DADDY’S BABY IS HAVING A BABY  By Lori A Alicea

Life is full of surprises.

They arrive when you’re caught off guard by the unexpected.

They arrive as a bouquet of flowers you didn’t order.

They arrive after a lap-full of three grandsons and seven granddaughters have been calling you Papa over the last seventeen years. GRANDCHILDRENThey arrive after the baby crib set up at Papa’s house where most of his ten grandchildren have slept in, has been sadly dismantled for the last time.Ethan 2011 ethan in crib USE

They arrive after years of summer riding together on bicycles, most rescued from the side of the road on garbage day and shared among cousins, now bringing smiles to other children in need, as our grandchildren have crushed our hearts outgrowing them.USE BIKESbikes grandkids big on bikes

They arrive after a gentle rain of grandparent tears waving at their two remaining grandchildren recently graduating from Pre-k, on their first day of school.

They arrive after the resistance of a grandfather closing the chapter on diapers, pacifiers, of grandchildren teething, nighttime rocking, toddlers learning to walk, play-dates and weekends at Papa’s house.

They arrive after Papa still struggles with all these new beginnings.

Yes, life is full of unsuspecting surprises.

They arrive as an explosion of joyful confetti…

When daddy’s little girl,
Who always thought she’d only be a cool aunt in her lifetime,

Has called her father to announce she’s having a baby.

A little girl who wrapped her tiny fingers around a daddy’s heart from the moment he laid eyes on her, is about to experience this same miracle in a few short months.use AUDRA baby

A little girl whose smile and curls started the world around her smiling, will witness the same through her son.

audra little

A little girl who loved to go fishing, who risked a handful of blisters for the monkey bars, will one day enjoy these afternoons of fun with her baby boy whose name we have yet to learn.

While time refused to stand still in her growing up,

She remained her daddy’s little girl.

A father affirming his beautiful daughters in song on their thirtieth birthdays while celebrating his sixtieth; a well of emotion a brand new mother is about to draw from for the rest of her child’s life.

You are so Beautiful
Song Made Famous By Joe Cocker

(lyrics excerpt)

You’re everything I hoped for…
You’re everything I need…
You are so beautiful, to me..

Click on the movie ABOVE to hear a father sing to his daughters.

She always thought she’d be the cool aunt to her nieces and nephews, never imagining holding a child of her own.audra johnny dedication

But God knew…

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…
Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)

From the beginning of time, God already knew and wrote about the days of this child’s life; a precious gift from the Lord.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;
All the days ordained for me where written in your book,
Before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16 (NIV)

Children are a gift from the Lord,
They are a reward from Him.
Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

Daddy’s baby is having a baby.
audra david noah
Papa was overwhelmed with great joy when he revealed the news to me one evening after work.

While she’ll always remain daddy’s little girl;

As some things can never change.
audra flowers
But oh, what an explosion of confetti…

And a life full of surprises…

When daddy’s baby holds the baby of her own.

PRETTY IN MY DADDY’S EYES?  By Lori A Alicea

Am I pretty daddy?

Her words, whether spoken or hidden under the covers of a daughter’s heart, she wonders…

Before her father, she smiles and spins as a music box dancer in her fluffiest dress, with arms stretched out and wind catching her curls as she twirls to the song of her princess ball, yet still wonders…

She wonders each morning as the windows of her deep blue eyes are opened for him to notice…

Am I pretty daddy?USE Girls together no cape

Little girls long to be noticed by their daddy.

No matter her age, whether crawling around his feet or dancing in his arms on her wedding day, a delicate rose among a hillside of splendor whispers under her breath for a father’s attention,

Oh, pick me.”USE flowers

Take me to the dance.”

Be my special date.”

Am I pretty in my daddy’s eyes?”USE Kyle girls flowers

Daddy’s are the fairy-tale in their daughters magical world. USE Decorations CarriageDaddy’s write their story she’ll remember for a lifetime, a book for which his little girl holds the key, with pages she begs him to read each night at bedtime, always starting from the beginning…

Once upon a time…USE Decorations Once Upon a Time

Tell me, tell me, tell me.” She begs him to repeat.

Tell me about our date.”

Let’s go back to the dance through the pages.”

Remind me of all the details I can’t bear to forget.”

While you read, I’ll close my eyes and we’ll be at the princess ball together again.”

There’s something about daddy’s and his intentional time with her.

One can’t buy this time.

One can’t wish this time.

One can’t put off for another day this time.

This time happens because daddy’s make it happen.

He schedules the date.

She picks out her prettiest dress.

Daddy gets fancy too.

Daddy queues the music.

Daddy twirls her.

Daddy notices her.

Daddy dances with her.

Daughter is pretty in her father’s eyes.

They dance until the clock strikes midnight.

