Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Isn't She Lovely?

"Whatsoever is... lovely... think on these things..."- Philippians 4:8

I apologize in advance for the length of this post... but my girl is turning 21!!!

How did that happen?

This month I'm participating in the Write 31 Days Challenge, where I'm writing about the  "whatsoevers" in Philippians 4:8.  Click here for the rest of the series... and know that I recognize I'm skipping a couple of parts, but I'll go back.  October 8th, though?  It's all about the lovely...

"... whatsoever is lovely... think on these things..."

Lovely: from the Greek prosphiles: "acceptable, pleasing, lovely"... defines lovely as "exquisite beauty, charming".

They could have Kami's name listed next to it.

I was charmed the minute I saw those chubby cheeks. I mean... have you ever?  A teenager never knew what love was until I held that girl... 8 pounds of pure cuteness.

(Mom, me holding Kam, and Holly, October 8th, 1993).

She was adorable.  Even when she cried. Even when she peed on me.  Even when I played airplane with her, holding her above my head, only to have her spit up  in my mouth.

I was in love.

She looked like a Precious Moments doll. Those big brown eyes. Those chubby cheeks.  Perfection. She was my mini-me. I didn't mind sitting in the back seat of the car because sometimes she would hold my hand. She followed me upstairs and followed me in the living room. She loved to watch cartoons sitting in my lap and loved for me to read to her.  When she got big enough, she'd sleep with me, curled up right next to me as close as she could get. I'd wake up to find her feet in my face or to discover that she had rolled out of the bed. Her bedtime prayers were long... she must have got that from Grandma Na.   She'd pray for all of her cousins and her friends and their pets and pretty much everyone else anyone knew.  As she got older, I went to work and she didn't like it. One time, the nursing home called, wanting me to come in and work an 11-7 shift. "My sister said for me to tell you that she is busy." She didn't want to sleep by herself.

She loved to cheer.  We'd lift her up in preps above our heads and she'd giggle uncontrollably.  Kami "Bizzybeth" was certainly busy. She loved playing dressup in high heels and beads.  Always a fashion queen, she was thrilled when her yellow soccer uniform complimented  her "lovely dark hair".  She spent the remainder of that season running up the field with her hands in her pockets, but she looked good doing it.  When Wallace would pick her up in the morning, she'd complain about what he was wearing and threaten to call the fashion police.  How she loved her Wallace. 

He was her boyfriend.  He had her spoiled rotten.  "Don't worry, Dad.  If you won't buy it for me, Wallace will." She knew  the days he got paid.  He went to more Disney movies than you could expect a college guy to go to.
She walked up the aisle wiping the tears away when I got married.  She was always such a pretty crier.  You know the kind... the tears would pool in those shiny eyes.  I asked her why she was crying.  "Because you're leaving me."
I was going to the backyard.  She wore a path from Mom and Dad's to my house.  She'd spend the night and we'd pile up on the couch and watch Nickelodeon.  She would snack on goldfish and we'd play Barbie dolls or with her 1 million Polly Pocket accessories.  Or sometimes she and Allie would team up against Wallace.  He wasn't the best babysitter in the world. One time, I came home to find them in the driveway, playing in the rain. "What are y'all doing out here? It's cold..."
"Wallace told us to."
"And y'all listened to him?'

Kami and Allie... best friends from birth.  You've never seen two different girls.  Kami all about fashion.  Allie all about softball.  Allie a natural lefty... Kami, I'm not convinced it's natural.  Allie, the older of the two, took the role of boss just like her Mama... and Kami would just smile.  So she learned to write with her left hand and gave up her "Pappy" because Al would stick it in the dog's mouth. "Mommy, I want my Papppy!" She'd cry  on the way home. Mom would reply, "If you're old enough to ask for a pacifier, you're too old to take one." Even with their differences, they loved one another fiercely.  Too beautiful girls we were blessed with October 8th.
Kami is one of the smartest girls I know, and I don't say that lightly.. but sometimes she either overthinks things or doesn't think at all... like the time we pulled up to the gas station and saw the dispenser labeled air... you know, to pump your tires. "What's air?", she asked.

