First Birthday Ideas and a Letter from Nana

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Letter and Birthday

There’s just something so incredibly unique about a child’s first birthday. Is there any one year in life where more change and growth is experienced?

From a helpless newborn infant to a mostly walking, noise uttering, mess making ball of fun, a baby is transformed before our eyes.

My first grandchild, Aiden James Baldridge, came into the world with a whirlwind last December 17.

I am blessed to be able to keep him on Thursdays (you can follow me on Instagram #thursdayswithAiden) and those days are devoted solely to him. At the first of the year our time together was mostly spent rocking in my favorite chair with me singing sweet lullabies in his ear.

Not anymore! I spend a few minutes each Wednesday evening Aiden-proofing the house and getting out his port-a-crib and toys. Then I try to get a good night’s sleep! 

With his first birthday right around the corner I knew exactly where I needed to go for birthday ideas and help in celebrating this milestone in Aiden’s life.

A close up of a toy store

I had so much fun shopping at Big Lots for Aiden’s first birthday, It’s been a very long time since I’ve shopped for preschool toys, but I knew Big Lots would have everything Aiden could possibly want, including this Little People Choo-Choo Zoo Train. 

Graphical user interface, website

I might have had a wee bit too much fun playing in the store with the Little People Hippo. Yes, I’m that crazy Nana!

Birthday and Life

I love that Big Lots carries high quality Fisher Price toys at great prices. I had a hard time choosing!

Of course, since we’re a homeschooling family (for a little while longer!) I had to get Aiden this Laugh & Learn Firehouse. He’ll be learning with this toy for months to come.

Birthday and Gift

I’m hoping maybe one or two of these might wind their way back to Nana’s house on Thursday’s. Aiden wants to share with me!

And since I’m a practical Nana, too, I bought him these step 1 training cups and this cute as can be monster snack cup. 

Birthday and Life

I’m not sure who will be more excited next month for Aiden’s birthday!

What toys do you need to check off the list at Big Lots before Christmas?

Now since I’m also a wordsmith and encouraging words are my love language, I couldn’t miss an opportunity to capture my love for this precious little boy. Since I’ve shared this journey with you, my sweet readers, from announcement

Celebrating with TGI Fridays Restaurant - Marty's Musings

to gender reveal,

Baby Gender Reveal Party and Free Printables - Marty's Musings

from baby shower

Blue Frozen Punch for Any Party - Marty's Musings

to Aiden’s unexpected arrival four weeks early,

Let It Go: The Song God Keeps Teaching Me - Marty's Musings

I’m allowing you to share a piece of my heart today, too.


Dear Aiden,

I always thought a grandmother was someone with white hair who was very old, walked slowly and spoke quietly.

I’m none of those things!

I’m a NANA, with brown blondeish hair, feeling young, spry and chatting a mile a minute.

A person holding a baby

You, my sweet grandson, are the one chosen by God to give me a new title in life, one I have cherished every day since your birth.

Your mama was my firstborn and my practice baby. 

A man and a woman holding a baby

I had no idea what I was doing, but your mama? She’s a natural and she loves you to the moon and back.

Honest and transparent feelings from a first time new mom will reassure that faith and love will see you through! from Marty's Musings

You could possibly be the most loved baby I’ve ever known, with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, church family, friends and strangers alike. You make friends everywhere you go and are already an adorable little charmer. 

A little boy standing in front of a birthday cake

 Your easygoing spirit and bubbly nature are a blessing and a joy.

A boy and girl posing for a picture

It’s been a difficult year, Aiden. Losing your great Uncle Todd so unexpectedly broke our hearts.

You, precious child, bring us life, hope and the knowledge that God is still good and faithful.

When you reach those little arms up to me I am thankful for every moment I get to share with you.

A woman holding a baby

You’re just beginning to give your mama kisses but remember your nana is waiting in line for her first sloppy baby kiss!

Don’t ever forget that God has a plan for your life and He placed you in this family for a purpose. 

Text, whiteboard

Family is forever. 

A group of people posing for the camera

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living my “grand”baby you’ll be.


I love you sweet baby boy.


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  1. Sweet post! Thanks for sharing.

    My Grandson #5 is having his 1st Birthday tomorrow. And, amazingly, we now have 9 grandsons. Yes, 4 cousins have joined Leonidas since he was born just 1 year ago. (All 9 grandsons are under 4 years old. So fun!)

    I work at the Christian bookstore, so this Nana shopped there for my grandson’s 1st Birthday. 🙂

    1. Hi, Laurel. I can’t believe you have 9 grandsons now, and no granddaughters? I saw that you were working at the bookstore and of course you love books! I know both our lives have moved into different seasons but that’s okay. God is still working and our life lessons can be used for His glory. Enjoy all those grandsons and I’ll enjoy my one!

  2. What a great idea to share a letter to your grandson on his first birthday. I loved watching the journey of the pregnancy with you. I love the selection of baby toys at Big Lot’s too. My kids could spend hours there when we go shopping!

    1. Hi, Annette. I love Big Lots, too! My teenager goes with me a lot of the time when I shop and we just wander around picking out decor and candles and goodies. It’s great bonding time. I can’t wait for my grandson’s birthday! It’s been a special year!

  3. This is so beautiful! I love that you were able to celebrate him by shopping at Big Lots, but more than anything, your letter is very touching. He’s a lucky boy! #client

    1. Hi, Summer. Thank you so much! I know my grandson will enjoy the toys but more so, the time with family and especially his nana! He is so loved and happy and a priceless bundle of joy!

  4. So beautiful, Marty! What a blessed little boy Aiden is to have a sweet Nana like you!! ?

  5. I was really moved by your post, it was so beautifully written describing the simple blessing new life can bring into the world, especially the turbulent experience . It’s wonderful dairy you can share with your Grandson in years to come. I have to say he’s a real cuttie. I look forward to reading more posts about your Grandson.

    1. Hi, Sarah. I’m so glad you were touched by my letter to my grandson. He’s brought such joy to our family and is such a bright light of happiness. I hope you will stick around and read more of our family stories and about my projects.

  6. Oh my gosh! I love what you have written here!!! Nothing better than a Grandbaby kiss!!!!! I have 4 Grandchildren and I love them to the moon and back! I wrote a song for each one of my Grandchildren and everyone of them is so different! Well actually my brother-in-law wrote 2 of them and I wrote the other 2. He is a musician and did all of the music! Making memories!!! Your little Grandson is just as precious as can be! Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us Marty!!!

    1. Hi, Lisa. I know you love your grand babies! Your gift of a song for each of them is priceless! My husband and I are both musicians but we’ve never written anything together and we don’t even sing together anymore, sadly. A time and a season I guess! Thank you for always reading and being so supportive. Blessings to you!

  7. Love this story Marty and he is so adorable. A journal is a wonderful way to remember the little things that make you smile. Thank you Marty!

    1. Hi, Diana. It’s so good to hear from you (even if it took me ions to respond!) and I always appreciate your support and encouragement of my writing and stories. Have a blessed day!

  8. Beautifully written! I have a granddaughter that was born last year on the same day as Aiden, her name is Evelyn Grace. When her big sister was born (Annabelle Faith) a little more than 6 years ago, I started writing letters to her each time we visited which was at least once a week. I still write those love notes and they are posted on FB each time. I also hand write them in a journal and those journals will be given to her by either me, or her parents, when she becomes an adult. It’s a great way to build memories! With your beautiful writing skills and love that you have for this little one…..time to get started! 😉
    I still love your blog Marty and look forward to it each visit.

    1. Hi, Jane. What a wonderful legacy you are leaving your granddaughters! I’m a scrapbooker of many, many years but the blog is my main way of recording our family story now. One day I hope to write a book but until then my imprint is also online for all to see!