(April 7th Update)
Well Jason, it turns out that despite my best efforts to brighten it from afar, your lonely New York birthday was pretty lousy anyway. While there's no way to go back and fix that, I can at least fix the post about Annika's baby blessing. For in my view, that special day really was perfect.
Annika was blessed on Sunday, March 17th--St. Patrick's Day. Even though traveling is tiresome and expensive, we were joined by lots of family who wanted to share their love and support. Jason flew home from New York, NomiAnn and Papa Kay flew in from Nebraska, Charles and Susie drove down from Hyde Park, and Justin and Brianna drove up from Phoenix. The house was crowded and a little bit chaotic, but we wouldn't have had it any other way.
Here we are, so delighted to be reunited as a family once more.
Feeling a little bit goofy.
Getting everybody organized for pictures is always a challenge.
And a photo with NomiAnn, her daughter, and the grands.
Here's Annika Mae with the men of the family. Unlike our other infants, Annika was blessed during sacrament meeting in church instead of at home. While we initially made the change to accommodate travel schedules, it worked out beautifully. We've had so many neighbors reach out to welcome this new baby that it felt right to share this special moment with them. Encircled by those who care, Annika was tenderly held by her father who gave her a name and precious blessing. Unlike our other babes, she was quiet and content during the blessing, so we could hear every special word. Apparently our children can be either blessed or born at home--not both.
Annika Mae with Susannah Mae and Charles Burt Wheeler.
I love this picture: Susie gazing adoringly at her husband who seems fairly smitten with his newest granddaughter.
Annika with her parents.
Annika and her big sister Brooklyn. Isn't that hair fantastic?
And here's Brianna holding the baby. Definitely a natural, Aunt Brianna won the biggest baby smiles.
Oh, yawn! All these photographs are making me tired.
Sharing the love between mother and daughter.
Oh, how I wish I could make these baby days last a bit longer.
Showing off my baby girl. It's hard to believe that three daughters have been blessed in this beautiful white dress that contains fragments of my own wedding dress.
Brooklyn was excited to put on her white dress to match her little sister.
My gorgeous girls all dressed in white.
Here's Papa Kay snuggling his grandbaby. It was a big sacrifice for my Dad to leave the pressures of work for the baby blessing. We really appreciated his making the effort to be there.
Annika sleeps peacefully in the arms of her other grandfather, Papa Charles. Our children are so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents!
Papa Kay with Eli.
The littlest (and most charming) man of the house.
Okay, maybe this guy is the *most* charming, but Eli runs a close second.
Talia Lily, looking like an angel.
And NomiAnn, so glad to meet Annika at last.
I do believe Annika Mae is smiling because she knows she has the very best Dad.
Here's to celebrating the gift of life for everyone!