Thursday, August 18, 2022

Annabelle Turns Two Years Old and Dares To Be Bold! (A Proud Father)

On Sunday, August 14, Annabelle turned two years old. Older generations, including my Grandfather Cartee, remind me that “time flies by” and that “you must treasure these small moments with your children.” There will be a day when my little girl does not always jump into my arms with a hug when I pick her up from pre-school. She may not always want to wrestle with Dad on the floor or ride on my back as her favorite horse. I will not always be able to watch Frozen 1 and Frozen 2 one hundred more times with her request to “sit down” next to her. The moments are fleeting, and if not careful, we can miss the joyful ages of our children in front of us.

With an industrial personality, I tend to thrive on being busy and productive with completed tasks in an overwhelming fashion. I truly get lots of stuff done! While this trait might be good for a Ph.D. program, a job, or owning a business, it can also sometimes be detrimental when I miss the obvious blessings in front of my face. Family matters most! My time with Lisa, Annabelle, and Jace (a.k.a. James Louie Cartee, IV) remains limited, and they truly will be my source of lasting joy and fulfillment. For the layperson, as I grow old, it remains vital to remember the difference between the fleeting matters of business and the relationships that make life worthwhile!    

I am proud of my kids simply by their existence in my life and how they have taught me to be a better person and father. If you are a parent or one day become a parent, you will understand what I mean when I express these words. There is no better feeling than the satisfaction of being proud of a child for doing good and for being good, just as God created them to be.

Remember to sit still with your precious loved ones in the present hour. Enjoy the moment. And count your blessings!

You can view some of my favorite moments with Annabelle’s second birthday below. Maybe not surprising to some, we had a Frozen-themed party. I love watching Annabelle's reactions when she opens gifts!

(Aunt Allison meets Baby Jace for the first time, and she was also present for Annabelle’s birthday party.)

(Ayden meets his cousin, Jace, for the first time. These smiles are contagious!)

(I am not sure this seat is made for a grown toddler to sit in. We’ll give it a try anyway.)

(Notice a proud father’s facial expressions!)

(Annabelle enjoys Mom’s homemade cupcakes.)

(Annabelle loves her slides at the many playgrounds we frequently visit.)

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