Friday, May 30, 2008

May 19th....

There's two things I know for sure:
She was sent here from heaven and she's daddy's little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night
She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes and
I thank God for all the joy in my life
Oh, but most of all for butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer;
sticking little white flowers all up in her hair;
"Walk beside the pony, Daddy, it's my first ride."
"I know the cake looks funny, Daddy, but I sure tried."
In all that I've done wrong I know I must have done
something right to deserve a hug every morning and butterfly kisses at night.

Sweet 16 today
She's looking like her mama a little more everyday
One part woman, the other part girl.
To perfume and make-up from ribbons and curls
Trying her wings out in a great big world.
But I remember Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer; sticking little white flowers all up in her hair.
"You know how much I love you, Daddy, But if you
don't mind I'm only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time.
"With all that I've done wrong I must have done
something right to deserve her love every morning and butterfly kisses at night.

All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by.
Precious butterfly. Spread your wings and fly.

She'll change her name today.
She'll make a promise and I'll give her away.
Standing in the bride-room just staring at her.
She asked me what I'm thinking and I said "I'm not sure-I just feel like I'm losing my baby girl.
"She leaned over...gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there,
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
"Walk my down the aisle, Daddy-it's just about time."
"Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don't cry!"
Oh, with all that I've done wrong I must have done something right.
To deserve your love every morning and butterfly kisses-

I couldn't ask God for more, man this is what love is.
I know I gotta let her go, but I'll always remember
every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses.

It all began one day, September 30th, 1977 to be exact…he saw me and he said, “She’s what I always wanted.” And I’m sure that I saw him and thought the same exact thing. From the earliest time I can remember, he was there, loving me, providing for me and just being the best Daddy a little girl could ask for.

I know that some of you might think that I’m a spoiled little girl, but my Daddy (and Mama) wanted me (and Courtney) to have anything and everything within reason. He was always there for us – always participated in every aspect of our lives. Sometimes he would check me out of school early to go shopping - he was a good shopper and it showed. He was always well groomed and well dressed, even cutting the grass. He always looked good. He taught me to always shop around and always look for a deal. Some of you might remember that little red Honda Civic that he bought me when I turned 16 – did you know he bought that little red Honda Civic not once, but twice? He bought it for me the first time and then 5 years later he bought it from me for my sister….what kind of deal was that? There are so many wonderful memories and things that we shared together and as a family – too many to list… Our home was a happy home. I always loved pulling up into the driveway at home. That feeling of knowing that Mama and Daddy were there and were excited that I was home, or that Courtney was home. And I knew that every time I pulled out of the driveway, Daddy watched me go and didn’t turn away until I was out of sight.

But some of my fondest memories of him are at the banks where he worked… my name was in lights when they got me in 77 at the bank. Then here in Georgia at Farmers & Merchants Bank in Senoia – I would go to work with him and play bank in the boardroom – I sat in the teller line with the girls. Then at Peachtree National Bank, BB &T, and Bank of Georgia, I always loved going there and just being his little girl that he showed off. Then there was First Coweta Bank…Poppa’s bank…this bank was special. This bank I showed extra special interest in because Daddy loved it so much. This bank was the bank that my little boy, Ethan got to play in. He, from the very beginning, knew how to push the handicap button to make the doors open, knew where Ms. Claudette’s goldfish was, knew how to operate the elevator and loved going upstairs to get fed by all the ladies there, knew big Heidi and little Heidi and that he could sucker both of them for suckers, knew he could play with all of Robin’s trinkets, and I’m sorry Mr. Barber, but several times we rigged your bubblegum machine so Ethan could put pennies in there instead of quarters….but most importantly he knew where Poppa’s office was and that he was waiting in there for him.

He loved his family so much and he loved the Lord and made sure that that was our focus. He was a wonderful Christian Son, Husband, Brother, Uncle, Daddy and Poppa – he was also a wonderful Christian friend to so many. And he was a wonderful father in law – he loved both Mark and Landon and was proud that his little girls had found incredible Christian men to take care of them and lead their households. He touched so many people’s lives and was a wonderful example for so many. He was honorable, respectful and was respected.

My Daddy was patient. My Daddy was kind. My Daddy did not envy, did not boast (except about his tv to his buddies), and was not proud. My Daddy was not rude, was not self-seeking, was not easily angered. My Daddy kept no record of wrongs. My Daddy did not delight in evil but rejoiced with the truth. My Daddy always trusted, always hoped and always persevered.

