Fabulous Five

My dear youngest step-daughter….

This is what you looked like when I met you July 4th, 2008. You were still a baby in a baby car seat. The kind that pulls over the head and buckles in the middle.
Summer 2008
Summer 2008

Your favorite thing in the world was to cling to your Daddy like a monkey (still is).

And I don’t blame you. He is pretty darn comfy. Psst…..he is my hero too.

Life was confusing when we met. Daddy had moved out. Daddy had a new house and a new person in his life. A strange house. A strange person. Gee, that was scary. You were so little. It’s not easy when you can’t express yourself the way you want to and you don’t understand adult things. Divorce is not something you can explain to a two-year old.

Summer 2008
Daddy and Bridget Summer 2008

By the next summer, things were a LOT easier and happier too. You were more comfortable, more mobile, and by golly you found your niche enjoying life.
Summer 2009
Summer 2009

We were discovering so many things that you hadn’t done before. Swimming in the big public pool with a floatie. Chuck-e-Cheese, the Circus, and the Texas State Fair. Ranger baseball games, Mama’s pizza, The Purple Cow, and nail salons. Freeze dancing with a fifteen-year old.

Weekends at Disney Dad’s…..soooo fun.

You came out of your shell. You began to talk (and talk, and talk, and talk). And then, somehow, just like that, it was your fourth birthday.
Summer 2010
Four! The magical age that I wrote about one year ago when I told the story of shy baby chubba cheeks, and how you came into my life heart.

What a precious gift you are!

My favorite wedding memory, when I married your Dad was walking out of the dressing room to wait at the chapel door for my music cue. There you stood with all the other flower girls in your beautiful dress, silk flower girl basket, and silk flower hair wreath. I literally choked a gulp of tears down my throat, because all of you looked so gloriously beautiful, like living breathing Angels from heaven. I was overcome with emotion, and gratitude. The magnitude of this dream day pressed upon me and I just about lost it in a puddle of tears.

The funny thing was in all your ivory silk and tulle beauty, there, on your wrist was Sydney’s old red key chain. A wrist key holder she had in elementary school to keep track of her house key. Where you found it?…….who knows…..Why you decided it was wedding wear worthy?….I have no idea…. but it tickled me and I couldn’t stop laughing. A red curly corkscrew plastic bracelet in the midst of all the whimsy wonder.

It was perfect. It really was.

The joy and laughter you gave in that moment was just what I needed. My nerves evaporated. I became calm and peaceful, because here we were on this day – the one we had talked about happening forever – and it was perfect.

That’s what you do. No matter what, you bring great joy to our hearts with your show-stopper smile, and your hilarious antics.

This past year hasn’t been easy. With your Grandma and Dad’s health, the terrible car accident, and my never-ending-sinus infection – not to mention the many other changes we have slogged through. I feel like we haven’t had as much time for fun, even though we still have tons of it.

I didn’t plan a birthday party for you. Not ahead of time anyway. The entire family waited for information so we could celebrate your special day on one of our weekends.

Instead of deciding what to do, I went to you – the star of June – for a little direction.

I asked you…if you could have your birthday party – WHEREever you wanted – WHENever you wanted. Where would it be?

It took you two-seconds to answer as your eyes got wide and you began to stammer. In your rush to say the sacred name, you had to visibly slow down to speak it in the most articulate way possible so I would know without a doubt where it was.

A Chuck-E-Cheese party!

And that’s what we did …..

Wearing your pink party dress and fabulous Hawaiian Lei (that you found where?? who knows??).

We partied with tons of pizza, tokens, and a big SCARY grey mouse, you are still not too sure of.

Molly not afraid of Chuck-e-Cheese anymore.

Happy BRI-day!

Welcome to FIVE Bridget! I can’t WAIT to see what you do this year.

No doubt it will be as fabulous as you are.

Disneyland Dads

Ah, every other weekend something magical happens. Dad’s house transforms into a Disneyland adventure. Where fun abounds, and around every corner is something new. Something that spurs a spewing of laughter, tickling, and pursuit of joy. Anything could happen at Dad’s, any place could happen. Hold on tight…..looks we’re in for a ride through the safari of couch land.

Giddy-up Daddy!

Then, in a race around the world, in perfect place and poise. Two racers fight to the end. Who will end up princess of the hill? Who will get the gold?

Just don’t forget, win or lose, after every race, and every ride, and every new adventure…

There’s ice cream – squeeeeee!

I know Dad’s is supposed to be normal, but I contest. When you see your children overnight 4 times in 30-31days. It’s a party. EVERY time. It’s not on purpose. It just happens.

