Dear Nate,

How is it even possible that you are one year old???  In my rational mind I realize that time marches on and tiny babies grow into little boys and eventually into independent adults.  But at the moment I find it difficult to comprehend some days how quickly the past year has flown by.  In so many ways you are obviously the same baby that I gave birth to but in other ways you have changed immeasurably, and although those are both very good (and natural!) things, it’s hard for a mama to cope with at times!

So what has made 12 months so special you ask?  Well, your 12th month has seen a lot of family change.  A lot!  We have completed our move to Cold Lake, Alberta, leaving behind your beautiful birthplace – Comox.  I think the change has been far more difficult for your Mommy and Daddy than it has been for you though.  You were a wonderful traveler during our six day road trip and you have adjusted to our new house without a hitch.  In fact I think you are rather enjoying all the extra play space that our new house has to offer you!

For our first 10 days in Cold Lake, your Grandma Campbell stayed with us, looking after you while Mommy and Daddy worked hard at unpacking and getting moved in.  She adored your time together and I think the feeling was mutual.  Some days I wasn’t sure how she managed to keep up with you for hours on end…but she seemed quite content crawling around on the floor and chasing you all over the house.  We were extremely lucky to have her around!

Of course, coming to Cold Lake meant saying goodbye to everyone in Comox.  Again, I’m pretty sure it was much harder on your Mommy than it was on you.  And perhaps it was most difficult for your Auntie Gill.  She misses you more than you can imagine right now and I can’t wait for her to visit over Thanksgiving so that she can see you again. In the meantime she asks about you constantly and harasses your Mommy for photos of you almost daily!

Perhaps the most exciting news of your 12th month is that you are truly and totally a “walker” now.  No more crawling for Nate!  It didn’t take you too long to go from stuttering steps to full out strutting your stuff.  In fact I think you are almost running these days!  You can crawl up  – and down! – the stairs.  You can get up onto the futon in your play room.  You love to stand and look out the front window and watch the silly robins eating the berries from the tree in our front yard.  You can’t get enough of rocking on your new rock’n’roll trike (a birthday present from Nana) and we constantly find you leafing through your book collection.  The Dog and Alphabet books are definitely two of your personal favourites.  You also seem to like the pictures in your very special book from Auntie Gill…even if you’re not quite patient enough to always listen to the words yet!

You are still a superstar eater.  In fact, I can hardly believe how much food you can pack into your tiny little body!  At every meal you are constantly signing for more and most of the time we can’t get the food on your plate fast enough!  And speaking of plates…you have graduated to eating from a plate, and holding onto your own fork or spoon (even if you’re not sure what to do with them yet!)

You are still napping twice a day and sleep like a rock at night.  I am thankful every day that you are such a wonderful sleeper and that you go to bed contentedly in your crib every night – waking most mornings with a smile on your face and ready to greet the day refreshed and full of renewed energy and enthusiasm.  Of course when it’s time to sleep, your stuffed Puppy is never far from your side.  He is an almost constant companion these days…so much so that I can barely steal him away to wash!

You still start and finish your days by nursing.  I wasn’t sure if we’d still be on the same page about nursing by this point, but everything seems to be going well.  It makes me so happy that despite the fact that I am going off to work everyday, we still get quality Mommy and Nate time at the beginning and end of every day.  There have been a couple times when I thought you might be done with nursing, but then you seem to go back it to it as strong as ever.  I’m not sure where we’ll go from here, but I know that as long as we do it together…we’ll both be fine.

When I think back over the past year I am overwhelmed with emotion, Nate.  My sweet little helpless baby has become an active toddler quickly learning to assert his independence.  You want to everything we do! I’m not totally sure how it happened.  Time has gone so quickly, and as much as I have attempted to document the milestones your first year, I feel like important moments have still managed to slip under my radar.

I think mostly, I want to thank you Nate for all that you have given me and taught me in the past 12 months.  I simply cannot imagine my life without you in it.  Everyday you fill my heart with joy and love and laughter.  I also know that your Daddy feels the same.  We both find it equally difficult to leave you every morning to go to work and are both ecstatic to come home to you at the end of every too-long day.

I hope that someday you will read back over these letters from me to you – perhaps when you’re ready to have children of your own – and know without a doubt how much I love you.  Know unequivocally how much I treasure our time together and how I live in awe of the fact that you came from me and have become such an amazing person.  In only 12 short months.  Imagine what the rest of a lifetime can bring.

I hope you read them and know I love you.  Pure. and. Simple.

With all my heart,