Monday, April 4, 2011

525,600 Minutes

Well, we survived our first year as a family of five. I remember reading somewhere that your first year as a parent is definitely one of survival, and I remember thinking this was ridiculous at Jack's first birthday party. Sure there were major changes with Jack, least of which was the excessive lack of sleep but I feel Tom and I breezed through that first year. Who are these people that can't handle one little child?! Whoa...someone heard me and boy was I put in my place.
I have found myself responding to those who are amazed that the girls are already a year with one phrase..."it's been a LONG year." I do not mean for this to sound depressing or melancholic, it just simply is how I feel. We expanded our family from three to five, moved twice, three hospital stays since December, surgery and about five million Doctor appointments. So I feel entitled to feel a little relieved that we made it...intact.
This last year has truly been one of survival. It has had ups and downs, surprises around every bend. I have learned things about myself that I never knew before this year. I am sure these beautiful girls will continue to teach me about love and life and all of it's surprises.

I have a friend who writes letters on her kiddos birthday and I really like the sentiment. Cheesy?, For sure, but I am feeling particularly sentimental here it goes:

On the eve of your first birthday I am amazed and totally in love with you. You were so eager to come into our lives, five weeks early! You brighten my day, every day. As I was looking through old photos I came across ones with you and Mallory in the NICU, and I was amazed to realize that I had forgotton you came to us bruised and battered. You were born with a black eye and a large bruise across the bridge of your nose. You were so small (4lbs 7oz.) and to be perfectly honest you were the one we worried about the most. A full year later and you are so full of spunk! Your giggle is infectious and your smile so warming to the soul. I am delighted to be your mother and can't wait to see what you'll do next. Happy Birthday!
I love you beautiful girl!

On the eve of your first birthday I can say you have changed me for the better. You are so very special and wonderful. You have a soft nature that grabs the love of everyone you meet. You are so strong; stronger than anyone I have ever met. Life is going to hand you some curves and I want you to know that I will always be behind you, your biggest supporter. I feel truly blessed to have been chosen to be your mother. You have made me a better person, thank you.
I love you beautiful girl!

Wow...what will the next year bring us? I wish for health, love and happiness! I look forward to keeping you all up-to-date on our year to come.


The Lunds said...

What a beautiful family you have! Your kids are so lucky to have such great parents, and you parents are so lucky to have such great kids. Their smiley, happy birthday faces are so sweet! Your girls will be so happy to read their bday letters someday (right? cheesy? that's what moms are! tee hee) Here's to hoping the next year isn't as long in doctors visits and sleepless nights, but much longer in giggles and good times. Hugs to you all ...

ERICA said...

Happy birthday, ladies! Mallory looks absolutely adorable in that last pic. I think you all lucked out. You were meant for each other. Hope the next year involves less hospitals and more lovin'.

(And you've thoroughly panicked me about how much more difficult life's gonna be with the transition to a family of four...)

Marie Hooker said...

This post made me are truly blessed to have such amazing kids. And I think YOU are one of the strongest people I know!!

Liz Krueger said...

Ummm, if I can type through my tears I want to tell you that you 5 are perhaps the most resilient people I know. There WILL be more fun, giggles and adventure this coming year. Congrats on not just surviving, but conquering the challenges of the past year. Your girls and Jack are SO lucky to have you as their Mama. Love to you all!!

Katie said...

Happy birthday beautiful girls! Erin you are a great mom and they are so lucky to have you!

Josie said...

Just cried a little into my morning coffee. I've learned alot from you as a mama. You always have a smile on your face and a gleam in your eye no matter what happened the week before, the night before, the minute before. Thanks for teaching us all about sacrifices, love, and patience.