012a026d59ec8e9cde83fdd6a9775a7102293142a5Baby girl, it’s hard for us to put into words how much we are completely and totally in love with you. We can’t have a conversation between the two of us without talking about how much we love you.

You are a fun kid. We have a blast with you every day. You are smiling or laughing so frequently. Your daycare providers can’t get enough of you – you throw your arms open as soon as they open the door each morning. You love playing hide and seek. Our favorite game is to toss a blanket or scarf over your head and then start frantically looking for you. You take it off and then start giggling as you watch us “look for you”. When we finally “find” you, you just laugh and laugh.

You are a loving kid. Whether it’s “kisses” for mommy and daddy or abusing and grabbing patting Barnum, you are so affectionate. Even when you are playing independently, you always find your way back to us to get a little time cuddling before getting back to playing. You get the biggest smile on your face in the morning when we open the door to your room, and when we pick you up in the afternoons from daycare. Trust us, we are just as excited to see you too.
You are a completely adorable kid. While I want you to know how much more you are than your physical appearance, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how ridiculously cute you are. From the very first day you were born, we haven’t missed a day where we didn’t mention to each other how cute you are. You have these incredible cheeks, beautifully long eyelashes, and a smile that just melts our hearts. The first time we captured your smile on camera we could barely tear our eyes from the photo after you’d gone to sleep that night. We both changed our cell phone backgrounds immediately so that we could have your sweet smile with us all the time.

We have had a lot of adventures together. We’ve been on more than a few handfuls of airplanes to visit our family and to explore Ixtapa, Mexico. You have eaten strawberries fresh from the plant, made friends with the many children being born into our community with you, visited Auburn (War Eagle!), knocked on voters’ doors to discuss the importance of school 011dd991c1ffb3dc30a0b18ed4465ed7ce5e9b6ed0board elections, had an epic first birthday party, enjoyed an A’s game, eaten just about every type of food we can buy, started to use the potty, bought our first family home, brewed beer with Daddy, went swimming in many pools and in the ocean, shared snacks with your friend Goldie, pooped in the bathtub (more than once), walked on the Bay Bridge, had a great time in many music classes at the library, been on hikes, met Santa, seen our Warriors win the NBA championship, and enjoyed so much of what our wonderful city of Oakland has to offer.

We also had some extremely low lows this year. We had to say goodbye to your great grandmother (Grandma Ann), to our cat Bailey, and to your Uncle Nick. There aren’t words to fully represent how completely devastating this has been. We can’t go a day without thinking about their loss and wishing they were still here with us. It is awful that you won’t get to know them better – we loved them very much, and we know you would have too. We are very glad you IMG_0446got the chance to meet each of them. Your great grandma was so proud of you – one of the things she did in her final days was make sure to send you a beautiful dress to wear to your holiday parties. Your uncle Nick is gone way too soon, and it’s devastating that you will only get to experience him through our stories. After meeting you he couldn’t stop talking about you – he was so proud that you looked like him and told everyone about it. The book with sounds he gave you for Christmas is one of your favorite toys. During our darkest times this year with these losses, we’d often say, “Brooklyn is the sunshine.” You arrived in our lives at exactly the right time to help us get through this year. And we didn’t just get through it – we had some really incredible times with you.

Here are some of the things we hope to continue to instill in you in the coming years:

  • IMG_0363Go out and do things that help others. Put your hands on the arc of the moral universe and push it (hard) towards justice.
  • If something in the world is not the way it should be, change it. Not only can you make a big impact, but it is your responsibility to do so given your privileges.
  • Be independent and try it on your own. You will fail often, and that’s what it takes to really figure out the world.
  • Eat whole foods. Mostly vegetables.
  • People are good – believe that at your core and it will change how you interact with our fellow human beings.
  • Do what you say you will do.
  • Guard your thoughts, as they create your reality.
  • Be deliberate about your gratitude – say out loud every day the things for which you are grateful.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Barnum is not going to cuddle with you if you keep pulling his tail like that.

We love you so much, baby girl. So deeply and so completely. We’ve said to each other for years and it’s now true about you, too – “You’re the best part.”

Mommy & Daddy