"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." (Aldo Leopold) Apparently, I cannot.


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Our Special Day

Today my daughter turns 6. And I turn 35. Yup, that’s right, we share a birthday. Here we are in one of our annual birthday selfies. (More from each year at the end of this post.)

February 20, 2014 -- 6 and 35!

February 20, 2014 — 6 and 35!

Things weren’t supposed to work out like this, but our feisty, little Ms. Independent had plans of her own. She didn’t want to wait until her May 3rd due date to make us a family of three. February 20th — 11 weeks before she was scheduled to arrive — suited her just fine. And so it was, after 3 days of trying to prevent her from coming so early, and during the final hours of my birthday in 2008, Belle was born. (If you somehow missed it the first few times I shared it and you’re interested in reading her birth story, you can find it here.)

My most vivid memory of my daughter’s birth isn’t of the frantic race to get my doctor to me before Belle arrived, or the pushing, or even the moments just after Belle was born when she was rushed to another room and all I could do was relish in the fierce cry I heard from behind closed doors. It’s actually of my husband. And him leaning down and whispering, “Happy birthday, hun. I’m so proud of you.”

Belle was indeed the best birthday gift I could ever imagine. Nothing else will top her arrival. EVER. (Although, babe, if you’re reading this, that doesn’t mean that you can’t try if you’re so inclined, lol.) To share a birthday with my little lady (ok, not-so-little-anymore lady, sniff, sniff) goes beyond words. It’s not my day any more. It’s our day. Our special day that we’ll have, literally, forever. (Not that we’ll live forever, but the fact that we share a birthday will be a part of our history forever.)

And as Belle gets older, I look forward to all of the things we’ll do together to celebrate our special day. I envision movie and dinner dates, shopping, manicures and pedicures, spa days, vegging out and eating ourselves silly . . . just me and my girl. And don’t worry, if we run into those I’d-rather-do-anything-other-than-hang-out-with-my-mother years, as so many mothers and daughters do, I’ll figure out how to work that angst into some type of celebration. 😉 (But please don’t get me thinking about years that we may be apart and unable to physically get together. I just can’t go there yet!)

So a big happy 6th birthday to my sweet little daughter! I’m so grateful that I get to spend the rest of my life celebrating this special day with her. And you can bet that wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, every year on February 20th at 10:05 pm, I’ll be telling her about that fateful day in 2008 when she made me a mom for the first time and became the greatest birthday gift of all time. Plus, we’ll be taking more pictures like these:

1

February 21, 2008 — the very first time I was able to visit you in the NICU, and our very first picture together (thanks to Daddy!)

2

February 20, 2009 — your 1st birthday, my 30th  — and our very first birthday selfie

3

February 20, 2010 — 2 and 31

February 20, 2011 -- 3 and 32

February 20, 2011 — 3 and 32

February 20, 2012 -- 4 and 33

February 20, 2012 — 4 and 33

February 20, 2013 -- 5 and 34

February 20, 2013 — 5 and 34

So, happy birthday, Beany! Can’t wait to see what this next year brings. Love you to the moon and stars! xoxoxoxoxoxo

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Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 10/18/13

This Friday seemed to take forever to get here — we’ve been dealing with rain and colds (bleh) and, interestingly, a praying mantis that taken up residence on our screen slider (been here all week and decided to lay her eggs yesterday). Still, we managed some good times, and I have the proof.

Some things that made me happy:

Keeping our streets clean

Keeping our streets clean

Snuggles

Snuggles

Fun at the fire station

Fun at the fire station

Proud of the handprint ghost shirts they made

Proud of the handprint ghost shirts they made

This needs no explanation

This needs no explanation

We share a love of Sir Elton

We share a love of Sir Elton

And our sole reader submission this week . . . Thanks so much, Christina from MI!!!

A collage for my son's birthday of his first year. He will be 1 on Nov.  2nd.

A collage for my son’s birthday of his first year. He will be 1 on Nov. 2nd.

Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!


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Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 10/11/13

It’s that time of week again . . . time to share some happiness. Hope you all had a great week and are gearing up for a fun-filled or simply relaxing weekend. 🙂

Some things that made me happy:

Uhhh, what are these things?

Uhhh, what are these things?

Resting together

Resting together

Hands!

Hands!

And some things that made you happy:

Jennifer from MO: Oh, you know just walking her raccoon!

Jennifer from MO: Oh, you know just walking her raccoon!

Devan from TN: Fall break 2013!

Devan from TN: Fall break 2013!

Nicole from IL: Sibling love! Caleb (7 years), Alice (7 months), & Chloe (4 years).

Nicole from IL: Sibling love! Caleb (7 years), Alice (7 months), & Chloe (4 years).

Christina from MI: Enjoying fall!

Christina from MI: Enjoying fall!

Kathy from IL: Hotel fun; fun at the Disney farm; ready to fly.

Kathy from IL: Hotel fun; fun at the Disney farm; ready to fly.

As always, thanks to those who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!


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Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 10/4/13

This week sort of dragged for us, but Friday is finally here! Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Some things that made me happy:

Making goofy faces because she'd rather be riding her bike than posing for pics.

Making goofy faces because she’d rather be riding her bike than posing for pics.

Tough with his pirate shirt, yet sweet with the purse. ;)

Tough with his pirate shirt, yet sweet with the purse. 😉

He was so excited the lady bug landed on him. He walked around with that thing crawling on him for like 30 mins.

He was so excited the lady bug landed on him. He walked around with that thing crawling on him for like 30 mins.

Baby blocker.

Baby blocker.

And some things that made you happy:

Devan from TN: GO BIG ORANGE!

Devan from TN: GO BIG ORANGE!

Brandy from IN: The other night I was walking with my daughter and I had to turn back to the car for something. Eli, my oldest, said, "I'll help her!" And when I turned back around this is what I saw. :)

Brandy from IN: The other night I was walking with my daughter and I had to turn back to the car for something. Eli, my oldest, said, “I’ll help her!” And when I turned back around this is what I saw. 🙂

Tiffany from AR: Khylee and Kade showing their love for each other!

Tiffany from AR: Khylee and Kade showing their love for each other!

Chronic mother: We had a busy week. Here are two of each of my sweeties!

From Chronically Sick Manic Mother: We had a busy week. Here are two of each of my sweeties!

Kathy from IL: This just cracks me up.

Kathy from IL: This just cracks me up.

If you don't follow S from Does this Match? you're missing out. She makes me smile every single day. She and my daughter are such kindred spirits! :)

If you don’t follow S from Does This Match? you’re missing out. She makes me smile every single day. She and my daughter are such kindred spirits! 🙂

As always, thanks to those who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!


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Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 9/27/13

Happy, happy Friday. We had a great week here, and hope you did, too!

Some things that made me happy:

It was walk-around-with-things-on-your-head week for the baby.

It was walk-around-with-things-on-your-head week for the baby.

Fun with peek-throughs at the fall festival.

Fun with peek-throughs at the fall festival.

More fun at the festival.

More fun at the festival.

Brudders goofing around.

Brudders goofing around.

Trying to nap among the dinosaurs.

Trying to nap among the dinosaurs.

Showing off the shirt I made her for dress-like-a-cow day at school (which was in prep for their spirit night at Chick-fil-A).

Showing off the shirt I made her for dress-like-a-cow day at school (which was in prep for their spirit night at Chick-fil-A).

And some things that made you happy:

Kelly from MD: Cheers to finally getting a good shot of all three!  Alex, Abigail, and Leah

Kelly from MD: Cheers to finally getting a good shot of all three! Alex, Abigail, and Leah

Julianne from MD: Finding Nemo at the Baltimore Aquarium.

Julianne from MD: Finding Nemo at the Baltimore Aquarium.

As always, thanks to those who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!


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Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 9/20/13

This week’s post is short and sweet. Enjoy.

Some things that made me happy:

My happy little man

My happy little man

My rock star girl

My rock star girl

My gargoyle

My gargoyle

And some things that made you happy:

Danielle from CA: Did you know yogurt was finger food? :)

Danielle from CA: Did you know yogurt was finger food? 🙂

Claire Kent from Sydney, Australia: How we woke up our son Saxon on the morning of his 2nd birthday party, and how we ended the day.

Claire Kent from Sydney, Australia: How we woke up our son Saxon on the morning of his 2nd birthday party, and how we ended the day.

Julianne from MD: My big man with his favorite animals-penguins. At the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Julianne from MD: My big man with his favorite animals-penguins. At the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

From Chronically Sick Manic Mother: Look at all of the sweetness!

From Chronically Sick Manic Mother: Look at all of the sweetness!

The Allen girls from TN: Pizza Friday at Mellow Mushroom!

The Allen girls from TN: Pizza Friday at Mellow Mushroom!

As always, thanks to everyone who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!


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Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 9/13/13

Oooh, I just realized it’s Friday the 13th. Eeeek. Hopefully these adorable pictures will counteract any creepiness you have going on. Hope you all have had a great week!

Some things that made me happy:

Some water fun at Gramma and Pop's (although I think we need a bigger pool, lol)

Some water fun at Gramma and Pop’s (although I think we need a bigger pool, lol)

My sweet Bean chilling and showing off her new bike.

My sweet Bean chilling and showing off her new bike.

His very first two-wheeler -- and of course the shark helmet!!

His very first two-wheeler — and of course the shark helmet!!

My littlest cutie pie

My littlest cutie pie

And some things that made you happy:

Devan from TN: Happy Patriot Day!

Devan from TN: Happy Patriot Day!

Julianne from MD: Learning about dinosaurs at the Science Center.

Julianne from MD: Learning about dinosaurs at the Science Center.

From Chronically Sick Manic Mother: My snickerdoodle turns one; Labor Day shennanigans; dress-up time; Princess P was too cute this week.

From Chronically Sick Manic Mother: My snickerdoodle turns one; Labor Day shennanigans; dress-up time; Princess P was too cute this week.

From Ms. Snippy Bloomers: Balloon artistry at it's best.

From Ms. Snippy Bloomers: Balloon artistry at it’s best.

Melissa from MD: Making milkshakes; first trip to Camden Yards; fast friends -- a visit with a friend from FL.

Melissa from MD: Making milkshakes; first trip to Camden Yards; fast friends — a visit with a friend from FL.

Julie from MD: Daddy and Ari (3 months old) ready for his first Cowboys game.

Julie from MD: Daddy and Ari (3 months old) ready for his first Cowboys game.

Tina Marie from CO: Skye is protecting Blake from being forced to get his diaper changed!

Tina Marie from CO: Skye is protecting Blake from being forced to get his diaper changed!

Kathy from IL: Fun with dad; 'struction working!

Kathy from IL: Fun with dad; ‘struction working!

Tiffany from KY: Her daughter Charlene from when she was about 4 months. She is now 3.

Tiffany from KY: Her daughter Charlene from when she was about 4 months. She is now 3.

Jerica from CO: Football season! Chocolate milk and donuts before school : )

Jerica from CO: Football season! Chocolate milk and donuts before school : )

Missy from PA: My happy Bella:)

Missy from PA: My happy Bella:)

As always, thanks to everyone who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!