God Hates Gymboree

365 Days

There are days when I look at his face and wrinkle my brow. My God, how he's changed. What happened to my baby?  When he was born, he had brown hair and an impossibly round face. I never remember how dark his hair once was, or how delicate his body once seemed. Sometimes I feel so sad at how quickly it all went by, and I pledge to remember more, to videotape more, and then I clench my fists and close my eyes and try to forcibly burn this moment into my brain: how he looks and sounds and smells in this very moment, even though I know the memory will morph into a thousand tomorrows, and I will one day look at photos of his downy blond head and chubby thighs in surprise, because they are long gone.

There are days when I look at his face and see glimpses of the little boy...the big boy...the teenager...the man he'll become. And the enormity of my task as his mother takes my breath away. My task is more than providing love and sustenance and dry diapers -- I am raising a man, a human being, who may one day change the world, who may one day love and complete the life of someone else. One day my arms won't be enough to comfort him, one day my applause will no longer be enough to satisfy his ambition. And that's as it should be. His potential is limitless -- far greater than my own. I am raising a man who can make the world a better place simply by his continued presence in it.

There are days when I look at his face and see his father. And I smile, because his father is a good man -- a wonderfully loving, kind man -- who loves his child more than anything on earth; who knits his brow in confusion and hurt while relating a story of a friend's ex-husband who no longer cares to see his children much anymore (does.not.compute); who sits in a darkened room long after his child has fallen asleep in his arms, just to spend a few more minutes together. I see the little family I've made and I fall in love with him all over again.

There are days when I look at his face and see myself.  And I worry. What faults will he inherit? What fears and neuroses will I unwittingly pass along? Will he be relentlessly hard on himself? Will he be anxious and timid and crumble under the slightest criticism? No. No, he will not. Because I will no longer be those things. I will be better, for him. I have taken to motherhood like a duck to water -- even on the worst of days (and oh, those days can be frustrating and alienating) I always know that my life is so much better because he is a part of it. I can be the mother he needs me to be. We are all meant to go together, like a jigsaw puzzle, each complimenting each other to make a beautiful picture.

There are days when I look at his face and see the unborn baby we saw on the 3D ultrasound, back before he had a name, before the reality of how our lives would change. He was wanted and planned and prayed for, yet his birth still felt like a car crash -- so sudden and violent, with no way to truly prepare for it. We were two. And then we were three. And we will always be three. And thank God (thank God!) for that.

365 days down. So many, many more to go. Happy birthday, my sweet son.

Noah's Birthday on Vimeo
Music: So Damn Lucky by Dave Matthews
Professional portraits by Kaileen Galhouse Photography



God, so beautiful. And he is one of the handsomest little boys.

I showed this to my boyfriend, and when it got to the videos of Noah and Jason, he said, "I can't wait to be a dad and do stuff like that with my kids. He looks like a great dad. I want to be a dad like him."

So not only did the video make my day, your husband made my boyfreind tear up.


awesome. goosebumps. it's bittersweet - isn't it?


OMG that is beautiful. I can't believe he is a year, it was a year ago that I found your blog, through the birth announcement on Dad Gone Mad.



HOW much did you cry as you were editing this?


happy birthday, noah.


Oh my god. Noah and Dave all together. My heart exploded with sweetness.


OMG that was so beautiful. *wipes away tears*

Happy Birthday Noah!


Beautiful video. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and all of those precious moments with us.

Happy happy birthday, Noah!


That was so beautiful. I have two sons and feel the EXACT same way... one is 21 months and one is 5 months and OMG does the time fly. Thank you for putting it so beautifully.


It's been such a pleasure watching him grow up. He's so beautiful. Happy Birthday Noah!


Okay, now I am totally blubbering over a strangers family!!

The very first post I read was when Jason posted about Noah's birth. Then I spent weeks reading through archives learning all about this new family.

And in the course of 1 year, I feel like I know you (almost) as well as I know my closest friend. Like the Storch's are an extension of my own family because I know about you guys and I care about you.

That was the most beautiful video and post you have done to date. Have an awesome day tomorrow celebrating your incredible family. I will now stop crying because I am going to stop typing!!


That was a beautiful video! Happy Birthday Noah!


