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One year ago tomorrow, life as I knew it would change forever. My husband and I went to sleep with the kind of butterflies you have in your stomach when you know tomorrow you get to go on vacation, or like trying to sleep on Christmas Eve.

We woke up early, so we would for once in my life, be on time. We had a 5 a.m. check in, and while my husband was hungry, with his sister stopping to get him food on the way, to me, the thought of eating anything seemed ludicrous.

The next two hours were the fastest two hours of my life, and before we knew it, the time had come.

We walked together to a stark white, cold room, and they told my husband to robe up and wait. This is when he said things started to set in for him. The next time he would see me, it would be go-time.

It was 47 minutes later, which seemed more like five, but 47 minutes later our sweet Silas was born. Silas Dean Howsden was born at 7:47 a.m., at 7lbs 6 oz of absolute perfection. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when the doctor held him over the surgical curtain and laid him on my chest.

For 9.5 long months, we had prepared and dreamed of what this day would be like, but nothing seemed real. It was all as if we were living the most spectacular dream.

Here we are, a year later, and our hearts burst with love for our little man. The newborn months were sweet times of bonding, with some scary sickness mixed in to keep us humble.

But on the eve of my sweet Silas’ first birthday, I can’t help but feel like raising our baby for the first whole year of his life is one of my greatest accomplishments.

I was talking with a co-worker, and we both noted how you have to go through more testing and prepare yourself much more to get a driver’s license, as opposed to the number of requirements there are to have a baby.

People always say, if you wait for everything to be perfect you’ll never have kids, or if you wait until you feel ready/prepared, you’ll never make the leap. Those things may be true, but I think the best way to approach parenthood is with an army of support behind you.

In this first year, there have been many pediatrician phone calls, texts to my mom and sisters, conversations with close friends and a lot of times where my husband Casey and I just look at each other like “what do we do now?”

Our lives and Silas’ life are so much sweeter because of the people that love us and have surrounded us to support our little family in this first year.

From baby showers, to people bringing us meals in the first month of parenthood, to offering to watch Silas while we take a rare night for ourselves and go on a date—I feel like all of our family and close friends also deserve a pat on the back for carrying us through this time.

It is our hope that we can instill in Silas that life here on earth is made sweeter by our God-given community through the Church and our families. The phrase from an English Premier League soccer team Liverpool FC, reigns true about the body of Christ, especially when it comes to family and community, “You’ll never walk alone.”