Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Stella!

The last few weeks have felt slightly surreal.  It has taken me that long to grasp the fact that Stella's 1st birthday has arrived.  My baby girl is ONE!  This past year has been the fastest year of my entire life.  No question.  May 6th 2011 at 12:20pm and every. single. second. after that I have fallen deeper in love with this baby.  Stella has power over my heart.  I feel closer to God just by being her mom.  So what if the stork didn't actually drop her off at our door (even though I let Holly think that) but I kinda feel like God did.  I prayed hard for a happy and healthy baby before and during my pregnancy with Stella.  But for heaven's sake she didn't have to be PERFECT! She is though, FYI.  She's perfect. 

It was not until recently that we discovered she has a few flaws.  She will be a handful in the coming years for sure.  Today, though, she is perfect.  Everything Stella does, she does to the highest degree.  Crawl?  Faster than lightning.  Smile?  Whenever you look at her.  Talk? 9 words  Eat? Like a bottom less pit.  Sleep?  16 hours a day.  Get mad?  Fits that will make your head spin.

She is not walking yet but she can stand without holding on to anything for as long as she wants.  She is actually entertained by NOT walking.  I'm pretty convinced that she could if she wanted but thinks it's funny that we always ask her to.  So, naturally, she just stands there and laughs at us.  She laughs hard.  While standing.  And we beg her to take a step.  She is still standing.  And laughing.  At us.  She doesn't like to be told what to do.  Already. 

It's her party and she'll cry if she wants to.  Today and only today, we let her cry if she wants to. 

I've been a mom since I was 19 and I wasn't prepared for that.  I think it's safe to say that no 19 year old is.   Of course I love all three of my kids equally but I'm not the same mom that I was 10 years ago.  Maybe it is just maturity but I think it's more than that.  I longed to be Stella's mom even before I knew of her.  God allowed my heart to be broken just so He could make it whole again.  Being a mom, and especially on this level of love, is the greatest reward on earth.

Stella brings abundant joy to our home.  She reminds me so much of Sammy when he was a baby but looks so much like Holly.  I love her strong personality and tiny little body.  She's a runt like I always was.  (Was).  I still have burning flashbacks of my kindergarten class taking turns picking me up while singing "M-I-S-S-Y, M-I,S-S-Y."  Okay okay already, I was little and had a silly name.  Now back up.  Things didn't change much when I taught High School dance camps in St. Louis where I was the ONLY white girl teaching Hip Hop (really!?) to girls that were significantly taller than me.  When they had to make up team cheers for their teachers, they started pounding on the ground and RAPPING (!) "M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-Y."  I think I made their life when I smiled and asked "what's a crooked letter?"

Anyway, Stella may be tiny but she has a much bolder personality than I ever did.  She will do just fine in life.  This gal can hold her own.

It doesn't seem real to me at all that she is a year old.  I will probably always think of her as my little newborn.  However, I'm 99.9% sure that I want another baby someday.  Gage would be happy either way.  We are both convinced that nothing or no one could top this last one but are super excited to see what God has in store for us.

You know that saying, "everthing I ever wanted and more?"  Well, I hate to brag but I know what that feels like.  To think that God has even more planned for our family is beyond me!

Today is Nebraska Dance's 5th annual benefit concert.  This year we are honoring Camp Quality Heartland, a camp for kids with cancer.  Gage likes to think that ND is hosting a huge birthday party for Stella.  Baby girlfriend has on her birthday gear and gets to spend the whole day with a whole bunch of cool people for a super cool cause.  My favorite dancers and my favorite friends, all together for the whole day while we celebrate my favorite one year old!  I love this day!

Stella Rosie Punkie Wunkie, we all love you so so much!

Special Thanks To: 

Sarah Zeleny, for offering your beautiful home for Stella's cake smash!  Also, for showing me so many cool things about my camera that I didn't know existed.

Jenny Narke, for the super cute Sophia's Style 1st birthday hat and, of course, Stella's awesome letters on her wall.

Etsy, Target, and Pinterest, for hooking me up.

Grandma and Grandpa Mickells for hosting Stella's party and fish fry!  Also, Grandma and Grandpa Cobb and Aunt Gentry for coming to Omaha for the party!

Props to ME for taking all the photos.  I'm pretty proud of myself.


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