One Year with Olivia

The time escaped me, and once again I am posting late! August has been a season full of blessing and reflection for us. Last year I couldn't envision a life that is as full nor as beautiful as it is. I couldn't begin to imagine that Olivia would be a thriving one year old-but here we are, and I couldn't be more thankful!


I know some people feel a party for a one year old is silly, they won't remember it unless you show them pictures and tell them. It really feels more like a party for the parents. I have no shame admitting that Olivia's party was a lot more for me than it was for her. Actually, she slept through most of it! But it felt so good to celebrate her. For myself and Kevin it was a way to remember how blessed we are and as a way to focus on all the positives, all the miracles, and all the goodness that came out of our scary situation last year. 

We celebrated with a "One in a MELON" theme, and despite the heat, had a great time. Close neighbors and family all attended (except for my brother and sister in law who were getting admitted to the hospital in preparation for the arrival of their little one!). Olivia's cousin was ALMOST her birthday twin. Little Penelope was born at 9 pm on August 22, about hours to the date when Olivia was born last year.

Olivia's aunt's (Kevin's sister) birthday is the day after Olivia's-making for lots of celebration that last week in August! We celebrated that weekend with lots of cousin time (pictured below, one of Olivia's cousins who was so patiently trying to read to Olivia) and delicious food. Olivia enjoyed her second cake tasting in less than two weeks! (Although Grammy McVerry's cake was far superior to the banana bread "cake" I made for Olivia's birthday.) It is always a good time when we are able to get the whole family together-and judging by this last month, August will be a month very full of celebrating in the coming years

We have taken full advantage of the long summer days this month. We make a point to take a family walk a couple evenings during the week. Some of the neighborhood cats have become really friendly with Olivia and will walk several blocks next to her stroller. (PS. TJ has still not fully returned Olivia's affections). 

Olivia and I have continued to enjoy the baby pool in our back yard as well as the park and the splash pad near our house. She is such a little water bug. She even enjoys watching rain storms in the garage with Kevin. When he lets her, she will venture out into the puddles. 

On a few occasions, after spending time at the pool or splash pad, we will have mommy/daughter lunch dates. We have been several times to my sister's restaurant-which Olivia loves. Aunt Heather always makes time to play-even at work, and has even snuck Olivia french-fries and ice cream. 

Kevin and I are switching roles yet again, as some people know. I was blessed with the opportunity to return back to work with my old unit while Kevin was given the chance to work part time. With how Kevin’s job is set up and my new schedule will make it so that we can continue to be the sole caretakers to Olivia and her needs without needing to rely on day care. As Kevin put it, it has been the greatest joy being able to watch her grow and not miss anything. 

As far as Olivia goes, we are slated to see the Specialty infant care clinic near the end of September. It has been a huge relief to go such a long span of time (almost 3 months) without having to see a doctor! Olivia has been growing like a weed. It seems like I am packing away clothes that don't fit her anymore just about every other week. Although she isn't walking completely on her own yet, she is pulling herself up to stand, randomly standing in the middle of the room, walking with a walker, and walking while holding my hand. I think as soon as she gets the confidence to let go, she will be on the run. My mom says I was very much the same-very cautious, checking out the scene before deciding it was ok. So perhaps we will be all three walking into the clinic together! 

Speaking of Olivia's growing...she would absolutely eat us out of house and home if we allowed her access to the pantry unsupervised. Every food she has tried, she has loved.

Green beans are still by far her favorite-so Grandpa Larson would be very proud (my mom's dad) and this fact always makes me smile and remember him. Her two bottom front teeth are practically in and someone taught her to growl (it sounds more like "rawwwr"), so now she enjoys showing off her new teeth and growling (even in the grocery store line). She's such a ham and I love it. 

Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 

Gosh it is so much easier to be thankful when things are going "well", verses when things are difficult, right? But I feel like it's just as easy to feel things are going good and forget to continue to be thankful. Just as this month has brought back, for me, a lot of difficult memories, I've been reminded that I need to be thankful for the hope I have in Jesus. Yes, He has blessed me in ways I would never have imagined. Yes, he has answered prayers. But ultimately I praise him and am thankful for what He has done for me in showing me love, grace, mercy, and giving me hope of salvation. I pray that I am able to continue to have a thankful spirit, during very difficult times and particularly to remain thankful in times when it is easy to forget to be thankful. I pray that I am an example to my daughter, who is picking up on everything now a days-pray that she will learn what it is to be rooted in Christ and to have a spirit overflowing with thankfulness. 

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