I was still reeling from our first date. My first official date with Jordan Grizzard! It was perfect. He was charming and alluring and interesting and funny and absolutely everything that I had imagined he would be since I was 12 years old. It had been almost 2 weeks since that date and I had seen him nearly every day since. If we weren’t at the church for one reason or another, then we would see each other after work. And, if we didn’t see each other, then there was almost certainly a phone call.

I found myself revisiting the same existence that had been when I was 14. The kid’s phone line would ring, I would run from wherever I was in the house screaming “I got it.  I got it. I got it. I got it!” I would stop and take a breath before I picked up the receiver that was tethered to the brick on the desk and give a very nonchalant, “Hello”. The only difference was now I had a cell phone instead of that anchored weight on the desk in our living room, and that the guy on the other end of the phone wasn’t a 15-year-old kid that I “liked”. This was Jordan- the guy that I was dating. The guy that I was seeing. The guy that I had spent a good part of my life comparing every other guy in my school to- every guy in any romantic comedy to- the only guy that could stand next to my dad and my brother and measure up. This was the guy I had always wanted to be able to have a relationship with… not just “date”, but have a  relationship with. This was my guy.

It was one of the days when I hadn’t been able to see him and although I wasn’t exactly waiting by the phone, I was

definitely ready to hear it ring. It was around 6:00 and I was preparing myself for a rare summer night in when I heard it. YAY! I got to the phone and picked it up by the second ring… ruining any chance I had at playing the “Oh, I wasn’t at all waiting, hoping or pining for you to call me, so I’ve been sitting directly beside this device that brings you closer to me all night in anticipation of you deciding to give me a call because you’ve missed me just as much as I’ve missed you since it’s been a whole 24 hours since we’ve spoken to each other”…. card.

 

Not that that’s what I was doing or anything.

Luckily for me, it wasn’t Jordan. It was my friend Dave from church.

“Hey, Kay. A bunch of people are coming over to my place to watch a movie. You should come.”

I didn’t get many nights in, and although I love being around people, I could definitely use a night to just lay around and relax. I weighed my options for a minute and thought, Who am I kidding? Of course I’m gonna go!

“Oh! Awesome. Yeah, that sounds great. I’ll double check with my folks, but count me in. I’ll see you in a bit.” I said- excited to have another night with my friends before we all scattered to different colleges or universities around the country.

Dad wasn’t quite home from work yet, so I gave him a call to make sure he was cool if I went. Some may think it antiquated for a girl soon off to college to check with her dad before heading out for a night with friends, but it was my experience that the more I asked permission first for things I knew they would be fine with, the more often they

 

said yes to those things that were borderline what they were comfortable with… winning. Dad, of course, said yes, so I grabbed my keys and headed to the car. Maybe Jordan would call on the way.

I got to Dave’s apartment and stepped out of my car. Colt, another buddy from church was across the parking lot. 

“Hey Colt!” I yelled.

“Hey K!” He yelled back. “How you doing?”

At least I think that’s what he said. I momentarily was removed from our light introduction when I saw a red truck with the windows rolled down just beyond Colt’s place in my sightline. Jordan’s here!

“Umm…I’m good. What movie are we watching tonight?” I came back to focus.

“Don’t know. I heard there was food!” We both chuckled as we met each other to continue our walk to Dave’s place.

“Ah. Well, Dave knows how to get teenagers to a last minute party… tell them there’s free food.”

“Worked on us!” 

“Every time.” 

We knocked on the door as a courtesy, but quickly turned the knob and went inside. Everybody was huddled around the bar area talking and catching up. There’s never much to catch up on since this crowd typically saw each other about 3 times a week! But somehow there’s always new things to discuss- who changed their mind about a

college, what our teacher said at church last week, who got what job or who is dating who now? Luckily, J and I had not become the center of anyone’s discussions that we knew of so far. We weren’t trying to hide the fact that we were seeing each other necessarily, but there was still the “he’s an intern and I’m a student” thing. Plus, we didn’t know what it was yet. We just wanted it to be natural without pressure. After all,  we were going to different colleges and, as much as I didn’t like to think about it, we probably would stop doing… whatever it was we were doing… when that happened. Not to mention that my friends have known about my feelings for Jordan for a long time, so saying we’re dating officially puts all of this pressure on something that most likely is going to be a very short-lived relationship. It was better to just let things happen naturally. 

