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.
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.
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.
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.
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,