the perfect peonies

Motherhood is a beautiful thing. Yes there are times when you might question whether or not you are truly succeeding in thing called motherhood, but then something happens and all of those doubts you have about yourself and your ability to be the best parent you can be disappear. That happened to me this weekend. I'm exhausted, which is to be expected with a new baby, and sometimes I doubt that I'm doing a great job. I doubt my ability to give enough of myself to both girls in a way that makes them feel equally special... equally loved. I mostly worry in terms of my attention toward Amelia. Having another baby has been the most amazing thing in the world, but newborns need their mamas a lot and I notice that I can't always be there for Amelia like I was before. It tugs at my heart when I can't just stop feeding Cecilia to crawl around and play Legos, but seeing the love Amelia has for her baby sister and the bond they already share reminds me that the two of them having one another is far more important. Amelia told me the other day that she loves her sister so much that she can't wait to have even more siblings. How reassuring it is to know that she doesn't feel put on the back burner. That she understands life with a new baby and she loves it. So back to the story I wanted to share... the one where my heart melted and I felt like I might be winning at this mothering thing...

Saturday the girls and I spent the day in downtown Portland. We visited the art museum and strolled up to the farmer's market after. We wanted to get some flowers for my Grandma Grace for Mother's Day. While we were wandering from booth to booth Amelia said "mommy, I'd really love to buy you some beautiful flowers. I really want you to have some". So I handed her some cash and she found a booth that sold beautiful peonies. I love peonies. She read the sign, looked at how much money she had, and decided she wanted to pick out 10 stems for me. Noticing that some of the flowers were open and some were still closed she walked up and asked the owner of the booth how long they would last based on that. She decided that she wanted to get peonies that were closed so that they would bloom at our house and last longer. For the next 15-20 minutes Amelia looked over every stem... trying to find the perfect flowers for her mommy. I couldn't help but notice that the two woman working the booth kept eyeing her and smiling. Finally she had found what she thought were the perfect peonies. With her cash in one had and ten stems in another she walked up to the counter to pay. She told them that they were for her mommy. The care she took in choosing something for me... my heart was beaming. The woman had heard Amelia say that she wanted to get the closed flowers so that I could enjoy them longer, so she asked Amelia if she'd like to have some already opened to take home too. That way we could have flowers now and all throughout this upcoming week. She was so happy and I thought it was so kind of the woman to give her extras. On the walk back to our car Amelia said "mommy, this has been one of my most favorite days. I love you so so much". In that moment I felt so much love. I felt like I was doing things right. and I felt truly blessed that this is the person I get to raise. Amelia has a huge heart and spreads kindness like wildfire. She makes people feel special without even trying. The world is a better place with her in it.

Ashley Elizabeth


  1. I love this story (and the pictures)! Amelia took such care in picking you the perfect peonies - Such a great Mother's Day memory that I'm sure you'll hold on to forever :)

  2. What a great moment, watching her show her love with such care and thoughtfulness in picking out the peonies!

  3. Aww what a very special Mother's Day moment to cherish!

  4. Peonies are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing this lovely story