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Happy Birthday, Bella!!!!

Happy Birthday, Bella!!!!

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On this day three years ago I held Isabella in my arms for the very first time and my heart overflowed with joy.

Now I look back on those pictures in amazement. How can it be that little tiny baby is now this great big girl?

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Bella’s first birthday. Mac and cheese at Chili’s

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Bella’s second birthday. A fruit basket and balloon from Grandma and Granddad.

Bella slept in this morning until almost 9 am. I couldn’t believe it. Tired birthday girl! I’d already been up more than an hour and had made amazing headway in housecleaning with both girls still asleep.

She had a bagel with cream cheese and a bowl of grapes for breakfast, followed by a pancake. She gave Pooh some medicine because he was feeling sick. A kindly mother she is. We watched Lisa Loeb’s Jennie Jenkins a dozen times or more.

Bella really wanted to go to the playground and I would have been fine with tossing all plans and doing that but it was pouring rain and in the 40s. Instead we stopped by church to drop off some clothes for a homeless shelter drive that I’d forgotten yesterday. And finding the church open we went upstairs to pray for a minute. Isabella crossed herself with holy water at the door, genuflected in front of the altar and joined me in saying an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. Then I said a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonderful gift of her life. What a beautiful gift to be able to share with my daughter on her birthday: the gift of faith and prayer and the presence of our Lord. I think I will make a visit to church a part of our birthday tradition from now on.

Next we went to the grocery store to pick up a cake for Bella. I didn’t feel up to baking today and anyway I picked up a small one-layer cake so this way we’ll have less cake in the house than if I baked one. We’re still eating the cake we made last week for Sophie’s baptism party. When we got back to the car I told them we were heading back home for lunch and Bella asked if it was after noon. When I replied in the affirmative, she reminded me about the Angelus. So we sang Regina Caeli together again. Oh what a sweet treasure for me to be reminded to pray by my three year old.

Lunch was leftovers and a bit rushed. Pancakes, cheese and raspberries for Bella. Sophie and I scrounged a bunch of different things. Late wakeup balanced by a late nap time.

Tonight we’ll go out for a special birthday dinner to the only restaurant we’ve actually been patronizing since we moved, the great pho place in the next town. Bella loves their chicken lo mein and avocado shakes. Then we’ll have cake and candles and presents. Oh what joy!

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