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celebrating my first momiversary: the year that my life was turned upside down… and came out rightside up

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the mommyhood memos: celebrating my first momiversary: the year that my life was turned upside down… and came out rightside up

Monday, January 24, 2011

celebrating my first momiversary: the year that my life was turned upside down… and came out rightside up

Your child’s first birthday is a big deal. You may have had a celebration at his birth or at his baby dedication… but celebrating his first birthday is just, well, different.

It’s big.

There’s something about turning one that really reinforces the feeling of transition from babyhood to toddlerhood. Maybe it’s the determined attempts at walking or talking. Maybe it’s the fact that he will now be joining the ranks of people who don’t count their age in months. (I just did the math and I am 399 months old.)

Or maybe it’s the fact that he survived your first year of parenting.

I’m so happy to be celebrating Levi’s first birthday on Saturday. But I’m also excited to celebrate my momiversary.

Everyone says that being a mom is the hardest and best job in the world… But for those who’ve yet to have children, no doubt it can be tiring to always hear about all the challenges.

Yes, sleep-ins have all but vanished.

Yes, I have been pooped on, peed on, sneezed on, snotted on, spit up on, and thrown up on.

Yes, the family expenses have increased… as have the laundry and the dishes.

Yes, things move a lot slower with kids (meals, errands, etc.).

Yes, sometimes my time, my body, and my brain does not feel like my own.

And yet there are so many wonderful things that far outweigh the lack of sleep and the ring of crying in your ears.

Like the fact that you learn how to love more completely.

And you start to see the world with more wonder.

And you think more consciously about your values.

And you live more purposefully.

And then there are the other things, the baby things:

Sweet baby breath on your cheeks.

Those precious newborn coos... music to your ears.

The first laugh, sending excitement shooting through your veins.

Hearing “mama” for the first time as your heart melts into puddles around your feet.

Those first slobbery kisses... no, all of those slobbery kisses.

Hugs and cuddles... and glances up from your child, which say without words that you're the most beautiful person he's ever laid eyes on.

The feeling of being loved unconditionally and trusted completely.

There are so many good things. So many life-altering good things.

The highs are epic. The lows are crushing. But the ride is absolutely thrilling.

During this last year I have cried harder than I ever have in my life. There has been sobbing in the shower, breakdowns in the kitchen, and desperate wails of “why” and “help me God” in the nursery.

Being a mom has pushed me to the limits of what I’ve experienced so far in my thirty-three years.

I’ve felt crushing insecurity at times and steady confidence at others.

I’ve been exhausted and exhilarated.

I’ve been confused and I’ve questioned.

Sometimes I’ve trusted my gut. And other times I’ve floundered.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours reading books and the internet looking for answers and help and tips and ideas.

I’ve patted that tiny baby bum a thousand times to help him fall asleep.

I’ve rocked him in the night and held him through teething and illness and growth spurts and needles.

I’ve swelled with pride and joy, and I’ve stood in awe.

I’ve sang thousands of lullabies and read thousands of stories.

I’ve nursed and I’ve nurtured.

I’ve danced and I’ve paced.

I’ve prayed.

I've laughed.

I’ve watched and listened and savored and recorded.

I've felt like an amateur and felt like a pro.

I’ve filled my hard drive and the facebook feed with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of photos.

I've sought advice... and sometimes given it. 

I've sought validation and I've sought empathy. 

I've sought encouragement and I've sought affirmation. 

I’ve been amazed and overwhelmed, grateful and relieved.

I've learned sacrifice. I've earned wrinkles.

I've acquired a few badges of my own.

I've found a depth of strength that was yet unlocked.

I've. Given. Birth.

I’ve seen Grace. I’ve touched Love. I’ve tasted Mercy. I’ve found Forgiveness.

I've been humbled. I've grown up. 

I've become more of who I am meant to be.

I've. Had. Fun.

Becoming a mom is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s helping me to see myself and see the world and see God in a whole new—more glorious—light.

So here’s to the tears! The joys! The questions! The lessons! The heartache! The breakthroughs! The love! The affection! The learning curve! The discovery! The process! The growth! The reality! The dream!

Here’s to motherhood! Here’s to parenthood!

Happy first momiversary to me!

My heart is so full that... It. Might. Burst.

I will never forget this first year of motherhood… the year that my life was turned upside down… and came out rightside up.

Dear friends, on Saturday night after the streamers are taken down, the cake is cleaned up, and Levi is tucked safely into bed, my husband and I will be clinking our glasses and toasting with close friends. We’ll celebrate the fact that Levi has not only survived our first year of parenthood, but he has thrived... and so have we.  How did you mark your first momiversary? 

almost bursting and entirely blessed,

{Photo Credits}
Photo of Adriel and Levi: Tiffany Lausen, Red Owl Photography 
Photo of Levi clapping: Sue Stendahl, Stendahl Photo Services.

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011 
do not reproduce without written permission

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At January 25, 2011 at 12:23 AM , Blogger cooperl788 said...

Oh Adriel, how is it that your sweet posts always get me so misty eyed? You're so right - the first momiversary is just like that; the crushing lows followed by the highest of highs, and all the sweetness in between. Jeremy and I celebrated quietly together last year after Georgia's birthday with a nice bottle of wine and leftover cake. Simple, but that's our style I guess.
Happy Momiversary Adriel, you are an amazing mom to a very special, happy and thriving little man-in-the-making!

