Friday, July 8, 2011

Love letter to my one year old...

June 29, 2011

Lilly, my dear, it is the eve of your first birthday and I’ve just tucked you into bed. The kitchen is a mess and your highchair is sitting out on the deck still covered with hummus (your newest favorite food) still waiting to be hosed off. You are one messy eater! Grace, your still adoring Sister, is out late with Dad practicing riding her two wheeler, and I’ve decided to steal this time to tell you just how very special you are to us.

Let’s see...where to begin?!? You are a VERY happy girl. You smile all of the time and when you smile your whole face just lights up. Everyone is always telling me how happy, sweet and cuddly you are. You are so silly, too. We call you our Silly Lilly because you are always making us laugh. You LOVE music! You are one very good dancer too! All we have to do is sing to you “Let’s dance,” and by the time those two words are out of our mouth you are dancing away. You are an awesome eater, and it is so much fun to watch you enjoy your meals. You love just about everything but some of your favorites are pickles, hummus, peas and avocado.

You are a good talker, too. You are already saying ball, book, Gandma, bread, mama, dada, neigh neigh (Grace), bye and hi. You love to wave, blow kisses, give pat pats, give high five and low five, kiss and snuggle. You are SUCH a cuddle bug. Oh, I could just eat you up! You also do the CUTEST thing when you are excited. You smile from ear to ear and shiver/shake. Every morning when you wake up I pick you up out of your crib and as we open the window blinds I look at you and you do this little excited shake. We open the shade and say, “Good morning, tree!” We then open the other window shade and I say, “Good morning, world!” We finally open the door of your room and say, “Good morning, house!” You just LOVE it! Your joy is absolutely precious. This is how I get to start my day every day. How lucky am I?!?

You are very proud of the way you can now free stand. I am sure you will begin to walk any day now.

You are beautiful!!! You now have very thick strawberry blonde hair. It is almost to your shoulders and it is getting little curls like your sister's. You have big blue eyes and beautiful olive skin. You have eight teeth so far—four on the top and four on the bottom. You got the bottom right tooth first, then the bottom left and then the top two. Your molars are working their way through now. Your body is so adorable! You have nice chubby thighs and the cutest little (ok, not so little) behind. We love to watch you crawl naked to your bath! It is SO cute!

You are a clever little girl too. It is obvious that you want to master everything before you show it off. You said “Mama” first (and early too) and when you said it you looked directly at me saying it perfectly and deliberately. It was obvious you knew exactly what you were saying.

It took what seemed like forever for you to crawl, almost 9 months. But, again, when you had your audience and were ready you just took off and never stopped. You were a pro!

Grace swears she walked in on you walking back and forth in your crib. We all think you are practicing for your big debut!

So, in a nutshell, you are one loving, silly, active, smart, beautiful little girl and we still feel beyond blessed to have you!

Our home is very full of noise, toys, crumbs and fingerprints—we wouldn’t have it any other way! It is rarely quiet and never boring or dull. We are very, very busy all of the time!

Everyone is so in love with you, and you love your family so much. I, obviously, cherish you—just love you to pieces. You and your Dad are so precious together. You light up every day when he comes home from work. Grace loves you so much and she still loves being a big sister. The two of you love to play ball, hide and seek, peek a boo, swing and take baths together. Grace loves to read books to you and she is always entertaining you with your toys. She is a GREAT big sister!!! Grace just got home and asked me what I was writing. I told her and she asked me if I would read this letter to her, so I did. As she listened to me reading she began to cry so hard. I kept asking her if she wanted me to stop reading and she kept saying no (while crying). She then said she just loves you so much that she can’t stop crying. She loves you THAT much!!!

Grace also wanted me to tell you about your temper tantrums. You just learned how to throw them and they are pretty funny. You cry (typically because you want something you can’t have) and then you throw yourself onto your back. You do this over and over. You don’t pay any attention to what is behind you so you have hurt yourself many times now on blocks, walls, toys, etc. I am pretty sure that you will soon learn that the only one you are hurting is yourself!

On the “love” front… You love your Grandmas so much, and they adore you too. You spend tons of time with each of them and I feel so blessed watching them with you and your Sister. You are two very lucky girls!!!

Of course, everyone else loves you too. You are surrounded by the rest of your loving family, friends, and neighbors. We are all just so blessed to have you in our life.

You love life and we love you!!!

Happy first birthday my beautiful baby girl!!!!!



