You turned one year old this past week, and there was such a flurry of activity that I've just now gotten to sit down and write. For your birthday, God gave you a warm day in October. It was 84 degrees and sunny...crazy! Daddy took off of work and we took you to Ontelaunee Orchards to pick apples and pumpkins.
You got to ride in the wagon with our pickin's and I believe you truly enjoyed yourself. I know we did.
After the orchard, we spent the afternoon and evening with our friends Randy, Pamela and Aodhan at their Bed and Breakfast. Randy's birthday is the day before yours, so we celebrated together! Pamela made us a yummy dinner (shrimp for you...which you always chow down on) and a cupcake for dessert.
It was the first time we got to sing happy birthday to our little man. I helped you blow out your candle :)
The next few days were spent preparing for your birthday party. We wanted to have something small - but we have quite a few family members, so that didn't quite happen! God gave you yet another warm day - 86 and sunny. Even crazier than before! You were in a pleasant mood and enjoyed all the attention...especially while you ate your cookie monster cake!
You ate until you almost passed out...and then you ate some more. It seems you have a sweet tooth like your Daddy.
Your favorite present seemed to be a wooden drum that Grandpa Ham made for you...you started playing with it right away! It's been a few days, and it's still the first thing you play with when you wake up in the morning.
My darling boy...this past year has gone by so fast. Everyone told me it would, but you're still never prepared when it's actually over. I just spent a while pouring over your baby pictures and remembering all the little moments we've been blessed to share.
When you were born, I cried until they let me hold you. You were born by c-section, so it was hours before you were in my arms. When they finally gave you to me, I never felt such joy and peace in my entire life. Your father told me all he ever wanted was right in that hospital room...a little family to love and care for.
The first few months were tough - I was a new mommy for the first time, and you were a very hungry baby! You also had a touch of colic...but Daddy made the best out of it. He would walk around the living room with his headphones on, listening to Foo Fighters, until you calmed down. What a trooper. You slept with us until you were about 6 months old - but I still bring you in to bed with us from time to time.
I love cuddling with you, even when all you want to do is sit up and giggle when all I want to do is sleep (this happens often).
You've been teething non-stop since you were four months old, which has made for some pretty crazy sleeping patterns...but mostly, you sleep well. Everything after month 8 seems to have been a breeze...you're very agreeable, and a happy baby overall.
You're taking your first steps now, and I love the look of concentration and wonder on your face when you do.
We did so much this past year...we went to the Zoo, the Please Touch Museum, the mountains, Baltimore, tons of playgrounds, and to the beach as often as possible...
...because you love, love, LOVE the water and swimming!
You even went to New York already! You travel very well. One of my fondest memories was the train ride to NYC. You played with anyone you could make eye contact with, and brought smiles to so many. I think your favorite part (besides meeting G-pop and G-Ma) was your first taste of cream cheese on a bagel in Central Park.
Elijah - I pray for you every night before you go to bed. Above all things, I pray that you grow up seeking God first. Your father and I will both tell you that our lives are so much richer with God than before we accepted Him into our lives. I pray you see Him at an early age, and that Daddy and I can raise you in the way God would want us to. You love to sing and dance, so I also pray that you adore the songs of His house...even when the world says they are corny.
This world is an amazing place that may build you up, but will often times break your heart.
I pray that you always know that there is a reason for all things - that you are sensitive and empathetic to the people and situations you are faced with in life. I also pray that you are strong in your convictions, and try to make good choices. We all fail and do wrong - we just need to learn from those experiences. Don't beat yourself up if you choose wrong in life - just turn around and take the favorable road. God will forgive you for anything, and so will I.
Above all, my little man...laugh. I hope we can laugh together for years to come. Laugh through the hard times, through tears, and especially in the good times! There's always, always a blessing in a smile.
Sometimes, I love you more than my heart can bear. Kisses.