I can’t believe its already been a year, I mean, we just brought her home! Now she is ONE, how could one number feel so huge?! I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what to get my daughter on her first birthday. She is beautifully uncomplicated; so simple (her favorite toys are rocks, mulch, spatulas, TV remotes…) and totally happy. New cute clothes would only be for me, she’d rather be naked! So… I stayed up late writing her a heartfelt, teary-eyed mommy to daughter letter (the first of a lifetime of birthday letters).
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To my beautiful daughter on your first birthday,
Today you turn ONE! Your Dad has been teasing me for the past week that I will be sitting in a corner pouting my eyes out in protest of you turning one. That may only be half true… I am sad at how quickly time is passing and how fast you are growing up, but so incredibly excited for what the future holds for you!
One year ago your Daddy and I saw you and held you for the very first time. You came into this world with beauty, strength, and purpose. The doctors laid you on my chest and at just a few minutes old, you opened your eyes, held your head up, and looked right at me, your mommy. I will never forget that look you gave me! My heart was not prepared for the magnitude of “motherly love”… I’m convinced that’s why moms cry so much… we have so much love in us, there is no room for anything else so tears just overflow out of our eyes!
Since the day you arrived I kept saying, OH! This, THIS is my favorite stage! Then, with each new day, and passing milestone, I would say the exact same thing. I quickly learned that each day is better than the day before, but still is nothing compared to what the future holds with you.
I heard that having a child is like letting your heart walk around outside of your body. This couldn’t be more true. My heart leaps when you are victorious and aches when you fall. One day, you will have children of your own and understand this. My sweet Gianna Grace, you are the absolute light of my life and I am so blessed to be your mommy.
You are sweet and spunky, fearless and independent, silly and curious, loud and expressive, smart and stunningly beautiful.
Between rocking and pacing the house with you all day/night because you refused to sleep, chasing you around and pulling you off things when you learned to crawl, climb, and walk (I mean run), the baby weight practically melted off. Thanks for that by the way.
You have NO fear and are painfully independent. You love to swing on the big kid swings, crawl straight into crashing waves (over and over again), walk up to ANY animal and insist on snuggling with it.
You are a total animal lover. You love your stuffed animals, but love your dog Lucca and pony Xander even more. You will throw yourself in our laps for tickle fights, you love reading animal books and listening to mommy and daddy try to figure out what sounds a llama makes. You are more interested in playing with Tupperware and spatulas than most toys. You like to steal our phones and pretend to “text” and talk on it, before shoving it in a Tupperware and walking away. Spaghetti makes you incredibly hyper… so we only feed you that on rare occasions.
You LOVE water. You were a total beach babe and would cry every time we left the beach or the pool over the summer. You LOVE music! You dance and hum anytime you hear music and love when your Uncle Brysen plays the guitar and sings to you.
You are the welcoming committee wherever we are, you wave and say “hi” to everyone you see. You think it’s awesome when they wave back, but freak out when anyone other than the people you know tries to touch you or god forbid want to HOLD you!
You are now giving high fives, clapping your hands, walking (running), climbing everything, rearranging our kitchen with stuff from our bathroom… dancing and singing (thanks for not judging me), and my new personal favorite… signing “more” instead of yelling like a maniac (WIN!). You can say ma-ma, da-da, hi, more, and we all swear you say “mmm dats yum” when you eat icecream.
Changing your clothes, or diapers for that matter, is like wrestling with a greased pig. You are SO not a fan of being still and absolutely love being naked! Yesterday you discovered how to take your diaper off… and it took all of about 30 seconds for me to be wiping up pee off the floor.
You never were a great sleeper as a baby, you had too much to look at and do for any of that nonsense. Sleep is for sissys (or for Daddys)… I don’t sleep. Even when you finally do, I obsessively check your breathing, lol. Still at a year, you like your naps, sometimes, but you really would rather stay up and party. Please go easy on me in your teens.
You are beautiful. Your big gorgeous bright eyes have, literally, stopped strangers in their tracks. (What a beautiful baby!) But even more, its the beauty of your personality shines in everything you do.
Each day I watch you learn and explore the world around you and I find myself getting excited about the simple joys in life again… the love you have for the wind, the way you gaze at the trees, the way you yell and point at birds, the fascination you have with rocks, dirt, and grass. Your obsession with horses, dogs, and monkeys. I love loving life with you! I have been determined to soak up every day with you, especially since you waste no time growing up!
I am so grateful that God chose me to be your mommy! Thank you for the lessons, laughter, and reminders of what’s important in life. You make me want to be better and do better, not only as a mother but as a wife, sister, daughter, and friend.
I pray that you always know that you are a daughter of God, know that He loves you and has great things in store for you, I pray that you always remember the love and strength of your family, that you are smart, beautiful, and courageous, and that you will never ever be alone.
I promise to always be there for you, to help guide you, pray for you, and love you unconditionally. I may disappoint you, I may not be your “friend”, I will for sure embarrass you, but know that I love you more than you can ever imagine. I hope when you reread this letter, years down the road, you will smile, and know how special you are to Daddy and I, and how much we LOVE you!
Happy birthday sweetheart!