Another person reduced to tears. My God, Amy. You are just so amazingly talented. How I wish I could have a video like that of my boys who are now 8 and 11. But it's all there...I remember it all. Thank you for bringing me back to it.

And Happy Birthday little Noah.


Happy Birthday Noah !!

*Crying* at work where they already think I am on a thin thread, thanks much for that Amy, sheesh. The video is priceless and I am now kicking myself for not getting more of my little Fox, 13 months. I am going home and getting out the camera and learning to use it. Especially with Bean on the way in 7 months...

Thank you for that

Sitting Still

beautiful. my favorite part? the family photo where you're eating his toes. baby toes are delicious and often underappreciated.


Oh, you've made me cry at work.

What a beautiful entry, and what a beautiful family.

Happy Birthday, Noah!


Gah. Sniffle. Yes yes yes to the being a better person so my child won't learn from my flaws. Now I must go off and shoot some pictures and/or video of my 7 month old.


Happy Birthday, Noah!


Happy birthday, wee man!!! (And it is saying a LOT that I was crying at this, as my seething hatred for Dave Matthews knows no bounds.) But the cuteness won! Thank you so much for sharing him with us.


Oh my god. What a beautiful, emotional, moving post. I just had my first child a few months ago so reading this put into words so many of the things going on in my head. Tears, tears, tears.
Happy Birthday, Noah and Congrats for such a great first year with your baby, Amalah!

Wacky Mommy

Happy birthday, fella. Have you realized yet that the entire internet is in love with you?


That was beautiful, Amy. Happy birthday, little man.


Ashley hit it on the head with "How do I know him without knowing him?" Your child is so lucky to have a mother who can express in words (and video) exactly what we all feel in our hearts! A gorgeous post from a gorgeous family. Happy Birthday Noah!...from all of us who "know you without knowing you." Amy, you are AMAZING!


Happy birthday Noah! Amalah, I've enjoyed every story and picture over the last year, and I look forward to seeing the little man grow even more. Thanks for sharing with all of us!


Happy Birthday Noah!

(And now I'm crying. In the middle of the day. At work.)


erm...I've got tears in my eyes. What an amazing birthday present!

Happy Birthday, Noah!


Wow. That's all I can say. WOW!

You did such an amazing job with Noah and the video. Thanks for sharing him with us.


So precious and touching. What a lucky loved little boy.


So very, very beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Happy 1st Birthday Noah!


My GOD Amy, what a touching video (that had me blabbering all over my keyboard.)

Happy 1st Birthday Noah!


This is a deserving of a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award. I'm reduced to tears of hope, joy, and happiness. Happy Birthday Noah - you've been blessed with an amazing mother.


Simply beautiful, Amy...I don't think I could have more goosebumps right now.

Happy Birthday, little one.

Mary Jo

WHEW! Sittin' here crying!! That was the sweetest post and video I've seen.

Happy Birthday Noah!


i can't tell you how many times your posts have made me cry happy tears. thank you for sharing...i need to take more video of my baby boy! (and i'm totally stealing your song when ollie turns 1! ;-)


Yes, you made a lot of people shed happy tears today, what a birthday tribute! Embrace each and every moment as best as you can, the years fly by and before you know it, your son celebrates his thirteenth birthday (*cry*) and you are faced with a vision of the man he is fast becoming. I hope you three have a glorious weekend filled with celebration.


wow, I'm not sure when I'll be able to stop crying - not sure how much of that is the being pregnant. That was absolutely beautiful - it made me grab the camera and start taking some more shots of my little ones, and I will do some more when the big one gets home.

Congratulations on one year of excellent work, Amy and Jason.

Happy birthday, Noah.


Happy Birthday Noah!

and that was such a beautiful video Amy, way to make me bawl at work. nice.


Lindsay B

That was so beautiful. I am bawling my eyes out, wishing for my baby boy to wake up so I can hold him. Thank you for sharing him with us.




Awwww, the Babalah is growing up! You, RockStar Mommy, and Y all make my uterus warm and fuzzy.

Noah is beautiful. And he seems incredibly awesome.

Here's to many more, little guy!

Bozoette Mary

I could have written exactly the same post the day my son turned 1, except you did it so much better than I could have. (And mine's going to 25 soon -- the time simply dissolves around you.)
Happy birthday to Noah -- Happy birthday to you and Jason.


Aw that is just beautiful. Happy birthday Noah!

I just know you are doing a fantabulous job as his mother. You're such an inspiration :)

And he really is the cutest baby evah!



Thank you for making me cry first thing in the morning (and actually convincing me to de-lurk after a year of reading your site daily). My little girl is just 3 months old (where, oh where, did my newborn go?) and you have managed to put into words the millions of emotions that I feel every time I look at her. Happy birthday to your beautiful, precious baby and congratulations to you on surviving your first year of motherhood.


Wow, just wow! He's one!

Happy Birthday Noah. What a cool thing it is to watch him grow up...and not really know him...or you...but KNOW him and you. You know?


Oh Amy, that broke my heart (in a good way of course). No fair making me cry at work!


Well now that you've made me cry for the day....HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET LITTLE BOY!!! I loved the slideshow, beautiful beautiful pictures!

J. Louise

Oh thanks a lot for making me cry like crazy. I have an almost-4-month-old and this made me pause for a moment and enjoy the insanity a bit more for what it is, and not what it isn't. Thanks for that reminder. It will make the next time she screams curse words at me in babyese a little bit sweeter.


It just doesn't get any better than this. What a beautiful tribute.

Happy First Birthday, Noah!


Oh Noah, you are my favorite internet baby by far.

Happy Birthday, little dude.


Fantastic video! Happy Birthday to Noah! He's such a sweetheart!


Sniff, sniff! You brought a tear to my eye. Happy birthday Noah! I wish you all many more happy years together!


Crying over here!

That was the most touching video I've seen in a long time.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy.


Crying over here!

That was the most touching video I've seen in a long time.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy.


Happy Birthday, Noah!


Ditto all the above- you made me cry, I feel like I know him, the love you two have for him is blindgly obvious, amazing piece of work. Love it.

Also, I was happy to see our friend the tire in the background, leaning against a cabinet, in the footage of Noah pushing his red handled toy across the floor. :)


You are a beautiful mother with a beautiful family. I am in tears because of your eloquent words and moving video.


oh my god! I am crying! Not fair to do to
a woman who is only 7 wks along in her
pregnancy! That was beautiful? Did you do that
yourself? That was wonerful.


oh my god! I am crying! Not fair to do to
a woman who is only 7 wks along in her
pregnancy! That was beautiful? Did you do that
yourself? That was wonerful.


oh my god! I am crying! Not fair to do to
a woman who is only 7 wks along in her
pregnancy! That was beautiful? Did you do that
yourself? That was wonerful.


oh my god! I am crying! Not fair to do to
a woman who is only 7 wks along in her
pregnancy! That was beautiful? Did you do that
yourself? That was wonerful.


Blindingly, blindingly! I had too many happy tears in my eyes to be able to spell check my previous comment!


*wipes tears*

That was a beautiful post and a beautiful video. Happy Birthday Noah!


Wonderful video. Great pictures at the end. You guys look sooo happy.


Simply beautiful.


Happy Birthday, Noah!!! (you're a lucky boy - You've got a great mom & dad)


Really lovely. Thank you for sharing. Happy birthday, Noah.


sorry, something is wrong with my pc,I did not mean to post like a gazillion times. Please
me everyone!



Dammit Amy, there went my mascara!

OMG, how is that even possible?! One? Already?!

He's so gorgeous, you did good moms.


Absolutely beautiful. You should save it to show to his girlfriends when he's older! What a nice thing for him to be able to look back at. Enjoy his birthday (hopefully today isn't a Gymboree day because we all know how those have been going!)


So, I went to check out the photographer's website because we are in the metro area and have some friends looking for some excellent baby pictures. I couldn't help but notice - is that not a picture of Noah paired with a Thoreau quote in her photo show on the home page? That is one beautiful boy you have there Amalah, for sure!!


Are you trying to kill me woman! Or get me fired? I am crying at my desk and pretending those darn fall allergies are killing me.

Wow - no words. Loved it!



Gratulerer med dagen, Noah!


Oh my GAWD, my left ovary just screamed in delight over the video. Even our little Zerbert loved it, and offered a bit of her tuna sandwich to Noah on the video screen as a gesture of congratulations!

