“every piece represented”

by Leila



I’m not sure if I can find the words to express what is inside of me right now. Yesterday I experienced something that was beyond my comprehension and filled with beauty that I’ve not seen in a while. My Laura’s Baby Shower. My goodness where do I even begin?


When you find out that your daughter, who is in the early stages of addiction recovery and had agreed to not date, is pregnant; it literally floors you. It’s not the news you’re wanting to hear. Thanks to a fantastic counselor, meeting Ryan, Madeleine’s dad, a kind and thoughtful young man and a daughter in law’s response of, “God does miraculous things with babies” my head and heart were turned completely. I choose to embrace and celebrate my daughter who I adore and her child, my newest ‘little’ that she is carrying.

L & R

Henceforth after weeks of praying and planning pulling off my first baby shower, with the small challenge of it being 800 miles away. Hoping with the deepest of hopes that others would too choose to celebrate and show unconditional love rather than judge. As I write this sitting on my flight home, I’m fighting tears because my heart is so touched and full with the incredible outpouring of love I witnessed yesterday.


Heidi said to me as I drove her to the airport last night, “mom, every piece of her was represented.” It hadn’t dawned on me but she was so right and the beauty in that is simply amazing.


From the physical presence of, best childhood friend since year one of life, to best high school friend, to the deepest young adult girlfriends from ‘the Portello Girls’ years, to Grandma, to sister and both sister in laws, to Maddie’s other Great Grandma, Grandparents and Great Aunt, to my closest friend during Laura’s growing up years and her daughter who’s always loved on my girl. These people all traveled very far to be present and remind Laura how much they love her.


Laura’s dad, my great husband. Simply making the trip to help his mom get from the airport to said Baby Shower. Literal days of sacrifice to make sure his mom could attend.


And then there’s that community. It’s something that most people don’t have a clue about and your fortunate if you don’t. At the same time you are missing one of the greatest things that actually exists. It’s called ‘the sober community’ they are people in ‘recovery’ and they are fabulous and they have and continue, to help save my daughters’ life. The amount of these amazing women was so overwhelming that I was actually tripping over them all. I only wish that I had more time to know them and thank them for all that they are. To me they are a field of sunflowers in bloom. Turning to follow the goodness of the light and make this world a more beautiful place.


Then there was the long reach of love from afar. The Aunts, sweet Cousin and other Grandma that made the effort to get a note, a gift, a book, a hug from miles to far. The texts the day of pouring out words of love and support, even one from my dear friend that hosted my own Baby Shower for Laura! Along with thank you gifts coming all the way from Cambodia and  the huge pile of wrapped baby goodness to help our Laura give Madeleine the home she desires for her.


And finally the graciousness to take over a home of total strangers, a sponsor that spread her self so selflessly thin I thought she might burst, three other beautiful sets of hands of help that gave me the ability to actually pull it together, along with Heidi (I would not have accomplished this if it wasn’t for these five girls). They put up with my stress, my issues with detail and an overwhelming event with incredible grace and kindness and tons of physical help. Then there’s the Sis in law and her handsome hubby hauling pounds of far away gifts a couple hundred miles and the other Sis in law literally driving hours to pick up the catered brunch from one of the top caterers in Portland, who squeezed in my order on an already too busy day and total me in the end, “it’s comp, a gift to Laura.” Ending with the best and cutest strawberry cake ever created by a sweet friend of Laura’s.


Why am I telling you all of this? I’m am so flipping thankful I could simply pop. In this age of political upheaval, hate crimes that bring more hate and unrest between peaceful people, people that think addicts are losers and worthless humans that “just need to get their crap together” (they are entirely wrong). There is so much beauty, love, togetherness and support in our world and new life continues, people come together to celebrate the broken, the hard and the blessing.


Thank you, thank you, thank you, all so very much. Thank you for loving on my daughter Laura. This Nona can’t wait to “Say Hello to Madeleine Jo.”


I completely failed at photos, I was just too overwhelmed with it all! I can’t even believe I didn’t get a picture with Laura, myself and Maddies’ Aunties. #momfail.


Heidi and Bill both always tell me, “Laura knows that you champion for her always.” Yesterday I saw that I am not alone in this at all.


The delight is in the details!



cute 2






candy bar 1


candy bar




yummy food