Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Growing up I had moments of love and hate with Valentine's Day.  The reminder that you were single, the expectation of someone to do or be something, the annoyingly cheap patrons that I had to serve year after year in the restaurant I worked in =).  The one thing I remember that always brought me a smile was the small heart box of chocolates that were waiting for me from my dad.

It wasn't until Ella and Kohen that I started to enjoy Valentine's Day for a completely different reason. 

The kids and I spent time the weeks before creating Valentine bracelets for their friends...60 plus friends that is!

The bracelet idea came from an amazing blogger named katie did.  

We also had two photo sessions and I had the joy of making them into their own custom cards. It was so much fun!!

Each moment was a blast... their joy in making them and their excitement to share them with their friends just melted me.

Ella asked me one morning "Mommy what if someone else makes the same Valentines?". I laughed because I have raised my kids to think that my over the top behavior is normal.  I'm happy and thankful to my Kyle that he is so loving and supportive of all my crazy endeavors, and that Ella and Kohen still find joy in it!

So...I just wanted to wish you all happy Valentine's Day!  May we always remember the simple love of Valentine's Day that our children do.

*Shine On*

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One Proud Auntie!!

Have you ever had one of those magical nights where you just want to freeze time?  This Saturday was one such night for me.  I spent the day making a dress for Ella to go to the ballet.  My niece Jessika Anspach is a professional dancer for the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.  

The ballet was Cinderella, how fitting for my little Ella, right ;)?  Well in true Lindsay style, the dress was finished an hour before it was time to leave.  She looked adorable!   I only have one image to show you and that will have to wait!  We packed our overnight bag, and Kyle dropped us off to head over to the city.

A short ferry ride later we were in Seattle and driving to the McCaw Hall with my sister and brother-in-law.  Ella sat in back chatting away about random kindergarten gossip and how beautiful the city was.

We arrived and dropped of the amazing flowers my sister put together for my niece, and headed off to wait for the ballet to start.  With a rice crispy pre-ordered for the first intermission, we were on our way through the packed theatre to find our seats.  Section E  row Y, Ella 7 and me 8.

Our seats were great!  Only short people in front of us and we had a completely unobstructed view of the stage!!  The lights dimmed and the curtain rose.  It was magic, and I found it hard to keep my eyes on the stage and not the pure joy that was emanating from my sweet girl's face.

Not to far into the first act I found myself transfixed on (of all things) the evil stepsister.  It was none other than my beautiful niece, and she had me at first sneer.  She was the perfect mix of theatrics and timing.  I was beaming with pride.  I wanted to start a game of telephone passing it on to all around me that the captivating, charming, and hilarious mean girl was mine!!

I cant imagine the pride my sister and brother-in-law were feeling.  I can only presume they were bursting...since I sure the heck was!  My niece has dreamed of this since she was Ella's age, and how touching to be there in the moment that just such a dream became a reality. I feel so blessed and honored to know that Ella and I were able to be there and witness it.

I must confess that normally the ballet is like having a glass of red wine.  I really want it, but once I start drinking the only thing I can think of is sleeping.  Sorry Jess : (.  I can appreciate ballet and the talent it takes, but typically I just want to sleep through it all.

None of this was true of watching Jessika and all the of the amazingly talented people Saturday night.  It was pure magic for Ella and I.  We were captivated and transfixed.  I must confess that as long as Jessika was on the stage, I could not avert my gaze from her.

I don't know if I am always the best at expressing to people how proud I am.  But I think it is really important to say. Not only for me, but for that person to heart as well.  Jessika, I am so stinking proud of you.  I am proud of the dancer you have become and the dedication and passion you have shared with me and all the people who are blessed enough to see you.  Not only are you an amazing dancer, writer, and niece...but you are an amazing human being.  As you were signing autographs I realized something. I am really one of the luckiest people because I get to know you, for your art, and apart from it.  Thank you for having us be a part of your special night.  I am so proud of you, and so happy that Ella gets to have experiences like this because of you.

*Shine On*