My Kinsey girl,

Today, you are one. Today, we celebrate every piece of you. One year ago, today, I did not know how much my life would change. One year ago, today, I loved you, but did not know how much that love would stretch/grow/fill/change/complete. One year ago, today, your Pop Pop and I were celebrating over pink frosted Dunkin donuts. Today, we celebrate with pancakes and a million kisses. Our family of 2 (4, if you count Franny & Zoey), became a family of 3 (or 5), and the completion that you bring is indescribably beautiful.

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Today, we celebrate a year of you. We celebrate the fact that we not only survived it, but somehow loved every moment of it. I would not be the mother that I am, without the many sleepless nights, and the middle of the night tears. You would not be my beautiful girl, without the smiles, and screams, and doggie ear pulls. Every hour/minute/second that I am yours, I feel more completed and amazed that you are mine. Truth: you make me better. More loving. More patient. More generous. Not just a better mother, but also a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I did not expect that. The part where you teach me things about myself, while I am teaching you that walking does not have to be scary and loud noises are a part of life (dog barks, especially). We don’t have to cry every time I take away the television remote, because there are buckets of toys waiting to be played with, and baskets of stuffed animals waiting for your hugs. And while I am teaching you little lessons, you are transforming the very core of me.

I need you to know that even today, when you are ‘only’ one, I know in my heart of hearts that you are special. You speak only in baby chatter, (with the exception of Mama, and “duh” which translates as “duck”), yet I still know that you are a treasure. I can see all of you, and am already so proud/blessed/amazed at the the little person that you are becoming.

For your birthday, we bought you the book, “I Love You, Through and Through.” It has become a very quick favorite. You talk to the pages, and when you are upset, we can read it to you and you are instantly calmed by its words. I am choosing to believe that you understand that it is not just a story. We mean it. Every single word. And, I hope that you can feel it. Every. Single. Word.

I love you, through and through.

I love your top side.

I love your bottom side.

I love your inside,

and outside.

I love your happy side,

your sad side,

your silly side,

and your mad side.

I love your fingers and toes,

your ears and nose.

I love your hair and eyes,

your giggles and cries.

I love you running and walking,

silent and talking.

I love you through and through.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow too.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Kinsey girl. You are simply the best ever.

Love, that surpasses anything that I ever thought was possible,

Your Mama.