My sweet baby is a year old today. There really aren’t even words to describe what I’m feeling. Her birthday means more to me than my own birthday. I was just thinking the other day… heck, I didn’t do anything for my own birthday. I just was born. Lilly’s birthday, however? I WORKED for that ish. No joke. I will do the best I can to put into words what I’m thinking and feeling…

Dear Lilly,

Over a year ago, I wrote you a letter on your due date. There was so little that I knew about you then, but at the same time, I already felt like I knew so much. Sure, we didn’t know if you were a boy or a girl yet, but we knew we loved you. We knew you were spunky and a rule breaker. We knew you couldn’t sit still. We knew you were comfy right where you were. And it’s funny because, outside of my belly, over the last year, you have been all those things and so much more.

You have brought more joy, more life, and more light to our lives than I can even possibly express. You can barely speak and communicate yet (although you are getting better with your signs!), and yet you tell us so much every day. You look at everything with eyes of wonder and joy. You smile at everyone you meet. You laugh at the simplest things. You find fun in even the most mundane details. You are truly the epitome of a happy little girl.

As you grow and change I see so much of myself in you and so much of your daddy in you. I also see so much of my mom in you. You’re strong willed. You tell us when you love something and you MAKE SURE we know when you hate something. You are decisive. You are also crazy. And I love it. You get so excited over the smallest things! Something shiny, snack time, the dogs barking, the moon… it doesn’t matter… you find excitement in everything.

I want to thank you for all that you have done for us over the last year. Thank you for teaching me patience. Thank you for teaching me about giving, and sacrifice, and selflessness. I know this is going to sound bad… but in a lot of ways, you’ve taught me all that is wrong with me… but I’ve seen the ways in which I know I need to continue to grow and learn and change. You’ve taught me to be a better person. A better wife. A better mother. A better friend, daughter, sister.

You’ve brought me closer to Jesus.

I knew I was going to like being a mom, but I honestly had no idea how much I was going to love being a mom. Your mom. I love being your mom.

I love you, Lilly Eileen. So much. This much. So high. To the moon and back.

Love,

Your mama.

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Lilly’s 12 Month Update!

Weight and Length: 21 pounds and 28.5″ long.

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Nicknames: Baby Boo. Sweet Miss Sweetness. Beebeebeeoo. Putian. Shmunky Shmoo. Shmunks. Liwwy. Wiwwy.

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Sleep: She’s been doing so much better in the last month with her sleeping at night. She’s sleeping about 10-12 hours consistently… UNLESS we are in a new place or she is sick. Other than that, she is good as gold with her sleep and I am so thankful.

Naps, however, have been so off. Some days she is all about taking two really great naps, and then other days she is a struggle to get to even take ONE nap. So, I have no idea what is really going on. Some people say she should just drop to one nap, but I know she’s not ready and Lord knows, I am NOT ready for her to take only one nap. So, it’s trial and error right now.

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Eating: Right now she is still nursing about four to five times a day… just depends on the day. I have not yet introduced any whole cows milk or anything like that… and honestly, I’m not sure when I will. I’ll be interested to see what her pediatrician recommends come her one-year checkup.

She pretty much can eat anything and everything now. I still don’t really give her anything that has a ton of sodium or sugar in it. She has had a taste of a donut, cookie, and cupcake in the last week, but that’s ’cause it’s her birthday! Haha! She defffffinitely is a fan of the sweets.

She also is her mama’s girl and loves Mexican food and is even getting a taste for spicy food. My girl…

She has TEN teeth now. The ninth tooth is another top tooth and it just popped through the surface and she also has her bottom right molar coming in and has popped through the skin. Yikes! So many teeth! I imagine that tougher foods are easier for her now that she’s able to actually chew.

Lilly is definitely a picky eater though… I will say that. She will let you know when she doesn’t want something and she will let you know if she doesn’t like something, but she will also let you know when she wants ALL of something.

Her favorite foods are: cantaloupe, beans, rice, chicken (sometimes, depends on how it’s flavored or cooked), banana, Alfredo pasta, pasta with meat sauce, lasagna, blueberries, and string cheese. Okay, she really likes all cheese. She could live off cheese I think, if we let her. Which we won’t.

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**Words and Signs (a new category!): She’s always jabbered and said “dadadadada” and “mamamama” and “babababa,” but I knew that it wasn’t actually directed at us. But in the last week or so, she will say, “DA!!” when her daddy walks in the room. It is adorable. I love it. She is clearly associating daddy with “da!”

