To My Leo (written on his first birthday).

You are one whole entire year old. I seriously can't believe you've grown so fast. People warned that with you being the second born (especially so close in age to your brother) that the time would fly. I didn't want to believe them but they were right. 

You add so much to our wolf pack, pooks. You are strong. I have a feeling that you're going to have quite a few people looking up to that strength one day. And though it's true, you can push almost any heavy object clear across the living room while mama is begging you not to, its more of what's on the inside that leaves me in awe some times. You don't give up. You laugh at the idea of not being able to get what you want and you've been that way since you were born. We watch you lock into things and the determination you have until you do whatever you set your mind to is inspirational for me, for sure. I hope that when you're older I can say that you've always tackled life the same way. 

You are so kind and mama just started tearing up a little bit just thinking about it. You laugh and there's not a single person who can stop smiling. You lean in and reach for people when they need it most. And while I'm sure some could argue that you're just a baby with needs of his own, I'm pretty certain you know how and when to lean into the needs of others. Mama for sure has had a rough day (or few) this past year and I can always count on you to snuggle up with me and hold me close. I pray that as you grow, you never forget to be there for others. The world needs someone exactly like you. 

You have won your brother's heart. And although his friend Duke is his "best friend" now (seriously, I think the three of you are becoming more like brothers), he would walk ten thousand miles to be by your side. He's fiercely protective and my hope is you will be the same way of him.

Though you love mommy, daddy, Dean, and all of your other family members, Pop Pop (my dad) is your man. And I don't blame you because I'm pretty obsessed with him too. He lives with us now and I'm sure more time that not since he's been here you have been in his arms. In fact, I just went in your room to take a picture of your last sleep as a baby and you weren't there. You're down with Pop Pop in his room, go figure! I'll take it tomorrow and we'll just pretend I took it last night, okay?

Did I mention how independent you are? This isn't mama's favorite thing as telling you 'no' all day can be exhausting but there's nothing like someone who can do for themselves and while your family will always have your back (forever) it is kind of cool to watch you set your own pace sometimes. 

Some fun facts: 

+ You still only have two teeth.

+ You talk a lot but haven't really got the words part down yet. You say dada but not consistently but you can say RAWR at all the right times (we've got a dinosaur obsessed big brother to thank for that).

+ You love to dance and if mama makes up a song (which I do allll the time), you are happy to dance along as if I just dropped the hit of the summer (which right now include Despacito, Wild Thoughts, Humble, and Something Like This).

+ You haven't met a food you didn't like yet but I would say your dad's spaghetti is your favorite.

+ You are the WORST sleeper. You have been sleeping through the night since about 2 months but on the off chance you wake up and need to sleep with us, you are horrible, haha! You move constantly and mama or daddy could wake up with a concussion from all the head butting and kicking in every direction.

+ You love going to church because their are about six women that take turns cuddling you. 

We really do love you Leo. You are better than anything we could have ever prayed for. Happy first year!