Archive for the ‘Being Mimi’ Category

She’s Two!

October 4, 2011

My sweet niece, Cadence, turned two yesterday.
I ran out of time last night to write this post, so here it is today.

I consider it a true privilege to be close to my niece and nephew during the early years of their lives. I am grateful that God has given me the opportunity to be a part of their lives.

Two Things I Love About Cadence…

  1. Her little voice and words. She’s been talking (or trying to talk) for a long time now. I LOVE her little words and the way she talks. She always knows exactly what she’s saying, even if you don’t.
  2. Her love for family. Even at two, she really does love her family and she seems to be very conscientious about including everyone. For example, at her birthday party, she wanted all of her family to paint and color with her on her new art easel. She knows all of her family (aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc) by name. She loves her big brother and wants to do so many things that he does. And…have I mentioned she loves her Mimi? 🙂

Two Things I Pray For Cadence…

  1. That she trusts Jesus as her Savior at an early age and that she chooses to live a life that’s honoring to God.
  2. That the fruits of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control–inhabit her life and direct the way that she lives.

Happy 2nd birthday, Cadence!
I love you more than you’ll ever fully know!
You’re my favorite! 🙂


Made For Sunny Days

March 28, 2011

This rain hasn’t stopped…and probably won’t for a while.


I was made for days more like this one…

Sweet Cadence enjoying a ride in Grammy's convertible.

This Day Five Years Ago

March 8, 2011

You know…I remember A LOT about the day Paul was born.
I mean A LOT.

…Mom calling at 6-something-AM to say, “Come on! Today’s the day!”
…Throwing stuff in a bag and racing up to Orlando from West Palm.
…Lunch at a “fancy” McDonald’s near the hospital.
…Going to Ross to get more comfortable pants because I was so tired of wearing jeans.
…Dinner at Boston Market.
…Watching my sister become my hero. (Bringing a kid into the world is hard work!)
…Holding my sweet nephew for the first time.

Every year on his birthday, though, I always remember a lot about this day…the day after his birthday.

Sweet Little Paulie

…Bringing the world’s largest balloon to my sister’s room in the hospital.
…Holding that sweet boy as much as I could.
…Taking more pictures than any less than 24-hour old baby should have to endure.
…Loving the way his little legs stayed bent at the knees while he slept.
…Having to say goodbye…At some point that afternoon, I left to drive back to West Palm to be at work later that night (Wednesdays = church those days). I cried and cried and cried as I drove. I called my Mom, unable to speak. Which of course had her panicking, saying, “Are you ok? ARE YOU OK?!” I was SO sad to leave that day, even though I would be coming back a little more than a week later to stay for a whole week. I begged God to let me move home. I cried thinking about our Grammy and Grandaddy, knowing they would have loved our family’s sweet new boy. I was such a proud aunt, but I was so heartbroken to be three hours away. I sat in my boss’s office before church and just cried as I showed him pictures of my sweet little nephew. I just wanted to be home. He was gracious enough to offer to let me go ahead and go, but I knew I had a responsibility. So I stayed. And kept begging God to give me the opportunity to move back to Orlando so that I could be closer to my family. Almost three years from that day, I was given that opportunity and five years later, I’m so grateful for that.

Five Years Old Already?

March 7, 2011

My favorite guy turns five today. I’m not even sure how it’s possible. He’s my absolute favorite and if it’s possible, I love him even more now than I did the first time we met.

Five Things I Love About Paul…

  1. His love and excitement for life. I mean, seriously…look at the excitement and light in his eyes in that picture. He loves to have fun. He loves life and he loves to have a good time.
  2. His laugh(s). He has a couple of different laughs. Hang out around him long enough and you’ll figure them out. He has this funny “fake-ish” laugh, but he has this ridiculously contagious real belly laugh. Love it.
  3. His care and compassion for others. I truly believe he’s learning young about the importance of relationships in life. He LOVES all of his family, both immediate and extended. And, he loves his friends. He shows true concern and care for them. It’s very sweet.
  4. His consistency. When he’s into something, he stays very consistent. We’ve been through a few stages with him: Elmo, Blue’s Clues and he’s been into Mickey and Toy Story for a while now. Green’s been his favorite color for quite a while now and over the past couple of weeks, he’s told several of us on many different occasions that he’d like to be a garbage man and police man when he grows up.
  5. His imagination and love of learning. He’s got the funnest imagination these days and I love playing Legos/cars/Buzz&Woody/whatever with him. The last time we played police Legos, his guy told my guy that we should go geocaching. Ha ha ha. He also loves to learn. He likes to read, play games, cook and learn new things. Hoping I can coax him out into the ocean on the surfboard some more this summer. 🙂