 

I didn’t see him when I stepped into the house. There were a couple of people sitting on the couch in the living room next to the kitchen, but not Jordan. I know that was his truck outside. Was he maybe hanging out with someone else that lives in the same complex or something?

Then the bedroom door opened. Out walks Dave followed by a rather handsome, brunette laughing at something Dave said about Chinese throwing stars. Found him. I stayed by the bar with my friends but looked over at our host. Dave noticed some new people had made their way to his party and said, “Hey guys! Glad you made it!”

“Hey! Thanks Dave!” I said as I leaned in to give him a hug. “Hey Jordan” gladly leaning into him as well.

“Hey. How are you?” He asked as he pulled me into him.

“I’m good.” I said, not able to contain my smile. “I didn’t know I was going to get to see you here.”

“Well, I did. Been looking forward to it all day.”  He said after we let go with that amazing smile on his face. It was going to be a good night. “Hey Colt! He said as he slapped him on the back. How you doing buddy?”

We talked and hung out for a while and I’m pretty sure Dave gave about 5 tours of his collection of weaponry he had hanging throughout the apartment… which was actually more fascinating than I would’ve initially thought. But then, it was movie time.

Somehow, I ended up on the opposite side of the room from Jordan when we started the movie. I sat down in a chair in the far left side of the room and Jordan was on the far right side of the couch. I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed to be spending the next 2 hours in the same room with Jordan while not being able to speak to him or even be near him, but it was fine. I’ll play it up like hard to get. Although, nothing about my relationship with Jordan since the skating rink had been compatible with that strategy, but we’ll go with it.

The movie was some random comedy that was not really my humor, but I didn’t care. I loved nights like this- totally chill with my friends. These nights would soon come to an end, at least with this group of friends and I would miss them. They had been an incredible source of community and encouragement to me over the years.

The movie was almost over and I had made it through the entire thing without stealing too many glances in Jordan’s direction… not TOO many anyway. It had been at least 10 minutes since the last time I glanced his way. I looked to my right to see his grey eyes looking at me. He had the most amazing eyes. Most people would call them grey, but if you look closely, he has a tint toward blue as well… and they were looking straight at me. My mouth couldn’t help but grow into a smile as I fought the urge to dip my eyes away from his. He winked at me and my smile widened before I looked back to the tv. I loved that wink. It was so quick, but when he looked at me with a smile- that slight smile that doesn’t show teeth, but is big enough to show the dimple on his right cheek- and then winks, my mouth doesn’t just grin but spreads across my face into an involuntary big-toothed smile. He has me and I’m sure he knows it, which means “hard to get” is just not an option at my disposal anymore.

At that moment, I got a text from my dad asking me to come home. Mom had a bad headache and needed to go to the emergency room, so dad needed me to come home. Before anybody gets alarmed- this was a fairly common thing in our home, so it was not a big deal, but dad did need some help. I quietly got up, trying to be as little of a distraction to the rest of the spectators as possible. As I crossed the room, I smiled and mouthed “bye” to Jordan and went into the kitchen to give Dave a hug.

“I’ve got to get going. My dad needs me home. Thanks so much for the invite!”

“ Yeah of course. We’ll see you later.”

I turned toward the door and gave Jordan one last look. He mouthed “You ok?”

“Yeah I’m fine. Bye” I mouthed back as I waved to the room. “Bye guys. Love you.” And I headed down toward my car.

My phone buzzed with a text.

[Everything ok? You need me?]

And once again, that smile popped up on my face. He was so sweet.

[Yes. I’m all good. Mom just needs to head to the hospital for a headache and dad needs the car. Thank you for checking.]

[The headaches get that bad??]

[Unfortunately yes. If she can’t get rid of them, they throw her into a seizure. She’ll be fine tho. Happens all the time.]

[Sorry.]

[Thank you.]

[Let me know if I can help.]

[I will. Talk to you soon?]

[ Yeah. I’ll call you tomorrow.]

[Great.]

[By the way, you looked beautiful tonight.]

