Month: August 2016

Kayleigh Nichole

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Kayleigh,

Today you turn 27 (just like last year AND next year!), HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I remember the day we decided to be best friends. We were both upset that our current best friends were seriously lacking in their best friend duties, we just wanted someone who was our person, who put us first, who had our back no matter what. And we decided to be that for one another. Did I know that that friendship would still be around (and so much stronger) 15 years later? Probably not, but I knew at the time, that I wanted to make a serious commitment (best friends forever was serious business in 8th grade!) to someone (ha ha!). With that decision you opened a lot of doors to me. You and your mom and dad (and Shadow and Abby) opened your arms and home to me. Your house always felt warm, like home. I was always comfortable and loved (and fed!). You brought me to church, you helped me to Christ. For that, I am forever thankful. I miss the mornings your mom and I would go to church together, before anyone else and set up the doughnut and coffee table. Church was so quiet those mornings and I felt so at peace. You and your family helped me understand what I wanted in life.

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We experienced so many firsts together. We went to prom for the first time (and 2nd and 3rd) time. We drank together for the first time, Mike’s Hard Lemonade upstairs in your bedroom (Sorry Mama Cita, sorry Bob, but we were smart about it, safe and sound!). We experienced our first loves and heart breaks. We graduated high school and went off to college. And somehow we didn’t experience our first real fight or disagreement until well into adulthood. Our friendship was always easy, always light.

You understand friendship better than anyone I’ve met. You know that another person can’t possibly be without fault. And you love me despite my own faults. We have had years when we weren’t as close, because our lives were on separate paths, one’s we had to discover on our own. We’ve made separate friends, separate memories and even had secrets we didn’t share with one another. Yet, we walk into the same room and it’s like we never separated. No one has ever come close to replacing you.

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Over the past couple of years we have become as close as we were in middle and high school. You had Kaidenn (my first Godson), you stood next to me as I married my other best friend and next to me when I had Henry (your Godson) and you have loved both of my children (Peyton too!) as I have loved yours. And now we stand at the edge of your next great adventure, your first daughter (my first Goddaughter) our sweet Ahkianna will be here soon.

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I would venture to say that the past year or two have been some of the most difficult in your life, you have endured heartbreaking things, yet your spirit has never faltered. You have never stopped being the innately good and positive person that you have always been. You’ve never stopped loving others, giving to others and being the sunshine in so many other people’s lives. You are truly remarkable and I know that you are often blind in seeing yourself as the world sees you and Kayleigh, the world needs more people like you.

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I know you are afraid of what is to come with labor, delivery and becoming  a mama to a new baby again. But there is no doubt in my mind that you will conquer your fears and you will achieve exactly what you want to. I can’t wait to stand by your side and watch you do it. And whenever you don’t feel strong enough, I will show you how strong you are.

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You anchor me, you ground me, you remind me that I am worth loving, that I am a good person, friend, mother and wife. Thank you for choosing to love me even when I am unlovable.

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I can’t wait to watch your future unfold, I have a feeling you have a whole lot of happiness and joy coming, a lot, just a month away. 15 years down, 85 more to go. I love you, Wifey.

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PS: I wanted to take more photos for this entry (and include some older ones), but also wanted to get this posted for your birthday. So me and you, future photoshoot.

Find out more information about The Anchor Project.

The Anchor Project

I have talked for sometime about doing some kind of photo/blog project. Earlier this year, a friend died unexpectedly, in the aftermath of his death, social media lit up with laments, photos, eulogizing him. People had so much love and so much to say about him. I know, at least for myself, I was left with regrets…did he know all of this? Did he know he was so important to so many people? Did he know how cherished his life was? This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen reactions like this on social media, it’s become the norm, as it should. We should always do what we feel in our hearts to remember those we’ve lost.

But what about RIGHT NOW? You know, like we often hear, “Before it’s too late.”

I’m naming this project “The Anchor Project,” after the person who in large part also inspired this, one of my anchors, my best friend, Kayleigh (maybe we will end up with those anchor tattoos, Wifey 😉 ). We’ve talked about this project, about how important photos are, about how huge it is to tell someone how they anchor you to this life, because maybe they NEED to hear it.

I want to do this (and I encourage you to join me, either on my blog or in your own social media space, but you’re welcome to request I come photograph your anchor and you can guest blog about what they mean to you) because I know life is short, I am watching my children grow at such a rapid rate that I can barely keep up. I want to recognize those people in my life that keep me grounded, sane and taken care of.

Look for the first in this series later this week. And let me know if you’d like to join me.

You are somebody’s anchor.

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