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Perfect love.

Dear baby girl,

This week, I experienced one of my favorite moments with you yet.

I was getting you ready for bed a couple nights ago (Monday, April 11 to be exact) when you looked at me, gave me a hug and said, “I love you” as you squeezed me tight.

My heart melted on the spot.

You’ve said I love you to me before, but from what I can tell you were mostly just repeating it or saying it because I’ve asked you to say it. I figured you kind of had an idea of what it meant since I show you affection through kisses and hugs as I say I love you. But for you to willingly offer those words to me out of the blue, in a way that made me know that you meant to speak them intentionally to me, made my heart soar.

I am so thankful for and blessed by our mother-daughter relationship. The way you look at me and love me with such reckless abandon. The way I love you unconditionally. This is the relationship that God longs for me to have with Him. And for you to have with Him, too.

God doesn’t want us to love Him because He asks us to. He wants us to love Him because it is our response to His love for us. Just like your love for me is a result of me pouring out myself and showing you my love.

I pray that I would continue to see and experience God in new ways as I grow as a mom. And I pray that you would know and experience this same love of God someday. We’ve started saying prayers together every night, and you love to sing the Jesus song.

Baby girl, I pray that you may experience the kindness and goodness of our loving Father. I pray that you will find your identity in Him and not in anything in this world.

I love you so much, and I am so thankful for your love for me. Thank you for showing me just how beautiful and perfect love can be.

With love,

Momma

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My gift.

Dear baby girl,

One year ago today, my life changed forever. I’ll never forget that Saturday morning, sun streaming through the windows on an early spring morning. I lay in bed anxiously waiting, debating whether to find out the truth. Could I handle it if it wasn’t what I wanted? Could I go through another round of hopefulness to only be crushed yet again? I was hopeful that I would receive the only birthday gift I truly wanted and prayed for.

I waited for what seemed like hours until I finally decided to get up. It was time to try again. I went through the motions that had become all too familiar the past several months. This time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. There was a part of me that knew the truth, that was hopeful in the answer, but I didn’t want to believe it to be real only to be disappointed again.

The minute went by, and I peered over the counter. There it was, faint but clear. I never knew I could be so excited to see a blue line. I blinked, squinted and stared in disbelief. It was still there. I held the truth in my hand.

I was pregnant!

I screamed with joy and your daddy and I just hugged, laughed and held each other for several moments in shock and awe. We couldn’t believe it. Our hearts were so full at the thought of you, and we knew our lives were about to forever change.

You were the gift that I had hoped and waited for, and this year I got to celebrate my birthday with you. We waited until the weekend to celebrate, and yesterday I enjoyed brunch and shopping with you and Daddy and a relaxing day together. It was perfect.

4 months old this week!

4 months old this week!

This journey of becoming and being a parent has been more challenging than I imagined, but it also has been more rewarding than I ever dreamed possible. I am so incredibly thankful for you, my gift, my precious daughter.

With love,

Momma

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Pregnancy journey.

Dear baby,

Cooler weather finally crept into Des Moines this weekend, bringing hints of fall just around the corner. As I look forward to all things fall – pumpkin, soups, jeans and sweaters and so much more – it just brings that much more anticipation knowing your arrival is near.

Your nursery furniture has arrived (!) and your daddy has already put the glider together for me. We both have tested it and approve. It is currently sitting in the living room since we have to clear out the furniture and random items in the room that is soon to be your nursery. Your daddy made good progress on that this weekend. I made good progress on cleaning, baking and picking out my favorite baby names. I told Daddy I came up with a list, and he finally said we should probably figure this out. 🙂

As the weeks go by and my belly slowly gets bigger, the more I enjoy this whole process. I never thought I would say that I love being pregnant, but I really do. It is also hard for me to say out loud, as I know many people who have had a difficult journey – whether during their pregnancy, trying to conceive or even with complications after birth.

Your daddy and I were those people who had to wait for our journey to begin, and we are so thankful for the little blessing that you are. We continue to pray for you to be protected, safe and healthy. Feeling you move in me is the biggest reassurance, the best feeling, even if it does make me a little uncomfortable.

I am thankful for every part of this adventure, as I know it is a part of our story, our journey as parents. God is preparing us for your arrival just as he is preparing you for your entrance into this world. Our journey is just beginning, and we cannot wait to share the adventures with you.

With love,
Momma

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Values.

Dear baby,

I came across this beautiful blog today that made me realize the kind of mom that I want to be. And also, the mom that I don’t want to be.

I don’t want to be a distracted parent.

I don’t want to be driven by my schedule, my to-do list, my need to get things done. I mentioned to you earlier that I cannot do it all – and I am okay with that. You’ll learn at way too young of an age that in our world, life is measured not by who you are but by what you accomplish. Value is often measured in productivity and achievements rather than in the character of a person.

But in my eyes, who you are is all that matters. And you will be perfect just as you are.

I don’t want you to be raised by a mom who is a member of five different groups, has an obligation most nights of the week and has been named the “best” at what I do. (Not that I don’t encourage being involved, ambitious and doing your best, but there is such a thing in life called balance.)

As cheesy as it sounds, I want you to see me as the best mom. Because none of those other things change who I am, the kind of mom I want to be.

I don’t want to be distracted or driven by anything but the things that truly matter. I want to be a mom that slows down, takes in every precious moment instead of worrying about dirty dishes or what’s next on my to-do list.

I want to raise a family with your daddy that values God and family above anything. I pray that we are a family that loves God and puts Him first so that we may be a family that loves one another and our neighbors as ourselves. I pray that your daddy and I would teach you values that last a lifetime. And I pray that you will see and know just how much I love you, each and every day.

With love,
Momma