cathflores cathflores

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Catherine Wright Flores  Texas mama/adventurer head over heels in love with coffee, kindness, grosgrain ribbon, handwritten cards, and anything resembling the idea of dessert.

Tomorrow. TOMORROW!! Tomorrow marks EXACTLY 50 (fifty!!!!!) years to the exact day that my dad took his first flight in a small airplane. And also tomorrow, we are holding a party with some very precious friends on the exact anniversary of his first flight to celebrate that 50 year milestone and a 7000 hours milestone, too. The symmetry causes my heart to overflow right down my cheeks! A party full of memories, to honor a man who has made a life making things special for others....I have to stop regularly as I pen a speech for tomorrow night to wipe away tears because I love and admire him so much. I also wish more than anything that I was sharing the planning of this special event with my mom, who would undoubtedly be over the moon to celebrate what would have been just a shade under 50 years of flying with my dad for her - she took her first flight with him in 1968, on their very second date. I imagine the kind of guts and sense of adventure one had to have to hop in a small airplane for the first time ever at 20 years old with a guy (admittedly an amazing, talented, flight instructor kind of guy) she'd only been dating a few weeks....and then I look back at everything I know of her - of them - and it's not even a little surprising. It's been a total joy putting together this shindig and I am overjoyed to share in the revelry for two major milestones for the first man who ever loved me. This photo is from 1971, when my parents boarded a rented plane to fly all over the country for their honeymoon. It set the tone for the rest of their lives together. It will forever inspire and warm my whole heart. #family #memories #whyifly #aviation #50yearsofflight #mamajanfan #carryyouwithme #liveeverymoment #1970sglam

This week in sun-dappled real life snippets: can't seem to have a morning pass without Amelia demanding to go outside, both of us tiptoeing gingerly through dew-heavy grass and taking our respective places around the fire pit, also known as her little laboratory. She industriously transfers pea gravel amongst every container she can find (my water tumbler is not exempt), flings it gleefully, requests (with rapidly dwindling patience) that I fill up every vessel with water, even the plastic container from a tomato plant which escaped the recycling bin (it has holes in it and leaks like a sieve but she doesn't care!). "Mommy! Mommy!" she exclaims as she shoves the hose nozzle in my direction and her eyes sparkle when I make the hose emit screechy sounds and when I coax the water to dance and sprinkle us lightly. She waters the plants, and her toes, and her ears and eyes catch every single aircraft which flies overhead, followed by enthusiastic chatter, pointing, and waving. Her hair is fuzzier and so soft in the mornings and her smell is so sweet. Dimples dot her smile when she releases pea gravel skyward like so much confetti. Invariably her hugs surround me in the Adirondack chair, my soul memorizing and cherishing these last breaths of cool spring mornings and this exact size and heft of her body. To encourage discovery, to be present in pajamas damp from dew, to get dirty and giggle about it - is to be alive. #mamamoments #plusone #mamahood #thebestdaysofmylife #ameliajeanette #extraordinaryintheordinary

Gingham, gloss, & grins // Walking into a date night gathering Saturday evening, comfortable knowing that Amelia was snuggled up with her beloved Grampy, excited to see dear friends, savoring the delicious warmth of holding Marc's hand, catching an intoxicating whiff of his cologne, feeling the anticipation of summer coming and lots more time together. Connection seems inevitable when you share a family and a home - but somehow time away for just two provides a link which is needed and treasured. @mpflores222 #datenight #latergram #hubtastic #gratefulheart

Sunday feelings, splash pad style 💦 // We had lived in our new house for all of two months when a chance meetup allowed me to befriend @rebeccalpc - the mama of an adorable boy who was only 7 months older than 7 month old (at the time) Amelia. And that was the beautiful beginning of shared goodness and a cornerstone of my "mama friends" circle. Fast forward to today: Rebecca is now the mama of two...we've shared baby showers and birthday parties and bunco and photo sessions and splash pad shenanigans and backyard painting masterpieces...and a whole lot of heart to heart convos. I love watching our kids play together and I love knowing how much fun is yet to come. Thank you for you, Becca! #gratefulheart #babybesties #momtribe #splishsplash

