Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another Birthday Girl .....





Jessica Leigh ... forever my baby,my first born,my saving grace.God sent this child to me at just the right time in my life.Our lives.Not the perfect time in some peoples eyes however for me,for Mark,a catalyst for change.And change she did ... both of us.Me,a nudge to grow up and step out from my selfish box of living life with my wants first and foremost.I have often said that Jess saved me from myself.I still believe that to be true.For that, I thank her and thank God.Jessica came blazing into my life on a cool spring Saturday evening,5:25 to be exact.She came into this world so peacefully.And I mean that literally.A wee bit too much spinal anesthesia given to me,found Jess entering this great big world sleeping.Not a peep from her.I wish I were able to post her first pictures from the delivery room so you could see her.Lifted from the womb... sound asleep.She barely opened her eyes for three days.Seriously.People would ask Mark and I what color her eyes were and we would say :Don't know,she' hasn't opened them yet.Peaceful and calm she was and she remains to this day to be,shall I say,the least high strung of us all.People often have a hard time believing this but Jessica never and I might even be bold enough to say ever,threw a fit.Ever.Instead she would bargain and debate and let her opinions be known with words that caught you off guard and made you think:How could a 3 year old possibly be right? But in the end,she usually was.Same holds true today.Jessica is absolute old soul.Always has been.I have a couple of those.It is truly a beautiful thing to see in your child.A wisdom beyond years.A heart full of kindness,loyalty,honesty and goodness.Things that can sometimes take a person a lifetime to evolve into.Not Jess.Jessica is almost exactly the age I was when I had her.Hard to believe, as I was not half the person that she is today at the age of 22.I am proud of Jessica on so many levels.Tangible ways that can be seen from the outside but more importantly inner beauty that can only be seen and fully appreciated if you know the Jessica we know.She is about to graduate from Pepperdine and has pretty much set her mind to going onto nursing school.With her unmatchable debate skills we once figured a career in law was in her future,but we actually think nursing will perfect fit.She has a unique balance of being able to focus on the task at hand,separating her emotions, while at the same time,exuding great compassion and care to others.Jessica's work ethic is unparalleled.She often is busy working two or three jobs.She also mentors and trains for Team in Training, for a cause near and dear to our heart:Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.Always busy and always taking the gifts God has given her and using them to the fullest.Jessica has maintained and nurtured a beautiful relationship with her boyfriend Matt for the last three years and well,I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.I have been blessed with this amazing child.I often feel unworthy for having been given this gift of her in my life and with that being said, not a day goes by that I do not thank God for believing in me at a time when I often did not believe in myself.Happy Birthday oogie-boogie.Today,as you said,was truly a "lovely day" and I love you with all my heart and soul.Ditto for Dad.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

and here you are eldest one. awesome photos!
Heather what beautiful words you have written about Jess. Perhaps, we here on the East Coast have just a teeny, tiny special spot in our hearts for this one. Because we were fortunate to have Jessica in our lives for 2 1/2 years before she and her 6 month old "baby sister Caitlin" moved so far away to California with mom & dad. Thinking back on the weekend trips from Binghamton, NY up to Otisco Lake to visist everyone. And here you are a young woman about to go out in the world. Nursing world-- here she comes, the quiet gentle one, be ready, she is indeed special!

Happy Birthday Jessica

Love & hugs to everyone

Great Aunt Bluebelle

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jess! You are everything your mom says you are. I hope you whole weekend has been a great celebration of your life.
kathleen

Caitlin said...

A few people are missing in these pictures...

Cait

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday Jess. I so look forward to the day I can meet you all...such a beautiful, strong, amazing family...I am grateful to call you all my dear and blessed friends. I would love to talk to you, to hear your voice and reassurance that you are 'ok' and 'hanging in' but I know how busy your sundays are getting ready for the week. If you have a moment, we are home...would love to say hi, check on you and such...anyway, glad you had a wonderful birthday celebration with your sweet Jessica! My love to you all....

MJMILLS said...

Happy birthday to You!

just jean said...

Happy birthday to Jessica! We, too, have come to admire and love Jessica for all that she is. We enjoy her spirit, her sense of humor, her sense of justice, and her openness. What a blessing to you and Mark! And I know she will always be.

Devon said...

Happy Birthday to Jessica! What a beautiful post!

In an unrelated matter, I wanted to tell you, Heather, how wonderfully uplifted I am every time I come to your blog. It truly gives me strength to go on!! I know that sounds trite, almost, but I am being completely serious. I love your quotes and wonderful Zoey and truly feel better when I come here. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing Jessica with us in such a fitting honor. Aren't all the Needhams amazing. yep. Love to all, Happy Birthday to Jessica. You are helping us all appreciate the precious moments and string them together. Christi Harman

scrappy quilter said...

What a beautiful testiment of who your daughter is. Happy Birthday Jess.

Alisha said...

Aw! so sweet! Happy Birthday!

The VW's said...

Happy Birthday to Jessica!!! She sounds like a wonderful girl and such a blessing to your family!

Praying for Zoey and all of you!!!

Kele said...

Happy Birthday Jessica! You guys looked to of had a beautiful day to celebrate!

mamatina said...

Happy birthday to your daughter Jessica!

I just have to say that your little Zoey is the cutest lil girl ever! She has the most amazing smile, I just wanna give her a big squeeze! She always looks so happy , despite being so ill. May god continue to bless her.
I noticed all her cute hospital bed sheets and blankets. Where did you get them? or did the hospital provide those? I love them and you have so many different ones! SO beautiful and makes the room seem more like home!

Anonymous said...

Happiest of birthdays Miss Jessica. We are all so proud of you. Love, Christy, Carla, Erik and Jake Pinuelas

Cheri said...

Happy Birthday Jessica!!

It looks like you all had a beautiful day to celebrate! Heather, I would love to see a picture of you at 22...I would venture to guess that you and Jessica look very similar...when I see pictures of Jessica I see so much of you! Both...absolutely beautiful!

Kristy said...

Happy Birthday Jess!! I still am amazed that you are 22?!?! Where has the time gone?? You are such a beautiful girl through and through!! Hope you had a fantastic birthday!!!