When a parent loses a child, of any age, each birthday becomes a time to ponder on what might have been, if the child had lived. For so many parents, there are no answers. Their child is gone, and they have no way to gauge where they would be now or what they would be doing. There is just the emptiness of loss that is left, and wondering what might have been.
No new child can replace another child that has passed, but for my niece Jenny Spethman and her husband Steve, the fact that they had a rainbow baby, who was a girl named Aleesia Juliette, in some ways has helped a little bit. They have been able to envision what their little Laila Elizabeth would have been like at these ages. Of course, as I said, that does not replace Laila, and she is missed every single day, but God gave them Aleesia to cheer their broken hearts, at least a little bit.
Since today would have been Laila Elizabeth’s fifth birthday, they know that like Aleesia, Laila would have been going to pre-school, and learning all the exciting things that there are to see and do in this wonderful world that God created. She would have been a girly girl, like her sister, and they can envision the two of them giggling and laughing as they play their many little girl games. It’s easy to picture them both dancing around the room together, and yet chasing after their big brothers, Xander, Zack, and Isaac, because no little girl can be the little sister of three older brothers and not be a tiny bit tomboy. Laila would have been the princess of the house, just as her little sister, Aleesia is, and of course, she would be the boss of the boys like Aleesia is too, because those boys just think their sister hung the moon.
None of these things make this day, Laila’s 5th birthday an easier day to take, nor with they help with the day she went to Heaven, November 22, but in some ways, they do give a glimpse into what might have been. And if Jenny and Steve are able to use their imagination a little bit, I’m sure they can picture their little Princess Laila and their little Princess Aleesia playing together. They know too, that they will see Laila again when we all join her in Heaven, and I know that they know that her great grandparents, are all getting to know her right now, but the heart doesn’t understand those things any more than the little kids do. Their hearts just want her back, because thinking about what might have been isn’t the same as havimg her here at all, in fact, it is the hardest thing a parent will ever have to do.
Today is Princess Laila Elzabeth Spethman’s 5th birthday. She knows we love her, miss her, and can’t wait to see her again, and we know that she is happily playing in Heaven and having a wonderful day. You live in our hearts until we see you again. Happy birthday in Heaven Princess Laila!! Have a wonderful birthday!! We love and miss you very much!! Hugs and kisses baby girl.
That my niece, Chelsea Hadlock is a fashionista is a fact that no one will dispute. She has a style that is all her own, and it’s a style that a lot of girls wish they could pull off too. Yet, Chelsea does it with ease. She doesn’t mind a look that makes her stand out in a crowd. In fact, she thrives in just such a setting. When I was thinking about today’s story, I decided to enlist the help of a little birdy who knew Chelsea well…her friend, Sydney Hanson. Sydney told me about the Theme Party Queen. You see, our Chelsea loves to dress up, and I’m not just talking about in the latest style. Chelsea has a great imagination, and probably would have fit in quite well at the Masquerade Balls of yesteryear. Sydney tells me that she and Chelsea met after they graduated from high school, and in their before kids days, Chelsea was the one who went all…and I do mean all out for the theme parties they both attended. I have always known that Halloween is Chelsea’s favorite holiday, but I wasn’t aware that it is all about the costumes. I have to wonder if Chelsea just loves escaping to that imaginary, fantasy world the runs around in her mind and imagination.
I’ve noticed that imagination in different areas of Chelsea’s life as well. Her Christmas tree always has a theme. She owns several sets of ornaments. I suppose people might think that strange, but Chelsea always has a beautiful Christmas tree…so think what you want to, but I think it’s cool. As to birthday parties…well, Chelsea really shines here. Her children, Ethan and Aurora will be the envy of all their friends…if they aren’t already. Chelsea is a great mom, but when she was pregnant with Ethan, she was convinced that he was a girl. Thankfully she found out before he was born or he would have come home to a pink princess themed room, for sure. Chelsea and her mom, Debbie Moss were about half scared at the thought of her having a son. It was like…what are we going to do with a boy. Now, I can relate to that, because having two daughters of my own, the three grandsons I have were a real culture shock too. Nevertheless, like me, Chelsea stepped into that role of the mother of a son, with ease and style. I would have expected nothing less. She still got her girl, and Aurora is a girly girl if there ever was one. So they are two of a kind, and both are fashionistas. I love the outfits Chelsea comes up with for them…often matching or almost matching…there’s that theme party queen again.
There is, however, one thing that I have never seen, and Sydney says Chelsea never does. That is to wear sweatpants out in public. I suppose they are not stylish enough, and we all know that Chelsea is all about style. Now, I know that lots of people have worn sweat out in public…me included, but you have to admit that it isn’t a fashion statement. In fact, you are probably feeling the least good about yourself when you wear them. I know that’s what it was for me. Or maybe you are just a person who likes sweats for the comfort. Either way, they are not fashionista wear, nor are they the kind of thing you would ever see on a Theme Party Queen. Today is Chelsea’s birthday. Happy birthday Chelsea!! Always stay the beautiful girl, inside and out, that you are today. Have a great day!! We love you!!
As I was looking through my Uncle Bill Spencer’s family history account, I can across a Princess named, Joan of Acre. I wondered if this was a mistake on my uncle’s part or within some of the research that was out there, I wondered if they had indeed meant Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc, however, was a completely different person. The name was close enough that I thought maybe it was an error, but it wasn’t. Joan of Arc was born in 1412, and died on May 30, 1431, while Joan of Acre was born on April 1272 and died on April 23, 1307. Joan of Acre was an English princess, a daughter of King Edward I of England and Queen Eleanor of Castile. The name “Acre” comes from her birthplace in the Holy Land while her parents were on a crusade. Joan had sixteen full siblings, only five of which survived to adulthood, and at least three half siblings.
The Princess was married twice. Her first husband was Gilbert de Clare who was the 7th Earl of Gloucester, was one of the most powerful nobles in her father’s kingdom. They married on April 30, 1290, and their short marriage produced four children…Gilbert de Clare, Eleanor de Clare, Margaret de Clare, Elizabeth de Clare. He passed away just about five years after their marriage, leaving her to raise the young children…a totally different thing than these days, given her stature and all the help she would have had. Her second husband was Sir Ralph de Monthermer who a squire in her household. She married him in secret in 1297, probably due to the fact that he would not have been a suitable match in those days…sad to think about really. I never could understand the whole purpose behind stature or other arranged marriages, but times were different, and I can’t say that our current divorce rate speaks well for making our own choices either. The marriage didn’t remain a secret for long however, because they had four children as well…Mary de Monthermer, Joan de Monthermer, Thomas de Monthermer, Edward de Monthermer. After the marriage, her father, who was not happy about the marriage, nevertheless, gave in and her husband was given the same titles that her first husband had held.
History does not record the cause of Joan’s death on April 23, 1307, but many suspect that it was in childbirth. She was best known for her rebellious second marriage, as it was pretty much an unheard of event at that time. Joan’s father died just four months after she did, Joan’s widower, Ralph de Monthermer, lost the title of Earl of Gloucester soon after the deaths of his wife and father-in-law. The earldom of Gloucester was given to Joan’s son from her first marriage, Gilbert, who was its rightful holder. Monthermer continued to hold a nominal earldom in Scotland, which had been conferred on him by Edward I, until his death. While that may have stung a little, I have to think that her second husband loved her more than the titles.
Something very new has happened to the royal family of England. As you all know by now, Prince William and his wife Catherine “Kate” now have a second baby…a girl named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. In times prior, this child would have been passed over for succession to the throne, but this is a new time, and she is currently fourth in line to the throne. It used to be that if William and Kate were to have a third child, and it was a boy, he would pass up his sister in the line to the throne. That kind of left the girls as a showpiece really, so I think it is a great move to abolish that old tradition. And when we look at the years that Queen Elizabeth has ruled in the United Kingdom, I would have to say that she has done a pretty good job.
I am so excited that William and Kate had a baby girl this time, because they have been able to add a tribute to William’s mother, my 18th cousin, Princess Diana. I wish they had named this baby Diana for her first name, but I can certainly understand the reasons not to. As one person commented, this baby should have her own identity. Nevertheless, I think it is important that she have a tie to the grandmother she will never get to know…at least not in this life. I also think it would be wonderful if this baby bore a slight resemblance to Diana, who was quite beautiful.
Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor was born on May 2, 2015 at 8:34am, weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces, which was just 3 ounces less than her brother, Prince George when he arrived on July 22, 2013. Her name has several possibilities as to where it came from. Of course, the previous Princess Charlotte of Wales, was beloved by the people, but she died in childbirth in 1817 at the age of 21. Charlotte is the feminine form of Charles, and I suppose she could be named after Prince Charles. The name means petite. Charlotte is also Kate’s sister, Pippa’s middle name, so it is quite possible the name came from there, as the girls are very close. Of course, I’m sure that Elizabeth is after both Queen Elizabeth, and Kate herself, as her name is Catherine Elizabeth, and as we all know, Diana is after her grandmother, Princess Diana.
I’m sure this baby will feel a responsibility to be as loving as her grandmother was, and I think that is a good thing. Diana was the “People’s Princess” and I’m sure her granddaughter will be just as beloved as Diana was. While it will be a while before we see many more pictures, I look forward to watching this, my 18th cousin twice removed, grow into the beautiful princess that I’m sure she will become. Her parents have done a wonderful job raising her brother, Prince George, and I know they will do the same with her. I look forward to having the princess dazzle us in the very near future. Congratulations Will and Kate on your beautiful baby girl!!
My cousins, Bill and Emily Egan had a baby girl on March 12, 2014. Rylie Katherine Egan was about a month early, but she is doing better than great. Since that day, they have been impressing us with their little beauty…especially with her unique ability to hold the cutest poses…and all, apparently unassisted. She is a teeny little princess of a girl, who is quite obviously the apple of her parents’ eyes, and who could blame them, because she is just so precious.
It’s funny how such a teeny little girl can wrap you around her teeny little finger so quickly, but that is exactly what I see happening to her parents. I’m sure that anyone who knows them is seeing the same thing. That’s just the way she is. She changed everything with her cute little smile and her eyes that say “I love you mommy and daddy.” There is simply no doubt that this baby girl has stolen her parents’ hearts, and has no intention of returning them.
Her parents simply don’t stand a chance against her little girl charms, and believe me, those little girls learn how to pour on the charm pretty early on. It’s just instinctive. All they have to do is flutter their little eyelashes, especially to their daddy and it’s all over. Daddy is going to give in every time. At some point, I think, the parents of little girls…ok, and boys too…find themselves thinking, “What happened to me? I used to be the person who got annoyed at all the loud play, and giggling associated with little kids, and suddenly, it doesn’t bother me one bit!! What has this little girl done to me?” Well, I’ll tell you. She changed everything!!
You used to be independent, and maybe even a little selfish…going to all the best hangouts…but, suddenly all you want to do is stay home and cuddle with that precious baby. She can ask you anything, and you will bend over backward to do what she wants, and when you do have to say “No” and you see that little lip stick out, and those eyes fill up with tears, you feel like the meanest person in the world, even though you know it is necessary and for her own good. It’s just that it breaks your heart to have to see her cry.
And when she comes running in with that first scrape from falling down, all you can think of is how to make her little life all better. Now wonder we do things like kiss it to make it better! There might even be times when you wish you could rush certain things along, like walking without falling down, or talking so she can tell you what is wrong, but seriously…don’t rush things, because before you know it, she is grown up. She will always be your precious little baby…your first child…and the apple of your eye, but she will grow up quickly, so slow down and enjoy every moment to the fullest before she changes everything again.
My nephew, Rob has always been what I would consider a tough guy…a macho man. From the time he was little, and the only boy in the family, he always felt like he had to show how tough he was. All that was years ago now, and Rob is a father to four children, three of them girls. Rob has had to find his softer side for his girls, while keeping the tough side for his son. The tough side was pretty easy to picture, but the softer side…not so much.
Last night at the Parkway Plaza there was a Father/Daughter Social to benefit Wyoming Cares. It is a charity event to help Wyoming infants, children, youth, adults and senior citizens for medical and non-medical needs. Rob had never taken any of his daughters to the event, and unfortunately, it was not possible for his oldest daughter, but he did not want to miss out on the opportunity with his middle daughter, Raelynn, who truly is his little princess daughter. There isn’t a tomboy bone in that little girl’s body. So, plans were made and tickets purchased. They bought a dress for Raelynn and Rob bought her a purple rose corsage…because purple is her favorite color.
