730 days

730 days. It’s hardly any.

Some, perspective, I’m roughly 9,807 days old today.
My grandpa was about 31,060 days old when he died.

So, 730 days is nothing.

But still, they are everything.

They have been the most exhausting, tiring, exasperating, amazing, and wonderful seven hundred and thirty days of my life. The other 9,077 days were good. Most of them anyways. But on day 9,078 – that day was the best day of my life. I can’t remember a single minute of it, but I was there and so was she and my life was never the same.

In only 730 days, my little tiny Ellabelle has gone from being safely inside of me to walking and talking. She laughs and dances. She sings and screams. She can identify some animals and certain songs on the radio. She loves to wash her hands and brush her teeth and mimics everything she sees her mommy do. In only 730 days, she’s become a person.

It’s amazing to look back over these past two years and try and draw it all together into a single frame of memories.

Ellabelle, I will look back on your second year of life and I’ll remember the shock of coming out of the bedroom into the living room and seeing you standing up, leaning back against the recliner. You had never stood before this, but you were determined to get the playstation controller off of the arm of the chair. You smiled so mischievously.

I’ll remember worrying you’d never walk, and then you taking your first steps – from me to daddy and then back to me. And that was it. No other walking. We knew you could. You just chose not to. Finally, a month later, you’d just take off walking at Mamaw and Papaw’s house. Our lives haven’t been the same since.

I’ll remember your turkey outfit on Thanksgiving and you wanting nothing to do with opening presents on Christmas.

I’ll remember how much you liked the snow and how you kept yelling at it when I took you outside.

I’ll remember blowing bubbles in the driveway with you, and how we went to look at mommy’s flower garden every morning before we left for work.

I’ll remember how you took your shoes off as soon as you could when you rode in the car. (This may not ever change though)

I’ll remember how you called me “Daddy” for the longest time, and then how, suddenly, one day, you started calling me “mommy.” I still smile every time you call me by name.

I’ll remember how you love to play Wii and scream and dance every time we turn it on.

I’ll remember how you love to follow me around the house, and you insist on having daddy and me in the same room as much as possible.

I’ll remember taking you swimming and watching your brave little spirit grow as you ask over and over for daddy to help you jump in.

I’ll remember how your gentle baby curls appeared as your hair dried after your bath.

I’ll remember how you to refuse to hold our hands when we let you walk anywhere, because girl is independent.

I’ll remember how you always head straight to the coffee table when we go visit Oma and Opa and grab a coaster to hold up to Opa. Then you go and point up on the ledge over the couch and wait for your smarties.

I’ll remember the look on your face when momma put you in the little boat at Stricker’s Grove and walked away. You were so excited that you were trusted to be left alone on the ride and so thrilled when it started to move. It was your first experience with independence and you handled so well.

Something else I remember was putting you in your swing when you were oh so tiny and daddy turned on Netflix and then some crazy show called Yo Gabba Gabba. We muted it because we didn’t really want to watch it and we started cleaning while you rocked back and forth. All of a sudden, he heard the cutest little gurgle of a laugh come out of you. And then you did it again. And again. You hadn’t laughed at anything yet, being only two months old, but here this creepy show made you so happy. And now, we’re getting ready to throw you a Yo Gabba Gabba party. You are still enamored by the show and mommy and daddy have grown to love it too.

Your second year has been trying and magical all at the same time. I am so lucky to have been blessed with such a strong, independent little girl. Do I wish you’d cuddle more? Sure. It’s not a bad thing that you don’t though. You’ve always been inquisitive and wanting to watch the world around you. I’m so excited to keep watching you grow and getting to do more fun things with you. You’ll be bigger so we’ll get to go on bigger adventures. More swimming and sidewalk chalking and going on vacations, like to Gatlinburg, and visiting the museum and the zoo and, for starters, the aquarium, today, for your birthday to see the “kikis”! If things stay according to our plans, your third year will be your last one as an only child. I plan to absorb every little inch of you and hold it in my memory forever. You are so loved by so many people. But me, I get to be so loved by you. I get to be your mommy, for thousands of days, every day for the rest of my life. It’s a privilege. And I thank you. I whisper it in your ear all the time, but it’s only because I mean it, little girl.

Thanks for picking me to be your mommy. Thank you for letting me be part of your life. Thank you for making me a mom. Happy birthday, Ellabelle! I love you!

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