I had a moment the day that she turned one where it hit me. Where I had flashbacks to that amazing day one full year ago when our baby girl decided to make her grand entrance into this world. Where I had the most out of body experience that I've ever had as I gave birth to her, as she shot into this world in a matter of minutes, almost in the hospital hallway, almost before anyone was there to catch her. I scrolled back through to that blog post that I wrote that day--her crazy birth story (HERE) so that I could re-read it and remember all of the details, because I just don't ever want to forget it.
Our third baby. Our sweet baby Sophia. The most perfectly adorable baby girl who was placed in my arms that early April morning, and who I have been holding close ever since.
And so for a full year we have been learning how a family of five works. We have been learning how to parent when we're clearly outnumbered. We have had days when we feel like we're nailing this whole parenting gig, when we have looked at our kids and feel so ridiculously blessed and when everything is going perfectly right. Then we have had days when we feel utterly defeated and completely exhausted, questioning if we're doing things correctly, questioning what we could do better. Because parenting is designed to teach you as you go, to force you to make mistakes and learn from them, and to steal ideas from others who have done this before, and to love on your kids like you've never loved before. Because although everyone has different ways of parenting, although everyone approaches their children and their needs in different ways, the one thing that I've learned is that everyone's intentions are the same: everyone is just trying to love their kids. Our approaches might be different, but our intentions are the same.
And loving them we certainly are.
But the true reality of having three kids is that although it is the most incredible thing in the world, and the best thing I've ever done in my life, it can also be absolutely exhausting. So with Sophia's birthday quickly approaching, I decided that we would do a family party for her, but we'd pass on the big party with friends. Because just thinking about the effort of putting a party together made me want to crawl into bed and take a nap.
But at the very last minute, I decided to just go for it. Because you only turn one once.
So we decided to invite our group of friends who have been there with us from the beginning--a group of friends who were from our original mommy group from way back when Mya was a baby. A group of friends who have been there for babies being born, for first steps and then first days of kindergarten. They have been there for devastating losses of babies, and for joyous celebrations of new birth. We have laughed over the funny things that our kids have done, cried over the hard times, comforted and encouraged each other with zero judgement when our kids at different times weren't behaving like angels, and ultimately just been there for each other. So what better way to celebrate the year that we have just been through than with a few of the people who have been there with us from the beginning.
So, as I quickly tried to throw some sort of plans together very last minute, I decided that a milk and cookies theme would be super cute and relatively easy to pull off.
And these milk bottles? Well, they were my inspiration. Because a milk and cookies party just isn't complete without adorable little glass bottles.
So we had chocolate milk, strawberry milk and regular milk...
and a table full of cookies.
And when people asked how I pulled this off with such short notice? Well, the answer that I gave them was the truth--I had a lot of help.
The day before the party my parents helped out with the kids while I made the cake, put up the decorations and got things organized.
And myself along with Jen and my mom baked up a storm, while my mother-in-law Judy bought and plated other food for our guests.
And I stayed up late, worked through nap times, and ultimately threw it together as quickly as I could.
So we played circle games where a detective had to find the person who stole the cookie from the cookie jar...
and decorated cookies with icing and candies...
and had cookie races on spoons...
where everyone got to eat their cookie and pick from the prize bucket regardless of how many cookies ended up on the grass.
And they played on our playground...
and ate lots of cake.
And just as the sugar high kicked in, we headed out onto our court, got their helmets on and let them burn off some energy.
Happy birthday to our sweet Sophia.
We love you more than you'll ever know.
Love mom and dad xox