Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Luke!

My sweet boy,  you are celebrating a BIG birthday today! One year ago today at this time, I was anxiously awaiting your arrival in Room 11 in the basement of Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Fast forward a few hours, at 4:57pm in the operating room down the hall, my whole life changed forever. When they layed you on my chest for the very first time, nothing else mattered. You instantly became my whole world. 


The first couple of weeks we were home with you was quite the roller coaster ride. To put it mildly, I was really overwhelmed and scared that I was responsible for raising such a helpless, sweet, innocent baby.  I was sleep deprived, hormonal, excited and anxious and I could never have imagined in those first few days that I'd be sitting here at my computer now writing to you on your first birthday, reminiscing over all the fun memories of the past 365 days and celebrating the precious little boy you've become. 
Raising you is the single greatest joy of my life. 

Over the past year, you've grown from a sleepy, serious infant into a loud, excited, precocious, intelligent toddler who lights up any room that you walk into. You are a playful, happy, loving little guy and the biggest blessing to both me and your daddy. I can't imagine living my life without you now, and this past year has been the very best one I've ever had. 
Happy Birthday, sweet boy! 
I love you - Mommy! 

Hey Luke,

It's your Dad.  Mommy hired me as a guest editor this month for your blog.  I immediately obliged since we all know I am your favorite person and you will love hearing what I have to say after reading Mommy talk for 11 straight months.

All jokes aside, it's been a wild year for us all.  Life has changed and changed for the better.  It's so cliche to say but your mom and I really can't see our lives any other way than without all of the craziness you bring to it.  Nothing calms the stress of a long day from work with a horrible commute more than coming home to you banging on the back door yelling Dada and holding your arms out to be held. 

I want you to know I hold such a special place for you in my heart and want to provide only the best for you and Mommy.  We pray for you every chance we get that the Lord will watch over you and give us the strength to raise you to be a well balanced, well behaved, and respectful child.  My hope is that we can look back on these moments and say mission accomplished in every regard.

I have rocked you to sleep almost every night of your little life and every night I cherish those moments more and more.  Right before I lay you into your crib each and every night, I tell you that I love you, to sleep well (which doesn't always happen) and to have a good night, and I want you to know that my love and care for you will never change.

I know the next year will bring so many more fun adventures, bruises, cuts, laughs, and memories and I want you to know Mommy and I will be there to cherish and document every moment along the way.

Love you little buddy,

So what were you up to the month before celebrating your first birthday? 

We only saw Dr. McClard once this month. Around lunchtime one day, your teacher called and said you couldn't stop crying and pulling at your ear. We took a trip to the doctors' office, and Dr. McClard diagnosed you with just having a bad day! While we were there, they weighed you and you were a little over 27 pounds. You are still a big, big boy for your age! We'll get your official one year stats tomorrow at your well checkup. You have 4 teeth and about 4 more coming in, so we've had some restless nights and long, long, long nap times. 

You are now walking/running/climbing/tumbling/jumping off anything and everything. You do not sit still. Anything that you can go over/under/around is fair game. You have many a goose egg and bruise on your head, arms and legs. Half the time, you get hurt and don't make a peep, so many of your bumps and bruises are mysteries to us. You are all boy! 

You have expanded your vocabulary quite a bit this past month. You say mama, dada, nana, yes (chess), no,  hi, bye bye, up, out, and what. You can shake your head yes and no, and you can do the signs for more and done. You babble all day long and it cracks us up to listen to you "talk". You give hugs and kisses all the time and you are the most affectionate and sweet little boy, especially to your mommy. I get hugs and kisses and big smiles every time I walk into the room that you are in. Melts my heart!

Your appetite has really expanded over the past few weeks and you'll eat anything now, and lots of it. You love hotdogs, cantaloupe, raisins, nilla wafers, chicken, yogurt melts, rice cakes, green beans, sweet peas, grilled cheese, cheerios, turkey, cheese, and much more. You eat great at school and then you come home and eat a great dinner. And sometimes a great after dinner snack while mommy and daddy eat dinner (usually green beans or bread). Your new favorite snack is popcorn! You also started whole milk this week. We went cold turkey, and you never even missed the formula. So happy for that!

Your favorite activities right now are reading books, playing with your golf clubs and puppy pillow, playing outside, going swimming (except swim lessons- you still don't like them), running through the splash pad at the country club, playing with your pop up farm from the Woods, cuddling with your stuffed animals, and rocking on your red rocker (climbing on, getting off, climbing on, getting off...)

At the end of June, you began transitioning into the toddler room at school. They have 3 requirements for infants to move up - you must walk, you must be off the bottle, and you must be off baby food. You did all of those things easily in your 10th month! I was a little worried because moving up meant sleeping on a nap mat and eating at a table, but you've done great. You love being in class with your older friends and your teachers are absolutely wonderful.


This summer has been an absolute whirlwind of fun! In late June, we headed down to Austin so that we could go out to the lake with some friends. You stayed with Grandma and Pappy for the whole day, and got to go with your cousins to the splash pad and just play and play. You loved it! We stopped at Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Jimmy's house on the way home and you had lunch with your cousins Julianne and Jordyn and played with them for a couple of hours. It was a great weekend for you! 

On the 4th of July, we spent the day at the country club with friends, hanging out, playing in the splash pad and kids pool and listening to good music. At noon, they played the National Anthem and you made your mommy proud and placed your hand over your heart! We had to drag you home after being there for almost 10 hours. You were water logged and exhausted and still did not want to leave. You got so many comments about how adorable you are, and I must say I completely agree! It was a great first 4th of July!

