Dear Sweet Baby Girl,
Today, you turn ONE! I can’t hardly believe it. My mommy heart is doing flip flops in my chest. I am sad to see you growing up so fast, but I am already so proud of the little girl you are becoming.
I remember the day I found out we were expecting you like it was yesterday. I was planning on telling your daddy in an elaborate and creative way, but when I saw the positive test, I couldn’t stop smiling. I could barely hold it together enough to write him a note. I handed him the note in the kitchen and he read it twice before tears filled his eyes and he understood what it meant – that we were expecting a baby…that we were expecting you.
The next nine months were full of a lot of crying – I cried each time we heard you heart beat. I cried while we decorated your nursery. I cried when I felt you kicking. I cried during our baby shower when your daddy wrote me a sweet note. I was nervous to be a mommy, but mostly I was just anxious to meet you.
We went to lunch before one important doctor’s visit and wrote down what gender we thought you would be. We both thought you would be a girl and we were right! My heart skipped a beat when the technician wrote “It’s a GIRL!” on the sonogram and I instantly went from having a baby to having a daughter growing inside me.
Though I spent nine months preparing for your arrival – attending birthing classes, packing my hospital bag, touring the hospital – nothing could ever really prepare me for that day. The day I met you was the second best day of my life (the first was the day I married your daddy). They placed you in my arms and I felt more love that I even knew was possible. Daddy says you looked like a lizard, but I knew you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. That day you became my daughter and I became your mommy.
The next day was daddy’s birthday, which we spent in the hospital, but you still got him a pretty great present (It was the book Cars and Trucks and Things That Go – just in case you don’t remember). The next several weeks were filled with lots more crying, very little sleep, and even more overwhelming love. Your grandparents, aunts, and uncles were all so excited to meet you. They were happy to let me take a shower or take a nap so they could watch you sleep and grin and squirm. You were so loved even from the beginning.
I have notebooks full of all of your firsts – you first smile, your first giggle, the first time you rolled over and sat up. I have hundreds (maybe thousands) of pictures of you in each tiny outfit doing amazing new things everyday. Eventually you grew out of your tiny newborn clothes and your little size one diapers. You went from laying, to rolling over, to sitting, to crawling, and now you stand up straight and walk along the coffee table. You went from recognizing our smells, to remembering our faces, and now you know that dad is the fun one and mom will hold you when you’re sick or tired.
Each morning, I look at you and I can’t believe how big you’ve gotten; I can’t believe how beautiful you are; and I can’t believe how blessed I am to be your mommy. You are brilliant, funny, and curious. You explore each day and learn so many new things. You love playing Duplos with your dad and eating Cheerios that are lined up on the coffee table. You love pears and peaches and hate peas and carrots. You hate taking naps because you think there might be something better going on downstairs. You get so excited when your dad walks in the door after work and you can’t crawl to him fast enough. You love reading books curled up in my lap. You like playing peek-a-boo and singing songs that have actions like the Itsy Bitsy Spider. You clap your hands when we say Genesis 1:1 before dinner each night, and you love reading the Bible with daddy before bed.
Your daddy and I love you so much and I know that God loves you even more. He has great big plans for your little life and I can’t wait to see what adventures he has for our family next. We pray each day that you will be curious and bold and that you will seek after Him with all your heart.
Baby girl, we love you so much – you have changed our world and our family is better because you are part of it.
Happy First Birthday, Elli!
Love you forever and more,
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