Avery and Lily’s birthday party was a few days ago. Almost one hundred guests attended the event. There were new friends that we’ve made over the past year; friends that have been alongside us for decades; family from out of town, and family from just down the street. Before the party, I joked with Noel that I was going to make speech, because there will never be another time when I have such a large, captive audience. If I’m holding one of the girls I can keep a crowd’s attention!  I did not actually make a speech; however, if I had made a speech, it would be something to this effect:

 I can’t help but think back to last year at this time. We had tiny, three pound preemies who lived in incubators. Noel and I would rush to the hospital first thing in the morning, so we could hold our little girls. We would do skin to skin care, where we would tuck the babies inside our shirts so that their skin would be directly on our skin. I’ll never forget how Lily would just melt onto you and get snuggled right in; whereas, Avery had to fidget a while and be soothed before she could get comfortable. I still remember how when Noel would hold them, each girl would reach up her tiny hand and touch Noel’s chin, to feel his whiskers, and know that he was their daddy. I think back to the day I was discharged from the hospital, and how I didn’t know how I could walk out the doors of that building and leave our daughters behind. I remember how God gave us the gift of peace that allowed us to do exactly that and know that our babies were, are, and always will be in His hands. He was faithful to us that day and every day since.

I know that, as time passes, even the most miraculous can begin to seem mundane. It’s almost human nature to try to explain things in terms that we can rationalize. I don’t want to ever forget the miracle that has taken place in my life. I don’t know why God gave me this gift, but I thank Him daily for taking my broken body and using it to bring forth two lives. These children are a testimony of God’s goodness and love. I celebrate the birth of my daughters. May they continue to bring glory to God in the years to come.

I didn’t make that speech at the party. We were all too busy eating candy and Tex Mex food, and winning crazy raffle prizes, and watching two babies try to eat huge, pink cupcakes. I am so thankful to everyone who has supported us from near and far over this past year. Word Press sent me a report about my blog that in 2012 this blog was read in 21 countries, from Canada to Malaysia, and viewed over 5,000 times. I’m repeatedly overwhelmed by the love and encouragement we receive as new parents. Thank you to our parents who have journeyed alongside us since our births. Thank you to lifelong friends who have shouldered the burden when we needed rest. Thank you to my brothers and sisters in law who have provided some much needed levity and comic relief! Thank you to my nieces and nephews for helping with Avery and Lily when we were on vacation in August and keeping the flies from landing on them! Thank you to our new friends who are beginning this phase of life with us, as it is both exciting and terrifying, both breathtaking and heartbreaking, both exhausting and fulfilling. Thank you to God for giving us the opportunity to be parents and catch a glimpse of pure and holy love.

For those of you may be unfamiliar with the circumstances of Avery and Lily’s birth, I ask you to visit the posts:

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