Eight years ago today began a road filled with more emotion than I ever thought my heart could hold. Eight years ago the doctor placed a tiny 5 1/2 pound miracle in my arms, and in many ways, I too was born that day. A new me…a better me…a mommy.

ImageHow can eight years go by so quickly? It’s such a cliche, but oh so true…time flies! Before I had a child of my own, I had this whole parenting thing figured out. My child would of course nurse exclusively for the first year. Only homemade baby food would be offered to such a precious soul. She would sleep peacefully next to our bed in a bassinet while we swooned over her. She would not the that child…you know…the one in the grocery store throwing a tantrum whose mother is handling the situation completely wrong. She would always wash her hands before mealtime, and sanitation wipes would be used religiously at public venues. Yeah, I was going to be a rockstar mom.

I woke up from that fairy tale dream eight years ago, and I’ve been eating crow ever since. Oh, how much I had to learn!

Jayda Marie,
God has used your precious life to teach me innumerable lessons. While I always thought I’d be the one teaching you, you have in fact taught me so much more. I’ve learned what it means to love someone so much you can feel it in your bones. I’ve learned that my heart can  feel like it might burst from the joy and happiness you’ve brought me. You’ve made me smile on days I didn’t think I wanted to smile.

I’ve learned that things don’t always go as planned, either. You taught me that a teeny tiny premature baby can projectile vomit further than imaginable. You’ve taught me that said baby vomit will ruin clothes, furniture, and carseats. You’ve taught me that sleepless nights with piercing crying can challenge me more than running a marathon. You’ve taught me that disobedience is bound up in the heart of everyone, mostly your mommy…I’ve learned to look at my relationship with Jesus so much differently since becoming a parent.

In some ways, Jayda girl, I feel like I’ve failed as the parent I thought I’d be. I had such high and lofty aspirations. But in most ways, dear girl, I feel humbled and grateful for the path that we’ve walked together. It’s so much better than I ever imagined. Forget the naiveness of my pre-parenting days…I’ll take the baby vomit, colic, poopy diapers, temper tantrums, and sleepless nights over any dreams I had of peaceful swooning (although there has been lots of that, too!). You, my child, are amazing. Created by God for a specific and wonderful purpose. I can’t wait to see the next chapters of your sweet life unfold. God has great things for you, honey. Keep your eyes on Jesus, shine for Him, and He will do amazing things through you! I love you!!!!

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