Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Daughter Leaving for Moldova

Thirty-four years ago I was in the hospital preparing to welcome into the world a daughter.  When the doctor laid her in my arms and she wrapped her tiny hand around my pointer finger I knew that I was a goner.  At that moment in time there was not another mother alive who was so captivated by something as beautiful as she was.  She is still captivating me today.  Every year I try to do a time line birthday post telling you about her.  She is amazing, strong, faithful, loving, and every other good adjective I can think of.  So...let me introduce you to my daughter (and for those of you out there with may have many of the same feelings).  Kat was a rocker....when she was little we would rock a lot.  She would hold onto my shirt with her little fist and gaze up into my face.  It does something to me even today to hold a baby and rock.  She slept through the night from the time we got home from the hospital.  The only time she didn't was when she was about six months old and had colic.  I was a blessed woman. 
She walked on her first birthday.  She loved tea parties, dolls, and you could set her down in her playpen (known as pack and plays today) with books and dolls and she would entertain herself for hours.  I remember sitting and watching her for hours.  She was amazing.
When she was two she climbed up on the cabinet....stacked cookbooks and got an oatmeal cookie from the Toms Cookie jar, which was on top of the fridge.  I found her....and was afraid she would fall if I spoke I stood and watched her....when she was on the cabinet again and off the cookbooks I made my presence known.  She was little precious one turned to me and held out her cookie, said, "I got this for you mommy!"  I took the cookie, thanked her, and ate it.  Her little face was crushed.  After I had gotten her down to the floor, moved the cookbooks so she would not do this again....and moved the cookie jar.....I gave her one as well.  My friend Deborah(Kat's second mom) has made all her cakes and Kat always got to have the exact piece of cake she wanted much to Debo's horror and my mom's delight.  Kat would always want the very center piece out of the cake (Holly Hobby or Strawberry Shortcakes face).  I have sung "Happy Birthday" to her every year on her birthday....either in person....or on the phone.  This year was no exception.
Her godparents, Chuck and Sue were a major part of her life and many a trip was spent with them in Knoxville.

Travel with Kat was always an adventure and we have covered nearly all fifty states together.  She has seen the World's Largest Ball of Twine (from the movie Michael), the last existing sod house, where Dances With Wolves was filmed, Old Faithful, Green Gables, New York, Venice, and hundreds more places just like it.  Her friends were going to the beach and Disney World....she was having a life history lesson...and yes...she has been to the beach...and to Disney World....but Oh The Other Places We Have Been. 
NYC was awesome with Deborah, Jill, and Kat.  I wish we could go back and relive that moment in 1998 again.  It was heaven on earth.

There is nothing like seeing Italy with your daughter.  She was the most fun and add my friend Mary in with her and everyday was a party.
 NYC 1998 - Kat and Jill and the Twin Towers.  I would not take a million dollars for this picture.
Pacific Northwest Vacation - at the Columbia River Gorge. 

Memorial Day weekend after she finished the eighth grade she was in a boat explosion and burned on 33% of her body with first, second, and third degree burns.  It was a mother's worst nightmare.  The doctors felt there would be skin grafts, surgery, and scars.  My heart was heavy.  I called on my best Prayer Warriors and the prayers began.  It was a long, painful process for both of us and I don't know what I would have done without her best friend forever, Jill (Debo's daughter).  My heart was ripped into each time we went for therapy.  By the end of the summer....there was no grafting or surgery.....and there is one tiny little place left on her leg...that probably I am the only one who notices it.  She was healed....we serve an awesome God.  Kat and Brian both were in the BRHS Pride band and I rarely missed an event.  I was one of the biggest Band Booster parents there has ever been.  I loved sitting near the band and rocking to their rhythms.
Her senior year she was one of the two drum majors.  In August she left for Montevallo and I missed my traveling, shopping, movie watching buddy.  Empty nesting nearly killed me but after having lived on my own for a few months when she returned home with chicken pox I could not wait for her to go back to college.  I have prayed for her all of her life.  I taught her in Mission Friends, youth....I have always been active in her spiritual upbringing.  When she met her now husband, Brian.....she was in the 9th grade and Brian was a junior.  I knew from the day I met Brian when he was in the 9th grade that he was as special as she was.  I prayed then that Kat would find and marry someone just like Brian....little did I know.  They are two peas in a pod.  Together they have a wonderful relationship with God and each other. 

Kat believes that the only place a necklace is good to wear is on your head as a crown.  She even convinced friends Beth and Mary Rachel that this was true.
Kat became an Early Childhood Special Ed teacher and has her EdS in Special Ed.  She is an amazing teacher and I am so very proud of her.  Several years ago she found a new passion.  Orphans in Moldova through Stella's Voice....and that is where she and Brian will be moving to on July 20th.  They are going to be full time missionaries with Stella's Voice.  The past three summers were training sessions for me letting go.
She does amazing things in Moldova and shares her hugs and big heart with the orphans there.  She is truly called.  I would be lying to you if I told you that I won't miss them, but I am very proud.  When God called....she listened...they listened.  She is amazing....and so today I want her to know Frank and I both love her to pieces, wish her a Happy Birthday by singing to her on the phone, and I hope her day is AWESOME....just like she is.  Am I a proud momma or what?
Kat's 30th birthday cake - made by Debo

Lil country girl

Two brides and both Jones'.  Jan (godsister) and Kat married three weeks apart.
Loving hunting eggs.
Airmen in Seattle

Fountain girl in Assissi, Italy

Grease Sr. Play her senior year with John.

The Grand Canyon - Eric, Kat, Jeni

Christmas many years later with Kat, Eric, Jeni

Kat and Jill - bow girls tradition

Kat and SIL, Laura sporting fur coats

Kat as Abbi(NCIS) for Halloween

Kat and my mom at Eric's wedding

Kat in her office at my mom's house in Kellyton with her Wildcat Tennis shoes on.

Kat and Raegan at the LOVE statue in Philly.   This word statue defines my daughter.  I believe if you looked up the word Love in the dictionary there would be a picture of her.  Please pray for she and Brian as they begin the next chapter in their lives and embark on a mission of a lifetime.

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