Our sweet Baby Jane turned one in March and I'm just getting around to sharing the sweet pictures her Auntie Shelley and Auntie Katey took ... soooo grateful they shared them with me! Jake & I barely had our phones on us, so thank you, thank you, thank you. This little princess slept the first hour of her party while Jake boiled crawfish for our amazing guests - we made it very simple because in reality, this party was a celebration of the people there. It was a celebration of our gratitude for the love that surrounds Jane daily.
I cannot thank all of those enough who made this possible! For Auntie Jaime making her precious cake, to so many helping put the table cloths and balloons on display, to all of the family who flew & drove in to celebrate the weekend with us, and so much more! Thank you, thank you!
WHAT. A. YEAR. this has been!
The night of her first birthday, Jake and I put her down in her crib and just cried. Tears of sheer gratitude for our perfect angel. For the past 12 months we had just shared together as a unit of three. For the travel, adventure, and memories made all over the country. For everyone who carried our burdens as their own and held us when we could barely hold ourselves up. There is just so much to be grateful as we celebrated her first year.
Some highlights that come to mind?
Well, obviously the day she was born was the greatest highlight of it all. I remember her little toes, her LOUD cry, and watching Jake just fall head over heels in love with this perfect angel. I remember holding her on my chest for the first time - I remember how it felt like FOREVER until Jake finally got to hold her for the first time. Her Amma and Mimi meeting her within 15 minutes of her being born. OH, what a day!
We took our first road trip at 9 days old (HA! I'm still stressed from that road trip!) so that she could meet her Grandpa for the first time. The second we pulled up, he took her and that was that for a good hour! All of his motorcycle brothers delayed their start time so that he could sit there and soak up his granddaughter for the first time. Since then we have road tripped all over i-10 including Bridge City & Orange multiple times to play with our BFF born 7 weeks after her, Lafayette & Port Aransas to celebrate weddings, and many more! Jake & I can totally rock a car melt down at the drop of a hat.
I went back to work at 3 months and the team of her Mimi, her Auntie Em, and her Daddy made it possible for her to stay at home until her 5 month birthday. I spent the days engulfed in multiple projects, but ached to be home with my growing baby. I will never be able to truly say thank you enough for them rearranging their lives to make it possible to keep her away from those germy kids as long as possible! We then started our daycare journey in August - we fell in love with our first place, but Hurricane Harvey had other plans, so in October we moved to where we are now! They embrace and love on Jane, they all know & respect her Mimi (who loves picking her up!), and they create an environment where we feel comfortable leaving our sweet girl everyday ... and for that we are grateful!
Our first flight as a family was to Arizona for our 5th anniversary to visit Jane's Amma & PawPaw. Jane LOVED the pool! We've since taken flights to California and Washington to visit family, to Orlando for Disney World (yes, we took a 4 month old to Disney World), and to Park City, UT for some mountain time. There is a large difference between what we packed the first flight and what we pack now, ha. LIVE & LEARN.
Mixed into all of that is our normal, every day, ordinary life - which is Jake & my favorite part about this life as three. She brings us so much joy and whole new purpose to really live in the moment and embrace each little thing. Jake & I have learned so much about each other, our relationship, and are figuring out this parenting thing daily (do you ever really have it figured out?!) - we lean into each other through the unknown, praise the victories along the way, and try our best to live in the moment with this sweet girl while she's so little.
In August of 2017 our whole world came crashing on us when Hurricane Harvey took everything tangible we owned. I held my most perfect angel in my arms, under a poncho, as her Daddy and our super hero neighbor rafted us about two miles through 4 feet deep water to the safety of a car. We then house hopped with borrowed cribs and pack-n-plays and finally moved back home in November. Jane was a rockstar through all of it! I don't remember much between August and November - but I can tell you our community - world wide - came together and helped us build our home back. Jake put his body and mind through one of it's most difficult journeys ... as family and friends came in from all over the country to lead our rebuild - the walls, the floating & taping, the bathroom & kitchen finalizations, the tile flooring, and so much in between. I remind Jake weekly that he is her true super hero.
The start of 2018 was much kinder to us than the end of 2017. (We probably embraced New Year's Eve & New Year's Day more than the average person!) She has been growing at a speed that we are trying to keep up with! She is a full on eater, seriously becoming a toddler, is very strict to her own schedule (she seriously controls it), and so much more.
We can only imagine what the next years will bring! But this one was most certainly for the books. We had some extreme highs and some scary lows, but I know in my heart the three of us are meant to be a family. We are meant to go through each day together and love each other more as we wake up each morning.
Sending hugs & love from this immensely grateful Endresen trio! :)