Rudy turned one yesterday and we had a small (grandparents only) party for her last weekend.  The theme was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, after the beautifully illustrated children's book.  It was the first book that Rudy showed real interest in so we thought it would be a fun party theme.

We kept the decorations simple (a few balloons and streamers) and a friend made us a beautiful cake.  I couldn't find a party hat that didn't fasten uncomfortably under her chin so I made Rudy a little caterpillar headband instead.  Afterwards, we let Rudy eat a slice of cake while we snapped some photos.

Isn't she a cutie?

This milestone birthday had me reflecting over the past year.  The first year is so huge!  Your baby changes from newborn, to infant, to baby, to toddler and as parents, we change from novice beginners who cried when my mother left us alone with the baby (after staying with us for three weeks) to a comfortable and happy family.  Corey and I have learned to trust our parenting instincts and we feel like we have found our groove.

In addition to all the learning, this has truly been the best and most emotional year of our lives!  Sometimes I tear up just thinking about how lucky we are as a family because my heart feels so full.  This past year has been filled with so many emotions from joy, to surprise, to fear, to laughter, to the kind of wonder that you feel when you know you are experiencing one of your life's top moments- A moment that is so special and of such great importance that you hope to relive it on your deathbed.  What an adventure!

Not wanting to forget a single thing, I spent a little time every week filing away photos and video clips for a video that we hope Rudy treasures one day.  It's a little long, so you deserve a medal if you make it all the way through but I'll leave it here anyway.  It's our most honest keepsake of the joys and everyday memories that filled our first year of parenthood.

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