Tag Archives: maya

Five for Friday

I’m trying to scarf down lunch, finish a work project, email Addison’s teacher, blog and catch up on my Friends marathon on Netflix all before heading off to car line to pick up Addison. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

1. Happy National Dog Day to this exquisite specimen.

maya

Allergies aside, she is the perfect companion and handles all of our neglect with the utmost grace and forgiveness. But the pool is never gonna happen, Clayton.

clayton maya

2. Despite all my hesitation, I took both kids to the museum this week AND stopped at the grocery store with them on the way home, even though it was past Addison’s nap time. It could have gone all sorts of sideways, but we made it in and out without incident! And then I picked up 24 ounces of positive reinforcement for myself.

dunkin

Speaking of treats, Clayton played golf last Friday, and I was responsible for getting the rest of us ready and over to Addison’s preschool orientation on time. It’s still quite the event to wrangle all of us into something presentable and arrive anywhere punctually, so I was handsomely rewarded for my efforts. Bribery is the key to any successful relationship.

godiva

3. Addison started K3 this week. It’s going to be an adjustment for all of us—new schedule, new classroom, new teacher, new friends–and I don’t think I realized just how startling that was going to be for her until after her first day. The bear hug and “I missed you Mommy!” warranted nothing less than an immediate cake pop.

addison first day2 Maybe by kindergarten I’ll be able to brush her hair without a steel cage death match.

4. We had the “jumping gym” to ourselves this week. It was the best of times…

nat asher

addie gym

addie gym2

it was the worst of times.

addie gym laying down

5. Clayton came home last night and told Addison, “I have a new pet for you.” Listening from the other room, my oh-no-you-didn’t index finger instinctively started wagging as I bolted onto the patio. Thankfully my husband did not have the death wish I was imagining and the new pet fit on the lid of his coffee thermos.

Meet Annie the ladybug.

annie ladybug

She has since taken a toddler-initiated trip over the pool fence and is probably, uh, resting peacefully in the pool.

I suggested Clayton play some more golf this weekend, so I am expecting at least another dozen pieces of gourmet chocolate heading my way very soon. Cheers to a delicious, manipulative weekend!

Six for Saturday

Since I’m a day late with Five for Friday, you lucky ducks get a bonus!

1. Band-aids on babies = sadness.

asher bandaid

2. The Rend Collective Experiment Pandora station. Around 4:30 every afternoon, things start to unravel. My patience is depleted, I stare blankly into the refrigerator attempting to will a dinner to appear, Addison has far surpassed her t.v. time for the day but refuses to play in her room with the meager 1, 263 toys she has (see #3), Asher is eating or will need to eat any second, and Clayton won’t be home for what seems like an eternity.

Instead of handling all that to the tune of my own frustrated screaming, I’ve been turning on the Rend Collective station that Clayton introduced me to. Frankly, we find most mainstream Christian music to be way over the top cheesy or the lyrics ridiculously idealized. This station plays lesser known artists that are more our musical style while creating a positive vibe during one of the most challenging parts of the day.

3. When you can’t find the floor and no toy escapes with all its parts in tact, you’ve achieved play date success.

photo 1photo 2 4. I picked up our photos from Asher’s newborn session. In love with them. Life Long Studios always makes the experience as relaxed as possible for new parents, too.

LifeLongStudios0095LifeLongStudios0122

5. Poor sad, neglected Maya. Make us feel bad, why don’t you.

maya ball

And for your judgmental pleasure…

6. I was cleaning out Addison’s backpack after school and found a bottle cap. From a Dasani water bottle? Nope. From a Diet Coke, perhaps? Not quite. From a Yuengling. Our two-year-old trotted into her ultra conservative Baptist pre-school with a beer bottle cap in her backpack. Can parents get detention?

cap

And with that, I’m off to a bridal shower with both of my offspring. Prayers and Yuengling appreciated.

Five for Friday

A little late getting this out today, but no worries, it’s just as apathetic as usual.

1. I feel like she looks sassy even when asleep. I swear that’s a pout about something unacceptable I’ve said in her dream, like all of your dresses are dirty or no we do not have a secret stash of cupcakes hidden from you.

addie sleep2. My computer wasn’t printing from our almost brand new printer, so I logged on to a live chat with HP support. I feel like Hamford may have missed his calling as a crisis line operator.

hp helpQuite the supportive shoulder. Until 85 minutes into our chat, when the problem was still unresolved and he was focusing on printing from Adobe. I mentioned it was also not printing in Word and Hamford was all “I know that, moron*.” Eventually, H-money got me all fixed up and I smoothed things over with lots of unnecessary thank yous, exclamation points and one strategic “hooray.”

