Dear Mom, Thanks…

Dear Mom,

Thanks for birthing me, your first born baby girl (that was supposed to be a boy) via emergency c section.  I am glad dad could be there too.

Thanks for the (almost) mullet haircuts as a child and teen.  Thanks to them, I have only kissed two guys.

Thanks for making sure I always had my white gloves for Social.  Those damn things were hard to keep up with.

Thanks for teaching me to cook for a crew.  To this day, it is still hard to plan a meal for only two people.

Thanks for watching my long, drawn out tennis matches and sacrificing your nails as a result.

Thanks for being here when I had JB.  Although, I am still upset that you left three days later.  Why couldn’t you have stayed for six months?

Thanks for taking me to play at Warren Road park while you walked laps on the trail.  I will always remember you picking up a piece of pine straw for each lapped walked so you’d remember them all.

Thanks for teaching me how to write a letter whenever you saw injustice.  You taught me that change is possible and I still remember that daily.

Thanks for teaching me how to drive a stick shift at sixteen.  I will never forget stalling out 46 times on that hill on Christmas Day.  I am glad you finally switched seats with me as traffic backed up behind us.

Thanks for loving Myma so much.  Even though she rarely told you, she called you “the best friend she ever had” in secret.

Thanks for driving me back to middle school to get my books three days in a row because I forgot them and needed them for homework.

Thanks for always letting my friends come over to hang out.  I thought it was because you were cool but now I know that you liked to know who was important in my life.

Thanks for always buying me those super expensive Hanes “Quick Silver” panty hose for FCCLA.  They always completed my flight stewardess uniform perfectly.

Thanks for giving me your legs.  So far, so good.

Thanks for taking me to Roses to buy those knock off brand brown suede shoes.  They made me more confident in 5th grade than you will ever know.

Thanks for always setting an alarm so you wouldn’t oversleep from your nap to pick us up in time from school.

Thanks for being my mommy, loving me always, and always cheering for me.

Happy 60th!

love,

brooke

Ode to Jack Jack

Jacqueline Elizabeth Cadle was born February 11, 1988 and she was my first shot at being a big sister. Because we grew up in the south, we always had to wear matching dresses, hairbows, and shoes. We didn’t look much alike with my straight hair and her super curly hair but those outfits would have made you look twice.

As we grew up, Jackie and I often did not get along. We were constantly bickering and my mom had had enough. We were at a neighbor’s house with lots of sporting equipment. We were fighting over who could use the plastic baseball bat. Finally, mom was so frustrated with refereeing us, mom let Jackie and I take our frustrations out on one another with those baseball bats. And boy did we go to town hitting each other, screaming and shouting. We were all shocked- even mom. That’s what big sisters do…. beat the crap out of her little sister with a plastic baseball bat.

One time, Jackie went to visit our neighbor, Leonna Printup, at her home. I was out riding my bike and noticed a long snake draped over the railing of Leonna’s house with its head resting on her front porch mat. I raced home to tell my mom so she could call Leonna’s house and warn Jackie of the snake. Otherwise, she may have been bitten when leaving Leonna’s house. That’s what big sisters do… keep their little sister from being bit by a snake.

As Jackie got older, she often followed in the footsteps of me, her older sister. We served as FCCLA state officers together. But after I went to college, Jackie set a new Cadle sister record by becoming the FCCLA state President. I was super proud! That’s what big sisters do… cheer on their little sister to new accomplishments.

On one of the best days of my life, Jackie was standing next to me as my maid of honor while I married Peck. I had chosen sunflowers for all of our bouquets. Mine was especially large and it was HEAVY. It weighed so much, that my arms were shaking while the preacher rambled on through his “short” homily. I made the decision to hand the bouquet to Jackie who gracefully took it with a smile. That’s what big sisters do… get their little sister to help when things get too heavy.

Jackie was at the hospital when I had JB and she was in love with him from that moment on. Although JB doesn’t get to see her much, she has a special place in his heart. He loves reading the inscriptions of the many books that she and Ryan have given him as gifts. He likes to see photos of his “cousin puppy”, Sadie, as she travels all over the country. But what he loves most of all is her love and affection when we visit. She offers the perfect balance of love and discipline that each little boy needs. He loves playing in the yard with Jackie and Sadie. They all laugh hysterically as they throw the frisbee and run around together. That’s what good aunts do… they make great memories with their nephew.

