When Hazel was brand-new I dreaded the passing of time. I cried when she was 3 days old, realizing that I would never have a 3-day-old Hazel again (hormones, anyone?). The moment she was born everything changed. Life became more fragile. I wanted to stay in the moment I was in, basking in the blissful newborn-ness of this perfect little being. Now, a year later, I wish I could stop time again, and just be. This baby is turning into a little girl, a playful, talkative, cuddly, mischievous little girl. She is my life and my joy. Everything she does is magic. As she lays cuddled up next to me now, her feet that used to come to the bottom of my belly now stretch all the way down to my knees. Her little hand is closed around my shirt. She is fast asleep, and I know that my chances of sneaking away from her are slim. And that's okay. I will just lay here and bask in this one-year-old-ness. These chubby little arms, her rosy little cheeks, and her fuzzy hair. All of these things, they will not always be, and although I mourn the loss of each little moment with her, I am learning that it only gets better from here. Even when I cannot imagine how it could be better, this girl surprises me with a new word, a new discovery, a new achievement. With a hug, or a kiss, or a high five, or a pee pee in the potty. With a car ride where she spends her time turning the pages of a book, instead of screaming at the top of her lungs. How I catch her waving hello to strangers when I am not looking, even though she refuses to do it when I ask her to. When she wakes me in the morning by tapping on my shoulder. How she seems to just know how to do girly things, like how to brush her hair, or put on a necklace, talk on the phone, and carry a purse over her shoulder, things I haven't taught her. And her smile. How I love this little girl's smile, and how her laughter lights the whole world. At times I can't believe it has already been a year, and at other times I don't remember life without her. Happy Birthday little one!