On October 12th Eliana celebrated her first birthday. I know everyone always says it, but I really truly cannot believe how time flies! Friends of ours had a little baby at the end of September, and looking at her compared to Eliana I am beyond amazed at all the changes that happen in such a short amount of time. One year ago Eliana was dependent on us for EVERYTHING! She became, more or less, an extension of myself. Now, one year later she still depends on us for many things, but she is quickly and assertively finding her independence! On her birthday Grandma Joy gave her a little baby doll. The minute she saw it she reached out her arms to hold her close and began making soft cooing sounds as she snuggled her doll close. It is crazy how she takes on that motherly role even as she herself is just a baby. In Florida we visited her new little cousin, Emma, and Eliana also enjoyed holding, hugging and kissing her, although she definitely needs to be highly supervised as the gentleness factor hasn't sunk in quite yet! She takes teetering steps on her own, is constantly exploring, and crawling even quicker when she knows she is about to get into something she shouldn't. :) I treasure the times when I can sit and snuggle with her since she hardly ever stops. She loves to laugh, play peek-a-boo and be tickled. She finally is begining to love mealtimes, and beans seem to be one food that is always a hit with her. I love being her mom and am so thankful that God chose to bless our lives with our little Eliana Anai.