One year.

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Caroline, today you turn one.

One year.

Certainly, our long-awaited sweet baby girl couldn’t have known what sort of loud, crazy and loving family she was being welcomed into.

I suppose a big milestone like this – celebrating the first year of a beautiful life – is a pretty good place to jump back in and start sharing our story again.

Truthfully, this last year has put me out of my comfort zone.  It has been both crazy and beautiful and overwhelming and humbling and emotional.  I can’t explain it.  And for a while didn’t even want to try.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve fumbled everything up this year.  I mean really, how does one make a big mess out of a season that was supposed to be so special?  And perfect?  For heaven’s sake we had a baby girl.  A daughter!  Our family was now made perfect.  Complete.  Game over, ride off into the sunset.

Of course life is never that simple and since I seem to be unfailingly human, sweet girl your mama often struggled more than celebrated her way through this first year.


And there you are.  Sweet as pie.  The perfect calm in the storm.

I won’t go into the long story.  Really, I don’t know if it’s even appropriate for a birthday post, but it is the story of our first year together.

Somewhere along this journey I lost my balance, and let what felt like *big scary things* alter my perspective so much that I failed to miss the abundance of beautiful and lovely moments that truly made up our days.  First there was colic.  For four months.  And just when we were getting into a lovely groove there was the first scary doctor appointment.  Followed by relief.  And then another scary doctor appointment.  An MRI.  A visit to an important doctor.  And then relief again. Praise Jesus, you’re just quirky.  Like your mama.  Lucky girl.

Sweet girl, this is life. I should know this by now.  I should know this roller coaster ride by heart.  But I just can’t seem to get the hang of it.  I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I mess up the recipe of life, getting the measurements of bitter and sweet out of balance.

You should know that your dad handles all of these seasons with the confidence and grace of a man who both willingly loves and leads his family.  No matter where life may take us.  He is always calm when I’m the one losing it.  He is always the one who points out that in the end, it all works out.

Caroline.  More than anything I want you to know that you are loved.  You have been fiercely loved from day one.  Oh and you are ever so lovely.  Sweet girl, people stop us all the time when we are out and about.  They tell me how beautiful you are.  Maybe it’s your smile that catches their attention.  Your lively blue eyes?  Or maybe it’s because you’re such a peanut but do such big girl things?  Whatever it is you simply sparkle.

A few things that make you, you.  Caroline {or Coco as we often call you} you are stubborn.  {again, that darn apple and tree.}  But you are also the most laid-back, happy and content baby we’ve ever known.  Your hair is strawberry blond and wispy with the slightest hint of curls.  You refused to take a bottle for the entire first year.  But God-bless you sweet thing, because just this week you decided whole milk and bottles were OK after all.  You love to eat.  Anything is fair game.  You crawl, pull to a stand but refuse to walk because quite simply, you haven’t decided to walk yet.  You talk, saying: hi, dada, up, and all-done and you always remember to wave good-bye.  You adore your brothers and they adore you.

Caroline I’ll admit that with three boys already, I wasn’t sure what to expect with a baby girl.  Would you be different right from the start?  It sounds silly but oh how I wish I could protect you forever.  There is a part of me that wants to hold onto you so tight you’ll never feel the need to spread your wings and fly.  But you are a lovely gift that has been thoughtfully designed by our perfect Creator and so instead I pray you stay brave and dream big.  I pray that as you grow and spread your wings you know that your identity is found in Him.

Just know that in the meantime I’ll be telling you to hold your horses already, to stop growing up so quickly.

Happiest of birthdays baby girl.  We’re going to *officially celebrate* with family on Sunday, but I’ve been so thankful for today, which has been a quiet day of joy and reflection.  And oh sweet girl know that there is so much joy and sweetness and goodness.

I love you so much Caroline.


10 thoughts on “One year.

  1. So glad to see this post! Happy bday Caroline! You are gorgeous! And happy to learn that all is well!
    Best wishes to your family from ours!
    Margaret (from ohio)

  2. Happy birthday Miss CoCo. I’m sorry to miss your party, but I’ll bring you back a little something from my trip! xXxX oOoO

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