Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I lean in and whisper that you were a dream I had for a long time, and that I never could have imagined how amazing you would be once realized.  You are so much beyond any expectations I had.  An aggressively loving, bright, playful little girl. 

I watch you and my heart hurts for the sibling that isn't there to giggle at your silliness.  As you snuggle into me, wanting to hear secrets shared, I try to picture you with little siblings, whispering in a blanket fort. 

You may never have a biological sibling.  I don't know if that is something that will matter to you or not.  I hope to raise you to understand that families are knit together in a myriad of ways.  And I know that your huge heart will love your siblings no matter what, because you love so easily and fiercely. 

Someday, probably in the near future, we're going to bring home a baby.  They may not look much like you, but that matters so little.  I expect you to be a good big sister, to teach them, to love them, to make silly faces until they giggle hysterically.  Someday later I'll explain why we'll probably have all girls.  It will be a tough conversation, explaining how girls are so undervalued in much of the world, some places discarded as easily as an old doll.  But I want you to know so that you understand yours and their worth so much more.  That we value you, cherish you, love you beyond measure. 

There will be people who will tell you that as a woman you have to fit certain boxes to be considered worth something, but that is a huge lie perpetuated out of fear.  You are strong.  You are bright.  And you are something to be feared because of your immense potential.  But not because you simply are a girl. You have the potential for greatness, and that frightens those too afraid to imagine themselves greater. 

I love you beyond measure, my escargot.  There are not enough stars in the universe to compare.  You shine too brightly for me to count them properly.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mini Me

My goodness, Eleanor, you are a mini me.  I used to pray for a girly girl who I could have tea parties with....but I always imagined it would be further down the road.  By the time you were a year old, you were carrying a little espresso cup like it was your coffee cup.  And now, you'll sit and take tea and wear an apron, and just be deliciously girly.

I cannot wait to read Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and a whole variety of other novels set back in a time where childhood lasted until adulthood.  I can't wait to share secrets and teach you to cook (you already like to help, and have been aiding my baking for months now).  And hopefully I can teach you to sew and knit and crochet and just be a strong little woman. 

I think that strength does lie in being a woman.  Not trying to be like men, but instead reveling in your femininity.  Men need us, and we can lead as easily as they do. 

So, little one, who likes to brush her hair and wear big hats and shoes, you are more than I could have ever dreamed of.  And no matter who you become, I love you.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

On Motherhood


For reasons you will understand when you are older, this Mother's Day was hard.  My heart hurt and at the same time I was filled with such joy at you today.  The opposites of those feelings made me feel torn in two directions. 

I always assumed I would be a young mother.  And then it took years of praying and tears, only to have you surprise us when we least expected it.  I spent that entire pregnancy just so happy, looking back on photos of those months nearly requires sunglasses.  Then you came and my world was flipped for the better.

For the so much I could never have imagined it better.

I had spent time worrying how to be a mother.  How would I make sure you knew you were loved, even when I needed to teach you, discipline you?  How would I keep my sanity and not snap, to view the world from your angle and try to see you weren't purposefully (usually) trying to be a pain? 

It was easy.  I love you.  And the ease made my heart hurt because I had thought it would be hard. 

You made me a mother, the greatest gift I have ever been given.   My beautiful, spunky, strong-willed, joyful first.  You are beyond easy to love, even in the hard moments. 

I love you,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Lately you've been saying something that is your version of "I love you" and occasionally when asked how much I love you, along with your constant throwing your arms out will utter something that is meant to be "this much!"  But tonight I got you to say it all stringed to together, arms thrown wide, "I love you this much!"  My heart melted into a puddle.

Loving you is beyond easy.  You're affectionate, hilarious, full of life.  Even when you're angry with me and you throw something down in defiance, I have to fight laughing.  Because in those moments, when I stare you down, you inevitable break into a grin and come running for a hug.  To say you are a delight doesn't really encompass it enough. 

I know that as you grow we'll have tough times.  I feel this huge responsibility to make sure to really cultivate a great relationship between us through patience and love.  And I will love you through the tough times, praying we'll be the better for it.

