[ONE year of Ellis]
I’ve been thinking about this post for SO LONG now. I knew I wanted to write something for Ellis’ first birthday, but I just couldn’t think of what specifically I wanted to talk about. (THERE IS SO MUCH)
Every cliche thing they say is true— about time, and it passing quickly. Every phrase that a more seasoned mom said to me ("the days are long, but the years are short” or “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” etc. etc.) each one is more true than I can express, but I didn’t want to post something about being sad that he’s turning one. Because I’m honestly not sad.
Because I listened to those moms. I really did. I snuggled him SO MUCH during his freshly new baby days, took a million pictures, FORCED MYSELF TO SLOW DOWN and saver different phases. I have sought to love him with the best parts of myself and I look back on this past year without regret of wishing the messy parts of motherhood away. (and I tried at times but thanks to you mamas for keeping me going)
I’m tempted to jump into all the ways that motherhood has grown me and changed me and wrecked me and built me up— but I’ll save all of that for another day. I want this post to be about Ellis and pray it gives you a little glimpse into what life is like with him.
So, here are 12 things for each month he’s been earth side:
(PS— I’m just going to brag about him and not say a single negative thing about life with him. Please know this is social media and that Ellis has a sin nature and it’s already showing, haha! But for this post, all things I love and cherish.)
Oh this little man has a smile that can light up a room. He’s always smiling at strangers when we’re on our walks or in the store and has recently started smiling at people before they even notice him! Seeing his personality develop has been one of my FAVORITE parts of parenthood and this tiny human has such a beautiful soul and I love who he is becoming and can’t wait to continue to watch and guide.
Ellis LOVES people. He has not had a lot of stranger anxiety which really warms my heart since we don’t live ANYWHERE near any family members. When he does get to see them, he doesn’t take any time warming up. He’s ready to love and seriously ready to play with them and that feels like such a huge blessing from the Lord.
3. Outdoor Adventure
One of the main things I wondered in having a baby is if I’d still get the chance to do all the outdoorsy things that me and Clay LOVE to do. The answer is YES. Ellis has absolutely loved our adventuring and has handled everything like a champ. We have hiked, biked, ran SO MANY miles, camped, and explored countless times. I love his adventurous spirit and love for the hiking backpack!
4. Learning to Roll Over
Okay I know this is super specific, but a memory SO special to me was when he learned to roll over! When it happened, it felt like such a huge milestone and for the first time I believe I understood what it felt like to be so immensely proud of my child for an accomplishment. I’ve had many since, and I know they will only continue.
This tiny baby has been a PHENOMENAL traveler. wow. With me being a wedding photographer, he and Clay have come along to so many different states (since I wasn’t ready to spend the whole night from Ellis + nursing was already hard being away for the wedding day!) in his one hear he has:
— Traveled to Chicago TWICE
— Traveled to Ohio
— Traveled to North Carolina more times than we can count
— Traveled to Pennsylvania more times than we can count
— Traveled to South Carolina
— Traveled to Kentucky
— Traveled to Maryland
—and ALL OVER VIRGINIA
6. Photo shoots
Okay so yes as you can see from these re-caps, I get a little snap happy. I just didn’t want to forget so many little details. These photo shoots and the monthly ones have been some of my favorite memories of this season. Thanks for putting up with me, lil buddy!
7. Walking & running at our park
Perhaps my absolute #1 favorite times with Ellis have been taking him to the park up the road from our house and walking and running.
We spent pretty much every day walking there and when I was ready to start running, he put up with my slow progress until we finally hit 4 miles (and counting— we aren’t done yet!) pushing a baby in a stroller while getting back into running has been one of the most challenging things I have done, but his little noises and coos in awe of God’s creation were so endearing. I can’t wait for cooler weather and more time outside— here’s to hoping he still loves the jogging stroller!
Maybe this is so simple, but is there anything better than a baby’s laugh? His laughter is honey to my soul. I will forever cherish the sound and spend so much time making him laugh just so I can hear it.
Although it was a struggle at first, watching him try all different kinds of food was so much fun AND NOW sharing breakfast and lunch with the two of us + dinner with Clay has been so incredible special.
Ellis has the most incredible playful spirit. He loves loves loves playing with everything and everyone and even though this part of him keeps me on my toes, I love his playful spirit.
This kid is brave almost to a fault. I know this is going to bring me a lot of future anxiety and gray hairs, but I love him for it. I pray this bravery makes him strong in his deacons making and integrity. Draws him to follow the Lord fervently and with a steadfast spirit. Cultivates a chivalrous and loving spirit, and allows him to treat others with kindness, decency and respect.
12. That he is ours.
Can I say that? My favorite thing is that he is ours. The Lord saw fit for us to be the parents to THIS SPECIFIC BABY BOY. Ellis Durand Sprecher. I never want to under play what a gift that is. It is hard, grueling work. But a gift not all receive and I will live my life striving to be the best mom to this tiny human that I can possibly be.
Happy first birthday, son! We love you so much.
mom + dad