I can’t imagine any girl not wanting to be the princess of her lifelong fairy-tale.USE Cinderella Princess Girls with princess

Girls reveal their princess desires in childhood dress up, while playing in her mother’s closet, while walking in the heels of her mother’s shoes.

While dancing in their daddies arms.

Yes dads, your princess waits every night at bedtime to hear her story, the story you have written for her by noticing her, by loving her, by being that Knight on a White horse, by picking her, by seeing her pretty in your daddy eyes.

USE Cinderella Goodnight Girls in bed

While daughter’s hold the key to her fairy-tale book, a daddy holds the key to his princess’ sweet dreams, when kissed by him and the things dreams are made of.

Because a Knight with a White Horse pursues his daughter’s heart.USE Daddy Daughter Dance photo

Because a daddy writes their story she’ll remember for a lifetime, a book for which his little girl holds the key, with pages she begs him to read each night at bedtime, always starting from the beginning…

Once upon a time…USE Decorations Once Upon a Time

STEPPING FROM DOLLS AND BOWS INTO HEELS By Lori A Alicea

She’s not a little girl anymore.

Brooklyn

This little girl

Has been cocooned in her father’s heart these childhood years, hidden and protected while the hand of her heavenly Father has been molding and fashioning and never taking His eyes from her as she becomes the “fearfully and wonderfully made” young woman He envisioned and imagined from before her birth.

Brooklyn and daddy 6

This little girl
Who’s been set apart from anyone or influence who dares to hasten her wings and sacred time with an earthly father who shows the way in her knowing, the trusting and hearing the voice of Christ more clearly; leading his little girl to abandon her heart to Him before those maiden flights finds her beyond an earthly father’s reach.
Brooklyn praising Jesus
A childhood of dolls and bows are now journal entries from days of yesterday.

Tear stained pages of prayers from a father laying bare his heart on the altar for his little girl.

Petitions mirroring back God’s promises of hope and prosperity for his daughter’s future.

Tied together with a little girl’s surrendered will to God’s plans before her.

Be the wind beneath her wings which lift her soaring high as eagles.

A butterfly emerges her cocoon into this beautiful woman standing before me.

The faces of my little girl are now a gallery of framed pictures in the secret place I retreat to when I long to remember those eyes that once looked up and followed me everywhere I went.

My little girl walks past the closed door of her childhood, taking those first few steps thru an entryway as a young woman, a butterfly seeing the beauty of her life for the first time through new lens.
Brooklyn and daddy 3
Her mother and I we celebrate the sweet life and sixteen years of a child and gift God loaned to us parents, recalling His charge we raise our daughter in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Decorations 1

Today we celebrate what God had given to us sixteen years ago.

But are reminded of the giving back to God’s arms and plans the day we dedicated our little girl to the Lord.

This day our butterfly is seen for the first time dressed and crowned in all her glory; a banquet opening its doors to a place of grandeur for its guests to celebrate and behold her.

Bouquets of roses billow from the arms of a father presenting to her the love he’s expressed on many occasions prior.

A father sharing a first dance with this young woman he’s shared the evening before at daddy-daughter dances, holding back his tears of that dance yet to come on her wedding day.

Our little girl kisses good-bye her childhood of dolls and bows.

brooklyn and brodie 1

Stepping into the heels of a young woman crowned befitting her beauty.

She may not be little anymore, but forever etched in my sight is daddies little girl.
Brooklyn and daddy
A father’s heart hasn’t changed and still overwhelmed for his little girl as when he spoke on her 13th birthday.

What can I say! I am a proud father of two beautiful girls that I love so much.

Brooklyn, my first. What a great opportunity for me to learn what it was to be a dad and how to love unconditionally. Since the first time I met you at three years old until now, has been an amazing journey. You have been through a lot, but I am glad that I was there to help you get through those difficult times.

I want you to know that you have given me a gift that no one could ever take from me, and that was adopting you as my daughter. The crazy thing is, nothing has changed for me because you have always been my girl from the moment I met you.

I’m proud to see God working in your life, and I hope your mom and I are doing a good job showing you how to live a Christ centered life. I’m proud of who you are and most of all, I’m proud to be your dad!

I love you!
Love Daddy”

A butterfly emerges her cocoon into this beautiful woman standing before me.

Presenting for the very first time,

A woman dressed and crowned in all her glory,
Fearfully and wonderfully made,

Our daughter,

Brooklyn Nicole Alicea.

Presentation of Brookln

LIFE’S AMAZING RACE By Lori A Alicea

Sometimes life takes you back a few years and it’s always worth looking over your shoulder to remember the overflow of one’s heart.

On February 24, 2017
A few pages from the diary of my heart for our son on his birthday….

Your Life’s Amazing Race began on
February 24, 1983 at 5:55 PM
When you became our son;

Jacob James C. England

jake as a baby at xmas

God has had a great plan on your life before you were ever born.
That plan has been unfolding with every mile you complete in your race; a race that has been charted from the very beginning.

