“you’re growing up right before my eyes.” my parents used to say this to me as a child. i remember thinking, as many kids do, that i can’t wait to get older. i can’t wait to be a teenager. an adult. anything but a kid. so i used to dismiss these words. not really ever giving it much thought. these were words that old people said. words my parents said. then i had kids. now i was all grown up. and this saying replays over and over and over again in my thoughts as i look at my two beautiful girls. my two beautiful girls who really are growing up right before my eyes. it makes me sad. it makes me happy. it makes me proud. they make me proud.

Ella turned 1 this past Saturday and what an incredible year it has been to watch her grow up. she is so happy. always smiling. her big beautiful eyes filled with curiosity. with mischief. with love. she is just learning to walk. to trust her legs. one foot in front of the other. her big sister wants to help. sometimes a little too much. but we wouldn’t want it any other way. they laugh at each other. they hold hands in the car. their tiny arms stretched across the back seat to one another. holding each others tiny hands. it makes my heart smile.

Ella Jade you are so precious. your smile. your eyes. your laughter. you give happiness to everyone around you. I love you. your Mom loves. your big sister loves you. we all love you.

keep smiling. never change. keep growing up. happy 1st birthday my big girl.