Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.



Happy Birthday to You!

Today is Kendal Grace’s birthday. I won’t tell you how old she is, but I’ll tell you she’s beautiful, exciting, full of energy and has an adorable son and a great husband!

I’ll always remember the day before she was born.

That year, the Spess clan went to OKC to celebrate Christmas. Her mama, Sister Cindy, was very, very pregnant and spent a lot of that day in her chair. Our son, Danny, seven, was a joy. Matt was three and Brad wasn’t a year old yet.

Danny played with his cousins that day and had a great time. Baby Buggy (Brad) was easy to take care of that day, but poor Matt had a disaster. Although he had a big pile of gifts from Santa, the only “friend” he cared to take along was the same one he took everywhere.

Puppy. His stuffed Snoopy with a blue shirt that said, “Puppy Love” that he’d swiped from his Aunt Amy. Matt dragged Puppy every place we went by his ear, his tail, his leg or however he could grab him. Just as long as Puppy was by his side like some kids take a security blanket, Matt was a happy camper.

That day, Matt was playing around with the other kids and, of course, Puppy, when he pulled the dog’s nose right off.

Matt wailed so loud, you’d have thought he pulled off his brother’s nose.

Of course, Brad was having his mid-day “meal” when the emergency happened, so I had to work one-handed. Sister Cindy found us a needle but only one color of thread. While Brad nursed, I sewed on the nose (a black pom-pom type nose) with great big stitches. Great big purple stitches.

And it stayed on, just like that, until Matt outgrew his security dog. (He’s still here, in my house somewhere, with the faded purple stitches.)

We’d hoped Cindy’s baby would be born while we were at her hosue that Christmas, but it didn’t happen. Late in the afternoon, everyone–including Mom and Dad–went home.

THEN Cindy went into labor and had Kendal not too long after midnight.

And the girl has kept us entertained ever since!




This is Kendal a couple of years ago. Since then, she’s had a baby who’s now a very smart(!) and active two-year-old. And sweet Kendal is a thin, active and very beautiful wife and mama.

Want to read about Kendal’s wedding? Check it out here! 

Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

5 thoughts on “H♥B♥D♥ KENDAL

  1. She is so beautiful, just like all the Spess kids. Thanks Susan for showing these pictures of our cousins we don’t get to see very often. My great grandson, Andrew Glenn Ashley, is six years old today, so he and Kendal share a birthday. He is Allison’s grandson and he is just the social butterfly and great little ballplayer and he loves to talk just like me!! You have a special family and I know you are so proud.

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