P.S.Lolek Turns One

How it has been a year since our littlest man was born is relieving and sad all at once. It hasn't been an easy year, I'll be honest. In fact, it's been one of the hardest. How many times I've cringed at the well meaners who say that it gets easier the more you have I've lost count. Our dear Lolek has been a high maintenance baby with little penchant for sleep. We love him to the moon but a combo of high needs, severe PPD/PPA, and a whole lot of other completely unrelated but heartwrenchingly difficult stuff going on made this year quite a struggle. This year has felt like one that we just needed to survive as much as it has hurt my heart, pride, and social life to admit. 

And now a year is passed and our sweet little Carmelite baby is one. He is such a gift. His personality is decidedly choleric, he is particularly smart, and he has five big brothers who adore him. We love his high little voice when he babbles, how proud he gets when we all clap for him, and he feels right at home wrestling with and climbing all over his older brothers. He loves being outside and people watching. He's a quick mover, perpetual teether, and blueberry lover. His birth is one I remember with sweetness (and sweatiness) and I think it will remain one of my favorites.

We celebrated his birthday quite simply and merged it with his biggest brother and Godfather's since said oldest child was out of town at the Steubenville conference on his birthday at the end of June (which, btw, I chaperoned and it was AMAZING). 

These two. 
They love each other so much it can bring tears to my eyes.

Have I ever told you I love having a teenager? Because I really really do.

How I have a fifteen year old AND a one year old, I'm not quite sure.

We chose John Paul's cake design for him after he was coming up short on ideas. He has worn one of his Arcatheos shirts nearly every day this past year (thankfully, he has a few!) so we commemorated it cake style. He was decided on the fact that it be chocolate mint.

Arcatheos is a phenomenal Lord of the Rings style Catholic boys camp held in Calgary that my husband and boys have been to that was basically tailor made for John Paul. Hence the daily wearing of the shirt and semi-obsession with it. They're going back again this year and bringing our ten year old for the first time.

I took full advantage of the fact that our feast day baby doesn't yet have cake preferences and that he was blessedly born on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Probably won't be able to get away with this one again! I had no designs of having a baby on that feast. He made us wait longer than any of the others, much to my chagrin at the time! Despite my love for a few Carmelite saints and my devotion to the scapular and Carmelite spirituality, the feast day wasn't much on my radar especially as a birth day. But I love love love now that God allowed him to be born on such a special day.

Because every one year old gets a scapular cake, right?

Our Lady of Mount Carmel feast
So simple to make and I used both the scapular I was wearing and Jessica's example to decorate it. I opted not to do the whole scapular promise on the other side considering the occasion ;)

Godson, Godfather, and an unplanned Mama Mary backdrop

He was our first kid to go to town on the cake and not just eye it suspiciously and take a duty nibble.

He made quick work of it.

We didn't do much in the way of gifts but I had to include this super sweet present that Luke worked so hard on for him.

He was so proud of this little wagon he made!

Birthday rides with his Godmother of course.

On his actual birthday a couple days later we had the joy of being able to take him to our local Carmel for the feast day Mass. This was the same place where we just by chance received the Blessing before Childbirth a few weeks before he was born. It was simply the only time and place the priest we asked could fit us in but I have no doubt Our Lady had a role in all of it. It meant so much to be able to take him back on his birthday in thanksgiving for the gift that he is to our family. Last year friends from my women's group prayed for me at the same Mass in the same place. I couldn't go because I went into labor. I remember texting them with the news while they were meeting after that he had been born! Our little Carmelite baby.

And a birthday blessing from the visiting priest who celebrated the Mass. 

Oh, sweet boy. May you always stay close to Our Lord and Our Lady. May we never forget what a gift you are. May you bless the world and glorify God with your gifts. May you always know that you are loved.


  1. Wow! I never tire of seeing the cakes you create. They’re spectacular. Your boys are so handsome, the cakes are beautiful and that camp sounds absolutely ideal (they even have one for girls Ill have to keep in mind if I don’t have boys). Had to tell my husband about it even though we have two girls that are just 2 and 10 months! I was so happy to read another post from you. Praying that this year is a little less bumpy for all of you.
    It’s so peculiar that P.S. Lolek enjoyed the cake, but the other boys didn’t like their first cake, I bet it was fun to watch!

  2. Lovely post! I'm excited to see that your husband and boys have gone to Arcatheos - and loved it! I'm originally from southern Ontario, but now live in Saskatchewan. I can't wait for my boys to get a little older and go with their dad (they are only 5 and 7 currently). What age did you start? And do they drive or fly out??

    1. My oldest went first at age 12 and then the older two went at ages 10 and 13. Now it's all three. They flew out with my husband. We're super lucky that my husband can earn flight points through his work credit card and we were able to pay for it entirely with those! I think I have a post on it somewhere in my archives :)

  3. Oh Mary, I hadn't realised how much you've been struggling this year. Much love and upping the prayers xx


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