A year since Blake was born has come and gone.  Now that my twins are 10 and my son is 7 and experiencing how fast the days and years truly do fly by, I can confidently write that I took every opportunity to soak up the days of Blake’s first year. I half jokingly, and half seriously, call her my ‘do over baby’.  I call her that in remembering my regrets of not putting off cleaning, laundry and daily what nots to sit and be intentionally present with my three older children when they were little.  I’ve always been an active person that can’t sit for more than a few minutes.  It’s true, my brain operates at warp speed and isn’t able to idle.

During the 9 months of expected Blake’s arrival, my mind was overwhelmed with thoughts, worries and questions of how I was going to manage working, juggling my kids’ schedules and life with a baby in the mix.  I honestly struggled with figuring out how I could do it all. (I’m a worrier by nature.  It’s not a strength for me.)

Then Blake arrived and I was flooded with emotions holding and looking at this beautiful, unexpected and precious gift.  I truly looked at Blake as a gift from God and saw her as His reminder that He’s given her to me as a gift that I’m doing good.  That day she arrived, time stood still and I hit the brick wall that made me realize nothing is more important than being intentionally present with my children.  And at that moment, all the things that needed to be done no longer took priority.

With Blake I forced myself and my warp speed thinking brain into idle mode.  And trust me, that is a victory for me as I’m a do’er and mover.

I took the past year to notice the little moments with my kids and Blake: truly savoring them.  Even my husband joined me in this mindset as he also realized he had missed out on so much when the children were little.

Blake is, and will always be, our physical reminder that we have one chance to be emotionally and physically present with our children because one day our house will be empty and they won’t need us to the degree they need us now.

A few weeks before Blake turned 1, I took my big girl camera out and documented her day.

Her day when it begins with drinking her bottle with one leg up.  Each of the kids help feed her in the morning while I tackle the morning routine of breakfast, lunches, hair……basically the never-ending routine to get the kids out the door for the bus.  And then her day begins of happily playing, scooting around, licking random things that likely have some sort of crusties on it (I call this immune boosting skill), following me wherever I go, racing to play in the dog dishes before one of us can scoop her up, sneaking food to our dog during lunch….her day of fun is never-ending.

Love our little Blakers! We love all the happiness, reminders and pure joy that she gives to each of us.

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