N.I.N.E.

She’s nine.  I’ve been a mom for nine years and that blows my mind.

Okay, I’ll start from the beginning.  (and I’ve told this story a lot, so you  may have already heard it. but i’m okay with repetition, especially when it’s such a huge part of who i am.  so stick with me…or move on.  i’ll allow it.)

I was 19 and had moved home for the summer after my first year at Seattle University.  I had already made the decision to transfer to U of I and I had big plans.  I was going to get an apartment with my good friend Jess, I was going to study business, I would be closer to my family and it would be great.  My summer was awesome.  Danny was home, too, and so were a lot of my friends.  One of them, LaRissa was my go-to.  I hung out with her a lot and we had a ton of fun.  She had a baby who was a little over a year and she was planning a wedding and, well, we had a really great time together.

So one summer afternoon in July, LaRissa urged me to take a pregnancy test because I had obvious signs I may be pregnant.  I remember peeing on that scary stick and sitting there in the bathroom just waiting.  And there it was.  That second line showed up immediately and my heart stopped.  I was in shock.  And I have to say, that if it wasn’t for LaRissa, that day might have been a lot harder.  She told me that everything would be okay, and that I’d figure it out and that life would go on and it would be great!

Dude….she was right.

After the initial shock and disappointment and the horrible guilt and sadness I felt for letting my family down, my belly swelled.  That little thing was growing and she was there and I knew that everything would be okay.

Photo Mar 21, 10 25 26 AM

(I was about 3 months pregnant here)

She started out perfect.  She came on her due date.  Easiest labor ever.  She was a perfect 7 pounds, 10 oz and 21 inches long.  She had amazing black hair and the sweetest dimple in her chin and lips that even I envied. engagement-19

She was an easy baby and an easy toddler.  Yep, she had her moments, but for the most part, she was great and easy.  She walked early, talked early, and has had us laughing ever since.

paint-35

You can’t not love Maria.

She has the sweetest soul of any person I’ve ever met in my entire life.  That is no exaggeration. She puts others before herself in every single situation.  I don’t think she understands the emotion that most of us know as jealousy.

She is a giver and a helper.  She is passionate and compassionate.  When she hears of something or sees something unjust, she works as hard as she can to fix it.

May14-143 Prasil-36

She uses her allowance to buy her brother and sisters gifts.

When she can sense I’m stressed out, she will (on her own) herd the kids up and take them downstairs for me so I can have quiet time.  You guys…this happens constantly.

We tell her “no” and she says, “ok.”  We say, “Please just wait,” and she patiently waits.  We ask her to put away both her toys and her siblings and she does it.

MJ-10

She is a leader but she isn’t bossy.  She knows what is right and she works hard to do it.

Her heart can feel others’ emotions deeply and she works hard to make sure everyone is treated fairly.
pdx-31

She is fun and adventurous and she is her daddy’s daughter.

But she’s totally mine, too.  She loves fashion and art and appreciates other’s differences and uniqueness.  Photo Feb 22, 4 53 36 PM

And, you guys….she’s nine.  Photo Mar 21, 8 29 27 AM

Happy birthday to the sweetest girl I know.

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