Man, I'm right there with you - when 'they' say the first year goes by in a blink, they ain't a-woofin'.

Congratulations too, to you and Jason for making it through this first year, with a gorgeous, brilliant, hilarious, WALKING (!!) boy to show for it.


Ditto, ditto, ditto!!! Beautiful! It only gets better from here Amy. My oldest is 3, and I just realized the other day (sad huh?), that I like him...he's a really cool kid and I have so much fun with him. My Landon is exactly one month older than Noah...and the last year has flown by way too quickly, but I also know what I have to look forward to! Happy Birthday Noah...you are so loved!!

yet another from the legions of Amys

Jesus, now I'm crying too. I'm sitting in the nurse's office at my school pumping for my 4 month old with tears streaming down my cheeks. That was beautiful.


De-lurking on behalf of Noah's birthday ;-)
That was so sweet... Happy birthday Noah!


Amy, I just recently found out that I'm pregnant. And watching that video... wow... I have so many wonderful things to look forward to.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful boy with us.


mina's narration:

"that's noah! my baby brother!"

"i want to go see noah next week!"

only a matter of time before they're bethrothed.

happy birthday, squirt.



What a absolutely fabulous tribute to your son's first year. It was great and makes me miss my 2 year old while reading this at work! Happy birthday to Noah!


Total goose bumps.

Happy birthday, babalah!


Thank you Amy. Thank you for that beautiful post and for the amazing video. Thank you most of all for sharing your lives with all of us.


Happy Birthday Noah!


Waaah! That was such an amazing post and video! I am crying as though Noah were my own son! Isn't it amazing, the love that we have for our children? Isn't it amazing the beauty we see in our husbands when they look at their children? It's so great. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOAH!!!


The first paragraph touched me.
The second one made me teary eyed.
The third... crying for real now.
Had to watch the movie twice because I was crying so much.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your life with us.

You always seem to say what I feel, only I could never say it the same way.


Oh the tears! Because I am a total softy.

I can't wait to get me one of my own... (fingers crossed, y'all!).


Okay, so I'm laying across my desk weeping..tell my co-workers to stop staring!!
Happy B-Day Noah!!


Thank you. What an amazing gift children are.


Happy 1st Birthday Noah! What an awesome baby you are!
That movie made me bawl! LOL At first I thought it was because of the pregnancy hormones, but nah. It was because of how beautiful the movie was.


Happy 1st birthday, Noah! What a wonderful memento for him. You are probably the luckiest woman in the world. Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!

Oh, and I will always remember Noah's birthday because it falls on our wedding anniversary. :)

Sarcastic Journalist

Damn you and your photo montages. It made me feel so happy and so sad and so in awe.

But thank you for the reminder of how fast it all goes by. Right after I saw it, I went and snuggled my own little boy for awhile.

Happy birthday, Noah!


Happy Birthday Noah!


I am a sap!! That was absolutely beautiful and so very perfect. One day he can look back and read the words you wrote just for him and he will know how very much he was loved...you can't give a child a better gift than that.

Happy Birthday,Noah! May all the rest of your birthdays be filled with such love and happiness!


Oh how sweet!

And now I'm weeping and missing my little babies...

Happy Birthday little guy!



Happy Birthday Noah!

Dacia :-)

That was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful
family!!! I can barely type I am crying so
hard!!!! I am home with my twin boys today
and just got finished loving allll over them!

If it wasn't for this blog, sometimes I don't
know how I would make it through the day!
We love you Jason Amalah and NOAH!!!!


That was beautiful, Amy.

Happy Birthday, Noah! Anna Sofia wants you to know that she has no qualms about marrying a younger man. :)

(They're really only a week apart.)


"Happy Birthday, Beautiful Boy"

I'll second that.

What a beautiful tribute to your son's first year.

Your cup runneth over, Storch family!

Mrs X

Happy Birthday Noah!
May all of your years be as perfect as the first.


Happy Birthday Noah! I have tears in my eyes from watching the video, and seeing what a beautiful family you have. How big is Noah? Sooo big!


How beautiful! Happy birthday, Noah!

anne nahm

That is super cute! Happy birthday and happy anniversary as a new family :^)

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