Musings on a Third Birthday

Today, my daughter turns three, I am running on 5 hours of mostly-full-though-still-broken sleep,  and her gifts were  JUST wrapped a few minutes ago by her Mamaw while I kept her distracted in the living room.

It’s been a nice build up to Bizzy’s birthday. This week, as we have been out and about, she has been spreading sunshine around to others: waving, smiling, saying “Hi, everyone!”, and wishing people “Merry Christmas!” It’s done my heart good as I have tried to concentrate on the moments that make this season wonderful and not let myself be trapped by the expectation, comparisons, and stuff that made me regret it all at the end of last year. Fewer presents and more meaning. Less doing and more being. Fewer obligations and more space for magical moments and divine appointments.

Today, there will be no huge birthday party, no me running around to pick up party platters, birthday cake, and decorate a party space, no leaving my mom to mind and dress and prepare Elizabeth for said party while I go hither, thither, and yon. No running around desperately trying to be a good hostess as well as an attentive Mommy. No cleaning up afterward, trying to figure out where all the leftovers and cake are going to fit in the fridge, especially with Christmas Day foodings in 6 days. Nope!

All of that that is #offthebeam this year (thank you, Jen Hatmaker). As fun as it might have been for Bizzy last year, it was so much stress for me that I was a wreck by the end of the day and I didn’t get to enjoy my daughter’s birthday really at all. This year, we are going back to basic and easy: a relaxed day (that hopefully involves a nap or two for me), a family dinner out at a Chinese buffet that she really likes, presents, and a small cupcake (with a Christmas tree in frosting) for my girl to indulge in.

My little girl is three years old. I am running on five hours’ sleep, and I am so very pleased and proud to be the mother of this wonderful, fabulous, maddening, fierce, spiky, friendly, smart, lovely little person.


Baby Year 1

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As my husband says, I look like I’ve been hit by a truck here. Yeah, I felt that way, too. But this moment, it’s the only moment that I allowed myself to be photographed, even requested it. Because I wanted to remember that first moment of ultimate joy with Elizabeth.

Tomorrow, my baby girl will be one year old. I don’t quite know how to put all of that into words. I don’t at all, actually. When I look back through all of the pictures, read through her baby book, look at the portraits on the wall, and see her toddling around or reaching her arms up to be picked up by Mum-mum or Dada, I just…marvel.

Here is this little life that was lifted out of me almost a year ago, whom I fearfully bundled up and brought home through the snow several days later. Here is this babe whom I recorded with the hiccups on her week-old-day in the wee hours of the morning. Here is this baby girl who greets me with a smile and a bounce in the mornings, who sets up a wail when I tell her no or when her loved ones leave. Instead of a tiny baby cuddled in my arms, there is this fearless, energetic kid starting to walk quickly around my living room, squealing and laughing and playing. It’s amazing, beyond words amazing.

So, Elizabeth, on your first birthday, I want you to know how amazing your Mum-mum and Dada think you are, as do everyone P6else in your life and everyone you meet. Thank you for blessing and challenging us this year, and we are looking forward to many more wonderful years with you, my little love.