At January 25, 2011 at 12:58 AM , Blogger Greta: From Transparencies of Motherhood said...

LOVE, love, LOVE this post. Love it! So beautifully put. And I really love your title too. Hope this weeks finds more smiles than tears...but at least I know they will be tears of happiness (mixed with a little sadness that he's growing up) as you mark your very first momiversary.

At January 25, 2011 at 1:46 AM , Blogger The Planet Pink said...

And guess what? You get to do it all again this year. :-)

At January 25, 2011 at 2:47 AM , Blogger Ana said...

This post brought me to happy mommy tears. Beautifully written, Adriel. It rings in every Mommy heart, every mommy fiber of our beings.

Happy Momiversary!

At January 25, 2011 at 3:21 AM , Blogger Alana, Author of Domestically Challenged said...

SO awesome! Have so much fun - it goes so fast! Enjoy every minute of it. Take care! :)

At January 25, 2011 at 4:21 AM , Blogger flyrish said...

What a heartwarming post! I love that you're celebrating your mama-hood. It should be celebrated right along with the little guy's 1-year milestone. You're obviously a wonderful mom.

I realize that I often vent and blog about the challenges (many times for humor's sake), but maybe I don't take enough time to revel in the beauty of motherhood. Thanks for the reminder!

At January 25, 2011 at 5:15 AM , Blogger The Empress said...

Oh, what a wonderful idea. Not just your little one's 1st Bday, but your anniversary as a mom.

I think I'll do that...I'm coming up on my 16th year as a mother.

I think I"ll have a HUGE party. The boys will love it.

I love coming here b/c it shows how much I love my children, just like you do. Like attracts like.

At January 25, 2011 at 6:21 AM , Blogger Sarah P. said...

Fantastic post, Adriel! I love the well said. Congratulations on your first momiversary!

At January 25, 2011 at 4:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it Adriel - you say what most of us don't take the time to think, let alone write, about! I guess God knew that I would need to be able to read and watch your life unfold from a long way away, so He made you an amazing writer (and photographer!). You've actually managed to make us feel as though we've not missed it all! You're a great mom - and Levi is one blessed little boy.


At January 25, 2011 at 7:33 PM , Blogger Marissa said...

SUCH a beautiful post and congrats on being a Mom for a year :) All of the things you listed are SO true, most brought tears to my eyes. I love your blog, glad I just found you...NOW FOLLOWING and can't wait to see more pics of your precious family!

At January 25, 2011 at 8:59 PM , Blogger Laura said...

What a lovely post, you are so right. Happy birthday to Levi on his big day!

At January 26, 2011 at 3:11 AM , Blogger Angel Armogida said...

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At January 26, 2011 at 3:12 AM , Blogger A Little R&R said...

Ahhhh - I loved it..and you choked me up. :) Happy Birthday Levi!!!!! The first of many. This year's been a ride, hasn't it. But, boy, it's been a great one. And I'm already enjoying the sequel!

At January 26, 2011 at 4:13 AM , Blogger Mayra said...

I love this.
It's the same way I describe becoming a mommy; it turned my life upside down, the right way. ;)

I hope you all have the most wonderful time!

You're so right, the first birthday also marks our first year as mothers and that's definitely something to celebrate!

This post is truly perfect way to describe all we do and how much hapiness and tears it brings. =)

At January 26, 2011 at 11:27 AM , Blogger Kerry McCullough said...

I love that you call it a momiversary- I never thought about it that way, but it really is a celebration of both of you; all of you (can't forget the hubs). We were so exhausted by the end of Niall's party, I don't remember what we did to have our own little celebration after. But I think that's a sign that we had a lot of fun :)

At January 27, 2011 at 1:13 AM , Blogger Mellisa Rock said...

Such a sweet reminder post to enjoy every single minute that you can with your little ones!

At April 21, 2011 at 5:19 AM , Blogger SushiMama said...

I'm not a mom yet, but I really love your post. I have nagging fears about what I will really be like as a parent, and about how much our lives will change. This post reminds me that I'm normal, that things do change, but that it is totally worth it.

Deep down I knew that, but it's always nice see it from someone else.

At April 24, 2011 at 1:12 AM , Anonymous Yolanda @ Blaggie Plaggie:Babblings of a Mommy Doctor said...

This is so spot on and so beautifully captured. I love the perspective of celebrating our parenthood just as much as we celebrate our children's birthdays. I wish I had looked at it that way with both of our kids. I wish I had made more effort to celebrate. It was a struggle transitioning to two, partly due to my husband's work and travel during the 2nd pregnancy and hormones gone wild. I still ache a bit thinking back to that time in our marriage and family life when we were just trying so desperately to survive and love even when the heart felt so empty. In retrospect though, it was still a beautiful time, as God walked with us and protected us, and we relearned how to rest in God's promises for us.

At May 13, 2011 at 6:14 AM , Blogger Ann Imig said...


What a sweet, amazing milestone. Thanks so much for linking up to LTYM!

At May 17, 2011 at 12:32 AM , Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

There is nothing like it- and then, it's no different with each child. Amazing.



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