This afternoon, at 2:56 pm, you turn 2 years old. I woke up this morning so excited for your birthday, and I think it's way more exciting at this age for me than you, although you do seem quite excited at the prospect of a "cuppycake" tonight.
I thought last night of what I was doing 2 years ago the night before you were born. It was a Friday night, I stayed at work until 8pm transferring what seemed like a never-ending number of my files from the server to my hard drive, just in case you were born that weekend, even though your due date was still a week away and I was counting on being induced at 42 weeks (ha!). I came home, wrote a bunch of thank-you notes from my work shower, stayed up until about midnight watching TV, no clue that you'd be on your way early the next day. I woke up at 5:50 am with a contraction, and things have never been the same!
The past 2 years has been a blessing beyond anything I could have imagined. I was looking forward to having a girl, but couldn't have even pictured how much I'd love having a daughter. I don't think there are any better words than "She looks just like you." I love to imagine you are my little mini-me. You are my little buddy, a friend and of course my baby. There are countless things I love about you, but here are just a few: your laugh, your smile, your expressions, gestures and chattiness, the fact that we can now have 'real' conversations, your hugs and kisses, your singing, dancing, your love of books and animals, your silliness and sweetness. Your personality is incredible, you are loving, affectionate, silly, strong-willed, independent and full of joy. Every day is a new adventure for you and I have the pleasure of waking you up each morning and getting to experience those first few moments alone with you. It is amazing to see just how happy you wake up and there's nothing better to start my day. Your Daddy takes such great care of you while I am at work during the day, and it makes me feel so good knowing that you are in such good hands, and that the two of you have such a great relationship.
This year has not always been easy. Our country is facing the worst economy in many, many years, and our family has been affected with joblessness like so many others. Although on paper, it should've been one of the worst years, it's actually been one of the best. I have been overwhelmed with the blessing of you, gratitude that you are THE daughter God has given to us, seeking God's plan and direction for our family, and a focus on being thankful for what we do have. Seeking a spiritual home for you to grow up in led me and daddy back to church after several years away, and having you dedicated in May, on Mother's Day which made it even more special, is one of my best memories of this year.
You are loved beyond words, not just by me and your Daddy but by our families as well - I've never seen one little girl be such a focus of an entire family :). Although I didn't quite realize how important that was until I have become a mother, I now know that the love and confidence instilled in me as a child is an absolutely priceless gift that I hope to bestow on you as well.
I want to do right by you, to give you a happy childhood full of love, happy memories, and a feeling of security and safety. I am sure this year will be a tough one as you enter the "terrible-twos", and we already know you are very strong-willed and like things to be your way! I will do my best to consistently set and enforce limits and boundaries, for your own good, to give you security and structure within your world, while giving you the freedom to have fun, be silly, and keep coming into your own. Of course it won't be easy and I will make plenty of mistakes along the way, but my ultimate goal is be the best Mom I can be, and I will keep striving for that for your sake.
I love you so much my sweet girl, thank you for an absolutely incredible two years. Happy 2nd Birthday, and yes, you will get to eat a "cuppycake" tonight.
All my love,