Monday, December 12, 2011

Today I thought of you: Nathaniel

I haven't done one of these posts in a while, as my friend Jen reminded me a few days ago. Thanks girl. :)
*Disclaimer* This one's going to be a novel.

As the days pass I can't help but think of where I'll be in the next 10 days: Texas!! Not only am I thrilled because in the last 9 years I've only spent Christmas with my family three times (that's so depressing and I didn't even realize that until right now), but as of June this year I have a sweet baby nephew that makes me recognize that I need to try and come home as often as possible, especially during the holidays. I say "try" because traveling costs not only depend on our financial situation, but our school schedules. Similarly, being in the military the previous 8 years came at the cost of missing those sacred family moments that took place during my absence.
Today I thought of you, Nathaniel. I have only met you once, a month after you were born, and for about two weeks I got to hold you every single day. I can't believe how much you've grown in the last 5 months.
Here's some background information about your Auntie Roni that you don't get to see as often as the rest of our family:
When I first left home so many years ago, it was terribly hard for me. I was a teenager who'd thrown myself into this new world of responsibility, bills, uniforms and combat boots - all at a distance from the family that we both share now. For the first year I'd cry each time when I'd visit Texas and have to say goodbye after a few days, always leaving with a painful lump in my throat. I'd cry when I talked to my mom (your grandma) on the phone and she'd tell me about how the entire family got together at grandpa's house again, just because, and the whole house was filled with laughter, but it broke her heart when she couldn't hear mine anymore; or the times she swore she could hear me laughing amidst all the other children in our family, but knew it was just her memories playing tricks because she missed me so much. Those were the hardest parts of being away, and they still are when my mommy and I talk about the distance every now and then.
By the second or third year of being on my own, all the way to now, I've been pretty numb to the old pain of being far from home, and I've gotten used to the reality that I -unfortunately- have a long distance relationship with my family. I guess because after a while I wasn't a kid on my own anymore; I became an adult over night (that happens in the military) and realized I wasn't going to perish in the imaginary flames of surviving without my mommy. Somewhere along the way, I grew to love the fact that I was getting to live in different places, and even concluded that I could do the tumble weed thing for the rest of my life if I wanted to.
It was only on the day that my sister told me she was pregnant with you that something inside me actually considered wanting to move back to Texas someday. And when I finally held you in my arms, looking at you, I thought I've got to get back here soon! I never want to be someone who you only knew in small dosages or pictures. I never want to just know you like that either. Your mom, uncle and I all grew up in a tight-knit family, seeing our own aunts, uncles and cousins every weekend and almost every day during the summers. I want you and I to be close like that. And if it can't be as often as that, I want it to be more than what it has to be right now. Because now that you're here, I feel the lump in my throat each time my sister sends me daily videos and pictures of you doing simple, but monumental things in your baby life: like sitting up against the cushions of a couch all by your big boy self, eating bananas, learning how to move your tongue in so many different directions, smiling, and laughing...your laugh is my favorite thing in the world to hear these days. I watch those videos more than anything and wish I was there in real life to witness all these things you're learning to do. I want to be there to high-five your chunky baby hand. :)
So no matter how long it takes for us to see each other between visits, and no matter how long it takes until we're living close to you in Texas (hopefully Austin), I want you to know that you're my little bunny and I love you with every part of me! My eyes can't stop watering up and burning right now, and my throat hurts so bad as I type this. :,) For now, your auntie and unckie have to finish up college so we can get good jobs and buy you all the coolest clothes and toys!
We love you Nathaniel Dean. <3
Here's a video of Nathaniel laughing. I love how he goes from "hahaha" to serious face and then back to "hahaha" in a second. This melts my heart. 

Thanks for reading. 



  1. Aww Nathaniel is so cute! I bet you are so excited to see him again, it will make christmas extra special! xo

  2. Thank you, Sarah! I am most definitely excited to see Nathaniel next week! The time can't fly by fast enough. I can't wait to see him open his Christmas presents! Lol He already goes through the newspaper with his mommy and daddy and pretty much just throws everything around like a little Texas tornado. :)

  3. OMG. That breaks my heart, dude. I know exactly how you feel (my eyes are welling up as I'm typing this.) I'm in the opposite situation though with Xmas. I've never spent one away from my parents, and this year, will be the first one away from them & that's what prompted me to make them move to Oregon! I can't ever be away from them, like ever.

