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Monday, January 28, 2013

Deep thoughts on being the Mama of a One-year-Old

The past year has been PURE JOY.  Our precious child is the rhythm of our heartbeats and extra bounce in our footsteps. Every single moment has been cherished and I can honestly say that I have never felt irritated, annoyed, or frustrated. Never once did I have to "count to ten," "take a deep breath" or "walk away." I truly STILL believe, when you have waited as long as we have for a child, as challenging as things may be, you cherish every moment. So many times I just stopped to watch her, to breathe her skin, to soak her in.  I have memorized her every crease, wrinkle, gesture, smile, jabber, action, trait and behavior. Every fuss, snuggle, feeding, changing and menial task was utterly cherished. Many times I would be pushing a cart with her in it at the grocery store, and such a mundane task became giddy. I love having her with me every second and she makes even the most boring tasks pleasant. Dancing, singing, playing, cuddling in bed in the wee hours of the morning, EVERYTHING is sweeter with her. Everyday I think that God saved the best for us, and because of that and His most PERFECT PLAN for the child he selected for us, makes all the tears, agony, heartache, longing and aching WORTH IT. Infertility is painful on every level. Every trip to Target when you accidentally walk by the baby section is like a knife twisting in your heart. Every negative pregnancy test sends you into a spiral of despair and hope dwindles as you think "Maybe next month." For that reason, I have a special heart for those who have struggled. For you, I wish a miracle like we received. They happen and when they do they are SO. WORTH.  THE.  WAIT.

One year ago I was uncomfortably, but gratefully pregnant, picturing a baby in the empty crib. Today I stare at her at night and whisper "you're my precious angel" in her ear as she sleeps and try to again picture an empty crib and imagine the anticipation of her coming. I reflect on the pain so throbbing and real that existed for so long in my heart and then the day I found out I was pregnant when that pain disappeared! I imagine that God's timeline is not our own, in fact He has no sense of time as we do. Moments for us are constantly ticking away as it becomes "too late" for us, but He is focusing on His overall plan for our lives, not the moment by moment. That is so reassuring! I love to reflect on how God spoke so deeply me so many times using so many verses. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as "Faith is evidence of things hoped for but unseen." Yep, our faith brought us our Macie Faith.  
And...The one verse I clung to in so many painful, tear-filled cries to Him...

Psalm 113:9

 He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother.

Praise the Lord!
Indeed, our God is a God of promises.    And He keeps those promises!

One year of change. One year of PURE JOY. An adjustment year of a new life I never fathoed!  One year ago, as I held that newborn in my arms, I never could have imagined the toddler she'd become.
I keep a journal for my kiddos that they may one day read and have an inkling how much I adore them. Here is what I wrote 1-11-13.
"All day long I replayed my journey to you. I wish I would have written down my memories of the first night but I was so groggy. The next day you had a pink ribbon in your hair and I just could not believe how tiny and beautiful you were. I kept asking if in fact you were our child! I kept saying to Grammy "She's so pretty! Is it just me or is she pretty?" Grammy said "Yes.  She is pretty!"  So many said you were the prettiest baby they had ever seen! I held you and I memorized your face. Puffiness above your nose, creases between your eyebrows like mommy. Long fingers and toes.  Short toenails. Widows peak hairline. Long eye creases. Perfect pink lips and smooth, soft skin with out a single blemish, bruise or pimple.   Oh how I loved you then and I still love you now, but so much more.   I can't believe how fast a year has gone and this has been the very best year of my life. It has definitely also been the absolute fastest one! I hope God slows down our next year, otherwise I'll blink and you will be going to college!"
And now a few of our favorite shots over this past year...


I love you my precious angel.  You are truly and completely the greatest miracle I have ever witnessed or experienced.  You epitomize your name, as you are truly are our "gift from God through faith."  Your existence brings my heart the greatest joy than I have ever known and my capacity for love has only grown infinitely beyond expectation.  God knew that when you came He would show me deeply how great His power truly is and how His plans far exceed our own.  This year was amazing and I cannot wait for so many more. 
You are the light of our lives!

Macie's actual birthday...

I will pen my thoughts on having a 1 year old in another post, but this one will simply contain our fun night at home on her birthday and Macie's first cake!
snacking on puffs to prep for the cake!

A quick pic before the hat went bye bye

Her first sugar.  Sweet Tooth Fairy Gourmet Cupcake!  Vanilla squared!

Hmmm, and what is that?

Going in!

Candle from afar

Going for the icing (like Mommy)

Big Ole' handful of icing!

Love my girl!

We skyped with Grandmommy and Papa and also with my family in Mankato.  Grammy, Grampy, Uncle Bubba, Aunt Erin, Maddie, Hannah, Kerry, Vincent, Gayle, Nathan, Nick, Kaylee, Dana, Peggy, MaKenna, the whole gang was there!

She's over it!
Made Daddy proud!

Opening presents from Mommy and Daddy
Opening her Stroller

She got quite good at opening between Christmas and birthday presents!

Mommy reading Macie's Elmo card to her!

Playing with the stroller Mommy and Daddy got me! And the dolly!
A little side note:  This child was up until 11:30!  SUGAR SHOCK! :)

11 months!

So many things have changed in a short month span of time! It is amazing to watch Macie's development, right on track.  She learns things so rapidly now and I am still so grateful that I get to be home to witness it all!  The biggest thing I have noticed this month is that she is able to identify herself and others in pictures, she can model and imitate nearly everything we can do, her signing has improved dramatically, and she is so much more mobile!  Although she has not started walking as yet, she LOVES to pull up to anything and everything!  Another cute behavior is what we have coined the "Steam roller."  She loves to climb and roll over our legs when we are laying down to play with her! 
She loves social situations and loves to be the center of attention.  Although this month she has become increasingly clingy to Mommy and timid around strangers, if Mommy is present she loves to run the show.  I took her to the free library cuddle hour and she had no issue crawling up to and climbing on all the other Mommies!  She would jabber away to the teacher and other kiddos and even crawled to the center of the circle during class!  OH MY!   One day at the nursery at church, she tried to take a toy from Titus, our dear friend's son (this is typical, she loves to steal toys) and Titus swatted her away.  She didn't miss a beat and smacked him back.  Then, they both looked at each other, then at me (I was working in the nursery) and began to cry.  It was actually quite comical. :)  Titus has 4 older siblings so brushing Macie away was no big deal!  :)  Hee hee
I would definitely say that whatever Macie lacks in physicality, she makes up for verbally!  This girl is a talker (who could she take after?) :)  Also, it is so funny to watch her, as she gestures for EVERYTHING!  Her wrists and hands are always twisting and she often twists and wiggles her toys as she's talking (See video below in the crib.  By the way, if you can't view videos from the emails that are sent when I post, just click my actual blog at the bottom of the email to view the posts and videos.  This is the better way to read them actually as the videos don't appear in email)
Macie loves her playroom and so does Mommy and Daddy because she is free to roam!  She also loves her bathtime and we moved her bath down to the basement bathroom so we could make the tub hers.  She loves to look over the tub as I'm filling it and watch her duckies float and tries to climb up over.  She loves to tip over her bucket of letters and could stay in the tub all day!  Speaking of water, she adores swimming and has even begun to dunk her face in the water!  We're starting swimming lessons February 2! :) 
Ok, here are the photos and videos from this month.  Definitely worth watching. :)
Daddy and Macie cheering for KSU in the Fiesta Bowl!

Happy Macie at the birthday party for Jesus
Playing with her new toy from Grandma and Grandpa Toone

Opening her gift from Aunt Holly, Uncle Clint and Aiden. A Minnie Mouse hat with "Macie" embroidered on it for DisneyLand! Can't wait to go!!! She loved the plastic just as much as the hat :)

One of our many musical mornings playing

This one is so funny!  Macie has taken to grunting when she wants to eat our food.  And trust me, she is such a good eater that EVERYTHING we eat looks yummy.  This night, Daddy was eating a lime Popsicle and she thought it was delicious.  Mommy was not a fan of the sugar she was consuming but it was so cute!  Sorry about the noisy tv!

Ok, here is a prime example of her gesturing and jabbering.  One of my all time fave videos! :)

Being "Croaky" while eating!

Grammy and Grampy sent an advent calendar.  She LOVED playing with the little animals and people.  Her favorite piece was the Ethiopian King (yes, one of the kings was believed to be from Ethiopia.)  And NO!  Mommy didn't influence that choice! :)  She carried it around everywhere!

We didn't have a ton of toys until after Christmas (now I could run a preschool!) so mommy had to be inventive on activities.  This was pots and pans day and she was stirring her new legos from Aunt Erin, Uncle Bubba, Hannah and Maddie.


What a cute little tush!

Typical day of eating!

Mommy got Macie her first ornament.  It is an angel and says "Macie Faith 2012"
Every single night without fail (I've never missed one) I have said "Good night my precious angel.  You are my precious gift and blessing from God.  I love you my precious angel." 
Thus, an angel ornament. 

Hanging her ornament from Grammy and Grampy

11 month photo shoot!  Her shirt says "Mommy's Best Gift!"
Ain't that the truth?  Oh man! 

I can't imagine loving anything more than this little ball of joy!
Wanna eat her up!

Yep, she's chomping on the Ethiopian king!

Cutie tutu girl

In her playroom.  Had to get a shot of those thighs and cheeks :)
My little snow princess.

First Snowglobe

NYE at home.  Macie loves to try to feed Mommy and share her pacifier! ha!

Happy birthday Jesus party 

Minnie Mouse hat from Aunt Holly, Uncle Clint and Aiden!

Macie and I went Christmas Shopping in Park City and she was being silly :)

This was her sneaking around when I was wrapping gifts (yes!  All for her!)

The night before we left for Arizona for Christmas, we lost power and were both so so sick.  Daddy was already in AZ and it was C-C-C-O-L-D in our house.  Mommy was afraid we'd need to go to a hotel and finally the power came back on at 2:30 am!  Mommy didn't sleep and had to get up at 6 for the airport. Before bed we played flashlight play.  Macie loved it!

Playin' in her room :)

BIG girl at her play table.  WOW she's big!

Mommy got Macie some Toms with a gift card she got!  They are quite big yet, but after holding up 3 pair, Macie chose these twice!

Oooooh, sparkly Toms!

Opening her first bouncy ball!

On New Year's Eve Day, we went to Hollywood Fun Center.  This was Macie's first carousel ride!  We also played mini golf and let it be known that AGAIN, Mommy beat Daddy fair and square.  Mommy won 9.5 months pregnant last year too! :)

Ok yeah.  MOM FAIL.  I let my child watch Sesame Street or Signing Time daily.  How else can I get anything done? :)  Like take a shower?

Getting ready to go to the mall.  Wearing North Face outfit and Adidas shoes!  Both awesome gifts!

A silly goofy night post-bath and Dennis the Menace hair :)

Jammies from Grammy and Grampy

Opening her birthday gift early!  FUN box of musical instruments from Aunt Holly, Uncle Clint and Aiden (she loves plastic-I know, another Mom Fail) :)

Getting ready to go birthday party shopping in her adorable Gymboree outfit from my dear friend Becke' Stacey Swanson

Looking at plates!

Pulling ALL the books off the shelf at the library after cuddle time

Lunch with Dada

Cracking up at Daddy!

Just chillin

Saying "Mommy, I'm wearing my adoption shirt.  Where is my little brother?"

One of Mommy's favorite pictures ever! :)  Mommy and Daddy love her in jeans!  So cute!