Sigh. I knew it was going to be a good night as soon as I saw that truck.

HOPE IN THE CITY at 54 Below!

HOPE IN THE CITY at 54 Below!

I have been so hesitant to write about this before on here. I’m not even sure why except that this feels so much bigger than me and I never want to “mess up” what God is doing in translation.
Some of you know about our ministry, THE HANG. It was created to help support and encourage believing artists in the city socially, professionally and spiritually. We provide access for people to engage in Godly community to grow as disciples of Christ so they can go and reach their “Jerusalem” where they are. We do a lot of things and stay pretty busy, but one of the things we recently did was to put on a cabaret show at the world famous 54 Below.
The fact that I got to perform here was just magical, but the fact that THE HANG got to perform there partnering with 2 BROADWAY STARS, Quentin Earl Darrington and Laura Osnes, was unimaginable and something only God could do. We have been overwhelmed by the growth and encouragement that THE HANG has experienced over the last 6 months. .. and I mean COMPLETELY overwhelmed… it has been incredible.
We called the show HOPE IN THE CITY. We sang pieces that spoke to places where people can tend to put their hope… even where we have put our own hope personally. And then we shared where we believe you can find sustaining hope. A hope that is not fleeting, but is constant. People came to see Broadway singers singing Broadway tunes and what they got was a message of faith. The Spirit was palpable and so many people came up to me afterwards and said “I don’t even know what I’m feeling but I have never experienced that before.” Please pray for us as we seek moments to share “what they felt”.

If you want to take a look at the show, you can find it here! Love you guys!

Thanks for checking in!
Love,
The Grizzards

 

I think this is proof that I film her too much! ha. She found my phone unmonitored and took to filming. ha Happy Tuesday!

 

Thanks for checking in!

Love,

the Grizzards

Jozlyn turns 5!!

Jozlyn turns 5!!

This feels so surreal. I’m sure every birthday is sweet and special, but for some reason, the 5th birthday of my firstborn feels so crazy to me. I cannot believe that 5 years ago I was bringing her home from the hospital without a clue as to what to do with this little life I was given to parent. And today, we spent it with some sweet friends back in our old neighborhood and favorite playground in Central Park.

 

Right up front–there are ALOT of pictures!

 

She had a blast and felt so loved. I’m sure you will all be surprised to hear it, but she kind of likes being the center of attention. Here are some of our favorite pics from the day!

 

Present time!!

 

Jozlyn was ready for her big birthday present. Mommy had to distract her so Daddy could bring it to her…

 

She’s been asking for months to get her ears pierced… 

 

I told you there were alot of pictures! She had a great day!

Thanks for checking in, guys! Love ya’ll!

Love,

the Grizzards

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I checked the mirror one more time.  I was currently donning the sixth outfit choice of the night and was still contemplating a last minute wardrobe change. There had to be a magical dress in my closet that would shave 4 inches off my waist and make me 3 inches taller! Well, since such an amazing outfit did not exist, this would have to do. I just don’t think it’s getting any better than this. This is literally the best I can do! I stared at the girl looking at me in the mirror and thought… well, I hope its enough.

I heard the doorbell ring and my heart immediately sank to my stomach. I couldn’t tell if I was excited or terrified. How is it that such joy and incredible dread could feel this indistinguishable? Whatever it was, I was happy to feel it. It meant this was finally happening.

I made my way downstairs and headed to the garage. Mom wasn’t feeling great, so she wouldn’t be going to church tonight. I was actually glad mom wasn’t coming tonight. She would notice my nerves and dedicated care to my appearance and want to talk about it… I’m not really a “talk about it” kind of girl. Dad was already at church and wouldn’t notice any change since he would be focused on the service, so all I had to focus on was making sure I kept my cool until after church when I would meet Jordan to go on….our…first…date.

I’m not sure what he was planning, but it genuinely didn’t matter. I was so excited to simply be spending time with him… not just in his presence, but actually on a date. We had spent time together all summer as several different titles; “student/ intern”, “friend”, “daughter of employer/employee”. Whatever the other titles, I just wanted to be labeled as “Jordan” and “Kayla”… and maybe “potential boyfriend”… but that’s getting ahead of myself. Right now, all I could do was make sure that I was as prepared as I could be… which meant constantly speaking to myself “Kayla, don’t freak out.”