PS. Here are your "big dates" thus far:

November 2 (4 months) : Rolled over from back to front
November 24 (almost 5 months): Rolled over from front to back
November 27: Ate for the first time—first rice cereal, the peas, then sweet potatoes, pears, and apples. (You LOVED chicken and sweet potatoes at 7 months…)
December 6: First tooth, bottom right (bottom left followed one week later)
February 9, 2011 (6 months): First word! Mama—You had not babbled at all. You were sitting in the high chair as Grace sat on the stool. I was getting breakfast ready for you girls. You looked up at me and just said it, Mama. With perfect clarity. We both cheered you on and you continued to say it hundreds of times that day. You left it on everyone’s voice mail. You were SO proud of yourself!
February 24  (7 months): “Dada, Dada,Dada” You typically wave and smile while saying Mama and Dada.
February 21  (7 months): Top left center tooth is beginning to peek through your gums.
February 24  (7 months): Starting to show interest in trying to crawl. You are getting up onto your knees and rocking a bit—still not getting anywhere, but trying!
March 31 (9 months): You crawled for the first time. You seriously just took off, just like that, and you were off to the races! Grace said “Mom, Lilly’s crawling!!!” I really thought it might be one move, maybe two. But, nope! You really began crawling that day…non-stop. SOOO cute!
By 10 months you were creeping along furniture and now, at a year exactly, you are walking with the help of one finger. You sure are growing up fast, and you make us so proud!!!

Life Lessons Learned:

Never give up on your dreams. When something seems impossible, try harder.

God has a dream for your life, and I promise it is so much bigger than anything you could dream for yourself.

You will never know the moment when someone will come into your life and change it forever. Welcome new friendships.

Cherish your friends and never take them for granted. Make time for them, even when life gets busy.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Share your talents. Make a difference.

This life isn’t a dress rehearsal. Live it fully and appreciate each and every moment.

You cannot appreciate true joy without also experiencing awful sorrow.

This too shall pass. One day the horrible pain will be a vague memory. Press forward when things sometimes feel impossible and unbearable. You will be so glad that you did.

Wear life as a loose garment. Nothing should be taken THAT seriously. If you have your health, love and the health of those that you love, then life is very good.

Cherish your family. They will support you and love you forever.

No dream is too big.

Pay it forward.

Do not judge others if you have not walked their path. We all have our own, unique, life journey and it makes us who we are. Embrace your own journey and learn what you can from it.

Be proud of yourself and your life journey. You are sooo special!

Take time to smell the roses. Life is not a race. Enjoy it.

Be proud of who you are. There will never be another you!

Smile at strangers. I promise that it will make YOU happy.

Be a good friend. Listen and always make time for others.

Love—love with all of your heart.

Live an open and honest life. People will respect you for your integrity and for being real. There is nothing you should ever be ashamed of, nothing.

Life isn’t about collecting “stuff.” We all enjoy nice things, but please, darling, don’t let your “stuff” define you.

You make money to spend it. Spend it on what you need and on what will make your life rich. Not on what will make you appear rich. Make a difference.

Say “thank you” every single time someone goes out of their way to make your life better. No one owes you a thing and you must appreciate the kind acts of others. When you say “thank you,” mean it.

Always see the cup as half full. You will have so much to be grateful for. Life is GOOD!!!

Do what you love and be proud of what you do. Whether you decide to embrace a career or make a career of parenting, do it because it feels right for you. Appreciate that you have the choice and embrace your decision.

If you have children, cherish them. You will love them more than you ever knew possible and you will finally really understand just how much I love you.

Live each day fully. You never know if it will be your last. So, make it count.

Travel, see the world. It is one big, amazing place!

Please don’t wait until retirement to see it either. Many people (including each of your grandfathers) never got to savor the fruits of their labor. Live life NOW.

Don’t spend more than you have—ever.

If you do decide to spend your money on something, enjoy it. You made the money and you deserve to feel happy spending it. That is what money is for.

Share your gifts—whatever they are. Without Jamie’s gift of fertility we wouldn’t have you.

Take risks—go after your dreams. Without risk comes no reward.

Give your all to whatever you do.

Don’t worry about what other people think. Ultimately, this is YOUR life and you need to do what feels right to you. You can spend your whole life worrying about what other people think. Don’t. Life is too short!

Savor the times when everything feels right!

Listen more than you talk. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. When you do talk, make it count. (Your Mom is still working on this one!!!)

Never be afraid to admit your flaws. No one is perfect. We are all a work in progress. But, when you know better—do better. Try to be the best person you can be.

September 4th, 2010

Lillian, you really are our gift. I call you my precious gift all of the time… You couldn’t be anymore perfect or anymore sweet. We are all sooo in love with you!

You smile all of the time now and your smile is just adorable. The way your eyes light up melts our hearts. You have eyes only for your Dad, Sister and I now too. You know our voices and it is obvious that you love us. We cherish you!

You love to look at the letters that Jamie made for you of your name on your nursery wall. You could stare at them for hours and smile. That makes me smile. Speaking of Jamie, you adore her, too, and you absolutely know her voice. We visit with Jamie weekly and have such a special time.

I have started calling Jamie “Auntie Jamie,” but even that doesn’t seem special enough. I just can’t think of any other name special enough that we could call her for life, so Auntie Jamie it is—she will always be our very special angel.

We had our gratitude barbecue a few weeks ago and it was just wonderful! We honored Jamie, Jamie and their family and also thanked everyone else for their love and support. We had about 50 friends and family over for dinner. The cake said “Forever Grateful” on it. We sure are!

You are our divine gift. You are so much more than we ever imagined for ourselves. I never knew I could feel THIS grateful and THIS complete. We are one big, happy family now and life is sooooo much better with you in it!

We love you, our gift. We love you, our Angel.

We are happy beyond measure!!!


Your Mommy

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The awesome arrival of our baby girl on June 30th, 2010...

August 9th, 2010—Almost 6 weeks old…

I’ll begin with I’m sorry that it has taken me almost 6 weeks to write in here about your birth, but more importantly about you—our sweet angel! I have been very busy with you and your big sister and with all of the visitors that have wanted to meet you. There have been SO many!!!

I’m taking our second “date night” (our weekly night out with Grandma watching you girls) to sit here in peace at a coffee shop so that I can write. I think this is the only way I’ll ever write in here between now and when you are 4! You two are keeping me busy and I love it! It is exactly what I always wanted—EXACTLY!

I guess I’ll go back to the day of your birth… I slept no more than an hour the night before. I just couldn’t fall asleep to save my life! I feel like the moment I finally crashed the alarm went off and it was 3:30 a.m.—time to get up and hit the road. I left the house at 4 a.m., picked up Jamie at 4:30 and we were off to the hospital! We were both very excited and a little nervous about the long day we had in store. I’m sure we were each hoping and praying that all went well.

We got situated in our room upon our arrival and we just talked and waited. At 6 they began the IV of meds for Jamie’s strep B. At 10 a.m. they began the pitocin to begin contractions. Jamie was still 3-4 cm dilated. The contractions got stronger and stronger as the drug dosage picked up over time.

Meanwhile, my Mom and Grandpa John showed up. They arrived early, at 7:30 a.m. They said they just couldn’t wait another minute to be there! Too sweet. They came bearing a huge box of bakery goods from the very best bakery in town along with coffee. I must say, this was one big perk for me since I could eat during this delivery... I felt guilty eating a thing but did enjoy my fair share at Jamie’s request. I made sure to enjoy the treats in another room though to avoid torturing Jamie!

At around 9 a.m. your other Grandma arrived along with your Dad and Grace. Everyone was SOOOO excited!!! Grace had her hair all done up and she was wearing her “Big Sister” shirt along with an ear to ear smile. By 9:30 (or so) Uncle Luke and Aunt Rachel arrived. Missy (Jamie’s Sister) and boy Jamie arrived just after them. The photographer came at 11 a.m.

By the time the photographer arrived Jamie was still 3-4 cm dilated. They continued on to break her water anyway. Apparently, you were “floating,” so Jamie wasn’t progressing at all. We were all hoping that you would be here by 11a.m. All of the bets on your birth time came and went… the clock ticked on.

Just before the photographer arrived, the Elders from Jamie’s Mormon Church came and led all of us in prayer. We all held hands around Jamie and prayed. It was beautiful, peaceful and perfect!

Honestly, the day couldn’t have been any more perfect. I enjoyed every single second of it! We all did, Jamie included. Jamie had her epidural right away and swears that she was never in ANY pain. Amazing! We all talked, laughed, and just enjoyed being together while waiting to meet you.

By about 4 p.m. Jamie’s contractions were awesome, yet she was still the same 4cm. We all got worried. They made her put one leg up in a stirrup while laying on her side for 20 minutes. Then they put her on her hands and knees for another 20 minutes. At 4:40 they checked her again and she was 10 cm and ready to push!!! The doctor had to rush over from her office down the street, and she barely made it.

As soon as our OB arrived and said “OK, push!” your head was out. It was VERY scary though because your cord was wrapped around your neck very tightly twice. It was hard to cut because it was so tight but as soon as they were able to cut it you FLEW out—literally flew out like a rocket ship! I was so grateful we had experts on hand to catch you! You were completely stunned and bright purple. You didn’t cry at all. I was soooo scared.

They took you over to the table and worked on you for a while before you turned pink. They suctioned your throat over and over again, thinking there must have been inhaled fluid in there because you weren’t crying. Still, hardly a peep. Jamie then said that a couple of her kids never cried. It was at that point that the doctor said, “Some babies just don’t cry.” They felt that you were fine so we trusted them, and thankfully you were. This was the first telltale sign of what an easy baby you would be!

