I am so excited! This spring for the first time in a few years I was out of the "fog" of surgery recovery, exhaustion and fatigue to plan and execute some great gift projects. The fog lifted just in time because THIS young man has graduated and although any gift that is given from the heart is a great gift, I am one who finds it very enjoyable to be able to find something that can be especially meaningful to each recipient. This desire of mine can be fun at times and at other times it can drive me crazy!
As a little throwback, and me taking a nostalgic "auntie" moment, I am going to ponder Jake today in honor of this boy who I fell in love with the first time I heard he was coming. I remember my brother calling and giving me the news. I was sitting on the couch in our Flowery Branch, GA living room listening to he and Loretta very timidly announce their surprise that they are expecting a baby. They announced timidly because they knew that David and I had already been trying for sometime to start our own family.
It is tricky with "infertile" family members and friends. You want to share your good news but you don't want to cause hurt. To be honest, the very first emotion that hit me was excitement. I remember saying that I may not be able to be a mom right now but that doesn't mean I can't be an amazing AUNTIE! I was truly excited about welcoming the next generation of Bushlack's onto the scene and I still remember the night Jake was born. I was standing in my sewing room in the same house listening to my brother share the news hoping that it wouldn't be too late to call. The very first thing I learned about my sweet little nephew from the very mouth of his proud father was "he has my feet!"
|Arm Wrestling Aunties!|
I had a week off between the time I had quit my admin job and was moving into the classroom to teach so my sister and I drove up to see Jake for the first time. Remember the days when our cameras used "film"? Yes, Jake was born before the days of digital (just barely) and I had one more picture on the film to take before Johanna and I were to head back south to our respective homes. So, who would get to hold Jake in the very LAST picture on the film? We resolved our problem the way any respectable siblings would, arm wrestling.
|Last picture on the roll...the strongest|
arm got to hold sweet baby Jake!
Through the years Jake has been a great role model for his younger cousins and has spent many hours at Grand Central playing all kinds of things that entertain and build the relationships among the cousins. When it came time to think of something to give him for his graduation from high school it took some time. Through the course of the planning and switching gears a week before the party, I came up with something that I felt was worthy to express our well wishes for him as he leaves home. Here is what I came up with...
|All is wrapped in the Navy bag that I had|
when I went to college. It belonged to
Jake's Great Grandpa Johnson.
|A quilt made to look like loose leaf filler|
paper and some fabric pens for people to
write their well wishes
|A couple of fun throw pillows for throwing|
during all nighters when people start getting
I threw in laundry detergent and a couple of roles of quarters to give it a laundry theme and hoped that it would be "cool".
Jake and Ryan have come a long way in their relationship as cousins. Ryan has always looked up to Jake and has treasured the times they get to spend together.
|Jake and Ryan: a little one on one time |
while dropping off Jake's gift