I know it's cliche to start this letter by saying I can't believe it's been one year already, but I really, truly can't. So much has happened in one short year. You've grown so much and so have I. I was in love with you before you were ever born, you know. Mommy's doctor was just down the street from the apartment I was living in so I got to visit with her whenever she had an appointment. I loved seeing you grow and along with it Mommy's belly. She was and is so beautiful, isn't she? When you came into this world I was in a really dark and lonely place. You were the glimmer of hope I needed to get through some of those days. Someday, when you're older, I will tell you all about the Fall of 2010 and you'll know just what I mean when I tell you that you saved my life.
I took this photo (and many others) shortly after you were born. You being an Autumn baby, Mommy had this idea to photograph you on a pumpkin. It was such a cute idea but we realized shortly after we began that we could never have warmed up that pumpkin enough for your nakie little body. We could only torture you so much in the name of cute photos! ;) Still, I really love this photo. You look so serene. You really are such a great baby!
I was really lucky to spend a lot of time with you during your first 9 months of life. Mommy and I tried to visit as often as we could - usually one to three times a month. You loved coming to visit me at work where I nannied because you loved being around the other kids. A couple of times Mommy even dropped you off for playtime when she had a meeting at work. I have really great memories of these visits! In May I traveled with you and Mommy to Georgia to see Auntie Sarah's high school graduation. It was tough being away from the comfort and familiarity of your home but you were such a trooper! I was impressed with how adaptable you were considering the demands of your schedule. I tried to help Mommy as much as I could so a lot of times I would rock you to sleep while we were out. I even managed to get you down at the Braves game! The family started referring to me as Nanny Joleen, which is sort of silly, I know... but I loved that you felt so comfortable with me.
I get so excited to see you growing, but like any adult who loves a child I sometimes wish it happened a little more slowly! I feel so priviledged to have been there for so many of your "firsts". I secretly hoped your first word might be "Weenie" but I realize to people outside our family that may be a little problem. :)
One of the hardest things to consider when deciding whether or not to move to Georgia was leaving you. I love our relationship and with you being so young I feared it would change while I was away. When I get sad that I'm not there with you I just remind myself that this is temporary and when I come back I'll be a more fabulous version of myself. ;) You deserve my best me. It breaks my heart that I am not there to celebrate your first birthday with you!! Mommy has assured me that you won't remember but still we have big plans to Skype when the family goes to Nana's for your party. I am looking forward to it very much!! When you look back at photos and wonder why I'm not there hopefully you'll read this letter and know that I was thinking about you today and every day. I love you sooooooo very much.