one year1

happy birthday, elinor grace whitehouse

that's right, baby girl.  your are one finger old.  one whole year.  and with that, you have been ushered out of the baby phase and swiftly into toddlerhood.  and now, we begin to count in years.  not days or weeks or months.  years.  and while my heart is a bit overwhelmed by that fact, i suppose it will make things easier on me.  i think that keeping track of the whirling dervish that is you is quite enough.  who needs to track weeks?  i think that years will be good for us.  and i know that they will continue to fly by.  don't blink.

and if we happen to blink, you are already on the other side of the room.  most likely, yanking all the books from the shelves.  or pulling out all of your toys.  or squeezing the dogs.  or splashing in the dog bowl.  or some other such shenanigans.  you are a perfect counterpart for your parents.  you like to take everything out.  we like to put everything away.  hopefully, we will learn from each other.  you show us wonder and delight and the magic in the mundane.  and we will do our best to mold and shape you.  cultivating a graceful spirit and a pleasant demeanor.  letting your wild spirit explore and soar knowing that we are here to be your soft place.  your haven.

at home, you are fearless.  you are bold.  you are here and there and everywhere.  and then, you seek out your "snuggles" and sweetly suck your thumb and give us the cue that you are ready to rest and recharge.  you long for quiet time.  you know your limits.  we pray that you will carry this confidence with you.  that you know who you are and live unabashedly.  may you be bold and vibrant.  and may you also be okay with sitting with a good book or curling up with a blanket and taking a needed nap.

you are experiencing a bit of a clingy phase right now.  your little fingers clutching our arms and clothes.  but we sure do love being your security blanket.  you are cautious when entering new environments.  it just takes you some time to warm up, that's all.  you tiptoe into situations like a social ballerina.  you take your time surveying your surroundings.  you like to get the lay of the land.  scoping out each person.  getting comfortable.  and then, you dive in.  truly, you are such a hybrid of your mama and papa.

and those expressions.  killer.  you have your mama's eyes and your papa's nose and mouth.  and that is a sassy combination.  those are the places where we carry our emotion and express our thoughts.  and you got them both.  you wield your faces skillfully.  you purse your lips and raise a brow.  you have perfected the incredulous stare.  you will people to provide ridiculous amusement until you have deemed that they have earned enough love and respect to warrant a dimpled smirk.  you do not give affection easily.  but when you do, it is the sweetest.  you smile and flirt and sing.

and are you one smart cookie.  too smart.  those wheels are always turning.  always searching for something new to discover.  you are always learning and you are always astonishing  with you wit and skills.  you see something that tickles you and you let out an exuberant "deedee!"  that is the word for excitement.  and you say it constantly.  it is used whenever you aren't saying "unkey" {monkey} or "daddy" or "doggy" or "mama" or "baby".  there isn't much variety in our conversations these days, but we could talk with you all day long.  and we usually do.  such an endless source of joy and entertainment.

your other favorite cute-ism is your bobblehead dance.  whenever we sing to you, you bop your head to the beat in such an exaggerated manner.  you truly add personality to all you do.  and we adore it.

we hope that you always bop your head to the beat.  that you love dance parties in the kitchen while vinyl spins.  that you savor family strolls.  that you squeal at the sight of twinkle lights and water fountains.

you have brought us so much happiness.  so much fulfillment.  we are delighted and honored and thrilled and overwhelmed.  we thank God that He chose us to be your parents.  you are such a gift.  such a light.  such a joy.  He uses your life to teach us and mold us and keep us on our knees and on our toes.

love, love, love,

your mama + your papa

and if you are feeling sentimental too...

past dear peanut posts

elinor's birth announcement

the story of elinor's birth