"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to BLOOM…This is the Element of Freedom"

-Alicia Keys

04 March 2010

My Little Ray of Sunshine

{September 2004 - 3 months old}

{September 2004 - 3 months old}

For those of you who don't know me personally, let me fill you in a bit on my life. When I was 24 years old, I was living in Downtown Denver, working as a make-up artist by day and partying at night. I always had fun, no matter where I was or who I was with. In September of 2003, I had a bad experience {nothing illegal or traumatic, but something that made me wake up and realize I needed to take a break from the party-girl lifestyle I was currently living}. So, I stopped drinking and started to stay home at night. At the end of September, my beloved Grandma passed away unexpectedly. I was crushed. She was my friend, my source of unconditional love and was someone who always made me feel like I was the only one in the world when I was with her. The day after her funeral, I decided to take a pregnancy test *just to make sure* Well, 3 tests later, there were still 2 faint blue lines and I was a little freaked out. My Grandmother had mentioned something to me about having a baby about a month before she passed, which I quickly dismissed. I knew in my heart that it would be my complete responsibility to raise this child, although at the time, I didn't want it to be that way.

Not having health insurance at the time (I had lost mine when I turned 24 six months prior & the insurance through my job was terribly expensive), I was at a loss as to what to do for prenatal care. My friend suggested that I go to Planned Parenthood. When I arrived at the clinic, I took another test which confirmed that life was about to change in ways I didn't even know yet. The nurses that gave me the test hugged me and told me that "everything was going to be fine" and that they were really happy for me. They told me about Rose Midwifery at Rose Medical Center in Denver, which is where I later received all of my wonderful prenatal and delivery care.

{Let me climb up on my soapbox for a moment: To all of those people who have strong opinions about Planned Parenthood, let me tell you something. As a young woman who was faced with an unplanned pregnancy, I have a healthy and happy child because of the compassion and care that I received at Planned Parenthood}

I continued to live in Denver until the beginning of February 2004 and through a series of unfortunate events (later I could see what blessings they really were), I decided to move back home with my parents. They were very supportive & caring throughout my pregnancy, although it was a bit of an adjustment for everyone. Nothing is as humbling as being pregnant, single & living at home!

I had a conversation with my business manager & manager one day at work. I was having a very difficult time realizing that I was going to be raising this child on my own, no matter how hard I tried to change the outcome. Knowing that I was upset, they took me out into the main part of the mall {anyone who is familiar with Cherry Creek Mall in Denver knows about the play area that they have there for kids...no playground equipment, just giant fake food that kids climb all over--they go bananas over it!-pun intended--see photos at the end of this post}. It was there that I had a conversation that forever changed my life. My business manager, Joni said something to me that I have thought about a million times since. She said:

"Elizabeth, you have so much JOY ahead of you."

It was in that moment that I realized that I needed to stop feeling so sorry for myself & get my shit together. I actually found Joni on Facebook recently & I sent her a message to say thank you. To tell someone like me, who was weighed down by guilt & overwhelmed by what the future held, her words were like honey....a little sweetness for the soul, if you will.

Reese was born June 7, 2004. I had a natural birth that aside from pushing for an hour & a half, went beautifully. The room was full of my friends & my Mom, with my Dad waiting anxiously in the hall. I felt like all of these amazing women had helped me bring Reese into the world, so they might as well be there for her entrance into it. After it was all over, we popped open a bottle of champagne & celebrated this beautiful little life. The first song Reese heard was "Isn't She Lovely," by the amazing Stevie Wonder. I remember holding Reese and realizing that I never knew that my heart could love someone that much. Looking back on that day, I can't help but think that I had no idea the adventure that motherhood was about to take me on & that that little tiny baby would quickly grow into such a sweet & creative little girl, who has brought me & the rest of my family so much JOY.

Thank you to Jesus, who knew that this is what my life needed & while it wasn't always easy, it would always be worth it. He made sure that I was never alone. I have learned that through the heat & pressure that life brings, He produces the diamond within us.

Thank you to all of the amazing women that have given to me the advice, the guidance, and the confidence to be a mother, even when I thought that I didn't deserve it. I felt like I was in a modern day Red Tent {which is one of my all-time favorite books}. It will never cease to amaze me the way that women support and lift each other out of the dark places in our lives & bring us back into the light.

We wouldn't be here without the compassion & love that we were given from Jesus and the ladies!

Okay, here are the photos of the amazing playland at Cherry Creek Mall:


  1. This is such a beautiful post, Elizabeth.

    Thank you for inspiring me to remember to love more.

  2. Even though I already know your story, I loved reading this. You are a wonderful mom and friend and I don't know what I would do without you. Love you!

  3. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love this! You are such a good Mommy and it shows through what a beautiful girl you are raising! PS..those mall toys are so dirty! ha


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