Monday, July 28

My Favorite Part of the Day

Tonight I have some mushiness for you. I'm just feeling particularly thankful for my AMAZING little family. I just love being with them every single day. Dalin and I had a wonderful marriage before Tenley, but I honestly feel that it is even better and so much more joyful with that little girl in our lives.

Every day, I spend somewhere around 70-100% of the day with my almost one-year old (15 days until her birthday!). We usually play, read books, nap, eat snacks, sip milk (or better yet, Silk) out of sippy cups, and watch a Disney movie or listen to Disney music. Some days, I unfortunately have a lot of homework or housework and so the time I get to spend with Tenley is lessened significantly. I dislike the (comparative) neglect toward on those days, especially when Tenley becomes cranky as a result. But one thing I have found about her, like most small children, she always is so quick to forgive.

Here are a few (okay many, many) things I simply adore that girl for:

I love how every silly game we play is hilarious to her and, as far as she's concerned, the most fun thing she's ever done.
I love how easily she laughs at her mum and dad and how she tries to copy everything we do.
I love how half the time I am not even sure why she is laughing at me, but that makes her spontaneous laughter even funnier.
I love how she dances as intensely as she does as soon as any music comes on.
I love how she even dances when we chant "Ten's a cutie, Ten's a cutie..." or something similar over and over.
I love that she loves to eat everything we eat and how she nods or shakes her head when we ask her a question even if she doesn't understand it.
I love how in the mornings she stands at the edge of her bed waiting for me to come get her and how her face gets so relieved when I pick her up and give her a million kisses.
I love how she sleeps completely sprawled out on her belly and how, when I check on her during the night, she's always in a completely different position (but always a crazy one).
I love how she asks for "ma ma" when she's sad or crying even though that sad voice breaks my heart.
I love how when I tell her to go get dad, she yells, "Dad?" with perfect English and tone (and how she does this repeatedly until he responds:).
I love how she bounces back from getting hurt or being sad so quickly. I wish I had that same turnaround time.
I love how she does naughty things that mum is always telling her not to do and how she thinks I'm just being funny and does it anyway.
I love how she is so curious about everything and when she points at things as though she's asking us to explain them.
I love how she points to our pictures of Jesus when I ask her where He is.
I love how when we're in a place without a picture of Jesus and I ask her this, she starts to point upward then smiles at me realizing I was tricking her.
I love how she brushes her own teeth and how she fights me when I try to help her.
I love how after I change her diaper, she just lays on the floor for a few minutes until she's ready to get up.
I love how she is obsessed with books and likes to take them down one by one off the shelf and look at them on her own.
I love how she reacts to new foods--making a sour face the very first bite, then wanting more every single time.
I love how grown-up she thinks she is already. She isn't even a year quite yet, and I cannot even understand how it's possible that she has learned to do so much in that time. It feels like she has been with us forever.
I love how she takes a nap with daddy in the rocking chair almost every day.
I love how she squints her eyes and scrunches her nose at us on occasion even though I have no idea what it means or where she even learned that.
I love how she gives really good kisses almost immediately upon asking.
I love how she sits by me when I'm sick or sad like she can tell and doesn't leave my side.
I love her sad face and sad, sad lips even though it's so perfectly sad that I feel tears come every time she does it and have to laugh to prevent them from falling.
I love how when she's in another room and I call her name and I see her little shadow hobbling toward the doorway as she peeks around to see what I want.
I love how she wants to do everything I am doing, from reading to painting, to eating, to laying down--she always tries to be involved.
I love how as soon as I open a door where she isn't allowed to go (the bathroom, the front door), she comes running to get in (or out) as fast as she can.
I love how she has to give dad a kiss goodnight or she does not sleep as well (every single Monday when Dalin works grave she struggles staying asleep).
I love how at bedtime, she puts her head down on my shoulder while I sing a primary song and say a prayer with her to prepare her for bed.
I love how when I lay her down in bed after song and prayer, she immediately rolls on her belly and goes to sleep.
I love a lot of other things about that one tiny girl but I couldn't possibly name them all in a reasonable period of time. It's hard to believe that I will ever be able to feel the same kind of love for our other children someday. I don't see how my love could multiply any further but somehow it will. In the meantime, I am very grateful for Tenley ReNae Gunnell. She is one of the three best things in my life.

Every single day, her hundreds of smiles and giggles bring me more happiness than I ever thought I could understand before becoming a parent. But my absolute favorite part of the day is every time I look up and catch her little glances at me. These moments are so special and make my heart swell with love for this Christ-like little person. Sometimes I'm doing dishes or on my laptop and when I glance over at Tenley to check on her, she is always looking at me. Her blue eyes light up and she gives me a wide smile or makes a silly face at me. Her one-year old self is so full of joy and brightness that it makes me--and everyone around her--happy.
As a side note, I was speaking today with my cousin Whitney about how a person is supposed to be the average of the five people they spend the most time with. I was explaining to her that I literally am around Dalin and Tenley something like 90% of the time, and then a vast variety of other friends, acquaintances, or classmates the other 10%. As I was thinking about this, I realized I hope that I am the average of Dalin and Tenley. I couldn't pick two better people to be like. If I were to become the average of those two, I think I'd be in pretty good shape, what with Dalin being the most wonderful husband and best friend a person could wish for, and Tenley being the happiest person I know. (I would also be in good shape if this were true, considering that Tenley is still completely innocent and perfect in her young life.) I need to better follow both of their Christ-like examples of love, loyalty, faith, and joy. And patience. Especially patience. I'm so thankful for my family and I cannot wait for what the future has in store.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I absolutely love to hear from you & will reply if I can!