The Big ONE.

Asher has been ringing in the first month of his second year of life with new teeth! and words! and belly laughs! and any other number of growing-like-a-weed antics.  He pulls a new trick out of his sleeve daily, and all I can say is, the kid must have some pretty deep sleeves, because we continue to be bowled over by the changes that are emerging day after day.  But first!  The first birthday!  I have to say, it’s kind of hard to top the party that we gave him last year (har har) but we took a stab at it by keeping it simple and small, and headed to a local park for two hours of sunshine and smiles.  Oh, and mustaches.  You know, it wouldn’t really have the Walton brand on it if there weren’t some kind of costuming involved.  Poor kid, the first year of therapy is on us, we promise.

So, I was all consumed with coming up with some kind of wildly healthy first birthday cake that would be sugar, dairy, wheat, and egg (flavor) free, and was beginning to think that we were going to just give Asher a piece of cardboard to suck on and call it a day.  We had his 1 year check up the day before the party and I asked our most amazing pediatrician what he would recommend as a first birthday option.  He told us a story about how he and his wife (both doctors) attempted the same healthy cake thing with their first child’s first birthday and the “cake” that they made was so hard that they couldn’t cut it.  In fact, the “icing” lifted off the cake in one solid piece and didn’t even break when dropped on the floor.  He said for their second child they wised up and gave the kid a cupcake.  I mean, hey, if a doctor prescribes a cupcake, a cupcake ye shall have!  So that’s what we did, and Asher was kind of into it.  Kind of.

But eventually he got the hang of it.  (Note that he was extremely serious about actually digging around in it.)

And didn’t I promise mustaches? (Think of the glasses and eyebrows as a little first birthday bonus…)

(Enter Most Wonderful Friends Ever.)

And yet even more pictures from the day… (side note. Did you know that when you have children you want to take like, 10,000 pictures of them and show those pictures to everyone with a pulse?  Well, to be fair, maybe you don’t, but apparently this girl sure does…)

And I’ll close with this…

Dear Asher,

Thank you.  Every day, thank you so much for choosing us, for your laugh, for your serious expressions as you explore every inch of the world, for already showing signs of having your dad’s sense of humor, and my desire for a good snuggle every now and again.  Thank you for opening our minds and hearts, for making us literally well over with joy, for softening hardened edges, and for teaching us patience.  Thank you for opening our eyes to the minute aspects of life that we were beginning to over look, thank you for being healthy and grounded, thank you for sleeping through the night and above all, thank you for being here.  It almost seems trite to say that you are a blessing, but kid, you are one heck of a blessing.  Thank you for resolving any issues that I might have had with my gag reflex, thank you for your easy smile and crinkly eyes, and for your admittedly inappropriate but incredibly charming open mouth kisses.  Thank you for your awesome appetite (for everything!) and for innately possessing the knowledge of how to really make us laugh.  We cannot wait for everything that the future holds, and we apologize now for being big dorks and always tearing up and being so goofy, but the thing is, we’re just so in love with you.  You have it all kiddo, and we are so grateful to have a front row view of everything that life holds for you, and that you hold for life.  You are it.

So much (so much!) love,

mama and papa.

Have I run out of words?

Because I sure have been quiet lately.  Well, here’s the thing: I have all these little things to post, but then I feel like I can’t post about those tinies until I post about the biggies (Asher’s birthday, Drew’s birthday, here-comes-Fall etc).  Well.  Hmm.  So I’m going to ease back in with a post of pictures, and then maybe I’ll be able to get back to the words.  I’m here, I miss you guys, and I have a feeling that this cooling weather and golden toned Autumn turn is going to find me clicking away.

Outtakes from Asher’s birthday shoot:

Checking out the world…

Brightening our world, one wicked grin at a time…

We’re still here!

It’s August!  Just like that!  I am behind!  Over the last couple of weeks I have had so many that-should-be-a-blog-post moments, but I haven’t made it to the computer until now and so of course the moments escaped undocumented (unless my memory counts for anything?) but no less loved.

In a little over a month, Asher will be one.  As in, a year will have passed since he took his first breath out here in the world and kicked off the rest of his life.  There’s no elegant way to say what I’m about to say, so I’ll just kind of blurt it out: I pretty much start to cry every time that I think about this.  Our year of infancy, our year of getting to know each other, our year of long nights, of monthly check ups, of breast feeding, of first smiles and first teeth, our year of rolling over, sitting up, and now standing, our year of cooing, of hours spent staring, our year that changed everything and indelibly marked us as parents, this most remarkable year, is coming to a close.  I’d like to be all nonchalant about it, but that’s not me.  Instead I’m somewhat predictably overwhelmed with all of the feelings that come with this incredible anniversary, with the heavy (but awesome) weight of all of the years to come pulling my minds eye forward, and with ALL of the memories that we’ve made this year.  Last night I broke the rules and let Asher fall asleep nursing and rocked in him my arms staring at him until it was too dark to see the pudgy outline of his gorgeous face anymore, and just tried so hard to burn the feeling of his perfect weight into the memory of my arms.  I rocked, and the poignant images of this past year just ticked by in my imagination, and for the first time I really got why every single other parent laments that it goes by so fast.  Asher will never be an infant again (I mean, whew! but also…) and while I can’t wait for everything that’s ahead of us, I can’t get over how much is quickly falling behind us too.  I know that I am going to be struck by this over and over and over throughout Asher’s life, but this is the first time that it’s really happening so hard, so bear with me.  What can I say?  I’m still a new parent.  Kind of.

As far as the details go, we’ve had such a fun couple of weeks!  We enjoyed Floyd Fest so much and made it through completely unscathed and, if I do say so myself, pretty durn proud of ourselves.  It felt good to let our inner dirty hippies air out a little, and spend a weekend getting our feet dirty (like, disgustingly dirty!) and catching up with friends.  We were in the woods next to the main stage (ironically titled “Quiet Family Camping”) which was great because the babies fell asleep to the likes of Levon Helm, and we could zip in and out of the shade as needed.  All in all, it was a success, and we can officially dub Asher quite the little camper.

We’ve had a lot of family visits this summer which has been great.  Since I last posted, we got in a great visit with my little sister Julie and stepmom Ruth, and we just said goodbye to my sister Shelle and her family this week.  The next big family event will be the birth of our niece, expected in early September!  She will be the newest addition to Drew’s sister Ashley’s family, and given how much we love her big sisters, we cannot wait to be introduced to this newest member of the world.

So that’s the skinny.  We’re still plugging along, my sappiness is probably keeping kleenex in business, and we’re starting to daydream about cooler days and the golden hues of Autumn.  But not before we get a couple of more watermelons.  I wouldn’t by lying if I told you that I have personally consumed at least three whole watermelons in the last month.  Who admits to such a thing?  I have a watermelon problem, and I know it, but don’t bother trying to stage an intervention, there’s nothing that will keep me from them.  Just. one. more. piece…