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A Birthday Interview With Callan

Callan Turns 7

Callan turned 7 last week and this little guy has brought us so much joy, I thought I’d interview him for this week’s Mondays With Mimi story so you can see what fun boy he is.

Questions asked, in no particular order.

  1. What is your whole name? Callan Reid Dougherty.
  2. What is interesting about your middle name? Some of my family members have the same middle name: my daddy, my cousin Addison, and my new baby cousin Liam. Addison spells her name R-E-E-D.
  3. What city do you live in? Brandywine Drive…Florida…my house…and finally…Orlando.
  4. What is Orlando known for? Huh? Oh, Orlando City soccer. It’s hot here. Mimi’s house is here. Also: Universal, Fun Spot, Disney, SeaWorld, the beaches, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, Legoland, and the Orlando Eye. Oh and fun elevators.
  5. Have you ever been afraid of something? Yes, creepy clowns and elevators.
  6. Have you ever been brave? Yes, when shooting arrows (I’m shaking my head no…he’s never shot arrows) and going in elevators now.
  7. What is your favorite subject in school? Math
  8. What is your least favorite subject? Reading (Mommy shaking her head on this one as Callan loves to read).
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? A “universal builder” including building roller coasters and amusement parks.
  10. What is your favorite thing to do when there’s nothing else to do? Play with my phone and watch YouTube videos about fishing for sharks.
  11. What is your favorite food? Pizza.
  12. What is a yucky food? Cooked carrots. He actually said carrots in liquid, but I knew what he meant.
  13. What is something you would like others to know about you? I have a big noggin. My head is huge because it accommodates my big brain. Mommy says that means I’m smart.
  14. Anything else you want people to know? God is very nice. He makes it rain. And…one of my bottom teeth is very loose and I can put my top teeth behind it…and…I’m cool.

To sum it all up.

I’m sure you can all see right now why I think Callan is a lot of fun to be with and yes, cool, just like he said. Today, after church, his PopPop and I took him to Firehouse Subs for lunch,to Twistee Treat for ice cream, and then to Target so he could ride the elevator with us like he used to when he was small. For some reason, a few years ago he became scared of all elevators and has been afraid to ride them until two weeks ago while on vacation decided he was now brave enough to ride them. So, he did. Just like that.

And finally we wrapped up the day with a walk by a culvert looking for fish, turtles, ducks and other treasures such as a a plant “puff” to blow apart.

Thanks for reading. Would love to hear about your precious grands. Feel free to comment below or send me a note. Having grandchildren brings wonder back into our lives in so many unexpected ways. What a blessing.

Mimi

 

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Time to stop and smell the roses.

April 2, 2018

Birthdays galore.

In our family, we experience many birthdays close to each other: Christmas time…Greg and me. Late Jan-early Feb: son and son-in-law, March: daughter, sister-in-law, Mom, daughter-in-law, brother followed by early April: grandson Callan and sister-in-law.

Whew! If you’re not careful, you’ll completely miss one in the busyness of life.

Life can get crazy busy.

In order to NOT miss a birthday or appointment or something on my to-do list, I rely heavily on all my calendars being in sync. This means my Outlook calendar must match my phone’s calendar because I’ll be printing it and placing it on the refrigerator. And if that paper calendar doesn’t match with my phone, something is sure to get missed.

First thing every morning, Greg gets up and looks at the paper calendar. I, on the other hand, rely mostly on the iPhone calendar and its reminder system, counting on a ding to alert me each time I need to do something. To be sure it all gets done, I also keep a handwritten list on my kitchen counter that glares at me until the last item is checked off and the list can be crumpled and thrown away.

Take time to smell the roses.

We all understand the meaning of the expression and encouragement to take time to smell the roses. But many times, we do the exact opposite. I certainly do. I can get completely caught up in the to-do list and can miss the small moments, the wonderful moments that surround us all the time…the smell-the-roses moments presented throughout our days.

In being sure I buy cards, find the perfect gift, arrange a visit to the birthday person, prepare a special cake, etc., I can lose the joy of the occasion which is to honor and celebrate someone I care for deeply.

In fact, we can do that with anything: holidays meant for family and fun can become a chore because of the enormous amount of preparation needed to ensure a perfect event; having friends or family visit in your home can lose it’s joy when you pressure yourself to have it spotlessly clean; vacations filled with wonder and discovery can get bogged down by endless research to be sure you visit all the best places.

What to do?

S-l-o-w  d-o-w-n. That’s it. Or at least, it’s part of it. And it’s so very hard to do. While on our hamster wheels of life, we need to slow down to appreciate people important to us, to enjoy the things and people God has placed in our lives and in our care, to marvel at His amazing creation.

