Dear Dad…

Dear Dad,

Today is your 67th birthday. Today is also the 4 year anniversary of your mom passing away.

This is the first birthday you will be spending in Heaven and the first birthday you won’t be here with us.

I miss you, Dad.

I thought after 6 months I wouldn’t be this torn up.
But I am.

I went to church on Easter, to the service we used to go to together, and within 5 minutes one of your friends came up to me. It was then that I realized I hadn’t been to church since the day after your service. So within 5 minutes of being at church, I was in tears. I cried throughout worship and during some parts of the sermon. I kept thinking, “Will I ever be able to come here again without crying?” I don’t want to find a new church. This is my home; I grew up in this church. But if the memory of you lingers every time I sit in our spot, I don’t think I can take it.

I don’t know what to do today.

Before Grandma passed away on your birthday 4 years ago, we would do fun things. I’ve taken you to Disneyland, the Reagan Library, a tour around La Jolla, to name a few.

After Grandma passed away, you said you wanted your birthday to become a celebration of her. So we started our family reunion. We used to hold it on your birthday or the weekend before/after. This past year we did it in August so more people could come.

But now, I’m feeling a little lost.

Should I go to the beach and eat donuts and coffee like I did in October for Grandma’s 100th birthday? Should I go to Tony’s and eat 2 beef tacos with lots of hot sauce and guacamole? Should I go to a baseball game like we did last year?

I still haven’t decided and part of me doesn’t want to decide.

I still have to remind myself every morning that you’re no longer here. So me celebrating your birthday without you just kinda makes that part worse.

So I guess I’ll just say thanks…

 For raising me.
For making me put school first.
For teaching me how to play baseball.
For teaching me how to drink wine.
For going on road trips with me.
For helping me move into my dorms and apartments.
For teaching me how to drive a manual.
For teaching me how to grill.
For teaching me how to be self-sufficient.
For teaching me about our family history.
For telling stories.
For coming to visit me in Ohio and in OC.
For supporting my high school drama department.
For sending me care packages during finals.
For holding me when I cried.
For encouraging me to go to law school.
For letting me vent about whatever was on my mind.
For giving me an example of how a father should be.
For telling me I was better than the boys I dated.
For loving Bret and our relationship.
For teaching me how to build and fix things.
For exploring San Diego County with me.
For going to church with me every Sunday.
For telling me I will pass the bar exam.
For always being there for me.
For believing in me.
For loving me unconditionally.

Words cannot describe how much I love you and wish you hadn’t left so soon.

I hope you’re having a blast in Heaven with Grandma and Jesus.

I can’t wait until I see you again.

Love always,
Lizard

baby-mary-and-dad

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It’s a Girl!

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We couldn’t be more excited to announce that we’re having a girl!

It honestly is kind of a shock that we’re having a girl. Literally, everyone we know except maybe 5 people thought we were having a boy.

Bret & I were convinced it was a boy, too.
But for different reasons.

Bret wanted a boy because he wanted to be able to play sports and be all rough and tumble with him. I thought we were having a boy because of my Dad. (There’s a myth that if someone in your family dies & then someone gets pregnant the genders will be the same). So because of that myth, I was convinced that it was going to be a boy.

But lo’ and behold, we are having a precious baby girl!

I am so excited for the bows and flowers and everything pink and white.

We had a bunch of appointments during March for various reasons, so we got to see our pumpkin a lot. At 17 weeks, I asked the doctor if she could look just to see. While she was looking at the ultrasound, Bret (somewhat loudly) says, “I see a penis!” and my doctor laughed and was like, “nooo, I don’t think so.” After that appointment, he was convinced it was a boy, but the doctor said girl so I was stoked! I went out and bought some cute girl stuff right away (I needed to get the bug out of my system).

Then a week later we had our appointment with the radiologist who had to take pictures of literally everything. We counted toes and fingers, we saw the heart actually pounding in her chest, and he also confirmed that we’re having a girl.

I, honestly, let out a huge sigh of relief because I did not want to go return all the cute girl stuff I had bought a week before, haha.

Our families were very excited when we told them!

The best reactions were from Layla, my niece, and Bret’s Mom and Grandma.

Bret has all brothers, and when we were in middle school, his Mom used to joke about how she wanted to take me home so she could find out what it’s like to have a girl for once. So ever since we found out we were pregnant, his Mom and Grandma have been praying for a girl! So they were really excited!

Layla, oh Layla, was the cutest.
She made up a song to the tune of “You’re Welcome” from Moana all about how she wants a girl because they wear dresses and boys don’t. The first time we told her it was a girl, she texted me a bunch of emojis. At the same time, my sister texted me saying, “She just screamed, ran into her room, grabbed her pillow, and screamed again.” When we confirmed girl a week later, she basically did the same thing over again.

IMG_6147[This was one of the outfits I got the day we “kinda” found we’re having a girl. I’m obsessed with the embroidery detail.]

Even though, as a parent, you learn different things from having a girl or boy, I think right now, having a girl is what’s best for Bret and I.

He has so much to learn about being a father to a girl. It’s so different than how he was raised and what he knows. He grew up in a very traditional masculine family so he has a lot to learn about women and all that women can do. I’m really excited for how this baby girl is going to change our lives, but I’m just as excited to see the transformation he’ll go through over the next few years.

Me, on the other hand, am excited for so many reasons. My Mom is one of my favorite people in the entire world, and she has been since I can remember. As a child, I loved that my Mom was (and still is!) a working mom. I loved that she was involved in my life by taking me to theatre practice or volunteering at school. My Mom and I have a very close relationship, as a result, and I’m excited to take all the lessons I learned from her and apply them to my daughter’s life. I will be a working mom but I’m going to strive to have a balanced work/home life so I can still be there for her when she needs me. I’m praying that my daughter and I have as close of a relationship as my Mom and I do.

The next few months are going to be an exciting time for us!
We are already starting to gather clothes and decor, and figuring out how to rearrange our apartment and decorate her nursery.

I’ve been praying for this baby since December 12 and I will continue to pray that she is kind, generous, strong, and that she knows how much Bret & I love her and how much God loves her. I pray she will be an amazing woman with big dreams and an even bigger heart. I can’t wait to meet her!

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These Adidas are special. My Dad’s favorite shoes were white Adidas with a hint of green. He wore them everywhere and bought several pairs a year. When he died I went and bought myself a pair (and found that I actually love Adidas). So I thought it was only fitting to get Baby some white Adidas too.