Saturday, July 21, 2007

Laura is the Face in the misty light....

Laura is the face in the misty light
Footsteps that you hear down the hall
The laugh that floats on a summer night
That you can never quite recall
And you see Laura on a train that is passing through
Those eyes how familiar they seem
She gave your very first kiss to you
That was Laura but she's only a dream

(Above: Lyrics to the song "Laura", written by David Raksin - Johnny Mercer)

Twenty nine years ago today my daughter Laura Elizabeth arrived, making me the proud mother of a beautiful little girl.
She had the biggest blue eyes, and red hair, and she immediately stole her daddy's heart forever.






22 inches long, 7 lb 3 oz...look how tiny here little legs were!




She loved going everywhere in a front pack.





The other thing Laura loved was water.
Going places in the front pack, and splashing around in water.
You now know two life long loves of Laura.

Laura was dedicated to God wearing her great grandfather's baptism gown. As she grew, she continued to be dedicated to God. In fact, her middle name, Elizabeth, means "Dedicated to God."
Now you know three of Laura's life long loves.



Kicking back in a swim suit, looking cool in shade. That's another of Laura's loves.
Now you know four of Laura's life long loves.






Did I mention she was born with big blue eyes?
That's another thing you should know about Laura.
She has the most amazing blue eyes.

Being our first born, she got lots of attention. There's her great grandmother, her grandmother, her aunt, and her dad, all looking at little Laura.
Awww...isn't she just the cutest thing?




Laura is never afraid to try an unusual pose. Chewing on her own foot? Sure, that would make a great photo. Wonder if she can still do that today?



She grew, but still loved to splash in the tub. A bigger tub now.




While other babies lounged around, Laura was always heading off for an adventure.



Sunglasses, sunshine, swimsuit: check! Let's head to the beach!




Before we knew it, she turned one.




Laura loves to dress up and look ultra feminine. But only when she wants to. Especially with cool shoes. Mary Janes, they are fun to clack around in.
Now you know another thing about Laura.




Remember the picture of tiny baby Laura in the front pack?
Eventually (one year later) Laura outgrew the front pack.
Wow.
That was a lot of growing.


She was still the center of attention at Grandma and Grandpa D.'s house.
Pity they never gave her any toys to play with.



Laura has always loved cats. This cat was Grandma's cat.



Does the crossed eyes give you a sense of how much fun it was to be pushed in a baby buggy by Laura?

At age two, Laura jumped off the diving board, and swam the length of the swimming pool.



Also at age two, she got a tricycle and rode it.
Two year olds are not supposed to be able to ride tricycles.
But Laura could.
Her two grandfathers were there as witnesses.




Laura the two year old.




Who still doesn't mind posing for a funny picture!




She still liked to dress in pretty clothes though.


A few months before Laura turned two, she a became a big sister.
Now you know another thing about Laura.
Little brothers are a lot of work.
She had to teach him not to eat grass while wearing a fire helmet.


She had to watch him in the tub so he wouldn't drown.
Laura later became a life guard.
And she was great at it. She even saved lives!
That's another thing Laura loves: helping people and saving lives.
And now you know another thing about Laura.


I'm not sure there is a tree anywhere that Laura can't climb.
Even now.

She still liked to dress in pretty clothes though.




A few months before Laura turned two, she became a big sister.
Now you know another thing about Laura.
Little brothers are a lot of work.
She had to teach her brother not to eat grass while wearing a fire helmet.


She had to watch him in the tub so he wouldn't drown.
Laura later became a life guard.
And she was great at it. She even saved lives!
That's another thing Laura loves: helping people and saving lives.
And now you know another thing about Laura.



I'm not sure there is a tree anywhere that Laura can't climb.
Even now.



Then Laura was three. (And in a very bad mood on her birthday....)



She caught her very first fish. And had a screaming fit when she learned how fish are cleaned.
"Don't hurt my fishy fish!"
Funny, she grew up to enjoy watching surgery on people.
Just not on fish.
She usually has a beta fish as a pet.
I guess she really still likes fish.


Laura still loved her Mary Janes, this time in white, and wearing dresses.



Frieda was her second dog. She's had three dogs in her life: Molly, Freida and Freckles.
Laura is afraid of dogs now.
Now you know another thing about Laura.



Laura wasn't exactly an angel. In fact, she refused to wear the halo during the church Christmas pageant. The only kids without a halo.
She isn't afraid to have her own opinions.
And she never just follows the crowd.
She thinks for herself.
And now you know another thing about Laura.


Drumming was fun, but she only played occasionally. Like when her drummer uncle would let her bang away on his drum kit.
Being noisy is fun.
If you haven't guess yet, let me tell you: Having fun is very, very important to Laura!




And she still loved to splash around in a swim suit.



