To Juliet on Her First Birthday

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Our Juliet Hope,

Today we celebrate you. You have completed your first journey around the sun. You are one year old! We have been blessed to know you for 365 wonderful days. You have brought beams of sunshine and joy into our lives. God gave us exactly who our family needed at this time.

On this day last year, my water broke in the wee hours of the night. I left your big sister asleep in her bed, knowing that I would be giving her a precious gift the next time I saw her. I thought that I would struggle to accept you as the new addition to our home. That I would wish for more time with my firstborn. But the moment I saw you, I was enamored.

My labor with you was steady and calm. I repeated the Lord’s promises and envisioned you as the best reward for my hard work. I was strong and determined to meet you quickly. You were just as eager to meet us. 

You arrived around 9 am on Sunday, with our church praying for you and me. I felt that wonderful instantaneous bond to you and you immediately knew who I was. You belong with me. With us. You are a gift from God.

Watching you grow this year has brought me to tears and made me laugh with joy. You have reached milestones just a tad quicker than your big sister, I think in order to catch up to her. You adore her and she adores you. I see your bond getting stronger every day. Soon, you will be sharing secrets with her and teaming up with her. I can tell already that we will need all of God’s help in raising you two.

You have constantly surprised us this year. You arrived earthside as dark as your sister, then your hair fell out and came back with a red tint, but then it lightened up and now you are as blonde as your aunt! We anticipated a calm, demure, and sensitive personality from your infancy, but you have developed into an emotional and loud risk taker. I can’t wait to watch you keep growing.

You currently love: music, cheese, climbing, Mama, making faces, sleeping without a sleep sack, playing in water, baby dolls, taking every single toy out of its container, making noises with your mouth, pulling hair, waving, and feeding the dogs.

You have been to two oceans, on seven plane rides, the tops of mountains, and to the Caribbean. You have seen wild monkeys and whales. You have had countless playdates and zero sleepovers with anyone but mom. You have finally slept through the night twice this week and are officially night weaned. You practiced walking for a month, but I am now pleasantly surprised to see you walking around the house confidently. You say “mama, dada, Mah (Maggie), Lay (Leia)”, your favorite song is “Old MacDonald” and you sing the “eeieeio” part. You are now in size 4 shoes and I think you’re going to have big feet like your sister.

I may not have been able to give you as much attention as your sister received as a baby, but I certainly feel like I get to love on you and cherish your babyhood more because I appreciate it so much more than I did the first time. Your sweetness and attachment to me has been nourishment to my soul. You are so loved by everyone around you. We are blessed to be called your family and to see you grow into the person God is shaping you to be.

 

Happy birthday, Jules!

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Margaret Grace at Two Years

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T w o.

Two whole years I have known you. 24 months of being a mom to you. I catch myself staring at you lately, wondering how I could have been so blessed to know you.

You are beautiful. You have the sweetest curls and gorgeous eyelashes. You are solid and athletic – proof of your physical abilities. You have long limbs and fingers…and feet! (in size 8 shoes already!)

You say the cutest things since you can’t talk well yet. “mina” = banana, “sasa” = applesauce, “seesah” = sister, “waya” = Leia. You sing along with me to your goodnight song and “Jesus Loves Me”, and every song from Moana and Trolls. Oh, your favorite movie is Moana. By far. But you love Daniel Tiger now and I’m grateful for the switch from Baby Einstein finally.

You know the alphabet song and can count to 10 (you try to hold up your fingers like I do). You know the colors red, blue, and purple; every other color is blue. You are getting picky with your foods and only want to eat fruit and cheese. Your favorite food is pizza.

You have your father’s mechanical mind and adventure-seeking spirit. You have my love of music and desire to have people close by. You are the most outgoing, loving, wildest toddler I know.

I couldn’t love you more…

Happy birthday, my Maggie Grace.

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Dear Maggie

This is the first of what I hope to be many letters to you, my dear Maggie. I want to stay on top of what is happening in your life and I think this is the easiest way to do so. I want to capture your milestones, your tears, your overcoming of obstacles, and your happiest moments. I want to remember every little detail of you.

When I first saw you, my heart stopped. It then began to beat a new rhythm. One I had never heard before but recognized immediately as our song. It was a defining moment…my whole life had shifted into a new, wonderful, and scary adventure.

Being responsible for a tiny life is daunting and rewarding at the same time. I worry when you sleep; checking on you throughout the night, making sure you’re still breathing. I pray over your future, that your father and I will raise you to be loving, responsible, and God-honoring. I am filled with awe knowing God designed my body to perfectly create, grow, and sustain yours. I rejoice that you are healthy and developing as you should, but mourn that you will never be as little as you are now.

 

I have known you as Maggie for six weeks now, but we have actually known each other much longer than that. I am blessed to have had 9 months longer with you than anyone else has. Our time together has been wonderful, but I can sense it going quickly already. Oh, stay little! Alas, time will slow down for no mom.

 

I pray that you grow well, that your father and I raise you in God’s love, and that I slow down to soak in every precious moment with you.

All my love, sweet baby of mine.