As she grew, her grace and beauty radiated.  I am biased, I recognize, but doesn't she just look like a Southern belle in this pic?

She was gracious to all she met.. except perhaps Caleb. Remember how I told you Wallace had her spoiled?  She didn't take too kindly to someone else for him to spoil. "Well, you just better be glad he's a boy." She told me one time in a huff, "Because I can still be the only little girl." Oh, she loved him. She'd hold him and snuggle him and smile at him... "When is he going to, you know, start talking and stuff?"

Joke is on you, Kami... because he has never stopped.  And he sure did get on your nerve!!! And still does.  But how y'all love each other.  How he missed you when you were gone to Governor's Scholar and how he misses you now that you're not home much.

This face says it all. I don't think she was impressed with the kiss and she didn't want to get her dress wet.
 A special gal, this one, with some special friends. These four have remained friends from almost birth... Brittney a little younger, but Kendall, Meg, and Kami started out in the nursery together in the same month (pretty much) and never turned back. They've supported each other in all of their endeavors, and even though they currently go to four different colleges, they still get together over breaks and laugh themselves silly.
And you'll still see this Wildcat fan cheer like mad for this Hilltopper.  Maybe almost to the point of tears when she was in the NCAA tourney on national TV.

Graduation day, and this one didn't shy away from the microphone.  I believe she is the only speech that I have ever heard clearly in that coliseum.  How fitting that she stood in up front, after all of the hours she spent there growing up... pushing herself to do her back handspring (or maybe just waving a flag in the back of the routine.

And she fit in too well at college.  Sorority events, football games, classwork, a part-time job, and she spends most of her time in Lexington.  It's a rare treat to meet for lunch.  So busy... still Kami Bizzybeth. 

But never too busy for Daddy. 
And also not too busy to travel thousands of miles to Guatemala to put a smile on this little girl's face.  As she and Britt presented in church about their trip, I couldn't hold back my tears.  A week later, when the broadcast was televised, I cried some more on the treadmill.  So very proud of her selflessness, her love and compassion for these little ones... and also because my girl is growing up.

Twenty-one. So much life in these short years.  Seemed like I blinked and here we are.  It seems like just yesterday she was smiling with her front teeth out, watching Rugrats and hanging on Wallace's shoulders.  And here she is, a junior in college...

I have no idea what the future holds for Kami... but I know it is good. Because she is lovely. She is God's, and she knows it.  And God has so many plans for this sweet girl, just as he did 21 years ago, when we were a little surprised that she was on the way... and also when we may or may not have been slightly disappointed because she wasn't a boy. To quote Mulan, "Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?"

Yep, God knew what He was doing when He sent us Kami.  She has brought me so much joy, so much laughter.  I am so proud of her. She is one of my best friends and I know that there will be great things to come.  Happy 21st birthday, baby girl!!!


  1. Happy Birthday to Kami? I think I am starting to piece your family together, although I'll be honest the profile picture is small and I thought your daughter was you until now. So she goes to University of Kentucky? My youngest son, who just turned two was born at St.Joseph's East Women's Hospital and so we spent a lot of time in Lexington. I love that city. Anyway, back to the point of the blog post- your girl is definitely lovely and I loved reading all your memories.

  2. Thanks, Natalie!!! She's actually my sister... I was 14 when Mom had her, so she feels like my own! I've heard great things about St. Joe East Women's Hospital!!! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I don't know what the future holds for my children, either, but I know the God who holds them in His hand and loves them more than I ever could. Happy Birthday, Kami!

  4. Happy Birthday to your sister--how lucky she is to have so many people to love her. You wrote a really sweet tribute to her. Thank you for sharing it!