Well, the day is finally here, my baby turns ONE today! Happy birthday to my sweet, precious Madeline. What a blessing it has been to not only be her mama but also to watch her grow and discover the world around her this past year. She is the sweetest, most affectionate baby girl. Her little personality just lights up the room and she never fails to put a smile on the faces of those around her. She loves to play with her toys. She loves animals, and especially loves her plush toy animals. She wants to kiss anything that is soft and fuzzy haha (even blankets). She has a "kiss sound" as I like to call it. If she sees something soft (including Jaycee), she will make her "awwww" sound and head for it mouth wide open to give it a kiss. But what I love even more is when she will just randomly come up to me and grab my face to give me a kiss. It truly is the sweetest thing that melts my heart like no other. She is walking all over the place! It amazes me to see how fast she is going now, just within a weeks time. She has said her first word, which is 'hot." But she literally babbles all the time! She still loves bath time. She adores her toy vacuum. She has "helped" me vacuum so many times, so now that she's walking, she loves to grab hers and vacuum alongside me. She loves to play peek-a-boo! She also finds it hilarious when someone sneezes. She never fails to laugh out loud! And she loves to sneeze and have someone say "bless you" to her! Once she's done sneezing, she will fake a few sneezes after just to have you tell her "bless you" again. It is so funny :) She also loves outside, and loves to go on walks with me! She has never loved her stroller, when we're outdoors walking, it's a different story. In short, she is into anything and everything :)
If you ask me a few of the most valuable things I've learned this past year being a mama, I'd say these: One, it has been so important to me to know that I am raising my girl in the Lord and teaching her to trust in Him with all of her heart, even from an early age. From singing "Jesus Loves Me" to her, to telling her how the Lord is her light and her salvation and the stronghold of her life (Psalm 27:1...my verse for her), to saying little prayers with her as I believe it is so important for her see me praying, I want her to know who to turn and put her trust in all of her days! I have also learned just how important it is and how much time I have put into praying for her! I truly believe that it is so important to pray for her as I know God heard each and every prayer. I know HE loves her more than I even do. Another valuable lesson I've learned is to take everything a day at a time. I have always been a planner, but that all changes with a baby :) I still haven't learned how to master the art of showering with a baby (unless it's when she is napping). But the most valuable lesson I have learned of all is to cherish every second because, as so many have told me, time slips away way too quickly! I have been reminiscing on "a year ago right now" so many times these last few days. Oh what I would do to go back to the first time she was placed in my arms. I have also found the true meaning of the old saying "time flies when you're having fun." And most importantly, I have learned this past year from being a mama that yes, God truly knows what we need and when we need it. His timing is so perfect! I thank Him over and over again for giving me this experience of motherhood and this precious baby girl. My heart beams with joy just knowing that God knew all along that I would become a mama on April 1st, 2015. Madeline is such a blessing to so many and is so so loved!
As I said last year, April has always been my favorite month. However many years ago, I never knew I would begin it in 2015 with welcoming my girl into the world. Now on April 1st, 2016, it is still the most special day and reminds me of the best day of my entire life. Oh what a joy it is to experience her grow and discover the world around her.
Happy Birthday, my sweet precious Madeline! Mama loves you with all of her heart.
All photos are by the very talented Mary Beth's Photography!