May 23, 2012

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

A few week ago I had a really, really bad day. The straw that broke the camel's back was when I crashed the Pugmire's really nice car into their really nice garage wall. The wall crumbled and the car was dented and scratched. I wanted to throw up, run away, hurt myself, and rewind those last idiotic 30 seconds. After summoning BJ, and confessing to my father-in-law that I am insufficiently equipped to pull a car into the garage, I went into my room for the night and cried. I layed face-down on the bed and in all my dramatic glory, I let it out. I cried long and hard, feeling a lot like the wall that was damaged and smashed.
That night I didn't find a lot of consolation even though BJ was patient and tender and full of, "It's ok honey's" and "it's really not a big deal's." My father-in-law was equally kind, laughing and joking, attempting to lighten the mood when he saw my tear-stained face. But I was in the mood to cry.
That night, after watching youtube videos of beautiful dancers and trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep next to BJ, I got out of my bed, opened the door, and walked down the hall to my little girl's room. Comfort didn't come that night until I held my baby as she slept. I laid her down by my side and cried- tears dripping onto her porcelain skin. It hurts so good to love a child the way a mother does. I love that baby of mine in a fierce, fierce way. And even though all she did was sleep that night while I nuzzled into her, she made me feel like everything was going to be ok.
This year I celebrated my first Mother's Day. Thank you, Ellie Layne, for making me your mama.

May 22, 2012

Ellie's 1st Birthday Party

I had been thinking about Ellie's first birthday party long before it actually came around. More than anything, I couldn't wait for her to try cake for the first time since cake and frosting is my favorite of all foods. I'm glad that in the end, we decided to keep the party small and intimate, and I'm beyond happy that my parents were here to celebrate with us. I was also thrilled that because we didn't have too many guests to worry about, the party really was just about Ellie.  In the end, the details of what cake to make and how to decorate the table were more insignificant than the simple joy of being together with the people that Ellie loves... and boy, do we love her.
It was so funny, because when we all finally went outside together to begin the celebration, Ellie seemed to completely know that this party was for her. She walked around squealing, and flapping her arms up and down and saying, "oh!" over and over again.
We had Lamppost pizza (our favorite), homemade Olive Garden salad, watermelon and cantaloupe, and cake. I made my favorite Magleby's chocolate cake for everyone, and a miniature one for Ellie, and we also had Funfetti cupcakes because those are BJ's favorite. I think fresh flowers are the perfect way to decorate for any and every occasion, so I used a lot of those. But as I was setting up I found myself wondering, "How on earth would I have done this for a boy?" That is a foreign world to me.
We hung out a bit and talked before we ate dinner. Megan snapped some photos for us...
We ate dinner and talked...
Then I took Ellie to play with the balloons. She loves balloons.

 Next we opened presents.We laughed at how Ellie would get so excited with each present and she'd go off and play with whatever we'd just given her, so happy and content, and then we'd pull her away like, "O.K., time's up enjoying that one... look at this one now." She would have been happy with one, but she got a bundle instead.
Her best reaction was with the baby doll BJ and I gave her. It was the sweetest thing because she wanted to carry it around with her,  kissing it baby over and over again. I think someone needs a sister...;)
We moved on to the cake-eating portion of the party next, and I love this photo because it is an exact foreshadowing of what lay ahead...
Ellie was basically unsure about everything that went on from here on out. It was getting close to her bed time, and I think she was just seriously confused. She didn't hate being the center of everyone's attention, she just seemed to be wondering why we were all looking at her. But the moment she would taste the cake, and we'd see a reaction on her face, we would laugh, and she would cry. This happened a few times before we finally released her from her misery and took the cake away.
We had to help her a little bit to dig in the way we wanted her to.
I always knew she looked like BJ, but seriously, is she my daughter at all? Its cake for crying out loud! You would have thought we were torturing her!
And the tears came out again...
Sweetheart helped her and she cheered for a minute,
and then...
We finally accepted that she had reached her limit, and we took her inside to bathe her off in the kitchen sink. This may have been her favorite part of the party.
Look at how dirty the water is from all that chocolate.
While Ellie was getting cleaned up we all wrote birthday wishes for her to send off on the balloons. My favorite was Tanner's, "I wish that modesty standards change and that you never have to stop wearing jumpers."
Then we took our balloons outside for send-off.
 It turned out to be a pretty magical moment.
 Can you see those tiny dots above the palm tree? We were shocked to see how quickly the wind whisked them away. It was enchanting to watch them fly. Ellie's bird watching eyes were well trained for that moment.
It is needless to say that we love our little girl. We just never knew how awesome our own child could be. (I'm just sayin'.) She delights us every single day, and like BJ and I always say, it's as if we forget every night when we go to sleep how adorable and irresistible she is, and then we're tickled again the next morning when we get to wake up and see her.
Happy birthday Ellie Layne. You rock.