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Julia Grace {18 months}

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I’m not going to say that the fact that my daughter is a year and a half now is blowing my mind, because I’m sure you’d expect me to say that, right? You’d expect to hear how the past 18 months flew by in the blink of an eye. That one minute I was cuddling my sweet, little baby, and the next minute I was corralling her from getting into anything and everything.

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You’d expect me to say that she’s learning and growing by leaps and bounds, testing her limits and discovering her personality and the world around her. You’d probably also want to hear all about the words she says and the things she signs, and how I genuinely think she’s one of the smartest toddlers in the entire world. (Not that I’m biased or anything.) Or one of my favorite parts of the day is when I tickle her, making her giggle until she develops hiccups and I have tears running down my face—laughter is such a phenomenal sound.

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While I’m at it, you’d also probably think I’d tell you about how beautiful she is. How her huge doe eyes stare at me in wonder and amazement, and how her hair, that’s unruly, and blond (!!), is just the most beautiful golden mane I’ve ever seen. Or how her little hands are still my favorite feature (next to her cheeks that I constantly kiss despite her telling me “uh-uh). You may expect me to tell you about how she sometimes gives me unprompted hugs and kisses, and how she fits perfectly in my lap (although my protruding belly is starting to get in the way) and sometimes fidgets with my fingers and leans her head back and just rests there for awhile. Or how I completely melt into a giant puddle every time she pats my belly, says “baby,” and then gives the baby (my belly) a kiss.

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But the one thing I’m almost certain you’d expect me to say is how my life is now completely, 100 percent changed by this sweet, feisty, completely loveable and adorable little girl, and how I will drop everything (almost willingly) when she comes over and takes my finger by her little hand, begging me to follow her somewhere. Eighteen months ago I became a Mama, and my Julia is definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done with my life. Deployments stink, but I’m soaking up time with my little girl as best I can, knowing this is one of the few times in our lives it’ll just be the two of us.

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Happy year and a half birthday, little one!

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