I’ve had to do things this week that I never thought I’d have to do, but they were all for him. I don’t know how I’m supposed to go on without him. I was Daddy’s little girl and I worshiped the ground he walked on. I don’t know how I’m supposed to make it without him, without hearing his voice, without holding his hand, without hugging his neck and without kissing him. I don’t want to forget anything about him, especially his laugh. I don’t want Ethan to forget riding his tractor and picking blueberries. I want to always make sure Nina knows how much she loved Poppa’s shoulder and how much he loved getting belly sugar from her. I know that with God’s help, and with the help of all of you here, we will all get through this. I don’t know how, but we will. Michael E. Justice was a fine man, the finest of men – there will never be another one like him. I will never forget him and I will love him with all my heart for the rest of my life. He’s home now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to Nina!

We spent this past weekend celebrating Nina's first birthday. Friday morning, Ro Ro flew in from Baltimore and she spent the day with Ethan at the construction site down the street - they are building a new house and every day Ethan is more and more fascinated by the trucks, deliveries, that's what they did Friday. Friday evening, Nona and Poppa drove in from Georgia. Ethan was so excited to stay up late and wait for them to arrive - actually he got his Jeep out and drove in the cul de sac and waited for them there (I was there too).

Saturday morning we had Nina's party and we all had so much fun! Nina loved her birthday cake and all of her presents! She sat in her highchair for over an hour eating her cake and wasn't too thrilled when we pulled her out.

Sunday we all went to church and then Nona and Poppa headed out and we came home to crash. We had a low key Mother's Day - but Mark made his French Breakfast Puffs rolled in cinnamon and sugar for a treat and treated me to a little blue box - I loved both treats!!

Monday we ended Ro Ro's visit with a trip to FedEx so she could see Mark's office and the impressive training facilities. Of course it included a trip to the simulators! This time Ethan really got into it - Mark had us on the runway and had another airplane take off from the other end of the runway and then all of a sudden he had the firetrucks drive down the runway to meet us - Ethan thought that was the best! We had a great time there!

We had a wonderful weekend with our family and friends and enjoyed celebrating the first year of Nina's life. Thank you to Ro Ro for flying to see us and for Nona and Poppa for making the drive. We have so much to be thankful for!! Enjoy these pictures - but I'm warning you, this is a long post!

Ethan loves to get his tractors and sit in the lot next to us and dig - I think this day he went through at least 3 pair of shorts! Ethan and Ro Ro watching the men smooth out the foundation of the new house down the street
Nona and Mommy with Nina Nina with Ro Ro and Nona Nina with Marion and Kathy
Nina with Adam and Madeleine - I used to babysit them in GA
The birthday girl in her hat made by Ashley - it was so cute!!!
The cakes that traveled all the way from Georgia - got to have Stacey's cakes!! Nina loved the cake, but was very serious about it!
The hat came off...
Then the dress came off.... Telling Ro Ro how wonderful her cake is!

I love cake!!!
Nina sitting in her rocking chair from the Millers - Cathy painted and decorated it! It's sooooo cute!!
Poppa and Nona with Ethan and Nina
Ethan with his one and only Ms Cathy!

Happy Birthday to me!!
Opening presents with the help of big brother and Madeleine Nina and her pink baby grand piano courtesy of Nona and Poppa
Ethan taking a little break outside in the sandbox with Ro Ro, Hunter and Jackson
Trying to get a family picture
Nina is letting us know she was done with pictures....
So, if you don't stop taking pictures, I'll just lay my head down where you can't see me!
Nothing wrong with a little naked piano playing when you're 1 year old!
Mommy and Nona with the kids on Mother's Day
Daddy and Ro Ro with the kids on Mother's Day

Playing in the MD-11 simulator
Nina getting a little left seat action!

Ethan's first swim of the season!

Hope you enjoyed Nina's first birthday party and our weekend! We had a great time together!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What a year...

So, I can't believe that it's been a year since Nina arrived! So much has many things are so different than they were this time last year! Aren't babies amazing??!! I'm sure I'll be posting after this weekend's party, but I just wanted to post a few pictures of Nina's first days and then some of my favorite from this past year. My, how time flies!! Nina and Mommy right after delivery
Ethan meeting Nina - doesn't he look so small???

Nina just a couple hours old - our first family pic
Mother's Day picture last year
Father's Day last year
Funny expressions on both kids - July 2007
Ah, the days when she would fall asleep anywhere....although last week she did lay her head down on the shopping cart at Target and fall asleep - but still not the same as when they are babies! Happy 1st Birthday Nina Elliott