Ella Clementine

France

France

Jeffery, Ella, my parents, and I traveled to France for two weeks to watch the Women’s World Cup finals in Lyon. It started with jetlag, and a level of exhaustion I had forgotten existed. And also a heat wave and accommodations so awful that we hightailed it out of there, foregoing a refund. Our first stop was Brison-Saint-Innocent, a small village outside Aix-les-Bains on Lac du Bourget.

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mothers

mothers

This morning, while you nursed, I taught you about butterfly kisses—you're currently obsessed with "pitter patters" (caterpillars) and our garden is full of butterflies. I'm so grateful that you made me a mom. Watching you grow is magic. ✨

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eighteen

eighteen

A week ago we celebrated your half birthday and you night weaned yourself. You are stringing words together (coconut water, watering can, Ella’s turn) and loved to be quizzed. You devour books, know all the neighborhood animals by name, dance to every song and jingle you hear (yesterday you got jiggy to the kars4kids song on the radio and clapped along to Johnny Cash in the car), and ask me to “share” when I have something you want.

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fifteen

fifteen

I love this age. I love the person you are and I never get tired of spending time with you. You laugh randomly and often and it's contagious. You started waving and saying "hi" to everyone you see, spreading joy wherever you go. You happily flip through books or play dress up most of your waking hours. You love kitties and Christmas trees. You look for airplanes when you hear them, even when we're inside. You are our water baby—we cannot take you near a body of water without you wanting to get in. You blow bubbles in the ocean and the bath. You love the beach and can play in the sand for hours. 

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eleven

eleven

One small tragedy of this first year is that I'm too exhausted to be the mom I want to be most of the time. I think back to my nanny years when I showed up to work rested and refreshed, cared for my charges with patience and grace, and then went home to the kitties and my limitless free time and hours of uninterrupted sleep. And I wish I could be that girl, or at least have her energy. But that girl had a hole in her heart and my heart is filled to the brim.

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marina's visit

marina's visit

I want to remember this time, when you were almost walking. When your absolute favorite thing to do was help daddy water the apple trees. When your great grandma and I took you to lunch at the Lao restaurant and you made us laugh the entire time. When you ate everything we offered you like a little bird. When you started dancing every time music played. When you explored the contents of my purse for over an hour. When you brought our family unmeasurable joy.

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