Our family has embarked on a new and exciting journey. We have welcomed a new member to our crew! In early August, a 15-year-old German boy flew across the globe to join our family and live in Texarkana for the next eleven months as an exchange student! … People have asked me, “How in the world did this all come about?” I credit my friend Lacey McCulloch for helping to make it all fall into place. While spending the day together, Lacey mentioned she had received a text from Jayme English about hosting an exchange student.
I’ll never forget the day John Henry entered the world. As most new parents are, we were nervous and excited about meeting our newborn son. John Henry’s arrival was anxiously awaited, as our arms had been left empty almost exactly one year prior. August 27, 2009, Fred and I thought we were going to be first-time parents to a healthy baby boy. Unfortunately, life took a different route after a long 39 weeks, and instead of leaving the hospital with a healthy baby, we left to attend our son’s funeral. … Reflecting twelve years later, it is surreal how his birthday unfolded.
When I was seven years old, my family went to meet the Roraback family to explore the possibility of Mrs. Roraback watching my sister and me while our parents were at work. They were a big family with four kids, and they lived on a lot of land with an assortment of animals. I remember that day because they had a daughter my age and I instantly connected with her. We have remained close throughout the years and Jessica (Roraback) Rich has become my lifelong friend. … During my first encounter with Jessica, she asked if I wanted to jump on her trampoline.
This is the month we get to celebrate our dads, not just for the roles they play, but for the men they really are. The importance and challenges of fatherhood can sometimes be overlooked. The role of the father in American society is constantly evolving. Traditionally, fathers have shouldered the cultural image of breadwinner, disciplinarian and authority figure. How often do you remember hearing your mother say, “Just wait until your father gets home!” to get you back on the right track?
As I get older, I have realized something about friendship; it is not just about the time we spend together. It takes a village to keep our people and ourselves in order, and I’m fortunate to have a village of friends that love me and my family, no matter what kind of mom I am that day. We are there for each other, taking up each other’s slack when things are hard and celebrating each other’s accomplishments when things are going well. We are all doing the best we can and each of us brings something special to the table.
Happy first birthday to Cardinal Publishing! We started this journey a year ago, and what a year it has been. Our initial intent was to be a monthly printed publication, hence the name Texarkana Monthly, but 2020 had other plans. It inspired us to step outside the box, transitioning our debut from print to a digital weekly correspondence, Talk Tuesday. Our team had lots of laughs about our name being Texarkana Monthly. “Texarkana Digital Weekly” would have made more sense because the print magazine did not officially become a reality until November.
This month we will celebrate George’s ninth birthday at our home. If you have ever met George, you cannot forget him. We lovingly refer to him as our Golden Retriever because he radiates happiness. He has an exuberant and bold personality. We just wrapped up basketball season and John Henry and I have been in his cheering section while Fred has been coaching the team. Short stature and broad shoulders are about all we can gift our children genetically, so George looks more like a linebacker than a basketball player. Although he may not score many points, George puts up a mean defense.
February is the month we look forward to each year that smells of roses and chocolates! Did you know Valentine’s Day in 2020 added over $25 billion to the economy, all in the name of celebrating love? … Love evokes so many feelings that can be hard to define or even express in words. When I think of love, I think about actions. I think of how my husband does the dishes and packs our kids’ lunches every day.
We made it… or we are making it, as we gladly welcome a new year! In March, I didn’t know if my kids would ever return to school, if I would ever get to watch sports again, or when we’d be able to give hugs! Thankfully, I survived, sports are back and I have hugged all the people that will let me. So welcome 2021! We are ready for a clean slate, a chance to do things differently and to carry on with our ever-growing mask collections and the fight against the “maskne” they cause.
There are technically only five love languages, but I believe there is a sixth option… food. Food is one of my love languages. When I ask my family, “What do you want to do?” I’m really just asking, “What do you want to eat?” We’ve planned stops on road trips around meals, scheduled girls’ trip itineraries by who has the best brunch, and I have made meaningful memories cooking meals for family. Hello Fresh is a nightly routine at our house. My 10-year-old, John Henry, will sometimes help me prepare the meals. Those are minutes I will treasure for a lifetime.