This last month held a sweet moment for me. It was Sunday. We were leading the music at Flood Church, and the Pastor was speaking on Leaving a Legacy… what will you pass on to others? It had been a long day, a good day, but it was a real treat to see my dad’s face at the 6pm service. He surprised me, showed up with some international students, sat 3rd aisle from the front, and with his video camera held unapologetically high (like any good Asian dad would do), he came to show interest and support in my life. You see, it’s his Asian story, his legacy, which really had me thinking that day.
And on that one particular Sunday at Flood, at a nothing super special church service, a moment was carved. As the service came to a close, the Pastor made a quick comment of thanks to the band, and pointed out— “Speaking of legacy, Wanida’s dad is here with us tonight.” That’s all it took. My feet froze from walking off stage. Instead, I walked to the front edge of the empty stage. My voice echoed, as I spoke out into the dark auditorium, “And here’s the crazy part…” looking right at my dad, “My dad was given a different legacy. He grew up in a Buddhist family, in a small village outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. He was a Buddhist monk, the legacy his parents passed on to him. But he made a choice. A choice to change the legacy that he was given.” At this point the pregnancy hormones devour any ‘keeping it together-ness,’ and I’m a teary pregnant puddle of a mess. Choked up, I pause, “Thank you Dad. Thank you for changing your legacy to give me a priceless one.” The dark auditorium was filled from front to back, but for those few minutes, it was just me and my dad. I smiled at him. He nodded and smiled back in his perfect Asian father way. I knew he knew, and I walked off stage, and the nothing special service will forever be a special one to me. Here’s my favorite part. The next day, my dad and I were doing some mundane Monday errands. We’d been together for a few hours now, and there was no mention of the night before. It wrote it off as the Asian-we-don’t-talk-about-the-past, we-live-in-the-present thing. But, I had this hunch. I opened my mouth. “Hey Dad. Last night at church. When I was speaking out at the end of the service, did you hear me? Did you hear what I said?” He looked up from his iPhone, gave a quick shake of his head, put his phone down, “No. Tell me what you said, I couldn’t hear.” True statement: That moment between my dad and me, was really between me and me. Oh how I laughed. I retold the moment to my dad, but with more volume under my lungs. You’ll be happy to know, for Father’s Day, we all pitched in and helped my dad get some new, very needed, hearing aids. Happy Father’s Day dad, I do love you so very much, and am so thankful for the legacy of Christ’s gracious love you have poured into my life.
Girls, you are a lucky bunch. You have some wonderful men in your life. Your Papa, GrampBill and Daddy are all wonderful men, who love and adore you. They absolutely adore you. You were born into a beautiful legacy of love, laughter, and lives that have been changed by a God that pursues us with his goodness and love. That’s for sure. In honor of Father’s day, here are some men favorites from this month. Naomi Mariam (3.5 years): Naomi, you are a sweetie. A total sweetie. It just oozes from you. From the way you speak to your pet worms, to the way you genuinely communicate concern to the Princesses on your newly washed shirt “Oh there you are! I’ve been so worried about you!” You are a darling my love. It’s such a joy to have you in our family. *You absolutely love playing Ants on the ipad with Daddy. He makes you laugh and laugh. Sometimes when you laugh really hard, your giggles go silent, and you can barely breathe! The strategy of the game, and the silliness of the ants has kept you captivated for hours. *You love writing your name! And you often write it starting with the I, filling in letters backwards. *You learned the word frustrating, and you so sweetly overuse it. Swinging your arms in total agitation, “I’m so frustrating!!” Darling really. *Naomi you know your letters so well! In the mirror you read off all the letters on your pajamas “RETSIS GIB” Nice! *You