Almost One

Small Things-1383

A year ago today, I had my pre-op appointment in preparation for Mabel’s birth the following day. I also needed to make a big grocery run, wanting to be sure my family had everything they needed while I was in the hospital. It being my first hospital birth in almost sixteen years, my younger children were a little concerned over the fact that I would be leaving for this baby’s birth. I was too, as Mabel’s birth would be my first major surgery. While I ran my errands, Jonny drove to the train station with all the kids to pick up his sister, Rachel, who came to help out that first week.

Squeezed into the day, I also had plans to meet with a stranger, a young woman named Molly who had messaged me only days before. She was a friend of Sarah’s who moved away a couple years before she died, hadn’t been able to attend her funeral, and just wanted to connect with another of Sarah’s friends. She needed to hear all that happened, to talk through it, and maybe find some closure. I came close to telling her that I couldn’t meet her at all because the one day she had free happened to be that busy Sunday before Mabel’s birth. Between the timing and my introverted nature, it seemed like a little too much to ask of myself. But something nudged me to meet her. We met at my church, where she was attending while in town. Almost immediately, I felt completely comfortable with her and during the hour we had, we talked and cried together. Before I left, she asked if she could pray over me, as in lay hands on me and pray. She asked, “Would that make you uncomfortable?” And I said, “Yes, but do it anyway.” She covered me in the most beautiful heartfelt prayers naming my specific fears about the surgery and asking for peace. I completely surrendered myself to the moment, and to her prayers. Then it was time for us to part ways. I walked outside and to my car, feeling warm and happy. I had that strange sort of floating sensation that you feel sometimes after something special happens. Sarah felt so close while I was talking with Molly, and even later as I was filling my cart. I thought that of all the weekends that Molly might have needed to visit my town, it was a little crazy that it happened to be the one before my c-section. It hit me that it felt like Sarah was praying for me with her friend. I think she was. There was nothing coincidental about that hour spent crying and hugging a stranger. I pushed my cart through Costco, tears streaming down my smiling face.

Here I sit, one year later, crying fresh tears over what happened the day before Mabel was born. I hope not to cry tomorrow! But when you’re quite near turning forty and your baby is turning one, it’s hard not to. Everything feels so fragile and fleeting and beautiful. I’ve been quite busy getting things together for this first birthday. Mabel has a few special bought gifts, and some handmades too. I sewed her a dress and a crown, and plan to make her a simple quilt too. The last three babies received quilts on their first birthdays (If I’m remembering right) but hers will be a bit late. I did sew her a last minute little felt doll and pouch necklace. And then I gave it to her early, because why wait? She’s pleased with it. 🙂

Despite all the thought I have put into Mabel’s birthday, it will be a simple celebration. Jonny’s mother is visiting with a friend, and they will be with us, so that’s special. We’ll have fruit and whipped cream and a honey cake for lunch (I’ll share the recipe soon. It’s from a friend of mine.) Then there will be gifts after which she’ll likely have a nap. By the time she wakes up it will be time to get dinner made and start thinking about afternoon sports. Time to get Keats and Gabe to baseball, and Seth and the girls to golf. Mabel doesn’t have any favorite foods yet that we can tell, so I’m not sure what we’ll actually have for dinner. I guess I better come up with a plan.

Almost one…Hasn’t the year flown?


  1. Oh, my dear friend. I remember when you told me you were pregnant with Mabel. In fact, to me, it feels like it was ages and ages ago. She is clearly an old soul, watched over by angels. Precious darling.

    Darling Sarah. I think of that time often, too. Amelia put one of your flower stickers on the wall above her bed. I wish you so much love, Ginny. 💗

  2. Such a precious gift your dear friend gave you from Heaven:)! #CommunionofSaints:)

  3. Happy belated birthday, Mabel!

    I loved reading this…thanks for sharing, Ginny. My cousin was born two days after her, and it’s so weird to think how fast she (and Mabel!) grew up!

  4. Becky Barry says:

    Happy Birthday little Mabel! Such a lucky little girl to have such a wonderful family! Beautiful post!

  5. she cannot CANNOT be one!!! Time is going too fast for me, your kids are growing like weeds and we keep staying the same age….forever young. sigh. Seriously though, lovely gifts and may she have a blessed first birthday – she is a blessing.

  6. Tracy G says:

    Ginny – Your posts and photos always touch me so deeply. Something about their quality gets me so deep that sometimes it *hurts* (but in a good kind of way). As I was looking at these photos of Mabel, I was trying to put my finger on why I feel this way. Then I read the answer in your post: “Everything feels so fragile and fleeting and beautiful.” This is what your photos capture for me. Thank you for sharing these precious moments with us. God speaks to me through you and your images. May He bless you and your family richly!

  7. Happy Birthday to Mabel! It’s amazing how a year can fly by. Your post is beautiful. With respect to your conversation with Molly, it always makes me wonder why certain things happen at certain times – just when you need it the most. I’m sure your friend, Sarah, was right there with you. All the best to your whole family!

