Wednesday, March 26, 2014

twelve months//dear maddox

Dear Maddox,

Happy, happy birthday, my sweet baby love. Today you are one. Today you have lived on this earth for three hundred and sixty five perfect days, each day more precious than the last. Each day has been a gift as you are my gift. You have brought so much light into my life. Each smile, each kiss, each time you point to me and call me mama, my heart bursts with happiness and I don't know how it can get any better. But then you do it again and it does. It's always getting better. Even when this moment feels like the best moment, I know that there will be millions of best moments with you. And sometimes late at night when I can't sleep because I'm thinking of you, I will try to line up all of the best moments and pick a favorite and it is impossible because each moment is better than the last in some impossible and indescribable way.

Sweet boy, with darkness there is light. And if I think back to the months before you, I remember the fears and insecurities that plagued my soul. But you brought redemption to my life. The moment your daddy carried you to me, swaddled and with a red knitted hat perched on the top of your misshapen head, I fell in love with you. My heart enveloped every single fear I had harbored deep within myself for the past nine months and there you were and you were perfect and suddenly everything was in its right place.

Time has swept us away and carried us to the now. Now you are one-year-old and now you are crawling and walking around furniture. Now you are no longer an infant but now you are independent and stubborn, strong-willed and decided. Each moment is a first and a last and each moment I want to hold on to forever. I'm always looking for forever in everything because I want every moment to last for all of eternity. I wished for forever in the newborn days when you loved sleeping skin-to-skin and cried when I wasn't holding you. I wanted forever as you learned to laugh and laughed for the first real time on our third wedding anniversary. I wanted forever every single night that you fell asleep on my shoulder and I fought with myself on how long I would hold you before putting you to bed.

You are on the verge of everything. Your entire life lays before you now. Time will continue sweeping us into the future and together we will walk towards it side by side. I will always have your back, your hand, your heart. I feel the ache of time in my entire body as I write this letter to you tonight, knowing that this moment is a first and also a last and that tomorrow will come and then it will go and you will turn another day older and people will stop us to ask how old you are and I will decidedly announce that you are one-year-old. The days turned into weeks, into months and now into years. Years, baby.

You are everything in the world to me. You are a thousand points of light in the darkest of days. You are my home. Your tiny body was once so new to me. I was gentle with you as I pinned your legs in my hand and lifted them off the changing table to change your diaper. I was afraid that I would break you in your fragile newborn state. I carried you tight against me everywhere I went because I had never been so afraid of dropping something than I was with you. And now you are home. The solid weight of your body as it sits on my hip as we go about our days. The smell of your breath. Your fingers curled around mine as we practice your walking. The weight of your body as you lay next to me in the dusty light of each new morning. You are home.

You came into this world kicking and screaming, stubborn and refusing all measures of medicine to be born into this world. The doctors cut me open to pull you out and with their hands came your first breath and then your first cry. I heard the doctors announce that your were a boy and then I heard your daddy whisper into my ears as I concentrated on catching my breath, "That's our son. That's Maddox." I could not have imagined that moment, the moment you made me a mother. I could not have drawn it out in my mind the way that I decorated your nursery or planned your first birthday party. I could not have imagined any of these moments but perhaps that's a blessing because they arrive and I am so utterly blown away that I catch my breath a hundred times a day in awe and wonder at you, sweet boy.

Motherhood is nothing like I imagined it to be. Perhaps that is because I could have never fathomed the joy that is being your mama. You are constantly learning, taking everything in and trying everything out. Everything is yours and each new discovery takes you a little bit further away from me. You're becoming independent as you pull the spoon from my hand and dip it into your mashed potatoes and bring it to your mouth. Of course you miss but you try again and although most of your dinner is spread across your face and down your shirt, you have managed to feed yourself and you clap with joy at your accomplishments. Soon you will no longer need me to prepare your meals or nurse you before bed. You'll be potty trained and walking, tucking yourself into bed at night. Time will continue to carry you to adulthood while I sit on the sidelines and marvel at each new accomplishment. Motherhood has been an exercise in letting go and even though you'll always be my baby, you are turning into a little boy and I could not be more proud or be filled with more joy to be a part of your story.

I will forever be turned inside out. Because you are my son.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


I knew that March's family photo would have to be at Maddox's birthday party when we were dressed up as Cowboys and Indians. I just knew it. And so after everyone left and it had been hours since Maddox's last nap and he had spent the entire afternoon entertaining our people and playing with his cousin and eating his very first cupcake like a champ, we decided to take a picture in the prettiest, most deceivingly cold day. And this little cowboy just wasn't having it but that's too bad because we did enforce the "I'm the parent and I say so" rule right then and there to get in one good family picture in all of our Cowboy and Indian get up. And one good picture we did get, but also we got a few others all well. Forcing myself to pick just one picture (vertical pictures exempt from this rule) is proving to be more difficult than previously noted.

Still, I am loving this monthly tradition. And I know that on December 31st when I have 12 amazing pictures lined up and I can see month-by-month changes in our sweet little family, I will be so thankful for the effort and dedication. And super extra thankful for my picture-loving husband. Yes and yes.

I promise to tell ya'll all about the party this week. But first, sleep.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

a letter to a year ago

I keep having this vision in my mind of going back to a year ago and telling my very pregnant self to be patient and enjoy each and every moment. Who knew that a year could come and go so quickly? Certainly not me; not me at all. I would go back and tell myself that this baby will come in the blink of an eye. And before you blink again that little seven pound three ounce baby with the skinniest but strongest legs and healthiest pair of lungs and eyes the color of storm clouds will suddenly be turning a whole year old and you will be laying in bed at night wondering how that is even possible. You will watch him climb up and down the stairs like it is the World's Best Jungle Gym and you will wonder how you ever held a quiet infant who could sort of hold his head up but it mostly bobbled and who couldn't roll over and took his time learning to sit up and crawl and refuses to stand unless he's got a death grip on something and knew nothing of this moving and talking and smiling and laughing baby. You won't remember life before him, or even what life was like yesterday because not only is everything happening in record time but each new phase, each new learned thing will leave such an imprint on your heart that it will be nearly impossible to remember the last new thing. They're still there; you just need to look extra hard to find them.

And thank God for the pictures. Thank God you never deleted any of them, even the blurry ones. Even the ones where your snap-happy husband took 15 of the same picture, you kept them all because you are one of those moms who has an unhealthy obsession with every single picture of her son. But thank God for those pictures because maybe your friend sends you one you forgot about that makes your heart skip a beat when you see the face of your hour-old son wrapped up in that white blanket with that gigantic red knit cap on his head. Your heart will skip a beat and you will be back in that hospital bed with your family surrounding you as your own mom holds her brand new grandson and even though you can't remember the specifics, you can remember those moments and that is just enough.

And then you're back to the now with a baby who is becoming quite the toddler who is asleep in his crib on his tummy with his bum in the air. If I could go back to a year ago when I was waking up every three hours to feed that hungry boy, I would assure myself that he will sleep through the night. And even though those feedings sometimes feel like an eternity and nights only take half of a second, a year is somehow shorter and faster and you will cherish those nights spent rocking a hungry baby back to sleep and rubbing bald his soft little head. And even though you hardly sleep now, it's because you're spending your nights whispering prayers of love and protection and reminiscing with your husband about the antics of that sleeping baby boy. You'll never tire of this new sleepless life because there has never, in the whole world, been a better or sweeter or more important reason for lack of sleep. 

These moments are fleeting. I would tell myself that. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Around here: Birthday Craft Edition

I have been one busy, busy (queen) bee getting everything ready for a certain someone's first birthday party this weekend. I've been cutting and sewing and Pinteresting my life away. I cannot believe that we've already spent (almost) an entire year with our sweet boy. We can't wait to shower him with love on his actual birthday and for our friends and family to love on him this weekend. Without giving too much away about his party, here are just a few pictures of my life lately. I'm up to my eyeballs in felt, you guys. Thank goodness for a baby who likes his two hour naps is all I'm saying.

Friday, March 7, 2014


I know it was just the weekend and this week hardly felt like a full week at all, but I'm so gosh darn thankful for the weekend. It's going to be a busy one. But that's okay. It was a busy week, too, might as well end the week strong while we're at it.

/I finally feel like I'm getting over this horrible, horrible cold. Except for I also got pink eye last week. I woke up with crusty eyeballs and I wasn't about to go pay for another walk-in clinic visit and so Evan picked up some eye drops. They didn't really help. Wah wah. My friend Jess (hi Jess) told me about this tea bar that can make you some tea specific to your symptoms and so I made Evan go get me some voodoo tea (in the snowstorm and freezing cold because he loves me) and she informed him that I should dump some tea in my eyeballs to relieve the pink eye. WHAT IN THE WORLD. But I did it because I'm crazy and I would rather dump tea in my eyeballs than go to the clinic. BUT IT WORKED. The tea pretty much cleared up my stuffy nose, my pink eye, my sore throat and my ear aches. Voodoo magic is right.

/We shot our first wedding on Monday! We had so much fun and I am so in love with all of the pictures. There was a ton of snow and it totally was annoying to work around (Evan had to shovel paths everywhere we went for pictures) and the girls all froze in their short, sleeveless dresses and high heels. But we had tons of fun and it totally reaffirmed that this is right where I am supposed to be.

/This weekend is supposed to be nearly 60 degrees. I made myself an ICED coffee to celebrate the sunshine and the weekend and the fact that spring is just around the corner. I can feel it.

Cheers to the weekend, friends! I hope it's a good one!