Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, Zoey!

Today, we celebrate a special little girl who entered the world two years ago.

I remember the day my niece Zoey was born very well--for I was in the delivery room--along with my sister, Nichole (Zoey's mom), and my mom.

It was my first time (and so far, the only time) witnessing a child take her first breath.

I know what you're likely thinking: But what about your adopted son, Noah? For reasons beyond my control, I wasn't there. But it's probably for the best...since he was delivered by C-section and I might have fainted at the sight of, you know, blood and stuff. I'm serious, I faint so easily--just ask my mom, dad, fifth grade teacher (long story!), or husband. (Perhaps, I'm part goat?! Just kidding.)

WOW, that was quite a tangent.  Let's get back to Zoey's birth, shall we!

It was nothing short of miraculous. A God moment, for sure. The kind that gives you goosebumps and makes you tear up. (I was tearing up then, and I'm tearing up now thinking about it.)

I remember holding my sister's hand during labor, and then letting go just as Zoey made her appearance so I could capture the moment with my DSLR camera (which at the time was my Nikon D90).

I won't be sharing those pictures here (for obvious reasons), but I'll always treasure those photographs. And I know my sister does too.

Instead, I am sharing this series of photos which I took on Thanksgiving in 2012. (And if you want to see a photo of 2-day-old Zoey and 10-month-old Noah, check out this blog post.)

Oh my, Zoey was so little (which in my head comes out wittle).

Sometimes, smiley.

Sometimes, sleepy.

She was precious then, and she's precious now.  

Over the past four months, Zoey (whom I affectionately call Zo-Zo), has danced her way right into my heart. 

I've hugged and played and bathed her.

I've fed and comforted and clothed her.

I've cuddled and tickled and read to her.

She's become like a daughter to me.

I have no idea what the future holds, but I know one thing for certain: Zoey will always occupy a special place in my heart.

When I think about being Zoey's aunt and what a blessing it has been, I think of my aunt Susie (my dad's sister), who was also in the delivery room the day I was born. 

Way back in 1978, forever and ever ago, when Susie was just 16 years old.

That's what happens, time marches on. 

The bond I have with my aunt has always been special. She's always made me feel loved and supported. 

She's cheered me on in countless ways--like in 2006 when I opened up an Etsy shop to sell handmade greeting cards and she was one of my first customers.

Not only has she loved and supported me, but she's also taught me through her actions what it means to care for others. What it means to set aside your own wants and serve others. She's taught me that it's important to show up, even when it's not easy or convenient.

Like she did over five years ago, weekend after weekend, when her mother got sick and needed care. During that difficult time, my aunt Susie showed such strength, such compassion, such devotion.

She's also taught me that it's important to laugh--sometimes, at yourself--especially when it comes to being a mom.
I'm hopeful that I'll learn more from my aunt in the coming years. And, in the future, I hope to model some of these same qualities, these same actions, for my niece, Zoey--and of course, for my son, Noah.

But for today, I'm going to stay right here rooted in the present. I'm going to focus on celebrating Zoey--and her two years of life--among family.

We're planning to live it up, Elmo-style (because well, Zoe IS Elmo's best friend after all!), and celebrate a sweet, smart, spunky, and silly girl (my left-brain loves that all those adjectives begin with the letter s!) whom we've all come to adore.

Zoey: Thank you for blessing our whole family (including your mom, Uncle Brian, Cousin Noah, Nonni, Pop, Aunt Katie, Uncle Preston, me and many others) with your light.  

Keep shining on, sweet girl. 

We love you. 

P.S. Speaking of Aunt Katie and Uncle Preston: Happy Anniversary, you two! Hope you have fun today celebrating your first year of marriage. We wish you many more years of happiness!

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