Friday, May 27, 2011

My beautiful daughter, the graduate.

"Isn't she lovely, isn't she beautiful" - I have those lyrics going through my head as I look at these photos from Haley's graduation this past Monday.

Words just cannot express how thrilled I am that Haley has graduated from high school and is getting ready for college. She was the epitome of a young woman in the arena getting her diploma. And she is SO glad to have those 13 years behind her........:) I don't think she will be the kid who keeps going back to the high school building and trying to hang out with the teachers. LOL

After getting her driver's license Mother's Day weekend, she pulled out a little while ago in my black Camry that she will be driving to take it to Splash Car Wash and detailed. It is hilarious that "cleanliness" in an automobile was never an issue until it became the car she was going to drive! :)

Graduation party is in a week to allow time for her boyfriend to return home from Army duty. That will officially be the "end" of high school - wow.

I'm so proud of her. I know my mother is equally as proud as she watches over us all from above.

We are so blessed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

From Diapers to Graduation Gowns

On the eve of Haley's graduation, my mind is flooded with images of this young woman - from years ago, sitting on the counter of my mother's kitchen, before the cancer and the chemo and the...loss...., having her make Haley "super supers" which was glorified sundaes. It was a highlight of Haley's day when she could sneak it by me or I relented to the heavy sugar intake late in the evening.

I think about her spending an Easter with me at my sister's house, hunting Easter eggs and already posing for the camera and showing off the dimples. It came so easy to her even back then.

Her first day of school which coincided with my first day of law school. Guess which one of us DIDN'T cry...yes, her.

Jeremy and I taking her on trips to San Antonio (even pulling her out of school for a week and chalking it up to "education about Texas"! ha!), Dallas, Florida, Atlanta, Disney, Colorado, etc. and enjoying seeing her at all the water parks, finding the ice cream stand and gift shop (the child loved to shop from the womb, I believe).

Years of school friends, heartaches, loves, fusses and makeups; her support for me while Jeremy was deployed; her sense of humor that I don't think everyone sees - she's one of the funniest people I know. Jeremy and I are blessed with all these memories.

She has the gown, the graduation dress, shoes, getting her hair styled tomorrow afternoon and then tomorrow night, she will be a graduate. I know there will be college and that graduation. But this is the beginning of such a time for her. So many new experiences. I pray they are all good - but if can't be that, I hope they are life lessons for which she is not hurt by and learns from.

Pride? Yes, I am very proud of her. But most of all, I love her. I love her unconditionally. I know her Nana does too; how? Because she loved me unconditionally, as well. Most of all, she taught me that is what a good mother does -

It is going to be hard to loosen the strings. I'm sure there will be moments when she wonders why I want her to text me or call me when she arrives back at the dorm. I hope she humors me.

And I hope she remembers. Remembers it is because I love her with all my heart. And then remembers it when she has a daughter one day. This.....I hope we pass down another generation.

Unconditionally - I love Haley Taylor-Elizabeth Jones. And am so proud to be her mother.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

He's almost ONE???

Haley is out of town this weekend and Jeremy has drill so I've spent Ira's nap times stuffing birthday invitations and printing labels. I cannot BELIEVE his first birthday is just a few weeks away. This year has flown by. Haley's senior year in high school and Ira's first year of his

So, it hit me this week - it is time to start writing my first "annual letter" to Ira's birthmother. I did it every month for the first six months before the adoption was finalized, but is not required after that except annually on his birthday. What do I say? How can I express what a great little boy he is; how much joy he brings to our lives; what a God-thing this was; how I still think about her so much and hope she is doing well and doesn't question the decision she made for one second? Maybe those are the things I tell her......I know God will lead my hand while I'm writing it.

Received a compliment at church last week. This may sound VERY odd to many - but an African-American lady who always dotes on Ira at church told me "you dress him so nice and care for his skin and hair so well; you are doing so good!". *tears* If my best friend had said that or a family member, I would have said "thank you" without a lot of post-reaction thinking. BUT, for a mother/grandmother of African heritage to tell me (pink skinned! joke at the house) that I'm caring for his skin and hair and she likes the way I dress was HUGE. I don't think I have shared this compliment with anyone - but the more I think about it, the more I think it is "okay". It is a common fact that his skin and hair is different that mine and it takes a different type of care than I would use for Haley if she were a baby. More work? Not really - just different and it has taken a while to see what works for him. As far as clothing, I have to say the color of his skin doesn't play into that...I'm just super picky about boys' clothes. :) I like what I like......

I LOVE my kids; I wish I were younger and could do this some more - LOL. Second thought: I'll wait for a granddaughter and just have fun that way. :) A LONG TIME FROM NOW, HALEY - YEARS AFTER COLLEGE GRADUATION - YEARS FROM NOW.....LOL.

