Is it just me or did March zoom by at warp speed? I guess that's how it goes when you're busy, busy, busy! Between travel, anniversary celebrations, party planning, and keeping up with increasingly mobile baby, busy is definitely what I have been. And since I am so behind I am dying to talk about mine and Chad's 5 year wedding anniversary and a zillion other exciting things that have happened the past few weeks, but none are more exciting than Eliana's 1st birthday celebration yesterday.
I debated for ages over whether or not to give into my craving for a great big first birthday party. I know it's over the top. My parents had my grandparents over for a home-cooked dinner and birthday cake with a couple of gifts when I turned one, because really what more do you need? I never gave it much thought really, but as this amazing first year of motherhood as gone on, I kept daydreaming about celebrating it in a really big way. It has been after all the absolute, hands-down best year of my life so it felt appropriate to celebrate the amazing little person that gave that gift. So I finally decided to go for it, and I am so glad I did.
Not only was the party a ton of fun for all three of us, it gave me a place to channel all of my energy and emotion about her upcoming first birthday. Each month on the 9th as Snow Pea reached a new monthly milestone, I have felt a bittersweet burst of emotion about how much she's grown and how amazing it is to be a part of it. I won't lie, both happy and sad tears are shed almost monthly as I realize that while a stage of her babyhood has passed, there is still a lifetime of love to look forward to. So if I get weepy just celebrating her monthly "birthday" you can only imagine how much pent up emotion I'm containing with her turning one just one week from today! Having my party to-do list this month has taken the edge off of the emotions of my baby growing into a toddler. I had so much fun planning, crafting and preparing every little detail and it did a lot to keep my mind in the present as well. Although it hasn't stopped me from reminiscing entirely.
I have been playing lots of "this time last year" remembering the excitement and anticipation of the last weeks of my pregnancy. In fact, this day last year, was my original due date and I remember talking to Snow Pea all day, telling her I love her and that I was ready when she was. She didn't come for another week, but April 2 is one of those dates that will always stick in my head. Of course, I can't play "this time last year" without expanding into "this time 2 years ago" and remembering all of the challenges we were facing wondering if parenthood would really ever happen for us. A friend recently helped me realize just how incredible it is that I am talking about the best year of my life, when the years directly preceding this one were without a doubt the most heartbreaking and most challenging. It really is incredible how much my world has changed and all of it for the better.
And nothing was better than than celebrating all of that joy, those bittersweet milestones, the amazing love that is my daughter at her "birthday palooza" yesterday. There was music, laughter, friends and plenty of cake. Eliana enjoyed every one of those things and I am just grateful to have experienced it with her. I know she won't remember any of it, but I certainly will and I look forward to sharing my memories with her. We are even putting together a first birthday time capsule to be opened when she turns 18, full of mementos of her party and her first year so that she can see just how special and precious she is.
I promise I have lots more pictures and fun stories to share from our incredible day, but unfortunately my laptop is outdated and is not letting me access the server properly so that I can post them (yes, we have a tiny computer network in our 1200 sq ft apartment and yes my husband is a total tech-head). I promise to have them up very, very soon! And in the meantime I am going to cuddle up my sweet girl, reminisce about those wonderful last belly kicks and enjoy this last week of my daughter's amazing first year.