To my beautiful baby peacock,
Your first birthday has arrived. One year ago to this very night I was eight days overdue and very eagerly awaiting your arrival. When your due date came and went, the doctors set an induction date 10 days out, with hopes that you would come naturally within that time. I knew without a doubt– don’t ask me how– that the induction was going to happen. So one year ago to this night, I slept horribly. I’ve never been so anxious and excited and nervous in my life.
One year ago today, your dad and I woke up at the crack of dawn, drove to the church down the street, exercised our right to vote in the 2012 presidential election, and headed to the hospital to be induced. Twenty-three-and-a-half hours of labor, and two-and-a-half hours of pushing later, we were blessed with the greatest gift God has ever given your dad and me. You. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Precious. Perfect. You.
Those first few nights were a doozy. Heck. I’ll be honest. Those first couple of weeks were crazy! I’d never survived on less sleep in my life – and I’d never loved so fiercely. You were and still are a miracle in my arms. All of the times in my life when my mom told me that I would never understand her love for me until I had a baby of my own now make perfect pristine sense. I hear you mom. Loud and clear…
On that note, I have a couple of wishes for you, baby girl. Twelve wishes, to be exact. One for each beautiful “first” month, and they go a lil’ something like this…
- Love yourself. You are beautiful, inside and out – “inside” is what matters most.
- Your baby belly laughs fill my heart with happiness. So please, continue to laugh. With your friends. With your family. At yourself.
- Notice that all of your baby friends are so different, unique and wonderful. Learn to love and appreciate each person for their differences and unique abilities. Let there be no room in your life for comparison. Just love.
- Wear your sweet smile freely. Everyday. To everyone. (It’s contagious…)
- Continue to develop that headstrong, independent personality of yours. Let your confidence lead you in the face of fear and conformity.
- Always be kind to animals – remember, your first ever BFF was a Jack Russell Terrier.
- Be a proud peacock. You have so much to offer this world. So much to give. Always be yourself, and always give when you are able.
- Great ideas and opportunities are born out of the unknown. Never be afraid to get creative.
- Curb the urge to eat crayons and/or paint. I have lots of way cool art projects planned for us, once we jump this hurdle.
- Practice patience, my love. Sweet, glorious, oh so difficult patience. It will come in handy later on down the road when learning to tie your shoes, master cartwheels, or tolerate your mother’s kisses in public.
- Know that you can always count on your mom and dad. We will be here for you no matter what, no matter when, no matter where.
- Thank God for every single day we are together.
I may spend your first birthday looking at the clock, reliving the most special day of my life – the day you were born. I will nod and smile when the clock strikes 7am tomorrow, and I remember the beginning of our journey to you… walking laps around the maternity floor, holding your dad’s hand. I will smile when afternoon rolls around and I remember your dad trying to ease the intense pains of labor. I will breathe deep when dinnertime rolls around and I think about conceding to an epidural. I will set my alarm for early in the morning on your birthday and I will snuggle and hug and kiss you while I remember the first moment I laid eyes on you. And I will thank God for you, baby girl. For your good health. For your strength. For the beautiful little lady you are. I am thankful for this first birthday of yours, and for every day of your life that came before it.
Happy birthday, peacock. I love you with all of my heart and soul…
**A super special shout out to our good friend, Anne from Flour Box Bakery, who created the beautiful peacock cookie toppers for Nora's birthday cake! Yes, those are all cookies! Each one is hand-rolled and hand-iced. Show her some love here on our blog... then check out her Facebook page here, the Flour Box Bakery website here and an insider look at the making of the peacock cookie here.
Katy Stager, proud mom and wife, is a fan of all things "active." She's a marathon running, swimming, cycling, hiking, art loving, community volunteering, book reading, Instagraming, Animal Kingdom shopping kind of mom who does it all with her little girl in tow. A Bloomsburg University grad, she now studies homemaking, successful childrearing, and thriftiness through the school of life's successful parenting program.
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