Dear Magnolia

On June 9, 2010, Jake snapped this photo of me and you. I was 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant with you. I'd just been to see Dr. Hampton, and I was dilated to a four. That night, I cried in the parking lot of the hospital before we went in because I didn't want to leave without you in my arms. Again. That was at 8:45 PM. At 4:08 AM on the morning of June 10, 2010, you arrived. 37 weeks to the day, and very officially "full term." 
Birthing you remains, and I'm sure will always be, right up there at the top of my list of most amazing things I've ever done. 

 You've been an amazing blessing in my life, and in our family.

 I can't believe you are turning two. Tonight, as I laid you down to go to sleep, there was a little lump at the thought that I would be coming in to get a two-year-old in the morning. I've spent a good deal of time imagining what your first birthday party will be like, and then I catch myself. Time goes by so quickly.

I still get lost in your pretty blue eyes. You're such a beauty with a brain to boot. You're sweet as can be, and sassy just the same. I marvel at your strong will, even if I will it away at times.

 You keep us laughing and on our toes. You're so very particular about certain things, like what shoes you want to wear. Right now, you're hooked on a pair Kalli made for you that are too small, and not really appropriate for a walker. Every morning you go to your closet and say, "These shoes." And you protest until I get out the perfect pair.

You wear bows in your hair just for fun around the house, but you almost always take your rubber bands and bows out of your hair when we are in transit somewhere. 

You have such a fun giggle. You don't laugh at just anything, but when you do, the laughter builds and builds until every single part of you seems to be laughing.

You love to say prayers. Any time. And you never say, "In the name of Jesus Christ." No, you wait for it, and as soon as the line starts, you yell, "AaaaaaMEN!" And it's just as cute every time. 

 I love it when you say, "Happy."

You're starting to speak in sentences, and you surprise me more and more at the words you are putting together. Cora is your best friend, even if you hit her in the head with toys sometimes. You always know she'll still love you. I hope you two will always be there for one another. 

You are in-love with your family, and remember everyone. You love being loved, and are an easy one to love. I've enjoyed your quirks over the last two years. From your grunting at night when you were brand new to the various ways you say, "No." At two, you rock some epic piggies, are fond of dogs, rocks, coloring, babies, swings, hats, blueberries, bike rides, taking pictures, saying hi to people, tickling, singing songs, and cuddling among other things.

 You're the sweetest of sweet, and I'm the luckiest of lucky. Magnolia Jane McInnes Johnson, I am so grateful that I am your mother.


  1. Happy Birthday sweet Maggie Jane! You are adorable!!

  2. I can't believe she is two already! WOW does time fly. And although I can relate to wanting your child to come I am still jealous that she came at 37 weeks!

  3. Just curious- why did you decide to put the McInnes in there? And happy bday to her as well :)

  4. Laurel - I've always thought McInnes was a great name, and when Magnolia's name popped into my head one day, McInnes was part of it. Since she's named after my grandmother in her own special way, I thought Magnolia Jane McInnes Johnson sounded better than Magnolia Betty Jane Johnson. It was just supposed to he there. (Cora has two middle names, too. I guess that's also an important part of the story - Cora Adeline Grace).

  5. Happy happy birthday to Magnolia! Even though the shoes aren't appropriate for a walker... I'm glad she's in love with them :)



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