Okay, THIS was a party.

And this was too.

Tomorrow will be another party to celebrate Bridget’s upcoming number FOUR birthday! All the cousins will be here, grandma and grandpa, some Church friends, and even a neighborhood friend from their Mom’s house. It will be another Disneyland day. With a castle bounce house, the water slide, and even a medium size blow up pool. I love summer parties, but then again, I’m a summer baby too.

And today is date day. Jason and I have talked about taking each girl on our own for a mini “date”. That gives them each one on one time with their Dad. I get one on one time too. It’s a win, win.

Molly and I are going to see this guy.

I think there will be popcorn.

I think she needs her own bag. Ha.

Daddy and Bridget are going on their date today as well. Bridget picked the place. She did not hesitate at all.

I’m not sure who was more excited.

I do feel bad I will miss it. I REALLY love playing Deal or No Deal and winning the case with the most tickets!

But have no doubt, I love me some movie time, and I LOVE Disneyland Dads!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Timeless Deeds

Last Christmas, I was not glowing from head to toe from radioactive iodine thyroid testing nor from the sheer glee of getting engaged. In fact, I wasn’t glowing at all….well yet.

See, the sales representative for the travel company I work for decided to take me on a road trip to Austin. We were to meet a new client I would be assigned to. This was great. A whole day off work. A ride three hours to Austin and three hours back. Lots of time to talk and catch up. I have worked with Debbie over 17 years. We have been through a lot together. Grown a lot together. It’s not just a friendship. It is a history.

I soon discovered road tripping with Debbie was not all it was cracked up to be. She liked to stop – a LOT. I am a get there kinda gal (similar to a guy but not quite). So we stop. And we stop. And we stop again. I went inside the store and got a Coke to drink. I figured why not. I need a good caffeine sugar rush. I leave the store right behind Debbie. She goes to the driver side to get in. I am walking towards the passenger side.

I am looking at the ground. I remember thinking to myself the parking lot was flat. There wasn’t a step. Just as I thought that, I felt my foot hit not pavement but air. Unfortunately foot number two was already following close behind. Instantly, I had no footing and down I went. One hand held a Coke so it splayed outward, the other hand – my right – caught the concrete. HARD.

It was not pretty or graceful. It was SPLAT. I fell forward landing on knees and one arm. I ripped a hole in my pants on the right knee. My Coke was broken and spewing. I was really bummed about that. I was pretty stinkin’ poor and didn’t want to dish out another buck for a Coke. I stood right up and shook myself off. Debbie was shocked. The truck passenger next to us, also shocked. But I was okay. I WAS. I was embarrassed to no end, but just fine thankyouverymuch.

The nice lady in the store gives me a free Coke (bless you). Onward we go to Austin, and my wrist begins to swell nice and round. Then it hurts. Debbie stops so I can get ice. Debbie stops to get cookies from a bakery for the client. I can no longer open the car door with my right hand. We stop again at the clients place. I can no longer open car doors, office doors, and now shaking hands is a real booger. Nice to meet you. OUCH.

We head back. Debbie is extremely worried. I am still very much embarrassed. I feel like a dufus. I FELL OFF A CURB. I assure her. At the most it is sprained, please don’t worry. I wasn’t going to. And I didn’t. Back in Dallas, the swelling has not gone down. Now I am bruising down the inside of my arm. A friend comes by and sees it. He thinks I should have it checked out. Debbie is texting me, begging me to get it checked out.

Finally, I decide to go to the doctor just to make sure. I head to the CareNow clinic by Jason’s house. This is when I saw him again after a two month break, what a great excuse to see him. How could he resist? I was maimed. The doctor x-rays my hand after a quick diagnosis of movements. I could not lift my hand up, flexing from the wrist. (FYI-I was still able to text). She comes back into the room with the results of the x-ray.

“Do you think your injury is severe?”

I put down my phone with my right hand, stopping a text to give her full attention. I shrugged, “I think it’s sprained. I fell down. It’s really embarrassing.”

“Ms. Sims, your hand is fractured not just in one place but TWO.”

Oh yikes, suddenly my texting ability is gone (I switch to my left hand). My hand feels funny now. Not a good funny. “Are you serious????”

“Yes, I am. This is a very dangerous break. You have broken a carpel bone that has blood flow in it. If not properly casted in seven days the bone could die. You also have a buckle fracture to your radius bone in your forearm.”

WHAT? She slips a splint on. “You can take this off but don’t use the hand. It’s very important you see an Orthopedic doctor within seven days.”

