Birthday week started with a chilly trip to the zoo!
Elmo party! (psst... gluten free vanilla cupcakes... seriously goooood)
Our teeny tiny apartment decked out and ready for fun.
She was completely obsessed with her cupcake, particularly the frosting. She had never had frosting before and she loved it! I made the biggest mommy mistake by taking it from her so we could open presents, but promising to give it back afterwards. She would have none of that and had a huge meltdown. Precious little 2 year old meltdown.
Games! We had three little stations of games. So fun!
Little friends... hard to capture a picture of all the kiddos, but finally got one!
I would have invited about 20 more people, but our little apartment was filled to capacity.
Look at all those little girl hands helping to unwrap! (Anyone notice the cupcake I'm holding? Yep, that was my compromise. Ha!)
Post party fun!
It's hard to believe that Hannah Mae turned two years old last week.
She had a blast on her birthday. We played all morning, went to Target to pick out a present from great-grandmama, ate lunch at a mexican restaurant, and had a party! Her favorite little guy is Elmo, so we Elmo-ed it up at her party. I made an Elmo face out of fruit (I stole this idea from a friend), and had three stations of Elmo games. The cupcakes were a hit, and the Elmo face was gone in 20 minutes! She's been talking about her berfday ever since!
Two years ago today, we were just home from the hospital with our little baby girl in our arms. I clearly remember all the intense emotions of those early days. But the ones that stand out most in my mind are joy and disbelief.
Joy that our baby girl was finally in our arms, joy that we all came home together safe and sound. I expected this joy. I daydreamed about this joy during those long scary pregnant days. This joy was welcome.
What I didn't expect is how disbelief would numb the joy that radiated those sweet newborn days. Disbelief that she was born alive and healthy, disbelief that she came home from hospital in my arms, disbelief that pregnancy ends in living babies that cry and coo and grow up.
Two years later joy and disbelief still linger in my heart, but the disbelief has evolved into more wonder than disbelief. Wonder that we have her in our arms, wonder that our life is nothing like it was when our only children were the ones we couldn't hold in our arms. Some days, I can't believe that I have a little girl who calls me mommy and follows me around copying my every move. It is wonder that magnifies the joy.
Monday morning, we had a mommy-daughter date to run errands. It was one of the most fun mornings we've had. Now that she's two, we have her forward facing in her car-seat. She loves to talk to us and hand us things from the back seat. I glanced back at her in the mirror and couldn't believe my eyes. Here is this precious little two-year-old wearing pink sunglasses, eating a waffle and talking to me about our errands and her 'eyes' (sunglasses). She's ours and she's here with us.
Two years later, I still thank God for bringing us all safely through pregnancy and for His gracious care in helping us navigate those early newborn days, for mercy that is new every morning for this pair of imperfect and needy parents.
This joy and disbelief reminds me of the even greater joy and disbelief that come from an even greater Love.
I have been a Christian for almost 10 years. And I clearly remember those early days of immense joy and disbelief. Joy that I have a Father who loves and pursues me, who cares so deeply for me. Disbelief that it could really be true- this wonderful, incredible, awesome grace that has been bought for me. Disbelief that there is nothing that I can do to gain His favor because I already have it. Joy and wonder... wonder magnifying and highlighting the joy in my heart.
I pray we don't lose this joy and wonder. We have a Father who loves us, more than we can imagine. And his grace and mercy are abundant and priceless.
And on her second birthday and every day she's here with us, we pray that our precious Hannah Mae grows to know this Father in Heaven.
Our Father who art in Heaven
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever.