Being Weston

Today my great-nephew Weston turned four years old! There will be a family gathering at a Joplin bounce house later this month, with cake and gifts. However, I chose to celebrate this little charmer today. 

Happy Birthday Weston
I started looking up family members’ names during the April birthdays last year. Weston is the last person in my family to have the meaning of his name included in a celebratory post. As a four year old, he wouldn’t be happy about being last in anything! I’m glad he’s too young to realize that he completes this series of posts. 

“Weston, you follow the divine law of love. Charming and magnetic, intuitive and spiritual, you are a people person and enjoy gatherings and celebrations. You will have an eventful and exciting life. Learning new information comes easily for you and you remember what you’ve learned. You have great persistence and do not give up easily on anyone or anything. 

In life you are most content when you are with your family and loved ones. You have a great sense of responsibility and duty and want to provide for those you care about. You are comforting, appreciative and affectionate. To be treated fairly and in turn be fair with others is important to you. Because of your loving nature, you will find great happiness and satisfaction.”

Happy Birthday Weston


The first truth that stood out to me, reading those words about Weston, is that love is at the center of his life. This bright eyed, curly haired boy is so loved. And he so loves others. He has wonderfully supportive and encouraging parents, my nephew Scott and his wife Nicole. And he has an adoring little sister, Lola. His grandmother is my sister Linda. He calls her Gigi and he knows she loves him to Jupiter and back and that she would do anything for him. 

In fact, this boy has a large extended family around him…grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins…who cherish him and walk alongside him, committed to helping Weston learn and grow and have fun. He may not fully realize the depths of the love that surrounds him. But he thrives in that environment. 

Happy Birthday Weston
Happy Birthday Weston
All of this love allows this handsome child to do the things that he does best: Have fun. Figure things out by trying things out. Learn. Grow. Be Weston. 

Being Weston is the most important task he has. I’ve watched Weston this past year, as he moved from being a toddler to being a kid. He likes lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners and power tools and blow dryers…in short, anything that moves and makes noise while it moves. He likes to help, whether it’s in the kitchen or vacuuming the floor for Gigi or helping his papa remodel a bathroom. 

Happy Birthday Weston
Happy Birthday Weston
Weston is very smart, articulating well his ideas and desires. He reasons things out and thinks things through. He is persistent. Just ask his parents or his Gigi. Persistence is a powerful quality to carry though life. Weston has a strong sense of responsibility and the desire to care for others. He wants to make sure everyone is treated fairly. And being four, it is extremely crucial that he feels that same fairness extended toward him. 

Weston exudes charm. And he can be polite even when he is asking you to leave. When his mother told him he couldn’t vacuum at Gigi’s anymore until after I left, he immediately came to me and with a serious look in his big brown eyes, said with great sincerity, “Good bye Yaya”. 

He is affectionate and loves to cuddle. He is learning and growing. He is discovering the world and how he impacts it. He is being Weston. And what an amazing Weston he is. 

Happy Birthday Weston

Surrender 79: Weston’s Birthday Party

The family joined together this afternoon to celebrate Weston’s birthday. This adorable little boy, the grandson of my sister Linda, turned three on March 16. He chose to have a Minion/Paw Patrol party theme, and why not? He enjoys both sets of animated characters. That combination made his party as unique as Weston is. 

 I love that this hand crafted minion has hair and eyes that are the same colors as Weston’s!  

 
Although these birthdays seem to roll around quickly, I can recognize the passing of time by observing the birthday boy. Last year, he was a toddler, leaving babyhood behind. This year, Weston is an active, smart, curiosity driven boy, with the role of toddler being assumed by his younger sister, Lola.  

He knew what this celebration was about this year, and he was eager to get his party underway. Told he had to wait for his daddy to get home from work, before he could open presents, Weston was content to play with his cousins…until his daddy walked through the door. The moment Daddy was home, Weston was selecting his first gift to unwrap. 

 

 
 

I laughed at Weston’s no nonsense approach to opening gifts. He carefully removed all the paper from each present and wasn’t distracted by the cheerful ruckus going on around him. As he tore the paper away from one large gift, his mom asked, with enthusiasm, what he had received. Without pausing in his gift reveal, he held up one hand and said firmly, “Not now, Mom.” It was a polite response meaning, Don’t bother me right now Mom…I’m busy!

