It’s seriously mind-blowing how much can change in a year. This time last year, I was sitting in the hospital with my wife and we were both feeling a whole lot of different emotions all at once. We were excited, nervous, scared, and exhausted, all simultaneously. Our boys were trying their best to make their appearance, but they were 2 months early. Part of us really wanted to meet them, but we knew that they still needed to “cook” for a little longer so that they’d be healthier. So the wonderful team of doctors at UAB did everything to stave off their arrival for as long as they could. Poor Alicia though, she was basically in labor for a solid (agonizing) 8 days. I have to say that watching her experience that amount of pain for that long of a time was one of the hardest things I have ever endured, and it’s not something I ever want to experience again.
Finally the boys had decided that they were donezo with being in their mommy’s belly, so on December 29th at 7:33 PM Kingston Reed made his way into the world, followed by his brother, Phoenix Cash, at 7:45 PM. I will never forget how my heart stopped when I saw Kingston’s skin was blue and that he was not breathing. The team of nurses rushed him out of the room, and before I could even say a word, it was time for Alicia to start pushing for Phoenix. A couple minutes into pushing the second time, a nurse brings Kingston back in all bundled up for us to see him. My eyes filled up with tears as I finally got to lay eyes on my first-born son — a moment I had been dreaming of for a very long time. He was absolutely beautiful. They took him down to the NICU and my focus returned once again to Alicia’s pushing. A few minutes later, Phoenix made his entrance into the world too, and he was just as beautiful as his brother. The nurses took him away and they apparently had to get him breathing as well, but luckily I hadn’t realized that at the time because he didn’t look as blue as Kingston. A few moments later they bring him back in to us, and Alicia got to hold him. We both sat there staring at him and it felt like it the world just stopped all around us in that moment. Our 2 beautiful baby boys were here. Finally. And they were healthy and breathing on their own. It was the proudest that I have ever felt in my entire life.
Fast forward to a year later and those two tiny & beautiful babies now have turned into some pretty handsome little boys with some crazy/funny (and vastly different) personalities! We’ve watched them go from not being able to hold their own heads up to be able to stand on their own, we’ve cheered them through milestones like the first time they actually played with a toy, rolled over, sat up on their own, started crawling, pulled themselves up to standing, ate their first bite of baby food, and ate their first bite of table foods, said their first words, and now they’re blowing our minds again by starting to take their first steps. This -by far- has been the best time of my life. These two boys are our everything, and every single day starts and ends with them. I just thank God every single day that he blessed us with these two amazing little guys. I am nothing without them.
We look forward to all of the memories that are still yet to be made. Having said that, I DO NOT want to rush anything — time goes by too fast already, we don’t need anything to speed up!
Below is a project that we have worked on over the first year of the boys’ life. We saw something similar to this on Pinterest a long time ago and we decided to make this for a gift for both of our sets of parents for Christmas, as well as one for ourselves. I’m a picture-taker. I loved doing that before the boys were here, and that passion just grew exponentially after the boys arrived. I wish that we could have had the same lighting/framing with every photo to be “perfect”, but who cares — this is about seeing how much the boys changed from month to month, and it’s still incredible to see. I really think the boys will look back on this project when they’re older and they’ll love it.
We are absolutely blessed beyond measure and thankful for every single second we get to be with these boys. Here’s to another exciting year of awesome new experiences and even more milestones as we sit back and watch in amazement.
Happy 1st Birthday, boys. Mommy and Daddy love you, so very much.