One year ago yesterday, on the 4th of July, my cousin Kelly gave birth to her first child, a tiny two pound baby girl, Julia Grace. Kelly was only 26 weeks pregant, so as you can imagine, Julia had a very tremulous start to life. Kelly is like a sister to me, and I immediately rushed to the hospital to be with her. I was lucky to be allowed to see sweet Julia through the glass of her isolette that very first day of her life. She was tinier than I could imagine, her skin so pink, and her little chest rose and fell so fast. Miraculously, Julia has done better than anyone could have expected. Kelly jokes that she graduated the "valedictorian" from the NICU. Julia Grace is a miracle baby, and nothing gives me more pleasure than to present her here, one year after her fragile start, in celebration of her first birthday. She is plump and strong and happy and irresistably adorable. She has changed her mother's life in every way possible. You've come so far, sweet Julia Grace, and inspired so much joy and gratitude in so many people, most of all, your proud mom and dad. A very happy birthday to you, Jules!
Of course I couldn't resist some fluffy tutu shots.
Look at those chubby little toes!
The bonnet belonged to her big cousin Kate.
We put her in our grandmother's hat box....oh how Gram would have loved to see this.
Red, white and blue for the Indepence day baby!
I love this just post-topple tushie shot...
A tender moment with her Mama.
Kelly's hair tickled her in the previous shot--I love this face.
And this one even more!
Take a look at Julia on the day she was born. So delicate and fragile...
Compare that tiny, delicate infant with this chubby, healthy, happy perfect little cherub! We love you so much, sweet baby Jules!