Dear Loralai- 2 Years

Happy Birthday, Loralai.  This time 2 years ago, I was sitting in the hospital room holding you.  I had gotten very little sleep and was completely exhausted, but the sun had risen and was shining through the blinds and I was so content to sit there and stare at your little face.  I had never seen something so amazing in my life.  So glad you found your way to us.  Here’s your 2 year letter.


Dear Loralai-

It’s hard to sum up this year concisely, since it was so full of changes.  You went from a quiet, happy baby, to an on-the-move, bubbly toddler.  This was the year you took off, literally.  Right around your 1st birthday something seemed to trigger inside you, and you quickly transitioned from an occasional step or two to a full-fledged walker.  It’s been exciting, fun, and exhausting all at the same time.  I must have spent the majority of the last year chasing you, but it’s been worth every hurried step.

I’ve loved watching you explore and learn.  Being with you reminds me to find joy in the little things in life- from a plane flying overhead to puppy kisses to a pile of leaves.  You remind me that some of the most mundane things in life can be exciting when you stop to take them in.  I love seeing the world through your eyes, because it gives me a fresh perspective on everything.  It’s all beautiful and new.  You know that house near grandma’s house with all the holiday lawn ornaments?  I used to hate it- I thought it was hideously tacky and created a traffic hazard.  This year?  I was glad every time we drove by it, because it delighted you so much.  Perspective.  You’ve given me perspective.

It’s funny, there were times where we were just a mama and toddler.  You whined about snacks and cried when you were tired and sometimes I got frustrated along with you.  All the while, I tried to keep you healthy and cheerful and start to build a foundation for the things I need to teach you, from nutrition to manners to how to brush your teeth.  But there were other times where we were transcended all that.  You were my little buddy, my weekend companion when daddy had to work and my snuggle buddy on lazy evenings.  This year, we laughed, played, danced, sang, and cuddled.  This year we bonded as mama and daughter, not just baby and parent.  That was this year’s greatest gift.

Can’t wait for another year of fun.

Lots of love,



Loralai’s First Birthday Party

This past Sunday, we held Loralai’s 1st birthday party (a week late because of JD’s work schedule… thanks again, police schedule).

I wanted the party to be casual and low-key, just a gathering of good friends and family to celebrate our little one’s first year.  I found some ideas on Pinterest, and went to work creating a few simple decorations.

I’m in love with this adorable, personalized bunting I made.


The pictures were such a simple way to add pops of color and birthday cheer to the house and highlight favorite moments from her first year.  Plus, they were so easy to make.


I also really liked the idea of putting out a book and having all of the guests sign it as a keepsake for her to look back on one day.


I did light snacks and appetizers for food, and focused on making things as easy as possible (especially since I knew we’d be busy with JD’s fight the night before).  I made some meatballs in the crock pot and put out veggies and dip, fruit, chips and the beloved Brie Cheese Appetizer I ordered the cake from our local Harris Teeter, who will do a free matching smash cake for 1st birthday parties, and I think the cake turned out really cute.


Of course, L was the main event.  I thought about making a tutu for her, but I found one on sale and decided to save myself the hassle.  Personally, I think she looks festive and adorable.


She put on quite a show with the cake (good thing we took off her cute outfit first)!  At first, she started eating the frosting quite daintily, but eventually she really dug in.  When she realized she could make everyone laugh by flinging cake everywhere, well, that’s when the fun really started.

L and the cake



Overall, I’m really happy with the way things turned out.  It was the laid-back party full of friends, family, and love I’d envisioned.

Love, and plenty of adorableness.


Happy 1 year, Loralai!

DSC_0470_2In case anyone was wondering, JD had a black eye from the fight… I edited it out though 🙂

Dear Loralai- 1 Year

Loralai’s first birthday was on Sunday!  In keeping with my new tradition, here is my birthday letter to her.  I posted her pre-birth letter yesterday.

Dear Loralai,

A year ago, your dad and I sat in the hospital, completely stunned and also in awe. Your entrance into the world was so quick, so surreal, that when I sat in the early morning hours of Feb 2 holding you, I still thought it all might have been a dream.

You were bright eyed, observant and alert from the start. From day 1, you were as fascinated with your surroundings as your dad and I were with you. For hours, we sat in the hospital and watched you- sleeping, cooing, gazing around- we were enthralled by it all.  I barely slept for those first few days- not because you kept me up (you were a great sleeper from the start- thanks for that!) but because I didn’t want to miss a moment.

Your first year has brought so much joy.  You’ve always been quick to smile, quick to laugh, a little ray of sunshine to everyone who meets you.  We’ve marveled as you grew from a tiny infant to a babbling 1 year old. It’s been a year of firsts- first smiles, first giggles, first time rolling over, first steps, first foods, first everything.  I feel so lucky to be your mom, to watch you learn and grow, and to see that smile when I get home at the end of the day.

It’s weird now to imagine what our lives were like before you came along. It feels like, before you, life lacked purpose, but now that you’re here, things are finally the way they were meant to be.

Thanks for coming into our lives.  We know there is so much to look forward to.