Shannon Dittemore



Two years ago, I was very, very busy… recovering.

My second pregnancy wasn’t an easy one. The ultrasound had spawned some concerns and filled the remaining twenty-odd weeks with anxiety. But, that morning, two years ago today, my beautiful baby girl made a spectacularly normal entrance into the world and was perfection itself.

Ten fingers. Ten toes. Beautifully bright eyes that ate up the world around her. Nothing had come of the anomalies we’d seen on the ultrasound, and my husband and I were overwhelmed with relief.

And while that day joined my wedding day and the birth of our firstborn as one of the happiest days of my life, I’m reminded not only of the start of Jazlyn’s young life, but of everything that these past two years have brought.

In two years, our little family has grown from three, rather busy individuals, to four.

In two years, I’ve gone from a legal consulting company to full-time homemaker.

In two years, we’ve gone from spending much of our time with the church’s teenagers, to spending much of our time with the church’s young families.

Two years have brought two Disneyland trips, two beach camp-outs, two visits to the Northwest, two speeding tickets, two fix-it tickets, two cell phone tickets, one fender bender, and one new car.

These two years have seen me gain friends and lose them.

In two years, our son has grown almost six inches, graduated from both preschool and kindergarten, hit his first baseball, sported his first mo hawk, read his first chapter book, done his first flip into the swimming pool, narrated his first school play, memorized all sixty-six books of the Bible, and ridden his first roller-coaster.

In two years, our daughter has nearly mastered the art of sleeping through the night, has scaled every counter, door, and piece of furniture in the house, has become rather loquacious for such a young sprite, memorized each and every theme song to the shows on Nick Jr., and learned to kiss with her mouth closed (a feat we all thoroughly appreciate).

In two years, we’ve upgraded from a two-bedroom/one bath to a four-bedroom/two bath.

In two years, we’ve moved one kid out of diapers and another into them.

Two years ago, my nearly-four-year-old left behind the title of only child and took on the role of big brother.

And two years ago, as I cradled his restless, newborn sister to my chest, I decided that I would, at last, write a book. I walked, and rocked, and thought and thought and thought. And that night, an idea took root that refused to dry and shrivel in the desert of crazy that often surrounds me. I was consumed. Within months, the first draft of a novel was written.

In two years, I’ve written and rewritten this first novel of mine seven times (at least).

In two years, I’ve been introduced to critique groups and query letters. I’ve read more books than most, and I’ve learned something valuable from each and every one of them.

In two years, I’ve gone from an unfocused, inconsistent journaller to an everyday writer.

In two years, I’ve gone from a chick with an idea, to a chick with an agent ready to help sell that idea.

I’ve been introduced to blogging and the monster of self-promotion.

I’ve been coerced into tweeting and status updating.

The past two years have been the most challenging two years of my life, and today, I can honestly say, that they have also been the most rewarding.

I’m blessed to have a husband who supports my need to write. I am honored to have in my care two of God’s most precious gifts–incredible children who enrich my life more than they’ll ever know. And I am remarkably fortunate to live near my parents and sisters.

As summer starts to wind down and fall begins, I am very aware that the seasons are changing again for me. And, I couldn’t be more pleased. As the leaves change and drop to the ground, I’m looking forward to shedding things that have died in my life and making room for the new. I look forward to harvest and growth. I understand that this next season will be full of sweat and hard work, but I’m ready.

The past two years have tried me. The past two years have beaten and bloodied me. The past two years have secured a support system around me. They’ve brought more joy than I would have thought possible, and a strange brand of pain as well. But I know God has a plan. And, I’m ready.

So, to my baby girl who turned two-years-old today–Happy Birthday, and please, please stay in bed tonight.

And to my friends and readers–Goodnight. May you find peace in the season you find yourself in and strength for the road ahead.

God bless.



  • Comment by Melina — August 10, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

    Wow! Such a great post. So insightful, inspiring, and what I needed to hear =o) So much of life is how you see it, and you have such a great outlook.

  • Comment by Colleen — August 11, 2010 @ 7:23 am

    That was very beautifully written! Have a blessed day!

  • Comment by Lacey — August 11, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    Happy Birthday Jaz! Thanks for sharing the last two years with us! Quite a journey you have had. I can’t wait to see what this next season holds for you! Love you!

  • Comment by michelle connelly — August 11, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    So well put again i can see the most beautiful pictures in your writting from the birth of your babies to the cell phone tickets lol i just love you and your family thank you for blessing us with the gift God gave you i cant wait to read more have a blessed day-michee

  • Comment by Melissa Forsyth — August 11, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    It is so amazing the amount of change two short years can bring to a person’s life. Now that I am a mommy, I am more reminded of that than ever. Congratulations on all that has occurred…and happy birthday to your beautiful little girl!

  • Comment by Karen — August 11, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    Happy Birthday to Jazzy… beautiful baby girl… so full of energy. I love her kisses (even when she didn’t close her mouth) lol…proud of you Shan… love you

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