Five Things I Pray For Paul…

  1. That he trusts Jesus as his Savior at an early age and that he chooses to live a life that’s honoring to God.
  2. That he’s a leader amongst his peers, and for his sister, and that he leads with integrity.
  3. That he honors his parents and loves his sister.
  4. That God continues to protect him spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially.
  5. That he loves God and loves people.

Happy 5th birthday, Paul!
I love you more than you’ll ever fully know!
You’re my favorite! 🙂

Top Ten

December 29, 2010

Often, my sister asks Paul what his favorite part of his day was. I was thinking about that on Christmas Eve as I was driving home from dinner and presents at my parents’ house. I decided I couldn’t choose just one favorite thing from Christmas Eve 2010. It seemed that a “Top Ten” list of sorts was in order. So…here goes…

My Top Ten Favorites of Christmas Eve 2010

10. Doing laundry at Mom & Dad’s. My new place has a washer and dryer, but it’s downstairs in the landlord’s house and I kind of have to coordinate laundry times with them. Bringing my laundry to Christmas Eve just seemed so much simpler. 🙂

9. Getting home in 45 minutes. Even though I’ve lived in Orlando for two years now, I still love the fact that I can get to my parents’ house in 45 minutes rather than 3 hours. It’s so wonderful.

8. Starting the day with brunch at the Ainsley’s. Kasey & Matt normally do a big breakfast on Christmas morning, but since Kasey was working, they opted for Christmas Eve this year. They invited several people over and it was lots of fun.

7. Getting new Magic shirts and Dad being clueless. Kati and I got Dad tickets to an upcoming Magic game. But we got enough that everyone could go with him (except Cadence). I told Mom she should get everyone new Magic shirts for Christmas and we’d have Dad open the tickets last. I thought for sure he’d catch on at some point. But admittedly, when we were done with presents (and Dad had the tickets) he said, “I just thought we were all getting new shirts. I mean…we haven’t had new Magic shirts for a while and the team is doing really good, so it makes sense!” Love it.


6. Singing Feliz Navidad with Paulie. The kid continues to amaze me. Feliz Navidad came on and he started singing. So…I thought it was only appropriate that we take a break from presents to sing it at the top of our lungs while dancing. Cadence tried to get in on the dancing action too. Love love love.

5. Eating good food. Give me chicken and dumplings on Christmas Eve and I’m a happy camper. We also got to enjoy some of our friend Lisa’s WONDERFUL pound cake.

4. Watching Paul start to figure out names other than his own. Since last year he’s been very good at picking out his name on the presents and this year was no exception. He’d find a present with “Paul” and say “this belongs to me!” He also saw an envelope that said “Roger Paul” and said, “that belongs to me!” I laughed and explained that his Pops’ last name was the same as Paul’s first name. He seems very perplexed by this.

3. Hanging out with Cadence during church. Being that she’s only 14 months old, she wasn’t too fond of much of the church service. She wasn’t bad, but she just didn’t want to be sitting down. We hung out in the back of the sanctuary for part of the time, dancing along to the music and looking at the lights. We also roamed the lobby and ran into her Aunt Sarah. Because Northland uses battery operated candles, Cadence opted to hold two candles at the end of the service. She was hilarious.

Sweet girl.

