You have managed to get a doozy of an ear infection and possible strep throat…but of course you did. A letter from your MmGally follows….

Dear Elleanor,

WOW! ONE! You will never know how weird it is for your Mmgally to think that my baby sister’s baby girl is already ONE WHOLE YEAR!  I didn’t get to visit you as much as I wanted to this year.  I was pregnant with your cousin Carson, so that inhibited me from doing a lot.  But thank goodness the spring is here, and we can start a fresh year of you growing up and me being able to see it.

I was so bummed that I missed your birth.  Mutti had been in and out of the hospital, I made a false alarm trip almost an entire month before you were supposed to make your entrance.  So the real day arrives, and Nana and I literally scrambled to get into the car and get to Portland as fast as my car would get us there.  I was driving way too fast, just praying you’d stay put until I could get there.  Mutti got to see Masen be born, so I was dying to be able to do the same for you.  Alas, the weather was nasty, people were driving terribly, so I missed your birth by mere minutes.  But in the end, I was glad to be one of the first to meet you.  You were laying there, with your Mutti, with this adorable shirt announcing your beautiful name and we all got to just drool over you and just how perfect and beautiful you were.  Ten fingers, ten toes, two gorgeous eyes {wide open, nonetheless}, and the most wonderful cheeks anyone could lay eyes on.  I was just so thankful you got here safely, that Mutti and Vati were happy, and we were all joined together as one big family.

So this year I got to see you grow in spurts.  It seemed every time I got to see you again you grew in giant leaps.  You were only a newborn in my eyes, literally, for maybe a couple hours.  Then the next visit you were holding your head up like a total professional. Then you discovered you had fingers and toes.  Then came that incredible smile {my goodness it gets me every single time}.  And before I knew it, you were crawling, standing, and now, wobbly walking.  I try not to think about how much I am missing, but am just so thankful to see you each and every time.  Our latest visit we went to the park near your house.  I caught my breath watching you because you were just walking around, picking sticks up and arranging them and dropping them.  You were watching the big kids, including your cousin Masen, and you were keeping up with them pretty well.  You had this giant smile, bigger than you, walking, holding my hand, getting everywhere like such a big girl. I just love you so much.  You are a beautiful little soul, and I am so so happy to get to see you grow up into you, into a wonderful woman who is going to change the world.  You light up the room, Elleanor Juniper.  I can’t guarantee that I will be the aunt that holds it together at your graduation.  I can, however, guarantee I will be watching you, in disbelief because I will be looking at the very little girl who was just walking across the playground holding as many sticks as she could in her little fists with that incredible smile.

Whatever you do, wherever you go, I will be proud of you.  I am sure of this because you are a human being with a purpose.  I know you will leave your world better than you found it, you will fix what is broken, you will love what is unloved.  I know you will strengthen the weak, give a voice to the unheard.  You will do these things because you have parents who strive to do the same.  And you, sweet girl, are loved beyond what is measurable.

I hope you had an oh-so-special first birthday and partied like a crazy woman. I love you to the moon and back.

Hugs and kisses,


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