Once upon a time, Gracie was this little.  Once upon an even-longer-ago-time, that is exactly what I looked like.  We started calling her "Mini Ginny," and the name stuck even though she is not so mini anymore (sniffle).

Each of us Heidel kids have had a "thing" that we were obsessed with as toddlers; mine was elephants, Allie's was Barney, Caleb's was Thomas the Tank Engine...and Gracie's was the Teletubbies.  A slightly creepy show?  Well, yes...but in one way it seemed appropriate that Gracie would love a show about cute, cuddly, friendly little beings because that's exactly what she was.  She was always sweetly rambling around the house, rosy-cheeked and wide-eyed.  She loved to cuddle.  When his body was world-weary and his memory was fading, our grandpa loved to sit quietly on the couch with baby Gracie's little body snuggled up on his chest.

Now she's a young woman, and she is every facet of her name: Unmerited favor, generosity, beauty, elegance, mercy.  She is tender, selfless, hilarious, talented.  She is artistic and literary, always crafting a new story (complete with illustrations), or drawing detailed cartoons of life at home, or hand-making a card to bring a bit of celebration to everyday events.  She has a boldness I did not have at her age; she spent half of her Christmas break in Peru, pouring out her time and energy to serve people she had never met -- but also opened her heart up to be served by their example, as well.  I am so proud of you, gracious, graceful Gracie...and don't worry, I'll be back soon to rescue you from all those brothers!


Hmmm, bolder than you, the girl who used to balance with hands on handle-bars, one foot on the seat and the other foot extended heavenward? And she looks like you, I love those strong family resemblances. Do you remember the phrase formerly used to describe one of your sisters, "Dwight in a dress?" But back to the topic, she sounds wonderful and I look forward to reading her blogs someday :-)

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