Remember…happiness is often found in the little things, in the everyday things, in the ordinary things of life.

The older I get, the more I’m aware of not wanting to lose the moment. To-do lists are a part of my nature and being organized enables me to function better. But I’m more determined than ever to slow down and finally start smelling those beautiful roses God has grown all around me.

Mimi

Happy Birthday Katie Leigh

A Letter to my Daughter

Dear Katie,

As you know, today is a very special day…it’s the anniversary of the day you came into our world and immediately doubled the joy of being a parent.

Your brother Tim had come just 13 months prior and though a little unexpected, here you came right on his heels. I often think if the timing of conception had been any different, that baby would certainly have been welcomed and loved, but he or she wouldn’t have been our sweet Kate. And I can’t imagine my life without you.

A Life Filled With Joy

From the beginning, you have filled our lives with joy beyond measure. Energetic from the get-go and with a smile that lights up the room, you found joy in just about everything. Skipping was often your preferred mode of transportation which to this mom showed me a youngster who was absolutely full of delight.

And though you certainly would dress up in purple and pink outfits and wear hair ribbons, you were most often in the dirt, climbing trees, digging under rocks, playing sports all out, fishing off the dock, and hanging with her brother. You shared the same friends so it’s no surprise that if the boys were doing it, so were you!

The Future

When you and your brother were little, I would often try to imagine you in your 20s or 30s. Wondering about your future schooling, your chosen careers, if you would marry and have children. So, while I didn’t have a clear picture of who you would become, as I look back now and look over the thousands of pictures we took of you, I can see the glimpses of who you became: an independent, strong woman; a goal-setter; an achiever; a caregiver; someone who always lands on their feet; a person able to reinvent herself; someone who refuses to give up or back down; a person who generally sees the good and not the bad; an encourager; a leader; a woman who can be full of sunshine; a daughter who loves her mom and continues to provide me with joy beyond measure.

To This Day

Kate, you captivated ours hearts while growing up and continue to do so to this very day. God chose you just for us; and we are so very, very thankful.

Love you, Sweet One. Happy Birthday.

Cookie (and Dad)

Zoe turns 4!

Just recently we spent the weekend with our son and his family to celebrate our granddaughter Zoe’s fourth birthday.

After our encounter with Hurricane Irma and Greg’s recent hospitalization for blood clots, it was wonderful to get to experience such an enjoyable occasion.

Like all our grands, Zoe has her own unique God-given personality. She is a giggle-filled bundle of non-stop joy. We know a picture paints a thousand words so I wish I had a picture of every mood, expression, and reaction Zoe exhibited because those pictures would be a fantastic way to share with you the pure delight she brings. But the composite above will have to do.

We watched Zoe and her sister perform Disney tunes for us from their make-shift stage. Zoe acted out every nuance using her whole body and face to fully express each song’s meaning. Here’s a 10-second clip of our energetic granddaughter for your viewing pleasure. (The background laugh is her Mimi who was tickled pink watching her!)

Zoe is creative in her play time, enjoys school, is loving to all her stuffed animals and dolls, and wants to do everything her big sister Addison does. She adores her parents and often can be found using her daddy as her personal jungle gym!

Time moves along so quickly; I don’t want to miss a single minute of this precious life. I want to see everything through her eyes of wide-eyed wonder. I want to experience her kind of joy that knows no bounds. I also want to protect her from the world and have her keep her innocence as long as possible.

Who knew when she was born just how appropriate her name would be. In the Greek, Zoe means life. And our little Zoe is completely filled and overflowing with life!

Happy 4th birthday sweet girl. Your Mimi loves you to Heaven and back!

Mimi

 

Somebody just turned 9 last week.

I became a grandma on August 8, 2008 when Konnor Finn was born. But when he started talking I became Mimi…a name I love to be called.

Last week was Konnor’s 9th birthday and what a day it was. He awoke to birthday love notes throughout the house, decorations galore, and a table filled with gifts and cards (one especially “sweet” gift was his Skittles shirt created for him by his brother Callan). His day began with a sprinkle donut, included an early stop to Toys R Us to spend that birthday money, then a trip to the wax museum, and a colossal “ice cream sandwich” that was enough for everyone to share. The fun continued all day as he enjoyed each gift and being the honored Birthday Boy.

     

I know you can all relate in how quickly those 9 years flew by. He was just a tiny little baby. And while we could see family resemblances, beyond that we all wondered about his future: what kind of personality he would have, what talents and tendencies he would display, his interests, whether he would be tall like his dad, if he would have an interest in sports or music, etc.

