It feels like a gazillion years since my baby was born nine years ago. It also feels like it was such a short time ago that I held her in my arms for the first time. Surreal.
My entire life has changed since she was born. Our family has grown up. There are no more diapers, kids needing help getting dressed, bathed, or fed. There are no more board books, burping, or putting on their shoes for them. They are all big and capable and my role as mother has changed from caretaker of physical things to nurturer of the soul (and let me tell you, soul caretaking is hard for me).
I remember so clearly the fear and faith that surrounded her pregnancy and the joy that came with her birth. She looked at me with her big blue eyes and told me, “It’s gonna be okay.”
And you know what? It has been. The past nine years have been full of incredible challenges, immense mountains of love, poignantly tender miracles, and so many experiences I would never have chosen, but am grateful to have learned from.
Annesley has never had the privilege of having her papa have a schedule where he can spend lots of time with her as he has worked long hours six days a week her entire life until this fall. She doesn’t remember her mama not being sick or broken because the breast lump happened when she was 3 1/2 and right after recovering from that is when the EDS challenges began in earnest. She has had to face hard stuff and she has done it with laughter, love, and light. Annesley’s spirit is huge. She spreads joy everywhere she goes with her big smile and loving heart. We adore her to Pluto and back.
She has been totally in love with Leonardo da Vinci and inventions for months, so her birthday book this year is Cleonardo, The Little Inventor. It is a darling story of Leonardo’s granddaughter and her awesome invention.
She is still in love with Adventures in Odyssey, fishing, hiking, music of all kinds, playing the piano, drawing, soccer, football, baseball, and Irish Step-Dancing. Her dreams are big and she has endless confidence that she can do anything she sets her mind on. She recently was able to go on a date with her papa to an Irish performance and loved every minute of it. She couldn’t help but dance in the lobby during intermission and I was told she put on the quite the show!
This morning she opened her presents – a tackle box, her first set of Prismacolors, and a doodle book. Keziah and Dallin took her ice skating this afternoon and tonight we will enjoy her ice cream cake creation – Mint Oreos, a layer of chocolate ice cream, and a layer of Breyer’s Mint Ice Cream. She has been planning it for months.
Miss Annes reminds me so much of myself. She looks just like me, has oodles of interests, and is full of zest and sass and sparkles of happiness. She has adopted most of the elderly people in our church congregation. She makes them cards, takes them presents, and loves to go over to visit. They shower her with love right back.
Here are some pics from the last year of her life.
Christmas Jammies from Grandma Dorothy – Star Wars!
Snowboarding for Homeschool Ski Days
Annesley is so excited to be in plays like her big sisters some day. Keziah’s January play was so fun!
Provo City Center Temple Open House in February
Liberty Girls Icicle Finding
Liberty Girls Fancy Tea Party for Purim
Going to General Conference with her dear friend, Olivia and big sister, Keziah.
Scheel’s aquarium on the General Conference trip.
Playing the piano and singing at the top of her lungs.
Swim Camp 2016 – What a great way to kick off the summer!
Rock Climbing with friends – she’s a natural!
Smith Reunion and visiting Grandma’s and Grandpa’s graves.
Reading The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic – our summer read-aloud. Snuggling up and reading for hours was our favorite way to spend the morning hours this summer.
Camping, hiking, fishing and snakes galore. Oh, how she loves the outdoors!
Daddy-Daughter Date with her papa at church.
Fisher’s Birthday Hike at Cave Falls
Our first ever family bike ride since I was injured in 2012. I rode my Elliptigo and everyone else was on bikes. I only made it about a mile, but let me tell you, it was glorious!
Climbing trees at Fairy Land – our favorite spot at the greenbelt.
End of Summer Party at Lava – speed slides are the best!
Her new Irish Step-Dancing Class – yes, she is the youngest and smallest! She loves it! She hardly walks anymore and prefers to do one-two-threes everywhere she goes.
Cousins holding hands at the Star Valley Temple Open House in September.
Thanksgiving sledding with cousins, Easton and Oaklyn.
Last hugs before we came home yesterday.
We are so, so grateful for this girl that God sent us at what seemed like the worst time. We need her sunshine! It is so much fun being her mama! She has had a wonderful year learning and laughing and having fun. May she have many more happy, happy birthdays.