Our baby girl turned one-year-old last week. On one hand, I can't believe she is one already. On the other hand, she has been walking around for two months already. So it really is no great surprise that a year has gone by.
I've said that I wanted to treasure every moment of her first year. Easier said than done. That first year always seems to be in a bit of a fog. I'm glad I had more pictures than I thought I had so we could reminisce.
Andelise is our go-getter. She attempts everything without fear. She's known to climb on tables and chairs, climb up the slides, and attempt to walk on water (she thinks she can just walk right off the side of the pool and into the water without any help). She is good with her hands and seems to be very mechanically minded.
Recently, she has begun walking up to me while I am on the computer and pushes the keyboard in while she reaches up to be held. She is known to push her sisters out of her way when she wants to get to something. And she even left a nice abrasion of teeth marks on her sister's side out of frustration while we were on vacation.
Overall, though, Andelise's smile can light up a room. When Rod gets home from work, she tries to jump out of my arms toward him while doing her little laugh/cry until he takes her. She does the same laugh/cry in anticipation of her juice cup.
She will pick up a baby doll and pat its back and hug the toy tightly. Her little hands can't resist petting her blonde-headed friend who is five months younger. She likes to just be held after she wakes up. It's still amazing to me the ways this little one can warm our hearts.
When she is screaming in the van, we can often soothe her by playing music. And at home, she will turn on the CD player and wiggle her little bottom up and down to the music. She loves to dance and one of the dearest sounds to my ears these days is that of her babbling.
The hardest part for me in her turning one has hit me a few times in the last couple of weeks. As we watched the DVD I made of compiled pictures from her first year... While enjoying the company of our godson's family as they took generational pictures... and at "the farm" this weekend.
Andelise, Rod and Pup joined me for a walk while we were at the farm. Ande squirmed to get down as we reached our destination. There, in the quiet, all the while hearing the family play just down the street by the ponds, I watched as my baby got down and touched the stone.
I read the familiar words through eyes blurred with tears. "And so shall we ever be with the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 4:17" I couldn't hold back the tears as I watched my baby at the grave of a man she will never know in person.
These are the only tears in my baby's growth. It still physically hurts that she will never personally know her Papa or her Grandpa. These relationships are missing. And for me, I feel the void.
Although I long to keep the memories alive of those who have gone before us, I know in my heart there is only one death that is of the utmost importance to share. It is that of the one who did not remain in the grave. As long as our girls know Jesus as their personal Forgiver and Leader, they will have the only relationship they really need to carry them through this life.
The words to the song "Because He Lives" still hold so true. "How sweet to hold a newborn baby and feel the pride and joy (s)he gives. But greater still, the calm assurance. This child can face uncertain days because [Christ] lives."