When I taught second grade, I remember one of my classes had eight children with their birthdays all around or on Christmas. As an adult, we all joke that it must be pretty bad growing up with a birthday near Christmas—but when I’d ask my students how they felt about having their birthdays around the holidays, they gave me nothing but big, adorable smiles and in their squeakiest voices, they’d excitedly let me know “It’s really the best!”
Fast forward a few years, and I would never think I’d be a mother that would have a baby five days before Christmas! Some things I’ve loved: it’s super easy to keep count of how many months old she is (haha!) and I feel like each year truly marks a year of Sadie in our lives. To many, I am sure this year flew…but to me, I got to spend an entire year raising another baby and watching her grow in my family. It was a full, blessed, heart-eyes-for-days kind of year. Unlike Hadley’s milestone of turning one, I felt excited for Sadie to turn one. (I was sad with Hadley, as one was so unknown!) 😉 I know that she doesn’t magically wake up a walking, talking (and talking, and talking…) young lady, but truly is still the 11 month old she was the day before, but now just with the title of being a year old. 🙂 I love that when I ask her where her teeth are, she can (with major enthusiasm) point to her two little tiny bottom teeth. I love that sometimes she squeaks in anger when she sees someone giving me affection, because that baby is allllll about her mama. 🙂 There’s just so much I adore about Sadie, I feel blessed to have every day I do with her.
One of the hardest parts of a December birthday is how busy the month is. Holiday parties, traditions, shorter days, Christmas shopping, and many more things pack up the month, but I still made it a point that she just had to have a first birthday party! Some second-time mom wisdom I had this time was to try to not stress over every little detail…she’s one! I came into a conundrum when I realized I didn’t want to take all of my Christmas decor down, so I made the “colors” for her party magenta, red, and white. I kept it simpler with family and close friends that have loved on her this year, I hung a few streamers, we bought some pretty balloons, and I had a few special touches (homemade Oreo peppermint crunch bark as a favor, a sweet & special book for everyone to sign, and a few new pieces of serving-ware for the food part of the party.)
My mom recently found the dress I wore for my 1st birthday, so Sadie got to rock some vintage threads for her special party! I can be honest in reporting that my smiley, bubbly, cuddly girl was a real grouch-potato most of her party, until there were about five friends left—then she just smiled and crawled and acted like her old self! Oh well, it’s her party and she can cry if she wants to!
We wanted to keep her actual birthday just our own little family. We stuck with our normal Sunday routine, but ended the night with a little tradition we love: taking the birthday girl out to dinner. With it raining and being five days until Christmas, I was a bit worried it’d be hectic, but it was truly just the best. We opted to go to Cheesecake Factory; and during the brief wait, we walked into the toy store at the mall, and came back to be seated. The girls were so good; it made Aaron and I so happy. We got to split a delicious chicken parm sandwich, while the girls shared some cheese pizza. We couldn’t resist getting a red velvet cheesecake to share, and the best part was watching Sadie’s reaction—not to the singing, but to the beauty of a flickering birthday candle (she was mesmerized!) We enjoyed our food, went back to the mall to get a personalized family Christmas ornament, and got home. I love my Sadie Kate so much, and I loved ending our weekend feeling happy from getting to celebrate her first year of life!
I’m so excited for this wonderful holiday week ahead! Time for some last-minute shopping, Christmas wrapping (my favorite,) baking some cookies for Santa, and snuggling up with a cozy drink to a Christmas movie (actually, that’s really my favorite!)