Let's just start by acknowledging just how fast time seems to go by these days. Is that a bad thing? Hmmmm? Second, go grab a cup of coffee and come on back. This is going to be a marathon.
I look back at these sweet photos of a human life that only joined us a little over 365 days ago. Then, I look back at photos of Hazel, and her first few moments and days here in this life. Something just doesn't add up.
How could it only have been less than 3 years ago? Less than 3 years that our lives have changed in such a dramatic way. I barley remember the days before tripping over toys, changing dirty butts, waking frequently during the night, battling about food and rarely sitting down. What I can remember about those days was that we NEVER laughed so much, loved so hard, cared so deeply, felt so proud or experienced such contentment.
A little over a year ago a tornado hit our home, turned everything upside down and left no survivors. We have never felt so blessed. She's still kicking up dust where ever her feet land. Her name is Nola Charlie...
Documenting my girls lives on this blog will serve as a tool to revive my memories when they are all grown and independent. As you know, if you've been reading for a while, I am not one for documenting milestones. Especially not for comparison reasons. But I am wishing that I was little more diligent in keeping the little details about Hazel's first year on record. Simply for the purpose to help me to remember who she was at those certain moments in time. I wanna remember how they made me laugh, cry, mad or sad.
Nola growls always. Happy or sad. Tired or hungry, always with the growling. When she's really excited she squeals. Like loooooong and loud and hard. She puckers up her lips just so and sucks in as hard as she can. I laugh almost every. Single. Time.
She's got a real thing for expressions. She has a million.
She's a walker. At 10 months she was over the crawling thing. Now she walks (or runs) around the house like she owns the place. Hates the baby gates- HATES!!! The moment she hears the click, she starts crying (they both do). Girlfriend likes to be free.
Smiles all the time. Always looking for the next super fun time. Like the trampoline for example.
Except for when I get the camera out. Then there is an immediate smile drought in effect. It usually lasts right until about the time I put the camera down.
Her vocabulary grows by the day. Mama, Dada, apple & bottle (which sound exactly the same - but I'll be damned if I don't get it right), Nonna, sissy (of course - it was her 3rd word), GO (sounds like 'do'). Oh and how could I possibly forget the most frequented word of choice, "NO" (with a pointed finger and mostly right before she's about to do something she's know she's not supposed to do), nice, play, baby, book...
When we come in from being outside. It's a guaranteed melt down every time, no matter how long we have been out there.
She's been eating pretty much everything we eat for ages. I barely remember purees with her. Always insisted on eating what Hazel was eating. Her favourite food is pasta. Favourite fruit is raspberries. And now they both come running when they hear the pantry door open, CHOCOLATE.
Still wakes up in the night occasionally, just to make sure she has access to a bottle whenever she feels like one. And yes, she gets one. #FAIL
I, also, want to remember how Nola has been loving steamrolling her sister every chance she gets. Sometimes Hazel laughs, sometimes she looks at me to make it stop. Hazel is usually pretty tolerant but every once in a while she gives her a gentle shove.
I want to remember how they laugh with each other all the time. They have this one specific sound they make that's like a nature call to the other one to repeat the sound. Ever seen "The Hunger Games"? They are like the jabber jays - no joke!
They follow each other around the house and find a multitude of surfaces to bang on. They try to pass the food they don't want to eat on to the other one's tray.
Every morning since she's been able, Nola crawls or walks into Hazel's room first thing with a huge smile that quickly turns to laughter. I swear she is trying to say, "morning." And everyday she turns to me with this smile on her face as if to say, "Can you believe it? It's Hazel!" Blows her mind er'yday.
Every night after dinner they go into Hazel's room and read book and play in the mirror.
What more can I say?
She's the destroyer of books, the spoiler of quiet, the seeker of danger, lover of people, admirer of Hazel, chaser of the sippy cup, nuturer of babies, caresser of the dog, master of the growl, nibbler of everything, kisser and cuddler extraordinaire...
She's the creater of joy, giver of love, sparker of laughter, lover of all. She is the life. She literally IS THE LIFE in our home. Her blond hair, blue eyes, cheeky grin can't be denied.
Where there is Nola, there is laughter. There is ease. There is peace. She is our constant reminder not to take things so serious. To stop and smile. To throw our hands up and have a jumping party on the bed. Or to play dolls, or to go outside and take a fresh breath of air, or to wrestle, or to read or to do anything that is fun in that exact moment. Girlfriend's got this living in the present moment thing down. She's a pro and she's teaching us all how to really do it.
Thank goodness because the other night while I was holding her, I needed that reminder. I remember having a very similar experience while rocking Hazel to sleep as well.
I was laying there with her in my arms. She had scooted her way down in my arms so I was cradling her like a new born again. The lights were so dark that I could only barley see the outline of her tiny face. Yet I had never been able to see it so clearly. Evey little detail, every bump, every crevice. The weight of her very real in my arms. The realization that even as the seconds past right then, she was getting older and older. In this moment I struggled to stay grounded, present, trying to grasp so tightly onto her babyness. All the changing and growing. But in that moment she was snuggled into my chest, breathing in my scent, feeling my heart beat against her face. In that moment she was my little baby. And in the morning she's still going to be my little baby, until one day she will be a grown women (and I will still see her as my little baby). Until then I'm going to enjoy all these little moments where I am her ENTIRE world and she is mine.
(these next 3 images are courtesy of the ingenious Tiffany at Vita Photography)
So the passing of time. Is it a bad thing? Not really.
It allows our relationships to grow and evolve. It allows us to watch our children learn the things we teach, and transfer that learning to their lives. It provides opportunity for us to saturate them with our love. With the passing of time, our children experience our nurturing. If the time stopped passing we would never experience the pride in watching our children grow into the people they will become. And I'm not sure about you, but I am way to curious about who they will grow to be. I am WAY to invested in making sure that I provide them with the tools they need to meet their full potential.
An entire lifetime of time passing would never give me enough kisses, hugs, smiles or cuddles with my girls to be satisfied, so I say - bring it!