Wednesday, May 29, 2013

March 28, 2001

When Wesley and I started dating we lived 821 miles apart. His ratty apartment door to the front door of my parent's house where I crashed after graduating from college. We were young and early in our relationship but I was head over heels in love with Wesley and knew he was the man I'd spend my life with early on. People used to say that it was obvious he was deeply in love with me, but really I was the one who was hopelessly in love. 

I sent him this list almost 12 years to the day that he died and every word is still true. I could write 100 more reasons today. 

100 Reasons I love Wesley

1. The way his eyes look when he tells a story

2.  He will read me stories when I can’t fall asleep
3.  The way he kisses me
4.  That he rubs my back when I’m sick
5.  That almost throwing up in the Wheat Thins box didn’t scare him away
6.  The feeling of his hand on the back of my neck when I’m driving
7.  That he loves his family
8.  That he chops wood for old ladies at church
9.  That he read Pat the Cat to me on the floor of Border’s Bookstore, even though it had very little to do with the cat
10. That he went to look at alligators with Daddy because he knew it meant a lot to me 
11. That he didn’t make fun of me burning dinner
12. That he teases me
13. That I can tease him
14. That no matter how much I’m babbling I always know he is listening
15. That he remembers what I say
16. He makes me a better person
17. He believes in my dreams
18. He has dreams of his own
19. His smile
20. The way he massages my shoulders
21. The way he smells
22. That he will try grits for me
23. That he will drive 9 hours just to see me
24. He takes off my shoes when I lay down on the bed
25. He tries to make me more wild and crazy
26. He thought the taxidermist shop was gross too
27. The way he slow dances with me in the kitchen
28. That he checks on the Siamese cats at the rescue everyday
29. That even when we disagree he listens to my side
30. He isn’t afraid to let me see him cry
31. He lets me cry
32. He lets me complain about my day
33. He only charges me an eighth of a wish for my bad language
34. His laugh
35. That he can make me laugh until I cry
36. If I’m crying, he can still make me laugh
37. He tries to please my parents
38. That he worries about me, but doesn’t smother me
39. He doesn’t make fun of me for my borderline narcolepsy
40. He doesn’t take it personally that every time he sees me I’m sick!
41. He is willing to talk out a problem until it’s solved
42. He has nicknames for my pets
43. He knows my grandmothers name
44. He tells me it will all be OK, when I’m doubting
45. He wants to know what my favorite attribute about everything is
46. He loves Mommy Cat as much as me
47. Even when I’m cranky, he still says he loves me
48. He is proud of me
49. He doesn’t tell his mother the truth when she claims I’m a “Master” at anything
50. He lets me see his middle school yearbook pictures
51. He lets me see him dressed up as a woman for School Spirit Day
52. The way his hair curls in the front like Superman
53. He never tells me my concerns aren’t valid
54. His hugs
55. He cares what my parents think of him
56. He isn’t grossed out when I have strange things hanging from my nose
57. He knows that for every time I tell him I love him, there are 100 times I just slug him in the arm
58. He never lets me forget who kissed whom first
59. He sat on my couch looking at the Christmas tree for hours and was happy 
60. He is smart
61. He makes me proud
62. He wakes up at 7 in the morning on the chance I’ll call on my way into work
63. He is never mad if I call him in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep
64. He will be a wonderful father
65. He will be a fantastic husband
66. He asks me to marry him almost everyday, even though I say No every day!
67. He is willing to try new things
68. He doesn’t let me manipulate a situation too much
69. When his kisses me, I feel like the world stands still
70. He can cook a mean Tombstone pizza
71. He gives great rides in shopping carts
72. He likes Veggie tales and doesn’t hide them under a bushel
73. He likes the way I sing
74. He tells me I’m beautiful, and something about the way he says it makes me believe him
75. He knows how hard it is to come up with 100 things you love about a person
76. He loves to read
77. Even when I think my story ideas are dumb, he encourages me to write
78. Every time I read “Wes’s World” I smile
79. He owns Disney films
80. Even when I don’t bathe he says I’m smell ok
81. He can pick me up without grunting
82. He can hold me upside down with one hand
83. He tells me my mom is pretty
84. He says my dad is cool
85. When we talk about my family he never jumps to conclusions or criticizes. 
86. He is well groomed
87. That he thinks of others before himself
88. He is kind
89. He is the most genuine person I know
90. He wants to be with me, even when I’m pushing him away
91. He lets me steal the blankets
92. He has nicknames for me
93. He looks good in glasses
94. He looks good in plaid of neutral tone
95. He thinks I look good in the morning
96. He makes me so happy I’m dizzy
97. He sound of his voice makes me smile, no matter how bad a day I’m having
98. He is appreciative
99. He is beautiful
100. He loves me

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stumbling in the Fog of Grief

I have not written here in months and much has changed in our lives. Julia has grown taller. She has learned to write her letters and numbers. She has lost her father.

Wesley, the love of my life and the proudest daddy I ever knew died in our home on March 30, the day before Easter and the chasm of grief opened wide for myself and our family. It was a very aggressive form of leukemia that he had for possibly a couple of months, but more likely a few weeks. Wesley went to work on Friday and was gone by Saturday morning and we had no idea he was ill. It was and is a shock to those he loved and who loved him.

