Photo Credit: James Fry Photography 

Photo Credit: James Fry Photography 

Our daughter, Natalie Elyse Kladder, was born happy. 

It's true what they say: the whole labor and delivery experience is a blur. But if I could remember more details, I bet our daughter came out smiling. Looking back on the last year, I'm just as fuzzy on the details as the day she was born, but something that after an entire year that is crystal clear: we love being parents. 

My nickname for Natalie (other than our usual 'Nat' or 'Natty') has quite affectionately become 'Ham.' Sure, it's not 'honey' or 'sweetie'... but it suits her. She's turned into quite the goof-ball who not only makes us laugh, but she make herself crack up even more. Who does that?!

She has 4 teeth and I'm excited for the day when her top two teeth actually show when she cracks her smile. I'm 90% sure there's going to be a gap, just like her Momma back in the day. I'll dig up photo proof for you at some point for comparison. But not today. This post is about Natalie. 

Here are some things about her that we know so far: She...

  • ... loves being outdoors. 
  • ... can give high fives, claps, and blow kisses.
  • ... has 4 teeth but is still working on growing hair.
  • ... has been a great sleeper from the start. God bless her.
  • ... loves to eat. Especially blueberries and grapes. 
  • ... says 'mama' and 'dada' and just this week she's starting to get 'hi.' 
  • ... crawls like a champ, but no walking yet. We expect that'll happen soon. 
  • ... hates getting dressed. 
  • ... isn't into snuggling very much. 

Watching Natalie grow this first year has been incredible. While there have been a lot of firsts for her, there have also been a lot of firsts for us as parents. Having a daughter has super-sized our hearts and love for not only her, but for one another too. There's something very special about the love that you share with your partner, but it's a very special kind of love that a parent develops for their baby and it's a love that as parents you get to share together. Watching Jeff become a Dad has made me love him even more than the days before. 

Last weekend we celebrated Natalie with friends and family all weekend long. She ate cake, opened presents that she's not even remotely interested in yet, and giggled her way into her 1-year-old pants. Our love for Natalie is 'superhero' and we are extremely proud to be her parents. 

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