In two days my baby girl will turn one. Wait, what?! There is no possible way that a year has passed since she joined our little family. As I nursed her before bedtime tonight I couldn't help but think back to that not-so-teeny tiny little human stranger that came into our lives 363 days ago and completely rocked our world. I am overwhelmed with how much life has changed yet, I can barely remember it any other way.
I've been reminiscing my maternity leave and those luxuriously lazy days spent doing nothing but snuggling my sweet baby and watching really trashy TV. I think about how great it was when she would just simply crack a smile or turn her head. At that time I couldn't even imagine hearing her learn new words, call us by mama and dada, clap, sing, dance and yes, even throw not-so-teeny tiny little temper tantrums.
There are things I wanted to do better, or even at all. I wanted to blog weekly so that she could grow up and read about all of the cool things we did (clearly that didn't happen). I wanted to take cute monthly photos of her so that we could measure her physical growth throughout the year. I wanted to journal for myself so that I could give her my journal when she was becoming a mom for the first time. I wanted to be better about keeping things neat, organized and easy for our lives with two working parents. I wanted all of these things but life happened and that life is busy and hectic and hard. Instead, I have spent my time outside of work playing with, snuggling, singing to and watching my baby girl learn and grow. I might not have blog entries to read or a series of posed monthly photos. I might not be neat and organized and things aren't easy at all. I am, however, proud of how my time has been spent and the relationship that I have with my daughter.
This first birthday is as much about Phil and I surviving this year as it is about Weezie turning one. This has been the most challenging, rewarding, frustrating and fun year ever. We have laughed a lot, cried a lot, slept a little bit, smiled, played and grown so much as a family. We've been on planes, taken road trips, visited the beach and the mountains, went swimming, played in the snow, and even bought a house. I know Annabelle won't remember anything about this year but I am confident that we've laid a foundation of love, compassion, comfort, security and fun for her that will help her grow into an independent, fun-loving, sweet little girl.
I am proud that she is a year old and I'm still nursing. If you had asked me when she was two weeks old if I would have made it this far, I probably would have burst into tears. In fact, if you had asked me anything when she was two weeks old, I probably would have burst into tears. I'm proud that I lived through that crazy postpartum hormone rush and that I've found myself again...sort of. I'm proud that I am a working mom and that we are surviving. That is no simple feat and we have found an incredible family who cares for our sweet baby every day (Yaya if you read this, you are an amazing woman who has become a part of our family and we love you!) and a supportive husband who understands that sometimes I just have to cry about having to go to work.
I am proud that my little girl is sweet and sassy all rolled into one, just like her mom and her dad. She is silly and fun and sweet and so smart and even a little salty at times, too. I rock her every night and I look at her little face and can't believe she's mine. I feel like I can actually see time speeding up and I just want to reach out to something, anything, and be able to hit pause. Each moment is so fleeting. Every stage is grown out of before you can even blink. I think about adult Weezie and these moments right now will not be something that she lives with at all. Some of the best moments of my life are moments that she will not have a memory of. The sheer weight of the significance that she has placed on my life is overwhelming and it is impossible to think that someday, sooner than I'd like to imagine, she will be grown and out chasing her own dreams and finding the things that add significance to her own life. I have to remind myself to slow my own thoughts down and just look at my baby and know that there is so much fun to come.
As I prepare for a first birthday party this weekend, I can't help but think about how lucky we are and how blessed Annabelle is to have the community surrounding her that she does. We are getting ready for a house full of people who are coming to help us celebrate and it's crazy to think that there are so many people in our lives who care enough about us and about our little lady to travel from near and from not-so-near places just to be here for her birthday. The love and caring is overwhelming and I won't ever be able to express how much it means to us that she has so many amazing people in her life.
This feels like an incomplete thought and I'm sure my emotions will bubble up and I'll have more to say on Weezie being one but for now all I want to say is just, thank you. Thank you to each of you who has played a role in this last year. Your love, support and kindness has made a huge impact on us. Thank you, thank you, thank you :).