I asked for many things from God when I was pregnant.Above all I prayed the Lord would redeem my time with a newborn baby.

2 days before my son was born I was at the hospital, with my husband, as a biopsy was performed. 2 days after my son was born we found out the cancer had returned.

I remember that day, looking at this brand new baby boy, tears streaming down my face, with a broken heart. I knew cancer was going to compromise how the first year of his life would be. Yes, we got to enjoy the milestones of him rolling over, saying his first words. But those days were also mixed in with days of chemo, CT scan days and much stress and sadness. It wasn't how anyone's first year of motherhood should be.

Immediately after I found out I was pregnant with Ellis was when I started to share the desires of my heart with the Lord. My greatest request was I wanted Him to redeem the first year of her life. I wanted it to be stress-free, a year of discovery and joy, as it should be.

We all know how her story has been thus far. Her first year has been anything but stress free.

The other day I was reminding the Lord of that prayer. I was sharing my heart, that all I wanted was a normal first year with a baby. A normal year of seeing her grow. A normal year. I didn't feel that was too much to ask. That's what most Moms get. But I didn't with my first baby. And so far I wasn't with my second, and last, baby.

As I sat there spilling out my feelings I felt the Lord quietly whisper to my heart that this year might not be "normal" but my joy will be double. He reminded me of some of the things I took for granted that Milo could do as a baby. Not so with Ellis. He promised me that as He shows Himself faithful we will rejoice all the more for His faithfulness.

He was right.

As she takes every step forward we are wild with joy and celebration.

For as doctors told us the nature of her injury would cause her to continue to go "down-hill" the exact opposite has been true. She has gone forward. Uphill. She is improving and in no way declining.

Here's just a few of the recent milestones we as a family are rejoicing in.

The other day I was feeding her a bottle and she put one hand on it. Curious, I threw the other hand up there to see what would happen. Well, of course she held the bottle with complete control. And of course she fed herself over an ounce. Of course she did.

She's making more eye contact and tracking more from side to side. Milo always had hazel eyes like his Dad. Ellis has brown eyes like me. I love to get to stare into those big beautiful eyes of hers.

The other day on her play-mat she rolled from her back to her side. It was so exciting. We've now seen her do that on both sides, left and right. While I didn't catch the start of the roll, I caught her rolling back from her side to her back. Picture below. She also lays down on that mat and bats at every toy with her hands and feet, just as Milo did at her age.

The most fun development has been to see her joy. Her teeny tiny little smiles have turned into full on grins. She used to only do it when she was sleeping, now she does it all throughout the day. She especially does it when her big brother is doing what he does so well, being a goofball. To her he's hilarious. It's been amazing to see her feel the emotion of happiness and break out in a grin because of it.

Milestones are so important, especially this year. It might not be your typical first year of babyhood, but this sweet girl has certainly doubled our joy. We rejoice in her progress. We thank the Lord He's completing the good work in her. And we wait in expectation for what more He's going to do.

The miracle continues...