 

 
  
  

I loved what his mom and dad surprised him with. Like many young children, Weston enjoys watching YouTube videos in which small mystery packages are opened, revealing the surprise within to the audience. It sounds strange to adults, but kids love these videos. The mystery packages are often placed in a huge plastic egg and then covered with playdoh. Weston is blessed with parents who understand their child well. He had fun experiencing the egg full of surprises. 

 

 

  

What a special day, celebrating an amazing little boy. Weston is intelligent and wise, playful and mischievous, and a peacekeeper in the making.  If his cousins are being too rambunctious as they play together, it concerns him. He wants his mom to sort the situation out. He has serious brown eyes that perceive deeply. And a dashing cap of riotous red curls. He loves his family. And his family loves him. 

Happy birthday Weston! 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. 

  
  

Journey 74: Wild, Wild Weston Birthday Party

Westons second birthday eating cupcake

Today my family celebrated the birthday of one of its youngest members. Weston, grandson of my sister Linda, and son of my nephew Scott and his lovely wife Nicole, will be two years old tomorrow. Warm weather created the perfect opportunity to move into Scott and Nicole’s big backyard to play, to laugh, to rejoice over this adorable little boy.

Westons second birthday party

Westons second birthday Kaleb

Rather than a game of poker, Kaleb and I played blocks. I couldn’t stop smiling over his moustache!

Westons second birthday cold drinks

Howdy Ma’am, would you like a cold drink?

Using the theme of Wild, Wild Weston, the house and yard had the feel of the Old West, complete with the bathroom becoming an outhouse and bandanas and moustaches adorning the guests. I loved the Wanted….Reward posters scattered throughout the house, with various cute pics of the birthday boy. I have to say, my eyes filled with tears when I thought about the truth in this clever decoration. Weston was SO wanted by his parents. They waited for this little boy with hearts full of love and hope. When he was born, it was definitely cause for celebration. And joy of joys, Weston now has a baby sister, Lola, who at four months, was an interested onlooker today.

Westons second birthday wanted poster

Westons second birthday Lola and Gigi

Little sister Lola tries out the pony

We feasted on grilled hot dogs with all the fixings, and gathered in the living room to watch Weston open gifts. He was excited about all his new toys, seriously inspecting each item, ready to play long before the last gift was opened. He has the cutest way of saying “thank you” without really moving his lips. It’s more the intonation of the words, the rise and fall of sound that’s just right so that you know that is what he is saying. With his curly red hair, big brown eyes, and impish smile, he could easily be a toddler model. He is content being his mom and dad’s first born, and Gigi’s only grandson among her four grandchildren. I love the way that his eyes take in everything. He’s a thinker who considers carefully and then he takes action. He will be an awesome big brother to Lola.

Westons second birthday opening gifts

Westons second birthday boy

The highlight of Weston’s afternoon was the setting up of the gift from his parents, a mini trampoline, surrounded by a safety net and complete with a swing connected to the side. He joined his dad, uncles, and Papa Roy and “Papa” Greg, happy to be in the middle of the action, testing the frame as the guys began set up. Eventually Weston joined the ladies and the other kids indoors, much to his chagrin, while the guys completed the task. It was not an easy job! We joked about how many men does it take to set up a trampoline. It takes a family, apparently. They did a great job and soon Weston had the honor of being the first jumper. I caught a great pic of him as he bounced, body suspended above the trampoline, smile on his face. I foresee many fun hours spent in the backyard this summer.

Westons second birthday helping

Westons second birthday the guys

Westons second birthday jumping

Go Weston Go!

Meanwhile, the adults sipped cold sodas or iced tea, visited and laughed, and watched some of the older kids play a giant sized Jenga that Jon made. It was such an enjoyable, relaxed afternoon, spent with some of my favorite people on this earth. I am blessed that they also happen to be my family. We sang Happy Birthday as Weston blew out the candles on his strawberry cupcake. Watching him as he had fun, it is hard to believe that a year  ago we celebrated his first birthday as he sat in his highchair. So quickly the time flies. The baby has become the toddler and a big brother. He is already busy showing up as the person he was created to be. It will be a joy to watch him journey. Happy, happy birthday Weston!

Westons second birthday Jenga

Westons second birthday London jumps

London jumps on the trampoline

Westons second birthday blowing out candle

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