It's amazing how many details of her birth are so vivid to me eight years later. I'd been having contractions at about 36 weeks and commented to Ben, "Gee, these Braxton Hicks contractions are really hurting." Surprise, surprise, I was going into labor. At 36 weeks and four days I was ramping along, contractions every five minutes. Somehow with the help of a hot tub of water and the advice of my midwife we managed to stop labor and because I couldn't have her at home until I was officially 37 weeks, my midwife, Michelle told me, "Lay still in that bed and we'll see if you can make it." I actually was dilated 6-7 cm (and it was pretty remarkable that we got labor to stop!) at that point so I did as I was told. At 36 weeks, six days and about 20 hours, she told me I could walk around. We went to Target, I ate a bunch of pineapple, I joked with my mum and Kelly who'd driven down from Vancouver and had her a few hours later.

I remember the grandest relief I'd ever known when she was born. I remember everyone saying, "Oh, LOOK at all that crazy hair!" I remember them handing her to me and me weeping with the power of the greatest love I'd ever experienced washing over me.

She was six and a half pounds of perfection and I was so overwhelmed that she was mine. I'd loved her my whole life...and now she was in my arms.

It feels like I've barely blinked and she's eight. Eight!

She's tall and a fast runner. She's creative and smart. She's goofy and a jokester. She's affectionate and talkative. She's artistic and a interested in a lots of things. She's ours and we're so glad.

For her birthday portraits, we dolled her up a bit and she and I headed to Tacoma to Hello, Cupcake which we thought might be a fun location.

Taking the pictures and then looking at them later was such a reminder that she's at such a fun stage of being playful and silly and un-self conscious and then just so lovely. I can so catch glimpses of what a young lady she's becoming.

I love this girl.

Of course, we had to start with Miss Crazypants getting a little silly.

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Her little brother broke her glasses last week so we did all these without. Ruby has learned her lesson about not getting her face too near Theo's chubby hands!

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Happy birthday, Ruby. You are our treasure and we will always be glad that God gave you to us!

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