I can't believe Maddie celebrated her first birthday yesterday. It's amazing just how fast they really do grow up. It's one of those things you hear from the day they're born and you kind of think it's just something people say...old people mostly :) I thought, "well, I'm going to enjoy every minute, and I'm going to savor every minute, and I'm not going to let her grow up too fast, she's MY BABY!". Well, it happened...she's grown up overnight it seems! It's hard to believe all the changes our lives have gone through in just one short year (and this was the shortest year of my entire life!). Just 365 days ago we were holding our newborn, trying to figure out how to hold her, how to change a diaper, sterilizing a bottle (which took three pots of boiling water til we had every part to the bottle sterilized...including boiling a nipple that didn't have a hole!!!), learning how to adjust to less sleep, and waiting for our little one to develop a personality of her very own. At just one day shy of a month old our sweet baby girl gave us her first smile. Daddy called her "Mrs. Potatohead" and apparently that was funny! It all went in a fast whirlwind from there! I can't recall exact dates of her "milestones" anymore like I could for the first six months. But, unlike a lot of moms, I have actually kept up with her baby book so at least we know where to look if we forget exactly how much she weighed at her 4 month check up :) When I see my little "goofball" pulling up and cruising around, laughing at seeing a kid walk by outside, trying to pull Murphy's wiskers off (and kissing her ON THE NOSE!!), I just can't believe this is the same baby who was so fragile a few months ago...where did the time go?
To my beautiful sweet baby girl: You have made my life so amazing, you've given me a purpose that I never felt I had before. Watching you learn and grow has made me so proud!!! You have the most amazing sense of humor, even at just 12 months old, you make me laugh even when I'm having a grumpy kind of day. There is never a morning that I don't want to get out of bed, just because I know you're going to greet me with a big smile and a giggle when I come in your room to get you (followed by a cry when I put you on the changing table...but we'll focus on the positive) :) I hope that I can be the best mommy for you. I hope I never disappoint you or let you down. I hope I can raise you to have good morals and values, to respect others and to love God and always have faith in Him, even when it's hard to do so. I pray every day that I'm doing the best job to mold you into a good person. I always want you to appreciate what you have and to understand the value of family. Thank you for being the sunshine on the rainiest, cloudiest days! Thank you for making me laugh when I feel like crying. And most of all, thank you for just being YOU! Always be confident to be yourself and don't worry about what other people think of you. Mommy and Daddy will love you forever and will be here for you whenever you need ANYTHING. We love you more than we can express with words. You're the best daughter we could've hoped for! Happy Birthday beautiful princess!