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Happy birthday, Margot!

How did we get to this milestone so quickly, seeming to fly by the seat of our pants most days? With a lot of grace, a lot of love, and a lot of support from people who love Margot and us.

Kyle and I have been brainstorming this girl's first birthday party for quite some time. Personally, I've been thinking about it since before she was born. I thought about dress she wore today, a special little Mini Boden dress I purchased when she was still in my belly, saving it just for today.

I thought about the tea cups, which I've been collecting for just such an occasion for the last four or so years. I thought about the cupcakes, a special splurge from our favorite bakery.

I thought about the special tea we'd send home with our guests, something blended in her honor

Not every detail was executed just as I dreamed. For example, I wanted to have a really big bash with all our friends and their kids, and I wanted to host it at The London Tea Room downtown. Sometimes, a girl has to simplify. We settled for family and our little flat.

Mostly, though, when I thought about today, I thought about the smile on our sweet girl's face. I thought about a year of memories with our darling little one. I thought about what it would feel like to have been a family of three for a whole year, never guessing we'd be on our way to a family of four. I thought about how we'd be able to look back and see the goodness of God in one whole year of life together.

Now that I'm looking back, I see the joy, the struggle, the giggles, the tears, the strength, the fear, the things we've learned, and how much we still have to learn.  I hear her cry for the first time while laying on the operating table.  I see the sleeping newborn in my arms. I hear Bon Iver playing all night in our room as we try to keep her calm and soothed. I see Kyle's confidence as a daddy grow, and watch his face gleam with pride and joy every time she does something new. I feel my heart racing like never before the first time I thought she was hurt, and the knotted twinge in my gut when she lets out a terrible cry. I feel my heart swell every time she says "hi" in her sweet, small voice, and makes strangers smile back at her. I feel it all...

A year full of emotion, the good and the difficult. A year full of life with our sweet Margot Jane.

Happy first and golden birthday to our sweet, happy girl.