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12 Months Old

I promise that I'll get back on track with all of the London posts tomorrow.

But for right now, I'm still in birthday mode, so indulge me one more non-travel related post. (Though, while parenthood doesn't involve a ton of travel normally, I could definitely make the argument that it's an adventure no less daunting than setting out to a country where you've never been and where you don't speak the language.)

My baby turned one last week, and I still haven't come to terms with it. 

I won't lie to you and tell you that this past year was all roses and glitter. It wasn't. 

With a fairly traumatic birth story and NICU visit, Britton didn't quite make the entrance that we expected. 

Our house had flooded just a few weeks before Britton was born, so we brought her home to my parents' house. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so much help all of the time, but it still wasn't how I planned. 

There was 6 weeks of c-section recuperation and many, many more weeks of emotional and mental recuperation from the surgery and post-birth experience. 

Despite our best efforts, Britton and I struggled with breastfeeding, which led me on a six month adventure of 'round the clock pumping. Mentally, I think I would have been in a much better place for those first six months if I'd just decided to switch to formula, but I wanted something, anything to go as I originally planned. 

But in those dark, lonely, nervous moments, there was one shining light--my beautiful baby girl. From the beginning, she looked liked me except for her eyes. Those are all Landon. 

Now that our lives have gotten past the difficult stuff we encountered in our early days together, I wake up every morning excited to be with my little girl. 

I want to learn more about her personality, see how she interacts with the world, and grows into her own person. 

She's not my little baby anymore. Her hair is thicker and has grown past her ears. She knows several words and can point to many more objects when prompted. She drinks cow's milk and juice and water like they are going out of style. And she houses down anything we give her. 

In short, she's a joy to be around, and I feel so lucky that I get to be a small part of her world. I hope that I can protect her from whatever will hurt her, teach her about the good in people, and show her what making life worth living.