Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday Lauren

Happy 8th Birthday my dear Lauren Grace
Dear Lauren,
Every year just passes so quickly I sound like a broken record. It seems like not long ago you were coloring on walls and running down the isles at the store. I do miss those days sweet girl. You were my firecracker baby with spirit oh how that has been such a great advantage for you. I wish more of this world had your spunk but loving attitude the world would be a better place. Each year I get more insight on the person you are becoming. It is very rare to meet a child with such love, compassion and kindness. You think of others and are always willing to help without complaint. You will share without hesitation even the best snack or toy, I love this about you. Each day you are ready to have fun. You like math and science and love to do science experiments. I was not to creative on the old volcano explosion but you loved it and thanked me all day for showing you my trick. You are a good sister and already a little mama. You like to help your brothers and comfort them if they are sad. This year in school you had a great year!! Your teacher really loved you a lot and wished she had a class full of Lauren's. You are super smart Lauren you received all A's all year!! That is amazing!! Your favorite game is Apples To Apples and you play the grown up version with very little problems. You still love technology and Minecraft. You love to sing to songs on the radio and dance in the kitchen. You also love to help me cook dinner and clean the house. If I need a friend you are the best kind of friend. You are sweet and even a little shy at times but you know how to be a loyal friend. You love to have the neighbor friends over and love to be one of the big kids. This year you played softball and still love to swim. You are like a fish in the water. I love to swim with you because when I am under water and look over at you I always see a sweet face smiling in the water doing flips like a mermaid. Mom and Dad say a lot now how grown up you are and how easy going you are. You are not ungrateful and just last night while I was wrapping your gifts daddy said I think Lauren would be happy with any toy even dollar toys, you just love life. Your favorite animal is still a elephant and you love dogs too. Recently when I asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up you said a Zoo Keeper and I told you that I wanted to be one too when I was your age. You and I are so much a like as kids I can see so much of myself in you and with our story this is really special. You love animals, and My Little Pony, you are not afraid to play hard or get dirty. You like mysterious things like Sharks, and Bigfoot and love the weather. You are always up for challenge or game and love to laugh and have a good sense of humor. I could go on forever about my love for you but as I close I want you to know how much of a difference you have made in our lives in just eight short years. What a gift you bring with your generous trusting spirit and love of all people. I have never met a kid that forgives others so quickly and freely with no hesitation, you are love. Lauren mom and dad are so proud of you. Each day you make me a better person. I love you!! Mom
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Vacation Part 1

We had a wonderful vacation to Pensacola again this year. We love Pensacola the water is amazing and we love the low key beach life. My parents met us in Fl but we left a day early and stopped outside of New Orleans in Slidell to go on a swamp tour I highly recommend it especially if you have kids. The tour last a couple hours and you get to explore a swamp and see all the swamp life creatures. The kids loved it!!

The alligators come right up to the boat. The tour guide was the authentic swamp kind of guy who used marshmallows to feed the gators.  It was quite entertaining(: The gators new the tour boats and were scared of normal boats that past through.
Pictures blurry but cute of Drew and a turtle.
Part of the tour included Wild Hogs that are not native to the US but now are taking over, they were kind of cute actually. They like hotdogs and marshmallows too. The guide even picked up a baby hog.

I was surprised how calm they were. They just wanted their hot dogs and marshmallows. This guy was huge!!
Lauren with her new glasses. Thankful to her teacher for noticing she needed them. They came in right before we left for vacation. I think she looks great in them.
I love this picture, no editing at all just a warm light that captures these two sweethearts!!
I'm a proud new owner of two gator heads, thankfully they will be in my boys rooms.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Watch Your Witness

What a week in America. It has been an eye opening experience on Facebook. I have a love hate relationship with Facebook. I love to see everyone's families, children,vacations and accomplishments but I do not like to see hateful posts or opinions that are one sided. Peoples true feelings do eventually come out and it's been rather disappointing.  One thing that really strikes a nerve is when people think they understand what it's like to be black, gay or any other type of person when they are not that person. It's easy to point the finger or make judgments on your perception when you're not walking that path. Social media has been more like walking a tight rope as morals tend to go by the waste side of either speaking your mind not caring who you offend or accepting everything as good. As Christians we have a standard and it's not our standard but God's standard to love one another.
In reference to the southern flag debate those that don't get the hurt are not black. If you are white and don't understand you will not understand unless you marry a person of another race, adopt, or have black friends and you still will not totally understand. I am embarrassed to say that before we adopted Lauren my mindset was a bit different. I never though of myself as a racist person but we all unfortunately do have some racist views and it's wrong!! Many things can contribute to this misinformation and it's up to each person to work through this ugly mindset. Living with white privilege makes it hard to understand but I urge you to understand and educate yourself. Since our journey I am a changed person in many ways. My boys are benefiting from this change as well and it's eye opening. In light of the recent shooting many places want to do away with a flag that brings pain when looked upon. Some say it's a  piece of southern culture or whatever they want to call it, but culture of what?? When I think of the South I know slavery is part of their history and it's ugly is that the culture they want to remember?  I also know that there are lots of sweet kind southern people that would give you the shirt off their backs no matter what your color. If I was born and raised in the south I would hope that people would think of me in the later instead of a Rebel flag flying off my truck.You are a product of your environment and upbringing good or bad or both but when you get to the point of knowing better you do better. You can continue to fly your flag if it is dear to you but also understand the hurt that comes with this. People want to argue about where do we draw the line of offending people but I can't think of a bigger offense then this one. When I see it hanging by a house or off a car I am scared for my family. You might find this silly and maybe the person flying it is not a mean person but I don't think love when I see it nor do I think "What a kind southern town." To some it's very important to pull out the history books on the meaning of flags but to me I care about the heart. Never in my life have I ever saw people so interested in history to prove a point. The last several years I have had the privilege of walking the life of having a transracial family. It has not been easy at all, but like anything that is hard you come out better. Just recently as we traveled on vacation I was given the death stare by a woman at a IHOP in a southern state. As I held my seven year old's hand I did my best to ignore the hate so I focused all my love on my daughter smiling ear to ear excited about pancakes. I pity you lady but I also know you are ignorant and need love ):  I see it, I have lived it and finally can say I understand. I also know that in order for Lauren to have the best life possible is for her to know that I understand but also for her to focus on the good because the good is always there.
I want to share a few things that helped me on my journey of understanding black history and injustices. This film is life changing, I love this movie because of the deep message it brings on so many levels. I let my boys watch some of the movie but not all because it is rated R for a reason and it's to graphic in some parts but I want them to understand how real this is and that it happened. 
I had the privilege this year to meet a man named Frank. His mother is Sue Eakin who was the main historian on Solomon Northup's life. I meet Frank through football here in TX after Rob coached his son. After our season he brought us a signed book and later came for dinner sharing about his mom and her story. Steve Mcqueen thanked Sue during his Oscar speech. Sue is no longer with us but what a remarkable woman to keep Solomon's story alive and to preserve a piece of history and to tell his story. This is one of the best books I have ever read wrote by Soloman himself.
This is another eye opening book. A man in the 1960's transforms his appearance from white to black and lives his life in the south as a black man.
This weekend we watched Selma with the boys, another eye opening movie and so relevant with current events. Martin Luther King was one of the bravest people to ever walk the planet!! I urge you to watch these movies and read these books they are all significant and matter. Please be kind and show understanding to those that may be different we have no idea what it's like to be someone else. I urge everyone to check their hearts before any more negative posts come out on social media. You think you understand people and their feeling or their issues and you just don't. 

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