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When the magic of life happens and we first hold a breathing and heart-beating 6 pounds of everything that is pure and beautiful in this world, numbers like 6, 7 and 8 seem so far away. In those first moments, time stands still and each tiny breath is a miracle, theirs and ours. And then for the rest of life, time speeds in a fury of momentum where we hold our breath in hope of catching up… though it never happens. Thankfully, even during these years, we can carve out moments and memories that will last through the speeding bullet we call a lifetime. Memories like the day my girl turned eight. EIGHT. The day I cried again at the beauty of her life, a mix of gentle beauty and independent strength.Aliyah's Luau

Everyone says that parenting doesn’t come with a manual, and I can see why since every child is so incredibly different. The differences in just my three alone are enough to make my head spin. Some days, when the stars align just right, my husband and I look at each other and think, “Yeah, we could totally do this again.” And then most days, when all three want to show just what colors they’re made of, we wonder why we would ever think such thoughts… because many days it seems like we don’t know what we’re doing. And the fact is, we don’t. We start off in a whirlwind of love, naivety and expectation and learn and grow right along with them. 

Oh, eight. Eight years of beautifully fierce life with this girl. This girl that made us parents. This girl who is strong and capable, who is generous and nurturing. This girl who is a tornado of creativity in our home, literally.

We’ve been privileged with eight years of making memories out of moments… and so it was a day in celebration of her, for her and planned right along her own idea for the day.Aliyah's Luau-26

She knew exactly what she wanted. She wanted a luau, on the beach. And though the skies threatened and teased with clouds and rain for a tad too long for our tastes, we stayed and played and laughed anyway… and we outlasted as the watercolored sky performed it’s evening show. It was a transformation, a reminder of the infinite hope we have, how just minutes can change a moment. It paralleled how delightfully adventurous the narrative of our life is right now, and I’m excited to see what the next year brings… with each of my littles.Aliyah's Luau-30Aliyah's Luau-11Aliyah's Luau-33Aliyah's Luau-27Aliyah's Luau-1Aliyah's Luau-15Aliyah's Luau-29Aliyah's Luau-32Aliyah's Luau-36Aliyah's Luau-46Aliyah's Luau-24Aliyah's Luau-41Aliyah's Luau-14Aliyah's Luau-13

While little legs frolicked and splashed, adult voices carried through the salty air. We laughed, we watched, we snacked and watched. We celebrated and sang, and I loved… I loved the people that surrounded us, I loved the way my girl smiled big, I loved the way little lives interacted with each other, and I loved the very scent and feel of the beach that night.Aliyah's Luau-16Aliyah's Luau-37Aliyah's Luau-38Aliyah's Luau-39Aliyah's Luau-42Aliyah's Luau-43Aliyah's Luau-44Aliyah's Luau-20Aliyah's Luau-55Aliyah's Luau-45Aliyah's Luau-50Aliyah's Luau-28Aliyah's Luau-23Aliyah's Luau-54Aliyah's Luau-53

Just like the ocean whispers secrets to the sand it caresses and a gust of misty wind brings bumps that make your skin feel alive, raising children is an endless opportunity for those miraculous breaths that never stop since the minute they enter our lives. All of the pain and effort of bringing them into this world and the joyous release of feeling them in your arms while our world flips sideways is a prelude to the track that plays over and over again.

No matter how strenuous the day or how unrelenting the instant, every breath – every moment has the potential to change our world again. -Click to Tweet

Ahhhh, eight. I’m breathing it in.