You are two years old. I can't believe it. It seems impossible that another year has gone by even faster than the first one. A year ago, I was writing your birthday post and feeling bittersweet about the end of your babyhood. You were learning to walk, saying a few words, and sporting a whopping two teeth. I don't know how it happened without me noticing, but at some point during the last year, you became a toddler. This morning I told you happy birthday and you responded, "I so HAPPY!" Now you don't just walk, you run and dance. You speak in full sentences. You draw and pretend that your scribbles are words and pictures. You sing. Sometimes I can almost see the wheels in your head turning as you make a new discovery. It's so amazing to watch you soak up the world around you. You know your ABC's, can recognize some letters and numbers, and can count to 30, if you're in the mood.
Speaking of moods, you have a lot of them. And they change faster than the weather. You can throw a mean temper tantrum. But most of the time, you're sweet and loving and energetic. I can't tell you how many people have described you as "full of life." Your personality and spirit haven't changed over the last year, but they've crystalized somehow, and I feel like I know you so much better now. You love to play with baby dolls, put together puzzles, watch videos (mostly home videos of yourself, but also Shrek 2, Elmo, and Dora), read books, dance, play music, ride piggyback, and bounce on just about anything (couches, beds, yoga balls, trampolines, you name it).
You bring us more joy than I could ever express in words. I love that you understand so much of what's going on in the world, because it means that you can give more back to it. You are funny, intelligent, compassionate, and creative. I know I'm biased, but I believe you're going to make a difference in this world. Tonight you blew out your candles on your cupcake (with some help) and we told you to make a wish. As you grinned back at us, all I could think about were my wishes for you. I wish for you to be confident in who you are and content with your place in the world. I wish for you to feel challenged and fulfilled in whatever you choose to spend your time on. I wish for you to find true love, make the best choices, and get the most out of life. But above all, I wish for you to be safe, healthy, and happy, and for you to know how very much you are loved. Happy Birthday, sweet girl.