Happy Birthday, Maxi

My Pajamas: J.Crew | Art: Jenn Thatcher Art [c/o] | One Balloon: Amazon | Photography by: Madison Katlin

“On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”
Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.”

On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

On Sunday, my little Maxi girl turns one. Motherly posted this video last week and oh it brought me to tears. There’s something so beautiful in doing nothing and holding your baby. This past year I became a mother and I became a version of myself I love so much more. I am most proud of who I am as a mother, I am most happy as a mother and I am most content as a mother. It’s not because I have incredible instincts or that this is second nature to me. It’s all because of my Maxi.

To watch her become Maxi each and every day is my greatest privilege in life. And while I beam with pride watching her learn things each and every day, she has taught me far more than I have taught her. She has softened me, taught me patience, made me truly selfless and enlightened me to how strong I can become. She’s removed the frame of the person I thought I was and given me an entirely different perspective on the person I know I can be.

Her demeanor is sweet, she has 2 unicorns and a baby doll that she nurtures as she knows how and clings to. She’s strong willed as many first borns are, good thing she has two first borns raising her. 😉 Maxi is chatty and cheerful and ever so curious. She adores Peaches and prefers her dog’s toys to her own. She says, “Mama, Dada, Gigi and Bye-Bye.” She twirls her hair when she gets sleepy and she smiles so big when you clap for her.

She’s been easy in the ways I have needed her to be easy and she’s challenged me in the ways that God has needed me to grow. She’s made my faith deeper and my appreciation for God’s details stronger. Everything in life is more exciting with her, and I do things far more intentionally.

I’m so proud of her each and every day and want her to feel that way about me one day. When people ask what my 5 year plan is, I tell them that I don’t have one. I wake up each day and think, “What does she need most from me today?” Does she need a mom that works hard, does she need a mom that forgets the laundry and cuddles, does she need a mom that takes her to the park to play? Oh how I desperately needed a sweet little girl to rock my world and teach me to listen. I joke with everyone that when you won’t change for anyone else or yourself, God gives you a 6-pound human to change for.

Maxi, I know you won’t read this blog for a very long time if ever. But I wish you could just know a tiny glimpse of the depth of my love for you. You are the only thing in life that can bring me to tears by just grabbing my hand or saying, “Mama.” A first born is so special, because a first born gives you the quietest and most tender moments. I have a video on my phone from when the nurses handed you to me. The delivery room was so loud, and all of a sudden everyone backed away and just let me hold you. I kept saying, “You’re my baby, you’re my baby.” And since then, I have held you as much as I possibly could. I have held you while you’ve slept calmly, I have held you at midnight when we’ve both been sick, I have held you in 3 different homes through 2 different moves, I have held you during some of the hardest times this past year when only your heartbeat could calm mine and I have gladly snuck away from so many events to hold you and nurse you, feeling so happy that no one else could. I made a promise to pray each time I held you, and you my dear have heard all of those prayers. I have prayed for your future and for your health and for you to always know how much you are loved. I have prayed that you would always find happiness in your family and I have prayed you would be confident in who you are as a woman. And while I know there will never be another year in which you need me to hold you as much as I have held you now, I promise I will always be here to hold you. Having the honor to be your mother has wrecked my heart completely. Because holding you was what forever changed my world February 11th at 8:04 in the evening.

“Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.”

– On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

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  1. Happy, happy birthday to Maxi! How incredibly quick a year passes by. Your family is so sweet and it’s been so interesting following your journey! Hope Maxi enjoys her day! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  2. Amanda wrote:

    Katey this is absolutely beautiful!! Happy Birthday sweet Maxi! God bless you all!
    Ps. I’m blaming these tears on the fact I’m pregnant and On the Night You Were Born! It’s been my favorite for my now 4 yr old son! It was the first book I was given and since bought every one of Nancy Tillman’s books because of it!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  3. Katey!!! Ahhh that must have been so emotional for you to write. It brought me to tears. This was so beautiful! Happy birthday to little Maxi girl ????

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  4. Allison R wrote:

    So beautiful, Katey! Happy Birthday, Maxi!!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  5. Stacey wrote:


    This post just confirms what we all know about you. You are a magnificent mother, you can be assured that anyone who reads this will be moved. The amount of love, gratitude and faith that you carry is so admirable and you make us all want to be a better person.

    Love reading your post every morning,

    Thank you!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  6. Stacey wrote:

    Maxi truly is one blessed cutie to have you as her mommy!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  7. Sarah Kolk wrote:

    What a beautiful post – happy birthday, Maxi!!!! You are one lucky girl.

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  8. Bethany wrote:

    This is such a beautiful post! <3

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  9. Sarah wrote:

    Happy birthday, Maxi!

    I know that you’re not searching for compliments in any way, but I just wanted to let you know that you are a great inspiration to me. I’m not a mother and I’m not married (or even dating anyone!), but your love for your daughter has inspired me and made me extremely excited for my future and for any children that I *hopefully* have someday. Thank you for sharing your life and love with all of us. You’re the real deal.

