The dance was Friday night! I think the anticipation was more fun than the actual event. There were dresses to buy, hair and nails to be done, choices to make on shoes and jewelry, etc, etc. What fun the girls had! This was to be Liana's first dance, so that made it even more special. I had two daughters this time getting ready for a momentous night.
The girls found their dresses early on. By chance we found a great sale and they each found a dress for $5! Unbelievable! Everyone was happy, me most of all. Then the "getting ready" turned into an event. Friends were invited! Arielle's best friend even spent the night the day before so the two girls would have all the next day to prepare. Liana's oldest and dearest friend came over in the afternoon. All four girls spent HOURS curling hair, doing nails, and getting into their outfits. I made them a special dinner right before they left and we took indoor pictures and outdoor pictures on the wet deck with the dirty snow in the background . What fun!
I had a moment of nostalgia. Liana and Julia were in the bedroom and I peeked in. Liana was holding the curling iron and Julia was sitting patiently as they worked on her hair. These two girls used to play for hours in Liana's room with their Build-A-Bear animals and their Polly Pockets and their art projects. Now here they are, nearly grown-up, getting ready for a dance, and having just as much fun.
I couldn't help thinking of my own friends in middle school and high school. We also would have our sleepovers and talk the night away about school and boys and parents. Of course, back then we had actual phone conversations instead of messaging and texting and skyping and all the other ways kids communicate nowadays. But a girl still needs friends! I often think of those dear friends who helped me survive my growing up. June and Beverly, thank you. Believe it or not, June and I are still friends after all these years! I hope my girls have lasting friendships like we have.
So the girls went off to their dance. A tornado watch and flooding this night almost shut the event down. The building even lost electricity for awhile. What a disappointment that would have been. But at the last minute, everything came together.
We left the girls at their school and Fred and I had an actual date! Wow! What a gift! It was wonderful spending an evening with my husband. Soon it was time to head back out and pick up the girls. Now the roads were covered in black ice. Oh, we are so tired of winter! But on the way home I heard all the tales of who danced with whom, who wore what, and who said what. I love it! Liana had her very first dance with a boy and Arielle's special guy made sure he got all the slow dances with her.
Back when my boys were young, my next-door neighbor Mary and I would walk around the neighborhood in May in the early evening on prom night. We loved to see the girls and guys in their finest evening wear posing in their front yards getting pictures taken. We would stop and admire them from the sidewalk. I remember once that Nick had his girl in our yard and I was the one taking pictures, but mostly that was done at the girls' houses I think. Now I have daughters! And a prom in May this year! Very exciting! Very sobering. Daughters...much different than sons. Daughters to guard and protect. It's a different season for sure. I need much wisdom.
Is winter over yet? We're ecstatic because the temperature is supposed to rise to 50 next week. I feel like we can resume normal life again. Today is not normal. Fred is off plowing at church. Arielle is sick and has been on the sofa all day with a fever. Liana is bored and has been texting all day. I did accomplish something--I pinned together Nick's quilt that was supposed to be done by his wedding but wasn't because I was sick over the holidays.
So what has happened since? Well, now I can surely say that God healed me from whatever my affliction was! Three doctors, no help at all. But I am fine now. The Great Physician knew what was wrong, and ultimately he alone brings healing.
We had a wedding! Nick and Kristina got married on the 17th of January. No snow that day! It was a lot of family fun.
Dominic and Stacia came to visit and brought my little grandson Caden!
Liana turned 14! More family time together.
We enjoyed our littlest one, Eva, and our wildest one, Deacon.
Then there has been the snow. And more snow. Not so fun. Well maybe a little.
And we're busy with school and social events. This is a new season of life for Arielle. She has friends and plans...she is growing up. It's all good.
My baby girl just turned 14. How did that happen? Today Fred and I dropped both the girls off at an ice skating rink so they could have fun with their friends from the co-op. Then we went to Barnes and Noble to hang out until it was time to pick them up. Maybe some kids do this kind of stuff all the time, but not our girls. It was a special event, and boys would be there. I guess that's what made it really different for me. Fred and I were a little uneasy, but I know all these kids. And they are good kids. But at the store all I could think about were the good memories here when the girls were little. We used to go to Barnes and Noble every Sunday after church. The girls would be dressed up in pretty dresses with shiny shoes and ankle socks with lace. They were SO ADORABLE! Everyone would look at them and smile. We would have hot chocolate and Fred would let them choose sticker books that would entertain them the rest of the afternoon. Then they would play with the train set in the children's section or sit at a little table and look through a storybook. Our little girls... What a privilege it has been to raise them.
Today Fred and I sit alone and sip our coffee and think of those good times. When we pick the girls up, they are excited and animated as they tell what happened at the rink and who said what and when can they go dress shopping because a dance is coming up. These are good times too. Our daughters are just as much fun and just as beautiful. I am so proud of the lovely young women they are becoming.
Liana wanted a photo shoot for her birthday and she and Arielle went outside for a long while. They returned with some great photos that they took of each other. I like this one. All my thoughts tonight are summed up in this photo. Liana looks up at the pine tree planted in our backyard, one that we bought for a Christmas tree many years ago. The time that has passed, the wonder of it all.