On Declan’s 1st Birthday

Dear Declan,

We just celebrated your first birthday and darn, I did not get any pictures of you on the day! Some will say it’s simply because you’re the third baby, but I say it’s because we were too busy loving on you all day long that not a moment was wasted. You know, sometimes your dad and I say we actually feel badly for your brothers because neither of them was lavished with love and affection the way you have been!

Your entrance to the world was uneventful, but your first week was definitely for the books. Brennan got a tick-borne illness and had to be rushed to the hospital 2.5 hours away when you were six days old. Thankfully, Aunt Kiki was there to save the day and was able to bring daddy and Brennan home safely while I stayed put with you and Winston. A week later, we moved to Fort Leavenworth and you cried the full four hours in the car, wowee!

Soon after, you were baptized—the first of our children to have a traditional baptism and escape the novus terror. We realized we loved the area so much we bought a home and moved again. Daddy promoted and took a new job and you were only 3.5 months old!

Sadly, the middle of your first year brought us extensive sadness with the passing of our beloved Pop-pop. You were a trooper on all of the plane rides and gave Pop-pop such joy in his final days on earth. While we were forced to face the intimacy of death, looking in to your eyes, seeing you smile, and hearing you coo also reminded us of the beauty and fragility of new life. I feel that especially as I carry your baby brother or sister beneath my heart, now! You will be a great big brother because you have been prepared by the best of the best.


You were my worst sleeper til 10 months, my pickiest eater (still) and the most vocal! You do a few baby signs, can go up and down the stairs, walk with a walker, and say “mama”, “dada” , and “up”. You watched your first 20 minutes of TV today and I have never seen anyone laugh so hard at Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. Your joy is contagious, I pray it always is.



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