hoppy birfdy, belle squeaks

“Hoppy Birfdy, EB.  Hoppy Birfdy.  Hoppy–”

It sounded like a Gregorian monk’s chant coming through the monitor this morning.  Actually, it sounded like the Gregorian monk’s chant who got sent back to the kitchen to peel spuds while the more musically inclined brothers tended to melodious business elsewhere.

Then, there’s the whole issue of singing “Hoppy Birfdy” to oneself, not on one’s actual birthday, and at 7:08 am to boot…

Then, there’s the mama listening to the tune (or was it a garbage disposal being turned on in Little Friend’s room?) with bed head, fuzzy-tasting teeth, bunchy sweatpants, rabbity-squint eyes, and no coffee to snatch her from the grips of busy-tired-stay-home-mom-itis…

Then, there’s this: Belle Squeaks turns one today.

Hoppy Birfdy, Belle Squeaks.

I almost missed it.  (Oops.) I may have been slightly distracted by other things.  Like, say, life with a two-year old.

This blog, which has been such a gift in my life for the past year…

…making me write, and think, and translate, and capture, and work, and despair, and rejoice

…connecting me to people I’ve never met in person but who, through comments, have become welcome friends in my home

…allowing me to keep Little Friend’s virtual baby book up to date (while her real baby book is maybe nine months complete)

…gifting me with moments that transcend the rumpled, snarly-haired, bleary-eyed days of motherhood

…This blog has come full circle 365 days after it began.

I’m not sure exactly how to celebrate this minor momentous moment.  Does one bake a cake for a blog?  Does one serenade it with a round of “Hoppy Birfdy”?  Does one open virtual presents on its behalf?

Truth is, it’s now 9:35 on the eve before Belle Squeaks’ birth.  I’ve got a mug of soothing tea to one side of the keyboard.  To the other side, an 80% finished glass of milk lingering from dinner.  I can hear Little Friend breathing whiffly breaths over the monitor.  The Office has been recorded on the Tivo.  It’s Will Ferrell’s great debut.  I haven’t stopped working today since 7:08 am.  I’d kinda like to stop now, unwind the knot of today from between my shoulder blades, and lose myself in Dwight, Jim, Michael, and Will.

Doesn’t a year deserve more than this anticlimactic post?

I mean, I haven’t even linked back to my first post.  Or my first favorite post.  Or my middle favorite post.  Or my latest favorite post.  I haven’t revisited my favorite baby gift.  Or my favorite vacation destination.  Or one of my most popular posts.  Or one of the few times when I think I’ve actually pulled off being funny.

Belle Squeaks started as a blog that traced my musings, wanderings, and treasure findings.  Somewhere along the line, I’ve let myself go and expanded to focus on just about anything bright and beautiful I stumble across in life.

Like the fact that we all get grace now and then.  Grace from God who loves us even when we don’t deserve it.  Grace from our readers who come back every week.  Grace from ourselves, when we let ourselves have a minor celebration over a year’s anniversary, and then go back to the really important things: a blanket on the couch, a lukewarm cup of tea, and a favorite person with whom to laugh over Will Ferrell.

If nothing else, a year of Belle Squeaks has allowed me to record moments from one year ago:

April 2010

And the moments from today:

April 2011

And the bright and beautiful moments that stretched in between.

Hoppy Birfdy, Belle Squeaks!

If you’d like to deliver a little present to Belle Squeaks today, leave a comment and tell me where you’re reading from.  Does Belle Squeaks span the globe or just occupy a cozy little corner of family and friends?  I’d love to know!

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  1. Happy birthday Belle Squeaks , all the way from London England! xx I adore your last pic … how cute is she?

    April 15, 2011
  2. Dad said:

    Happy Birthday Belle and congratulations. Beth keep up the good work. It’s always a pleasure reading Belle Squeaks and pictures make it even more special. Dad

    April 15, 2011
  3. Papa Larry said:

    Hoppy Birfday Belle Squeaks. It’s a great day. I awoke in a hotel in Oldtown Oakland (that’s the California, Oakland) at 4:00AM and found my Inbox had 2 New Posts from Belle. Thanks for sharing your life with me.

    April 15, 2011
  4. Terri said:

    Happy birthday to the blog! I’m reading from Georgia (the state, not the country!).

    April 15, 2011
  5. Nancy said:

    Hoppy Bfday! Thanks for sharing your thought, love, and year with us. Love you and your blog.

    April 15, 2011
  6. David said:

    Hoppy birfdy from Mali!

    April 15, 2011
  7. Martha said:

    Beth, I can hardly believe I have been reading this blog for a year. I love every word you write and get excited when I seen another Belle Squeaks waiting for me in the inbox. Congratulations on finding a way to continually do what you do best.

    April 15, 2011
  8. sleepgh said:

    Congrats on a year of wonderful writing from up the road in Highland Park. Stumbled on your blog because of Meal Plan Mondays and a link from I’m an Organizing Junkie. My daughter is almost 14 months, so I love reading where she might be a year from now.

    April 15, 2011
  9. Jo said:

    Hoppy Birfdy, Belle Squeaks, and wishes for many more. Can’t believe it has been a year already. I have loved every minute of it. Belle Squeaks has tickled my wanderlust, expanded my horizons, warmed my heart, brought wonderful products into my life, made me laugh, made me cry and overall brought a touch of class to my life. Thank-you, Belle Squeaks. (where’s the cake?)

    April 15, 2011
  10. Dad S. said:

    Little Friend’s pictures are the best of all. God knows how to make a grandpa smile!

    April 15, 2011
  11. rebecca said:

    Happy blog birthday! I love reading your beautiful words about the simplest, sweetest parts of life. Sending you congratulations from Kentucky!

    April 15, 2011
  12. Big Friend said:

    Hoppy birfdy! I read this within earshot of the Hoppy Birfdy serenade in Ben Avon, PA.

    I love the blog, the author, and our LF. What a tremendous year it has been. I’m so proud of you and of the success you have had with the blog.

    I can’t wait for another year of Belle Squeaks.

    April 17, 2011
  13. Megan said:

    Happy birthday…since I read on my RSS feed on my phone, I don’t get in as many comments as I once used to…but here to revisit your baby-food making post 😉

    April 19, 2011

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