Saturday, March 19, 2011

Celebration Month of March- Blog 4: Letters from Mom & Mimi

The birthday girls together!

Dear Ellie (who is 2 days away from being one year old!!!),

I remember this time last year saying to you, "Ellie in my belly, it's time to come out and meet your mommy!"  I am posting this as we are getting ready to leave for your first birthday party at Lil' Gym.  You have so many friends coming to celebrate with you, it shows what an amazing little person you already are.  You attract people with your spirit and your infectious (but sometimes devilish) laugh.  You take after your Mimi the way you attract people and you take after your daddy with your comedic sense of humor.

Even though you may not remember this week, it was pretty spectacular.  Your Mimi came out last Sunday and while I worked, you played with her and loved her.  You always learn and experience so many new things with her- new words (remember in December she taught you uh-oh?! And this week, you can now moo when she asks you what sound a cow makes!), new songs, new books (you are now obsessed with Elmo), new foods (Cream of Wheat being one messy new one that I will not make you often), new dances...  And the time that I did get to spend after work with you, we were busy.  I am so happy that Mimi expects to be out shopping, eating, and having fun with you tagging along.  In Mimi's world, she says the more the merrier- no matter how young!  And Ellie-girl, you rose to the occasion being on your best behavior.

And then your Poppy came out later in the week and you sure love him, especially playing on the floor with him.  And how clearly you can say his name, "Hi Poppy!"

I have to say that my birthday was a little sweeter this year (literally, as I got to enjoy a yummy glass of wine unlike last year when I was preggo!!!).  No matter how old I get, I will always appreciate March 19.  I think because it's a testament to what came before and all the many things I have to live for still.

I already know what Mimi got you for your birthday (but you have to wait 2 days to see for yourself) and it's pretty great.  As for me, my best birthday present as I've said before was you.  And then of course, the year before you came, my dad (your Poppy) came up with the idea of setting up a scholarship for your brother Kyle and put the initial money in the account to start it off.  Wow- a gift like that truly is a gift that continues to give and brings me comfort in knowing that Kyle lives on. 

But my favorite tangible thing/gift was my Christmas present in 4th grade from Santa Clause.  He brought me a trunk filled with prom dresses, wedding dresses, high heels, all kinds of costume jewelry, hats, and more (all from the consignment store as I've heard).  The gift brought endless hours of imagination to me and my friends that year.  My 2nd favorite gift of all-time was Christmas during my 3rd grade year.  Santa surprised me with a vanity set filled with Cover Girl make-up... all colors of eye shadow, nail polish, and lipstick.  I'm not sure if anyone taught me how to put it on (as many would argue that I still love all color and glitter and I tend not to agree with the saying less is more because really more is more!).  Another favorite is a few years back, Ryan saw all of our VHS tapes (that contained family memories- holidays, birthdays, recitals...) disintegrating in the storage room.  He painstakingly scanned each one into a set of DVDs  and gave a copy to each of us.  It probably didn't cost him much but the amount of his time that he spent to lovingly save those precious memories was priceless.  And now because of him, we still have all of our family's memories preserved through the years (and Ellie can watch Ryan and I sing the 12 Days of Christmas in that pitiful but hilarious rendition).  And then there's your incredibly generous Aunt Joanne... she spoils us every chance she gets... for my 16th birthday, the most exciting and biggest gift was waiting in my driveway from her- a magenta Jeep Wrangler!  Yup, I drove the Barbie car through high school and it was awesome!  And now that I am older, your dad is extremely good at picking out jewelry.  He even remembered the "push present" gifts for you and Kyle (even though I technically didn't push!)- your dad is a pretty spectacular guy.  Yes Ellie, diamonds really are a girl's best friend and size does matter (and little blue boxes are the best kind to open next to David Yurman)!  Mimi, what was your best gift?  Was it the year that Dad worked so much overtime to buy you that beautiful diamond ring when I was about 7 years old?  I still remember your face as you opened up that present. 

Ellie, in all seriousness, gifts are fun yes (and truly your dad will tell you that I am materialistic and love presents).  But you need to remember two things.  One, always show your gratitude- write hand-written thank you notes and tell people how they affected you.  And two, the best gift is the gift of giving.  I bet Mimi will tell you that shopping for those dress up clothes in the trunk and the make-up for the vanity was much better than any gift she got that year because she saw that look of pure joy on an unexpected child.  Give back Ellie.  Find what brings people joy and bring smiles to the world.  We don't get to give Kyle gifts anymore so we give to members of the community in his honor.  Already, at almost one year old, you give us your gift of laughter.  Don't ever lose that. 

I love you Sweet Pea and I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us.  It's hard for me to imagine that it can get any better than it already is now.
PS Any luck Mimi on the trio name?

And now, from your Mimi:

Good Morning Ellie!
As I write this Blog, you are peacefully napping.  The sun is a brilliant ball of light and the sky is a crisp, vibrant royal blue.  The mountains to the right are layered. The lower ones resemble a rich brown pie crust mounded high with gooey blueberries, while the ones farther behind are so white they look like someone squeezed a tube of toothpaste over them!  I am a daydreamer Ellie and the beauty outside encourages me to wander at times!  Right now my tea cup is sitting to the left of me looking quite delicious with its rich caramel coloring and steam rising!  The reason I am describing this moment to you Ellie is that my visit with you, your mommy, and daddy will soon be coming to an end.  And I don't want to be sad.  So what is the best thing to help in that matter???  Daydream of something wonderful!   So I looked into my teacup and let my mind wander back to a wonderful time when your Great-great grandmother Mundy was alive.  Ellie, because of her, I just realized that my visit here to participate in yours and your mommy's birthday Celebration wasn't my only reason for being here.... but more important, my being here is more about Celebrating the "time" we have together.  That is how Grandmom Mundy lived every day of her life.  She opened her home early each day to everyone who needed a cup of tea and an ear to bend.  And that door to her home stayed open until she went to bed late each night.  You see Ellie, each day she Celebrated her "time" with the people she cared and friends!  