On Jackie’s big day, I got to stand beside her as her Matron of Honor as she married her prince, Ryan Padilla. Everyone knows that I love my husband and Sam, but Ryan was the best addition to our family. He balances Jackie out so much. He has a never ending love for her and gives her so much love, affection and affirmation. Jackie blossomed when She became Mrs Padilla and we were all thrilled to see her so happy.

Jackie and I have spent lots of time together outside of our home state of Georgia including London and Seattle. But my favorite trip was to visit her and Ryan in Alaska. Jackie and I spent several days together exploring the scenic beauty of Alaska, catching up, laughing as we experienced new things, taking tons of photos, and rocking out to Taylor Swift driving through the Turnagain. It was fun to see a snapshot of Alaska life- her gym/social club, eating lots of fresh crab meat, hearing about her job, and seeing where she had spent a previous summer doing missions work. It was a fantastic trip for many reasons. That’s what sisters do… have fun together.

So today, on Jackie’s 30th birthday, I wrote these words full of love and memory. I’m proud of the woman you’ve become. You are a loving wife, kind sister and wonderful aunt. Cheers to you, the most STRIKING Cadle sister, today and everyday!

love, brookie

Ode to My Bean Boots

In the beginning, I was so hesitant to buy them.  They are definitely a financial commitment but every time I got ready to go on a trip that threatened rain, I would get frustrated by my shoe options.  I wanted a pair of truly waterproof shoes (many of my “rain” boots had sprung leaks after long term wear.  I wanted something that could go with jeans or with leggings.  I wanted something that would last and I finally was at the point that I didn’t care what I spent to make this dream come true.

My mom has a pair of waterproof LL bean rain shoes that she has had for over 30 years and it was a good reminder that they last a long time.  I knew if her LL bean investment was still paying off, then it was ok for me to pull the trigger too.  So, after years of wishing/wanting a solid pair of waterproof boots, I decided to make the financial jump to bean boot ownership.

I celebrated a year of boot ownership a couple weeks ago and thought it would be fun to remember all the fun that we have had together over the last year!

Ireland- September 2016

FullSizeRender (22)I bought the boots right before this trip because I knew it was going to rain a lot… as it does in Ireland.  I was nervous pulling the trigger so close to a trip and taking up valuable luggage real estate for shoes that I had never worn before.  Thankfully, the shoes did their job and kept my feet warm and dry.  It was POURING down rain on football game day (Boston College vs Georgia Tech).  We had to hike through Trinity College to wait in line to catch a shuttle to the stadium, then march to the stadium… all in soaking wet conditions.  FullSizeRender (23)We were prepared to continue to be soaked DURING the game.  (Mind you we had JB with us too) and I almost cried when we got in the stadium and we learned that our seats were covered and we were dry!  The game was incredible and drinking cold Irish cider while watching college football is also a pretty nice thing too!

 

Alaska- October 2016

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My sister, Jackie, and her husband moved to Anchorage in September.  I decided that I REALLY wanted to visit them BEFORE the snow set in for the winter… so with about 5 weeks notice, I booked a flight to go visit them.  Well, I didn’t quite beat the snow as it snowed the day that I arrived, but thankfully it did not snow more while I was there.  So, I got to experience seeing snow but not a lot of driving/maneuvering through it.

7927289F-F5AA-4C07-B69B-173F61B2A535Of course, this was the first time the bean boots got to meet snow.  I prepared for this by buying boot liners and wore thick wool socks (thankfully I bought a half size up so they would fit) and my feet stayed warm the whole time.  That is pretty impressive considering the temps were between 8-28 degrees during the my visit.  The boots got to watch the sunset over Denali, hike along the Turn Again south of Anchorage, and visit a rescued moose.  The boots also got to wear Yaks which were awesome in preventing me from busting my butt on icy conditions.  (The boot soles are rubber and can be slippery/dangerous on wet/icy conditions).

6723EF59-0795-4849-963A-25E83F8C97F2 (1)Denver- December 2016

We flew to Denver for a friend’s wedding and of course the boots had to come.  The temps were moderate- but I knew they would keep my feet dry and I could walk miles in them with no problem.

 

The Women’s March- January 2017IMG_0275

These boots were made for walking… and that’s just what they did.  The morning started out as a monsoon and mud EVERYwhere.  It ended with 60,000 people calmly walking through the great streets of Atlanta to support women’s health, refugees, education, and numerous other causes… while the sun was brightly shining.  Hearing John Lewis speak in front of the Civil and Human Rights museum was pretty powerful as well.  Here is my post for more on this special event.

