Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Madi...and Her Nathan {College & Career Night Downtown}

Good Afternoon, Dears!
I hope you have had a good week thus far!

Okay, you know how last week I dedicated a blog post to my Buddy Bear?
And in that post, I mentioned several other posts 
I've dedicated to several other people?
Well, this post is dedicated to my Madi...:).

There's is so much to tell about Madi
that frankly I am unsure where to begin.
I guess I could begin at the beginning
(a very good place to start!).

When I was seven years old,
my Pastor (who is now my Bishop)
announced to the church assembly that he was going to be a Grandpa.
I vividly remember this
(not sure doesn't really seem like something
a seven-year-old would intentionally commit to memory...
but for some reason I did).
Little did I know at the time how much this 
new little person was going to change my life.

Madalynn Jade was born two months after my 8th birthday.
And she was adorable.

Right from the start, I was VERY involved in her life.
My mother had practically raised Madi's father
(that's another story for another time),
and so it was just natural for us to dote on his kid.
But somewhere along the line, for me,
it became less about him and more about Madi.
I adored her.
She was like the little sister I never had.

And when her younger sisters came along,
I felt the same about them.

You know how people say to enjoy the little moments with your children,
because one day you will blink and that baby will be 25 years old?
Well, that's kind of what happened with Madi.
One day she was an adorable toddler that I cuddled and played with

and the next she was boy-crazy 12-year-old
and then in a matter of minutes
she was a licensed driver!
And now, she's graduating from high school
and working with me at the YMCA!

There's so much I could say about the beautiful lady Madi has turned out to be.
She's strong and resilient.
She's kind and she's loyal.
Her laughter is infectious and her compassion real.
She has a great big brain and she knows how to use it!
The girl can sing like no other
and she's becoming the woman of God I always knew she would be.

Madi is graduating from New Life Christian Academy
(the same private, church school I graduated from)
this coming Friday evening.
Obviously, this is an occasion to celebrate!
And her parents, grandparents, and aunt went together
and got her the best present she could've ever wanted:
they flew in her boyfriend all the way from Japan
for a three-week stay.

I'm not going to disclose the details of Madi and Nathan's romance,
because frankly that's not my story to tell.
But it's the stuff fairy tales are made of
and if Madi wants to, I will let her tell you about it herself
in a future guest post.

Nathan flew in on Friday morning,
and surprised Madi at her grandparent's home
shortly after she returned from her morning shift at the Y.
There is a video that shows all this,
(and just a warning, it brings you to tears!)
but again, I'm going to leave the sharing of that to Madi.

Later that day, they joined us (the College & Career group from church)
for dinner and fellowship downtown.

Honestly, I commend them for their attendance.
If I was a part of an International relationship
and my boyfriend surprised me by showing up,
I highly doubt we would be in public on the day of his arrival...
just saying!
(Now get your mind out of the gutter...
I just mean that I wouldn't be interested in sharing him with anyone!)

Anyway, the food was yummy and the fellowship FUN!
If you live in the area and you haven't yet tried New Amsterdam,
I highly recommend it!

The next day at church,
Nathan addressed the congregation on behalf of the missionaries to Japan.
He told us of the great things that are happening there.
Then he admitted that while he was excited 
to be sharing that news with us,
he was also glad to be in Peoria to 
"call upon the beautiful Madalynn Lashley".
(Can I pause for a second?
After this particular comment from Nathan,
my mother begrudging agreed that 
"Fine...he might be good enough for her."
(For those of you who don't know,

Madi Girl was the first baby in the Lashley family.
She's been adored and protected and doted upon from day one.
We always knew it was gonna take somebody pretty special
to gain approval from the family.
So far, Nathan has met the challenge
(not to jinx him, but we'll see if he can keep up the pace...)

I don't know what the coming years hold for my Madi (or her Nathan),
I don't even know what the next few days might bring.
But I know that my Madi is strong enough 
to handle with grace whatever comes her way!

Madi, this is just the ending of one chapter in your life.
There is so much more to come!
I know sometimes the unknown can be scary,
but it's exciting too!
I believe you can do absolutely ANYTHING you set your mind to!
Let God be first in your life and the sky's the limit!
I love you, Madi Girl!
Happy High School Graduation!

This is a photo of us from my High School Graduation...

Wanna try to recreate it at yours? :)