To my little lady, 

One year ago, I didn't think you were going to happen. When I found out I was having you, I had this overwhelming joy. You, my dear, are the final piece to our puzzle. We've loved you from the moment we found out we were having you. 

How is it possible to love you so much already? I knew you were special, part of my soul. You would be special to your grandmother and aunts because for some reason, I believe that your great-grandmother sent you to me.  She's in you, in small little ways. I'm reminded of her through you and that brings me waves of emotion. She had my heart, the same way you had my heart from the moment I first heard your heartbeat and with my very first look at you when you were born.

Protection. I went into protection mode with you. From my womb to the time you were born, I've had this duty to keep you safe. It's what I do for Matthew, it's what I'll always do for you no matter how much you might be annoyed by it in your teens. It's not going to go away. You might not understand it, but know that I only want what's best for you. Living your life to it's fullest and becoming a woman of strength, value, one who never settles. I hope to teach you to be kind to others through words and gestures along with being a strong independent woman.

I want you to explore, by constantly challenging yourself and trying new things. I want to watch you succeed at what life will throw your way by learning from your failures. I want to watch you laugh, cry, get angry, tell jokes and be playful. Emotions make us who we are. As Brigitte Nicole once said "Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. It's a sign that you have a big heart, and that you aren't afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength."

Remember these things:
  • Be yourself. It's ok to change, in fact, change is how you will grow. Just care for your heart and brilliant mind. Cause when you're older and ready to face this crazy world, the world will be ready to care for you as well. 
  • Be grateful. Be grateful for everything that you have, who you are and what you'll become. You, my beautiful girl, are enough. 
  • Be inspiring. Surround yourself with people who will lift you and continuously root for you just as much as you would for them. Stay far away from those who just want to bring you down, because the world has enough of that already.
  • Be confident. When you see something wrong, do something about it. Stand up for what you believe is right. Do it with humility. Be healthy, be genuine, be kind— this is confidence.
  • You are loved. Always know that even in your weakest moments, I am proud to be your Mommy.  "You were made perfectly to be loved - and surely I have loved you, in the idea of you, my whole life long."

I can’t wait to face each step of life with you and watch you grow. I'll mess up along the way but promise to always do my best. 

Love Mommy