Ellie had her first birthday and then her first Easter this last week (last year Easter was very early, if you remember - she came a couple of weeks later). She didn't really dive into her cake, just licked the frosting a little and wondered why everyone was looking at her. She also burned her little finger on the candle while I was busy showing her the cake - I guess I should have been busier blowing it out for her. :-( But the blister is almost gone and, true to her smiley nature, hasn't bothered her since about two minutes after it happened. The Easter dinner we had with family was so nice - sorry I was stressed out at the beginning guys, but it was so worth it! We missed those of you we couldn't spend the day with in person. So here are a few pics to help catch up anyone who's interested:
Serena was also there, I promise - she manned the camera for us. :-) And everyone brought yummy food and we played some games afterwards. I am so grateful to be able to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ surrounded by family. I am grateful that through Christ we can all be resurrected, stretched, improved, forgiven, comforted, and sealed to our families throughout eternity if we stay the course. I have a quote up on our chalkboard in our living room right now that captures the wondrous reality of the Atonement and Resurrection of our loving Lord: "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father..." (D&C 76:22-23). I wish I'd had it up earlier. I love my Savior and all that He has done for me, and all that I have seen Him do for others around me who I love and look up to. He blesses each of our lives as soon as we let Him - He wants so much to bless each and every one of us! He loves and cherishes each of us and I love my ever-growing testimony of Him and my weak understanding of just what it is He has done for us and does for us every day.
I am so grateful to be able to be a mother, and to be able to celebrate this first year of some pretty intense growing up with my daughter. It's been an exciting, unreal, difficult, mysterious, fun, beautiful, awe-inspiring twelve months.
I know this blessing doesn't come easily to everyone, not even to everyone who deserves it and has worked hard for it and is ready for it. It was such a stretching experience for us to have to try so hard to get our little Ellie here, and it has been such a growing experience of a completely different nature to have her joyous little spirit in our home. We are better off for it and we love every minute of it! We would ask for any of you who do actually read this to keep our family in your prayers, as we have dear family members who are currently going through the difficulty of trying to bring little ones into their well-prepared home. Heartache can and will turn to joy!
I love you all. Happy (belated) Easter - I hope each and every one of you enjoyed the celebration of the rising of our Lord and Savior.