My open letter to Chloe on her birthday

Dear Chloe, 
 It doesn’t seem like a year since this picture was taken, but this is what you looked like after you had your first birthday cake.

You sure learned a lot in the last year but you taught me even more.
You love being as close as you can be to your big sister Claire.

You learned about books and love to read stories.

You went to your first July 4th parade.
You figured out how to balance a crown on your head, one of your very favorite things to do. 
You got  both of your cute chubby little legs stuck in your crib trying to climb out, so we had to cut your jammies to get you out.
You enjoyed lots of wagon rides.
You discovered flowers and how much fun they are to pick and put in your hair. 
You also discovered dirt and how much fun it is to play in. 
We took lots of walks along the cliff, saying hello to the ocean and everything in it.

One time, you even slept, but not after first putting on a tutu.

You taught me that sometimes, one just isn’t enough.

You played in the park and loved going down the slide.

When there weren’t flowers to pick, you found leaves to play with.
You cheered for Claire as she worked so hard.
You picked out your first pumpkin,

and ate your first pumpkin pie all by yourself.

You loved going to look at Christmas lights.

You spent a lot of time getting coffee and eating yummy treats when it was too cold to play outside.
You drove your first boat, electric at that!

You delivered hot apple dumplings, not really, you just played on this fun truck.

You played with Athena and learned how to be gentle around animals.

You fell in love with the fish at the aquarium.

Not even the cold could keep you from playing on the beach, fully accessorized with your purse and “crown”

You love sitting on Daddy’s shoulder, he really likes it too!

You take such good care of your baby, always taking her temperature and checking her pulse.

You discovered how much fun it is to flirt with the waves and get your pants a little wet. 

You played at music class, where you love to sing and dance and play the drums.
You went to the boardwalk and went on your first carousel and loved having the wind in your hair.

You colored and each time you did, my heart and my brain just about exploded with awe.

You love kelp, you like to play with it on the beach, make a necklace of it and bring it in the car.

When there was no beach, you loved to play on the stairs, a lesson everyone could learn.

You love french fries from In’N’Out and think that it is great that you get a hat when they are gone.
You had your first ice cream sandwich, we didn’t even have to teach you how to eat it.

You loved on Claire, over and over.
It was a miracle and snowed here, so you even got to see snow for the first time this year!
You taught me that yes it is in fact important to have sunglasses in every single color.

You learned about tide pools and all the little creatures in them.

You also learned about big creatures and how to respect them.
You played on the beach with Dad.
You are just a natural lover of nature and it shows.

Again, you had fun with Dad, he is a pretty fun guy to take to the boardwalk.
You had your first Jamba, again, I didn’t even have to show you what to do. 
You loved going on the swings.
After all that playing on the beach, you started to build fancier towers.

You taught me the joy of getting my feet wet, it really is fun!
You are the most graceful airplane that I have even seen flying on the sand.

You love your “camera” and to take pictures with it, I figure mental images count.

There isn’t a place that you play where you don’t try to stand on your head.

You really are so full of love, it is constantly spilling out of you.

You take care of all the princesses, getting them each a drink and something to eat, such a good friend you are!

For that matter, a really great sister too!
Your smile has brought so much joy to our family. Chloe it has been such a fun year. I have to say I am a little exhausted, but in a good, that was fun, let’s do it again sort of a way. I can’t wait for all of the fun that is in store for the next year. I know that a lot of people say it is the terrible 2’s. I know that it won’t always be easy, you have a lot of stuff to figure out, growing up and all that. But if at all possible, could you please make sure to mix it up and through a little good in, even on the hard days, that would sure really help, thanks. I love you, Mom

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