Father’s Day 2014

Most know, this is not the easiest day for me. I miss the two dads in my life more than anything. One not more than the other. Both leave a gaping hole in my heart. And not a single Father’s Day passes in which I don’t yearn to hug them and smile with them. Neither of which I can do as they have both been gone for many years now. I hug my heart and hope the day passes quickly.

I think one of the hardest parts of missing the day with them is because it feels like a very secluded thing. I don’t think anyone can understand my pain and the hurt of missing them. Not to mention the confusion of celebration versus grief.

But a funny thing happened…a poem I wrote on Father’s Day 2011 (last year and this year) ended up with hundreds and hundreds of hits on Father’s Day weekend. I thought the first time it was a crazy fluke, but this year it happened again. I knew it wasn’t just a SEO dream come true. This poem is titled If Heaven had a Father’s Day.

And it is very clear to me that I am NOT the only one missing my Dad(s). I am not the only one that yearns for a Father’s Day hug from one that is no longer here. And the big hole in my heart is a just a bit bigger for all them too.

This year, I changed it up. I decided I would not be sad (as much), but I would celebrate the Dad in my life today. He is my husband. He is a terrific Father with two wonderful girls. A wonderful stepfather to my girl. I must admit, this is my first experience with video, but I did try my best. And you know what? It worked. I ended up way to busy to be sad.

This crafting of video and photos. The process of making the “tape” brought so much life to the present. How could I dwell on what I am missing when there is so much to be part of right now? My step girls are growing up way too fast.

So to my husband, I thank you…and I celebrate you…the girls and I loved making this for you. I think it is more precious than a simple card.

This is a hilarious response to what they know about him when I asked them both to tell me about their dad.

As a bonus…a little behind the scenes photo booth using a song for twins. It is an inside joke with our family, but oh so appropriate.

Happy Father’s Day to all!

The Peeks and Boos of Averey at Nine Months Old

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

Nine months old. I’ll let that sink in a bit.

Yeah.

Hard to believe, isn’t it? This girl is in flirting distance of her ONE YEAR Birthday. What?!

She is on the brink of cruising, crawling, and yes, walking. Gulp!

It is astounding how quickly this is all happening. I think God’s sense humor is a little twisted. He is playing a cruel joke on all the Grandmas’ out there.

Oh, hey! You down there? Yes, you. The one old enough to be a Grandmother? You know…because your child has grown up enough to be a MOTHER of her own. Well, guess what? As fast as your kid grew up, her kid is going to grow up even faster! Isn’t that fun?!?! Weeeeee! Try to keep up Granny! HA HA HA!

So, yeah, funny guy. He gives us this little glimpse of heaven in the form of an infant, then speeds it all up in a flurry of baby rolls and gummy grins.

She is worth every second though. Each moment I spend with her, I can’t wait for the next. Then I have to go back and cherish the ones I had. I just don’t want to miss them or rush past them. Such is the life of being a Grandma.

And cute baby is still very small (only about 16lbs). She wears six month clothes (and newborn shoes). But still so much bigger than the 5lbs she started with.

We have taken her photo every month. We plan the outfits and the settings. We pick a date and marvel over the time zooming by.

It is fun and quite precious.

This month, I want to share the peeks and boos of baby Averey at nine months old.

Peeks.

She loves to clap.

And with great joy. Happy clapping with lots of smiles.

Averey waves (although not always on command).

She squeals in a freakishly high girly voice and she hums.

Says, “DaDa, MaMa, Lala and Haha.”

She moves to the beat when a good song comes on.

She loves selfies on her Mama’s iPhone.

She is more mobile than ever going from tummy to back, back to front, from sitting to belly, and belly to sitting. This girl is starting to figure it all out. Pulling up does happen once and again, too.

Averey loves to eat bananas.

She clicks her tongue and squints her eyes.

She laughs when you say, “Ouch!” Hmmmm…this one scares me a bit.

She loves silly songs and seeing herself in the mirror.

Boos.

She does NOT love shoes.

She does NOT love apricots.

She does NOT love hats.

She, especially, does NOT love naps.

She doesn’t want to miss a thing. Not even to sleep. Her eyes are going every second.

But of course, out of all her peeks and all her boos, there is one thing that always makes me smile the biggest.

Averey’s adoration of her Auntie Bri.