This blog will  be a way for me to write about my experience and the experience of Julia as we navigate our way through this future that we never imagined.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer Days and Back to School

The summer has started and ended and we are back in the routine of school days, ballet classes and the joys of Fall. I must admit that I love the beach and warm weather and lazy hot days spent in front of ceiling fans. My summers as a child were spent at our family beach house in Seagrove Beach, FL and I spent weeks at a time covered in a fine film of sand and salt and remember being constantly hot and happy. I also discovered my enduring love of REALLY cold Diet Coke as I drink it without ceasing there. We still own that house so I am blessed to see Julia growing up with a similar experience at the same beach house and we spent many weekends this summer at the beach.

But the days grow shorter and new adventures have started again for us. We absolutely love Julia's Preschool. Yeah, I know everyone says that unless you send your kid to "Miss Sarah's Child Labor Prep School" but we are thrilled with our time at Advent. Julia went to "Summer School" and we are so happy to see her continuing to grow and thrive.

We started the year with our first haircut...I got a little misty when we put her locks in a Ziploc bag but she looks so cute with her Pixie cut now.

Our First Haircut
 I'm hoping to post regularly and look forward to sharing our adventures!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tub Time Theology

When Julia started preschool in September it was with a heavy heart. We had loved her being cared for by my sister in law every day and starting school was just a scary prospect. What if the other kids were mean? What if SHE was mean? What if she felt abandoned, started a coup in her classroom and overthrew the preschool administration? My thoughts were admittedly running a bit wild! But we took the plunge and it has been an amazing experience both for her and us. We are lucky that my sister in law still keeps Julia in the afternoon but the mornings have expanded her in ways we could not dream. They have cooking class, dance, music, science and most importantly chapel. She has chapel 4 times a week and it has opened her eyes to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We have always been a religious family per se. We pray over meals, we celebrate Christmas and Easter and talk about more than just the man in the red suit and the bunny, but this new revelation of faith has been transformative for us as a family.

We get snippets of Julia's day over dinner or when she breaks into a rousing rendition of "The B-I-B-L-E, that's the book  for me..." in the car or while playing in the yard but usually we talk about God and Faith while she is in the bath. A kind of Tub Time Theology. We talk about whatever is on her mind but often the conversation comes around to Jesus, God, etc. She has so much insight into the stories that we read about in the Bible. When talking about the Resurrection Julia said, "Jesus went away and all of his friends and his mommy Mary were really sad and they cried a lot. But Jesus came back on Easter Day! He's not dead...he is alive!" It literally brought tears to my eyes to hear her talk with such excitement and hope about God and Jesus. It is beautiful to see the Holy Spirit working through her. Having Faith be a part of an ongoing conversation is so exciting and I'm looking forward to years of this conversation going on forever!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day!

Happy May Day!! As a kid I used to always love the first of May because to my it signalled the end of school and beginning of summer. Today is a perfect example of the start of summer, clear blue skies and warm sunny weather. The kind of day that makes you want to ditch your office and just be outside in the beauty of nature.

We are staying busy and had some family photos taken a few weeks ago at the beach. it was a fantastic idea that my sister in law had for my parents birthday as we have wanted professional pictures taken for ages and while Wes takes amazing photos, if he is taking the photo he is often not seen! These are two shots below and we absolutely love them! The photographer Courtney did a great job with getting amazing photos with 3 young children so she is a gem!

I love this photo of Julia! She just loves digging and sitting in the sand and I thought this dress looked very cute on her. It is moments like this when I realize how big she is getting.   
Wes and Julia getting ready to engage in a game of "chicken" with my brother and their youngest son. She is so happy up there with Daddy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Spring!!

So, I started this blog...then took a sabbatical!! ;) Life has been busy for the Three Cline's and we are
 all doing well. We are delighted that we closed on our new house in February and are now homeowners!! We love the house and are slowly making it into our home. most weekends are spent cleaning, painting, cutting branches in the yard and other fun projects.

We love living on the lake and spend most evenings out here with the herons, geese and fish. We have seen bunnies, deer and armadillos. Obviously we are not as excited about the armadillos as they dig up my flowers! Julia loves all of her furry friends!

Julia is growing up and loving school. It is amazing to think that she will soon be 3 years old and she is just changing so much each day. It is bittersweet to see her vocabulary changing and her changing from a baby to a toddler to a little girl. Just looking a photos like those below show how much she has changed in just one year.

Easter was lots of fun and Julia was very excited that the Easter Bunny ate 4 carrots and a cup of milk. She was much more interested in the bunny than in candy! It was so heartwarming to see her understanding of the true meaning of Easter with Christ's Resurrection. Even at 2 she understands the glorious mystery of Christ and his saving grace. It is exciting to see the Holy Spirit working through that little blonde head.  

 Wesley and I are doing really well. Wesley loves his firm and is very happy working with a great group of attorneys and staff. He is very happy and is thrilled that we have a workshop in our new house so he can putter around the house building things. Like these! Hey I can hope!

Katherine is staying busy with work and travels a lot these days raising money for FSU and I'm happy being back in Tallahassee. I'm working on sewing a few dresses for Julia and am making the dress below out of the blue daisy fabric. Stay tuned for more pictures!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Late to the party, but I'm here!

I'm taking the plunge, about 5 years after everyone else it seems, and starting a blog. I'm hoping to keep friends and family who are far away updated on what we are doing these days.

Right now we are the Three Clines or Papa Bear, Wesley; Mama Bear, Katherine and Baby Bear, Julia. Wes is an attorney in Tallahassee and I'm a Director of Development for Florida State University so I raise money for students and programs for the Graduate School and Undergraduate Studies. It is hard work, but I love it.

Julia is 2 years old and completely adorable! She just started a morning preschool program and is loving going to "big girl" school. She loves reading and playing with babies. I hope to post more updates soon, but here is a picture of her in her "Go Noles" dress that we took this weekend.