Mommy Letters to Baby!

I love you Already!

9 notes &

A Year in the Life-Part 2

Needless to say, I have been procrastinating on this, I don’t know what happened, it’s like one extremely hectic New Years Eve I pushed you out and then I blinked and you were two… It’s made me pretty emotional, but you had an amazing second year of life baby girl…

You were a thrill ride enthusiast!

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You were a body builder!

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 Just like most Minnesota Timberwolves fans, you were not impressed!

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You were a bowler…

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and a dental hygienist!

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You were a lounger…

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and a fashionista

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You wanted to be just like Daddy…

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and just like Mommy!

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You were a shopper…

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and a rule breaker!

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You were stuck between a rock and a hard place often LOL!

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You were an alarm clock…

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and a button pusher :)

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You were the BEST athlete EVER…

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and a friend to animals!

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You were a work of art!

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You were a packer…

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and a game player!

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You were proud to be a Minnesotan…

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and a St. Lucian…

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But you fell in love with the DMV!

You were confused!

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You were a social butterfly!image

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You were Queen of the ice…

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and devastated at quitting time!

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You were a supporter of our troops…

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and a bartender!

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You were a jet setter…

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and a troublemaker!

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You were a housekeeper…

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and a horseback rider!

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You were serious about your studies…

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and handled with care!

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and a pumpkin picker!

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You were determined to sleep…

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at the most magical place on earth!

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You were quite the helper…

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and cuddler!

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You were HAPPY!

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You were Daddy’s world…

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and Mommy’s heart!

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BABY GIRL, THERE IS NO QUESTION YOU WERE LOVED!image

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A letter from Auntie Holly:

Dear Munchie,

I remember this day 2 years ago. I was texting your mother asking her to keep me posted. After many hours pacing and waiting, I got the most beautiful picture text I’d ever received. Chubby cheeks and those kissable lips. I hated not being there. I ordered your mommy flowers to be sent to her, my only way to show support.

I decided in that moment to make you a scrapbook. A look at your parents love. A look at their journey. Many unforseen bumps, but in all it’s beauty, led to the conception of you. Beautiful, loved, and cherished you. I am so blessed to have spent a year of your life seeing you almost everyday. I loved your drool-filled kisses. I loved the time you got to spend with your cousin (I know, she’s crazy, girl  )

You are one amazingly lucky girl. You have the love and devotion (unwavering) of your parents. Their commitment to raising you with love, discipline, acceptance, strength, honor, dignity, kindness, and support is unmatched by any two parents I’ve ever known. Your mom and dad are remarkable people and have surrounded you with family, friends and extended family that will love and support you all your life. The support system they have around them speaks volumes about who they are, and how blessed you are that God choose them for you. Munchie, you are light. You are love. You are beauty.

I’m sorry I can be there for this birthday, but I am thinking of you, and loving you with all my heart. Happy 2nd birthday, Munchie. You are still so very loved.

Love Auntie Holly.

Here’s to another beautiful year little girl! I love you

-Mom

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2 notes &

Dear Baby MJ…

Dear Baby MJ, 

Hi baby girl, it has been awhile since I have taken the time to write to you. Though I could write about your amazingness daily, unfortunately life often gets in the way. We are creeping up on your second birthday and it is forcing me to reflect a lot. 

I 100 % can say that for over a year I truly believed that being a mom would never stress me ( Go ahead and laugh) but you were such an easy baby and I literally never had one of those moments where I wanted to give you back LOL. 

I would see facebook updates from fellow parents talking about needing a break, having it rough, and how hard being a parent is. I didn’t really understand it because I had never experienced the frustration that inevitably creeps up on every parent. 

and then…

You became Houdini and managed to silently get out of your crib

You pooped in the tub

you stopped sleeping through the night and decided that if you didn’t sleep, no one slept

You learned how to take off your diaper and run around naked

You decided to risk your life at every turn-leaping, jumping, throwing yourself around, climbing, falling, hanging. 

