It has been:
the messiest year,
the most emotional year,
the busiest year,
the most frustrating year,
the craziest year,
the hardest year of my life.
And it has been, without a doubt:
the absolute best year of my life.
Our boy turned 1 on Friday. All evening and into the night on Thursday, April 16, all I could think about were the memories of "one year ago."
One year ago, we were eating our last dinner out as a family of two. (We went to The Quarry of course, and I had my usual grilled Caesar with salmon...still counting carbs up to the very last second!)
One year ago, we were working out in the weight room. (The fastest I could walk on the treadmill was 2.7 mph and I was huffing and puffing.)
One year ago, we were double-checking our bags, then loading them into the car.
One year ago, Tom was taking Ny-Quil and going to bed. (At 8:30 pm. If you have read Jude's birth story, you know why this ended up being kind of funny. At the time I was not amused.)
One year ago, we were waiting for my sister to arrive at our house.
One year ago, I sat straight up in bed with sudden labor, pain ripping through my abdomen, thinking WHAT WAS THAT??
I laid in bed last Thursday night, not able to shake the one year ago memories off and go to sleep.
I couldn't get his sweet, fresh newborn face out of my mind.
I finally drifted off at 12:00, whispering "happy birthday" to my sweet boy on the video monitor. He was snuggled up with his bear, perfectly content. And one year old.
Since Tom and my nephew also have birthdays in April, my family got together over the weekend to celebrate all of them in one swoop. Here are some snapshots:
Jude's daycare provider decorated her home on Friday for his birthday!
Saying goodbye to one of his playmates before leaving on Friday. He loves his daycare and all of his buddies.
Friday night was all about BAKING. I don't bake very often so this is a rare occasion. The dark chocolate fudge cake balls and vanilla cupcakes turned out great, but not without some frustrating moments. My kitchen was a disaster! It looked like Frosty the Snowman puked all over it once I was done. I think that's why I don't like baking...flour gets EV.ER.Y.WHERE. And powdered sugar. And granulated sugar. And egg shells. And butter wrappers. And all the things.
I want to be a great baker. I want to create beautiful and delicious cakes and muffins and scones...but I just don't have the patience for it! Measure this, measure something else, get it to this perfect temperature, don't let it sit out for too long, mix this at this speed for this many minutes, AHHHH!!! Frustrating! I'm a much better cook than I am a baker...I would much rather create food with my senses than be confined to a recipe. Maybe someday soon I'll be in an extra-patient mood so I can try my hand at these.
This gorgeous picture, however, shows the vanilla buttercream frosting I made. OH MY GOSH! It was perfect! I used the Williams-Sonoma recipe for the frosting as well as the cupcakes.
Saturday -- my sister's family arrived so the real fun could begin!
My niece and I had a kitchen floor tea party :)
The neighbor girls came over to play...
Almost birthday time!
My big boy! Grandma and Grandpa N. gave him a trike!
He LOVED his cupcake!
My mom made this beautiful layered strawberry cream cake. Apparently I did not inherit her baking genius.
Aren, Jude and Tom: the birthday boys!
I'm off to do a very important soundcheck for a gig that I am SO excited about...... can't tell you about it yet, though. :)
Have a great week! Love, Betsy