We welcomed May with the most beautiful weather and it was so nice to finally have some outings that didn't involve snow! This year for Mother's Day we went to Ticonderoga Farms. We went on the slides, took a hay ride, and went to lunch and it was one of my favorite days in recent memory. The kids all behaved so well and we had such a great time together. The girls were so snuggly during the hay ride and I was just eating it up! It was a pretty great way to spend a day celebrating my role as "mama." And can I just take a moment to document how much I ADORE that they call me Mama! It's such a loving, gentle term of endearment and when I hear those little voices call out to me that way - it seriously melts my heart. I often have to remind myself that "the days are long, but the years are short" and I won't have those little voices in my home for very long. Hearing those tender voices say "mama" is one of my favorite, most cherished experiences.
This is how I survived the 5:00pm - 6:00pm witching hour for the month of May. Macey got in the habit of being awful right when I was trying to help with homework and cook dinner. So, to save my sanity I gave her a bottle with a super tiny hole in the nipple so it would take a long time to finish it. Then I'd just prop her up and she'd stare at me while I'd get my stuff done. It was a win-win. It was also short lived. She figured out my plan pretty quickly and by June we were trying to figure out other solutions.
Russ and I went to a fun Kentucky Derby party earlier in the month. Russ won for best dressed guy. He's such a stud.
May was a hard month for my Nammy. She was diagnosed with cancer and we honestly didn't know if she would even be with us till June. The doctors said I should fly out if I wanted to see her so I immediately got on a plane with Macey (Russ kept the older girls) and I flew to California to spend 5 whole days with Nammy. By far, one of the greatest blessings I have ever received, was having Nammy look and feel so great while I was there. She was able to visit and play ukulele. She was able to snuggle the baby and tell stories. She was able to go visit Uncle Dee (her brother) and she was even able to go to a sing-along one night. She was loving and sweet and funny and it was amazing. Looking back it was a tender mercy for me to spend that special time with her. She surprised everyone, the doctors included, by putting her rally cap on and gracing us with more special memories that we didn't think we'd get. I'm so happy I was able to be with her, and the rest of my family, during this part of May. There is no where else I would have rather been during those 5 days.
Has anyone else noticed that this baby is loved and snuggled on more than any other creature on the planet?
This was the first time I got to meet Karen in person and oh my gosh I will always remember it! She glowed with love for my brother and instantly felt like family. Clearly she was ordained in heaven to be part of our crazy clan! She is so perfect for him (and for the entire Porter crew). Aren't they so cute you could puke!!
In all seriousness though, I need, to record a very special, tender mercy given to me by the Lord this past April. This experience is so special and was such a testimony builder that I know I won't be able to put down into words the details and/or give it the credit it deserves...but I'll try. While staying at my parents house during Easter time, Dallas was living in Hawaii. I had a dream one night that was, by far, the most realistic vivid dream I've ever had. In it I saw Dallas walking hand-in-hand with a woman .They were walking outside of a temple. Their backs were to me. They sat down together on the grass. When I got closer she woman turned around and looked directly up at me and smiled. She was stunning. She was glowing. Not like she was neon or super bright...she was just kinda shiney. She was a tad taller than Dallas, she had long brown hair, and a pretty smile. In my dream I knew she would be his wife. That they would be sealed in the temple. That it was right. In my dream my heart actually felt heavy with happiness and truth. I know this sounds super weird. I can't really put into earthly terms how it all felt since it was a dream - you know dreams can be hard to explain.
Anyway, that morning I woke up and the very first thing I saw on my phone was a text from Dallas telling me to call him. Before I could reach him my dad said he had chatted with Dallas and he wanted to skype the entire family that night. The first words out of my mouth were - "he's engaged, isn't he?" My dad said, "why would you say that? We haven't even heard he's dating anyone?" I said, "I have no idea why I feel that way, but I'm 100% sure he's getting married after the dream I had last night" and I proceeded to laugh knowing how crazy that sounded.
Dallas had been trying really hard to get a specific internship during that time so throughout the day my mom and Austin and I would guess about what he wanted to tell us over our skype call. They were both convinced he got the internship. I stated repeatedly that I thought he was getting married. My mom and Austin both laughed in my face and told me how crazy I was. There was no way Dallas was getting married! He wasn't even dating anyone! Dallas and Austin are so close that Austin would know if Dallas was dating someone seriously. He would know if there was a potential wife in the picture! I was being ridiculous. I told them about my dream. I even described the woman I saw in detail to them. They still told me I was crazy.
That night during the call I video taped Dallas talking. Everybody kept looking at me like I was crazy for video taping him talking about an internship, but I kept the tape rolling. In my head there was never any doubt. No second guessing. Nothing but total assurance that I was right and that at any minute he would tell us that he was engaged. And HOLY CRAP I was right!!!
He was engaged to a woman named Karen Dawson. They had known each other socially for a few years and had recently reconnected in Hawaii while she was visiting for a few days. They had been talking and skyping for the last few weeks and they were getting married! Mom asked if he had a photo of her. The photo he held up to the screen made me actually let out a little yelp and immediately brought tears to my eyes. It was her. It was the girl with Dallas outside the temple in my dream.
I had never heard of her, seen a picture of her, or had any knowledge of her existence. I had no idea Dallas was even talking to anyone let alone thinking about getting married. Normally when people (read: my brothers) do things that I would consider "hasty" or "ridiculously stupid" like marry someone they just met I would freak out and try to stop it. In a normal situation I would have immediately flown to Hawaii to sit that boy down and tell him he was being reckless getting engaged to soon!
But the Lord took mercy on my aggressive attitude and knew I would need His guidance to show me how right this union was. How blessed it was in His eyes. How much time and effort Dallas and Karen had spent individually preparing for each other, they just didn't know each other yet. He showed me Karen. Her face. Her spirit. I feel so small and insignificant and unworthy to accept such a grandiose gift from Him. This woman will be my brothers wife. She will be the mother to his children (my future nieces and/or nephews) and how grateful I am that from the first second I saw her face I felt peace and love and gratitude.
It was a special gift. It was a special moment. It helped me (and I think the rest of the family) feel so much peace and happiness about his very, very, very unexpected announcement.
Now...if I could only have a great dream involving a huge bag of money we'd be golden!
While I was in California, Lilly had her school musical presentation. I was so proud of Russ for getting the girls all ready for the special night and for taking pictures so I could see it!
Jayda had another feis this month. She's competing more and more and getting better and better!
She was born to Irish Dance!
Jayda also had her school musical program. I just love these types of events. My kids just make me happy and seeing them perform and showcase their talents just melts my heart!
I sure enjoy my lunch dates with Lilly. I hope I always remember how cute her little voice is. She's works so hard to pronounce things correctly as she learns them in speech and I just love our little conversations we have over our quesadillas.