    I bet you'll have fun for Xmas. Have fun with him. Baby nieces & nephews are the best things ever, 'cause you get to spoil them, then not deal with the rotten parts afterwards. If, for some stroke of, idk, wonderfulness (not saying your whole trip won't be wonderful), you get like a 5 minute break to go to Austin, let me know, & I will meet you there, because we haven't seen each other in a year!! I love yah, miss ya, Happy Holidays! (oh and did you get my message last night?)

  4. Jen,
    Did you seriously get to spend every Christmas with your 'rents even when you were in the military?? You're super lucky if you did! Most squadrons wouldn't let you take off the same holiday twice, that way others could get it. I hated that.
    Haha, and of course, if we have a night to get away I'll be heading my booty over to Austin! I LOVE me some 6th Street! Mmmhhmm. And I know! I can't believe it's been a year. Can you believe before last year we hadn't seen each other in 6 yrs?! Sheesh. I feel like last years trip bonded us even more than we've been throughout our friendship. :)
    Oh, just listened to your voicemail. Lots of "ummm's" lol! Nerd, you sounded tired.
    Welp, I'm about to leave school (in the computer lab now) and I'll give you a call sometime today, probably after 9 when my minutes are free. Love you

  5. Sister this was the absolute sweetest blog ever! We really can't wait for you and Mikey to come so we can all spend time together. I am so happy you are going to be here for his 1st Christmas! I wish you were here a lot, if not more than you do, not just to be here to be a great auntie but to be here with me and enjoy this with me. No matter where you are we will always find a way to see you as often as we can. But don't worry, he hears about you all of the time. Before the pictures I send u and Mikey I always say "let's make this one cute for Auntie Roni" "now we have to look different so Uncle Mikey can have a special one too" or if he wears something ya'll gave him I talk about ya'll and always warn him that when he sees you again to be prepared because Auntie Roni is "louder than you".haha. I can not wait for you to become a mommy so you can experience all of the love and joy that comes with it.
    Well I keep going on, but I love u and this post!!

  6. Yeah, I got to either spend Xmas or New Years' at home. So, whenever I'd go home, & if it wasn't Xmas, say it was New Years' it was a few days later & it was basically Xmas for me still. Now, I don't know when I'm going home again. Probably not 'til like July or something like that.

    Mona! What's up? Your baby is so cute! He totally looks like you!

  7. Hey Jen!! Not too much, just keeping busy with work, baby and getting ready for Christmas. Christmas is going to be great this year, and my sissy will be here so that makes it better!!
    What about you, how have u been?

  8. Sister,
    I LOVE YOU. You, Nathaniel and Gilbert! Y'all are such an amazing family; Momma and I talk about that often on the phone.
    I didn't know you said all those cute things to Nathan before taking a picture, that made me LOL & smile big time! :D Thanks for keeping our memory alive (so to speak) when we're not there.
    And I know it's not just Nathan anymore, I want to get home and be with you and Danny and Mom again, because I miss y'all SO much, and we've all changed and grown up so much in these long years. You were just a baby (in my eyes) when I left, I think that's why I always get a moment of shock when I realize you're a WONDERFUL mother now. You're the best next to mom. And I'm not just saying that because you're my sister. You're dedicated like no one else I know. And I know a bunch of fabulous mothers, but you're the only one I know that takes him to work every day and still gets home and wants to play with him like you haven't run out of energy! I don't know if I could do that. :) I love you, Mona.

  9. Awww! How sweet! I miss my little chipotles too! I always think of them and get homesick around the holidays. =o(

  10. OMG. I've been all over the place. You wouldn't believe it, but I live in Texas now. haha. My niece's husband's about to go to Korea for about a year. She lives right outside of Ft. Hood. I have a blog on here, too, if you ever want to give it a glance. It's Tell your mama I said hello too! And Happy Holidays!

  11. Khalilah,
    I love that you call them your little chipotles. :) That's the sweetest thing ever. And I know being married to the military yourself, you go through the same things. I hope you get some skype dates with your chipotles this holiday.


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