3. Hello, new potential favorite coffee spot. This is a local joint that I envision will see me a bunch once I get back to a regular work schedule. I could taste the yummy difference even in the decaf espresso. I already asked Clayton if we could go this weekend and I’m pretty sure he agreed between eye rolls. Small price to pay for watching four hours of the NFL Draft with him for three days.

grind logo4. Both of us needed to get out and lick our faces for awhile this week.

maya tongue

5. Addison’s little brother may have overdone it on the big sister gifts. He probably shouldn’t have waited until late stage pregnancy when his hormones were raging and emotions were teetering on threat level: redrum. He suggested 1. an outfit and accessories to receive before coming to the hospital from Mom and Dad and 2. some toys and stickers from the baby once she meets him. It’s like he has experience with her meltdowns and will go monstrously overboard to avoid one at the hospital or something.

big sis gift

big sis card

big sis card4

 

*Hamford didn’t call me a moron, but I imagine he was thinking it. Also, I just like the gratuitous use of the name “Hamford.”

Five for Friday

At this moment, Addison is babbling away in her room instead of napping, my mother in law will arrive any second, I’m nauseous from needing to eat and tomorrow we are having my baby shower at my house. So, in speedy fashion, here are some things that amused me this week.

1. A visit to the new Tampa Riverwalk complete with actual physical activity (gasp!), fountain splashing and divine spring weather.

photo 1 (2)

2. Easter adorableness accentuated by unintentional cousin coordination.

photo 2 (2)

3. Because I’m 13 years old.

photo 54. An impromptu trip to the beach on a Monday, which I nearly missed due to inane reasoning that “I had too much to do.” If someone asks you to go to the beach on a Monday, shut up and go. 

photo 2photo 4photo 5 (2)

5. I accidentally left our bedroom door open when I ran errands Thursday. Maya took complete advantage and discovered a brand new box of tissues. Just imagining her confusion, wonder and sheer delight when MORE KEPT COMING OUT makes me giggle uncontrollably. I wasn’t even mad, I was really wishing we had a nanny cam in there to see that play out.

tissues Back to the to-do list! And a snack.

Five for Friday

1. This week has kicked my butt. I am exhausted, irritable, emotional and overall a real treat to be around. A nice representation of the whole week was Maya pooping in the middle of our bedroom, for no apparent reason, at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

2. Equally as pleasant smelling, Addison has hit a major regression with potty training. I knew I wrote that braggy blog post too soon. She’s potty trained in a month! I said. It was easy! I had to add.

Ha. Ha.

I think she has used the toilet three times since Sunday. And not for lack of being in regular underwear. If anyone has any disinfectant to spare, we’re in the market.

potty training card

3. I am trying to commit to reading more at night instead of the t.v. marathons I usually partake in. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes, I think it will help me sleep better and help prevent my mom brain from turning into complete mush, just in case it’s not already totally liquefied. Jury’s still out. I’d started “All the Light We Cannot See” several weeks ago, but it was just too heavy for me to get excited about right now. I kept opting for my Us Weekly instead. So I looked around for an easy read to hopefully reignite the habit, and I went with “Big Little Lies.” I read somewhere it would be a good beach book, i.e. perfect for devoting minimal energy and even fewer brain cells.

So far, that’s accurate, and I’ve actually turned off the t.v. before 11 p.m. to climb into bed and read this week.

(Source)

big little lies4. My 34-week appointment is this morning. I’m definitely NOT supposed to want them to find that I’m like 4 cm dilated yet, right? Right??

5. Alex & Sierra. Such soothing little melodies. I try to work while listening to them but immediately find myself staring out the window wistfully reminiscing about making out with Clayton on our first date. Oh to be 19 again. (Source)

alex and siera

Gotta go scrub some Elsa underwear. Peace.

Five for Friday

1. Clayton has been gone all week. Bye, I’m going to take a nap.

No, it hasn’t been that terrible…or so I said all cocky to myself on Monday afternoon. I wanted to seem brave and independent about the whole thing. That lasted a solid 24 hours. By Tuesday night I was sobbing during my nightly call with Clayton. Pregnant with a toddler is werk, guys! Middle class suburban werk, sure, but still tough.