Tonight needs to be just two people that have known each other forever, hanging out…again. No big deal. Be chill. Be relaxed. Be cool. Be genuine. Be interesting. Be skinny. Be mature. Be natural. Be funny. Be sexy. Be mysterious. Be completely and totally yourself! 

Okay, I may be overthinking this. I’ll be fine.

 

Dear Journal-

You know? I never pictured myself as the kind of girl to keep a diary and I refuse to call it that! I’m merely making observations of my life.

Jordan and I had our first date tonight. How incredible the hands of our Lord must be to have made a man like him. He sang tonight and oh my stars! I didn’t realize how amazing he is!

There are no words to describe what I feel when he touches me or looks at me and doesn’t look away. Lord, thank you for the biggest blessing of my life, outside of you.

Jordan took me to a pottery studio and we made this plate. It sits in my kitchen still.

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I recently uploaded a picture of my kids to Instagram. Ok,  I uploaded about 20 pictures of my kids to Instagram, but the point is that the picture went up and after it was done I went to add hashtags to the end of my comments. I hashtagged #nyckids, #washingtonheightskids, #cutestkidsintheworld, and then I started the hashtag #mykidsare…. and do you know the first recommended tag was? #mykidsaremyworld. That was the most used hashtag relevant to my post! MY KIDS ARE MY WORLD!

At first, my reaction was I’m a terrible mom because my kids are nowhere near my entire world. And then I realized, no I’m a great mom BECAUSE my kids are nowhere near my world. My kids are a huge joy in my life. They are also ONE OF the biggest priorities in my life, but I often fall into the subconscious trap of allowing my children to move up and down the ladder of priorities. I want my kids to be stable on that ladder… I want them to be consistently prioritized- stably on about the 3rd rung. When I allow them to move too far up, they become an idol and when they fall down whatever replaced them most likely is.

I want my kids to witness me worshipping the only One that worship was created for.

I had the opportunity to take my kids to “big church” (signs of my Baptist upbringing) when I misread a church’s homepage about when childcare was provided… because I apparently cannot read perfectly good, well-placed text that gives clear instructions. I told the girlfriends I was meeting that I would bring the kids into service and just see how long they would last. It may have taken only one service to completely change my mind about “family worship”–save one little incident….

 

Hahaha. Now, outside of this tiny embarrassment, responding to the truth of how holy our God is WITH my kids was absolutely incredible. I loved that they got to see other people physically humbling themselves before God… truly worshipping the Lord with their whole beings. Jozlyn lifted her hands to her heavenly “daddy” the same way she does to Jordan when he comes home from work everyday. This was the picture of worship that will stick in my mind. I genuinely hope that no one…not even them… will ever taint the purity of this picture: the created worshipping the Creator.

Thanks for checking in guys!

Love,

the Grizzards

 

This was by far one of the best perks about growing up in the church! I was packing up to leave home for a week with all of my closest friends to a place I’d never been! It was like an adventure you read about in one of the books we were forced to read in school, but this was going to be even better! Not only were all of my best friends basically going on vacation together… Jordan was coming too.

Now, I knew that nothing could happen between us since we were going to different schools and we weren’t dating or anything, but he was just so irresistible! Every time I looked at him, I really tried to look away, but he would catch my eye from across the room and then he would smile…. with that dimple on his right cheek. Then, he would wink at me. It was always so quick that I thought, “Did he wink at me or was there something in his eye?” But then he’d smile at me before looking away and I thought, “Yep! That was for me!”

It was going to take every ounce of my concentration to stay focused on the purpose of this mission trip. He was here as an intern and so he was going to be helping to lead the trip. That was a good plan… put an attractive college guy over a bunch of high school girls and tell them to think about Jesus for a week! Who thought of this?

We were taking a group of maybe 150 kids to Montana to work with a couple different churches. I’m fairly certain we increased the population of this town by about 25% the day we showed up! But it was a sweet little town amidst the backdrop of these GORGEOUS mountains. Now, I’m not much of a “nature girl”, but that place was beautiful! We were all excited about the mission work and everything, but when you were surrounded by all that beauty, most everyone wanted to get lost in the wilderness or a lake most of the time!

