"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

first birthday in pictures

I still can't believe that my little baby girl is one. Everyone says that time flies but I never realized how quickly until I had a baby. 

We had fun celebrating Gracie and her life. We had a little celebration "just us" on her birthday and then last weekend we had our families over a birthday party. 

Her birthday day:
Gracie and I had a fun day hanging out together. When she woke up I made blueberry baked oatmeal for her birthday breakfast and then we watched a Baby Einstein movie together. We played together for a while and then after her nap we went out to the store because she loves to watch people. And where better to go on your birthday than target? :). I even let her pick out something from the dollar section (I know, amazing mom. :)). For dinner she had her favorite food- sweet potatoes and then Seth brought home some ice cream for her first taste- she loved it. Then we opened presents and to bed she went. 

Birthday party:
We sent out these invites (I changed out the address for this blog- so don't use it to mail anything to!)

and made this poster for decoration

and made this garland for her highchair

and used these fabulous decorations from our baby shower

A few other party details:

And the rest of it:

Gracie LOVES to watch her cousins

Sweet little Creed man!

Lots of great help opening presents :)

She LOVED her baby doll- she wouldn't let anyone take it away from her, even to eat cake...

love that little piggy sticking out

Happy birthday bug!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

happy birthday gracie!!! (full of sentiment and sap from a mother's heart)

My sweet birthday girl,

Happy Birthday baby girl! I am so excited to celebrate your life and the gift that you are to me today! How does time go so fast? Oh my heart. It is bursting with emotions. Love, excitement, sadness that you are growing up so fast, thankfulness that I've been given this time with you, to be your mommy. I have been overwhelmed by a love so deep and so strong that I am continually awed. I feel like my heart literally has to grow because it can't contain the love I feel for you. 

I was looking back at the calender that I kept of your "firsts"....first smile, first laugh, first time you slept through the night, first time you wore a dress, first tummy time....my, how time has flown. Now you are a little person. You crawl, stand up, say things like "uh-oh", look back at me when you know you shouldn't climb those stairs. You clap and love when we celebrate the small victories- like you eating your vegetables or you finding daddy's buttons. We make a big deal, clapping and saying "good job gracie!!"....your face erupts into a big goofy smile and you clap for yourself, too!

Things you love lately: you love bathtime- when we go into the bathroom you crawl right up to the tub and just stand there, bouncing on the side wanting to get it. You LOVE people, especially children and other babies- you literally go nuts sometimes when you see kids- it feels like you're going to jump right out of my arms. You love having your hair brushed and your teeth brushed. You love your baby dolls- you cuddle with them and burp them. You are learning the art of finger foods and are beginning to really love them. You love music and when we sing to you. You love tearing paper and opening my cookbooks. There is something tasty about those books- you love to chew them. You love when mommy and daddy hug- you get a huge smile and sometimes you clap. You love life- you're an inspiration to me and you constantly remind me of how Jesus says to have faith like a child- it's so pure, so forgiving, so trusting, so think-the-best-of-everyone.

I love watching you learn. The other night we were sitting there, you and I. I was trying to get you to eat your dinner instead of throwing it. It was just one of those moments where I had to step back and watch you. Though I wouldn't choose for you to throw your food on the floor or rub it into your hair or your ear, I just watched you in what you were doing. You were having so much fun, playing and being a baby. I don't want to wish those times away. I love them (well mostly) because you are learning how things work.

One of my most favorite things you've learned lately is how to praise Jesus. Girl, this literally melts my heart. The other night you and I were eating dinner and I had music on in the background so I decided it was a good time to start teaching you this. I raised both hands in the air and said "Praise Jesus!"....and you copied me. You lifted those little arms so high that your chin got buried in your neck and it made your cheeks pop out which made it even cuter...a moment I'll never forget.

I have been reflecting a lot recently. You've made me a mom. I wouldn't be one without you. You've taught me how and you've been ever so patient and forgiving as I wade these unknown waters. Each day is a new adventure and there have been many challenges along the way- big and little. I continually ask God for wisdom and He gives it. I think that is the only way to navigate the waters of parenthood. To depend on God.

I could probably write a book to you today- about this past year, about reflecting on December 3rd one year ago, about who you are, about what's ahead.

You're my buddy, my little sidekick. My errand-runner-buddy, my rainy-day friend, my joy-giver when I'm sad. My cuddle-fest buddy, my dancing partner, my reason to not get ready for the day until noon, haha :). You make me a better person and you make me want to keep going when things are really hard. You motivate me to be who God wants me to be because I want to teach you by example and I want you to know the Love of Jesus because you see it, not just hear it. I know you're only one. I know you really have no idea about most of the things I've written here. But someday you will. Someday when you're old and grown and maybe even a mother yourself, you'll get it. My mom always told me that, too...and I really didn't get it until I had you.

My prayer for you is that you never know the word can't. That nothing stops you from what God is telling you to do. Life won't always been easy, but I pray that you choose to do the right thing. To be a light to others. I pray you have a faith that perseveres and presses into Jesus. Love others even when it seems like they don't deserve it. Give the benefit of the doubt. Serve from your heart. See Jesus in the hurting and the hopeless people. You have been created for a glorious purpose and you make a difference every single day! You are beautiful, valuable, smart and important!

I really really love you buggy. I'm so proud of you. I praise Jesus for you every single day. May you always remember that He is your Rock and that He will never fail you. His promises are true and He loves you unconditionally, radiantly, passionately, deeply and always. 

Happy Birthday!

My song for you on your birthday is more of a prayer, a hope for you.
Martina McBride, Anyway

Here's a few pictures from a year ago........

  This pictures still gets me every time. This was right before my emergency c-section. So many fears, so much anticipation, so much unknown. 

                          Right after they pulled her out...we just sobbed out of joy, exhaustion, thankfulness.

My first time to meet my baby. Really there aren't words for this moment!

All of a sudden he's a daddy

A moment of disbelief that she is ours and we are really her parents. "is this really real?"

First family photo

the sweetest face i've ever seen!

Showing her sass already! She gets the drama queen in her honest!

What a week....God is good.

One of my all time favorite pictures. He was hit with overwhelmed love for his daughter.