Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Ashley Nicole!

Today was Ashley's 4th Birthday.  Did I really just say FOURTH??  Gulp, make that a Double Gulp.  I can't believe how fast time has passed over these four years.  Last night I sat in bed thinking about all the feelings I felt as we drove to the hospital to start my induction at midnight.  In some ways I was so excited and another part of me just wanted to say "redo!" and have Jason turn the car around and return to the safety of a life I knew and was comfortable with.  Well, I'm so thankful there was no real option to call a "redo".  These last four years I have been beyond blessed by the presence of our daughter.  As a new mom there were some things I knew were going to be fun and I looked forward to them, but again, as a new mom there was a whole world of things I didn't know about that were going to be so magical and special.  I remember staring at my angel in the hospital on the night of her birth in complete disbelief that this beautiful package of a person was mine...for good.  I wondered how I got so lucky to be her mommy and I vowed to do my very best.  The idea of having your first child is an exciting thing but you really have no idea how exciting, adventurous, fulfilling, rewarding, surprising and miraculous the journey will be until you actually experience it.  I always wanted to be a mother, I couldn't imagine a future without having children.  I thought I knew motherhood would be wonderful but Ashley has taught me that it is nothing short of amazing. 

Ashley, I have loved every millisecond I have spent as your mom.  You have blessed my life with thousands of hugs, kisses, loving words and giggles.  You have loved me for me, accepted my flaws just as they are and even despite my bad days you have always reminded me that you love me.  I have enjoyed watching you grow up (ok, I lied, a tiny piece of me has downright disliked watching you grow up, that piece of me wants you to always be the baby that curls up in my arms).  I have loved watching your personality blossom and listening to you explain the way you see the world.

Over the last four years you have blessed our family with rich memories and happy times, here are some of my favorite...

-When you were 6-12 months old, you would wake up when Daddy left for work.  I would bring you in bed with me and we would get another 20-30 minutes of rest and snuggles together.  You ALWAYS woke up first and would roll over and start climbing over my face.  You always reached for my face so I started to teach you where my nose was.  After a few weeks of "practice" you figured it out and I was so proud.  I love thinking back to the days when you would wake me up by grabbing on to my nose. 

-When you were new to the talking world you used to reach your arms out to me and say, "Hold you".    You learned it from me asking, "Do you want me to hold you?"  I loved hearing those sweet little words.

-Watching you explore the world from 1-2 years old.  I remember watching you open the pantry door, seriously checking out your options and then lightly pulling on a HUGE bag of pretzels which lead to what looked like 5 pounds of pretzels on the floor.  Instead of freaking out about the mess you just plopped down and started to have your own little snack time.  It was so funny to watch.

-For 2 years I tried to get you to finger paint, but you wanted nothing to do with it because of the mess.  Finally, I convinced you it would be so fun and you agreed.  I laughed so hard that day as you barely took the tip of your pointer finger and dipped it in the paint.  When I explained that you were supposed to get the paint ALL OVER your hands you looked at me with horror but decided to go along with what I said.  As I painted your hands you cringed and had to look away because it was messy.  That finger painting lasted almost an hour and you didn't let your hands get completely covered with paint until the last 10 minutes.  I laughed so hard that day and I will always love your clean and tidy ways :-)

-Your first trip to Disneyland for your second birthday was magical...end of story.  It was one of those days when the three of us REALLY felt like a family and we smiled and laughed the entire day.  I had so much fun watching you meet all of the characters from your favorite cartoons. 

-Watching you surf with your daddy always makes my heart flutter.  I know both of you are exactly where you want to be and are having so much fun. 

-celebrating holidays with you reminds me of all the reasons I loved each holiday as a kid.  You have brought that holiday spirit back to life for me.

-Getting our nails done together for the first time.  I watched you the entire time as you crossed your legs like a lady and were so proud of your polished digits.  I love sharing girly time with you and I love it even more because you love to share that time with me.  Some of my favorite "girl trips" are when you and I sneak away to the grocery store or park all by ourselves.

-Watching you become a sister has been AMAZING!  Watching you love on and comfort your brother makes my heart so happy.  You are a wonderful sister and I am so proud of you.

You are my angel Ashley.  I love you to the moon and back and I can't wait to spend another year with my favorite girl.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday today and know how much Daddy, Colin, Hauser and I love you.
A big Hug and a Kiss,


J. Gruenemay said...

Kelly, you are an amazing mom and I hope you know that. Your sentimental posts always make me cry and remind me to appreciate my life with my kid(s).