I plan to sprinkle in a lot more about LIFE stuff in the months (and years) to come, and today is the perfect day to start.
You see, October 24th is kind of a big deal around here.
It all started with the one back in 1998. (Spoiler alert: Braces were involved. And I’ve got pictures.)
OCTOBER 24, 1998
After nearly a month of dear diary anticipation, this really cute boy (who was ACTUALLY taller than me!) named Jeremy Brown asked me to be his girlfriend at our 8th grade carnival dance.
I squealed on the inside, calmly said YES on the outside. (Then I went home for a slumber party with my girlfriends and squealed on the outside.)
I don’t have a picture of that night, so this awkward one from Feb ’98 will have to hold you over.
Ten years and puhLENTY of valuable life lessons later, just 33 days after our original wedding venue went BANKRUPT (thanks, Hurricane Ike), that same cute boy became my husband.
(Clearly my 8th grade “Nicole E. Brown” doodles had serious manifesting power. Heaven help me when B’s in middle school…)
After a lovely babymooniversary weekend at Turtle Bay Resort, my water broke.
Two and a half weeks early. (Didn’t see THAT one coming!)
Exactly thirteen years after we first started “going out” at thirteen years old, we became parents to a little fella we like to call Bryson Dean.
I tell the whole story in a four-part series that starts right here.
Because what’s more fun than a one-year-old dressed up as a 78-year-old man with his own custom cardboard house?
(Click here to see all the obsessive details. This baby’s all over Pinterest.)
Last year 10/24 was a bit different as we spent it celebrating the life of my sweet Noni (my grandmother).
Jeremy had been in Connecticut for training at the time (+ otherwise wouldn’t have been there with us), so I like to think she had a hand in coordinating so we could all be together that day ;)
Non and my Paw Paw would’ve been married 60 years last November. Amazing.
I never imagined I’d be adding this part of the story when I planned a 10/24 post for today, but our dear Paw Paw passed away earlier this week…reunited with Non just in time for their next anniversary.
Life sure is precious – at every age and every stage.
And that brings us today.
October 24, 2014
This year our tears for Paw Paw are still fresh, we’re missing our sailor, and the birthday boy has a bit of a cold.
We’re not off to the SMOOTHEST start, but I’m always aware that there is SO much to be thankful for – and it all leads right back to that mushy love stuff.
And that’s what life’s all about anyway, right? That mushy love stuff? I think so.
So, without further ado – I’d like to write a few love notes to loved ones who can’t actually read them – because one is under the sea, one is three, and two are now celebrating in spirit, and I’m not sure they get wifi.
October 24th would just be another day on the calendar if it weren’t for you, boo.
After all these years (like 50 now?), you know how to drive me crazy like NO one else can….but only when I really need it.
You still make my heart beat faster (just tonight I looked at a pic of you tonight and thought, “ACK! He’s SO good looking!” ;)), and WOW. You couldn’t be a better dad.
Your love for B is out of this world. I get such JOY watching the two of you together. Always have.
I couldn’t do what I do “on my computer” without you stepping in to fill ALL the gaps and cheering me on even when you don’t know what the hey I’m doing.
Thank you for being patient when I work too much. (Which I know is…too much.)
Thank you for giving the BEST hugs when I just need to feel human again.
Thank you for indulging me in my woo woo “describe your ideal day” daydreams…because I have NO doubt they will be our reality one day soon.
I love your guts.
You are seriously the dreamiest boy I’ve ever known.
I know you know God made you (which melts my heart, BTW), but being your mom is the absolute HONOR and privilege of my lifetime. I think we were literally a match made in heaven.
I love how your answer to everything is “bears,” your UNCONDITIONAL love for your sweet daddy and “Engine Turtles,” your silly sense of humor, your smooches, your roars, your pouts, your belly laughs…I mean KID.
I love everything about you.
I guess that’s what moms are for.
I could ugly cry at the THOUGHT of you growing up and leaving the nest one day, but I know that’s what life’s all about. We go and we grow (as Pop says).
In the meantime, I treasure this sweet phase of NOW. Where you’re tiny enough to fit on my hip and I’m cool enough to deserve your company every night of the week ;)
Happy 3rd birthday, my precious boy!
Noni + Paw Paw
Non, you know I know you’re only a thought away. Thank you for continuing to teach me about life and faith, encouraging me to GO FOR IT, and reminding me to chill out and enjoy the ride. Constantly.
Paw Paw, I am so thankful for our pizza date and great visits while B and I were in Texas. Your encouragement and wisdom has helped shape who I am (who we all are!), and your elephant noises will live on in B ;)
You both taught us (the WHOLE family) by walking the walk.
Loving for a lifetime.
Praying like you mean it.
Standing up for what you believe in.
And keeping a lively sense of humor all the while.
Perhaps most importantly, you taught us how to fight when it’s time to fight, and how to let go when it’s time to let go.
What a blessing it is to be part of the family YOU started.
All because two people fell in love.
Back to YOU, Friend.
In the comments below, share a lil love note with a spouse, friend, partner, parent, kiddo who can or CAN’T read yet ;)….and make sure they SEE or HEAR those words from you. Today.
Because life’s waaaay too short to procrastinate the mushy love stuff.
To a 10/24 love train,