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It was officially time for Cora’s first birthday party!

I learned people either believe first birthday parties are over done and too much or they are just like me and love a reason to celebrate.  Maybe I fall somewhere in the middle. Of course I didn’t over do it because my husband killed my bounce house idea:)  But I also realize I have one, maybe two years tops, of doing her party the way I want to do it before she has her own opinion.  So pumpkins and pink and gold glitter it was.  Just at our home surrounded by loads of friends and family.  We had cupcakes from the same bakery that made our wedding cake, baby shower cake, baptism cake, and all the birthday cakes in between.  We had food and we had booze.  We asked people to show up at 1pm but they showed up at 11am instead.  We had windows thrown open, people crammed in corners, laughter from all angles and the dog happily underfoot picking up the crumbs.

Cora had a pumpkin onesie and pink and gold tutu with matching headband.  All carefully picked from Etsy.  She, amazingly, handled all the people quite well after a well-timed morning nap.  She had no problem figuring out how to open presents and happily showed each one to her little cousin.  She got 6 John Deere tractors, several cars and one dump truck.  (She loves anything with wheels!) She got a ton of wooden puzzles, touch and feel books, legos and balls.  She got one of the worst outfits I have ever seen and an outfit in a size 6?!  Our house is now overflowing with every gadget that has noise and lights.

We all gathered around her and lit her first candle while we sang happy birthday. She looked, wide-eyed, at the flame in front of her and continually tried to grab at it.  Eventually I blew it out for her.  It took her some time but she eventually dug in.  The mess that resulted required a rinse down in the sink and an outfit no longer fit for a party but we didn’t care by then.

Later she settled in for a nap and people settled in for more bottles of wine.  I looked around at all of my amazing friends and family.  You know, some people don’t understand a one year old’s birthday party because the baby will never remember.  I get it, I do.  But it wasn’t just about celebrating her first birthday. It was about my husband and I celebrating the survival of our first year of parenting a baby together.  Keeping her alive for the first year.  Making it through the 4 month sleep regression, the first teeth, the first baby flu, the never-ending first nights, and all the other firsts with her.  It was about celebrating with our friends, who stood by us, supported us, were patient with us, and love our child even though they don’t have to.

I have to say it was even a bit emotional as all these women and I gathered around Cora in her high chair to take a picture.  All these amazing, strong, women who she can look to for support and guidance as she grows older.  These women who each have their crazy own stories and journey’s.  My village.  My people.  My family.  Her village.  Her people.  Her family.

The last person left the party at 11pm that night.  Cora lasted till 9pm before crashing.  I sat on the couch with my husband, lingering over a glass of wine, talking about the party.  Talking about where we were at in our lives a year ago.  Two years ago.  Talking about how happy we were to just be there in that moment.

Tomorrow, on her actual birthday, just the Husband and I will take the day off.  We will take her to the Children’s Museum in the city and walk around downtown looking at the fall trees.  We will go home and carve pumpkins while watching Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin.  Again, she won’t know what the day means but we will because we will know that a year prior our lives were changing.  Then this weekend the hubby and I will go to dinner and celebrate our 4th anniversary.  Another day that changed our lives.  I can truly tell you, I don’t know where I would be without all of our Octobers.  I also can’t wait to see what the next year holds for us.