As I sit here nursing you to sleep the night before your first birthday, I am in complete denial about how old you really are. The date of your birth is still so fresh in my mind—I remember how I was so anxious to meet you months before you made your grand entrance.
When Nolan and I would take naps, I would rub my belly where your little feet kicked or where your fingers pressed outward and wonder who you would be in this world.
You came in with a bang after four hours of intense labor, but only ten minutes after we got into the hospital. You were so soft and tiny. I remember not being able to believe this little girl was all ours; it seemed like the sweetest dream. Your daddy held you in his arms for the first time, and, Harper, you looked so small…like a little doll.
What made the entire situation real was when Nolan met you for the first time. He loved his “Barper Girl” from the moment he laid eyes on you.
All of us really enjoyed you as a newborn. Nolan would beg to hold you and even pick you up if we did not give him his sister fast enough! We all took our fair share of naps holding you and getting our baby snuggles in. Once we started going places with you, everyone became entranced with your infectious spirit and always held and loved on you.
As you got a little bigger, we would load up and take you and Nolan to the beach or the pool. With an umbrella over your little body, you enjoyed the breeze and always kicked your feet with delight.
Seeing you smile and laugh for the first time made me one emotional mama, and your giggles can still always brighten my day. After we would play outside, you, Nolan, and I would become entangled and take the most amazing naps.
Naps with both of you still draw me in, and sometimes, I still do not tear myself away to work when I know I really should.
Your daddy and I feel like you hit milestones way before you were supposed to!
Sitting up, rolling over, crawling and now walking, you’re such a big girl! You always find a way to get into whatever mischief you are looking for!
Pulling your clothes out of your drawer or trying to eat the dog food before we rush to put it up are things we have had to endure for the past few months now that you are more mobile. You’ve learned to shake your head from left to right and grin at us so you don’t get in trouble, and that makes finding you in those situations worth it.
Since you started walking, it feels like you are learning more things every day. If anyone has food, you will bum rush them and make sure they know that you must have some as well. This is really funny to watch you do to Nolan who looks a little confused that your sweet little self is running at him like you are going to take him down. When you run up to me with your arms up and your biggest smile, I have to stop what I am doing to hold you.
It will never matter what I am doing, YOU are the most important part of my world.
Your relationship with your brother amazes me every day; the love you have for each other is heart-warming. As soon as your sleepy little eyes open, you crawl over to him and lay on his chest. Your daddy and I know that wherever Nolan goes, you will be right behind him.
You are his shadow, and it is so obvious to everyone that he absolutely loves it. He holds you, feeds you, and shares his toys with you to make sure you have just as much fun as he is having.
I love hearing him talk to you, and I know it won’t be long that you are answering with words instead of gibberish. Your relationship with each other will ebb and flow, but in the end, I hope you remember the love you experience right now.
This weekend you will be surrounded by your close friends and family to celebrate your first birthday.
You’ve been on this earth one year, and you’ve already changed the lives of many people who have met you.
You deserve the world, and your mama and daddy are doing their very best to ensure you get it. I am so lucky to be a part of your life and watch you grow into the person God has planned for you to be.