Birthday cookie made by Grandma.
Mom and Braden at the Zoo.
Birthday boy at breakfast.
Playing with his new tractor.
Daddy and Braden with his new riding and push toy!
Well today marks the big milestone- Braden is one! The day started off with Braden's year appointment. He had shots, so it wasn't the best way to start the day. We then headed to Como Zoo to see some animals. This afternoon we played a bit around the house. Dad and Braden got to hang out while Mom taught kickboxing. Then tonight we had a bday cookie and opened presents. All day I kept thinking about how last year we were in the hospital not knowing what to expect. The day was full of the unknown and much anticipation. Then at 6:36 Braden John was born and Joe yelled, "We have a son." That is the moment that changed our lives more than we could have ever imagined.
I am writing this letter totally on the fly, and totally from the heart. I did not think about what I wanted to say to you on this first birthday. I am just going to let it flow from my fingers.
I cannot believe that one year has gone by this fast. I remember bringing you home from the hospital and how careful we were driving in the car because we had this brand new life in our hands. We had zero experience as parents and we didn't quite understand your needs or personality yet. We were just hoping that we could figure it out and that you would love us even if it took us a while. :)
Looking back in the last year, I feel like I know you as well as I know myself. When you cry, I am 95% sure I know why. When you wake up in the middle of the night, I can usually figure out why (usually, I say)! When you laugh, I can tell what kind of laugh it is since you have three different kinds. I know what foods and toys you like the best. I know what you are scared of and what you don't like. I know when you need to sleep and eat. I know that I am in love with being your Mom, and it gets better each and every day.
I had no idea what to expect from motherhood, but I know that it's the best thing I have experienced. I watch you grow and change before my eyes each day. I get to be there when you see things for the very first time and say "oooh" and "ahhhh" because you are so excited. I am there when you take a fall and need a hug. I love making you laugh and making you feel better when you are sad or don't feel well. To think that we created you and that you are ours! I am so proud on this day.
We have had the most fun year watching you become this little man that you are. You love to dance, play cars, watch Bobcats and any construction going on. You love to get thrown into fluffy pillows or the corner of the couch - it makes you belly laugh. You fall asleep doing the downward dog position and now sleep face down w/ your tush in the air and knees tucked in. You have two teeth and are growing some nice dark hair. You wear size four shoe and 12 month clothes. You love dogs. You love swimming and you cry when it's time to get out of the bath. You sleep holding your teddy and with your paci in. You hate your nails clipped and you don't love when it's time to put your clothes on for the day. You love books. You can stand on your own and those first steps are so close!
Braden, what I want to tell you the most on your first birthday is to never forget how loved you are. There was never a day in my life where I doubted the love my Mom had for me, and I want that for you too. I want that love to trickle over your life cup so that it helps you to be confident and succeed in life. I want you to go after your goals and have no fear, like you are already showing when you go head first down the slide. I want you to make awesome friendships and do good in the world. I want the best for you, and I know that you will become a wonderful man...one that we are so lucky to call our own.
Happy Birthday Braden.
Love You Always and Forever,