Colorado in March

(This post is a little tardy, so some of Julianna's accomplishments may seem like old news. But the story is a little lengthy, so it's taken me a while to sit down and document it.)

Dear Julianna

One of the great benefits of me not working right now is being able to take you to see Grandma and Grandpa. We got to spend two whole weeks with them in Colorado, and boy did they enjoy it! They couldn't believe how much you had changed in the last three months.

Because I was never particularly close to my grandparents, it has been very important to me that you have the opportunity to spend time with yours. I feel so blessed to have parents who are excited about being a part of your life and getting to know you. And even though your paternal grandparents are thousands of miles away, I know their love for you will reach across the world and be a constant you can always depend on.

They say grandparents share an extra special bond with their grandchildren because they get to spoil them and then send them home. But I think there is even more to it than that. Through you, they are reminded of a time not so long ago when they had newborn babies of their own. They get to enjoy the precious and fleeting moments of childhood all over again; their spirits are awakened, and they are able to fully grasp what joy you will bring into their lives and those around you. And they do all this without the weight of responsibility on their shoulders. They have the wisdom of experience on their side, and they know that although we can all try to shape you, you will be who you want to be. Their only responsibilities are to love you and show you the fullness of life.

Your CiCi has so much to show you. She is a wonderful listener and has the ability to appreciate the differences in people she meets, resulting in her having a diverse group of friends who trust her completely. She loves literature and feels that it gives us a window into a world that is vast and full of endless possibilities, and she recognizes how important it is to write and journal as a way to express ourselves. She loves the beauty found in nature; a rock is a place of rest, fresh air clears the mind, a mountain range gives new perspective, a trickling stream provides solitude, calm and focus. And she is so excited to share all of these loves with you.

CiCi is already showing you that life is an adventure; she took you on nature walks around the yard (each day you were wrapped in a different colorful afghan), and she let you peak in the house windows to discover who was inside.
While we were in Colorado, we had three good snows, each about a foot and a half deep. This was nothing like your first Winter in Seattle, so you got bundled up and ventured into the blistery white (well, onto the front porch).
You also practiced sitting up unsupported, and we were finally confident enough to leave you that way, unchaperoned (for a few minutes). Another first was learning to eat a "biscuit" (a baby rice cake shaped like a surf board) with your hands. It was a big challenge at the beginning, and you were quite frustrated with us for not just feeding it to you. But eventually you relented, tried it yourself and then were quite proud of your big accomplishment!
Grandpa also enjoyed every minute with you. He took care of you ALL BY HIMSELF one night while Mommy, CiCi and Uncle Jarrett went to the movies. And by the time we got back, he had you fast asleep (albeit you were rocked to sleep in the rocking chair rather than being put to bed awake like mommy has been trying to do - but that's just the beginning of Grandpa and his spoiling!). The next morning after we heard all about how good you had been the night before, you showed us how you could have walked all over Grandpa if you had needed to!
He adores you and even brags about how he is going to spoil you rotten every chance he gets. Grandpa has a huge soft spot for family, and will do anything for you. You really will have him wrapped around your little finger; and I have a feeling those big brown eyes of yours will get you ice cream anytime you want!
You didn't get to see Uncle Jarrett too much this trip (you were always sleeping when he was coming and going), but I think he's just waiting until the day he can put you on a snowboard and race you down the mountain (that, or until you can crawl and start to give the cat as difficult of a time as he does!).

Overall, you had a great trip. Your sleeping patterns were light years better than at Christmas, and you were generally more content. Grandma and Grandpa did try to accommodate your needs so you could get a little work done while you were away from home, and after a couple of days you were very comfortable with your "satellite office".
That St. Patrick's Day button you brought to ward off Grandma and Grandpa wasn't even necessary. They seemed to prefer kisses!
It's just the beginning of a beautiful relationship that I'm hoping you will develop with your grandparents. Here's to Summer camp at Grandma and Grandpa's while Mommy and Daddy go on vacation! Yay!

I love you Julianna,

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