lana gray: one year old

My baby is one year old. 

We celebrated with a picnic at our favorite park. It was a perfect evening spent with people who love her. Also, we gave her a Publix cake and let her end the night by coating her entire body in butter cream icing, because you only turn one once. 

I absolutely cannot believe that she's already one. It feels like she's been with us much longer than a year, but saying "she's one" just sounds too old. There's no way that tiny bundle of sleepy yawns is now a dancing, laughing little human who mimics me when I say "duh". 

There are so many things I want to remember about her at this age. 

The way she pats me on the shoulder when we hug. 
How she gives all her stuffed animals and baby dolls kisses.
That she gives kisses to the iPad when we FaceTime with my mom. 
That she bounces her arms in the air when she hears music. 
The way she says bye with a southern drawl, and the sing-songy way she says hi. 
That she twirls her wrist in tiny, chubby circles when she waves. 
The fact that she puts the phone right up to her ear and says hi.
How she scrunches her nose up when she's really smiling. 
How her eyes light up when Tom gets home from work. 
The way she stretches out next to me when I nurse her at night. 
The happy babbling I can hear coming from her room when she wakes up from a nap. 

She is the sweetest baby I could possibly imagine, and there isn't a single minute that I don't know exactly how blessed I am to be her mom. There have been so many moments in the last twelve months when I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and miles outside my comfort zone. But looking back, those moments are nothing compared to the unbelievable joy of picking her from her crib every morning and holding her peaceful, sleepy body in my arms every night. 

I can't begin to imagine all the amazing things she will do during her life. She is loving and happy. She's brave and determined. She's independent and inquisitive. In just one year she has completely changed me and the way I see the world. I am so much better for knowing her. The fact that I get to play some small part in shaping her is overwhelming, and humbling, and amazing. 

Lana Gray, you are an indescribable blessing. We will always love you. 

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