Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hope's First Birthday Party - Winter One-derland

We had such a good time celebrating Hope's first birthday! Her party was themed "Winter One-derland".

I made a logo that was carried throughout the party. We had personalized water bottles,

a special sign above her chair

and sent everyone home with a home-made package of hot chocolate mix, some hand warmers and a note saying "Thank you! Stay Warm!"

We made this fun activity for the kids. They threw "snowballs" through the snowman. All the kids loved this one!

A quick family shot. Can you tell Gabriel is excited to dig into the cake?

Singing Happy Birthday.

And her Winter One-derland cake.

Happy Birthday Hope!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Letter To Hope As She Turns One

Dear Hope Lynn,

Time has flown by so quickly! It seems like just yesterday we brought you home from the hospital. Now we look at you, and you're so big. Big smiles and big eyes. A dimple on your right cheek that's visible when you grin. We love you so much, sweet girl!

When you were 10 months old, we looked at you and thought, "She's getting so big! She's not really a baby anymore!" Maybe it's because of all the changes you had in that month. You got your first two teeth, one right after the other. You started signing "Please" and "more", and also said your first two words "ball" and "more".

It makes sense that you are great at signing and saying "more", because that's how you tell us you want more food. You eat a LOT. We feel like we already have a teenager with a hollow leg. Just the other day, you consumed half of one of those huge Chipotle burritos, and you would have kept going if we had more! It's beyond me why you're not twice the size you are.

At your one-year checkup, you measured 30 inches long (80th percentile for girls your age) and 20 pounds, 10 ounces (40th percentile for girls your age). I guess all that food is making you grow tall instead of heavy. You continue to be a great sleeper, and get a solid 12 hours at night, plus two naps. Thank you for that!

You've been crawling on your belly, like a soldier, for a while now, and I don't think you'll be walking any time too soon. You can walk while holding on to something, but your legs are still wobbly. When you walk, your bottom moves back and forth as you try to balance yourself, and Gabriel thinks you're dancing.

You are attached to mommy, big time! You don't let anyone else hold you, even if mommy is right there next to you. Well, the only exception is daddy. You love him so much, and it's adorable. When he comes home from work, you squeal and do your little soldier crawl as fast as you can to get to him.

Gabriel continues to take care of you and show you things. He told you all the different construction truck names when you were a few months old. Now that you're bigger, he has moved on to teaching you your letters and numbers. He even teaches you how to share each time he takes a toy from you. Fortunately, he promptly replaces it with a different toy so you don't fuss.

One of my favorite parts of the day is getting kisses from you. You keep your lips closed and say "mmmm" as you lean in. Each kiss is followed by several more in a row. Oh, and you're great at hugging too. You squeeze us tight and lean your head on our shoulder, then stay there long enough for us to rub your back and enjoy the moment. What a cuddle bug, you are!

Every night, when we tuck you in, we pray for you to know God. He is the one that created you, and what a beautiful job he did! We love you, Hope Lynn, and we thank God for giving us such a sweet blessing.

Daddy and Mommy