My baby, you're one! Tears fill my eyes as I attempt to grasp the reality of this. This year has been the most joyful, trying, beautiful year of my life! 365 days with you and each one keeps getting better. This month you cut your top two teeth, which caused you to be more difficult to please (putting it nicely!) However, you've started giving hugs and laughing to yourself as you play, and that helps offset any of your more challenging moments! You're still not taking more than one or two steps at a time, but you've learned how to go DOWN the steps (thanks to your dad!) which has allowed you to get into much more mischief :) You've also started dancing anytime music is playing...you hold onto the couch with your hands then shake your booty! So cute! My new favorite thing you do, though, is give hugs! You hold on tight and lay your head on my shoulder...it's the best! Your favorite thing to do lately has been to play outside...so much so that when it's time to come inside, you scream and throw a fit for quite some time! It's exhausting, but I love that you love the nice weather as much as I do!
Sweet Levi Jack, you've changed me. You've made me see the world in a whole new way. You've made me stop and notice how the trees rustle in the wind. You've reminded me how much grass tickles and that mud is kind of cold. I never watched a mama bird fly from her nest into the yard, find a worm, then take in back to her babies until you came around. Thank you for that gift, Levi.
You've forced me to think about myself less. The last 365 days I've been elbow deep in messy diapers and soaked head to toe in vomit and my only thoughts have been about what was in your best interest. (Of course I'd be lying if I didn't also think about how awful it all smelled but I promise, I first felt for you.) There have been times I have felt like I have had less time to serve others and randomly help people out, but the truth is every moment of my life now is consumed with serving you, sweet boy. When I wonder what I can do to honor God each day, it's you that I get to care for and nurture and raise and point to Him. Such a beautiful thing.
You've given me a better glimpse of the Father's love for us. I think so much about my love for you, how I love you so much it actually hurts. Yes, it makes my heart ache being so full of love. To think that God loved His Son so much, but yet He was willing to let Him be the sacrifice we needed for redemption, for a chance to know Him, because He loved us...wow. My great love for you has made me all the more aware and grateful for His love for me!
This last year...too fast? You bet. But in the speed of it all, you've made it more. Too fast? Sure. But also too sweet, too wonderful, too breathtaking, too hilarious, way too stinkin' good. I look at you, my hammy little man, and stare in wonder. This precious little life I got to deliver into this world. I am beyond humbled. Beyond grateful. Beyond amazed.
So today, I'm soaking you all in. I'm going to treasure your noisy "guh's" bright and early and the way you pat my chest and back out of excitement when I get you from your crib. I'm going to laugh at the noisy inhale when you see Sophie first thing in the morning. I'm going to remember how warm your cheeks feel when I give you kisses after your naps and how yummy your head smells when we have our post nap snuggles. I'm going to giggle with you at the sounds Sophie makes when she eats her food and smile as you open and close every cabinet and door you come across. I'm going to hang you upside down and kiss your belly over and over again just to hear you laugh and laugh and laugh.
We pray once again that you would fall in love with Jesus and that your little life would make a big impact on this world. Not because of who you are, but because of what the Lord has done through you! "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:9-14)
I love you as big as the world, my boy,
With all of my heart, with hugs and kisses and a million more,
One Year in Pictures