Roxanne Rae, One and Done


I’d been thinking about it for weeks, of course, so excited for her first “real” milestone in life, so happy to say that we had all made it one year – one year of breastfeeding and wonky sleep patterns, one year of banana muffins and berry smoothies, one year of baby-wearing hikes and mini rock climbing adventures. We’ve laughed (and cried twice as much) and gotten excited about the most random things (she hugged a stuffed animal! It’s the cutest thing!).

Despite all of the baby birthday hoopla going around these days, I somehow forgot that I needed to prepare for this grandiose event – I was sort of hoping that being excited would be enough. Which resulted in me waking up that morning sporting nothing but the ingredients for an uncertain cake. Oh, and then our kitchen faucet broke.
I want you to know that you do not have to have the perfect plan or the best supplies or loads of time to make a birthday special. You do not need an expensive photographer or photo-editing software. You do not need a huge party or loads of sugary goodies. You do not even need gifts.

You really just have to want it to be special, and then suddenly little things seem to click together. Here’s what I did:
  • Wrapped two of her “old” toys in white printer paper
  • Bought her a new pair of shoes (because I couldn’t resist)
  • Baked and frosted a healthy-ish carrot cake (it involved honey, pineapple, and a smidge of brown sugar; hit me up if you want the recipe)
  • Set up a “photoshoot” outside, where I spent an hour or so clicking my camera happily and telling no one in particular, “She’s so cute! Oh my word I can’t get over how cute she is!” (I know, real classy)
Literally I had no plan. I was like, “We need an outfit and props,” so I threw some apples in a basket, grabbed two outfits, and a muffin in case one of us got hungry, and we trooped to this grove of trees and played around. It wasn’t perfect at all. But we loved it.

The photos turned out beautifully, in my opinion. Some were taken on my Canon PowerShot (probably the cheapest Canon camera out there), and some were taken on my new Droid phone. I edited them using Instagram. Again, my class is real high.
The only slight issue with my choice of props was that Roxy is full of teeth and made it her goal to take a bite out of every. single. apple. I turned them into a pan of apple dumplings, though, don't worry.

The carrot cake wasn’t half-bad. I’m afraid most of it went to waste, though; apparently Roxy wasn’t making quite enough of a mess because Josh and I started throwing frosting at each other and that was it for my clean kitchen. Pretty sure we had more fun than the baby did.
It’s been a good, insane year. Motherhood is no joke. And being plopped into marriage and motherhood all at once certainly ramps things up a notch. But you know what? Looking back over this year leaves me with this: somehow in the thick of it I always focus on the negative, but looking back with a little perspective shows me only the highlights, the good stuff, the things I want to remember.

All those awful, long nights of crying and nursing and no sleep? Yep, they happened, and sure, they made me stronger (or just more tired...). But in the grand scheme, they're not what I want to hold on to as the years go by.

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
-Phil. 4:4-9

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