Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Elise!

Saturday, September 20, 1986, around 1:00 pm I experienced for the first time, contractions. I quickly called my mom and sister to tell them, "You better get on the road. I'm going to have a baby!" They were driving from Butte, Montana. I was birthing in Minot, ND. Since the drive was going to be a good 14 hours considering their mode of transportation, a 1960 something Volkswagon camper van, I wanted to give them a good amount of time to get to where I was going....the hospital. After laboring for 7 hours or so, we headed to St. Joseph's labor and delivery. Here is what I looked like......(please excuse the hair. It was the days of bi-levels)


Only much to my disappointment, the Dr sent me home. I was not near ready to deliver this baby. The next day, my mom and sister arrived and much to their disappointment, I was without child. Long story short, after another brief visit to the hospital Sunday night, a sleepless night at home, and a house full of people (we lived in a trailer so the additon of mom, sister, and 9 month old Rachel, my sister's baby, created quite a "snug as a bug in a rug" kind of feeling), we or should I say I, on Monday night, 6:15 pm, September 22, birthed a beautiful, full of hair, 8 lb. 10 oz Princess, named Elise Rachelle. Here is a sweet picture several hours later...


It is funny how much joy I feel each time I look at this picture. Our first born. Everything in life seems just right at that moment.

My mom and sister, Michone, stayed for about a week. They were such a big help. Once they left though, I was so alone. Just Joe, myself and this new baby. I would take Elise into every room I went into. When I showered, I would lay a towel in her little seat, bring her in the shower with me, wash her little body and then lay her in the seat all wrapped up. She would just sit there until I was done showering. Everywhere I went, she went. If I couldn't hold her, I'd put her in her little seat. Here is a picture of her in her seat as she followed me around....



I believe her Aunt Tami gave her this cute little outfit. The slippers were bunnies. I don't think there was a day that went by, in her first 6 years of life, that I did not fix Elise's hair. Even as a newborn, I would do something. Most of the time, I used baby lotion and created a curl on top of her head.

Shortly after Elise was born, we moved from Minot, ND to Cleveland, TN. Joe was in school full time and life was really hard. But Elise was brought so much joy to our lives. Here is one photo of her peering out at life...off the patio of our second story, roach infested, tiny apartment....


I wonder...did God place in her, this day, a desire to share the gospel to 100 nations? Was He already molding and shaping her vision, her ability to see the good in so many hurting people's lives? Was He saying to her young heart and mind as she peered out over the city, "Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35) I believe God was. He knew her when she stood there and He knew what He had called her to do.

Shortly after we moved to Cleveland, I was pregnant again with our son, Ross. I can remember thinking, "I will never be able to love another child so much." The good thing is God just doubles your portion of love. You never really share the love, He just gives you more to have for the others. Anyway....here is a picture of Joe and myself, several months pregnant, loving over our little girl...


And another memory of sharing my love of baking with Elise...


Today as I have looked over so many photos to share, I realized something. Elise has been Elise since the day her life was gifted to this earth. Her personality was God's gift. Her smile given to break any language barrier. Her attitude donned to handle life.
Here are some photos of her at a young age that reflect what I mean:


Today I celebrate the birth of my firstborn. She is worth celebrating. Her life has purpose. God knew exactly what He was doing.
Bless Elise today, Lord. Supply all her needs. Equip her with every tool for her life's call. Shine Your light on her. May the Fruit of the Spirit be evident in all she does. May mercy and grace abound in her heart. May she receive discipline from you with a grateful spirit. May she lead many to the throne of grace. May the harvest come.
Happy, happy birthday, my sweet princess. I love you.
Mom

4 comments:

MAMA-MIA said...

Seriously Elise, you have a wonderful mom! Happy Birthday girl! Hope you have an awesome day :)

Jeanie said...

She is a joy and a delight and I love loving her, too! She is a wonderful girl - you guys raised her well, she is my Elise-the-Niece.

Alicia said...

Oh Robin, you are such a sweet mommy!! It's so fun to see you with little kids...I've only known you with big kids. If only I was a time traveler, we could have raised our little bebes together! Oh, what havoc we would have wreaked in the HS group!! :) Oh well, God made us our ages for a reason...you've taught me so much!
Love Ya!!

Elise said...

Mom... i love you with all my heart. thank you for everything! this made me cry... of course!