Dear Ellen Joanna and Brenna Jane, on your first birthday,
We made it, girls! Today you are one whole year old! It was quite a year, wasn't it?
You were born on a Friday. Ellen Joanna, you were born first. You arrived at 8:34 am, 5 lbs 4oz of perfect. The name "Ellen" means ray of light. You were the first baby I saw when we had our first sonogram and you filled my life with light from that very first moment. Your middle name, "Joanna," was given to you by my mother, your grandmother, Joan. She is the strongest, most wonderful woman on Earth and we hope you grow up to be just like her. The name "Joan" is a variation of "John," and it means God is gracious, and you're a gift from God.
Brenna Jane, you are our youngest baby. You arrived at 8:36 am, 5 lbs, 5 oz of perfect. The name "Brenna" has 2 meanings that we know: little drop of water (you were so very tiny in that first sonogram, we barely saw you! Just a little drop of water. We cannot live without water as it gives life and you, dear Brenna, gave us life.) and raven-haired maiden (we could see your hair on the sonogram!!). The name "Jane" is also a variation of "John." While Ellen's middle name came from your grandmother, your middle name came from your Papa. You are named after the most kind, wonderful man and father in the world. And you too are a gift from God.
Who knew our lives could be filled with such joy and happiness with two little bits that weighed less than 11 pounds combined?? :)
I just wanted to let you know how much your family loves you. When you two arrived, you opened some doors in my heart that I thought were closed forever. I never in a million years thought I could be as happy as I am right now. And I know it's because of you and the light you bring into our lives. You complete our family.
You girls are my little partners in crime. Boy, do we have fun together. Just going to the grocery store is fun when you're with me. Let's see, in your first year of life, you've already seen some pretty awesome things that some people will never do in their lifetime like watch the Royal Wedding (hey, it was a big deal! And watching it live with you two and your brother was silly fun!); you've been on 6 airplanes already (and you travel better than most adults!); you've lived in two states on opposite sides of the country; you've been to the beach and put your little toes in the Pacific Ocean (some people go their whole lives never having done that!); you've seen whales, dolphins and seals swimming in that ocean; you've completed your first 5K (the first race in a loooong running career, I hope!).
You've already been there for your family in big ways. You've been to your Papa's new lab where he's going to discover ways to improve our health and lives; you've been to your brother's baseball games, saw him graduate from Kindergarten and start 1st grade at a brand new school, smiled through his belt tests at karate, watched him run almost 120 laps (which is 30 miles!) at running club and so much more. And you were there when I completed my first California race. I can't imagine how we ever got through life before you two arrived!
We are so excited for what lies ahead for you and for all of us. You two are the most gentle, sweet souls. One can't help but smile and feel good when you're around. I start every day of my life seeing the smiling faces of my three beautiful children and it just fills my heart with light and love. There is no better way to start a day! Watching the three of you play together, hearing those squeals of delight, it makes me feel like my chest is going to burst. I hope you always know how much you mean to us and how much we love you. There is nothing you can't do and I will always be your biggest cheerleader.
Happy First Birthday, Ellen and Brenna!
P. S. I love you!
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