Manitou Springs- April 2017

The boots were perfect for this trip!  We had snow twice, did a good bit of walking/hiking, and they even took the train up the cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak.

 

Happy Birthday to my Bean Boots!  We have done so much together and I don’t regret buying you at all.  Can’t wait to see what other adventures we have in store together!

love, brooke

Ode to Claire

Claire’s love for texting and my never ending texting skills became an instant match.  I’d estimate that we text 100 times back and forth each day.  My husband would say that is a low estimate.  

I officially met her while she was six months pregnant with her second son and working the check out at our church consignment sale.  She and Scott had visited our Sunday school class before but if not yet had a conversation with them.  Fast forward to the Sunday before Christmas, and I saw them at the 8:30am service.  After the service, I asked if they were coming to Sunday School and was informed that Claire wasn’t feeling well and didn’t think she could sit through the class.  I later learned that she was in labor and Cabell was born two days later.

It took me 4 months to finally take Claire a meal after having Cabell.  I was so embarrassed it took me that long.  Claire was so appreciative because Scott was traveling and she didn’t have to cook while solo parenting.  That’s when I realized that she was also a stay at home mom.  We started hanging out more through church and play dates and slowly became good friends.  

claire4Claire and I have so much in common.  We are both the oldest of three girls and raised outdoors- fishing, playing in the woods, and working in the garden.  Both of our fathers are outdoorsmen who were lucky enough to end up with three daughters.  They taught us to fish, get dirty, and love being outside.  We both love cold beer, good food, Jesus, the ocean, and spending time with our family and friends.  

claire2Claire’s house was being remodeled for a tv show in July 2015 and she had to move her family out for two weeks.  I invited her and the boys to join JB and I at my family’s C shack on the GA coast.  I thought I knew her pretty well, but vacationing with someone makes you get to know them really well.  Thankfully, in this case, that was a good thing.  I had expected Claire to be like most of my friends; to have never seen a crab trap before, tossed a cast net nor know much about fishing.  Instead, she could identify many more fish than me and can throw an 8 foot cast net (I can only throw a 5 footer).  I learned that many of her childhood vacations were to south Florida for fishing and crabbing.  Her love of crabs became apparent that week with her help in not only catching them but also in cleaning them (aka the dirty work).  The night we ate the crabs, we both sat at the table for an hour drinking beer and raving about how good the crabs were.  Our boys were running all around us like crazy but we could not lose focus until all the crabs were eaten.  That would have been a total sin.  

claire6Claire is a runner.  And she is fast.  We “trained” together for my second half marathon.  She’d run pushing a stroller (I didn’t have one) and was still kind enough to slow down and allow me to keep up.  We’ve done numerous races “together”.  Claire is always standing at the finish line waiting on me and cheering me on.  It always feels good to have someone at the finish but Claire makes you feel like you were the best runner there- even if 15,000 people have already finished before you (this is true for my races).

Claire is a cheerleader.  Literally, she was a high school cheerleader, but figuratively, she is now a cheerleader of life.  She is an original encourager of my blog.  Recently, she read a book and said, “Brooke- you could write this better than the author did.”  This is very kind of her since I have never written a book.  She was one of the first Luma testers and immediately wrote a 5 star review.  If you tell Claire that you want to do something, she will help you do it.  She encouraged me to go to Alaska to visit my sister and then watched JB two afternoons while I was gone so Peck wouldn’t miss work.  Everyone needs a friend like Claire.

claire10Claire is an encourager.  As we all know, life has its ups and downs.  Claire always sees the glass as half full.  When you are feeling down, she helps lift you up.  When you want to talk or vent, she is always ready and able to listen.  The year or so around Luma starting was very difficult for me.  Lots of transitions and loneliness with my husband needing to work so much.  Claire provided so much encouragement during this time and wisdom.  She has been a big part of helping me through the start-up widow life.

claire7Claire loves my son like another child.  She gives him so much encouragement, love and direction.  He loves play dates at her house and she always has the best snacks.  Since JB was gluten free most of his life, she always made sure he had a special sweet treat at her boys’ birthday parties or other events.  Making sure he didn’t feel left out was always so sweet of Claire.  

Claire is a lover.  She loves her family mightily and her friends too.  She is constantly checking on others and providing support when she can.  When I lost my grandmother, Claire was the first one to bring us a meal.  When someone in our family is sick, she is the first to drop off groceries or cupcakes.  She takes a meal to every family she knows as soon as they have a baby.  Even people she doesn’t even know.  Anything she can do to help or show love to others, she is happy to do.

