I think this milestone is hitting me harder than I imagined. It’s possible I’ll make you cry today, but tomorrow I’ll make you squeal and smile. Pinky swear. You’ll get the full details on her practically perfect Mary Poppins party.

Gianna, this letter is for you, baby.

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mary poppins, blog_126

Dear Sweet G,

You are one today. ONE. Dang, that 365 days flew by in a hurry.

When we shared with the world that we were expecting you, we got lots of raised eyebrows. It happens when you’re baby number six. It also happens when the baby before you was born premature and had a really, really rough go.

But you know what?

All those raised eyebrows people would be shaking their heads in shame because the joy and the healing that you’ve brought to this house is immeasurable. We had no idea when we prayed to God to heal our family, to take away our fear and to transplant it with faith and love that He would send us you.

That God, He’s smart. And generous.

You have so many nicknames – Sweet G, Geeger McGeegerson, Gigi, Geegers – and you smile at them all.

In the last two weeks you’ve started crawling. But in typical Whitaker fashion it is not a “traditional crawl.” It’s a bit of a pike, with a foot drag and a booty shake. It’s hilarious and we love it. The kids are finally starting to believe me about putting up the legos. Can you get them to put up their socks, too?

You sleep great at night, but the day times are dicey. I can’t say that sleep is your forte, but really it’s just so overrated.

All your siblings fight over holding you, playing with you and sitting next to you. They scatter like monkeys when I ask for assistance in diaper changing, though.

We tend to fall in the conservative camp when it comes to feeding. You just started a few table foods in the last week or two and you’re particularly taken with Babybel cheese and yogurt. Ah, another dairy lover. Be still my agricultural heart.

I think it’s because I’m still what you like to call “dinner,” but you and I are pretty tight. You’re not a big fan of me leaving for any period of time. I’m not sure how many more weeks or months I have left to nurse you, but I have cherished every single session. Thinking about giving that up brings me to tears so please don’t give up on me now.

Over this past year, I’ve been able to see motherhood in such a different light. I thought we had it all figured out with you. I mean, we’ve sleep trained babies before, we’ve transitioned them to cereal and encouraged them to find their new-found crawling freedom. But what I wasn’t expecting is how much you would change us, at our core. How much joy you would bring to our house. How much clarity in the things that matter. How much greater you would increase our faith.

To be 100% honest, I would go back and live your “birth” day in a heartbeat. Was that natural birth one of the hardest things I’ve ever done? You bet it was. But, girl, you sanctified me. Scott and I poured so much love into that delivery. It was life-changing.

You see, us moms of six *think* we have it figured out and then a new life comes along and surprises us. You remind me that I need to slow down a little, enjoy this season of parenthood more and put more faith in God’s plan for our life.

What one man once called our oops, I call our saving grace.

Gianna, for all my living days I will credit you with showing our family how to live. With joy, and faith and purpose – and not giving a damn what other people think. This is the good life and having you here with us is a tremendous blessing.

Happy birthday sweetheart. Let’s go take one by storm. I love you.

Mom

p.s. For good measure, let’s watch that birth video one more time, shall we? {tissue warning, you’ll need some}

19 Comments

  1. Kammi on May 6, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Its 08:59 in South Africa, I am at the office, and like an idiot, decided to watch the darn birth video! *sigh* Anyone have some mascara ?? Happy Birthday baby G, from a lady far far away who follows along via your moms awesome blog.
    Kammi

  2. ShelleyMM on May 6, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Happy birthday, precious girl!!

  3. Nicole on May 6, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Happy, happy birthday sweet girl! What a gift and miracle you are!

  4. Beth (A Mom's Life) on May 6, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Happy Birthday, Gianna! So glad you’ve found peace and healing and big heaps of love with your beautiful baby. God is good!

  5. Michelle F. on May 6, 2015 at 9:13 am

    We cannot have any more children, and I can honestly say that even after five (four with special needs), it is a sadness. This year will be our last preschool graduation. Sigh. Of course, we are grateful beyond belief to have the ones we do and confident that this is the path God chose for us and, therefore, the best one for us. I only share this little message to congratulate you on not letting the naysayers stop you. Keep soaking up all your kiddos in every moment….and thanks for being witness to the joy that can come from giving over your life in trust to the One who is love itself.

  6. Gina` on May 6, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Happy Birthday, G!

    Beautiful video! Tears and goose bumps beautiful! 🙂

  7. JoAnna Wahlund on May 6, 2015 at 11:20 am

    As a mama expecting #6, this post was balm for my soul. Thank you!

  8. Verdina on May 6, 2015 at 11:54 am

    What a beautiful post… and the video! God bless you all (or y’all)! Happy Birthday, Gigi! (and how did I not have this special day on my calendar? I’m fixing that right now!

  9. Julie on May 6, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! Happy birthday, sweet girl.

  10. […] I read Kathryn of Team Whitaker’s beautiful birthday tribute to her sweet baby girl, one-year-0ld Gianna, I knew I had to share it with you guys. Kathryn is the […]

  11. Nora on May 6, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Happy, happy birthday, Gianna! What a beautiful post for a beautiful little girl!

  12. Ana on May 6, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    So beautiful! She is so,precious, happy birthday sweet little one!

  13. Amanda on May 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Kathryn, she is such a little light! Anytime you share her beautiful face on IG, a smile immediately graces my face! Such a beautiful and sweet letter to her! And those photos! Amazing! Thank you for sharing your heart and gorgeous family! <3 and, happy birthday, sweet girl!

  14. Laura on May 6, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Simply beautiful! Happy Birthday!!

  15. Elise on May 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    So very beautiful, Kathryn. I love the way God is glorified in this. Happy birthday to your sweet Gianna!

  16. Julie G on May 6, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Happy birthday sweet Gianna! Kathryn, I love what you said about how the natural delivery was sanctifying. In fact, it was right around the end of your pregnancy with Gianna that I began reading your blog and I recall how your part of the birth plan was to offer prayer intentions throughout the labor. I was 7 months pregnant at that time and it inspired me to do the same. I can not tell you how grateful I am that you shared that with your readers, I am not sure it would have ever occurred to me to do the same. The opportunity to offer up my entire labor and delivery as a prayer was an amazing gift and I will do it all over again should God bless us with more pregnancies. Thank you so much for your inspiration!

  17. Nikki on May 7, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Happy birthday Gianna. This is such a beautiful post

  18. […] was at Mama Needs Coffee and she shared this post by Kathryn at Team Whitaker and I just thought it was so beautiful that I am sharing it too! I’ve been reflecting a lot […]

  19. […] A few days ago I took this photo of you and your older brother. Even though it’s a little out of focus and both of you are smiling at Dad, who was standing just above me, something about it gets me. Every time. I guess because y’all are the two kids nobody thought would make it. Your brother fought like a mad man in the NICU and you, well, let’s just say people don’t bring over cake and balloons when you announce the arrival of your sixth baby. […]

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