Amelia: Age One

Sweet Amelia is ONE. It happened like whiplash. Amelia - the girl we didn't expect - has been an incredible addition to our male dominated family. From day one she has been mild mannered and sweet. She has slept well, eats well, entertains herself, and is just an all-around happy baby.

Amelia adores her older brothers and they are incredibly sweet to her - especially William. She loves to be in the thick of it and prefers playing with cars, dinosaurs, trucks, and blocks. The only traditionally gender stereotypical thing she loves are shoes. She likes to walk around with her shoes in hands and raises her foot in anticipation when you're ready to put her shoes on.

Amelia is a hugger and a kisser. She squeezes so tightly and loves a good cuddle. On the other hand, she growls at the boys and throws down when fighting for a toy. Never shy to jump into a wrestling pile, Amelia can totally hang with the boys.

She started walking right at her first birthday (which puts her right between the boys) and she adds new words each day. Her favorites are "mama," "dada," "stop,"' "william,"  and "howie." She chants "wiggle, wiggle, wiggle" and shakes her shoulders. She yells "me" when she see you eating something she wants and nods and shakes her head to answer questions.

Her favorite foods are bananas (seriously, she can't get enough), apple sauce, cheese, bagels with cream cheese, and strawberries. She's not very adventurous with food and spits out most new flavors, but when she likes something she really, really likes it.

Amelia is into everything. She wanders around the house looking for baskets, purses, boxes, and anything else that might have treasures for her to sort through. She is guaranteed to knock down any tower the boys have built or wipe out a delicately constructed race track. She has figured how to disassemble our tried and true baby proofing (we use lots of rubber bands) and scurries up the stairs before we even realize she has left the room.

I'm trying as hard as I can to savor my last baby firsts. However, I can't help but look forward to getting to know her better and watch the girl she will become. This baby is just so fun. We have had a blast this last year.

Our world is brighter because of Amelia. She wakes up with a smile and spends a minute hugging you before looking around in the direction of her brothers playing. Our favorite thing about Amelia is the line she is always walking between sweet, trouble, and tough. You can see it in her eyes... It's almost as if she is always in on the joke. This baby has excellent timing. She knows when she has an audience and she works it.

I see the way she already asserts her position in our family and I hope she holds onto her spunk and joy as she grows.


Our Wedding Dress: On Sharing a Dress With My BFF

One of the most important dresses a woman might wear is her wedding dress. I LOVED my dress. It was maybe the fifth one I tried on and then I refused to take it off. I knew right away that it was perfect for me. It was everything I didn't know that I wanted. But, at the end of the day it was a dress. I took it off, put it away, and then it sat in my mom's closet for months before being cleaned and stored. And there it sat in my basement.

Then when my BFF Brittany was engaged a few years later I started the process of helping her find a dress. We went to a store. She bought a dress. It wasn't special. So, we ordered some others and tried them on at my house. Still nothing special. So, then I offered to let her try on my dress. I pulled it out of its safe protection in storage and she put it on. And it was perfect. "Wear it," I told her. So, she did.

Some people were surprised when we shared the news that she was wearing my dress. Budget wasn't the reason. Ability to find a dress had nothing to do with it. I was shocked when someone told me they thought it was weird. I never even thought twice about it. It's hard to put my finger on, but it just felt right. I think it made both of us incredibly happy to know that it was something we would always share. There was meaning in sharing my dress. My gift to her was her something borrowed. And the gift we continue to give each other every day is one of the most honest, long-lasting, wonderful, understanding, exciting friendships in the world. We're lucky to have each other. It's that simple.

I think it's beautiful - just like the dress.

No one has ever entrusted impoverished Emmalee with anything important but she takes it upon herself to sew her mentor’s resting garment in The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. Join From Left to Write on October 19 as we discuss The Funeral Dress.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.