love talking about your coming baby sister! “We’re waiting a looooong time for baby sister! I can’t wait to meet her, I’m soooo excited!” *While Mommy was cooking dinner, you were drawing on the chalkboard, and said, “Look Mom, I draw the first letter of your name!” And sure enough I looked over and you had written “W” on the board (something we haven’t talked about in weeks!). *”Naomi guess what? We’re all going on vacation to Arizona! Doesn’t that sound like fun?!” You looked puzzled, “No no no— I want to go to Hawaii!” Smart girl! Curious George is rubbing off on you. *You looked up to the top of a pretty palm tree and said “Mommy, look a pineapple!” *You prayed “God thank you for Aria, thank you for Mommy, thank you for Daddy, thank you for Naomi (sweet pause)… keep us all together as a family. Amen.” Darling. *While helping daddy get gophers, you ran out to him with your red plastic bat and shouted “When you pop up gophers, I’m gonna bop you!!” *You got your first haircut! “I got a haircut Mommy, and then I looked like a beautiful toy Barbie.” *”Mommy can you please buy me a flying horse? Please? Pretty pretty please please pretty please please?” *Recent trip to Trader Joe’s was like none other. You girls listened so well, and followed me around with your little carts like ducklings in a row! At one point Aria’s cart fell over, and you ran over to her, comforted her with gentle pats on her back, told her “It’s okay sweetie,” and then picked up her fallen cart and helped pick up her items. *Mommy shared that it was GrandMary’s birthday, you sweetly suggested, “Mommy we should all fly up really high in an airplane, and yell Happy Birthday really loud! That way she can hear us.” You’re so kindhearted, Naomi. Aria Ellen (2 years): You crack us up! Constantly crank us up! Your scrunched up faces, your demanding sweetness, your crazy love for shoes, swinging and pajamas. You’re fun! Mommy and Daddy just laugh as your personality is budding life! You bring silliness and surprise to everything. Like the way you throw your fists down, scrunch up your entire face, and shout “why now!” (right now!) and then break character and peak around to see if you’ve hooked anyone in your dramatic antics! *You were screaming in your crib. “Aria, Mommy already said goodnight, you need to lay down and sleep.” With your head apologetically hanging down, you sweetly said “Sahwee” and laid right down. *Aria you’re swinging on our big girl tree swing, and doing great! *You are obsessed with cats. If we let you, which we admittedly sometimes do, you will wear your CAT pajamas all day long, and you love it. *You can identify and draw a circle! And you’re getting really good at colors my love. Today you put on your shoes, “puhpull!” (nailed it, purple!). *Your language is coming together so fast! “Wowda peas” (louder please), “Mama hoe me peas! (Hold me please), “I wahna hoe it! (I want to hold it!), “I tie it!” (I try it!), “My tuh why now!” (My turn right now!) You say “why now” a lot. Daddy asked you to come and you shouted “I cahing!” Amazed at your language. *Somewhat spontaneously, you are officially in a big girl bed my little one! And from the start you did surprisingly great. Way too great, in fact, that we keep thinking something’s not right, this is too easy. First night you slept the entire night in your bed! And since, you’ve never challenged us on this! So odd. But we’ll take it! *Aria love, with a huge smile on your face you run to help! Daddy pruned the tree, and with eager eyes, you ran to help put each and every branch in the trash cans! You are such a good helper love. *You had something stuck in your shoe, so you sat down, took off your shoe, pulled something out, and ate it. Ha! Baby girl three (29-33 weeks!): Above right, is me and you at 30 weeks! You’re growing, and your big sisters are adoring! They love giving you hugs and kisses! It’s a common thing to have Naomi or Aria put their arm over you, and whisper sweet songs to you! Mommy is doing her best taking her prenatal pills, but sometimes they don’t make her feel the best. So Mommy took a little something to make her feel better, only to find out that her antidote causes uterus cramping and is not recommended in pregnancy. Oops! Of course this