What a wondrous year this has been! I wonder if I could have guessed, when I held your skinny, wrinkly, alien-like newborn body, what a lovely little girl you would become in only 365 days. You were so teeny tiny, and so very fragile, that all I wanted to do was hold you all day long. And I think I’d still love to hold you all day long…if you didn’t want to crawl all over the place exploring and discovering anything you can get your hands on!
We had a great day celebrating your birthday…well, after you endured a torturous two hours in the nursery while Mommy went to Bible Study. But then we got to go see Daddy at work…and his coworkers planned a little surprise party for you with lots and lots of presents! Daddy also got you a special ball, which you chased up and down the cubicle halls. You even whispered “Ball!” when you unwrapped it from the packaging. You are surely the office mascot.
After that, we got to go see your first friend, Miss Casey, along with her mom, Ms. Eileen. They had presents for you, too! You loved tearing around their house on your hands and knees and seeing their fluffy dogs. When you opened the box that had a pretty pair of white sandals, you signed “please” until we put them on your feet!
To make a good day even better, we went to Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop’s house because they finally arrived home after their trip to Africa! Boy, were they excited to see you! You had grown even in the three weeks since they had seen you last – they loved catching a glimpse of those two nice front top teeth that are really showing now. It is so cute how you show off your pearly whites when you wrinkle up your nose and laugh!
Besides words like “mama” and “ball,” you also like to say “uh-oh” whenever you drop something, and you will often say “Dadada” when your Daddy walks into the room. Recently, when we visited your Grammy and Grandad, you learned to say “Pretty!” when admiring Grammy’s earrings. And sometimes, you just ramble off nonsense words that no one understands but you. You think it’s very funny when I start imitating your syllables, though! You are so fun to watch and interact with, and Daddy loves taking photos and videos of you in all your silliness. He recently made a little montage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUOYCt5vAQA&list=UUaZum2Oz89iBOQCIBIKnvWA
We’re working on getting you to eat table foods, but now that you’ve learned how to sign “please” and “more” and “all done,” you’ve realized that sometimes you have the power to be picky. So, Mommy has had to save your cheese and blueberries and crackers for only after you’ve had a good serving of peas or green beans. Fortunately, you still love Mommy’s milk (your other favorite word to sign), so I know you’re getting plenty of nutrition each day! It amazes me what a good little communicator you are, and I’m still in awe of the fact that only a year ago, your sounds were limited to a few little bird-like squeaks and cries.
Daddy and I love spending time with you, Julia! We take you with us everywhere, and follow you around the house like your biggest fan club! Your favorite place to explore is going up the stairs, but until you learn how to come down safely, we’re going to keep that staircase gate securely locked. 😉 We’re proud of how fast you get around, and how much you love pushing your little walker, too, but we are glad that you’re in no hurry to take your first steps. You are a cautious little girl, just like your parents, and we love you just the way you are! Even when we had an early birthday party for you last week, you were very quiet and observant of all the commotion and the kids running around. You were especially cautious about the cupcake we put on your tray, since you had never eaten one before! But that’s okay. You are so cute when you are concerned.
I am proud of all the physical milestones you have crossed this first year, Julia, but I am even more proud of how I see Jesus working in your heart. You are learning to stop what you are doing and turn around when Mommy says, “No, not for Julia,” and I am so thankful to see the beginnings of an obedient heart! These past few weeks when we visited your cousins, it was SO COOL to see you get along with other kids your age. You even learned how to share with your cousin Luke, and that made me so excited! (You also tried to tackle him once or twice when he had a toy you really wanted. Maybe we need to work on gentleness.) I pray that these little seeds of God’s Spirit working in your life will grow and grow every year as you learn about who God is and who He made you to be.
Today was a happy day, little girl, but it also made me a little sad. Like every mother who has seen her tiny infant turn into a toddler before her very eyes, I can’t believe that I don’t really have a baby anymore. Every stage keeps getting better, though, and I love you more and more every month! May the Lord continue to bless your little life and work in your little heart this year, and in all of the years to come!
P.S. I think we really wore you out with all the partying today!