Lamar

Jennette and Lamar
Today’s post is dedicated to my brother in law Lamar.
It’s been the most challenging getting to know Lamar over the years for the simple reason that he lives around 1900 miles away – and always has.
You see, my dearest sister (as in the one closest in age to me and therefore shares the most childhood memories with me) met him way back in the early 2000’s when they were both students at ORU.
She fell in love.
With an American.
Who lives in America.
Over 1900 miles away.
They got married and settled.
In America.
Over 1900 miles away. That’s over 19 hours driving time.
I choose to forgive them.
Love hurts 🙂
Anyways, because of this distance thing, we’ve had limited one on one time.
I have visited Tulsa 3 times – once when they were dating. Once for their wedding, and once a few months after they had their first baby… They’ve visited Canada quite a bit more, but then there’s a multitude of other people vying for there attention (plus the fact that many of those visits were for other weddings and family occasions…
So… time has been limited.
Despite this, I must extol the virtues of Lamar as it is his birthday! Happy Birthday!!!
It’s a significant one, but I’m not going to say which one 🙂
Here’s a few things you may not have known about Lamar…
He is a bit of a goof ball. Of course he is mister “cool” outside of the closest friends and family…and of course when we met him…before we realized this…we were worried, because…well…how would it ever work with Jennette (who happens to be the goofiest in our family of girls)…
We had no reason to worry, he’s goofy. He’s fun and silly despite how serious and together he appears to everyone else. And we love him for it.
He is a good provider. He is diligent and does what it takes to provide for his family, sometimes taking on more than one job to make it work.
He is very tall. This is good mainly because my sister is very tall and we were worried when she was young that she might not end up with a suitably tall partner… the only draw back is that when I’m around them I feel very short…and I’m not short…just around them.
He is very giving… it would embarrass him to list the ways he’s demonstrated this, but let’s just say most everyone in the family knows this.
He is a great dad… though i am afeared that he may turn into one of those sports dads, because well Jennette is a sports mom, and their kids are freakishly talented so it may be unavoidable…but we’ll forgive him for that should it happen because well…the kids are freakishly good, and CUTE. Good genes I guess.

I think he’s also a good dad because he rarely raises his voice. I don’t know how with three kids, but he doesn’t and God bless him for it…maybe because they seem to laugh alot at their house.
He keeps his cool in stressful situations… I won’t elaborate, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
He is good with technology, he did this beautiful video presentation for my dad’s memorial service, what a precious gift.
He is easy to talk to on the phone (when the kids aren’t around).
He is a good dancer. At the sister weddings, he knew how to get people up on the dance floor.
One of the greatest things I can tell about him was how he helped take care of my mom after my dad passed away…I will always be so grateful for this. After the funeral, Lamar and Jennette and their kids essentially moved in with her for almost 2 months. Not cheap or easy to put their lives in Tulsa on hold, but they did.
They helped her deal with everything with the house and physically helped realize her dreams for home renos so she could eventually sell the place… the renos were so well done, it increased the sale value… I should mention, he’s not a builder or craftsman that I know of, but he just figured out the best way to do it with Jen’s help of course), and he was working remotely the entire time.
He loves Jesus.
It’s obvious.
He loves the church, the family of God.
He is passionate to participate in following Jesus.
Another great thing about him. He loves my sister.
I could elaborate on how hard that could be…
Just kidding! she’s awesome.
But he saw that…
And continues to see it…
It’s one of those great loves that makes for a great family and a great life.
There are countless other things I could bring up, but my middle son Max says this post is already too long (as he wants to play on the computer – sorry)…
So for now I’ll just say…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAMAR!!! and we love you

xoxo
The Heaslips!!!
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Just another day?

In our house, Valentines is not just another day. We spend days before planning our special meal and preparing the surprises for each other. It’s a family thing, not just for the hubster and I.

It was also my birthday, which is another reason we go all out to celebrate. I see it like this, “If God saw fit to have me born on this day, I should celebrate it extra-specially, otherwise it would have been just any other day…

I truly go all out adding decorative touches throughout the house, but I thought i’d spare you photos. (besides most of them are already put away and I forgot to take pics)

Here’s my kitchen mantel all decked out. I just love red and pink and think
Valentine’s is a great opportunity to pull it out and show it off.

All the stuffies collected over the years find little nooks through the house.

Sparkly hearts and valentines.

Makeshift centrepiece.
In my world the celebrating started with a sisters lunch a couple weeks ago at our fav. Greek Restaurant on Steph’s bday, but we doubled up…
Then a week later, 2 days before the bday, my little sis Andrea set up a spa in her home and gave me a pedi-manicure.
It’s hard to picture without the foot spa which was being filled with water at picture taking time. But it was set up all pretty with candlelight, a fire glowing, treats and drinks and general pampering. She is awesome at this.
That night a bunch of my girlfriends came over to conclude our Anne of Green Gables Marathon and surprised me with cake, balloons and presents – I felt very special indeed ♥.

On the actual day, my boys woke me up with bday kisses and valentines ♥ and then we celebrated Valentine’s with our home schooling friends at a special lunch. It was so nice to catch up with everyone!


