Today is my nieces Lilly-Ana's 10th birthday. I can't believe how fast the last ten years have gone. I still remember the day my sister Anna told me she was pregnant with Lilly. After getting over the initial shock that my younger sister was having a baby before me I can remember getting this overwhelming feeling of joy that I was going to be an auntie. At the time my sister, her boyfriend and I lived in the same house so when Lilly was born I was there. I remember the evening she was born I went up to the hospital when Anna was in labour. I wasn't allowed in because only two people were allowed in so Ben (Lilly's dad) and my mum went in with her. It was a five hour wait and then she was here. I remember getting really upset because the hospital wouldn't let me see Lilly as it was too late and I had to wait for the next day. Whilst frustrated it was worth the wait.
Twelve hours later I held Lilly for the first time. The feeling was amazing. I'm an auntie and this little girl changed our lives forever. She is the most beautiful gift to our family ever.
|Lilly - 12 hours old|
|Me the proudest auntie in the world holding Lilly aged 12 hours old|
I lived in the same house as my sister and niece for the first couple of years of Lilly's life. I am so pleased I got the chance because it helped me feel a big part of her life and it was a joy to see her grow from a baby into a little person. I will never forget the way she got so excited in her baby walker in the mornings when the wiggly worms came on Nick JR. Or the fact that she loved watching Dora the Explorer but hated the map (especially if he was wearing a hat lol).
My sister made friends with other mums and took Lilly to toddler groups. Whilst Lilly has grown up as an only child she has always been surrounded by friends. I am proud of my sister, she has always done everything with Lilly to help her grow up. She read to her, she sang with her, she played games and did crafts with her and socialised her with children of her own age which I think is so important. She also took Lilly to places from an early age such as Longleat, to the park, to the beach and on picnics which she loved as a few examples.
|Lilly on a picnic in the park|
As Lilly began to grow and we lived together we had some great laughs. This is one of my favourite pictures of my sister Anna and Lilly. It just always makes me smile.
After a couple of years Anna and Lilly moved out. It was the right time for Anna but I still saw them both most days as we all still lived in Bath. As most people know I love entering competitions and one of my favourite wins was a Me To You bear I won. When I won I was told it could be personalised so I decided I was definitely going to give it to Lilly and I had it personalised with "I Belong To Lilly-Ana" and her date of birth on it. We didn't expect the bear to be so huge. Poor Anna was made to carry Big Bear around everywhere for a couple of days because Lilly wanted to show it to everyone. Lilly still has Big Bear now.
|Lilly and Big Bear|
This is another of my favourite pictures of Lilly from a family get together. I just love her beautiful smile. I have this picture as a canvas on my wall at home.
On Lilly's 7th birthday I decided to make her a little video on youtube of pictures of her with her family. I know every now and then she still looks at the video. It's lovely to have so many pictures and memories.
And here we are.....10 years. I am so proud to be Lilly's auntie. She is a beautiful well rounded girl. She has a lovely personality, she is polite, kind and a joy to spend time with. Whilst I only visit Lilly every now and again as I live in the Midlands and she is in Somerset I still talk to her on Skype and love spending quality time with her when I can.
|Me with Lilly|
Happy 10th Birthday Lilly-Ana - I love you so much. Auntie xxx
"Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister and share love like a friend!"