Well most everyone. I didn’t want to get lost. I wanted to stay in plain view of Jordan as often as possible.

For some reason, I didn’t room with Lex or Kenz this trip, but I got to room with my friend Kristina from school, and Olivia, who I’d known from church for….well forever!We had a blast and I loved them both. 

We spent most of our days at our “location”. The massive group was split up into work teams. Some teams led a sports camp for kids to come and play through the church we were partnering with. Others, I think, were painting or rebuilding a dilapidated structure in town. My group was cleaning out and redoing the youth room for this church. We were HGTVing before that was a thing! It was so much fun! We were cleaning and painting, and DIYing, and hanging lights and doing anything we could to make this a functional place for them. 

At night, we would have times of Bible study and worship…. and Jordan led worship. I’m not sure how much reflection on the Lord I got during those nights, but my prayer life definitely got some good practice! I tried so hard to stay focused that I spent most of the time asking the Lord to help me stay focused which reminded me that I was not focused so I prayed again that I would stay focused! It was a never-ending cycle.

It was towards the end of the week when we had a particularly grueling day. I was walking back to my room when I saw Jordan sitting by the fountain in front of the main building. I walked over to him. “I’ll just see how he’s doing and say hi”

“Hey. You need a coin for a wish?” I said. He looked up and smiled.

“ Nah. I already threw mine in. You?”

“ Oh good. I emptied my pockets earlier wishing for some warmth up here.”

“ You cold? Here.” He took his jacket and wrapped it around my shoulders.

“Thanks. I’m just not used to this mountain air with no humidity. Not sure how they expected Floridians to adapt.”

“ You’re doing ok, I think.” I smiled.

We sat in silence for a second.

“How are you doing? Is it strange being over so many people?”

“ No, it’s fine. They’ve given me pretty good guidelines of what they need from me, so it’s not too overbearing. I basically keep some logistics, get to hang out at some of the sites and lead worship… I can do that. How about you? You liking Montana?”

“Well, I don’t think I’ll be changing my address any time soon, but I like it more than I thought I would for sure.”

“ You didn’t think you would like it?”

“ I knew I’d have fun on the trip and enjoy what we were doing, but I didn’t expect to actually enjoy the ‘natury’ element of the place as much as I do. It’s just really beautiful.”

“ Oh yeah! Those mountains are incredible.”

“ Yeah crazy.”

I loved talking to him. He was so easy to talk to. I had never met someone who seemed to really look at you when you were with him. I’d love to think it was that he was so enthralled with me that he couldn’t take his eyes off of me, but it wasn’t that. He was genuinely interested in people… any people that were in front of him. He just loved people.

At that moment, I could feel someone coming up behind me. I could also, see Jordan’s gaze lift from me to just past my shoulder.

“Hey man! How ya doing?” He said to the kid approaching us.

“ Hey, Jordan! I’m doing good. Just about to head back to the room! What are you up to?” This guy wasn’t curious about us…he genuinely just wanted to talk to Jordan and I had no idea that he was interrupting a moment we were trying to have. 

“ Nothing” Jordan replied, “ just talking about the mountains and how awesome they are up here. Don’t see anything like that in Florida.”

“Nah. Not down there. They are pretty cool.” Some silence fell over all of us until Jordan finally interrupted.

“Hey, man, would you do me a huge favor? I left my guitar pick in the lobby. Would you mind grabbing that for me?” Was he trying to get us a couple more minutes alone together? I was so excited. I think he wants to spend more time with me. Just a few more minutes to talk about nothing together before we had to go back to being “student” and “intern” in the morning.

“ Oh yeah. Sure. No problem. Want me to just take it back to the room for you? I’m headed there anyway.”

“ Man, if you wouldn’t mind, that would be awesome. Thanks.”

I gathered from this conversation that maybe this was Jordan’s roommate. 

“ No problem. I’ll see you later. Night Kayla.” He said as he turned to head back to the lobby.

“Night!”

“ Thanks, man. I really appreciate it. I’ll see ya in a minute.”

We both chuckled a little bit. 

“ So how are you?” He asked seeming a bit more contemplative.

