Saturday, May 19, 2018

Happy 18th Birthday to our Daughter!

*I interrupt my blogging hiatus of 5 months with this blog post to wish our oldest child a happy 18th birthday!  I've missed blogging very much, but I am still active on social media on Facebook and Instagram.  My days have been filled juggling family life and constant ongoing changes, getting prepared for my daughter's high school graduation from our homeschool (!!!!!!) and I've been working part time since October 2017 teaching English online to Chinese students through a company called VIPKidReferral Code (click here).  My days usually start at 4AM when I get ready to teach my early morning VIPKid classes or go running with a friend before anyone in my house is awake.  So blogging has had to be put on the back burner....there's only so many hours in the day, huh?  Anyway, back to my birthday post for our daughter....

To my firstborn who made me a Mommy for the first time,

18 years ago today we were blessed when we held you in our arms for the first time.  Here you are with Daddy and Mommy when you were just a few weeks old.  You were so little and Daddy and Mommy were soooooo young! :)

You were 6 lbs, 1 oz., so very tiny, but big enough to fill our hearts and home with love and wonder!  I remember being admitted into the hospital 2 weeks prior to your due date because of preeclampsia

To make a long story short, I was able to labor on my own without being induced and in about 6 hours with no epidural, you went from your dark, peaceful home into this bright, big world!  Your Daddy and I had tears of joy when we saw you for the first time!

I remember crying myself to sleep one afternoon soon after we got home from the hospital because you were so tiny and I was struggling to get you to latch on so I could nurse you.  Your Daddy woke me from my nap to tell me that he had made a phone call to our local La Leche League and made an appointment for us to see a consultant.  I remember the feeling of gratitude and relief after our appointment because I was soon able to nurse you.  I remember thinking that you have a wonderful Daddy and I have a supportive and loving husband.

We remember when you were and will always be Daddy's little girl and Dad will never forget his first Father's Day in 2000 when he held you lovingly in his arms and gave you a sweet kiss in the backyard in our "old, old house"...

I remember when we were celebrating your first Christmas when you were 7 months old.  The outfit you are wearing in the photo below has been worn by all your siblings too to celebrate their first Christmas.  Nowadays you are more into what's wrapped in the wrapping paper vs. just laughing at the funny sounds paper can make, like you did as a baby... :)

I remember when you were this little with your sweet bow in your hair...

I remember your 1st birthday when we had a "Ladybug" themed party and I made these ladybug cakes with a friend to celebrate your big day!

I remember when I was 17 weeks pregnant with your brother (although we didn't know if you were a big sister to a brother or sister at the time), and I held you on my first Mother's Day 2001 (the first Mother's Day with you outside of my womb) as you modeled your cute outfit with a hat with your adorable smile that lit up a room...

I remember when I borrowed a watermelon print dress from a friend just so I could take pictures of you beside a watermelon and eating a watermelon with me while my belly was getting as big as a watermelon carrying your sibling. (that's alot of repetition there!)  I wanted the matching watermelon (there's that word again!) dress too so I could make the adorable page for you in your scrapbook....

I remember taking this special photo capturing special memories.  Here you are with Nana and me. 3 generations! 

I remember how you loved peeking into the (pink) bassinet looking at your baby brother sleeping.  You were just 17 months old when he was born. You loved taking care of your little brother and still do!  And now you take care of your little sisters too!

I remember how you loved to dance so much that you would stand in front of the oven and stare at your reflection while you made all your graceful ballerina moves.

I remember when you went to Mass in this sunflower dress and hat the Sunday before your first sister was born in June 2004.

I remember that you loved and continue to love our family and faith traditions and how you light up our lives with your smile and sweet personality and talents each day.

I remember that even as a little girl you loved learning about our Catholic faith.  I remember for your First Holy Communion in 2008, we went and took a picture at the same church that I received my First Holy Communion.  I remember thinking "Wow! You really do look like me!"

I remember when we celebrated your 10th birthday with an ice cream cone castle cake and played lots of games with friends in the backyard.

I will always remember how you have grown to love soccer and contribute so much to your homeschool soccer team with all your hard work and talent.

Speaking of soccer, in the 2017 season with the homeschool soccer league you received the Defensive Player Award from your coach and you were selected as an All Conference player in the homeschool soccer tournament. Here you are with one of your sisters. I will always remember how hard you played this past season contributing so much to your team as a defensive player!

I remember when you got your license!  

For your 16th birthday celebration our family will remember you going to see Captain America Civil War with Dad, sister and some friends.  I made you a Captain America pizza and ice cream cake with an Oreo crust , birthday cake ice cream and homemade whipped cream topped with strawberries, blueberries and marshmallows.   Pinterest is a life-saver!

I remember these memories below with you. 

I remember this past year you got your first job at a local grocery store and juggled classes at a local community college during your senior year in homeschool high school.

I remember what a great year it has been on the homeschool soccer team and how you were 1 of 3 seniors on the team to graduate high school this year.  Here we are after your last home conference game on senior night where you and the other 2 seniors were recognized.

During the annual homeschool sports banquet that we attended with our family, I remember how proud I was of you standing on the stage with the rest of your teammates as the coaches (your Dad being one of the coaches), talked about how wonderful your team played this year and worked together.  Here we are at the banquet with one of your sisters, the photo bomber. :)

Since you are a Titanic buff,  we celebrated your 18th birthday with family and a few friends with a Titanic cake (thank you Amazon for the cake decoration) with a whipped cream iceberg (before disaster struck), "passenger" pepperoni and cheese pizza, "water"-melon, and "iceburg" salad.

Your Christ-like heart and soul and sweet smile light up the room! We love you and we are proud of the beautiful young lady you are becoming each day!

Happy 18th birthday to you, our beautiful young lady, inside and out!


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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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