Today you turned two. Two. Has it really only been 2 years since you made us a family? It's hard to imagine a time without you.
This past year has been nothing short of amazing. You learned sign language. You learned to walk. Then you learned to talk. It's staggering to think about all of the advancements you've made in twelve short months. Now you run around in circles for no reason other than you can. Now you talk nonstop (we stopped counting at about 85 words a few months ago) and we understand most of what you say. (Really need to work on that pronunciation, kid.) Now you use your imagination and love to spend your day doing pretend play. Now you love Beauty and the Beast, just like your Aunt Kati. Now you love to chase and be chased. Now you use your little finger to tap my nose while you say, "I love you." Now you know when something is funny and you laugh until your cute little face turns red. Now you love books and love even more when I tell you stories before bed (usually you request 2 stories: one about piggies and another about a princess).
I think a lot now about the relationship I want to have with you, now and forever. As much as I wish I could just stop time and keep you my sweet little girl forever, the truth is I'm so excited to see the person you grow to be. Something tells me you're going to be someone awfully special.
I've never been more proud in my life than when I hear you call for me, "Mama!" I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that when we're in public and you call for me I feel like I'm about to burst with pride. "That's right everyone. I'M the lucky person that gets to be the mother of this child", I think to myself. It makes my day when someone tells me they think you look like me. Cause, Hayley? You are the most gorgeous person I know. Hands down.
You melt my heart on a daily basis with your sweetness. I love to watch you shake and shush your dolls, just like Daddy taught you. I love how loving and careful you are while holding your baby cousin. Your little hugs and kisses are just too much to take. I don't know how there can be so much sweetness in one little person.
Two years ago I met you, my heart, my daughter. I can't wait to see what year three has in store.
I love you, Hayley. Happy birthday.