Welcome to spring- my favorite time of year! With this season and with our blog this month, our focus is going to be on renewal. And it's so fitting that we just had a refreshing spring break vacation with Aunt Ally- she really is the best and we had such a good time with her. She spoiled you- letting you play with her cell phone and television remote control (things you are not allowed to play with at home!) and even gave you ice cream that you couldn't get enough of. You loved being on the couch with us girls chatting and watching reality TV. I think you learned quickly the meaning of girls' weekend- shopping, eating, and spending quality time together. And yes, you even took a trip to the spa with us (and you looked so chic in your pink Minnie Mouse bathing suit and matching cover-up from your Poppy- which was a saving grace that you are so darn cute because you got your grilled cheese all over the lounge chairs by the pool!). I think Aunt Ally would agree that you were awesome and you will be invited back! I still can't even believe that was your 7th round-trip plane ride in your 12 months of living. Geez Girl! You are meant to be a world traveler... just always be sure to take your Mom and your Mimi with you!
Mimi is right, to have a friend, you must be a friend. And your Mimi and I are both blessed with so many amazing friendships- I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to share them with you in future blogs (and have you be able to see them firsthand as you are understanding more about people and their interactions)! Your Mimi's relationship with Jackie that she wrote about in the last Blog is so special because both women are very alike with their enormous hearts of gold. Jackie is the one who often sends you gifts that are in memory of your brother- your angel bear blanket and your Kyle bear & book are two that you especially love. She knows how important it is to me for you to know your brother.
And I love that Mimi explained how she got her nickname Mickey from her dad (and isn't it ironic that Mimi married someone- your Poppy- who loves Mickey Mouse and all things Disney?!). I think my Mom's passive personality is from my Grandfather. Meanwhile, my Gram Bubbles is very outspoken. Your Mimi may not have gotten that from her but she did get her strength. But even better, she inherited Gram Bubbles' amazing creativity and artistic ability. It's Gram Bubbles' painting that's above your crib and Mimi is following suit by creating a beautiful scrapbook documenting your first year. Mimi, tell us more about the scrapbook and how you use your creative energy to be your best self.
Spending time with the people that know you best and you love most will fill your spirit. That's why I enjoy spending so much time with you Ellie Girl- your laugh, energy, and curiosity are infectious!
Ok Ellie, quick metaphor about renewal: The seasons mimic our life cycle- spring is birth, summer is young adulthood, fall is mature adult years, and winter is when you are old.
Remember that cycles are circles (both are never-ending) so even after death, life comes back- perfect that Easter falls around this time too, right?! THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH.
And in your life that you were given, it is important to be the best you because it is such a gift. But to do that, you will need to refuel at times because life can also be overwhelming. Here's what I do- if it's self-reflection and quiet time that I need, I read (curled up on my rocking chair with a good cup of hot chocolate and Joepa on my lap) Or spend time, phone calls and Skype definitely count, with my family and friends if it's energy that I need. Those are my favorite things to do in the whole world to renew my spirit. What do you do Mimi? Actually, I bet I can guess. Your Mimi is always running in a gazillion directions but when she settles down quietly, she is the most talented writer. Now you have gotten glimpses of her beautiful writing through this blog so you can see how descriptive she is. Everything is always so vivid when she writes; I can always picture her story as a movie in my mind. But it's Mimi's poetry that is my favorite. I have a folder of her work for you when you are older to keep and cherish. We should publish these into an anthology someday. They really are uplifting and they warm the heart because that's where my Mom writes from.
Ok Ellie, we all know though that life doesn't always go according to plan no matter how much re-energizing we do. So now memorize this prayer (that your Mimi and I know very well):
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things that I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
In times of frustration, my Gram Mundy used to whisper this under her breath and now I do too (you can ask your dad, he's heard it plenty of times!). Prayer and meditation will ground you. Finding balance in your life Ellie with all the noise and stress of everyday life is important. You will find that the only thing you really can control in life is yourself so be focused and clear to make the best choices possible.
Prayer, religion, and faith can be very private matters to some people. Your Mimi and I have never been preachers but we will both agree that we are extremely spiritual. And I'm a firm believer that questioning your faith makes it stronger. Know that it's ok to speak to God or to past loved ones Ellie (and be sure to listen too) because that's where the best answers or responses can sometimes come from. Mimi has a prayer routine and it's a little out of the ordinary. Perhaps, if she's comfortable, she can share it with us. Or maybe she can tell us her favorite prayer.
I think Mimi that our recipes for this month should focus around a meal that we would have for a Sunday family dinner because when I think back, those times spent as a family focused me for the week and reminded me what the most important priority was. These days Ellie, your Dad and I tend to have family night on Fridays. We make dinner, sit at the dining room table, and can talk for hours. And yes, Ellie you join us and are a part of our conversations that are filled with lots of laughter. Church and these family dinners will always be a tradition in our home too (I know Ellie, I have to be more diligent about church).
Love you baby girl!
PS I like how Gram Bubbles is giving us help on our nickname. I'm not sold on the last suggestions but we are getting close! And our friend Linda emailed a few suggestions after reading our blog. Hers made me laugh- Loose Tea Girls... and although I completely understand the words, I think the term loose might give off the wrong impression if read incorrectly... But Linda's other idea was to call us the Scottish Tea Generation Blend and that definitely has potential! I love that this has become interactive!!! We need all the help we can get!
Now from your Mimi
Hi Ellie Love!