Sunday, March 24, 2013

 12 months old.

It is the 1st of February, 2013.

Somehow it is both expected and unbelievable that we are already celebrating this glorious day. Today, one year ago at 7:35 P.M., I watched you enter the world, weightless under water, brought you up to me, allowed my eyes to fall on yours, and fell in love. Even after experiencing it, that such a relationship can be forged, such love can be created in such a small amount of time is still inconceivable to me. These life changing moments, these few stepping stones that I’ve experienced in life, always spur thought and change in me, but none have provoked such passion and reform in me as the day we met. These stepping stones that we lay down at points in our lives are what lead us to who we are and will become. As I laid down your stepping stone in the garden of my mind on that Wednesday night, I realized that this just may be the most important thing I’ve ever done and will ever do. Loving you is the most important path I’ll take in this life.

This is probably the hardest letter I’ve written to you yet. It is hopefully one birthday of many, but in my mind, it is a momentous occasion. February 1, 2012 was the beginning of a life, but today is the beginning of a childhood. The warmth of your skin on mine, the sound of you enjoying your nightly nursing, the rise and fall of your chest close to mine are all still a part of us occasionally, but they are rapidly being replaced by curiosity, independence, and four little teeth that shine when you smile. The rolls of your legs are beginning to thin and your tiny feet are beginning to resemble the kind that run barefoot through the backyard on a summer day. The birth marks on one eye and the side of your nose are fading. Your eyes continue to darken, drawing closer to the color of mine.
They have gone from blue to green to brown, always evidence of your joyful soul.

I realize you do not look very joyful in these next two pictures. You were mad because I kept making you lay down. Something about being horizontal sends you into a frenzy nowadays.

We drew inspiration from multiple places when choosing your name, but the most memorable (and a little silly) one was from a Disney movie called ‘The Princess and the Frog.’ In it a firefly is always talking to the brightest star in the sky and names it Evangeline, thinking it is a fellow lady firefly. That description couldn’t be more accurate in describing the way we feel about you. There are many things that Papa and I enjoy in this life, but none compare to you. You are the brightest star in our skies, Evangeline. There is something about you that is so very special. It is more than your enthusiastic nature. It is undefinable, and I know in my heart that you’re destined for something special. There are a lot of things that I desire for you, but most of all I hope that you find something you love and run with it, affect lives with it, impact the world with it.

For the past year, I have looked at you and asked myself almost daily, “How can I make sure it all goes right? How can I make sure that I don’t lose her somewhere along the way?” The more time I have with you, the more I reflect on how much my parents must love me. It’s all-consuming. Some days feel like a battle of wills, yours against mine, and I just want to hold you and say, “Please, let’s be friends,” but I know you’re too young to understand what I mean. I can’t pinpoint when things went distant in my own family. It happened slowly, I guess, and now we’ve all matured enough or just accepted it enough to think, “Let’s move on.” We do, not because we’ve all forgiven and forgot, but because we can’t be bothered enough to be mad, or hurt, or waste time and energy worrying about the past we can’t change. And acknowledging this won’t change anything because this is our family dynamic, this is what people are comfortable with, this is the way it has been. People are creatures of habit, especially in their relationships. However, I hope that isn’t the way it will be between you and I.

I don’t want to waste a single moment I have with you. I want to call you. When you’ve grown up and gone away, I want you to call me because you miss our conversation, not because you feel obligated. I want you to feel known and understood. I want to speak your love language. I never want you to feel like I assume who you are. You’re free to evolve into whoever you want to be and I will always accept you. I want you to know that every time you put your arms out, I will reach right back. I will pick you up when you’re 2 or 20 and hold you as long as you need held. I never want you to feel like an inconvenience. I want to be your running partner or your book club or your best friend - whatever you need. I want to send you care packages when you’re in college and make sure you never feel lonely longer than you want to. I want to be the first person you need to call when you’re heartbroken. Most of all, I want you to be proud of me and cherish our friendship.

Even with all the things you do that frustrate me, if I could have chosen, I would have picked you - with your big toothy grin, your ability to know exactly what you want and not hesitate to tell us, your tiny feet that shoes still won't fit, your love of the four B's (baths, books, bike rides, and blueberries), your weird habit of pulling your hair when you nurse, and your fascination with taking everything apart and analyzing it. Your slobbery, open-mouthed kisses are the best I’ve had yet (Shh, don’t tell Papa!), and I can’t stop laughing when you grab both sides of my face to give me one. I love waking up to you laughing (even if it’s because you’re pulling my hair out). Oh Ev, my sweet Evangeline, please let me be the Mama you deserve.

Happy Birthday, my magical little human.

All the Love in the Universe,

P.S. I'm sorry about all the tears that were shed to capture these pictures. I hope you can appreciate my dedication to taking these each month someday, and you'll be glad to know that these were the last of the series.


  1. Beautiful post. Hope you both had a really memorable day celebrating

    1. Thank you! We did. This letter as coming to the blog a little late, as we celebrated her birthday February 1st, but we did have a lovely time. :)

  2. What a gorgeous letter. I love it and truly feel a lot of what you have written. You put into words so much of what i cant say. Your Evangeline is gorgeous!

  3. This is so beautiful. Really, really powerful. I have been reading all your posts, usually while nursing so it's hard to comment but I always feel really moved by your honesty and passion.

    1. Thank you! It always amazes me when someone says they have read through most of what I've written. I've gotten into several blogs like that, but I just never pictured my writing being that important or interesting to anyone. Lol.

  4. This is so sweet. I know how much you love her. It is inconceivable sometimes how much we love our babies.

  5. I love reading these. I know they are fun for you to do too. I know I have only seen Evie a hand full of times but every time I read these I feel like I know her alot more! I hate that y'all live so far away but reading these gives me a blessing every time! so thank you for that! Love y'all and miss you guys!

    1. That's actually why I started this blog, but it seems like there aren't a lot of family members who read this. I think it's awesome that you do though! I'm glad you can get to know her a little, even if it's just through a computer screen. Love you and miss you too. :)

  6. I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I'm hoping to create my own personal blog and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!

    Also visit my site; complete family survival kit



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