Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dear Annaliese, Today You Are One.

Dear Annaliese Marie,

Just hearing your beautiful name makes my heart race.  Today we celebrate your first birthday.  365 days have gone by since you were born and yet it feels like yesterday.  Mommy and Daddy are crying tears of joy with a tiny bit of sadness, because the reality of life in full force cannot escape us.  You are on your way to becoming a little girl and not so much a baby anymore.

You can turn the page on your own in your bedtime book.  You're getting better at holding a spoon when you eat.  You are already indicating to Daddy and I "no" by shaking your head (this helps us fear the years to come).  Just two weeks ago you took 5 steps on your own, twice!  About one week ago you came up to me with your arms up and said "Mama" for the first time and my heart melted.  When I hand you your comb, you place it on your head, knowing that it's used for brushing your hair.  You get upset when we tell you "no" if you're into something you shouldn't be.  You love to dance, just like your mommy.  You still love your veggies like no tomorrow and are also a huge fan of water from your sippy cup.  You sleep with your teddy bear every night.  You are slowing getting into drinking whole milk.  You try to feed me food with your spoon, and I love that you're already sharing.  You light up with you see other children smiling and laughing and you get upset when we're in the grocery store and you hear other babies cry.

You are already have so much individuality and character.  You make me more and more proud every day.

Let me tell you the story of how you came to be.  On the morning of February 16, 2011, after 5 months of trying to conceive,  I had taken my first pregnancy test with my first ever "+" sign shown.  After 3 days and 4 positive tests later, I decided it was time to call the doctor and schedule an appointment.  On Feb 23 we had our pregnancy confirmation appointment and left the doctor's office feeling like we were on top of the world!  To announce the big news to our family, we made plaques for our parents and our brothers read that they were closer to becoming a grandparent/uncle around my proclaimed due date of Oct 24.  Everyone was so happy for us!  According to calculation, I was still very early in my pregnancy and they didn't do an ultrasound until I was 8 weeks along. SO we waited...

Right after the at-home test said that you existed, I accompanied Daddy on a 2 day drive to Nashville, TN for his work conference in the first week of March.  That whole week, I had a container of Tums with me at all times because you gave me heartburn.  I also tried to drink ginger ale because I was a little nauseous and didn't really have an appetite.  Aside from those minor things, we had a nice road trip together.  While Daddy drove, I read "What To Expect When You're Expecting" out loud and we had conversations about what to expect for the remaining months of my pregnancy, how to handle a newborn baby and how we would parent you when you arrived.  Also on the way home, I experienced my first REAL "laugh till you cry" moment.  Daddy said something really funny and made me laugh (as he always does) but while I was laughing, I started getting teary and then I got so teary that I started CRYING uncontrollably type sobbing.  It was totally the hormones and it was totally weird.  But it was funny after it happened.  :)

Then on March 18, our first ultrasound appointment arrived.  I remember the first time I saw you.  Filled with anticipation and a first time parent's slight worry, Mommy and Daddy drove to the doctor's office and got an ultrasound.  Seeing you on the monitor gave us a breath of fresh air.  You were the tiniest little bean inside of my belly.  We couldn't make out that you were a human yet, but we could see your little arm "waving" at the camera.  We couldn't hear your heartbeat at that point yet, but we were able to see it!  It was euphoric.  I will never forget that feeling.  Your daddy cried tears of joy when he saw you that day.  Mommy was the happiest person in the world, that tears couldn't even show my excitement.

I was ready to spread the wonderful news to everyone else and get a baby bump!

I started to show my lovely baby bump around 15 weeks.  For my "unofficial" first Mother's Day, your very thoughtful Daddy gave me the perfect card gift for an expecting mother.  Of course, I sobbed uncontrollably like a little baby cried.

Around 18 weeks we had a non-medical ultrasound done and found that you were a girl.  This is when Mommy cried.  Somehow I had a sneaking suspicion that you were a girl.  Daddy was in complete shock.  He had always wanted to be a dad and pictured himself being a dad, but anytime he pictured himself as a dad, he pictured having a son.  Daddy and I sat back in that room and watched the ultrasound technician find your sweet face with your daddy's nose, your arms and legs, your 10 fingers and 10 toes and even a little shot of your tush that I love so much! :)  We were in awe of you and enjoyed watching you play peek-a-boo with the camera.  You were a bit camera shy.

We revealed to everyone that you were a girl just days later at your Great Aunt and Uncle's Memorial Day picnic.  Daddy wore blue and mommy wore pink and blue to throw people off.  Haha!  We had a cake made and dyed pink inside so that when we cut into it, it would reveal that you were a girl!  It was so much fun seeing everyone's face anxious with anticipation and their excitement come to life when they saw the pink cake! :)  We had a lot of fun doing it this way!

Silly Parents- To- Be

I consider myself lucky because you were very easy on Mommy through my whole pregnancy and I appreciated it.  I thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant with you!  I was only nauseous while we were in TN, after that I was enjoying eating strawberries like the world would be out of them tomorrow, chocolate chip granola bars and apples with peanut butter.  I had eaten each of these probably at least once a day.  Although I LOVE seafood prior to (and since) my pregnancy, it made me nauseous when I was pregnant.  So I wonder if you will grow to not like seafood?  I hope this isn't the case because you'll really be missing out!