So for me, this week has been absolutely wonderful!  I loved Celebrating each and every hour with you.  Getting down on the floor to play, reading books... especially Elmo's Sing Along, chatting in a nonsensical and silly voice with you, watching you play telephone with my shoe, the coaster and even your hand held to your ear, and giggling... lots of giggling has made this week a cherished memory etched in my heart for always!  And yours and your mommy's birthday is kind of like the icing on the cake!  It completes my smile!  Of course seeing you interact with your Poppy brings smiles too as he is so gentle with you even though you encourage him to be rough and tough, especially on the couch with all the pillows!  I love how you laugh when one of our fingers pokes up from between the cushions and you try to grab it thinking it is a wiggly worm and it slips through your tiny fingers!... And we repeat this playtime over and over getting the same reaction from you!

I do wish I could be with you on your actual birthday day Ellie.  I would love to watch that special look of 'awe, wonder, and excitement' on your face when you open your gifts.  Being one year old is special as everything is "new" to you.  You are seeing and experiencing everything as a "first" Ellie.  This only happens once in our lifetime.  So even though you may be too young to remember, I hope your mommy's and my blog will capture a bit of it for you!

I did laugh when your mommy recited all her "favorites"...  if there was ever anyone that truly enjoyed all celebrations that would have to be your mom!  Ellie, along with the big gifts, she would get just as excited over the very littlest ones too!  One of the things I loved was her Christmas list.  Every year her #1 and #2 must haves were Thank you notes and Stamps!  Every year your Uncle Ryan's #1, #3, #5, #7 and so on was always a dog!  Two children with very different thoughts... I loved them both!  But back to your mother.  There is one Christmas story that you must hear about.  When she was 6 years old she was so excited as she descended the stairs on Christmas morning and saw standing against the couch near the tree a bright orange saucer.  Her response and reaction to it are a story we love to tell yearly!  When she got to the very bottom step, not seeing any of the many other presents, there was a smile as big as Pennsylvania on your mommy's face as she yelled out "Look Mom and Dad.... Santa brought us a LID!!"  (It was actually a sled!)  To this day we still laugh about it!  Ellie, your mommy was always thankful, always grateful and always appreciate of whatever was given to her.  It is so much a part of her that I believe she will pass this special quality on to you too!

As for me, to pick one favorite gift is too hard.  Here are a couple that I really liked.  As your mommy previously stated, your Pop-pop worked very hard and lots of overtime one year to give me a diamond ring.  But the year he surprised me with a framed cover of the book I had written was definitely my favorite by far.  One year my Mother and Father surprised me with an unexpected visit that I was overjoyed by as I didn't get to see them as often as I wished because I too lived far away from them.  Your mom gave me many wonderful gifts but my favorite from her wasn't so much the gift itself but the notes she wrote inside.  She always wrote from her heart and her words always touched my soul.  My favorite gift from your Uncle Ryan is priceless... and very, very funny (it has to do with rabbits)... but I will save that story for our Blog in May as it has to do with Mother's Day!   And now I will tell you what my favorite gift from you is.  Yes, I loved my travel bag with yours and my picture on it, but my absolute favorite gift is "You!" Ellie, it is your smile, it is your beautiful and sometimes haunting crystal blue eyes, it is your imitations (this week was the bus and car sounds!), it is your wave bye-bye, it is how you say the word kitty, it is your giggle, it is your angelic voice one minute and your rough and gruff voice the next, it is how you give kisses, it is.... well, it is everything about you!  Where Kyle was gentle, you are a fireball!  And I believe your wonderful spirit is going to keep everyone on their toes (which is a good thing)!

Your mom said she hopes as you grow that you learn 2 important lessons.  One... to be appreciative.  Two… to give back.  Ellie, I couldn't agree with her more.  She is so right to be honest in saying that we all love to receive presents but that there is something far more important to remember.  And that is to help those in need and give of yourself your "time".  If you do you will be rich in love always and have a bundle of friendships at your side forever.  As little as you are, you already give to others and that is the gift of love.  May this special quality that you have Ellie follow you till you are as old as your Mimi and then some!

Now it is time to end this blog, so I would like to do so with asking your mommy what her special wish will be when she blows out her candles on her birthday cake after our yummy dinner Celebration?!  And I also wonder what thoughts Ellie will travel through your mind as you Celebrate your 1st birthday with all of your little friends on Sunday, and what thoughts will travel through your mind as you Celebrate your true birthday day with your mommy and daddy and you get to blow out your 1st year candle again?!  So 'dream' big Ellie, and always keep a part of your Great-great Grandmom Mundy within you. 

I too can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the coming year Ellie!  Ohhhhh... I almost forgot to tell you, have lots of fun next week when you go to visit and spend time with your Aunt Ally!  She is one very special person and both you and your mommy are very blessed to have her in your lives! 

P.S.  How about for a name .... "We Three Lassies"?  Uhhhhh..... now that I wrote it I think not!  We sound like triplet puppy dogs!  I will keep working on it!

I love you Ellie Peanut!
Happy Happy Happy Birthday!
Love Mimi :)

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