You lost your damn mind in Target when you were only allowed to pick out one toy. Rolling around, screaming at the top of your lungs like the world was ending. 

You learned to open the fridge

You learned the word NO

You realized that Daddy will say yes when mommy says no

You became the best hide and go seek player of all time and scared the hell out of me! 

OH, so this is the frustration my fellow parents speak of LOL. Now I get it. This being a mom thing is tough work baby girl. You are amazing in every way, but you need a track bracelet and a padded room because I swear it is your goal to get lost or injured. 

I am learning to be patient as we go through these struggles together, but I want you to know that no matter how frustrated I get (nobody wants to clean poop out of the tub) I still love you with my whole heart. 

There will be many times in life that I may lose my patience and become frustrated with you, I may need to go for a drive, take some time to myself, run far far away, but never for a second doubt that I would change this situation! You are my greatest gift and achievement and I am thankful that I get to be your momma, I love you to the moon and back…

I am sure there will be times when you too are frustrated with me, but I want you to be fully aware that I will always remind you that I love you so much I cleaned your poop out of the tub :) 

-Mom

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An Open and Honest Letter to My Baby Girl

Dear Baby MJ,

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written to you, but when something extremely important happens I always think…this is a lesson I need to document so that one day you might learn from it as well.

 I NEVER want you to think you are better than someone else, I want you to worry about you and be the best you that you can be, but occasionally there will be someone who wants to throw you off your game, and you will want to acknowledge them…DON’T.

Here’s the thing little mama, We will probably always live a public life. People have followed your life since before you were actually born, and because of what mommy and daddy do, people have followed us since mommy was a teenager.

With that comes a lot of positivity, I have learned so much from so many people that I don’t even know. I have been blessed by complete strangers.


It also brings a lot of negativity…

People say things, they do things, because they are not happy with themselves. Don’t EVER let anyone’s self hate affect you.

I am going to tell you some real things, I am going to be blunt and if you have questions…ask but these are some things you need to be aware of.

People who CONSTANTLY talk about getting money, usually and probably don’t have any. Those that do, don’t have the need to talk about it. They don’t want people to know or talk about their finances. In other words sweetie, I have busted my ass to create a college fund for you, so you don’t need to talk about money, you need to be quiet :)

People who are always grinding and hustling and documenting it all on social media, can’t be hustling and grinding too hard or they wouldn’t be able to spend so much time documenting their efforts. I respect a side hustle, I respect the hell out of people who bust their ass…but if you EVER need the real definition of a hustler, go have a conversation with grandma Judy or MIMA, these two ladies are grinders, they are hustlers. Without college degrees, they raised kids alone and they did it with grace. They worked normal jobs, that underpaid them and overworked them, but somehow they came out on top. And they never needed to tell anybody about their struggle.

Don’t let ANYBODY mess with what you have built. Your success, your family, your peace of mind…these are things that need to be protected at all cost. Whoever and whatever attempts to infiltrate what you have worked so hard to establish does not belong anywhere near you or your family. Surround yourself only with people who add to your life.

Let me reiterate something to you, I NEVER want you to think you are better than anybody else. I want you to work hard, be a good person and laugh as much as possible…These are things that I am teaching you daily.

and if you do feel the need to talk about how much money you have…I hope it’s because you are doing something amazing with it, like donating.

If you need a side hustle or you’re grinding do it because you have an inner hunger for more, for something bigger, to do something good. Not because you want to portray a life you really don’t live. Clothes, bags, jewelry that’s all nice and you can buy those things if you are working for them, but you don’t need to tell the world about it. Do it for YOU baby girl because you deserve what you have worked for and you don’t have to prove yourself to ANYBODY.

and if somebody does try to infiltrate your life in a negative way…just remember that Pink Picket Fence I told you about.

I hope these things will help you in your path of self discovery… I really do. Stay humble, grounded and self aware.

