My sweet, sweet Hailey,
A year ago today we were preparing to go into the hospital. At 9 days overdue, they said it was time for you to make your appearance. Your dad and I were giddy with anticipation of finally meeting you.
After a rollercoaster of a day, you arrived on September 15th at 8:49pm. 7 pounds 1 ounce of perfection. We were speechless.
I remember being excited to meet you, but when I looked into your eyes it was though I had always known you. Of course this was you, my sweet Hailey.
You are a year old now, well, you will be tomorrow. In some ways the old cliché is true and this year has flown by. In other ways, though, I’ve made a conscious effort to savor these precious moments with you. I have memories of dancing with you around the Christmas tree and a soundtrack in my mind of your giggles, in which throw your head back and explode into when I chase and catch you.
Sometimes I stare at you while you sleep and wonder how your dad and I got so blessed. As you softly breath in and out, I let my mind wander about who you are and who you will be.
Your personality is already shining brightly. You are a sweet girl, loving, kind. It’s evident when you crawl over and lay your head on me, kiss me on the cheek, wide mouthed and drooling, and giggle. It’s evident when you wrap your arms around Koda, though she tries to escape. It’s evident when you are on dad’s shoulders and lean over to bite his nose and giggle. It’s so evident… and I love that about you.
You are so joyful. You have the ability to find joy in simple things, like falling leaves and wagon ride. You remind me to be grateful for life’s everyday blessings.
You are a truly happy girl. Rarely do you shed tears, which makes when you do extra heartbreaking for me. I never mind putting down whatever I am doing to hold you. I savor these times, knowing that all too soon you’ll be too big to carry.
You are tough. Bumps happen, but after you squench your face and rub your head, you return to the task more determined than before. I hope you always keep that drive and determination.
You have a mischievous side. Whether it’s making a break for the stairs when you think we aren’t looking or staring me right in the eye as you hold a dangling piece of food in front of Koda’s face from your highchair, you test your limits. Though I’m sure it will turn my hair gray down the line, I hope you keep your edge.
If there is only one thing you remember from your first year of life, I hope you remember feeling loved. Because you, baby girl, are SO loved. Your dad and I love you more than words can express. So does the entire family. They travel from afar to spend time with you, no longer under the guise that they are here to see your dad and me. I don’t mind.
You have singlehandedly turned our world upside down and filled it with more joy than I could ever imagine. Thank you. And happy birthday, my sweet Hailey Ann.