Another one I simply cannot resist: Gail Korfhage, Steve Wright and Jan Wright on a picnic (one of SO many) in Put In Bay, Ohio, 1974. No babies for anyone in this crew yet! Thanks to Glenn for snapping the photo back then, and to Gail for making my day with a pile of photo memories for the party. I love the way everyone looks. I love seeing their twentysomething selves, their smiles unchanging. #mamajanfan #preciousmemories #1970sglam #timemachine #friendsforever

The best part of working on the party honoring my dad's flying milestone achievements - the old pictures. I will share all of them soon but had to post this one immediately....my beautiful mama in 1978, sharing Easter with our precious friends Glenn & Gail Korfhage. Thank you SO much Gail...for this and all the others! Cannot wait to showcase them! 💗#mamajanfan #preciousmemories #1970sglam #timemachine

Coffee love, indeed. A departure from our weeknight routine tonight involved a little neighborhood drive and a swing by Marc's new morning coffee spot for evening espresso (the counterpoint to morning joe). Sometimes you need to take a break...thank golly for husbands who see that and seize the moment accordingly. @mpflores222 #butfirstcoffee #coffeeplease #conroecoffee #conroetx

Walk a mile in my shoes....actually, no, baby girl, please don't! Fairy certain *I* can't even walk a mile in those shoes (and likely never could). Amelia found my bin of heels from a few life chapters ago and as we try shoes on together at her request, I'm loving her curiosity and her enviable balancing skills! #plusone #mamahood #thebestdaysofmylife #ameliajeanette #inhershoes #highheelshighhopes

A most appropriate #tbt today as I'm working on celebrating my favorite pilot, my dad, for reaching milestones of 50 years and 7000 hours of flying. This gem of a photo dates back to 1968 - and his intellect, drive, and spirit are written so clearly then and now. My pride and admiration overflows. #aviation #comeflywithus #whyifly #pilot #prouddaughter #milestones #50yearsofflight

The month of May 2017 marks an incredible pair of milestones for my dad: 50 years (half a century!! Fifty!!!!) years of flying and 7000 hours reached. I have been dreaming up a party to honor these milestones for many months now - and the day to celebrate him with some of our beloved passengers is fast approaching. The last couple of weeks have been filled with preparation and as we compile photos and stories of half of a century of flight, travel, and togetherness, I am overwhelmed with emotion at the flight path, as it were. More photos to come....I am so excited and at the same time filled with immense bittersweetness that my mom isn't here (in person) to honor this amazing experience....but her soul, her image, her stories permeate every bit of this history. ✈️#comeflywithus #wrightairlines #50yearsofflight #milestones #flyhigh #whyifly #piperaircraft #aviation

One heartbeat // Thankful to my dad for capturing the moment today in which I sank into the soft grass by my mama's resting place. Amelia was either extra snuggly after napping during our drive or she sensed my heartache and burrowed tightly against me, so close it felt like our two hearts beat as one. Apropos, considering we believe she and my mom share #oneheartbeat . She was my constant partner as my heart beat above hers, as my heart shattered while she wriggled below, as I held tightly to the promise of a connection with her that could one day resemble what I shared with my mom (I have a good feeling already that we will). I miss my mama every moment of every day. I see her smile with every fiber of my soul. I count every lucky star she was ours. #mamajanfan #carryyouwithme #normalizegrief #honorthem #threegenerations #illseeyouagain

Angel hair x2 // Special little lunch date today after visiting my mom's grave, at a cozy Italian place where our family has enjoyed meals going back to the 1990s. Amelia surprised us when she leaned into my dad's plate and helped herself to his angel hair pasta! He was only too happy to share. Another sweet part of lunch - and a reminder that our grief and our mountains of heartache aren't felt singularly - involved a chat with a warmhearted soul who turned out to be the restaurant owner. We were talking about grandkids, then birds, then cardinals, and I shared why we always look for cardinals - and she did, too, for her own mom. She shared about a dream she had where it was like her mom was right there (I told her about mine just like that) and we both wiped our eyes with crisp linen napkins. Our stories land like lifelines sometimes, as do others' stories for our own struggles. A reminder to be open, to be honest, to be ready to listen and relate - it shrinks those degrees of separation between strangers. #puttingthegrandingrandfather #angelhair #grampyandamelia #normalizegrief #mamajanfan #carryyouwithme

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