Happy 1st Birthday, Emma Josephine!

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Emma Jo! How in the world has it been over a year since you came into this world??

On April 16th, 2014, you were born. You. were. BORN.

In truth, I’m speechless when I think about this past year. It’s been impossible, beautiful, encouraging, frustrating, humbling and rewarding. Over the last 12 months, you have challenged us with late nights and tossed food, wooed us with long lashes and loving hugs, surprised us with first steps and climbing, and you’ve made us proud – over milestones, yes, but more so being you. Our sweet, confident, musical baby girl.

Those reflexive, startled hands that shot up again and again as a newborn have settled into drum-beating, Duplo-pulling digits and palms. Your chubby legs have turned into skinny sticks for walking and climbing. You’re becoming a toddler before our eyes. You are sassy. Throwing your cup/paci/food/utensils/toys on the floor, you cry out “Uh oh!” again and again.

Your wardrobe has turned over 3 times and you’re starting to push for four, true to size. You exude confidence in your baby Merrells and use them to take you through the garden. You play favorites, daddy still taking the cake but you let me in on a snuggle or two! You’ve gotten over more colds than I’ve seen in years but you always have a beat in your head to bop, wiggle, clap or laugh to. You are so musical! Drums, guitars, microphones, pianos – you are your father’s daughter.

I just can’t wrap my head (or heart) around it. My little girl is 1. I’ve been waiting these past few weeks for the right words to come but instead, tears. Filled to the brim and spilling over with emotion. All emotions. Mother emotions. So powerful and deep and all wrapped into choked up, speechless gasps for breath.

*Gasp* A year *Gasp* We made it *Gasp* I love you *Gasp* I hated parts of this past year *Gasp* Your joy gives me joy *Gasp* You are beautiful *Gasp* Your father loves you *Gasp* You are a blessing *Gasp* I am old *Gasp* Time keeps getting faster *Gasp* I can’t wait to see what’s next *Gasp*

Happy birthday, Emma Josephine. You are a blessing to this family and a joy.

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