Today we are celebrating our baby girl’s first birthday, and as she naps with strawberry stained cheeks, I’ve written her a letter. With the two babies in two years I’ll admit I didn’t write much down this last year as she grew. It has been a fun, full, and wild ride – love you baby girl.

12 months in pictures


Elayna Thea, you are one year old today!

This last year has flown by, from that early morning we welcomed your sweet face into the world, through many a sleepless night, to the little girl you are becoming today.

When you were growing inside my womb, your daddy and I prayed and felt like God was telling us that you would be a light in a dark place. That is why we chose the name Elayna – it means bright lamp or torch. My prayer for you today is the same as it was when God first started speaking to us about you, that your light will shine brightly for Christ in a dark world.

You are a gift to us, Elayna (hence your middle name, which means gift). Those first few months you were so gracious as we all adjusted to life as a family of four. You let your big sister love on you and you slept during much of the day and all through the nights. Your big cheeks got a million kisses a day as we all fell head over heals in love with you.

At four months you got your first tooth and learned to roll over and decided sleeping at night was for the birds! Daddy and I got pretty exhausted during these months, as you discovered just how exciting life can be.

By 6 months you were crawling. You started playing with all kinds of toys and your sister and kept me on my toes as we followed each other all over the house. Daddy learned how to make you laugh out loud when he tickled you. Your hyperactivity continued to lead to some pretty rough nights, but you were healthy and so happy during the days.

You seemed to grow so fast, you learned to love bananas and oatmeal and pears and pasta. You love to feed yourself and make a grand mess. You still love mama milk too.

You took your first steps on Christmas day, at 10 months, but then decided you didn’t care much for walking and you still aren’t really doing it on your own. You seem to be about as stubborn as your mama.

You still get millions of kisses. You’re the sweetest when you want to snuggle. You have such a joyful way of approaching the world, your constant chatter and giggles really do light up my life!

I love you, Elayna, and I can’t wait to see the way God uses your bright light to chase out darkness all over the world.


one year