Tomorrow, a very sweet girl will be boarding a plane and flying a very long way home to her Mama and Papa.
Katrina is the youngest sister of one of my very good friends, Eden. She worked hard over two summers to save up enough money to come and visit her sister, brother-in-law, nephew and (at the time) niece-or-nephew-to-be in New Zealand from all the way over on the east coast of the United States.
It is so special to me to meet Eden's USA family. Katrina is the third one that I'm lucky enough to have been able to get to know. Eden is very dear to me and so to be able to experience the joy of seeing her with some of her close, close family-by-birth is something that I treasure. It's kind of hard to explain! It's like how when you love someone (and now this is going to sound cheesy...), what makes them happy makes you happy and some of their intense joy spreads to you. It's a little like that. Plus, Eden's family are just plain wonderful! And I've only met three of them! (Four, if you include Eden herself...)
Anyway, we've been able to get to know Katrina a fair bit during her 11 week stay here. Our kids have enjoyed playing with her, and I know our Tristan's ever smiling face lights up a little brighter when he sees that sparkling Katrina smile.
So I wanted to make something a little special for her to take home. A little piece of the New Zealand that now lives in her heart. Thus, Kiwi Katrina the Dolly was born.
If you can get past the fact that her eyes are plastic and her lips look like they've been drawn on by a three year old, you'll notice her cute puff sleeves, polka-dot apron and ribboned shoes.
Her dress isn't particularly NZ-ish (I couldn't think what to do that was?!), so I hand stitched a wee kiwi onto Dolly's apron.
Every self-respecting girl must have a pair of shoes with ribbons on them, yes?
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As I was stitching the sleeves on late last night, and thankfully after I had sewn everything but the apron, my sewing machine had a little tantrum. Well, it was quite a big tantrum actually: it caught fire. First I heard a crackling sound and wondered if there was an animal in our fire box or something, then I see and smell smoke coming from my poor machine! Hence the crooked hand-stitching you see at the top of the apron. I've dropped me old Elna 7000 at the shop today so we'll see if it can be salvaged.
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Katrina, precious girl, I hope you enjoy your last day in our beautiful land tomorrow, with your beautiful sister and nephew and niece. (And brother-in-law too, but he's not beautiful. Sorry Andrew! :) I hope you find nice, helpful people at the airport and have a wonderfully uneventful (but not boring) flight home. We will pray for a special time of goodbyes in NZ and a wonderful time of welcomes back in the States. I look forward to staying in touch with you and already can't wait until we see you again! Love you.
Eden, know that we will uphold you in prayer as you settle back into your new version of home after tomorrow, precious friend.