At age five, she rode a bicycle without training wheels.
Five year olds aren't supposed to be able to do that.
But Laura could.



When Laura turned five, the Strawberry Shortcake doll was in. Strawberry Shortcake smelled like strawberries, and looked a lot like Laura.



And it was still all about the beach and bathing suits.



The first day of kindergarten.
Cross your fingers Laura.
Wear your Care Bear dress, and everything will be OK.



Even with baby teeth gone, Laura still had a great smile and those big blue eyes.



There was rollerskating to learn.




And balance beams.




More teeth to come out.




And hugs to share.
Laura looks like mom some people say.
Others say she looks like her dad.
I say she looks beautifully like herself.



Sometimes she got to wear pig tails.




And she was a wonderful artist.
Even now she draws well.
And now you know another thing about Laura.



Age seven, and she still loves to splash in the tub.
Only now she prefers jacuzzi tubs, with bubble please!



She really doesn't like the color pink.
But that's OK, she could always wear yellow, again, for Easter.



Laura loves to drive. She drives fast too...she has speeding tickets from many states.
She has driven across America a couple of times.
She only has two more state to visit, and she will have been to all fifty states!
And now you know another thing about Laura.



Swimsuit, sunscreen, shades and a hat to make Mom happy is all a girl really needs to be happy.



Puppies are cool. It's dogs that bother Laura.



Riding a motorcycle is cool too. She started out riding with Grandpa Dustin, and rode a Honda to work for one summer.
Will she ever own a big motorcycle?
That's something I don't know about Laura.
I guess we'll have to wait and see.



As Laura got older, she started getting freckles.
That just how it is when you are a red head.
The funny thing is though, each summer her hair would be back to blond again, from swimming in the ocean and pool all day.
You can tell this picture was taken in winter: her hair is red!




Laura has always had long legs. Even as a baby. And especially as a child.




For awhile, in third grade, Laura played the gitar. Grandpa plays the harmonica, and sometimes they could play a duet.



By fourth grade Laura's hair was long, and she was starting to use make up.
(Just kidding! She is dressed for her part in a Christmas play.)



She played Little League for awhile.



Birthday girl, age 8.



And went skimming over the water behind Grandpa's boat.



But she still liked being a girl.
Especially for dress up fun!

Laura's Dad was her soccer coach. Now she prefers to watch the World Cup, and loves owning Soccer shirts from winning teams.



Did I mention she likes to have fun posing?
Either with a funny face....


Or a happy face.


Or a funny happy face.

A fun picture pose is one of Laura's favorite things.
And now you know another thing about Laura.



She likes to entertain.
Throwing a party with friends over for food and games is something she is great at.
You should be so lucky to be invited to one of Laura's parties!



Fifth grade came really fast.



She was growing up.

She graduated from fifth grade...






She even learned to surf alone..surfing is a VERY important part of Laura's life.


Her daddy took her out surfing when she was just a wee kid. Later, she even went to her Senior Prom riding in a chauffered Woodie, in true surfer girl style!




Started middle school




It's hard to imagine...this is the exact same spot where 13 years before she had been pictured riding on her daddy's chest in a front pack.


At age 12 she looked like this.
Not too crazy about the pink.
But she needed something to wear to Sixth Grade graduation.
Two big graduations-fifth and sixth.
On her sixth grade graduation, she received the sapphire ring her grandmother and mother had received on their sixth grade graduation day.
You can just see it on her finger in this picture.




She turned 13...we had a teen age daughter!

The first day of eighth grade Laura looked like this picture above.



On the last day of eight grade she looked like this.
The beautiful baby who was a beautiful girl was now a beautiful young woman.


Graduation from eight grade.


The sophisticated lady witha bandaid on her knee.
Riding bikes a little too fast if I recall.






Then it was off to Indian Hills, to work as support staff at a Christian campground.
It seemed only natural that Laura would work as a clown.
Her daddy still loves giving her kisses.
I think this was taken on her birthday.
How much she has grown since that first tummy kiss!


Now on to the high school years!
Laura learned to ski and snowboard.
She also worked, a lot.
She worked as a florist, and as a Candy Striper.
And swam on the high school swim team and played water polo.

All that swimming...all those swim suits....what a surprise that she lettered in Swimming and Water Polo!
And now you know another four or five things about Laura.



She still loved to dress in pretty dresses. And cute shoes.
Just not Mary Janes anymore.






And blink...she was graduating from high school.

The little girl with her fingers crossed on the first day of kindergarten did alright.



She still liked wearing shades.


And she still liked going places. A luggage trolley at the airport curb is a favorite form of transportation; it means she's heading somewhere fun again!



She started college, and swim suits and shades still feel right when she isn't actually in class....


Even a busy college girl has time for Christmas with mom and grandma. Only now she doesn't have to be dressed in those silly Christmas outfits that her mom used to always made her wear.



