That's right! Jack turned the big ONE on Saturday! We woke up to Jack babbling in his crib early Saturday
morning, and since he'd been sick with a cold and a terrible ear infection (leaving ALL of us very sleep deprived last week), we decided to let him snooze in bed with us for a while, which we hardly ever do. Exhausted, I felt that this would buy me a little more time to sleep until all the party-planning chaos insued. Well ... I just couldn't seem to fall back asleep. Instead, I found myself watching Jack sleep and becoming immensely overcome with emotion. With tears streaming down my face, I thought back to that very morning exactly one year ago ... I thought about the excitement of that day being the day of our first baby's birth ... my water breaking at 3 am, showering and shaving my legs for the hospital, bursting with excitement and nervousness, waking Robert to tell him it was "time" ... the LONG and hard induced labor and eventual C-section ... I also couldn't help but remember the fear and heartache I also felt that very day ... being told that my brand new baby boy wasn't exactly who we had envisioned he would be ... the onset of worry about what our future would hold, but all the while overflowing with love for this beautiful and perfect baby we had created. With these emotions came even more feelings (and tears), as I realized how very far we have come in this journey and how different and better things are than we ever imagined one year ago. Yes, it was not what we expected, and on some days the stress of having a child with special needs is definitely overbearing. But having this little boy in our lives and knowing that God created him from us, knowing that he is a miracle like any other child, dissipated all those old fears. We have new fears that we didn't have that day one year ago, but they're more manageable now, as we have been equipped with all the tools and help we will need along the way. As I watched our
Thank you, my dear Jack, for giving me Faith again and again every time I look into your big, bright blue eyes. You have taught me that all things are possible, regardless of how fast or how slow they are accomplished. I trust you to show me that your way of doing things is the right way for you. I love you more than you'll ever know, my little son-shine!
Happy 1st Birthday, Jack!
Despite being sick the week before his birthday, Jack had a FABULOUS time at his "monkey" party. Love just surrounded our little boy on Saturday. We were joined in celebration by Jack's Ci Ci, Grandma and Pops, all of his aunts and uncles (he has 8 total), all his cousins (6 of them and 2 more on the way!), and even his great-Aunt and Uncle, Lyn and John, who came all the way from Kentucky for his big day! We also had several close friends stop by as well, some from Greensboro and some from as far away as South Carolina! We had great weather, great food and great company ... just a great day!
We have a tradition in our family that we do not buy store-bought cakes for children's birthdays. Instead, we make our own homemade cakes (which doesn't add ANY stress at all). Mom and I made banana cake with chocolate chips on Thursday night and froze them (since I had to work all day Friday), and my sisters Kelly and Kasey helped me ice the cakes with chocolate buttercream on Saturday morning. They were just perfect!
|A little monkey smash cake for our little monkey|
|Each guest wrote Jack a note for this time capsule. We'll open it and read them on his 18th birthday.|
|Jack raised over $1000 for The "Jack" Pot Fund!!!|
|Photo banner of Jack, ages 1 through 12 months. (It's still hanging in our den nearly a week later ... Ummm, can't seem to take it down.)|
|Jack managed to fit in a nap on Uncle Chris during the first hour or so of his party (smart guy!)|
|Jack's BFF, Carter, was certainly a guest of honor|
|Getting ready for cake ...|
|Here we go!|
|A little uncertain at first ...|
|Clapping and cheering Jack on after singing "Happy Birthday" (which he LOVED!!!)|
|Pops getting in on the smash cake action|
|Getting a little more comfortable with the whole cake notion|
|And, here I was worried that he wouldn't know what to do with it!?!?!|
|"Ci Ci, want some cake?!?!"|
|Assessing the damage with Daddy in the hall mirror|
|Chocolate handprint ... priceless|
|Why is it when you request no gifts for a child's party, NO ONE listens?!?! I tell you ... we're going to have to add on to our house to store all Jack's gear!|