Last week, Nana and Papa came for the week to help Mommy get ready for your birthday party! Then on Friday, Aunt Emily, Uncle Adam and Maddie Claire came. You and MC ran to each other and you gave her the biggest hug. You two are best friends and are so happy when the other is around. MC loves to give you kisses and hugs and y'all wear each other ragged. It's so sweet to see you interact, and I hope you both have wonderful memories of getting to grow up together.

Your big birthday bash was this past weekend. We had a pool party and you had lots of friends and family come from all over Texas just for you! We swam, ate snacks and cupcakes and ice cream, played outside, blew bubbles and had a great time. You were absolutely worn out by the end of the day, but it was so special to have a lot of people who love you all in one place celebrating you. You got so many new toys and clothes, and you're having fun discovering each new thing you got.

Luke - this year has been wonderful! I know each birthday will be special in its own way, but there's just something about that very first one that will always hold a special place in my heart. I know I say this a lot, but it really is true that "the days are long, but the years are short".

Happy Birthday, sweet Luke. You mean so very much to me and daddy!

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Luke's First Birthday Party Details

Yesterday, July 14th, was Luke's 1st birthday party! We had a pool party at our house and it was so much fun! I started out trying to go with a nautical theme, but I found a banner I loved and switched to bright colors and a beach theme. I had so much fun creating, decorating and getting ready for Luke's big day!

I didn't get as many pictures of the actual party as I would have liked, but I tried to get plenty of photos of the decorations and a few of Luke before the party started. Luke wore the cutest shirt made by Ashley at Pumpkin Butter Kids - he looked so cute! 

I decorated our front porch with an adorable wreath made by my dear friend Leslee at Bienvenue Designs. She is super talented and when I told her my theme and colors, she came up with this perfect wreath. I painted the pots to coordinate. 

When our guests stepped inside, I had a newborn picture of Luke and a picture taken of him recently, along with a blank page of his baby book for all of the guests to sign. I also had wallets of 4 different one-year pictures printed up for our friends and family to take with them. 

Stealing a page out of Erin at Blue Eyed Bride's book,  I had all of Luke's monthly displayed in bucked on our dining room buffet. Next to our buffet, I rearranged our dining table to be against the wall and went at it with the beach theme. I filled beach buckets with different types of chips and dips for the adults and goldfish, popcorn and animal crackers for the kiddos. I also bought pinwheel sticks at the Dollar Tree and made fruit kabobs. Above the food table, I had 3 photos printed at Image on Metal hanging, and a Celebrate! sign made by NatKat Designs. I love that I can use this year after year and for any type of party! On the shelves next to the window, I put pictures of Jon, me and Luke all around our one year birthdays; Jon and Luke look EXACTLY alike!


In our family room, we had a photo slideshow of Luke playing the entire party. It was so sweet and brought back so many sweet memories of the past year. On our TV console, I made small flower arrangements and a display of his photo books (we made one for 1-3 months, 3-6 month and 6-9 months and I'll soon be doing the 9-12).

We put a banner made by SoCuteParties on Etsy on the mantle and a large one over the entrance to our sunroom next to that. 

On the desk in the family room, we had the favors for all of the kiddos. I bought beach buckets at Hobby Lobby, personalized them with each child's name and filled them up with goldfish, sharkies, bubbles, sunglasses, a beach ball and chalk. SoCuteParties also made little tags that said "Thank you for making my 1st birthday party a splash!" I loved making these buckets and thought they were a great favor for all of the kids. 

On the bar, we had 3 drink canisters of sweet tea, unsweet tea and lemon water. We had fun paper straws for the kids and chalk-tags for the cups with different chalk pens so people could write their names on the cups. I hung a burlap banner over the bar.

Outside on the patio, we had a kids' picnic table, a bubble station and our water table set up, along with the large table for the adults to sit in the shade away from the pool. The beer, soda, bottled water and capri suns were also in the coolers in this area. 

The pool area was decorated with more painted pots, paper lanterns, polka dot pillows and banners. My wonderful husband did a great job hanging lanterns the morning of the party. The pool was filled with tons of pool toys and lots of little kids!

We did cupcakes and little ice cream cups to keep things simple. Our cupcakes came from good 'ole Sam's Club. We bought way too many! I put them in cupcake wrappers and then put toppers on them to match his banners, and it was great and much easier than cake. I also got his smash cake at Sam's. He loved it. Luke started out eating so carefully with his fork, then switched to a spoon, and then ditched all that and dug in with his hands!

We had a fantastic time celebrating our sweet baby boy with our friends and family. We are extremely blessed to have such a great support system for Luke with so many people who love him. I immensely enjoyed planning this party for him; it was a labor of love and I can't wait to do it again next year.

My photo
Hi! I'm Molly. I've been living, working and playing in Dallas since 2005. I love my Jesus, my husband Jon, and my precious sons Luke and Hunter. I have a deep love for Park Cities Baptist Church, Texas Country music, floating the river, backyard barbecues, crawfish boils, decorating, gift wrapping, gift giving, shopping, Etsy, all things monogrammed, cooking, traveling with my friends to great places, being Southern through and through, wine, football season, and the Texas Longhorns. I hope you'll enjoy reading my Letters to Luke.

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