I wanted to write this to you because it’s very easy to stoop to someone’s level. I don’t want you to ever consider yourself above others because there’s never really any good reason to ego out, but occasionally you will realize that you are.

Not because you have more, or you’re more successful, but because of how you carry yourself, what you stand for, what you tolerate and what you DON’T tolerate. So that moment when you want to stoop to that level that someone is trying to pull you down to…remember in that moment that mommy says you are better than them…

Let them hate on you, who the hell cares. If me and your dad are proud of you… they DON’T matter. If the people who love you don’t have a problem with who you are, don’t you dare question what some random has the audacity to say about you.

Truth moment: Every now and then your momma has slipped up and told a person just what I think about them and their actions, but today I realized that a ridiculous person knows that they are ridiculous…they don’t need us to remind them :)

I love you baby girl, just be the best YOU. That’s all I ask :)

-Mom

1 note &

Making Moves!

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(BABY MJ ON MOVE IN DAY)


Making moves! That’s pretty much the only way I can explain it. Since the moment I found out that I got the job as Co-host of The Kane Show in DC, my little family has been doing nothing but making moves constantly!

We packed up our whole house in less than ten days. Surprisingly I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be.  We jetted off to Saint Lucia and spent ten days with Slimmy’s family! It was so beautiful and I got a chance to relax before we moved across the country. We jetted back home to Minnesota, just to say goodbye and then we Jetted off to DC.

You could not BELIEVE the amount of plane rides we have been on over the last month! Today we moved into our new place…well kinda. We moved all our stuff in, but were still living in a hotel because we don’t have our bed here yet.

I should be stressed! I haven’t slept much in the last two weeks getting reacquainted with the wee hours of the morning (and by wee I mean 3:40 am.) BUT I’M NOT!

I literally have never felt more stress free. I am sure there is a word for this, but I’m drawing a blank. All I know is that at this moment, this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Nothing is unpacked. Baby girl is back in bed with us because she hasn’t had her crib to sleep in and I am sure this is going to be extremely hard to fix. Callie cat is still back at home and I miss her like crazy (she’s coming this week!) and we have to use GPS to get to even the closest places.  All day, all night, I’m lost in this big ass city and you know what?! It feels right! 100 percent right, in fact it feels more right than anything else ever has.

Amazeballs!

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0 notes &

And Just Like That…

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…My whole life changed with a phone call. I am as open as they come, that kind of thing happens when you literally grew up on the radio. So it’s no secret that last year was hell on earth for me. In case you need a reminder I will quickly run it down.  Postpartum depression (which led to marriage problems), the death of Uncle Billy followed by the death of Pa, the deaths of both of Slim’s grandmas, the end of my 8 years at 96.3 and at this moment, i am positive I am forgetting some of the bad…needless to say it was rough. 2012, for me, will forever go down as easily the worst year of my life.

So then I decided that I would claim 2013 as my year. I knew that I couldn’t control the things that happened to me, but I for damn sure could control my response to them. My year of positivity I would call it! I have absolutely no intention of being a victim so I would always try to face even the most terrible situations with a bit of optimism.

It hasn’t been easy, there have been some terrible situations that have popped up in 2013, but no matter what, I refused to be sucked into negativity and drama.

The job hunt has been insane, who knew that applying for jobs was like a job in itself. Months passed with no big leads. A few things seemed like they would pan out, they didn’t. Through it all, I felt like something big was gonna come and I had to just be patient.

And Just like that, my whole life changed with a phone call! It was the job that I had been waiting, praying, hoping for…the one that would change my life. Change our lives! I flew out, interviewed…and then I waited for what seemed like forever but what was actually a couple weeks. Then I got the call. Not even gonna lie, my heart was racing and I was holding Slimmy’s hand and I was scared, and then they asked me to join their team!

I cannot put in to words how amazing that moment was. It was like the ridiculous amount of stress that had been weighing me down was completely lifted. The crazy thing is, I feel like last year was a test. A horrible, terrible, amazing test of my inner strength…I also feel like I passed and now this new chapter will be my reward.

