ONE year.

Well, 14 months now, but who’s counting?

I’ve been wanting to write about Henry’s birthday for so long, but I feel like there’s so much to write about and so much I want to remember about the first year. And the more time that passes the more there is to write about. I’m so behind!

Here’s a quick update on where our little guy is at. A couple of weeks before his birthday he started walking. He was just in a different spot all of a sudden. Of course Jesse was out of town that week, but he got plenty of videos! Henry jibber jabbers all the time, but there are a few words he says clearly: dog, woof woof, side (outside), dada (for Jesse and me when he’s happy), mama when he’s upset, and nan (banana). He weighed in at 22 pounds and 30 inches at his 12 month well check, so Henry’s been holding steady in the 75th percentile all year long.

First birthday parties are weird – the kid doesn’t know, but it’s still fun to celebrate! We decided to have an ice cream bar. It was super easy and fun. I hope to write about that and share what we did. It turned out so well! And who doesn’t love ice cream? Our little house was jam packed full of friends and family. It was so crazy to see how many people love and care for Henry.

I’ve really been dwelling on all that the Lord has taught me over the past 14 months. I want to write these out to remember and celebrate how God has sustained me and to encourage someone who may stumble across this and feels like I’ve felt some days.

  • Hold your expectations loosely. Because our perspective is finite. And things happen like ambulance rides and emergency c-sections and having to give your baby formula. Educate yourself, prepare and hope for what you know to be good, but know that if things don’t go according to plan it’s still going to be alright. God is in control of everything. And he knows a little bit more than we do.
  • How you deliver and feed your baby doesn’t define you. I didn’t struggle with having a c-section like I thought I would. I gave it my best shot. However, I shed a lot of tears over breastfeeding. I felt so inadequate, but Henry is healthy and he’s happy.
  • Becoming a mom can be like a mini identity crisis. Life is just different, and somedays I just don’t know where I fit – work, friends, etc.
  • Our joy comes from the Lord. Henry is such a precious gift, but he doesn’t complete me. There are really difficult days, and on those days I have to cry out to Jesus to give me strength.
  • It takes a village. We have been so grateful for all the help we’ve received since Henry joined our family. From the meals in the beginning to free babysitting, we’ve been so encouraged by the help of our family and friends. Ask for help and accept it when it’s offered!
  • Sleep isn’t indicative of how you’re doing as a mom. It’s the first question out of everyone’s mouth when catching up with you after baby is born. But just because your baby may not be sleeping “through the night”, doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong or screwing up your baby’s “schedule”. I felt like I was doing something wrong if he woke up and felt so stressed most of the first year, but he was just a little guy and needed some TLC from his mama.
  • Do what’s best for your family. Some moms go back to work. Some moms stay home. Some moms make their baby food. Some moms buy it. Some moms let their babies sleep with them. Some moms let their babies cry it out. There are a million different ways to do a million different things, but God entrusted you with your baby to raise. So pray for wisdom and go from there. You do you, okay?

I’m so grateful for my sweet husband, our family, and our incredible friends. And I’m beyond grateful for all the Lord has taught me this year.

Here are Henry’s one year pictures. Our friend, Megan Williams, captured them and did an incredible job. Check her out!

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