a relief. If they have been crying for a long time, we are so ready for it to stop, but once they finally crash, all that frustration goes away, and we simply watch them and enjoy the funny way they can look. Either way, there is nothing quite like a sleeping baby.
As my niece, Jessi’s wedding approaches, I am reminded of the important responsibility that is placed on the ring bearer and flower girl. My own girls each had the opportunity to be flower girls, and at another niece, Machelle’s wedding, my two oldest grandchildren would be given the important job of flower girl and ring bearer. Of course to most of the adults the jobs of flower girl and ring bearer are just a cute little addition to the wedding, but to these kids, it is very important. They feel like they are carrying the wedding to a degree. Whether they get nervous and won’t go on, or feel totally uninhibited and dance down the isle, they bring a special flair to the proceedings. No, it doesn’t top the entrance of the bride, but it brings a flair nevertheless, and what is a wedding without the flower girl and ring bearer?
The flower girl and ring bearer are always cute, of course, but when they’re working very hard at being professional, it is even more fun to watch. When Machelle got married, she asked that Christopher and Shai be in her wedding. My girls were pleased and excited, of course, but they also hoped the kids would do well. I remember that feeling from when Corrie and Amy were flower girls…that, and the other feeling Corrie and Amy had…the one that says, “How can they possibly be grown up enough to be doing this already?” It almost brought tears to their eyes a few times.
The kids did great, as most kids do, and they worked very hard to be professional. Christopher held the pillow very carefully, as if he thought it might break, if he didn’t, and Shai dutifully dropped her flower petals a few at a time. We needn’t have worried. They took this very seriously, and listened to the instructions very carefully, and neither is particularly bashful, so walking past the people in the seats by the isle didn’t even affect them. They were on a mission…they had a goal…they had a job to do, and they did it very well. It was the adults who breathed a sigh of relief when that walk down the isle ended.
I think every child should have the opportunity to take part in a wedding. It doesn’t always happen, of course, but when it does, it is always such an adorable moment…whether the child messed up, made us laugh, or performed just perfectly.
From the time they were just little kids, my grandchildren have loved to visit me at work. Grandma’s work was a cool place to go, as well as a place they could go when they didn’t feel well, and their mom’s had to be at work. They would bring a blanket and pillow, and camp out under my desk, often sleeping the day away with no one but Jim, my boss, and me knowing that they were there. It was a place of refuge for them, and their mom’s and I knew they were looked after. Not many children got to go stay with their grandma at work, and we all knew what a great blessing it was, and what a great boss Jim is.
As they got older, the kids often came into my office after school, so they didn’t have to be home alone. They sat and read a book or did their homework until the day was over and then went home with their parents. I suppose it was a strange office in the eyes of many people who knew what went on there, but to me and to my grandkids, it was a blessed office…and a blessing to those in it. Yes, it was unconventional, but ours is an unconventional office. We are real people…not a corporation. Jim understands that sometimes life collides with the office…sometimes in bigger ways than others. Sometimes that means being away from the office, other times it means having an extra person in the office. Jim always allowed me to make our office a safe place for my grandchildren, and they in turn think of him as an uncle.
Sometimes, the turn of events can be strange to say the least. When you open the doors in a time of need, even such a small need as a sick child, you also open the door to what the future can bring. As Jim got to know my children and grandchildren, and allowed me to help them with their needs, he has also found several employees among them. Two of them, Amy and Shai work in our office now. Caalab is our part time maintenance man, mowing the grass at the edge of the parking lot and emptying trash, as well as helping with other odd jobs around the office. Corrie designed our website, and her husband Kevin took the pictures of the staff for the site. It’s funny that what began as a one man office, has now become a family affair, and the only non-family member is the boss…but, then again, we consider him family too…maybe by adoption of sorts. Not on paper, but in our hearts.