AND NOW THE CONFESSION: I am leaving the only home that I have ever known. Minnesota and her people have been so good to me. It’s where I met my BFC! It’s the place I met/fell in love with my Slimmy.  It’s where Baby MJ was born! It’s the place that I represented for an entire year as Miss MN 2007! It’s the place where I learned to love complete strangers because after listening to me on the air for 8 years, we had become family. My family is here, my friends are here…MY LIFE IS HERE. My home is Minnesota and it always will be, Minnesota will always have my past…but my future belongs to some place else.

Over the next TEN days I will be packing my entire life up and moving across the country. I am terrified, but beyond excited. This is the opportunity of my life and I am READY!

Thank you for watching me grow up! For seeing me and loving me through crazy breakups, death, love, LIFE, postpartum, Bridezilla LOL…EVERYTHING, and I hope you continue to be there.

I promise to keep you updated on everything! This is an adventure I plan to blog about daily. A new life, a new place, Baby MJ growing up and someday welcoming a sibling…It will all be right here! Yes we are leaving, but the love I have for all of you will not disappear as I cross state lines.  I am thankful, beyond blessed and like I said…I AM READY!

I hope you follow us on this journey!

Love, Danni, Slimmy, MJ and Callie!

PS: OF COURSE I WILL TELL YOU WHAT IT IS AS SOON AS I AM ABLE TO!

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3 notes &

Life Lessons!

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"The three hardest things you will ever have to say are I love you, I am sorry, and I need help!"

Recently I have had to say all three. I want you to know that no matter how bad I want to protect you, you will experience heartbreak, failure, disappointment…things that push you past your limit.

In those moments it is important to remember who you are, what you stand for and not let the situation get the best of you. Trust Mommy on this one, I have been there…

I recently wrote a letter to a few people, I want you to have it.

"Dear people who mean the most to me,

For awhile now I have been having trouble sleeping trying to figure out exactly how to verbalize what I want to say. As most of you know, 2012 was NOT my year (pa, uncle Billy, both of slims grandmas, postpartum, job, marriage issues, new mom panic). I have spent a lot of time reflecting on 2012 and I owe you all an apology.

I wish I was stronger and didn’t fall into feeling sorry for myself, but I did immensely and I said things, did things and was childish, jealous and not myself because while my world was crumbling, it was very difficult to watch everyone else be so normal.

I wanted to write to you because I realize that the people I love got the brunt of what I was going through. I am very sorry for any and everything that I may have done. I was not there for people the way I wanted to be, I said things that I never would have said, I hurt people…the people I love the most. I am sorry.

I was miserable and instead of fixing it, I fell into misery loves company.  What I learned is that, when you hurt the people you love, it doesn’t make you feel better…it makes you feel worse. I wish I would have learned this all sooner. and for those who have lived the long haul with me, I appreciate the years of putting up with dramatics and my over the top personality and the unconditional love you have shown me regardless. I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to deal with…at times demanding and downright oblivious to the needs of those around me. I am sorry.

Over the past few months two things have really called me to question myself and everything around me. 1. Slim’s hospitalization and 2. going to the most intense marriage/self counseling ever.

What I learned from those two situations: I did not like at all the person that I was in 2012 (and probably longer, but mostly 2012) , I wasn’t the best wife, mother, or friend that I could be. LIFE IS SHORT and most importantly, it is NEVER too late to change and be the person that you want to be, the person that you need to be.

Instead of punishing myself anymore for how I was I finally decided to make some changes and I did. I know that it is very hard to see past history especially when you have a history of passive aggression, dramatics, etc and even worse if you experienced the 2012 version of me, but I can promise you that hindsight is 20/20.

I apologize again for not being there like I should have been, for saying things to make myself feel better, for being miserable in my own situation and taking it out on you. Moving forward, if you choose to be around, I ask that you trust that 2012 has taught me my biggest lesson yet and you at least give me the chance to show you the changes, not just tell you.