I was in LOVE with my baby bump!  I loved showing you off any chance I could.  I miss my bump, but eventually within a few years I will have another bump and you'll be welcoming a new baby brother or sister.

 We had some really great maternity pictures taken when I was 30 weeks pregnant with you.

We even had shirts ordered with your name on them!

This was the last belly picture taken before I gave birth 7 days later

Then in the midst of a full moon on the evening of October 11, 2011, you arrived.  When the doctor placed you on my belly to wipe you down, I still could not believe what had just happened.  Suddenly you went from being warm, quiet and protected inside my belly to seeing and hearing you in person and feeling your touch on the outside of my belly.  All of the events that happened that day went by in what felt like minutes and there you were.  The little kicker that kept me awake some nights and would roll around into my ribs and push so hard on my belly from the inside.  It was painful sometimes, but those contractions...yeah those were a lot worse.  I did it all for you and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

At 5 lb 15 oz, You were the tiniest baby I had ever held.  You were the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on...and still are.

Today we celebrate your First Birthday.  It's really amazing how much you have taught me in the last year and I know the train won't stop here.  You are such a special little person to me and your daddy.  You are loved by so many people and it is so heart warming that you, your daddy and me...we are so very blessed to have all of that love in our lives and that is all that I could have ever asked for.

You are the center of Mommy and Daddy's world.

You are very independent and love to do things on your own.

You are always so joyful and smiling.  You will randomly laugh at things and it makes me laugh.

You love to go for walks and look at the trees.

You LOVE trees!

You love to play peek-a-boo with Mommy and Daddy and "chase us" around the house.

 You love to play "Pat-a-Cake" with Mommy at least twice a day, sometimes ten.

You give Mommy and Daddy the sweetest kisses that just make all of our worries melt away.

 You love when Mommy and Daddy make a fool of ourselves trying to make you laugh.  It usually works, and well.

You have the most bold and beautiful blue-ish/grey-ish eyes I've ever seen.  Neither Mommy or Daddy have blue eyes, so we believe this is just one of the many things that makes you extra special.
Photo Credit for these family pictures goes to Double Shutter Photography

This last week you have been extra cuddly with me and although I know it's due to you cutting more teeth, in addition to the 8 teeth that you already have, I love those cuddles and I can't get enough.  I hear my friends with kids tell me all the time that when you get a certain age you won't really want to cuddle anymore, so I am soaking up all the cuddles I can while I can.  I still enjoy being home with you everyday, watching you grow and develop into your own little person.  I think I kiss you at least a thousand times a day and you love it just as much as I do.  I love nothing more than to make you laugh!  You are my little buddy and Daddy and I would be lost without you.  You bring such joy to our lives every day and in every way.  We know how blessed and honored we are to have you.  I am excited to know that you will soon be talking more and fully walking soon and be able to play more.  I'm in love with you for giving me greatest gift you and only you have given me; motherhood.

I plan to do a LOT of hugging you and a LOT of kissing you today, your day, your very first birthday.

Happy Birthday, Annaliese! aka Bug, Buggy, Anna Bug, Sweetie, Pumpkin


  1. Very sweet, Cassie! And dern your hair sure grows fast!! Haha

    HAPPY 1St BIRTHDAY, sweet Annaliese!!! Royce and I hope herdsy is filled with all the love and laughter she's brought this year!

    1. Thank you Kyra! :) Haha! I just got a hair cut today! A little shorter than these pics, but not too bad. Tell Royce that Annaliese says thank you and she looks forward to meeting him someday! :)

  2. Congrats on turning 1 lil one. How sweet she recently said Mama. That made me cry when it happened to me too! And you looked great throughout your pregnancy! Annaliese has the cutest smile!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! Luckily I didn't gain too much weight anywhere but my belly during my pregnancy. Afterwards....I'm still working on that! haha!

  3. Happy birthday to little Miss Annaliese!

  4. Happy 1st birthday, Annaliese!

    I'm giddy reading about your pregnancy! What a cute bump you had! I do love the 30 wk pics. These are such great memories to relive. What a very special letter, Cassie. This will be so special to her when she grows up! Now that she's one, LET THE PARTY BEGIN! (Oh, okay, it's on Saturday.) I'm looking forward to seeing those par-tay pics! :)

    1. Thank you Sandra! Sorry I'm so behind on my response. Par-tay pics are coming up soon!

  5. Such a beautiful post & what a gorgeous family! Your sweet little Annaliese is beyond precious!! {adore her name, too!!}. Happy birthday to your sweet girl & thanks for sharing such a joyful, heartfelt post with us!! :)

    1. Thank you Amy, for your kind words and for stopping by!

  6. Oh how sweet! Happy Birthday to your little sweetie :) I just love all of the pictures. The one of her smiling shortly after birth is just precious. Oh and her kissing the tree . . . priceless!

    1. Thank you Erin! :) I have a picture of me hugging a tree when I was about 3 years old. I'll share it sometime :)


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