One year ago today, my niece Amanda and her husband Steve welcomed their son Lucas Owen into their lives and he quickly took up residence in all of our hearts. Today, he celebrates his first birthday.
It has been such a joy to watch Amanda become a Mommy - and such a wonderful one. She and Steve have raised a happy, joyful baby boy.
He is now a handsome, toddling, jabbering machine. Nothing brings a smile to my face faster than seeing a picture or video on Facebook from his Mommy or Nana.
Watching his uncle Aaron become an uncle and embrace that role is another joy. We come from a strong line of aunts and uncles - all of mine were like second parents to me and I'm so proud to see that continue for another generation. Watching my brother and sister-in-law truly revel in their role as his grandparents is yet another joy.
But the most wonderful joy is just seeing the joy in this little man's eyes as he discovers all the beauty of life.
Lucas, know that you are so very loved and that we are so happy to have you in our lives. Wishing you the happiest of happy birthdays today - so glad that your whole family is home and able to be around you today!