a second birthday

My precious girl turned two yesterday. I'm honestly kind of shocked. When she was a newborn, the two year olds were SO GROWN UP, and I was convinced she'd never be that big. But she's a walking, talking, two-year-old, and I love it so much. Her first birthday did not go the way first birthdays should go. I woke up with mastitis, and it was the day we had to say goodbye to my parents when they moved. It's not a day I look back on fondly. Thankfully, her second birthday was so much better.

The thought of throwing a birthday party for a toddler gives me hives. I'm not an event-planning, party-planning kind of person. I don't even want a birthday party for myself. I love simple, family days on birthdays, so that's what we did for Gracie. I know spending a day with us and doing her favorite things would make her so much happier than a house full of noise and people to overwhelm her. If she wants birthday parties when she's older, that's fine, but not now. Judging by the internet (which we all know is so honest and real), I might be the only mom to feel this way.

I woke up to my newly 2-year-old yelling "Noel, STOP!" at the cat, even though the can't wasn't in her room. She would yell it, giggle hysterically, and yell it again. Over and over. It might be the first time I've ever woken up laughing. She came downstairs to a Winnie the Pooh balloon, and that is all she needed for her birthday. We also gave her a new dress, a baby doll, and some books for her birthday. She's been spending all her time (when she's not coloring on the windowsill in red crayon--sigh) changing her doll's diaper.

We took her to the park to swing and play and went out for pizza for lunch. We did all her favorite things, and I don't think I've ever seen a little girl so happy and excited. She squealed between every bite of the two huge slices of pizza she managed to eat. The best part of all is that we all took an afternoon nap. My body is physically incapable of napping, and yet I fell asleep soon after she did. It was MAGIC.

Since I fell asleep, I never got her birthday cake made. The good news is, she doesn't know she's supposed to have a birthday cake. I gave her a cookie instead, and I'm going to make her cake this weekend when her grandparents surprise her and visit. Plus, the produce man at the grocery store gave her a birthday cupcake this morning, so I think she's set. Since I had to clean up chocolate cupcake crumbs and pink icing, I gave myself half the cupcake when she wasn't looking. Once again, what she doesn't know won't hurt her. I have kept her alive these past two years, you know.

We have more presents and celebrating with her grandparents this weekend. Just like holidays, birthdays are so much more fun with kids. I think I enjoyed her birthday even more than I did my own.

But the most exciting part of all is that we have an entire birthday cake to look forward to.

Now let's all take a moment and cry over these pictures of newborn, 1-year-old, and 2-year-old Gracie Anne.

At the grocery store this morning, she wrapped her arms around me and said "I wuv my mommy." I think I'm going to love having a two-year-old. I've had so many emotions this week. Thank God for cake.


  1. At this point I think birthday parties are just for the parents anyway. Kids have no idea they get a special day. That's every day! Her birthday sounds like it was lovely.

    I've been struggling with what to get Parker for his birthday. The only thing he could possibly need is outside toys, but I don't want to wait two months to get them. I need him to spend more time outside entertaining himself. You've inspired me. He's going to get a balloon and will loose his mind with joy.

    It's hard to believe Gracie was such a butterball last year at this time!

  2. Yay! Happy 2 years, Gracie!
    You might assume from my blog that I'm from a 'birthday party' sort of family...but it's really not true. My mom is an introvert and my first birthday party that involved people other than relatives and was more complicated than a cake and presents was my 16th birthday party...and I planned it myself.
    Also, none of my siblings had birthday parties either until I moved back and just started making parties for them. So...pretty much guaranteed I will have parties for my kids just because of the person I am, but non-party families are totally cool and awesome. My sisters get really excited about their parties now and start telling me their theme ideas months in advance, so I think they're at a good age now for the sorts of parties I like to put on...but I'm also glad that they don't see parties as some sort of "inalienable right" in life, because they're not.

  3. Happy 2 years parenting, Michelle and Happy 2nd Birthday, Gracie!
    1. There's at least one other mom who doesn't do birthday parties- me. We've had just family days on birthdays since M was born and it's the best. It's fun and so simple.
    2. Two has been my favorite age so far. I LOVED two. They grow up so much! Margaret really developed a sense of humor and some impressive verbal skills that year. It's also the point where I felt like she gained some independence. Life didn't seem quite as hard. Here's hoping she skips the terrible twos (and maybe finds some joy in coloring in a coloring book vs the window sill).
    3. It fills me with joy every time I look at a picture of her to know that there's a toddler out there with as much hair as my toddler. :) I don't know why I felt the need to share this, but there you have it.

    1. Thank you so much, Lauren!

      I LOVE ALL OF THIS. Thank you! Good to know I'm not alone on low-key birthdays and babies with lots of hair! Both are the best, right? :)

  4. Such a perfect birthday for the little lady! I hope you guys have an absolutely fantastic weekend celebrating!!
    Also, can we talk about how much Gracie is starting to resemble you?? That last pic in your three-fer looks so much like you!

  5. Happy two years to BOTH of you! I can't believe how much she's changed in just two short years! Such an adorable little pudge she used to be...and now an adorable toddler, WEIRD!

    And I agree ^^ she seriously is starting to look SO much like you.

    I love that the "need" in want/need/wear/read was a balloon. Brilliant.

  6. Ah, she's grown so much between all those pictures! I am also of the mindset that I want to tone down my kids birthdays and just do family birthday activities. I always do a big party for one year old, but after that I think we'll choose a year every now and then and do a party for all the kids at once - that way I don't have to plan five separate parties! Of course, I think for important years, like maybe 13 or 16 we'll do individual birthday parties...but then I'll be having to plan one or two every year for five or six years...I'm still trying to figure out what exactly we'll do. Anyway, Happy Birthday to Gracie, and it sounds like her day was perfect!

  7. Aw- the grocery store hug is my favorite! She's such a good girl. Sounds like the best birthday :) have fun this weekend!!

  8. She is your TWIN. I have loved watching both you and her grow up the past couple years and I've said it time and time again, you two make me want a baby. :) ONE DAY, MICHELLE. ONE DAY.

    Until then, I'll live vicariously through you and The Hair. <3

  9. We had a family only birthday for Reuben. Doing the same this year! He doesn't even need any presents.


Talk to me! If your email is linked to your account, I'll respond to you via email. If not, I'll respond to you right here.