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  10. Hannah wrote:

    Katey, I loved this post so much. Happy Birthday Maxi!!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  11. Kaitlin wrote:

    My little boy will be turning one next Monday and your post is so accurate. Hearing mam be my son’s first words made my day and now that he knows other words and they are now his favorite, I still get so excited when he says mama. Nancy Tillman’s book are by far my favorite to read to him at night. Enjoy her birthday! Happy Birthday Maxi!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  12. Nicollette wrote:

    I am expecting my first right now and there are not enough tissues in the world for this read! How special your sweet Maxi can look back to this anytime she might forget how special and loved she is – what a beautiful message! Happy Birthday Maxi!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  13. Victoria wrote:

    This is my favorite blog post of all you have written. Maybe it’s bexause my first baby, a girl, was born 2 weeks ago, but your words are just so moving to me. Happy birthday to your sweet girl, and happy first “Mom birthday” to you 😉

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  14. Courtney wrote:

    Oh my goodness Katy, this brought tears to my eyes! You are so right…a first born is incredibly special. I can resonate with so much of this. Happy birthday to Maxi! And happy “birth” day to you!


    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  15. Crystal wrote:

    Oh! This is so precious — just like your little angel ???????? ????

    Katey, thank you so much for sharing this journey and making moms like me who are nursing and in pajamas most of the day feel a little more connected to the world through your fun blogging. ????

    Happy, happy birthday, Maxi????????????

    Crystal (and baby Ella) ????

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  16. Kelsey wrote:

    So incredibly sweet! You are an incredible mother. The world needs more people like you. Happy Birthday, Maxi!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  17. Nicole Villarreal wrote:

    This is the sweetest Katey. I have a one week old and just cried reading this. You’re an amazing mother! I hope Maxi gets to read this someday.

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  18. Lauren Hitte wrote:

    So beautiful! As a first time mama (my little boy will be one this month too!) these words ring 100% true to me. I pray all the time and thank God for the gift he gave me. Babies are the biggest blessing.

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  19. Jen wrote:

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  20. Lindsey Stroud wrote:

    This post should have come with a warning to any pregnant momma to be ;). Reading this, I can only imagine the love I will have for my baby and it brought all of the emotions & tears my way. You are absolutely amazing momma – Maxi is lucky to have you. Happy Birthday, sweet angel!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  21. Dimitra wrote:

    You are the sweetest mom i know! your words and your faith inspire me so much. I am not a mom yet, but i want to conquer my fear and with God’s blessing to become a mom one day. keep blogging because you are an inspiration.


    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  22. Kayla G wrote:

    Happy Birthday, Maxi! Hope you guys are feeling better!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  23. Hailey wrote:

    WOW. This was so beautifully written, Katey! Maxi will certainly be brought to tears one day reading this, as all your readers, myself included, were!! What a blessing that such a tiny human can make your heart feel all these things-who knew right?? Happy birthday, Maxi!!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  24. Anna wrote:

    So incredibly heartwarming! Happy Birthday, sweet Maxi!!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  25. Anna Coulbeck wrote:

    I don’t normally comment but I just had to say, that was beautiful and made me cry! I’m due with my first in 6 weeks and your words carry so much significance for me as I think about becoming a mother. Thanks Katey, saving this for sure!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  26. Joi wrote:

    That was so beautifully written! It really shows how only a mother can love her child. Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Maxi. I feel so grateful that you Mum shades theses glimpses of motherhood with us! Lots of love from New Zealand, Joi xx

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  27. Melissa wrote:

    I’m not crying, you’re crying

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  28. Courtney wrote:

    This book is the “makes me cry every single time I read it book”. I swear I’ve read this book to Reagan one million times and she’s only been alive for seven months (almost)!! No matter how many times I read it, I always get ready eyed and think of being in that hospital bed with her!

    Happy birthday, Maxi!! Your mom is a spectacular woman!

    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  29. Katie wrote:

    Happy Birthday, Maxi! This is such a sweet blog post!


    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  30. Caren Brown wrote:

    Such beautiful words! Many blessings to y’all as you celebrate this milestone. Happy birthday Maxi!


    Published 09 Feb 18Reply
  31. Karis wrote:

    This is sooooo sweet. Maxi’s so blessed to have a mom like you. Love it!! Hope y’all have the sweetest couple of days celebrating 🙂


    Published 10 Feb 18Reply
  32. OMG! I can’t believe she is already ONE! Happy birthday to your sweet girl <3


    Published 12 Feb 18Reply
  33. elizabeth wrote:

    Happy Birthday, Maxi 🙂

    this is the sweetest blog post ever!!

    Published 12 Feb 18Reply
  34. Kelsey wrote:

    writing this as i sit at my desk crying! my little one just turned one, and i 100% agree, they make you a better version of yourself. arguably the toughest, best year of my life! your love for your daughter [and family in general!] shines through in your blog + social media. you’re a great mama, because you are just that. a mom – we are all inherently wonderful!

    thanks for being total #momgoals.

    Published 13 Feb 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Love that!! We are all wonderful as moms! Thank you so much for reading Kelsey and thank you for your kind words! It truly is the hardest, best year of your life all in one. It’s nothing short of wonderful!

      Thank you so much! xo

      Published 19 Feb 18Reply
  35. So beautifully written! Happy Birthday Maxi!! xoxo

    Published 13 Feb 18Reply