Claire is a prayer warrior.  It doesn’t matter the size or concern- she is happy to lift it up in prayer.  She prays for you even when you don’t ask or know it.  I challenged her to do a prayer journal during Lent.  She did it everyday and has continued to.  I wish her consistency and diligence will rub off on me!

claire3Claire is a busy bee.  She goes hard from the (early) moment she wakes up until the end.  She is her own housekeeper and has a well executed plan of cleaning the same part of her house on the same day each week to keep up with things.  She will push a double stroller with two boys in it on a 4 mile trek to drop one off at preschool.  At 37.5 weeks pregnant with twins, Claire was out walking the 4th of July neighborhood parade.  Later, she went home to “rest” but still ended up making a homemade flag cookie cake.  That pretty much sums it up.

IMG_2658Claire is so humble.  She does what she is called to do without wanting any attention.  She was a VBS co-director this year and didn’t want any public attention for her hard work.  If you give her a compliment, she is a bit hesitant to accept it and likely to respond with “you are sweet.”  If I had to guess, she is probably a bit embarrassed to be reading this post about herself.

claire5Claire is the most amazing mom.  She always has some fun outing planned for her boys and makes fun out of the most mundane tasks- like grocery shopping.  Her patience (especially as a mom of two little guys) runs deep and she rebounds quickly.  I envy her resilience and out pouring of love in situations where I’d probably just give up and walk away.  On another family vacation, my husband admired her patience.  It’s this amount of love and grace that made God know she’d be the perfect mom to not only two boys but twin girls too.  Of all my friends, I truly believe that Claire has the positivity and strength to not only “get by” as a mom of four children aged 5 and under- but to also thrive.  

Claire, we are all raising our glasses to you and Scott in the coming months. We are here to help any way you will let us.  So proud of you and thankful to have you as my BFFL.  Can’t wait to meet your beautiful girls.  Scott is in big trouble if they are as pretty, smart and sweet as you and your sisters!

love, brooke

Ode to SAG

My least favorite thing about the United Methodist church is our pastor merry go round.  Every 4-8 years, a pastor leaves a church and a new one usually takes his/her place.  In theory, this is great for the growth and transition of churches but in practice is a sad time for the congregation.  I am especially struggling with it now as our beloved, SAG, Susan Allen Grady, is leaving my church and going to another.

Since we were on spring break when the announcement was made that she was leaving our church, I found out on Facebook.  I just couldn’t believe it- I never expected her to be leaving us this summer.  I still haven’t found it in me to “like” that Facebook post.

SAG and I started at our church around the same time.  I first met her at a low country boil at our senior pastor’s home.  She seemed reserved but very friendly.  I had no idea that she would become one of my biggest mentors over the coming years.

The first time I was able to work with her it was to help plan a church picnic.  It was during the planning meetings that I begin to appreciate SAG’s honesty and diplomatic processing.  Her witty sense of humor also started to shine.  She has no problem poking fun at herself either.

As the years went by, she asked me to help plan several other events and I had the joy of continuing to work with her.  I got to see her in action as a preacher and a young mother to a high spirited daughter.  On top of that, her husband is also a preacher.  That is a lot to balance and she always does it with a smile and plenty of grace.

She works to make everyone feel special by being generous with her time.  She never rushes a conversation and always makes her office open to whomever needs to chat.  SAG has been a cheerleader for my writing by encouraging me to share it publicly and by helping review/edit a small group study discussion I wrote.

She also has been instrumental in me completing two Disciple classes over the last few years.  Because of her encouragement, my Bible knowledge has grown exponentially.  She has also helped gently push me in starting and leading two small groups.  As a result, my spiritual friendships have deep roots now and my faith has grown deeper as well.

In my mind, the biggest effect SAG has had on me is through establishing a weekly communion service.  Last week, I was able to say a few words during one of her last communion visits.  Here is what I shared (through lots of tears):

FullSizeRender (7)“At this stage in motherhood life, getting to Sunday School and “big church” is difficult with a loud, rambunctious 4 year old son.  Thankfully, this communion service has helped me fill this church void each week.  Susan has consistently filled it with uplifting and thought provoking homilies.  Her commitment to recruiting others to serve and involving attendees in participating does not go unnoticed.  I feel this weekly service is one of the most intimate opportunities at our church.  I’m grateful for her leadership in starting the service and continuing to make it a priority.

Susan is an encourager.  Between my writing, calling to share at communion last year, and forming small groups- Susan is always there to help and cheer me along.  She makes herself available for mentoring and encouragement whenever needed.  I appreciate your investment in me and my faith.

