October treasures: My love story, my friends, and my little big girl

 In addition to special anniversaries in October, of which there is a *BIG* one coming up at the end of the month, I declare that October saw the births of so very many loveable people. 

First, October makes me think of my love story.
Sunday was the anniversary of BJ and my first date.  I didn't date very much at all, and often BJ reminds me why in a joking way (I think) that I'm just not that great at being considerate and doing "couple" things, basically that I got used to being single too long.  So on Sunday, he joked all day "what was I thinking?" and it didn't really have me in the mood to blog about our first date. But, Monday morning he redeemed his romantic self by saying something like "I'm as excited about your being in my life today as I was 7 years ago."  Ironically, I thought the same thing on Sunday afternoon as I took Anna Cate to the park. It reminds me of advice from a friend, "the key to a happy marriage is not falling out of love at the same time." I love that.
I always thought I didn't date because I just wasn't that attractive/cool/fun (insert any adjective every girl really wants to be), but I was ok with that because I have fabulous friends. Yet, BJ made me feel different, and I love to think about that each October.
Two of my dearest friends, who are connected to me and to our story, born this month are Danielle and Norah. Both were in our wedding -- the only pictures I can dig up are from the reception, where we danced.

Dani's birthday was Sunday and I remember calling her that day seven years ago, when I wasn't quite sure, but a little excited.... 

One quick story about how Dani.  My home town only has one real hotel, and that was too small for all of our wedding guests.  My dear, sweet, cosmopolitan friend living in Manhattan, Dani, offered to stay at The Grinder's Switch Inn, a not-so-clean small town motel (and that is being kind), for the weekend.  Well, in her good spirit, she pretended she was at an European motel, and delighted in the experience as an excursion, or at least that is what she told me.  

Dani visiting us when Anna Cate was 1
And, Norah's birthday was Tuesday.  Norah and my life collided when she was in college, as she was a friend of my brother's, we met at a VMI football game.  We met again a few years later at the new teachers' assembly when I moved to Fredericksburg; she invited me over for a glass of wine and to church later that week, the place I met BJ, who was a childhood friend of hers. Anna Cate recently said, "I wish Norah was my mommy."
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(Norah reading to Anna Cate and Leana)
 Knowing Norah changed my life, and sharing this ride with her is certainly enriching it.

  I also celebrate both mothers of these dear friends for bringing them into the world and shaping the souls whom I love so.
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My life leaves me less time to dance with my friends, but I remind myself about the October of 2003, when I fell in love, that this is what I wanted.  I wish I had more time for friends, but I have a great love story, a wonderful friend in BJ whom I love, and great trips to the park on a Sunday afternoon.

where I'm dancing with this girl...
IMG_0562.jpg picture by batesking04

We played for a while just the two of us before some older kids came over. Anna Cate notices others, extroverts herself in a precious way, but it makes me wonder if she will be one of "those kids" who succumbs to peer pressure, caring more what other kids do, think, feel?  I love the confidence but fear for the outsiders' influence.

She sweetly strutted to them, "Can I play with you?" 
But as they were playing, she gave me several looks to say, "I still want my mommy here, too."  
After two of them went down on the slide, a girl's hand accidentally swiped Anna Cate, she said, "that's ok," but ran over to me to whisper, "that hurt a little bit, but I didn't cry." 
Again, I say, the elements are well mixed in my precious daughter.  

This reminds me of what my same friend who gave the marriage advice said, "If you like your kids at 4 or 5, you'll like them at 30."  I'm hoping I'll like her along the way, too.

Family and Friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches. Wanda Hope Carter


Norah said…
Wow, girl! You sure can make a girl feel special and cry at the same time! I am SO thankful you are in my life...I know God wanted us to be friends and for that, I will be forever grateful! I love you!!!
patsy said…
great post about love and life! i have the canon 50d and i ususally keep it on av or portrait. i really just play around with it...take a TON of pics and then delete what doesn't turn out! just love capturing all the moments of our girls :)
Anonymous said…
You are so incredibly blessed! You will be so happy you are taking so many photos as somewhere along the way my camera was left behind so many times. :( Don't ever listen to "Mom, enough with the pictures", when they get older. Just keep on snapping! Love, Love your blog.