Two years ago today, I gave birth to a 7lbs. 10oz. baby girl named Lynnea Hope. In that moment, she changed my world, and Corey's world, and her big sister Ashlyn's world forever. Suddenly we were no longer a family of three, but a family of four. Ashlyn became a sister. In some ways, it may have seemed like a small thing to everyone outside of that hospital room, or outside of our immediate circle of friends and family, but it wasn't small at all. We welcomed Lynnea Hope into our arms, and into our lives, having no idea at all the kinds of changes she would bring, or the number of lives that she would affect.
The two years since that moment when I held Lynnea in my arms for the first time have been nothing like what I had expected them to be. Most of all, I never expected to get to say hello to her for the first time so early in the morning, only to have to say goodbye to her on an afternoon 20 short months later. I feel like I was just beginning to get to know her. But, I loved all 612 days that I was able to spend with her, and during that time, she taught me (and many other people) a multitude of valuable things, including the significance of birthdays.
So, today we celebrate the appearance of Lynnea Hope in our arms, in our hearts, in our lives. I wish that she were here to celebrate with us, but, somehow, I'm sure that no Elmo-themed birthday party that I possibly could have planned for her would even come close to comparing to the celebration that she is experiencing in heaven right now. So, we will enjoy the cupcakes that Ashlyn helped me bake (with sprinkles, of course), and remember what an amazing little person entered the world at 4:07am on Friday, October 31, 2008.
Here is some video footage from Lynnea's one and only birthday party.