WOOOOHOOOOOOO! WE DID IT! We kept him alive for a whole year! He isn’t permanently damaged in any apparent way! He smiles and laughs and eats and sleeps! It’s a miracle!!!!!

Sweet boy – you’re the best. This year has changed me in the best and complete way. I am simply not the person that I was before you entered the world barely into the morning of August 4, 2011 at 12:14 am. This year has been the sweetest discovery of one of the dearest people I think God has ever created, learning to live with never sleeping in again, staring at your unbelievable face, and the embrace of our new perma-state of transition because no season lasts more than just a bit. I wouldn’t trade this year, you, the highs or the lows for anything in the world William Justice Spencer.

A few stats:

At your one year old appointment you weighed in at 20 pounds even (just at the 25%) and measured 29 3/4″ (the 50%).

You took your first wobbly step on July 25 unknowingly. Two weeks later, on your actual birthday, you took your first series of steps when Daddy was entertaining you by blowing up balloons for your first birthday party.

You spoke your first word (mama) to me on August 1 a few days before your birthday. I was holding you on my chest by the crib before laying you down for a nap. You were cuddling (a rarity for you, my little mover and shaker), and looked up at me and softly said “Mama.” Like you just wanted me to know you could say it. 🙂 Now it’s mostly said in times of dire need only!

You said your second word (dada) just a few weeks later while Daddy was getting ready for work. Talk about a happy man!

You have eight teeth even though I could have sworn you were cutting numbers nine and ten two different times! Alas, no cigar.

You take two naps/day – a 1.5 hr nap in the morning and a 1.5 hr nap in the afternoon – and you sleep 11-12 hrs/night. No complaints here my little man!

Not really a stat – but Mimi and I have discovered the pure magic of offering you a dum dum sucker. It’s the perfect size for you and it has gotten us through one year old shots, one year old blood work and the first haircut where stillness generally helped the success of the outcome.

A friend recently asked me what your favorite toy was because by one year old – both of her babes had distinctly favorite toys. I had to think about it for a second but there is no other answer than balls. Oh son. You haven’t met a ball you don’t love and balloons from your birthday party still live in this house 2.5 weeks post party. To you, balls and balloons fall into the same category and you’ve actually developed your third word because of it. Everytime you see a ball/balloon it’s a ‘bmm bmm.’ So it’s not a real word – but it’s a consistent word for you! Balls challenge you and you love to roll them, toss them, bat at them, carry them – anything. Your coordination really impresses me!

Your current love is loading and unloading anything – laundry hampers, the silverware in the dishwasher, a box of balloons, your trash can in your room (yikes!), etc.

You also have really started enjoying books! Granted – your attention span in approximately two pages of each book lol! Favorite books are The Very Hungry Cattepillar, The Usborne touch and feel Trucks book, Sesame Street Bubbles book, touch and feel Baby Jesus is Born, and the audio-recorded version of Grandpa and Grandma Spencer reading Good Night Moon.

About a week and a half after you took that first series of steps – you didn’t look back and have been a walking machine ever since. You get such a proud look on your face when you are toddling everywhere on your own! Often I am able to hold your hand and guide you somewhere but you are starting to ‘politely’ refuse the hand hold – certain you can do it yourself.

I think it’s pretty clear that I am crazy about you little boy. God outdid Himself with you. I know that I haven’t been perfect and that you’re not perfect. I am so thankful that God is everything that we need though. When I was pregnant with you God started really teaching me to trust him to be the God that ‘will provide all of your needs – according to His riches and glory.’ Your life has given me the chance to lean on Him more than ever before. He’s got the smarts when it comes to parenting you and I’m just trying to listen!

Liam – you are loved and you are wanted. You are a priceless part of our family and God chose you to live at this exact time in history so that you could play your specific part in life. You are strong. You are joyful. You are relational. You are sweet. You are funny!

Yes – this is my over the top love letter to you! But, you know, everyone needs to know that his mama is cuckoo crazy about him every once in a while. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader until God brings you a special woman to carry that banner throughout your married life. I pray for her and I pray for you. You are special little one and your destiny is special too.

Psalm 1:3 is the Scripture we pray over you:
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Let it be for Liam!

So thankful for you. So thankful we’ve made it through year one and that we’ve all lived to tell of it! I know that the next twelve months will be anything but boring!

Love doesn’t even begin to be a big enough word for how we feel about you Mr. Spencer.