My baby is one year old today.

I almost never get a picture of her with a closed-mouth smile

It’s so stange, looking back at her birth story and realizing that I still know it as if it happened yesterday. All day today, I’ve been looking at the clock and remembering exactly what was happening at this moment last year. Every detail is still completely fresh in my mind.

And yet, here we are, a whole year later. She’s no longer the mythical baby that I daydreamed about when I was pregnant, and she’s not the tiny, wrinkly, pink, alien-seeming creature that she was when she was first born. She’s this little human with her own personality. She’s just Cate.

I know a lot of people (mostly mothers, although I’m sure some dads too) get sad when their kids grow up, because they want to hold on to this particular age or phase for as long as possible. And I get that. If I go through the boxes of baby clothes that Cate has outgrown, it makes me a little wistful, because I remember how adorable she was when she was all teeny-tiny and new. And I hope that someday we’ll have another baby who can wear those clothes, so I don’t have to say good-bye to them forever.

But I have to admit, I am loving this phase so much more than when she was a newborn. Probably a couple of major reasons for that: (a) I’m not a hormonal mess anymore, and (b) I’m getting pretty consistent amounts of sleep these days. But really, she’s just so much fun right now. She has this amazing little laugh, and hearing it makes me feel like my heart could explode from the love.

So hey, she can outgrow all the adorable teeny-tiny outfits that she wants. I just can’t wait to see what happens next.

(Thanks to Amalah, since I got the idea for the video montage from the videos she’s made for Noah’s first and second birthdays. Which if you haven’t seen, you should, because they are awesome and will make you cry.)

I’ll write more tomorrow after Cate’s 12-month well-baby checkup. For now, I just want to say: happy first birthday, Catie-Girl. We sure do love you.

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