Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My grandmother (my dad's mom) passed away two weeks before I was born. From the stories I hear, she was the sweetest woman around... made my grandpa the happiest man in the world and loved her family (and laughing and dancing and loving) so very much. The way the story goes, she was convinced my mom was having another boy and so, when I entered this world, it seemed only natural that I was given her initials, SJW, and more importantly, I was given the honor of having her middle name - Joy.

I was always proud of telling people my middle name, particularly when I was younger, always make sure to add that it was "after my grandma, Nanny." And while I never had the honor of knowing my Nanny, I know that, while she passed away at far too early of an age, she brought so much joy to everyone she knew and loved.

Joy. Everyone should be so blessed to have some in their life. Where is it in ours?

Joy is catching your husband and son having a dance party outside on the deck. And making a mad dash for your camera so that you can capture the moves.

Joy is watching your child celebrate birthdays with his friends; for watching them interact and hold hands and wrestle and love on each other and wondering what kind of madness they may get into down the road.

Joy is cupcakes, preferably with lots of frosting. And having your friends remind you that a year ago, Jacob was the only child not allowed to have the good sweets at the birthday parties.

Joy is the season's first trip to the zoo. In watching your child in awe of the massive and crazy gorgeous animals that we read about in books, in hearing him name each and every one of them, and in thinking how much more awesome this trip is than last year.

Joy is being okay with the fact that your child wants his popsicle and your waffle cone with ice cream. At the same time.

And then watching him hand you his stinky popsicle and saying "here, mommy" while he chooses the cone.

And not worrying for one second about any sort of mess.

Joy is in hanging out with close friends that will soon welcome their own little boy into this world. And for saying to your husband when you leave their house that they are both going to be amazing parents.

Joy is watching a cookie cake for your friends suddenly become another "happy birthday" cake for your little one (over a month after his birthday)... complete with candles and singing and making more wishes.

Joy is having your husband and son walk into the house with huge smiles on their faces as they present you with flowers. For no reason.

Joy is receiving a "just because" card from your little brother, complete with a picture of him and his girlfriend and, oh yes, ending the card in "Justin and Dana." And for loving the fact that he is so head over heals for this lady that he sent me a "just because" letter and picture.

Joy is the "no, self" stage. That is exactly what it sounds like. A "no, self" stage. Where mommas and daddas can not offer any help because little man wants to do it all his "self."

And for watching him learn how to master things so well.

And as if life couldn't get any sweeter than that...

Joy is...

A new baby. A second baby. A baby that is growing strong and healthy during the second trimester.

I wonder if Nanny would also think that this second child is a boy. But perhaps we will surprise her with a little lady. Not that we care either way.

Joy. We've been feeling a whole lot of it these days.... in the little everyday moments and also in the moments that we know are ahead. A new addition for our family.

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. [Henry Nouwen]

With lots of love, Stephanie Joy


mk said...

Congrats!!! :) Love, Missy

MauraSommerich said...

That is awesome! Congrats!

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