Happy 2nd Birthday Ava!

Two years ago today Jessica and I became parents, and our lives were forever changed for the better. In one sense it’s hard to believe that it’s already been two years, but when I look back and think of all that has happened in that time. As the story goes, Ava was born on “Black Friday” in 2011. Leading up to her birth I was working about 80 hours per week between my two jobs. I was working days at Scrollmotion and bartending at night at the Tractor Room. Thanksgiving was going to be my first day off in over a month, and since Jessica was so close to delivery we decided to have a very low key meal at our home in Pacific Beach.

Shortly after Thanksgiving dinner Jessica went into labor. We knew not to go to the hospital right away, so we watched a UFC event, then went on a walk around the neighborhood with Bruno and Bella. We arrived at the hospital in the wee hours of the morning and began the roller coaster ride that was Ava’s birth. The hospital was pushing Jessica to have a C-section but we didn’t want that and held out as long as possible. As they were preparing the room for surgery, the doctor decided to give Jessica one chance to have a natural birth. After only a few minutes of pushing our sweet baby girl was born. I had never cried tears of joy before that moment, and I’ll never forget how special it was. Since then we’ve come a long way, including another baby, two moves, a job change, and me getting back into school to finish my degree. To say we’ve been keeping busy would be a major under statement, but that’s the way we like it.

This past Saturday we celebrated Ava’s birthday at our house in Bellevue with about 30 friends and family members. It was the biggest party we’ve ever thrown, and it was a huge success! Jessica did an amazing job decorating for the party, and I rekindled Gigi and Aunt Norma’s ravioli recipe, which was a hit. Although putting on a party of this magnitude was a ton of work, seeing Ava’s face when everyone sang Happy Birthday to her made it all well worth it. It was a look of pure joy and happiness, followed by a barrage of cake making its way all over Ava, her tray, and the surrounding walls and floor. My explanation can’t do it justice so keep an eye out for the photos to come.

Both of our girls were great all day and I think Ava had a blast opening presents and going down the slide we got her. She literally went down that thing at least 100 times throughout the day. Elise was so well behaved and content to be passed around by family members and close friends. My good friend Leon took tons of photos, which I’ll be getting later this week, and will be posting ASAP. I’m going to save the photos that we already have for Jessica’s post tonight, but I couldn’t resist recapping the wonderful day we all had.

Ava, you and your sister are the best thing that has ever happened to your Mom and I. You’ve brought a sense of joy and purpose to our lives that we never even knew existed. I thank my lucky stars everyday for having such an amazing family. Although you probably won’t remember your second birthday, please know that it was a very special day that was attended by so many people we love. Thank you for making me such a proud Papa; I love you with all my heart.

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