As Payton’s birthday started to approach, for some reason I started to get emotional. Every day I thank the Lord for her presence and the privilege to be her mom. When I think about how time has flown by it scares me!
I remember having a conversation with my late mother in the spring of 2009 while folding laundry. She and I were discussing my hesitations on starting a family. I told her I wasn’t ready. In her own way, she reminded me that God is in control. She explained to me that no one or nothing can prepare you for motherhood, but promised me that it would be worth it. We ended the conversation with her saying, “Girl, go give that man a baby!” Fast forward to March 17, 2010. That is the day that my mother told my family that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Four days later on March 21, 2010, Philip and I welcomed an itty bitty 5 lb, 10 oz baby.
God’s timing and His love for me was confirmed the day Payton was born. While on maternity leave, I was able to spend more time than I ever had in the past with my mom. My mother went through chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries and I was right there with her, every step of the way. She taught me how to be a mommy and held my hand as I tried to figure out this thing called motherhood.
When I think about God’s love, I think, “He loved me enough to bless me with the gift of Payton while dealing with the unimaginable.” The happiest time of my life was shared with the hardest and most heartbreaking. BUT, He loved me enough to bless me with a healthy, intelligent and genuinely happy daughter.
Payton, today you turn three! There are days that I still can’t believe that I am someone’s “mommy.” Your second year of life has been full of fun-filled adventures and learning experiences for you and me both.
This year you learned hundreds of new words, started gymnastics and the biggest accomplishment was getting potty trained! Your smile and goofy attitude is infectious. Your dad and I look at each other some days and just shake our heads and smile at some of the things that come out of your mouth. You love to dance. And when you do, you encourage everyone around you to also “shake your booty.”
You LOVE school, your teachers and your friends. You are obsessed with your big cousins, and often beg me to take you “up the highway” to visit with them.
You love to help your dad and I cook in the kitchen. You know how to work an iPad better than some adults. Although you like playing with some toys, you are a girl that loves her books! Your favorite TV shows are Hana Montana, Jake and Josh and Full House. (Thankfully, we are over Dora the Explorer!)
You look forward to “Snack Party Day” on Wednesdays. On SPD, your dad picks you up from school and you get to pick out your favorite snacks. The two of you indulge in the snacks while watching one of your favorite shows. You enjoy our weekends together and love visiting with G-ma after church. You adore her and love playing with her mystery box of toys.
Depending on what day it is, your dad and I alternate being your best friend. You often tell me that I am the “best mommy ever!”
You are truly blessed to have a loving family. You are always asking to see your Na-na, Pa-Pa, aunties and cousins. It’s funny that each member of the family has a nickname for you! (Pay-pay, Nugget, Pay-dee, Princess Payton, and Booka to name a few). At home, your daddy calls you “Honey” and I call you by your middle name, Mariah.
Just like your mama, you love to eat! Your favorite foods include new-news (noodles), panda food (Panda Express), rice, French fries, chicken and my pot roast. You’ve also learned how to say grace. It warms my heart to hear you say the dinner prayer each night for our little family. You’ve learned that although mommy and daddy love you, God loves you the most.
Payton, thank you for allowing me to be your mommy. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for making life worth living.
Happy Birthday, Payton Mariah!
P.S. Your dad let you stay up extra late last night. Here is. Video of you enjoying your last night as a two year old.