My sweet Lilly,
I have no idea where the year has gone. All of a sudden you are a year old and I feel like we just brought you home from the hospital. I cannot put into words how much I love you and how much you have changed my life. I used to get very annoyed with people who told me “you will understand when you have kids”, but they were right. There was no way I could know the kind of love and happiness that comes with being a mother. It is the most rewarding, most fulfilling and most difficult thing I have ever done and I have never regretted it for a second. Every day you remind me to cherish innocence and absolute love. You remind me what it is to be truly blessed by God.
I have a hard time writing you this first birthday letter because the words escape me, I want to write pages and yet I cannot. I feel the need to get this all down for you to know how much I will always love you even when you are 16 and start calling me by my first name. But it’s more than I could ever express.
I love you because of the joy that you bring to me every day, even when you are working my last nerve.
I love that sense of wonderment that you have as a small child that reminds me to take the day slow and enjoy it all.
I love that I can see so much of your daddy in you.
I love the way you smell after a bath and the way that you raise up your arms to sit in my lap and cuddle.
I love your stubbornness that is my legacy to you.
I love how your first words after dada and mama were Spenser and Ella.
I love how you smile at me and that beautiful laugh when something strikes your fancy.
I love how you bring me books and plop on my lap to listen to me read them.
I love that in one short year you have changed me forever.
My sweet buggie, I wish that I could keep you young forever, but I know that the job of the parent is to eventually let go. But since that will not happen for a long time, I promise you that I will cherish you always, that I will try to let you do it yourself and I will forgive you someday for the stretch marks.
My love always,
And now, for your enjoyment the first year of Lillian Grace in pictures.