It is a horrible feeling to feel like a different person, know that you are…and still have to deal with being told who you are because people know you so well. Yes, you all know me very well…but sometimes something happens called progress and character development and that is what has been happening. Now that I am done shutting myself off and being miserable to the people I love, I would love if you would take some time to get to know me… I am still me, just a 2.0 version that I promise you will enjoy more and who will never again take out my self pity on the people i love the most again.

Thank you for listening!
Love yelly”

You will mess up baby girl, but learning to say you are sorry, asking for help, and telling the people who mean the most to you that you love them…that’s what is important! You have to learn from the tough moments! You know what I learned? That Unconditional love is incredible!

Here are some of the responses I received from my letter…

"Don’t need to read it all to tell you I LOVE YOU unconditionally."

"I love you.  We all go through rough patches in our life and lucky for most of us we push on and are able to see our "down falls. " You are loved by many and for very good reason, you are a kind and loving person who is always trying to find new ways to be a better person."

"You will be successful no  matter what you do because you have a powerful mind and an everlasting determination. Sometimes when I am frustrated in life and am lost without understanding I forget I am not alone. I forget that there is always someone watching over me and that those who have loved and sacrificed for me have a better plan."

"No needs to apologize. Friends are there thru thick and thin."

"I am glad you want to change for the better but I also think you are pretty great."

"Yelli, I love you for you. And this isn’t some sappy bull crap  its the truth. I love all my friends because they are true to themselves, pure real and raw characters.  I’ve always respected your blatant honesty even though it may be hard to swallow, your spit fire personality with mirroring humor, and your love for drama (don’t lie, you like that shit)."

 Honestly baby girl, I wasn’t expecting a response, that was not the intention of the letter but what it taught me was priceless. The people that love you, and I mean REALLY love you. They don’t disappear because you make a mistake or ten, they love you through your mistakes! It was important for me to share this with you because I need you to know that Mommy isn’t perfect, but more importantly that when you feel overwhelmed, lost, disappointed in yourself and your choices…there will ALWAYS be someone who loves you through it. In fact I am willing to bet that there will be many people who love you through it. You will always be good enough, and I hope you never feel like you are not!

But in case you ever do, in your worst moments…I will be here to remind you that I once was where you are and that unconditional love is a beautiful thing!

Love you so very unconditionally!

-Mom

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First Birthday Party!!!

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Mommy is in no way creative, I have never been, but when you become a mom you realize quick that kids and creativity go hand in hand. I am fully aware that you will have no memories of your very first birthday party, but I don’t care! This first year was a milestone for us all. You turned into a walking, talking little person and mommy and daddy survived so I knew we had to do it big!

Since before you were born I have been collecting great ideas on my baby MJ board on Pintrest and I was finally ready to put them to use! I stayed up late making treats and I have to admit I really enjoyed it! I may not be creative, but for you I will do anything! Daddy took me shopping for your decorations and nothing was too good (or expensive) for his baby girl. He loves you so much.

You were late to your own party because not even your first birthday should interrupt your nap time (and because you are my daughter lol) but when you showed up dressed as Minnie Mouse, everybody was so excited.

There was great music, a face painter/balloon twister and lots of games and treats. You played, laughed, and ate cake for the first time! It was a day I will never forget (you will get to learn of it through videos and pictures.)

I can’t wait to plan all of your birthdays. Parties are kinda mommy’s thing :) Your first Birthday party was awesome! Here’s to another year sweet girl!

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4 notes &

A Year in the Life.

You had an amazing first year of life baby girl!

You were a miracle to two people in love.

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You were a child of GOD!

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You were Grandma Judy and Mima’s world.

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You were proud to be black!

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You were a great granddaughter.

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You were a rock star!

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You were a cheerleader!

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You were a camper…

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 a hiker…

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and a planker.

