Today you are ONE year old! It is such a special day for us to be able to celebrate 365 days of pure joy and sweetness with you as our daughter. Here is a glimpse of what life with you has been like.....
Here are your last minutes in my belly!
And you crying with sweet breath. The most beautiful sound....
We were captured by your big dark eyes and head covered in silky dark hair. You looked so much like your big brother Zakkai when you were born!
You got to meet your anxious big brothers for the first time. We talked for months and months about what it would be like when you came and they could hardly wait to meet you! You now have 3 overprotective guardians:)
Daddy and I fought over who got to hold you in the evenings while you were sleeping:) There is nothing in the world that beats the feeling of holding a sweet-smelling, soft, moldable little newborn.
We watched you slumber peacefully, never able to get enough of you!
Even from the first few minutes of your life, you stared intently at us, soaking up our voices and our presence.
You started to grow so fast, changing from our little 6 lb "Birdie" with the chicken legs to a soft wonder with the start of double chins. You first month flew by....
We started doing tummy time and you never disliked it quite like your brothers did:) You spent a lot of time on your tummy, checking out the action of the household.
You turned 2 months old just before Christmas and spent Christmas being loved and admired by your family in Ohio. You even started sleeping a lot better while we were there, although it was in your carseat:)
We started a new year with you in January, falling more and more in love with you. We watched you start smiling and cooing and even making silly faces!
You have been the little darling of our family since the minute we met you.
And who wouldn't fall in love with this sweet, soft doll baby?!
Your brothers begged to hold you and have me take pictures. They even liked to pick out your clothes and a bow for your pretty hair.
3 months flew quickly by and before we knew it, it was February. You survived your first blizzard!
I took lots and lots of pictures of you, knowing that the precious moments with you would slip away all too quickly...
You turned 4 months old on the same day your big brother turned 4! We took a trip to a museum and you enjoyed looking around and spending time in the arms of your ever-willing daddy:)
Samuel and Zakkai have always been able to get you to laugh and smile in the blink of an eye! This is one of my favorite pictures of you and I remember that you started laughing for one of the first times and I captured just a second of it on video. So precious!
It's been such a change to see all of this pink around our house but it fits you because you are so soft and pink and girlie:)
You learned to sit up....in a Bumbo, that is; seeing life from a different view!
I dressed you up in pretty dresses for church, this being one of my favorites! You always look extra pretty on Sundays:)
You are my little Cindy-Lou Who! You have adored bathtime from your very first bath! I always know I can get lots of smiles out of you if I just show you the bathtub and a little water....
In April, at 5 1/2 months, we finally started venturing outside again as the weather thawed a bit. You loved seeing the big, wide world with so many new things to see and explore!
We also decided to try cereal for the first time in April, just days before you turned 6 months. You weren't too sure about it at first but then decided it wasn't so bad;)
For your 6 month birthday, you got to take you very first vacation to Florida! You did so great on the long (LONG) trip there, only becoming inconsolable just before the end. It was so fun to watch you swim in the pool with us, soak up the sunshine (protected, of course!) and even ride in a golf cart!
You were an absolute butterball at 6 months! So squishy and soft and just perfect!
We dressed you up for Easter but it was so hot that you couldn't wear your matching sweater or even the bonnet for long....
Just like with your brothers, I check on you every single night before I go to bed. There is not a more peaceful sight than a sweetly sleeping child. I bought you a pink elephant before you were born and you have slept with it every single night since:)
In May, you started working on sitting up, although it was awfully hard to support that little body for awhile!
You showed us that not only are you sweet and lovely but you're pretty cool, too;)
For Mother's Day, we spent some time picnicking and playing at the park, where you took your first swing. You thought it was pretty good but now you don't like it at all!
You made my Mother's Day specially wonderful and the 3 of you gave me the most perfect gift: a picture of you, my treasures.
At the end of May, just after you turned 7 months, you got to meet a long-distance buddy. The two of you are only weeks apart and I hope you get to meet again soon! Her mommy's pretty cool;)
We are often just stunned at your beauty and sweet spirit. We can never get enough of looking into the blue eyes, called "Blue Gems" by a cashier recently:)
I pray that you will always know how much I love you and how I hope that we always have a really close relationship like I do with my mom.
This is one of my favorite baby poses! And made all the sweeter with a ruffle;)
We moved in June when you were 7 1/2 months old and you did great, adjusting fairly quickly. You even got your very own room for the first time and it's just perfect for you!
You started trying more and more foods and have liked most of the things given to you. You must not take after me in that way!
I've put up your hair in so many ways over the past year because it's so long! It has gradually turned from dark brown to a golden, honey blond over the months.
At 8 1/2 months, we took a trip to Ohio to celebrate the 4th of July and your big brother's 6 th birthday. You loved spending time outside in the peaceful country!
You even got to try some juicy, sweet watermelon with Grandma!
You have always had a great sense of humor and can make us laugh very easily with your silly faces and orneriness!
You finally started sitting up well at 9 months old and thoroughly enjoyed a whole new world with a new view!
We took lots of walks this summer, to the farmer's market and the parks and sometimes it just plain tuckered you out....
We took you to the zoo in August and it was fun to show you all the animals...not that you cared too much;)
I have enjoyed dressing you up in pretty dresses! This one is one of my favorites and you obliged me by posing nicely for pictures!
We did a little more swimming before school started, which you loved, of course!
You started to get really busy just before you hit 10 months, learning to crawl and pull-up within a week of each other!
And you love to pull up on anything and everything!
You may look girlie but you have no problem playing with your brother's cars and other toys left around the house (and there are many!)
As September rolled around, you personality continued to shine and blossom. You have learned to be silly and make us laugh and get so much joy from just being near us! And we get joy from being near you...
You got to go apple picking for the first time at 11 months old. You discovered that you adore apples and we discovered that a good apple core will keep you happily occupied for many long minutes!
Just a couple weeks ago, you got to help pick out a pumpkin for our family!
And then I blinked and today you woke up and turned ONE! I don't know how it happened! You got to open a present right away, a special box that came in the mail from 2 of your Aunts that live far away. Your very first pink and purple toy and it's just for you!
You pretty much spent the entire day carrying around these two lids and riding on your new toy:)
Mommy made you get all dressed up in your princess outfit, with the shirt and birthday hat that she made for you;) You are very good-natured!
After reluctantly posing for a couple of pictures, it was back to your new toy...
I don't think you will ever understand how precious you are to me, to us and the simple, raw joy that your smile and presence brings to us until you have a little person just like you someday...
Mommy and Daddy took you on a special shopping trip this afternoon, all by yourself! You got to pick out a birthday present and you chose your very first doll baby. Mommy just handed it to you to see what you would do and to our surprise, you started smiling and laughing and loved your new baby so much that we just had to get it! You also got some new bathtoys and a new rattle:)
I threw together a pink elephant cake, going with our pink elephant theme because you just love your special pink elephant so much and have really bonded with it in the past couple of months!
Unfortunately, it had been a really, really long day and you were SO ready for bed by the time I finished it....
You tried a taste or two and decided that it was enough and time for bed!
After a chorus of goodnights from your big brothers and loving Daddy, I carried you up and got you all clean and tucked in for bed, just like I do every night.
It is the simple moments with you that have made everyday so wonderful. You are a light, a gift and a pure joy to us, Sweet Eliana Caroline.
You changed our lives forever 1 year ago and we can't wait experience the rest of your life with you!
We love you.