Finally, the night arrived. Raelynn was so excited that she got ready for her date with her daddy two hours before the social. It was going to be an enchanting evening. Father and daughter, dressed in their very best, headed for the social. The evening promised to be the most amazing one in Raelynn’s young life. She was on a date with her daddy, and he is the most wonderful man in her life. At the social, they made a princess crown for Raelynn and painted matching hearts on their hands. The Parkway Plaza had been turned into a dream land. They tossed bean bags into boots for prizes and went on a cake walk. They participated in the silent auction for special little girl toys, and…they danced!! In fact, they danced every dance, even some, like the Casper Stride Dance that they had to learn on the fly. Raelynn’s mom, my niece, Dustie told Raelynn that her daddy hadn’t taken her to a dance yet, so Raelynn knew that she was very special, and this, her first Father/Daughter Social was too.
The nephew is see before me these days, is still that tough guy when he has to be, but when it comes to his little girls, he turns into their prince charming. A dad is usually his baby girl’s first idea of what a boyfriend should be like…the guy who will always protect them…who will always love them, no matter what they have done wrong…and isn’t that the way it is supposed to be. Today is Rob’s birthday. You are a good man…Happy birthday Rob!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Everyone thinks of boys and men being all tough and macho…at least when it comes to emotions, but that really isn’t always the case. In my experience, the fastest way to turn a guy from tough and macho to mush is a girl. Yes, girlfriends and wives will bring that out in a man, but the thing that really melts my heart is watching a man with his daughter or a boy with his baby sister. They just lose all that tough macho stuff, and become pretty much putty in her hands…living the rest of their lives wrapped around her baby finger, because she is quite simply their baby girl…their princess…their little darling…their everything.
The future will bring many frustrating times. She will be rebellious and argumentative. She will fight with them and annoy them. She will want to start dating and going out with friends, leaving her poor daddy to sit up, just waiting for her to get home, and then waking up after a late night to go to work, whether he feels like it or not. Her clothes will cost more than he ever dreamed, because obviously a girl can’t have too many outfits…or shoes. And yet, somehow all that doesn’t really matter, because she is their girl. They feel that protective instinct kick in. She is fragile and tiny, and they want to make sure nothing ever hurts their little girl.
It’s funny how even little boys can tell that their is something very different about this new baby. You have to be more careful and gentle than with a brother. For her…and no one else, they will change their play from rough and tumble to girly things…and you had better never tell anyone about it! She is simply special. She can make her brother play house…and have fun. She can make him stop running around…and run to pick up her dropped toy, without even trying. All they want to do is make her happy. They will turn into a clown, making little faces at her just to get a smile. And yes, they will hug and kiss this girl…at least for now, because we all know that at some point in a boys life, he figures out that even his sister can have cooties, and then for a time, she might have to realize that she is temporarily contagious. But then again, maybe she always was. Maybe the contagion has just changed a little bit…from “I love my girl” to “Girls have Cooties” and back again, because she will always be their girl.
With her marriage to Prince William, almost 2 years ago, Kate Middleton added another facet to my family’s connection to the British Monarchy. I had always known that I was related to Diana Spencer, who became the Princess Diana that we all know of and loved, and later I found out that my husbands family also has ties to Princess Diana. Now, I find that my son-in-law has ties to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, or Kate as we all know her, even if the Queen hates it. Kevin’s grandmother’s maiden name was Hettie Middleton, and Kevin asked me if he might be related to Kate, when she and Prince William became engaged.
Now, we all quickly found out that Kate and William were actually distant cousins, as I have now also found out Bob and I are, and that tied her to my family and to Bob’s, but not to Kevin’s. I began researching Hettie Middleton’s background, and after a couple of hours, I had my answer. Indeed, Kevin is related to Kate Middleton, on his grandmother’s side, thereby adding another facet to the connection.
I know there are many people in the United States, who are related to the British Monarchy, and may be even more closely related than my family is, but having known about my British connections to the Monarchy and to Winston Spencer Churchill, has made me very aware of them throughout my life. I have always loved being related to them, but never more than with Princess Diana, who was so very special, and with William, Kate, and Harry, all of whom I consider wonderful people. William and Harry, and now Kate have managed to be so much more in touch with the people of England. The British Monarchy, like many monarchies, have always been known for a great degree of stuffiness. I have to credit that to their mother, Princess Diana who did her very best to teach them about the real world and those that they would someday be ruling over. I think she got that across quite well, in that they and Kate are much more comfortable talking to and being around the people of England, than any of the others.
