So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

My darling Ella,

Today you turn seven years old. Where does time go? As each year passes, I find myself asking again and again, never with an answer.

The truth is, my oldest daughter, time moves the same each day. We are all given the same snippets of hours and minutes and seconds in this grand life, but when you were born on that hot August day seven summers ago, time became more precious.

The early years were a haze of bottles and late nights and loud screams, a mixture of running water to ease your anger and long drives with ‘80s music to soothe your soul. Those days were hard and long and seemed never ending. Time was slow then, but always beautiful. Your sweet smile, the smell of your baby skin and the joy of many firsts made each day run together with the last.

Until they didn’t. And one day, I looked up and there you were; playing on your own, feeding yourself, bathing yourself, reading and solving math problems. And I wonder, in the day to day, if I soaked it in. Everyone told me to take it in and I did. But I didn’t. And I wish for just a moment, I could go back and hold your sweet tiny body in my arms and breathe in your precious newborn smell. Just for a moment. 

But now my girl, we’re in a new stage. You’re about to start first grade! We’ve replaced bottles and Sippy cups with sports drinks and lemonade; blankets and pacifiers with dresses and lip gloss; mashed sweet potatoes and peas with grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza. You’re seven. Seven! Where does time go?

This year you’ll notice new things and life will become obvious. You might see bullies; I pray that’s never you. You might get your feelings hurt, too. I’d like to wrap you in a bubble and shield you from all of life’s blows, but you’ll have to learn it for yourself along the way. I hope we can teach you right from wrong. I hope you’re listening to our words and can feel every ounce of love we share for your sweet being. Here’s what I know, there are scary things and scary people and scary events in this world, but the scary never lasts. Good does. Always choose good. I think you will.

Your heart is so kind and loving. Take that into this world, my Ella. We all need more kindness and love. I truly believe those characteristics will bring you more joy and success than you can imagine for yourself. In the years ahead, you’ll doubt and wonder if you have what it takes. You’ll question your dreams and ambitions; you’ll wonder if you will succeed. 

The answer is simple, of course. I know you will, my darling. You will succeed, you will achieve greatness and you will be a success. Because, my baby girl, you already have. You’ve fulfilled my greatest dream just by being you. You are a gift to me and to anyone who is privileged to know you along this journey. 

Seven years ago, you gave me the greatest honor and the best title of them all – mom. It doesn’t matter what I achieve in this lifetime, no job or success or goal will ever be as great as being called your mother. Nothing. Of this I am certain. You and your sister bring more joy to my life than I ever knew possible. And as time passes, I know this love will expand to depths not yet discovered. What an honor it is to be your mom, what a joy it is to watch you grow. Stay kind, learn, grow, keep your faith strong and know you are loved beyond measure. 

Happy seventh birthday sweet girl! We love you now and forever. 

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

These Are the Sick Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom kissing head of sick toddler

I’m still in the trenches of toddlerhood, and yet, I already know I will look back on my daughter’s preschool years with affection for what it is: sweet, fun, curious, and undeniably precious. What I won’t miss about this stage is that it’s germy. SO germy. The preschool years bring endless crud into our home. Crud that is heartbreaking when your beloved child’s body is working hard to fight it off, but that also works its way into other bodies. The adults in the home who have jobs and responsibilities, run the entire household and have just endured the emotional...

Keep Reading

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime