"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get~ only with what you are expecting to give~ which is everything."
~Katherine Hepburn

Here I am five years ago last week, expecting to give birth any day. We were full-on renovating our house and this sun filled spot by the kitchen window was one of the only peaceful places to catch a breath. I put on my favorite painting smock and asked Frank to snap a few pictures of me in the sunlight. We finally got to meet Jasper a few days later.
I like to celebrate my children's birthdays in a big way. Around here we talk about their "birthday week", not just a day! With every birthday that they have I feel like I am celebrating my own right of passage into mother hood, so I like to give that ample time to sink into my heart in it's own way.
This evening I will make my grandmother's fresh apple cake for him to share at his playgroup tomorrow. These traditions have taken on so much more meaning and intent to me as a parent. I try to be intentional about creating rituals that will connect my children to their family history, while also helping them to feel my love in warm tangible ways...like baking something homemade in their honor, greeting them with a warm hug and kiss when they come downstairs to start their day, reading good stories to them every night even if I am too tired...there are a thousand ways in which I have given myself to them over and over, often in ways that I could never have expected, and through that I really have gained everything.