Between Mother's Day on Sunday and Jake's birthday today, I've been reflecting a lot on how much has changed in a year. Obviously Jake has grown so much, and so have Deric and I. Both parenthood and marriage are mirrors that show you a too-honest reflection of yourself, and over the past year I've seen quite a few traits that I'd rather have kept hidden. But I'm also proud of myself in a few areas as well. I struggle with giving both Deric and Jake quality time, usually because I feel like I need to get so many things done around the house. But I'm really good at serving my family (mostly) nutritious meals and I enjoy making homemade versions of a lot of our staple foods so that I can filter out unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. I've struggled with my new role as a homemaker (which was surprising) because while I love it, I get frustrated that I don't get weekends "off": house still has to be cleaned, baby fed, dinner cooked, etc. Deric is a huge help and always willing to give me some time off, but I didn't expect it to even be a bump in the road. Over the past year, my prayer life has expanded and grown deeper as I've seen even the smallest of my concerns answered as I rely on God's promises.
Every night Deric and I pray over Jake before we lay him in his crib. We pray for his health and his safety, we thank God for his development and his personality. We pray for his future, his character, his friends and future wife, and we pray for our ability to parent him well. He brings us so much joy and laughter, especially when he comes scooting across the living room at full speed to knock down a block tower. We love hearing him crawl down the hallway in pursuit of us, palms smacking the floor and booty up in the air. He's discovered books on his own and looks so smart as he thumbs through the (usually upside down) book. He signs "more" and "all done", knows how to "shoot the ball" and "throw the ball" (which will come back to bite us here soon)...and he's getting pretty familiar with the word "no" as well. He played cars with an older boy a few weekends back and now we catch him sliding toys with him as he crawls except that instead of cars, he's usually got the remote or a book or a cup. He prefers to sit almost sideways in his high chair, always with his left leg folded up and his teensy toes resting on the edge of table during meals. We've noticed that he's a bit of a carnivore, preferring meat over other food on his tray. As soon as Jake hears the back door open, he's off in search of "Dada"and is all smiles for the next hour. We just adore his toothy little grin, the way he dances when he hears The Office theme song, and his desire to be with us at all times.