Nine years later we have a really good idea. Konnor is a high energy kid who loves to learn. Give him a fact and he’ll remember it forever. He is very mechanically inclined and most of his toys center on mechanics in one form or another: Legos, anything you can build, magnets, science experiments, RC cars. He can be extremely focused when something draws his attention such as his recent 6-hour “build” of a Lego pinball machine. Gathering his Legos, he found a video, followed it and figured out not only how the outside should look, but how the inside needed to function so the pinball machine would actually work. And it does; beautifully!

Not being mechanically inclined myself, I find this trait in Konnor amazing. I can follow a recipe or a set of directions, but to take the time to figure out how something works and spend the untold hours putting it together, sometimes doing things over and over again to make that happen…well, that is just about beyond me. But it’s not beyond our Konnor Finn.

That determination and ability to dig in to accomplish something you put your mind to will serve Konnor well and this Mimi is excited to see where it will lead in Konnor’s future.

Being a mom to my two wonderful kids was fulfilling and fun. I loved watching them learn each day and discover who they were, what they could accomplish and all about our amazing world. As a grandma, I get to enjoy it all over again, and I find I love it just as much…maybe more. Because this time I get to watch my adult kids have the same sense of wonder as they raise their children and observe them grow and change as they become who God created them to be.

Happy birthday, my precious Konnor. I love you to Heaven and back!

Mimi

Happy 91st Dad

Ready to Go (Dad is on the right)

So…as you already know, since moving to Clermont nearly a year ago, my dad has enjoyed many adventures. River tubing and flying in a biplane to name two. Dad has recently added one more item to his Thrill List: he went zip lining! Oh yes he did.

On a visit to Gatorland, he and a few others decided to give the zip line a go. I guess being 91 has nothing to do with whether or not you try something new.

Look, up in the sky, it’s Dad!

Dad continues to set such a great example of living life to the fullest. He’s been a lifelong volunteer extraordinaire: singing in choirs and glee clubs, serving on the planning board and condo board, volunteering through AARP to do taxes (up until last year), working the polls for most elections. In his new residence, he helps lead the worship team and often is the stand-in leader for daily devotions.

Add to that his many adventures and trying new things—gee, he makes my life look dull!

In the midst of all this he celebrated his 91st birthday two weeks ago. And since he had two commemorative bricks in his honor in Juno Beach, we thought he deserved one in his new hometown.

At this point I have no idea what pictures I’ll be posting of my dad’s next birthday. At the rate he’s going it could be of him jumping out of an airplane! (Just kidding Dad.)

In any case, I’m proud to call this man my dad and delighted that after many years we now live so close together. Love you, Dad.

 

 

Mimi

Kindergarten Here I Come

Just look at this sweet patoot. Turning 6 in September, Addie is going to be entering Kindergarten this year. And by the look of her expression, she’s as excited as can be.

For this Mimi, it is hard indeed to believe how quickly time has passed since her birth. Our elders are always telling us to appreciate each day because time flies by…but they say it because that’s exactly what happens!

I remember holding that sweet, tiny one dressed head-to-toe in pink. She was a delicate gift of promise and possibility; a blessing from God.

What kind of personality would she have? Who would she look like? Would she be tall? Would she be a dancer? Would she play sports? Would she be a Daddy’s girl? Would she be fiercely independent?

You find yourself asking endless questions as you look at that bundle of love in your arms, not having any idea of what is to come.

And then she grows and you begin to see hints of just who this little one is going to be. Each day becomes a joy and adventure as you watch this precious young girl learn about the world and develop her individual personality. And since I don’t get to see her often enough, it seems as if each time I do see my eldest granddaughter, there’s something new to discover about her.

Addie is not only a beautiful little girl she is smart, sensitive, deliberate, and thoughtful.

As big sister to Zoe, Addie gladly shares all she knows about the world such as the correct way to do things, or at least the Addison-way to do things. (wink-wink) She loves Zoe deeply and can be so tender with her it can bring a tear to this Mimi’s eye.

Addie also feels things deeply which is such a wonderful trait. She was nearly 5 when her Gigi (great grandmother) passed away last year and it made her very sad for a period of time. It hurt us to know how sad she was but we also knew that it was a clear demonstration of just how much she had loved my mom. As she experiences life, Addie will no doubt encounter more sadness and disappointment but her joys…oh they will be exquisite! She will love well, experience great delight, and truly and thoroughly enjoy and appreciate life all the more.

I mentioned that Addie is smart but even more important than that is that she enjoys learning and the thrill of discovery. And those traits will open the world to her. That excites me tremendously.

So I look at this picture of her and see pride that she’s such a big girl, big enough to go to Kindergarten; I see joy as she’s about to embark on a new journey. But most of all, I see the face of someone I love so very much that it makes me cry out in thanksgiving to my heavenly Father that He is so good and so kind to have brought Addie into our lives.

Mimi