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My sweet grand baby, Charlotte, will be a year old on October 22nd. What a year it has been! My heart melted the first time I saw her. She was being weighed and measured, bathed and all the other things they to do babies, while proud dad Hunter stood by watching in the nursery. When we were allowed to go into Emily’s room, she was holding Charlotte, who was swaddled in blankets and wearing a cute little hat from the hospital. I realized for the first time that my daughter had a daughter of her own, and it looked so natural that she was a mom and that Hunter was a dad. And I was a grammy!

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(The reason Charlotte looks so tiny here is that her daddy’s hands are so big.)

People tell you how great it is to be a grandparent, but you can’t understand it until you are actually there. We live about an hour and a half from the Cantwells, but we have managed to visit every week or every other week, because we don’t want to miss any changes.

At first, we laid Charlotte on a blanket on the floor and we would get down on the floor, too, to watch her coo and see any movements she might make. We could do this for hours. It was also great that she was not yet mobile so that we could just kiss all over her, and that is what we did! She came to know Grammy Jan and Gramps and she would smile at us when we were there.

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After Charlotte began rolling, crawling, holding on to things and almost standing, it became harder to kiss her all over. She was a busy girl!

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I remember the first time I was at Emily’s and Charlotte reached out for me and wanted me to hold her. As soon as I held her, she put her little arms around me and squeezed me and held on tight. I was in heaven! She has also enjoyed from the beginning when I would whisper or sing quietly into her ear. She would be perfectly still with a big grin on her face.

She is a happy, confident baby, and she laughs at everything, even when she is alone in her crib. Emily did that too, when she was a baby.

Our family gets together as often as possible, usually in Louisville for some occasion, and Charlotte is learning to know and love Sarah and Katie. They call themselves Aunt Kay and Aunt Say, and they love playing with her.

Charlotte has grown from a tiny infant to a chubby little baby who is interested in everything around her. She is like a little sponge and takes in everything.

I never knew that a grandchild would be a new little person in my life that I would do anything for. Emily sends us pictures and videos almost everyday, and my husband  and I look at them or watch them over and over. We can’t get enough of this little sweetheart and next week we will celebrate her first year here on earth.

What a blessing Charlotte is to us and we are so grateful for her. To me she represents hope and a future. And those chubby little cheeks are so fun to kiss.

Now I hear myself telling others that is wonderful to be a grandparent. They smile at me, but they can have no idea until it happens to them.

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