Seems sort of unreal. But in exactly a week Nichole and boyfriend will be married in a quaint ceremony in judges chambers. The big ta do "wedding" will happen later once little Oliver is born and she's had a chance to shed some baby pounds and stands a better chance of fitting Mom's old dress without too many alterations. Totally astounding what can happen within a year's time. Nichole has been working hard on herself since Aubrey's birth. (which shows what a process it is) Those first years she focused mainly on behavior. While behaviors were an issue......there was the soul eating rage that needed to be dealt with, the root of the problems, that she was terrified to confront. After the deep end plundge last year........when she nearly took the plunge over the abyss (you'd have to know bff's ex to truly understand).......Nichole finally realized that regardless of what she does we still will love her, that it really is unconditional. That knowledge gave her the courage to take that rage out and face it head on and deal with it once and for all. This past year she has learned to love herself for who she is (faults and all), not what she believes other people want her to be. I'm so very proud of my little girl. She has grown into the woman in my heart I always knew she could be. I can't tell you what it means to see the joy that radiates from her now that she has found peace at last. I'm not much for tears, most especially in public. But I have a feeling that next friday I'm going to have a tough time holding it together in the judges chambers. For sure all those little girl memories will come to mind, but so will those hellish nightmare difficult child years......and the very rocky road it took for her to reach this point in her life. Gone is the warrior Mom fear that something will send her over the edge. First it was any small thing, then big things.......now? I think she can handle just about anything Life will throw her way. I can't say for sure when I stopped thinking of Nichole as a difficult child.......but those days are gone. I think they're gone for good.