They weren't exceptionally thrilled when I refused.
The journey became one of specialists and cardiologists, until the day she was born, perfectly healthy for both of us.
When the nurse placed our only bundle of pink in our arms however, I'd envisioned things very differently. Painted fingernails and hair bows, figure skating and ballet...were altered once her three older brothers took over. Growing up in a house of footballs and cleats, left little room for tea parties and baby dolls.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy our seven year old daughter has a mean curve ball, thrilled even...but it wasn't until my best friend from home called me out, reminding me how it wasn't fair Lauren Elizabeth had been to more football practices, baseball, basketball, etc. for her brothers - while having nothing individually for herself.
Then, the unicorn came along.
A friend from North Carolina with four boys messaged me with the information regarding a unicorn photo shoot. At first I thought she was kidding, until she said if she had a girl, she'd do it in a heartbeat.
A unicorn? Yes. A "real" live unicorn with a tea party and the whole nine yards.
I didn't know how Lauren would take it, and was surprised at her blood curdling scream throughout the house.
"YES!!! A UNICORN?! YEEEEEES!!!"
She didn't realize it was a photo shoot - she wouldn't have cared - and we didn't realize the grandness of it either.
Hair, make-up, wardrobe...it was a day of pampering, even though she wouldn't wear so much as a stitch of lip gloss on her face.
When the time arrived for us to meet, "Teapot" the unicorn, you'd have thought we ventured beyond the North Pole. Her eyes widened and her mouth gaped, only to release a tiny squeal of excitement.
My husband's brows rose and even our boys' heads tilted to the side, wondering how they made it look so real.
"Unicorns aren't real, are they, mom?" One of them whispered, and I smiled back, "I don't know, Buddy. That looks pretty real to me."
Our daughter, the one who shoots basketball with her brothers in the driveway and jumps on top of every WWF wrestling pile in the living room, floated to a magical dream of fairies while we watched the rest of the world disappear.
The pictures didn't matter at that point. As phenomenal as the photographer and staff were, we had more fun watching her filled with wonder and joy. She loved petting the soft nose and talking to 'Teapot' as though she'd waited her whole life just to meet him.
For days she went on and on about her time with a unicorn and I genuinely began to wonder when the phone call from school would come regarding her perseveration of delusional unicorn tea parties.
It's been weeks since that day, and the photographer let us know she had her shots ready.
Sitting in my office at work, a slight smile crossed my face with the memory of the day, but when I opened the pictures it quickly turned into something else.
I cried, no, I wept as I flipped through the photos. I couldn't believe what the photographer had done or how she turned such a magical experience, into a literal keepsake. She captured the wonder of our daughter and somehow relayed it into reality. Her work was the result of exactly how it felt during the encounter and I marveled at her expression.
I'm grateful for my friends back home in Ohio who often nudge us in the right direction, as well as for the girls in Carolina who introduce us to new adventures.
Whether we understand the process or journey we take in this thing called life, it's always nice to be reminded of the ones you love, cherishing both family and friends along the way.
And if by chance you sprinkle that life with magical days filled with unicorns every once in awhile, well, you can't ask for much better than that.
THANK YOU to Valerie at Myrtle Beach Click-It Photography for the Outstanding Pictures! You're a Real Life Fairy Godmother! :)
You can contact Valerie and her company at 843.877.3033 and visit her website at: