Beautiful heartache

Sometimes, I have to stop and pinch myself. This life, it’s pretty amazing.

Tonight, I finished vacuuming and put away laundry after working all day; mundane stuff. That’s when I heard it…the sound of hearty laughter coming from my room.

I snuck down the hall to peek in the doorway and found that all three kids (15 yrs, 12, and almost 5) were involved in a very intense wrestling match/tickle war/airplane ride on my bed.

I stood and watched for a while. Listened to their laughter, watched their smiles and red faces as they pummeled each other and tossed themselves down on the plush white comforter.

This image…this is what happiness looks like.

I ignored the urge to go grab my phone for its camera. Instead, I just stood there, soaked it all it and said a prayer of gratitude for each one of them.

My heart aches it’s so full of love for these people.

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The difference 3 years can make

I was looking through pictures the other day and I came across these two pictures. Every year I get a picture of the kids together in their Christmas pajamas. The left is from 2009 and the other from this past Christmas.

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It’s crazy to think they have changed so much in what seems like the blink of an eye. But it’s been three years since the picture on the left was taken. Three years since AH’s first Christmas. Three years since LD wasn’t a teenager yet. And three years since JD was still a good bit shorter than I am.

AH is now almost 4 and before I know it will be in Kindergarten. LD is now 14 and almost in high school (WHAT?!!). And JD is almost 12 and it won’t be long before he is taller than I am.

Can we just freeze time for little while?
Crap. I’m getting old.

From toddler to tween

Today is JD’s birthday. He is turning 11. ELEVEN!!

Each year that goes by with my kids, I look back on when I met them. Obviously,my first memories of AH are from before she was born but LD and JD were 4 and 2 when I started dating their dad.

I was thinking about how little JD was back then and broke out the old pictures. It wasn’t long before I came across these…

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Is he not the most adorable little man? So stinking cute.

Now, fast forward a few years (or eight) and look at the handsome young man he is.

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I can’t believe how fast these years have flown by. Only two more years and he’ll be a teenager. *sniffs, chokes back tears*

Happy Birthday, sweet boy.
I love you.

Blood or Bond

Since Father’s Day was spent with the stomach bug in my house, I didn’t get a break to finish writing about my own daddy. Here’s my post about him.
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Aside from seeing my siblings and me side by side, you’d never question the biological makeup of our family. Most people tell me I look just like my mother with my daddy’s dark hair and olive skin.

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But, technically, that isn’t possible because we don’t share any DNA.

And that has never mattered.

My dad has never treated me like I was anything less than his daughter.

And when I was a toddler, he made it official when he adopted me and gave me his last name.

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He’s taught me a few things over the years:

He taught me that it is possible to love a child that isn’t biologically yours just the same as any that are. Had I not received that kind of love from a nonbiological parent, I might not have believed it to be possible. And being open to giving that kind of love allows me the close bond I have with LD and JD.

Find the funny. My daddy is a man who can find humor in almost anything. He is never in a bad mood. If you’re upset or you need to lighten up a bit, you can count on him to add levity to the situation.

He taught me that you should never give up on truly, genuinely, good people. They will make mistakes, they will fall, they will not be perfect. But if they never give up on being better than they were; never cease to show their love for you, then they are worth it. Give forgiveness. Have faith.

My dad is just the kind of dad a daughter needs.

He’s the dad who:

Plays catch with you–after working 12 hours in the Texas heat.

Tucks you into bed with a song every time you ask. Even when you’re a teenager and don’t get tucked in anymore.

Cries when he sees you on your wedding day. He’s one of the toughest men I know, but he isn’t ashamed if he’s moved to tears.

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Shows you how to check your oil, air up your tires, use jumper cables and top off all the fluids in your engine.

Talks to you about boys. And pretends not to want to punch them in the face for looking in the same direction as his baby girl.

Tells you countless times that you are smart, talented, beautiful, kind. That you make him proud and he loves you “so very much.”

He says, “Ah, you’re just like your mother,” and means it as a compliment because she’s the most amazing woman he’s ever known.

Chooses triumph over tragedy. He’s been knocked down a time or two but kept fighting. Proud but never arrogant. Strong and humble.

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Of all the things I didn’t get from him biologically, none of it can amount to all I’ve learned from him and how much I know I am loved.

It’s like I tell my kids…

You can be a family by blood or by bond, but love is all that matters.

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Happy blogging,
Adrian