Elle’s First Birthday

Elle’s Dress: Baby Gap (similar here on sale!) | Elle’s Bow Headband: Babble Bear |Elle’s Floral Crown: Custom made (from local floral shop) | My Jumper: JCrew (size down)

Hey Everyone! I hope all my fellow-Canadians had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday weekend! September was such a whirlwind for me! Between work, travel and family celebrations – I felt like it was so, so busy. I had so much fun doing all the things I love with people I love! So my cup is seriously overflowing! Now that I have returned home and settled in (until next week – ha!), I wanted to focus on and write about one of the many blessings I’m just so thankful about. Elle Rose, this post is dedicated to you, my darling girl.

It’s hard to believe that this precious little beauty queen celebrated her first birthday last month! I can’t believe it’s been an entire year since I gave birth. I can remember exactly how I felt during that entire 9 months of my pregnancy, like it was yesterday. The excitement and surprise when we found out we were expecting, to the worry that sometimes accompanies those first couple months of pregnancy. As cliche as it sounds, we didn’t care if we were having a boy or a girl, we were just praying for a healthy baby.

That said, when given the opportunity to find out the gender of Bebe Dawson, we took it. We felt it would give us more time to prepare for our little one. Naturally, part of that preparation is choosing a name. So once we found out we were having a girl, the researching of names commenced.

Like most people, Andew and I feel a name is SO important. It says a lot about a person and their personality. It is something they take with them their entire life and for that reason I wanted to make sure we chose the absolute perfect name for our daugther. SO, after months of making lists and checking them twice (haha Andrew was thrilled 🙄), with the help of close friends and family (and lots of prayer), we short-listed to about 5 names. We then decided that we would choose from the short-list when she arrived (we both felt we needed to meet her in person before making the final decision).

Bebe Dawson arrived 5 days early, on September 6th at 3:45pm. It was a rough delivery. I was thankful to be able to give a natural birth (with epidural), but there were some super scary moments during the process. That said, once we were settled, later that evening, Andrew and I both decided without hesitation that Bebe Dawson’s name would be Isabella (Elle) Rose Dawson. Isabella means “devoted to God.” It was also Andrew’s late grandmother and Rose was my late great-grandmother, so both names have much significance to us.

Of course, every good mother thinks their baby is the best baby on earth, but I honestly can’t even comprehend how we gave birth to such a perfect little angel. Giving birth truly is a miracle! I noticed right away that Elle had her dad’s feet, but sort of looked like the Cleary babies (my side of the family), however, she would go on to change her looks every day since. Sometimes people say she looks like me and other times she is all her daddy. (I see a lot of both of us in her, which I guess makes sense!)

Once I was confident with breastfeeding, we excitedly took her home from the hospital to meet her fur sister, Sadie, whom had no idea why we were gone so long! (She seriously comes everywhere with us!) Sadie was so excited to see us and very curious about the new little human we had brought with us. They have been bonding ever since and I love watching their relationship grow and evolve deeper every day.

Looking back on the past year, some things feel like a blur. There are many amazing moments I will never forget. On the other hand, I will also never forget how tired I was those first few months. I remember when Elle was one week old, we thought we would head to our restaurant for brunch (our first outing with baby in tote). It was Harvest Jazz and Blues, which is a big deal in our city and although we were tired, we didn’t want to miss out on one of the biggest events of the year. Did I say we were tired? I mean, we were tired. How tired? So tired that upon returning home from brunch and strolling around the town, I realized I had worn my dress inside out the entire day – haha. Andrew told me not to feel bad, that he had to get back in the shower after he realized he forgot to rinse the shampoo out that same day – haha.

Everyone kept telling us it gets better and easier, but to be honest, I didn’t want to rush or wish those sleepless nights away. I knew it would all ebb and flow to balance out again and I wanted to soak up every single second with my baby girl before she was no longer a baby. I am so thankful for that wisdom, because here we are already – Elle has shedded her baby profile to enter into toddler world. It really does go so, so fast.

So today, as I reflect on what a blessing our daughter Elle has been to us and our family, I feel overflowing joy. She is everything I imagined and more. Her smile, laugh and outgoing personality light up a room and her big blue eyes can melt even the hardest of hearts. I swear she has a light beaming from her that showers everyone she meets with love and joy. She radiates happiness and she makes me laugh a hundred times a day with her funny little ways. Did I mention she is a total GOAL digger. I watch her challenging herself every single day. If she can reach something easily, she will push it further away and make it more difficult and try again. She honestly doesn’t stop striving to push herself to the next level. She tries to say everything we say and sings along and bops her head to all the songs. She just LOVES music, people and food! It is so amazing how much of their personality you can see at such a young age.

So, Elle, this post is for you, my lovely, sweet,  beautiful and bright baby girl. Every second with you has been a wonderful adventure. I love seeing the world through your gorgeous eyes; watching you uncover new discoveries is the the absolute best sense of fulfillment. You continue to surprise me everyday with your brilliance and teach us new things through the simplest actions and your unwavering love. It truly is one of the most incredible feelings in the world to be your mom. I am looking forward to many, many more birthdays, milestones and adventures with you. Love you to the moon and back again, baby girl.

Your Mom,


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