Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Analiese

Ten years ago today I was sitting in a sterile hospital room holding a beautiful bundle of pink.  She was so petite and had such small features that everyone kept saying that she looked like a doll.  Getting to that moment had involved riding a roller coaster of emotion.  About halfway through my pregnancy with her I found out that she had a prenatal heart condition.  I was heavily monitored throughout the rest of the pregnancy, ready at any moment to go into an emergency c-section if the condition grew worse or began to threaten her life.  I spent months going from the doctors office to our little apartment with a 2 & 1/2 year old clinging to my knees and a fragile baby in my belly.  At 38 weeks, my doctor decided that it was safe to induce labor.  All of our doctors believed that the heart condition would likely heal itself outside of the stress she was under in the womb.  At 5am on June 22 we went to the hospital to have a baby.  Several hours later, after a hard labor, I was holding a screaming pink little girl, though she was quickly taken away and I didn't see her again for several hours.  Not only was she tested for heart abnormalities but she was also competing for attention with 22 other babies who were all born on that day in the same hospital. I remember that number because it seemed like such a crazy coincidence with the date.  Finally, near midnight, just when I thought anxiety was going to overtake me, a nurse brought a tightly bundled baby in a pink and blue cap to my arms to nurse.  I didn't care what they told me next.  All I knew was that she was absolutely perfect.  My doctor came in and told us that she had a slight heart murmur, but that it wasn't anything that should slow her down in any way.  And he was absolutely right.  

Today, she is a bundle of energy and fun.  She is creative and kind.  She is learning to sew and loves making art out of leftover scraps of fabric and paint.  She loves to dance and perform.  She loves ice cream with her cake.  She loves all shades of blue but she also loves black.  She is sensitive yet not afraid to tell you how she feels.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and bracelets from her wrist almost to her elbows.  She is just beginning to define her style and that usually involves a peace sign.  She is a loyal friend and a loving sister.  She is delicate and yet strong.  She is dramatic and compassionate.  Above all she is beautiful inside and out.  

I love this girl.  I've had the privilege of watching her grow over the past decade.  I can't wait to see who she becomes in the next decade.  I have no doubt that there will be some bumps along the way, but I also have no doubt that she will pick herself after she falls and shine on.  She's a fighter.  She has been since she was born.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Spa Party

Analiese turns ten this year! Ten is cause for serious celebration.  So we invited all of her best friends over for a party fit for growing young ladies.  And by all of her friends, I mean there were fifteen girls in my house for a spa slumber party!  We started the evening getting our hair braided.  Next came manicures and pedicures.  I found cute hedgehog nail brushes and bright neon colors.  These were a hit!  Then we laid down with peaceful music for facials. Which they thought was gross.  So that part of the evening only lasted five minutes before they were all in the bathroom washing a half applied oatmeal facial off of their faces as quickly as possible.   Gross facials lead to giggly girls with lots of energy.  So they invaded the backyard for a while.  They may be girly but that didn't stop them from climbing trees, playing soccer, and digging in the mud.  As the sun started to set we came in and got cleaned up for dinner.  Over the course of the night they ate five large pizzas, eight bags of popcorn, a family size bag of twizzlers, thirty cupcakes, and a full cookie jar of cookies!  It was kind of awesome to watch the food disappear into these tiny girls.  While eating they made friendship bracelets, watched Princess  Diaries 1 & 2, and danced off all of the calories playing Just Dance.  By 3am, I was convinced that the party was a success.  The next morning a line of sleepy, bracelet clad girls with tangled braids swarmed the table for fruit and cereal before making their way to the living room for some more dancing.

Ten is a big deal.  I'm glad that my girl had a big birthday to celebrate that.  She is a beautiful girl with beautiful friends.  I hope they all remain the confident, kind, fun girls that I watched dancing around my living room for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Blue and Gold

The school year is coming to a close.  End of grade testing is done.  Grades are in.  It's the last week of school.  Time for year book signing and end-of-year parties.  Time to clean out desks and return library books.  Time to say good-bye to friends.  And, for us, some of those good-byes are permanent.  This week has been bittersweet.  We are glad to see the school year end, but sad to see it end as well.  For us, this is the end of a chapter.  We are going to miss our little community school with its wonderful traditions.  More than that, we will miss our friends.  This year's Blue and God day (aka: field day) was all the more meaningful because we knew it was our last.  So we lingered in the moment of the day.  I took more pictures than usual.  We hugged friends harder than usual.  We made it count, so that we can take as much of it with us as we possibly can.

Everyone agrees, the parachute is the best part of field day.




Fall Out

A friend of theirs recently described these two as "peanut butter and jelly".  I couldn't agree more.