However, I didn’t buy ONE SINGLE MEAL this entire week. You’d have to be me, my husband or our bank account to understand how monumental this is, but woa. On an average week with Clayton in town, I’m sending him last ditch texts to pick up dinner at least twice. I’m working on it.

mac n cheese

Only the finest for my family. At least the mac ‘n cheese was organic and the sausage was chicken.

2. I even made some food for friends that recently had a baby. They didn’t get mac ‘n cheese. I tried a new recipe and have no idea how it turned out because I didn’t taste test. Always a safe bet as a terrible cook making a brand new dish for other people. Close up, it looked pretty good.

IMG_7733IMG_7737

But cropping can be deceptive.

messy kitchen

As is the case with most of my kitchen adventures, there was a casualty. I left our skillet on the oven too long with oil in it, and there was no salvaging that charred disaster. I’m still smelling smoke at random times.

3. I attempted to sprinkle in some fun outings for our Girls Week. All of them went terribly awry at some point, but whaddyagonnado. More on that later.

For a few minutes, we had fun getting some free froyo after school.

froyo collageAnd then the froyo ran out and a 40-pound hellfire and brimstone storm rained down from the skies on Mama. AKA, she threw a shoe at me. Good times.

4. Finally. Be gone, devil.

buhbye fb 5. This superstar on Instagram. (Ignore my text alert.)

IMG_7740Does she remind you of anyone???

maya collage

From now on, I’m sticking to Maya’s breed as “scruffy.”

Now it’s off to a weekend full of shirking my household responsibilities and lots and lots of take out!

C’mon get happy!

I posted an overly obnoxious and whiny caption on Instagram the other day and have been feeling lame about it ever since. I was—and still am—extremely frustrated by our new insurance situation as of late, but hey, we can afford (loose use of that word) insurance for our family and one way or another, I can see a doctor whenever I need to. So, time to get over myself.

As a recompense, here are some things that are making me not frustrated right now, 90% of which are food related because hello, pregnant.

1. Cream cheese + red raspberry preserves. Maybe I ordered a bagel with cream cheese, added the preserves at home and devoured the combo like a starved mountain lion. And then made two more pieces of toast so I could have more of it. Related: how are your New Year’s diet resolutions going, those of you not baking a baby? Suckers.

2. Mama got a new pair of boots. And baby is about to get fancy.

boots

onesie

3. It’s been less of a meatless Monday and more of a meatless two trimesters over here, so I made vegetable enchiladas and they were filled with good veggies (albeit smothered in cheese) that I’ve been neglecting and lasted for three nights, i.e. I could slack on meal prep for two nights.

4. I ordered a decaf coffee at the Target Starbucks counter, and since they don’t keep a brewed pot of decaf, they made me a pour over. Holy delicious. It didn’t seem complicated until I looked it up; there are like 29 ways to make a pour over at home, so…whatever. Here’s my $3, pour hot water over powdered beans for me, please sir.

5. Doughnuts. I haven’t actually had one in a few months, but just the idea of them is putting me in a pretty good mood. Which reminds me of the ridiculous idea I had to do a pregnancy announcement using whimsically decorated Halloween doughnuts and the phrase “Something wickedly sweet this way comes.” Adorable, no?!

No.

DSCN4658

There was so much failure happening with the manifestation of this idea. First of all, the Dunkin Donuts commercials obviously used professionally trained, bakery owning frosting masters to craft the images I saw on t.v. Over at the ol’ local DD, I was treated to a “let me see what I can do” and gifted the scraggly interpretations of a moody teenager with some sort of clear musculoskeletal dysfunction. Then there’s the lighting, the giant plate, just a whole lot of no.

I was so annoyed I didn’t even eat one.

6. Breaking Bad. Not exactly an upper, but our two nightly episodes are little mini dates. Intensely graphic, drug-filled, cringe-worthy mini dates. We are at the beginning of Season 4 and OMG I want to punch Hank in the throat. (Source)

hank marie text1

hank marie text2

7. My brother (who is called Kunkle instead of Uncle) popped in this week and played with Addison for a couple hours. The next morning on the way to preschool, out of nowhere she shouted, “Kunkle’s here!” It melted my cold, dark heart.

8. Clayton, and now also Addison, playing the harmonica while Maya howls along. Never gets old.

9. Filling out paperwork and answering the “Occupation” section with “Writer.” Because stay at home pajama wearer, toddler chaser, kitchen avoider, stink eye deliverer and Instagram enthusiast usually takes up too much space.

10. The Bachelor is back and I don’t care who knows I am ALL IN already. With the sheer number of diagnosable alcoholics alone, this is going to be excellent television. SPOILER A’COMIN.

