Two of My Blessings...


These are my two oldest nieces, Lexi and Karlie. I took them and my sister-in-law to Maggiano's for lunch today to celebrate Karlie's 16th birthday (Monday). We feasted on Fried Zucchini, Caesar Salad, Italian Bread w/olive oil, Lobster Carbonara, Garlic Shrimp Linguine and a Dessert Sampler of five mini desserts (Cheesecake, Apple Crostada, Creme Brulee, Nona's Pound Cake, and Spumoni). It was so delicious. But even more enjoyable than the food was getting to spend a whole afternoon with my nieces and their momma. It's another special memory to add to my treasure chest of memories. These girls probably have no idea how special they are to me. They have always been special to me and I am so very thankful for our close relationships.

Up until Karlie, I had a son and four nephews. Our family had nothing but boys until she came along. So you can imagine how special she was. And she seemed to know it at a young age. When I think of Karlie as a baby, I think of a baby Cleopatra. She had a way of looking at you that communicated, "I know you adore me. I'm not sure I will bother to smile at you today." And we all just fawned over her and begged for her attention. Until...

Lexi came along two years later. And Karlie had to start warming up if she wanted to hold our undivided attention because then we had two...and Lexi smiled all the time!


From the day they were born, I have adored my nieces. I already loved being an aunt to all of my nephews. They were no less special to me. (Just ask them.) But it was fun to finally have little girls in the family.

From an early age, they loved to spend the night with me. And any time they wanted to come, I wanted them. Some of my favorite memories are of times like this when I'd fix them up (various hair-dos and outfits) and they would pose like little professional models, changing expressions from one click to the next. We had a ball. And I have literally dozens and dozens of photographs. I just don't have all of them scanned. But this one should give you an idea of how much personality these girls had early on...


I will never forget doing their hair the morning of Danny & Rebecca's wedding. They were absolutely stunning. And the stunning little redhead is another one of my nieces, Ashley. Nicole had not arrived yet. (I now have four nieces and five nephews, plus a great nephew and great niece. And if you add in the ones I have through my marriage to John, I have even more!)

This picture was taken August 3, 2002 (Danny & Rebecca's wedding day).


Only Nicole (6) and Jackson (18 months) are missing from this "cousin" picture eight years ago...


Monday, Karlie will turn 16 years old. Lexi is right behind her, turning 14 in September. The time has flown. And I know it will continue to fly. It's hard to believe I have a 32-year-old son and three grandsons (almost 5, 3 1/2 and 3 months). The youngest nephew in this picture (Matt) will be 19 in October. And the other nephews (Jared, Justin and Brett) are all in their twenties. It has always been a personal ambition of mine to make every niece and nephew feel special to their Aunt Shari...because they were and are and always will be.

I had to plead a bit (not too much) with Karlie and Lexi to take pictures today. I told them one day they will look at some of these pictures and say, "Remember when Aunt Shari was young?" (relatively speaking).

When they were still reluctant, I said, "You will need pictures with me for my funeral someday."

We laughed.

Sweet girls. Sweet memories. I had a blast today and I only hope that one day when they reflect on times like these, the memories will mean as much to them as they do to me.

Comments

Anonymous said…
awesome! send me that middle picture if you can. i'd love to have it. i'll bet you have a alot of digital photos i'd like to have.....

Chrissy Craig
Shari said…
Thanks for visiting my blog, little brother! The picture has been sent and I will bring my portable hard drive (with all my pictures on it) next time I come out for the day. We'll just load you up with photos.

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