“ What? You mean as in a Florida girl out of her element? Or do you mean a girl who likes a guy that I can’t say I like?”

He smiled…that smile. “ The latter, I guess.”

“ I’m ok. You?” He looked away and shrugged his shoulders.

“ Meh.” We both laughed a little bit.

“ What does ‘meh’ mean??” I said through my chuckle.

“ Well, I’m good. Just maybe not quite as resolute as I should be.” My eyebrows, I think, went into my hairline. “I mean, obviously, we’re on the trip so that’s a different thing.”

“ What happened to ‘I have a lot of baggage’?”

“ I do but I’m not sure this isn’t worth going through all that. I mean, right?”

I waited just a second. He was looking at me with such interest—such anticipation.

A smile spread across my face. “ Right.”

What was happening right now?? Was Jordan telling me he wanted to give us a try? Was I saying that I wanted to date a guy for a couple months before I knew he was going to leave me for college? Was this stupid? Am I being such a girl right now— not capable of controlling my emotions for better sound judgment? For the life of me, I knew I SHOULD CARE, but I just didn’t. I couldn’t make myself care. In that moment, I was a little girl back at a skating rink with the guy I’ve always wanted saying the things I’d always wanted to hear. 

 

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“My heart told me to”

“My heart told me to”

Tonight the Lord used my daughter to teach me. It’s crazy when you get to be a parent…the amount of theology that you have to stuff into cute catchphrases that a 4-year-old can grasp!  Actually, it’s crazy how you have to UNTEACH cute catchphrases that are HORRIBLE theologically.

 

Tonight was  an example of that.

Jordan and I try to put the kids to bed together every night. It was the night before Easter and so we were reading the resurrection story. However, unfortunately, Jozlyn was acting out a little bit and we told the girls that they lost the privilege of “song time” before bed because of their attitudes. Jozlyn looked right at me and growled through gritted teeth. We stopped, looked right at her and told her that that was unacceptable and that she lost “tech time” the next day because of it. Her face immediately fell and she got visibly sad. We explained to her that that was disrespectful and that we were disappointed in her choice to respond that way. She said, almost under her breathe, “That’s just what my heart told me I wanted to do”.

 

I immediately stopped and said, “baby, where did you hear that?”

“Angelina Ballerina told me to always listen to my heart. She said it will know what’s right.”

I looked at Jordan and said… ok I guess we’re doing this tonight.

I looked in the eyes of my sweet little girl that listened to a message that affirmed what her nature wanted….to do what felt right and said, “Baby, there’s going to be a lot of people that are going to tell you to do what feels right. You’re going to hear things like follow your heart or you do you. And everybody has good intentions in wanting you to be happy by doing what feels right. But do you know what the Bible says?

She looked at me like I had 3 heads.

“Baby, the Bible tells us that we are supposed to do what is right even when we don’t feel like it. So let’s talk about what just happened. Mommy and Daddy told you that we were not doing a song which made you mad. So even though, you know that you are not supposed to speak to Mommy like that…right?” She nodded. “Right. So you know that was a wrong choice, but you did that because it felt like that’s what you wanted to do. But the Bible teaches us that our heart will tell us to do things that aren’t nice…like be disrespectful. We have to practice making right decisions even if our heart tells us not to. Can you do that?

My sweet little girl said, “Mommy, I’ll try next time.” and reached out and hugged me.

 

It was such a reminder that even at 4, it is my responsibility to help her develop a biblical worldview. It is not natural for us to live according to the way the Lord teaches us will bring us life, but I have seen what living according to our own desires and nature… it leads to chaos. Tonight was a first lesson in what I know will be a million more lessons on the difficulty of hearing a “harmless” cute catchphrase and running it through the lens of scripture. 

1 Corinithians 2:12-14

 

Thanks for checkin in guys!

Love,

the Grizzards

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UNDERPREPARED

 

I was asked to act as “Mama” for Camp McGregor. Now, let me put this into context here. We took about 400 kids to camp every summer. These kids were divided into two “families” or “tribes” and we would spend a good bit of our time at camp in competition against the other tribe. We would do a rally every day where we had to perform an original chant and the best performance would win and earn points. We would have athletic competitions every day for points and play capture the flag against each other and it would all culminate in a big relay at the end of the week for more points than any of the other activities put together. So inevitably, whoever won the relay, won the week regardless if they sucked at everything else all week. Both tribes had a “Mama” and a “Papa” that were responsible for leading their families in chants and organizing the athletic events. They were basically morale boosters but it was an honor and cool to be asked. 