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You were a swimmer…

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and a swinger.

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You were a thug!

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You were an advocate.

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You were a Minnesotan…

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and a Saint Lucian.

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You were a wino!

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You were an animal lover…

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and a cookie stealer.

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You were a mustache lover!

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and a relaxer.

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You were a friend…

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and a cousin.

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You had sleepovers!

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You were loved!!!

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MOSTLY, you were one man’s world

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and one woman’s heart

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WE PROMISE TO MAKE EVERY YEAR FULL OF MEMORIES! WE LOVE YOU IMMENSELY AND YOU HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST GIFT TO US! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET GIRL!

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Seems Like Just Yesterday!

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY…
MJ’s Birth Story As Told By Auntie Claire.
I received this letter for baby MJ last night. Auntie Claire was in the delivery room with me and she literally documented every moment of my labor.  I cried hysterically as I read it. It was amazing to see my determination through her eyes.

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A BABY IS BORN

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Dear MJ, This is your auntie Claire. As you grow, you will learn that you have tons of family, and many, many people who love you. It might be hard to keep track of all of us because we aren’t all family in the traditional sense, but sometimes the best family are the people you choose, not just the people you’re related to. I have known your mama since she was 12 years old and I was 13. She is the sister I never had. She and I have connected in ways that some friends never do. We grew close talking about life, spirituality, love, the world we live in and the people we want to be. I hope someday you have a best friend who you can be close to in that way; it is a beautiful thing. We hold eachother accountable and are there for eachother no matter what. When your mama met your daddy, I was very protective. I wanted to make sure she would be cared for the way she deserves, and that eventually the man she chose would be a good father to the children she has always wanted. Your mama and daddy quickly fell in love and began to dream about you. Mama and I have had many, many talks about the mother she hopes to be. She has worked so hard to become the woman she needs to be to help grow and nurture you. She knows that it is no small task to bring a little human being into this crazy world and raise them to be a strong, good person. But she wants to do it, and so does your daddy. You are wanted, MJ. You were dreamed of, planned for and imagined before you even existed. When your mama found out she was carrying you on May 5th, 2011 she came to my house to make sure it was really true. When the second test said “pregnant” your mama and I shared a big, long hug. MJ, I have never felt such an immediate sense of love. You were very tiny at that time, about the size of a pea. We found out you were due January 9th, 2012. Throughout the next nine months, mama took extra care to ensure that she was creating the best environment for you to thrive and grow. It wasn’t easy. Mama felt very sick at the beginning and end, but she was so tough. When she was feeling good, we took many bike rides and walks in the summer and fall. She made sure to stay active and healthy so she would be ready to take care of you. In the final weeks before you came, she was very swollen, her blood pressure was high and she was incredibly tired. We all made fun of her big hands and feet; it was quite a sight. On Friday, December 30th, 2011, your auntie Raechell and I took mama to the doctor for a check up. Mama’s midwife Deb was not working that day, so we saw Dr. Angelats. Her blood pressure was still high, and the doctor said we should go home and pack our bags because we had to go to the hospital for more monitoring. He wanted to be sure that you and mama were safe and healthy. We got to the hospital at 8:00pm and they started to check mama’s blood pressure every 15 minutes. She was feeling sick and seeing floaties in her eyes. They sent some tests and at about 11:00pm Dr. Angelats called and said that mama would have to stay in the hospital and take medicine to start her labor so she