Just look at this place...isn't it just spectacular?! When I drove up, my mouth literally dropped open. I can' t say I have ever seen a daycare center this beautiful and intricate and fun! Can you imagine how good kiddos feel on the inside when they drive up to this special place every single morning? And this is just the outside.
Diana is one of my very good friends and when she asked me to come to her ribbon cutting to take pictures, I was so honored I would be able to share in this special time. But in complete honesty, I had no idea what a true honor it really was. I knew Camp DBS was near and dear to her heart but I seriously had no idea the incredible story behind the opening of this incredible place. Diana and her late husband opened Doodlebug Square in February of 2004 and both had big dreams of opening Camp DBS for many years that followed. After years of tireless work and thoughtful prayer, Josh and Diana built Doodlebug Square into a thriving and very popular and respected daycare. Fast forward to February 27, 2014 when Josh and Diana were approved for the land on which they would soon build Camp DBS. After Josh and his mom prayer walked the land on February 28, 2014, Josh was tragically taken from Diana and the kids in a one car accident on March 3, 2014. Diana shared this story with all of those in attendance at the ribbon cutting and there wasn't a dry eye in the group...I could hardly see through my viewfinder when taking pictures. Her tears can be seen streaming down her face in the images below. After talking with Diana, I know those tears were quite bittersweet because their dream came to fruition but also her dear Josh wasn't there by her side to experience this amazing day with her.
What a special moment it was for Diana, her kids, Diana and Josh's parents, her staff and friends and of course, the precious children who attend Camp DBS to share in the ribbon cutting process. Although the daycare had already been open for a few months, there is just something about being recognized publicly for all of the hard work that was put into getting this beautiful place up and running.
The stories Diana has shared with me about how brave her children have been since the passing of their beloved Josh has moved me to tears. The way this mommy loves her children with every ounce of her soul is beautiful. The way Diana loves ANYONE in her path amazes me. She loves with abandon and is an incredibly strong woman. Diana shared with me that Doodlebug Square opened on February 2, which just happened to be her birthday but what's even more touching is Camp DBS opened just this past May 2, which was precious Josh's birthday!! Although bittersweet, the pride in Diana's face as she showed me around the place and as she took pictures with the people who mean the most to her was something very special to experience.
As I walked into the building, I was completely blown away at all of the special touches...all of which were in Josh's memory.
This tree is called the Tree of Life and it's the location Diana and her staff go every morning to meet for devotional and prayer. How amazing is it that these kiddos go to a daycare where Christ is such a big part of the program!! If you will notice the wording carved into the Tree of Life, these are the words to Josh's favorite worship song by Gungor titled Beautiful Things and then of course the date inscribed is the day DBS first opened a little over 12 years ago. Just beautiful!
And on to the significance of the blue tree with the beautiful pink flowers...grab some more tissues. Sadly and tragically, on July 5, 2007, Diana's very good friend, Jay, lost her precious 2.5 year old daughter, Jaden, to complications from a fireworks burn. Jay played a vital part to Diana's recovery after the loss of Josh just as Diana did for Jay after she lost her precious daughter and to this day, they remain the best of friends. This blue tree (Josh's favorite color was blue!) was painted in the entryway of Camp DBS with three pink flowers below in honor of precious Jaden.
Below are some images of the amazing design and decor of the building. Not a single detail was forgotten...it's bright and friendly and fun and engaging and most of all, clever. The library is one of the cutest rooms I have ever seen.
And finally to Camp Josh!! Just when I didn't think I could be anymore blown away by the details and decor and fun, friendly atmosphere, I walked around the corner to see this!!!! I sure wish Camp DBS would have been around when my kiddos were growing up. Diana, my friend, you are an inspiration to so many, including me. Not only in your perseverance but your bravery, your faith, your love and your determination to carry out the dream you shared with your precious Josh. I am so incredibly proud to call you my friend. I love you and I love your kids and Camp DBS!!!