Dear Everly
This photo is blurry and you are making a funny face, but I have to put it here anyway. I like the way it makes me feel when I look at it. It instantly transports me to this moment with you. Early morning, apple juice running off the end of your chin, that wild hair we can never tame, and the bedsheets pulled over our heads in a makeshift tent.
As always my dear girl, living these moments with you is a privelege.
Love,
Mama

Dear Everly

This photo is blurry and you are making a funny face, but I have to put it here anyway. I like the way it makes me feel when I look at it. It instantly transports me to this moment with you. Early morning, apple juice running off the end of your chin, that wild hair we can never tame, and the bedsheets pulled over our heads in a makeshift tent.

As always my dear girl, living these moments with you is a privelege.

Love,

Mama

Letters to Everly.

Dear Dovie,

This little blog is full of your milestones and firsts. So here’s a big one. This is the first time you met the Atlantic ocean. It’s been a busy year for us as a family and we’re a little ashamed that it took us until the end of November to introduce you to something so important.

Your father and I have spent more years than we can even remember dancing in the sand on the Carolina shore. trying to out run the rushing tide. Making sand castles. Having our hair blown by the salty breeze.

and now it’s your turn to know how it feels to unleash your spirit here. Despite the cold and drizzly weather, it was pretty obvious how you felt about the experience. As we stood there watching you take it all in, the wind carried your laughter out to sea.

And I made a promise right there that I would never keep you away so long again.

Love,

Mama

Letters to Everly.

Dear Everly,

Before you were born, I couldn’t really imagine actually having you in my arms, even though I dreamed it a thousand times. And then when you were there, it was impossible to imagine you being anything but a sleepy, snuggly newborn. Hard as I tried, I didn’t really know what it would feel like to see you laughing back at my smile until the moment came - or you walking carefully across the living room into my open arms until we were living it.

I dreamed those moments. Tried to imagine - but each time I learned that the true experience was much bigger than my heart anticipated.

These days, I daydream of holding your hand one day as we cross the street together. I dream of teaching you to do those bunny ear loops when you tie your shoes. I dream of dancing with you across our floor dressed in my old, fluffy dresses. Sometimes I try to imagine what your little girl voice will sound like.

But those days are still waiting for us. They are precious, joyful acts of living that you and I have not yet reached. and so they float unanchored in my mama heart until those tangible moments one day finds us both.

Love, 

Mama

The rundown. 9 months.

Letters to Everly - because this blog is the closest thing to a baby book you will probably ever have.

Stats: You’re such a beeferoni! This week at the pediatrician you weighed 21 pounds and measured 29 inches long. You’re in the 85th percentile for weight and 90th for height. (Which explains why all of your 9 month pants are high waters!) You still have the most delicious chunky legs.

Teeth: Poor little mouth - You got SIX teeth between months eight and nine. You now have your 4 front top and bottom teeth. You’re also learning to use them to bite off pieces of food like noodles and greenbeans.

Feeding: We still feed you some purees, but you prefer “real” food now.  Most days, you eat small bites right off our plates.  You are learning to pick up small pieces and put them in your mouth (although a lot of them wind up in your lap) and you’ve gotten really good at putting a spoon full of food in your own mouth. You are already displaying a “let me do it myself” mentality. You love fish and chicken (we haven’t given you any red meat), pasta, all vegetables, most fruits, cheese, soups, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal and those little puff cereal pieces.

Awesome stuff you’re doing now:

You’ve never been much of a crawler (only when you absolutely have to) but you love to stand. You pull up on everything and several times this week you’ve let go completely and stood unassisted for increasingly longer lengths. Two nights ago you stood on your own for almost 20 seconds before our cheers startled you and you plopped to your bottom.

We’ve been trying to get you to use a sippy cup since the pediatrician recommended it at 6 months. Every time we’d offer it, you’d put your mouth to it, give it a displeased look and throw it to the floor. I tried it again last weekend and you grabbed both handles and starting drinking from it like you’d been doing it for forever!

You say mama, dada, bye bye (complete with wave hand motions). When I give you my cell phone, you hold it to your ear and say “hey!” (then you try to eat it).  You can make a kissy sound (we’re trying to teach you to blow a kiss) and a clucking noise. You’ve started mimicking the inflection and syllables that we use and your favorite thing to mimic is saying Gibson’s name (our dog). We’ll call to him “Gib son!!!” and you’ll repeat “did dum!” 

You love music. Specifically da da’s guitar. When you hear him start to play, you like to stand and dance to the music. You also love to hum along when I sing to you. You love to shake your rattle, pound your palms on a drum, and strum your fingers across the strings of a guitar.

