I'm so excited to be taking part in an extra special Pink Saturday - one that benefits Miracle Makeover. We've all seen (or at least heard of) Extreme Makeover - the show where a team of designers and carpenters invade a family's home while they're not there and make over a room or two into absolute dream rooms. Same goes with Miracle Makeover, although they focus on families in need. Their most recent project was the bedroom that cancer patient Charlie shares with his brother Liam, as well as their older sister's bedroom. Check out the video to learn about sweet Charlie, meet his lovely family, and see the before and afters of their rooms:
Pink Saturday is helping Miracle Makeover in a variety of ways this weekend - one of which is sharing this video and writing about the things that bless and inspire us. (For more ways to help - at absolutely no cost to you! - visit this week's Pink Saturday post!)
So, what came immediately to my mind that's both pink and a blessing? Well, two things, really.
On the left is a picture of my older daughter, Rachael, taken on February 13, 2004. On the right is a picture of my younger daughter, Amelia, taken on December 11, 2007.
I had saved all of Rachael's baby clothes in case we had another little girl someday, but I didn't realize until just now, when I went to find newborn pictures of them dressed in pink, that I had put them both in this very same sleeper when they were three days old. <3
More than anything else, these two little girls have been a blessing to me. Most visitors to my blog are mothers, so I hardly have to tell them how your life changes when you become a mother...or how that love grows-changes-shifts when you become a mother of more than one.
They were so precious when they were this small, and that time was so fleeting. Now they're seven and three, and most days they make me crazy. But I still love them just as much...no, even more than I did then. At three days old, I knew that they were miraculous and perfect and soft and sweet and mine, but I didn't really know them yet. I clearly remember standing in the hospital room with a tiny brush in my hand, hovering over Rachael just before the nurse came to take her hospital pictures, and thinking, "I have no idea how she wears her hair yet; we just met!" Milly was just as enigmatic - I'd watch her sleep and wonder what kind of child she would be, because she always had such a scowl on her newborn face. But she was invariably happy once she woke.
Now I know just how Rachael wears her hair - long and straight and long, long, long. No bangs. No haircuts. Minimal trims. Her plan is to let it grow all the way to the floor - she wants to cut it and donate to Locks of Love, but she still wants to have long hair after she cuts it. Quite a plan, huh? She'll be starting dance classes again this fall, and I'll admit that I'm nervous about getting all of that hair into a bun. It's nearly to her waist, and it's just a lot of hair to keep secured on top of her head. She's still a precious child, with a heart of solid gold. Her little heart aches for everyone - the sick, the orphaned, the lonely, the animals, the scraped kneed and paper cut. It's a fairly common occurrence to find her in her room, on her knees in prayer, after having heard about someone that needed it. She loves everyone, and most people adore her. I am humbled to be her mother.
And Milly! How things have changed with her! Now she wears her scowl during the day and her sweet baby face at night - quite opposite from the picture above. She whines and complains and throws tantrums like her sister never did. Just when I got complacent in my parenting, she was given to me to teach me how the other half live! She is difficult sometimes - today, for instance. We had maybe thirty peaceful minutes together all day. Most days are better, but she always runs hot and cold. Tantrum one minute, snuggles the next. And she's so sweet when she's not screaming - and so smart. She read her first words this week, at age 3 1/2. I was over the moon when Rachael read her first words just a couple of months before turning four, and here comes this little spitfire behind her and reads even sooner! She is my little wild card. I am petrified to be her mother. But blessed, always blessed.
One of Rachael's middle names - Grace - was decided on the very weekend after I learned that I was pregnant. In church on Sunday morning, the pastor explained the difference between mercy and grace. Mercy, he said, was God sparing us from the bad things that our sinful natures deserved. Grace, however, was the gifts that God poured upon us that we could not possibly deserve. I decided then and there that, if this child was a girl, Grace must be in her name somewhere.
Likewise with Milly, and her second middle name - Joy. We waited much longer than we had hoped before we were blessed with her, and I was overjoyed to finally have another little one on the way. Joy was obviously a perfect name for her.
And even though Rachael got a double-dose of klutzy from her parents, making her moniker more than a little ironic, she continues to be an amazing blessing to me, one that I could never, never have earned on my own.
And even on her worst days, I am overjoyed to have my Milly girl. I was ready to throw in the towel and resign myself to being mother to an only child, then there she was. I have only to think about it and my heart leaps with joy all over again.
I am doubly blessed, and could not ask for more.
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PS - Have you entered my giveaway for an adorable cupcake headband from Glitter Bug Gallery? It ends on Sunday night, so go now and get entered! Or, if you're new to these here parts and just want to see a current picture of my Milly...those are there too. :)