happened on a Sunday when Mommy was singing at church— and there were many a moments the cramping took Mommy’s breath away! We got scared you might be joining us early! *At your monthly doctor appointment, Mommy said “She’s 32 weeks!” The doctor punched away on her computer and stared at the monitor confused, and gently corrected Mommy, “The baby’s actually 30 weeks.” Mommy is just super excited to meet you love, I can’t help but miscount a bit!Daddy got you girls and Manoah into a laughing frenzy! At one point, Naomi and Manoah almost peed their pants, they were in stitches! Sweet Aria, I don’t think you understood, but you knew it was time to laugh, and you tried so intently to join along! Maertz Family Memories: *Celebrating Ama at Claire’s in Solana Beach for a beautiful outdoor Mother’s Day brunch! *Dinner out at Alexander’s— celebrating Angela Neve’s graduation! Fun catch up with Sarah & baby Ivy Suhonen. *Sammy’s 4 years old! Nothing like water play chaos with friends and family! *You girls love ICF Gym Night, so Daddy and I take advantage and escape to Red Robin for a quick lovely dinner out! *Aria’s high fevers strike again, twice. You have a great immunologist watching your case sweetie, we’ll just wait and see if the fevers continue, he’s not concerned just quite yet, and that’s good news. *After you girls went to bed, Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a last minute dinner out at Vinz, and then hooked up with the Erdoses at Bellamy’s— a fun random Tuesday out with neighbors! *Memorial Day weekend— Joe gets handy and gives our deck a bench! Super fun visit from the Jungs for Saturday morning brunch! Enjoy a swim morning with the Sawyers! *Mommy gets really brave and undergoes her first root canal. Eeek! *Random Monday Carlsbad Beach Family trip (!!) Papa chased and played silly with you girls, Favorite Things Party with Kristy Heinrichs (I brought five tea cups). *Blackberry picking at Ama’s house! *Girls night out at Prep Kitchen celebrating Tatum’s last overnight shift!! So fun. *Meet little Beckett White for the first time! *Joe and I enjoy the French Open during the evenings and start the series House of Cards. *Jessica Maneewan-Tou’s bridal shower at Ramlis’. *Fun summer BBQ at 1204 celebrating Papa’s 69th birthday! *Couples all venture out to Cordiano Winery and laugh the evening away over the most gorgeous views! Afterwards, we are shocked to hear footsteps on our back deck (!!), only to discover the Heinrichs and Lehmans surprising us with a little after party fun! *1204 undergoes a serious transformation: new kitchen cabinets, counter tops, new floors in the family room, and all the walls get a fresh coat of paint! *In the midst of all the 1204 chaos, Mom and Dad spend quality time here, and one afternoon we enjoy watching your Daddy hunker over a gopher hole and use your girls’ plastic bat to bop the guy! (we laughed so hard as the plastic bat broke in half and the gopher escaped!) *Integrated worship into our bedtime routine— you girls love it. Dancing to daddy’s guitar playing & singing “Hallelujah.” After a long day, worshiping together as a family fills Mommy and Daddy’s soul buckets. *GrampBill came into town and we hit up Poway’s Farmer’s Market/Train ride! (he came bearing gifts, but here’s my favorite part: out of love, he bought you girls a bunch of clothes, but didn’t know that most of his presents were BOY clothes!! We all got a good laugh out of that!) *Celebrated Father’s day with an afternoon family gathering here. Girls chatting around the yummy food table (including GrampBill’s famous salsa!), and boys getting all riled up while watching the final day of The Masters Golf tournament. Fun front yard play! Mommy got domestic cute and made a fresh Peach cobbler and crisp (we’ve been picking Miss Helen’s peaches all month!)! *Playdates: Kristy and boys, bring Janneke & D gelato for her birthday and final Esco playdate, Hillary & Kiki at Highland Ranch Park/Jamba Juice, Tamra & Elle at Esco’s Children Museum, Priscilla & boys at our place, Ashley & twins at Mountain View Park and later brave the Farmer’s Market, Hillary & Kiki at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts/Nobel park, too many to count with Auntie Anjuli & the cousins!