(with wet hair, fresh from a morning bath)

We are just so proud of you Everly. Watching you grow each day is the greatest delight of our lives.

Love,

Mama

Letters to Everly.
My earliest memory is somewhere around the age of 3 and half years old. It’ll probably take a few years before your memories begin to really hang on and follow you into your adult years.
Sometimes, when I think of all that we will do together in the next few years, it saddens me a bit that most of those experiences will move through you and away without staying.
I try to remind myself that each experience, whether it turns to memory or not, becomes the foundation of the soul - the building blocks for who we are as individuals. I’m absolutely certain that true joy is a sticky thing. That the happiest of our experiences will seep into the cracks of your being and stay forever. Even though the bulk of it will only be remembered through what your father and I perserve for you in photos and stories - we know that we are shaping the woman you will one day become.
We strive to build a solid foundation of your self everyday. Filling in your character with layer upon layer of adventure and love… And we watch with swelling pride as our sticky joy flows from the deepest recesses of our hearts and makes a home in you.
Love,
Mama

Letters to Everly.

My earliest memory is somewhere around the age of 3 and half years old. It’ll probably take a few years before your memories begin to really hang on and follow you into your adult years.

Sometimes, when I think of all that we will do together in the next few years, it saddens me a bit that most of those experiences will move through you and away without staying.

I try to remind myself that each experience, whether it turns to memory or not, becomes the foundation of the soul - the building blocks for who we are as individuals. I’m absolutely certain that true joy is a sticky thing. That the happiest of our experiences will seep into the cracks of your being and stay forever. Even though the bulk of it will only be remembered through what your father and I perserve for you in photos and stories - we know that we are shaping the woman you will one day become.

We strive to build a solid foundation of your self everyday. Filling in your character with layer upon layer of adventure and love… And we watch with swelling pride as our sticky joy flows from the deepest recesses of our hearts and makes a home in you.

Love,

Mama

Letters to Everly.

My dove,

I haven’t written you in some weeks. I’ve found myself struggling more with words lately. How can I tell you the things I feel for you without saying what I’ve already said?

I’m not sure it’s possible.

I’ve whispered in your ears a thousand times that God picked you out especially for your father and I. I’ve traced the words I love you in your tiny palms over and over again. The two of us have sat many afternoons just studying each others faces. I’ve looked at you so long, I feel as if I should know the number of lashes on your lids and the name of the exact color of the brown that fills your eyes.

I’ve come to realize that all I can do is continue searching the rest of my days for new ways to tell you the same things- that you’ve changed everything. that you are my most tangible joy. that being your mother is beyond a gift. beyond a blessing. It is the thing that my life was meant for.

but you’ve heard this all before.

and you’ll hear it again.

today and tomorrow and the day after that one too.

Love,

your mama

Six months.

Letters to Everly.

My dove, where have the months gone? How has half a year passed already since we first laid eyes on one another? I doubt you remember our first hour together, but I will never ever forget it. You were merely seconds old when I first wrapped my arms around you and in that instance, you became the anchor for my soul. I laid down my roots in your dark eyes. I ran my fingers across the tiny version of your father’s lips. In those first minutes, I promised to protect you with the fierceness of a lion and the vigilance of a mighty army.

You have always been that thing I needed, that missing reason, the source of my courage.

I love myself more because I carried you and gave you life. I love your father more because I see him in your smile. I love the world more because of how different and wonderful everything feels with you in it. I love our family more because their blood courses in your veins. I couldn’t have imagined my life getting better, and yet, in this 6 months I love everything more because of you.

We celebrate your first six months with joyful hearts. We celebrate our first half year as your parents with grateful prayer. We thank the good Lord daily for our new found courage, fierceness, dedication, and our ability to love all we’ve been given more than we ever imagined.

Our family motto has always been “Love, Love here we are” and I feel like you are the tangible meaning of those words. Here we are in your small hands. Here we are in your morning laughter. Love, Love here we are, over and over again, in you.

my whole heart,

Mama

Letters to Everly.
I gave myself a little guilt trip over neglecting your baby book recently. I think I scribbled a few things in there when you were a few weeks old and haven’t touched it since. I was sitting on the couch, watching you pat pat my arms while I held you up and I thought about you opening that book in 20 years and being disappointed that I didn’t write down when you first rolled over or slept through the night.
Then I realized this blog is your baby book. This is more than a paragraph scribbled here or there about milestones. This is a catalog of everything I’ve ever wanted to say to you since the very first day I learned I was pregnant.
When you are older, I hope you read back through our daily experiences, let your eyes linger on the million and one photos we’ve taken of you and know just how profoundly you have changed EVERYTHING.
Your official baby book may be empty, but there will be so many words and photographs waiting for you within this little blog. This is our history and the beauty in that is unlike a book, there is no end. There are infinite opportunities here for me to write to you and to any future siblings you may one day have.
Every day is our new page. A blank screen with a blinking cursor, just waiting for us to fill it with small victories and big adventures in the story of us.
With love,
your mama

Letters to Everly.

