Surrender 119: Happy Birthday Nicole

Another birthday to celebrate arrived today, of another dear family member. Nicole is the wife of my nephew Scott, mommy to Weston and Lola, daughter-in-law to my sister Linda. And although she fulfills all those roles lovingly and well, Nicole is very much her own delightful person. 


I discovered recently, while writing Tosh’s birthday blog, the value of looking up the name of each person as I think about her or him throughout the day. Nicole’s name is of Greek origin, and literally means, “victory of the people.” From the Seven Reflections site:

Nicole, you have a vivid imagination and can bring inspired messages to the world. You are intuitive and might be interested in the arts, drama or science.

Dependable, very down-to-earth and well grounded, you are always looking for meaningful work, a career where you can take pride in your work and do the best job you are capable of. Your prime desire is to build a protected and secure environment at home and at work. You can be very persuasive in achieving goals and gaining objectives. You can be very detailed and well-organized and you possess great organizational skills. At times you may appear stubborn and overly critical to others, but your practical approach to life and productivity makes you one of the most beneficent members of community.


True words, about Nicole. Thinking about this determined young woman today, feeling gratitude for her, the words that came to mind echo the characteristics listed above…dependable, down to earth, grounded. Nicole is one of the most grounded and reliable people that I know, always willing to offer her help.  



She does desire to create a protected environment at home for her family, and a fun one as well. She is a supportive wife to Scott, allowing him to be who he is, while she grows as her own beautiful self. And as mommy to three year old Weston and one year old Lola, she provides a balance of nurturing love and freedom, letting her kids experience independence as they are growing into their personalities. 


And while Nicole posssses all of the other traits listed…being capable and hardworking, detailed and organized…she does not sacrifice her creative or intuitive sides. I’ve had the pleasure of watching those areas in her life blossom in recent years, and I’m excited to see where Nicole’s journey takes her as she continues to explore who she is and all that she has to offer to the world. 

Nicole’s practical approach to life makes her not only “one of the most beneficial members of the community”, but one of the most beneficial members of our family. I’m thankful she said yes to Scott 10 years ago. Happiest of birthdays, sweet Nicole, do something that you enjoy. I love you! 

Journey 256: A Mouse, a Nature Walk and a Dance

Today presented an opportunity to get my granddaughter Aubrey and my sister’s granddaughter London together for an afternoon of playing. These two little girls don’t get to spend near as much time together as they would like. However, when schedules align, they enjoy every moment that they are given. 

 

The majority of their play date took place at one of the girls’ favorite hang outs… Chuck E Cheese Pizza. Today they were joined by cousins Weston and Lola, who entered into the spirit of fun whole-heartedly…just keep that big mouse who lurks about away! This is a noisy, kid friendly restaurant. Linda, Nicole and I didn’t mind the rowdy atmosphere though. The kids had space to run and slide, ride rides and plug tokens into whirring, clanging machines. 

 
Aubrey and London have been enjoying Chuck E Cheese since their toddler days, when Gigi and I had to boost them up the platforms, to the top of the playground enclosure. I watched today, with both amusement and tenderness, as the girls helped young Weston climb to the top, taking turns pulling on his arms from above and lifting from below. They made a great little team and Weston loved looking out over the restaurant from his vantage point. What better place to keep an eye out for that overgrown mouse roaming about!

 

Pretty little Lola, who will be a year old in late November, was bright eyed and interested in all the activity swirling about her. She and Gigi drove a car and she loved the bright green train ride that jostled her a bit too much after her bottle at lunch. She’s a good-natured, happy baby who smiles easily and already allows her curiosity to lead her. 

 

After Nicole headed home with her two sleepy babies, the girls finished up their afternoon together at Gigi’s house. These BFF/cousins are at an age where they need very little supervision. Linda and I sit nearby, visiting and keeping an ear turned toward the girls. It’s amusing and revealing, listening to them engage. Their life experiences pop up to color their conversations and play. And maybe that’s not a bad way, in the midst of make-believe, to sort out their little lives. 

We took time for a walk in the neighborhood. The girls carried plastic zip-lock bags for collecting treasures. I love that they fully expected to find such items. Into the baggies went interesting twigs and rocks, seeds, acorns and walnuts, and shiny bits of ribbon from some celebration. These children reminded me today that on our journeys, we find what we expect to find. I want to be a seeker of treasures as well. 

  
London and Aubrey ended their afternoon of fun with a little ritual that has become a tradition for them…The Dance. Sometimes they dress up in costumes. Today they donned leotards. And then they danced their little hearts out for their Yaya and Gigi. We enjoyed their performance and laughed at their antics this afternoon, as they let their little wild and creative spirits peep through. It was good fun. And more than that, it allowed them to move, their bodies and their energies. Rather than clinging sadly to each other, wondering when they will get together next, they instead parted company on a high and hilarious note. Wise beyond years, these two. Old souls who love and enjoy each other. I learn so much from them. 

