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Dear Clark James, Clarky Boo-Boo, Clarko, Clarka, Mischko-Bishko, Clarko-Busko-Cutey-Cuesko,

You are 1! I truly cannot believe how fast this year has gone by. It feels like a month ago that I was begging you to get out of my belly and into my arms. From that day on I have lived in awe of you my amazing little son. (How I ever became so blessed to have three perfect sons, I will never know.) As surprised as I was to know you were coming, I also feel like you’ve always been here. Like you have always been part of our family and always existed in my heart. When you joined our family, it was such a natural step in our lives. No one skipped a beat! It felt like welcoming home a missing piece!

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You have brought us such unimaginable joy this year Clark. You are sweet, good natured and funny. You make the best faces and your smile lights up the whole room. Your laughter is infectious, and you find the strangest things funny. Mainly, your big brothers! Truman and Grant love you so very much. They love to dote on you, they try anything to make you happy when you are crying and they love to make you giggle. You do have a temper though, and you like to yell and shout orders at all of us. (Must be that bright red hair!

Clark, you have a musical gift that I cannot wait to watch blossom. I have never seen a baby move and sing to music at such a young age before you. It can be the softest song mixed into background noise and your ears will find it. You move side to side, front to back, and raise your arms as if you are opening your heart to the sound. You “oooo aaaa” along with me when I sing to you and often times get snippets of the melody just right! By the time you were 7 or 8 months old, you would feel music so intensely at times it brought you to tears. It makes me so happy and so excited to know that you have a love for music and I hope it stays with you.

You are so smart and wise Clark. You study and watch so intently, as if you are searching every person’s soul and deciding for yourself how to interact with them. You are leery of some, flirty with others, shy with some and silly and outgoing with others still. Your big brown eyes are warm and knowing and staring into them makes me feel like you have a story to tell and wisdom to share. You repeat words readily and understand so many phrases already. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on the world.

We love to watch you on the move. Your army crawl is absolutely amazing, probably the fastest I’ve seen a baby move on all fours. You can crawl the “right” way but it seems to slow you down so you prefer the army crawl method, pushing off of the floor with your toes and wiggling that fabulous chubby booty with lightening speed. Only this last week or two before your birthday are you showing interest in standing and honestly, that is fine with me. I know enough by now that once you can walk, you won’t want to snuggle as much, and I can stand to wait a little longer for that.

Clarko, you are a Momma’s Boy through and through. You cry when I walk out of a room, you want me to hold you and cuddle you every minute and you sleep snuggled up to me every night. This too will change as you get older so I am savoring it now, though not much work is getting done while you are awake!

You have never slept in a crib. You slept in your rock and play next to my bed or in my bed since day 1 and I have no idea how I will go about transferring you to a bed now. I can’t imagine not watching your back rise and fall as you soundly sleep or seeing your wide sleepy smile as soon as I open my eyes in the morning.

This year has also been tough since you spent so much of it coughing! It seems you have a little touch of asthma and a few food allergies working against you. We are working on treating and fixing the problem and it is my hope that you will outgrow all of this and grow strong and uninhibited by any condition or limitation. So far, none of it has slowed you down even when it has brought me to my knees with fear and worry. You have remained happy and smiling through coughs and breathing problems and allergy tests and medications. You are so strong and patient.

Clark, when I think of your future, I see only beauty. I am looking forward to watching you grow, listening as your thoughts become words and following along as your crawling turns to running. You are a cherished and treasured boy, Clark James Yeoman. Your family loves you beyond measure and we always will. On your first birthday my sweet baby, Mommy wishes you the best that life has to offer. I wish you love and good health, adventure and laughter, friendship and good fortune, and above all else, happiness. A lifetime of happiness.

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I love you more than words could ever describe,

Mommy

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