Seven Years

by - 2:16 PM

Seven years ago today, I met a little girl for the very first time.

She was less than a day old and the seventeen-year-old me joked that I could fool her like she was born yesterday. I never was good at being funny.

I remember so concisely, it was the early evening and I was sitting in the backseat of my Opa's jetta, driving through downtown Grand Rapids and just dreaming about what she must look like.

I remember walking the halls, scaling the edges of the wall, looking for the magical room number.
I remember opening that door and seeing my sister completely awash in this pink ambient light. I remember that she yelled at me not to make her laugh. I remember this bundle of blankets sleeping in the corner of the room. I remember the moment when my first niece was placed in my arms and I remember knowing in an instant that love at first sight is completely real.

I remember how natural her mama looked with a little baby in her arms.

I remember the jolt that came immediately after. My sister is a mother.
And now, looking back on these pictures of us, those years ago, and my first reaction is we were babies too. Look at us. Those young faces. We were babies too.

Seven years later and we are all still so captivated.

I remember when she started babbling and I thought it was the most insanely cool thing. I knew she was talking to me, saying these meaningful things that are lost forever, but the feeling of looking at her in awe and knowing that she was having her first cognitive thoughts sparkle like twinkle lights in my memory.

The innumerable hilarious things that she has said since still continue to blow my mind.

I remember the first time she audibly called me "aunt" Jenn.

I remember when she turned a year old.
I remember a face covered in cake.

I remember when she stopped being a baby and turned into a kid.

I remember so many tears, but also just as many laughs.
Sometimes I think I remember every single sweet thing she's ever said to me. I know that it's really just that I want to remember so bad.

This part of her that can be coerced into hugs and snuggling any time, gosh I so need to remember this. Like the way she still runs to the door when I visit, the way she jumps into my arms and wraps her arms tight. The way she always commands "wave!" when I leave and sure enough, as I back my car out of the driveway, there she is, waving in the window.

How do seven years pass so quickly?

Seven years ago today, I met her for the very first time.
On that day, I had no idea how much she would complete our family. I couldn't fathom that every single memory I have from January 2006 until right now, would be a thousand times better--would include a million truckloads of shimmery, sparkling, glitter--because she is a part of them.

Right this second, seven years ago, I had no idea how different my life would be in just a few hours. I was excited. I was talking my Oma's ear off. She was calmly suggesting that I practice patience. I was not so calmly ignoring her advice.

Seven years.
It's incredible how right the world is because of the people who are in it.
She is the only person that I have ever met who I immediately knew I would love forever.
And yesterday, she turned seven.

On Saturday something momentous will occur.
It's a surprise and I am very nearly bursting at the seams to share, but I have to wait.
So, tune in on Saturday for some news.
 Some big news. Some seriously blog-worthy news.
And prepare yourselves.

T minus 4 days, peeps.
And in the meantime, take it from a girl who knows how to get excited.

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