I gave myself a little guilt trip over neglecting your baby book recently. I think I scribbled a few things in there when you were a few weeks old and haven’t touched it since. I was sitting on the couch, watching you pat pat my arms while I held you up and I thought about you opening that book in 20 years and being disappointed that I didn’t write down when you first rolled over or slept through the night.

Then I realized this blog is your baby book. This is more than a paragraph scribbled here or there about milestones. This is a catalog of everything I’ve ever wanted to say to you since the very first day I learned I was pregnant.

When you are older, I hope you read back through our daily experiences, let your eyes linger on the million and one photos we’ve taken of you and know just how profoundly you have changed EVERYTHING.

Your official baby book may be empty, but there will be so many words and photographs waiting for you within this little blog. This is our history and the beauty in that is unlike a book, there is no end. There are infinite opportunities here for me to write to you and to any future siblings you may one day have.

Every day is our new page. A blank screen with a blinking cursor, just waiting for us to fill it with small victories and big adventures in the story of us.

With love,

your mama

Letters to Everly.
Just a short note to you today, Dovie. My mind feels so scattered this week. Inside of me, the sweet moments of being your mother and Brent’s wife are mixed with worry for what this world holds for you as you grow up. Currently, there is a catastrophic oil spill in the gulf and I’ve felt an overwhelming sadness as I’ve followed the stories of two children this week who have lost their battles with cancer.
Oh how I wish I had the power to protect you from everything. I wish I was strong enough to fight off every physical harm and smart enough to cure any ailment that may find you.
I wish my love for you was enough to keep it all away.
Even with all of the tools and technology of this modern world, often the only thing that brings me comfort is prayer. I have asked God more times than I can count to please let you grow to be a very old lady, to let your heart experience the same kind of love I feel for you, and maybe, if possible, let your father and I be around long enough to see those things happen.
Sometimes on this journey called motherhood, the only thing that keeps me from feeling so incredibly small is putting my faith in something BIG.
Love,
Your mom

Letters to Everly.

Just a short note to you today, Dovie. My mind feels so scattered this week. Inside of me, the sweet moments of being your mother and Brent’s wife are mixed with worry for what this world holds for you as you grow up. Currently, there is a catastrophic oil spill in the gulf and I’ve felt an overwhelming sadness as I’ve followed the stories of two children this week who have lost their battles with cancer.

Oh how I wish I had the power to protect you from everything. I wish I was strong enough to fight off every physical harm and smart enough to cure any ailment that may find you.

I wish my love for you was enough to keep it all away.

Even with all of the tools and technology of this modern world, often the only thing that brings me comfort is prayer. I have asked God more times than I can count to please let you grow to be a very old lady, to let your heart experience the same kind of love I feel for you, and maybe, if possible, let your father and I be around long enough to see those things happen.

Sometimes on this journey called motherhood, the only thing that keeps me from feeling so incredibly small is putting my faith in something BIG.

Love,

Your mom

(Photo: A few weeks ago, sharing a special moment with your pops in the swing)
Letters to Everly.
I was lying in bed last night after you’d fallen asleep and I decided I wanted to tell you today that you are 4 months and 23 days old and you still coo in your sleep every single night. Your father and I laid there listening to you and I whispered “I hope she never grows out of this” (even though I know you probably will).  It delights me to no end that this has become your trademark - our most appropriately nicknamed little dove.
That little sound you make has imprinted itself deeply onto my being. I hear you in my dreams. When I am awake and gone all day. In the background of every song on the radio. I hear you in silence.
It is the very best sound in the whole wide world.
Love,
your mama

(Photo: A few weeks ago, sharing a special moment with your pops in the swing)

Letters to Everly.

I was lying in bed last night after you’d fallen asleep and I decided I wanted to tell you today that you are 4 months and 23 days old and you still coo in your sleep every single night. Your father and I laid there listening to you and I whispered “I hope she never grows out of this” (even though I know you probably will).  It delights me to no end that this has become your trademark - our most appropriately nicknamed little dove.

That little sound you make has imprinted itself deeply onto my being. I hear you in my dreams. When I am awake and gone all day. In the background of every song on the radio. I hear you in silence.

It is the very best sound in the whole wide world.

Love,

your mama

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