One year, one week, and two days old.

10:43 PM

   Nothing like telling it like it is, huh?  Not exactly the sentimental, "I-am-writing-this-post-as-I-clean-up-the-birthday-cake-and-leftover-party-hats" type of blog post here, but hey, in this case it truly is better late than never.  So even though Charlotte's birthday has come and gone, at least I am taking time to re-cap it now. 

   We celebrated Charlotte's birthday early this year because she was going to turn one while we were in Canada, and I really didn't feel like throwing a party after the trip.  (Why does it always feel weirder to celebrate birthdays late, rather than early?)  We were going to be leaving on the 14th (her birthday is the 18th) so I figured we'd just celebrate a few days before leaving, but then I realized that if I did it about a week earlier, Randy's older brother Byran and his wife Amy would still be out here with their boys.  *Bonus* It was also Xavier's (Byran & Amy's oldest) birthday month so we were struck with a brilliant plan...a joint birthday party!  

   I was a little leery at first...."Will Xavier even WANT to share his birthday?  It's a huge deal to him and won't it bother him to share it with someone else...much less a girl?!  Do we just do one cake for them to share? Two?  No cake??  Who do we invite?  How do we decorate?"  Etc. 


   It turned out so marvelously that I am left wondering why we don't do joint birthdays all the time.  I mean, seriously.  You get to share the workload 50/50 with another mom, you might even get lucky and get to have it HER house, and if you're sharing it with a family member, you are inviting most of the same people anyway,'s just a win/win all around.  Okay so who wants to go in with me 5 days before Christmas for Jocelyn's?   Hmmm, no one?  How very odd.

 How stinkin' COOL was his cake?! Seriously, Pinterest has got nothin' on that cake. 

    Oh and perhaps the best reason of all?  You can do a Dick and Jane theme, and really, when do you ever get the chance to do that?  For a boy/girl twin birthday maybe?  Good luck at landing those odds.  P.S. It would also be awesome for an "unknown gender" baby shower.  Go ahead and feel free to thank me.

  I am such a sucker for kids in party hats.  And color-coordinated to their outfits?  Now we're just getting silly-cute.
   My sweet birthday girl.  How are you one year old already?! 

    Of course no party is complete without a game or two, so here they all are tossing water balloons to their partners.

Charlotte, you truly have brought so much light into our world.  
    First of all, I just want to apologize right off, for any time I have neglected you, or overlooked you.  I have felt for so much of this first year for you that I have just been surviving.  And you deserve so much more than that.  I don't want to just make it through the day.  I want to make your everyday special.  I want to help you grow, help you learn, help you see Jesus. I am so sorry if in some way I haven't appreciated you for the priceless treasure that you are.  

   You are not just "my child".  You are not just work, duty, a mouth to feed, a diaper to change.  You are a soul, budding and blossoming and soaking up life like a thirsty sponge, and I could never fill you up, as much as I may desperately try.  You need Jesus to do that, dear one, and I pray that I won't fail in pointing to Him.

I don't ever want to forget how much you love your daddy.  You light up in his presence, your face shining and your babbling words stumbling over themselves, trying to find a way to communicate how much you want him to hold you.  He can do no wrong in your eyes these days.  He is your hero, your protector, your very best friend.  I cannot wait to see your relationship with him grow and change, but always stay very special and unique and precious.  He loves you so much, little one.

 And here's the birthday boy, Xavier!  Here he is (below) with his parents too.  What a charming little guy.  I kid you not, this guy is already so smart it's almost intimidating. :)  You couldn't pull one over on him if you tried!  I'm not sure why you would try, but ya know, work with me here.  He's sharp, he's funny, and he's a perfect blend of his wonderful parents. I see a bright future in store for this one.  That sounds so corny but truly, I do. 

 I only wish they could live a little closer!  Ohio is such a very long ways away, and I just love the way our children play together. 

Come again soon, Byran and Amy!  Although I guess now it is our turn to come visit you.:)

Of course Jocelyn's party being my first, I feel like I missed a lot of things, and one of which was pictures of her eating her cake!  It was probably because I was bustling around so much, and also because she barely touched the thing, but needless to say, with my 2nd time around at this 1st birthday business, I was on that shutter like white on rice!  I got way too many frosting-smeared-face shots, and I couldn't be happier. 

 Charli-babes, I love how you are not your sister.  I don't want you to ever try to be her, because there is only one Jocelyn, and there is only one you.  And if you tried to be her, than where would my Charli be?  I love you just the way you are.  I love that at this stage of your life your go-to expression is eyes as round as saucers and as blue as the Heavens above.  I love that you just went right into that piece of cake like it was made for you.  It kind of was.  I love that you don't mind being messy.  Just today we were weeding the flower beds and you were eating mouthfuls of dirt and Jocelyn was over there saying, "Oh no! Oh no!" But you were as happy as a clam.  I love how you got excited about your presents, and talked to the stuffed kitty Aunt Amy gave you for quite some time.  I love your energy, your vivaciousness, your tiny, big personality.  I lovelovelove you so much, and am so thankful God placed you in our little family.

With all my love, 

   Thank you, family, for spoiling our littles rotten with all of the birthday goodness.  We are sufficiently pampered, and blessed.  I cannot say enough how much it means when you wrap your arms around our children and love them, delight in them, and cherish them.  It brings so much joy to me and in turn makes me feel pretty loved too.  

    It takes a village..... and I was never more aware of that than I am now.  It felt so fitting to have both my mom and Randy's mom present for Charlotte's birth.  It truly was an atmosphere of teamwork in that labor room, and I will always have very special memories from that time.  Of course at the moment I was too busy focusing on delivering a baby to wax poetic about it, but now when I stop and think about it all, it's almost overwhelming.   Bonnie was there...the same woman that years ago, gave birth to a little boy that became the man holding my hand through it all.  Mom was there....the same woman who years ago gave birth to the little girl that became the woman that was now giving birth to a brand-new life, Charlotte all starts to seem so Circle of Life and Lion King and.......o.k. so I could get emotional all over about it!!!

   I could not, WOULD not ever want to do this alone.  I do not claim to even have the strength to be able to do it all on my own.  Dear family, I am SO grateful for all of your roles in our lives, whether it is in-laws or parents, grandparents, aunt/uncle, sister/brother, etc.etc.  I appreciate you and love you and I don't say it enough, so I am saying it now. 

Thank-you for being there.

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  1. I love being part of your family. Mom

  2. She is just SO cute!! Can't believe she's such a big girl already.

    And I do know someone who has to have a birthday party right before Christmas!! haha.

  3. you should have like 5 more babies. because there all just so CUTE! the party is adorable! good job mama!

  4. Good pictures! That was a fun evening. :-)


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