I will admit that I wasn’t all that diligent about teaching her baby signs as early as I should have been. The only one I ever really enforced all that much was “milk” which she signs all. the. time. She definitely knows the sign for milk.

She also can sign “more” very consistently now. In fact, she pretty much always wants “more” of whatever she has.

We are working on eat, please, thank you, sleep, and a few others… but those are the ones I’m trying to enforce now. She gets “please” more often than not, but she’s definitely not using it all the time like she is with more and milk.

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Clothing: I just packed away pretty much all the rest of her nine month clothes and she’s pretty exclusively in 12 month clothes now. She has a few 12-18 month things that fit and, honestly, I don’t have any 18 month clothes so I don’t know if 18 month clothes fit her yet. She will still wear 3-6 month dresses and 6-12 month dresses as shirts, which I love.

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Mood: There’s no change here… she’s the happiest baby in the world. I’m biased, I realize that. But she really is always so happy. Sure, she has her fussy times and her fussy days where I have no idea what’s wrong… but so do all babies. But, in general, she’s so happy.

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Loves:

  • Daddy
  • Mommy
  • Doggies
  • Riding on daddy’s shoulders
  • Giving kisses
  • Clapping
  • Knocking things over
  • Being messy
  • Lilly land
  • Going for walks
  • Riding in her little Lilly car
  • Putting her feet in her mouth
  • Being worn in the Tula
  • Pooping in the bathtub (mommy and daddy do NOT love this one)
  • Playing peekaboo
  • “Touch and feel” books
  • Music
  • Playing the piano
  • Dancing
  • Bathtime

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Doesn’t Love:

  • Being bored
  • Sitting still
  • Being quiet
  • Loud water fountains
  • Thunder
  • People dressed as animals
  • Vegetables

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What I Want to Remember / Milestones: She’s learning at a faster rate than ever and I’m so afraid I’m going to forget all these little details and all the little moments. However, I’m going to do my best to try and write them down and remember them…

  • She can stack rings on the little graduated ring stacker… she’s learned that recently and loves it
  • We’re working on other “Montessori”-type activities and she’s getting better by the day
  • She’s signing a lot now and we’re working on adding new signs – she signs “milk” and “more” the most
  • She says “da” when she sees her daddy and it lights up my day
  • She claps, waves, dances, and is so interactive
  • She gets so excited when she figures something out
  • She does this hilarious “crab walk” when she doesn’t want to crawl
  • She loves blowing raspberries
  • She gives me kisses all the time and it makes my heart melt every single time

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What I’m Looking Forward To: Her birthday party is this weekend and I’m so excited for our families to be here and for us to celebrate her! She also is being dedicated at our church and I just can’t wait – I know I’m going to cry!

Next week we are going to the beach and I am SO EXCITED. I can hardly stand it!

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Me: I’m having to mentally prepare myself for the fact that I’m no longer the mother of an infant, but the mother of a toddler. She’s growing up, and I’m in denial. I love watching her grow, but I’m so sad to see the “baby” part disappear. I’m also just adjusting to a lot of the changes in motherhood… I’m learning and accepting this phase of life I’m in and while I wouldn’t change ANY of it for the world, it’s definitely tough at times. I LOVE being a wife and mother, but there are definitely parts of both jobs that require me to really have a heart-to-heart with myself and figure out where I’m placing my identity and where I’m placing my self-worth. Above all, I need to be reminding myself to place those things in Jesus alone. The rest will come. The rest will follow suit.

And lastly… I love looking back at how much she has grown… check out all of Lilly’s monthly photos:

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Happy Birthday, Lilly! We love you more than words can say.

730x100letitshineWelcome to Let it Shine!   Welcome to the new, revamped Funday Monday! After two years, we decided to rename our link up to something we felt was a better fit.  Welcome to Let it Shine! Why the name? Because, we want this link up to be just that: your chance to let it shine! We will be sharing our favorites each week here, and on social media! The biggest change? Monthly Inspirations!  Each month we will share some fun post ideas, one for each week.    Do you HAVE to follow the inspirations to link up? Absolutely not!  If you’d like to be considered for a feature, those will be picked from the inspirations… check out the August lineup!  august inspirations_edited-1   Last week, we talked about Gold….and we got some GREAT style inspiration…….

favs gold/ black and gold / shiny shoes / back in black /

Another place we will be showcasing our favs? The Let It Shine Pinterest Board! We will also be posting ideas for the weekly themes….so be sure you’re following!     let it shine hashtag_edited-1   Linking up to Let it Shine? Don’t forget to link back to our blogs or share our button, thanks y’all!



“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” {1 Peter 4:10}

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