Dear Baby:

I've never been successful in keeping a journal on any kind of consistent basis.  I thought I might be more motivated during pregnancy, but the inspiration never struck.  Until, my love, I looked around at the room that you will soon occupy and felt the overwhelming desire to tell you all about how it came to be.  It certainly isn't about the material items (one of the many things I hope to teach you), it is about the love that is so apart of each and every corner and crevice. 

Your Dad spent countless hours transforming this room into something happily unrecognizable from what he started with.  He learned how to install hardwood flooring, quarter round trim and an unfortunate lesson about how all ceiling paint isn't exactly the same color.  Our home is 90 years old and this fact alone led to challenges at every turn.  But, because he is already the greatest father on earth, your Dad made sure every square inch of this time consuming renovation was perfect.  All of this while being away from home for 60+ hours a week; working to ensure we have all that we need.  Let me tell you little one, you and I have hit the jackpot.

Dad installed these floors and painted these walls.  Jodi, your dog, mostly slept and got in the way. 

You will sleep in the same crib that your older cousins slept in.  Dad and I will change your diapers atop the same changing table your Aunt Olivia used to change her babies.  Your tiny clothes are sitting in the same drawers that used to hold Jackson's and Lili's clothes.  They will seem like such big kids to you for a while, but I have no doubt you'll be best friends by the time you can manage a wobbly run while you try to keep up with their adventures.  I am overwhelmed with joy thinking about you running around with your cousins as you all grow and learn together.  Suzannah kisses and hugs my growing belly every chance she gets and Jackson might be as impatient as I am to meet you.  Although Lili and Brady are a bit too young to really understand what pregnancy and a new baby mean, I know they all love you so much already and will be some of your greatest friends and teachers.  

Even though I have no idea if I'll call you son or daughter, I am so thankful that you will be surrounded by strong, opinionated, creative and passionate women.  Your Aunts, your Oma & Grandma and your Mom-Mom are capable of teaching you so many things and I hope you take advantage of that.  If you do, you'll learn how to grow the best gardens, how to be an artist, an intellectual, a peace keeper and a cynic. You'll learn what compassion, patience and understanding mean and be able to balance the importance of service to others with the importance of service to yourself, if you pay close attention.  I have been shaped by these things, and hope I can guide you with this as a part of my foundation.  Just take a look at the many beautiful things decorating your room and I just know you will feel the love and passion that went into their careful crafting.  Creating something with your own two hands is just about as satisfying as it gets. 

I learned to sew during this pregnancy.  One of many things you'll encourage me to learn, I'm sure. 

A few of our favorite places, some words of advice and a little perspective on the great big world you live in.
Mom-Mom sprinkled fairy dust on that chair and made a perfect cover.  Something similar happened with the curtains. 

The men you will have the pleasure of learning from are equally fantastic.  Pop-Pop will spoil you the most - despite my fervent protest and insistence on boundaries - this is who he is and you'll love him for it.  I see how your Grandpa lights up around your cousins and know you'll bring him the same joy and light.  Your Uncles are both very funny men.  I hope you inherit or can learn a bit about what humor is from them.  The beautiful furniture your Aunt Olivia generously gave us, was twice moved and then assembled with the help of your Grandpa.  Your Uncle Brady and Pop-Pop hand crafted the beautiful wood radiator cover that will keep your curious little hands safe from getting burnt or stuck as you learn to explore your surroundings.  You are so loved.

Handmade love surrounds you.
I could continue infinitely about all of the people that love you and are (not so) patiently waiting to meet you.  From the car seats that will keep you safe on our adventures, to the clothes and blankets that will keep you warm and the toys you will play with as you grow - every single thing a gift from someone that loves us very much.  How lucky are we?

Pictures of your family.  Some of the best people you'll ever know.
Books, music and a bit of nature.  These are important things. 
I can't wait to snuggle you after each and every bath time. 
I hope to meet you really soon.  Until then, I'll try to enjoy the aches and pains and general weirdness going on in my body while you get yourself ready for the world.