When your grandma, my mom, had cancer, I asked her if there was anything in her life she wished she could do or wanted to do differently. She said no. She said she loved her life the way it was. We talked for a while about it, but the one thing I will never forget that she said to me was, "I did everything I wanted to do. I had a Christy and a Lauren". I have never felt so loved in my whole life and will never ever forget that moment. But as special as that moment was to me, I don't think I could truly appreciate what she meant until I became your mom. Now, I know I can say that I've done everything I ever wanted to do, too, because I had an Everleigh.
This year has been the greatest of my life just watching you grow and change. At 1 year old, you are a bundle of fun! You are always smiling and laughing and making silly faces. You love to dance to nay music - including commercials (you like the iPad commercial!). You love your daddy! And, oh, how he loves you. I have never experienced so much joy as to watch him love you. He doesn't take one second for granted and is with you every second he can be. You also love Dublin. You chase him all around the house. He mostly runs from you, but you don't seem to mind. You just laugh and keep crawling after him. You have a mind of your own and are starting to let us see that! It's pretty funny to watch you assert your independence. You will push our hands away if we are helping you too much or push a toy away if it's not what you were wanting and go get what you do want. I love it! You are a very easy-going baby for the most part. We can take you any where and not worry that you are going to fuss or pitch a fit. In fact, a man who owns a furniture store we were in said you were the best baby he had ever seen in his store because we were there for so long and you never fussed! What a sweet girl! You are not as clingy to me as you once were, but still prefer either me or Daddy over strangers. I know I am your mom, but you are the most beautiful child I have ever seen. Seriously. Could. Not. Be. Cuter. I think it every day.
No matter how you change or what phases you go through, I want you to know that you are so loved and special. There is nothing I would not do for you. What I want you to know most of all in this life is that you are the Lord's child. Your dad and I get the pleasure of raising you and having you in our life, but you, my darling baby, are His. I pray that you love the Lord with all you have. I pray we do a good job of teaching this to you. Thank you for giving me the best year of my life so far (it keeps getting better!). I love you more than you could ever know, my sweet little love. Happy first birthday.
"Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were here an hour, I would die for you. This is the miracle of love." -Maureen Hawkins