Four years ago, I wrote a pretty personal blogpost as we approached my middle daughter’s 1st birthday – it was a year filled with heartache, worry and concern for her future and not knowing what life would look like. That year was spent with endless hours scouring the internet for searches on her syndrome and the page results were filled with works like



and that awful r-word.

So many things you do for first birthdays weren’t in scope and I just didn’t have a celebration in me.  It was a pretty honest post,

“Selfishly, honestly, deep down I wanted to skip her birthday. I didn’t want to have to think about all the things she can’t do at age one. Sitting, standing, crawling, reacting to presents, smashing cake. It becomes all too much when I sit and think about it.

But thanks to my amazing hubby and our loving family, I was able to focus the week on what she can do. She can…roll over, smile, laugh with (and at) her sister…handle whatever life gives her…bring people together…bring us closer together…remind me of what really matters.”

Five years big

The emotions I have on this big milestone birthday at age 5 are so incredibly different! (How has it been five years???) I never, EVER would have imagined this is how I would feel at this place and in this life when she was one. Seizures have come back more in the last year and honestly her list of cans isn’t much different than her first birthday, and in some cases it’s shorter, yet I’m overcome with joy and excitement for the year ahead.

Her third year of school begins in just a few days and I know she is going to thrive thanks to her teachers and the staff that surround her, but mostly because of HER spirit.

She is strong, beautiful and so full of life even with all the limits her body and brain have presented her with. The exposure and impact she’s had in just five years is unlike anyone else I know. She has changed me and shaped me to become the mom and person I’m meant to be through the grace of God.

I am utterly grateful for my sweet girl and couldn’t imagine this life without her.

My girl,

Something inside of me is telling me there’s more greatness in store for you this year – I have a strong sense this is your year. Here are my five wishes for you as we blow out your candles together this weekend. 

  1. Have FUN in all you do – enjoy your school time, laugh with your sisters and keep on keepin’ on.
  2. Enjoy a new best friend as your baby sister grows up by your side.
  3. Take what adventure you can and help us remember to take more risk.
  4. Prove them wrong. Prove us right.
  5. Keep smiling big. Those smiles are changing hearts and changing lives.

Happy birthday, big girl. Here’s to you!




Hi there! I’m Erin and mom to three amazing kids and wife to the best husband around IMHO! We’re doing our best to find joy in our days and love in our hearts even when things are hard. Our middle daughter has a catastrophic form of epilepsy that affects every part of her life and ours. She’s taught us more than we could have ever learned about the importance of life, love and God. Our days aren’t anything glamorous, but I’ve learned to take time for the things I enjoy. As mom, wife, friend and just good ole’ me. I think it’s important for you to take care of yourself too – have fun, remember you’re amazing and be confident in what you wear, what you eat and what you feel. So here’s to you, here’s to us, and here’s to this amazing thing we get to do every day as momma!

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