Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Letter to My Birthday Girl: 1 Year Old

My Dearest LilliAnn,

This picture captures your little personality just perfectly...a joy, always smiling with that little scrunched up nose and Jeb-like grin. This time one year ago it was the day after Easter, I had worked all day but spent most of the time worrying about my blood pressure. For some reason your daddy drove me home from work and I plopped my feet up on the dash of his truck and just stared at them...amazed that my little feet could get so big! I had marks where my black ballet flats had cut into them. I even sent a picture of them to your Nana because they looked so horrible. I knew it was getting close, but had no idea that that very next night I would be going into labor at the Cheesecake Factory! Just four hours later I held you for the first time. I remember how you fit perfectly in the crook of my arm as they rolled us to the recovery room and how easy it was to nurse you for the first time. Everything about that evening was perfect. I didn't know how I was ever going to love you more than I did at that very moment, but as each day, each month passes, I find a little something to add to my list of "lilliann loves." I love the way you say mama and how you walk up to me, bow-legged and all, lifting your arms up for a hug. I love how your eyes sparkle when you smile and how they light up when you play Peek-A-Boo Barn on my iPhone. I love how you say "whoof" every time you see a dog and how giddy you get when you finally get brave enough to pet one. I love to hear you say a new word for the first time, like apple or juice. And I love how you are excellent at communication...how I've always known what you wanted since the day you were born. I love your soft, blonde hair and your perfect little belly button. I love how your eyes were royal blue, but are now changing to a unique shade of hazel with a touch of green and gray. I love the little gap between your two front teeth and the little rolls on your thighs. I love the look of determination on your face when you try and unscrew the lid from a water bottle and how excited you get when you finally get it open. I love how you seem to fit perfectly against my body when we cuddle and how you give kisses at just the right time. I love how you play dinosaurs with your brother and how you pat his face to wake him up in the mornings. But what I love most about you, LilliAnn McKenzie, is your heart. I know I've only known you for one year, but that's long enough to know that you have the most kind and generous heart. You love to share, you make others smile, and your precious personality lights up the room. 

I one single year you've brought your daddy and I so much happiness. Last night he looked at me and said, "I hope we're raising them right." I looked back at him and said, "We are...they're good kids, Jeb." I've been thinking about this conversation a lot today and it made me think about everything that  I wanted you to be...strong, courageous, determined, kind, generous, loyal, empathetic, always willing to step into others' shoes, creative, honest, a servant to the Lord. I realized that I play such a big role in helping you become this person. My prayer as you turn one is that God will help me to provide you with the knowledge, tools, and love you need to not only survive in this world, but to thrive as a beautiful, responsible, competent person who loves the Lord with all her heart. 

LilliAnn, you are one very blessed little girl. You are beautiful and you have a big life ahead of you. I know that everyone thinks their crow is the blackest, but I think everything about you is precious! I want you to know that I will ALWAYS love you no matter what and that I will always be there for you. This is my verse for you as you turn one year old...

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 
-Matthew 5:14-16
To read about the day LilliAnn's grand entrance into this world, click HERE!

1 comment:

  1. This is just about the best thing I've ever read. What blessings God brings!!! I know you will all treasure these precious moments throughout your lives, and these letters will help remember every little thing. You are such an amazing mom and role model! I look up to you so much Kelli Ann!!!