Hailey May 5/21/97 to 11/29/11. My heart is aching today. After 14 1/2 years, we had to say goodbye to her this morning. She was such a joy to our family…
While LP was at school, Ryan and I drove Hailey to the vet for the very last time. Driving down the road together with Hailey curled up in my lap reminded me of our very first drive with Hailey in July of 1997. It was just Ryan, Hailey and Me – driving back to Arkansas from where we picked Hailey out – Tulsa. When I look at those pictures of us together on that first day, we were all so young. It was just the 3 of us for almost 10 years. She was my first “baby girl”. We shared holidays, birthdays, first houses, new jobs, new towns and adventures. She has endured so many photos and costumes and hugs and kisses over the years. I remember her first hair cut when I was traumatized because my furry dog came back from the groomers with the top of her head shaved – looking quite like an alien! The standard cocker cut became the norm, but that was the only thing normal about Hailey. She was indeed a one family dog, loving deeply those she knew but never wanting to make new friends. When Lauren came along, she endured her but never loved her the way that LP was so desperate for her to. I know one day Lauren will know the love from her own dog like what Ryan and I were granted from Hailey. For that, I can smile being forever thankful that I was on the receiving end of Hailey’s love. As I hugged and kissed and held her for the last time, I was also most grateful for such a strong husband and soul mate, who truely understands me, and literally held me up as I said good bye. My heart hurts – I love her so much!
I’m thankful for my family: a husband who is kind, patient, and understanding; a daughter who is compassionate, beautiful on the inside, and simply remarkable in every way; parents who are supportive and loving; brothers who are loyal and encouraging; nieces and nephews who allow all of us to continue to celebrate childhood; and in-laws who treat me like I’ve always been a part of their family.
I’m grateful for true friends who know how strange I can be yet still love me.
This holiday allows for a time of reflection and for that I am so appreciative. Life gets busy. Demands are made on us that can become overwhelming, however, I only have to look at the list above to know that I’m blessed beyond words to have everything a person could wish for and more.
To see some pictures of our family celebrating Thanksgiving, click here.
My own personal cheerleader. While I didn’t come in “first – or at least sixth” as LP requested, she and Ryan were there to cheer me on. For my first attempt, 13.1 miles in 2:02 just 15 days before my 37th birthday felt pretty good. Check out a few more pics, click here.
Look at this girl grow!! Seriously, the baby is completely gone. But, she’ll always be my baby…
In the world of a five year old, there is still so many new experiences as well as trials to overcome – all a part of growing up. Here are a few examples from this month:
Waking up crying, Lauren called me up to her room. I was certain she had had a bad dream so I readied myself to comfort her. With tears in her eyes, she started to describe her dream.
“I was flying a kite and you told me I could either keep flying the kite or you could carry me…then I woke up!” Starting to sob more she proclaimed, “I didn’t get to see if I flew the kite or you carried me!!” Oh, the dilemmas of being 5. 11/3/11
Watching the last of a sitcom, (I now realize it must have been a first for LP) she frowned and said, “Who’s doing all the giggling?” You know, I never even hear the crowd laugh any more. Just another example of a child’s first discovery. 11/5/11
To see more from this month’s photo shoot, click here.
Enjoying a beautiful day in the neighborhood with my precious little girl! Check Lauren out, click here.