Monday, August 13, 2012

Lainey's 1st birthday!

Lainey turned ONE on Sunday!  This is something that EVERYONE says but I truly cannot believe how fast the past year has gone.  I think part of the reason it seems to have passed so quickly is because babies just change SO much as they grow from birth to one year, especially the latter half of that year.  From just being enamored by watching her open and close her eyes, to her coos and babbles, to sitting up and playing, to squealing, crawling, saying real words, taking steps, etc. --- it's such a miracle.  I've spent a lot of time over the past week or so reflecting on the past year.  When I think about the excitement and anticipation of the days, hours and moments before her birth, I tear up.  When I think about the moment she was born and our time getting to know her in the hospital, I tear up.  When I think about taking care of a tiny (well, not that tiny),  helpless infant at all hours of the night, changing all of those first few diapers, her first few baths, her time on the glow worm blanket to deal with jaundice, I tear up.  You get the picture ... maybe blame it on the pregnancy hormones I guess, but I think it's just more that being a mom, being Lainey's mom, has changed my life and my heart in amazing ways.  (And to think that the love I have for my child is not even comparable to how God loves us ... I love Lainey very imperfectly, but God loves us perfectly.  Wow.)

I think I'm also realizing that now is when the REAL work begins.  I'm not saying that diapers, nursing, nap times and all of the other baby stuff isn't work, because it is, but now we have the job of raising a real little human being.  Now, we have to teach her and train her to be kind, polite, compassionate, patient, caring, obedient, etc. and if the last few weeks are any indication, it will not be easy!  (Her preferences and personality are really beginning to come to light!)  Very thankful that I do not have to do any of it in my own strength but I can seek God for wisdom and guidance in how to best love Lainey.

To celebrate the past year, we had a birthday party for Lainey on Sunday.  The more and more I thought about it, the more I worked on plans for it and the closer it got to Sunday, I was really excited.  We were totally and completely BLESSED that BOTH of our families were able to be there.  In fact, every family member who came had to travel and sacrifice quite a bit of time to come celebrate with us - it meant so much!  From Knoxville, Cedar Rapids, Wisconsin, Minnesota and even North Carolina...!  Lainey is one loved little girl.  Not only did our families come, but many of our good friends as well - our Des Moines family!

Since Lainey is the SWEETEST we thought (and by we, I really mean I, Sarah) a party full of SWEET treats would be most appropriate.  Pinterest helped me with ideas and inspiration for Lainey's ice cream parlor themed party, which was actually a relatively easy and fun way to go.  Below are some pictures of how the great, great day played out...

The decor and food...

 (I'm not going to lie - I'm pretty proud about those cake pops.  I found the idea here and I think they turned out fabulous, both looking AND tasting!!)

Lainey's two oldest cousins are just a few months apart and had a great time playing together!

Little Miss is SO SO SO SO SOOOOO close to walking.  We've actually been saying that for about 2 weeks.  She is so incredibly cautious when standing and lowering herself down to all fours to crawl... we think she's waiting until she is extra confident.  She'll take one unassisted step and then sloooolwy bend down and crawl like a maniac wherever she wants to go.
 Lainey's birthday cupcake ... she's thinking it looks mighty tasty...
 But first we had to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

 She was pretty much just eating the frosting and sprinkles.  She's so silly.
 Our family and friends were WAY too generous with gifts for Lainey!  She had lots of little helpers with the presents - she didn't really get what was going on.

 Look at that sweet 1 year old!

My mom always makes sure that we take a family picture :)  Love it!

Emily and Bud are expecting their #2 in February!  Eeeee!  (Me at 27 weeks and Em at 13 weeks)

My sister and I and our girls ...  we only really know how to do GIRLS in our family so far so I'm kind of hoping Emily is having a boy too so we can figure it out together!  Also, it was a really big deal that the Thomas clan got to join us for the weekend - they made Iowa their last stop after their vacation to Minnesota and headed back to NC today.  They are the BEST!

Lainey's Great Grandma Charlotte (where Lainey gets her middle name) got to come visit 12 hours after she was born in the hospital AND got to come celebrate her 1st birthday with her.  Also, she is the sweetest.   I only grew up knowing my 2 Grandma's - her and my Grandma Carey in Minnesota so I'd say Lainey is pretty blessed to have 2 sets of awesome grandparents AND 2 Great Grandma's!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to our family and friends who helped celebrate Lainey's birthday with us.  So totally BLESSED.  So thankful!


  1. So fun!! I'm sad that we had to miss Lainey's party. But it looks like you were able to celebrate your little sweetie, and that is so fun and important! Happy birthday, Lainey!

  2. Aww looks so fun! Good job, Sarah and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LAINEY!!

  3. Great job on the cake pops! They looked so fun. Happy first birthday little Lainey!