In October of 1998, I discovered that Keeleigh was on the way. I was 15 at the time so the news wasn't universally received as joyous news but I was really so excited. Even as a child I'd always envisioned spending my life as a mother. No, at the time I had no idea what that truly meant but Keeleigh has taught me well over the years. God blessed me with exactly what I needed and there's no doubt that Keeleigh's very existence has made me a better person. I'm so thankful for her.
I will never forget seeing her for the first time as a little jumping peanut up on the fuzzy ultrasound screen. I was amazed that I could see the heart and the legs and arms of such a tiny creature. She was already beautiful to me.
June 10, 1999...5 days to go!
Months past and things got easier and harder all at the same time. I guess that's part of growing up. I was 37 weeks pregnant when I developed high blood pressure and the doctor decided to induce. One of the main things I remember is that my doctor's appointment had been a morning appointment and I'd counted on eating out for lunch but then I didn't get to and was starving! I felt like my labor with her was difficult. I was a 16 year old who didn't know what all was happening who was also sick with pre-eclampsia. I hated the way my legs felt with the epidural, I was nauseated, and felt really alone. Then Keeleigh arrived and I'd never have to worry about being alone again. I'm so glad we captured her first breaths on film! What an exciting moment.
We spent the next 7 days in the hospital because my blood pressure issue didn't resolve itself immediately. Keeleigh got comfortable in the nursery!
And in my arms...
Then the whole next year flew by and all of a sudden I had a toddler. For her first birthday we threw a big party with friends and family. We decorated with Pooh and she pointed her little finger at a big Pooh balloon and whispered in her little baby voice, "Pooh."
The years kept coming...
And coming. I thought she looked absolutely adorable on her 3rd birthday in a little sundress and her brand new pink roller skates.
Check out her 6th birthday cake with a four-wheeler on top! She's always been a outdoorsy girl who also happens to look adorable in pig tails!
8 years old...
For Keeleigh's 9th birthday she had a big pool party since it would be our last year living in Alabama...we were on our way to New Orleans the next month.
She had a great time splishing and splashing with friends.
Having a June birthday makes pool parties a great thing apparently because that's what we did for her 10th birthday as well!
A fiesta for an 11 year old...
I love that Keeleigh has always been surrounded by family and friends on her special day. I love that our pictures are memories frozen in time filled with the smiling faces of people who love her and love spending time with her.
And now all of a sudden...Keeleigh is a gorgeous young lady (who can wield a curling iron like no body's business).
Aren't her blue eyes stunning?
Here she is blowing out her candles at her Nana and Pappy's house.
Sadly we won't be together for her 12th birthday since she's in Alabama but I know she's having a blast with my parents and brother and a couple of her long lost friends. = ) They are spending the day at the zoo and hopefully someone is remembering to take lots of pictures on my behalf, ha ha!
I can't believe that Keeleigh is 12--she can finally ride a bike or rip stick without a helmet! I can't believe in one more little year I'll be a parent to a teenager. It's been crazy looking back through all of my pictures of her and seeing how she's grown.
Happy birthday, Keeleigh!