Monday, November 26, 2012

The BEST Thanksgiving gift :)

10 years ago a thirteen year old girl walked in our front door. Little did we know what a big part of our life she would play.

Over the years she kept coming back to babysit, she kept coming to church...and she kept meaning more and more to each and every one of us.

I remember the time, when I was about 5, we painted ourselves with finger paint- like our whole bodies. And the house was spotless when mom and dad got home. 

I remember the time she came with us to the beach, William slept in her room every night and she got horribly sunburnt on the beach because she wouldn't wear sunscreen. 

I remember when Sonia came home, she came over to see her, I remember the look on her face when she saw Sonia for the first time. 

I remember the day she brought her boyfriend over the first time, we went swimming. I remember the day she asked me to be her bridesmaid and wear that beautiful green dress. I remember when my dad walked her down the isle, tears filled my eyes. I remember the day we stood in the driveway and she handed me a bag of baby stickers and asked me to make their baby book, "You're going to be an aunt!" She said. 

I remember how over all these years, we've grown closer and closer...and now, we're just family. My parents consider her their daughter, she's part of our family. She's my sister.

I remember sitting in the hospital lobby yesterday waiting...and waiting...and waiting...

And then around 5:10 we got a text, "She's here!"

I remember the first time I saw her, my heart filled with joy- I'm an aunt! I couldn't stop smiling, she was so beautiful.

So...I am SO SO SO VERY proud to introduce to you my little niece, 
Harper Elizabeth Land 

I think she's just about the prettiest, most precious thing EVER. Being an aunt so far is pretty much the best thing. 

Proud daddy, with his beautiful baby girl.

My favorite family of three. 

I just love her so much already, she's already brought so much joy to my life. I can't wait to hold her little self today.

So, over these years, our love for Amanda has grown and today...we're all so proud of the newest little Land...the newest little girl in the family. And we can't wait to have a baby at Christmas this year.

Amanda, Nick and Harper- I love you guys!!! Can't wait to watch miss Harper grow and see what the Lord will continue to do through your precious family. Thanks for giving me the best thanksgiving gift and letting me play a part in your lives.

Love, Aunt Bailey :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving: part 2

As this Thanksgiving approached oh so quickly, I knew it would come with mixed emotions.

It's the first Thanksgiving without my Paige.

And it's painful.

It hurts.

But I look at things...and here's how I've been seeing them lately.

I've been so thankful for the time I had to know her.

For the all the time she invested in me, I wouldn't be me without her.

I've been thankful that she chose me, then 9 year old, to not only invest in but really be a friend to. And over the years...we were more than friends, we were sisters.

I'm thankful the Lord let me have her for as long as He did.

For all the lessons she taught me...about boys, about loving on kids, about life, most importantly about God.

She taught me that it's okay not to be perfect, she knew she wasn't perfect. And she was okay with that...but she continually made an effort to fix things, to make herself more pleasing in His sight.

I'm thankful for her love of life, her joy, and her love for her Savior. 

I'm thankful that on the 22nd of July I got to spend many, many hours with her, doing one of the things we were most passionate about (SWTA).

I'm thankful for the special days we spent together...even though we never got to have one this year.

I'm most thankful for the legacy of love she left behind. So many people know her name- and why? Because she loved life. She loved God, she told people about Him. She left behind an example to follow. One that I have been striving to follow, praying that He would use me like He used her. 

So this the midst of grieving, He has still given me things to be thankful for.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving: part 1

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches...many thoughts come through my mind.

So this is Thanksgiving: part 1

This time next week, we will be celebrating three years with our sweet Sonia Grace.


It seems quite impossible really, not the fact that it's been three years, but the fact that she hasn't always been here. It seems like she's been here forever, she asks questions and says things now..."When I was in mywanda(Rwanda) you came to get me and you brought me home."

Oh, how much she has changed over the past three years.

She came home, she could barely speak any English, now she carries on full conversations, tells endless stories. There's barely any baby talk left. And it's so sad, I miss my baby girl.

She came home with barely any hair, it's now long enough to do braids with beads. And she loves it!

She's tall now. And she loves to wear her boots "that are just like sissy's." She loves to wear makeup, which only consists of mascara and a bit of eye shadow- but it makes her feel like a big girl- like sissy. She doesn't like to be held, unless she's upset or hurt. And she only let's mommy rock her, if she let's her rock her at all, because, "Mom, I'm a big girl like sissy, I don't need to be rocked anymore, remember?" She loves Doc. Mcstuffins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. She does preschool with mom each morning when we do school. She can read words like, "CAT," and "TOM." Oh, and she has "4" loose teeth(by loose, I mean barely wiggling, but still)

In the blink of an eye, our Sonia Grace has gone from this:

To this: 

Sonia Grace, I'm so thankful for you. I'm so thankful for the little lady you are becoming. I'm thankful YOU are my sister. That each morning I get to hear you say, "Good morning Sissy!" I'm thankful for your joy, your little stories, your sweet excitement for baby Harper...and your little self. Even though sometimes it breaks my heart, I've loved watching you grow up and mature. I love you a whole lot, sweet girl of mine. And I'm so very thankful for you this Thanksgiving.
Love, Sissy