My adorable little niece, Allison, is a fearless, bubbling bundle of energy, with intelligence and vocabulary that make her seem closer to sixteen than six. The little blond cutie has a personality as big as Texas, is head over heels in love with everything pink and all Disney princesses, but I'm told she has picked up skiing like a little pro—she's a daredevil wrapped up in a little girl package. She generously shares her affection with everyone from Mommy and Daddy, to big brother and idol, Colin, to her Aunt Laura and Uncle Boyd, lavishing hugs and serious statements of love. While she was here I woke one day to find a love note slipped under my bedroom door. Allison is also a creative junkie like her Aunt Laura, and I find myself always looking for new ways to let Allison try her hand at art projects when she comes to visit. We've tried everything from polymer clay and shrinky dinks to acrylics and watercolors on the big easel. With Hannah and Rachel "raised" and having mostly "flown the nest," I'm looking forward to spending time spoiling Allison with shopping expeditions and girlie lunches, and wondering whether she'll wind up being a fashion designer or a olympic skier, or some combination of both.
Inside the "all boy," sports loving, full of energy, orange haired, freckle faced, seven-year-old, is a very sensitive, sweet boy I get to call my nephew. This coloring page is his contribution to my birthday keepsakes. Boyd certainly feels all of his 53 years when playing catch, soccer and football with Colin, but also delights in the kind of companionship he didn't get to experience with a son of his own. We have loved watching this special little boy grow up from 600 miles away, but somehow have managed to bridge the distance and love that he seems to feel close to us and has a great time when he's with us. We've been with him to a Rockies game, a Nuggets game, and even got to take him to his first football game. Too bad it was a KU game against the local purple cat team and we lost miserably. We look forward to lots more games and fun times with Colin, (and hope next summer to catch him in action at a ball game of his own) as well as watching him grow up to see where his talents take him.