Dear Nell Ann,
Happy 2nd birthday! A few weeks ago, you emerged from my bedroom carrying the Book of Baby Names. Two thoughts came to mind: One, how many other books and trinkets have you removed from my shelf? Two, what is the meaning of your name? I don't ever recall looking that up before we chose your given name.
I decided to find out right then and there; because I didn't want to see how much of a mess you made in my bedroom. I flipped to Nell and found this:
Nell: (English), sweet charmer
Well, of course! You couldn't be more appropriately named had God himself whispered a name in my ear. At two years of age, sweet and charming aptly describe your budding personality. You give the best hugs and kisses; and share them without discrimination. And the way you tilt your head to the side and smile that sheepish little smile when you've just done something you shouldn't, could only be described as charming.
Your second birthday was so much fun for you - and for all of us. We loved sharing your day with you; and sought to honor you and love you the best ways we know how.
It was a mild February day - the 12 inch snow was beginning to melt, so you built a snowman with Noah, Tucker and Daddy.
And then you got "cooooold."
So, we came inside for lunch and a nap. And then we cleaned you up and put on your birthday dress. You chose the boots - you may be an emerging fashionista. Your Aunts Mary and Molly will be so pleased.
We encouraged you to say "cheese," for your pictures. You preferred to say "cheddar cheese" and then scrunch up your entire face. Adorable.
You sang along as we sang "Happy Birthday." And blew the candles out mid-way through the song. No worries; we re-lit and you blew 'em out again for a grand finale. You loved the cupcakes with purple sprinkles even though I flopped two batches of Great Grandma Geiger's Homemade Cooked Buttercream frosting. I hope I get it right by the time you're three (or eleven).
Presents were humble; but a success. You loved getting your own place mat with your name on it and big girl princess undies. I'll make that up to you one day...
When the news came - 2 years and 9 months ago - that we were expecting a third baby so soon, I was distraught. Not because I didn't want to welcome another baby into our lives, but I was scared that I would be able to love and care for each and everyone of my babies adequately.
To this day, I'd be foolish to say that some days go without challenge. But I look at these pictures and see a happy, healthy, loved and oh-so-loveable little girl. God knew what He was doing when He put you into our lives.
I love you, Baby Nell,