Tag Archives: Birthdays

Happy First Birthday: Reece Turns One

29 Oct

Dear, Reece.

Today, you are one year old, and I can’t help but reflect on what this year has meant to both me and your proud dad. I wrote you letters while I was pregnant with you, dreaming of the little boy I would one day hold in my arms. I wrote that I knew two things about you: You’d love the Yankees and we’d love you more than anything in the world. I wrote about all the fun things we’d teach you: How to ride a bike, how to tie your shoes, how to catch a lizard with your bare hands. I imagined you running up and hugging me after a long day at school, I dreamt of us baking holiday cookies together, I pictured taking your Prom photos on the front stairs. And I made of list of all the places we’d take you: to the zoo, to Grandma’s house, to the splash park, to a baseball game.

But today, I’m not thinking about all the things we’ve done, all the places we’ve gone and all the things we’ve taught you. I’m actually grateful for the things you’ve taught me, lessons I didn’t even know I needed to learn.

You’ve taught me how to be patient. You’ve reminded me to be curious and to continue to learn something new every day. You’ve taught me to trust in myself, because even though I had no idea what I was doing as a Mommy, we figured it out as a family. You taught me to trust my gut — Daddy and I fought a few doctors to figure you out. You taught me that while schedules are certainly important, there are a few good reasons to break them every now and then. You showed me that hearing one of your big belly laughs could cure the hardest of days. You taught me that every day is a reason to dance.

You’ve taught me to loosen up … have fun … life doesn’t have to be so serious all the time. You’ve reminded me of all the fun I had as a child, all the games I played, where my imagination took me. You’ve allowed me to rediscover the world through your eyes.

Having you in our lives allowed me to see a whole new side of Daddy, a softer, gentler and stronger man than I ever knew before. Daddy’s eyes lit up the second he saw you, and he was by your side right from the start, keeping you company in the NICU until I could see you. Daddy became the ultimate protector of both of us in that hospital room. And watching the two of you together fills my heart with overwhelming joy! You’d reach up to Daddy and you could just see his heart melt.

But when I look through the photos in this last year, it’s the quiet, everyday moments that I’ll cherish forever. Some of my favorite memories are the first time I felt you breathe on my chest. I loved looking down at your long beautiful eyelashes. I loved the way you would snuggle with your lambie in your crib. You loved sleeping on your left side when you were little. I was so scared to dress you in the beginning because I’d never dressed a baby before — so you stayed pretty much naked for the first week.

Me, you and Daddy used to take LONG car rides, because it was the only way you’d fall asleep, so we spent many afternoon touring the Tampa Bay area. In fact, you blew the engine in Daddy’s Commander with all the trips to the Skyway Bridge.

You loved to be bounced, so I’d spend days literally walking in circles with you, just bouncing and bouncing. I’d even bounce when I wasn’t holding you, just out of pure habit. Your favorite toys were your giraffe rattle, your keys and lambie. You’d play with your shadow and you loved looking in the mirror. When you’d fuss, I’d sing to you in the car, and you’d just watch and listen. You thought Peanut and Cashew were hysterical, and you’d crack up whenever they came around.

But today, I’m supposed to see you as a big boy now that you’re one, but I still see my sweet baby boy. I’ll always see your little ringlets and dimples when I see your smiling face, no matter how big you get. I’ll always remember your tiny fingers wrapped around mine. And I’ll always be honored that you decided to make me your mommy.

I love you, son.


Here are just a few of the highlights in the last year.
• October 29, 2013: Reece is born at 8:24 p.m. weighing 7 pounds and 20 inches long
• October 30, 2013: First time getting your wild hair washed
• October 31, 2013: First time trick-or-treating and you cleaned up at the nurses’ station (Kit-Kat) while wearing Frankenstein pants
• Rolled over in the first month
• November 28, 2013: First Thanksgiving at Grandpa Orlando’s, wore a turkey butt outfit
• Went picking out a Christmas tree together and you had one in your room
• You hated bath time with Mommy but LOVED it with Daddy
• You loved your bouncer, you’d swing your leg up and down just to bounce more
• Wore an elf outfit on Christmas morning and a tux on New Year’s Eve
• February 2, 2014: Superbowl, first time sleeping through the night
• February 14, 2014: You and Daddy surprised me at work on Valentine’s Day, dressed in your “Most Eligible Bachelor” shirt
• March 30, 2014: Went to Oldsmar Days, and you were mesmerized by the fair rides
• April 20, 2014: Easter at Aunt Steph’s house, wore bunny ears
• April 21, 2014: First time at the park, went on the slide and swings
• April 26, 2014: First time in the pool at Grandma Tam’s house and you LOVE it
• May 4, 2014: You get the jumper
• May 4, 2014: First time eating food (peas). You loved corn, squash and pears. You hate sweet potatoes.
• May 16, 2014: First time flying on a plane to Nan and Pop Pop’s house
• May 21, 2014: First time putting your toes in the sand in Delaware, but you hated the cold ocean water
• May 24, 2014: You met my Grandpa Tam for the first and only time, but you brought such joy to him in his last days and he loved looking at your photos.
• May 31, 2014: Attended Mason’s graduation party
• June 1, 2014: Now you love sweet potatoes
• June 29, 2014: First tooth pops through (bottom left) and sat up unassisted for the first time
• July 4, 2014: Work the cutest “Mommy’s Firecracker” outfit and Lady Liberty crown
• July 10, 2014: First time dressing like a big boy (no onesie) and heading to sushi with Mommy and Daddy
• June 19, 2014: First time crawling
• July 25, 2014: You say your first word (“Da Da”) and started climbing up on things at Aunt Stacy’s annual Pig Roast in CT
• August 3, 2014: Became an outlaw at Madison’s birthday party
• August 16, 2014: First Yankees game. Daddy was SO proud to take you there.
• August 27, 2014: Reached expert cruiser status
• August 30, 2014: First time seeing mermaids at Weeki Wachee and going to the splash park!
• September 17, 2014: Said “Momma” for the first time
• September 26, 2014: Leaned how to wave goodbye
• October 22, 2014: You’ve turned into a break-dancing fool over night!
• October 26, 2014: First time at the Oldsmar Fall Festival/Pumpkin Patch
• October 27, 2014: First time with whole milk in your bottle
• October 29, 2014: First time carving pumpkins

