It has been weeks since I have been able to sit down and write, and I have missed it. So much has happened during this holiday season, but with all of the craziness, reflecting on all of this has taken a back seat to cooking, cleaning, packing, unpacking, wrapping, and unwrapping. As I sit here, this New Year's Eve 2009, I can't help but to get a little choked up as I think about how my life has changed this year. Eight days into 2009, at 9:53pm, the cry of tiny baby shrieked through the bright and sterile operating room. This cry rang in my ears welcoming a new and amazing chapter in my life. In one brief second, we were no longer a couple. We were a family. And, in the year 2009, my sweet little family of 3 has grown and changed with every single day. Since that day, January 8, 2009, I have experienced 357 days of bliss. I am not going to sugar coat reality. It has been hard. Each day has been challenging, and some completely frustrating, but even through the chaos and confusion, I have found myself happy every night when I fall asleep, and ready to smile every morning as I wake to the sweet little sounds streaming through the tiny monitor on my nightstand.
Watching Layla grow has been absolutely unbelievable. I have read all the books and have done all the research. I knew what to expect when I was expecting and I knew what to expect in the first year. But I never knew how I would feel through all of this. The only way to describe my feelings each and every day of 2009 is complete awe. I have been awed by a tiny blue-eyed girl. The amazement I have felt for her ever changing personality and mental and physical development has brought me to my knees several times. I sometimes think about Mary thousands of years ago, holding a tiny baby, listening to Him cry, and never, in her wildest dreams being able to imagine what He would do with his life. I know my tiny baby is not the Christ child, and I know she will never die to save the entire human population. But I know that Mary was a mother, just like me, and that just as she was amazed and awed by her son, and just as she was proud of everything her son did, I will be amazed and awed and proud of my daughter.
My hope and prayer for this New Year is the same this year as it was last year, and I will venture to say that it will be the same in each year to come - I hope and pray that Chris and I will be the best parents that we can be, and that we will teach our daughter everything we possibly can. I hope that our relationship as husband and wife continues to grow stronger with every smile and every tear. I pray that my little girl will learn about unconditional love by the strong example set by her parents. And I pray that we will never be jaded by the sadness and negativity that surrounds us. I hope that we will always find the beauty and happiness in life, and that we will always find a moment to show our gratitude for what we have been given.