Dear Zoe – A Letter on Your First Birthday

Dear Zoe,

As I was getting things ready for your party yesterday morning, Daddy and I both turned and looked at you just walking by yourself in the living room. You paused to look at the TV and we both looked at each other and mumbled some comment about how it is so weird to see our tiny little human walking around looking like a toddler in our living room.

When I was pregnant, everyone kept telling me how fast time was going to go. I just politely smiled and laughed. But no, seriously, time flies. I remember laying on the operating table in the OR and hearing the doctor telling me to open my eyes so that I could meet my daughter. I remember fighting the cloudy haze I was in and opening my eyes and seeing you stare back at me. I whispered the words, Hello, Zoe. And my heart literally swelled and grew so much. I instantly felt this incredibly overwhelming love for you. I was so silly to worry when I was pregnant if we were going to bond right away. Of course we were, how could we not?

Those eyes of yours can move mountains and turn my day from horrible to amazing with one look from you. Your smile lights up my entire world. You have changed me in so many ways, all for the best. I am filled with such love, fear, wonder, pride. I know that I am not perfect. I appreciate that you are patient with me as I learn my new role as a mother. You have taught me so much. Patience, how to function on little to no sleep (haha!), to trust my gut instincts, to trust that you will show me what you need, and how much love I truly have to give. (Way more than I could have ever imagined.)

You went from this tiny little sweet smelling newborn who I cradled ever so delicately, to a smiley drooly happy baby who learned how to sit up. Then you started learning how to scoot around, which eventually lead to crawling. You were so proud that first time you pulled up to stand on your own. And now you are walking around the house pointing at everything with so much pride in your eyes. You are going to learn and grow so much this next year, and I am going to promise to do my best to be present and soak up every moment I can.

You have the most incredible snuggles, the best laugh I have ever heard. You have the sweetest little voice, and you might give a better side eye than me. Your personality shines through everything you do.

On your first birthday, my wish for you is that your smile is always so big, that it reaches your eyes. That you keep your sweet disposition and your hilarious sense of humor. That you remain curious and give yourself grace. That you still clap for yourself and keep your sense of pride in everything you do. And my main wish is that you know how truly loved you are. You are such an incredible little girl and I know you are meant to do great things.

I love you forever,


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  • Reply Kay December 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Such a sweet note for a sweet girl! Happy Birthday to her and wishing her many many more.

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says December 4, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    I love this! Erica is going to be 11(!) next week and I still love watching her clap for herself. I never want her to lose that feeling of pride in her accomplishments.

  • Reply Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders December 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    This is so sweet! I canโ€™t imagine how itโ€™s going to feel when the girls start walking for the first time! Itโ€™s so crazy to think that Zoe is already a year old and I totally remember that moment on the operating room as well! It was just instant love!

  • Reply Missy @MySh!ttyKitchen December 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    What a sweet tribute to beautiful little lady! Happy Birthday to Zoe!

  • Reply laura December 4, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Stop it, I’m over here bawling my eyes out! I can’t believe she’s a whole year old – she has so much left to show you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Jenna December 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Such a precious letter. Happy birthday, Zoe!

  • Reply Andrea @ Living On Cloud Nine December 4, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Bawling because as you know this is my oldest birthday….20! It goes by so very very fast and Zoe will treasure this letter! Happy Happy 1st birthday beautiful girl!

  • Reply Biana @ Blovedboston December 4, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    So beautiful Nadine! Happy first birthday to Zoe – wishing her lots of love, great health and happiness!!

  • Reply Bri @ My Life As December 4, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Happy birthday Zoe!

  • Reply Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue December 4, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    So sweet! Happy Birthday Zoe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply marie December 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Happy First Birthday Zoe!! What a sweet sweet post.

  • Reply Danielle December 4, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    This gives me all the feels. Soooo sweet. Happy 1st birthday sweet Zoe!

  • Reply Rebecca jo December 4, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Oh my word. My heart is just smiling.
    Happy birthday to your beautiful girl.

  • Reply Darby December 5, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Nadine, you need to trigger warning for a box of tissues on this one lol waaaaa growth is so bittersweet, and I just don’t think my fragile mama heart can take it! Happy birthday precious Zoe!

  • Reply Heather Carrier December 5, 2017 at 9:04 am

    This is so sweet and what a special memory for both you to have have this! Happy Birthday to a beautiful, happy little girl!!

  • Reply Audrey December 5, 2017 at 10:01 am

    This is so sweet <3 Happy Birthday, Zoe! (We should all remember to clap for ourselves!)

  • Reply Lindsay Latimer December 5, 2017 at 10:42 am

    And now I’m crying. This is so sweet. I cannot believe your girl is a year old! Time truly does fly. I hope she has a wonderful year full of firsts!

  • Reply Ali A December 5, 2017 at 11:23 am

    How sweet! Happy first birthday to your baby girl ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Heather December 5, 2017 at 11:32 am

    This is beautiful Nadine!! Time goes by so quickly and you are doing such a great job of soaking it all up ๐Ÿ™‚ XO

  • Reply Sierra December 5, 2017 at 11:55 am

    This is such a beautiful letter to her! Time does go by so quickly, but I think when we recognize that it does it puts things in a different perspective for us. I hope you all had the best day celebrating. Sierra~
    Beautifully Candid

  • Reply Carly December 5, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    This was so sweet, I definitely teared up a little bit reading it! That is such a sweet picture of you two, what a wonderful first year for Zoe!

  • Reply Amy @ Getz Girl on Fire December 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    This was just so lovely . . . she will cherish this when she’s older.

  • Reply Cara December 6, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Wow this seriously made me cry! So beautiful and such a sweet letter for Zoe to read one day. So glad you all were blessed with such a sweet girl and I’m sure she just adores both of you!

  • Reply StephTheBookworm December 9, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Aw, so darn sweet! I can’t believe she’s already one (and already walking!).

  • Reply Kaitlyn December 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Iโ€™ve loved getting to watch her grow this past year. Her sweet smiles make me smile. Happy belated birthday, Zoe!

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