Our wren wren. How can it be? This year with you has been so sweet. Also, spicy. As you grow you are learning to exert yourself, learning what you like and what you don’t. One thing you became very attached to early on in your life was your bunny, a gift from a family friend. Nothing comforts you like bunny. So we thought your first birthday should be a bunny themed day. We can’t believe you are one and we’ve said so a million times. You are a joy to us all, everybody’s baby, and you make us all laugh with your silly faces, grumpy eyebrows, bunny love, toddling walk, and excitement for life. Happy first birthday, sweet little very.
A little bit about her day:
Friends (and my mom) came over the day before her birthday (Saturday) for a cookout, bonfire and play time. We didn’t make it about her day persay, but we did have carrot cake in her honor and a couple of gifts. On her birthday, it was just us. After church I wanted to take photos of our girl in her special birthday dress + crown, just as she is now — walking, exploring, loving being outside, chasing our kitty Rose, and keeping up with her siblings. It was good that we did because shortly thereafter it began to rain and pour for the rest of the day. When she woke up from her nap and saw her presents by the fireplace, she picked them up and started right in on them, knowing just what to do. Each of the children helped her open a gift. She opened her birthday sweater that I knit for her and she immediately bit it, as she does whenever something is soft and snuggly. She held onto it and didn’t protest a bit when I put it on her. It’s so sweet because whenever she saw me working on it she would grab the yarn (and generally she is very into my yarn anyway). We got her a bunny book and her cousin-twin Silas sent her the sweetest book about a bird named wren which made me tear up to read. Its perfect. We also bought her a pair of boiled wool overalls which will be so nice for her to wear on all her adventures outside, with the reinforced knees and bottom. They are very big on her but they will fit her throughout next winter as well! My mom bought her her first baby doll (wren can’t say her “b’s” yet so she calls it her “day-dee” instead of baby). Her big gift from us was a little piano of her very own. She is obsessed with our piano but can’t reach it or play it unless someone helps her up and then sits and makes sure she doesn’t fall off the bench, so this little piano is just her size. She has loved it so much, which is always a delight.
For her cake, I made a vegan + gluten free carrot cake which was literally maybe the best carrot cake I’ve ever had, and I topped it with new little bunnies in honor of her bunny day. 🙂 She has never had anything like cake before and she’s our first child to absolutely dig in and love her first birthday cake. It was a very special first birthday, just perfect in so many ways. And I tried not to cry and be sad about her growing so big so fast, or the fact that it might be the last first birthday we celebrate, and instead just enjoy all that is now and all that will come.
We celebrated with family yesterday afternoon, opening gifts, enjoying a meal together, and feasting on cake (gluten-free + vegan!). Our sweet babes are so blessed to have aunties + uncles and grandparents nearby who will love on them in this way and bless them with sweet gifts. Phippa, as we call her, received some warm clothes, a new bike, and a doll from Brandon + I. She was the first of our kiddos to not cry during the first-birthday song/cake experience, and to actually eat and enjoy her cake! So I think she loved it. We all did! What a treat to be together with family and to all love on this sweet little gift from God to us, our precious girl. We adore her! My heart is a little sad that she is already one and moving on up, but it’s good to remember all the fun things that are ahead. Her first steps, words forming into sentences, more + more that she is able to do and that we are able to know of her. Her little party was a great way for us to begin Thanksgiving week. Our hearts are ever mindful of the great kindness He has shown us in these little souls entrusted to our care!
Psalm 91 has been on my heart the last few days, these verses in particular my prayer for our little Philippa Ruth:
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
(Psalm 91:14-16 esv)
My dearest little Philippa Ruth
The littlest one, the lovey of our hearts. You are just pure delight. There was nothing like seeing you for the first time. You were born in laughter and momma was full of indescribable joy. A shock of the darkest and softest hair, eyes so intense and grumpy looked at me as you guzzled milk for the first time. You just stared at me as if you never wanted to look away. You were the softest and pudgiest and sweetest little bundle. Big sister couldn’t wait to get her hands on you, big brother was filled with wonder. You were the sweetest Thanksgiving marvel. We loved bringing you home, it was a time filled with all the usual difficulties of adjusting to life with a newborn again. But in many ways, it was the sweetest newborn season we had experienced thus far. We knew by now how fleeting this time is, and we didn’t mind spoiling you. We snuggled with you and held you all the time. We let you sleep in our bed. We let you nurse even when it wasn’t quite “time” yet. We broke all of our own “rules” with silly grins on our faces. We savored you with great joy. It has been so fun to get to know you, to see your little personality shine forth. How you love your older siblings. How feisty and determined and stubborn you are, all the while being sweet and completely lovable. Knowing you and loving you and the great + high privilege of raising you is the supreme joy + honor of my life. You, along with brother and sister, of course. I am so happy to celebrate this first birthday with you. I hope it is the happiest birthday! Know, my sweet girl, how deeply loved you are, especially first + foremost by our great God who with tender foresight placed you in a family where you would be taught the glories + wonders of the Gospel. I hope we will always be faithful to point you to Him in every year along the way. Where we fail, He is perfect and unchanging. May His love for you in Christ Jesus be what undergirds every day of your life and may you shine as a bright light in your generation.
With all my love
(Pictures taken by my sister-in-law Addie + my friend Elise)
My sweet, sweet boy.
You came into our lives at just the right time. We were filled with wonder and apprehension about a little man joining our family. Phoebe would always hug my tummy and kiss it and say hello to you, and say “he’s so tiny!”
What a warm snuggly little man you were right from the start. You were all chub and pudge, just a little butterball to hold and kiss. We were so thankful for you, and awed once again by the miracle of birth.
Your mommy loves you so much. I’m so proud of you for the sweet little boy you are. And I enjoy you so much, your snuggles and kisses, your laughter and tender little spirit. Your careful ways and little sensitive nature. I love how you wake up happy and jabbering away. How you say “Hiiii!” when you hear a door open. How you laugh whenever you hear anyone laughing. How proud you are that you can clap or take a few steps. The way you race to the bathroom the second you hear the tub turn on. How you say “tractor” or “gentle” or “uh-oh.” This year has been such a fulness and a joy to have you, little man. And my heart aches a little to see it go. To know that soon you will be walking and running, soon your little words will turn into little phrases, then sentences. That you’ll be off exploring this great big wild world, keeping up with your big sister. My little baby is turning into a little boy already! Happy 1st birthday sweet boy. I pray for many, many more with you. And I love you so much, forever and ever.