Oh, My Winnie… 12 months with you

We are on the cusp of a new dawn. We are leaving the “infant” phase and growing into the “toddler” years… it’s so very exciting.

However, I am grieving the transition a little. We just held her as a newborn. How did one year go by so quickly? What will the next 17 be like?

This month brought a welcome change of pace from the past few. We slowed down this month, and it was glorious. There were so many more snuggles – our Winnie seems to understand what hugs are and voluntarily wants to give those (and kisses) on her own will. She also decides when she wants to sing and dance, rather than just responding to any music she hears (which she still does and it’s still the cutest thing). She sings along when I sing to her, and she knows when to clap to “If You’re Happy And You Know It” – it’s been fun watching her recall things she’s learned over the last few months.

Speaking of, months ago, I attempted to teach her a few signs. My goal is to teach her ASL in its entirety, beginning with the basic “baby signs” you often see. However, she didn’t seem to care or respond, so I ended the attempts almost as quickly as I had begun them. However, it was wild to see her start signing to me out of the blue this month. She held on to whatever she had picked up and learned early on, months ago, and started to communicate using those signs this month. It has been so much fun and an incredible thing to watch.

We took her on her first big vacation trip this month. Last month, we took her on a roadtrip to Kansas. She did pretty great in the car, and it was fun to introduce her to friends. This month, we took her on a real “vacation” to a local lake with some of the people we hold closest to our hearts. She had so much fun, and it was a gift to see her do day-to-day life with our dearest friends. She finally decided to attempt walking again while we were away – she hasn’t tried since her big fall back in May, and I’ve been pretty convinced she’s going to crawl indefinitely. However, when your best friend is across the room with a donut, you’ll do just about anything to get there – that’s my girl. :)

It was such a good month, for so many reasons. I am sad she’s not a little baby anymore, but I am so happy she’s growing and learning every day. I have promised myself to never dread or wish away a birthday – I know what a gift it is to get to celebrate this little life of hers. There aren’t words to describe what this first year of her life has been… however, with a life that is light as bright and wonderful as Winnie’s, words are inadequate, no matter what they are. We love this tiny one incredibly. Jimmy and Winnie, month 12 (I took these in a hurry, using a reflector as the background… it reflected a little too well and threw off the WB at the same time – I didn’t bother to fix it for this post, sorry)
And now, September 3rd, we celebrate one year with our greatest gift.
This month was the best. We loved how she changed and grew in the last few weeks, and I think that’s been a gift from Jesus, a way of preparing our hearts for this big birthday. We get to see that the best is yet to come because she’s even more fun (and cuter, if that’s possible) as she gets bigger. So, instead of feeling any sadness that she’s growing so quickly, we are focusing on the excitement of who she is growing to be. Our prayer has been the same since day one of knowing she was on her way: that we would show her who He is through who we are, that she would love Him more than anything, and that she would change lives and move mountains, doing whatever it takes to grow His kingdom.
Our tiny one – the one we prayed for and waited for – is one. This love we feel for her is overwhelming, swallowing us whole. It’s a beautiful and messy thing, and I know that it only gets more beautiful and more messy from here. She really is our joy on this earth – she’s our greatest gift. She is the best thing that has ever happened to us. 

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