3 Candles

I’ll post my last entry in the water garden series tomorrow, promise. My little flower turns 3 today. Three. Forgive me for subjecting you to my mini montage of the past three birthdays:

1 day old 365 Photography


1 year Evenfall Photography 2012


1 year Evenfall Photography 2012


2 years April 2013
3 years April 2014

Oliva Age 3

Favorite ice-cream: “pink”

Favorite song: Blurred Lines

Birthday wish: “a card.” follow up question, “what do you want the card to say?” pause. Your reply, “I love you.”


I rummaged around my archives to find the first post I wrote after Oliva was born. At the time Erik and I favored the nickname he knew his grandmother by, “Olive.” That’s the name I used when I wrote this letter. As we’ve gotten to know her better we’ve taken to using her birth name, Oliva, pronounced O-Lee-Va. Our little Olive has grown into an Oliva. We planted a miniature olive tree in the landscape around the pond as a gift to her.  Here’s the post I was telling you about:



April 21, 2011

Sweet Olive,

I can’t believe you’re really here! You’re 4 days old and I really should be sleeping since you are, for the moment. But I’m so afraid that I’m going to forget these precious details. I need to start writing them down. So here’s the part of the story where we celebrate your birthday!

On April 17th at 2am my water broke but I was sorta in denial. I thought to myself darn it, I peed myself again! Which you may find is not uncommon when you are carrying around a watermelon on your bladder 9 months into pregnancy. I watched as your father’s eyes grew wide with excitement and anticipation when I finally realized it was time to get going. We checked in at the hospital and everyone looked at me with that suspicious “she’s not in labor” look. Talking about things like false contractions and leaky bladders. But I was over my doubts and knew we would be meeting you soon. I admit I was scared and brought to tears often by the physical changes that brought me closer to you, but it seems so inconsequential now looking at your sweet smile and those irresistibly plump cheeks.  You arrived at 5:27 pm the cord was wrapped tightly around your neck but the doctor was able to quickly remove it without any problems.  I was so elated to hear your hearty wail, like a battle cry. The moment you were passed to your father you stopped crying, as though you knew immediately this wasn’t a sterile stranger. The look on your dad’s face was one I’d never seen before. Awe, love, and pride all jumbled together as he stared at you, his 6 pound baby girl. Such an out of body experience. So much more I’d like to share…but for now I just really want to say through a blur of joyful loving tears how proud I am to be your mother. You are perfect in every way and I can’t wait to count the ways as we get to know each other better.

Love you little Olive! Happy Birthday!


Proud Papa

Learning how to nurse, football style. You fell asleep. You’re so tiny, you look like you’re swimming in jammies and blankies.

39 thoughts on “3 Candles

  1. Thank you for sharing, this brings back memories that I have of my two daughters and my one son. But it is Oliva’s day and may she have the best day filled with love, caring and tenderness.


  2. Sandra, are you sure you’d just had a baby in that final photo – you look great! Enjoy your beautiful daughter – happy birthday to Oliva.


    1. Thanks so much Rachel! I am more than positive I had just had her in that last shot. It was all quite memorable. But I do appreciate your kindness! That’s very sweet of you to say.


  3. That little beauty is 3, how quickly it happens! Thank you for sharing all the photos of her, it will be so neat when she looks back and can see all your notes and photos. Give the peanut a kiss from her tia. Love you all!


    1. Same goes for me Carl. I suspect it’s a generation thing. We’ve sat her down and told her she needs to start pulling her weight around here. 😉


    1. Thank you so much! You’re so right, my husband and I were married for 7 years before we had Oliva. The passing of time wasn’t so noticeable before she came along. Now I seem to blink and a year flies by. Thanks for your kind words. xoxo


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