princess

Some girls are tomboys, some girls are drama queens, and some are simply princesses. Raelynn definitely falls into the princess category. Raelynn is a petite little girl, who loves to dress up in the prettiest outfit she can find. And it doesn’t matter to her if she is going for a ride on a four wheeler, a picnic on the mountain, or to church…her choice of clothing might very well be the same, because the prettier and more girly the outfit, the more this little princess likes it.

As for cousins her age…Raelynn is pretty much surrounded by boys, except for her little sister, who has been a bit of a tomboy, but who seems to be changing that a little. Being surrounded by boys puts a girly girl in an odd position. She can’t quite figure out some of the humor that boys possess, in fact, a lot of it can make her quite annoyed. And for Raelynn, this is especially tough, because the three boy cousins that are near her age, and her own brother, are…well, all boy, and they don’t care if their play offends her in any way. They are simply having a good time, and she will just have to deal with that. Nevertheless, those same boys think a lot of their girly girl cousin and sister.

Like most little girls, Raelynn is a Daddy’s girl. Most of the pictures where she and her dad are both in the shot, you will find that she is right beside her daddy. Being a Daddy’s Girl is not such an unusual thing. I find that there are many of us. I was a Daddy’s Girl myself, and so I can relate to just how Raelynn feels about her daddy. Dads just seem to understand those girly girls. Maybe it is because dads are simply taken with their little princesses. From the moment they see that sweet little face, they know that the rest of their lives will be spent wrapped around her little finger. She is their girl, and they think that is just fine. Today is Raelynn’s birthday!! Happy birthday Raelynn!! We love you!!

My Aunt Dixie, for the longest time had all grandsons. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if she would ever get a granddaughter, after her daughters gave birth to 5 boys over the years. She had always wanted a granddaughter, too. Well a little over a year and a half ago, she finally go her wish, when Mayme Ruth joined the family. Mayme was that baby that she would be able to do all the girly things with….if she wasn’t too much of a tomboy with 3 brothers in the house.

As it turns out, those boys think their little sister is pretty great, and they dote on her a lot. In fact, I think she is pretty much the princess…or maybe the queen. If she wants anything, they are quick to get it. And while you would think that time would bring that to an end with little boys, I’m told it hasn’t. Even after a year and a half, they love doing things for their baby sister, which when you think about it, is wonderful…not only for her, but for her mom and dad. Those boys have in many ways taken it upon themselves to “babysit” their little sister, as well as entertain her. And they in return get to see her sweet little smiles and hear her delighted giggles. Not a bad deal for anyone.

There is one little downside to this, however. My cousins Raelynn, who is Mayme’s mommy, and Jeannie, who is Mayme’s aunt, both agree that Little Miss Mayme is growing up way too fast. Her big brothers have taught her many things that many babies of 1 1/2 years just don’t know yet. That is something that is inevitable when you want so badly to be just like your big brothers. I’m sure Mayme has worked very hard to please them, and in doing so, she has learned how to talk better, maybe build things like blocks better, and many other such things that big brothers can teach their little sister.

So, yes she is the princess…or maybe the queen, but it has not spoiled her, in fact far from it. I don’t see very much of her, but I’m told that she is just the sweetest little girl ever. And maybe the family is a little biased, but that’s ok, because they waited a long time for this little baby girl, and now they are just enjoying her presence.

It is a dilemma that every mother of a baby girl has had at one time or another. That statement that was intended as sweet, that came out as insulting…at least to the mom. You know the one, “Oh, he is just adorable and so handsome!” Your first thought is, “Really, you think my little girl looks like a boy…Seriously!! I mean she is wearing pink, for Pete’s sake!!” Deep down you know that it is very hard to tell a girl baby from a boy baby, but you secretly hoped your little princess would be the exception to the rule…you know, the one that was so beautiful, even as an infant that it was obvious that she was a girl. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and you try to control your tongue as you stand there seething for the third time this shopping trip. You grit your teeth, and say,”She’s a girl!” Of course, the person in front of you, who now knows very well that they have insulted you and your little princess, meant nothing by it, and really wishes they could become invisible…or better yet that they had kept their comment generic, so they would not find themselves in the position they now find themselves in, but it is too late. They apologize and quickly move away, but you are left with the knowledge that you have to do something to protect your darling little daughter from such abusive remarks in the future.

So, since you are already in the store, you set out to solve this problem, once and for all. Obviously, pink isn’t the answer, so what is next. I mean, she doesn’t have enough hair for ribbons or bows yet. Well, when my daughters were babies, there were no baby headbands, but I’m sure many of you are starting to see where the idea for a baby headband came from. My mother’s generation tried many things to girlify their daughters. Even dresses weren’t totally helpful, because many people back when my parents were little put both boys and girls in a long baby gown. And even when my girls were babies, there was the pajama sack…a night gown that had the bottom sewed up to keep their little feet inside and warm.

My mother told me to tape a bow to their heads, or use corn syrup to make it stick. I never really liked the mess that made, so I determined to find another way. I suppose many people would think I was trying to go back to the Old West, but I never really thought of it that way when put their little bonnets on my girls heads. All I knew is that they looked so cute, and no one would think they were boys again!

When my mom first saw my dad, she tells me that her heart skipped a beat, and she thought, “Whew, what a handsome man!” My dad must have had similar thoughts because that began a lifelong marriage. They lived happily ever after. That might sound like the whole story, but it is only the beginning. From the moment they had their first date, my dad treated my mom like a princess. He planned to win her love and then spend the rest of his life loving her and giving her everything he could. That was a dream that would never change.

As the years went by, and their 5 daughters arrived, the love multiplied. Our family was always close…it was planned that way by my parents. When they married, it was forever. Their love would always be put first. They always treated each other like royalty. To them, their spouse was the most important person in the world…and their children a close second. Theirs was a match made in heaven.

I never saw my mom happier than when she was with my dad. Her eyes sparkled and her smile was brighter. Dad had a way of making her feel prettier…a condition that comes from being treated like a princess. And truly when he was around, she glowed. Could love possibly be stronger than that. There is just something about spending your life around a person who has the ability to make you feel better about yourself, that gives life a greater meaning. And my dad had that ability…with all his girls. He made you feel like you could be more, do more…like you were more than you thought.

Whenever any of us had a problem, Dad always had a way of working it out, and that is how he always was. I could see that in his letters to his family during World War II, and he carried that same ability with him throughout his entire life. I suppose it was that ability that always made him seem like a knight in shining armor to my mom. She always knew that Dad would work out any problem they might encounter. Don’t get me wrong, mom was quite capable too, but Dad always had a plan…no matter what the problem.

I have been around many married couples, but none that were ever quite like my parents. Theirs was a love that was unmatched. Sometimes love is like that. They fell in love at first sight and loved forever after that day. How blessed their lives were, and how blessed were the lives of their children and grandchildren.

When you are a little girl, and you are having a really bad day, it’s really nice to have somebody who is always on your side. Very often that person in a little girls life is her grandpa. Little girls have a way of stealing their grandpa’s heart,and when the going gets tough, grandpa is a wonderful ally to have on your side. And the funny thing about those little girls is that it takes them about 5 seconds to get their grandpa figured out.

And it’s not like those grandpas mind being wrapped around the little fingers of their granddaughters, because they don’t. The first time they look at that little face, they are hooked. And when something upsets their little princess, they will do just about anything to make it all better. It’s funny that sometimes young parents can get pretty nervous about why their little darling is upset and crying, but to the grandparents, who have been through all this before, it isn’t a big deal. And isn’t it funny that the older we get the less torn up we get about little ones crying, and the more soothing we can be to the child. Oh I know that doesn’t apply to just every grandparent. Some do have a harder time with crying children as they get older, but in many cases, I find that our focus turns to the child and not the embarrassment at the crying.