Holy Moly. This is serious. I friggin’ BROKE my arm. My RIGHT arm. OMG!

Life as I knew it changed dramatically. I will ask you to try (just once) brushing your teeth with your left hand. Opening doors with your left hand. Pulling up, and buttoning pants ONE handed. And I won’t even ask you to try writing because..well, that’s just mean. I went from completely independent and freakishly strong to – a weakling. Not only a weakling, but a weakling incapable of the smallest tasks, a weakling incapable of the smallest tasks AT CHRISTMAS. Ahhhhhh!

And I am not going to kid you. It HURT like nobodys business. It hurt worse than anything should hurt. Not just pain, but an ache, a constant ache that no medicine could cure. I won’t go into the drama of getting it casted but let’s just say, two doctors, and a dozen frantic calls later. I get a cast. A cast that feels like it weighs FIVE pounds. A cast that I did NOT get to pick the color. It was yellow. Not just any yellow but like a highlight marker yellow. This picture does not do it justice.

I mean why not tape a caution sign to my back too. Let’s just announce what a hazard I am. Beep. Beep. Beep. Big yellow bus coming through. I always thought having a cast would be cool. NOT.

Well, I have to give myself credit. I can be pretty ingenious when I want to be. When I am faced wearing a bright yellow cast, I get ingenious. So, I decided to buy some fabric marker pens from Michaels and paint that sucker!

Here is the result.

Beautiful ain’t she? You could hardly see the yellow. I was pretty proud of myself. If I was going to get noticed for a cast, let it be for a purple one. Not a dang yellow banana!

I somehow learned to type (because my job depended it on it) with a casted right arm. I typed FAST. It was pretty incredible. It HURT horribly. My shoulders ached from the offset of the cast, then from having to hoist my arm up all day to type with the four fingers sticking out. At night was the only time I took a pain pill. I had to take baths. It’s really hard to scrub with just one hand. Go ahead, try squeezing soap, with one hand, on a buff or a washcloth. Nope, don’t cheat. ONE HAND. The other is in a cast wrapped in five plastic bags, you don’t even have fingers to use.

The simplest things were a challenge. Like washing my hair one handed. At first, I tried a friend washing my hair in the sink for me, but that did not work at all. Then, I figured out a system, in the kitchen sink, with small dixie cups filled with shampoo and conditioner. It worked quite well I thought.

Eventually, I got bored with purple. I thought..black would be better. Black goes with anything. Another portrait on my arm.

Yeah, uhh, black over purple over yellow. Eh. Not so good. You know what? Nothing I could do about it. I made it another week and colored it again. (well, first we tried to SAND the black off, then color it). I think my cast dang near FELL off from abuse. It didn’t. It ended up green. (yes I know I should have left it purple) In my defense, I was in a cast for SEVEN weeks. SEVEN.

My daughter and her boyfriend, so kindly, put up the Christmas tree. They hung every ornament. Every wreath. Every candy cane. They cleaned every week for me. They carried in groceries. Anything they could do to help me, they did. I can not even tell you what a blessing that was. There is not much worse than a broken arm, and the brokenness you feel as a person. To have two teenagers step up in compassion and care was truly amazing.

Last Christmas was NOT easy, but I will never forget the Timeless Deeds those kids performed.

Merry Christmas, may it be as bright and cheery as my yellow cast.

And just in case you wondered if a cast stopped me from trying anything fun……….I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness,heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.

-Bethany Hamilton-greatest female surfer of our time.

Welcome to the Chuck-E-Club!

Oh boy! You read that right! I am a proud member of the chuck-E club can you dig it????
What a friday I am having! Who has more fun than me? HA.
J’s kids love this place especially the oldest. Begs to go there all the time.
Well that place is stinking expensive & the pizza is terrible about the only thing decent is the salad bar.

I just love it when I see their little faces light up at the mention of going. Chuckecheese! Chuckecheese! They shout & jump all around. They ride everything & really both of them have the stick-the-token-in-the-machine thing down well. (advanced little gamers) LOL.

I actually love to play there too. Deal or No Deal is awesome! So heck if I can sign up for the club & get some extra tokens. I am all about it! DEAL!

Friday night is almost here. I am so ready for the workday to be over. It’s been a long drawn out week! Going to an Airhogs game tonight in Grand Prairie with the sweetest man in the whole world. My guy & minor league baseball—-ahhhh sweet bliss!

Maybe tomorrow I can finish planting the flowers that will (hopefully not die) be so beautiful.