Mimicking the photographer's hand motion,  I pushed an errant hair from my face.  The restorative spring breeze held my self conscious thoughts at bay. Instead, for the moment, I watched my family giggle and mug for the camera.

Why did I want a family portrait after so many years and with three out offive hating the idea?

For me, it is a symbolic gesture of saying goodbye to the last thirty years of my life. I gave up a career to raise my girls, and they are grown now as you can see. Of course, a mother does not ever stop "mothering." That would be like telling Sylvester Stallone to stop flexing.

But, a very clear indicator of your time ending is when they are moving out.  Daughter number two is living in Philly and I'm sure daughter number one will soon follow. It is the nature of things. Daughter number three is an extravert, through and through, so, we hardly find her at home anymore.

Yes, I know, it's cliche to say, "where did the time go?" But, some truths just never change.....

There were so many years when I itched to have more time to myself. I strained against the monotony of life's routine with three growing girls. BUT, and it's a big one~ for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed raising three strong, unique girls.

OH, you want to talk about suspense? My goodness, girls and their escapades...their ability to want to see how far they can go to test your love. It's all growing pains. Not for them, but, for me.

What have they taught me? Well, the oldest, who is basically a sweetheart acting all tough in her five foot princess body, has the heart of a lion. She endured so much emotional trauma through my cancer, and the loss of two of my pregnancies. She is the kind of woman who sticks out the hard stuff with grace and courage.

Our middle daughter is a gentle lamb. That's what her name means. And, she is another one who attempts to hide her big soft heart behind a "kind of" tough facade of sarcasm. Anyone can see right through it though. She's VERY creative. And, has a compassion for hurting people and animals. You know the kind of person that can see through the junk and cuts through it with one well turned phrase? Well, that's our middle daughter.

Now the youngest is still a teen. She is a giggler and a peer counselor for her friends. She loves God. So much in fact that you can hear her pray out loud at night for everyone she loves and for some who she may even NOT love too much at the time. She's the kind of kid that reaches out to the lost and hurting kids and sometimes adults, that she knows. And, she loves to sing, dance and laugh.

How's that for a triple threat?

Which brings me to my "Now" phase in life. I am writing.

Not that I have not previously written. Except I now work onwritingsixhours a day instead of an occasional hour here and there.

It IS a lonely pursuit. But, I believe a holy one.

That might sound arrogant. But, I know it is holy and ordained by God because I could not be doing it, if it were not for the help and the provision He has given to me.

And, in the end, it is all for Him anyway.

What a comfort that thought has been to me through the ups and downs over the years. Through the Awana clubs, art shows, horse back riding lessons, track meets, science projects (Ugh, I won't be missing them! lol..) cheerleading performances.

Through the broken hearts from the mean girls and the cute boys who did not share the same affections, the girls survived. They did! And, somehow, the Lord allowed me to play a part in it.

My friend, motherhood truly, truly is the highest calling. If you remember one thing about me, know this, I love being a mom. Another truth about me is that I love a good story of suspense. So, after reading a bit about me, I hope you will join me on the next adventure~ wherever the wind might lead.

Kelly Anne Liberto