Five years.  What a difference five years makes.  Five years ago today I was in the hospital recovering from a c-section that brought our beautiful little girl into the world.  In the surgery room, the nurse brought Brooklynn over to me and had I not seen her there in the operating room, I might have wondered if the nurses had switched my child for someone else’s. 

 Dark skin.  A head full of black hair.  I am guessing that the Cherokee Indian genetics that Joe and I both possess collided to give us that sweet 7 pound bundle of joy.  As I gaze across the room at this moment as she is carefully coloring in the lines of her Rudolf the Reindeer picture (that perfectionism is DEFINITELY from me!), tears stream down my cheeks as I think about how fast five years can pass. 

 At the time of her birth, Joe and I were celebrating our first five years together.  We had overcome many obstacles in our marriage.  Estrangement from his family.  Three miscarriages.  Completion of master’s degrees.  Dishonesty and unfair treatment by a ‘Christian’ boss.  As we gazed into the eyes of our new daughter, the pain of our first five years faded away and turned into joy as we thought about the years that lied ahead of us parenting our son and daughter.

 To be honest (because by now you know the ponytail princess is all about honesty), I never wanted to have babies.  I never dreamed of being a mommy.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Having children was never one of the dreams I had for my life.  As a teenager, I never wanted to babysit and I would cringe when they asked me to volunteer to watch the preschoolers in extended session at church.  When we were kids, my sister would sit around dreaming about one day being a wife and mother.  I, on the other hand, would tell everyone that if I did get married I would adopt children that were 11 or 12 (I actually still want to do that!) 

 During my first couple of years of motherhood, I spent a good bit of my emotional energy feeling guilty.  I felt guilty that I didn’t NEED my husband and children to make me happy.  I would watch other mommy’s finding 100% of their fulfillment in reading books to their children, going to play dates, making gourmet family meals and I would feel guilty.  I tried REALLY hard to be fulfilled by my children and my husband.  But the more I tried, the more I suppressed the individual that my Creator had designed me to be.

 That is what my journey the past couple of weeks has been about for me.  I’ve been reacquainting myself with the individual I was before I was a wife and mother.  Please understand that I feel extremely blessed to be the wife of an amazing husband and the mother of two close to perfect kids (hehehe).  However, somewhere along the way I lost myself in it all.  In the striving to live up to the excellent wife and mother image, I lost the joy that comes from first and foremost being the daughter of a King.  

 So, this December though I will be celebrating five years with my daughter and ten years with Joe, I am also celebrating 34 years of being first and foremost a ponytail princess.  A unique child of the King.  A ponytail princess who has the great honor and privilege of walking this earth as a wife and mother.

I’m going to close this post by sharing a few pics form B’s bday week.   One of the things I used to find myself feeling guity about:  not throwing huge bday parties for my kids.  You know the kind where they invite 20 kids (some out of obligation so you don’t hurt parent’s feeling!).  My stomach churns a little thinking about throwing a party like that.  It seems to me that many moms are so stressed out planning those kind of parties that they suck the joy out of everyone around them…including the birthday child!   Enjoy the ponytail princess’s stress free birthday celebration!

B spent the week before her bday at Joe’s family.  It would not surprise me if she decides to be a vet like her grandpa…she loves being at the clinic and this year she got to watch as they prepared the deer Joe shot.  (Glad I wasn’t there!!)

This year Joe’s mom (in the pic) has taught the kids about the Indian history of Oklahoma.  For her birthday, B wanted the Indian girl American girl doll.  She and Linda got to make a special bday trip to Dallas to get her very first American girl doll, Kaya. 

My mom has instilled in B a love for tea parties, so this is Kaya’s first tea party.  Notice the xmas tree in the background.  B got to help Joe’s mom decorate the tree with all of Joe’s childhood ornaments. 

B wanted to take her friends to Build a Bear for her bday.  Notice the expression on Joe’s face.  He really did have a good time…:)

Instead of a bday cake, we went to a bakery and picked out cookies..In this pic B is praying before we ate, “God, thank you for making me so nice so that I wanted to invite my friends to go to Build a Bear with me.”  I LOVE this child!