It has been a long while since I’ve written about a birthday party on Savored Grace. But my beautiful, vibrant daughter Caitlin turned 4 (!), and I can’t wait to share her art party with you!
Dearest Caitlin, I know how you hate to have anyone say anything special about you. (Words of affection are not your love language.) But I hope you know how much I love you, and that I will never, ever stop loving you no matter what! I enjoy your enthusiasm, and your love of “making Valentines” by cutting papers into tiny, tiny shards, and how you turn everything from reading to cleaning up into a silly game. You feel everything in a big way, and you are stubborn to your core. I’m glad you are my daughter, and I’m glad we could celebrate you in a special way!
This year, one of my major happiness goals is to make a big deal out of celebrating Easter.
I got to thinking after a talk at my moms group last year: why is Christmas such a huge deal, but Easter is a second-rate holiday? I don’t know about you, but at least at our house, Easter was often an afterthought. I would hurry to pull out Easter baskets the night before Easter and run to the convenience store to buy whatever candy they had left over so that there would be something for my kids to discover on Easter morning. My husband would hide plastic Easter eggs in the yard during breakfast. And that was it. Easter accomplished.
Suddenly, you find yourself revealing way more about parts of your body, your sleep habits, and bodily functions in general to your friends (and near strangers) than you ever would have otherwise. If you are breastfeeding, your entire life suddenly feels like it hinges on your ability to mimic a dairy cow. And if that is going poorly, for one reason or another, you may find yourself anxiously spending hours searching the internet, trying to figure out how to be a better cow.
Introducing my lovely little daughter, Violet. She started out a tiny little squirt, despite arriving nearly two weeks late! You will have to pardon my delay in posting (she is nearly 3 weeks old now!), but life with three kiddos has been beautifully exhausting.
I am still right in the thick of that twilight zone where I can’t remember when I last took a shower…but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t today. Between nursing constantly, homeschooling a kindergartner part-time, and spending the rest of the hours reading to a contrary preschooler, my days have been very full!
Violet is a bright spot of sunshine for us. She smiles constantly in her sleep (and is beginning to smile when awake, be still my heart!), adores staring at our black-and-white striped curtains, and is perfectly willing to let her older siblings hold her hand. We love her dearly and can’t wait to see how her sweet personality develops as she grows!
How in the world did my son turn 5? It’s not like the days or years have felt short; I honestly can’t even remember (because it seems so long ago) what my life was before this kid made me a mom. It’s just that I remember so clearly thinking he would be small forever. That his little hands and his little feet would always be doll-size. That 2-year-olds seemed as big as monsters.
Of course, if you ask her how old she is, she says, “Cake!”
Caitlin is a sweet and determined little girl. She always knows what she wants and what she doesn’t! It has been so fun watching her learn over this past year: just when I think she might take forever to figure something out, she takes off running (literally. at 13½ months. walking is for chumps). She studies everything around her, speaks in complete sentences, and stands up for herself. She loves hugs and being outside and picture books. She loves shoes and farm animals and helping with chores. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and grapes.
Caitlin loves nothing better than sitting in our laps and reading books, so we threw her a storybook party to celebrate her second year of life!
Jake definitely gave me a run for my money this year. He is rambunctious and giddy and willful and very invested in understanding every single thing.
This year we celebrated Jake’s birthday in the most fitting way I could imagine: with a mountain of candy and a giant board game. Jake’s sweet tooth rivals mine, and he has spent the last year in a quest to become a board game geek like his daddy. (It should be noted here that his favorite game is called Just Desserts, which is a game where you feed pretend customers all their favorite sugary treats, and that when we play Candyland, he cherishes the pink dessert cards so much that I have a hard time convincing him to keep them in the stack.)
Happy fourth birthday, Jake! I can’t believe how big you are, and I can’t wait to see how you grow over the next year!
Somehow a whole year has flown by, and my baby girl turned 1!
In some ways, it doesn’t even seem real: she still has no teeth and she’s not walking on her own quite yet. Although she loves to enthusiastically yell, “Hi!” on the phone, she still seems to think blowing raspberries is the best form of communication. She’s still my baby—she can’t possibly be a whole year old!
Caitlin has a smile that lights up her whole face. She throws back her head when she grins, and it’s like her entire body quivers with joy. She loves her brother, she loves to explore, she loves hugs, she loves books and ripping paper (not the best combination), and she loves to put every small thing into her mouth. She certainly keeps us on our toes, and we are so glad to know her!
For Caitlin’s first birthday, we threw a bubble bash. I bought bubble machines and wands and set out a bunch of food and we invited friends and family to come celebrate!