Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Dear Diary, My Passion is.... My Daughter Alyssa

Dear Diary, My Passion is.... My Daughter Alyssa

I've been in real estate for almost 9 years.  Real estate was my passion. I was a workaholic.  I took, and still do take, every transaction very personally.  I become friends with many of the buyers and sellers.  To this day, I get excited for a buyer when they submit an offer and it's accepted.  It doesn't matter if it's a $100k condo or a $400k house, the excitement is the same.

Then, 15 months ago, there was a shift...

Two years ago this month, I got pregnant.  I didn't know until some time in April that year.  Once through the first trimester, I blogged to the world about my pregnancy.  I blogged on my birthday that year to announce the sex of the baby.  It was a great birthday present to find out on that day.

Then, my water broke, and off to the hospital.  Nothing to do except to lay in bed, and the hospital had a wireless connection, so I blogged to the world that I was in the hospital.  After Alyssa was born, 9:54 am on November 16, 2007, I was blogging again to announce her name as we didn't have one agreed to until she was almost 2 days old.

Then, I had 4 appointments the week after she was born.  Oops, I found out why they want you to take it easy for 6 weeks.  It was hard for me to slow down, so I went at about 80% of my usual pace...

Somewhere in between all the cooos and giggles, I realized work wasn't as important as I always thought it was.  I now had someone that hung on my every word and I needed to be there for her.

She did start daycare at 10 weeks old so I could work, but I was there for her first giggle, her first laugh, her first rolling over, her first crawl, her first standing up without hands, her first steps, her first words, her first everything... and I love every minute of it! We play hookie every so often and spend the entire day together.

Even though I have other "passions" like wakeboarding and volleyball and anything sports related, my true passion is now being a Mother to my daughter, Alyssa.



These are some pictures of her throughout the year. It was hard to find narrow down to favorites, but these are definitely a good group to show her different personalities.

Comment balloon 43 commentsDonna Harris • February 22 2009 07:47PM


She is precious and enjoy each day.  They grow up in the wink of an eye.  I remember Abigail's birth like it was last week and she's going to be 21 in just 4 short months.  I have no idea where all that time went.


Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 12 years ago

Donna, you have such a beautiful daughter, and when you are twenty years older, she will be there to help you figure out new technology as it comes along!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

There is nothing better than a loving daughter, well maybe a son, but he grows up and gets married to someone else's daughter.  Yep, a mothers love is uncomparable to anything else on earth.  I have seen it in humans, dogs, cats and horses, Congratulations Donna on becoming a mother!  Welcome to the highest award you will ever have.

Posted by South Austin Real Estate Blog (Sky Realty South Austin) almost 12 years ago

What a lovely post and your daughter is adorabe!  I love the picture of her in the clothes basket on the dryer. Too cute!

Posted by Connie Betz, Top Omaha Realtor - Omaha Homes for Sale (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

She is absolutely beautiful and those pictures really show off her personality!  Congratulations on your little bundle of joy.  I hope I am as blessed one day and definitely would not miss out on her life for work.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Jenn Neumann Deer, Surfside Beach Real Estate (RE/MAX Southern Shores) almost 12 years ago

Donna - beautiful post, and it hits home with me as well. She's gorgeous - you've got one great family!

Posted by Kim Dean, Simply Texas Real Estate - Broker/Owner ( almost 12 years ago

Donna-Wonderful tribute! My little guy is 9 years old and he's the love of my life! It seems like just yesterday (wait is was just yesterday!) he was my sweet baby boy, I still call him that:) Best to you~ 

Posted by Mary Kent, Grand Rapids to the Lake Shore (Five Star Real Estate ) almost 12 years ago


What a nice way to wind down on a Sunday night! Our business is exciting...but it doesn't come close to the joy that our kids bring. Nice post.

Posted by Harold "Hal" Benz, Helping Home Sellers Preserve Their Home Equity (Local Impact Real Estate Network) almost 12 years ago

She's a little cutie~! I especially like the last two photos; the laundry basket and the little red Santa suit.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Donna, Alyssa is a GREAT passion (and priority) to have. I am SO HAPPY for you. A child changes everything.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago

Donna...what a gorgeous little girl!  It is so true that we need to make our kids our priority!  My clients know that if my kids have games that day, they will see me in t-shirts supporting the team and that I will be there from beginning to end of their game!  They dont mind and are really understanding actually!  This is a great post!

Posted by Tara Campbell, Broker/Owner, GRI, CDPE (RE/MAX Family) almost 12 years ago

How darling, keep up the good work with her.  She sure has grown.

Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Donna..she is adorable. We really don't get what matters until we have that first child. My only daughter 27 got married May "08 and I have twin boys 22. From the time they were born they have always been our first priority. We made sure one of us was always there for everything. It makes a difference. We are so close. I Love It!!

Posted by Deb Clifton, Broker/Realtor, e-PRO, CNS (Coldwell Banker Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Donna, congratulations on your beautiful daughter!  Enjoy these moments because they will be gone all to quickly.

Posted by Zilkia Olmeda-Martins, GRI, Realtor, San Antonio Texas Luxury Homes (RE/MAX North - San Antonio) almost 12 years ago

Awesome. once you have children I don't understand how anything less then them could be your passion. My kids are my passion too.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 12 years ago

Hi Donna, this is a truly wonderful post . Passions shift! She is adorable and "should" I don't like to "should you" HAHAHA! be your passion. Children are precious! Enjoy every minute! Thanks for the great post.

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) almost 12 years ago

WOW! What a response from everyone...

Tammy, 21? WOW! Have fun with that! I can't believe 15 months have come and gone.

Patricia, Thanks, and I think she's going to be a engineer as she's always trying to figure out how things work, so she'll definitely  be teaching me later!

Gail, Thank you, and I've also heard that a daughter is different from a son, but I can't attest to that.

Connie, Thanks, my brother did that when he came to visit... and left her unattended to go get the camera!!

Jenn, Thank you, and you will be when the time is right.

Kim, Thanks!! And your boys are as cute as can be too.

Mary, Thank you, and I bet 9 is a fun age as he's now getting old enough to play more sports.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Hal, Thank you!

Pat, Thanks!

Gary, Thanks, and she definitely changed me!

Tara, That's great that you're upfront with your clients like that. So many people try to hide their personal life from their clients, but it all catches up sooner or later.

Angelia, Thanks!

Debbie, Twins with a 5 year old? I bet your daughter loved that one!  That's great you were able to be at all their events.

Zilkia, Thank you.  And the time is already going so quickly.  Now I see why people have kids that are so close in age...

Missy, I completely agree!! Thanks!

Mary D, I had never thought of her as a "passion" until the Dear Diary challenge as I have other "passions", but realized, as you said, passions shift and I realized she is a passion.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Donna - I can't blame oyu foe playing hookie every so often. My son just turned 9 month and has showed me what is really important in life.

Posted by Robert Schwabe, Orange Park Real Estate (EXP Realty) almost 12 years ago

How adorable! We all fall totally in love with our children and that is a wonderful feeling!!!! I can relate, having two young adults of my own!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 12 years ago

Robert, I hope you're playing hookie too!

BarbaraJo, Thank you!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Hi Donna - What a cute baby, great training too - help with laundry already! There can't be anything better than our kids!  I restarted my career several times because of my kids and my family and I have not regretted one minute of it.  They are well worth it. 

Posted by Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert (Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay)) almost 12 years ago

how wonderful & good for you being able to spend the quality time you both deserve with each other... I have a picture of my daughter in a wash basket too when she was little...she willbe 13 tomorrow & I am wishing she was still a baby, but what a beautful little woman she is becoming...

Keep finding that time to spend with your little and I will spend all the time I can with Emily before she just wants to be dropped off at the mall with friends...

take care, amy

Posted by James & Amy Galligan (Keller Williams Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Sylvia, Thank you!  And that's great that you have no regrets about anything. I'm hoping I'm in that same boat in 20 years!

Amy, Too bad it was my mom's laundry she was helping with and not mine! LOL!  Happy Birthday to your daughter.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Hi Donna... I think that you have your head on straight and your priorities in the right place.  So many parents in the world have children and seem to forget that the children then must become their priority.  You have demonstrated that you can have it all and still keep your priorities where they belong!  Congratulations, and as an aside, the pic of Alyssa modeling her pink coat is too precious! 

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 12 years ago

Donna -- And what a cutie she is!   You are so lucky to be there for all those important milestones and smart to have planned how to do less work to be with her more! She looks happy and well-loved.  Great job.

Posted by Alexsandra Stewart, Broker - Portland Oregon Real Estate (Remax equity group) almost 12 years ago

Donna- Blogging while you were in the hospital delivering my my :)  She's a cutie for sure, and so wonderful that you got to be there for all the important milestones.

Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) almost 12 years ago

Steve, Thank you so much for the touching words. As for that coat, Alyssa is obsessed with being outside, and she thinks that by putting on her hat and coat, that she can go outside whenever she wants.  She is always putting them on and either walking to the door, or pointing to the door and windows.

Alexsandra, Thank you very much! I hope she continues to be happy through her teenage years! And I might be working "less", per se, but I'm working smarter!