So sad to see you go, Tara. Thank you for representing Florida in a truly spectacular fashion. Enjoy that month long hangover. (Source)

drunk tara

Signs You Are in the Possession of a Toddler

You step on no less than four raisins walking to the couch. You do not stop to pick them up.

Cheerios. Purse. Car floor. Bath tub. Under couch cushions. Cheerios.

You’ve mastered the deepest, surliest but quietest ”Stop. Throwing. That. Cup.” under your breath so that no one but your child can hear you striking the fear of God in them in the restaurant.

You know not to take it personally when they throw the cup anyway.

You only bother with the cute bathing suits if you’re Instagramming.

Evening out those tan lines.

Evening out those tan lines.

The standard for surfaces clean enough to eat off of has plummeted significantly.

The standard for non-food items safe enough to ingest has plummeted significantly.

There is a chip in the back windshield from that time (times?) you hurled the pacifier into the back seat in a rage after swearing this was going to be the car ride you didn’t cave in. At least you made it to the end of the driveway. You apologized later. With Cheerios.

You stroll through the mall humming “Do you want to build a snowman?” Alone.

The walls, floor, towel, sink and bather all exit bath time wetter than the bathee.

When you see duck on the menu during date night, an involuntary “Quack! Quack!” escapes your lips.

At the playground, you find no reason to intercede when your child is forcefully hugging a stranger’s child, spread eagle in the sand throwing fistfuls of dirt in the air, or screaming incoherent but most likely baby profanities at the squirrels . No feces? No problem.
IMG_4297

You only have one child but no one else can fit in your SUV due to the growing  number of shoes, stuffed monkeys, dolls and extra clothes accumulating in the back seat.

You either leave the house with three strollers in the back of the car to go to the grocery store, where you don’t need a stroller, or you leave for a week vacation with no strollers in the car.

Your dog roams the house in a perpetual state of fear and avoidance.

Your day doesn’t actually begin until 8:30 p.m. Any plans for productivity, adult conversation or finishing a full meal before that time are laughable.

Related: Your body has learned to function for 7 hours on three cups of coffee, bread crusts and a dozen rejected grape halves.

Do not keep blaming me for your low blood sugar.

Do not keep blaming me for your low blood sugar.

It takes you two hours to pack for the beach.

You spend, at most, 90 minutes at the beach.

This happens once every never at this point, so you savor it for as long as you can.
IMG_4025

Christmas & New Year’s 2013

As my husband has deemed it, Happy Flu Year! You may be able to guess, we’ve had a blech go of it around here lately. But let’s back up to before my body revolted against me.

Clayton had to work a half day New Year’s Eve. In normal people hours, that would equate to getting off at 12, but in the medical field a half day is going in at 7:30 and getting home at 3. What the rest of us slackers would call overtime. I’d tried to finish wrapping all the presents and packing and cleaning and whatnot, but I had Addison, so…yeah. I definitely didn’t finish. Or start.

Not staged.

Not staged.

Have you ever tried to wrap a present with a pre-toddler in the immediate vicinity? It should be a new way we torture prisoners of war. Don’t touch the tape. Get off the wrapping paper. You didn’t grab the scissors, did you? No, stop opening that, it’s not your toy. Give me back the tape. Where did I hide the scissors? Seriously, stop sitting on the wrapping paper. Do not hit the dog with that roll of paper. OMG, where are the scissors?!

And then just as you’re admiring your gleaming, bunchy, barely in tact, freshly wrapped present, a tiny finger darts in out of nowhere and rips the thing wide open.

This, times 28, was my present wrapping experience this year.

Proud of her mayhem

Proud of her mayhem

 

Anyway, we didn’t get on the road until 5 p.m. because we have sensors for beginning trips at the tip top peak of traffic. Any other plan would be too easy. We dropped off Maya at my parents’ house and made for Gainesville. We stopped at Perkins for a depressing orange and blue themed Christmas Eve dinner. I didn’t want to be Scroogey, but I’ve never spent Christmas Eve in a restaurant, and I don’t intend on ever doing it again. Especially a restaurant called Perkins.

car

We finally made it to Clayton’s sister’s house around 1 a.m. Since it was pretty late, Addison did fantastic on the ride. We played one episode of Barney on my phone (I stick it under the head rest of my seat facing her. Who says you need all the fancy bells and whistles?) and then she passed out.

Luckily she was good in the car because as soon as we exited the car, the tune changed. Loudly. She would not sleep in the pack and play ever. For the four days we were there, she took one nap in it and that was it. Otherwise, she was ninja kicking us or falling asleep directly on top of my face throughout the night or napping en route somewhere in the car.

