Letter to Aurora, Who is One

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(You can tell how tired Mom and Dad were holding you… that was a pretty long night!)

Hey Aurora,

Did you know that every single night, your father and I sneak in and check on you? And every single night we cover our mouths and usually laugh because you have your bum in the air, or are just looking too cute for words. For real, do you even realize how cute you are? I think you do, because you love looking at pictures of yourself, or looking at yourself in the mirror. Anytime we want to get a smile from you, we put you in front of something reflective. And a lot of times, after mama has taken a million pictures of you – you always want to see what they look like. You have become a little model, usually smiling when I pull out the camera. I have trained you well. ;)

This year has been an interesting one, hasn’t it? There have been ups and downs. You are definitely a lover. You need your mother, and you need to be close to her. Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming, like when I want to cook dinner or change my clothes… but how can I be that upset when all you want is to be near me? You are definitely a mama’s girl, and say “ma ma ma ma” every chance you get. My favorite is when you are in “distress” and say “ma ma” so pitifully it makes my heart hurt. You are a sweet little girl.

You are a very deliberate lady. You do things at your own pace, on your own timing. After a while of not even attempting to crawl, we tried to help you along in the process. You had nothing of it. So one day, I held a bottle at one end of the room – and you crawled to get it. Very slowly, but you did. Even now, you crawl slowly but surely… as if every move is a deliberate one. I hope that you’ll be just as deliberate in your choices as you get older. ;) Right now, we’re waiting for you to take your first steps, but we know not to rush you. You’ll get there.

There were a lot of expectations about babies that we’d heard, and you didn’t meet any of them. By this, I mean you are awesome. You didn’t cry during your first bath, you like 99.9% of every food we give you, you go to bed seamlessly – without even a whine, you’re (for the most part) calm and collected… from the beginning, you spoiled us. We’re nervous about the future siblings, because they have a lot to live up to!

You have much family that loves you. Here, you are snuggled on a daily basis – and that isn’t even close to the amount of family you have elsewhere! You are a spoiled little girl! Someone is always calling to see how you are, and you often get little presents in the mail from family far away.

Independence isn’t your strong suit —yet. I know you’ll get there, but right now, you like company and attention. There are days when you surprise me, though.. and you play great alone. I would say it’s a bittersweet moment, but really I’m just so dang proud.

Your eyes are a hot commodity. Did you know that wherever we go, I usually get at least one person who stops us to compliment your beauty? And 9 times out of 10, they mention those brown beauties. You get shy and dig your head into mama’s chest when this happens, which only multiplies your cuteness. You also have your Grandpa Russell’s cleft chin and slight dimple. And lest we forget, you have Papa’s ears… those little elf ears. I don’t think much of me got in there, but occasionally you’ll make an expression and it’s all Rachel, and I like that.

You made me a mother. You made Papa a father. We’re young and don’t really know what we’re doing…even now. You were meant for our family. We talked one night about how we were ready for kids, and the positive pregnancy test came a month later. We knew you were destined to be with us.

While I was in labor, the reoccurring thing that our nurse said was, “Wow, she has a great heartbeat!” You came slowly — deliberately — and though it took 24 hours (and it was the hardest 24 hours of my life), you came at your own pace. You came out quiet and happy, and that made Papa and I feel good, because we knew you trusted us, and felt safe. I’m not sure if I can explain the moment they put you on my tummy. It was one of those spiritual moments that words wouldn’t do justice to. What a great moment.

Little girl, you are our world. We absolutely adore you. Even when you are ornery, even when you are needy, even when you are stubborn. We love your big brown eyes, your cleft chin, your slight dimples, and your chubby belly. All of you. Thank you for lighting up our lives.

Pictures

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Many Faces

I am gearing up for this ball of cuteness to turn one. One. It’s been one year. ONE YEAR! I’ve been trying to tell myself that over and over so on the actual day I don’t turn into a complete pile of mush. But I fear that is impossible at this point. It just doesn’t seem real. Alex and I were looking through pictures of her from when she was born to now… and we are in shock mode. Or maybe denial? I don’t know. Regardless, it’s been such a mega year and we have loved every minute of it (even the not-so-fun minutes).

We were going to have a big birthday party with lots of decorations and food and babies, but due to certain events that we can’t miss, we decided to have a much more intimate party instead. And I’m okay with that. Honestly, the fact that she isn’t going to remember much of it makes it easier. But we will get lots of video and pictures and try to really focus in on the moment. Basically that means we’ll annoy Aurora to death with flashes and cameras in her face. I can’t help it. She’s just got that face.

 

28 Days

…until this little girl I know turns one. When did her birthday month arrive? I so very remember this time last year, entering the last month of pregnancy. It was only a few months ago, right? Geez…

I was feeling large, ready to meet her, but at the same time scared of what motherhood would bring. I had an infinite number of worries. But now here we are, almost a year later and everything is going so great. We’re happy, we’re healthy, and who could ask for much more than that?

 

A Wistful Sunday

There are times in life when you feel as though you are living in the present. You are content and feel blessed with all that life entails. And though you have people in your life that have passed on, you are at peace in a way… and are genuinely happy.

Then you have a day filled with memories, old friends (family, really), and lots of  hugs and updates on your life. And it almost feels like you’re right back in it, wishing that you could go back in time.

Today was one of those days.

After going to a wedding reception for a person who is basically a member of our family, and seeing people who not only knew my father – but loved him just as deeply as we did, it was as if for just a moment – he was here again. There is a deep, unmistakable love in my heart for every one of those people in Mustang, Oklahoma. If only we could turn back the hands of time for just a day so that we all could be together again. Oh, the day of our reunion will be sweet, indeed.

 

So very sweet.

My Darling

Go back to sleep now, my darling. And I’ll keep all the bad dreams away.
Breathe now, think sweet things. And I’ll think of all the right words to say.

Because we made you, my darling, with the love in each of our hearts.
We’re a family, my darling, right from the start.

Grow up now, my darling, but please don’t you grow up too fast.
But be sure, my darling, to make all the good times last.

Because we made you, my darling, with the love in each of our hearts.
We’re a family, my darling, right from the start.

We’re a family, my darling, right from the start.