I've known this day was coming for a year now. But it doesn't really make it any easier. My last baby turned one today. I have such mixed emotions, it's kind of hard to explain.
Phoebe was a surprise baby. I wasn't thrilled when I found out I was pregnant with her, but now that we've had her for a year I can't imagine what life would be like without her. I always say that she was planned by Someone higher than me, who knows what He is doing.
The last year has gone by so incredibly quickly, and I feel like I've missed it somehow. I think the more kids you have, the faster time goes for each one. With the first baby you can just cuddle, nap with them, take them everywhere with you. Two changes everything; you're chasing the first one and trying to get enough sleep to function, and trying to decide if it's worth it to go to the store with a toddler and a newborn even if you are out of milk. By three, you're now accustomed to a couple years of inadequate sleep, and you are brave enough to leave the house with all three, because if you don't you'll likely lose your mind. And then came four.
Four changed everything, again. No sleep, afraid to leave the house because I didn't have enough hands for all of them, but going crazy stuck in a little house with four active little people all day, every day. Of course, that was also the year I attempted homeschooling. Huge fail. I have nothing but pure admiration for anyone who can homeschool a first grader with three other kids running around the house. I feel certain I would not have survived those first few months had it not been for Beth, the best friend anyone could ever hope for. She'd call me on the phone and know right away without me even saying anything that I was having a day I just couldn't handle. The next thing you know she'd show up on my doorstep with some kind of homemade, baked deliciousness and take my older kids for the day so I could rest and take care of Phoebe.
I knew Phoebe would be our last baby, and I really struggled with that. I knew that I didn't want to have any more kids, I knew that it wouldn't even be practical to have any more, but still I struggled with the transition of having babies to raising babies/kids. It was hard to cross the line to a new season of life. There are still times I get a little emotional about it, knowing that there won't be any more tiny baby clothes or newborn snuggles.
And so today Phoebe turns one. She's full of personality, attitude, smiles, and love. She's the perfect combination of her three older siblings. I see each one in her at different times, though she does look an awful lot like her brother.
I'm attaching a video I made of Phoebe's first year. It's a little long, but I wanted to be able to share with family who's far away and can't watch her grow.