Christmas hangover

Christmas hangover

Honestly, I did not have the highest expectations for spending Christmas with my in-laws. The relationships are many and complicated, as is the case in any family with that number of people. But Christmas was the best kind of chaotic–kids shouting (4 and 34 year old kids), tissue paper flying, claustrophobia settling in as everyone crammed into Clayton’s parents’ living room. All of his five siblings swear that the room has shrunk to half its original size since they were little. There was a sweet sense of nostalgia to see Addison opening presents in the same room that Clayton spent his Christmases.

Four generations

Four generations

We went outside to watch the kids fight over the prize present: four wheels of pure awesome. The car belonged to our nephew, but that certainly didn’t stop the girls from promptly kicking him off. It was a pretty fun morning despite the sleep deprivation.

She was a little too comfortable in the driver seat.

She was a little too comfortable in the driver seat.

We all headed back to my sister in law’s house for a late lunch and lounging. Like every night, we attempted to put Addison down and were met with shrill protesting, so we held her until we went to bed at some stupid early adult bed time.

One highlight of the trip was seeing ”The Desolation of Smaug” while Clayton’s mom watched Addison. I was completely confident and trusting and supportive of this decision and did not tear up when we pulled out of the driveway or obsessively check my phone and Clayton’s phone during the movie. The movie was good, but I can’t get over how pretentious it is that the correct pronunciation of “Smaug” has about 12 syllables.

Thursday and Friday I woke up feeling sore from head to toe. I attributed it to sleeping (or not sleeping) in a different bed, juking away from Addison’s flailing limbs all night and general exhaustion. My sister in law had been sick, so I knew there was a chance I’d caught it, but powered through. I did not want to be the lame in-law who came to visit and napped the whole time.

Clayton, his sister, Addison and I went over to downtown Pensacola for lunch Friday. It was a lot colder than we’d planned for, but it was a nice little break. After we drove a sleeping Addison around for a two hour nap we met up with Clayton’s other siblings and their kids for a date at the park. I didn’t have much time to notice how bad I was feeling while dodging my nephew’s pretend laser beams. Don’t worry, I got in a few good shots myself.

A tunnel

The whole crew–all 12 of us, including four kids under five–piled into Outback for dinner Friday night. If there is a sweet tea shortage in the south, you can thank us.

Friday night was no bueno. I had a fever and could not sleep, just laid there feeling hot and getting dropkicked in the rib cage. When we woke up Saturday morning, it hit me even harder. I felt awful. We packed and ate breakfast before leaving, and then we spent ten hours getting home. Ten hours crunched up in the passenger seat with a fever and full body aches and chills. What a delightful traveling  companion.

Saturday night was the worst. I was huddled on the couch, head and body radiating heat. Clayton scared me when he took my temperature, read the thermometer, took it again, and asked, “Are you feeling okay?” He left and came back with more medicine, even though he’d just given me some. I think I topped out around 102 and sweat it all out throughout the night. Thankfully I woke up Sunday feeling light years better. Still sick, but nothing like the previous few days. What a fickle little devil, that flu.

Things were looking up. Addison and Clayton were congested, but nothing major. We hung around the house Sunday doing nothing that we’d planned to do, like clean or unpack or take down Christmas decorations. And then Monday the bottom fell out with poor Addie. She wouldn’t nap unless draped on top of me. Of course she gets a pass when she’s sick, so I was fine with it. But when she woke up, she was clearly miserable. That lasted the rest of the day.

Later that night I went to get her because she’d started crying, and she was burning up. Her fever was just under 103. She wins. Long story short, we ended up at the doctor at 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve and the pharmacy shortly after. She tested positive for Influenza A, which also confirmed that I’d had that nasty little bugger.

Fighting off the flu with smoothies

Fighting off the flu with smoothies

Since then it’s been a sniffly, crying, gagging-on-Tamiflu party up in here. My clients are ready to sing my praises after I was sick a month ago, Addison was sick three weeks ago, I was sick last week, and Addison is sick this week. I’ve only had to reschedule the same phone call three times since I can’t get any sitters to watch Addison while she has the flu. This generation, such pansies.

Arsenal

Arsenal

Eventually we will get back on track. I will dust off my cardiovascular and muscular systems and actually exercise again. I will unstrap the Lysol disinfectant from my husband’s hip. We will remove our lifeless, sagging, fire hazard of a Christmas tree from our home. And perhaps I will think about a reflective 2013 post and plan for 2014.

