one year.


Eliza Roxie is one year old. I took these pictures on her birthday, but I have been avoiding writing this post. It makes me a little sad.

My mom and I were commenting that these past two weeks have been crazy to witness. Eliza has grown up leaps and bounds from the time we picked my mom up from the airport. We were counting her baby steps those first few days. Now, she's waddling around the house like it's nothing. When she started walking, her stress level fell a billion notches. I look down at this happy baby with those long spike pigtails, walking around with a big ol' smile on her face and I have to laugh. Let's be honest, people. Eliza is a bit intense. But, it's like she figured out life, and she's so proud of herself.

For her birthday, Eliza gave us the best gift. She suddenly started developing this beautiful cuddling phase. I am completely drunk on it- taking in every extra second of these tiny embraces. She never used to allow cuddling. Ever. And now, she waddles over  to hug my legs tightly, rolls over to scoot up against my face, and hands out big, wet open-mouthed kisses. She even allows me to snuggle with her before she falls asleep every night. I can't get enough of it!

This has been the most amazing year of my life. I really never knew I could love like this. I don't think it existed until she came. It's a special kind of love. I can't believe I could ever be trusted with such a beautiful being. She is so pure and perfect.

I have struggled with hard things. In the past, I have found myself in dark places. But, I could never imagine the hard things that I would be going through during this first year of life- and yet, I never found myself in those dark places. I can be in tears, in absolute frustration, but then I look at those eyes and I melt. There is always light in her, and she always bring me home. Eliza and Sam are my everything. I am so grateful for my family. The older Eliza gets, the more I see Sam in that little face and I couldn't be happier.

I absolutely can not quite grasp the fact that she has been here for an entire year, now. Lately, everything around me has triggered so many memories. The flowers that are in bloom, the fact that my mom was visiting- all of it pointing back to this time last year when I gave birth to a tiny thing, and we gave her a name and held her in our arms. 

We love you so much, Baby Girl.

Eliza at one year:
-says "Uh, Oh," "Hi" and many other sounds that sound similar to words but not quite
-claps and points
-squats and carries items around
-likes to drag bags behind her
-loves her scoot bike like crazy
-makes a clicking noise with her mouth when she wants food
-sort of a picky eater lately
-finally broke 16 pounds! HA!
-sleeps well at night, and takes two hearty naps
-starting to see glimpses of tiny toddler "tantrums"
-loves wrap her legs around your leg like koala bear
-loves water lately- giggles like crazy and splashes around
-so much more chill, very proud of herself lately
-six teeth
-loves reading books
-loves the slide- you have to be quick or else she will launch herself down alone
-beach baby
-you can catch her dancing if a song has a good beat
-her hair has lightened up even more in the sun
-has wild fits of giggles in the late afternoon- it makes me laugh
-loves to explore boxes and drawers of "things"
-will carry things off and hide them (Daddy's wedding ring, credit cards, phones, remotes..)
-she's getting so smart- it always surprises me what she understands

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