Thursday, July 7, 2016

A First Birthday

Even for as hard as Avalon's first year of life was for our family, it's hard to say goodbye to it just the same. It's hard to put my breast pump into storage even though I don't think I've despised any one thing more...except maybe ants...and spiders.

It was a good year. It brought us the best thing. It was a hard year. It brought us the worst thing. Life is always so bittersweet. That's what I keep coming back to day after day as a new mother. The more you teach them, the more independent they become from you. 

Every good and bad thing can only last so long. I dread not sleeping through the night when the next child comes someday, but it's always nice to be needed so purely; so completely. Sometimes when I hear a really good song I make up my own lyrics in my head. Sometimes those lyrics are: life is not perfect, or is it and we just don't know? I always come back to being fairly dramatic with my emotions, I suppose.

I wanted to share a few of the things we got Avalon for her birthday this first year. Aside from reorganizing our house and throwing myself off tall concrete edges on my skateboard, shopping online also seemed to help with the anxiety that came for me this past year. I was constantly scouring Amazon for the perfect things. Instagram inspired me. Pinterest inspired me. Blogs inspired me. The temptation to shop was everywhere. But it was kind of nice since I think the internet has really helped me find the things I really want and need and will keep come the next clean-out-super-session-purge, hopefully.

I was extremely particular. We went big with the playhouse that was a gift from the whole family (group gifts are great because they are sentimental and special and they cut down on the overall invasion of presents). I think it's a pretty good price for an all wood playhouse and it's the perfect size for a toddler with a small yard. I love the natural colors and Avalon loves opening and closing the windows and sliding down the slide.

For her dress I went with the Baby Smock Dress from Shop Arq. I had been stalking their instagram for months and finally made the purchase a few weeks before the big day. I got her pigtail bow clips from Free Babes Handmade. I made the crown myself and I'm actually shocked it came out so well and even more shocked that she wore it for nearly two days straight. I used this pattern, but cut the points to be more triangular. I hand sewed the letter "A" on and cut the #1 out of a piece of felt with a sticky back. I'm thinking next year (and maybe for many years) I can re-use it if I lengthen the elastic on the back and cut a #2 to replace the #1. 

My mom and I made a carrot cake for dessert and we had "Taco Crunch" for everyone for dinner. It's really easy to serve to a larger group. 

We got her these beautiful, natural building blocks from Grimms (I love their stuff) and this doll which everyone in my family said was scary and looked like baby Donald Trump. I think she's so cute though! 

Avalon and I love our little Music Together class so I got her some instruments and play silks for home: jingle bells, a harmonica, a wooden frog rasp and Sarah's Silks. She already has (and loves) her wooden egg shaker, "glockenspiel", and small drum

We also got her a baby potty and a book to go with it. For two days straight she actually used it and now for the last three she has just taken out the bowl and tried to wear it as a hat. This morning she actually peed on the Potty book. 

For books we got her The Swing, Charlie Harper ABC's, Potty, Freight Train and Home. She also received Scott's childhood bear and a crooked chair her Papa refurbished. Danielle gave her a pair of baby Toms, which I suspect might be her favorite and Maddie made her a beautiful video I might share someday. It was a very special day to follow a year full of feeling.

+Thank you all for being here with us...near, far, wherever you are!
+What are your favorite clothing shops, books and toys for an older baby (I'm not ready to say toddler yet!)? 
+If you make any purchases with the links, thank you! 


  1. Happy first birthday Avalon! How gorgeous she looks, and how long her hair is now. What lovely, thoughtful gifts. Wooden building blocks are always fun aren't they. The Pumpkin Soup books by Helen Cooper are absolutely wonderful. The drawings are SO beautiful. The Large family books by Jill Murphy are also good, and finally The Moomins - there are some great Moomin picture books for littler people. And anything at all by Julia Donaldson. The Gruffalo is a good place to start. I still know it off by heart. All of those suggestions are books I never got tired of, even after reading them four hundred times! And the littlest boy still likes to flick through them now if he comes across them. CJ xx

    1. Sorry, I know I said "finally" and then afterwards added another thing in. Couldn't leave out Julia though. CJ xx

    2. YOU RULE! I'm looking into all of this. I know you have good taste. Thank you CJ!

  2. I can't get over her little pigtail buns! And the bows!

    1. Gracie would look DARLING in buns.

  3. Happy birthday to your sweet Avalon! I loved that she peed on the pee book. Makes sense to me. You have a lovely family. Thanks for sharing them with us. Stacie

  4. She peed ON the potty book?! That is just hilarious! Happy first birthday to your little girl!

    1. I know, right? So close and yet so far away ;) Thanks Rach!


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