Right now you're growing and changing and finding your own way.  Some days it is harder.  To teach you to control your temper.  To catch myself when I feel irritated by normal toddler behaviour.  To laugh at the little naughty moments as you explore boundaries (such as trying to close the baby gate behind you so you can run up the stairs).  But the moments when you curl into me or you forcibly grab my face to plant one on me make the hard moments worth it. 

How on earth did we ever exist without you?  You make the days sweeter than southern iced tea, my love.

I love you,

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dear Eleanor,

As I type this you lay beside me, snoozing away, not a care in the world.  I've held you a lot lately, thanking God for giving you to me.  Praying you never ever get taken from me.

I love our small little family.  It wasn't until your father and you that I truly understood unconditional love.  Even when I'm beyond exhausted and you've been trying to drive me crazy I still pick you up and croon to you and rock you.  I worried that I would have no idea how to be the type of mama I wanted to be, and yet, you do make it easy.

You're mischievous, and brighter than I suspect one your age is supposed to be.  You know when I might be getting annoyed and you lean in and smooch me, as if that makes it all better.  Your daddy and I laugh because it usually does.  I spent much of my life feeling as if I had to earn being loved, and yet you give it so freely it's startling.  In that respect you are your father's child, and both of you are a blessing.

You are a loving child, who loves to give smooches and hugs.  If I offer to snuggle you come in and curl into me.  And we giggle for hours on end most days.  You get a glint in your eye and you're off and running, laughing as we chase you.  You recently mastered going up stairs, and you head over, glancing back to make sure we've noticed, and then glancing back each step up until we rush and in a fit of giggles, sweep you off them.

But you also have my temper.  The bitter with the sweet, I suppose.  I've always said to your daddy that unfortunately my passion comes in spades, both good and bad.  And you seem to have inherited that.  You began flinging yourself backwards at 4 months, and at 16 months, it's become too much to handle, we simply lie you down and wait it out.  You get so frustrated, so annoyed.  And your goodness, they're so perfect they make us laugh.  But you always, always want cuddles once it's over.  You seem to need reassurance that all is right in your world.

I will never not love you, my love.  I dare say I will never stop wanting to snuggle with you, even if you grow and are no longer so eager.  But I do hope we stay close.  It is my most fervent prayer.

Je t'aime,

Monday, January 14, 2013

You first took 6 real steps on Christmas Eve.  And then nothing.  You're headstrong and didn't seem to want to at all.  But late this Sunday night (January 13) you continually took 6-8 steps.  And today, your daddy and I got you to go back and forth between us by being silly and putting a tutu on our heads.  You laughed, completely delighted with yourself.

I know you, my sweet girl.  So fearless, but only when you're sure.  Your other new thing is to drop off the side of our bed, trusting that I'm there just in case you slip.  You still need us as a safety net, still rely on crawling because you're more sure.

My hope for you is that you learn how amazingly strong you are.  That just like tonight, instead of cautious steps, you go forth with rapid faith, laughing at life's possibilities.

Monday, December 31, 2012

It's New Year's Day, 2 a.m.  You're down with your daddy because lately that's the best way to get you to sleep.  Otherwise you'd nurse and nurse and not sleep well.  Tonight we popped bubbly and lit sparklers and the delight on your face....the perfect way to say goodbye to one year and usher in the new.

Then we sat upstairs and you handed me your brush so that I would brush your hair until the end of time.  It seems so mundane, but I'm fascinated.  Each moment I take in the fact that God knew exactly what he was doing giving me you.  I delight in how much like me you are.  How happy you are.  How much of a girly girl you can be (while also scaling things like a professional rock climber).

I could type a million cheesy memes phrases because for me they are all true.  Instead I'd rather you remember with your own memories how you are constantly told and shown how loved you are.  That you may not be the thing our world revolves around, but that you're're a piece of our heart we guard closely. 

So in 2013 I hope to do an even better job of savoring the moments.  More play time, more time exploring, and much more time just pausing from my own life and snuggling your close.