On this day, 18 short years ago, our daughter surprised us and the world with her arrival.  It was a big surprise-she was not to due to make her appearance until March 27!  Unbeknowst to me, I had been having contractions just about the whole weekend and had no idea.  I had been having little twinges and did not realize they were contractions until after my water broke!  We still had 3 more childbirth classes to go, my bag was not packed and neither my husband nor myself were mentally ready for labor and delivery.  As I sat on the toilet while my amniotic fluid leaked out along with tears from my eyes, my wonderful husband made the call to the hospital and quickly packed a bag as I talked to the nurse.  We made our way to the hospital, 30+ minutes away in record time (with a stop by the Kansas Highway Patrol).  A mere 6 hours later, at 5:20 a.m. CST, I grunted and there she was.  Our lives were changed instantly and the world   became a better place with her departure from the womb.  My dearest, eldest daughter, I love you more than you can ever imagine.  Happy Birthday!
Footnote:  Just as it was 18 years ago, winter weather is making an appearance on her birthday.  My in-laws braved a four hour drive both ways in freezing rain to meet their first grandchild on the day of her birth.  They are not on their way now (just in case you are wondering).