Our sweet little Harvey James is one year old today. He is the little man who completed our family and I’m feeling all kinds of nostalgic as I reflect on how much Harvey has grown in the past twelve months. It is so much fun to have a one-year-old who says “mama” and “dada”; who crawls into our lap for a spontaneous cuddle, and who reflexively blows kisses anytime someone in the room says “I love you”. Harvey is becoming less of a baby and more of a little man with each passing day and I wouldn’t trade our present time with him for anything, but I find myself on the verge of tears every time I look back at my tiny little baby and reflect on how much he has grown.
This past year has proven to be more of a challenge than I anticipated, with milestone photos taken during a few fleeting moments of peace and left on my camera for weeks at a time; patiently waiting for me to load them onto my laptop, choose my favorite from each set, and admire the beauty of my precious little gift from God. Last week I finally took the time to select my favorites, edit them, and place a print with rush shipping so that they would arrive in time for Harvey’s birthday celebration (which isn’t going quite as I planned since the party is tomorrow and the photos won’t be here until Monday.) The prints were a splurge, but one that I will tuck away with all my favorite mementos from Harvey’s first year and treasure forever. Keep scrolling to watch my sweet little man grow so much in his first year of life.
Harvey’s first-ever milestone photo, when he was just one week old. This picture of him gives me all the feels.
It was during Harvey’s first milestone photoshoot that I began to realize how much more difficult it was going to be to take his picture with a toddler in the house who loves to help and be in the thick of anything that Mommy is working on. I ultimately gave Dessa a camera of her own and vowed to try and accomplish all future milestone photos while Dessa was napping or otherwise occupied.
Our little Harvey has been full of surprises right from the start – like when he became an expert at rolling over before he was two weeks old. Harvey was twelve days old when I took this photo, but it wasn’t actually his first time rolling over. In reality, I saw Harvey roll on the floor in front of me two days before (when he was only 10 days old). Even though I saw him roll with my own eyes, I still didn’t quite believe the accomplishment and thought it was a fluke. But then, two days later, Harvey rolled over again during tummy time. I gently flipped him back onto his tummy and he did it again. After watching my small-but-mighty-little-man continue to roll over, I realized it was time to officially celebrate the milestone.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a perfectionist and that I like things done a certain way. These milestone photos are a very big deal to me and I strive to capture the moment as precisely as possible. There’s a sweet spot during the early afternoon where the light in our bedroom is just perfect for capturing Harvey’s milestone photo. Things had been going great and I had been timing all of his milestone photos to fall within that window of beautiful light … until he smiled for the first time in the evening after the light was long-gone and I had to do my best with a camera flash at 8:26 pm. This was just the beginning of me learning to roll with the punches and swallow my frustrations about less-than-perfect milestone photos (some of which are more awkward than others).
This gets me every time I look at it. Harvey has the most beautiful blue eyes and something about the look on his face just melts my heart.
I’m incredibly proud of Harvey and all of his milestones, but this my favorite one to celebrate: the day he said “Ma Ma” for the first time.
Five weeks after saying “Ma Ma”, Harvey was ready to call out for other family members and expanded his vocabulary to include “Da Da.” In truth, it sounds exactly the same when he tries to say Daddy as when he yells his sister’s name, but that’s ok with us because he’s trying to hard to communicate. And can we all just take a moment to admire that gorgeous smile?
I’m pretty sure all babies are universally wiggly as they get closer to their first birthday, but holy moly this boy has a mind of his own and he does not like to sit still so I can take his picture. He would much rather reach, climb, and risk his life trying to crawl off the edge of the sofa than sit nicely, hold a card, and smile at mommy. Taking Harvey’s monthly milestone photo is no small feat, and it feels so good when I am able to (finally) nail the shot.
And here we are today, at Harvey James’ first birthday. My little man is 12 months old today and he is so dearly loved.
We still have a few milestone cards left to photograph when the time comes. Harvey hasn’t stood by himself or taken his first steps yet and I’m ok with that because I’m not ready for my baby to become a toddler just yet.
Happy first birthday to our sweet Harvey James.