If I could keep you little.

If I could keep you little,

I’d keep you close to me.

But then I’d miss you growing

into who you’re meant to be.  

~Marianne Richmond

This past weekend we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday. It was a day full of happiness {and sunshine}. Our daughter has brought so much love and joy into our lives in such a short time. The night before her birthday when I kissed her goodnight I had to fight back tears, how could my little girl be turning one already in what seemed like the blink of an eye?! Some of the days seemed long – but the weeks and months went way too fast.

I can’t even count the number of times I have been told, “Enjoy every minute, it goes by way too quickly.” I’m ready for someone to instead tell me how to slow down time… or better yet freeze time! The irony is that I am finding so much joy in the journey and in watching her grow, (yet I want the journey to slow down). I get so excited when Ava masters a new skill or does something new, my heart melts when she says ‘mama’, I am thrilled when she tries a new food (especially if it’s something that I love, too!) and I’m mesmerized by her curiosity and zest for each day. Although, I have to admit that her curiosity also has the potential to drive me crazy – like when she is attempting to climb into the fireplace while I try to write an email, or when she puts dishwasher soap in her mouth while I try to empty the dishwasher and did I mention that she loves MacBooks, iPhones and remotes?!

I started planning Ava’s birthday party several months ago. After (what seemed like thousands) of ‘pins’ on Pinterest and hundreds of searches on Etsy I decided the perfect theme for Ava’s party was “You Are My Sunshine.” We were hoping for some nice weather and couldn’t have been luckier. I would have been disappointed if it was cloudy and rainy during our ‘Sunshine’ party! Anyone who knows me knows that I have an unhealthy obsession for cake (or anything sweet for that matter!), so of course finding the perfect cake was next on my list. Throughout the past year I took a picture on the 3rd of every month to show how she has grown. I made a banner with the pictures from months 1-11 and hung them above the cake table. (I already can’t imagine our 23 pound baby weighing only 8 lbs!) In front of the cake table I made a banner using the lyrics of the song “You Are My Sunshine.” As for the balloons, I was ‘Pinspired’ to use golf tees and tied the balloons around the tee and place them in the ground. I used a chalkboard to write about things that Ava loves and to kind of document her year. We had a piñata for the kids (and if we had thought it through, we would have had the kids go in order of youngest to oldest instead of having it smashed open on the 3rd swing by Joe’s all-star baseball player of a nephew!) After Ava opened her presents, we stripped her down for the long awaited smash cake. Needless to say, she inherited my sweet tooth and got aggressive when we took it away.

IMG_7811  IMG_6732 996552_10102722455703841_1464137672_n

998741_10102722455000251_107834181_n-1  securedownload-2 securedownload

Each and every day brings something new with our one-year-old and each and every new day is truly a gift. Seeing the joy and excitement on her face makes the difficult moments so worth it. When she smiles at me or rests her head on my shoulder I want to freeze time. From what I’ve learned during my short time as a mother is that it’s the little moments that count… it’s the hugs and kisses, it’s hearing the word ‘mama’ or ‘dada’, it’s the laughs and smiles, the tickles and back-scratches, the high five’s and waves, the ups and downs and highs and lows. Time goes way too fast, so it’s important to find the joy in the journey. In the meantime, I will continue to search for a way to make our time with our ‘little sunshine’ slow down.


Alisa Sleep
Alisa was born and raised in Iowa before attending Arizona State University. She then lived in Chicago, Georgia and Florida before settling in Madison. From her nomadic lifestyle grew a love for the beach, as well as a fondness for spicy food, sushi, white wine, southern charm, Diamondbacks baseball and idyllic ocean sunsets. Alisa and her husband, Joe, are parents to Ava Mae (August 2012) and twins, Nora & Jacob (March 2014). Alisa is a work-from-home mompreneur with a passion for business, fashion, fitness, community and all things mom. When she’s not enjoying time at home with her family, you can find her sweating it out on the tennis court, training for the next big race, pinning her heart out on Pinterest and exploring Madison with her little ones (and sweet Boston Terrier, Peaches) in tow.


  1. I’m so happy for you and your little bundle of sunshine! The party looked amazing, and she is in good company with loving that cake 🙂

  2. Lucky me! I was able to help Ava celebrate her birthday. What a sweet little love she is! Alisa, I think that you expressed what many moms feel —including your own when you were growing up far too fast it seemed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here