Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Birthday Letters to Mckenna

My Little Peanut –

Happy first birthday! This year has been one you will never remember, but I will never forget.

Your daddy and I always knew we wanted kids. We both felt we were born to be parents. And what I have come to appreciate is that God hardwired us to be your parents. We wanted you so badly, and from the moment you were created, we’ve loved you. We loved you from the very first ultrasound, to the very first kick, to the very first cry, and now to your very first birthday.

This year has been full of firsts. I can remember our first night together as a family in the hospital. I sat up most of the night watching you sleep, worried by all your little noises and grunts. I was totally in awe of the beautiful little girl I was now responsible for. I will never forget the countless hours spent sleeping with you in your glider, wishing those long nights would pass quickly, but dreading the day that they did. I remember the first time you smiled at me, and your first belly laugh. I remember watching you learn new skills that come so easily to you now. I remember your first taste of new foods and your first touches of new textures. I have watched as you’ve taken in so many sights and sounds for the first time; a face full of wonder. These are all things I will never forget, that I will hold so close to my heart.

There are two things from this last year that will always stand out in my mind. One of those things is watching you and your daddy as you’ve grown together. Your dad is a funny, sarcastic, steady eddy. He has a big heart, but isn’t the first to show his emotions. But you, baby girl, have changed his world. He melts at the sound of your giggle. He softens at the nestle of your head into the crook of his neck. The countless snuggles on the couch, games on the floor and daddy dates are what I picture when I picture this last year with you two. Another aspect of the last year that jumps out at me is breastfeeding you (you’ll hate that visual when you’re older…sorry in advance). Mommy loves her alone time with you, just us girls, in your glider. Sometimes sleepy, sometimes silly, but always enjoyable. You aren’t the world’s biggest snuggler. You like to be on the move. But when it’s time to eat, you melt into my arms and it’s a time for us to reconnect. You act independent and explorative, but I think you’ve found comfort throughout the day knowing that you’d be back to me, “homebase,” from time to time. And while that chapter in our relationship is coming to an end, I hope you still come back to “homebase” throughout the day, as you explore that big world out there.

God has created you in such a beautiful and unique way. Your daddy and I have only begun to see the dynamic personality God has knit together in you, but we cannot wait to learn more. You are silly and goofy, always laughing and trying to make others laugh. My hope is that you use this in the future to find fun, humor and joy in all of life’s ups and downs. You are friendly and sociable, always waving and engaging the people around you. My hope is that you use this as you age to make good friends and be a ‘disciple to men’. You are brave, taking risky leaps of faith. This may get you into trouble from time to time in the future, but my hope is that this evolves into your ability to trust your God, and take leaps to follow Him. You are intelligent. My hope is that you use this intelligence to learn to things, master new skills, and use your brain to make a positive impact in this world.

There are two more things that you are, and those are loved and His. You are loved beyond what I can express in a letter. You have forever changed my understanding of love. You have helped me learn just how deep love can be and have given me a new understanding of God’s love for me – His child. You, too, are His child. And my prayer for you is that one day you understand that and believe that with all of your being. Mommy and Daddy are just your parents on this side of heaven. You are “ours” to care for, to love, to teach, and to guide. But you have a heavenly Father who you ultimately belong to that cares for you, loves you, teaches you, and guides you more than we ever can, better than we ever will. My prayer for the years to come is that as a family we grow together in our love for each other and our love for Him.

I love you so much, sweet baby girl. Thank you for making me a mommy and thank you for this last year of firsts. Happy first birthday!


My dear Mckenna Day,

Happy first birthday!!

One year ago today, I sat in awe holding my little 6 pound 2 ounce Peanut and figured it could not get any better. Little did I know then, that each day spent with you and mommy seems to be better than the day before. It’s been an unbelievable experience watching you grow from that little girl in my arms wrapped tightly in a pink and blue-striped blanket to a bigger, but still little, girl wrapped tightly in my arms any chance that I get.

This past year has been an interesting one. Since you’ve come along, the days seem to fly by and it’s becoming more apparent that friends aren’t lying who say “treasure the moments now because they grow up too fast”. You’ve done something for me however quite the opposite - you’ve slowed down my life. Because of you and because of mommy, I’m even more focused on what’s important and live each day to excel only in a few areas. Every day that I’m blessed enough to wake up and put to feet on the ground, my focus is to be the best possible version of myself. The only way that is ever possible is to do the following – serve our God, serve mommy, serve my family and serve my health. You, Mckenna, have made that so much easier to do and for that I am eternally grateful.

I don’t know what the future holds for you, but I do know this, it will be bright. Not because of what mommy and daddy will do for you, but because Jesus has already chosen you to be a part of His family. The only Person that could ever possibly love you more than daddy would be your Heavenly Father. He will be there every step of the way to support you, comfort you and provide a peace that passes all understanding. You don’t know this yet, but God has already laid out a plan for your life, and all that He asks is that you do the possible, so He can do the impossible.

I’m so excited to see what this next year has in store for you. I can’t wait to see how your little personality continues to develop. You are the happiest little girl and already have such a spunk to you. It can of course be challenging at times, but I also welcome your inquisitiveness and independent spirit. I’m sure I’m a bit biased here, but I happen to think you have the makings of a very special little girl.

I feel privileged to have the opportunity to watch you grow in the Lord and I pray that I can cultivate the talents that God has already instilled in you.

Thank you for being you.

Love you always,