could get you out safely before she got sicker. Mama started crying because she wanted Deb to be there to bring you into the world, and she wanted to wait for you to come on your own time. She had also been planning to give birth to you in a tub of water, but this wouldn’t be possible now that the two of you had to be monitored closely. Also, your daddy was stuck at work because he plays music for people at night! promised mama I would stay with her so she wouldn’t be alone. A very nice nurse named Ali helped tuck mama into her new bed and get ready to start the process. At midnight, Ali gave mama the first medicine to induce labor. We ordered sandwiches, watched movies and painted our nails while the medicine started to work and mama began to feel contractions at about 1:00am. At 3:00am Ali was going to give mama another dose of medicine, but her contractions were coming more often and she didn’t need to take it. Her body took over and labor was progressing. Mama finally fell asleep and snored away as her body started to get ready to give birth to you. She had contractions through the night, and I didn’t sleep much because I had to make sure she stayed on her left side to keep her blood pressure down. Another very nice nurse, Jody, came and took over for Ali. She was so sweet and cheerful, and I knew you and mama were in good hands. Dr. Angelats came in at 10:00am and was pleased with the progress mama had made. She was dilated to 1.5 centimeters and he decided to break her water, the sac that you lived and grew in, in order to speed things up. This made mama start having more contractions, and they were a lot stronger. Every 2-3 minutes mama had a contraction that lasted about 30 seconds, then she would have another one right after that, and then a few more minutes to rest until it happened all over again. One day you may learn, this is very painful. MJ, your mama was so very strong. She only cried once; I held her hands while she looked into my eyes and I told her we would get through this. She nodded her head and I knew she could do it. She was determined to be strong for you. Jill May was there with us and she and I began to give mama back, hand and foot massages to help her through the pain. She didn’t make a lot of noise, she was very focused on breathing through the pain. Jill and I would give her instructions on how to breathe and different positions to be in, and she was a very good listener. At first she was sitting on a big exercise ball, and using different positions in bed to be comfortable. The nurses didn’t want mama to walk because her blood pressure was too high. After awhile, she couldn’t move much because it was too painful. Daddy got there in the morning, too, and he started to take pictures so one day you could see what happened the day you were born. At 12:45pm Dr. Angelats checked and said mama was dilated to 3cm and 80% effaced, which means her cervix was opening and thinning to get ready for you to pass through. Pretty amazing, huh? The next few hours were very, very difficult. The contractions were coming faster, lasting longer and hurting more. Your mama remained brave and centered as she prepared for your arrival. At about 2:00pm she started throwing up in between contractions. This was the worst part, because she couldn’t get a rest! She had been doing all of this hard work with no medicine because she wanted to be able to tell you that she did it all on her own. However, it is dangerous to get too exhausted during labor, and she still needed to be able to push you out when the time came. At about 3:00pm we decided it was time for mom to get an IV because she was getting dehydrated and she wanted to try some medicine to help her stop throwing up and treat the pain. She was so swollen that it was hard for the nurses to find a vein and she had to get poked two times! She didn’t even flinch! The medicine didn’t work and mama was absolutely miserable. After every contraction she was wretching; she had to sit up in bed with a bucket, then clean up, lay down for a contraction and do it all over again. This was taking a lot of energy and we were worried because mama needed to save all of her strength to be able to push you out when it was time. At 3:45 mama finally decided to get an epidural to help reduce the pain and vomiting in order to get some rest for the very hard part that was yet to come. Mama said she wanted me in the room because I am a nurse and I wouldn’t get scared about the big needle like daddy would. I actually knew Dr. Murray, the lady who came to give mama the epidural, so I was sure she was in good hands yet again. They had to put a really big needle in mama’s back for the medicine while she sat completely still. She remained very brave. Right when this was done, Deb, mama’s midwife, walked in! We were all so excited to see her. Dr. Angelats checked and said that mama was dilated to 6cm and 90% effaced. Mama was starting to feel better, so we got her teeth brushed, braided her hair and lotioned up her legs and feet so she could relax. Deb kicked everyone out of the room so she could have some time with mama and be sure she was