At age 20 Laura moved to from her native San Diego to Texas to attend University of Texas at Arlington, to get her BS RN degree. It was hard for a third generation San Diego girl to move that far from the beach.
She worked as a florist and in surgeries, setting up surgeries and handing tools to the doctors while she studied.
For fun she played with a red headed cat.


Melvil and Laura, the red headed Texas team.



She is still a big sister, only little brother is now bigger than she is.


Nurse Laura, BS RN. With her own apartment and everything, working in an intensive care unit.
And still loves to dress up.
And sometimes even wear a hat and a PINK dress at Easter.






Posing is still fun.




I am so lucky. Laura is my daughter and my best friend.



We don't get to spend a lot of time together now, because she is a traveling nurse. She has worked in oncology units in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Hawaii (where she got kissy face with the tiki gods), and right now she is in Denver.


Working in Hawaii meant more time surfing and swimming.
And family visits.
Here in Hawaii with Grandma S.


And here in Hawaii with her Daddy.
A family that (temporarily) tatoos together, stays together.
Or something like that.

Laura still loves to go places. She's gone to Mexico, the Carribean, Alaska, Canada, Ireland and Scotland on vacations.
When she went to Scotland she asked her grandma S. and me to come along too.
That's us, up in the Highlands of Scotland.



If you are not licensed, you may not go behind the bar in Scotland to pull a pint.
Unless you are Laura, of course.


The swans of Scotland seemed to like Laura. And for a moment, Laura looked like she was becoming a swan too.




Yes, Laura has fun where ever she goes.




Sometimes she bends the rules along the way.
But never in a really bad way.



She fit right into to Ireland.



And she still loves to be with her Grandma D.

Skiing is still fun with Dad and little brother.
But she'd still rather snowboard.





She's been a bridesmaid at least five time.




And she still loves to get into a jacuzzi.


They haven't played a duet in a while, or gone motorcyling, but they still enjoy a good laugh together from time to time.



The blue eyed baby girl is quite an amazing woman now.




It's been a blessing to have you as a daughter, a friend and yes, even my nurse.
I love traveling with you, drawing and shooting pictures with you, writing with you, and shopping with you.



You make me laugh, and are a wonder to behold as you continue to grow and explore your world.



What a daughter!

Happy Birthday Laura!

Now that you have learned a few things about Laura, perhaps now you will enjoy hearing her theme song.

Her song "Laura" is a classic song, from the movie of the same title.
The words were at the beginning of this post.

Here they are again:

Laura is the face in the misty light
Footsteps that you hear down the hall
The laugh that floats on a summer night
That you can never quite recall
And you see Laura on a train that is passing through
Those eyes how familiar they seem
She gave your very first kiss to you
That was Laura but she's only a dream

The song was most famously sung by Frank Sintra.

Occasionally when people met Laura, they sing the song to her.
She has a favorite version of the song that you can hear played here.
Be sure to listen to it to the very end.

Maybe one day she will dance to it at her wedding.
It will be so like her, I'm sure everyone will cry with joy.
Or something like that.

You can wish her a Happy Birthday over at her blog, called "It's Good To Be Me"
There you can see what else this traveling oncology nurse is up to.
I know she hopes she will never need to meet you professionally.
But I know she'd love to meet you as a friend.

5 comments:

Laura said...

Awwww~~!!!!!! Thank you mom!!! That was the best birthday present ever!!! Yeah, tears were involved over smiles! And it was definately interesting to read it with Irish music playing in the background. I love you sooooo much! Talk to you soon, me!

Lovella said...

Oh, the birthday fairy prevented half of the pictures from showing on my computer. The last one showing on mine was Laura in tights.
Oh my goodness, what a wonderful fun loving beautiful daughter you have. It's my turn to be jealous. Nothing can duplicate the relationship that (when it is good) is very very good between a mom and her girl.
Blessings on both of you. I am thrilled that you have found the friendship that so many long for.

The post was just beautiful. There really is nothing so great a gift as affirmation by those that love you.

Julie said...

Oh, Jill ! having an extra healthy dose of the curiousity gene...I WANNA see the rest of the pictures!!!!
What a beautiful tribute to your daughter!! I can tell life has not been boring since she was born.
To be able to give such an amazing tribute to an amazing woman is also a deserving tribute to the parents who raised her!!

I shall borrow from a dutch tradition and congratulate YOU on your daughter's birthday!!!

Demara said...

That was sure a long post! Yikes! but Laura has had a long life now, so I suppose it's even. That was a great honorific post for her. I did wish her a happy birthday on her blog. Thanks for letting me know!

Laura said...

Oh, and after the picture of me turning 2, the caption "Laura the two year old," you forgot a word. It's "terror." :-)