The Big One

Well, it's over.  Will's first birthday party has come and gone!  It was quite a shindig and we are WIPED out.  

Will had a great time playing with friends and being spoiled by family.  Along with the Stipes, the Radcliffes also came for a visit.  It was pretty awesome having everyone in one place to celebrate my amazing kiddo.

 I seriously cannot even tell you how much I love this kid.  He is TOO much.  Will did not waste one second of his party and took every opportunity to live it up.  It wasn't hard to charm people out of food and snuggles because, let's be real, when that kid waddles up to you with his mouth wide're sharing whatever is on your plate.

I was so busy during the party but I do remember a couple of moments when I looked around at the people that were in attendance.  I'm so amazed and blessed by what God has done and who God has brought into our lives this year.  Everyone there has loved on us and loved on Will in a way I never could have imagined.  We have deep rich connections with people that has taught us a lot about what it means to be friends.  Something we thought we knew about.

I looked around at a group of friends that came into our life at just the right time.  People that are unapologetic about their love for each other.  People that lay themselves down at the feet of their friends and mimic Christ's willingness and sincerity.  Who love William with a vigor and a wildness that is unmatched and who are unashamed and authentic and so refreshingly honest about who they are.  I am so thankful for these breaths of fresh air in my life.  They breathed life into my lungs when I was suffocating in sorrow.  

I looked around at family that never quits.  People with which I am proud to share name and blood.  People who have taught me what it means to love each other.  Who enjoy and cherish my child as if he were their own and who have sacrificed time and energy in service of our unit.  Not a shiny family, but one caked in dirt and perseverance.  What freedom.

I looked around a some friends that have stood the test of time.  I watched a friends son play with my own and thanked God for a woman to walk this road with me.  At friends that will always connect with me over years of struggle together since high school.  Friends that stand by you.

I looked on two families that weathered the church storm with me and have come out the other side.  Families that know the pain we carried and carried their own alongside us.  Whom we have grieved with, fumed with, and forgiven with.  Broken in our own ways, yet healing together as one.

As I reflect on the day I am reminded that God refines us.  He presses us like diamonds and molds us like clay and each person at that party today has seen it.  Had you had a special view of our party where you could look on those people and see their scars you would have seen many.  And for each one of theirs, I have a matching one.

Friendships forged in fire.

To those people I want to say thank you.  But it doesn't seem like enough to express my love.  Its a gratefulness in me that fills my chest.  I'm consumed and overcome by my love for you.  I leak it daily in little ways but desire to burst open and lay myself out for you to see.  There isn't enough words, money, time, energy, pictures, notes of music, or hugs to express to you the way I feel about you.  It brings me heart ache to know that I can never truly express what you all mean to me.  

But I take heart.  Someday in Paradise we will all be healed of our matching scars and pain.  There won't be grief or sorrow.  Just you and me, singing and praising with wildness and joy.  That day you will understand, that day the Lord will give me the words, or whatever it may be, to truly express to you the depth of my love.  Until then, you will get sloppy blog posts and text messages.  You will get hugs and kisses.  You will be fed delicious meals (because that's my love language).  And I vow to never stop trying to let you know what you mean to me.

Ok. On to the party!

Here are some pictures of the decor that I made for this "Wheelie" awesome party.  I totally Pinterested this like a BOSS!


Here is his cake table of happiness!  

The party favors were a visit to the Nut and Bolts Bar (candy) and his cake was made by my old co-worker Angie Tucker.  Who, I'm not even kidding you right now, has STUPENDOUS talent.  If you want a cake that is everything you dreamed of and more, call her.  She will be doing all our cakes from now until forever.  I like seriously want to throw another random party just to buy another cake from her.

There were many shrines to the birthday boy of course!  A number 1 with pictures from the year, clotheslines with the professional pictures that the AMAZING Sarah Mayo Photography has taken throughout the first year of his life.  TALK ABOUT TALENT!! This lady is not only one of my dearest and closest friends, she is a force to be reckoned with in the photography world.  She is a newborn whisperer and has TRULY captured WillRad's character and personality in every shot.  The mantle was more pictures by Sarah.  The mantle also featured a stat board for Will from his first year and a homemade streamer.  These streamers decorated the whole house and made everything so festive.  Also, bonus, they are adorable.  I so prefer these over crepe paper streamers.  I use a 3in hole punch and scrapbook paper to create the circles.  I then hot glued them onto some grey yarn and hung them up.  I love making these (it relaxes me).  I was going to use twine on these but I found that the twine was thin and delicate.  The yarn worked far better.  If you like these, they will be on the store soon!  Completely customizable in length and design; just give me enough time to create them!  In fact....hire me to plan your next party!! I seriously love a good party.

Here is a sideways picture of the tables.  The centerpieces were ball jars filled with hot wheels.  Then I stuck dowel rods with, you guessed it, pictures of Will glued to the tops.

Here are some pictures of the festivities.


The Grub!

That boy. (note to self: learn to turn pictures...)

The grandmas sure do love their Will!!


So many wonderful gifts including toys and some much needed summer clothes for our growing guy!

Oh heaven.

Best Buds.

Cruisin in his new wheels from Grandma Nan and Grandpa Big John (wagon); and Mimi/Nana (Will is still deciding) and Poppy (the Coup).  We will see if he gets the same treatment when he turns 16!! 

Well, that's the whole shabang!  Thanks for bearing with me through this really long post and I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into WillRad's special day.  Tune in tomorrow (Will's real birthday) for a top ten best things about having Will Radcliffe.

If I can narrow it down.

Love to yo Mama.

(sorry guys I'm still trying to work out a sign off...I don't think that one will stick...)

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