Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Sierra!

Brand new baby Sierra!
You are three years old!! I can't believe it. Sierra was born at another time in our lives when we were up in the air. We had decided to really tackle the financial issues we were facing. We downsized our home, sold our Honda Accord, and really tightened the spending belt. We moved into this house with no extra money or time to work on it but with a dream of it being beautiful again. Sierra was 6 weeks old. Have we really come this far?

Fall 2005

Spring 2008

Just a side note. In the first picture, I love the symbolism: air compressor, extension cord and ladder for our remodeling project, baby clothes and toys for our children, elliptical machine and bungees for personal goals, bills, paperwork and laundry for family responsibilities. That was my life!

One year old!

Sierra means mountain. It was so appropriate for the mountain we were climbing in life. I will always remember Andrew saying, "It's like we're climbing up a mountain of mud. I'm working so hard to take a step forward but each time I slide back several steps." It was a frustrating, mucky time. At the same time, I also trusted that God would provide wonderful perspectives from the mountain journey, so Sierra was very appropriate. She has two middle names, like the other kids: Ruby Jean. Ruby has so many wonderful connections. It is July's birthstone, Andrew's paternal Grandmother's name, and a dear friend of my paternal Grandmother's. Jean is my mom's middle name and the name of a wonderful mentor that God brought into my life several years ago. Jean also means "God is Gracious". Perfect!!

2 years old!

Sierra was a surprise baby and even that was a blessing. We've always wanted a big family and I had already begun to grieve the fact that it looked like financially we'd have to be done at 2 kids. As much as the timing seemed crazy and impossible at the time, here we are 3 years later and, first of all, I wouldn't change a thing and, second of all, it obviously wasn't impossible because we're all thriving!

3 years old and rafting!

As a Dalmatian dog at the 4th of July!

Happy Birthday beautiful girl. You'll be a wonderful big sister!

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Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff