celebrating Mercy

Yesterday we spent celebrating our sweet girl's birthday. Four years ago, Mercy joined our family. She is such a blessing. Warm hearted, spunky, full of wonder.

Originally Joe had only wanted two children, so after our first girl and boy, he said we were done. I loved our little family but always dreamed of having more. More than five years after our second baby, Joe shocked me with the surprise of saying we should have two more. I had surrendered my desires and didn't expect him to ever change his mind, so when he did I had to take a little time to make sure I still wanted to. We had moved on from the baby stages, didn't need to carry a diaper bag or push a stroller anymore and had given away all of our baby things. But we were very excited to welcome a new little one into our lives.

She was tiny and precious. The first week or so were a challenge, as she lost a lot of weight and wasn't eating well at first. She's still a petite little thing, but healthy as can be. She loves to sing and be silly, draw pictures and practice writing. She has a tender spot for the elderly that warms my heart. While other kids may shy away, she will talk to them and show them things and give them stickers.

Here she is just a few minutes old.

Brooklyn was 8 and Zeke was 6 when she was born. They were so excited to meet their baby sister and help take care of her. I love this shot of them meeting her for the first time, caught by our sister and doula, Sarah.

A little older here, this is the face I'd see in the mornings when I'd go in to get her out of her crib.

My dad is a retired Navy sailor. I love this sweet picture of her in the dress he sent.

camping in Yosemite

Joe's mom has taken pictures of all 10 grandchildren in this bucket when they're between 8-10 months old. She brings it as a carry on on flights from Colorado to wherever the grandbabies are.

Fast forward to the present. This is Mercy yesterday morning opening cards and gifts before breakfast.

We planned to go to a pumpkin patch for the day, but since it was rainy, plan B was to see the double feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2. I stayed home with Judah while Joe took Mercy with her big brother and sister. Joe took this photo of the kids and their cousins who met them there.

And here's our silly girl gettin' down in the rain on her birthday.

Some good friends of ours had a baby the same day, right down the hall from us at the hospital. This is Mercy and Alijah at around seven months old.

And here they are now. We went to their house last night for a birthday dinner celebration.

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