I then cut your cord and asked them to hand you to Jamie. She held you, kissed you, looked at you, kissed you again and cried tears of pure joy and relief. Job well done!!! After a few minutes she looked at me (I was by her the whole time rubbing her head and telling her how proud of her I was)… Anyway, she looked at me—smiled—and said “Are you ready for YOUR baby?” I wanted to shout “YES, SOOO READY!!!” but instead said, “I’m ready for her when you are ready to give her to me. I’ve waited for 4 years and I will wait 4 more.” Jamie said “I’m ready. Here is your baby.” She reached out her arms with you in them and I reached out mine to accept my gift.

I took you into my chest and cried like I have never cried before. You were finally in MY arms and, man, did it ever feel AMAZING! There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Every doctor, nurse, and family member was crying. You will, I’m sure, see the amazing video and photo that we have of your birth and you will see just how special this moment was. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” couldn’t be more true in this case. It was such a magical time. No one can watch the video or look through the photos without crying. You will always be our miracle baby—our precious, precious gift!!! Your birthday couldn’t have been more perfect!

Grace was in the delivery room too, and she also cried when I cried. I had told her I would cry when Lilly was born but there is no way I could have prepared her (or myself) for a cry like that. I just had no idea that an animalistic cry like that existed. SUCH a happy cry! SUCH a relief! SUCH JOY!!! She too knew they were tears of joy, but it was all very overwhelming for her. She, to this day, says that she is very glad she was in the room and that she was very glad to see her sister be born. I’m glad that she was there and that she was a part of that incredible time in the creation of our family.

You were one large baby and you had a full hear of dark brown hair! It caught us all off guard! You were born at 4:53 p.m. and weighed 8 lbs. 13 oz. You were 20.5” long.

I held you and your Daddy held you skin to skin for an hour and then they bathed you and everyone else got to hold you. Your big sister fed you your first bottle. How special is that?!? Man, she loves you!

By about 8 p.m. everyone left but boy Jamie, and we were moved to our final destinations. Jamie and I had rooms across the hall from one and other. It was GREAT! You spent two nights with me at the hospital, and then we went home. While at the hospital your dad, sister and grandmas came and hung out most of the day. We had many other visitors too… I just couldn’t believe you were real and that you were really ours! WOW!!! I would sit awake all night just loving on you, looking at you, and thanking God for you. My heart was completely overflowing with pure joy, peace and gratitude.

While in the hospital Jamie and I spent many special moments enjoying you. We took turns caring for you while the other showered or ate. We wore matching pajamas. We had the photographer come and take special photos of us together with you… She is SUCH a special person and friend.

Jamie’s whole family came in to see you, and each of her kids loved snuggling you too. Her best friend came to visit as well, and it was so nice to see her be surrounded by so much love and support. Just before Jamie left the hospital we spent some special moments together talking. It was during this time that I gave her the pearl necklace and the card I had written her. I gave her a gift and card for Jamie as well. She was touched and it was wonderful.

After Jamie left, we finished up with all of the “adoption” paperwork and then were given the go ahead to leave. It was magical! They actually wheeled me out with both Lilly and Grace in my arms. We were surrounded with balloons and flowers. Ahhhh…we were on our way home. We were COMPLETE!

We had arrived for the induction on Wednesday and by 11 a.m. on Friday we were on our way home as a foursome, everyone in perfect health. Amazing! Our car was full, our hearts were overflowing, we were at peace.

Life has been surreal since your arrival. You are so beautiful and just the sweetest little thing. We all adore you.

Grace has adjusted really well to being a big sister. She sometimes wants more of my time, but she never blames you. She really loves you SO much! She says “Hi blue eyes!” with so much love in her voice or “Hi little Lillian Kate!” It is so sweet to watch.

We have been in the house most of the past 6 weeks but with many, many visitors. We celebrated Grace’s birthday with a big family party. It was really nice.

This Saturday we are hosting a huge gratitude party BBQ in honor of Jamie and Jamie and their family.  We are expecting about 60 guests. I’ve had beautiful leis made with fresh flowers so that everyone will know exactly which couple helped us create our angel. We are really looking forward to having all of our friends and family together to honor them. It will be great for everyone to really get to know one another. It should be a wonderful day!

Today was the “adoption hearing.” I watched Jamie’s 4 kids while Jamie and Jamie went to the hearing. Pretty funny, huh?!? Quite the “adoption”! Everything went perfectly and you will be 100% ours legally in 21 days, on August 31st.

I will write again more soon because I know there is still so much more to say. So many lessons learned about life and humankind. For now though, my arms and heart are full and life is beyond amazing—it is, for the very first time, COMPLETE.

I promise to cherish you forever and ever my love!!!


Your Mom

PS. I still see Jamie all of the time and she is doing great too! You would never even know she had a baby just a mere six weeks later. The baby weight all fell right off. She feels so great and continues to say that it was the best thing she ever did. She also says that she couldn’t have done it for a better family.

SO, Lillian Kate…it is official…you had the BEST birth story!!! And--you are SOOO LOVED!!!!!