Time has passed by loudly, quietly, slowly, quickly, painfully, and blissfully. Lots of adverbs describe the way time has felt as it passed with us tucked into the Big Thicket forest.
Since we've lived here, so much has happened in our family. Our oldest daughter, Heather, gave birth to our first grandchild, Coraline.
|Me kissing my firstborn as she kisses her own firstborn.|
This photo was not planned, it was just captured.
|Coraline and her natural "Mohawk."|
|Nana and Pappy at Coraline's private 2nd birthday party.|
Our oldest daughter gave birth to our first grandson, Hank.
|That belly held a baby that was over 9 lbs and delivered naturally at|
a birthing center by Heather...my stress-inducing child.
|Hank seemed to have been born with a smile.|
|Our son-in-law, Henry, is about 6'5" tall, and it|
appears our grandson will be a carbon
copy of his father. They better prepare for
the grocery bills to come!
Yes, Heather and Henry have been busy growing their awesome family.
Our youngest daughter, Stefie, graduated with her bachelor's degree.
And then she graduated with her Master's degree just last month, with honors.
|Heather, Coraline, Stefie, Hank and Henry.|
|Stefie in her Master's cap and gown with honors|
Since living out here, my dad wrecked his first Mustang by hitting a deer, then he got another Mustang to replace the first...not because of the wreck, but because he didn't want a standard transmission any longer.
My dad also kicked his latest round with cancer since we moved here...a very serious battle that surprised many, including his oncologist.
There was a time of devastation shortly after moving to our acreage. My husband's nephew, our daughters' cousin they grew up with, so closely, was murdered in San Antonio.
|Stefie, Chris and Heather - sharing their childhood days.|
Chris's murderer was finally coming up for his murder trial that had been delayed far too many times and his ploys were up...the case against him was solid as there was a witness to the stabbing and the crazy creep also confessed, but the criminal system in any "big city" is complicated and slow. The murderer committed suicide the week of trial, and he was buried on Christmas Day. His suicide offered no comfort for all of us who adored Chris. The confusion was powerful. Focusing on our blessings has been the only thing to pull us through this tragedy.
|Babbette - Chris's mom as we enjoyed lunch|
this week in Livingston.
This past week I had lunch in town with Chris's mom. Even though she has long been divorced from my brother-in-law for many years, she always played a huge part in our lives and in that of our children because she went the extra mile, literally, for us to spend more time with Chris as he was growing up. She never made excuses to prevent him from being with us because she knew Chris was very close to his cousins. I'll always love her for loving her son so much that she never tried to prevent him from being with us simply because of an unfortunate divorce. To this day, Chris would be so happy to know we're loving his mom and that she loves us, as he loved her. We are all a much needed comfort to each other.
Chris had just turned 22 years old when he was murdered. Every time I hear "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel, I have another young one to ponder.
|Babbette and Chris|
Chris spent much of his childhood on our acreage, running through the woods, having a blast being a child. On some days, it seems I can almost see him weaving in between the trees, laughing as if a riot of fun resided inside of him. There was no doubt that, for us, being on the acreage was a comfort during the hard times of raw mourning. We'll never stop missing him.
So much has happened since we've moved to the country.
Sgt. Dave has now spent over 25 years in law enforcement. He's actually spent nearly 30 years of service between the military and Sheriff's Office, but he's now got his eye set on retirement. Over the past 2 1/2 years, he's been driving nearly 90 miles one-way, every day, to commute to his job, just so he can savor his country address.
To him, the commute is worth it because he gets out of the chaos that belongs to Houston, but we still LOVE Houston...it's a unique, wonderful city full of awesome people.
Every time he drives up to his acreage, he feels as if he's on vacation. Retirement will definitely be another new phase of life for us. We have to prepare so we don't starve! I'll be writing about that journey as well.
Another beautiful part of this time in life has been the rather recent day that Brice received his badge. Brice is the love of Stefie's life, and we know he will be our future son-in-law. Sgt. Dave was selected by Brice to be his mentor and to pin his badge on him.
I cannot express how proud we are of Brice...and of Sgt. Dave.
Before Brice set out for his first night on patrol, our family ambushed him with a circle of prayers for that night and for his entire career. He's a wonderful man; we're proud to call him one of our own. Brice and Stefie are enjoying the results of their hard work, dedication and support of each other.
|Stefie with Brice on the first day he wore a full uniform|
with a badge.
Other than a BB gun, I went from never having shot a gun, outside of a simulator, to shooting live targets with a .22 rifle and discovering that I'm a natural. No kidding.
Before moving to the country, I couldn't imagine the true power and strength of a tractor, but now we own a John Deere and I can operate it!
We moved here after selling our house in the Greater Houston area and set up life on our acreage with an RV so we could determine where we wanted to build our country home. We went from the city-suburbs lifestyle of concrete and landscaped yards...
We started with two dogs with us here in the country and after our Australian Shepherd found two tiny puppies in the forest, we ended up providing one of them a permanent home. That means, we have a wonderful "Gracie" to join Howdy and Liyla...in the RV with us.
Maybe the RV is more of a glorified kennel than a temporary home for us two crazy country-loving weirdos. Regardless, Gracie has grown to be a wonderful dog who guards the chickens and doesn't let anyone drive up onto our land without her making a big deal about it. We love her.
Sgt. Dave and I will be celebrating our next anniversary this coming summer. It will be our 30th wedding anniversary.
Somehow, it doesn't seem possible that I've been married this long. It seems logical that Sgt. Dave has been married that long, but not mmmwwwaahhh.
Time can be brutal and kind. However, it is up to us to focus as much as we can upon the blessings of life and to enjoy the joy filled days that are a gift. We are savoring, indeed.