I did my absolute best to keep up with Joy’s baby book— I was more or less successful. The BIG things are in there but some of the smaller anecdotes are absent. Thank goodness for Instagram and 64 GB iPhones. Well an easy thing to commit to was a letter to baby girl every year on her birthday. One of my favorite mommy bloggers started the project and what a special gift this will be one day.
We had NO IDEA what we had in store!
Your dad and I both wrote you letters anticipating your arrival what seems like 3 months ago.
I remember praying during the more difficult stages (i.e teething, nap time, and on one particularly rough flight) for it to pass quickly but never did I want you to grow up this fast.
Already, you are a beautiful little girl with a vibrant personality. You are as determined as they come. Your GiGi likes to use the term “strong willed,” as she says it sounds better than stubborn. You crawled early, walked when you felt like it, and blow kisses only when it suits you.
I remember one harrowing night right after we brought you home, you just could not be consoled. You and I both were crying and I didn’t think I was cut out to be your mother. It was that night that I started a note on my phone titled “100 Prayers for Joy”
Today I pray that you help me to protect, nurture and love our daughter. I pray that she be light in a world with so much darkness, wear a smile in a sea of smugness, and provide kindness to those otherwise exempt from it. My only desire is to see my baby happy and healthy. Neither one of us know exactly where the name came from but now I know it was a sign from you. She will be a joy to those around her.
I pray she doesn’t let the thoughts of others get her down. I remember dwelling as a child and wish I hadn’t. There will always be that one that can’t be pleased. I hope she lives for herself and not the opinion of others.
I pray that you fine tune her controlling nature, let it be available when necessary but don’t let it get in the way. She can only control her own actions, not those of others.
I pray for my independent child. I want her to always be curious but also a little cautious. I hope she heeds the advice of those who came before her.
— Those were some of the first ones I jotted down.
I will always pray for you. I’m so thankful for you: the way you squeal when I walk in a room, the infinite kisses you plaster me with, and the way you have changed my life for the better. Happy Birthday Baby Girl!