Dear maternity leave,

I write this with a heavy heart because you have ended. These last 12 and a half weeks have been nothing short than magically, sprinkled in with breakdowns, tantrums, boo boos but filled with lots and lots of hugs and kisses. I am extremely lucky to have spent the last three months with the greatest newborn and the sweetest little boy. All day long it was the three of us navigating through activities and playdates and each other.

Yes, there were rough days and days with lots of Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse and Lightening McQueen but there were wonderful days with lots of trips down the slide or pushes on a swing or towers made out of blocks and lots and lots of matchbox cars zooming around the house. There were trips to the zoo, to the apple orchard, to the playground, to the pumpkin patch, to so many playdates, to the library, to the grocery store, to another playground to southwest Virginia and to upstate New York. I made sure to jam pack as many experiences as possible into those days. Selfishly for myself to remember this time but unselfishly to expose Mallory and Peyton to things I can’t do now that I’m back at work. Sure, they won’t remember a lot of it, but I will.

We learned numbers and letters and painted and made messes but most of all we learned to cherish every day and every “little trip.” There was always laundry going and maybe times it sat in the basket waiting to be folded just a little too long because we were having too much fun to worry about it but I’m ok with that because looking back, I won’t remember the laundry, I’ll remember listening to Peyton count to 10 for the first time or watching Mallory push herself up for the first time.

Our entire family hit milestones during that time. Peyton turned two years old, mommy turned 32, daddy turned 33, mommy and daddy’s marriage turned five and Mallory learned to smile and giggle. And during the very last weekend, both Mal and Peyton were baptised being surrounded by more than two dozen family and friends. That weekend was the greatest conclusion to a fantastic leave.

I didn’t want to accept it was coming to a close and even now, sitting at my desk at work two weeks later, I haven’t fully realized that it is over. I was so so blessed to have that time off to watch my children grow and just hug them a little more in the middle of the day. I know the most important job I will ever have is being their mom and even if I don’t get to do it for as many hours of the day as I’d like, I’ll take it.

Now I must cherish those short hours in the morning and after work even more because even the long days go by too fast and before I know it Mallory will be walking and Peyton will be in kindergarten. I will look back on the thousands of photos I took during those 12 and half weeks as a reminder of just how lucky I was to have that time with them. That is irreplaceable and worth more than any paycheck that I will receive.

Sincerely and so thankful,

Kelli

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2013-08-06 10.05.15 2013-08-16 19.09.38

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