There are those who have greatly influenced you along the way.
Now, it’s your turn to lead the next generation of runners in their race;
Those adorable children of yours.

2015 hollis jake cova at race

I am forever thankful for those lives that have loved you greatly for so many years, but sadly were last seen at the fork in the road called “Heaven Bound.”

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Jake and Cova

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barbara

Gloria Gloria

grandma brendaFC74F153-9566-420B-8596-BB2F712E5C0F
David and I love you son.

david and lori copy

May God continue to reveal amazing surprises for you around every lap of the race you take.

Your Life’s Amazing Race
By Lori A Alicea

A charted course, your race is set,
Specific map assign.

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A plan prepared before your birth,
To reach the finish line.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
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Your map it details every step,
Your path God charts them all.

IMG_7433He guides your way and sets the pace,
The prize, fulfill your call.

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A marathon of hills to climb,
Yet miles where watchers cheer.

The Climb of Your Life - Do not Fear picture or Conquer 2Encouragement when loss of strength,
Demands you persevere.

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Beware the turns that lead astray,
The detours that seem right.

IMG_7439Keep firm your faith and feet before,
The prize that’s in your sight.

jake running your raceYou’ve journeyed far, we’re proud of you,
Yet many miles you face.

IMG_7437Faint not, your God he runs beside,
Your life’s amazing race.

IMG_7434Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easy entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

Blessings on another year older son.
IMG_7405You are all grown up; but that little boy still holds a special place in my heart.

mother son USESpoken from the pages of David’s heart …

Dear Son,

You may not be my blood.
You may not share my name.
But love goes deeper than any human understanding.
If I never told you,
I’ve always believed it.
I’m proud of you as any dad would be.
You are my Beloved Son.
Love David

jakes cross stitch

Thirty-eight years ago
You left the starting line to begin your
Life’s Amazing Race.

As the laps in your life begin to take their grueling toll; Don’t give up or give into the pain.  Stay in your lane. Persevere and complete your race.  As a prize awaits your finish.  Love Mom. 25040237-B6C2-4839-B6C7-053054DD4669

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE…By Lori A Alicea

The heart of one true friend for the other,
…he loved him as he loved himself.
1 Samuel 20:16 NIV

For every life there is a ledger.
A book of columns tallying the additions and subtractions,
Reconciling the sum total of our years here on earth,
And upon inspection of my life’s ledger,
I’d consider it an accounting of true riches
For those who call me friend, albeit even one.

 “If you have one true friend in the world,
You are very rich.”
Alistair Begg        

We were not born for isolation.

God himself said before blessing man with his wife:
It is not good for man to be alone…
Genesis 2:18 NIV

While telling them next to
“Be fruitful and multiply…”
Genesis 1:28

Birthed from the increase of families came
Community, the village,
Our deep and abiding friendships.

What a friend we have….
…to be loved by one as he loves himself.

As beauty rests in the eye of the beholder,
So are the many portraits of friendship;
Painted and seen from the beholders lens.

The portrait of loyalty as seen through the eyes of small children and their furry best friends, expressed through their inseparable time together, side by side throughout the day, never seeing one without the other, with the loyal friend keeping vigil and watch over his best friend at night.

Friendships paint a classroom of learning whose brushstrokes articulate the lending and sharing of talent, while hidden in the shadows of color are those dreams and secrets that friends both share together, creating a heart connection for life.

True friendships are those paintings of hill climbs thru hard times, journeys thru deep valleys of sadness and miles of desolate roads with no bright intersection in sight, yet depicting relationships still locking arms to get through it all together, never entertaining the thought of leaving the other behind.

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
Maya Angelou

There are those nightstand 5 x 7’s reserved for friendships remembering their worst and best day, those good Samaritan moments caught on camera rescuing a fallen friend in need.

If one falls down, his friend can help him up… Ecclesiastes 4:10
hands ethan and ayva park 2
Friendships are for life; a picture riding off into the sunset, showcasing a bond birthed as cousins, yet grew with them through the years into brothers and inseparable friends.

There are those friendships beautifully framed in love and influence, portraits that hang over the fireplace of those who have touched and impacted our hearts for the first time, yet leave a handprint on our life forever.
father grandfather ayva and daddy walkingThen are those generational wall groupings, our inheritance frozen under glass for our reminder, our journey back to our roots, our heritage and friendships that can’t be explained on canvas, only told through the stories of those faces caught in time.

Friendships are snapshots of sisters, or friends who become sisters and family, snapshots where the naked eye is unable to distinguish the difference because love goes deeper and hides itself in these pixel moments of time.

There are friends,
there is family,
and then there are friends
that become family.
Unknown

Friendship on canvas is..
A friend who
overlooks your broken fence
and admires the flowers in your garden.
Unknown
flowers ayva smelling flowers

Sweet friendships refresh the soul…they awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence. Proverbs 27:9 TPT

What a friend we have…
The heart of one true friend for the other,
…he loved him as he loved himself.
1 Samuel 20:16 NIV

 

SO LIKE YOUR FATHER By Lori A Alicea

Looking through the mirror of the generations, its reflection reminds us that the years of our grandfathers, fathers, children and grandchildren pass onto each other the similarities of their faces, their subtle mannerisms, what brings them delight and joy.

While many generations try to deny what the mirror reveals as truth, may the eye of the beholder embrace the family history in their smile, the way they stand, and all the answers to who they are in these reflections.

Remembering a time when my great-grandfather, both sets of grandparents and father were still alive and me as a grown daughter with children of my own, I regret terribly not taking those small moments with them to record the details of my lineage through their memories and follow these woven threads that piece together the fabric of my life.

I would have loved to know how my grandparents and father celebrated Christmas as a child.  What where their dreams, disappointments, regrets?  To my great-grandfather, tell me about the Depression Era or going off to war?  Of course it would behoove me not to ask about love, weddings and marriage back in the day, or uncover my grandmother’s wedding dress hidden in her hope chest.  Being known as a book of a million questions, I could cry for the history I didn’t discover while these matriarch and patriarch pillars were still living for me to ask.

As a mother and grandmother with four children and ten grandchildren, I can’t tell you the times when an act, movement or just a glance from one of them stops me with a thought,

“That was so like your father.”

I see that silly smile worn by my son and grandson; both who could easily pass for carbon copies of each other in their antics.
Their grins tell a hilarious story all by itself.

 

I’ve realized the way I stand has been inherited by my son and granddaughter.  So many occasions while growing up my son would casually be browsing for a snack at the refrigerator and I’d see myself in his mannerisms.  Now I catch my granddaughter from those surprise glances of my eye and pause,
“You are so like your father.”

 

I find it amazing that a child’s love for their father’s pick-up truck is passed on down like a family heirloom.

 

Even the thrill seeking adventure of my teenage son jumping curbs and rails stirring the pot of a mother’s hysteria,
Thrill Seeker Jake 1

has revealed itself in my grandchildren when in a child’s delight screams to their daddy while holding for life to their rope swing, GO HIGHER.
Don’t listen to Gaga.  GO HIGHER DADDY!!
Yes, they are so like their father.

 

Lord, help me prepare as the real adventure is yet to come for my grandchildren as my son and “son of a different mother” I claim knows no limits to the life of a thrill-seeker.

 

Turning back the pages of the family bible, I wonder about the grandfather who passed on his trait for wearing suspenders to the young child in my husband.  Being raised in his grandfather’s home, I’m sure their affection for each other was expressed in sharing this iconic fashion statement.
Legs Out David

Through the generations, it’s fascinating that a father’s love for something is embraced in the bloodline of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Baseball can be traced in four generations of my husband’s family.  Many dreams of being discovered into the big leagues were dashed by reality, yet the innings still continue each summer when the umpire yells into the dugout, “Batter up!”

 

Even hobbies can be shared from generation to generation.  My son’s great uncle passed on his square of the family quilt to his nephew and great-nephew through beekeeping.  Imagine raising bees becoming part of your heritage.

 

Generations pass on those coveted traditions that fill in the memories of our childhood.  We remember the joyful moments; the faces we long to see again; the days of old and relive them again through the lives of our children and grandchildren.  Like a father witnessing that coveted milestone in his son’s first birthday, or a son sharing the same milestone when his father celebrates his sixtieth.

 

More than anything, you can’t savor the albums of the generations, reliving history captured through the faces stopped in time and witness with your own eyes without saying,
“You are so like your father.”

A father and son thirty years apart.

 

Dads being dads then sons growing up to be dads.

 

Dads taking on a new role as grandfather and great grandfather, and simply loving it.

 

  Completing the picture framed and titled:
Family through the eyes of four generations
Generations All 4

I can’t close the family bible without retelling the story whose image and likeness we were created, the reason we look like Him in our words, deeds and actions of heart and able to say,

“We are so like our Father.”

In the beginning,

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness….”
Genesis 1:26 NIV

We were created in His image that his character in our love, patience, kindness and faithfulness be seen and embraced by others.

Oh that we be found acting like our Father in a secret act of kindness.
Oh that our patience in a hard situation make our Father proud.
Oh that our Father finds us faithful to the “plough” when others have left their fields and fallen asleep.
Oh that the fullness of our heart overflow onto others that they might be drawn to the Father who loves them best.

May it be sincerely said by the circle of influence that God has encamped around us,

“You are so like your father.”