The day was full of special mementos. Granddaddy gave Net this vase for their 25th anniversary, and the zinnias were grown by Ms. Ellen - my first, and favorite, horseback riding teacher! The silver cups and rattles were baby gifts to me and my siblings. And a few belonged to my dad and granddaddy.
Lots of love in this picture! Net is convinced Caroline is just about to say, "I LOVE Net."
Monogrammed bloomers with ruffles complete any outfit:-)
Susanna is from Finland and one of my mom's yogi buddies.
The daddy of these three cuties and I were big buddies growing up. We had an awesome lemonade stand business each summer. Anna was so sweet to come!
Mrs. Perkins, Ms. Becky and Aunt Lucile.
Caroline with Ms. Bobbi - my first grade teacher at school and third grade teacher at Sunday School.
It was the first week of school and these kiddos were full of excitement!
Ms. Mary Claire and Mom with Duncan. She taught me Kindergarten and during Lent I rode to school with her from breakfast at our church. I remember feeling so special!
Margaret and her sweet girls.
My mom worked with the same group of women at Northwest Community College for over 20 years. They went from having small children and babies to sending kids off to college and having grandchildren together. Love the 'Berry Building Gals.'
Neighbors and cousins next door!
The aforementioned 'Ms' Mary.
Caroline showing Ella Claire her Ducky. These two took down a jar of Puffs! These two are just about a month apart and my mom keeps me up to date on what Ella Claire is doing in church. I've seen lots of pictures of this sweet girl so it was so nice to see her in person!
Our neighbor Mrs. Bostic told me she'd been been praying for me to have a family for years. It was so special to see her!
And Gabbert/Givens cousins passing D-man around...
And during the party we got the most exciting news. Laura was in labor and the baby was on her way!!! So, needless to say, our plans for the evening changed. Mom and Dad raced to get to Jackson. Fortunately, Rhetta showed up right as I was dealing with a messy diaper, bath time and a very hungry Duncan. So glad for friends that just jump right in. We got these two settled and then had a glass of wine and wonderful visit!
I decided to change my plans and go to Jackson on Friday instead of straight to Tuscaloosa. Uncle Buford and Aunt Carole came over and kept an eye on Caroline and Duncan while I ran around town trying to gather all the things we'd left everywhere!
One of my favorite Friends episodes is where Monica opens all the wedding gifts without Chandler. That's how I felt at 5 a.m. on Friday morning when I was so excited about the baby coming and couldn't go back to sleep. I got up and opened all the presents people had given Caroline and Duncan (even though we'd said no gifts!).
I called Ryan to see if he wanted to Facetime and watch me open the gifts, but he declined!?! Something about needing to get ready for work. Priorities! The really distressing part about all this is that in my rush to get us in the car I somehow misplaced my thank-you list. It's got to be somewhere, but it hasn't shown up yet!
I cherished every second of celebrating my two babies with ladies (and one man: thanks for coming Chris!) who knew Ryan and I as children, put up with our PDA in high school and helped us celebrate (the many!) graduations and our wedding. They've prayed for us through difficult times and celebrated with us over Caroline's adoption and Duncan's birth. In today's world I think it's rare to have such a deep-seated connection to a place, to a home, to a spot on God's earth that makes me smile just thinking about it. My prayer is that Caroline and Duncan feel the same way about the "Five Star City." Something tells me they will :-)
Next up, I promise, is pictures of the baby! We are all just in total love with her.