Monday, August 14, 2006

12 Months

Our Sweet Little Emma,

Happy 1st Brithday! How do I begin to put into words what this last year has meant to your Daddy and me? We have felt emotions so deep we never knew they existed until you came along…

A LOVE so pure and strong that a simple glance at your precious face makes our hearts warm and ache at the same time. We wish so much for you, yet we want so badly to hold you in our arms and freeze time so we can always fit your tiny hands safely in ours. We love you enough to let you explore on your own, even if it means you will probably get a few bumps and bruises along the way. But we will always be there to comfort you—to kiss your owies, to wipe away the tears, to shush away the cries.

A JOY we haven't felt since we were children ourselves. We look at flowers and trains and puppy dogs through your eyes, and we see the beauty and wonder of everything God created for us. Your curiosity teaches us to admire every little detail—the peaceful look on an elderly woman's face that makes you smile or the touch of sand on your feet that makes you want to kick and dance and roll around. The simple breeze running through your hair that makes you scrunch up your nose and giggle. All things we take for granted; yet you teach us to stop and notice. To stop and enjoy.

A WORRY that never seems to go away. Since the day we knew you were growing inside of me, we were afraid of what might happen. A loss of control that required a whole lot of faith in God, a lesson we are constantly learning. Whether it was your cries of pain at night or your uncomfortable wiggles throughout the day, we prayed and cried and trusted. We had to. As much as we want to believe we can protect you, there is only so much we can do. In the end, you are in His hands. And trust me, with your determined spirit, we will be keeping that promise in our pockets for many, many years to come.

A PRIDE that wells up in our eyes and practically bursts out of our ears. Your first smile at 6 weeks. Your first word at 7 months. Your first step at 10 months. Giant leaps that overwhelm us with feelings of satisfaction that our own accomplishments could never provide. Watching you move from our arms to the floor to your feet all happened way too fast, but we are so proud of your sense of adventure that we wouldn't change any of it for the world. We eagerly anticipate your next developments, but we remind ourselves to treasure the joys of today. We have found that time has a way of stealing away moments before we realize they are gone.

We watch in total AWE as you discover all that life has to offer: You thoughtfully page through your books, talking to the pictures in your own little language. You carry your doggie and baby around with you, stopping to kiss them every once in a while to let them know how much you love them. You listen when I ask you to sit while we have a snack, even though you are sooooo very hungry. You snuggle with your blankie and binkie, your two most favorite things in the world that put you to sleep in an instant. You giggle at our silly jokes, love to chase us around, and even enjoy wrestling with us. You quietly ride in your car seat as we drive from here to there, looking out the window, soaking it all in. You are always in motion, but always make time for a quick kiss or cuddle, instants we've learned to savor so that we always remember.

A sense of true CONTENTMENT. We now feel complete in a way we never knew was possible. Of course, that's because we never had a child, or all that comes along with that blessing. You have made life more complicated, yes, but also more fulfilling than anything this world can give.

It is no coincidence that we called you Heaven Sent from the beginning. God has truly revealed himself to us through you. Your eyes show an innocence He always intended for us. Your heart overflows with a love and trust that teach us how we should live every day.

We now understand how hard it is to love from afar, but realize that it is necessary so that you can become the unique person God created.

Yes, Emma, because of you, we know unconditional love in its purest form; a glimpse of how much God loves us. Unfathomable love in just 12 short months.

What a wonderful gift the next few years will be as God reveals more and more to us. But for now, we thank Him for the last year. That is more than enough.

All our love,
Mommy and Daddy


aunt jenni said...

Well Lis, you did it again! You made me cry at work! That was so beautiful! I can't wait to discover and feel that love for myself! First things first...Gotta get that ring! ;)
Happy Birthday again Emmy!
Love You all!

Martina said...

That was the most beautiful thing I've ever read! You know how to make people break out the tissues!! Happy 1st birthday Emma!! I hope you'll some day understand how much your mommy and daddy and all us other family love you, it's a WHOLE BUNCH! You've blessed the lives of SO many people, and I can't wait to watch you grow up more!!! Love you!

Amanda said...

Lisa, that is so precious! I missed this yesterday, but Happy Birthday, Sweet Emma! You are so blessed to have a Mommy and Daddy that love you so much (even if your Dad does drive a little too fast...ask him about freaking me out when we were in high school someday. He'll NEVER let you ride in a car with a boy that drives like he did!!!) :) Jeff and Lisa, your little girl is so beautiful and even from far away, I can tell you guys are doing an awesome job. May God continue to bless your little family!

Glass Half Full said...

Happy first birthday, Emma! Your words are a blessing! :)

one hot momma said...

that was so beautiful! Isn't it awesome being a parent! Each day is even better than the last, even when they are older and you have your days when you want to pull your hair out, they still do things to melt your heart and that love overwhelms you again! Happy Birthday Emma! You're so blessed to have a family that loves you so much!
So where's the picture of you in your birthday dress Emma? Can't wait to see it!

grandma bernard said...

Wow, what can I say? I've spent the last couple of days trying to find the words, through the tears. Happy birthday, sweet little Emma girl. Your grandpa & I love you so much - you have brought so much joy into our lives & hearts. And Happy Birth-day to you my sweet all grown-up Lisa. You have become such a lovely woman, wife and mother. It is such a blessing to have a daughter who is not only a great mommy but someone who loves the Lord so much. Oops, sorry Jeff, I think you know how much we love you too, but just in case I want to remind you that we thank God that He brought you into our lives. You are a wonderful husband to Lisa & a such a loving daddy to our little angel. We are truly blessed.

Heidi said...

What a wonderfully written message, I'm very tearful you are so right about all of it. My son has done the same thing to us and our relationship with God.