Wow! What a year! There is so much I would like to say, but we'll see how much I actually spew out onto this page.
First of all, I very much want you to know that even though I didn't blog throughout my pregnancy with you and that once you were born, I didn't do a monthly blog update like I did with your brother, you are still so very much loved. I love you more than I even knew was possible. I'm sorry that I didn't write meticulously each first, each second, each funny, each something that you did/achieved/attempted. It does not mean that we didn't care. In reality, it means we cared even more. We chose to be in those moments, each and every single one of them. We have those memories burned into our minds and I'm sure when your dad and I are old and gray and seemingly make no sense at all, we will still remember how you got your first tooth around 8 months old while Dad was home alone with you and your brother and how you tried calling me (at kickball) infinity times to tell me the big news - and how when you woke the next morning, tooth number two was all the through! We'll remember how you learned to walk when you should have been napping - in your crib where you knew you had a bouncy mattress to catch your falls and four sides to keep you safe. We'll remember how as soon as we determined mom's boobs could no longer keep up with your ferocious appetite that you took to milk in a bottle like it was ice cream, and your height and weight suggested it just might be ice cream! We'll remember the way in which you, from the moment you learned to smile, have smiled at us (and many others) as if smiling was your only job. Whenever you smile, you melt everyone around you's hearts. You are like "Elf" because smiling is truly your favorite.
You are so similar and yet so different from your brother. You love music - and dancing! You like playing with all sorts of instruments, particularly the drums, xylophone, recorder, bells, guitar...well, we actually haven't found an instrument (or noise maker) that you don't enjoy. You also love puzzles and trying to figure out how things work. One day you even got a toy wrench and went over to a broken stool, flipped it over, and attempted to fix it all by yourself. And let's be honest, this type of behavior is not something that is modeled for you all the time - your dad and I aren't Mr. and Mr. Fixit! You are a happy guy who spends much of the day smiling, babbling and laughing. And nobody really makes you laugh quite like your big brother, Dempsey (although dad gets you going pretty good too - check out the video below). That Dempsey sure does love you a whole awful lot. Even though he may show it in weird ways sometimes (little shoves, kicks, etc.). But, that's what brothers do and I'm sure that you will be returning those little gestures in no time at all. As you have grown, Dempsey has mistakenly called you his "big brother Hollen" a couple times, which we always get a good chuckle out of. You just might end up being bigger than him one day, but for now, please just stay little.
You don't have any real words besides maaaam and dada, but you are about to start speaking in full sentences any day. You attempt to say blueberries (your all time favorite food - EVER!) and banana and just about talk non-stop; we just don't know what you are saying just yet. But, it's coming soon, and we know that for sure. You are walking!! Seriously and legitimately walking. Pretty much as soon as you could crawl you crawled over to something to pull up on and started playing with your balance. You have been trying to catch up and keep up with you brother since day 1. And you aren't too far behind - you walk very funny with a wide stance, but you've moved beyond the zombie walk and can do u-turns and 360s and all sorts of very impressive stuff.
Hollen, to be totally honest, your dad and I weren't sure if we wanted to have two kids. We were still on the proverbial "fence" about it. But, little did we know, life had other plans for us. And those plans included YOU! We couldn't feel more happy and blessed to have you be the one who completed our family. Without you we truly weren't complete, and we didn't even know it. You are such a light in our lives and we couldn't imagine one day passing without you in it. You are an amazing little one year old and we cannot wait to see where you go in this great big world that is at your feet. You are going to do magnificent things, we just know it. We'll be behind you every step of the way. Now go on, and get going, cause today is your day! Happy Birthday!!
We love you more than the sea loves kissing the shore!
Mom and Dad