Friday, July 29, 2011

A Letter To My 1 Year Old: Happy First Birthday, Carter

Dear Carter, 

Happy First Birthday, Carterito. Carterito. Do you know how you got that nickname? Your Daddy started referring to you as our Little Carterito just moments after you were born and handed over to us, wrapped up so tight you looked like a little burrito baby. 


How did we get here? How is it that we've already arrived at your first birthday? I can't believe it. For 365 days I've been by your side. In the beginning, it was a blur. You spared no expense breaking us in as new parents. We learned valuable lessons such as "never wake a sleeping baby," and "your father definitely can't survive on less than five hours of sleep at night." You taught us that sometimes the expensive bottles aren't always the best and to always carry not one but at least three changes of clothes. Who knew poop could make it's way so easily out of the neck hole of a onesie?


We never once questioned our ability as parents. In a way, you made it so simple for us. Fiercely independent from the beginning, you led us. We followed your cues and we quickly learned more about you and each other in those early weeks than we had learned in our three years of marriage. Where I am strong, sometimes your Daddy is weak. Where I am weak, he is strong. And with you, Carter? We've created a perfect balance. Sometimes I think that life can't get any better than this, but then it does. 



For every milestone you've reached, our hearts have exploded with pure joy and elation. To be able to witness your first words, your first steps and the look on your face as you discover something new has been immeasurably awesome. For every sickness, every bump and bruise, our hearts have broken. Being your Mama has taught me that the highs of parenting are incredibly high and also that the lows are heart-breakingly low. We can only wish for you, Carter, that these highs will outnumber the lows as you grow older. And as your parents, we'll continue to do everything in our power so that this is the case.

Even before you were born, Carter, your Daddy and I have wished the best for you. That you inherit the best of both of us and that the world gives you nothing but the best of everything that it has to offer. You've most certainly inherited your Daddy blue eyes. It's often the first thing that people notice about you. You've inherited my strong will although some may mistake this trait for stubbornness. Regardless, you know what you want and with intense determination and dedication, you go after it. You are fearless, inquisitive and compassionate. Your fearlessness has been both a blessing and a curse. I know that it will serve you well as you get older, but as for now? It's been difficult to teach you that you cannot fly, the stairs are not for playing and that running down slanted driveways will only result in scraped noses and bumped foreheads.

It has been difficult to learn that we can't always protect you. You're going to fall and scrape your knee, you're going to run too fast, eat too fast and you're going to learn that ultimately things are going to happen that are outside of our control. Hopefully these life lessons will strengthen your character, but always know that your Daddy and I will be right behind you ready to explain the Why's, the How's and the Why Not's. 

I never thought I would be that emotional Mom who cried on the eve of her baby's first birthday. But like I've always said, "you never know the kind of mom you're going to be until you're wearing your mom shoes, facing your first mom-stacle." These tears I'm crying are not sad, regretful tears by any means. They are tears born from the utmost happiness and thankfulness that I've been blessed with the chance, the opportunity and the calling to be a Mother. And not just anyone's Mother. Your Mother.


As husband and wife we thought we knew unconditional love but it wasn't until you were placed in our arms that we truly understood its limitless meaning. Carter, you have brought more love, more laughter and more emotion into our lives than we could have ever imagined. Thank you for making us a family and for making us more than husband and wife, but now Mommy and Daddy. And at this point? Seasoned Mommy and Daddy! 

Thank you for reminding us to take it slower, to love more, laugh more and learn more. We hope we can continue to teach you these important life lessons as you grow older. 

What a wild ride this year has been, sweet boy. You are such a blessing. We hope that not a day goes by that you are not reminded of this and of just how much your Daddy and I love you. 



Happy First Birthday, "Baby C!" We love you more than carrots. 
Love always and then some and then some more,

Mama and Daddy 
7/30/2011



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35 comments :

  1. OMG I am a blubbering mess! I was so excited to see what you had put together Ash and you truly have a way with words (as if it weren't obvious with your amazing blog!) what a blessed little boy he is to have such amazing parents! I hope you save this letter for him to read when he goes off to Villanova (is there really another choice- lol) so he can see just how lucky he is! Happy birthday eve Carter!! :) and congrats mommy and daddy for making it through the first year!

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  2. Happy Birthday Carter! What an amazing Mommy you have :) love to you both xoxo

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  3. This is such an awesome letter. I hope everything went well with the first birthday party and you had a wonderful day. Carter is a lucky guy to have two such awesome people to raise him!

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  4. Happy Birthday sweet Carter! What an amazing Mommy you have :) love to you both xoxo

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  5. You made it, AP! Year One - Complete.

    So far, Year 2? Just as awesome. With more sleep :) Wow, I really don't miss those newborn days!!!

    Happy First Birthday,Sweet-o Carterito!

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  6. Happy Birthday Carter! Such an amazing post from a great Momma! Y'all are so lucky to have each other! Just pinch yourself today and enjoy (especially to month 13!I feel like that one's gone by the fastest!)

