How on earth are we already here?! I can’t even believe it’s been two weeks since our baby girl had her first birthday. It was such a beautiful day together and we celebrated for a whole week prior because you guys! a one year old and a three year old and we all survived!!! Yes, we are often deliriously tired and there are days when we exchange “how badly did we just mess that up?” looks, but we are also currently in the happiest season of our lives. Ever. There isn’t anything under the sun I could want more than what I have in the two that call me mama and the one that calls me wife (actually, he calls me babe, but you know..).
The morning of Sienna’s birthday, Emerson and I made her chocolate pancakes while she played around us, occasionally tugging at my pants for a sample. She does this constantly when anyone is cooking, fyi. She is so my child. ;) E gave her all his trains to play with, grandma and grandpa were spoiling her with attention, daddy was home for the day, and basically, my girl was in heaven. We did a lot of playing, eating, singing, and smothering in birthday kisses. It’s so much fun being those annoying parents.
I wrote a little letter to my baby girl on her birthday and I thought I’d share some of it here. My hope is that one day when she reads it, she will know that her first year with us was magical. I hope that when she looks back at all of her photos, she will know how beautiful she made life for us. But more than all of that, I hope that she will know how deeply loved she is.
These first two photos were taken on my iphone and the rest with my canon. I just could not leave these out because they are some of my very favorites from that day!
My sweet girl,
Today, you are 1. One whole year since I first laid eyes on you. 365 days of watching you grow from teeny tiny to the brave, beautiful girl you are today. It was 2 weeks before you gave me your first smile, 1 month before your first “giggle,” which you kindly gave to your brother and not me thankyouverymuch, 2 1/2 months before you rolled over…. and over and over and over, 4 months until we heard you baby talk in full sentences (you genius baby, you) and give us a really big belly laugh that melted us to pieces. It was 5 months until your tiny feet first “swam” in the ocean, 6 months until you began giving open mouthed kisses when we asked for them, 7 months before you began crawling and pulling yourself up, and 8 whole months until you first said “mama.” And in case you’re wandering, you refuse to say much else these days and I’m selfishly not complaining about it one bit. At 10 months you took off walking, holding my heart in your little hands, and letting us all know you are much much stronger than you look, no offense. You are teeny tiny, at just 17.5 pounds, but you are as determined and strong as they come. In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to see you with a bump and have no idea where you got it because you just get back up and continue on as usual. You are sweet as can be yet stubborn about getting your way, which has me nervous about those wretched teenage years. You may possibly be more energetic and active than your brother was, much to my delight (not really). By far though, our most favorite thing about you, is your constant joy and silly, apparent humor, which you have had since you could make facial expressions. You continue to amaze us by picking up on playfulness and wit.
When I was carrying you in my belly, I often prayed for your relationship with your brother. I can’t say what the future holds, but for now, you are crazy about him and the feeling is quite mutual. I can’t tell you how much I love watching the two of you together. You call him bubba, which we think means “brother,” and you follow him around the house all day long. Sometimes he thinks you’re older than you are and wants to play “jail” with you, which you don’t appreciate very much. You do this funny thing where you drop to to your little butt and screech, while Emerson tries to handcuff you. It’s kind of hilarious because E thinks you are just playing the role of resisting arrest so he tells you that he will “bail” you out once you’re a good girl. We’re really awesome parents by letting that play out at times, no? Your father and I like to occasionally spend time with each of you alone, and when it’s just us girls, you look at me quizzically asking bubba?? all. the. time. You two love each other fiercely, despite the jail situation (I promise it’s just a police obsession phase he’s going through), and it has been the greatest joy of my life to witness it.
You lovelovelovelovelove being outside, despite the 100 degree weather, and you’ll march yourself to the door until someone takes you out. You love to be held by anyone that will give you the attention, which is not exactly a difficult thing for you to find. This has been both fun and different for me to witness, as your brother was more of the stranger danger run for your life type guy. ;)
Though you are different from your brother, you’re also very similar in some ways. Like Emerson, you are quite the independent sleeper. Since the newborn days, you’ve never cared to be rocked to sleep or held until you’ve fallen asleep. I know that it’s a blessing but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I desperately miss the days where we would cuddle, forehead to forehead and I’d breathe in your newborn smell while you gently drifted away to sleep. And because God knows and cares for my heart, you resisted napping alone for a few days leading up to your birthday. So I sat in that rocking chair with you for a few hours on those days, taking in every moment of your little fingers tightly wound around my hair, your lips that breathed that sweet milk scent that brought me back to the beginning, and the way you still very much looked like my little baby. You will forever be that for me.
You have us all wrapped around those adorable little fingers of yours, but the weakest link of us all is your daddy. There’s a bond there that the two of you share that none of us can quite compete with and it’s just the sweetest thing. I’m so proud that he will be the first man you’ll love. I watch him get choked up at weddings when the father gives the bride away or when the first father-daughter dance takes place. He dreads the moment where he’ll have to hand your heart over to another man, but for now, we just remind ourselves that you are 1 and not allowed to date until you’re 28. Or 30. ;)
So happiest first birthday, Sienna Rose. May our Heavenly Father keep shining your bright light wherever you go and may your little heart grow to love Him first and foremost. I hope you know how very proud we are to call your ours and I hope you know that we couldn’t possibly love you more if we tried. We’re so excited for all that’s to come, but pleasepleasepleaseplease, do me a favor and go easy on my mama’s heart with all this growing up business, k? :) Happy 1, baby girl! I love you so.