  
  

Day 333: Welcome Lola Maxx Miller

Lola Maxx

Another beautiful blessing today, for my first. My nephew Scott and his wife Nicole welcomed their baby daughter to their family. They are also the parents of an adorable son, Weston, who just turned 20 months old. Due December 4, Lola knew exactly what she was doing, arriving today. More about that at the end of the blog post.

My family celebrates everything….birthdays, graduations, promotions, holidays, weddings and births. When something significant happens, we are there to rejoice. It is one of the things I love most about my family. So when I heard this morning that Lola’s birth was eminent, I changed today’s plans, which were insignificant, and headed to Broken Arrow, OK, along with Greg and my mom, to meet this new little person.

Lola Maxx with daddy

Lola Maxx Miller was born at 10:43 am, weighing in at 8 lb 1 oz and measuring 20 ½ inches long. She has dark hair and the sweetest, chubbiest cheeks! She is strong and healthy and doing well, as are her mommy and daddy and big brother. I’ve watched Scott and Nicole parent little Weston and they have so impressed me with their combination of practical skills and deep devotion to their child. Weston is well loved and Lola will receive the same care and love. I am so thrilled for them as their little family grows.

Lola Maxx with family

It was precious to watch Weston meet his sister. Not even two yet, it is quite a change for him to move from only child, who never had to compete for a parent’s lap, to being a sibling who must share. This handsome little guy, with his solemn dark eyes and curly red hair was amazing. He was very happy to see his mom and dad, and curious about the baby. He smiled the biggest smile as he leaned over Lola in the bassinet. And he was gentle as he patted her and gave her a tender kiss. Not all toddlers are so accepting. I’m told I slapped my baby sister when my parents brought her home! Weston is already a wonderful big brother. Lola is blessed with him, her parents and grandparents and a host of others who will love her fiercely and protect her just as fiercely.

Lola Maxx meet Weston  Lola Maxx with Weston

As I was beginning this blog post, a thought suddenly struck me that brought goose bumps. My family is used to my strange insights. Part of my growth this year has been moving beyond my comfort zone and sharing them more publicly. Lola was born on Day 333 of the year. I remembered that on August 22 of this year, her mother Nicole asked about the significance of the number 3 and especially 333 and 3334, as she was seeing the numbers frequently. Today, as they were moving mommy and baby Lola to their private room, from the birthing room, the nurses suddenly switched rooms….from Room 332 to Room 333. Amazing. The number 3 has to do with the connection between the Body, Mind and Spirit. It is a Divine number, signifying the presence of angels. And, it carries the energy of creativity, joy, imagination, kindness, psychic ability, growth and manifestation. What a powerful blessing on this beautiful wee girl. She will be a gifted child. I am so honored to welcome her to our family.

Lola Maxx meets Yaya

Day 319: Baby Shower for Lola

Lolas shower Nicole

Twenty months ago, Scott and Nicole’s lives shifted forever. My nephew and his wife welcomed a baby boy, Weston, into their family, after hoping for many years to have a child. They have been amazing parents to their small son. I love watching this little group interact with each other. In less than a month, Scott, Nicole and Weston will welcome a new addition to the family, a little girl named Lola Maxx Miller.

Today, my family gathered to “shower” Nicole and Scott with love and gifts, in preparation for little Lola’s entrance into the world. We met at their new home, and included the males in the family, combining a house warming with the baby shower. My sister Debbie and niece Ashley served potato soup and a crockpot of ham and beans, cornbread and a wonderfully cheesy corn dip with Frito chips. We saved the cake for after the shower, but there were lemon bars and a warm and rich hot cocoa bar, complete with flavored marshmellows, stirring spoons dipped in chocolate and whipped cream. On this cold day, with snow in the forecast, steaming mugs of hot chocolate were a welcome treat!

Lolas shower

The ladies decorated onsies for Lola, using fabric paint. We then chased the men and boys from the living room. Jon, Ashley’s husband, created huge versions of two fun games, Kerplunk and Jenga. The guys retired to the garage to play while we sat in a circle around Nicole. She opened presents and we ooohed and ahhhhed over each tiny outfit, soft blanket or package of diapers. Is there anything more joyful than watching an expectant mom’s face glow as she exclaims over each gift and piles sweet baby clothes on her lap? We laughed and chatted, and spoke with anticipation about baby Lola.

Lolas shower games for the guys Lolas shower games Jenga

We played a couple of games. One involved answering trivia questions about Nicole, to see how well we know her. This involved much giggling and guessing. I didn’t fare well with my answers, however, now I know that green is Nicole’s favorite color, and Blacklist is her favorite TV show. She enjoys eating at The Melting Pot and would love to live in the mountains someday. Scott impressed us all by answering most of the questions correctly. What an attentive husband!

Lolas shower making onsies Lolas shower making onsies 2

Lola Maxx is so loved already, so cherished. We her family eagerly await her, and no one more so than her beautiful mommy and handsome daddy. Weston doesn’t fully know yet what’s about to happen. He will assume the role of big brother well, though. I know, too, that my sister Linda can’t wait to be a Gigi again. Peace and blessings to them as the final weeks of pregnancy slip by. And welcome to the family, and the world, baby girl.

Lolas shower guests