Happy Birthday to our Beautiful Daughter Laura!

So in March of 1989 I was in the SB Sheriff’s academy. But half way thru the program I became ill. I thought I had the worst flu of my life. I had to take a week off from the academy and my job at Walden’s Bookstore. After a week and still feeling horrible I had a random thought, what if it wasn’t the flu? I dragged myself out of bed and to the store and picked up a pregnancy test kit. Did the deed and waited. The results would be pink if I was and blue if I wasn’t….DING…it was fuchsia pink!

That was 24 years ago. A lot has happened, but the best thing was giving birth to our wonderful, smart, insightful, gracious, caring (endless adjectives here) daughter Laura Rose Fennell. From the get go she was an awesome kid.

I used to love rocking her to sleep at nap time or before bed. I had folks scold me for doing that. I’d politely just nod and think how sad they were. I knew she wouldn’t be a baby for very long and I wanted to cherish every moment I could to cuddle her. She was never very vocal, well until Daddy came home. Derek worked for the CHP (California Highway Patrol) and often worked a swing shift. Since he worked out in the greater Los Angeles area this meant he didn’t get home till after midnight. I was usually up with Laura, TV on low finishing her late night feeding. Derek would get in his comfy clothes and sit down and take Laura from me. He’d sit with his knees propped up so he could sit her up and talk to her. And my lord did Laura talk, and talk and talk and talk. She told him everything that happened with her coo’s, oh’s and lip smacks.

Fast forward….Laura is now in first grade. She is so proud of Daddy and his ‘motorcycle bike’. So she decided to take him for show and tell. Derek showed up with Tony and Shirley, another motor officer and car officer for show and tell. The kids crawled and sat and oo’d and ah’d over the bikes and a wonderful time. How cool that she didn’t want to take a doll or some toy, she wanted to take her uber cool Daddy 🙂

Laura has always, and still does, had a love of music and movies. She uses them to transport herself, inspire and educate. Of course I’m not sure that was the case as we watched Disney’s a Jungle Book every day (sometimes twice) for a year. I think that was just to torment me haha. She is also a very avid reader, I remember her sitting for hours on the couch reading her books. Every now and then I’d hear a chuckle at something amusing she had read, or her brow would furrow and I knew she was reading something important.

Laura got bit one year, oh don’t worry, it was by the acting bug. And she was good! I mean really good! She loved being on stage and she was fearless. I knew from then on nothing would hold her back, and nothing has.

She has had to deal with loss and hard decisions. She has done both with quiet resolve and grace. We have had our own disagreements, but through them all it has been the strength of our love and respect for each other that has made us such a wonderful family. We believe in each other, we make each other laugh, lift each other up and are always there for one and other.

I would be remiss if I didn’t not mention her academics. She was always in the top 5% of her class. When she went off to San Francisco State University we thought our hearts would break having her so far away. But we knew we raised her to be a very independent young woman. She was ready for this. And because of our confidence in her, it was easier to let her soar. Her third year in college saw her go away even farther as she ventured off to Spain and attended the University of Granada. You know folks, college is hard enough as it is, try doing it in another country and in a different language. She aced it! She graduated from SFSU with honors –

Eight consecutive semesters on the Dean’s List, Accepted into Phi Sigma Iota Honors Language Society, Graduated Magna Cum Laude.  But not to be forgotten –

Junior Editor for Portals magazine (Spring 2012). (Only undergraduate on a staff of 12 graduate students.)

Officer of International Education and Exchange Council (IEEC), the largest student group on SFSU campus (2011-2012).

Secretary of the International Film Committee of the IEEC (Fall 2011).

Wrote 35-page undergraduate thesis examining the correlation of poetry as media during civil war (specifically comparing the American Civil War and the Spanish Civil War). Yep my head is spinning!

Oh did I mention she is fluent in 3 languages? Yes she is – English, Spanish and Swedish. I’m not sure typoeese is a language but she understands my text messages so I guess it must be.

After graduation she had the travel bug, but more importantly she found love. His name is Joakim Krantz, who is also handsome and extremely smart. We feel lucky she has found someone like him and love having him in our lives. So now our baby girl is off for a four year program to Sweden where she currently working on her Master’s degree at the University of Lund.

She’s only 24 years and so many life experiences she has had. She’s been to over 16 countries, met so many interesting people. More importantly she makes us so proud. Happy Birthday Laura, we love you so much!! You will always be our baby girl!

Laura on Derek's CHP Bike

Laura on Derek’s CHP Bike

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