Before I became a mom I don’t think it would have been possible for anyone to explain to me how much my life would change. There are words to help explain the kinds of feelings you will feel, the different stages you may go through and many ups and downs that will ensue but those words do little to help you understand the great complexity of being a mother. Until you actually carry a baby for 9 months, being as close as humanly possible to another human being and then experiencing the wonders of actually giving birth to that baby. When I think back now to how I even survived a 36 hour labor and still had the strength to hold my baby as soon as she arrived, I’ve come to the conclusion that I was running on pure adrenaline and of course pure and amazing love. When people tell you that you won’t get a good nights sleep for the next 18 years, I believe them now. Because even after those longs first months when your baby is waking up all of the time, you will still wake for every sound you think you hear them make or even just to check on them to make sure they’re covered up. Your heart will always break when you see them cry and it always bring you the greatest joy to see them smile and know that they are happy. So here are some photos old and new that I know I can look at for the next 5o years and they will always help me remember the days when things seemed to be in a constant state of change but where simple joy and happiness were still within arms reach.