Remembering September 11

9 Sep

Because my birthday is on September 11, 9/11 has a special meaning for me. I have what can be called “a different take” on the events of September 11 just because how that date relates to my life. So, two days before 9/11, I want to pay my respects to those who lost their lives on that day. It was a horrible day in our nation’s history, and there is not a 9/11 that goes by that I don’t think about that day in a different way since the attacks.

When the attacks happened, I was waking up for class in Bloomington, Indiana. My roommate was from New York and she woke me up with her crys. She had had her senior prom in the top of one of the towers. I was working at the IDS (Indiana Daily Student newspaper) at the time, and I had to call Bloomington students affected by the tragedy and get their story. One girl sobbed to me on the phone as she talked about her dad dying in the tower. That was the day I turned 20 years old.

When I turned 21, it was the first anniversary of 9/11 … and not a single person felt like going out. I did get my roommate to go with me for a drink, but the world was lost in the significance of the day. It was that birthday that I decided I wasn’t going to mourn on 9/11. I wouldn’t go to church or cry or watch the news coverage. I was going to enjoy life; I was going to celebrate my birthday every 9/11 going forward with as much energy and excitement as I could. If I didn’t, wouldn’t the terrorists be winning in some way?

And so, that is what I have vowed to do moving forward. And each time I hit a milestone birthday, 9/11 hits a milestone as well. In two days, when I turn 30, 9/11 will be remembering the ten years that have passed since the attacks happened. I’m reflecting on the significance this morning so that I can completely enjoy the day as my birthday when it comes. I know it is a hard day for many people … and it is hard for me as well … but September 11 is going to be my big 3-0 and I’m going to celebrate it to the hills. My hubby has something amazing planned … starting tonight with us heading to a country concert.

I don’t know what else is in store for my birthday, but I know having my hubby by my side will make it amazing in every way.

And that’s life in a nutshell … remembering the past doesn’t mean you can’t REALLY enjoy the present! September 11 has taught me that.

P.S. Let the birthday celebration begin!


Birthday Wishes

19 Aug

Today, three very important people are celebrating their birthdays, and I want to take a moment to appreciate each of them.

My Grandpa Densmore is celebrating his birthday at the Dainty Maid Bake Shop in South Bend, Indiana right now. He is picking up his cake, heading out to lunch and then dinner with my grandma. If you have every had anything from this bake shop, you know how insanely good it is! I hope you have a great fishing trip and a wonderful birthday, Grandpa.

Grandpa Densmore, Grandma Densmore, MommaNut and Poppanut

Next, my niece Jordan is celebrating her birthday. She doesn’t live nearby, but PoppaNut and I will be thinking about her today and wishing her the most special birthday ever. We had a great time when Jordan came to visit us and we all headed out on an Orlando-family vacation. Jordan was also so sweet to Peanut and Cashew and I can tell they miss her! Happy birthday, Jordan. We love you!

Kayla, Christopher and Jordan

Last, but not least, I’m thinking of my Grandma Tam today. She passed away while I was in middle school, but I think about her often. Today would have been her birthday. I like to think I got my writing skills from her, as she also published a book (even though it was on sewing quilts and I haven’t touched a sewing machine in my life). I wish she was still here with us and I hope she knows how much I love her. Happy birthday, Grandma. I hope I made you proud.

And that’s life in a nutshell … remembering your family and friends on their birthdays is a wonderful way to show them how much you care.


Happy Birthday, Miss Madison

5 Aug

Last weekend, PoppaNut and I headed to New Port Richey for Miss Madison’s first birthday! Wow, how the time flies. It seems like just yesterday that PoppaNut and I were living with Miss Madison’s Mom and Dad (Ashley and Randy), who were not parents at the time.

Ashley and I had moved in together when she relocated from Indiana. We had a two-bedroom place in Tampa, and we had no idea how much our lives were about to change in one year. PoppaNut proposed to me in the living room of that very apartment, and Ashley and Randy started dating while we were there as well.

I used to laugh and say apartment changed everyone’s lives. You either got married, found out you were preggos or broke up. Yes, there were several breakups that happened in that apartment, with Ashley and I listening from the balcony as a few couples we know fought in the parking lot. It was quite a time! Luckily, Ashley and I had better luck with me getting engaged and Ashley starting a family with Randy with the arrival of Miss Madison.

So, celebrating Madison’s first birthday makes me celebrate how far I’ve come in my own life as well since Madison came along. It was so great to get everyone together, and see Madison enjoy her very first slice of cake.

It was also good to see Uncle Greg, Aunt Debbie, Bryan, Ashley, Randy and my brother Davie. I hope you enjoy the photos I took while we were there too. We love you, Miss Madison!


And that’s life in a nutshell … celebrating a milestone as a family is the perfect way to spend a Sunday.


%d bloggers like this: