Saturday, April 25, 2009
These two kids make me laugh! (we were having a water balloon frenzy....throwing them at each other!) They really do LOVE each other....I have to keep reminding myself....when from the other room they are both crying and fighting over the same toy!!! Good or bad....I think I really like em!
Carter when mommy would NOT let him dye any more eggs!
Anna Belle is such a fun three (almost four) year old!! She LOVES all things crafty and artsy!
And of course Ben.....who loved the whole holiday as well.
Carter Easter morning....
And Anna EARLY Easter morning....she was up and at it before the sun was up! She had all her church attire in hand, ready to go! She was quite EXCITED to see the Easter Bunny had finally come!!
Friday, April 10, 2009
I have known Jesy since eighth grade, when we both made the cheer leading squad. I don't think I knew a person who was so full of LIFE and AMBITION and ENERGY!!! That girl....Whew! I was, I think, totally opposite! I am not even sure HOW I made the team! I was extremely QUIET and SHY and very RESERVED! Our cute little cheer squad at O'Leary Junior High was the BEST little squad EVER! We had so much fun working and perfecting everything about us. I felt like I started to come "ALIVE" being a part of that team. Jesy automatically stood out, naturally, as a leader and encourager. She was always wanting to do something...anything....bigger and better than the other cheer squads in our area!!! Because of her enthusiasm, all of us caught on to the "spirit" of cheering.
Now...I know there are many out there who are pessimistic about cheerleaders and such....the whole stereotype they have from television and movies....just give my story the benefit of the doubt, okay?
I LOVED every practice, game, stunt....hours decorating lockers and painting posters....car washes, sleepovers, meetings....the "outrage" many of us felt because we were not allowed to do one of our half-time dances to the song "I'm a Barbie Girl" because our instructor felt it was inappropriate! (Remember that, Jesy? Ha ha!) What FUN we had!
I remember the thrill of being the only team who could do the stunt where our two tallest bases, Alli and Ashley, threw Jesy so high in the air, that she would back flip, then come back down and Alli and Ash would then catch her!!! That was awesome! Then we experienced the disappointment when we were not allowed to do it anymore, because come to find out, it was against regulations! Still, we worked to be the very best of anyone!
I was small, but always a base, lifting and throwing (which I enjoyed), when who knows who thought that I should start flying! Jesy...you were probably the first to suggest it, I am sure!! One day after school, we were practicing some stunts up on the balcony in one of the gyms when the team decided to have me try, for my first time, to "fly". All they did was lift me up in a simple standing position. I had two bases under me, Alli holding one foot, and I think Ashlee holding the other. On the count of three, they would throw my feet out from under me, I would pull myself into a pike position, arms out, and they would catch me. Sounds simple, eh? As they were about to do this, I happened to look out over the balcony edge, freaked out, and as they threw my feet out, I went down KICKING!!! I kicked Allison right in the face, and almost broke her nose!!! It was AWFUL!!!! Luckily her nose was not broken, and she was able to become (I have no idea as to the extent of her success) and hold many titles of Rodeo Queen and so forth (which I have no knowledge or experience in), and eventually go on to compete in the Miss America Pageant!!! Alli....I'm really glad I didn't break your nose!! Ha! GOOD TIMES!
I did, however, turn out to be a pretty good "flyer".
All through eighth and ninth grade, as I cheered with so many of the best and wonderful girls, I felt in awe that I was a part of them. In my own eyes, I felt very ordinary whereas the rest of them, like Jesy, seemed so extraordinary to me. But they NEVER once made me feel that way. I was always treated as an equal...and for that I will always be thankful. So many came from good homes, their parents made good money....mine were drug addicts....though I am not sure that many from my squad knew very much. I was ashamed of my parents, my home, the cars my parents drove, the way my parents dressed and looked and acted. Cheer leading helped me to FORGET about home....and I was given the opportunity to imagine myself as something much much more. I am so grateful for Jesy (and all the other girls) for accepting me and loving me....you all will never have any idea what you gave to me in doing that....of what your friendship and examples helped me to get through.
As a cheerleader, and in my life, I have always felt like the "base". I had to be strong to support the weight of those I was lifting and throwing. So many times I watched in awe, as those girls, like Jesy, would fly so high. Jesy would come down beaming and filled with excitement....this little ball of smiles and brightness!!! It was easy to catch on to her spirit and feel the same way. I knew that there would be a time in my life where I would finally have the chance to "fly" too.
I have had many opportunities since then, to FLY. I hope I came down and brought a little piece of heaven back with me to share with others, as Jesy did.
For a time, the value I thought my life had, came from the home I was raised in. After games, I remember so many times Alli, Jesy, and others offering to give me a ride home. I would "pretend" to call my parents on the pay phone, and tell the girls that I was fine and someone was coming to pick me up. Then, after most had left for home, I would start walking home in the almost pitch black darkness. I was so afraid to let anyone see where I came from....because then they might think differently of me....value me less.
That is my only regret...that I allowed myself to think that way. I know now, that if I had reached out to my friends, they would have reached out to me and supported me, as all of us on our team had learned to do for each other during a cheer, stunt, pep rally, or dance.
I have learned from Jesy, that the value of our life does not come from our home and where we were raised. It comes from what is inside of our hearts. Our value comes from our joy we find in life and giving....finding pleasure in the circumstances around us. We should cultivate in ourselves a desire to create...uplift.....to smile more, laugh....be crazy and messy and erratic....to go places and see new things....smell and touch......dig and grow.....and just be HAPPY.
I think Jesy has known this her whole life....and I had to watch her all through junior high and high school before I finally started to figure things out too. But I am glad, Jesy, that you are who you are, and that I got to rub shoulders with you for a moment in time. I hope a little of you has rubbed off on me!
Maybe, if we tried hard enough, we could leave pieces of us with everyone....pieces that are good for something....
And remember....that there is ALWAYS someone watching...you never know the impact one small act could have on another.
Jesy, I hope you will forgive me for putting you on the spot like this, but as we have become re-aquainted since graduation, and now stay in touch through our blogs, I am but still grateful for your automatic acceptance and friendship you offer me as you did so many years ago. You are a TRUE FRIEND.
Now you all have to tell me of someone or something that has taught you a bit about what life is really all about!!!
See....and some of you thought cheerleading was "silly" and filled with girls who had too much blonde hair and a lot of empty space in between. And though, to an extent, that may be true, but on the other hand.....I will beg to differ!!! Jesy was NOT blonde, but had and still has beautiful dark hair! And she's SMART too....so ha!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Need I say more?