As I held you in my arms tonight, tears filled my eyes. I thought about how one year ago tonight, I had never touched your skin, heard you breathe, or looked into your gorgeous eyes. As I realized this, I was overcome with gratitude and sadness both.
Tomorrow, you will turn one year-old. While it is a joyous day, a true blessing, a miracle, really, my momma heart aches a little.
The year, as they anyways do, flew by too quickly, and I regret not savoring more moments than I did. I should have held you longer in the middle of the night, breathing in your scent, feeling your warmth against my neck as you rested on my shoulder. I should have studied your toothless grin a little longer, before it vanished forever. I should have slow danced with you all night long just one more time.
I cannot live in regret, of course, and I know I am being too harsh on myself. I took in countless moments with you, and they will be cherished every day I live. My heart exploded with joy when you smiled at me with your brilliant, beautiful smile that brings sunshine to the darkest moments. My heart ached incredibly when you would cry in turmoil.
This past year was filled with many changes, but one of the things that remained constant, day in and day out, was that you were loved- endlessly, tremendously, selflessly, and unconditionally. I loved you before I saw you, and that love has grown exponentially with the passing days. But I am not the only one who loves you so much.
You bring out the softest, sweetest side of both of your older brothers. From the day we brought you home, they've been enamoured with you. They've held you to comfort you and kissed away your tears. They shriek with joy after being away from you all day. They laugh relentlessly with you as you chase them up and down the hallway. They kiss you goodnight, and pray blessings upon you.
Your daddy always wanted a baby girl, and here you are. Your smile could brighten a dark night when you see him enter a room. He spent so many nights playing you a lullaby to sleep or you would cuddle up on his chest, serenaded by his heart beat.
The love extends further to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, other family, and friends. If there's another thing I can say without hesitation, it is that this past year has shown me that there are countless people out there who love you (and your wonderful brothers) more than I ever imagined possible.
You are truly a blessed little girl.
I am undoubtedly a blessed momma.
Before you were born, because you were such a surprise, I had to tell myself that God's plans were greater than my own. This year has shown me that, full force.
God KNEW what He was doing when He created you and brought you into our lives.
I have so many hopes and dreams for you, sweet baby girl. I pray that you grow to be a kind, compassionate woman someday. I pray that you love enormously, and live passionately. I hope that you will be filled with empathy and understanding, wisdom and grace. I pray you're strong, but also gentle. I pray that you smile often, laugh often, and enjoy the many moments this life will give you. And I want you to never, EVER doubt how beautiful and wonderfully made you are.
Know that you've been loved since before you took that first breath, and that you've been loved every moment since.
Happy Birthday, Norah Rachelle.