prepared to bring you safely into the world. She checked to make sure you were in the right position in mama’s tummy and did some maneuvering to get you and mama ready. Mama finally got a nap and woke up at about 5:30. Deb said she was dilated to 9cm and it wouldn’t be much longer until she was ready. We made a “push-it mix” full of songs that would motivate mama to push you out! At 6:00pm Deb walked in, checked again and said mama was at 10cm. “Are you ready to have this baby?” she asked. Everyone was so excited. Deb, mama and daddy had been together through this whole journey, and it meant so much to everyone that she would be there to ensure your safe arrival. Deb had a pep talk with mama to get her to focus before starting to push. Pushing is very challenging, and mama had to be mentally prepared for all the hard work she was about to do. Mama placed all of her trust in Deb, and promised that she would listen closely and follow her instructions. Daddy, Grandma Kathy, Grandma Judith and I stayed in the room while Raechell, Jill, Mama Missy, Grandpa Marcus and Sammy sat patiently in the waiting room. At 6:15pm mama started to push. At first, it was very hard to understand what muscles to use to get you out! Mama was trying so hard but you weren’t moving very much. We would get a quick peek of the top of your head, then you would slide back in like a little turtle. Deb played a joke on mama and said, “Oh my gosh she has blonde hair just like me!” and mama said, “Really?!?!” We all got a good laugh out of that. Deb wanted to help mama understand how to push effectively, so she handed mom a towel, got on the bed and started to play tug of war with her. Daddy was worried about Deb flying backwards if mama let go of the towel so he had me stand behind her just in case. Jody was holding one of mama’s legs and daddy was holding the other. This technique really helped mama get the hang of it and she started to get you closer and closer to coming out. It took so much energy, love and focus to get you there. MJ, your mama was an absolute champion. I have never seen her so determined. She had to breathe through an oxygen mask because it was very exhausting, but she kept pulling the mask off between pushes to tell us how much she wanted to meet you. Someone brought in a mirror so mama could see what was happening and know how close she was to pushing you out! I accidentally stepped in front of the mirror once and mama was not a happy camper. But you know what, she never yelled at anyone, never screamed in pain, never complained. Some women get really mean during labor, make a lot of noise and have a really terrible time. Your mama was quiet and loving. She had to grunt a few times to help muster the strength to push, but all of her strength came from within. Ali the nurse got there at 7:00pm, so she was in the room to help as well. On the one hour mark, mama had your head all the way out. All of a sudden daddy started to look sick and began to wobble on his feet. Jody said, “Uh oh, Dad’s going down!” and Deb yelled, “Slim sit on the ground!” I grabbed mama’s leg and mama was so worried about daddy that she lost focus and stopped pushing for a moment. At this point Deb announced that your shoulder was stuck and your umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck. She began trying to position you so she could get you out quickly. She got mama to start pushing again and with her pushing and Deb pulling, you made your grand entrance at 7:18pm, December 31, 2011 after 63 minutes of pushing. Your head was blue and your body was white, so we all held our breath for a scary few seconds until you finally let out a loud cry as they laid you on mama’s chest. Then we all started crying. It was a beautiful moment. Grandma Kathy and Grandma Judy were fanning daddy and we were pouring water and juice in his mouth, but he looked very relieved once he realized you were okay. Mama quickly told the nurses to make sure you were really a girl, which they confirmed. After spending a few minutes with her, they brought you to the warmer to be weighed and measured. I had the closest guess! You were 7lbs10oz, 20in, and I guessed 7lbs11oz, 20in. Everyone in the room began to pass you around and marvel at the miracle you are. Mama was working on delivering the placenta, the sac that supplied you nutrients and blood while you were in her tummy. She had to stand on the bed like a sumo wrestler to get it out, that was almost as hard as pushing you out! Pretty soon you were back in mama’s arms, starting to breastfeed like a pro. She was phenomenal MJ; your mother is an incredibly strong woman and you will learn so much from her. She and your daddy are committed to being the best parents they can be, and you are so blessed to be theirs. They are just as blessed by your arrival, and the look in their eyes revealed their understanding. As you nursed, mama relaxed and held you close, overwhelmed by the events of the last19 hours. Daddy was right there, too, and finally you were all a family.

I love you, and I will always be here for you.
Your Auntie Bear

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