Angel Girl’s Big Adventure

Angel Girl had a pretty epic adventure over Spring Break.

She saved her money and bought a plane ticket to Hawaii.

Yep, Hawaii. Land of sunshine, pineapples, palm trees and miles of breathtaking ocean views.

And…. her good friend Grace who is studying there.

The two girls wasted no time!

They toured the Dole Plantation.

Hiked up Diamond Head.

Spent time at Pearl Harbor.

Drank tons of coffee.

Good coffee.

Ate fancy foods in fun places.

And sent us drool-worthy pictures.

They spent hours at the beach.

Swimming.

Watching the surf.

Sitting in the sun.

Relaxing.

And taking artsy pictures with perfectly manicured nails.

Spending every second soaking up the sunshine and time together before they had to say goodbye.

Then she boarded the flight home – sun soaked and tired with sand and salt still in her hair.

Already planning the next trip.

Aloha.

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!

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#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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

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!

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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.

 

Sometimes There are No Words

Some days just leave you speechless.

Sunday was one of those days.

We went to church in two cars and immediately after our potluck lunch, Jan and I took Buddy to Omaha to see Andrew Peterson in concert.

It was an early birthday gift for him – and a real treat for Jan and I!

We had front row seats – literally 10 feet away from the musicians.

IMG_3041We could see every emotion in their face as we heard it in their voice.

The pain, the laughter, the hope.

IMG_3037The joy as he brought his daughter on stage to sing with him.

The pride as he introduced his son on the drum set.

It was so incredible, the emotions so real, the songs so meaningful.

There are no words to describe it.

No words.

It was most definitely a highlight of the year.

But meanwhile – back at home – things weren’t going as well.

Remember the two cars we took to church? Angel Girl took the second one home after the potluck.

And this happened.

12181921_409306075929370_178079365_nShe hit some loose gravel and went in the ditch – flipping the vehicle.

Thankfully she was able to get out of her seat belt, open the passenger door, climb out  and walk three miles home.

She was unhurt. Not a scratch.

There are no words.

Absolutely no words for how a parent feels when they see their child’s car upside in the ditch like that.

Knowing that she was inside.

We’ve spent the last 24 hours dealing with the sheriff’s office, the tow truck, and the salvage yard.

All the while so very, very thankful.

Sometimes there are no words.