To my sweet little Elizabeth Claire on her first birthday,
Your daddy has been giving me such a difficult time the past few weeks because my heart has been so heavy over your turning one. In some ways it feels as though the past year has just flown by but in other ways it's hard to remember life before you were born. It could have been lifetimes ago that we went to bed the night before you were born, the night of Easter, with such giddy excitement in anticipation of leaving for the hospital before dawn the next day. Or the next morning looking in the mirror one last time at my giant tummy that had housed you for nearly ten months and knowing that in a matter of hours I'd be holding you in my arms.
The hours on your birth day seemed to move so slowly and your daddy and I were so eager to meet you. But as slowly as those minutes ticked by, as soon as you were ready, you were ready and we met you with excitement and tears of joy. I cannot describe how incredible the feelings and emotions were as I went from holding you within me to holding you within my arms and see your those little arms and feet that prodded me and your sweet little face and rosebud mouth and of course that head full of hair.
It's hard now to imagine you as small as you were then. Daddy always tells me that you're a lot bigger than when you made your intial arrival and my goodness how you've grown. It seems incredible that when I bathed you, I could wash you entirely in my bathroom sink--the little turkey that you were. And when we went for daily walks you laid perfectly within the body of the stroller and now you love to dangle your legs along the foot rest. You absolutely adored your playmat and would squeal with delight but now you are more interested in opening up the kitchen cabinets and finding what you can bang around. I'm not sure that we'll experience another year that contains such drastic and wondrous changes.
It hasn't been the easiest year transitioning from a woman and wife to the new role of mother, but it has been one of the most joyous years of my life. I've cried tears of frustration and sorrow and fear but also tears of the deepest love. But mostly I feel my love for you in my heart--there are some moments when my heart feels so full for you that I simply don't know if I can bare it. I just look at you, and your amazing beauty, and your strong and willful spirit, and am filled with completeness. People told me that I wouldn't know a mother's love until I was a mother myself and now I am telling you that I simply cannot define the precious love that I feel for you. It is miraculous.
We waited a long time for you to join our lives and I am so blessed to have you as my daughter. While I know that it drives you crazy when I hold you like a baby, my favorite time of day is when you're in your little jammies and we are snuggled together in the rocking chair. I love that time when I can sing to you and look into your beautiful blue eyes and hold your little hand and just rock and rock and rock while I hold you close. It has been an amazing year and my heart is heavy at it being over so quickly never to have those moments back, but I look forward to all of the wonderful times ahead.
I love you my sweet little Chickpea Banana. You are my sunshine.
My oh my oh my... I do have a twelve month update post drafted but haven't had a chance to go through last month's photos to upload. Just like yesterday was Elle's true birthday. A day in the life, right?
Thank you for letting me share this past year with you all.