Every year we plan a special dinner and decorate the table “romantic” and have a special menu. Everybody loves it. Then we hand out our “valentines” to each other. The boys picked there’s out for mom and dad and Christy so it was fun seeing the expression on their faces when we opened them.

Finally, to keep the celebration going, my Jodi took me out for dinner and we gorged ourselves at Johnny Rocco’s. The next day, my baby sister Becca gave me a mega massage before taking the boys for the night

In our house, Valentines is definitely NOT just another day, it’s a reason to celebrate!!!
I am so blessed


Stephanie

Today’s post is dedicated to my sister Stephanie. Happy 29th Birthday little middle sister!

I love so much about my Sneffelupagus…
She is loving, thoughtful, kind and generous.
She can be silly.
She is organized. I love that.
She is gorgeous but not arrogant.
She is fearless. She will share her pain and sorrows if she thinks it can help someone else.
She is not materialistic and I love that.
She values people for who they are, not for what they have or do.
She insists on her own transparency in an unyielding quest for authenticity, and cares not if other people are uncomfortable with it, because to her own self she must be true.
She is one of the most passionate people I know, including myself. She is all in, or all out.
She is an amazing friend, and one of the things that frustrates me to no end is when I see people in her life who do not understand how lucky they are to have her for a friend. The other frustration is people who do not let her know how valuable and irreplaceable she is.
She is extremely smart and just a bit little crafty – not in the “let’s do paper mache” type of crafty but in the wily way. The planning, organizing and sometimes conniving sort of way. There is always so much going on in that mind of hers, you can never be sure what is up her sleeve. I love that. If you need something to do, talk to Stephy.
She does not wait for other people to start things, if she sees a need, she takes care of it.
When she was born, I wanted my mom to name her Simone – some exotic french name from a book I read… I was very upset she called her Stephanie because I had 2 Stephanie’s in my class at school and they were not the nicest girls…I still call her Simone in my head sometimes…
She was the CUTEST toddler. She had these chubby cheeks that did not stick around long enough.
She grew at an alarming rate (to my young mind anyway). In the earliest years I remember the only complaint I had was her whiny high pitched voice, especially when she was fighting with someone.
She also would SING, all. the. time. Seasame street songs mostly. Annoying.
Singing is something we had in common. I didn’t excel in any sports though, and she did.
Among many other things that she excelled in.
She had that confusing and difficult struggle in life – The “being good at so many things – what do I commit to?” struggle. tough huh?
She was fun, kind of goofy and easy to please… I’m not sure what happened…lol – just kidding! What happened was our youngest 2 sisters came along.
She is a survivor.
Her comfy world got jostled up. Not quite old enough to hang with the older 2 sisters, and not young enough to cut into the younger 2 – smack in the middle, she did what she had to do…
She got bossy.
But the all or nothing girl wasnt just bossy with her sisters and the dog and cat, she bossed all the neighbourhood kids around too. I remember seeing Stephanie at the head of a line of about 15 various kids, barking orders… walking to the “clubhouse” – a cluster of trees…those kids rarely revolted against her. Though to this day, I don’t know why they listened to her. It must have been fun. She would write plays and musicals and they’d act them out for us and any grown ups she could wrangle into lawn chairs. I think she may even have charged admission…

This is how I remember her after her cute cheeks thinned out. She was a whirling dirvish. Always on the move. So much so that her clothes often looked like they were about to fall off…of course she was so thin, they probably were. Her hair was never in place, but she was ready with a smile, and a twinkle in her eye.
In some ways, Stephanie is a lot like me. She thinks (and acts) like an oldest child, with the younger ones. But she never gave me a hard time…well not too much that I remember. Perhaps I’ve blocked that out.
Anyways, when I left home for school, she was 11. When I got married, she was 13…and she almost missed my wedding, for which she was the soloist…because she had a track meet. I think she won something that day, so I forgave her.
A few years passed, she grew up and I pretty much only saw her during the holidays and sporadic visits. During that time she developed her bossiness into “leadership” qualities. Love her. She also kept singing, and followed me to Niagara – she went to the school I worked in and lived with us. With only a few bumps of adjustment, we shared a short couple of years together before she met her husband and I had my boys.
She is extremely creative – it puts me to shame. She is a writer, a song writer, performer, actress, program developer, publisher, team creator and entrepreneur – having started her own business, she’s basically done her best with what she had since leaving home, and done pretty darn good.
She reminds me of our dad…a lot.
She is stubborn, or tenacious. I guess it’s all in how you look at it.
She has very high expectations of herself, but not of others as much.
She is loyal, but if you cross her, good luck.
She married a strong man who challenges her – just like dad picked our mom.
She is proud to be Greek. She is extremely committed to family.
She is a fun aunt, who always has a plan for the kids at family gatherings at her house.

She works hard and inspires many.
She will be an incredible mom.
She is my sister, but she is one of my best friends.
I am lucky to have her in my life.
My birthday blessing to my little sister is to enjoy this next season of life fully.
To have peace and contentment, fulfilment and joy in the smallest things, because they are the best things really.
I hope to spend many more hours doing life together with you in the years to come, because you make my life better simply by being in it.



I love you!!!
Happiest of Birthdays!

Mimi