2. Giving and receiving fun gifts. Kati got me a new mug and pictures of the kids appear when I pour a hot drink into it. LOVE it. Mom and Dad gave me a KitchenAid mixer. I was so surprised and excited! I can’t wait to put it to work! Cadence got a very cool pink kitchen that my Dad and Kati made for her. So fun! Via Santa, I gave Paul a pair of Buzz “glubs” (Paul speak for gloves). He was thrilled. He’d been asking for a pair since getting his Buzz costume at Halloween, so he was very excited. One of my most favorite gifts was an ornament Paul made, and while I love the ornament, I mostly loved that he “wrapped” it himself. He wrote my name and his name on the bag he put the ornament in. I just loved that.

Love it.

Buzz Glubs!

1. Being with my family. The more life I’ve lived, the more I realize the most important things in life are relationships–with God and others. I consider it a blessing that I get to spend Christmas with my family and we enjoy it. It’s not dreaded. It’s fun! 🙂

Merry Christmas!

Christmas in Pictures

December 14, 2010

I like doing these posts. It’s fun to look at old pictures and think on the great memories. I did summer and fall versions, and now I’ll focus on Christmas. Without further ado…a handful of my favorite Christmas photos.

2005: Starbucks Hot Chocolate in Central Park. With Kasey...and snow.

2005: Rockefeller Center with Jen and Kasey.

2005: The Year I Decided We Should Have Matching PJs. (I'll let you guess if that ever happened again.)

2006: OMgggggg. One of my most favorite of all time. Christmas nap with little tiny Paulie.

2007: Friends/Former Small Group. Just always loved this one.

2008: So excited for some icing!

2008: The first time we made Paul-friendly sugar cookies. Yay! Paul was in charge of the sprinkles.

2008: Warming our feet by the fire.

2008: Christmas Eve Eve. There's not much that's more precious than this.

2008: Yes, she does. (He got one in every size.)

2009: Sweet Cadence's First Christmas.

2009: So excited that Santa brought Buzz!

2009: Christmas Morning with the Ainsleys.

Conversations with Paul :: part four

November 12, 2010

His First School Picture. So Big!

Yesterday I took Paul to Disney for the last time before his pass expires on Saturday (sad :(). On the way there we were having all kinds of conversations about various topics. As we were pulling in the parking lot, the subject went to sports and the conversation went a little something like this…

Paul: Mimi, I will play golf with Daddy.
Me: Oh, that will be fun!
Paul: Yeah, but I will have to practice.
Me: Of course. With anything you need to practice in order to learn. Even if you want to play soccer, you will need to practice.
Paul: Oh yeah. I will play soccer, too. [PAUSE] Oh, and football. When I get big, I will play football.
Me: Football? Really? That’s kind of rough!
Paul: No it’s not. You put your hand on the ground and you put your hand on your knee. Then you run. Then you catch the football. If you don’t get it, you do it again. And, if you get hurt you just sit down.
Me: But what if you get hurt really bad?
Paul: Nooooo. You don’t. Football players wear hats so they don’t hurt their heads.

Seriously…how much do I love him?! 🙂

Your Support is Needed

June 15, 2010

I wanted to ask for your support/action to help individuals in the US who have PKU, like my four-year-old nephew Paul. I felt this was important enough to get the word out to as many people as I could.

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disorder that is characterized by an inability of the body to utilize the essential amino acid, phenylalanine. Amino acids are the building blocks for body proteins. ‘Essential’ amino acids can only be obtained from the food we eat as our body does not normally produce them. In ‘classic PKU’, the enzyme that breaks down phenylalanine, is completely or nearly completely deficient. Chronically high levels of phenylalanine and some of its breakdown products can cause significant brain problems. Want to know more about PKU? Check out this great video…

Although it is rare, most states now require testing for PKU (what a blessing for families like ours!) and it can be managed by sticking to a lifelong diet allowing those with this genetic disorder to live a rather normal life.

Here’s where you come in…there’s an online petition being signed that urges state representatives to support the Medical Foods Equity Act as part of the current Health Care Reform Bill. Please take two minutes to sign the online petition (really, it doesn’t take any longer than that). By signing the petition, a letter will automatically be sent to your representative in D.C. asking for their support of the Medical Foods Equity Act. It’s so simple but can make a big difference! Our family, and others like ours, thank you for your support!

