All Grown Up...

It seems like only yesterday that we brought Hope home from the hospital. 

I had waited so long to hold her in my arms.  Holding my sweet baby girl opened my eyes to a love I never knew existed.

Every time I looked at her tiny hands and fingers, I would envision her growing up: crawling, walking, going to school, learning to ride a bike, learning to drive.  Then I'd wish that she could stay a baby so I could hold her close to me forever. 

But she had other ideas.

As the days and weeks passed by, she observed the world around her.  She grew a little each day and started doing things on her own.

She lit up the room when she laughed for the first time when she was 3 months old.  

At 5 months she sat up all by herself.

And at 6 months she began to crawl.
Then she got her first teeth.  She wanted to bite into everything she saw.  Cookies were her favorite.

So it was no surprise that her first words were "ma-ma", "da-da", "no" and "cookie".

She took her first steps just days before her first birthday.

She loved Angelica from the Rugrats cartoons and Elmo.

Then she became a big sister.  I could see that she too had discovered a love like no other when she watched over her baby brother.

The older she got, the more curious she was about everything she saw, heard or touched.

Weeks before her 3rd birthday, she moved to a land far, far away, with Mommy and Daddy.  She learned a new language.  And embraced her new way of life.

Then came kindergarten.  She had a hard time separating herself from Mommy and Daddy, but ultimately loved the time she got to spend with her favorite Tia (aunt) and the new friends she made.
Once she was in elementary school, she learned even more, like reading and writing.  As the years passed, she became even more independent.

And now, all of a sudden she's in Junior High, almost as tall as I am and has even started to wear a little make-up.  My baby girl has grown into a lovely young lady.  I see a lot of Hubby and myself in her, but she is her own person.  I admire her strength and confidence. 

Today, my baby girl is a teenager.

Happy 13th Birthday, Hope.  I couldn't have asked for a better early Christmas present.  I love you.   



  1. Happy 13th to your beautiful girl! we don't have children but have been blessed to watch many of our friend's children grow up. xo HHL

  2. Happy 13th! Hope she has a great day :-)

  3. Happ 13th birthday Hope!!! Wow Leslie what joy you must feel. I see my children and imagine them growing up too. They sure do grow fast.

  4. Happy birthday, Hope. You already have the greatest gift: a loving and caring mother.

  5. so sweet! happy birthday Hope! you have a wonderful family! Enjoy your special day.

  6. Happy birthday, Hope. Wishing you a fabulous day!

    Leslie, I've survived 3 teenaged daughters. I'll hazard a guess that some days you'll want to call her "Hopeless". *grin*

  7. Leslie, what a beautiful post for your daughter, very nice. Happy Birthday Hope and many many more. Have a great 13th, you are now a teenager, you go girl! Leslie, by the mentioned "cookies" was one of her first words along with mama and dada, well don't let Hope see my cookies, she'll forget she ever knew the word. tee hee. Take care/have a great weekend.

  8. Aww...too cute!!! As the only girl in my family (4 younger brothers), my mom and I are still best friends to this day... I can tell you Hope is one lucky girl too amiga :)

  9. WOW - that was really beautiful. I am not a mother, but I totally connected to what you were writing.

    Visiting from LBS Tea Party. You have a new follower! You can visit me at Destination Unknown!

  10. Just discovered your blog via the Lady Bloggers and first of all, I have to say, I absolutely love the header of this page. The photo of the Christmas tree is so beatiful and to see that Christmas spirit is taking over the blogosphere is nice.
    Also a thumbs up for this awesome way of giving your congratulations to your daughter! There is so much love in your writing, so many emotions, it's magical!

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog:) Time flies so fast when we are parents. My baby just turned 18 and my oldest will be 21 in a couple of months.

  12. I've also come in from the LBS Tea Party and you can count yourself another follower too.

    Really lovely post, I look forward to reading more.

  13. What a lovely post! Happy Birthday to her!

    Stopping by from the Lady Blogger's Tea Party!



  14. she is beautiful Leslie! happy birthday to her! can you believe how fast it goes?

  15. Happy Birthday. I love the name Hope. They grow so fast don't they?

    Hopping over from Lady Bloggers:)