Today we celebrate Erin Lee, my elder daughter, born 34 years ago, just shy of midnight, changing my world forever. I knew she was going to be Erin Lee, no ultrasound needed. When I told my obstetrician that I was embroidering her Christmas stocking and already had her name across the top, he reminded me that the odds were 50/50. When I told him that I was working on her Christmas dress, he just shook his head. Then she was born, making a dramatic entrance in her own time – Erin Lee. I just knew. 

     She was tiny, five pounds, thirteen ounces, and I was smitten. I couldn’t possibly have known the depth of love that would overtake me instantly and forever. Though she lives far away in a city she loves, I believe we are close at heart, more alike than not, though she might not always agree :). Over the years I’ve had occasion to tell her that there is absolutely nothing on the face of this earth that could possibly change the fact of my unconditional love for her; she will always be my Erin Lee.

With her permission, I describe her as 120 pounds of pure spitfire. She’s an artist in personality and temperament, unlike myself; I’ve always been amazed at how she sees the world, from little on, with totally different eyes than mine. I’ve saved samples of her art over the years; a fascinating journey through the developing eye and mind of an artist’s view of her world, always a unique perspective. They will provide the back-story when she’s famous, having her first big show. In the meantime, three of her paintings hang in my home, and I keep a file of her work, updated often, on my phone and my PC.      

     An early reader, having completed the Laura Ingalls Wilder series by age six (a gift from her first-grade teacher during one of her many hospitalizations); she’s intelligent and articulate. I used to joke that all the time spent in an oxygen tent paid off beautifully, the silver lining to difficult days of chronic illness, first manifested when she was just five months old. Erin has a gift for languages hearkening back to her early days of imitating Pépé Le Pew. This was a little girl who let you know with a toss of her hair, that she was special. When Erin Lee laughs, everybody laughs, it’s positively contagious. She’s fiercely loyal with a wicked wit. If you’re close to her, she may challenge you in ways that test your soul, but the result is always worthwhile.

      Erin Lee loves to travel. In January of 2014, she took her first solo trip – to Iceland – looking for artistic inspiration. 2015 began with a trip to Hawaii and included the traditional Hawaiian pineapple tattoo. As the recipient of art grants, she has traveled to various locations to further her craft. Her newest venture is into the world of curating. She curates a monthly art pop-up in downtown Seattle, bringing together a variety of artists. She recently accepted an invitation to curate a gallery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Her reputation is expanding and she would eventually like to become an artists’ representative.

       Erin Lee lives in a Seattle neighborhood with her dog, Andromeda (Andy) and three cats. She’s cultivated a tribe and enjoys meaningful relationships.  She gardens, battles invasive bamboo in her yard, and generally enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest (PNW).

     My firstborn child is 34 today, I am proud of the woman she is and I am a better person for being her Mumma Lee. To my partner en Français: Joyeux Anniversaire; je t’aime le plus chèrement! Join me, please, in celebrating my elder daughter, Erin Lee. (Enjoy the photos courtesy of Emily Eddy).













          G’mornin’ Friends. I wrote the original Happy Birthday post in 2011. Seven years later, it is definitely time for an update. Today, I am most happy to share my younger daughter, Meghan Lee Smith, with ya’ll.  

          Thirty-three years ago, this evening, I met Meghan Lee for the first time. Weighing in at just six pounds, she showed early signs of being her own person, struggling to be released from the hospital swaddling that her sister, a year earlier, had found so comforting. An early reader determined to keep up with her sister, she began calling me Mother. It was disconcerting at first, so formal, not just to my face, but in reference to me as well; very noticeable coming from this little person – Mother.  I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mom; (we had the series). 

     Being her mother, one might accuse me of bias, but I am so very proud of the woman she has become. I am blessed to be close to her, both in proximity, and in mind and heart, the places that matter. I have watched her grow over the years, overcoming challenges and learning to soar like an eagle!!

     Since I began the birthday post, each year has been one of continued growth in grace and beauty for Meghan Lee. She has grown from the young woman who began a tradition of wearing a tiara on her birthday, even on her motorcycle, to the young woman ready for a major life event – marriage to R. Brian Smith, known to me as FSIL, in 2012.

     Six years later, they continue to grow closer and are, as I describe it, incredibly well matched. They’ve embarked on several major life changes. Together, they decided Meghan Lee should quit her job, and go back to school, which she did. In typical Meghan fashion, she excelled in the IT field, learning to code; now she is one of a growing number of women in IT, a field that until recently, was dominated by men. She’s become part of a group that mentors girls to enter the IT field, sharing her skills and talents. Taking that a step further, Meghan Lee began her own IT business – Meghan Smith Solutions. She has clients in several states, and her work includes developing and maintaining the website for our Harbison community.

     With things going well, they decided Brian should return to school. He completes his Physical Therapy program this December. With  license- to-practice in hand, he, too, will become self-employed. As co-owners and partners in two businesses based in Lubbock, TX, they have an adventurous future beginning in 2019, Life is good for Meghan Lee!

     My younger daughter turns 33 today and I couldn’t be more pleased to claim her, though I’ve learned to share her with Brian. She is intelligent, kind, loving, and generally an exceptional human being, grown now, with a family of her own – Meghan Lee, Brian, and four cats – the Smith family.

     I’m thanking the Lord for putting her in my arms and into my care – a gift to me beyond compare. Happy 33rd Birthday, Meghan Lee, je t’aime en bric broc, (our French slang for “I love you to pieces,” literally “I love you to bits and chunks,” which makes us giggle).  Enjoy the photos and join me, please, in wishing a most wonderful new year of life to Meghan Lee Smith!






                THEY ARE A TEAM