Hashtag Birthday

Birthday’s are made for surprises.

And Angel Girl is the hardest to surprise!

But this year – Pedro pulled it off!

#birthdaysurprise 

It was the Thursday night before her birthday – and she suspecting nothing.

Pedro gathered up four cousins and they drove the two hours to our house stuffed in Pedro’s car.

#roadtrip

They hid the car and planned the epic surprise.

Angel Girl got home from work, wondered why dad was grilling so many hamburgers, put down her water bottle in the kitchen, rounded the corner to the dining room and jumped out of her skin at the sight of Pedro and the cousins waiting for her!

13417568_1047307488696307_691709334573031505_n

#nailedit

They had a hilarious supper, followed by crazy dance moves in the driveway and a wild adventure to the abandoned house and low water crossing.

Poison ivy, bug bites, photo shoots, and much laughter.

#perfect.

They spent the night eating popcorn and rice krispie bars while watching old VHS movies that were favorites years ago.

13419123_10206375098353857_8101738448350272890_n

And were up at first light to be on the road to make it back to the city to work.

A short night and a long drive.

But they had almost fourteen hours of jam-packed, fun-filled wonderfulness.

#worthit

Happy 18th birthday Angel Girl!

 

 

Graduation Day

It’s over.

We did it!

We got Angel Girl graduated!

13221589_1036839446409778_7641594839998362238_n

And honored.

And celebrated.

And photographed.

13226666_1230099237003020_9014204081859394922_nThere was plenty of punch and rice krispsie treats.

And cousins.

And friends.

And there was Matt.

13240024_1036840469743009_5651510171345329122_n

Who flew in from Colorado just for his little sister’s graduation party.

He surprised her.

She cried.

It was a perfect moment in a wonderful weekend full of beautiful moments.

Moments that this Mama is tucking away like treasures.

These years are going so fast!

 

 

 

Parent of a Graduate

IMG_0019[1]Once again my husband and I are wearing the title “Parents of a Graduate”.

We are not alone. You can spot a “Parent of a Graduate” anywhere – if you know the signs.

We are the ones with the shopping carts full of large quantities of single items holding three page lists doing mental math in the baking aisle.

The fifteen boxes of rice krispies and cart full of marshmallows tipped off the checker at our local grocery store. She gave me a questioning look and I said just, “She wants rice krispie treats for graduation.”

She then gave me a look of pity that said simply, “Ah, a graduation. I feel your pain.”

We parents of graduates understand the stress and joy of a spring with a commencement and Open House. We don’t even even need words.

As we pushed our cart full of purple Hawaiian punch and even more marshmallows through Wal-Mart, we caught the attention of another couple with a cart full of large quantities of a single item and a three page list.

Again, the questioning look.

My quick answer, “Rice krispie treats for graduation.”

She responds, “Twins.”

I sympathize, “Twice the good bye – but only one party.”

Our eyes meet as we wish each other good luck and we leave them in the chip aisle doing mental math with glazed looks as we went in search of large bags of M & M’s and an industrial size bottle of barbecue sauce.

My graduation table is full now of plates and cups and napkins. Soon the smoked turkey will all be roasted and in crock pots, the buns will be made and the rice krispie treats ready to serve.

The house will be clean and the lawn will be mowed and there will be no more busy work to distract us from the reality that is coming.

That it’s our child in that cap and gown.

It’s our baby that’s graduating.

And then the tears will fall.

Yes, I’m a parent of a graduate.

 

 

Staff Photographer

When Angel Girl graduates next month, I will not only lose my baby girl (not gonna think about that – sniff, sniff), I will also lose my photographer.

Since she got her first point and shoot on her 11th birthday, she has been taking pictures.

Her first Nikon made her my official staff photographer.

253954_104202246340174_8270041_nIt seems like yesterday.

But actually it was 5 years and a new camera ago.

I knew this was coming, but it’s getting more real every day as school and work take more of her time.

She gifted me her first Nikon in an effort to make me face the facts – I have to learn to take my own pictures.

The first two weeks I just looked at it.

We don’t want to rush things you know!

IMG_0007

Finally the third week I picked it up – and didn’t break out in hives. This is a good thing.

It took at least another week to get up the courage to ask Angel Girl to show me what to do.

Once I released my death grip on the camera, my first lesson went well.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks; I’m just hoping they’re wrong.

Or that Angel Girl never leaves.

Or maybe both.

 

The Black Shirt

DSC_0007Teen Pact is just a few days away and Buddy and I have working on packing him up.

As we went through his dress clothes for the days at the Capitol, we noticed something.

His black dress shirt was missing.

He looked in his closet.

No shirt.

I looked in his closet.

No shirt.

This is the shirt he wears with his cool green plaid bow tie.

This leaves him one shirt short for the week. He would have to wear one shirt twice. Oh dear. If you have a 15 year old son – you know this is a crisis.

He asks if it might gotten in with dad’s clothes. I didn’t think so – but checked through them thoroughly to be sure.

No shirt.

I even went through the seasonal clothes in the attic.

No shirt.

I report my findings at lunch.

“Maybe it’s stuffed between my bass drum and the bed.”

Okkkayyyy…

A search there revealed many interesting items – but no black shirt.

I found it this morning.

You’ll never guess where.

It was in his closet.

It had fallen off the hanger and was on the floor, buried under his Chewbacca suit, a ripped backpack, a wrench set, a bucket of legos, computer parts and a sleeping bag.

No wonder we missed it the first time – we were looking for a black shirt in a black hole.

I guess we’ll be doing a deep cleaning soon….