My sweet Penelope Rose,
Today is December 24th, 2018 and we are about a week away from your first birthday. It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since you were born. This time last year I remember the excitement I felt as we had reached your due date and knew it wouldn’t be long before we finally got to meet you. Your dad and I sat around during this time dreaming about what features of each of us you might get and the personality traits we wanted to pass to you. We dreamed about what our life would look like for the next year after you were born and looked forward to all the many milestones you would accomplish. We just felt like those were so far off in the future and now you have accomplished them all. We could have never imagine the beauty that being your parents would bring us in this first year of your life.
I remember the day you were born. The few days leading up to that were a roller coaster of emotions that started with the scary moment of me not being able to feel you move for several hours. Then we found out that your tiny heart was having trouble beating after contractions and we were told it was best to go ahead and bring you earth-side. I remember that moment when they handed you to me like it was yesterday. The moment I finally got to meet this person that I felt so connected to. You won’t understand this until you become a mom (if that’s what you choose), but it’s this crazy thing where you are so in love and connected to this person who you’ve never met. Then the moment you get to look into those eyes and see this beautiful soul who has changed your whole world, it’s something that words can’t do justice to. You see, your dad and I had some trouble conceiving you and were really struggling with what we were having to go through. Then when we finally got the news we were expecting, I spent the next 9 months worrying about you not making it earth-side. So to finally have you in my arms was the most amazing feeling in the world.
Some of my favorite moments from this past year include our nightly feedings together. I was so exhausted and many times we both fell asleep during those nursing sessions, but there was just something so peaceful about middle-of-the-night nursing. The world around us was so quiet and there weren’t any distractions. It was just you and I staring into each other eyes as if to say “we can do this”. The bond it created is something I’ll never forget.
One of the best things about being a parent is watching your children grow and learn. It was a blast this past year to watch you develop and discover things on your own. You are someone who loves to figure things out on your own and is always messing with things to learn about them. Watching you figure out how to hold your head up, army crawl, sit up, real crawl, standing, walking, how certain toys work, etc has been so much fun. I remember many times showing you how a toy worked to find you only interested in the screws of the toy as if to say ‘how did this toy get made’. Now you are at the age where if we ask you to say something or do something you will. It’s a blast watching your mind work to figure something out.
I have so many videos of you snoring! You are so much like your dad! You and him sleep the same way and both snore so loud. As this year has progressed you have slowly become a mini-me of your dad. You look so much like him and it’s so cool to see. Thankfully, for now, you do have my nose. Hopefully that doesn’t change.
Another favorite memory of mine throughout this year has been singing to you. From the very beginning there wasn’t anything that would soothe you better than my singing. I definitely don’t have the greatest singing voice, but I think there was something that comforted you about hearing my voice. Still to this day if we are in the car and you are fussy all I have to do is start singing and you will immediately calm down. You always had a special song though that trumped them all and that was Amazing Grace. It has always been your favorite for me to sing.
Then there is your laugh. I must have taken a billion videos of that precious laugh. I swear your laugh and smile could cure the world of all bad things. There is nothing better and still nothing better then seeing your smile and hearing that laugh. I will forever be singing silly songs and dancing like a crazy person just to hear that laugh.
There were definitely scary moments in this first year. You falling off the bed and gagging on a plastic triangle for 3 hours are just to name a few. These moments though taught us too well about never underestimating a baby’s ability to move and find things to eat and also to never take a moment for granted.
I feel like I could go on and on about our memories together and I am sure as you grow up you will hear many stories, but I think I will leave it at this. You have completely changed my life. You have shown me what unconditional love is. You have taught me to be more patient and to show more love and forgiveness. You have brought a light into my world and restored my hope in the timing of God’s plan. I don’t know what the future holds for you but I hope that you always remember to put God first in everything you do. I hope you show compassion in every part of your life and to everyone you meet. I hope you are slow to anger and fast to forgive. I hope you have a giving heart and love for all living creatures. I hope you follow your dreams and never underestimate the strength you have. You my dear are destined to do wonderful things and have been given a special gift by God. I love you more than you will ever know and more than words can ever discribe. You have given me the greatest gift in the world, being a mom. I take this gift with great responsibility and promise to always be the best mom I can possibly be.
I love you my sweet Penelope Rose