Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Eliana Joy!!!

Our sweet baby girl is 1 year old today!  Oh, how can it be that she is already a year old?!  In some ways it seems too fast - but in other ways this has been a long year.  It's been a year of many trials - and also delights.  I can say that today was filled with nothing but delight!  Rejoicing and celebrating our precious daughter!

I spent much of the day looking back over pictures of the last year.  I'm hoping to post a slideshow soon.  (I'm about halfway done with it now.)  I had wondered if looking back and remembering would make me feel sad.  It didn't.  I can clearly see God's hand on her - on me - and on our family through all that has happened this year.  I'm not saying that this year was easy or without pain, but this is a much easier place on the path.

My daughter - like her mother - would find herself remembering what 'exactly" we were doing a year ago.  When Eliana was born and when they came to meet her, how long she stayed in the NICU and when she was thankfully able to come home. 

I had pondered having a large party today - to really celebrate this precious life!  I wanted to include soooo many people that have supported us over the last year.  (I would want to include so many of my friends and family that live far away!)  I pondered about what the event would be - and realized that a small gathering would really be what was best for Eliana.  She is a little intimidated by crowds and this party should be about what makes her feel good - celebrated - and loved!

So we spent much of the day in our normal activities.  Roger and the children ran errands this afternoon and Rebecca spent a long time decorating for the party.  She did a beautiful job with streamers, balloons and more.  The younger boys worked on making cards - very large cards - from poster board!  They were adorable.  Isaiah as he was thinking of what he wanted to say asked Roger to write it out for him.  At first he wanted to say that this was her "first day of being old".  LOL  Then he decided that old was not what it was - it was just the "first day of being one". 

We invited some dear friends over for dinner and a party.  We watched Eliana open presents.  Not surprisingly she loved the crinkly paper - and her siblings loved helping her with the gifts.  It was humorous to me to see the older children also enjoying her toys and gifts. 

After dinner, we had birthday cake.  We sang to Eliana and then turned down the lights so she would notice her candle.  After cutting and serving cake, we gave her a large piece of yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  She stuck her hand right in it and seemed to enjoy the feel of it.  After she played in it awhile, I put her hand to her mouth so she could taste the frosting.  She seemed to like it - though did not dive in like her older siblings.  She ate a little bit of the cake that I fed to her - and put a lot of the frosting all over her face, hands and arms.  She put her hands in her mouth so she got more frosting that way too.

She had a bath when she was done with her cake, drank from her bottle and then fell asleep while the rest of us played a game.  It was a peaceful ending to her day.

Eliana - It's hard to believe you are ONE!  You are my baby, how can it be that you are already one year old.  I thank God for blessing our family with you!  You delight us with your smiles, laughter and love.  We enjoy you so very much and you never lack for companions.  I have learned a lot from you.  I look forward to many more years of loving you sweet girl.  Love,  Mommy

Having Eliana has brought me to my knees, caused me to turn to God, and taught me much.  I am thankful for the lessons I've learned on love, trials, courage, fear, strength, pain, and prayer.   I am blessed to know so many people have loved and prayed for our precious girl - and our entire family.  I'm humbled to know that God has used my words to encourage others.  I'm so very glad that Eliana is our daughter.  She brings joy to our days and love to our hearts. 

Happy Birthday sweet girl.



PS  I'll try to post photos tomorrow.