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Cuteness overload. #ftfn

A post shared by Angelia Hardy (@angeliasims) on

I’d say nine months have bonded them for life.

Looking forward to the next nine.

Happy Wednesday!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

Oh, the joys and excitement of field day at school. It marks a day of celebration.

No schoolwork! No books!

A day that sings of Summer and the freedom of summer. In fact, on a bright sunny field day, with a sky super blue, and the clouds just this side of light and fluffy…I am told you can even SMELL Summer.

Yeah.

There are games, competitions, concession stands, and WATER play. Teachers have fun. Parents have fun. And did I mention no homework?

This is one of the greatest days of the year (to an elementary child). And guess what? I get to be there.

For the first time in forever, I make it to field day. How thrilling! I thought my elementary school days ended for good (since I have a twenty-year-old daughter). Ahhhh, but that is the reason step kids are called BONUS kids.

See….???? Bonus! How can you not smile about that? I sure am.

The challenge this week is to “twist”.

I can’t think of anything more twisted than a rope.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

And what goes with rope?

© Angelia's Photography 2014

TUG OF WAR!

This is my youngest tugging her ever-loving heart out. Oh, she tugged. She sweat. She even stuck her tongue out (so cute!).

In the end…

© Angelia's Photography 2014

They still lost the war.

::sad face::

But you know what? Doesn’t matter. It might be the end of field day, but summer is thisssssss close.

Just stop and smell the breeze…you’ll catch a whiff and I bet it takes you back to your sweetest days of summer.

Have a happy weekend! And a most blessed Memorial Day!

A Letter to the Mother of my Step Children

I know I am not the perfect step-in parent for your children. I make mistakes. I misjudge. I get frustrated, confused, and conflicted. It’s a tight wire balance of being too close and being too far.

I don’t want to overstep my boundaries. And yet, I sometimes lose track of the rule book. I don’t always know what to expect. And even when I think I do, I realize how far-off the beaten path I really am. I manage the best I can for them. Not necessarily as another parent, but someone who loves being in their life. Someone who cares for them, because I care for their Dad. But, I fail. I try. I fail. Then I brush myself off and hope you can forgive me.

From the first moment I met them, I wanted them to know I could never replace you, nor would I want to, or seek to. I have always felt that way.

I remember seeing a plump two-year old baby about six years ago. I wanted to scoop her into my arms and gobble up those chub chub cheeks of hers. Instead, I waited and watched, until she felt comfortable with me. It took more than a year.

At the same time, I met a precocious, wiser-than-her-years four-year-old, spitting spunk and sass. I wanted to take her hand and run off into the land of make-believe. Instead, I told her how mommy is magical and I would never have that magic, because her mommy is very special like that.

I want to guide them as much as I can without making waves or being a disciplinary figure. On the same note, I want to keep them safe. I want to protect them from the big scary world. I have the heart of a mother, but the mind of step mom. I want their dreams to come true. I want their success and happiness to follow them wherever they go.

And yet…

I am only a small part of their world. You are their caretaker, guide, and example. You are their lifeline, their planner, and the one who tucks them in. Your soul is part of those two little bodies. Even when it is not your weekend, you are very much part of their every second with us.

And because you are so much part of them? Two little people I adore… I adore you just as much. I appreciate you more than you know. I can’t imagine life without you, your ex, and those precious little people I get to hug and worry over.

So please know, although I mess up and forget to remind my husband of holidays, birthdays, and presents. Although, I don’t always reach out, in an effort to keep in, just know I hold your family dear to my heart. I am always here. Trying my best and admiring the hell out of you.

Thank-you for our two little stars who I get to watch grow into lovely young ladies. Thank-you for sacrificing so many things to give these kids a life with both parents taking part. And thank-you for your kindness in letting me be a small piece of their great big world.

This year I did not let Mother’s Day slip by unattended. I planned and I hope you love it as much as I love your two children. This is for you. I thought a vintage pearl might last longer than flowers or chocolate.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Drawing for Dad by the youngest daughter. I love how she didn't quite get us holding hands. So, she made a ring that connects us.
Drawing for Dad by the youngest daughter. I love how she didn’t quite get us holding hands. To make up for that she puts a circle between our hands to connect us, too. From the mind of a beautiful seven-year-old who wants her family holding hands. So sweet.