Tuesday, February 24, 2009

1 year

My dearest Nathan,

We have a morning ritual, you and I. As soon as I turn on some music to help us get started in our day, you instantly stop what you are doing, toddle your way into my arms and stretch your hand out to meet mine in the air. Then we dance. You throw your head back and instantly erupt in laughter as I spin you around until I'm too dizzy to go further. We rock back and forth to the beat, and each day I thank God for that moment with you. After a while, you toddle back to whatever you were doing previously, and I go see about the morning chores...already looking forward to the next morning when I will see you waddle around the corner with a smile on your face after hearing the music play.

My son, my Nafey boy...one year ago today, I woke to contractions and knew that you would be here soon. The feelings of that day were of excitement, joy, and trepidation...a cacophony of emotions that has not left us since. You were the most beautiful newborn I'd ever seen (don't tell your sisters). It was such an incredible moment to meet our baby boy...a moment I will always remember.

What a year this has been, Nathan. Honestly, I have had a difficult time finding the words to write to you here...I wish my tears could be the words at this moment. Thinking back on events over the past year has thrown me into many of the same emotions we have felt during these very difficult 12 months. There was a stretch of time this past year that we wondered if you would still be with us on your first birthday, and it hurts so much to remember that. The feelings of worry, fear, and dread come rushing to me again...until I think of how God has held us through every trial we have faced with you through this year...and the feeling of peace comes sweeping in to the rescue. My dear son, God has had you wrapped in his loving arms from the time you were conceived.

Your first name means "Gift of God" or "Given by God". You are truly an incredible gift to us from our Heavenly Father by the mere presence of you in our family, but that is not the only way you are a "gift" to us. Your life and the daily struggles you are facing have brought us to our knees often, as we fervently pour our hearts to God asking for guidance and wisdom, or praising and thanking him for blessings. Through your life, God has given us the gift of a closer relationship with Him. Through your life, we have been blessed with the gift of aching and longing for our heavenly home...a place where we will no longer have the daily trials and struggles we face here on earth. Through your life, God has given us and others so many special gifts. My son, you are truly a gift from God, and I couldn't be any happier to be your mother.

Your middle name, Andrew, means "Warrior". Oh my little man, you are indeed a warrior...a fighter against the struggles you face from day to day. You fall and instantly get back up. You get tired, but instead of giving up, you get mad that you can't make your body do the things you want to do. God has given you more determination than I have ever seen in someone so young. It's in your eyes...the desire to do it all. You are a warrior, my son.

You are also the sweetest little boy alive with a smile that can make a statue smile back. That smile, along with your winsome personality has gotten you a long way this past year. You make instant friends wherever you go, and I pray that you continue to have this intense sweetness about you as you grow older.

You will always be my baby boy, no matter how old you are. But for today, you are my big 1 year old. Happy first birthday, Nathan Andrew. You have brought such joy into our lives.


StephthefutrRxDr on February 24, 2009 at 7:28 AM said...

Happy Birthday Sweet little man! Wonderful montage, I needed that this morning to remind me what is really important in life.

Anonymous said...

Awww...you made an old man cry, Amber! Happy Birthday, little buddy! How thankful we are that God has blessed us to see a day that we once feared would not arrive! We love you Nathan and are so thankful for the joy you've brought into many, many lives. Thanks, Amber, for employing your talents and sharing your heart in such a productive way.

mollie on February 24, 2009 at 8:53 AM said...

Happy Birthday little man!

AmyG on February 24, 2009 at 8:56 AM said...

Beautiful post, Amber! Loved the video.

Happy Birthday, Nathan!!!

Anonymous said...

You made me cray (again) Amber. He is the most precious little boy. You are right - he was a beautiful newborn!

Anonymous said...

You made me cray (again) Amber. He is the most precious little boy. You are right - he was a beautiful newborn!

Shanna on February 24, 2009 at 10:06 AM said...

Ahh... my good cry for the day. Happy birthday Nathan!!! Such a beautiful montage. He is so downright cute, I can't hardly stand it!

Rodney Chandler on February 24, 2009 at 12:39 PM said...

"My dear son, God has had you wrapped in his loving arms from the time you were conceived." And Mom. And Dad. Thanks for sharing, Amber. Happy Birthday Nate!

Jennifer on February 24, 2009 at 4:00 PM said...

Such a beautiful video for a precious little boy. Happy Birthday Nathan! Thanks for sharing with us Amber!

Michelle on February 24, 2009 at 5:02 PM said...

I can't believe our babies are a year old now! Happy 1st birthday Nathan!

Ours on February 24, 2009 at 5:42 PM said...


Wanda on February 24, 2009 at 7:21 PM said...

What a long night it was a year ago waiting for your dad to call and let your sisters and I know that you had arrived! When he did call, I found that I couldn't ask any questions, maybe I was afraid to ask. Instead, I thanked God that you were here and that He had given you the best parents a little boy could ever have. Everyone who knows them, some who have never met them but have read about that precious little boy named "Nathan" have seen them glorify their God during this last year! They have been a walking testimony!
Nathan, what a better birthday present than to have the parents that God has given you!
I love you,

skye on February 24, 2009 at 9:29 PM said...

Look at him grow! That was a beautiful montage from the past year. He is such a handsome little man.
Happy, happy birthday Nathan.

Jenny said...

Oh Amber! Sweet letter to Nate and I loved the montage! You made me cry! Hoping you guys celebrated like crazy!

Ceridwen on February 25, 2009 at 12:20 PM said...

My girls just came to me and asked to see "baby Nathan dance to that toy music and then the gator song and then we need to see them put the popsicle stick in his booty."
Your family has made an impression. :)

Anonymous said...

Nathan, I know you had a happy birthday; what other kind could you have had with the family you have? I loved your birthday video; I had a good laugh when you ate some solid food and gave the cutest "frown" at the taste. I've followed this blog from the first day I found the site and have cried, prayed, and rejoiced many times also.
I look forward to watching your 2nd birthday video.
Much love to you and your family,
Aunt Geraldine

Merrie on February 26, 2009 at 10:50 PM said...

I found your blog when Nathan was 2 months old, and I've been following you ever since. It is a blessing to know your family, even through a blog, and every minute of that video was precious. Happy Birthday Nate!

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