So the other week Alex and I decided that we would both take the day off work to have a spontaneous family day up North in the snow! It was so amazing and I know I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have. I’m trying hard to get better at that but I’m always so busy enjoying my family time that I can hardly ever remember!
I dressed Ava in her cute little Calvin Klein Outfit with her snow boots (that we honestly got just for this occasion whenever it finally happened) and we finally made the 2 hour drive north to Payson! It was so nice to get a quick change of scenery for a few hours and after it snowed in Scottsdale but we were too busy to make even the 30 minute drive I was dying to show Ava the snow!
When we finally got to Payson I found a somewhat empty space to park and Alex carried Ava out into the snow. I want to add that we were super nervous about how she would react because we gave her her first bubble bath the night before and for some reason she was super scared of the bubbles. Well, she responded exactly how we thought she was going to at first.
When he set her down she immediately started crying and gesturing for Alex to pick her back up. He wanted to sit on the bench near us and smoke a cigarette so he handed her to me. So I knelt down with her in my lap and picked up a handful of snow and held it in front of her and once she touched it herself she LOVED it, it was a total 180!
Alex and I let her run around and play and explore the snow while we had our own little snowball fight not too far away. Having the chance to fool around with Alex while we watched Ava explore and have fun with something totally new was such a great feeling. I think its been a long time since we’ve had a family day like this and it was a good reminder of how important it is to make sure to take the time to have these moments and days with my family. Alex and I are both guilty of getting too caught up in work to spend the time mainly with each other.
Oh, my sweet Ava, I can’t believe today you are one year old. I can’t believe that every day for the last year I have gotten the pleasure of being your mother and get to love you and be loved by you. I don’t think there will be a time where I can explain just how much of an impact you have had on my life the last year and a half since I found out I was pregnant with you, but I am going to try.
I still remember the day I had you. Every single minute of that day. I remember being at the hospital in a patient room and having contractions and listening to your dad tell me I probably wasn’t going to go into labor that day and me getting ready to choke him because I was not about to have that vibe in my life that day because I was so ready for you to come out! Haha! (I should let you know I had labor contractions just about every day for my last two weeks of pregnancy. It was GREAT) Anyway, I remember going to the bathroom while your dad went to get a snack and walking back into my room and all of a sudden there was a giant puddle between my legs. Your Great Grandma Angie (Or OG Angie as we have called her all year) was the only person in the room with me and I started sobbing and when your OG finally realized what was going on she asked me if I was crying because I was scared, and I started to cry harder and told her “No, I’m just so happy. I finally get to meet my daughter!” (Here I am tearing up as I type this out.. Go figure) While the pregnancy was relatively hard, after my water broke it was an hour and a half of smooth sailing, 3 pushes and there you were. You were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life (You still are more beautiful each and every day.) and your first cry was the most heart-warming thing to me. I know that sounds bad as you’re reading this, but I knew you were healthy and that cry meant every bit of love I was building up inside my body was finally in my arms and these arms had never held anything more precious than you. I love your dad so much, but I know nothing will ever compare to the love I felt the second I got to hold you. I could go on and on about the rest of your birth day, I just have so much more to say and I know when you’re 18 and read this letter, I’ll already have told you a million times about it so I’ll move on.
Over the last year I have gotten to see your grow and learn and I have so many beautiful memories that, today, I can remember so vividly and I hope they never fade. The first time you gave a real smile, the first time you tried applesauce and you thought it was THE BEST THING in the world, and how mama was your first word and that was all you said for three months and I felt so bad for your poor dad that I constantly said dada while he wasn’t around so you would learn and surprise him by saying it. I currently regret it because now dada is all you say! Well, you did recently learn “bye” and you say it in the cutest little voice and somehow put so much sass behind it! I hope I never forget the way your voice sounds this first year, I hope I never forget the way it feels to be able to rock you to sleep in my arms, I hope I never forget the way that you look at me like I am the light of your life. Honestly, I hope the last one never goes away… I wish I could put life on pause for forever and take in every bit of the way you are now for all eternity. But I know that there are so many amazing things to come in your life and that there are so many amazing things that you are going to be between now and when you turn 18 and so many more after that. You are already so smart and strong, and you are such a bright light to everyone you come in contact with. I know you are destined to do great things. I pray to god every day that every decision I make is the right one for you and that I can do right by you every day for the rest of my life.
There are so many things I can’t wait to watch you do. I can’t wait for you to find where your passion is and indulge yourself in it. I can’t wait for you to travel the world and tell me about every adventure. I can’t wait for you to find true peace within yourself and watch you glow like the beautiful woman I know you will become. I can’t wait for you to find true, patient, and kind love and have your happily ever after. I know life isn’t always easy baby, and heartbreak is inevitable but I want you to know that you are strong enough to conquer any trials you face and brave enough to never let anything stop you on your pursuit to achieve whatever you want. Even in your first year alone your personality and qualities have started to shine through so much and I am in love with every bit of you.
You have made me the kind of woman I never thought I had the ability to be. You have made me stronger, braver, kinder, you’ve given me more sense, you’ve made me stop and think about what things I really want to accomplish in my life. You have gotten me through the hardest year of my life, I truly believe if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be here. You came into my life to be my will to wake up in the morning and keep fighting, to be my reason why each and every day. I am only as good as I am because you were born and I will dedicate my life to making sure that I am able to give you anything and everything you need. I love you so much Ava baby and want you to know how much I love you and how proud I am to be your mother. And God forbid if anything should happen to me I want you to know that I will always be proud of you no matter what, and that I will watch over you every day to help light your path and make sure you feel the love and support you need. I live for you, I would die for you, and I will spend all eternity loving you. Happy birthday baby! I can’t wait to spend many more happy, beautiful years with you!