A week ago today Reaghan turned one. ONE people! One. Mark took the day off and we had a fantastic day just the three of us. We went to the aquarium, out to an early dinner on the boardwalk and played in the sand and ocean with our sweet baby who is, actually, less and less a baby, every day. This past weekend we had a little party for her with our families here at the house.
It was a busy weekend and each of those events deserve their own posts, but today I thought I'd share the letter that I wrote to her to stick in her baby book:
My Sweet Reag,
Today you turned a year old. You have been a part of your mommy and daddy's life for a whole year now. These last 24 hours have been a roller coaster ride for me as I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that you are one! I am so sad that your tiny baby days are over because, my sweet girl, I loved them so much. I loved your little whimpers in the night asking to be fed and I loved the smell of your sweet milky breath after falling into a nurse induced coma. But I am so happy that you are growing strong and healthy and we are already overjoyed with all that you can do.
I remember like it was yesterday the day I found out I was pregnant with you. I wanted to think of a cute way to tell your daddy if I was pregnant so I anxiously waited for him to leave for work before finding out. As soon as he walked out of the door I jumped up to take the test. It didn't take long for it to show me that you were already growing inside of me and I sat back down quietly in my bed and cried and prayed with thanksgiving unto the Lord. I loved you instantly. When I told daddy that night with a special dessert and a "my daddy is a superhero" onesie - he instantly loved you too.
The next 9 months were full of a lot of loving, (puking), crying and praying. You kept my stomach empty for the first 4 1/2 months but it was okay. I loved you more than anything. So did daddy. We fell in love with you over and over again - when we heard your heart beat, when we felt you kick, when we found out you were a girl, and when we decorated your nursery. I was nervous about being a mommy, but mostly I just couldn't wait to meet you, and I dreamed every day of what you would be like.
We did so much to prepare for your arrival. We read books and attended birthing classes. Daddy even went to a "daddy boot camp" class. But nothing truly prepared us for the day we met you. You stayed in 6 days past your due date but once you decided to come, you only took 5 hours to get here. Once you were in my arms I suddenly knew love like I had never known before. You were perfect and beautiful in every way. That was the best day of my life - after marrying your daddy of course.
The next few months were full of even more loving and crying and praying (and sleepless nights!). So many times I was unsure of myself as I tried to learn your wants and needs. I just wanted to be the best mommy I could be for you and many times I felt like I was failing - especially the days when you wouldn't nap or the nights you wouldn't sleep in your crib. Your daddy was always so supportive and encouraging and loved you hard when mommy would start crying because you had woken up crying again - even when he had to be at work early the next day. I was never upset at you for being awake my love, but always frustrated with myself that I couldn't help you sleep. Eventually you learned to sleep and we made it through those early days. In so many ways I miss them so much. Even on those hard nights, through my tears I could see how fast you were growing and I tried to soak up every moment - the good and the hard.
As you've grown, so has mommy. I've learned how unconditional love can be, how much patience I didn't have but desperately needed, and what it meant to pray earnestly for your salvation. And you were learning so much more! You've learned how to roll over, sit up, eat, talk, stand and now you are on the verge of walking. You've grown from being an average size newborn to a petite little one year old who can still wear some 9 month size clothes. You are sweet but sassy and keep me on my knees praying for wisdom on how to to be your mommy. You love swinging outside, dancing to music, playing "drums" and clapping your hands to "If you're happy and you know it." You love seeing your family but you're shy when you meet new people or if theres a lot going on. You're scared of a fish tank but will stick your hands right into a pool of sting rays! You get excited and crawl as fast as you can when mommy or daddy come through the front door. You give wide, open mouth kisses and pat my back when you give me a hug. You fold your hands to pray at dinner time and get very giggly in the evenings just before bed. You love our Piper Pup and always want to share your food. You're a picky eater. You love to brush your hair and use mommy's make up brushes to pretend to put on your "pretties."You love to play with the big kids at Aunt Erin's. You adore your baby dolls and hold them tight and give them kisses. I could go on, you do so much! But most of all you light up my every day.
I wake up every morning and I can't believe how much you're growing. I can't believe how beautiful you are and I sure can't believe how blessed I am to be your mommy.
I am so excited for new babies to come in to our family, but I want you to know what a special place you will always hold in my heart because you were the first baby to come in to our family. Nothing will compare to that excitement of welcoming our first little one home. You were the one that made me a mommy and the one that bursted my heart wide open. There will never be another first. God has chosen you to be our first born and we know He has big plans for your stubborn and sassy personality.
Your daddy and I pray every night that you will come to know the Lord at an early age and that you will love Him with all of your heart. We pray that you will always know you are a daughter of the One True King and that you will be a bright and shining star in your generation. We pray you stay curious and become brave. There is so much more you will learn and experience and your mommy and daddy will be here every step of the way to guide you.
Thank you baby girl for all the love and laughter and for giving us the best year we've ever had. We love watching you grow, but we are treasuring each milestone and making it last as long as we can. We love you so much sweet Reag!
Happy 1st birthday!
My sisters took Reaghan's 1 year old photos last week as well and here are some more of my favorites - I think they capture her personality perfectly: