3 years ago today…(A Mother’s Love Story)

Three years ago today at 3:40 a.m. on a Sunday morning, our Valentine baby entered the world. Her 8.5lbs of beauty dazzled us from day one.

Labor proceeded very quickly and very normally. Nothing complicated. Nothing out of the ordinary. A textbook, natural delivery. I was at the hospital with just enough time that nothing felt extremely rushed, but neither did I have much time to really get annoyed that I couldn’t walk around in labor. I had done most of my labor at home (well, and on our date the night before!), and that was exactly what I had wanted.

Olivia came into the world with little drama, but she turned our world upside down. From day one she let us know that she was a unique person, with her own personality. Because she tends to be more reserved in front of others, not many people get to see the personality that we see every day.

What joy she has brought to our family. I have probably laughed and cried more since her birth than I ever have in my life. She is funny and she knows it. She frequently jokes, and then with a twinkle in her eye says, “I just teasing.” How do two year old’s know how to do this stuff?

She climbs. Oh she climbs. Months before she started walking, Olivia started climbing, and has never stopped. She jumps, twirls, does somersaults, and desperately tries to do handstands. And she loves poetry. Don’t get the connection? Neither do I. But that girl will always choose a book of poems over nearly anything else, and will sit mesmerized until you read the entire book through.

She has more energy than I know what to do with. But she cuddles. Oh, does she now how to give a good hug. She goes and goes and goes all day long, but when she stops, she just snuggles up on you and sometimes she is so worn out she’ll just fall asleep in our arms.

Her personality baffles me sometimes, and always makes me smile. I hope no one ever crushes that vibrant spirit. I don’t know what she is going to do with it, but I know God is going to do some amazing things with that energy, vibrancy, and compassion. I pray that God will give us wisdom to know how to parent her.

I look back on that day and smile. She was, by far, my easiest delivery, but she has, by far, tested more of my parenting ideas than either of the other two.

What an amazing gift she is in our lives. And, seriously? Could you get anything more beautiful than those knock-them-dead, gorgeous eyes? I’m completely smitten.

Happy 3rd birthday, Olivia! (And Happy Valentine’s Day, too!)


  1. You’ve made me weepy… Love the picture with the giant “earrings” :) And those eyes in the last picture, so full of life!! She is a lot like my Paul (3, as well) – a climber, a cuddler, a clown and sooo sensitive. Here is a link of something I wrote when he was just starting to crawl:


    I hope you have a wonderful birthday with you little one. Time flies… enjoy!! A special hug for Olivia from all of us.

  2. Happy Birthday Olivia! Beautiful writing about your beautiful little girl.

  3. I am dying to meet her. I think she might be like my Holly. :)

  4. Elva Farrell says:

    Happy birthday Olivia! What a beautiful little girl!

  5. She’s beautiful, Johanna. Happy birthday to Olivia! :)

  6. What a sweet story of our sweet and very unique Olivia! I am sure that she is enjoying every single minute of being 3! Wish we were there. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you as you celebrate the big birthday!

    • She is definitely soaking up all the attention. The kids and I were in the car on the way home from the park today and were talking about random things. Suddenly she said, “STOP. We neeeed to talk about my birthday.” LOL! 😉

  7. You have a “creative” and probably very gifted little girl. She might not learn exactly like others, and she may have off-the-wall thoughts, but you’ll see artistic feats of some kind coming from Olivia. Loved your story today! Happy Valentines to you, and Happy Birthday to your beautiful little girl!

  8. Such sweetness (both your article AND Olivia!). Happy 3rd Birthday, Olivia!

  9. Oh, she is just too precious! Happy Birthday, Olivia!

  10. Hope you had a happy birthday celebration!

    My middle girl was also my “easiest” labor (although a bit dramatic since it happened so quickly!), and I think (at least, thus far) has left me with the most questions on many of my parenting assumptions (both the lifelong ones and the newly formed, what I thought were “changed” ones).

    Loved reading this! :)

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  1. […] face cried out to God, “Is this the new Olivia?” “Are we every going to see her personality back like we knew it?” “Will her brain ever recover?” We knew some of the […]

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