  8. How wonderful to watch this baby, post after post, and actually see her grow! I saw her look like you, and then your husband, and now the both of you. Such a sweet little girl. A year passed by as I read about your family and now it is birthday time for baby. As you age you will be filled with rich memories of your children growing up. I can tell you to enjoy them, because it is a fleeting time that comes as it seems out of nowhere and then, they are out of the nest. I read a statement made by a wise woman that said, “Say ‘ yes ‘ to your children as often as you can, because they are only children for a short time.” Childhood is for a short time of their lives. I read as you wrote, and believe that your children will look back on their childhood and call their parents blessed. Because you are extremely blessed. Children are a gift from the Lord.

  9. My baby just turned 11 months, so I am in a similar spot of thinking about the first birthday and feeling sentimental over how fast the first year has flown! I would love to make something handmade, too, but since I have a boy, the whole clothing thing doesn’t seem like a good option, so I am considering a small quilt/blanket, too. There’s something special about handmade things, and I love to see the things that you take the time to create. Blessings on you and little Mabel as you celebrate this special day!

  10. Such a beautiful and precious gift you have with Mabel. I cannot believe that a whole year has flown by! Enjoy the day and major kisses and hugs to you both on your accomplishment! You have made it through the first year and have emerged totally victorious. Good wishes and blessings to all of you!

  11. Sandra Davidson says:

    Happy Birthday to such a sweet girl from Canada. I can’t believe a whole year has gone by. I hope you enjoy all your birthday celebrations.

  12. What a cutie! I love the story of Molly and Sarah. You are a beautiful woman and an inspirational mom. Enjoy your special celebration with your sweet baby girl. 🙂

  13. So lovely. 🙂 Happy birthday, Mabel!

  14. Such a beautiful story. I know exactly the floating feeling you described – in fact, I felt it while reading your words! For me its usually accompanied by a tingling sensation, like pins and needles throughout my whole body. I’ve always felt it was the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for sharing this special moment with all of us.

  15. It makes you wonder if Molly was sent by Sarah. I can imagine Sarah saying “Father, could you please arrange for Molly and Ginny to meet? The day before Ginny’s c-section? Yes, that would be perfect.” Praise God that you were trusting and open to the moment of grace.

    The photos of Larkspur with Mabel remind me of my daughter and her little brother. My oldest daughter was almost 12 when her little brother was born and she was such a good big sister mama to him. She loved carrying him around and, being crafty, making little things for him.

  16. Happy birthday dear Mabel and mum! 🎉🦋⭐️🌷💐🌻⭐️🦋🎉

  17. Annie Kitching says:

    How God speaks! Through coincidence so often.

  18. I love the abc needlework! Did you do that also? Is there a pattern? Thanks…and happy birthday to Mabel!

  19. Beautiful. The Spirit of God and love of others moves in surprising and perfect ways.

  20. Thank you for sharing your heart through this story with us. God holds us all in the palm of His hand. I was blessed by reading this. ~ Happy Birthday little Mabel ~ Linda

  21. Happy birthday Mabel! It really has been a fast year.

  22. So sorry to hear about Sarah but lovely memories from last year, and this!

  23. Happy Birthday, Mabel!

  24. So precious, Ginny. I am glad you shared this sweet, important story. Happy Birthday to that special, sweet baby.

  25. Any chance you could post the Dolly pattern, too? When you click the link it says you have to be an invited reader to get to her blog, of which I am not. This is adorable! Happy Birthday to Mabel! She is beautiful!!!!

  26. You are so amazing! I don’t know how you’re able to make such beautiful things with the busy life you must have.
    Just wondering if you have a source for the pattern for the adorable felt doll? I would love to be able to make them for my granddaughters. Thank you:)

  27. Many years! Happiest of birthdays to your dear, sweet Mabel.

  28. I’ve been watching your posts about your preparations. I can’t wait to see the birthday girl with her crown and dress. So sweet.💜

  29. She is so sweet, Happy Birthday Mabel.

  30. This was such a special sharing, really touched my heart. I have had so many serendipitous occasions that make me certain that someone is helping me through this life. Happy Birthday to Mabel and I am still hoping she will match up with my grandson who was 1 in March.

  31. Oh, it has flown! Everything is achingly beautiful and Mabel is the cutest. Hope you all have such a JOYFUL day tomorrow! Cant wait to see her in her little handmade gifts.

  32. how very special. thank you so very very much for sharing this. I love seeing moments that God clearly gives us to bless us. This really encouraged me, thank you. God bless you!!! and your family! and Mabel on her 1st birthday!!!

  33. I love this—and you. 💗

  34. A year, wow. I hope you are have a nice and calm day.

  35. The year has flown incredibly swiftly!!! My littlest is 18 months and each closing of the day makes me pause & feel a bit sad that my baby, most likely my last, is that much older. Thank you for sharing the story of the day before Mabel’s birth–gave me shivers. Happy happiest of birthdays to your tiny lady! xx

  36. Kariann says:

    My Cora turned 1 May 24th and we haven’t done anything yet! I’m a teacher and had her the last day of school, and it’s so busy that time of year!! I am thinking of making our fourth of July shin dig her official birthday!! Mabel has such an amazing and special birth story:)

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