One year ago today...

Today is a very special day.  I remember the anticipation….I remember the anxiety of waiting {15 additional days once man’s “anticipated date of arrival” had passed!}…I remember the struggle of resting in God’s PERFECT timing and my great desire to hold the precious gift He was giving our family again.

Minutes after delivery ~ a photo collage of a labor of love

The joy and testimony of His grace to us through your birth…our sweet Carolyne Joy is one today! Her birth story was an answer to prayer and unique; unique as much as each birth is {of course, the long version does show a fuller picture of God's continual hand and provision of mercy and grace, especially if you like reading birth stories}.

Hours young on 9/14/2011 ~ our precious Carolyne

We have been so blessed by these past 365 days of having you in our lives.  You are dearly loved by all your siblings, so much so that you rarely have any personal space.  To watch you grow from your humble beginnings of a 10 pound 12 ounces girl to over 21 pounds now.  Your sweet little chubby feet allow you to keep up with your brothers and sisters…happily toddling through the house.  You have the most beautiful smile, as all those new teeth {8 so far} peek through.  The twinkle of your bright, blue eyes have such a joy-filled smile that they just make everything better. 

7 months old
8 months old
7 months old

I love the quiet time we still have together…you restfully nursing while we talk and I pray for you.  You help me “slow” down for a few minutes each day during the fullness thereof.  I pray the Lord will protect you.  I pray He will grow you into a grace-filled young lady {Ephesians 2:8-9}.  I pray that He will show you true freedom, as your name so fittingly means “free man”.  My hope for your life is that you will grow to be of good character, seeking to do what is pleasing in God’s sight…especially when it is hard or when you may be alone.  I pray your desire will be to seek His direction and will for your life, loving Him with all your heart, mind, strength and soul…and out of that love for Him, to love your fellow man as you do yourself.  {Mark 12:29-31}

Good morning to our little Carolyne ~ Happy 1st Birthday!
 A simple birthday celebration to mark this milestone...celebrated at our local Sonny's {her daddy's favorite restaraunt} where "everyone knows your name" and the staff has always been so friendly to us {economical, too for a family our size}.
A birthday picture drawn by Graham for Carolyne
The friendly staff of waitresses singing Happy Birthday to Carolyne and our lunchtime friend, Ms. Gretchen, in the background helping us celebrate.
They've watched her grow this past year...
Her first bite of birthday cake {Her daddy picked up a Publix vanilla cake with buttercream icing...pretty pink roses...she's had a bite of sugary delight,  now there's no turning back!}
And let's not forget the "Birthday Celebration Crew"...all thankful to be part of the celebration and couldn't wait for a piece of cake!  {Liz wasn't quite ready for the picture and Kailynn doesn't sit still long enough to get a  full face in the group picture...oh well, they are true to form.  :D}

Happy Birthday, precious daughter!  Thank you Lord for placing Carolyne in our family; that you knew her before she had even one day {Psalm 139} and for the joy of being her mother.

I love you Carolyne ~ One year of joy you have given!

We love you Carolyne!  Happy 1st Birthday!


Laura said...

She's a Smith, no doubt!
She fits perfectly into the lineage of siblings as well as her place in the home life.
The upheaval of rooms with transformation of additions so that every one can continue to grow efficiently is astounding.
Such accomplishments when a family works together!

And what about that beautiful golden hair!?
Who could have guessed.

In Hawai'i we say,
"E Hau'oli la Hanau Carolyne,
Me Ke Aloha Pumehana."

{{* *}}

Seasons of Life said...

Thankful for sweet friends to share lives with...birthdays marking just another milestone to share with one another.