You can read here about some of her story.
In honor of Haleigh's 20th Birthday, I share 20 memories I have of Haleigh...
1. colic.... what mother LIKES that word? I was a new mom and hadn't ever even really babysat much as a teenager. She cried and cried and cried. If it wasn't for Gramma Marge, I'd never have made it...
2. baby babble with cousin Jenna..... they are about a year apart, and even at 2 and 1, they talked and talked and talked. I remember the two girls babbling together just as if it were yesterday.
3. drawing. She was the only one in her pre-school class at age 3 that could draw every detail of her self-portrait. Should we have known then she would be an art major?
4. the ponytail on the top of her head. That thing drove me crazy. When she started school, she insisted on doing her own hair....and for at least an entire year, it was that ponytail on top of her head.
5. frogs. I don't remember how old they were... somewhere between K-3 grade, she and Phillip found a bunch of frogs at his pond and brought them home to our swimming pool. They didn't last long, but they were fun to catch and play with.
6. the chicken. Her first very own pet was a chicken she caught at the fair. We were SURE she couldn't catch one. She had her eye on one and ran straight at that thing. Chased it down until she caught it. We were dumbfounded. What were we going to do with a chicken? We put it in our garage and kept it there for a couple of days. Then, we found good ol Keith and Chris... they rescued us from the chicken. A while later, we went out to their house and she wondered where it was. I wonder whatever happened to that chicken... :)
7. Derek and Craig. The neighborhood boys who were potty trained right in our backyard. Childhood friends who they played and played and played together. They had so much fun and so many fights. I wish I had written down some of those days together... and recorded them in my brain forever. Although I am sure Haleigh will never forget them.
8. witnessing at school. I remember in 5th grade Haleigh came home and said they(she and hannah her best friend) led someone to the Lord at recess at school. They were so excited... little evangelists.
9. lipstick. She loved lipstick almost as much as me. At age five, she could put lipstick on perfectly every time. A chip off the old block.
10. the cubby in the corner. She had a desk in the old house that was built strangely and it had a deep cubby in the back of it. she would hide in that cubby and pretend it was a fort.
11. "benducing".... she could never pronounce this word and she taught her little sisters to say it wrong. It's supposed to be "introducing".
12. words. Haleigh-language we called it. I think it started when she would mis-pronounce things and we thought it was so cute we never corrected her. She still does it. It's still cute.
13. Rockin Robin. One of the first piano songs she memorized was Rockin Robin. She could play Rockin Robin like it was nobody's business. Seriously. She was a pro at that. Can you still play that Hal?
14. selling pinecones. Does every kid go through this stage? She would sell pinecones for poor people. (which was probably us at the time)
15. "Dee"- that was what she called her pacifier. She would say "I want dee".... until one day when we were driving down the road and she threw dee out the window. That was it. I was finished with it and dee was never heard of again.
16. Playwright. haleigh was the queen of writing plays as the kids were growing up. She was writer, director, actor, special music... you name it. It's a good thing she had so many sisters to be in them! :)
17. Bus People. On the first day of kindergarten, Haleigh came home and said "I want to be a BUS PEOPLE!". Apparently, the bus people got to line up first and they were LUCKY.
18. Riding her bike. She learned to ride her bike with the neighbor. We have a classic video of one of her first few rides when she was going fast and ran smack into a rope on a tree and wiped out. We could have won a million with that video. Maybe we should at least get it on youtube huh?
19. Worship. Haleigh has often shared how she feels called to be a worship leader or lead worshipper in life. She has an incredible gift for it. I don't know if its just because she's my daughter or what... but when I hear her leading worship, it is so easy for me to enter into worship and I find myself lost and blessed by her beautiful voice.
20. The last day of kindergarten I picked her up from school and when we got into the car, I burst into tears. She asked me why and I said "mommy is just sad because you are growing up so fast. For some reason, realizing that kindergarten was over was one of those "mom" moments for me. My baby was moving on the actual full day school and I didn't want to see her grow up.
Through the years, I have seen some amazing things that God is doing in Haleigh's life. She was an amazing child who has grown to be an amazing woman. I find myself at times wishing I could reverse time and go back to that small child and hold her one more time... and just let the world stand still as I memorize the smell of her hair and the breathtaking memories a mom holds in her heart. And yet, I wouldn't want to let go of the experiences we have had growing and watching her grow. God is doing an amazing work in her heart and her life and He has incredible plans for her future.
haleigh, you are beautiful. I am blessed to be your mom and to share not only this life with you, but the life to come. I love you so much.