About a year ago, the sump pump pooped out and our finished basement flooded.

And by “flooded,” I don’t mean standing, measurable water. I thank God we’ve never had to experience that kind of water depth. You know, the kind that those with houses in Hurricane Alley might have to endure.

But it was wet down there, and it was plentiful. The carpet was saturated in seemingly every corner of the house. The trim around the base of the walls was damp and well on its way to warping. And in the part of the basement without carpet, you needed a squeegee to divert water toward the drain.

We’ve got a baby on the way!

When my wife and I got a glimpse of the damage, we were devastated. This was going to cost a lot of money and eat up a lot of time.

We were both emotional, but my wife even more so … for one, very big, additional reason.

My wife was pregnant with our second child. She was due for a scheduled C-section in just a few days.

So, although the frustrations mounted and the despair kicked in, it eventually went away. After all, what is more exciting and energizing that the birth of a child?

We put our worries to the side and headed to the hospital on the morning of October 9, 2018. And in just a short while later, Gia Noelle Glab was born!

Boy or Girl?

When you’re getting ready to have a baby, one of two questions generally get asked.

“Do you know what you’re going to have?” is commonly asked of mothers who are further along in the pregnancy.

But the other question, asked at any point during or prior to the pregnancy, and posed to either the mother or the father is this:

“What do you want to have? A boy or a girl?”

Frankly, that question gets asked long before a couple even gets pregnant, too. Single people are asked it. I remember getting asked that question when I was younger and dating. And my answer to that was always consistent, emphatic and unmistakable.

“Oh, God, I hope I have boys.” And then I added, “Because if I ever have a girl, I’m going to wind up in prison one day.”

(This, of course, was a tongue-in-cheek comment about how I would be extra aggressive if any boy dared hurt or take advantage of her.)

I’ve got a little princess

As I grew older, I warmed to the idea of having a daughter. I wanted to experience the father-daughter dynamic. I wanted to be her protector, and the lead man in her life. I wanted to look out for her, guide her, and be her source of comfort and strength when she needed it.

And yes, when the time is right — and when the man is right — I want to be the one who gives her away to her new leading man.

So, it was with great joy that my wife and I learned early in the pregnancy we would be having a girl. And the day she was born yielded even more elation than I could imagine.

Everything was new and different

Nothing is ever the same as the “first time.” This holds true for just about anything in life. It’s doubly true about having a baby.

Our first child, Everett James, brought with him brand new challenges that only first-time parents can expect. Sleep deprivation, added responsibility, late nights and early mornings. What do we feed him? When does he nap? How do we raise him to be a godly young man?

You would think the second time through, the baby questions wouldn’t be as plentiful. And, technically, they weren’t. But having a baby of a different gender came with its uniqueness as well.

And it wasn’t just a baby with different parts. It was a baby with her own unique personality. Her own characteristics. And her own tendencies.

And on top of all that, we weren’t just caring for one child anymore. Our attention was divided by two!

Our Gia girl is one-year old!

Everyone always says it, but that doesn’t make it any less impactful: time flies fast!

One year after our basement mishap, we have refinished it and it is better than it was before. And the fact that the renovation took place along the same timeline as the first year of Gia’s life makes it all the more special.

When I think about our little Gigi, I imagine her to be this little peanut in our arms who can’t walk, talk, crawl or babble. I think of a little girl who drinks milk and sleeps half of the day.

But as we celebrate her first birthday today, she is so much more than the bundle of joy we brought home from the hospital!

When our Gia girl started crawling, it was more of a bounce-and-scoot like a determined tortoise. Nowadays, she scampers across the living room floor like a squirrel darting across the road! She’s a girl on a mission. And although she is not quite walking yet, she pulls herself up and stands next to just about anything — including the backs of our legs, which is oh-so-cute!

Our baby girl has learned to say, Mama, Dada, and Evra — short for Everett, of course. She’s learned a few choice other words, as well.

She knows where her head and toes are and points to them when asked. And we’re working on tummy as we speak.

Gia brings so much joy to all who encounter her. She’s always had a happy disposition, and when she flashes that big, toothless grin, you can’t help but return the smile. She loves her brother so much and likes to chase him around the dining room table. (She can’t really catch him yet, of course, but there will come a day…) She wants to be near Everett whenever he is playing with toys. And the two of our little blessings make each other giggle on a daily basis.

My hope and prayer for Gia

Gia girl, Daddy loves you so much.

You have been a blessing to your mother and me all the days of your life. We pray that you continue to bless others as God is blessing you.

We hope that you become a kind and decent person. We hope that you dream big, set goals, and accomplish many things. And we hope that you leave a mark on the lives of those whom you encounter.

We promise to do our best to give you all that you want and desire in life. We will love you, protect you, and raise you as a godly woman. We pray that God will grant us the wisdom and insight to steer you down the right path.

Happy Birthday, Gia Noelle!