Tuesday, September 5, 2017

First Day of School for Nora

Today Nora is 19 months old and headed to her first day of preschool at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. It's her first time away from the core four: Mom, Dad, Mamaw and Pop Pop. Until now she has always been with at least one of us - always. I am praying for her hard as I expect this to be a difficult morning for my sweet baby. I pray that she is overcome with a peace that passes all understanding - something we would never expect without the touch of God. I pray she'll have strength to be by herself in a room full of strangers. I pray she'll have the courage to meet new friends and trust that the teachers will take care of her. And I pray that she'll have faith that Mamaw will pick her up, that she will be reunited with her family after just a few short hours at school. Jesus watch over her and protect her, give her comfort. Help her grow from this experience. Amen.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Nora is 17 months and talking

We've hit the stage of a new word or two or three a day!! It's so fun communicating with our sweet red-headed toddler. My greatest surprise is just how proud and rewarding it is to watch Kathleen as big sister in action: teaching, reading, and protecting.

Comprehensible words include:
Mom, momma
Hi - Bye
🌃 Night night
What's that
Head or Hair
🦉 Owl - hoo hoo
🐕 Dog
🐢 Turtle

Also, Nora loves to eat bananas. We call her our little monkey and if you ask her what sound a monkey makes it's the cutest little "eeek eek" sound you've ever heard.

Love our girls.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

"I am the sum of all my stories"

After two and a half years of not blogging I'm committed to writing down our stories here again. It brings me joy - the exact theme of this blog - and it is a service to my family to preserve our memories.

What's new for us in the past 31 months you might ask?

We moved from Henderson back to Durham for Calvin to work at McMannen UMC in December 2014. Calvin left McMannen and his work as a pastor in the United Methodist Church in January 2017. He is now working to start our family business Three Bean Properties.

We had a miscarriage in February 2014, ectopic pregnancy in September 2014, and unplanned successful pregnancy in 2015 which brought us dear sweet Nora Jane on January 29, 2016.

I left working at The Duke Chronicle in August 2014 and when we moved back to Durham I began looking for work again. I joined The Daily Tar Heel February 16, 2015 as the Advertising Director. It has been hard work the past two years with lots of changes. I am hopeful for the school year ahead and eternally grateful for the most recent investment in a Southwestern Sales Coach/Consultant for me and our team.

Kathleen graduated Kindergarten at Holt Elementary Language Academy. She had the best teacher, Mrs Scott, with 29 years experience teaching Kindergarten. Kathleen enjoys learning and made straight A's in the last quarter of school. I'm so proud of that because I know she worked hard for it. She loves learning Chinese and we love the year round school schedule. Kathleen's currently in gymnastics as her Friday extra circular activity. She wants to go to the Olympics. She absolutely adores horses and she just finished her first full day summer camp experience at Camp Chestnut Ridge. Kathleen loves camp which makes us happy because we do too. In May celebrated her 6 yr old birthday there with the horses!!

From August 2016 - May 2017 we had a dear friend Cici Du living with our family. Cici is from China and graduated from UNC in 2016. She landed an amazing job at Participate in Chapel Hill and got her work visa in April. She's still in Durham and we're so happy to still have our family friend close by.

My mom and dad moved to Durham in October 2015 and just purchased a house 10 minutes down the road from us in May 2017. They have been absolutely amazing full time caretakers for Nora. We love having them so close. Living life with my parents is so good. I have no idea how we used to manage with them an hour and a half away. Pop Pop's Cafe is always open upon request and Mamaw will make dessert!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fall Pictures

Gail Smith never let's us down. Here are three new Dickenson Family photos courtesy of Images by Lucy.

The last picture posted of Kathleen by herself was posed by Kathleen and taken by Daddy! She sat down on one of Gail's props and said, "Daddy, take my picture!" I know that beautiful smile combined with the red boots, yellow mums, and pumpkins will be one of our favorite photos for years to come.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happily Ever After...

This morning in play time before school Kathleen rolled out my yoga mat and said, “It’s an aisle! Let’s play wedding!” Then the fun began…

First Kathleen got a blanket to walk behind like she saw Jessica Nelson do that at her outdoor wedding (so no one could see the bride before she walks down the aisle). Then Daddy was asked if he would be the groom which put Mommy in the position of official wedding director/pastor. We rehearsed the basic ceremony before school and when I picked Kathleen up at the end of the day the details of the plan came together on our ride home. Kathleen had the best time thinking about and discussing which dress she would wear, how she wanted to set up her stuffed animals as guests, and last but not least we could not forget to pour the sand!

Once we got home, Kathleen and Mommy spent a full hour getting ready: preparing dinner, the room, and most importantly the bride for her big night. When Daddy walked in the door at 6:30 p.m. the game was on. In fact, I believe Daddy was greeted at the door with a sweet Kathleen running up to him in her wedding dress yelling, “Daddy, Daddy, we’re ready for the wedding ceremony!”

First, we ate Kathleen’s favorite dinner to celebrate the occasion (Yellow rice, Black Beans, Veggie Fajitas, and Guacamole). After dinner, Daddy put on his suit jacket and walked his little girl down the aisle behind a blanket. At the end of the aisle he tossed the blanket aside to reveal the stunning beauty of his bride. While holding hands, Kathleen then promised to love Daddy forever and ever. Daddy likewise promised to love Kathleen forever and ever. Kathleen gave Daddy his wedding ring and promised to love Daddy no matter how old or sick he became. Daddy then gave Kathleen her wedding ring and promised to love Kathleen no matter how smart or beautiful she became. Then they walked over to a special table to pour colored sand into a glass bottle. This sand was a symbol of how their two hearts, joined by love, could never be separated - just as the beautiful colors mixed together in the sand also cannot be separated. Coming back to the center of the aisle, Mommy then pronounced the happy couple married and Daddy kissed the bride! They danced back down the aisle and celebrated among all their stuffed animal friends. Kathleen baked a pretend cake for all the guests and the couple’s first dance was to “Everything is Awesome” from the Lego movie. It was truly a dance of celebration and did not disappoint!

As a child, I don’t remember ever asking to marry my daddy, but tonight was a night of dreams come true in the land of parenthood. Kathleen had such a great time preparing for and walking through her wedding ceremony. Thank you Jessica Nelson, for allowing us to attend your beautiful wedding and therefore causing Kathleen to want to be just like you!

p.s. No filter was applied to these photos, and our house is not full of smoke! I was just a horrible photographer in the midst of directing and officiating. Emotions were high, what can I say. 
The memory of the night however remains perfect.