Best.Birthday.Wish.Ever. – Jerzie Sets The Bar High This Year

Today is my birthday.

Now, since the emergence of MySpace and Facebook, birthdays are filled will greetings and well wishes, and I am blessed to have quite a wonderful set of people in my life. But today, one Facebook birthday greeting stood out, and actually brought tears to my eyes. It’s a surprise reminder that I was able to impact at least one little life, even when mine seemed to be falling apart. I am so grateful for this particular gift, and it was a complete surprise! Thank you, Jaime!

Remember when I was taking in strays left and right, and trying to find them homes? One of them, Sheba, almost stayed with me. She was awesome — smart, energetic, happy-go-lucky, and she snored like a train! In the end though, she was given the opportunity to live in the country with a couple who needed a companion for Jessie, the love bug they already had at home. Sheba was renamed Jerzie, and Jaime kindly has posted little videos and updates of Jerzie so I can rest easy she is happy and healthy and loved. And today, I got this:

Facebook

Is there anything better than knowing you did something that worked out well for someone else? I don’t think there is!

Also today, Oliver, my bull mastiff puppy, got his shots, and was neutered today. There has been some speculation about where Oliver came from. He was found at Stand-By Personnel one weekend, and it was assumed that one of our indigent in that area couldn’t provide for him, and knew we would take him in. Well, as it would turn out, that isn’t what happened at all. Without going into a lot of detail, we met the original owner. Evidently, Oliver is a full-blooded bull mastiff. His mother is a brindle and his father is that beautiful gold that Oliver is. They are not in good health, as their owners are not able to provide for their shots, etc. and they are very thin. The dogs had a whole litter of puppies, but all of them died of parvo, except little Oliver. They assumed Oliver crawled off to die, and my friends at work let them go on thinking that. As one of them said, Oliver is where he belongs, and there wasn’t going to be any prying that dog from me anyways. I know I should feel a prick of conscience about misleading these people, especially since this dog is valuable, but I just don’t. He felt like a much needed gift from heaven, and I don’t want to give him back.

The vet today verified that Oliver is indeed a bull mastiff, and at less than 3 months old, he weights a whopping 31 pounds! They estimate he will weigh upwards of 90 pounds when he is finished growing!! I don’t care about any of that. All I know is Oliver has the coolest personality, and his little puppy kisses are often the highlight of my whole day!

Oliver and William Wallace - Nap TimeOliver the BallLess

All in all, I had a good birthday. Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes!!!

~ Bird

To My Baby Daughter, Caitlyn, On Her Birthday

Today is my youngest child’s 21st birthday. Caitlyn is in the United States Air Force serving in Japan, so I’m missing one of her

Caitlyn — My precious baby daughter

milestones, and it bums me out to no end. But, thank God we have the kind of technology that allows me to converse with her without waiting weeks and weeks for snail mail.

I have often said that being a mother was my favorite job ever. All three of my kids are very different, presenting with strengths and weaknesses that I dealt with in each individually. But hands down, Caitlyn was just the easiest kid ever. Even her birthday is the easiest ever to remember — July 1.

From the minute she was born, it was clear that Caitie was no whiner. In fact, as I lied in pose on the delivery table, waiting to hear her cry, she had to be smacked on the butt twice before she let out a newborn wail, and it was over within seconds. Evidently, she was in agreement that her time had come. No wanting back in the womb for that kid. The world presented her with opportunities, and she wanted to seize every one of them.

When I got her home, she had two toddler siblings that required a lot of Mom‘s attention to compete with, yet she was always patient. She slept 6 hours in a row at night from day one. Of course, this was unnerving for me, so instead of capitalizing on the sleep time, I spent time hovering around her making sure she was breathing.

My eldest child was moody and stubborn, having to actually be taught how to have a sense of humor, and my second child skipped crawling altogether and launched into walking and then escaping from home in the wee hours of the morning, but Caitie completed every milestone a baby is supposed to accomplish normally and without causing my eyes to bleed. She learned to crawl and then walk by nine months, spoke words on time, and was so laid back I could literally take her anywhere with me without worry. She was, and is, a huge blessing to her tired mom.

Of all my kids, Caitie has been the one that has the most characteristics I recognize in myself. She has a hard time giving up; she is passionate about succeeding at whatever she sets her hand to do; she likes people in general; she strives to protect the weak, and isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right, even if she is the only one standing. She even has the angry streak that I’ve worked hard to control in myself all these years, and already, she maintains self-control better than I do.

What Caitie possesses, though, that I don’t is a comfortable acceptance of herself. She likes who she is, and feels no need to explain

why. I’ve not met anyone yet who doesn’t instantly fall in love with this girl, and that list includes me. The minute I looked into the eyes of that baby with the old soul, I was hooked forever.

I have a lot of funny stories about Bekkie and Dj, but not so many about Caitie. It isn’t because she was not fun or wasn’t silly, or that I wasn’t paying attention. And she makes me laugh until I pee myself on a regular basis.  It is because she was always smart about most of her decisions. She didn’t get roped into a lot of stupid stuff, and was not in the least influenced by peer pressure, whether at school or at home. She approached Bekkie and Dj’s teen angst with the same practical nature I did. She had no use for it. But don’t be fooled. She is gifted at bringing laughter into a room, and to be loved by Caitie is to be loved by the best this world has to offer.

Dearest Caitlyn,

I miss you so very much, my heart feels like it will break if I don’t hug and kiss that little face soon. It has been a hard year for your dad and me, but one thing that has never waivered…we both love you with all of our hearts. I think God had you safely tucked away in Japan while we went through this because your heart would have been in as much danger as mine had you been here to witness the attacks satan has launched. You are a fixer, like me, and it would have been torture for you to stay out of it.

But, like you, I’m a tough nut to crack, and all of this will sort itself out in the end. I already see some cracks of sunlight in the situation. Please focus on getting physically healthy. I honestly think that you have anemia like me, but I am glad they are being extensive about diagnosing what is going on with your blood. In the meantime, be sure to eat healthy and take the vitamins they prescribe. And don’t drink a lot. Booze zaps your body of vitamins and makes you blog stupid stuff.   🙂

I am so blessed God gave you to me!!!

I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and at least we are only a few short months off from you coming home to see your family.

I LOVE YOU!!

Always,

Mom