This weekend was a different kind of weekend. I’m exhausted in the best way possible.

Former Kidd’s Kid, Gracie Jennings and her mom Jamie have talked about coming to see me in Dallas and this weekend was best for us both. I wanted to give them a mini-vacation here and spend some time with them because I genuinely feel like they are family to me.

Jamie is a single mom, adopted Gracie from China after Gracie was abandoned in a park. Gracie also has a rather substantial heart condition. Sometimes she equates it to having half a heart. In reality, she has the biggest heart I’ve ever seen. Sappy, I know. I mean it though. Gracie and I really bonded on the trip to Disney World last fall, mostly over our tomboyish ways and our love for animals. We always send each other pictures of our dogs, etc. So, I managed to set up a backstage tour of sorts for us at the Ft. Worth Zoo.

gracie3Gracie says she wants to be an animal scientist when she grows up. So we touched and held opossums, snakes, an armadillo, a penguin and some things I don’t even remember their name…it was the coolest day. Then we ate Mexican. Then I introduced Gracie to Maximus followed that up with a round of Mini Golf because Gracie thinks she could be the next Michele Wie. Gracie loves sports, but because of her heart condition, she can’t get her heart rate up too much. This means essentially all sports are off limits. Except for maybe golf! On top of that, she likes it.

gracie2I can’t imagine not being able to have enrolled in all the sports I did at her age. When I was 6, I was in soccer, gymnastics, ballet, tap, jazz, swimming. I sucked at nearly everything but soccer. It took me 6 years from that point to recognize that fact and eliminate all but soccer:) Gracie couldn’t really do any of those. Golf is perfect. I actually love golf now that I’m older and wish it was something I had started earlier on. I guess I like to support athletics more than I realized. Honestly, this was just a quality kind of weekend for me that I don’t often get the chance to have. I actually cooked strawberry pancakes this morning for her and I am a terrible chef. She them, not sure about the adults’ opinion, but she liked them. She treats me like a big sister. I always wanted a little sister. It’s pretty perfect.