Baby Girl, it seems like just yesterday that Mama Evan and I went down to the NICU to see you for the first time.
And that we sat and sobbed and sobbed as Mommy got to hold you for the very first time.
Stabilizing your breathing tube was a big deal so I was only allowed to hold you for short periods of time, twice a day. E was the second person to ever hold you.
Not long after we got to Riley's you got your first haircut for your PICC line and Sam tied it up in a little bow and made me a scrapbook page. It's one of my most cherished keepsakes.
You were so, so tiny but so strong. Even before surgery, you started over-breathing your ventilator so they were able to extubate you for a couple days.
As long as I live I will never forget the beauty of this picture. It was so hard for so many people to look at because you had been through so much in your first two weeks of life, but it was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen because you fought, baby girl, and you survived.
All the nurses were coming in to see you because you were just a mere 2.04 kg the day of surgery and they were amazed at the miracle they were witnessing.
The day Papaw, Aunt Dawnetta and I brought you home, 3 shorts weeks after the picture above, you were 4 lbs and 15 oz.
You literally looked like a baby doll in your car seat.
By the time you were six months old, your therapists and home health care nurses released you from their care because you surpassed the odds and were doing everything that a normal 6 month old does.
By your first birthday, you were up to 11 pounds.
You were walking and wearing 3-6 month clothes because you were still so tiny.
We've had a couple set backs along the way though.
At 17 months, we found out that you had sleep apnea as a result of some of the medicine you were on before your first surgery, so you had your second surgery.
And a couple months later, you got RSV and had to spend a few days in the hospital.
Two was a fun year...
We went to Alabama to visit Aunt Becky and Uncle Billy.
And we spent a lot of time at the lake.
We had a family only birthday for birthday #3 because I had just got home from the hospital, but you still had fun.
We made up for it with birthday # 4.
Everything was Minnie Mouse that year.
And really anything to do with 'aminals'.
You started preschool.
And then decided to cut a HUGE chunk out of the side of your hair so you rocked a pixie cut for awhile.
Five was a big year for you. We moved. You meet Poppy. You graduated pre-school. We got married. And moved again.
We spent your 6th birthday at the beach with Lele, Papaw Jim and Grandma Lola.
You spent a lot of your Saturdays going to car shows with Poppy and even won an award of your own.
You got to meet the Lady Cats.
Decided you want to be a Veterinarian when you grow up.
Had lots of snuggle time with your babies.
Play-dates with your bestie.
You brought the country to the city.
Visited your cousins.
Filled our hearts with so much joy.
And kept us in fits of laughter.
Today, you turned 7.
And I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face looking through all these old pictures and wondering where the time has gone.
We love you so very much, Bre!
And we are so proud of the beautiful spitfire (or as you told us last night, the 'crazy girl') that you are.
HAPPY 7th BIRTHDAY, BABY GIRL!!!
I'm looking forward to all the adventures this year holds for you.