07 November 2013

Dearest Hallie

Dearest Hallie,

Today you turned two.  I can hardly believe it.  I remember holding you in my arms, just seconds old, and thinking you were the most beautiful person I'd ever laid eyes on.

And you were.  And I still think that.

But not because of how you look or how you act, even though both are beautiful.  No, your true beauty lies in whose you are, not who you are (and especially not what you look like).

You are mine.  Mine and your Dad's and God's.  And as long as you're ours, you will be beautiful, no matter what anyone else says.

I remember realizing I was pregnant with you.  I fell in love with you before I even met you.  I knew you were a little girl, but the moment we found out for sure, my heart burst with joy.  God had answered my prayers and given me the desire of my heart.  More than anything else in the world, I wanted a daughter.  (I hold on to that memory on your difficult days because, let's face it, they're called the Terrible Twos for a reason, and you entered that stage a few months early.)

I love you, Hallie Ruth.

I love the way your eyes light up when you get excited… and when you're doing something you know you shouldn't be doing.  I love how you make faces at yourself in the mirror.  I love how the simple things delight you, how you would be happy to swing at the park for hours if I had the strength and patience to push you (I'm sorry that I don't).  I love having tea parties with you, playing with you, talking with you, singing with you.

I love that you love shoes and pigtails and bracelets and lipstick and sunglasses.  I love that you love princesses and babies and stuffed animals.  I love your obsession with your (stuffed) puppies, Cuddles and Twinkle.  I love how you talk to them, like you expect them to respond.  ("Cuh-yules, where aaaaare you?")  I love the way you sing "Bob Tomato" at the top of your lungs, getting almost every word, and then laugh when-- "Look, Cucumber fall down!"

I love the way you talk, how you finish nearly every phrase with an exclamation point.  I love your little voice when I get you up from sleeping:  "G'morning, Mommy!  I'n awake!"  I love your "tank-yew"s and your "yew wekkom"s.  I love how you say "Sah-weh-yah" (Cinderella) and "Bay-elle" (Belle) and "See Booty" (Sleeping Beauty).  I love that you call things "cute" and "pitty" and "fee-ful."

Today, I want to make you a few promises.

I will always love you; nothing you ever, ever do will change the way I feel about you.  I will always encourage you to be the best person you can be.  I will always choose to be your mother over being your friend.  I will always help you weather the storms of life, not shielding you, but beside you.  I will always be there for you--until death prevents me--to talk, to listen, to share life.

I will push you to try new things.  I will encourage you to read, dance, make music and art, write, and sing.  I will aid you in discovering what you're good at, what you love, and then assist you in becoming better.  I will let you learn from your mistakes as much as I can.  I will help you become independent.  I will teach you about being a woman and a wife and a mother and making a house a home.  I will show you how to cook and clean and manage a house (although I may send you to Nana's to learn from her!).

I will help you set high standards for friendships, for boys, and for yourself.  I will assist you in finding God's purpose for your life and then achieving it.  I will teach you that honoring God with your life is the most important thing you can ever do.  I will show you what it means to trust Him with everything.  I will help you understand that both blessings and trials are a part of life and that the tough times will make you stronger.  I will instruct you about true beauty and who you really are.

I will never value your physical self more than your spiritual or emotional self.  I will never insist on you becoming something that you are not.  I will never pressure you to look a certain way.  I will never compare you to anyone else.  I will never shelter you from the consequences of your choices, because that's how we learn, but I will always offer help if you ask for it.  I will never judge you or condemn you, no matter what.

I will always be your biggest fan, your cheerleader, your protector, your comforter, your mother.

And I will always keep my promises to you.

Happy birthday.

Your Mama

Swinging at 9 months
First birthday
Swinging at 12 months

Swinging at 23 months


  1. So many tears. Endless tears!

    I aspire to be a mother just like you -- and to place value in all the important things, just as you've written them out for Hallie-girl. I cannot WAIT for her to read this one day! She will be so thankful and will have so much respect for you as you live your life as a mom according to the promises you've made her. She is SO BLESSED to be your daughter! I know she will become such an extraordinary woman because of the parents God gave her. I love you and her! Wish I could cuddle her close and sing to her and talk with her in her own language. She makes me heart SOAR with happiness that I am an AUNT to a beautiful, wonderful, sweet, spicy GIRL! My love for her cannot match yours -- but it's so close!

    Happiest 2nd birthday, HALLIE LOU! You are growing and make us so proud! I pray for you and for the plan God has for you...it is going to shock and amaze us in great ways!

  2. Taylor,

    These beautiful remembrances, promises, and photos brought me to tears! Your daughter is an absolute joy... even while living 25 hours away (it's not fair that we live that far away by the way). Tay, you are such an amazing mama. One of my favorite things about your children is the chance to see you through them. Hallie resembles you in nearly every way. Except, of course, in the ways that she resembles me ;). Love you two so much! FaceTime will never be enough!

    Auntie Whitty

  3. Well said, Taylor! Thoughtful, truthful and beautiful!