Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our May Belle

Mommy & Mary Claire
May 2010

Two years ago, on this very day at 7:55 a.m., God gave us the gift of a beautiful dark-haired, brown-eyed little girl. We named her Mary Claire for special reasons although we have discussed once or twice that maybe we should have named her "Maybelle" after Jan's Grandmother Hensley. After all, she was born in May and is our "Belle" and she strongly possesses the Shankle family look. Nevertheless, today is her special day! The boys and I went in together to wish her a happy birthday this morning when she awoke and before John Owen and I left for our last 1/2 day of school. (Woo-hoo!) Jan had left his special gift to her on the coffee table...he bought her an antique purse from one of the local antique shops to play dress up with! I know she will enjoy it and hopefully, treasure it as she grows.

Look at you!
I found you sitting here one night.
Hmm...I think I might have found someone who can take over the task of updating this family blog! hehe

Mary Claire's life has already been such a blessing in the time she's been a part of our lives. I believe with all that is within me that God has special plans for all of my children, but in Mary Claire's case, I feel like He has spoken to me (almost directly) and reminded me that a big part of being a Christian parent means trusting Him with the lives of my children. It's no secret to my close friends and family that in January & February I struggled with what the doctors told me about Mary Claire's brain anomaly. I think Satan was fighting for my thoughts and heart. I felt torn and unsure and afraid, like a war was raging inside of me! I confess that I still do some days, but I am so thankful for my mom and grandmother for the Christian love, advice, & support they gave to me. (When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee. Psalm 56:3)

Through the whole experience, I can honestly say God is so GOOD, and I am so thankful for the blessings He has given us. And I am gonna claim His promise that He is our protector & provider. He is the only one who knows tomorrow. He knew she would be exactly as she is today before I ever knew. Before any doctor ever knew. And I give Him all the thanks and praise for her...exactly as she is. She continues to amaze me every day. About 2 months ago, I started keeping a journal for the things she says and does. Now, I am happy to say that I am having trouble keeping up with the new words and things that I write down because she is doing so much! We go back to the neurologist next week, and I would ask that you would continue to keep Mary Claire in your prayers. I may not know His plans for today, but one day, I know He'll reveal His plans for us all and for our Mary Claire. 

This is my favorite picture of you from your Luau Birthday Party!
Splashin' in the pool with Sam Harris, Faith & Ema Li!
Happy 2nd Birthday!

Dear Mary Claire,

One day when you are older, you'll read this, and I hope you will know without a shadow of a doubt that we are so thankful for you. I cannot possibly imagine life without you! It makes my day when I get to go in and get you out of bed in the morning, and you greet me with, "Hey, Mommy!" or when you hug me tight and pat me on the back. (You get that from your Daddy, I think.) You are so funny when you give us "The Look!" You are a tough girl, too! I can see that having two older brothers has made you strong and possibly, a bit strong-willed, but that's OK. Hopefully, I'll do my job as your mommy and direct that strong-willed spirit in the right direction. :-) I love how you play "Ring-a-Round-the-Rosy" but you don't really like the "all fall down" part! And I have never seen a child who likes to go and do as much as you. I can't even get in the door good from work before you say, "Go!", and you take my hand and start for the van. And just this week, when you insisted on sitting at the bar with your brothers to eat your food, I nearly cried because I saw the end of your "baby years" rushing at me! You are turning 2 years old today, and as I held you this afternoon before your nap, I felt like it was just a moment ago when I held you as a newborn baby in the hospital. You are growing into a beautiful little girl. I love the fact that you look so much like your Daddy with your beautiful dark hair and chocolate brown eyes. My prayer for you is that God will protect you from any injury, disease, & destruction, and that He will use you as His servant. I know He has great things in store for you! Happy birthday, Mary Claire! Happy Birthday to you!!!


Cookies for your luau party

Some of your favorite things are balloons, yummy strawberries & colorful goldfish!

A luau cake made for you by Mrs. Mary Baugues

Playing in the beach ball sprinkler with cousin Hardy.
Watch out! I think he's aiming that water right at you! :-)

Fun in the sand with Harris and Hardy.
Cousins (all born in 2008) are so much fun!


Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday Mary Claire! Such a cute party Nicole! The cake is adorable. It really is hard to believe how fast time has flown by. Will keep your little May Belle in our prayers. Happy Birthday.

Kate said...

Happy Birthday Mary Claire. Looks as if she had a great time at her party. She was all smiles :) Can't believe she's already 2! My how time flies.

Laura Dawson said...

She is precious and super smart! Will continue to pray for her.