I hope Ira reads these blog postings one day and realizes some of my thoughts before we knew him, while we were bonding and 1 year later. I know he will know his Mommy loves him to the Moon and back; Haley does and Ira will too (if not already).

Well, I have an Excel spreadsheet to make for Haley's graduation party and Ira's birthday party so I should work on that while baby boy is still snoozing away.

I am blessed ~ Thank you, God!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

What a difference a year makes?! How many times have I said that......
Today is Mother's Day; my first with Ira and maybe my last with Haley living under this roof. I got teary-eyed at church this morning thinking of that as she sat next to me.
BUT, she got me a very awesome and creative Mother's Day gift .......wait for it....HER DRIVER'S LICENSE! ;) Yes, Friday, after her Senior Breakfast, she took her exam and got her license. She bought me flowers last night and a card. Inside of the card, where the slot is for a gift card or something, she inserted her license....LOL - what a sense of humor she has.

Jeremy and Ira got me a gift card to my favorite spa and donations made to the American Cancer Society in my mother's name and to the Gladney Center for Adoption in my name; very, very special. My first Mother's Day card from MY SON was Snoopy :) - yep, I cried and cried and cried.....

This has been a big weekend for Jeremy's family too. His sister, Alynn, graduated from college. She is going to be a history teacher. Her commencement was yesterday and her party was last night. Ira's had a lot going on this week (his surgery) and this weekend. He put a moratorium on naps this weekend...LOL - but finally gave in a little while ago :).

We also had our first Cinco de Mayo party this week (Thursday night). Not sure how we've done all of this in seven days but it all got done.

So much going on in the next 60 days or so. Haley graduates on the 23rd, Maddie on the 19th, cousin Baylor on the 28th, wedding anniversary on June 2nd, Haley's graduation party on June 5th, Ira's FIRST birthday party on the 11th (I cannot BELIEVE it!) and then Haley leaves on June 19th (Father's Day) for her Europe vacation (can we say "princess"????). Somehow in there I've got to plan these parties and *work*.....oh, yeah, "that"....

Maybe July will slow down - trying to look at places and dates for a summer vacation. Do we go back to Navarre like always or try something new like a cruise? I just love Navarre - not the drive - but love the condo and being on the beach. Peace. Quiet. Ocean breeze. awwwwww -

I am not sitting here today crying that my mom is in Heaven and missing out of this time with us. I know she is watching us and is a part of my every day. I know she has made sure angels have surrounded us many, many times. I hear her sometimes in things Haley says. I know this will sound crazy but I see her in expressions that Ira makes; his laugh, for example. He laughs JUST like my mother did; big and loud - it reminds me so much of her. She's right here with me. It's taken a long time to feel this way - and some days are better than others - but today I feel it.

People complain about Hallmark holidays but I do not see anything wrong with taking two days out of the year to remind us about Mothers and Fathers - maybe it helps even the mothers and fathers keep things in perspective.

I've tried to wish my mommy friends "Happy Mother's Day" but if I missed any, I am thinking of you all today and love you all~


Monday, May 2, 2011


4:30am - woke up early to give Ira a few ounces of juice before his surgery. 5:15am - left for Arkansas Children's Hospital. Went over a mountain of paperwork, shuffled from one room to another, met a lot of great doctors and nurses (and even parents). His surgery went fine. In the last two weeks, however, his double infections had returned and his left ear drum was about to rupture. They went on with the surgery anyway (v. waiting until the infection went away) so he has some blood draining from his left ear. Other than that, he did fine and has felt pretty good today.
Haley, on the other hand, is much worse. Bless her soon as we got home, Jeremy took her to the doctor's office and her "cold" has turned into double ear infection (right ear) and a sinus infection. She hurts ALL over, is having chills and heat sweats, and feels rotten. I hope her meds kick in really quick. She's at the end of her senior year, about to take finals, and doesn't need to miss anymore school.

It's been a crazy last couple of weeks: tornadoes, rain, flooding, ear surgery, sick teenager and the news about bin Laden........crazy week. Oh, and 32 viruses invaded my computer last night...yes, what fun! NOT. It's still sick but maybe it can be fixed tomorrow.

Mmmmm - ready for Haley's graduation (did I just say that?), Ira's birthday, Haley's trip to Europe and planning some vacation this summer that involves ocean, sand, water, tanning lotion and Ira playing around in the pool - no worries about his ears!!!! What a joy it will be!!

Thanks to all who kept Ira in their prayers - I know, I know....just "TUBES"....and thank goodness, it was "just". :)

love to all,