Our niece is one today!

Last year on this day, we became an Aunt and Uncle! My sister, Kendra, had little Adriana Leigh who weighed in at 3 pounds 15 ounces and measured 17.5 inches long. She had the tiniest little body I've ever seen, but she was a little fighter. After nine days in the NICU, she got to go home with her mama and daddy.

  FEBRUARY 17, 2014 • 6 days old

FEBRUARY 17, 2014 • 6 days old

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see her today in-person to celebrate with her, but little Andi came with my two sisters and my Mom from Michigan to visit Chad and I for Christmas in North Carolina. It was one of the most memorable times spent with my family! So special. ...And so much better than video chatting!

Since there is a little one present now, you'll see that all of our "holiday get together" attention has officially shifted to watching her as the main event the whole time. Highlights of our weekend included Adriana patting her tummy and everything she touched so she could hear her little hands smacking the surfaces, Adriana climbing into her toy basket, Adriana playing peekaboo with her Grandma, Adriana hanging out with her stuffed dog "Boo" and plenty of laughter merely because Adriana looked and smiled in a new direction. Our family is so exciting now. ;)

Even though these photos are technically two months old, they still show the vibrance of little Andi's spirit, her playful personality and her strength. Today on her first birthday, she's bear-crawling like a boss, crawling on all fours faster than you can keep up with her, standing up on her own, walking against furniture, waving, clapping, mimicking noises, smiling like it's her job, blowing kisses, using a few sign language words and turning pages of books like she's actually reading the stories. She's now 17 pounds 10 ounces and chewing vegetables with her EIGHT teeth! It's an understatement to say that I'm a proud aunt and sister.

Happy first birthday, Andi! And what a wonderful first year of parenting, Kendra and CJ!