Beau Turns One
Beau turned one.
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Birthing a baby in a pandemic came with it's difficulties and advantages, which allowed us the opportunity to spend time together as a family in ways we wouldn't have been able to had things remained prepandemic... and celebrating his first birthday was a similar experience. We kept his birthday celebrations to immediate family and enjoyed the day together with those closest to us. I knew his birthday wouldn't be the way I always dreamt a first birthday would be like (in terms of guests), but surprisingly I wasn't as upset as I thought I would be. I knew I was going to decorate the entire house from top to bottom regardless of what the day looked like, and maybe that's why I wasn't caught up in the loss of a "regular" birthday. I was so happy with the way our house felt, looked and transformed, that I didn't think twice about the aunts, uncles and cousins that couldn't be there. Having our home become a space of imagination, beauty and celebration was more than I could have asked for. COVID impacted the majority of my pregnancy/postpartum experience, and it felt amazing to create a moment in time where the only thing that existed was Beau's first birthday (isn't it funny how a regular day to the rest of the world, is a HUGE day to you? Everyone STOP what you're doing, cancel ALL your plans, NO ONE does anything except celebrate..... IT'S BEAU'S BIRTHDAY! HAHA... am I the only one? Screaming from the rooftop... MY BABY IS TURNING ONE TODAYYYYY!!!). Maternity photos, ultrasound appointments, baby showers, labour & postpartum visitations, newborn photos (to name a few), were cancelled/shut down/reopened and shut down again in the last 18 months. BUT turning my home into a birthday celebration was not. It was liberating and emotional and beautiful and exciting AND empowering to create a space full of goodness. It was a day I hope to never forget.
Reflecting back on the past year of becoming Beau's mom is so overwhelming. The lessons I've learn and continue to learn keep me humble. The days I've conquered and continue to conquer keep me encouraged. The year has been filled with moments full of mistakes, mishaps, arguments, judgement, confidence, wisdom, laughter, pride, confusion, exhaustion, tears, joy, gratitude, jealousy, comparison, fulfillment and love... and so much more. I have never felt so sure that this is where I'm supposed to be. I've never felt so confident in the unknown. I've never felt so honest in struggle. I've never felt so prepared for the unprepared. I've never worked so damn hard in my life. I'm learning to ride the waves as they come, understanding that practice makes better and leaving room for mistakes is best ( and often beneficial.. the quickest way to discover what does and doesn't work for you). I've never felt more comfortable making mistakes. I think the biggest difference between who I was before Beau and who I am now, is my ability to do hard things with an attitude of grace. I've learned to forgive people who haven't apologized. I've always identified as an empath (almost to a fault)... but after having a baby my forgiving nature and empathetic ways seemed to be amplified while also learning to create and maintain healthy boundaries (for that I'm grateful). I've learned to appreciate the feeling of showering after a long day of being mom, and somewhere along the way stopped caring about perfectly-shaven-never-a-stubble-seen-or-felt legs. I've faced the consequences of putting myself on the back burner and learned how counterintuitive that really is. Balance is hard, and for me I think it will be something I will always have to work hard at to maintain. I've learned to validate myself, hold space for myself and treat myself with kindness and love. I've struggled with asking for help and still do. I want to do it all, and honestly enjoy doing it all.... until I don't, and am left burnt out and crabby... which then we all suffer. I've somehow lost the desire for the bullshit and drama filled friendships, the wishy-washy and confidence-sucking mindset, and made room for genuine and authentic connections. I've stopped taking things as personally as I once had, and I honestly don't give a sh*t about how y'all run your life. I don't have the time to speculate or the care to do so. I've had to learn to be okay with others speculating on my life; learned to blow off the passive comments and hurtful assumptions. I've learned to speak to myself in an uplifting way. I know the work I do, the love I give, the things I contribute, the impact I make, and the love I am worth. Letting go of others opinions (whether they are formed from fabricated stories, opinions or whatnot) is so hard. And the moments I let it go, are the moments I'm filled with peace and joy. Who gives a sh*t what Stacy says, you do you mama.
I can't possibly put into words what this past year has been like. Thank you to everyone who has and continues to share words of encouragement and holds space for me on hard days, who loves my baby just as much as I do and respects the way I parent. Thank you for those who educate me and delicately push me to be better, while also full-heartedly accepting me as I am. And thank you to my husband. I can do what I do and be who I am, because of you. You validate me, encourage me, hear me, honour me and respect me... and you listen to me (for the 100th time) say: oh my god Brandon... isn't Beau the best. Isn't he just the best thing in the whole world.
Because he is. He absolutely is.
Beau you are the definition of beautiful. The definition of leaving something better than you found it. The definition of joy, light and grace. You're forgiving and loving, curious and brave, energetic and carefree. You're belly laugh fill any room, and your smile shines for all to see. You're gentle and caring, and watch closely at those around you. The world is yours to discover and I hope to encourage you to live bravely, trust your gut and love openly.
For my own memory (and maybe someone else's too) I'd love to share all the fun things I gathered to create a beautiful rendition of Where The Wild Things Are.
I have seen some beautiful themed parties that elegantly brought together wilderness and boho inspired decor floating around on Pinterest and it immediately caught my eye. Not to mention, Beau's middle name is Wilder, it felt like the perfect theme that allowed room for interpretation.
I knew I wanted balloon garlands in colours that felt timeless and neutral, paper crowns and greenery, and beautifully crafted cookies to set the mood for the big day. I'll link everything at the bottom of the post (Supplies/Decor/Vendors), thought there were lots of things I had on hand that I used for the details of the decor (paint for banners, brown paper for origami boats, rope/string, throw pillows/rug etc). And lastly.. I made the cake at home, which I am very happy I didn't get it custom made because Beau nonchalantly ate the blueberries and blackberries one by one, and left the cake entirely in tact LOL.
DollarStore: Streamers, Tassels, Burlap Roll
Ali Express: Balloon Garland (Above Window & Front Door Post.. Assembled at Home)
Michaels: Brown Cardstock (Crowns)
Gathre: Mat (Under tent)
Feral & Free: Outfit
Crocheted Crown: Birthday Gift (Thanks Jess!)
Photography: Friend (Thanks Britt!)
Homesense: Throw Pillows & White Shag Rug
Large Ballon Garlands (Kitchen/Living Room): CWByMel
Custom Cookies: Courtney's Custom Cookies
Food/Greenery : Local Grocery Store