Writing urge has spilled into a blog

Once upon a time. That?s how great stories begin. And that?s how I began my very first blog post.

Yes, I?m officially blogging. I probably should have started three years ago during our first pregnancy. Or at least after our daughter?s birth. Or maybe after we spent time in the hospital with our daughter right after her first birthday. Instead, I started March 13?for no particular reason other than the fact that I had some time to sit down and write.

And so far, justswritehere.blogspot.com has been a great outlet for me. As you may have guessed (considering my bachelor?s degree is in journalism, I work for a newspaper and I write a newspaper column), I am passionate about writing.

I?m fairly certain my love for writing began when I received a purple diary with ballet slippers and a lock for one of my early-elementary birthdays. And I still find myself keeping a journal, although my journal entries have evolved from little-girl hurts, hopes and dreams to a grown-up desire for self-improvement. Is it ironic that still involves hurts, hopes and dreams?

And blogging has given me one more opportunity to put my thoughts into written words.

My latest post (as of Sunday) was a birthday tribute to my daughter. Two years ago, at 5:05 p.m. April 16, my husband and I welcomed a sweet baby girl into the world. This year, we celebrated her second birthday with Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird in the form of some yummy, frosted cupcakes. (If you?re interested in photos, visit my blog in the next few days.)

When I wrote the birthday tribute, I decided to also post three photos?one of a newborn, one of a 1-year-old and one of a 2-year-old. While some features are consistent in the three photos, it?s amazing the changes that occurred over a two-year span. Let?s just say that it?s a good thing I no longer age quite that quickly.

When put in the perspective of the growth of a toddler, humanity is amazing. Just the sheer amount of knowledge my daughter has absorbed in a short amount of time is astounding. Last year at this time, she couldn?t walk on her own. Then out of the blue, she took her first wobbly steps. Then she walked across a room. And all this in a matter of days. Now she is a speedster. (I like to say she gets that from me. Track spikes, here we come).

As a newborn, my daughter could communicate only through her cries. Then, before she turned 1, she used some sign language. Then she said her first words. By 15 months, one of our doctors said her word use was TMTC?too many to count. Now she puts together sentences, memorizes (short) Bible verses and has quite the repertoire of songs she can sing (It?s not too early to start recruiting, Dr. Vogel).

My favorite song she sings is ?Jesus Loves Me.? There?s nothing that can put a smile on my face and bring tears to my eyes faster than listening to her little voice belting out ?Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.?

I have, however, noticed one (small) downfall about my daughter?s ever-increasing vocabulary and her ever-expanding memory. She now knows every business in Hillsboro that gives away candy to kids. So, thanks to Emprise, Dale?s, the Post Office and even True Value, my daughter?s sweet tooth has grown sweeter. Not that I blame them for being unable to resist her courteous pleas.

Such is the life of parenting a toddler.

And that?s my goal for Justs Write Here (and this column for that matter). I want to keep readers up-to-date on the realities of life in a young family of three?soon to be four. Maybe by my next column deadline?