Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Beautiful Baby (Month Eight)

My beautiful 8-month-old smiling at Nana

Mercy,

You are a beautiful baby. It's a biased opinion that I have no shame admitting. Others often comment on your beautiful eyes. They are large, expressive and a steely shade of blue. Not to mention the long lashes you inherited from your dad. I admit I've taken dozens of photos of your lashes while you sleep. I'm not alone in my opinion. Strangers often gush over you, too. And, the flirt that you are, you smile and promptly — bashfully — burry your face into my shoulder.


But, as our dear friend Dee Bigfoot said, good looks are "just the bling." It is undoubtedly fun to be physically beautiful, but child, don't you ever let it define who you are on the inside. True beauty is derived from gratitude, faith, integrity, virtue, good works, knowledge, devotion to the gospel and finding true joy in the journey. True beauty is being a "light of the world" and letting "your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

Your great-great-grandma Kora Helquist has been recorded reminding her children to "remember who you are." I can still hear my own mother urgently reminding me the same thing. And I have no doubt you will hear that phrase pass from my lips more then once. It is easy to get caught up by defining ourselves by the world's standards — by beauty, by accomplishments, by status, by relationships. Those things can be good, but the best way to define ourselves is by our divine identities as daughters of God. If you remember who you are, you will not stray from the values that make you beautiful from the inside out. 

To me, you are most beautiful because you are joyful, peaceful, tenacious, curious and loving. Always remember who you are, baby girl: You are beautiful because you are divine. I love you.

Always,
Mama

Friday, March 13, 2015

Knowledge (Month Seven)

My happy, curious 7-month-old

Mercedes,

Forgive the cliche, but this month you've decided the world is your oyster. You started the month trying to master sitting up. Wobbly sitting soon led to rocking on your knees. Next, you unexpectedly started backing up. A few weeks later you started to inch forward in what is the hallmark "crawl." Nana would endearingly say you're a "perfectly normal baby." We love perfectly normal babies around here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Worth the Sacrifice (Month Six)


Six-month-old Mercedes

Mercedes,

There is a poem I stumbled upon some time in the past, credited to an Anne Campbell, that explains well what it's like to be a mother:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Finding a Will (Month Five)

Why must she look so big?!

Mercedes,

When we met I fell for you instantly. A mother's love is the true definition of love at first sight. And though my heart expanded for you and because of you, that day is the day I loved you least. With each passing day we discover each other. When your tiny hands grasp at my face, tracing my cheeks and pulling at my lips, I know your letting me know you love me too.

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