so today . . . is diandra's birthday. she is 25 years old. i was going to do a whole retrospective of the last quarter century of her life--with photos and everything. i thought i would choose one significant event from each year and tell about it.
do you know how long that blog would be? and do you have any idea how long it would take me to write it? and rewrite it? and edit it? and upload photos? and accidentally erase the photos? and upload them again? trust me--i should have started this very important blog at least three months ago . . .
but i didn't.
so instead, i am going to list 25 of my favorite things about her. i will try to be brief, but you know how i love to hear myself write . . .
1. she has the best hair! she gets that from her dad.
2. she has beautiful hazel eyes! those come from my side of the family :)3. she is a loyal friend. she does not give up on relationships easily, but she has learned that there are times when people will take advantage of that. and yet, she will still risk it, because she values loyalty.
4. she has a quirky sense of humor. i blame her father. but . . .
5. . . her laugh is infectious. if she is laughing at something, you will laugh too. you won't be able to help yourself.6. she is the most compassionate person i know. she has an amazing empathy for people--even people she doesn't know!
7. she is independent. which can be frustrating at times for her mother, but thankfully . . .
8. . . she is also smart! so at least her independence usually has positive results.
9. she laughs at her dad's jokes--and sometimes that is no small task.10. she is resilient. she is not a quitter. when life tried to crush her, she managed to survive. and finally, to flourish.
11. she loves the teens in her youth group. she sees the good in each one of them. she expects them to try to be their best--and sometimes they do. she is there for them when no one else in their lives is. she makes a difference.
12. she has a beautiful smile. (we thank dr. hodges for that!) when she is really happy it lights up her whole face. and we have been seeing that real smile a lot more often lately.13. she likes girly things. there was a time (middle school) when all she would wear were white t-shirts and jeans. i despaired! but she has finally embraced her inner girly girl.
14. she is a leader, not a follower. she can follow, but she shouldn't--she should be in charge, because she is a good leader.
15. she has taken her interest in photography and turned it into a business. for most of us, our job is mostly a paycheck. but diandra has two jobs that she loves!
16. she is generous. when she was small she always wanted to put money in the salvation army buckets, so we did--and still do. she feeds her teens. she gives money to homeless people--and not just spare change. sometimes when we are shopping, she will just take whatever i have decided to get right out of my hands and pay for it.
17. she loves God, and cares about those who don't.
18. she is artistic. she likes to make things. when she was little, she loved to draw and make things out of those tiny round plastic beads. then we got into rubber stamping and scrapbooking, and her latest interest is painting.
19. she cannot hear any kind of music that has a beat without head dancing. but if she is in a field, all alone, her whole body might decide to get involved.20. she is creative. and innovative. she can think outside the box. but still come up with ideas that are workable.
21. she has three holes in her ears. we allowed her to get the first one when her age got into "double digits," and the second one was part of her 16th birthday celebration. the third one is new and was a decision she made all on her own. you know, because she is independent . . .
22. she loves to have fun. she wants to be out with people, doing things. a couple of years ago some of her friends were riding their bikes every week. so diandra bought a bike and went along--not knowing that they were going to ride all the way to the beach! and back again!! yeah, walking was a bit of a challenge the next day . . .
23. she is strong. she is not a pushover. she knows what is important to her, and she is willing to stand up for those things.
24. she is not afraid to try new things. this has not always been true, but today she ate sweet potato fries! and a couple of years ago, she stepped in front of the camera as a model for a group photography shoot.
25. she is just fun to hang out with. no matter what is happening, if diandra is there, it is going to be more fun!
my daughter is amazing. i take some of the credit for that. so does her dad. but she is more than the sum of all these parts. she is our joy, and we are so proud of the person she has become.
diandra, it was worth every minute of that 28 hours of labor it took to bring you into this world! i love you forever, i love you for always! (you know the rest.)