happy birthday to my beautiful girl!

I've thought about this post quite a bit over the last several days, and I STILL can't figure out what to say. One year ago today I saw your face for the first time, felt the weight of your little body in my arms, gazed your hand wrapped around my finger as if you knew exactly who to hold on to, marveled at your thick, abundant jet black hair, reveled in your tiny cry, and swooned with the first glimpse of your sparking black eyes. I was smitten. Totally committed to you. In love. Every day since then I wake up with gratitude for you. You love so unconditionally. Your passion for life and your curiosity teach me to never stop exploring the world and trying new things. You are driven. You were driven to lift your head up, driven to roll over, driven to crawl, driven to walk. You failed at each of these the first time you tried, but you never gave up. Now it's impossible to tell that you ever struggled with any of those things. You beam with pride at each accomplishment. I hope you never lose your drive to GO FOR IT. Look at what you've already accomplished in your short life.

I look at you and I understand why God tells us to be like little children. Your love is undeniable. You are humble and teachable. You forgive as easily as you breathe. Family is the most important thing to you. Never forget the things you were born knowing.

I never really explained to you the meaning of your name yet. Nōweokeaolaʻi means "Bright is the tranquil Dawn." It encourages you to have peace and tranquility in your life. When you are at peace with others, with God and with yourself, you will be a bright light in this world, just like the brilliant sunrise of a calm, cloudless morning. You already are a light to your father and I, and so many others you've come in contact with.

Your Dad and I spent a lot of time worrying about when to have children, when the time was right, etc., etc. But we look at you and all the uncertainty about parenthood is washed away in your smile. If I had known how much I would learn, how much I would grow, how my ability to love and nurture would increase, I would've had you sooner.

We love and celebrate you every day, but on this, your birthday we take a special pause to sit back and marvel at the miracle you are. We love you Honeybee. Always remember.

All My Love,