Tuesday, April 12, 2011


E - Early appearance! I was in labor on Easter Sunday. My due date, April fool's day, had come and gone, and I was so ready to meet my firstborn! We went to church and sat on the back row with our stop watch, timing contractions and writing them down on our church bulletin. Later that day, we settled into a beautiful suite at the hospital and started watching Sound of Music. Oma, who had prepared a big Easter supper, brought all the food to the hospital to feed it to the nursing staff. Hours came....and went. No baby. Everyone kept promising me an Easter baby, but Baby had her own schedule, her own agenda, her own plan. (Right from the start, I tell ya!!!) As that clock inched toward midnight I started to wonder if I was EVER going to hold a baby in my arms. Finally, at 3:20 a.m. my birthday girl arrived.

You had a head full of dark hair, sparkling blue eyes, the most perfect tiny toes I'd ever seen, and a little pink face. So beautiful. Love at first sight; a love like I had never known before. I experienced in those first moments the fulfillment of who God had created me to be.....a mother. You were hopes and dreams realized. You were a gift. One that has brought us lots of joy. My love for you this day is as fierce and tender as it was that beautiful (very!) early morning 18 years ago.

I - Inquisitive. You have always loved to learn, and your curiosity is easily sparked. Hannah, I stand amazed at what you have accomplished in school and how ambitious your goals are for the future. You are bright and able, and have paired those blessings with a great deal of discipline and hard work. You are a Smarty Pants in the best way! :-)

G - Goofy. Who refuses to wear sandals because they hate naked toes? Who can resist meatloaf when I make it into "meat cupcakes"? Who drives like a 90 year old woman in a go cart down the side of a mountain in Colorado? Who goes out late at night to buy gas just for an excuse to get Dr. Pepper? Who sleeps with 7,983 blankets and pillows? YOU. You make me laugh in a million ways. It's more fun to laugh with you than at you, but I do very much enjoy doing both. :-) I love that you love Taco Bell fire sauce, antique handkerchiefs, lockets, the movie Tuck Everlasting, Eugene Meltzner and Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Darcy, ratty old tee-shirts, homemade quilts, swishy dresses, gigantic rings from Forever 21, road trips, camping trips, and tiny scraps of fabric. You are quirky. And fun. And is there any song on country radio that you can't quote??

H - Oh, how you have a heart for Jesus. This is all that matters. It shows in how you love, how you serve, and how you treat your friends and family. Hold tight to Jesus, sweet girl, cuz he's holding tight to you.

T - Tennessee bound! We have four months left before I have to say goodbye for four years. We're making EVERY second count!

E - Eldest. Max, Hayden, and Emma are so lucky. In you, they have a mentor and a friend. Your leadership in this family and the example you have set has played an important role in how we function together. I will never forget your fervent prayers for a sister, and having you by my side when Emma was born. I love watching your relationship with Max and Hayden grow and mature. I pray that the four of you remain the best of friends and care for one another for all of your days. Family is everything.

E - Exasperating!! Well, it's true!! Iron will. Stubborn as a mule. You get it all from your Daddy. :-) Actually, your confidence in who you are, and your unwavering dedication to your convictions are some of my very favorite things about you. You have a fiery determination, an honesty and integrity that is rock solid, and a strength of spirit that leaves me in awe. I am drawn to your sense of self, and so impressed with your ability to stand strong in so many situations. I am constantly learning from you in this manner, and while it is humbling to accept lessons from my child, you are a gracious teacher, and you live a life of worthy example.

N - Near and Dear. Hannah, we love you SO MUCH and give thanks to God for you on this very special day. Happy Birthday!!!!!!

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