But for today, we’re still sickies. We will eat our meals in front of the Disney Channel and leave our tissues on the carpet until we hear Clayton open the garage. We will play in our tent and maybe walk around the neighborhood. And hopefully we will not shatter a vertebra trying to finish off that Tamiflu.

Self-commissioned quarantine

Self-commissioned quarantine

Happy 2014!

Dear Addison: Twelve Months

My sweet Addison,
Happy, happy first birthday to YOU!

To have spent this year with you, baby girl, has rewritten my life. All the things that
shone or sparkled or
hinted of excitement
paled on that dreamy day I met you twelve long
and too, too short months ago.

In all the ways I wrestled with questions of inadequacy–
“What have I done that matters?”
What will I create of remembrance?”
You are the resounding answer that, if all I’ve given to this world rests in your ten fingers,

it is quite enough.

The world shines a little bit brighter beneath that gap-toothed grin, the people who catch that crinkle-nose smile breathe easy, even if just for a moment.

You are walking with greater and greater ease, spanning whole rooms and navigating obstacles like the dog bed with less effort. Picking up treasures along your journeys sometimes throws you off balance: a shoe, a sock, a bone. Always invaluable items worthy of a tumble.

Endlessly, tirelessly, you plop, reposition, stand and take off. Again and again and again. No one can believe how well you are moving for just one year old.

Tenacious and determined, these traits have woven their way into your will after only 365 days. Smiley with strangers. Stubborn. Seeker of attention.

What a dizzying medley of personality you have become—a sprinkle of me, a dash of your Daddy—but a clever, compact, perfectly swirled unique you. The original Addison Brooke.

Hair with whispers of red, maintaining its wave as it grows by the day. Eight front teeth, four stacked on four, with a glorious gap in between. An appetite for table food that appeared overnight, scarfing chicken and fish, sweet potatoes and squash, plantains, kiwi, strawberries and, in a lapse in Mama’s judgment, banana pudding.

Refusing to keep even one of your 39 bows on your head.

Lover of dogs, which is most definitely in your genes. You play fetch with Maya, but she’s confused by your 3-inch throws.

Music grabs your attention and inspires the world’s cutest clapping. I’ll entertain you in the car with my best alphabet song to see that full-face grin that appears around “D.”

You are confident and brave in new situations, not clinging but eager to explore. The emptiness in my ever-ready embrace stings every time you squirm away. I imagine your first day of school, a flash of curls darting into the future before I can steal a forehead kiss. (Please don’t do that unless you want to have the hysterical mother sobbing outside the playground.)

I try to dream of what this puzzle will become, but it doesn’t feel right creating my own shape.
A doctor,
a dancer,
a teacher,
a poet.
Your dream is my dream.
My wish is that you become
you.

With ears that keep an elfish point, eyes that keep their twilight gray, hands that find their rhythm, and feet that make their own way.

I pray for your heart to be filled,
poured into in gushes, 
spilling over and out, 
in the way that you have overwhelmed the boundaries of my heart’s beat.

A Mama’s job is so complex, beautiful girl. To endure the aches of growing and letting go while resonating with pride and awe at the person I once knew only as flutters behind a belly.

I have, more than I ever would have anticipated, relished this year with you. My constant companion, my audience, my entertainment, my reminder of what matters the very most. In 365 days, there were two that I didn’t see you. Only two mornings I didn’t greet your puffy eyes, scoop you in my arms and carry you through our day.

How silly to say that you have been my best friend, but I certainly can’t imagine spending that many hours with anyone else and somehow waking up missing them.

I tell you of this year, and how inseparable we are, because one day—God help us—you will turn 15 years old. And I know from experience that I will be the very last person you’d choose to take on a road trip, to look for a new pair of jeans, or to the Starbucks where “he” works. You will look at me with unsolicited resentment, and my words will evaporate into the air before ever hitting your ears. I cringe remembering that very perfect picture of unfounded teenage angst I was.

But I just wanted you to know that we had this year, you, your Daddy and I. When your sparkling eyes hung on every move I made. When sitting on the floor giggling over a green ring was the best 15 minutes of our day. When you told me every little thing that crossed your mind, even if I couldn’t understand any of it. When you studied my words and sounds as if they were magic.

Not a year that will stick in your memory, but
the very best year of my life.

I said it when you turned one month old, and even though I don’t know how, I still promise:

it will only get better from here.

From My Whole Heart,
Mama

a bday