As a fellow lifelong Methodist, I’m going to miss the strong, female leadership that Susan brings to our church.  But, at the same time- I’m proudly cheering you on as you assume your new senior pastor position.  We love you and will miss you.”

Obviously, I am sad to see her leave for so many personal reasons.  I am going to miss her smile, leadership, sense of humor, and encouragement.  But, at the same time, I am so proud of her to be moving into a senior pastor role.  I know that God has big things in store for her and her new church.  She is a lover of people and relationships and I know that will carry her far in life.  I am just proud to be on her cheerleader squad during life’s journey.

On a positive note, she said I can still text her even though she isn’t my official pastor anymore.  I am glad to still call her my friend.

Best wishes SAG!

love, brooke

Ode to Mother’s Day

As a child, Mother’s Day was always a special day with family.  We’d spend time celebrating my mom and Myma, my grandmother.  The men would take as all out to a nice lunch after church.  We’d present mom and Myma with “precious” home made gifts ranging from a card to a craft or some “gem” we had bought on our own.

After lunch, my mom would come home for a nap and my dad would take over as “mom” the rest of the day.  Mom would place a sign on her door that says “Do not touch this door unless you are bleeding or throwing up”.  I never really understood this sign until I became a mom.

For a while in my married life, I never wanted to become a mom.  Married life was so good- filled with sleep, travels, and lots of time together.  I couldn’t imagine upsetting this beautiful life with the responsibility of a child!

IMG_2055Just after our third wedding anniversary, I felt my heart starting to change.  It was quiet at first but slowly got louder and louder.  I didn’t want to tell Peck about my new found sentiment because I was worried he might not be on board.  It took me a few months to finally fess up to my feelings.  It was June 2011 and we were wrapping up a trip in Europe.  Holding hands, we walked down a beautiful old street in Vienna.  I told him that God had been changing my heart and I thought I might want to be a mommy one day- in the not so near future.  It was an emotional moment that my sweet husband embraced so well.  He hugged me and told me what a wonderful mom I’d be and that he’d love to see me become one.  I don’t know why I was afraid to tell him.  That man is a saint!

IMG_2056To our surprise, several months later, we found out that I was pregnant.  I remember taking the home test and being convinced there was no way I was pregnant as the timer ticked down.  This was just a necessary routine before leaving for a bachelorette party weekend while Peck went to San Fran.  If I was pregnant, I wanted to know before I subjected myself to a weekend of margaritas, Jell-O shots, and other bad decisions.

When I first read the test, I thought the result instructions were wrong.  It said I was pregnant- so I had to call Peck in for a second opinion to make sense of this little sheet.

As he looked at the test and smiled, every possible emotion set in.  😳😍😯😭😬🤞🏼🙈😩😊😆😁😐😱😑😏😝🤑🙏🏼😭 … were just a few of them.  We were laying on the couch together and I was full on sobbing.  I’ve never been so surprised by something with that many emotions at one time.  He hugged me through it all and was so happy.  Just pure happiness.  My stable and loving husband was just the rock I needed.

20120829_Peck_130On my first Mother’s Day as a mom, 2013, my husband knocked it out of the park with best gift he has ever given me.  A framed photo of the street in Vienna where I first told him that I wanted to be a mom.  That, accompanied with a sweet card, made me cry so much.  It had come full circle.  Receiving that gift from my generous husband while celebrating the day with my mom and my sweet little boy, is my favorite Mother’s Day memory so far.

IMG_4415As I think about Mother’s Day today, I also think of my mom friends.  The women who I get to share the ups and downs of being a mom with each week.  The amount of respect I have for them is ginormous.  They care for their families, working hard and sacrificing frequently- but still have enough love to share with me and my son.  I’m grateful for their friendship, encouragement, and love today… and every day.

JB, thank you for making me a mommy.  I had no idea how much love my heart was capable of until you came in to our lives!

Mom, thank you for teaching me how to love so freely.  And for your good genes.

IMG_3298Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms, step moms, foster moms, fur baby moms, mom friends, and grandmas!

love, brooke

Ode to Stinky

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When I was 9 years old, my parents were blessed (and surprised!) by another little pink bundle of joy.  She joined my parents, me, and Jackie as our baby sister… the youngest of three girls… and was named Alexandria Jennings Cadle.  I remember Jackie and I (dressed in matching cat t-shirts that said “Big Sisters”) coming to the hospital to meet Alex.  I was immediately in love.

