Happiness, reimagined.

“…The kicking and moving, however, oh my goodness. She really doesn’t stop. I’ve heard they are supposed to sleep, but I think I got one that doesn’t sleep. She is a mover and a shaker through and through. And throw her dad’s voice in the mix and she might as well just kick her way out of my stomach. She’s already his biggest fan. She gets me from every angle, all day and night. I even wake up to a foot in the ribs every once in a while. I think my insides are bruised. She will either be a soccer player or a gymnast, I have no doubt.”

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The above quote was from my old blog site, where I documented every ounce of pregnancy with Leah. She was my first, I know, but she was just astonishing to me. I was talking to my friend Ginny the other day about being able to peg the personality of Leah from inside the womb. She honestly, honestly never stopped. I felt her for the first time at 14 weeks and 6 days. I hope I always remember it, four solid thuds from the inside as I was watching TV. And almost four years later, she still hasn’t stopped. When she gets bored, she runs outside with the dogs. When she wants to play a game… it’s almost always chase. When she wants to “dance,” she actually means run. And while I foreshadowed her activeness to a T, she’s also thrown me some curveballs.

Almost this time four years ago, there was a dim light on in a hospital room and Leah and I were finally getting acquainted. Our visitors were gone, Kyle was sleeping, the nurses finally stopped messing with me, and the anesthesia had worn off. Just me and my bug, and she made eye contact with me. It was no less than midnight and I laughed at her being awake. And I promised her big, curious eyes that I would do whatever I had to give her happiness.

I just didn’t realize what happiness would mean to Leah.

Before she came around, I had some rules. I would never have a sticky kid. I would never have a mismatched kid in public. I would never let my kids wear that tacky Disney character clothing. My kids would have pottery barn catalog rooms. I think you can see where this is going…


Leah took those plans I had and made a mockery out of my ill-conceived parenting ideas. What a stick-in-the-mud I would have been if I actually adhered to those rules. My idea of joy has been reimagined because of this little girl. She taught me that seeing her happy because she was dressed in Cinderella jammies, underneath a Cinderella comforter, with a Cinderella plastered to the wall beside her would do more for my soul than a pottery barn catalog room ever could. That walking through Target with her wearing a dress, a skirt, a cardigan, tights, and shoes on the wrong feet would boost my self esteem, probably more than hers. And that letting her play with my make up and hair products not only makes her day, the end result of that playtime makes mine.


Ya, that’s eye shadow all over her forehead.

She asked me the other day why I was laughing at her. And I quickly corrected her, “oh, honey, I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing because of you. You make me so happy.” And it’s so true. She makes me laugh SO much every day. To hear the things she thinks, the games she creates, the words she rhymes, the mothering she does to her little sister, the imagination she has… I wish I could bottle it all up and sell it to make the world a happier place. But I can’t, so I will leave you with a few of my recent favorite pictures and quotes:


“Mommy, I’m gonna wear this for dinner.”


“C’mon, Quinn, it’s time to be princesses now.”


“Alright, daddy, first we have to walk on our tip-toes. Then we hold our pants up like this. Then we walk in a circle for 50 minutes.”


“Gasp! QUINN! You found a clue!” (It was a leaf).


“C’mon, mom, can you just take my picture with the dogs. I’m huggin dem.”


“Do you like to eat your strawberries like this sometimes, mommy?”

“I hope most of all that we just laugh with her. That’s what we do most of all now anyways, and I hope that doesn’t change. I think we will. I think we’ll laugh watching each other try to do this, I think we’ll laugh at Leah as she grows up (not in a mean way), and I think she’ll laugh at us. I don’t want to take any of it too seriously. Everything won’t always go perfect or according to our plan, but I think we’ll have a good handle on it. I know we’re ready to see her and hold her, but I’m starting to think we’re finally ready to give our best shot at raising her!”

Another excerpt of a blog I wrote a month before she was born.

Thank you for giving us so many new reasons to laugh, buggie.

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