Today Kate celebrates her 31st birthday, and this summer, she will give birth to the future King or Queen of England, and that will add yet another person to the connection that my family has to the British Monarchy. I am very excited for them, and I add my birthday wishes to Kate, as I’m sure many others around the world, do as well. Happy birthday Kate!! Have a wonderful day!!
For many years I have been trying to find out if Susan Frances Spencer, who is Bob’s 3rd great grandmother, has a connection to my own Spencer family ancestry. It has been a struggle to say the least. I originally found out about Susan while Bob and I were visiting his great grandmother in September of 1976 in Yakima, Washington. Susan had stayed on my mind off and on through the years, and when I began researching our family history, I found that no information was available beyond Susan on Ancestry.com. Recently, as I was going through some old papers…looking for pictures, of course…I came across an old piece of paper where I had written the known information at the time of our visit to Yakima, in 1976. I was pleasantly surprised to find the names of Susan’s parents.
Within Ancestry.com, one tiny bit of information can open a whole new world of information. I began to trace her family back, and the further back I got, the more familiar the names began to sound. I started getting excited. I had tried to trace children of my great uncles down to try to connect to Susan that way, but hadn’t had much success. Now that information coming out started to mean something to me. As I continued the connections of Bob’s side of the family, I began to think that I was very close. Finally a name surfaced that I knew I had in my family tree…Gerard Spencer. As it turns out, Gerard, who is my 9th great grandfather, is also Bob’s 11th great grandfather. My family descends from Gerard’s son Michael, and Bob’s family descends from Gerard’s son, Thomas. So what does this information mean to me? Well, it means that Bob and I are actually cousins. Bob is my 10th cousin twice removed to be exact. Strange isn’t it? I suppose that might be something that could have bothered me 38 years ago, but since we have been married over 37 years now, I’m not going to let it upset me much.
One thing that Bob’s family might find interesting, however, is that since I can trace my line back to Princess Diana, and they are in that same lineage, theirs can also be traced back to Princess Diana. Princess Diana is my 18th cousin. Since Bob and I share a grandfather, Gerard, and Gerard is my 9th great grandfather, and Bob’s 11th great grandfather, that should make Princess Diana’s 20th cousin. Now that…is amazing!!
Love is in the air, and it has landed on my niece, Jessi and her fiance, Jason. Today, they will say, “I do!” and begin their life together. It is the dream of most young girls…to meet their prince charming and live happily ever after. And it is the dream of most young men to find that one special girl that will make all his dreams come true…his princess. Today that dream comes true for Jessi and Jason.
When you see these two together, it is so obvious that they are in love. They are full of laughter and fun, but it’s in their eyes that you really see it…love. They are two people who are so full of life, and I love their sense of humor…both of them separately…and together. It’s funny, but their combined sense of humor seems almost better than each one separately, which seems impossible. I enjoy watching them together, because they can be so funny.
Yes, there are lots of laughs, but there is something in Jason that that I really liked…it’s how he lifts Jessi up…almost on a pedestal. We were having a cake auction at our church to raise money for the Sunday School. Jessi’s cake was up for auction, and the bids has been raised to a good price. But, that was not enough for Jason. Jessi’s cake had to bring more…it had to be spectacular…Jason insisted. So, out of the blue, at the top of his lungs, he yelled out, “What!!! That’s not enough!! I bid $100.00!!” Everyone in the place was shocked when he yelled out, but very please and impressed for Jessi when the bid was placed. It was just such a sweet thing to do, and in doing it, he placed Jessi up on that pedestal. He showed what he thought of her…how much he thought of her. I was so pleased with him and so proud for Jessi. To be lifted up that way is something every woman wants, and he nailed it. Well done Jason.
So today is the day!! The day when the two shall become one, and travel the rest of life’s journey together, and I am so excited for them. Marriage is such a wonderful place to be. And I can’t think of two people who are better suited for each other. I know that their life together is going to be wonderful…filled with much love and much laughter…and all of God’s greatest blessings. Congratulations Jessi and Jason!! I’m so happy for you!! I love you both!! Happy Wedding Day!!