Twelve months of memories (Happy Birthday Baby Girl!)


 Charlotte is one year old today! I decided to commemorate this red letter day with a list of pictures and memories, one for each of the past twelve months. I know this post is just dripping with sentimentality, but I hope you will indulge me as I journey back through the hardest, most wonderful, transformative year of my life. I tried not to list the memories that most easily sprang to mind, holidays and special occasions (easily remembered because they were the most photographed 🙂), but instead remember some special moments within ordinary days, moments that might fade with time if I don’t record them here and now.
April 2012 – The moment I finally got to hold my daughter  in my arms for the first time. It didn’t matter that she was five days old, or that she had tubes coming out of her arm and going into her nose and a heart monitor was taped to her chest. All that mattered as she snuggled into my neck was that I was her mama and she was my baby, and we were together.
 May 2012 – Rocking Sweetness in the recliner in the living room, watching her drift off to sleep and just holding her during her whole two hour nap. I was making up for lost time.
 June 2012 – Strapping Charlotte into her car seat and watching her give me a huge smile. I knew this one wasn’t just gas! She was grinning at the prospect of going on an adventure with her mommy and daddy.
 July 2012 – Listening to Baby Girl giggle while her daddy blew on her toes. It was the first time she really laughed, and the sweetest sound I think I’ve ever heard. (and to think I got it on video!)
August 2012 – Watching with surprise as Sweetums pulled the bottle out of my hands, insisting on feeding herself. This was my first taste of her independent streak. 🙂
 September 2012 – Trying to distract Charlotte while we were out to eat, I hung a toy from her car seat. She thought that was the most amazing thing ever as she tried to grab it, squealing and squawking and giving everyone in the restaurant a taste of unbridled joy, whether they wanted it or not.
October 2012 – A perfect Indian summer afternoon, spent outside exploring the grass and gazing up at the clouds as they passed by. The fact that Baby Girl was wearing her ladybug outfit was just icing on the cake.
 November 2012 – Watching with a mixture of excitement and trepidation as Charlotte finally figured out how to roll from back to front. The fact that the motivating factor was reaching for a book? That made my book-loving heart go pitter-patter.
 December 2012 – Receiving a package in the mail that was wrapped in bubble wrap. Baby Girl was curious when I put the present under the tree, but was over the moon when I gave her the sheet of bubble wrap and she realized she could make all sorts of fascinating sounds with it. Best present ever!
 January 2013 – This was the month she learned to crawl for real. I will never forget the moment, not long after she became mobile, when I glanced down at her (I was distracted, probably working on dinner) and noticed her face was covered in brown goop. Looking around to see what she had gotten into, I realized the dog food bowl was within easy reach, and she had helped herself.
 February 2013 – While changing Little Britches’ diaper I did a double take when I noticed there seemed to be something growing out of her belly button. When I looked closer I saw it was a puff! Who knows how long it had been there…she was obviously saving it for later.
 March 2013 – Watching her pull up on and then push her musical walker, toddling right along like she’d been born walking, knowing that very soon she would be taking her first steps unaided, feeling the piercing ache of sadness and joy at the knowledge that my Baby Girl won’t be a baby for very much longer.
 April 2013 – Giving her a strand of beads during her one year “photo shoot” and watching as she carefully investigated this new wonder, touching each bead, lifting the necklace up and down, shaking it back and forth, dropping it and picking it up. She was completely absorbed, and I was amazed at her desire to know and understand. Oh sweet daughter, we will have such fun finding all about this fascinating world God has given us!
 Although one year marks the close of that precious baby stage, by no means am I considering it an ending! Rather it’s simply a mile marker on the journey. My heart is full of joyful thanks to our faithful Heavenly Father as I remember the moments I’ve had with my child, and look eagerly forward with hope and excitement to many more memories in the days, months, and years to come! Thank you Lord God! You are great, and greatly to be praised!


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