One of the things, we were asked to do was come up to the church before we left and make a flag for your family that year. I was up at the church with a couple of other leaders all morning when my phone rang. I was mid-conversation with some of my friends when I mindlessly answered the phone.

“Hello”

“ Hey, Kay. It’s Jordan. How are you?”

I panicked for only a second before my mind engaged again, “ Oh. Um. I’m good. Just up at the church working on some camp stuff. Umm…how are you?”

“Doing good. Yeah. I saw your car in the lot, so I thought you might be up here. I was wondering if you wanted to grab some lunch in a bit. I was thinking of grabbing something in about an hour if that’s good for you.”

Oh my stars! This was it! This was that moment I had thought about over and over in my mind! This was my chance to say to him exactly what he said to me all those years ago! I never thought I’d actually have an opportunity to do this…to perform my carefully crafted “tactful but poignant” rejection speech. I would have to be careful not to hurt him but remind him of the pain he caused at the same time. This was going to need to be done very precisely. I would have to say it exactly as rehearsed. No improvising, Kayla. Stick to the script.

I took my beat and opened my mouth to deliver it perfectly.

“Sure. I’d love to.”

What??!!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!Sure. I’d love to”??? Seriously?! I had rehearsed this scene over and over in my mind so many times and I promise you not ONCE did I respond with “Sure. I’d love to”! 

“Ok. Cool. Want to meet me in the parking lot in about an hour?”

My jaw was clenched shut. I wasn’t sure if it was out of anger at myself or shock or what, but I managed to get out a “Yeah. Sounds good” before we hung up. I turned to go back and join my friends when I caught sight of my reflection in a mirror on the wall. You seriously can’t do anything right, can you? 

Camp McGregor 2006

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She’s so smart

She’s so smart

Every parent thinks their kid is brilliant, right? Every parent looks at their kid and says, “my kids is literally the smartest child in the world! She’s going to Harvard. She’s going to be president. That’s my meal ticket right there!!” right?

But mine really is….haha. Ok, no she’s not the smartest kid in the world, but she is a bit advanced at this stage in her development. I’m sure there will come a time when she’ll stall and then other kids will develop beyond her and her education will ebb and flow with that pattern throughout her adolescence. But for right now… I am so overwhelmed most of the time.

Before we moved, Jozzy went to a Christian school in Queens. I would pick her up from school and her teacher would look at me with a sweet smile and say, “she’s so smart”. And I thought oh you’re sweet, but thought they were basically blowing smoke and said that every parent.

When we moved to the Heights, I pulled her out of preschool in Queens since it would take us about an hour and 20 minutes to get her there–one way… NO THANK YOU. I decided I would ask her teachers for some advice and keep her working at home until she went to kindergarten next fall.

I went to the store and picked up the materials suggested to me and brought them home for Jozzy to peruse. She loved it! There was a book on bugs and space and art and animals and math… she ate it up. Before I picked up the age-appropriate books, I had received a book from the church that they were getting rid of. I spent so much money on the books recommended to me, but every time we sat down to do “school”, she constantly went to the “church book”… it’s first-grade curriculum. She’s reading and writing and loves to bring books for us to read and then takes them to Kenny, so she can read them to her baby sister. It is the cutest thing.

Now, we have several teachers in our family, so before I get messages from some of you that are very knowledgeable about the education system…yes, we are focusing on preparing her for Kinder by focusing and following directions, but if baby girl wants to read– we encourage her and she loves it. There are so many videos that I would love to share with you, but she loves to be naked and so none of our home movies have her in clothes!! haha.

Kenny sits and colors with us while Jozzy does school. She’s a great cheerleader.

 

Thanks for checking in! Love you guys!

Love,

the Grizzards

I'm Kayla. Mom of two, wife of one and new New York transplant. We're a family of four fumbling our way through our new normal in Manhattan! We're excited to learn as we go... we can't mess this up too bad, right? :)

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