Reflections on a first birthday

Ella's first birthday

Have you ever found yourself sitting in the dark, and you didn’t even notice the darkness – until someone turns on the light? This describes the way I felt one year ago, when my granddaughter was born. She is like a light shining brightly in my life – a light that I didn’t even realize I needed.

Ella in the hospital

And now – a year has passed by so very, very quickly. On her first birthday, Friday, I enjoyed my morning coffee on the deck – reflecting on the past year, on the day of Ella’s birth.

I began my morning pages, “Happy birthday to my precious Ella Bella! One year ago today…” A day that none of us will ever forget.
Frantic texts flying back and forth between Greg, Maggie, and myself:
“What’s happening?”
“I’m heading to the hospital.”
“Me too – pick me up at the train”
“I’m going to wait”
“Jeff just texted – Ella was born!”
“On my way.”
“Okay, I’m not waiting – I’ll take an uber.”
“See you there.”
(And – I am pretty sure that I just broke another morning pages “rule”. Yeah, well…)

first birthday locket

When I was a baby, I was given a tiny locket with my name engraved on it. I have it and treasure it, still. And while, a locket may not be something Ella will enjoy today, I hope it will be a keepsake for her – a little something from her very first birthday that will last into the future.

And for this sweet little girl – we gathered to celebrate

colorful jungle theme balloons

jungle theme balloons

Jungle theme snacks – twigs, cheetah paws, jungle animals, and m&ms – ummm, well, everything is better with m&ms.

birthday party Jungle snack mix

And while you might think that I would have taken a photo of the birthday cake – taking photos at family gathering is really not my thing. Yeah, I forgot. It was cute, though – and no complaints from the birthday girl.

Ella's first birthday cake

I enjoy every moment I have with this precious little girl, and am thankful – everyday – that she has been brought into my life. As I reflect on this past year, I also look forward to watching her grow into the little person she is meant to be. Happy first birthday, Ella! I wish for you, many happy birthdays ahead.

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!

7 responses to “Reflections on a first birthday”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    Happy Birthday Ella! So hard to believe it has been a year already. I look forward to the joy of grandchildren.

  2. Debbie Avatar

    hi karen…it can’t be a year, it just can’t be…but i guess it is. she is so beautiful – and i so get the light thing, it is the same for me with my great nieces. they are everything i was missing and all that i never knew i wanted or needed. ella has turned that light on for you, happy birthday to her!! the decorations for the party, so cute…her locket is precious!!

    i’m glad you talked about your morning pages, i have been wondering!!

  3. Lynne Avatar

    Nothing like the birth of a grand child . . .
    And “the first” holds “special” at its best . . .
    Happy Birthday Ella . . .

  4. Lisa Gordon Avatar

    What a wonderful post, Karen
    Happy Birthday, sweet little one!!!!

  5. Carola Bartz Avatar

    Oh my, that cake-eating (or having eaten) picture is priceless. I love the first picture – she has such shining, clear eyes, innocent. How can you not be in love with your granddaughter?

  6. Beatrice P Boyd Avatar

    We can well identify with this “first” event, Karen. We’ve attended the first birthdays of all 3 grandchildren and there is nothing like celebrating the joy they have brought into our lives, and yours as well. Ella looked like she had a lot of fun with her cake, as did our granddaughter Lilliana last December. When we were growing up there was no such thing as cake smashing, but now it seems to be a ritual.

  7. Jeevan Avatar

    Though late, I wish her many more happy returns of the day and she’s indeed cute and nice sharing the moment with us. A kid turns everything into positive vibes and make life cheerful than ever. Hope you enjoy all the tiny moments of her

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