Monday, March 27, 2017

The Gifts of March and Cupcake Turns Two

Dear friends, I have missed you. Some months come in like gangbusters and it seems the faster I go the "behinder" I get. For that reason, I have not been around to see you in what seems like a very long time. I hope you are well and finding the gifts in every day. I had hoped to blog several times in the last three weeks, but that didn't happen. So, I will attempt to do it all in one post.

The first week of March found us coming together as a family to support one of our own. Life can go from A to Z in an instant, spinning fiercely until it comes to a wobbly stop. In such moments, when you're facing the unknown, time seems to stand still. You huddle together to pray and wrap arms around each other, and you realize what a blessing to be born into a family where family reigns supreme, where, no matter what the crisis may be, you will see it through together. 


The good news is things are well. As we move through seasons and challenges in life we learn lessons through them all. One of the timeless truths is "this too shall pass," and I never felt more certain about that than when I stepped outside recently and saw the full moon had found its way through the clouds.

***


I look at this photo and can't find a single word to express what's in my heart. Our darling Arabella—my precious cupcake—turned two on a Monday in March. Two years ago, under less than ideal circumstances, she entered the world and changed ours forever. My love for her cannot be written or spoken.


How I wish our babies could stay babies longer.


There were several celebrations in Arabella's honor but my favorite was small and simple, right in our own dining room. 



She had just waken up from a nap and couldn't believe all of the festivities were for her.


More pictures of the adorable birthday girl. Not only is indoor lighting a challenge, she’s at that age where she doesn’t sit or stand still very long. Trying to capture a moving target calls for skills beyond my abilities, but Memaw gave it her best shot.

***

March has found me surprising myself in several ways. One was deciding to try my hand at sewing again. Understand, I’ve only made four wearable things in my life, and nothing in 25 years, but that didn’t stop me from taking on a challenge for my granddaughter, and I actually had fun.


After a lot of sewing and ripping out, and sewing back again, I added these two little play dresses, including one crocheted flower, to my sparse collection. They're imperfect but I knew cupcake would make them shine.


And shine, she did. Due to unseasonably warm weather in my corner of the world, it's been plenty warm enough to wear sandals and a little gingham dress. I can't wait to see her in the other dress, as well.



I look at her and feel nothing but joy.

I never take her presence for granted.

***

Every grandmother thinks her grands are the grandest, and it’s ok to do a little grandbaby bragging, isn’t it? Before she ever turned two, Arabella could put this 12-piece puzzle together completely by herself, with no prompting at all.


It’s for ages 3-and-up and I love watching her figure it out on her own, every single time.


We always clap and give high-fives at the end.

***


One of March's sweetest gifts came on an ordinary Friday. The memory of it leaves me all warm inside. The details went something like this: 

On impulse, I decided to have a picnic for lunch, just me and Arabella. I also decided there would be no cameras intruding on this outing. And so, for the better part of a sweet hour, the two of us sat on an old tablecloth on the ground, eating simple foods and making small talk, not a cell phone or camera in sight. 

I chose a place we’d been to before, a grassy area surrounded by trees, close to train tracks not far from home. Arabella loves trains and as we ate and talked, we heard the whistle getting closer and louder. When the locomotive appeared around the bend, she hopped over onto my lap, a little startled. “Loud,” she said, leaning closer into me.

As the train picked up speed, its wheels screeched and squawked wildly against the rails. I held her tight and together we waved at the long line of tank cars. In a few minutes, the train passed, we finished our lunch, then walked through small patches of clover, bending down at one point to observe a little bee at work. 

Before heading home, she reached over and plucked a few flowers from the clover and handed them to me. 



I will keep them as a reminder of our time together, and how, for a few precious minutes, I was her safe place against the noise and clamor of the day. Such a feeling, such a moment, is something no camera can capture.


***

As I write, it is unseasonably warm. The sun is shining and the earth is full and green. Spring is here. Until next time, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, may your days be happy and your nights filled with peaceful sleep.




11 comments:

  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post this spring morning, Dayle.
    I always enjoy my visit is here.
    Your grandbaby is absolutely adorable!
    And I love the celebration you had for her.
    I too remember planning the party to begin after the nap. : )
    Have a cozy week ahead, my friend!

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  2. As a former early childhood teacher, you are doing everything right! That Arabella is amazing. Puzzles and blocks are the two best toys for toddlers. That, and empty pots and pans! What a cutie, and those pink flowers on her little feet are so - so sweet! Happy end-of-March to you!

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  3. What a beautiful post. Your little Arabella is just darling. I can hardly believe she is two already...what a precious little soul. Our littlest BrightEyes turned 3 last week and I can hardly believe that either.

    I am glad your family 'storm' has cleared and all is well. Family is so important when we go through those life trials...the only really important thing at the end of it all.

    Love your sewing projects. You did GOOD---especially after not sewing for so many years. My friend a non-sewer decided to make herself a 'caftan'. We now fondly call her Omar the Tentmaker. lol xo Diana

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  4. Can Arabella get any cuter? I'm drinking in these images!

    So relieved to hear your family news was positive. Right now, I'm in the midst of waiting ... facing the unknown and huddling. I'm gonna hold onto your reminder, "This, too, shall pass."

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  5. Oh MY!!!
    I blinked and Cupcake turned two!
    Being a Grandma has so many exciting and memorable events from re-earthing sewing skills (by the way both turned out beautiful!), no-camera picnics,being amazed at how smart your grandchild is, and never ending LOVE!
    Arabella precious. Thank you for sharing special moments with us.

    You have a great family, so full of care and love.

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  6. Of course you're allowed bragging rights! Arabella is a darling and your love for her shines through every sentence about her. That love is also evident in your gratitude that your family sees the difficult times through together. I'm so happy that you had good news after all.

    Your train picnic is a dear story, Dayle! And the last photo of the clover blossoms brought to mind the two little purple flowers my 4 year old granddaughter plucked from the grass and gave me before she, her little sister and parents left for home after spending this past weekend with us. The very best of times.

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  7. oh my, what an adorable 'big-girl' granddaughter you have!!! I am not quite 3 mos. into new grandmotherhood and LOVING every moment.
    Those dresses you sewed are darling. I loved sewing for my girls when they were little but have not done any since...makes me think of blowing the dust from my machine!
    Gorgeous photos and many worthwhile lines to ponder as well. thank-you:)

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  8. These sweet moments with our children and grandchildren are one of life's greatest blessings.

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  9. Oh, that adorable, little girl! How she makes the world a brighter place...just by being in it! The dresses are just precious, and I am sure she cherishes them even more because of all the love you put into them for her. Your posts always warm my heart. Thank you for sharing, and I do trust the loved one who needed you is doing better by now. God bless you all.

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  10. Dayle,

    What a doll baby! She shines in her Memaws creations, too!

    *hugs* for the happiest of second birthdays,
    Kelley~

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