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  7. Perfect letter! Happy First Birthday, Carter! :)

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  8. I'm sitting at work right now trying not to cry as I read this. Carter is so lucky to have such special and loving parents. Happy 1st Birthday :)

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  9. beautiful :) Happy birthday to your sweetie boy (tomorrow!). Having recently been down this path, I totally get it. Never thought I'd be the sobby-cry'ey mom on the 1st birthday eve, and yet? I was. Its okay, though because its all just about love and feeling it. A lot. and I'm okay with that ;)

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  10. Oh this is so sweet! I just got chills from reading this. I know exactly how you feel with my little one creeping on 10 months. You never know how much a baby can change your life until you have one! Happy 1st Birthday Carter!

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  11. Oh, he is such a little love! This heartfelt post brought tears to my eyes! Happy Birthday Baby C!

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  12. Oh, AP! I adore this post!! Adore! So sweet I am crying. So real I was shaking my head in agreement thinking of Tbird!

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  13. happy first birthday little man! xxxoo

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  14. You have described every emotion a new parent feels so perfectly! What a beautiful, heartfelt letter to your baby boy, Happy Birthday to C and congratulations to mom and dad for the great job y'all are doing, as you have an incredibly happy, thriving boy!

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  15. Tears. So sweet. I keep telling myself to enjoy each stage because it flies but I haven't yet mastered pausing time. Sigh. Enjoy this momentous occasion!

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  16. This post should come with a warning! I can't stop crying. Being the mama to adorable baby boys is just the best in the world. I couldn't help but think of Carter as a grown man getting to read this letter from his mommy. So precious. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

    xo

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  17. This is so sweet - it brought tears to my eyes! The pictures are so sweet and beautiful.

    I definitely agree when you say that parenting has the highest higs and lowest lows and I have definitely experienced both of these since becoming a mom to McKayla two years ago!

    Happy Birthday to your sweet baby boy!!

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  18. My goodness I didn't think I'd cry so early in the morning but you definitely got the tears flowing! Precious, precious, precious. You'll be so happy to have this years down the road. Happy, happy birthday to Carter! He is so lucky to have such a wonderful mother as you...so proud of you, sweet friend! I hope one day that I'm half the mother you are! Enjoy your weekend celebrating with your little man :)

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  19. This makes me tear up, time goes too quickly. Such a beautiful letter for him to look back on. Happy Birthday Carter!!

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  20. Happy Birthday to baby Carter!!! You have one awesome Mommy! :)

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  21. you weren't kidding about the tissues, were you. OMG. I'm at work for crying out loud! Happy Birthday Big Boy C!

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  22. Oh heavens. First I bawled when Livie turned one, then when Emeline turned one, then when Becca and Connor turned one and now, Carter. If I can't even survive my twitter nieces/nephews first birthday HOW AM I GOING TO MANAGE TO MAKE IT THROUGH SEPTEMBER 22ND????

    Happy Birthday Carlos! And happy happy first year of Mommyhood to you.

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  23. Happy happy bday to your sweet boy. Beautiful post!

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  24. How precious...way to make everyone cry, Ashley! ;)

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  25. Love it! Happy birthday Carter and congrats to Mommy and Daddy on surviving the first year!!

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  26. AAWWW...this is such a beautiful post!!! Happy Birthday to Carter...you guys are clearly amazing parents and he is such a precious little boy!!! Congrats on getting through the first year:)

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  27. This is fabulous...1st birthdays are tough on the Mommys for sure. What a beautiful tribute to your lil' man! Congratulations on the first year! Happy Birthday to Carter!

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  28. What a beautiful letter to your baby who is no longer a baby! I remember being quite the emotional mess last September when Tommy turned 1 as well but I expected that from me!Each day on the journey gets better - I'm sure I'll be a blubbering emotional wreck this September for birthday #2! Happy 1st birthday Carter! And congrats to mommy and daddy for doing such a great job!

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  29. I am in tears! What a beautiful letter to your baby boy! Reading things like this make me even more excited to become a momma :) Happy first birthday Carter!

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  30. This is such a sweet letter. Happy birthday to Carterito (love the nickname explanation, btw)!

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  31. Happy birthday little man!! I have LOVED watching you grow, and cannot wait to continue to watch you grow. Your mama and daddy LOVE you lots and you are one special little dude (but I think you know that already).

    Happy FIRST birthday Carter!!

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  32. Crying!! I love this post and I can so relate. What in the world does time go? I am completely convinced time didn't move this fast before I had Braylen.

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  33. So I got a few paragraphs in and I just had to quit so my eyes won't be all puffy tomorrow. XO

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  34. So perfect. What a precious 1st birthday letter!

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  35. Holy cow lady I'm a new reader and this post totally made me cry. What a sweet and wonderful tribute to your little boy. This post makes me so excited for the parenthood adventure! I love that you wrote this and someday your little Carterito will be able to read it. How precious!

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