Kathy, Yes, I was blogging while in the hospital. Here are a couple of links if you're interested.


Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Donna Way to go! and welcome to the club my feeling exactly, and you do know I have FIVE!!!!!with my little guy born 11/10/2008!!!!

Posted by Jesse Vasquez, "APPROVED” (REMAX PIONEER ) almost 12 years ago

Jesse, THank you, and yes, I know about #5, congrats again!! Good to see you popping in every once in a while.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

donna - what a wonderful post you have writen about your daughter. She is adorable. I have photos of my daughter (now 18) about the same age your Alyssa on a boat with a vest on - they grow up so fast!

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) almost 12 years ago


Been there and done that 18 years ago and all I can say is "don't blink".  You will be taking her to college before you know it.  Enjoy every moment, enjoy having the flexibilty to attend every field trip, school play, etc.  I always put my kids activities in my calendar first.  When people call and there is a conflict I tell them I have an appt. with my family.  Most understand and the ones that don't, I don't want their business.  Have fun with Alyssa, real estate will be here when she is grown!

Posted by Cindy Crutcher, Real Estate Broker - Exit Realty Crutcher Lawrenceburg KY (Lawrenceburg KY Foreclosures & Government Owned Properties) almost 12 years ago

Sharon, Thank you. What's funny when I look at the boat picture is I bought her that vest when she was only 3 months old, and it covered her entire body!!  THat's how much she grew in just 6 months after that. She was about 10 months old in this picture.

Cindy, So many people have 18 year olds... there should be a group formed!  I haven't had to put kid activities at the top of my list yet, but I'm prepared to put those above client appts. Thanks!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Hello Donna,

Great post and beautiful little girl. It's easy to let work come before everything and everyone, especially when you're so passionate about it. However; when it comes to your children nothing can compare to the feeling and joy you get by spending time with them.

My mentor once told me that balance is key because with this career you will sacrifice something. Spouse, children, friends, spirituality etc....and it's so true. Without balance we are sure to miss out on whatever we are not giving much attention to.

Alyssa is beautiful just like her mom- ALL THE BEST!


Posted by Adell Forbes (REALTOR®), "Knowledge & Experience Working for You" (PalmerHouse Properties ) almost 12 years ago

Donna I enjoyed this post so much because it reminded me of ours when they were that age! How are you liking Austin so far? I think you are here? Lake Travis is one of the best school districts in the state and when she is older you will be glad you moved to that area! Best to you and your family!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Donna - You have chosen the best passion! Good for you!  Enjoy your daughter while you can, because the time goes by so quickly...  :)

Posted by Debi Ernst, GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate (St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors) almost 12 years ago

She's beautiful! I love the pig tails!!! My daughter-Alyssa is my passion too :) Enjoy her now they grow up so fast my baby girl is 11 :(


Posted by Bonnie Johnson (Remax Realty 100) almost 12 years ago

Adell, Thank you for the kind words.

Russell, We only chose Bee Cave because of the school district (and low taxes), so it better be "all that"!  We're there back and forth, but not permanent yet.  If you're reading my relocation stories, you'll know our house is a MESS!

Bonnie, Thank you!  Isn't Alyssa a pretty name?  Even Mr. Nino stole it for his baby!! (j/k)  11 is a good age.  She's still talking to you about everything!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Hi Donna, I have been keeping up, off and on. Construction in the best of cases can be a "trying" experience! I wanted to stop by this morning and tell you I got a laugh out of your tweet about your daughter in the swing. When our son was that age up to almost 4 he loved to swing (and have me push) and one day I thought I would wear him out. 2 1/2 hours ;later I was completely worn out!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Russell, That swing is crazy.  She loved it until about 3 weeks ago. Then she would scream whenever we put her in it.  We would then put a stuffed animal in it to show her it was ok.  She wouldn't go in it again until Monday this week, and since Monday, all she wants to do is swing.  She swung for over 2 hours last night and wouldn't even stop for dinner.  My child eats EVERYTHING and ALL the time, and for her to shake her head for dinner so she didn't have to get out of the swing, it was funny!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

It's amazing to see how the kids grow. 15 months and coming a long ways. Motherhood had changed my perspective... but some days, I really prefer to work. My Boomer is not as easy to take care of.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 12 years ago

Loreena, What's been going on with Boomer that you rather work?  I've heard from way too many people that boys are "easier" than girls. Sorry to hear things aren't going well all the time.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

I can't believe this post was 7 years ago today. Man, time definitely has flown by... Alyssa is now 8 years old!!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 5 years ago