The honest truth is that you have been amazing through so many changes and experiences you've had in your first year of life. You learned to travel well and relax in the car, even though it took months. You've always been so good at being my baby, and it seems weird that now your entering into toddler hood. I am still amazed we survived through the moving and all the traveling and adjusting - it's crazy when I think back. But we figured it out. I hope you'll be gracious to forgive how the fatigue has affected my memory so much more fully this time around. But even if I don't have each sweet detail perfectly documented, always know baby girl that I am present with you and your sister every day. And even on the hard, exhausted, not so pretty days, there are always a million moments that I stand back and stare at you two in complete fascination. I LOVE talking to you in my mama voice and just getting that big Zoe grin in return. And the way you open those hands wide and reach out for me is the sweetest. It's almost so amazing and surreal that I can't emotionally comprehend it a lot of the time. I pray some day you will be blessed with little ones of your own and know just what I mean.
Some things we've grown to know and love about you....you are a mover and a shaker. Just like in the womb. That part does not surprise me at all. You amaze me with how you move even while your nursing. It's actually kind of hilarious. And while you have always, always loved sitting on a lap and listening to books being read, most other times you are wiggly and busy. You do love being worn in the carrier and you ADORE being in the stroller and walking. It's the sweetest contentment. You are curious and determined, you have sort of rushed through the stages and I just go with it, even though I certainly don't encourage it. ;) You hardly did any baby food at all, and are a champ at eating. That's what's sweet about you...as much as you do not want to be alone or too far from somebody else, you are the most flexible little gal. You really do go with the flow and honestly just want to have a good time.
Which leads me to what everyone has noticed first about you since the moment you were born...
And now the night before your very first birthday. It's crazy, truly. Though I may be obviously really tired, I am even more thankful. This role is special, this life is special, every single little minute we have together is so special. Every day, every month, every year I hope I'm growing at this mothering privilege. I'll never forget a moment I had with you at my 6 week dr.'s appointment after you were born. I looked at you and knew deep in my heart you would not be interested in staying a baby for long. I knew you'd always need me, but there has always been a sparkle in your eye to grow and live and move and explore. I pray my heavenly Father keeps leading me to know how to love and lead you best. It's a big role and I'm having a whole lot of fun, even when the days bring tears. I love you Zoe Joy. We all love you so very much. Your daddy is so proud of you and so delighted by you. We love how you crawl right up into our laps and hug us tight around the neck when we are sitting on the floor. Or how anytime we get you out of your crib you give us the biggest squeeze. You even already love giving kisses and smacking your little lips together. You amaze me sweet thing. I'm excited to continue celebrating you tomorrow on your big day. It's been fun to celebrate you already with our families. God created you for a purpose precious girl, and I pray he pursues your heart more and more every day, and that you would be drawn into relationship with him and trust him with your whole heart. Here's to year two with you Zoe Joy Marie...we are sure looking forward to it! Happy almost birthday sweet one. :)