They say the days are long but the years are short, and boy do I feel that in my soul. How it has been one whole year of having sweet Andrie in our lives I don’t know - but as Joe put it, it’s been a FULL year. It did fly by, but it’s not as if it didn’t happen, as a period of time can seem sometimes - it went fast but was filled to the brim with so many experiences. Our daughter is growing in front of our eyes and and it brings us so much joy.

The Lord brought us through the trenches this year. When I didn’t want to leave the hospital. When I cringed every time she latched because I was raw and bleeding. When all. we. did. was nurse and I felt so tied down, and like I had lost myself. When she cried and I couldn’t figure out how to soothe her, so I cried too. And all the other times the tears flowed and just wouldn’t let up. When I finally accepted that I wasn’t just experiencing the baby blues, but was intensely struggling with postpartum depression. Through the sleep deprivation that we really didn’t think would ever end. Through giving up so much of the life we knew before. When I doubted if I was cut out to be a mother after all.

The Lord also abundantly blessed us with everything we don’t deserve. With the most beautiful baby we’ve ever laid our eyes on. A child with the biggest blue eyes, cutest smile and sweetest disposition. We ooh and ahh over every little thing she does and watching her learn and grow is one of our greatest joys. We love watching her wave and clap, we live to hear her little giggles and receive her sloppy open-mouth kisses. She’s seen the Colorado Rockies and the Golden Gate Bridge, just to name a couple. She loves to hang out with her besties Savannah and Haven, and we love that she is already developing friendships (whether she knows it yet or not) that will last for years to come. Seeing how excited she gets when she sees animals is so hilarious and sweet! We got her a kitten for her birthday gift and whenever she wakes up or we walk in the door from being gone she looks around whispering “ki ki” and grins and points when she spots him!

We didn’t know just how big our capacity was to love until she came into our lives! We are so proud to be her parents. Even when we’re just grocery shopping, I am thankful and proud that I get to be the one carrying her around on my hip - that God chose me to be her mother!

The Lord showed us once again that he comes through for his children every. single. time. He took us to a new level of understanding that he is unwavering and we don’t just GET to be dependent on him, but we NEED to be dependent on him. And that is a lesson that I am so thankful we learned early on, because it is one that we put into practice every day. As Andrie fully depends on and needs us, so we fully depend on and need our Father. And when we fall short in parenting her, the Lord covers us in grace and fathers her perfectly.

I understand the gospel more because of Andrie. She has changed my relationship with God. So while I look back on this past year and see a lot of darkness and tears, I also see an enormous ray of sunshine. I see how God came through for us. I see how my walk with Christ changed for the better. I see how I thought having a baby would improve my life, but God saw how it would strengthen my faith.

Andrie, in just one short year, you have impacted this world. You have impacted us. Your little life is precious and valued. You are endlessly loved and deemed worthy by our God. Never forget that.

Happy birthday, baby girl.

(source links at the end)