For Sarah Annie, On Her Fourth Birthday














You are from a pink and purple bedroom with bluebell photos on the wall,

from a tiny but still too big pumpkin hat on the day you were born,

from handmade dresses and sentimental sweaters, patchwork Toms and special Hannas.

You are from a red brick house that smells like blessed candles, from icons on the walls, and the many voices of big brothers and sisters echoing off hardwood floors.

You are from the tulips and the stinky pear tree in the spring, from pansies and mums in the fall-- the front porch welcoming committees that smile at you as you come and go.

You are from American Girl dolls and shelves crammed with picture books

from Foss & MacDonald, Grzymala & DeMell

from athletes and dancers and thoughtful writers

from passionate politicos, media pioneers, and quiet crafters.

You are from soccering on weekends, dancing all day every day

from writing it all down and taking lots of pictures.

You are from handmade rosaries, the Angelus at noon, and a tiny medal around your neck

from Chick-Fil-A and sushi and eggs-and-toast-and-toast-to-dip-in (but not all at the same time)

from three grandpas in the Navy and road trips to Charlottesville and Ponte Vedra.

You are from Disney World with the best brothers and sisters, who made it all magic just for you; from Bluebell Week every year in dear, familiar woods

from a Daddy who lights up at the mere whisper of your name, scoops you up into giant hugs, and snuggles you through the night.

You are from a mama who has held every moment captive, cupped your sweet face in her hands a dozen times a day, and thanked God again and again for the gift of you.

You are from a family that reminds you daily that you are a miracle and we are so grateful for the grace and joy you bring to our lives.

You are the littlest of the girlies, still a wee bit fragile, ever darling, always loved beyond measure.




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