To the girl who just turned one…

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Indie Luke's first birthday

Please pardon the cliche, but I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since the day I became a mother.

Not just a mother. Your mother. Your mom.

We celebrated last Saturday, March 28, 2015, at Nana and Papa’s house on Mountain Island Lake. It was a fun-filled, family affair.

We ate a delicious brunch. Nana’s sausage and egg casserole. Creamy white cheddar grits from The Flying Biscuit. A special vegetarian, dairy-free egg casserole that we made for your daddy since he can’t eat sugar or dairy right now due to a health condition.

And, of course, the dessert.

baby first birthday cake

Well, a dessert of sorts. Instead of buying a traditional birthday cake from a bakery or grocery store, we decided to make our own healthy cake alternative, based on your favorite breakfast food: grain-free, sugar-free pancakes with blueberry sauce.

We used coconut flour, eggs and bananas for the batter and topped it with maple buttercream frosting and a strawberry/blueberry reduction. (Recipe here.) The end result was a beautiful 4-inch-wide smash cake for you and cupcakes for everyone else. The maple buttercream frosting was to-die-for. And the berry sauce…? Fuhgettaboutit.

My sister called us overachievers, but you can’t deny that’s one awesome spread:

healthy birthday cupcakes

healthy birthday smash cake

Almost as beautiful as the girl who stuffed her face with it. In the words of your aunt Melissa, you only had eyes for your smash cake. We took lots of pictures while you got messy, and then you screamed bloody murder when I tried to clean you off.

Classic Indie. Classic…

baby eating smash cake

Your personality has really started to blossom. They all tried to prep me for it when I was pregnant. “Don’t blink,” they said.

Well, I hate to admit it, but I blinked. In fact, I’ve blinked a lot this past year. I think blinking just goes with the territory once you become a mom. Thankfully, my heart has reserved a special place for the really important memories. All the things about you as a one-year-old that I want to bottle up and store away forever. Like:

The way you smile at me in the morning, just before your first nursing session.

The way you laugh when daddy flies you in the air like a superhero.

The way you sing along when I’m serenading you to sleep.

The way those crocodile tears flow helplessly down your cheeks when you’re upset.

You hate baths. You cry when we try to clean you off after a meal. And lately, every diaper change has become a screaming, wrestling match. I guess you’d rather be dirty… and naked.

You love bananas, hummus, blueberries and Happy Puffs. You used to love avocados, but have turned them away as of late. That’s okay. More for me. 🙂

You’re an overachiever, just like your mama. And I love you for it.

You’re a daddy’s girl. But you’re a mama’s girl too. And I’ll cherish every second I have with you, because I know it won’t always be that way.

You love phones, remotes — anything with buttons. Especially if they make noise when you push them.

When you hear music, you clap your hands. It might be the cutest thing ever.

You love being chased. Sometimes, you’ll take off crawling, and every few seconds, you’ll pause to look back at me and laugh, as if to say “you can’t get me!”

You recently climbed a whole flight of stairs by yourself, and when daddy tried to help you, you pushed him away. I guess you’re gonna live up to your name after all…

Favorite bedtime story: Moo, Baa, La La La

Favorite part of the day: Morning

Favorite songs: If You’re Happy And You Know It, Amazing Grace, and Wonderland by Angie Aparo.

(Fun fact: Daddy woke up with Wonderland in his head the day of our gender reveal party. He hadn’t heard the song in a decade, and was sure it was a sign from God that we were going to have a girl. That night, we cut into a cake with pink icing! Since then it has become a staple in your bedtime routine whenever he puts you to sleep.)

Favorite activity: Family strolls; I wear you in your sling while daddy walks Oskar on a leash. Being outside puts you in a happy mood.

Favorite toys: Dog bones, kongs, and the musical puppy

Favorite food: Bananas

Favorite outfit: Your birthday suit!

Motherhood is an incredible gift. This past year has been full of ups and downs. I’m so thankful I didn’t have to go back to an office job and that I was able to spend the first year of your childhood at home with you. I’m so thankful God saw fit to make me a mom. To make me your mom.

A few nights ago, as I was nursing you to sleep, I couldn’t help but reflect on the events prior to your birth. Namely, the miscarriage I had suffered one year prior.

I remember your aunt Melissa sharing how she, too, had suffered a miscarriage before your cousin Van was born. She tried to comfort me during my loss by pointing out that had she not experienced a miscarriage, she wouldn’t have Van now. Though I was grateful for the attempt, at the time it wasn’t very comforting. When you’re in the middle of a miscarriage, there’s not much that will comfort you. But I remembered those words as I was rocking you to sleep, and I realized that had I not suffered that miscarriage, I would not be your mom today.

To be a mom is pretty amazing. But to be your mom — that’s beyond words.

To the little girl who just turned one: Happy birthday, Indie. We love you to the moon and beyond.

Kissing baby birthday

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