That is the type of grandparents Corrie found herself with as a little girl. Grandparents who weren’t bothered by a little fussing, but rather were ready to help her with whatever it took to ease her troubled little mind at that moment. Corrie and all the grandchildren who came after her, have always loved their grandparents very much, and now that they are older, and in need of a little help themselves, it is those grandchildren who have stepped up to give them a helping hand. It is a way of returning the love that was shown to them all those years ago. A way of saying, “Yes, we remember all you did for us, and all the love you gave, and now it is our turn to show you how much we care…how much we love you.”

It was one year ago today that Princess Laila entered our lives, but her time with us was not to be very long. She would leave us to live with Jesus 18 days later. With her passing, would begin a sad journey toward the healing of our broken hearts. Laila was the answer to her parents’ prayers. Jenny and Steve have three wonderful and healthy boys, and they wanted a girl to complete their family. Laila was to be that little princess…and a princess she was, beautiful in every way. She was and is loved by all who knew her, or awaited her arrival.

Laila’s time with us would be cut short due to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which means that the left ventrical of the heart is too small or is non-existent. The heart should have 4 chambers, and Laila’s 4th chamber was too small, and could not effectively pump blood to her body. The doctors tried surgery to repair Laila’s heart, but her little body was just not strong enough, and she went home to be with Jesus on November 22, 2010…and very sad day for all of her family.

It is so hard to believe that a year has come and gone since Princess Laila would change our lives forever with her sweet spirit. Today was to have been a day of celebration…her first birthday…a day to celebrate all those little firsts…first tooth, first word, first steps…but it was not to be. Instead, Princess Laila, we wish you Happy First Birthday in Heaven, where you are being held in the loving arms of Jesus, and where your heart is perfect and whole. I know that you, Grandpa, and Alyssa, along with all your other Heavenly family members are having the greatest first birthday celebration ever. We only wish we could all be there with you today as our baby girl turns one year old…but know that we are with you in spirit, as we know you are with us.

Jenny, Steve, Xander, Zachary, and Issac, I know that your hearts are very sad and lonely today. I know that as God’s Word says, He has sent you the Comforter to hold you is His arms, just as Sweet Princess Laila is being held in Jesus arms today. I know today will be very hard, and I am keeping you in prayer. The day is coming when we will all be together again, and I can’t wait to meet your precious Princess Laila. I love you all very much.

When you first meet your daughter’s boyfriend, you feel uneasy. You don’t know what kind of a person he is, if he will treat your daughter like the princess you know she is, and ultimately, if he will break her heart in the end. It is real easy to just wish she was a little girl again, so you wouldn’t have to go through all this, but dating and marriage are a part of the growing up process, even if it is a hard part of it for parents.

When Corrie met Kevin, it was our first time in dealing with the whole dating thing, and I just wasn’t too sure about it all. Kevin seemed so much more a grown up than Corrie did, even though they were only a little less than 4 years different in age, but the Lord knew what He was doing when He brought these two kids together. I get to call them kids, even though they have kids of their own now, because that is a mother’s privilege.

Kevin is such a blessing to our family. He is loving and caring, and kind to people, but is able to pull off a joke with a straight face…something his boys inherited. I often find myself wondering if he is serious or not, and of course, once he reaches that point of knowing that he got me, he laughs and I know I’ve been had. I’m sure he takes great pleasure in getting the better of me, but it’s all in good fun. Kevin is just pulling off another good joke.

It isn’t all about jokes with Kevin though. He is a deep thinker. He works things out in his head…plans ways to make their lives better. He is great with design and creates beautiful rooms in their home, making the rooms unique and yet useful. Of course, Corrie helps too, but a lot of the design comes from Kevin’s artistic mind. When they have finished something, we get a call, wanting us to come and see. I always know it will look fantastic.

Kevin is also a hopeless romantic. He works very hard to find romantic gifts for Corrie…yes, I guess he does treat her like a princess. When he finds a gift that particularly excites him, and he can’t stand it any longer, he calls me up and says, “You have to see what I bought for Corrie.” It’s always something very special, from a very special guy…a hopeless romantic. That’s my son-in-law. Happy birthday Kevin!!

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