Luciana turned two on July 29, and I think I’ve been waiting for that definitive thing to say about this big big year. There’s not one thing; there aren’t one hundred things. As I think back over the last year, and all I’ve witnessed, and all I’ve been privileged enough to be a part of simply by being her mom, I don’t think there are one million things. There are ten million. There are countless. There are more moments in a year of life than I could ever do justice to by choosing two or three or four.

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waiting for her party

A year ago she could stand and take a few steps. Now she scales walls. Literally. Last year it was a few words. Now it is full sentences, uttered sometimes with focus so intense it makes her eyes open really really wide as though she were seeing the words in the air in front of her; other times they fall out of her with such carelessness we both have to stop and pause afterwards to breathe in the air which is now full of her expression.

blog-last year

one year ago…..

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on her birthday this year

A year ago she liked to organize. Now she stillĀ really likes to organize.

A year ago she was still sometimes mistaken for a boy because her hair hadn’t really grown in. She hasn’t been called a boy in a long long time.


almost one….

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and now she’s two….and in a robeĀ 

Motherhood continues to be the most precious world I’ve ever been a part of. And I say a part of because there are so many mothers that are part of me being a mother. To my beloved friends, you know who you are, and I wouldn’t want to do this without you. And to my mom, who I hear in so many things I say to Luciana. Hearing those things make me smile. And to the moms I don’t know but whose words I have read, thank you for inspiring me, comforting me, challenging me, and accompanying me by writing what you do.

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my mama

I had a conversation with a friend recently and what ended up coming out of my mouth was that everything I’ve ever done has been a preparation for being a mom. All the times I’ve learned about patience, about stamina, about walking through the unknown, about suiting up and showing up, about service, about self-care, about expressing myself appropriately, about cleaning up a huge mess (of words or milk), about prioritizing, about trust, about faith, about surrender, about play, about right-sizing, about self-acceptance and self-forgiveness, about saying Yes and saying No–were all so I could try to build on them as a mom. Like every mother I’ve ever spoken to, I have fallen on my face so many times and had so many moments I wish I could do again, and yet, every morning, this little girl greets me with the most gigantic smile (and now lets me know she’s ready for me by calling “Mommy! Come cuddle with me!” after she has sung two or three rounds of “Wheels on the Bus” and read a book or two). She reminds me there are no last chances, that a new day is a blessing, and that love conquers all.

We opted to do a little party for family this year, and it was perfect. All of us got to spend time with everyone there, and I still had a reason to make chocolate cake.

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loved the frozen balloons in the ice bucket idea found on Pinterest

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everyone wore a hat for “Happy Birthday”

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how I ever thought a cake stand was a superfluous purchase, I will never know

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next year I’ll make a better crown:)

I can’t imagine what a year from now will be like, and I don’t need to. She’ll be a big sister, and if her reactions to tiny babies are any indication, she’s going to be a wonderful one. I have many of the questions about my own life that I had a year ago, and that’s OK for now.

Happy Birthday, Luciana Arabella. I am so so lucky to be your mama.

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3 Responses

  1. Mandy says:

    Ah, tears. She smiles like you. It’s marvelous. So happy for you! xoxo

    • JUDY JULIN says:

      As a friend of your mother’s, I wanted to say thank you for writing and posting such a beautiful account of motherhood and your beautiful daughter. I hope someday we’ll meet.

  2. Nicoletta says:

    Love…you are your mother’s daughter. You are so fortunate. You have beautiful women in your life and you ARE grateful. Love…

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