I couldn’t wait to sit down to write this post. I just put Jack to bed after one of my favorite parenting days to date… his second birthday. How he is two years old already is beyond me. I was surprisingly less sad about him turning one year older than I was as we approached his first birthday, but I was still caught off guard by the emotions I did feel. (I am blaming the pregnancy hormones though.) The phrase “the days are long and the years are short” couldn’t be more true. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’m absolutely looking forward to bedtime (his and mine)…. but thinking back to the past year, it was over in the blink of an eye. In fact, it feels like just yesterday that Mike and I were sitting in the car in the driveway in the middle of the night about to drive to the hospital after my water broke. I was terrified. We would be coming home a family of three.

We got the dates for Mike’s family’s annual trip to the lake at the beginning of 2023 and the last day was Jack’s birthday. We cut our trip a little short so we could come home ahead of his birthday and I felt guilty, but I was also a little worried about feeling burnt out. I let the pressure of everything get to me a little bit more than I care to admit. I didn’t have time to make a homemade cake. I worried it wasn’t going to feel “special” enough. It doesn’t help that we’ve been invited to so many two year old parties between friends and daycare classmates. I had a lot of mom guilt and I’m here to tell you that our low-key Jack-focused day was more than perfect. It was better than I could have dreamed up.

Most importantly, JACK LOVED IT.

He’s in a huge train phase right now and we watch the trains in town together pretty much every day. He’s never been on one though, and so we decided we would take him on the train for a little ride to Chatham (the next town over) for some ice cream. I thought he was going to lose his mind, but he was actually just in awe, which was even sweeter. He kept saying, “I’m riding the train!” while holding our hands for extra reassurance. And after ice cream? He couldn’t believe that we got to go back on the train to return home! He practically ran to the station.

We played outside, we did a little walk into town, we had a fun lunch, we opened presents, and (of course) blew out candles on a birthday cake!

I really do think he had a wonderfully Jack day and I’m so happy we got to celebrate this special day!

Happy Birthday Jack Jack. We love you! 


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Annie C

The sweetest birthday! I think it’s probably impossible to totally avoid mom guilt and you’re doing a great job of acknowledging it and moving on. I love the focus on what Jack will enjoy – you and Mike look like you’re having a blast too! Happy Birthday Jack!!


I love all your mom content! I have a little girl about to turn one and watching your journey gets me so excited for what’s to come. 🙂

Stacey Helmers

As a mom of 3 whose youngest is turning 22 in a couple of weeks, what a perfect birthday for Jack! You made it so special without it being overwhelming. And when they have “blow outs” in the early years imo that puts the “pressure on” for subsequent years. Happy Birthday to Jack!

Emma Lauer

Looks like the perfect second birthday to me. The train garland is so cute and everything looks wonderful as always. And the most important thing is that Jack loved it. You’re doing a great job.


This is utterly so sweet – and simple – in the best way! I love the sentiments you shared and it sounds like Jack had the absolute best birthday. So heartwarming and sweet!