My baby is 1.

I’m sure every mom wonders where the year went when her baby turns one. With joy and tears I planned a birthday bash to celebrate Meebs’ milestone birthday. At this stage most of the guests were our friends rather than Meebs’ little buddies, but it was heart-warming to be surrounded by so many people who care about us, and especially her.

I decided to make a cake for Meebs’ birthday. I think I had something to prove to myself. In my mind— along with living values out loud, mending broken hearts and skinned knees, and cheering from the sidelines—good moms need to bake yummy birthday cakes and know how to French-braid hair. The fudgy chocolate cake was to be a dog, of course, since Meebs loves dogs. It took me all morning to bake, carve and decorate. But it was a moment of unparalleled pride and relief when Meebs saw her cake, pointed and said “Dawg!” I was thrilled; I passed the mommy test! I made a cake that looked like what I’d intended it too (at least to Meebs, the one who mattered), and it was delicious!

The party was a blast: good food, good friends, and great occasion. Meebs loved the wrapping paper as much as her gifts; she was a little unsure about the singing and staring while she was suspended over a flaming dog cake; her eyes flew open and she said “mmm” when she got her first taste of sugary icing; and, there was an unfortunate incident with a party hat…see picture.

Like this same day one year before it was a day I’ll never forget, just as joyful, but a lot less painful.