We used to sing her baptism song to her on repeat.
“Alexandria, Alexandria, sent from Heaven above.
Alexandria, Alexandria, sent for us to love.
Alexandria, Alexandria, we love you.  
Alexandria, Alexandria, we love you!”
babyalex
I felt like she was my baby.  I changed her diapers, put her down for naps, put her in her car seat, got her dressed, and helped feed her.  To this day, I still feel like she is partly mine.

When I was twelve, my parents would leave me home to babysit her and Jackie each Friday night.  I’d make us all a frozen 99cent Totino’s pizza for dinner and we’d watch TGIF together on ABC.  We’d wear Alex out for bedtime by getting her to run up and down our bedroom hallway.  She would run around in just a diaper with so much glee. Jackie and I would spin her around and then get her to run back again.
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As Alex got older, she was a bit of a wild child.  I remember one time- in the span of just a few weeks- she managed to cut her own hair (at the top of her crown) and cut the straps off her bathing suit because she wanted a strapless suit.  She also told our mom that she had put a button in her nose one afternoon.  My mom couldn’t figure out if Alex was telling the truth or not.  So after some prodding and investigation, mom decided that she was telling a lie and gave up on the button search.  About three hours later, we were at a neighborhood cook out, Alex sneezed and the button popped out in front of everyone in attendance.  My parents were just grateful it came out on it’s own without involving a doctor.

As she got older, my first nickname came out for her… “Stinky”.  You may be wondering why.  Well, it’s because she was very active, sweaty and smelly most days.  So, “Stinky” fit the bill.  Eventually, she began showering more regularly and using deodorant.  But, I also felt she was very spoiled- so I kept calling her Stinky… as in spoiled rotten.  Now, it’s a very affectionate name that I still use without even flinching.  The altered version, “Stinks”, also easily rolls off my tongue.

Eventually, I went off to college and left home.  I wasn’t very close to Stinky during this time but I’m glad she came to stay with me in the dorms some and go to a few football games.
Wedding077I got married at 23 and Alex was only 14.  Still a baby.  She was a wonderful bridesmaid in my wedding.  It took some time, but she and Peck became good buds.  Thankfully, she
decided to move to Decatur for college and we reunited.  We were together 2-3 times a week with lots of shared meals.  I enjoyed spending time with her friends and roommates too.

She would come over and sit on my bed while I cleaned out my closet to donate what I no longer needed.  We’d have long talks and I enjoyed the company while doing such a boring task.  Somehow, she’d end up taking all of my clothing donations with her in a giant black trash bag for her own personal use.

When I got pregnant with JB, Alex was extra helpful in “ladysitting” me.  This is a term my husband uses to describe my need of having someone around while completing a task.  Alex helped with the nursery, registering, and documenting my ever growing belly through unflattering, candid photos.  She came to all of my showers and even a sonogram.  AlexandJBhosp2She along with Jackie and my mom, were at the hospital when JB was born and immediately began loving on him too.

That’s when the newest nickname started.  I called her AA for Aunt Alex.  As JB got older, he couldn’t say AA so he called her YayYay.  This eventually morphed into RaRa.  Not exactly sure how, but it has stuck.  The amount of love that JB has for RaRa is super special and they are great buds.  I am thankful to still have her so close and such an important part of our Atlanta family.

When Alex got married, I cried like a baby when she walked down the aisle.  One reason 12238294_10153725404214814_1356554656216976054_owas because my dad was walking her down the aisle and I love my dad so much and appreciate him working so hard to raise three daughters.  The other reason was because I felt like my baby was getting married.

In the last year, I’ve been able to witness Alex’s take on life and faith in action.  We supported each other emotionally after our candidate lost the Presidential Election.  I had the pleasure of marching with her in Atlanta with 60.000 others at the Women’s March.  I began witnessing her passion for art and being a creative maker each week.  She has turned into a beautiful adult and I’m so proud of her.
alexmemarch
This morning, Alex and I played our first competitive tennis match together (and won!).  It’s crazy that it’s taken this long in life for us to play on the same side of the net together (thanks 9 year age difference!).  I’ve never been more proud to have her as a partner and look forward to more matches together.

As I think about the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday, I think of Alex who I jokingly call my first born.  She helped me prepare to be a real mommy much later in life and is now one of my best friends.
brookeandal
So, I raise my glass to you, Alexandria: Alex, Al, Ali, Stinky, Stinks and RaRa…

I love you so much and am glad you were sent from Heaven above and sent for us to love!

love, brooke