Happy Birthday Xiola!

Our baby is 5 today.  Where did the time go?!  It seems like just yesterday she was born in that old rambling farmhouse, the dining room to be exact.  Yes, she was a homebirth baby, born in water with her family surrounding her.  She was amazing!  She has been our snuggly, cuddly girl ever since.  She loved being carried, and we found it so much easier to use baby carriers and slings, that we never used a stroller with her.  I do believe she's ridden in one maybe twice in her life.  You could always find her on one of our backs, happy as a little lark.  Our red-headed princess, who is so wonderfully close to her brother and sister.  Yes, she has her moments to be sure, but her spirit has always been so incredibly gentle.  She is our artist with the amazing imagination.  And now she is a big girl.  The dimples in her hands are all but gone, her baby chub turning into longer limbs.  Her smile just melts our hearts.  She is funny, and is an excellent joke teller!  Yesterday was her big party, the biggest one for her to date as she's never really want much of a fuss made over her.  But this year she wanted to mark the occasion with a blow out!  After all the food was eaten, all the kids sleepily went home and sister was even in bed, Xiola sat up with Jason and I creating with her new play dough, new stuffed horse on her lap and a look that of such contentment that it brought tears to my eyes.  I didn't take a photo, we barely dared to breath as we watched our littlest turning into a big girl right before our eyes.  The adventure with her and her sister is ever so much fun, and we are looking forward to what the next 5 years will bring...if only we could slow it down just a little.

My sister and I (me in the back), with our little ones still cooking.  This was the month before Xi was born.

Two months shy of her First birthday.  

 Birthday number 2.

 So proud of her new skateboarding gear on her Third birthday.  She loves riding the ramp with Daddy.

 Her love of horses was fully ingrained by the time she reached her Fourth birthday.  

This morning...my big girl.  

Happy Birthday Xiola!!  You bring joy to everyone you meet.  We love you beyond words.  Thank you for choosing us....xoxox.