On the Eve of Liam's First Birthday

One year ago today around 9:15 p.m., I finally believed I was in labor and getting closer to meeting my sweet baby boy. Ryan and I were walking around our old neighborhood, trying to get the contractions closer together and stronger. Liam's birth story is something I still remember so vividly in my head. Once we reached the hospital and got to our room, he was born about 40 minutes later in a tub of water! It was an intense, emotional, and beautiful experience, and I'll never forget holding this tiny, slippery, soft, warm body close to me and hearing his little baby cries.

I guess it is ironic that one year later, we spent the evening swimming at a friend's house, and we plan to go swimming again tomorrow to celebrate Liam's birthday. :)

So much has happened this past year. It has quite possibly been the busiest year of my life, but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Becoming adjusted to life with two kids was a transition in itself, and then starting to work part time with two little boys made life even crazier. For the past 9 months, I have felt like I am rushing everywhere I go and in everything I do. I rush getting ready in the morning. I rush feeding Liam. I rush to work. I rush to my friend's house to pick up the kids. I rush to feed Liam again. I rush to make dinner. I rush to play with the kids. I rush to put them to bed. I rush and rush and rush. Noah once asked me, "Mommy, why are we always in a hurry?" It was a really good question!

We decided to remodel the kitchen, which turned out to be great therapy but also kept us very busy! Then, Liam's surgery and recovery overwhelmed our lives, our hearts, and our minds for several weeks. The holidays, Liam's healing, and good quality time with Ryan and the boys provided a much needed break from the stressful weeks we had just experienced.

By mid-February, we decided to put the house on the market. We worked hard cleaning, painting, and preparing the house. Putting all of our trust in God's plan, knowing that He was in control of the situation, we listed the house on Sunday, March 4th. We had a total of six showings, two by the same family, and on the evening of Monday, March 19th, we had two offers! Praise the Lord! Yes, the market is improving. Yes, the kitchen remodel helped the house show well. Yes, we worked hard to make everything look really nice! But in the end, God was in control, and He answered our prayers in helping our house sell.

Of course, the aftermath of a signed purchase agreement meant packing, an inspection, more packing, responding to the inspection, more packing, closing on the house (which I couldn't attend after getting the stomach flu), more packing, and finally moving just this past Monday and Tuesday. Someone asked how the move went...and I said, "Imagine packing up your house and moving with two small children who need attention and redirection everything 1-3 minutes, and you'll know how moving went." It was insane, and I do not recommend moving mid-week when you are trying to work, too. Not our finest idea.

Last day at #3367
Regardless, we are all moved out and into our friends' rental house for the time being. It is the cutest little house (1400 sq ft), which is great because it's forcing me to keep the majority of our stuff in boxes. The house was in rough shape after two previous tenants, but we are slowly getting her in shape as we unpack. I think the neighbors appreciate the grass being mowed and bushes being trimmed. We are living with the essentials, and we have each other. What more could we ask for?

For years, Ryan has said he would like to live out in the country, and after living in closer quarters with neighbors, I have realized how much I would love to do the same. We looked at several pieces of land early April and found one we loved. Each day we would check online for new listings - who am I kidding? We looked multiple times a day and just couldn't find anything we liked. So, after 8 of the 16 acres was purchased by one family, we submitted a purchase agreement for one of the 4 acre lots. And you know what? It was accepted after one quick counter agreement stating it would take 2-3 months to plat the land. To say we are excited is an understatement! I am so ready for a space of our own, and I find myself dreaming of so many possibilities that lie ahead. Floorplans that we designed are being drawn up as we speak, and then we will have to bid the job out with several builders. We will see how everything goes!

Now that we've revisited the highlights from the past year, and you're up to date on the latest happenings, we are right back where we started - Liam's birthday tomorrow. Like I said before, it has been quite a year, but I can't imagine my life without this precious baby boy whose smile melts my heart, whose laughter is contagious, and whose spirit makes me think he got a little of my strong-willed nature. So in closing, a letter to my baby boy...

Dear Sweet Liam,
This past year, you have been my light. When the weight of the world and all of my responsibilities overwhelmed me, you helped me sit, relax, and just breathe. I cannot believe you will celebrate your first birthday tomorrow. You have grown up so much, and your personality is shining like never before. You play so well by yourself but love to check in with me from time to time to make sure I'm near. You eat everything in sight! Seriously, I thank God everyday for the good eater that you are. If you ate as poorly as Noah, I'm not sure what I would do! You love to bang wooden toys on the hard floor, and splashing in the tub is one of your favorites. Whenever I'm on the computer, you love sneaking up next to me and pushing buttons. It drives me bananas, but you just look at me and smile. What else can I do but smile, too? I love how much you like walking around holding my hand, and you are [---this---] close to walking on your own. You love to watch Noah, and I can't wait until you two play together even more. Noah doesn't like for you to play with his toy cars, but I always sneak you a few and let you play with them when Noah is sleeping. It's our secret, ok? :) When Noah was your age, I just couldn't wait to see what he would do next, so I never felt sad when his birthday came. But with you...because you are my baby...I get teary thinking that soon you'll be completely weaned, running around, and finding snuggle time with you will be hard to come by because you'll be exploring the world even more on your own. Tonight when I was feeding you before bed, you fell asleep nursing. It brings tears to my eyes because I know it could be the very last time you will fall asleep nursing. I just stopped and stared at you for a second, which is something I just don't do nearly enough. I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry that this year has been so busy. I am so hopeful that this summer will bring us days and days of relaxation, play, and chances to make memories together. I love you so much, sweet son, and I pray that this next year of your life is one full of wonder, exploration, and fun!


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