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Dear Sweet Bee-bee,

Happy first birthday!  It’s 12:02 a.m. as I write this and I can’t help but think about what I was doing at this time last year  (walking around the maternity ward at the hospital, big as a house, and leaning against the wall each time a contraction hit.)  It would be 7 hours before you’d make your debut, just as the sun rose, and you would make me a mommy.

Sweet girl, this year has been the best year of my life so far.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mother and God gave you to me.  I thank him every day for the gift that you are.  Your dad and I  believe that God specifically chose us to be your parents and chose you to be our daughter because he knows it’s the best place for all of us.  We think he’s right.

You are such a sweet baby.  Recently, you’ve taken to waving hi and bye to everyone and you try to make friends with everyone you see, especially if they’re under 4 feet tall.  You love to watch the big kids play and you cackle with laughter as if you think they’re running around just to make you laugh.  You love your Poh-poh and Goong-goong and you bring so much joy to them.   You don’t see your Grandma and Grandpa Barnett quite as often, but they love you just as much and treasure every minute with you.

Just last week you finally popped out some real teeth — two of them!  I hope it will open up a whole new world of food for you.  (Right now, you don’t like anything that’s not smoothly pureed or a Cheerio.)  You’ve shown us that you’re definitely not going to crawl, at least not before you walk.  It seems like just this past week, you’ve started to push against us as we hold you because you want to get on the floor and walk while we hold your hands.  I love to see you exerting your independence, even though I know that we’ll be hard-pressed to keep your curious fingers out of trouble soon enough!

You’ve also just started to show us just how much you love books.  A few days ago I caught you pretending to read a book to yourself!  You were pointing at the pictures and just blabbing your little baby syllables to yourself and turning the pages.  It made my heart melt.  You know exactly where your books are on the shelf and point to them several times a day and say “Buh!”    Then we pick you up so you can pick one out and we sit and read.  You love it when your dad reads to you — he does the funniest voices!

Speaking of your dad (Da!), you really are a lucky girl.  He calls you his “second-best-friend” (I’m his first!) and he loves spending each day with you.  One of these days we hope that I’ll be the one to take care of you during the day and he’ll be out pursuing his career, but for now, you’re Daddy’s girl.  You think he is so funny.  Sometimes you’ll just look at him and it’s obvious that you’re just waiting for him to do something silly to make you laugh — and boy do you laugh!  You just crack up laughing at his antics.  And it is the sweetest, most beautiful sound we’ve ever heard.  He takes such good care of you and loves you so much.  Watching him love and care for you makes me love him even more!

You love music too and you love to see your daddy playing on the worship team at church.  You love singing during worship at church and squeal between songs and say “Amen!” at the end of the benediction.  You sing along, dance and wave at everyone around you.  Even more than loving books, loving us or loving music, we pray that you’ll love Jesus the most.

I really can’t believe how much you’ve grown and changed in the last 366 days.  From a sweet, beautiful newborn to a just-as-sweet, just-as-beautiful, smart, funny, loving, curious, talkative little girl who loves books, music and her little pink lovey.

One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is that you still don’t sleep through the night.  You go to sleep so easily, at 8 p.m. we just lay you in your crib, you put your lovey on your face and just roll onto your side and fall asleep.  But around midnight, you wake up wanting to be held and fed.  And then you do it again at 4 a.m.  and then when you wake up for the day around 7:30 a.m.    We’d let you cry and learn to put yourself back to sleep without eating or being picked up, but we live in a tiny apartment right now and you sleep in our room at the end of our bed.  So for now, everyone gets more sleep if I just pick you up, put you in our bed, nurse you and then put you back in your crib.  It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes and everyone’s happy.  But we’re moving soon to a little house and you’ll get your own room and we hope you’ll take to sleeping through quickly.

There’s a lot I want to remember about your first year and I hope that my sporadic blogging, picture-taking and letter-writing will prove helpful.  How it felt to hold your tiny little body in my arms, how my heart exploded when you started smiling, how it explodes every morning when I see your face, and again when I hear you laugh, or when you lay your head on my shoulder.  How soft your skin is and how you laugh when I blow rasberries on your belly during a diaper change.  Your knee dimples.  Your toothless grin.  Your tiny hands and feet.  The contented sounds you make when I feed you.

I’m so excited to see what new things you’ll do each day and what a beautiful girl you’ll be — inside and out.  I’m so proud that you’re my daughter and I will love you this much forever.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Pea.  As your daddy likes to say “You’re one-years-old now.”

Lots of love,



From the Field