Friday, May 11, 2012

Magical Moments and Fried Okra - A Tribute to Mothers

You may remember back in April, I wrote a little something to honor my amazing mother, here
.  In celebration of Mother's Day, I feel it's only appropriate to share about the other special women in my life.  My heart continues to remain full as I watch the blessings overflow in my heart when I think about all the mothers in my life.  In particular, I think back on November 14, 2009 when I officially became a 3rd daughter to my fabulous Mother-in-Law and for the years of my on-going, wonderful relationship with my amazing sister who became a Mother last year.  Today, I dedicate this post to them!

Colleen, my older (and only) sister, became official "Momma" to Tatum Lynn Carroll on February 2, 2011.  I'll never forget the day this little miracle came into our worlds.  Weighing in at 7 lbs, 15 oz., and 20 inches long, Tatum stole every heart that laid eyes on her.  She. Was. Beautiful. That day was unforgettable for many reasons, but one reason I will never forget is how my sister looked the very first time I saw her holding our new little bundle of joy.  She was glowing - beaming really.  I had never seen my sister with this look before.  I remember trying to "soak" in the moment.  Looking at Colleen and watching my niece so delicately gaze at her new Momma for the first time, was, well, magical....

Their connection was instant.  They say newborns can't really see - but for reasons I can't explain, I believe she saw Colleen.  Of course, I cried like a baby and tried so desperately to snap a picture of this moment that will forever be engrained on my heart, but I failed.  I just remember not wanting to take my eyes off my sister - as a new Mom - and my gorgeous new niece.  (I'm so glad Melissa - Colleen's best friend - captured it on camera so I can re-live it by picture, although this snapshot will never quite give that moment appropriate justice).   

Ever since that day, I have continued to witness my sister be one incredible Mom to our Tatum, every reason why little "Tay" will always want to hold her gaze on Momma...

Colleen has taken care of kids that were not hers for as long as I can remember. She stole the hearts of countless families for the times she loved, cared for, and nurtured their little loved ones.  She made a career of it and traveled to states near and far to carry the title of "nanny".  She spent time holding, calming, teaching, playing, and spending hours with kids - she was a second "Mom" to so many.  She played the role of big sister famously and made sure I was taken care of, too, especially on stormy nights when this kid just couldn't quite get to sleep.  Nurture was Colleen's second nature - no doubt about that.  Last year, she finally became Momma to a beautiful little girl.  Now, she spends countless hours bathing, holding, reading, teaching, playing, and loving on our sweet Tatum - and she does it beautifully and with complete humility.  Tatum is one of THE happiest babies I have ever seen and I give Colleen the credit.  What a fabulous job you have done with your own.  I am so proud to call you sister, friend, and now Mom to Tatum Lynn.  I love you!
Have you seen a happier baby?
I remember meeting Edie for the first time when Jeff and I were dating.  She ordered fried okra at a local restaurant and I instantly fell in love.  Not just because she ordered fried okra (one of my very favorite guilty pleasures) but because she had a smile that could warm your heart.  I felt an instant bond and knew we would be friends! 

Most people reluctantly share stories about their dreaded "in-laws" and visits home to see them.  I, on the other hand, have the blessing to call mine friends.  I have the blessing to call mine true family

In Edie's home, there is always room for one more, there is always food on the table and you better believe there will always be a hug to greet you.  She sets the example of a servant's heart and a humble spirit.  She loves people and she certainly loves her family - and she'll tell you that.  She will go to bat for them, too.  Sound familiar?  Yes - my mother and Edie are strangely alike and I don't doubt for a second God didn't have this in mind when he orchestrated his plan for Jeff and me to marry.  He's good like that, isn't He?

My most favorite thing about Edie is simply that she loves with every bone in her body.  She loves others more than herself and she'll do anything, for anyone, at any time.  When I think of Edie, I think of service and love.  My heart is full at the thought of God placing her in my life.
Thank you, Edie for being more than just another Mother-in-Law.  And, thank you for always sharing a good bowl of fried okra with me.  

My Mom?  What else can I say that I haven't already?  She makes me want to be a better wife and I only hope I'm half the Mother to my kids that she has been to Colleen and 
 me.  I love her more than cheeseburgers, a clean house, fresh flowers, and even fried okra.  You are, indeed, a blessing from above.  I love you! 
to Colleen, Edie, and Mom!

I love you!

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