Yesterday, my baby turned 2. It was a near perfect birthday, with the exception of a minor meltdown when we had to remove her cupcake from her because we couldn't find our lighter. Determined it was not lost, we looked everywhere, but it never turned up. Thankfully, nearly all of our neighbors smoke so it didn't take long to locate a borrowed lighter. The meltdown lasted about 5 minutes and ended the minute we stopped singing Happy Birthday and asked her to blow out the candles. She couldn't quite get it so her two older sisters proudly stepped in and helped extinguish the fire.

The cupcakes were soooooo good. Probably one of my best batches. Now they are just sitting on the counter taunting me and my heartburn. Taunt away tasty treats...I will not cave. Only one a day followed by a Tbsp of pickle juice to lessen the heartburn is my rule.

I love my Elle Belle. She's been a nightmare two-year old this morning, but it will pass. I can't believe two years ago I was cuddling her alone in the quiet of my hospital room. Tim, the girls and Tim's mom were my only visitors during the hospital stay, and the girls only visited once (per my request) so I spent a lot of time alone in the square, sterile room. I breathed in all Elle's newborn goodness and let her sleep on my chest. The hospital staff was worried because they never saw anyone visit me so they'd periodically drop in and ask if they should call someone. I'd shake my head and smile. It was the most serene stay.

Two years have gone by in a blink, and a new one is on her way. I am growing more and more anxious for that day, but I'm still in love with our family of five for now, and I'm so glad we were able to celebrate Elle's life together in the most simple and happy way.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley