Posted (Tina) in All Posts on July-23-2008

I can’t believe that a year ago today, I ate Olive Garden for dinner with Josh in Gainesville, FL. Also, I started to feel things moving around and thought I was experiencing Braxton Hicks for the first time. For those of you that were not following along back then, the title of the post was so correct: Braxton Hicks got it wrong!

I talked with my brother and sister-in-law late and got off the phone around 11:30 pm EST. They were excited that I was getting signs of an upcoming birth. I just seemed to think that it was at least 2-3 weeks out at that point. Boy, I was wrong!

By the time we went to sleep at midnight, I was feeling contractions (even though I did not realize it). Finally at 4am, I woke Josh out of a deep sleep to let him know I was in pain! Lots of pain for 4 hours straight! And isn’t God’s timing amazing? Dr. Kays was just getting back from an extended vacation; it was his first shift back.

Ella Renae West was born into the world only a few hours later after they attempted to slow down the birth! And our long journey started…

It’s just hard to believe that we are sitting here at home 1 year later with a beautiful little miracle.

We praise God for taking us on the road less traveled. Each day, He surprises us with how He uses our story to bless others as well as ourselves. Sometimes we wonder why He chose us and then we have to stop and remind ourselves that although it doesn’t always makes sense, He knows best. We feel honored and privileged that He has entrusted Ella into our care. May we always strive to please Him in all we say and do.

Laura Blackwell on July 23rd, 2008 at 10:28 pm #

God is good!

angie on July 23rd, 2008 at 11:04 pm #


Amity Chase on July 23rd, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

I have followed Sweet Ella’s story since she was only a few weeks old. Someone posted on a parenting site that she needed prayer. I have been praying for you for a long time, little girl, and am thrilled that you are about to celebrate your first birthday. May God continue to bless your life as you bless us with your smile.

Joel Snyder on July 24th, 2008 at 12:10 am #

Ella, Happy Birthday!!!!!! I am remembering a year ago when I got off work and was walking to my car and your Mom called and said hello “GRANDPA” the sweetest words I ever heard. The last year has been amazing for all of us and in large part to the miracles that GOD performed with you. Your Mom and Dad have been my heroes and you the little girl that just kept steady and slow progress forward. Sometimes one step forward and two back but you never stopped being that “Miracle Baby”. I am looking forward to this year and the progress day by day. Have a wonderful Birthday I will see you soon. Love,Grandpa!!!!!!!!!!!

Barbara Mullins on July 24th, 2008 at 3:59 am #

Happy 1st Birthday Ella! I’m sending you a burthday present via special courier. Hope you like it! Can’t wait to see what the next year holds for you and your Mom and Dad. God Bless You, Little One!

Barbara Mullins

Barbara Mullins on July 24th, 2008 at 4:00 am #

Oops – that was bIrthday present!

The Dirrim Family on July 24th, 2008 at 6:00 am #

Happy Birthday Ella!! The Bun is One! Praise God for this day. May God bless you with many, many, many years ahead. May you love and serve him all your life.
Can’t wait to meet you all.
Barb and Pat

Aunt Ginny on July 24th, 2008 at 6:16 am #

Happy Birthday Ella! I am sure your mom and dad have something special planned for you and that Grandpa Joel will be there too to help you celebrate. Today is also the birthday of your cousin Deanna Snyder. She is 11 today. I love you, Aunt Ginny P.S. Spend all your kisses

Matt, Abby, Austin & Caed on July 24th, 2008 at 6:30 am #

From your old neighbor across the “street” in NICU 2 & all of us in the big city of Trenton, Florida…HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLA!!!!!!

I can’t begin to express how much you and your parents mean to us. Our Birthday wish for you is that God would bless you with His vision and His heart and that you never forget how much He loves you.

Steve and Joan Odell on July 24th, 2008 at 6:30 am #

Happy Birthday dearest Ella! Congratulations Mom and Dad – job more than well done – Thanks be to God for all his love, blessings and miracles!! Hugs and love – Steve and Joan

Eusey Family on July 24th, 2008 at 6:46 am #

Happy Birthday Sweet Ella!
We love you.

Megan, Richard, Claire, Ryan, Shannon and Rick.

Brendan on July 24th, 2008 at 6:49 am #

WOOOOHOOOO Happy Birthday Ella Bun!

The Brittain Family on July 24th, 2008 at 7:06 am #

Happy Birthday, Ella! God is good. We praise Him for your life and health. Keep living for Him!!!
Love Jeff & Ruth, Netanya, Jesse, Evelyn, Priscilla and baby Daniel

Anne on July 24th, 2008 at 7:22 am #

Happy birthday to Ella… and Happy Anniversary of your miracle to Josh & Tina… may you celebrate this day with tons of fun for years to come!

Linda on July 24th, 2008 at 7:56 am #

Happy Birthday Ella!!!!

You are such a special little lady and you bring joy to everyone. I hope you have a wonderful day and many more birthdays to come.

Shannon (aimco) on July 24th, 2008 at 8:03 am #


Adrienne (Melissa's sister) on July 24th, 2008 at 8:09 am #

BELLA ELLA! What a beautiful day to celebrate your FIRST YEAR of life! What a miracle you are! I know that God will continue His hand upon your precious life and that you will get BIG and STRONG so you can play with Kaiden and Carson one summer! They are happy to know you are so much better. We are sending a card today for your time capsule! : )
Josh and Tina… what a journey it has been! Take each moment at a time and just keep on trusting in His grace and wisdom. Much love your way!
XOXOX, Adrienne and family

LoriAnn & The Gang on July 24th, 2008 at 8:34 am #

I am sure that this will be one of the most filled posts of all time.
Happy Birthday, Ella.
I agree with Adrienne, you are a Bella; so beautiful.
Tina and Josh, welcome to the second year of parenthood. Ella may not be walkin’ or talkin’, but she sure has a lot to say to all of us who believe that the Holy Spirit has been working through her to us. Thank you again, Wonderful Family of Faith, for sharing your walk with us. I hope she gets to get a lick of something sweet today!
Love from the Kuhn Family: Tom (Dad aka Popei), LoriAnn (Mom aka MeMaw), Jessica (27), Tyler (11), Zackary (10), Seth (7), Jonny (4), Felicia (granddaughter – 12), Andrew (grandson – 10), Jeremia (gson – 7), Larencia (gdaughter – 5), Isaiah (gson – 2), and Darius (1)
We are all celebrating today “with” you; hope you don’t mind. 😉

Eve Johnson on July 24th, 2008 at 8:40 am #

Happy birthday dear ELLA!! What a miraculous day. I love you so much, your parents love you infinitely more than I do, and God loves you infinitely more than that. It is indeed a day of praise and thanksgiving to Him who gave you life.

The Mitchell's on July 24th, 2008 at 8:42 am #

Happy 1st Birthday! We love ya!

Jill E G on July 24th, 2008 at 8:43 am #

Happy Birthday Ella! Good job Josh and Tina getting through your first year of parenthood. It’s been quite a ride. Wishes that this next year are healthy and happy.

Thanks for passing my info on to another mom that will deliver and have her child at the same NICU Gus was at.

Jill mommy to a CDH miracle http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/gusginder

Marge (Indiana friend of Keith & Liz Mueller - Chris' parents) on July 24th, 2008 at 8:56 am #

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY ELLA !! May you know the fullest Blessings from God as you continue your journey toward many more birthdays. You are an inspiration to all who know and love you either in person or on this site; your sweet smile just makes my day!

Heidi on July 24th, 2008 at 9:23 am #

Happy Birthday Ella!

Brantley Family on July 24th, 2008 at 9:27 am #

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY ELLA!! This is such a wonderful day. We miss you guys and wish we could celebrate with you. In less than 2 weeks we will be making a trip to Gainesville for Jordan’s 1 year check-up and it will be the first time you guys will not be there. We love yall and wish yall the best. Give Ella a BIG kiss.
Love, Clay, Julie & Jordan

Loren on July 24th, 2008 at 9:36 am #

Happy Birthday sweet baby Ella!

Grandpa Jack on July 24th, 2008 at 10:05 am #


Christe Mitchell on July 24th, 2008 at 10:43 am #

Miss Ella, I pray you have a wonderful 1st Birthday! You have truly been a blessing to me! God Bless You as you celebrate this special day! Love, Christe

Nancy (Melissa's Sister-in-law) on July 24th, 2008 at 10:48 am #

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS ELLA! I am Melissa Morris’ sister-in-law and we have been reading about you and watching you grow since you were born. I believe if Ella could talk she would thank god for the parents she was so blessed to have been given. Josh and Tina, you are two of the most amazing people, all of the love you have in your heart for that sweet baby is just beyond words. Just as you are grateful everyday for having Ella in your life, we know that she is just as grateful to have you in her life. The proof is in the milestones and accomplishments she has and makes everyday (as little as you may think they are) they are proof of what a wonderful, loving, caring, patient family she is so blessed to be part of. Here’s to another year full of milestones and blessings. Nancy & Lyle & Amaya Costas

Jim and Char Jordan on July 24th, 2008 at 11:32 am #

We love you! Great Aunt Char and JIM

Amanda Spivey on July 24th, 2008 at 11:48 am #

Happy Birthday Sweet Ella! God bless you three today and in the next year.

Anne in Gainesville on July 24th, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

Happy Birthday Ella,

What a blessing you are to your Mom and Dad and all of us! You have the most beautiful smile. May the Lord continue to bless you on this journey.

Loretta Fung on July 24th, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

Happy First Birthday, Ella.
A year ago, on this auspicious day,
you arrived to join your wonderful
family. You are indeed a blessing
to them and to so many others.
Your parents do not know me, but I
have been following your story from
day 1, and am so delighted to read
their blogs e very day and to see your smiling sweet face. You are an envy to the world.
May God continue to bless you with
many years of good health and

Fran on July 24th, 2008 at 3:08 pm #

Happy Birthday Sweet Ella! You and your parents are an inspiration to us all! Love and Kisses, Fran

The Riches on July 24th, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

Happy Birthday Ella!!!!! Praise God!
Love, Liz, Rusty & Par

Dawn Franck on July 24th, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

Happy 1st Birthday Ella!!! Wish we could celebrate it with you. We’re sending lots of love and kisses and Birthday wishes through the internet for you. Dawn, Mike and Alli

Nurse Angie on July 24th, 2008 at 7:41 pm #

HaPpY FiRsT BiRtHdAy Ella! You are truly a miracle. Hugs & Kisses ~Nurse Angie

kristin on July 25th, 2008 at 1:26 am #

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Ella! God blessed you with great parents and a wonderful family and also blessed all who hear about you and meet you.



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