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Then and now.

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The quintessential parent cliches, here they come: How did this year go by so fast?! Where did my tiny baby go?

Leia’s birthday is Sunday. Today we went to the beach in Coronado with Ryan Daley to document her (nearly) one year old life. Her curiosity with wet sand, needing to be close to mom and nurse for comfort, taking big steps in the grass and squealing with delight while pointing at seagulls. “Dat! Dat!” (translation: “what’s that?”) How amazing to see everything with fresh, excited eyes.

We walked through the Del to find a grassy spot for story time. I noticed couples having dinner on the patio – casually sipping wine. No rush to order their meals, much less eat them. I reminisced about the pre-baby days, a time when happy hour and a movie with the girls was a regular event. Like usual, the nostalgia was short lived. I see Leia look out at the world and feel her tiny hand grip the back of my arm as we move along. I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

Proud parents. Mike likes to point at Leia and say "I made that." Here's a photo to prove I helped.

A year ago tonight, Mike and I were were celebrating with the Grandmas-to-be with dinner at Old Town Mexican Cafe. The “last supper” if you will. Grandmas had margaritas (lots of them). Mike had Captain Morgan and Diet Coke. I had water – telling those frosty margaritas not to worry, we would be meeting soon. I was going to be induced the next morning, as early as 4 a.m. if a bed was available. Leia, who was still nameless at this time, had been cooking for 41 weeks and 4 days. As much as I wanted my body to go into labor naturally, I was also hot, swollen, and sick of being pregnant.

Look at that smile, I thought I had it all figured out. This first year went by so fast. But looking at that woman standing there makes it feel like a lifetime ago.

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