Click here to be directed to the online petition.
It literally takes two minutes to sign.

If you feel so inclined, please feel free to forward this information along to others who may be willing to support this. Facebook it. Tweet it. Blog about it! 🙂

Want to know more about PKU? Google it. It’s rare, but there’s plenty of good information out there. 🙂

Have questions about PKU? Feel free to ask. We’ve learned as much as we can, and we’re thankful for modern medicine that has given my nephew as normal of a life as possible. We hope the same for others.

Until Four Years Ago

March 7, 2010

Four years ago today, God blessed our family with an incredible gift–my sweet nephew Paul. He’s such an amazing addition to our family and I can barely remember what life was like before him. Apparently, there was a lot I didn’t know before he came along. In four years, I’ve learned a thing or two.

I never knew…

…boys could be so fun!

…cute clothes existed for cute little boys.

…sitting around staring at a kid would be more entertaining than anything on TV.

…a three-year-old could beat an entire room of adults at Wii Bowling.

…I would be the crazy aunt saying, “I can’t believe you’re four! How did you get so old?! How did that happen??”

…being “Mimi” would become my favorite thing in the world.

…I would have the opportunity to live close enough to see my favorite guy on such a regular basis.

…hearing words like “yoyo” (Paul-speak for yellow) and “Meno” (Paul-speak for Nemo) pronounced correctly would make me sad.

…Buzz & Woody would make a comeback and be “cool” in the eyes of a little kid again.

…my almost-four-year-old nephew would start wiping away my kisses just for comedic effect.

…that a gram scale would be so handy and that PKU would alter the way we looked at food forever.

…that PKU would become less daunting and instead just become part of who we are.

…God would teach me lessons about myself through my nephew.

And…today, on Paul’s fourth birthday
(How did that happen??), I never knew…

…I could love him even more than I did on March 7, 2006.

Happy Birthday, Paulie!

I love you, buddy!

Conversations with Paul :: part three

January 5, 2010

Paulie loves his friends Buzz and Woody.

I should have written this post a long time ago, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. You may recall that my most adorable three-year-old nephew is crazy about Toy Story. And, he has really developed a friendship with the one and only Buzz Lightyear. He was given his own Buzz Lightyear toy shortly before his little sister was born. He played with his little 8-inch Buzz all the time, making him talk and fly. Somewhere along the way, Paul decided he needed a “big Buzz.” No one’s sure where he got this idea since we don’t think he’d ever seen a “big Buzz” at the time he started bringing it up. And, the first time Paul told me about this “big Buzz,” the conversation went a little something like this…

Paul: Mimi, I tell Mommy I need to go to the store.
Me: What store do you need to go to?
Paul: I tell Mommy I need to go to Target!
Me: Why do you need to go to Target? Do you need to get something?
Paul: Yes! I tell Mommy I need a big Buzz.
Me: Oh, Buddy, it’s almost Christmastime. I think a big Buzz is a good thing to ask for for Christmas.
Paul: Mimi, I tell Mommy I need big Buzz now!
Me: Do you have money to buy big Buzz?
Paul: Yes!
Me: How much does he cost?
Paul: I don’t know!
Me: Ok, Paul. I think you could ask for a big Buzz for Christmas.
Paul: Ok. I ask Grammy and Pops.
(At which point, I gave Paul the phone and he called my Dad. He told my Dad almost exactly what he told me about the big Buzz.)

I believe the above conversation happened in late October or early November. After that, Paul stopped to look at the “big Buzz” at Target or Disney or wherever he saw them. He would push all the buttons and check him out. Funny enough, he never asked to bring Buzz home with him. I guess he just trusted that Christmas was coming.

On Christmas Eve, Paul and I ran to Target to pick up a couple of last minute things and he said…

Visiting Buzz on Christmas Eve.

Paul: Mimi, we need to go see Buzz. I just know Santa will bring him to me!
Me: Alright, Buddy, let’s go see him.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. I love him (Paulie, not Buzz). He makes my heart so very happy.

And, in case you’re wondering…yes, Santa did come through and Paulie did get his big Buzz for Christmas. 🙂