Friday, August 14, 2015

Molly's Nine


A friend told me earlier this year that nine-years-old marks the halfway point to your time living in our home as a child. After my heart started beating again, I immediately told her to never mention that to me again if she wished to remain friends. Ha.

I think that as my oldest, I will always worry the most about you. Was I too young, or poor, or selfish when this perfect, tinier version of you was placed in our loving care? There are so many ways that you have grown me in to a mother and unfortunately, some of them were not always through my proudest of motherly attributes. We've weathered some storms, Miss Mouse. This year was not always the tender, gentler, moments of the past. Lots of new arrived by ways of hormones, drama, lip-gloss and Taylor Swift. For the first time, some challenges of childhood couldn't be fixed with a princess band-aid or a silly face to make you laugh. Still my little girl but this year somehow wiser, wittier, more aware. For the first time, my role as Mom was to take the backseat as a supporter, while you tackled a challenge head-on or sought to resolve some sort of change.

You are growing in to this beautiful little woman with a heart for conviction and a fierce love of family. Every single day, I see little glimpses of the older versions of yourself and my heart beats faster. This is my time. My time to pour my love in to you, help you to see that beauty comes in adversity, that having a voice can be your most powerful asset and that you are so beautifully and wonderfully made. So even if you have arrived at our "half-way mark" (for whatever that me means), I am all to aware of the joy to come in the back half. Honestly, I can't wait for it all.

You are mine to love for always. How did I get so very lucky?

Here's to a day celebrating the bright, loving, funny birthday babe you are.

Love you so,

Molly's NINE from Julie May on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Birthday Facts

 Birthday Stats
Height- 26.5 inches (less than 1%)
Weight- 15.5 lbs (2nd%)
Head- 44 cm (25th%)

The big birthday has now come and gone! Couldn't let the calendar year subside though without a final look at this action packed month!

Annie this month...

 you celebrated a national holiday with family, your first fireworks and ate some CORN.

A couple weeks later we were back in town for a day to celebrate your awesome, older cousin, Claire's, first birthday...

This was a great opportunity to practice cake. 

That very night we headed east to vacation for a week in Florida! Kid, you were made for beach living... just like your Mama.

Despite loads of sunscreen, hats, rashguards and abundant time under the umbrella, you still managed to get crazy tan.

and blonde!!! What a beach babe. That naked swimsuit is just about the cutest little thing on your tiny hiney.

Back in Austin, we were reunited with friends that have become our family!

Which was perfect timing to celebrate our ONE YEAR OLD!

For our party-non-party... we sure had some delicious cupcakes!!


Annie's BIRTHDAY facts

Sleep patterns: You now sleep all night from 8p-8:30a in your bed, on your tummy always, in your Lorenz brace.

Drinking: We are just in the process of weaning and now you will take a cup all by yourself, all day.

Eating: Your favorite foods are spaghetti, bananas, watermelon and ICE CREAM.

Mood: You are the happiest, smiley, kid we know. Seriously. With that said... if some touches your ice cream, you can throw some serious shade... and later lose it if they keep said ice cream.

I heart ice cream cones.

Don't even think about taking it or I'll cut you.

Specials: Annie still loves to sleep with her beloved blankets gifted by Aunt Lauren Wallace. She also loves her baby doll: "Baby Stella" and will now crawl around chanting "baby" "stella" until she finds it.

Tricks: Claps, blows kisses, waves, says "mama", "Dada", "baby", "Ball", "bye bye", "hi", "momo" (Molly), "bro bro" (Gabe) and "lala" (Lucy). She can crawl, pull to a stand and is just starting to cruise a little on furniture.

Uniquely you: Annie is a frequent bathtub pooer. Hopefully this is short-lived.

What a year, Annie May! We sure do love you!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A littlest first birthday

Sweet Annabel,

I rocked you in my arms tonight in the quiet, stillness of your precious room. As I sat there in that moment that has become so much a part of our bedtime routine, I felt you gently reach back to the nape of my neck, feather my baby hairs and deep sigh one last, little "mama" before drifting off to sleep. Instantly, my eyes were welled to the brim with tears and I, too, found myself in a deep sigh. One year, sweet girl. We did it.

There are a lot of people that clutch dearly to the notion that right when life gives you a perceived version of lemons, you best start making some "lemonade" out of it all. All that active encouragement is truly directed with such incredible love. But sometimes, that space to initially process doesn't start with gentle acceptance. Sometimes, it even starts with something so very far from delicious and joyful lemonade. And you know what... that's okay. We all get there in our own time and way. You were the gift that my heart never even realized it couldn't live without. For a lifetime to come of unexpected surprises, I know with all certainty at the end of this journey, you will by far have been my greatest one.

I should have of known that my greatest teacher to ever touch my heart would come in the form of a spritely baby with banana-crusted, blonde hair and twinkly eyes. You, Annabel Jane, are the most beautiful balance of resiliency and joy. All that grew me. Being the Mom you needed meant I had to allow myself to be vulnerable. I shed this disillusioned belief that I could handle it all on my own. You took a weary, frustrated, fearful version of myself and helped me lean in to the supportive love of a community. The support and grace given to our family this year through meals, prayers, baby supplies, phone calls, love visits have been beyond beautiful. All this love poured in to our hearts... all because there was a you in our lives. Thank goodness.

I can't even begin to imagine what the years to come will look like with you as the youngest. I imagine there will be days that you feel overlooked or even dragged around. I don't even want to count the number of naps you took in the car this year while we were running siblings around. We'll just call it a lot. I'm sure our home will be noisy and messy and even teetering on the edge of insanity at times. Who knows, really. And yet... it is YOU that gifts Molly a chance to pretend she's a mother, YOU who brings out the gentlest versions of Gabe and YOU who somehow manages to even calm a Lucy (and honestly, I didn't even know that was possible). You can take 9 weeks in Pavlik, three visits to the operating room, 16 weeks in a body cast, 12 hours a day in a Lorenz brace and still look the world with brightest smile and the most playful of spirits. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. So whatever the years will bring as the youngest, I know with full confidence, you'll handle it just fine.

You, my Nanners, are incredible. The light we never knew we needed and until we couldn't live without it.

Happy first birthday, little love.

Birthday video... Turn up your speakers, it's a good one. 

Annie's First Birthday from Julie May on Vimeo.