As Olivia drinks the last few sips of her bedtime bottle she pushes it away and curls up into my chest. As I set the bottle down on the side table, I snuggle her closer into my chest. I smell her hair, which is scented with lavender and is still damp from the tub. I feel her breathing getting more shallow as she relaxes and starts to drift off into sleep. I hold her close and think about how we’ll be celebrating her first birthday in just over a week.

We’ve learned and grown so much since that eventful day last January.

I remember…

The excitement and nervousness that we felt when we realized that I was in labour, and the overwhelming mix of emotions when Trevor exclaimed “it’s a girl!” and the doctor placed her on my chest and we looked at our baby for the very first time.

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The exhaustion, frustration, and anxiety that we experienced while trying to navigate the unchartered waters of parenthood with a newborn baby.

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The feeling of a weight being lifted off of our shoulders as we got more comfortable being a family of three. We celebrated by hanging out in the pool, soaking up all the lazy summer days, and venturing out of the house more and more.

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The speed of autumn. Olivia was fully on the move, and time started flying even faster. One week turned into one month, and one month turned into three in the blink of an eye. Trevor and I were frantically trying to hold onto all the last moments of her babyhood, while Olivia was determined to keep growing and changing with every passing day.

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The excitement of celebrating our first Christmas with Olivia. Watching her eyes light up at the sight of the Christmas tree and realizing that children really do bring so much joy to the Holiday season.

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As I sit in the darkened room, with my little girl softly sleeping on my chest, I realize that I’m no longer sad that I’m losing my baby. I’m so excited about all the new experiences that I get to share with my little girl. I have gained the wisdom to know that there will always be challenges, but these challenges also bring new adventures.

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January 19, 2015, I welcome you with open arms. I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for our little family of three.

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